Sunday, April 29, 2007

Burke-Gilman Trail 20 miles

Current Mile total: 548.75 miles

What a beautiful run. Although I felt like CRAP this morning when I got up, almost nauseous. I really thought the run was going to be miserable. But after just a mile or so I felt much better. I ran from the house south to 95th st where I turned east toward Lake Washington and the Burke-Gilma Trail. In between my place and the trail is a large hill. When I got up to the top going out I took a detour to get to the nearest grocery store to buy a Gatorade to carry with me. Once I purchase that I headed back to 95th and east again to the trail which was a nice downhill. Once on the trail the run becomes flat and stays that way the entire time. So I head north up around the lake all the while enjoying the great view. The trail is really peaceful. It runs between very expensive lakeside homes and aside from the occasional bikers and walkers its fairly quiet. I felt great running out, with just a little feeling of weariness right before I turned around(no doubt from the psychological effects of knowing the turn was coming) then felt good again all the way until around 16-17 where I did begin to get tired. Overall I was impressed how I ran today. I did take it slower than normal but it was a smart move considering the 50k(I'll be saying that a lot over the next few weeks). When I got back to the point where I jumped on the trail I knew I was in store for the big hill. I decided that I would not stop and just take it real slow up the hill. I managed to pull it off and then something happened that I don't think has ever happened to me before. After 19.5 miles I experienced a true second wind. I honestly felt like I had just started running and my legs felt amazing. I was not one bit tired and felt like I could have EASILY run another six miles to make a marathon.
It was a great feeling and I think its a result of putting a lot of miles in lately. So if I can just manage to run smart and stay injury free I think I'm going to reach a new plateau in my running. Look out 50k here I come!
Btw, I just bought a new camera. Its smaller than a deck of cards so I will now carry it in my fanny pack while I run. This boring blog will finally have pictures!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Victory Heights 2.5 miles

Current Mile total: 528.75 miles

So I didn't get a chance to put in a larger run Friday night as planned. I was too worked up by the electrician who tried to rip me off. They gave me a bogus estimate on some fairly simple work and I told them I couldn't pay that much and sent them away. So I decided to do myself and spent my time at home depot instead of running. So this morning I got up and just ran out of my house into the neighborhood behind me. I walk these roads with the dogs and its nice and quiet. It was a very short run, I didn't want to exert myself too much as I know I have 20 miles to run tomorrow. Although it was only 2.5 miles it felt tough. My legs were heavy and the left side has the beginnings of shin splints. But it was over really fast and this extar milage wil put me at 40 for the week if I follow through with the 20 tomorrow. The weather was OK. It was cool with overcast and looked of rain.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sammamish River Trail 7.5 miles

Current Mile total: 526.25 miles

Tonight was the first time I crossed the 520 to go to the running club. I was worried that it would take a long time to cross but traffic didn't start backing up until I got to the exit I needed so there was no real delay from my usual drive. A lot of people showed up tonight including an older gentleman Mark who claims he's a regular but this is the first time I've seen him. We decided on Fartleks. 2@4:00 2@3:00 2@2:00 1@1:00 I decided it was best considering my new goal of the 50k to take it easy and for the most part I did that. I pushed myself but not as hard as I normally would. Andre had a strong night and stayed in the front. Heidi, Jim and I shared the runner up and the rest hung close behind. A few of the girls decided to opt out of the fartleks and do an easy run. Afterward met up at Chipotle for dinner which is always fun. Socializing with the group is nice as I get more familiar with everyone. After dinner stopped at the DQ for blizzard with few other west side runners then headed home.
Good run but feel I might have pushed it just a touch too much for my current plans but not too bad. It could have been worse. My legs did feel heavy so I can see that the extra mileage will bog me down. I just have to play it safe and think about time and not speed. Weather was a little cooler than the norm of late, maybe low mid 50s with cool breeze. Overcast with light ocassional sprinkling of rain.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Home to GreenLake and Back 9.25 miles

Current Mile total: 518.75 miles

This run was a bit of an experiement. I knew that Greenlake was 2.68 miles to the west of my condo and the same to the south. But navigating that isn't as easy as it sounds because the roads around me are littered with dead ends. I did manage to find my way though and got to Greenlake within about 3.5 miles. The route there is unavoidably uphill half the way and thankfully downhill the second half. The lake route itself is nice and flat and almost a perfect 5k loop. Running back of of course presents the exact uphill/downhill battle but is quite rewarding. The Greenlake common grounds is a cool place to run if you're looking to be social as its just full of people looking to get noticed but not a place for a purist. There are so many people walking, roller-blading, and running that you have to weave constantly back and forth. There are also lots of people walking with their dogs which is nice and uplifting for the spirit. It seemed that most people there were not really runners as I was passing every single person. Lots of people who want to look like they run but probably don't do more than an occasional 5k. Not that running just 5ks is bad. I have to applaud anyone who gets out and runs for any reason. But still the elitist runner in me looks at all those people as a bit fake. But hey, I was there too doing a little people watching so I shouldn't be talking so.

It was a good run overall and I felt solid. I just took it easy because I'm trying to take it easy with all the mileage I will be adding on these coming weeks. It was also a very beautiful day with the sun shinning and warm in the 60s. I keep forgetting to bring my camera with me but I think it may have been creepy to take it on this run. Don't want people thinking I'm a perve.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Redmond Watershed 10 miles

Current Mile total: 509.5 miles

Today I got up and met Jesse at the Redmond Watershed. It was cool and it looked of rain. It was my first run where I had to travel east to over the 520 bridge and I got a taste of the distance and time I'll be traveling to continue running with the Footzone club. It wasn't bad but of course it was Sunday morning so there was no traffic. The run started out tough. I've been bruised and battered from moving to the new condo. It took a couple miles to shake out the soreness but after that I felt quite good. Other than that the run was just your average run, it was good to have Jesse's company and time went by fast. Of course once we got to the crest of the hill within a mile of the finish I took off trying to finish hard. I guess it has been a tough week and I'm still recovering because I had no real power in my sprint. But I did finish strong so over all it was a good run. Then I had to move my living room furniture up 2 flights of stairs. Well, done and then I got great news today. I can get transportation to the Rainer to Ruston race so Today I know I will be registering for my first 50k. Now all I need is for my printer ink to come in so I can print out the application and mail in the registration. Just 6 weeks to go!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Powerline Trail 6.25 miles

Current Mile total: 499.5 miles

Tonight I met up with the Footzone running club. We all decided to run the Powerline course which is a tough hill course. You run out easy for two miles, climb up a very tough couple hills then there's a couple trail portions and you finish with a very steep downhill. I like to call this my course. The last couple times the group has done this course I've been the first finisher. I wish this was because I was truly the fastest runner. Each time the others have taken it easy on this course as they are training and knew to not push it too hard. I have a problem with taking it easy especially on tough courses. It's like a challenge I see. But tonight two of the runners didn't take it easy. Andre and Jim both made tonights run very challenging. I went out easy and when we got to the hill Andre powered up it. I took it easy and got to the half way point in second place. By the time the light changed everyone had caught up and it was off again. This time Jim decided to jump into the leading group. I followed slowly up behind and by the crest of the hill I had managed to rejoin both runners. My breathing was crazy but after a few minutes of level running I felt much better and decided to take the lead until we reached the trail portions. Here I let Jim and Andre take off again. The trails are tough with a lot of steep climbing. Jim managed to separate himself from me and Andre and had a nice 100 yard lead by the time the downhill began. It took the entire downhill for me to catch him and of course I had nothing left when I did. Jim of course had plenty and took it on home finishing about 20 secs ahead of me. The next runner in was Andre joined by Kimmy nearly a couple minutes later.

I love this course. It's just 6.25 miles and favors a guy like me. The hills in the beginning are tough and I've got the gusto to really power up them. I know that I will recover on the long downhill so I pretty much give everything I've got going up. Tonight was just great because I really had to work hard to come in second. Now I can only guess that I'm the only fool that's actually racing out there but that's just how I operate. I love a challenge. I really feel like I must come off like a complete jackass out there but who cares. I love racing like that.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Whidbey Island 26.2 miles

So in the last Runner's World magazine they suggested one way to keep motivated in your running is to keep a running blog. So I've decided I'd like to do this. Why not. Who knows how long I'll keep it up or if I'll ever get past this one blog entry but I figure its worth a shot. Might be fun to look back one day at an extensive journal of all the great runs I've done. I'll also try my best to carry a camera with me at all times so that I may capture for all what it is about running that makes me do it so much. So without further a do, here goes.

I'm also going to track my milage from now on. According to my garmin I have run 493.25 miles since I began using it back in May of 06 Now I've clearly run much more than this as I ran for five years before I got it and I don't use my garmin on every run but I don't have any other way to prove my current milage so I'll just start with what is documented.

Current Mile total: 493.25 miles

Whidbey Island Marathon

OUCH!! I knew this one was going to be tough. But not for the reasons you may think. I did PR of 3:46(personal record for those not in the know) but I should and could have done much better. It may have been that I didn't train hard enough or that I over-trained. But if I had to place blame on one area it would be that I just didn't have the heart to do what I've done in the past. Sure, it was my best run to date based on the time it took to complete, but it ranks in my mind as second worst run I've ever done, second only to my Gulf Beaches marathon where I like a fool thought I could run a marathon with only three weeks training. And even in that run I had more heart and put forth a much better effort than on this last Sunday. So where was my heart? Where was the will that would push me onward and keep me from walking nearly every couple minutes in my last 10 miles? Its gone. Lost to the lonely existence I have up here alone in Seattle. I love it up here so don't get me wrong. I couldn't have made a better choice to move here. But without a good support system around me I just don't have the confidence in myself that I wreaked of just a year ago. And the marathon tests your confidence. It tests it down to your core. So if you have any doubts in yourself it will be exposed. Instead of chanting a mantra of "you can do it" I was repeating "I just can't do this". It was tough. But hey, don't feel bad for me, I expected this was going to happen and I somewhat invited it and looked forward to the confrontation. Because the great thing about running is that I didn't give up and although I did walk frequently and I was lower than I've felt in a long time, I was still not low enough to ever stop. The drive was there to continue and push through all the pain and self doubt and come out strong at the end.It was a great run. It exposed to me the importance of having something to believe. The need for a purpose.

OK, so that's a little heavy so lets dwell on the finer points of the race. It was gorgeous that day. Whidbey Island was simply beautiful starting on deception pass and finishing up in Coupeville. I also got to meet Dean Karnazes at the expo where he spoke, gave out free copies of his book and promptly signed with an inspirational note to me to go get my first Ultra. I was accompanied by my friends Jesse, Andy and Malia. These are three of the great people from the running group I joined when I first moved to Seattle. Jesse ran the half and did well coming just under his PR. It was both Andy and Malia's first attempt at a marathon and they both did amazing. Any marathon for a beginner is a very tough challenge and these two added to that by running alone and on a very difficult course. Andy came in just over 4 hours(over a half hour better than my first) and Malia crushed both of our times by coming in 3 in her age group with 3:34, simply amazing.
Well, Overall it was a great day to be alive and running. Another wonderful memory thanks to the simple pastime that I like to call "being a good animal".

Next Post: Wednesday, Easy run after marathon.