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Chuckanut 50k

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Location:

WA,

Member Since:

Feb 10, 2007

Gender:

Male

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) 

Personal:

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
Total Distance
117.50
Total Distance
16.00

Drove north to Whatcom County for my annual Chuckanut 50k tuneup, checking out both the course (decent shape) and my own fitness (let's say, not as decent as I'd prefer). 

After a mild winter the trails are in good shape for a race two weeks out, so we'll hope for no big rain/snow storms in the meantime. They've altered the descent to Cleator Road with a few extra switchbacks, which is nice, and Krissy changed part of the course so we descend from the ridge on trail rather than road, which is something that will be really nice.

I broke the run up into chunks that I can hopefully use to guide me in two weeks. I started at Clayton Beach, ran back the Interurban to the trailhead to Fragrance Lake. Climbed with a few walk breaks to stay conservative to Fragrance, then ran strong and made it to Cleator Road in 39:13. Up Cleator in 30:56, again with two 2-minute walks at about 8 minutes and 15 minutes, which I've learned is about when things are steepest. From the Ridge, 38:37 to Lost Lake, actually felt pretty good when I'd get in a groove there. Hiked the steep inclines to keep it smart. Then on Lost Lake I ran into a girl who will be doing the race for the first time, she's an Idahoan out here training for the forest service. So we ran this portion together and that helped empty my head a bit a lose myself in a moderate pace. Made it up the hill feeling well, then she turned and I bombed down to the Chinscraper base. 45:08 for the section. I ran most of Chinscraper, but instead of cutting over through the viewpoint I turned and bombed back down to the parking lot. Probably cut 2 miles from the overall run because of that, but I was completely out of water and needed to get back. 21:28 for the last stretch, and I cramped just a touch as I stepped into the parking lot. 2:59:00 total. 

I enjoyed the run, cloudy and 55 or so, and the rain held off just long enough. I was beat up afterward, but not wrecked, so hopefully that's something to build on. No calf pain, so I'm out of the woods there. As far as previewing the race, I don't expect my fastest time, so I'll play it conservatively and echo this pace in two weeks, and see what happens. 

brooks cascadia V 

Comments(2)
Total Distance
5.00

Recovery run from Bryce and Bonnie's on my BG-Husky Stadium loop. A little more sore than usual, but no injuries or red flags from yesterday. 37:05

brooks cascadia V 

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Total Distance
6.00

Y treadmill. Quads still a little sore from Saturday, but loosened up alright after 3 miles or so. 46:46

supernova glide  

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Total Distance
14.00

Met Mike at Evergreen-Rotary Park for our usual longer route out to Tracyton and back through Stevenson Canyon. After the canyon we headed over the Sheridan Hill and then went north to Illahee State Park, down to the beach and back to the park through Manette and Downtown. 1:58:00 

supernova glide  

Felt the strongest up the hill at Illahee as I have in months, so at least I have that small taste of confidence. Other than that not a great week, my schedule unraveled on me and I missed two runs after 14-hour days (not all work, but still unplanned). Six days until Chuckanut, at least I'm healthy and after seeing a few other 50k runners Thursday I'm looking forward to heading up to Fairhaven. 

Comments(2)
Total Distance
4.00

Light and easy at the Y after work. 31:00

supernova glide -- 56 

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Total Distance
4.00

Shore Drive quick loop;  light, springy legs. 30:00

supernova glide 

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Race: Chuckanut 50k (31.1 Miles) 05:20:45, Place overall: 102
Total Distance
32.00

This year I ran my slowest time at Chuckanut, but it was in no way what I'd call my worst race. I wasn't trained nearly where I should have been, I knew it, and so I planned a race accordingly. I mentioned vague times to a few people, but by race morning I had one real goal: enjoy it and don't blow up. On the drive from Seattle to Fairhaven Jon and I were talking about other ultras and longer distances, and I had another thought that took hold as I left the starting line: If I can't finish this 50k without bonking or struggling in, how will I even run farther? So finishing strong and "managing" a good race became my mantra. 

The rain had stopped by the time we were at the parking lot/start, and it was actually a pleasant morning. Gray skies and 50 degrees, and several friends hanging around relaxed. Jon and I found bathrooms without long lines, jogged a bit to warm up, and got set to go.  

I talked with a friend out of the gate for a mile, then slowly picked it up along the Interurban Trail and tucked in with some Canadians. I consciously made an effort to *not* pass them, and that was smart. We hit the aid at 50:29, and since the revised start makes that stretch slightly over 10k (6.75 by the Canuck's Garmin),  I wouldn't have wanted to be there any sooner. 

I passed a few people on the initial stretch to Fragrance Lake, but as soon as the course got steeper I again made the tactical choice to slow down. I sat behind a girl who was trading hiking/running, and just echoed what she was doing. I told myself it was making things simpler for me mentally, because I let her determine the pace. We stuck together, maybe one or two eventually passed us, and then at Fragrance I moved past her and hooked in with another small group to Cleator. I was feeling fine, but I knew that I've felt "fine" there before and didn't want to overdo. Ended up with a 43:14 split. 

 I had planned my hike breaks on Cleator based on where it's steepest, and followed that plan (walked at 8 minutes for two minutes, again at 11 or so for a minute, and then one more of my choosing before one of the last three turns).  I thought this worked well, and my time really wasn't that much slower than normal. I focused on fueling during this stretch, I may have taken two gels and I really tried to drain a whole handheld bottle. 31:19 to the Ridge, and as a misty rain started I felt ok. I took my time through the Ridge aid station and three people who I'd passed snuck by, but I let them and didn't think about it. I was trying to not worry about people around me, and focused on waiting for a strong finish. Incidentally, I wasn't paying attention at all to my time at this point. For once I wasn't doing mental calculations or predictions and adding unnecessary stress. 

The Ridge was fine, I ran with a guy who sounded like he would have been in pretty good shape. He followed me until the descent, then I stopped when he hit the gravel trail to tie a shoe and let him go (36:21 split), but caught him again on the climb out of Lost Lake. I probably was caught by four people on that uphill because that was also a stretch of increased walking. I was playing it very cautiously knowing Chinscraper was coming, and I had felt a twinge of a cramp. Even on the descent to Chinscraper's aid station I tried to hold off from letting go full bore by staying right on a guy's heels but no more (he and I ended up spending most of the last 10 trading back and forth, which was nice). I hit Chinscraper at 47:18 for the split, but more importantly, 3:28 overall. I had a potato here as well. Although 5 hours at that point was a real long-shot (though within range if things went ok down the hill), I knew that I'd stay until 5:30, which I could live with. 

I hiked CS with about five or six others in a pack, which is the first year I've walked that much. The guy ahead of me (Maksim, who I mentioned before) kept offering to let us pass, and we kept declining. I was firmly in the "don't screw it up here" mindset, and I'm glad about that. I fueled and drank, then came off the hill with one woman from the group -- and unbelievably had my right hamstring cramp up as soon as the road rolled downhill. I collected myself, swallowed two s-caps and walk a few steps, then got going and really eased down Cleator to the cutoff, and still tried to keep it easy down there. By Fragrance (a new part of the course I am very thankful for) I was with Maksim again, and I again tucked in with him down to the aid and Interurban. I wasn't in spectacular shape and probably went a little slower there than I would have liked (51:40 for the split, which I believe is around 3 miles), but I had managed through a cramp and was in a pretty good mindset to finish things up. Certainly better mentally than I've been in other years, if a little farther back on the clock. 

So there was the Interurban, the old nemesis. I took my time through the aid, made a joke with a guy about starting our cool down, and took off walking for 30 seconds to take a deep breath and get ready. This is where I've always felt lonely and beaten down. But I started to jog and a guy pulled up next to me. We ran together for a minute and then started talking. We kept chatting away (he was a Boeing guy) and the minutes just started ticking off. I was feeling in the zone and pretty strong, and I'd guess we were not to far above 8/min. pace. It was fantastic, the best I've even been at that point. I eventually left him after 3 miles or so, then immediately the sky opened up and drenched us all. Just soaked to the skin after a pretty decent day otherwise. But that gave me something to think about other than cramps or pain, so I focused on how wet I was and kept moving. After getting back into the heavier forest I had a small tickle and stopped for a few seconds to stretch, but a group ran up on me and pushed me back to get a pace going. After the road and final switchback I had another cramp threat, but it quickly subsided and I knew I could finish strong. Ended up picking off three more runners, including a guy with maybe 400-500 meters to go, and I even had a hint of steam to stretch my legs for that last 200, giving me a 59:19 final leg.  

So I didn't set a time record (other than "personal worst time"), but I gave myself a really good boost of confidence that I can manage cramps and run wisely, and I can finish strong on the Interurban. I was even able to walk up and down steps both last night and today, which isn't usually the case. It hasn't been a great mileage year, so I wasn't expecting anything more than an enjoyable day in the woods -- and I got that. Jon ended up in the Top 20, at 4:20, which I thought was great, and we enjoyed a few hours in the cold with other runners before going back to Seattle (where it was sunny) for showers and dinner. 

brooks cascadia 5 -- Might be time to retire these guys, they've been through enough 

Comments(3)
Total Distance
4.00

YMCA treadmill, 7:40 pace or so. Legs feel fine, the 'recovery' days were recovering from work, not Chuckanut. 31:05

supernova glide 

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Total Distance
7.50

Ran w/Mike from Evergreen Park, our usual route of late though we skipped Stevenson Canyon because we were both in a hurry. Then six hours of trails maintenance at Illahee Preserve. No watch. 

supernova glide 

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Total Distance
5.00

Warren-Manette bridge loop, brisk pace. 37:30 

supernova glide 

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Total Distance
6.00

First Jaguars practice of the year. I ran 4x800 with a group of 9- and 10-year-old boys, at about 7/min. pace. Then another 4 by myself around the track after practice. 

supernova glide 

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Total Distance
4.00

Really easy running around Bremerton High with a group of Jaguar girls, we got kicked off the track so I didn't get any additional miles in tonight. 31 minutes or so, with a few hill repeats. 

supernova glide 

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Total Distance
10.00

Henry was in town, so Mike and I met him at Annapolis for 10 miles. No watch, but we were pretty pepped up to see him and certainly ran quicker than we should have. Some sub-7s, I'm sure, and Henry was laboring by the finish. I was a little stiff from a Friday night bike ride, but other than that a good run on a sunny morning. 

supernova glide  

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Total Distance
117.50
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