Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting Race ready

Bags are packed, race gear in tow. Now all I have to do is survive the drive to SeaTac airport to catch my flight tomorrow. I've just shaved my head to the scalp to be more "aerodynamic" on the trail.

My back feels a little tight and I'm not sure why. A good reason why I'm not taking my Nathan 2l pack with me. 2 handhelds in my dropbag will have to do at Pantoll. I have a pacer at Mile 49.5 who is supposed to meet me at 2pm (8:20), hopefully I'll meet her there.

Club Fat Ass should do okay at this race. Gary, the Repta Bros should finish in the top 25%. I'm hoping for a sub 14, sub 12. We'll see.

Going to hang out with the Gypsies H3 while I'm in SF Thursday. One day to recover and shop for some coconut juice and I'll be good to go.

Send me your positive deep thoughts...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Navigating the Suburban Rush

So last Saturday I volunteered on the navigation section of the Suburban Rush in Port Moody. While this could be considered to be an entry level adventure race, there were quite a few experienced teams out there who are sponsored by Helly Hansen, Steed Cycles and other outdoor brand names. We (Jordy and me) were in charge of marking trail (mini green road flags and green ribbon) and 7 markers each with its own distinctive stamp. Racers were given a map where each of the markers were laid out and it was up to them how they were to approach each marker. Our job was to be creative enough to lead them to the marker, but not be completely obvious. Since I had a week to go before Miwok (more on this later) and I knew some of the side trails around Buntzen Lake I was given a few markers to set as I saw fit as long as I stuck to the map. Our first mark was #3 which was through a little bushwack and popped out into a little alcove near the lake. I ended up getting poked in the eyebrow by an errant branch. #6 was easily the roughest one as it involved clambering over a slippery log section, through a few downed trees and very narrow singletrack with steep switchbacks. Jordy had prelaid #5, #4 (which was on the FU George trail) which 4 teams and 2 solo runners missed completely. I suggested Mark#1 be in the middle of several uphill log sections that you had to scramble up, but if racers could see beyond the flags, they could bypass the trail and climb up a small fireroad and access the mark that way. By far the most frustrating and easily missed mark was #2. I placed it on the right side of a steep downhill with flags clearly pointing upwards, I designed it so that if someone was going downhill, they'd get tunnel vision and would miss it, but if you were going uphill, you would easily see it because you would be walking this section. Good times. It was a lot of fun directing racers all over the course and looking out for them as well. The only gripe I have was we were not able to assess penalties as quite a few teams did not follow the "You must be within sight of your team member at all times" rule. So for example, on Marker 6, the slower member of the team would wait at the bottom of the hill, while the stronger or less fatigued member would power up the hilly switchbacks and the way the marker was placed, they were more than 10 feet apart. Unfortunately we didn't have team numbers or a camera to take pictures for evidence. I think we should go on a yellow card, red card system for rule infractions. A ten minute penalty may not seem like much, but when the difference between 3rd and 4th place is 7 minutes, I think it'd be a good idea. Okay, rant over.

Miwok is only 5 days away! And I still don't have a plan! Well, other than running it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

More running than I'm used to...

Well, it was a somewhat successful weekend. Had a great time with the Seattle H3 and managed to score a place to sleep but completed Mt Si 50 mile, my first 50 miler of the year!

I was supposed to run it in my Streaks, but 10 minutes before race start I changed into my Asics 2120s because the trail was essentially either fireroad or crushed gravel. I was hoping for a 10-11 hour effort but I ended up with 8:39:47!

This was a very fast course and very, very runnable. Too much so, that because I wasnt wearing a watch, I had no idea how fast I was actually running until the 27 mile when a woman I was running with clocked us at 4:15 for 27 miles! Oops! I'm running faster than my normal marathon times but I still have 23 miles to go! I was sure I was going to bonk, but it didn't happen. My quads were tightening a lot on the turnaround, but I made sure once I had my food and electrolytes I was moving again.

Made new friends with Pocahomo and got reacquainted with Linda Barton, a girl I was playing leapfrog with at Chuckanut. As it turns out, I'll see her again at Miwok!

Speaking of which...I got my race bib in the mail today! I'm number 200.
Well, time to rest up and get some more calories. Hopefully I'll figure out this blogging thing soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Going in blind

Well, it's travel day tomorrow. I'm off to Seattle, well Redmond, WA to pick up my race package and find a place to stay for the Mt Si 5o miler. I'll think I'll check out the Seattle Hash if I can make it in time. But shelter tops my priority list right now.

I have never run this race before. I don't really have a strategy per se, reports on this race are few. I'm bringing pb sandwiches, Nuun, my GUs and coconut juice. I hope that's enough to sustain me.

The race should be very runnable as the course appears to be a mix of road and crushed gravel so it'll be the Streaks race day.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Diez Vista 50k - Musings


I actually did my report on DV on another blog posting, in case you haven't seen it yet:

So now that's it has only been 4 days since the race was completed, I thought I'd have a few comments, random deep thoughts:
  • Maybe next year there could be a more indepth course description on the website, pictures, maps, elevation chart, that sorta thing.
  • speaking of pictures, did you see the guy filming the whole race on various sections of the course? Hopefully there will be some finish line photos.
  • The Montrail Streaks worked great....on the rocky, bare sections. Not so much on the slick roots and rocks. Not that I was racing really hard in those sections.
  • Nutrition worked great, only had used 2 aid stations and even then it was just to grab M&M's and water.
  • Volunteers rocked! Especially taking care of those that had to drop out of the race.
  • Everyone keeps asking me, "Where did you get the gaiters from? Dirty Girl Gaiters. I was trolling the internet looking for Dirty Girls and I found this website, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
  • My running has improved a lot from last year. Setting a PR by an hour is huge. I'm very happy with my performance.
  • Okay, next time is Mt Si 50 mile in Snoqualmie, WA. I have not done a strategy for this race, I've never done this race before. I'm not sure I should be doing this race. But since I already paid my fee...I may DNF a race, but I try not to DNS.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Trying new things-just before a race

Well, I'm mostly over my cold. Got two decent days of bed rest out of it. Came to a decision today. Last Saturday, I bought a pair of Montrail Streaks, they're a streamlined trail running shoe. Normally I've been running in Hardrocks and Continental Divides, but they seem really burly and they're fairly heavy. The Streaks have all the protection and support that I've come to expect from Montrail, but I swear, they're lighter than my road shoes. I wore them on Sunday on a 20 mile road/crushed gravel trail and they worked great. I took a few side detours onto some singletrack and they really responded well. I was thinking I would wear them on the 2nd half of DV and stash them in my drop bag. Do the technical part on my Continentals and then cruise with the Streaks.

However, on Wed I ran with the "unofficial" Knee Knacker training group going out for its first run of the season. Damn, there were at least 15 or so out there - the biggest on record for a first day. This course went out on the Baden Powell Trail - which is usually the benchmark for all my trail runs. Train on the BP, everything else will feel like a bike path. The shoes worked great for the trail, I was sliding a bit in the shoe, but I hadn't tightened them from Sunday. There was a little slippage on the terrain, thankfully no one saw me as I slid twice on two separate logs. I'm blaming the ice and snow. Thursday I ran from Sasamat Lake up towards the DV ridge and had no problems at all, especially coming back down.

So instead of changing them at 25k, I'll wear my Streaks for the full 50k. I can also minimize my drop bag.

So my goals for DV are to PB, which would mean running faster than 7:38 and to DNF (DO NOTHING FATAL) after all, I still have to run 15 miles the next morning and I've got a 50 miler the next Sunday!