Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Solstice Running

Months ago, I was looking at the calendar I noticing that June 21 is the longest day of the year, I thought "how fun would it be to run from sunrise to sunset." As I thought even more, my mind moved to the winter, and the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year).

I thought about running a 24 hour race. When I did my 50 miler in November I officially started training for 24 hours. Each month I plan on doing one thing to get ready for it. In November I ran overnight a 4 hour run from midnight to 4am. So to celebrate the shorted weekend of the year, decided to run nine hours, from 7:30am to 4:30pm.

To get ready I stopped at the Dollar Tree, I bought so pretzels, animal cookies, peanuts, m&ms, and some other stuff. I knew that the weather would be cold, and maybe wet. I drove my car down to the park near my house and used that as my "home base".

My plan was to run 45-50 miles. I started out at 7:30am, which was just before sunrise. I started out in a nice pace, but to fast. In the first hour I ran about 7 laps, which was 6.7 miles and a pace of 9:17. I ran 15 laps (14.3 miles) without stopping then I took a break. I got something to drink and eat.

In my second stretch I ran 12 more laps. I passed the 20 mile mark in about 3 hours, I knew I was running to fast, so after 27 laps (25.8 miles), I started a 2/1 split (run 2 laps, walk 1 lap). It worked well for me, but it was cold and wet, so just before my third stretch I changed my cloths. My sister joined me for three laps (#40-42). My dad got on a mountain bike and rode alongside me for about the last eight or nine laps.

So I ended up running 53 laps (50.652 miles), I ran till 4:45pm, which was just after sunset. I ran a total of 8:28 (pace of 10:02), I rested for 45 minutes, which mean that it took me 9:13 overall (pace of 10:56). In that time I burned a total of 6,181 calories, I had an average heart rate of 129 (peak of 148).

I had a fun time, I hope this will help me in training to run 100 miles in 24 hours. This run does not officially count as an ultra, but I did run my second 50 miler.

Here were my splits:
5k = 0:28:09
10k = 0:57:34
15k = 1:26:53
Half Marathon = 2:01:49
30k = 2:51:12
Marathon = 3:59:45
50k = 4:49:10
60k = 5:56:41
50m = 8:21:27

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Marathon

What better way to celebrate Christmas then to run a marathon. Okay, the marathon was not on Christmas, but close enough. I wanted to get at least one marathon in the month of December. This is the best one, it's just 2 hours from home and a late start.

On Saturday, as I was getting ready for work, I got a visit by a man who lives in Portland's west hills. He was looking for someone to ride with him to the Christmas Marathon. He got my name and contact info from the Maniacs website. He had run the Portland Marathon and Seattle Marathon, and now was looking to become a Maniac. He's a nice guy and I figured it would be nice to get a ride. So I said sure.

I got up at 6am, had my devotions, and got ready. My dad drove me to Peter Corduan's house, and we left for Olympia by 7:05am. We chatted the whole way, and got to the race at about 9am. The race was to start at 10:30am. I know that often Maniacs and others do an early start for Bob Green's races. I just didn't know if the early start would be 9:30 or 10:00. So I got my bib and shirt and got ready for the 9:30 start. Just before the start Bob told us that we would not have aid for the first half. I thought for a second, and decided to run with a Gleukos bottle. I was unsure if I could run with a bottle in hand. The only time I run with a bottle is with a belt, but never in hand. But I figured I should have something to drink.

I started out running smooth. I had no real goals in mind. I definitely wanted to break 4 hours. My worst road marathon time in 4:00:30. But I knew this would be no problem. I wanted to run a good race, if that meant a 3:40, 3:45, 3:50, or 3:55 then so be it. So my first few miles were at a good pace of an average of 8:29 pace. But after that I missed a lot of mile markers. I got a few of them but never got a a full mile time until the end.

I was running and enjoying the overcast and cool (but not cold) weather. The start was about 41°. I was running with a Gleukos bottle, and what was nice is that it was a flexible bottle. This made it nice, because as I drank the Gleukos, the bottle became easier to hold. And without normal aide, the Gleukos tasted like honey. I think this might be something that I can use in the future.

With an hour early start it was very early to see the difference between the early and regular start runners. Brian Pendleton started out with a vengeance, and lead me the entire way. I thought he might be taking pictures on the way back, but he just kept cruising. I ended up finishing second among the early starters.

A church friend, Cara Esau, was there to run in her third marathon. She was trying to qualify for Boston. Because she is a woman and in her 40's she has a qualifying time of 3:45. She started about five minutes after I did, and I wasn't too surprised to see her finish not long after I did. She had a time of 3:44:37. Just 10 seconds slower then me. That meant that she qualified. So I must say congratulations to Cara. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous that she is going to Boston. But maybe I'll get there someday.

So for Peter, it was his Maniac qualifier, and he did a great job. I was surprised to see him right behind be for the first five miles, but he slowed down in the last half. He ran a PR of 3:57:26. So happy to have his company. He is now Maniac #749, I hope to run and travel with him in the future.

Getting back to my race. I ran 1:51:23 in the first half, that's a 8:30 pace. I felt great, but my hip was getting sore, so at the half I stopped and got a quick drink before heading back. It seems like before each aid station on the way back, the cramping came back, so I would stop and drink and then it felt better. I put my iPod shuffle on about mile 3 and listened to a great sermon by Mark Driscoll, before enjoying the sounds of dc Talk, Newsboys, and Switchfoot.

I ended up running a pace of 8:37 in the last seven miles. So that meant I had a great even run. I finished with a time of 3:44:27 which is a pace of 8:34. I felt great I was very happy with my time. It stayed dry and started raining about an hour after I finished.

We left about 3pm, and drove back. We got back at 5pm. I took a shower and went to the evening service at church. It was a great day, and to top it all off I pasted the 3,000 mile mark for the year at mile three. What a blast!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Time for an oil change?

At the beginning of the year, I was looking to dive deep into running and marathons. My friend Tim (Maniac #409) said he was looking to run 3,000 miles. He ran a 6 day race this year, I thought that would be a good goal for him, but not for me.

I started the year, by running a little here, and a little there. In the first two months I was running when I had time and felt like it. In January I ran only 17 days, putting in 178 miles and one marathon. In February I ran only 16 days, but ran 195 miles and one marathon and one 50k.

In March, I took on the spring with a vengeance. I was enjoying the change in weather, I starting upping the mileage. Sometime that month, in which I ran a record 301 miles, I thought about the goal of 3,000 miles. My friend Tim at that point told me that things were not going to work out for him to run 3,000 miles. But being a college student I could make the time to put the mileage in.

For the remainder of the spring I was on a roll! I ran only one marathon a month from March through June, but my mileage was crazy. April I posted a new record of 310 miles, May I ran 283 miles. In those three months I ran an average of 5.25 days per week, and about 68 miles a week. I was having so much fun and loved every minute of it.

In June I ran the Pacific Crest Marathon (my anniversary marathon) for the third straight year. But that is when I increasing my marathons pace for the year. In about an eight week period I ran five marathons and one 50k. After Pacific Crest (June 23), I ran my next marathon on The 4th of July and five days later I ran the SEAFAIR marathon (July 9). At the end of this eight week period I ran my first double. On Saturday, August 11, I ran the Crater Lake Marathon and the next day I ran Haulin' Aspen in Bend.

After such a crazy period, I was ready for a break. During the months of June and July my mileage was down. I ran 221 in June and only 207 in July, but in August I ran 255 miles. I was riding my bike as a way to cross-train and keep my body fresh.

In September I was looking to take it easy. But that didn't happen. I started working with my mom on getting her ready for the Portland Marathon, by doing a lot of long walks (10-20 miles). I felt so good in September that I just keep pushing. This is when 3,000 miles became a reality. I ran a new record of 346 miles in September.

After the double in August I felt like pushing to the next level. I figured if I could do a double (and a tough one) I could run a 50 miler. So I looked to Autumn Leaves (Nov 3), as my first 50. That meant focusing on long training in October. I led the month off with the Portland Marathon (Oct 7), and then in the next two Saturdays did some ultra-training. I ran 31 miles and 40 miles in the those two Saturdays. I finished the month of October with 304 miles.

My first 50miler was a huge success, with a time of 9:22. I felt great. But I took it easy the next couple of weeks. Last year, the fall was tough I lacked the motivation to keep going and didn't feel up to running, plus I had nagging pains. This year was a different story. I felt fantastic and I think the cross-training and easy months in June and July helped. I figured I should just keeping going. I love the Seattle Marathon and decided to join the Maniacs for a pre-marathon marathon. That's right my second double, I ran fantastic and had so much fun. In November I logged another 267 miles.

So that leads me to this month. I have had so much fun running like a "freak". As of today I have logged 2,945 miles. I need just 55 more miles and I have a whole three weeks to go. I will have no problem running 3,000 miles, and am looking now at 5,000km (3,107 miles).

On Sunday, December 16, I will be running the Christmas Marathon. Sometime during that race I will hit the 3,000 mile mark. It's fun to have goals and reach them. It keeps me motivated and on track.

They say that every 3,000 miles you should have your oil changed in your car. My car is due for an oil change, but what about me? Do I need to change my oil? Do I need to rest up?

Maybe, but after seeing so many Marathon Maniacs going so much further then me, I ask myself "how far can I go?" I saw that Larry Macon (Maniac #120) has run 91 marathons this year, and has run 79 the last two years. That makes me look little, but what can I say?

I'll push strong this week, I'll run 60-70 miles and get 3,000 on Sunday. But I will continue until the end. Like a marathon that you are going to PR, it's not good enough to walk across the finish line, you have to push hard till it's done. In January and February I will rest a little, and next year, I look to average 45-50 miles a week. This has been a year to remember and I'm glad the Lord has given me the strength to continue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Doubling up Seattle

In 2005 I started running marathons. After my first in June and my first ultra in July. I was hooked! I was looking ahead to the rest of the year, and planned to run Seattle. After a bad run at Tahoe (or a least I made so many rookie mistakes). I ran Seattle, looking for a strong run. I PRed by 26 minutes. I have always enjoyed Seattle. Last year was a bad weather year, but being a late November marathon, what should you expect.

Last year I found out about the "Ghost of Seattle marathon". I wanted to run it, but I realized I wasn't ready for a double. So I trained for my first double in August, which was Crater Lake and Haulin' Aspen. That double is considered by most to be the hardest you can find. (at least in the northwest). After running that double I decided to train for a 50 miler, which I did (Autumn Leaves). And now just three weeks later looked to do the "Seattle Double".

My sister, Julia, and I drove up to Seattle on Friday afternoon. We stayed at the Green Tortoise hostel at Pike Place. It's an okay hostel, but just a little loud at night. We went to the expo so I could get my stuff on Friday evening. We had little dinner and got a good nights sleep.

I woke up at 6am, had my devotions and got ready for the first marathon of the weekend. Julia came with me. She wanted to run the half, but was not doing it in an official way, instead just wanted to run on her own. We left at 7am, and arrived at Mount Baker, by 7:30am. Not too many were there, but I did see Monte Pascual and Brian Pendelton.

It was chilly with temperatures about 37°, I started off by running with Eric Barnes and Jon Mahoney, we ran around Seward Park, and I let them run on ahead. I was looking to run a nice slow steady pace. It was my first marathon running with my heart rate monitor. It was fun to see so many Maniacs enjoying a nice day on Lake Washington. I saw Ray Shaw, Jon Yoon, Eric Barnes, Michelle Barnes, Jenny Appel, tc, Robert Lopez, Van Phan, Jon Mahoney, Jess Mullen, Monte Pascual, Brian Pendleton, and Stan Nakashima.

In the first time around I ran the first half in 1:51:51, which I thought was a half marathon. Later I found out the course was about a mile short, so this first half was only about12½ miles. In the second half I felt pretty good, I finished the 25 mile marathon in 3:47:17. Being that the course was only 25 miles, should I count it? Well I do. For two reasons. First, it's marketed as a marathon, so that is what I take it to be. Secondly, The original marathon in 1896 was 40k or 24.8 miles, so a 25 mile run is the old marathon distance.

So to recap this first day, I ran a 3:47:17 in 25 miles, this is about a 9:05 pace. So that means my marathon time would be about 3:57:59. My heart rate averaged 147, with a peak of 165, and a low of 100. I also burned 3,590 calories. The best way to describe this is that it feels a lot like a training run. It's a fun run, and very well organized.

My sister got confused with the course and ended up pulling her butt muscle. So waited around for me and We drove back to the hostel. My parents drove up on Saturday afternoon. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. I was quite tired and ended up going to bed by 10pm.

On Sunday morning, I once again got up at 6am, had my devotions and got ready. I got my stuff together and checked out by 7am. I then walked over to the Seattle Center for the race start. I left the hostel by 7:30am. I met someone at the hostel who was also doing the marathon. He was a nice guy. I ended up walking with him to the start.

It was chilly but not as bad with temperatures about 43°, with clear and sunny skies. I wanted to finished and have a good time. But I also wanted to run under 4 hours if possible. So I started out with the 4 hour group. Just before the start I had a chance to talk with Marilou Russell for a few minutes.

When the race started I just took my time as we headed out of downtown Seattle. I was running a very good pace, and didn't feel that bad. I wasn't that sore and was able to run 8:30 miles. During the I-90 out-and-back, I saw many Maniacs. It was nice and took my mind off the race. I saw the following Maniacs, Bob Dolphin, Ray Shaw, Barefoot Jon, Mary Latta, Robert Lopez, Little Leslie, Monte Pascual, Steve Yee, Chris Warren, Tony Phillippi, and Annie Thiesson.

By mile seven I came up to a pacing group and decided to stick with them for a while. I realized that it was the 3:40 group. By mile 10 I knew that I could not stay at this pace, but I wanted to stay with them as long as possible. I ran the first half in 1:51:21 (8:30 pace). I knew the second half would be a different situation.
My goal was still to run a 4 hour marathon. By mile 16, (with 10 miles to go) I was at 2:17:39, I was looking to run 10 min/miles or faster. I was running 9:00-9:30 paces. I finished with a time of 3:53:41 (8:55 pace).

I was so happy to have finished in under 4 hours. I still have not run a road marathon in more then 4:00:30. I had an average heart rate of 144, with a peak of 162, and a low of 121, and burned 3,560 calories.

I walked back to the hostel and we drove home. We ran into a lot of traffic on the way home, but really enjoyed the weekend. The Seattle Marathon is one of my top two favorite marathons. I look forward to doing this again next year.

Saturday = 3:47:17 (9:05 pace) for 25 miles, but 3:57:59 adjusted time

Sunday = 3:53:41 (8:55 pace)

Total = 7:40:58 (9:00 pace) for 51.2 miles (adjuested time is 7:51:40)

Check out my splits.
[page 1], [page 2], [page 3]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Midnight Run in the Rain

I have really caught the running/marathoning bug. In August I ran my first double, then trained for my first 50 miler this month at Autumn Leaves. So what's next? I want to try to do Where's Waldo 100k in August 2008, but also would like to run the Pacific Rim 24 hour in March. My friend Tim Lawson (Maniac #409) is running the Ultracentric 24 hour race today. He has motivated me to look toward my goal.

I figure with just four months to go I should start preparing for it. So each month I plan to do something. This month I'm starting by getting used to staying up late and running in the middle of the night. So this morning, I went down to a wonderful park less than a quarter of a mile from my house, where there is a paved one mile loop. Since Pacific Rim will be a one mile loop, this is perfect preparation. So here's my report:

I started out by packing some aid. I put a plastic bag with water, fruit and some dry socks and put it under a picnic table. It had been raining all day long on Friday, so I was getting ready to run in the rain. I had my reflective vest and my flashlight and was ready to go.

On Monday at the Portland Running Company group run, I had won a free heart rate monitor. This is just a wonderful "toy" for me. It gives me even more statistics to track in my running. I had it on and was ready to go.

I first told myself that I wanted to run at least 20 miles. I had set for myself a limit of four hours. After having worked from 11am until 8pm. I wanted to get in a good four hours and call it a day. I had been up since 7am so I was looking at 21 hours at 4am. So I thought to myself if I run 20-24 miles I'll be happy. My new heart rate monitor holds up to 27 laps, so I really didn't want to do any more then that. The loop around the lake is 0.9853 miles. Here is a map. I figured 27 laps would be 26.6 miles (just over a marathon), that was my limit.

When I started, it was dry. But not for long, that only lasted about 3-4 loops. Then it started with a light rain and got worse. Fortunately, the heavy rain didn't start until 3am. But a lot of light rain adds up. The temperature was nice at 48°.

I was all ready for the dark, but quickly found that The street lights and house lights added enough light for me. I rarely used my LED flashlight and was just able to run. It was interesting to see few people walking there dogs in the first hour. After that I saw only one person, he was a teenage boy who was under the covered area. It looked like he may have been locked out of his house or something. He fell asleep on the picnic tables.

I started out in a nice pace in the 8:40's. I was just cruising, and was enjoying the night. When I got to lap 13, I felt like I needed some liquids and a little something to eat. So I stopped and drank some Gleukos and had a few Shot Bloks. By this time it was about 1:54am. I was on track to get at least 26 laps.

I then kept going, after lap #15, I was feeling like I wanted to slow down, but something inside me wanted to keep going. I tried to keep it up until lap 20, which I figured would be at 3am. Then I would slow down the last hour and finish with 25-26 laps. So I did. I ran 20 laps (19.71 miles) in 2:58:30. This meant I had about an hour to run 5-6 more laps. I keep going, but was slowing. I was running about 9:30's those last 6 laps. I finished at 3:58am, with 26 laps (or 25.62 miles). I was happy to get the mileage in and was so happy to go home and get dry.

Next month, Tim and I plan to run on Dec 22, round this some lake. We will be running for nine hours in what I like to call the Winter Solstice run. We will run from sunrise to sunset on the shortest day of the year. I look forward to it. But before that I have a double in Seattle next weekend, and the Christmas Marathon (Dec 16).

Happy Running!

If you would like to look at my splits, here is the statistics. [PDF]

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My first 50 miler: Autumn Leaves 2007

Yesterday I ran my first 50 miler (I'm sure it will not be my last). It was the Autumn Leaves 50 miler. I have so much to say about it.

I left my house at 4:45am and drove to Champoeg for the start at 6:00am. It was cold and dark. The loop was changed so it was just 4.9 miles and a 1.2 mile out-and-back was added.
The first full loop was all in the dark. At one point, myself and another runner got off the course, but found our way back quickly.

But going into the second loop I ran with Karen Wiggins for about a mile, which was nice to chat with her. Later in the third loop I ran with Marilou Russell. I also saw so many Maniacs along the course like Eric Barnes, Bret Henry, Rick Smith, Gail Philips, Robert Lopez, Marc Frommer, Little Leslie, and many more. Since there is a stretch of about 1.5 miles in the middle of each loop, I saw them many times.

I started slower and then got into a groove after the sun came up. For the first half I felt great. After five loops, I had run 26 miles and did it in 4:32:35 (10:29 pace). I felt like it would be nice to keep up the pace. But I knew I would be slowing down at some point. My goal at that point was to try to keep it up as long as possible.

Since I did the early start I was parked in the lot near the start, which is long the course. So after each loop I could stop at my car for aid. It's a nice race to be your first 50 miler, because the aid is very good. In each loop you have three stops at two aid stations. I of course did not stop at each possible stop. But it's nice to have.

After seven loops I was still feeling good, but at that point my times dropped. I was averaging about 52:36 per loop, but in the last three loops I averaged 1:01:13. In loop #8, I ran in 57:17, which I did not walk, just ran slow. But in the last two laps I was running/walking. Loop #9, was 1:01:58, and loop#10 was 1:04:24.

I was happy to finish in under 10 hours, and was trying to finish in under 9:30 if possible. Which I did. I would highly recommend this race to any ultra or marathoner. If you get get your head around doing either 6 or 10 loops. It's very well organized and just a great race. Here were my splits:

1 - 12:04 (1.2mi)
- 10:03 pace
2 - 56:19 (5.15mi)
- 10:56 pace
3 - 53:17 (4.95
mi) - 10:46 pace
4 - 49:38 (4.9mi) - 10:08 pace
5 - 49:12 (4.9
mi) - 10:03 pace
6 - 52:03 (4.9
mi) - 10:38 pace
7 - 52:43 (4.9
mi) - 10:46 pace
8 - 53:51 (4.9
mi) - 10:59 pace
9 - 57:17 (4.9mi) - 11:41 pace
10 - 61:58 (4.9
mi) - 12:39 pace
11 - 64:24 (4.9
mi) - 13:09 pace

I ran a total of 50.5 miles, which is partly my fault for getting of course a little, but the race distance was a total of 50.2 miles. I look forward to my next 50 miler (maybe this spring).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

40 miles of Training

In just two short weeks I will be running my first 50 mile race. It's called Autumn Leaves at Champoeg State Park on November 3 at 6am. I ran a 50k there last year, and am looking forward to this race. The daunting task of running 50 miles is made even more of a challenge because it's made up of ten, five mile laps.

Of course, when looking to run a distance longer then you have in the past, you MUST train for it. In August I ran my first double (two marathons in two days), in training for that I ran two 20 mile runs on back to back days, and also ran two marathons in five days. In order to do a 50 miler. I figure I have to do lots of longer runs, and also have to get used to running repetitive loops.

On September 29, I ran a short 1.59 mile loop near my house, ten times. On October 7, I ran the Portland Marathon. On October 13, I ran a 50k route that went through Beaverton, Aloha and Hillsboro. Finally, yesterday I ran a five mile loop, eight times totaling 40 miles. So here is how it went:

First off, Autumn Leaves has very unpredictable weather. Last year it was overcast and cool, in 2005 it was pouring down rain, in 2004 it was cool, overcast, and foggy, in 2003 it was 35° and clear. So I must prepared. Yesterday was overcast, and raining.

I had a cold, so I was very unsure about running 40 miles, but I had to give it a shot. I took three Ibuprofen and a decongestant. Got up at 6am and left the house at 7am. Drove down to the park which would be the start and end of each loop. I had a trunk with water, chips, candy, and many other foods, and of course dry clothes.

I started at 7:10, it was pouring. I had my Maniacs hat to keep my head dry, and a fleece jacket to try to stay dry. But my problem was the rain made my fleece very heavy. So after one lap I took the fleece off, and put a garbage bag on me, which I ran in also the whole way.

It rained for two straight hours, then stopped for about an hour and then picked bag up later. It must have rained for about five of the seven hours, I was running. The temperature was very cool, at the start it was 47° and at the end 52°. But if felt so much colder with the rain.

First half went real well, and then took a ten minute break, before going back out there. I then ran two more laps and took a five minute break, then finished the last two laps. Overall I was very happy with the run, and realized how hard running 40-50 miles is. The last ten miles were so hard and I just have to realize it's going to be a grunt at Autumn Leaves. Here were my splits:

1 - 52:23
2 - 49:13
3 - 49:37
4 - 47:01
break (10:00)
5 - 49:00
6 - 48:04
break (5:00)
7 - 51:37
8 - 49:57

It took me about 7 hours to run this 40 miles which is about a 10:15 pace. If I can keep that pace for Autumn Leaves then I will run it in 8½ hours. My goal is 9 to 10 hours. So I should be in good shape. Now it's time to taper for the next two weeks.

Happy Running!