Monday, January 21, 2008

Capitol Peak Mega Fat (half)Ass

I was prepared to run 34 miles on Saturday, determined to complete two loops on Capitol Peak. After checking the times of previous races, I had given myself a cutoff time of 4:15 for the first loop. If I came in after than, no second loop. What I did not factor in, was that they changed the course this year into figure 8 loops. And another issue I did not factor in because I did not know about it, was their own noon cutoff time. I am a bit unhappy with the outcome or Capitol Peak because I would have done things differently (walk less), but I can live with it. I have already signed up for Lord Hill, hopefully to complete my mudfest.
Besides the being told I was past the noon cutoff, (which meant you had to finish in 3:55, because the started at 8:05am) The day went well. I enjoy running in the mud, it just makes me laugh. I feel like an 8 year old making mud pies to sell in the front yard. I discovered that it is much easier to plow right through the middle of the muddy trail than to zig zag around. You put your feet into the mud instead of slipping along the sides. Once or twice in the big likes of mud i thought I would loose a shoe. The mudfest was pretty much over once through the first part of the figure 8. I did loose the chest strap to my camelback somewhere along that trail, and twist my left ankle pretty good. This cause me to walk extra for a few minutes which probably cost me my 2nd loop.

The next part of the course was more snowy and had more elevation. I had done the majority f this trail last year and remembered quite a bit of it. I felt really good body wise. I did have some negative self talk while climbing a few times and thought how can I do this? I started to sing to myself and things went better. I had intended to grab my husband's Ipod to run with since I knew I would be alone, but I forgot it. I prefer to run without it anyway.
I began to anticipate the muddy "trench of doom." I kept thinking it has to be worse than last year because the rest of the trail is so muddy. When I got there it was bad, but not as bad as last year, I think anyway. This year you could actually put your foot down flat. It was more of a U shaped trench of doom than the V shaped trench of doom from last year. It also seemed much shorter. The trail had been fixed up a bit it seems with gravel and the bikers ruin it into what becomes the runners trench of doom. So I actually ran through the trench, stopping once to try and scrape the pound and a half of mud from my shoes and continued on.
Once at the finish, in 4:15 and trying to get over not being able to go out again, I settled by the fire and had a great time hanging out and talking with fellow runners and keeping warm.
The others from the Y trickled in, Abi, Jane, Michelle and Cat, then a couple hours later, Eric and Steve and Rob came in having completed the 34+ mile course.
Eric, Steve Rob, Michelle and I went to eat at Red Robin and headed home.
It was a great day in the mud. I am disappointed that I didn't get to meet my challenge of 34+miles at capitol Peak. There's always next year or another race. It wasn't my day. I am okay with that. My body doesn't hurt and I can plan ahead to Lord Hill in two weeks during the Super Bowl!

Grace and Peace to You.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tiger Mountain 25k and a Surprise

Saturday I went along for the ride with Eric, Steve and Rob up to Tiger Mountain for the Western Washington Fat Ass. I only planned on running the half ass version for 25k. I knew I'd have to wait it out at the end for the guys but I didn't want to drive up in the snow if it was going to be poor weather.
I enjoyed my solitude. It was great being out in the forest. It rained a bit, but it was mostly good. Once I was up high enough it was snowing and beautiful.
The start is mostly flat for the first few miles, but then there is a long climb, maybe two and a half miles ( or at least it felt that long). I had to stop and take off my jacket. I have been battling a sore hip at the crest and it was burning on the way up. I was in need of some varied terrain! At last there was some flat and then a bit down and it felt good to run again. I played leap frog with a few runners and discovered that one of the men was one of the organizers of the run that comes down from Alaska to help with the event. He took my picture in what I called the gingerbread forest. As you ran on the packed snow trail just before emerging out on T1, you run through a dense forest that is fairly dark. The light on Saturday with the snow made it beautiful. If you looked downhill all the trees were white from the snow and if you looked up, they looked dark brown almost black, silhouetted against a stark white sky. He took my photo along this trail, and said he was trying to capture the effect of the forest. It was beautiful.
The climb to T2 was short and steep. I tried to go up it backwards for a while just to use different muscles. I tried to run some too up that hill, but it was very hard. Once at the top, you have to go down a skinny trail through the bushes. The snow was packed and quite slippery here. I used an old backpacking/climbing trick I learned many years ago, I call it the "veggie belay." I hold onto the trees and bushes as I go down so I don't slide on my tush! It worked to my advantage. I passed a couple of people in this section and was quite surprised. I thought I was pretty much the last person, but I really wasn't! I knew it wasn't far to T3 and then the 3 miles of down hill to the finish.
I was feeling good, although ready for flat or downhill. I also knew that halfway through the last downhill section I would have had enough downhill! This was true. This last section is quite tough. I like to run downhill and just let go ( although not as much as Rob does, that guy can fly downhill). Sometimes on this section you can feel like a runaway train. I just didn't want to fall and roll down. At this point it was hard to hold yourself back. You just go. Quads get trashed. It has been two days now and I think my quads hurt more today than yesterday!
I passed Steve running with Shawn and not too far away was Eric and Rob. I mentioned that I was glad I was not going up. I knew I'd have a long wait for them back at the car, but that was okay. I'd take a nap.
I got down, signed in at 4:04. I'm not sure how great a time that is, but I was happy. I was using it as a training run for the Capitol Peak mega-fat ass on January 19th where I want to complete the 34 mile run. It was a very tough but good run. I am happy I went and would do it again.
Last night I hosted a surprise party for Michelle's 50th birthday. I was trying to help Eric out who had spent much of the week with his Dad in Bellingham after surgery. It was a success. Michelle was surprised! I think we had about 20 people present to celebrate with our princess. I was happy to find "Birthday Princess" items at the local party store and even a pink and black boa for the "Over the Hill" Princess! :) I actually found the boa in the "Sweet 16" section. I made an ice cream cake after interviewing Eric to find out what Michelle's favorite ice cream was. I layered chocolate graham cracker crust, coffee Ice cream, chopped up dark Dove Chocolate, milk chocolate Dove syrup and another layer of coffee ice cream. It was yummy! We had lots of great food and great people to celebrate.

Have a great week!
Grace and Peace to you.