Nov 7, 2011

Lithia Loop in the cold

 I was 2nd masters, 8th overall yesterday at Lithia Loop, which was the USATF trail marathon championship

Start- I'm 3rd from the right

  My time was 2:55:43, which was almost 4 minutes faster than last year when my training was limited by recovering from the Pine to Palm.  My training this year didn't seem on track when I stuggled through a long run a month ago.  But between that, some good speed work with the cross-country team, and some practice running fast down John's Peak everything came together well.

I had a couple of women breathing down my neck for miles until they passed me towards the end of the initial 8 mile uphill. I passed them back on the relatively flat middle section. I really blazed the last few miles. I passed one guy as he fell (not my fault, really!) I passed another guy a mile from the finish but my 5:27 per mile pace on the down-hill stretch to the finish wasn't fast enough to hold him off and he passed me back and finished 23 seconds ahead of me.


Eric Skaggs (4th) and Tribbia (3rd) at a tropical aid station a few minutes before I got there.

A fellow runner contemplating his choice of Saturday recreation.

Lithia Loop
Jen at mile 15
  There was snow falling and an inch or 2 on the ground at the higher elevations.  The footing was a little icy over some old tire tracks.  The worse part was the wind.  But I think snow is much better than near-freezing rain.  I didn't sweat much at all, which made managing fluids much easier.  I found warming the gel-packs in my gloves helped soften them to make them easier to squeeze. 

Tim Olson and I passed each other a couple of times, and I saw Emily's "brother" Jeff working an aid station, so the Olse/on's were well represented.

 Fast Sundays are more of a challenge the day after a long run- I crave calories more than usual, and not eating seems to make me more sore.  But all pain is temporarly, and in this case has plenty of purpose.  And I'll be more than ready for a good run long before the Thanksgiving Run! 

Aug 20, 2011

Cascade Lakes Relay 2011

This year for our Daddy-Daughter bonding time we decided to do a Relay race.Cascade Lakes Relay goes from Diamond Lake to Bend. Here is some of our experiences:

Bug spray is a desirable commodity before getting in line for the port-a-potty.

Each team consists of two vans with six people each. We were van 1 (for obvious reasons).

Dad was nearly DQ'd for almost fumbling the baton!

Vest? check.  Tunes? check.  Headlamp? check.  Smile? Not this early in the morning.

Esther suffering with a smile.  Dad suffering with a limp.

Female Hermes- you can almost see the wings!

Van 1, Argggh!

Minus 1 Star for every hour we had to wait at that restaurant. 

It's the people that make the meal.  Especially for cannibals.

Sleep gained: None
Views: Beautiful
Food: Not good the second time
People: Awesome!
Overall: Good experience. 

Doing it again next year? Maybe.. not. Mt Jefferson = most definitely.

May 15, 2011

Max King is my 14% faster twin

Max.  With shades.
Jackson Creek
How often do chemical engineers finish 1st and 2nd in a race?  I mused on whether this was just a coincidence during yesterday's McDonald Forest 50 k.

Running sometimes brings clarity to the mind.  By the final aide station I reached a state where "lemon-aide" was the closest I could come up with when asking for "7-up".  About this point, I realized that with all the ways our lives overlap that Max King and I must be twins.

  • I sometimes try to keep up with high school kids for workouts on the Crater High School track.  He used to win races on that track. 
  • I got a degree from a state school in Chemical Engineering then eventually moved to Central Point.  Max moved away from Central Point and got a degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell.
  • we both were at the Olympic trials in Eugene--I was able to watch a little of it on the video screen west of the stadium, he ran the steeple chase.
  • I've won several local ultras.  He's set course records at most of the local ultras.
  • I've got a pair of Rogue Racer shoes.  He helped design those shoes

 I anticipated Max King would go after the course record (which he achieved by about 50 seconds).  I'd like to think I did my part in helping him achieve this by pushing him along.  After all, I was breathing down his neck-- from only about 35 minutes back.

I'm at the back of this pack.
Providing a sample for the an OSU school of pharmacy study on hyponatremia distracted me, so I missed the start.  I caught up enough that I could see Max, but then realized I'd left my water bottle at the med tent.  I was unsuccessful in convincing a spectator on a bike to go get it for me, so at the 2 mile point I had my last glimpse of Max when I turned off the course for a 1/3 mile detour back to the start to get my bottle.

I'm the last guy on the right just crossing the start line.
in the maze
The weather was perfect.  I felt fine until the last hour, then was glad the guy in 2nd that I'd been chasing for the previous 4 miles let me by at the Chip Ross aid station.  I just tried to stay ahead of him and budget the suffering after that.  Perhaps I've been pushing too hard in training with my daughter Esther, or my pacing at the start was too irregular, but I thought going 15 minutes slower than last year should have hurt a lot less this year especially since I thought I was in better shape going in.  I was 14% slower than Max at the Pear Blossom 10 mile this year, and if you give me 3 minutes credit for the water bottle was only 13.6% slower this year, so I'm pretty happy with that.

wedding on Dimple at mile 18.
Next up is the Newport Marathon with Esther June 4th.  Max isn't signed up for that.  14% more than his PR would be about 5 minutes faster than my goal.

GT article:

Feb 20, 2011

Hagg Mud

I had imagined worse weather for this past weekend.

If it was a few degrees cooler the mud might have stayed frozen.  As it was, it was just cold enough to cause black-ice--we had to take a deture to get to Hagg Lake because a tow truck was blocking the road pulling a truck from the ditch.  I drove much slower after that.

Rain earlier in the week made for very muddy sections over much of the course for the Hagg Lake 50k race.  I think the footing was as bad as it was in 2007, but at least we enjoyed sunshine rather than driving rain.  I made the regretable choice to go with shoes that were lighter but had less traction.  Perhaps spikes would have been better.  One runner appeared to have golf shoes on.

near the finish

3 good falls and some black-berry bushes
I had set goals based on what I was able to do in 2008 when the course was almost dry, which turned out to be overly optomistic.  I averaged 7 minutes per mile for the first 17 miles, but then could only manage 8:30 for the last 14, giving me a time just over 4:00.  That was just enough for 4th place.  I think the competition is getting better, because 4:09 was enough to win it in 2007.  I got some of the mud off in the lake, and the rest in the shower at the Lakes.

done with that
Emily took a break from helping my father-in-law and met me for the finish.  It is always fun to see her.  She declined to do a mud run- something about it not fitting her running plans for the day.  I had as good visit with Eldon before heading home.

Erik came with, but he slept the whole way in the car.  Fortunately my good friend and long-time competitor back to our high-school days,  David Jordan, came with.  Talking with him made the drive fly by, and gave me food for thought.  It was his first ultra, and he had a good experience in spite of the trail conditions.  We made the whole trip in 28 hours.  I'll be sore for the next few days.
did I mention it was muddy?

Jan 5, 2011

not quite fit to print

This was in the paper:
I found 2 errors in this.  Can you find them?

So I wrote this to the editor about smokin' PR's
Thanks for "running" a running-related item on the front of the January 2nd Your Life section of the paper.  This Norwegian isn't the first to publish predictions for a marathon time based on 5k times, and such predictions have limitations (well outlined in the book "The Lore of Running.")  But they are fun to think about.  Hopefully they will motivate people to set goals and improve their fitness level.  The charts and graphics are stylish but they have a horrible subliminal antithetical flaw.  The adult male scientist with the clip-board and white coat has vapor rising not from the perspiration of good work-out, but smoke from the TOBACCO PIPE in his mouth!  As a physician, I see daily the negative effects of smoking, and I ask the good editors to be vigilant for smoking messages sneaking into the media.  This same graphic appeared in the Mail Tribune last fall.  It has no place in a health related piece, except perhaps for satire.  Best wishes for good health and running smoke free in 2011.  Parenthetically, there is a math or typographic error for runner 1-- their half marathon time should be about 1:14:59. 
Neil M Olsen, MD