Friday, May 30, 2008

An update on my marathons/ultras

Okay, I'm so sorry. I've been running a lot of races in the past few months, and with a new job, I've been very busy. I hope to be more consistent in my posting. But I do want to get you up to date. So here are a few short posts of each of my races.

Capitol Peak 50 miler
(April 26, 2008 near Olympia,WA)

Time: 10:48:22 (12:58 pace)
nt: 23 of 37 overall

I left late Friday night and drove up to to the start of this race. I did manage to get lost on the way up, as the race started in a forest and I turned on the wrong road and found myself on a service road in the middle of thick forest. Luckily, I retraced my step and managed to get to the start area by dark. I slept in my car and woke up early for the 6am start.

The race was 50 miles with 7,000 feet of climbing. It was my first 50 miler on trails. I found it to be very difficult, but very fun. The big climb was between mile 15-20, and that was hard. But what seemed even harder was an out-and-back section about 8.6
miles long (each way) after the 26 mile section.

I finished in the afternoon, the weather was perfect. Sunny and mild and the views were great. When thinking about the difficulty of this race, I realized that it's likely the second most difficult 50 miler in the northwest (behind White River). I hope to post a faster
time at Mt Hood PCT (appox. 5,000 feet of climbing).

McDonald Forest 50k (May 10, 2008 near Corvallis,OR)
Time: 5:32:17 (10:42 pace)
Placement: 48 of 163 overall

With this race, I just wanted to finish. It's a 50k with 6,700 feet of climbing. It's by far the most difficult 50k in Oregon and likely the northwest. I drove down in the morning, as it's only about one hour and 45 minute drive.

I've noticed that my speed has been getting faster. The weekend before I ran a 10k PR. I started this race with a pack of runners and realized I maybe running a bit fast. I was running 8-9 minute miles for most of the first 9 miles and then the big climbs hit and I had to walk up the hills, but ran down the hills. It was so much fun. I enjoyed the roller coaster
like downhills. Some of the views were amazing.

I finished with a time of 5:32 which was faster then Hagg Lake. With the
climbing I was amazed. I hope this becomes a trend, and look forward to it next year.

Capitol City Marathon (May 17, 2008 at Olympia,WA)
Time: 3:28:26 (7:55 pace)
36 of 315 overall

Two years ago was the last time I ran this race. It's a marathon that has a lot of rolling hills that makes it a challenge. It's also a race where they are very strict about not wearing headphones. Which often pushes me along in races. So I knew I had some challenges to overcome. My goals were to run well. This is only my second marathon of the year. I've run a lot of ultras, but very few marathons. I knew I would break 4 hours, but was looking at the 3:35-3:50 range.

I started out fast and thought that it was going to cause me some problems later. But I figured I would just keep going and see how long it would last. By the half way point I was running about a 7:40 minutes per mile average, which was a PR pace. So I kept pushing but slowed down to 8 minute miles. I ended up finishing with a time of 3:28, which blew me away. I was so excited, this was my third fasted time, and only the third time I've ever broken 3:30.

By the way, on the way up on Saturday I blew out one of my tires. It was destroyed. I didn't know how to change a tire so I made my way to a gas station and they helped me put the spare on and I drove the rest stop and got a little sleep and then ran the race. On Sunday after the race I found that Sears was the only place open on Sunday for a new tire. It all worked out, but was quite an experience.

Forest Park 50k (May 25, 2008 at Portland,OR)
Time: 5:30:34 (10:38 pace)
Placement: 21 of 74 overall

Forest Park is a great place to do trail training. For this reason I have run a lot at Forest Park and know the park and trails very well. Last year I did this race and tied my 50k PR. This year with my increased speed I was looking to breaking that PR. I was ready for it. Then on Saturday night it started pouring down rain. I knew that would keep me from a PR so I decided that I would run it and just have fun.

I drove to the park in the morning, and yes it was very wet. I saw a lot of Maniac friends. It was lightly raining the whole race. This made it hard and the mud made it even worse. I just wanted to have fun and finish in a decent time. At one point about 8-9 miles into the run, I slipped on a wet and slick bridge. But I was okay and just got it down. My time was a decent time of 5:30.

So many of the runners were from Seattle and didn't know the course that well. The markers the organizers use were moved by some peds and many got lost. But I managed to stay on course. It was a fun and beautiful day.