Posted by: pointlenana | February 3, 2013

Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass 34(+1) Mile (and Target Practice) and Lake Youngs Nuts Run 50k

As I continue to train towards 3 marathons and a 100k run in 20 days in April-May, almost every weekend involves a very long run.

1/19/13- Capitol Peak – This was a “fat ass” style run down near Olympia, which means minimal support – carry your own food and some kind of hydration, be happy if there are any aid stations and/or if they have anything more than water, and generally be pretty self-sufficient.  The trail ran through muddy clear cuts and nice second growth forests.  We had been having a lot of cold fog in the NW for the week prior, and although we started in a cold cold fog, it was one of those rare times where I succeeded in climbing up through the fog and into the sun.  (When I moved to Seattle a long time ago, I used to climb a lot and on about my second outing we climbed out of the clouds and into the sun.  Ever since then I have high hopes of that happening, and it happens about 1 out of every 50 times.)  The “crux” of the run is a 1 mile run up Capitol Peak, gaining about 1000 feet, and called The Grunt.  The other crux that day was that the middle (highest) 12 miles of trail were covered in a foot or two of snow, ranging from un-runnable ice to un-runnable slush.  On my return (it was mostly out-and-back, with a little lollipop loop around and up Capitol Peak), I was so focused on my footing on the snow that I missed one of the orange arrows painted onto the snow on the other side of the road.  I ran about a half-mile further and came to a junction that was unmarked.  They had told us at the start that if that happened, it probably meant we missed a turn, so although I wanted to keep going (just to finish) I reluctantly turned around and eventually found the turn.  Hence the (+1) Mile.  Not a big race – I saw exactly one runner (plus 2 guys staffing the “aid station” – a water jug at the back of a SUV) between mile 11 and mile 32.  The highlight was seeing Mt. Rainier, Saint Helens and Adams from the top of Capitol Peak.  The lowlight was listening to people exercise their 2nd amendment rights around me in the forest – mostly far away but once it seemed like I was running closer and closer to the sound.  At one point it sounded like a battle – bam bam bam bam bam.  A good run overall but a fairly classic NW state forest experience.  It’s nice to get higher up and away from that.  This run took me 7:35 to finish – 2nd longest run of my life.

1/26/13 – 3 laps around Lake Youngs, with a chain link fence and woods between us and the lake.  We could see the lake for about 15 seconds every lap.  This was Janet’s first ultra/50k, and as usual, she did great.  5th female overall, 2nd “supermaster” female (masters are 40-49 so I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out what supermasters means), and she finished ahead of all women 39 and under.  We finished in just under 5 1/2 hours.  Huge luck on the weather – it was supposed to rain but it didn’t, and the sun even came out a little bit.  Good running temperature, and for a race that was supposed to be Fat Ass, a great aid station at the start/finish on each lap – cookies, pretzels, etc..

Big day today – I’ll run my 4th 50k (West Seattle Fat Ass 50k) in 4 weekends, and then the 49ers in the superbowl.  Go 9ers!

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