Posted by: pointlenana | January 17, 2013

Running, running, and… running

Lotsa running these days!

Last Chance Marathon – 12/31/12

Janet and I did this one up in Bellingham.  Two laps on an out-and-back trail sandwiched between Puget Sound and Chuckanut Mountain – the water is a few hundred feet down in one direction and the mountain starts about 3 feet away in the other direction.  Cold – 35 degrees? – but fun and a nice way to finish the year.  This marathon was mentioned in an Outside magazine article about the Crossfit Endurance approach.  The author said it’s so casual that the start line is a crosswalk (true), and whined about how it was more difficult than advertised (not really).  Some rolling ups and downs but no big hills, no traffic, and well-stocked aid stations every ~3 miles.  I ate too many jelly beans.  Janet and I each threatened to stop at the start/finish as we finished lap 1, but both managed to get ourselves back out for lap 2 and finish.  That made it 9 marathons and 2 ultras since April 2012.  And yes, I did wear my Marathon Maniacs singlet for this run.

Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 50k – 1/12/13

Six 5+ mile laps in a park near Seattle.  Start time was 3:10pm, so I had two laps of daylight and then 4 wearing a headlamp.  My first experience running trails with a headlamp.  It turns out you can’t see much – a circle of lit up trail maybe 10 feet in diameter that extends 15-20 feet in front of you.  My 3rd ultra and second 50k.  It’s very hard to compare times between trail events – too much variation in terrain and conditions – but I pr’d with a 5:23+.  The 49ers were playing Green Bay while I was running so I kept myself motivated by deciding that if I could finish before the game ended, the 9ers would be triumphant.  I finished about 10 minutes before the game did, so obviously it worked.  Really cold – 34 degrees at the start and about 28 degrees at the finish.  Tights, a vest over my long sleeve shirt, a hat for most of it, and gloves that were sort of adequate.  It was fun coming into the aid station each lap – lights, gummy bears, warm soup, pb&j’s, and a few people huddled around a tiny heater.  A cool, er, fun way to spend a winter evening.  This was my 12th marathon+ event within 12 months, so I moved up to 3 star status in the Maniacs.

Chuckanut Mountain  – 1/13/13

Janet and I are both entered in a well-known 50k trail run in Bellingham in March.  Some of the premier trail runners in the country fly in for this.  There are also posers and old people – or both, like us.  I got in via the lottery.  It turns out it didn’t fill via the lottery and for a few hours there were a handful of open spaces.  I mentioned that to Janet and she shocked me by entering.  This shocked me because a) she hasn’t done a 50k yet b) she hasn’t done a lot trail running c) it’s pretty hard and d) she usually has much better sense than me about these things.  After she signed up she immediately got worried, so we decided to do an exploratory run on Sunday.  Yes, I was a little tired from running 31 miles about 15 hours previously.  We ended up doing 16 miles and about 80% of the hard part (the easy part is the Last Chance course we just ran).  We ran out of time to do “Chinscraper” which is a 1000 foot, 1 mile climb up a ridge where pictures show people using all 4’s to get up it.  But we ran most of the hilly stuff in spite of a little snow and ice on most of the trail.  Yes, the Chuckanut 50k will be pretty hard and I do not expect to PR.  I don’t know if Janet feels more or less confident now.  We may have to do another trip, since I’m hoping no slippy ice will make it easier (although it could end up being slippy mud).

All this running is towards being able to survive my running extravaganza in April/May – 3 marathons (Boston, London Big Sur) and the Miwok 100k (62 miles – gulp!) in the space of 20 days.  I’m 4 weeks into this heavy training – averaging about 70 miles per week – and after being really really tired for the first few weeks I’m feeling hints of adaptation. I hope that isn’t just a fatigue-induced hallucination.

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