25 April 2010

Seaport River Run 10k

I'm slowly learning that there's a nice little running community 30 miles south of me.  I had fun at the St. Paddy's day 5k last month, so I decided to join them again Saturday morning for the 33rd annual Seaport River Run

This event was a pleasant surprise.  There was a great turnout, free beer at the end, and a jet boat shuttle from the finish line back to the start - all for $9.  And free 20mph headwinds.

Gathering at start

Crossing the Snake River from WA into ID

The route started in Clarkston, WA and then crossed over the famous Snake River into Lewiston, ID: my first trans-state race.  Many runners peeled off early on to follow the 2.9 mile option, and I found myself with only a handful of guys in front of me by mile 2.  Then we turned upriver into the wind.  But I kept pushing hard and passed 4 or 5 guys over the next two miles.  Sometimes it feels good to have a tailwind.  Sometimes it feels good to run straight into 20+mph gusts and trash talk the elements: "Is that all you got? Do your worst!"

The last mile consisted of weaving through a sidewalk full of all the 2.9 mile walkers/strollers.  I was huffing and puffing and almost lost my breakfast on a $500 happybabyshower stroller.  :)

Jazz band just past the finish line

Running and beer: two of my favorite things.
(10 a.m. isn't too early, is it?)

Here's the free shuttle back to the start

Jet boat on the Snake River

When all was said and done I had plowed my way through the wind in 39:34 (new 10k PR) and a 4th place finish (1,109 runners for both races).  Here's an article from the local paper. 

Front page of Sports section
(can you find me?)

After the race, Sadie and I took to the hills above the Snake for a few more miles, and today we pounded Moscow Mt. for a few hours.  It's good to run.  Next week: Bloomsday.

Keep running!

19 April 2010

Spokane River Run 50k

The Spokane River Run 50k winds through the beautiful trails in Riverside State Park.  My legs felt pretty good before the race, even after I pushed hard on a tough marathon last week.  I thought I'd start at a decent clip and see how long I could hold on.

I've made a couple trips up to Spokane over the past two years to run only a few of the miles through the park, so I was excited to finally get the full tour.  I love running trails.
Race Morning

Start of the Race (video)

I played caboose on a long and winding train of runners for the first 3 or 4 miles.  There was a bit of climbing, but my legs felt pretty good.  I told myself from the beginning that I would be very conservative on any climbs in hopes of having something left in the tank for the last leg of the course.

My legs felt very good through mile 10 and I was holding a good pace.  A couple climbs here, some gnarly rocks there, and lots of sweet single-track everywhere else.

View after first climb

And then a little more climbing

Shattered Ankle Alley

I hit the 15.5 mile mark at 2 hrs and 24 minutes (9:17 pace), which was much faster than I had planned.  But my legs were still feeling good, so I kept pushing.  "Let's see what you got, Scott," I said to myself in third-person.   Hey, you'll never know where the edge is until you come face-to-face with it.

Mile 20 - still feeling good.  I was following a couple runners for a mile or so and I followed them right through a missed a turn.    When we finally caught up with the correct trail and the next mile marker, my Garmin said we'd ran about an extra half mile.  Yeah, it could have been much worse, but it was still no fun running that extra bit (wasn't even a scenic section).

Mile 25 - still strong at 9:30 pace.  Sun warming up.

Mile 28 - Bonk!  I came face-to-face with the edge, and I didn't like what I saw.  Mostly stomach issues, but I think the juice ran out of my legs too.

I walked the majority of the final 3 miles and finished with a time of 5:25:29 (10:29 pace) -- still a new 50k PR.  Results.

Running gives me views like this

Spokane River

Rocky Cliffs and Rock Slides

This is what I look like on an empty tank (Mile 29)

It's a great course with some great views.  I should probably rest my legs a little this week, but the weather is so nice.  I suppose I'll just keep running.  Sadie's missed out on my last two long runs, so I'm feeling a little guilty when she looks at me with those "you went on a long trail run today? without me? don't you love me?" puppy dog eyes.  :)

Keep running!


12 April 2010

Whidbey Island Marathon

I skipped my 5k Friday night.  I was planning a 25-30 mile training run over the weekend in preparation for my 50k next week, so I thought it might be more fun and make more sense to run a marathon instead.  (I'm not very good at tapering.)

Thursday night I started looking for marathons in the area.  And since there were no marathons near me, I started looking for any marathons within driving distance.  And since "within driving distance" is relative for a last minute weekend trip, I figured the Whidbey Island Marathon (400 miles away) was the perfect choice - so I signed up and packed my bags.  I had never been to any of the islands in the Puget Sound, so I was excited.

I had only a few goals for the race:
1. Take some good photos.
2. Listen to my body - not my watch or Garmin. (I left my watch and Garmin at the hotel.)
3. Test out a new pair of shoes.
4. Don't hurt myself.
5. See a whale.

It was cold at the start, but the spectacular scenery was worth the pre-race shivers.  I didn't know much about the course, but the elevation chart on the website gave me a heads-up that there might be a hill or two.

It was also nice to see Eric and Michelle at the start.  They're on my short list of running heroes.

Deception Pass - near start line

Part of my pre-race ritual is interpretive dance,
though it's gennerally not interpreted as dance.
(Really, I'm graceful.)

Chatting with Michelle

Start of the race

Skagit Bay

View from the course

This is the last section of a climb
that lasted about 2 miles

The lei is from around mile 4 

Oak Harbor

Crossing the finish line.
I had fans I didn't even know existed.

Sadie's still mad that she didn't get to run

The race went well.  Other than a few minutes around mile 12 when I thought I had bonked, I felt good most of the way.  I think I accomplished what I set out to accomplish.

1. Take some good photos?
2. Listen to my body, not my watch or Garmin?
3. Test out a new pair of shoes?
4. Don't hurt myself?
5. See a whale?
bald eagle?

I even pulled a 15-minute PR out of it with a time of 3:34:00 (results).  Maybe one of these days I'll find a flat course and see how fast I can run a marathon.  Yeah, it would be nice to have a marathon excuse for a Boston trip...

Keep running!


04 April 2010

Some New Trails, Some Old Trails

I did some exploring this past week and found two new trails.  The John Wayne Pioneer Trail follows 300 miles of an old railroad through Washington.  The section closest to me is mostly gravel with a few very short section of smooth and packed dirt.  It's very flat and has wonderful views of the Palouse.  Sadie and I ran a 20 mile section.

We had this all to ourselves.

Gravel's great for on-the-run foot massages.

The next day, we drove south for a recovery run on another new trail up to Puffer Butte in Fields Spring State Park near the Oregon border.  A friend came with us to check it out.  We didn't get much running in though; most of the trail was on the north slope of the butte and still under a lot of snow - the frozen, jagged, unstable, hard-to-run-on kind.  Of course, it was worth the views:

Near the overlook (with 30+ mph gusts).
Idaho and Oregon are visible from here.

Puffer Butte summit

All this spring-like weather has gotten me a bit ambitious.  I had another long run scheduled for yesterday, and I thought we could test out the higher trails on Moscow Mt.  But what was a little rain/sleet Friday night at home, was a lot of snow up on the trails.  The lower elevation trails received an inch or two of snow, but were still runnable.  The higher elevation trails weren't so runnable.  But Sadie loved it.

Winter still making its presence felt.

I might do another 5k this Friday night, and next Sunday (18th) is my 50k.  It feels good to run.  :)

Keep running!

02 April 2010

New Shoes

My feet and Green Silence

Here's my first shoe review:

Shoe: Brooks Green Silence.
Review: I like them a lot.  

Back to running!