Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pigtails - Yours Truly

It was a good weekend. What could be better than running a 50k an Saturday? Running another one on Sunday of course!

Originally I was planning to go out to Madras, OR to run the Madass 50k with my cousin, but he got sick and wasn’t up to running 31 miles, so I called up my friend Steve “Marathon Freak” Walters and caught a ride with him up to Seattle.

Saturday Morning we got to Pigtail’s 50k and I was already cold and a little sick, but you got to run it off right? We started at a decent pace, for me at least, keeping in mind that we had another 50k to run the following day. I know I am an overly competitive person, so every time someone passed me I had to keep in mind the race the following day, and I made my mantra “Just let ‘em go.” The ground at Pigtails was frozen solid, and fortunately it remained dry for our first two laps around the 9.6mile loop. Unfortunately it began to rain for our last lap and the sadistically hilly 2.2mile out-and-back. The water just sat on the ice making it incredibly slick, and Steve bit the dust at one point. First thing I did when he went down was pull out my camera. Ha ha. (I knew he would cherish the lasting memories more than the immediate relief of me actually helping him up)

We finished up the run in 5:08:01. It was a PR by 1:07:02 for me. Not too shabby for me. We hung out for a little bit at the finish for a little while, but we were wet and cold so we took off for the hostel we were staying at, and were in bed by 7:30.

Sunday morning, already cold sick and now sore, we went over to Maple Valley, WA for the Yours Truly 50k race. We just wanted to finish the thing and weren’t too serious about our time, so we took a lot of pictures of everyone there. (You can see them here) The course was a 7.78-mile out-and-back twice, so we got to see everyone multiple times. On the first out, we went really slow taking a lot of pictures. (I even have some of us sleeping on benches on the side of the course) On the way back, we ran much of it with Monte Pascual and just took it easy.

When we arrived at the start/finish area for our second out-and-back, we met up with Fred Johnson who was pondering going home at that point. The day before he had run a 4:12 50k, and the people he had been running with in this race were only running one loop and he didn’t want to go back out at it alone. We talked him into running with us, and he pushed us quite a bit. It’s the first race I’ve ever run a negative split. The times weren’t even close! The first half we finished in 3:04, and the second half took us 2:51! We were still taking a lot of pictures, but we were pushing much harder, and we even ran the last stretch of about 1 ¼ miles at a sub 9 min mile pace, and finished off in a sprint.

The course that day was basically a sheet of ice on top of hard-packed pea-gravel. When we started, there was a little snow covering up the ice, but most of that, and the remaining ice, melted off. There were some areas that stayed slick all day, and this time I got a picture of Steve in the act of slipping, but by the end of the day, we couldn’t have asked for much better running weather

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Incredible Persistence Hunt

I have been fascinated with humankind's running ability. Here I have found a video demonstrating man's incredible ability.....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cold morning for Speedwork

I woke up this morning knowing I needed to get to the track, however the streets had a fresh coat of black ice, and it was just plain cold. I finally mustered the willpower to put on my YakTrax and head out the door.

I am glad I did. I ran the mile and a half to the track withought any trouble, and when I got there I decided to test the track surface. I took my Yak Trax off for one loop, and I was sliding all over the place; it was a literal ice rink out there. When I put them back on, I had no problem sprinting around the loop so I started on my 800 meter repeats; 8 repetitions with a minutes rest between each. I wasn't fast at all, but it felt good running sprints on ice while wearing split-leg shorts. ha ha.

I finished up my sprints and jogged back home. By that time the sun had begun to rise, and a very light dusting of snow covered everything.

I knew I wanted to post something about it on here, so I got out my camera once I got home to take some pictures of the beautiful morning.

When I got over to the park over my house, birds were out in vast numbers making a lot of noise, so I thought I'ld get a little video to show you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back to the Track....

So I was at the Track yesterday to gauge myself on how the 6 week recovery treated my Cardio Vascular endurace. I was not very pleased with what I found out: I had trouble running a single 800meter sprint, let alone the 10 repeats I was planning to do with only a minute's rest between each sprint. I was throwing up after the third, but I continued on for 8 repetitions and finished with a 3 mile cool down.

Needless to say, I need to do more speed work to get back what I used to have (and beyond that), so I will be at the track my 2 days off from work at 6 am sprinting my heart out :-)

I'll keep you up to date on how it's working out for me

Tim Lawson

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Purge & Splurge

I have had a fairly disappointing running year. In January I pinched my sciatic nerve, which put me out for a week. I had a long recovery in April after running the Sri Chinmoy 6 Day Self-Transcendence Race. In October I injured my left Tibia, and I aggravated that when I ran on it at the Ultracentric 24 hour National Championships in November. I was injured often enough I only ran 1910 miles in ’07, and 517.71 miles of that was in races. All in all, I needed to somehow end the year right… with a run.

I found out about Purge & Splurge from a fellow Maniac, and it didn’t take long to decide to run it. The run was 30.11 miles; the length of the Wildwood Trail through Forest Park within Portland city limits. It was designed to be non-competitive, so I looked around and recruited a couple cousins to run it with me.

We all showed up at the Oregon Zoo at 8am, and were bussed over to the other end of the park. Our incentive to run was getting back to our cars. The only glitch we hit the whole way was missing the first aid station, and not having any aid (other than what we were carrying) until mile 21.

Don, far left, has run 33.25 miles in the 6 hour at Ultracentric after only 2 weeks of “training,” and hadn’t run any more until the week before this 30miler. Doug, middle, did not train whatsoever, and I am the funny looking one on the right with Homestar Runner on my hat.

The run was absolutely beautiful, and we decided to just take it easy, enjoy the view, and enjoy each other’s company. (Don, Doug, and a couple other Ultra runners flying up the trail)

Don and I running, and before you ask… yes, Don did run the whole way with the backpack

It was beautiful watching the sunrise through the thick fog and trees

We did walk for a while, after all it wasn’t a race, it was just a good (cold) time on the trail with family.

It seemed no matter where we were, we could always hear the sound of rushing water.

We neared the finish, and this looked like an awesome spot to take a picture. I don’t know if it’s the sun in their eyes, or the pain that was causing the grimacing look. Notice Mt. St. Helens in the background.

When we were finishing, we could hear the familiar sound of another cousin-Doug’s wife Anya, cheering us on to the finish. We met up with her and my Grandma and all went out to the Olive garden together.

As we were leaving the park, I saw this view out my car window, and thought it would be a fitting end to our day, so I got the picture.

I have another picture of Don’s losing a toenail… but I though it may not be well appreciated on here, but if you want to see it, here’s the link.

I not only finished the year off right… I also started ’08 off on the right foot, with a new posting on my blog… I know… it’s about time right?

Tim Lawson