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Chuckanut Ridge 50k

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Member Since:

Feb 10, 2007



Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

I was an 800/1500 runner in high school and college, with PRs of 1:55 and 4:08. I've run as fast as 16:15 for 5k and 1:20 for a half, but my bests in recent years are 17:07 5k (Dec. '11), 37:40 10k (Jan. '12), 1:23:49 half (Sept. '08), 2:53:12 marathon (September '10), and 4:45:06 50k (March '10).

Short-Term Running Goals:

Late 2015/2016 races: 

— Seattle Soltice 10k (Dec. 19)

— Nookachamps half marathon (Jan. 16)

— Toyko Marathon (Feb. 28) 


I'm an editor at a newspaper in Bremerton, Washington and head coach of the Bremerton Jaguars youth track and field team.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
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The eight-mile out-and-back on Tracyton Beach Road and through Lions Park. Slow to start and my quads were still feeling hammered, but picked the pace up closer to 7 min/mile on the way back. A lot of traffic on that road this morning, going both ways, which is weird. 


supernova glide -- 347

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 Same hill repeat workout as last Wednesday. Two mile warmup on Shore Drive, then 6x275m on a medium grade. Hit more consistent repeats this week, after the fast start -- :59, 1:01, 1:04, 1:02, 1:03, 1:04. Then I headed back to Alder Street, where I live, and tackled the steep hill up to Trenton, which is anything but a medium grade. Got to be one of the steepest hills in town, though it's not too long. Did 2x1:00 on that, I was dead on the second. Then a mile or so cool down. 43:05.

supernova glide -- 353

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Another shorter run, I've been dragging a little this week. Six on the Warren-Manette bridge route, with a quick YMCA detour for a bathroom stop. Legs were a little sluggish, never really loosened up and got going. 45:52

supernova glide -- 359

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Met Henry at Annapolis, colder morning (38 degrees) but a clear sky and the sun was coming up soon. I had 16 planned but we turned around at 7, still feeling sluggish from the week -- although we were running a good 7/min pace, and draining ourselves some. Other factors were that we wanted to get back for breakfast and I had a beekeeping class to get to. Might make my own hiney this summer. 

Real inconsistent pace today, I didn't have a watch but Henry called the miles. A 7:05/min average, but there was a 6:46 in there somewhere, and a 6:50. We were kind of pushing, just couldn't get into a rhythm. I'll run another good run tomorrow, 10 planned with Mike, then two weeks until the 50k.


supernova glide -- 373

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Trying to catch the last of the clear sky and get one last good weekend combo run before Chuckanut.

Ran over to Evergreen-Rotary Park and met Mike there early, we stood and chatted for a few before taking off up the Warren Ave. Bridge. We both had long Saturdays and were dragging to get started. Off the bridge and down to Lions Park for a loop around the exterior and along the shoreline. Then headed back we broke off Lebo and went into the Stephenson Park or preserve or whatever. It's city trails, and I'd never been in there before. Kind of a small area, but a nice little creekside/ravine trail network and we circled around in there for a few minutes exploring. Came out on Callahan (I think) just a block off Lebo and the bridge. Back Old Wheaton to Manette, crossed the Manette Bridge (second time) and back to Evergreen. Split with Mike and headed home across the bridge (numero three) and along upper Shore Drive for some extra mileage.  67:41

Time to make some pancakes. I'll taper some in the next two weeks. Not planning to drop the miles dramatically, but I can tell my legs need a little rest and maybe some yoga.

supernova glide -- 382

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Back on the road after a Monday rest day (did an easy yoga class instead) and a 15-hour travel day yesterday to Los Angeles and back. The corporate world isn't really for me, it's more tiring than it sounds to sit in an airport all day long. 

Out to Illahee State Park, down to the beach and back up. The uphill trail from the beach is definitely easier than it has been other times this winter, so that's a good sign. Pretty easy pace, because my left tendon above the ankle (outside of the leg, maybe three inches up from the ankle) has been inflamed or something. Kind of sore since Saturday and Sunday, with a little bit of a constant burn since. Once I was going this morning it wasn't too bad, and I'm icing now. Still, something to watch.

Otherwise things feel good, and my legs don't feel as fatigued as last week. Ten days until Chuckanut.


brooks cascadia -- 152

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Actually short of three, I just went out for 20 minutes to wake up and see how my legs were feeling. The pain from earlier this week in the left ankle and foot seems to be gone, must have needed some rest. I'm trying to taper but still get a good trail run in tomorrow, so taking it real easy was the plan. Real relaxing on a rainy morning. 20:10 

supernova glide -- 385

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Tune-up/race preview on the Chuckanut 50k course. A group of people met up at Clayton Beach to run the middle 18 miles and help get some signage up, then put the bags for participants together. Much nicer day than expected, really mild and some blue skies even.

I arrived late, but met a guy in the parking lot also heading out. We started together but I left him quickly. He did get me on the right trail though. Felt really good heading out, the ankle pain from earlier was gone, and my feet felt good. Kept a nice steady pace through the first hour, which has good hills but nothing major, and that's probably what I'll want next weekend as well for pace. Good to see the hills again for that first 6 or so and get them in my mind. I had a gel and a mini Clif through the first hour, and made it to the Frangrance Road gate in 58 minutes (without stopping, incidentally, which did not happen the last time out on this course). Legs really felt energetic on the climb up that road.

Five-minute break/walk there, just to relax a bit because I was feeling a little giddy and tempted to really take off. Started again and made the ridge trail, catching Krissy and the group up maybe 15 or 20 minutes in along the ridge. I'm really glad I previewed that portion, the footing up there is really made for mountain goats. Even though it's beautiful and a blast to run, I won't be picking up the pace until the simpler downhill trail.

Then back up a muddy trail, which was in pretty bad shape. It's a slog because of the footing, but that hill wasn't as intense as I thought it might be. Got to the top there where it splits to Lost Lake (I think) and the course heads on a nice downhill to Chinscraper, in 1:22 from the Frangrance gate. With some stopping as a group to hang signs and just taking it easy chatting, I was really encouraged by that time. I want to aim for something just under that pace for that stretch, shooting for that will help reign me in for those middle miles.

Then down the hill and up Chinscraper, which also felt much better than the last time out. Two months ago I was bonking at this point (granted, it was the day after a 10k), but my legs still had some bounce up the hill and I got a better idea of what stretches to run and where I should hike. About 15 minutes to the top, which will also be in my head next Saturday as the goal.

Then the last 3 downhill, which I have at 30 minutes but that seems slow. Chase and I weren't pushing at all, in fact we let others take off to save the quads from getting beat up any more than necessary (Also, I know how to run downhill and don't need that practice). Maybe that part is a little longer than 3, I'm not sure. As we cruised into the parking lot I had my first twinge of fatigue for the run, and if that's the case next week (although there's another 10k that'll be under my belt at that point) I'll be pretty pumped. Ended there, stretched some, ate a little more. 3:18:36

So a really encouraging practice run, and better yet I'm not feeling trashed today. I didn't run this morning, but got up and took a nice long walk. I'm a little tired, but nothing like the last time or what I'd expect from that pounding. My confidence in my climbing ability was reaffirmed, and I'm pretty sure I can trust my fitness also for 50k. Also, I have a much better sense of what aid I'll need to carry and how much I should be taking. If I can do those 18 in the 3:10-3:15 neighborhood next week I'll feel good. We'll see how that last 10k feels though. Time to taper, looking at a pretty easy week now.

brooks cascadia -- 170

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Two days of rest, real calm yoga yesterday, and five today. The taper continues. 

11th-Shore Drive route, 5x100 striders. Feeling healthy and light. 35:13

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Last little Chuckanut warm-up, just 20 minutes around the neighborhood to loosen up. Should be ready for tomorrow, legs feel healthy, and the weather could not be forecast any nicer. Now just to get through a long day of work (on the heels of a long, long week of 12-hour days) and I hit the road. For all three of you who read this blog, I probably won't do a race report until Monday because I'm staying in the valley. But I'll throw a time up on Facebook as soon as I can.

brooks cascadia -- 173

Race: Chuckanut Ridge 50k (31 Miles) 04:45:06, Place overall: 41, Place in age division: 22
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I couldn't have asked for a better day, or better course, or a more satisfying race as my first ultra. Partly cloudy skies breaking on the early drive up from Seattle, a cup of coffee and banana for the ride, just a little chill in the air, and an easy check-in (and two open bathrooms) right before the start. For the most part, the rest of the day went just as well, and I finished in 4:45:06, 15 minutes faster than my estimate (which wasn't based on much, I have to admit). Most importantly, I had a blast.

So on to the report, if you like details:

I started back in the pack to rein in that first 10k. Saw some friends during the first  mile and spent time chatting with Walter, then moved up a bit and fell in with a guy named Ron. Ron was aiming for 4:54 and had a good theory on how to run the opening 10k, so I stuck with him. We talked biking, complained about lousy drivers, had a Clif shot, and reached Clayton Beach aid station at 48 minutes exactly. Perfect 8/min. pace to start. I ran through the station a little quickly and missed grabbing a new Clif shot, but I was packing a few so I wasn't too worried. Saw my parents there (they happened to be in town and were able to watch that part of the race) and I was feeling pretty high at that point.

Moved up the first incline pretty well, left Ron and started making a few passes on the single track until I was chasing two guys toward Cleator Road. I stayed right behind them until the aid station there. (One of them, I forget his name now, would go back-and-forth with me for the rest of the race, which was fun and encouraging. He did beat me eventually.)

Downed a Clif shot and Nuun at Cleator, and headed up the hill. My goal was to just keep a steady pace on the climb to the next aid, and try to hit the Frangrance Road gate in less than 60 minutes from Clayton Beach. I felt really good heading up and reeled a few people in, finally finding someone my pace and sticking together up to the Ridge Trail. He was a Fairhaven Runner and had some good advice on the course, so that was fun. Hit the gate aid station at 54 minutes, so I was looking good at that point, and I hoped not *too* good.

At the turnoff to the Ridge that *too* good tapped me on the shoulder. I was trailing three guys at the fence and lost them after, oh, twenty steps. That was a bad sign, and the beginnings of cramps and fatigue in the calves freaked me out. I slowed the pace and pounded a Clif shot and bar, trying to get something back into my system. But it was a slog through there, and that's a fun part of the race. One thing kind of cool was I was completely alone up there, nobody around at all until we started down the last 150m or so. I tried to keep focus because the footing is really tricky, but even my mind was reeling some. It all made me a little worried, since I was at 2:15 at that point and knew I had at least twice that to go.

On the way back down hill I started to get my wits again, the fuel must have kicked in. Hit the bottom of the ridge and there were a few others to chase again on that gravel road. I focused on just maintaining a pace and aiding through that part so I'd have something for the muddy climb ahead. Once my legs loosened up I actually got a pretty good pace going again -- running with that guy I traded with, it was his turn now -- and was pulled along by a couple until they let me pass up the muddy hill. Then there were two others that kind of worked as a team up to the crest. I hiked the last portion, maybe 200m, knowing I was ahead of the ballpark pace I had set for myself -- and -- knowing Chinscraper was looming.

Tried to open up my legs somewhat back downhill, and hit the Chinscraper aid station in alright shape. I was tired, but not cramping as badly. I fueled up on nuun and more gels there, planning to suck a few down while hiking up Chinscraper. I was at that aid station 15 minutes ahead of my planned pace, so I felt good about things despite the foreboding feeling in my calves and quads.

Hiked a good pace up Chinscraper, leaving one guy behind. I didn't want to kill myself on that stretch, so I was careful. Maybe 3 minutes slower than a week ago, which was fine. Coming off the hill, however, was brutal. The calf cramps hit again at the parking lot up there, and when this guy named Adam went by me I just jumped in with him to try and get my mind off the cramps. So we're chatting, and he's feeling bad too, and we come around a corner to see a friend of his. This friend, Scott McCoubrey, happens to own the Seattle Running Company, and I hear his name a lot. Scott asked us how we were doing and we told him, and then Scott reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bag of salt tablets. Handed me two and said I'd be alright. I'd never had them before during a race, but at that point I would have stuck a caterpillar in my ear if you told me it would have helped.

He was right. There's a 3-mile downhill stretch there I was really fearing, but the tablets backed off the cramps again and I was able to make it to the aid station at the bottom. My feet got pretty beat up on the downhill, but that wasn't the foremost concern.

At Clayton Beach, which is a 10k from the finish, I was at 3:50. So I knew, even with the cramps and sore feet, that I had a 70-minute window to finish at 5 hours. Good sign. I spent two or three minutes aiding there, letting a few others go by, but just making sure I was hydrated and fueled. Stretched a bit, which helped, then gritted my teeth for the last haul.

The first mile was tough, but then my legs and head put it together and just pushed on. At 15 minutes I took a 60-second walk/stretch, to pull myself together. I watched two guys 150m ahead or so for awhile, but didn't gain much ground. When we hit the single-track again, maybe 2 from the finish, I got a little wind and stretched my legs, but that last gravel switchback made me pay for it. I walked 60 seconds or so, just to hold off the cramping, then cranked it up for that last mile. As I saw more volunteers I knew I was close, and just kind of squinted and tried to give it as much as I had up and down the last little hill. Felt great to see the finish and know the end was near, and I ran across with a smile on my face at 4:45:06.

Other than just finishing and really enjoying it and savoring the experience and views (there were a few spectacular, especially of Mt. Baker up on the Ridge), the biggest win was to overcome the cramps. I've never been able to manage through that problem during a race, and I've crashed and burned a few times. I think I'm learning more about fueling and what my body's needs are. I lose the salt quickly (anyone who saw my white crusty face after the race knows that), so I need to focus on replacement. But to fight that for 2.5 hours was something I'm proud of. And, remarkably, I'm not sore this morning. My body is tired, and I tweaked my right knee somewhere (really felt it during the last 10k, but told myself to forget it at that point, and there's ice on it now), but other than that not much to complain about. Even my feet feel fairly healthy and strong, and they took a beating. (Maybe I should have run faster, eh?) 

Anyone out there thinking of an ultra, I recommend this one. Beautiful course, a few types of terrain, fun group to run with and some great energy after the race fellowshipping with the others. Simply excellent in a lot of ways.

brooks cascadia -- 204

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Two runs in Sayulita, Mexico: 

am: 40-45 minutes on a trail south of town. Krissy and I headed out a road that I had seen some runners on, just to see what was there. After a dead-end turn we ran into a guy who looked like a runner. He was going out for 45 minute and invited us. (So naturally, being in a safe place like Mexico we followed a stranger into the jungle. Believe me, it made sense at the time.) Up and down some dirt roads, finding some single track through a thin forest, jumped some barbed wire and ended up on a really isolated beach. Then some sand running, a scramble over some rocks to a second quiet beach, then looped back on the dirt roads. Then a yoga class with the stranger, John, who had become a friend. Maybe five miles, but hard to say with the beach running. 

pm: 40 minutes the other direction from town, just meandering around some more dirt roads and trails trying to get our bearings. A few loops over the same territory, until we found one good climb to get up (almost) above the city. Ran back in the dark, sun went down on us before we could find a great sunset-watching spot. 

On both runs my right knee bothered me (pretty sure it's the IT band), but not so painful I had to stop. Kind of a dull, thick feeling that would come and go in intensity. Worse going downhill, and on the uneven cobblestone streets in Sayulita. But really good to be running in the sun, and running again after Chuckanut. I didn't expect it, but I really was never sore from the 50k. Tired the day after, no doubt, but none of the usual muscle soreness a marathon would leave. So other than the IT thing, which I knew was coming because it felt pounded on that last 10k, I really recovered without a problem. Of course, the adrenaline going in anticipation of Mexico at 85 degrees may have helped mask that.

brooks cascadia

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Early morning run in Sayulita. Headed north on the dirt roads we explored Friday night, looking to connect to San Pancho (5k away, we were told). A few hills, lots of crossing routes, and eventually we were at a beach north of Sayulita. Ran up the beach, another rocky scramble, then we made it to the resort that blocks access to San Pancho. No rock scramble available there, so we climbed up a gully looking for an alternate. Well, it was just a gully, and a steep, brusy one at that. 15 minutes of bushwhacking was enough, and we turned around. Ran back on the beach to the trail, then back up the trail with some detours to check out what we missed. Finally found the highway, but took it back to Sayulita instead of San Pancho. Knee bothering me some, about the same level of discomfort and still nothing consistent. The pain would come back periodically during the day, and I tried to keep it stretched and even iced a little.

1:50 (85 minutes running, 25 minutes brush clearing)

brooks cascadia

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Just a shorty, Krissy went long and I wasn't going to try after pounding my knee for two days. So the 20 minutes were just easy miles around Sayulita, out to the highway turnoff and back basically. 20:00

brooks cascadia 

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