|Miles:||This week:|| 0.00
Big workout day. Back to the BHS track for Yasso 800s, follow up on the workout two weeks ago. Nice night, got up into the 70s today and the sunset was brilliant with orange and pink clouds. The Olympic College XC team, in its first year after a decade hiatus or so, was out there too. I talked to a guy I knew who is on the team, and then blew their ladder workout out of the water. (I was humble enough to not say it, but show it.)
1.5 mile warm-up, then started in with the 800s. 200m rest on each (between 60 and 75 seconds each time), and no break this week like the last time around. Started too quickly, but I had a bunch of young runners to impress, right? Turned out ok.
2:45, 2:47, 2:50, 2:52, 2:53, 2:50, 2:52, 2:56, 2:57, 2:55, 2:55, 2:55, 2:59, 3:00
I had lost it by the last two, not enough fuel and it was getting late after a fairly stressful workday. But I loved it, and what an encouraging improvement off the last time out. Faster almost across the board, and I upped the number and cut the rest time between intervals and still felt strong. I was also really consistent on the first 200m for each, hit 43 seconds on the button almost every time. Another half mile cool down, then home. 1:13:26
supernova glide red -- 99
||Blackberry Festival 5k (3.1 Miles) 00:17:07, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 2|
Rainy morning for Blackberry Fest, just like last year. It was really going two hours before race time, but slowed to a mist for the run. And it was warm, so actually not bad running weather.
Henry was in town visiting, so he joined me for the 2-mile warm-up to downtown. Real small field this year, no one I recognized. Olympic High had their team out, and I figured that's the only people I'd race against. We warmed up another mile with one loop of the course. I really just wanted to better my 5k time from earlier this year, which was pretty realistic.
I figured the high school kids would race ahead, but apparently someone had taught them pacing. So I took over about 400m into it, and led the first mile in 5:27. A guy passed me right there and I stuck with him, which was good because it kept the pace up. I stayed within 5-10 yards for the second lap of downtown and we hit mile 2 in 5:39. We played the surge game for the last loop, me catching up to within a few feet then him stretching it out. With 600m or so left I thought I had a chance to take him, and went after it on the downhill. There's a tight corner there and it was slick so I ran cautiously, and he took off strong out of it the turn. I held close but couldn't get the turnover to make up the few quick steps I needed, and he pulled away a few steps through the chute. 6:01 for the 1.1, and he beat me by three seconds. 17:07 for me overall. Good race, better than last year's time by a minute and dropped 14 seconds from my other 5k this year.
Two mile cool down home, now it's time for breakfast.
adidas OneZero -- 8
||Roots Rock 25k (trail) (15.1 Miles) 01:58:53, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1|
Two races in two days, but I wanted to use today as the last big training day for TOU. So I planned to put the 15.1 miles of "racing" between three miles before the start and two afterward, for a total day of 20 and a week's total of 56.
Got up to Port Gamble early, they've moved the start line over to a grassy airfield. Not quite as intimate as the old start downtown, but it was fine. Registered, then went out for three medium-pace miles on the trail and through Port Gamble.
Race started with a little mist in the air, but the temp was great. Three guys zoomed right ahead, I know two of them were planning to shoot for a course record. I hung back until the first turn into the single-track, then, to my surprise, caught the lead group fairly quickly and tracked with them up a technical portion that borders Babcock Farm. We got up on the plateau and they were moving, felt really fast for that early in the race. But I hung in there, let them have 20-25 yards and just kept the pace comfortable (and I chased down a dog that left it's owner to run with us and sent him back, costing me precious time. But I got to pet a dog.).
At about 35 minutes I caught the lead pack on one of the logging road stretches, then stuck with them through some thick and gnarly single-track. The OPG trails don't have tons of elevation, but they are enchanted for the dense brush and twisty turny routes. Really a workout for the feet, especially the hairpin downhill turns. It's a fun route, and it was really enjoyable to clip along with these guys.
The aid station was at mile 9 or so, and here my tactical error was apparent. I had a water bottle and goo and the start, but left it there, thinking 'eh, I'll be alright through the first half and then refuel at the aid station.' Well, the leaders didn't plan that way, and they all ran through. So there I was getting a drink and goo and losing 60 seconds to them. After I got going again I saw them at one point on a long logging road stretch, but never could make contact in the forest again. My pace suffered because of it, on trails like that it's hard to really push unless you're chasing someone.
So I kept a steady, even pace by myself, tried to force the downhills to prepare for Utah, and generally felt great about running out in the woods. My pace did slow down on some uphill and road portions, I knew it had been a big week and felt it in my legs. Also, it really taxes the feet more than road running, or even the trails I usually do. The Cascadia 4 may be at the end of their cycle. A few times I had to grab a tree branch to avoid a crash, I'm not kidding about how tricky some of the footing is (especially when the legs are a little tired). I realized where I was about a mile from the finish, and tried to push but the loop around Beaver Pond is really dicey so I couldn't go as hard as I would have liked to finish. But I was happy to go in under 2 hours, that was a goal in the back of my mind, having not run this route before. 1:58:53
Here's the interesting part for any running ethicists who might (still) be reading: I finished and the three leaders (who were 4, 4, and 2 minutes ahead) all took off for a second loop (the 50k race). So the organizer tells me I'm the 25k winner. Except then the third place guy comes walking back from the trail. He 'started' the 50k and decided to drop out a few minutes in. He understood that as a DNF, and told me so, but the organizer gave him first place because he *did* beat me for that distance. Everyone was nice about it, no big deal. But something to think about: should I have demanded the title?
Anyway, a great race to finish a great weekend of racing and a great week of running. I think I'm ready to taper a bit and go to Utah.
Short break (one day more than planned because of a long day at work), and back with an evening run. It was pouring this morning, so I'm glad I waited and was treated to a beautiful cloud-lit sunset. 5.5 breezy miles on the Warren-Manette bridges loop, down Shore to the little hill climb. 40:05
supernova glide red -- 105
Morning shorty around the neighborhood to wake up and stretch my legs a bit. Early day at work. 22:17
supernova glide red -- 108
A light and easy ten on Shore Drive. Ran alone out to the five-mile mark at 7/min pace or so, then came back with Bill Dewey and Tony at a really slow pace, then Tony and I left Bill and picked it to the 7:30 range. A little twinge in my hip at one point, but otherwise none of that pain that had been cropping up about the nine-mile point recently. Hopefully another week of light running and stretching does the trick. Legs felt great otherwise. 1:15:37
Time to go to Husky Stadium!
supernova glide red -- 118
A little morning run around the neighborhood to stretch my legs. Wonderful orange and purple sunrise, and now the clouds are here. Been a busy week. 31:13
supernova glide red
Twenty minutes or so jogging along the Columbia River in Jantzen Beach, Ore., first stop on the drive to Logan for TOU. Legs felt great and ready to go.
supernova glide -- 125
||Top of Utah Marathon (26.2 Miles) 02:53:12, Place overall: 19, Place in age division: 9|
Finally, the marathon report. The quick version is that it was a fantastic race, a pr, a great morning with a long conversation with my pacer Paul, perfect racing weather, and the best way to start a vacation I can think of.
The long version starts with Paul hitting me with a pillow to wake up because I slept through my alarm. So I hustled to get dressed and put a little fuel in me, then we drove into Logan. Already a nice morning at 5 a.m., cold but not freezing and we didn't wait long for a bus. Cup of coffee for the bus ride up Blacksmith Fork Canyon, which was great until our driver missed the start line (which is as amazing as it sounds, since there are mobs of people and a brick of port-a-potties right there). We were all too nice to tell her to stop driving up the dirt road until she asked "Does anyone know where we are going?" And everyone's jaw dropped at the same time. She managed to turn around and get us to the start, but we had only minutes to warm up. Paul knows a secret bathroom we used (one person in line 10 minutes before a 2,500-person race, ever heard of that?), we jogged up and down the road to loosen a bit and jump in near the front. Perfect temp as the sun came up.
Paul and I started a pack right from the start with a 6:27. We had the 2:55 pace in mind, and got about 10-15 guys on on tail right away, and a few sub-2:50s right in front of us. We ended up leading that group through 9 miles, just chatting and winding our way down through the opening miles of the canyon. Felt really light and even, and hit 6:25, 6:23, 6:31, 6:33, 6:31, 6:30, 6:22, and 12:54 for two.
After the mile 9 gu station the pack broke up, and we wound up with Scott, Allie, and another guy, and got our picture taken for the local paper. Still cruising down the canyon, starting to pick up some tailwind. I was a little worried about the next few spilts, thinking they were fast, but Paul was encouraging and we kept the pace down to Hollow Road, even pushing a bit when we got the big tailwind (we let it do the work on that last hill): 6:25, 6:23, 6:48 (30-second bathroom stop included) and 6:16 as it flattened out.
Picked up a guy (Keith?) as we approached Hollow, and he stuck with us. Good to have another pacer. We had lost Scott and one other guy who was in the pack of five, but slowly crept up on them on Hollow, passing both before the highway. Really ran strong on that stretch, packing in a few fast miles before the race got more mentally challenging. 6:13, 6:27, 6:23.
Then we slogged through the highway portion, which wasn't quite as bad as I remember, and we did see Cody there waiting to pace Scott. 6:33. As we headed up to Millville we decided not to ruin the race there, and, according to the pace chart, backed off to our slowest planned miles. It was mentally helpful to take a "break" and focus ahead on the finish rather than worry about the Millville hills. Did a 7:00 and 7:04, and felt great for a 20-mile check-in. We were still a pack of three and talking (even got yelled at to stop by a woman worried we were wasting energy).
Then 6:52 and 6:58 through Providence and into River Heights. I was feeling it at this point, no cramping (thank you Enduralytes) but my legs were pounded, especially the right hamstring. Paul suggested that we "had nothing to lose" at that point, and he was right. That phrase pulled my head back into focus, and I managed a surge to get a solid mile in 6:44. I knew we had sub-3, and putting on a strong one there got me ready to finish well. Walked through the aid at 24, where we lost touch Keith and hung up a 7:14, but I needed a quick stretch of the hamstring and to collect myself for the finish. I knew we were in good shape. Then a 6:55 as we started to sniff the finish, my legs were beat but I had energy left to push; no bonk at this one. 1:24 to cap it off, ran in side-by-side until I slowed up three feet from the line and Paul passed for the 0.1-second win. In my defense, a blister on my right foot popped with about 75 yards to go, and after a guy dose a wonderful pacing job like that you don't worry about the little things. We had finished, beat the pants off that sub-3 goal, and it was time to get a massage, sit in the sun and go have breakfast at Angie's. So we did.
supernova glide -- 282
a.m. -- Four-mile hike with a little jogging on the Crimson Trail. The jogging was mostly downhill because it hurt my quads more to walk. Beautiful morning up the canyon, the beginning of rehabbing from the race. Besides my quads, a slightly swollen ankle and some blisters, I felt fine in recovery.
p.m. -- Forrester Acres with Paul and Seth, seeing his new home course for the first time. Real easy pace, just crept along on a sunny evening and toured Smithfield. Really tired in the legs, but managed to get through and that run actually evaporated the soreness in my quads. Felt nice and loose at the finish. No watch.
supernova glide -- 288
A morning run with Paul, this time of Smithfield Birch Canyon. Started slowly again, still pretty beat energy-wise from the race. Felt good going up the gentle incline, but on the way down I started having pain in my right ankle and my right hamstring was really talking to me. The ankle had been swollen from the race and the hamstring tight, that's just where the pressure ended up, I guess. Nothing structural. So after we returned to the street from the trail, I let Paul go home alone and walked the last two miles. I was feeling a little banged up by that point, but glad to be able to get out and run so soon after the big race.
Massage that afternoon in Hyrum helped a lot.
supernova glide -- 295
Another early morning, this time meeting Cody around dawn to shuttle a car up to Leatham Hollow so we could mark the first 19 or so of the Bear 100. We left his car and drove back to Dry Canyon and hobbled out of my car. We were both a little beat from our weekends of running, and looking at a pretty big hill.
So we took it easy up the canyon trail, mixing hiking and low-gear running as we marked the course and caught up talking about summer running. I was nursing the hammy and ankle and Cody had knee problems, so we were wounded together and weren't trying to push. Stopping every 1/4 or so to tie ribbon on a tree helps slow the pace, anyway.
Once we got up the hill to the Syncline Trail we started running consistently, it's a nice soft stretch there with a great view of the valley and so many colors, and my legs loosened up some. Ran there and tried not to hit too many cows, then up and over to Providence Canyon and then another up to the Millville peak (is that its name?). Really nice colors, pretty moderate trail so we weren't fighting a lot of intense climbing. Where we did have hills on the Logan Peak course we walked.
Then we headed down Leatham Hollow, which was a really pretty part of the run and we were loose enough by then to keep a nice pace (between frequent stops to mark, in my opinion our section had to be the best marked of the race). It was really getting warm by the end, so I'm glad we started early. Cooled our feet and legs in the stream at Leatham for awhile, which was just right. I was pretty beat, the week was started to take it's toll on my energy. Then a big lunch and a 2-hour nap.
Bear 100 report, I'll keep mine short because I'm sure Jon did the whole thing more than enough justice on his blog post.
After marking the course and spending Friday morning with Paul and Cody at the Leatham aid station, I was feeling pretty close to the Bear. As much as I loved running that aid station and seeing everyone through, the one thought that kept going through my head was "You're going to keep going another 80? You, the person who looks half dead already?" But our boy Jon looked good when he cruised through, so I was sure we'd see him in good shape later. After seven hours at the aid station Paul and I broke camp and I drove up Logan Canyon to find Team Allen.
I ended up a little later than expected and found Cody at Tony Grove. Jon was doing great, ahead of his "average" projection. We saw him through that station and Joe ended his pacing, letting Cody take over. Joe and I crewed through Franklin Basin, Logan River (Which won my nod for best aid, with the Christmas lights and campfire and dutch oven BBQ. I could have stayed there all night.) and Beaver Mountain Lodge. Both guys looked great through each of those aids.
At Beaver Creek Joe and I had some time to kill, so we napped just a bit (really cold outside by that point) and then prepared for Jon to show. He was a little behind what we were hoping, so I was getting antsy to start running. When Cody led Jon in, Cody grabbed me and said "Dave, he's not doing as well. Keep talking to him." We took off at a walk on the trail heading north from Beaver Creek. Sure enough, Jon wasn't talking much, other than to promise it would be the slowest 15 of my life. No problem, as long as we got through.
We walked most of the first two miles, which are an easy grade on a forest road. I encouraged Jon to do some little 20-30 second jogs, just to keep us moving and his head in it (and I really wanted to run). The moon was out and it was clear, so even hiking wasn't bad. Warmer than I thought once we got going as well, I ended up dropping pants and shirt at Ranger Dip. But I knew Jon was struggling, he kept talking about how exhausted he was overall and couldn't respond much, and mentioned he just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. Uh oh.
After we finished that climb and got into the sagebrush field overlooking part of Bear Lake and back on the canyon a lamp showed up in the distance behind us. It was Leland, and we let him push us (before we knew who it was) then pull us (after he passed us). And, just like that, Jon clicked back in. We maintain a jog for awhile, which he'd been struggling to do, and then he started talking in a normal voice. I knew we were good at that point, and we hit the Ranger Dip aid soon.
We moved through quickly, changing batteries and grabbing drinks. The hill out of the aid is super-steep so we hiked it slowly, letting Leland lead again. At the top we passed Leland almost right away and zipped down the initial stretch. My lamp sucks so I was running through the tress mostly by feel, and almost biffed it a few times. Jon and I hooked up again right before the huge descent into Bear Lake. He had the good advice to separate by 30 seconds or so, so we didn't kick dust up on each other. I let him lead, keeping an eye on his lamp up ahead. It was a really peaceful and spectacular view to look out on that glassy mountain lake lit up by the moon and stars, and (other than kind of a crappy trial to run on) was a neat experience. We battled down the hill faster than he and Cody had trained on it, then hit the gravel road two miles from the finish and kicked it in. My ankle was pretty sore from the downhill pounding, but I knew it wasn't anything like what Jon felt. We had a brisk pace going, we were chatting freely, and I knew Jon just wanted to finish and hit that sub-21. Well he did it, we met Cody and Joe on the highway before the end and ran in as a team.
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