Thursday, June 30, 2011

Run Pikes Peak Marathon and get paid $1000?

Yes, it's true. If I can finish the Pikes Peak Marathon ("PPM") I can make $1000.

Here's the story...

My nephew (who same remain nameless to protect the stupid) is a very good athlete, specializing in nordic skiing as well as running, gymnastics, biking, hiking, etc.. He's qualified for the junior winter Olympics Nordic  competition for the last two years and finished mid-pack. He's in high school and does very well...normally very of his class kinda kid.

Apparently, one evening his family was discussing the PPM around the dinner table and when my sister in law mentioned that I might consider this race someday, said nephew couldn't help himself from saying some stupid things about "old people". .....grrrrrowl...hissss.

Others pushed back and Mr. Smarty Pants nephew announced that he would pay me $1000 if I could finish that race. Everybody heard him say it..I have witnesses. A LOUDER grrrrowl...hiissss!

This kid has $1000. He's had a really good summer job the last two summers...he knows how to save his money even if his judgement of other people sucks.

The PPM is a very difficult race. But I think my nephew's arrogant mistake is saying that I can't even FINISH the race. The cutoff for this race is 6h 40m to the summit and 10 hours overall.

Recall that I covered 31 miles on a trail ultra with 4000' of up and 6000' of down in 7:50, which very little trail or hill training beforehand. 

PPM starts at about 6000' and climbs at a steady 11% to 14,000. Call it 9000' of climbing and descent...I would need to average 2.7 mph for 10 hours.

Checking the race results for the PPM, I found some other finishers that came in under the limit that had typical googleable marathon results in the high 4 hour/ 5 hour time frame. These times are slower than I am. These people didn't live at high altitude (e.g. live in texas not locally).

Therefore, I believe that if I trained for altitude (which would take some time, granted) and trained on trails and hills (specific training),  this would be doable. Not easy but doable.

I should mention there is no time limit..i.e. there's no mention of doing it this year or next year or in 5 years. So I have plenty of time to train...of course if I wait I'd be OLDER.

What would you do? 

Should I make this happen and take his money? You can bet I'd get the money in escrow first.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New things in training....

As you may recall Jill is coaching me toward some faster races later this year. 

So far, I'm learning how incredible unfit I am in a few hundred little muscles. I have done zero speedwork in ages and never done any drills. No cross training for a couple of months either. Basically I slacked off and just got my marathons done. 

There's this thing called "Specificity of Training" and I've been training to run 9:30m/m pace or slower..period. So guess what? ...I was able to do that and that only.

Anything else is a very intense workout.

I start with some running at base and some fast strides on Tuesday where I got to feel the wind in my hair (never happens at 9:30m/m unless it's windy ;) and some drills after (weird!..hard!).   

Then Wednesday the first hill intervals.  I've always hated hills...5x30sec with 2 min walking-down recoveries...the hill intervals have the fast paces, the recoveries the slow paces ...duh. 

The slope was not that steep: maybe 7% or so? After a few miles of running we do:

Split Distance Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
I 1 0.12 08:24 115 138 91
Rest 0.10 19:53 112 142 58
I 2 0.08 07:17 111 132 94
Rest 0.10 20:12 105 136 57
I 3 0.09 07:00 113 138 94
Rest 0.09 21:06 109 140 58
I 4 0.09 06:43 114 137 94
Rest 0.09 21:35 111 142 57
I 5 0.08 06:44 116 142 97
Rest 0.07 21:28 120 146 57

Here's a graph of the HR data and my cadence...heart has no trouble cranking the output and then recovering:

My muscles were feeling the previous days drills a bit...but it was just so much fun to blast up the hills....Jill had me running these at a 8:00 pace but I ran them at 7:00 or less after the first one 8/

..then a 1.2 mile cool-down...but my right leg was now getting pretty tweaky...I've learned you don't want to let it get to the full on cramp stage..big penalty for that....and so I walked the last .2 miles to the gym.

Once there, I tried to do the full strength training workout as written. The clamshells were ok...even with a rubber tension band. However the jumping squats were a FAIL..legs said "no can do".  Walking lunges ok, goblet squats ok..hmm legs pretty shot, but glute bridges NO and V-ups NO. OMG. Spent.

Next day was a cross training day...45 min. I was sore as hell and did light spinning on bike for 15 min, 15 of elliptical and 15 of easy rowing. Legs were sore in zillions of new, different places.

Then DOMS..uuuggh. The rest of the week I had to dial back and try to recover. The soreness peaked on Friday. My right leg had not just the tweaky calf but now a sore hamstring muscle. (I never have had a any complaints from my hamstrings before). No running is the prescription  for the weekend.

So, major fail to listen to body on my part. WHY DO WE DO THESE THINGS?

The combination of the sheer fun of running fast, wanting to do everything on the schedule and the delayed feedback of soreness messed up the training for the weekend.  Stoopid runner!...BAD dog! soup for YOU!

This week you can bet I'll be more careful. 

I will admit I was bummed at my stupidity + crappy ability...but on the other hand I am intrigued that I could run marathons reasonably well even though my overall strength was so poor. The obvious hope is that getting more balanced musculature will give me an extra edge in running 26.2. 

It makes sense....I have always felt that muscle power was what was limiting me in marathons... I have read that  need enough extra to be keep your pace even as groups of fibers drop out of the mix to rest...if you don't have enough fibers, your brain is going to force you to slow down by reducing the firing rate (slowing you down). 

I have experienced this inexorable slowdown in pace. There isn't much you can do about it when it hits. 

If there are any hills, it's even worse. As I said I've always hated hills (ups that is) and it's probably because I just don't have enough muscle to do the job at those faster paces.

Intense training and weights should be good for building lean body mass too....I have lost a little bit of weight according to the scale (2 lbs) but more importantly the %bodyfat went below 23% for the first time ever ..22.7% (FYI recall that the dunk test showed the scale's 23.4% was really 18.6%). So perhaps I have been building more muscle? The scale isn't very accurate so it will take a few weeks to see a believable trend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

That old 10% mileage building rule?

The NYT has an interesting article that debunks this rule.

Is there anything exercise science has taught me that hasn't been completely or at least partially wrong? 

 I don't think so...of course this gist of the "rule" is a good one..but even 10% doesn't always work..or sometimes more than 10% is ok...

From the article: 

Half the participants were assigned to a training program that increased their running time by 10 percent a week over 11 weeks, ending at 90 minutes a week. The others had an eight-week program that ended at 95 minutes a week. Everyone warmed up before each run by walking for five minutes. And everyone ran just three days a week.
And the results? The two groups had the same injury rate — about 1 in 5 runners.
Maybe, the investigators thought, they might prevent injuries with a conditioning program before the training started. So they did another clinical trial, randomly assigning one group of novice runners to a four-week program of walking, hopping and jumping rope before starting the running program. The others started right in with running.
The conditioning program had no effect. Once again, about 1 in 5 runners in both groups wound up with injuries.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Checkin' out the shoes

Digital cameras are wonderful things..they are everywhere every cellphone..recording revolutions, civil war as well as father's day celebrations.

Toni and I take lots of pictures on our trips (as I do during my races 8) and we find that we often refer back to them. (Our first digicam was in 1999) This reminds us of what the *bleep* we were doing back then!

Another example: when we remodeled our house, I took photos of every square inch of the  walls just before they got covered up. Now we know where all the pipes and wires are before we drill a hole...very handy.

 We also had a 'plywood party' beforehand and gave everybody markers to write notes to future generations.

Where am I going with this?

what is that heel going to do?

Jill sent me a comment that asked if my previous posting photo was showing the dreaded heel strike. Good question. When I saw that photo I wondered myself and thought  "I'll bet Jill will be looking at that foot there". And she was ;)

So, am I heel striking? Her question reminded me to do something that I see other people doing...and that's recording shoe wear by taking pictures of them. It's a great idea so that years down the road (literally and figuratively in this case) you can see if things have changed.

The Nike Frees have about 350 miles on them and the Kinvaras about 250 

Some forefoot wear..worst is 4 ranks down from toe.
which is just under the ball of my foot

the heel plugs show very little wear

the sides of the soles show some
wrinkling from the stress

Kinvaras use fairly light and not very wear resistant
stuff under the forefoot. You can see that the outer set of knobbles
for the forefoot are completely gone..the inner set is worn too.
Both don't have the black hard rubber insets that the inner knobbles have
which means they wear much faster.

again, no heel wear at all here..why include all the weight of the
hard black rubber back here when you aren't supposed to be landing here?
Maybe I should get out the belt sander?

Based on these shots, I think I've convinced myself that I don't heel strike. And considering my ducky right leg/foot I see very little asymmetry in the wear patterns which is kind of a shock. (In the old days my right outer heel *would* have been very worn down from heel striking)


Today I ran an easy 2.75 miles @ 10:30m/m. I'm noticing a tweaky muscle on my lower right calf after yesterday's run and I'm tracking it didn't stop me from running but it was there so I took it slow and easy... no rushing back into high miles...

Tomorrow I'll be back at the gym for the first time in a while, doing some hard riding first and a some strength training....been away from this too long and I feel it.

----- do your shoes look?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back on the roads!

In the air!
I got my Marathon Maniacs trademark singlet in the mail as you can see from the I won't be wearing it on training runs!..gad. But it's fun to wear in races so you can find other Maniacs.  

I've been taking my time getting back to running but today was a gorgeous day to run about 5 miles....good to be back! Actually, I ran 2.5 miles to the farmer's market, helped shop with Toni, and then ran back home. My legs are still not at 100% but at this point some easy running will help them recover. 

After really beating them up on the trail last Sunday my quads were quite sore for several days..Copenhagen only 3 weeks I conclude: take it easy for the week. 

I did go out and walk about a mile each day and also get up from my desk and take a spin around the building from time to time to keep limber.

Jill tells me it's 24 weeks to the California International Marathon on 12/4/11.(a.k.a "CIM")...Methinks if she's been week-counting she's hatching some plans on how to get from here to there.

I'm really looking forward to some uninterrupted, proper training! Also losing 10lbs and racing some 10ks and halfs. Who knows, maybe I'll even run a 5K!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Special hat today...

Still recovering from Sunday's race...note to self: You need to do more hills before you do hill marathons! Quads are still sore a bit on the bottom third. I blame the fact that I had only 3 weeks since CPH and I was too tired from traveling as well.  So, we'll give it another couple of days before we try running....the body is an amazing thing as long as you let it rest!

Today I wore this hat for my 'loosening up' walk that I took before lunch. 

A lot of countries have boring flags. This is one that I think looks pretty cool. (Which is why I bought the hat on a trip to S.A...also being a pale-ish ginger person type I *need* hats)

I'm wearing it in honor of Staci over at SheRunsInSandals.

Staci just finished the very famous Comrades Ultramarathon (90k), and yes, of course, SHE RAN IT IN SANDALS and came in under the 12 hour cutoff.

She's got the medal to prove it too 8) Check out her 3 postings of her race report, complete with photos.

Comrades is now on my bucket list ;)

Congrats to you, Staci!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

8 Marathons in 11 Months equals 10 lessons.

So, I've completed my 8th marathon/ultra  since July...I'm  DONE! What did I learn during this crazy-ass idea endeavor? I always try to think back and figure out if I'm actually learning anything or just making the same mistakes over and over 8)

Therefore, allow me to recap. I had run my first 3 marathons in 2009: 4:22, 4:15, 4:15.  My first marathon (Napa) was great.

During the 4:15 races I had problems with fading last 4-6 miles ...slowing down by a minute/mile or more...not a total bonk, but some tough running. In March 2010 I started training to try to go sub-4 hours at SF.

Race Recap

07/25/10: SF Marathon, PR race 4:06, faded 6 minutes off 4:00 pace in last 3-4 miles. Ran in Nike Pegasus. Always doing short (less than10 mile) runs in Nike Frees.

10/18/10, 85 days later: Long Beach Marathon , 4:22,  On 4:00 pace but cramped up in right calf muscle at mile 20..was starting to fade beforehand too.

I had torn a muscle doing over-aggressive stretching 4 weeks prior and it was not fully healed and I had missed some training to boot. Dumb. 

This is when I hatched my  idea..I decided I didn't want to peak for a PRs for a while  but run a butt-load of marathons and crack the fade problem and run slower.

I had learned about Marathon Maniacs by seeing some of these people at SF and it stuck with me as something I wanted to try. I thought about doing the minimal entry criteria (two marathons in 16days or 3 in 90 days) but decided that the next level up (silver, or 2 stars) was more challenging: 8-11 in 365 days.

12/19/10, 62 days later: Zombie Bay Trail Marathon, 4:42, First trail marathon in heavy rain, wind and mud..some quite slippery..flat course tho... Took it easy and had fun...did not fade but not quite even splits. Even with slow time 2 of 5 in age group.

Lots of problems with left calf after that during January training...(over compensation for previous tear injury?). Tried calf sleeves and they seemed to help.

02/06/11, 49 days later: Surf City Marathon , 4:22, even splits at easy 10:00m/m pace. No fade or problems with calves..a confidence builder that problems were solved. (Now using sleeves for all races / long runs and for recovery the night after)

03/20/11, 42 days later: LA Marathon, 4:12, Very heavy rain, cold, some hills, no fade, felt strong,  negative splits due to final 2 miles are downhill 8).  Wearing Saucony Kinvara shoes for racing and long runs now, Nike Frees for all else.

04/10/11, 21 days later: Skyline-to-the-Sea (50k), 7:50, first hilly trail race and first 50k, tough, 4000' of up and 6000' of down, fun and beautiful. Saucony Peregrines for trails. Not enough hill and trail training so walked all hills.. satisfied to finish under course limit. A completely different sport from road marathons!

05/22/11, 42 days later: Copenhagen Marathon, 4:10, even splits, no fade, felt strong.

06/12/11, 21 days later:  San Lorenzo Trail Marathon,  6:38:39, 4300' of climbing. 2nd hilly trail race. More wonderful redwood forest running as well as crossing rivers on foot!


It will be about 1300 miles for the July to July year with a total of 7 marathons, one 50k, and 6 long runs of 20-23 miles.  Note that 16.5% of my mileage was the races themselves.(!)

8 Races in 322 days. 
Average interval between races: 46 days (6.5 weeks).

10 Lessons

Lesson #0: This was a very good exercise in figuring out how to be marathon-ready without getting injured. You have no fat time to recover from an injury before the next race so you *must* be conservative in training and really listen to your body or you'll be a no-show.

Life, travel and social events can't be pushed out of the way when you are doing so many you run some races after being at parties until late, doing travel, getting over a cold, etc. 

After a while, you realize you don't need to be a drama queen about "I'm running a marathon this weekend!".

(ok really 11 lessons so we have a lesson #0 )

Lesson #1: IMHO, there is something to this minimalist shoe stuff. After switching to the ultra flexible Nike Frees (more fore/mid-foot strike), doing eccentric heel lowering exercises and using barefeet or flats for casual walking around the house and work I have kept my Achillies Tendonitis at bay.

I also went from 82-83 to 86-87 stride/min consistently (at my 9:45-ish marathon pace, more at higher paces). I am now running marathons in shoes that are 3.5oz lighter than before with no problems which feels great.

Lesson #2: Convinced of benefits of core/leg strength training, range-of-motion training, drills and hills. Just have to be careful not to over do high intensity workouts. You need extra muscle mass to avoid the fade, especially if there are hills.

Lesson #3: Convinced by Phil Maffetone that static calf/leg stretches are not worth diddly-squit and are just dangerous. Stopped doing them 2 months ago and haven't noticed any difference except for the time saved. NO more tearing of muscles either 8/

Lesson #4: Calf sleeves seem to actually work. I've always had a few nasty calf "hard-as-a-walnut" trigger points during massages after my long runs or marathons. After using sleeves consistently for long runs/races those same trigger points are very mild or absent.

Lesson #5: You don't need any speed work to run marathons. You may not be running them at your fastest possible pace, but you don't lose that much speed and you can avoid the wall just fine.

Lesson #6: Running lots of marathons has built my base endurance, not just worn me down. My "pace sense" is better. My last 3 road marathons have been progressively faster and had no fade.  

Running a lot of marathons got me used to running marathons. Duh. Instead of a big build up and big-deal day, I'm used to it. I enjoy myself more and I'm very relaxed and I even take pictures (as you well know ;). I seem to have developed a feel for how fast I can go and not crash. I'm much more used to how things feel after mile 20/32km which is key.

Lesson #7: If you slow down just a little (10%) you can go and go. A 9:00m/m pace is very fast for me, a 10:00m/m a snooze, easy peasy. This is not a huge difference in pace.....60mph in your car vs 70 mph....who cares?

There is a huge energy cost increase as you approach your personal "Mach 1".

Lesson #8:   My post race muscle soreness has decreased..but I've found that from 5 to 9 days after a marathon I have a day or two where I get a second bump of overall fatigue. This passes quickly (1 day) but have to bag the running on that day and sleep a bunch extra. Ultra guys talk about some kind of delayed endocrine system reaction you should watch this that? Dunno...but it commands my respect.

Lesson #9: What with recovery time and rest and some kind of taper (2 weeks or sometimes less) you lose a lot of running days, hence the low mileage averages

But, I really LIKE running more mileage...I can eat more food and not gain weight!. So, there's a balance. I think 4 marathons per year, with one or two fully peaked with more training effort makes sense for me normally.

Lesson #10:  I really like taking pictures during races even if it costs me a minute or two. N years from now I won't care about the 2 minutes on my times, but I will be very happy to have all the pictures.

I have pictures from all 8 races 8)


Now the head scratching  Some Questions:

Back in July 2010 at the SFM I ran a 4:06 after training 180, 150, 120 miles in the three months prior. OK, SF is pretty hilly so maybe I could have done a 4:03 on the flat?.

I just ran a 4:12 in LA and 4:10 at CPH on only 100 miles per month...WTF?

What is a reasonable marathon goal and how should I use my training miles most effectively to achieve it? I want to run a sub-4 marathon...... (for you 40-ish types that's like running a 3:40 or so, 'KAY?). I've already signed up for the CIM (California International Marathon)..I'll probably sign up for another one 6 weeks later as a fallback if for some reason I can't do the CIM.

I've always done self-coaching but I'm interested in making a change...looking forward to collaborating with an experienced trainer with an independent, unbiased eye.

To help with my training I've decided to hire Jill to give me some internet coaching over the next 6 months. 

Also looking forward to getting back into more mileage as well as some speedwork (with care!)

Slightly Confused But Happy Runner,

Goal achieved!

Sunday night I sent an email to the Marathon Maniacs with my streak of 8 in one year.
I got back this email:

Hi Paul,

You definitely qualify for the Maniacs at the Silver (2 star) Level with your 8 races in 365 days.

I am now silver Maniac #4012.  


Sunday, June 12, 2011

RUNDown: San Lorenzo Trail Marathon (#11)

Nice blue shirt w/logo and DATE
This was my 8 marathon in my year of 8 marathons and 11th overall.

(NOTE: I ran this race again in 2012..go here for that report)

It was also my 3rd trail race..the second I've run put on by As with most trail is very hilly for me: 4300' of up/down. (see previous blog post for elevation profile. 

The course is an out and back half marathon course with the marathoners doing it twice. This has pluses and minuses. On the minus side, you cover the same ground 4 times and this could be thought of as boring. On the plus side you know what you are in for after one trip out and can pace yourself better. In theory. Also, you get to see your fellow runners as you are going ..several times..and this is fun. 

Of course lots of brain function goes out the window in a tough race and so there' s also the possibility you won't remember anything you've seen before and hence it won't be boring  (You probably think this is a joke...)

As you see the blazingly fast 50k runners and marathoners whiz by, they are sure to say "Good Job" as they see you trudging flying along. I had mixed feelings about this....because "Good Job" has become the stock thing you say to your kid when they do something that deserves a reward, (but not a REAL reward, just a measly metaphorical pat-on-the-head).  I admit I did grow to like it..especially as the brain function devolved during the day.

Anyway I get up this morning drive down to the Harvey West part in Santa Cruz and as usual people are already there and waiting for the start.

One of the unusual things about this race is that you actually have to cross the San Lorenzo River yourself, on foot, in chest deep water. 

They do put up a rope to help keep your footing (and it does help) but it's not a given that you won't get a dunking. 

If you are running the half, you do this river fording twice. For us marathoners and 50k runners you do it FOUR times. The river crossing is about 4 miles out on the 6.6 mile route we run 4 times. (with two huge climbs and descents each time).

The RD explained all about the course and showed us the water depth visually 8) and off we went at 8am. We did a little loop around the park to spread us out before we hit the single track. I had been looking for my friend Martha that was running the marathon but hadn't seen her.

Ernie on the trail!

About two minutes Martha caught up and said hello and continued ahead of me...she likes the uphills...I like the downhills. I was in this for two laps and knew the second one would be rough so I tried to stay slow even with all the halfers going so fast.

Martha blasting up the hill (in blue ahead).

Eventually we came out on a clearing. It was still foggy but obviously this would be a good viewpoint when the sun came out. The relative flat allowed me to catch up and pass Martha so I could get another pic of her.

here come the redwoods
Then we went back into the forest and which became a redwood forest in short order. Eventually we came to the 10K turnaround point (5k). The lead guy had blasted by me and was heading back..zowie he was fast!

We come out of the woods and cross the road here and I took a pic back at the person that stopped me from getting smooshed by a car when I crossed the road. Thank you!

trains was/is around here!
She's taking shoes off
There's a gravely beach here.
sun casting shadows now.
At mile 4 we came to the river crossing. I decided to leave my shoes on so I could step on rocks and stuff without fear. The RD warned us we'd probably have to take our shoes off and dump out some grit after each crossing and this was indeed so.  All this took time, but the Shoe-wearers seemed in general to be much faster crossing.

There was a young guy here taking pictures for the race and so everybody had good incentive to not be a doofus and take an unintentional swim. 

I found it ok..not that hard. The first crossing was the hardest as the light was not strong (still foggy and the half marathoners had clouded up the water a bit in some places near shore (where the big rocks were on the bottom!). I had to sling my belt over my neck, since I had my camera, so I didn't want to slip.

up through redwoods
After exiting the water we headed up the steepest mutha of a hill..about 500' of climbing. The first of 4 times. This part in the photo isn't so steep but everybody except the 'elite' amateurs is walking it.

down the backside of the hill..near the bottom.
There are two good flat-ish sections on this course I like: between the start area and the 5k point, and after this mutha hill, along the river to the turnaround aid station. I can actually run for long stretches here without any technical footing or up/downs.

San Lorenzo River
On the way to the turnaround we see the river again. It's really beautiful.

Eventually I get to the aid station and it has a lot of my favorites. I chow down on melon, salty baked Pepperidge Farm goldfish (yum!) and some PBnJ quarter sandwiches. After a couple of minutes of grazing, I head start's taken me a little under 1:30 to reach this point. This means best case I'm looking at 6 hrs. I had assumed 6-6:30, but I knew I would have some fade with all these climbs and descents, so I upped my mental estimate at that point to 6:30-ish. I have one microsecond of pang that I'm later than I thought, but squash it right away. This run is not for racing, it's for having a good time out in 1500 year old forest and river.

way steeper than the pic can show....
On the way back you climb the backside of the mutha hill and there's a nasty place with what seems like a 30% grade. Pitons anybody?

Over the hill and down to the river to ford it again, then a smaller hill. There are a few other creatures on the trails today.

Luckily several sections of the trail are off limits for bikes so they really aren't a problem.

Eventually I come back to the section of the trail that's the high field and I almost zone-out head down and miss a very important left turn...luckily ahead of me there's two non-racing runners telling one of us races that he's missed the turn and I look left and go, "oh! Ooops!" and take the left. Whew!

The ocean in the distance (Montery Bay)
I can see the ocean and the Moss landing power station way on the east short (it's about 5 pixels high in that shot).

Down we go to the finish area for the turnaround. I get to this point at about 3:03 but my legs are way more shot than a road marathon at this point. 

On the way back up I see Martha converging on her finish and take a shot of her.
Martha a couple of miles (?) from her finish.

She takes one of me too.
heading back out...not showing legs which
are stiff as boards if I stop.
So I keep going and do the whole thing again. I'm way more tired this time but I still manage to run on the flat parts...not as fast but hey.
Ernie in the 2nd loop.
All the rain and sun means lot of flowers!
I don't see many people on the way back..there's some marathoners behind me I know but not many still heading out. I can see I'm pretty close to the 6:30 time, a little slower due to my tiredness. 

At the river, after crossing I put my belt on the beach and go back in and submerge up to my neck...oh that's nice! It's been getting warmer out here with the full sun we've been having.

Headed for the finish!
Finally I approach the's really nice..all the people hanging out call your name and cheer and hoot you in. Wendell ( the RD) puts the medal on me.

I pull off a 6:38:39. After I finish a young guy comes up to me and asks what I want, soda, soup, ??. Wow. that's service. How many races have a maitre d' ? I'm kinda blitzed so I tell him I need to rest for a sec. As soon as I'm ready he's all over giving me what I want. 8)

I hang out and rest and hydrate...and cheer in a few more people finishing for the next 45 min or so.  A great day...I'm really happy to have spent the day out in the redwoods...AND grateful for finishing the race...AND for not injuring myself in any time for the ride home. (about 1 hr)

Coastal Trail Runs puts on a good race and I'll be doing more!

Full picasa album here.
finish area late in the day


6:38:39  14.59min/mile ave pace 
Course is 26.6 miles, 4300' of elevation change
10/18 overall
4/5 in 50-59 age group.

The Bling

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

4 days to the last marathon!

Its been 11 months and I'm excited to be completing my last marathon toward MM silver (2 stars). Whoo hoo! (Note:  the race report is here)

It's an out and back half marathon course with the full marathoners completing this twice. Not my favorite but has the advantage that you know what you are in for after the first half.

It's a very hilly course: 4000' up / down... as bad as skyline-to-the-sea, so I'm assuming it will be slow...maybe 3 miles of flatish running total 8). The main thing is to not screw up and pull an muscle or anything as I want to get this race in the bag. I'll treat it as a power hike.

The weather is pretty good...getting a bit warm (70F) as the high for the day and sunny. But there are trees on the course.

The cutoff is super slow as it's also a 50k so they have the course open for them problem there. I expect to take about 6:30 to finish.  

You have to ford the river ...they have a rope to hang onto..that should be interesting 8)...should keep us cool for a bit anyway. Marathoners may have to do it twice..not sure. There has been a lot of rain so the river could be quite high. We'll see...

I've hardly run at all since Copenhagen...but a bunch of walking when touring around after. I'm confident I'll be in good shape! 

It should be fun. Trail races are great for building overall strength and endurance (but not speed 8).