Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Year In Review


Well...no trips to Hawaii this year, and for the first time since it started, I did not participate in the Gold Country Grand Prix, which I missed (figuratively & literally). On the plus side, however, I found a new points series, the Folsom Winter Trail Run Series, which has been a blast through four of eight races. I'm also finishing the year in better shape than i've been in for nine years! I'm cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2010 - but first, a look back at 2009. By the numbers...
22 races
16 wins
4 course records
1 (once again) slowest ever winning time in the history of an event
a 7 race win streak (22 seconds & a side cramp away from being a 12 race streak!)
By the numbers, the similarities to last year are astounding (17/23 w/a 7 race streak in '08), but I peaked at different times this year (May & Nov/Dec), and finish the year already signed up for two January races...Folsom WTR #5, and the Redding Marathon Relay.
In 2009, I didn't race 'til mid-February due to injuries yet again, and only had eight races under my belt (winning four) from February to June, before having to shut it down again. So I took half of June & all of July off, not letting myself get too out of shape by swimming and lifting lots of weights. I did the swim from Alcatraz in July, which was one of the more fun & adventurous events I've ever done. Every trip to the bay area is marked by awesome eats and some good brew too, so that helped! In August I decided I needed to jump start my lacking endurance stores and signed up for a hilly trail half marathon (at elevation) as my first race back. My time wasn't great, but I hung on to the leader for 11 miles before taking over and pulling away over the last two. After getting "chicked" at a 5k for my second race back, I began the 7 race streak, and started to peak in both my workouts and races by mid-November. I've been able to run 15:53/20:52/26:19 for 5k/4 miles/5 miles over the last three weeks, which, although on the treadmill, are the fastest times I've run in years, and only a couple seconds per mile off my all-time bests.
My favorite races of 2009 (in chronological order, so I'm not tempted to rank them)...
Fresh Tracks Snowshoe 5k (February) - my first ever snowshoe race was a blast. Turi & Dave joined me, so I was in good company, and Dave Cotter was the RD. The weather was perfect, the race fun, and there was hot food afterwards. What more could you ask for?
Climb Claifornia (March) - this being on the list had nothing to do with the results. One look at my face right after I crossed the line, and you know I was NOT happy with that. That being said, this was my first foray into competitive stairclimbing. 3/4 of TLD was there, as was Ron & family, and we had lots of fun after the race. We had great breakfast afterwards, visited the dive that is the Toronado beer bar (visited with Turi & Amber) and debated with Ron & Abby at the Rogue Alehouse about what, exactly, flashing consists of ('til 2 a.m.). Sorry dear...your still wrong on that one. I am currently plotting my revenge on this race in March of 2010!
Run-A-Muck (May) - more with the firsts. First race I've ever done with a 60 foot mudpit. First race I've ever done in a bra. And, I beleive, the first relay I've won since junior college. Throw in some awesome swag that was awarded to Turi & I for our efforts, and even though I didn't run anything awe-inspring that day (in my defense, the football players got me first) it really couldn't have gone any better.
Buzz Oates No Excuses 5k (May) - just a couple weeks later, all of TLD went to William Land Park in Sac, the perfect race venue, for this race. I ran well enough to be quite happy (16:32) and also met up with the Nevada County contingent while there. Steve, Ron, and Therese were all happy with how they ran, and it fun to watch as the age-graded results poured in, Steve narrowly missing the hot seat (50th overall age-graded, winner of a leather recliner). Afterwards, we went to the zoo with the kids and a brewery for lunch. All in all, a great day!
Race For The Kids 4k (September) - this was one of the two big races this year where I did not expect to contend, but somehow came home with a win. On a perfect day and a riverside course in NY, I started at a nearly reckless speed and held it for as long as possible, with ended up being close to 5:00 pace and a win by close to a minute. It remains the biggest race (by # of competitors) that I've ever won. I met DJ Lance and SpongeBob after the race, and went to a brewery in the Empire State Building after walking through NYC after. Did I mention we watched the Yankees spank the Sox the night before the race, and had already visited two awesome breweries in the days leading up to the run. Even with our return flight being as horrific as possible, nothing dampened this trip.
Davis Turkey Trot 5k (November) - this was part of a rare double race weekend, complete with a nice hotel and lots of great food. Throw in another win in a big race that was totally unexpected, along with my fastest 5k in years, and this was a memorable one, for sure. No beer that day (as I had to race the following morning as well) but it was worth it. Through four races in the series, and even though I'd run hard the day before, I managed to put more % points between myself and second than any of the other three races.
Honorable mention to my two June races...the Tahoe Relay & Fitch Mountain Foot Race - both enjoyable and on the docket (probably) for 2010.
Speaking of 2010, I'm still on the fence about what to train for. As much as I'd love to run and contend in the TRT 50k in July, I know that will take a certain amount of endurance training that I haven't done in two years, and I'm not sure that I want to risk my relative good health to do it. Or do I? Dun dun duuuuuuuuun.
Last Sunday I ran 5 miles further than I had in over a year (20.6), and did so at a good pace (6:19 average). It had me thinking dreaming of 50ks instead of sugarplums...for the rest of the day anyway. The next morning I awoke to an all to familiar pain in my right knee that still hasn't gone away, which is causing me to weigh yet again the risks of marathon/ultra training versus what I've been doing, which will still lead to some good times for 5k to half marathons. I don't know when or if that question will be answered definitively, but you'll know if you see a marathon posting on here that I threw caution to the wind.
I hope you all enjoyed 2009 as well, and look forward to a happy, healthy 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

8k time trial (after a couple cross training days)

the IT band/knee is not all the way better, but it affected me post-run today more than during the run. Todays treadmill workout looked like this...
3.5 miles (22:00) warm-up w/5 x 65 seconds @5:00-5:18 pace
5.0 miles (26:19) 4.77 miles @5:16 per mile, 0.23 miles @5:00 pace
3.33 cool-down w/3 x 65 seconds @5:00 pace
20 sets legs, 5 sets core, and a little stretching. The legs were fresh after two easier days, the knee is about 80% and hopefully will not regress after pushing it today. Instead of trying for 22 miles on Sunday, I think the new plan is to speed it up a tad, and try to do 19.4 miles (the distance of my relay legs on 1/17) in 2 hours...
On the good side, I'm maintaining my hardest runs at about 2 seconds per mile off pr pace...my 8k/5mile pr is 25:59/26:09...from February 2001!

Monday, December 21, 2009

ahhh...the old familiar pain

Well...last week was awesome. The snow has forced me inside, but I had an 84 mile week (my previous high for 2009 was short of 70), and a quality 20.6 mile run at <6:20 pace on Sunday...but as in previous attempts to run further than I am really in shape for (ie-Run on the Sly 20m, post marathon & 50k) my right knee/it band is quite pissed and will probably force me to cross train (hopefully for only a couple days) this week. I tried to do 10 today, and got to 3 ok, but after that, it was a real struggle to get along, so I ran 4 miles and did a 5 mile equivelant on the eliptical trainer. The IT band likes to slide out of its groove and rub on the side of the knee when it and the hip get too tight from overwork. Fun stuff. Hopefully it's fully better soon...the intent is to add a mile or two to that long run on Sunday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

4 seconds off a PR

Thre plan this morning was to break or hit 21:00 for 4 miles. After a long warm-up of 3.26 miles and 5 x 1:00 at race pace, I stretched a little and ramped the treadmill back up to 11.5 mph (5:13.0) pace. I held that easily for about a mile and half, started to feel it between 1.5-2.5, and struggled to not pass out on the treadmill over the last mile...not that that wouldn't have been immensely entertaining for the others in the gym. I've already shot off the back of the treadmill once, and resisted the urge to do so again. I managed to drop to 5:00 pace for the last 0.12 and finished only 4 seconds off my 9 year old pr of 20:48, running just a hair under 20:52. I continued a long cool-down, with 3 x 1:00 hard to keep my miles up for the week (11 for the day), and just barely managed to get a slightly lighter than usual weight workout and some stretching in. If I can get through work today without falling asleep, I'll consider it a success.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beals Point (Folsom Trail Series #4)

at the 9:15 start, and along the first stretch of singletrack...
Dave on the short stretch of pavement at the start
heading out...
and coming back...
down the homestretch
anybody got a towel???
We had to get through some weather for this one, but luckily both Dave & I's libraries shut down a little early on Saturday, so we hit the road by 4:00. We were a little luckier than Abby (who's left earlier with Hannah & her parents) going over the pass, and got to our hotel in Rocklin at a reasonable hour, and went out to dinner at Chevy's.
As we'd figured, it was raining Sunday morning, which meant this would be a double points race. I signed up for the 7.5 miler, and Dave the 3 miler. After three races, my closest competitior was only 5 points behind (out of 300) so the hope was that with a 200 point race, I could spread that out a bit. I warmed up on the 3 mile course, which had one good hill, and a bit of slippery mud. The 7.5 miler had another hill which climbed (slowly) up to a water tower, down the other side, and around to the lake, where we had an incredible view of Folsom Lake, especially with the storm. this had to be my favorite course of the four. I'd built a good lead with a fast first mile or so, but it was impossible to tell after that. It was a pretty small field due to the weather, and we were spread out pretty fast. Somehow, Dave & I both managed to stay on our feet despite the mud on this hilly, winding course...although there were a couple times I thought I'd be toast. I came in seconds behind Dave, who ran 32 minutes on theshort course, which started about 15 minutes after us, and finished 1st in 46:48. The results so far are screwy for the middle course, but after finishing, we kept an eye on the watch to see how much of a gap there would be between 1 & 2. I was hoping for at least 3 minutes, Dave said 5. Partly because he decided on pants (which had to be heavy in the downpour...even my shorts were), I finished about 5:40 ahead, which should be about a 22 point spread. Woo-hoo! Finally a touch of breathing room. It's a little hard to spread out the point competition when there are 3 different distances to choose from, so three distances in which one can get a perfect score. Anyhoo, I'll post the series points at the halfway mark once the 7 1/2 mile results are sorted out. As well as the race went, not all is well. I think I may have cheated fate during the race, and now he's come to collect. Anyone familair with the "Final Destination" movies? The premise is that a bunch of kids cheat death by getting off a plane that ends up crashing, and leaving no survivors. Well, "death" comes calling for each of them one by one. What does this have to do with me, you say? Since I managed to stay on my feet during the race, I was not so lucky later in the shower. It's a toss up which would have been worse. While I was running 10 mph on the trail, it would have been softer, as long as I managed to avoid the rocks, and I wouldn't have got a faucet between the shoulderblades. I almost went down this morning at the gym too. Once in enough, fate! i'm still sore from yesterday's little payback.
Anyway, that should do it for the year...ending with a 4 race win streak. I'll try and do a long run each of the next two Sundays in preperation for a 19.4 mile relay stretch at the Redding Marathon on the 17th of January. The plan there is to run 6 minute miles 'til I crack (hopefully not too long before the 19.4 mile mark) with trail race #5 on January 3rd being the next race planned. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year...and to all a good night.

here's the women's and men's top 10 after 4 of 8 races...
WOMEN
Susan Grinstead F 52 94.38 98.03 100.00 200.00 492.41
Yvette Ferreira F 35 100.00 100.00 92.37 200.00 492.37
Susan Booher F 47 100.00 100.00 84.79 185.34 470.13
Alicia Mcdonald F 40 86.75 90.19 92.36 179.08 448.38
Tamra Kelly F 41 88.86 88.68 86.52 165.98 430.04
Kelly Mccutcheon F 40 82.63 84.85 78.90 172.70 419.08
Sharon Weatherford F 52 85.68 84.32 79.79 167.78 417.57
Kathy Welch F 56 85.38 90.10 71.20 168.30 414.98
Cathie Apple F 34 99.43 99.15 197.64 396.22
Janelle Weiner F 34 93.61 93.83 191.02 378.46
Holy cow...top two women seperated by .04!!
"MEN"
Chris Badolato M 32 100.00 100.00 100.00 200.00 500.00
Kirk Ferris M 29 100.00 94.52 100.00 178.60 473.12
Tony Elwell M 31 73.11 85.19 85.02 180.82 424.14
Trevor Beards M 12 73.36 84.36 77.31 188.98 424.01
Randall Rapetti M 55 73.81 84.56 73.82 183.66 415.85
Bryan Tully M 49 77.98 73.77 75.85 176.40 404.00
Joel Brunkala M 36 80.18 78.20 82.63 148.10 389.11
John Couillard M 28 90.61 97.33 200.00 387.94
John Painting M 49 84.98 84.89 194.34 364.21
Adam Ferreira M 59 79.84 86.20 165.58 331.62
***Dave is currently the 12th overall male.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Moonlight" Madness 5k & tantalizingly close to a 5k pr

yeah, this is about the best we could see, except for the start/finish in the next two photos
compression socks - keep the legs warm AND make you look like Dr. J!
two of our faithfull library patrons...Hannah was third in her age group!
sometimes, the picture says it all...

Those are air quotes in the title. Oh yes. All of Team Library Dork ran this event last Friday night. The night was overcast, so I was wondering how much, if any, light the moon would provide. Silly me. The full moon indeed peered out from behind the clouds...and it was even a bright one. Now, I had assumed that a race called Moonlight Madness would be planned to take advantage of the full moon's light. Again...silly me. Moonrise, when the big ol' moon finally peeked it's head about the eastern Nevada mountains, was 20-30 minutes after we were finished running. So much for that!
Anyway, three of us managed to leave work early, and met at Turi's house 1.2 miles from the start at Ranch San Rafael Park. I'd already swung by the park and picked up my #, sweatshirt, glo-stick, etc. I also had the important task of dropping off the post-race holiday beers at the house. We lit-up (looks like I need a stronger headlamp), and took off on foot. It wouldn't have been too cold, but the wind was picking up just as we got there. The setup in the pagoda was pretty cool with the huge BBQ fire (for heat only, no steaks...boo!!!) and Christmas lights. Too bad the course wasn't lit that well. They did a good job with what they had, but there were several scetchy spots and more lights &/or course marshalls would've come in quite handy. Dave showed up, and we milled around for a few, warmed-up (my light was better at warm-up pace than race-pace, but still not great) and went to the line for the 7:00 p.m. start.
This was new for me. I've run 2 night races (both New Year's Eve runs in Sacramento) but they were all road races. Running an off-road race at night seemed a bit foolish, which of course is part of the reason we all signed up. There was plenty of light at the start, courtesy of headlights, and by the time we'd gone a hundred yards downhill, the lead group was down to four. I was hoping to be able to get away with not having to run too hard in this one (the winning times in 2008 for the 5k/10k were in excess of 21/47 minutes, but the size of the field doubled in this 2nd year), so the fast pace at the start had me a bit worried. I'd been sick for a week-and-a-half, not to mention I didn't want to be pushing the pace in the dark. We did slow as we turned left, and left again, and headed up the first hill. Now the lead group was down to two. Who told this guy to run so hard! Anyway, I felt a little emasculated running next to, and/or behind this other runner, as my headlamp was just downright wimpy next to his. It was like driving next to a brand new, cherry custom lifted truck...in your Ford Pinto. Oh well...it had worked good enough for camping, but now that I know what's available...
So, I stuck with him up that hill, over, and paralleling McCarran on a scary-long downhill stretch to the low point on the course. We headed over a small bridge, which a lot of people apparently almost ran right off (I road a bike off the side of one of those a few years ago - that was fun). After six or seven minutes, though, I was struggling to keep up, compounded by the fact that when I finally did fall behind I couldn't see nearly as well. Oh well. Either i'll come in 2nd, or I'll have a kick on the downhill finish and get 'im at the end. He turned out to be someone I kinda know...a local runner named Tim, who runs PA cross country, and is a little faster than me - so when I heard someone cheering him, I didn't feel so bad that I was having a hard time keeping up. So the rest of the run went by. I almost went face first into the trail only once, but it did the job of shortening my stride after seeing my life flash before my eyes. Tim was pulling away and would come through the start/finish about a hundred yards or so in front of me. Luckily for me, he kept running, and did another loop for a 10k. OK...NOW I felt bad about not being able to keep up, but on the other hand, that allowed me to win a race when I thought I was running for 2nd. I crossed the line in 19:54, also about 2-2 1/2 minutes ahead of the next runner, a freshman runner from Reno High (sorry-no names or times as the results have yet to be posted). Not too impressed with the time, but, this was for fun, and even though I ran about half of it as hard as I could given the conditions, I felt pretty fresh afterwards, to the point that I skipped the unneccesary cool-down. Everyone seemed happy after finishing. We hung out for a bit, ate a little, had THE worst hot chocolate I have ever had in my life (smelled and tasted like an ashtray. not even a chocolate ashtray, just an ashtray) and headed back to Turi's (in vehicles!) for pizza, salad, and a fine assortment of 13 different winter seasonal brews. We were out a couple hours past my bedtime, although I did manage to crawl into bed at about 12:45 a.m. (still didn't sleep good).
The good thing about an easy Friday "race", and the fact that I cut my miles from a planned 60 to 38 last week, was that I had fresh legs for a time trial today. The only times I've been under 16 minutes (post surgery) for a 5k were a couple times when I went to Lakesridge and ran on the downhill treadmills. Today ended up being a bit of a fluke good day. The two hours I spent driving in the snow to drop off Abby, Hannah, then head to the gym, allowed just the right amount of time to wake up, diest my goo, coffee, etc, and start running...and I got a decent night's sleep, like before Davis. A half mile into the warm-up I could tell today would be better than the last couple weeks, and it was. A 20:22 3.2 mile warm-up, where the 5 x 1:00 hard segments didn't feel nearly as hard as they have been, a couple minutes of stretching, then the time trial. The plan was to start at 5:10 pace, and just see how long I could hold it. But since the warm-up felt so good, I dropped it to 5:07 (11.7 mph). The first mile was cake. What the heck? I felt like a machine again, and not a busted one! I managed to get to mile 2 @10:15, though I started to feel the hard pace about 9 minutes in. The last mile or so was tough, but I managed to hold it steady at 11.7 mph to mile 3, and dropped the pace to 5:00 for the last tenth. 15:53! Another 5k (w/3 x 1:00 strides) for a cool-down. Yeahhhhhhhh, I was happy. I know it's a tread, but usually my flat road times aren't too far behind, and 4 seconds faster would have been a personal best. I'll go back to the downhill trial in a week or two and shoot for 15:30's for the first time, assuming I'll eventually not be in a state of semi-illness. Heck, I even managed to complete my weight workout, which is the true sign of a good day at the office after a trial or interval workout. Now if I could just get some frikkin consistency!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Congrats to all Gold Country Grand Prixers (yes, that's a word)!

The 4th edition of the Gold Country Grand Prix wrapped up in Nevada City on Thanksgiving Day. This was the first year I have not been a competitor, but I've been keeping track of my running buddies in California. This year, there was one runner with a perfect score of 100. Here's the breakdown of the top 10 overall (age division winners in bold)...
Men
1. Ron Gross 100 points (10 races) 70+ age group
2. V. Neelakantan 97 (10) 40-49
3. Mike Buzbee 95 (10) 50-59
4. Larry Defeyter 89 (10) 30-39
5. Lars Weston 80 (8) 10-14
6. Jim Kepfer 75 (9) 40-49
7. Drue Mathies 74 (8) 60-69
8. Cody Carlton 70 (9) 15-18
9. Darryl Beardall 67 (7) 70+
10. Ken Gaal 60 (8) 60-69
Women
1. Lynne Hurrell 90 (9) 70+ *I beleive she is now the 4 time defending ladies champ!
2. Joy Castro-Wehr 79 (10) 11-14
3. Jeanine McNeill 78 (10) 60-69
4. Anne King 71 (8) 50-59
5. Linda King 68 (9) 60-69
6. Tamara Zuromskis 67 (9) 30-39
7. Diana Wilburn 62 (9) 40-49
8. Kathleen Stranton 51 (10) 40-49
t9. Judy Alberts 50 (5) 40-49
t9. Linda Hagle 50 (5) 60-69

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AGE GRADED 80!

I'd posted last October a goal of mine - what it would take for me to run an age-graded 80 or better (scraping the bottom of National class) and finally hit one after an up and down 13 months. After coming oh-so-close in June and again in Spetember, my time from a certified Davis course on Saturday was an 80.3! After a 9:29 3k in California (78.9) and a 12:38 4k in New York (79.6) it's a relief, and another goal hit. The funny thing is, though, not all age-graded calculators are created equal. They seem to range up to a half point, but luckily I don't have to dig too deep to find out which is dead on - the 16:10 5k was anywhere from 80.2-80.4...over 80 either way.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Double race weekend = good times (ha, ha)

the Turkey Trot 5k start, courtesy of Abby...just click to get BIG. Your's Truly is in the Eclipse Ruuning blues on the right.
the stroller division descends on Crepeville!!!
afterglow?
the start of Sunday's run
Dave lookin like he's haulin' some serious arse
coming off the beach run
traffic (Sunday photos courtesy of Breakout Racing)

After a 5th straight solid week of training, I'd been looking forward to getting on a flat course for a change and seeing how close I could come to the old times. My goal for the Davis Turkey Trot on Saturday was to run a post-Achilles surgery pr, or 16:20 or faster. I've been able to pretty much match my treadmill time trials when running a flat, fast course. I'd done so last spring and last fall, running in the 16:20's on the tread right before doing so on the road (or a 15:54 3-miler) and did so again in May, running 16:32 after a 16:31 on the tread on quality, but very limited quantity, training before taking half the summer off.
Things have been building since starting up again in August, and my last 2 time trials were my fastest, a 16:16 a couple weeks ago, and a 15:50 downhill on Wednesday. To further help things along, and since I was planning on racing 2 different races on consecutive days for the first time since 2001, Abby and I booked a room at the Courtyard Marriot in Rancho Cordova on Friday & Saturday night, to minimize travel (ie-tightness) before the races. We drove over in the snow on Friday night, but had left early enough to get there in time for a great pre-race dinner at the Elephant Bar, and a restfull, childless night at the hotel. The next morning, we woke up to pretty heavy fog and cold temps. I was really hoping the fog would stick around for the race as we drove to Davis, but there was still well over an hour to go. As it turned out, it hung around somewhat, but you didn't quite have the effect of runners appearing out of clouds.
Picking up the # & tech-T went smoothly, and I did a 2 1/2 mile warm-up and a couple strides before we were coralled behind the mats. At 8:20, we were off. I took off fast, but quickly settled into a more maintainable pace once there was room. There are a couple thousand in the race, so position was important. I started behind 4 or 5 others, most of them young, and just waited for someone to take off, but they never did. On one hand, this drastically simplified my strategy. I took the lead nervously about a half mile in, and pretty much ran scared the rest of the way. I figured it would take a minor miracle for me to break 16, and the winning time is usually in the 15's, even sub-15 a couple times, so I was not, I repeat - NOT - expecting to have a shot in this race. As we went by the mile mark, I resisted the urge to get a split. I just didn't really want to know. I was still leading, but had probably more than one runer hot on my heals, so if I was going faster than I should, I didn't want to know. And if I was going slower but still feeling it, I really didn't want to know...so I ran in ignorant semi-bliss the rest of the race, using random landmarks & mile markers to get me to the next section. "OK, gotta keep the lead to the corner...OK, hold on to mile 2...2.1...2.5. Hold on. There was actually a hill before 2.5. A freeway overpass, but for this course a hill. I still didn't know what pace I was running, but since I still had a lead, I knew it wasn't leisurely. And the "hill" scared me. What if I blow up on this stupid, little 30-foot hill? I was already red-lining the heart rate. I think I eased off the gas just a touch up and over, but of course, there was a drop on the other side, so the drag race was back on. With maybe a half mile to go, I finally got a look at who was chasing, and there were a few not to far back, as we did an out-and-back on a street to make the distance right. A couple young guys not far back, but it was close now. After dodging several of the strollers who apparently didn't know or care there was a race coming up behind them (and why start the strollers before the competetive runners?) and winding through a park, the end was in sight. I didn't have a great kick, but think I sped up a little when I saw the 6 and then 3 mile markers, and finished 1st (shockingly) in 16:10.3. I wouldn't know til a couple hours later that 2nd was 18 seconds back. Definitely further than when I'd been able to sneek a peak with a few minutes to go. This one rivals NY in September as the best I've felt in recent months crossing the line. Like I said, I wrote this one off as unwinnable, so I was happy.
No relaxing quite yet, though. I had a much harder (but less competitive) race to run the next day, so I had to take care of myself. I changed shoes and put some clothes and a beanie back on, as it was still pretty chilly, and headed out with the intention of running the 5k course backwards...but, I saw the 10k pack split off the 5k course and followed, which was a blast, and then ran the 2nd half of the 5k course again, the right way, back to the finish. All in all, over 4 miles for the cooldown, which is easily the longest I've ever done. Paid off, too. I got a little stretching in at the expo, replenished calories as well as possible, ran into Robert, who's son Callan had just pr'd, and visited the local farmers market. For those who've run the
Davis stampede, this race starts on the other side of the park where the Stampede Expo/Farmer's Market is held, about three blocks away. Deja vu. For the rest of the day, Abby & I had a free pass, since Hannah was staying in Grass Valley with Grandpa Jim & Grandma Betty, so we went back to the hotel for a quick soak & stretch, and headed to Citrus Heights for lunch (Elephant Bar, take 2) and a movie (New Moon with a bunch of teenage girls...that was interesting!). We were back at the hotel before 6, and I traded Abby, who went to Grass Valley, for Dave, who came from Verdi after work, and would be running the trails with me on Sunday morning. We took a short drive to the Old Spaghetti Factory for some more good food (although this dinner didn't sit quite as well as the last).
Folsom Winter Trail Series race #3 was at Folsom Point State Park, and agin for me and Dave, was a new trail. So far, we'd run one with a killer hill or two, and another easier but winding course with a fallen tree to hurdle. Sunday's obstacle would be wind. As I'd also taken an ice bath at the hotel Saturday night, there was virtually no soreness in my legs from the first 5k, save for the Achilles, which I think hurts if I look at it wrong. I noticed when stretching, though, that my legs were surprisingly tired. As it turned out, my closest competition on Sunday would be a local high school freshman, who led for the first minute or two. We started on a somewhat technical, rolling dirt/mud path before hitting the levy for about 2/3 of a mile. This part was flat, but gravel covered and windy, so it was easy...but not fast. I waited til we got to the levy before taking the lead, but once I did, tried to put as much distance on the others as I could, so nobody could draft. Hit the mile mark in the high 5:40's, and came upon the one big climb. I backed off a touch as I could see that the field had already spread out, got up and over, and hit a hairy technical downhill to the beach (which was probably the slowest portion), then back up to the levee. I had to run on the shoulder of the levy (deeper gravel) since none of the runners/walkers still going the other way seemed inclined to NOT take up the whole trail. No biggie, though. They soon cleared and I was approaching the home stretch. I maintained a decent pace on the slight uphill finish and came in 17:43.
Now the wait. Scoring is based on the winner's time / your time, so somebody running about 19:40 would get a 90, based on my time. For whatever reason, that # is what was in my head, so I was hoping for a 2-minute lead. The 14 year-old had easily outpaced 3rd (another minute & change back) & finished in 19:53, the 2:10 gap equaling almost 11 points. It didn't really matter, though, as two of the guys who are closest in the standings finished a closer 1st and second in the 7-miler, now that there are three (originally only 2) distances to choose from at each race, so they still got their 98-100 points as well. We'll have to all be in the same race to start spreading out the overall standings a bit. Dave placed 21st in 29:36 and scored a 60.45, probably moving up a touch in the standings in the process.
Finally...after many days and hours of abstaining, and after a return trip to the hotel to soak again, Dave and I went for a beer. Nowhere new, but Auburn Alehouse is only about 30 seconds out of the way on the drive home and had two newbies for us to try, which both turned out quite well...Black the Ripper & Hop Harvest. Uh...Yum.
So, a great weekend for running. I'd like to do the Sparks Turkey Trot on Thursday, but I don't know if I'll recover in time. Either way, this week will be an abbreviated one, before hitting things hard again for the rest of the year. Other than a possible 10k on Thursday, the remainder of the year looks like the Moomlight Madness 5k on Friday night, December 4th, and the Folsom Trail Series #4 (haven't decided short or long) on Sunday, December 13th. 2010 is starting to form in my head as well, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. Gotta stay healthy first.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Donner Lake Turkey Trot

the start...that's my co-coach from McQueen High, Ron Cross, right behind me, and Hannah entertaining herself while we ran.
the view from West End Beach and a hundred yards from the finish.
Three quarters of Team Library Dork headed up the hill for what I beleive is the year's first Turkey Trot, the 33rd Annual Donner Lake edition. It's so simple, even I can't get lost*. One lap around the lake (a hair over 7 miles) starting & finishing at the west end beach, which on this chilly day, would be covered in ice and frost. Dave & I had been up to Donner twice in the previous week to get some miles in on the road up here, and although snow and ice would force the course organizers to run the race in the opposite direction, we still had a lot of fun, and got some benefit from, our training runs.
I figured to be between 40-42 minutes on this course, and the winning times the last two years had been 41-42+, so as long as I ran within that range, I'd have a chance to at least equal a personal best eight race win streak. I had one in the fall of 2000, and almost matched it last fall before dropping a stinker at what would have been eight in a row at the Michael Bratton Turkey Trot in Nevada City.
We also met up with honorary member Gretchen Brugman from Truckee (who won the women's race!), and after a 2 1/2 mile warm-up, which was needed to wake up the cold muscles, we were off.
I tentatively took the lead before we exited the West End lot, and headed east towards Reno on the flat side of the lake. The only real difference between what we'd practiced and what was on race day, was that the hills would now be in the last 40% of the race instead of the first 40%. This was totally necessary due to what would have been a long and dangerous ice-covered downhill (which was now a slowish ice-covered uphill). It was hard to have exact splits because at least 3 of the markers were off, but I beleive mile 1 was really 0.9, mile 4-5 and 5-6 were probably a bit short as well, and mile 7 was definitely 1.21. My 3 mile split (where I'd lose the lead due to oncoming side cramps) was 16:24 (probably a hair under 17 minutes in reality)...still on pace to break 40 but I knew I was in trouble. I let a runner pass without much of a fight and hoped he'd be the only one. From 3-5 I just tried to keep him in sight. About 4.5 in, we hit some snow on the east end of the lake, which was all shaded, before climbing the big ice hill. I managed over the last third of the race to cut his lead by maybe 10 seconds or so, but the cramp never went away, and I never got close enough to challenge. The last 1.21 was 6:53, or about 5:40 pace again, but was rolling downhill, so I only made up a couple seconds here. I'd finish second, 22 seconds back, in 41:15 (5:52+ per mile) well ahead of third, who was another 2+ minutes back. Not a bad day given the circumstances, but being that my "A" goal time would have won the race, I was a little disappointed.
That did not last long, however. I cooled down on course and was able to see Gretchen & Turi finish, before meeting Dave at mile 5.6 and pacing him the rest of the way in. There were raffle prizes, and although the food was gone by the time my name was called (2nd to last), I managed a subscription (I'm guessing a year?) to Trail Runner magazine. After that, I hit up a coffee joint we'd seen the previous Sunday, and all of us (including Abby & Hannah) had a great lunch at FiftyFifty Brewing Co. in Truckee. Those of you who know me may know I gave up on this place after getting horrible service during three visits over the course of a year. Because we had a couple beer drinkers in our party, in addition to myself, I decided togive them a 4th chance...and it was totally worth it. No earth-shattering beers, but they were solid across the board, and the service was actually good for the first time in the history of the world!! All in all not a bad day, although I'd have preferred the streak continue. It wouldn't have made too much difference anyway. If I'd reached eight, it still would've ended this coming Saturday in Davis where the winning time is regularly faster than I've ever run. I am hoping for a post-surgery 5k pr in that race, though, before taking on Folsom Trail Run race #3 the following day...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"off" week

No race this weekend, but there's 3 over the next 2 weeks, and today's run around Donner Lake gave me 65 miles for the week, my highest since the end of October...2008! Cool beans-this was after setting what had been my weekly high for the year just last week (a hair under 55 miles), and included 2 quality interval days and lots o' weights. I wish every week was like that...but with a race!
The next three are the Donner Lake Turkey Trot 7-miler on 11-15, which had some quality guys up front last year, the Davis Turkey Trot 5k on 11-21, which I have no chance to win barring a natural disaster to the leader(s) while on course, & Folsom Trail Series #3 (5k) on 11-22. I haven't raced back to back, save for the Odyssey, in nearly a decade, so that should be fun.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

race pictures from New York!







I finally have visual evidence that my best race of the year actually happened. It was also Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day Of Play, hence the pictures of SpongeBob, Patrick, Brobee, DJ Lance, and the Backyardigans. I think DJ lance was cheating on me with Tiki Barber!
Looks like I may have been 12:38 instead of 12:36. Oops.
As always, click on the picture to see full size.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Folsom Trail Run Series race #2 (Nimbus Sate Park)

trying to seperate from the pack before we hit the trails... surprised to see the bike that just flew by me was the camera man!
start of the short course
Dave, about 3.9 miles from beervana
less than a mile to go
Hannah keping her self busy during the races
that's Dave right behind 50 feet from the finish
and travelling back in time a couple minutes, Dave tackling the LOG
photos courtesy of breakoutracing.com...and Abby!
Yesterday was race #2 of the 8-race series, and I opted for the long course this time around. That was a good choice, as I ended up over 50 miles for only the third week this year (i'm hoping that becomes more regular). So far there are 199 participants in the series. This one was in Nimbus Flat State Park and offered a 4 (4.8) and 10 (+?) mile race. The long course started first at 9:00, and we had a brief stretch of road before hitting the gravel and dirt. The first couple miles winded through some trees and had a couple bumps, but were fairly easy, especially for a trail race. But, we noticed that as 11, 12, 13 minutes passed, we still hadn't seen the 2 mile turnaround for the 4 milers, who'd be running the short course as part of the longer one. At 14:00 I finally hit the turn. I figured I'd been running between 5:45-6:00 pace, so we figured it was longer than 2 (and a tenth of a mile later there was a 2.5 chalked on the path), which put me at about 5:50 per mile so far, and "comfortably" in the lead, whatever that means. I really liked the second half of the course as the terrain varied a bit from easy hardpack to rocky singletrack, and even some dirt/stone steps on the hill right before we'd turn around. I hit the halway point in 31 & change, and would run the same on the way back, which although took us a different way at the end was about the same distance. There were a couple tight spots as runners were heading in both directions on the windy singletrack, and the hurdling of the giant fallen tree was fun. Dave had started the 4.8 miler 15 minutes after us, and we ended up finishing within ten seconds of each other (how's that for planning). I came in 62:43 officially, and while I didn't have any GPS to get a mileage, I'm hoping it was a little longer than 10.0...I sure felt like I was running 6:00 pace or faster, but who knows. We had a blast either way, and I was able to get a bit of a cushion in the men's standings as 2nd place Bryan Hacker was about 3 minutes behind, and the Negro Bar long course winner was third, another 40 seconds back. The way the scoring works is based on your percentage of the winning time for your sex (the winning time divided by your time is your score) so every second counts. We hung out for a bit afterwards and had Rubios at the park before going into Sacramento to hit up Rubicon Brewing Company & Hoptoberfest!
After two races, there are 28 total runners with 150 points or higher, but lucky for me the majority are female. Of the top 20 overall, 6 are male. Although it will be broken down to age groups at the end, here's the standings as of today...
Male
1-Chris Badolato 200 points
2-Rick Anderson 195.74
3-Ross Mcmahan 195.54
4-Kirk Ferris 194.52
5-Joel Brunkala 158.38
As you can see, tight up top before a big drop from 4th-5th. up to your best 6 scores count, so if you run all 8, you get two mulligans as well. Next race I'm not sure what the plan is as I'm most likely running the Davis Turkey Trot 24 hours before...so either a day off or a short course, most likely. Dave is currently 4th in his age group with 120.51 points. Here's the ladies - much deeper so far.
1-Yvette Ferreira 200
2-Susan Booher 200
3-Cathie Apple 198.58
4-Susan Grinstead 192.41
5-Jenelle Weiner 187.44
15 women at 170+ so far...we hould be in for some good races there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gold Country Grand Prix points update (2009)

The leaves have settled after last weekend's Run Through the Colors, and the points series is one race from it's end. Here are both the male & female overall top 10, with Age Group Leaders in Red.
Men
1) Ron Gross 70+ @90 points
2) V Neelakantan 40-49 @87
3) Mike Buzbee 50-59 @85
4) Larry Defeyter 30-39 @82
5) Lars Weston <10>
6) Jim Kepfer 40-49 @68
7) Cody Carlton 15-18 @65
8) Drue Mathies 60-69 @64
9) Ken Gaal 60-69 @60 - a nice race to the finish in this AG!
10) Darryl Beardall 70+ @57
Women
1) Lynne Hurrell 70+ @90 points - clinched
2) Joy Castro-Wehr 11-14 @72
T3) Anne King 50-59 @71
T3) Jeanine McNeill 60-69 @71
5) Linda King 60-69 @68
6) Tamara Zuromskis 30-39 @66
7) Diana Wilburn 40-49 @57
8) Therese Ikonian 50-59 @47
T9) Wendy Baker 50-59 @44
T9) Nadja Young-Warner 40-49 @44
***Ava Warner currently leads the <10 ag with 27 points but has not run enough races to run the minimum to qualify with only one to go (5). I don't think an AG winner has ever been short, but this group is pretty slim this year. As of now, 3rd place Ava Warner is the only one who has a shot at qualifying for a year-end prize in this group. In the F 11-14 group, topped with 18 points, NOBODY will meet the 5 race minimum for an award. I think the plan to shorten the age groups fpr younger kids (to keep the competition honest and encourage participation) has backfired a little this year, but interestingly enough, the younger boys have placed two of the top seven overall amd there's a 1 point race (48-47) for the 11-14 age group!
The final points race will be the Michael Bratton Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Run Through the Colors 10k

start of the 18th annual Run Through the Colors in Nevada City (I'm hiding!)
Dave pushing up one last hill to the 5k finish
Ditto in the 10k
post-race, and post-wine dinner!
I'll keep this one short, since it's been a few days and it was another ok race day. My "A" goal was to match or beat my time from 2008 (34:21) and my "B" goal was to match or beat my time from 2007 (35:03)...which means by the clock maybe I got a C/C-? I started aggresively, even leading the first 5ker (who'd break the 5k record in 17:07) downhill the first 2 minutes, up Nevada St. the next 2, and til the split. I wished him luck and headed off by myself with a couple other guys, including Ryann Ress from Reno not far behind. I maintained a good pace for a few more minutes, but it became evident my "A" time would be out of reach when I hit the next hill. I was pretty much stuck in one gear for the rest of the run and could tell even without consulting the watch that it was a bit slower than I wanted to be going. I ended up hitting the hard half in 18:10 (opposed to 17:30 last year) and the second half in 17:27 (16:51 in '08) for a time of 35:37. Good enough to keep the current win streak alive, and take the 10k for the third straight year, AND the 13 year old course record in the 5k was smashed, so that was cool too. As usual the race was great. Tons of volunteers. A scenic, challenging, well marked course, and another Sierra Club Calendar for 2010!
That evening, Abby, Betty, Dave & I went to Club 141 in Grass Valley for a wine dinner hosted by one of our favorite local vintners, Indian Springs. I think the picture above pretty much tells you how that went. Anyhoo, back to the trail run series in Folsom next weekend, sans Sacramento Brewing Company.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009 Gold Country Grand Prix

With 8 races down and 2 to go, there's some fierce competition for both the overall title and within several of the age groups. On the men's side, 71 year-old Ron Gross is in the lead with a perfect 80 points, and will be hard to catch if he shows at the last two races, although the top 4 men overall are seperated by a mere 8 points! You earn 10 points for an age-group win, 7 for second, 5 for third, 4 for fourth, 3 for fifth, and one for sixth and higher.
Overall, there are 9 men who've earned at least 50 points thus far...
1) Ron Gross (71) 80 pts.
2) V. Neelakantan (49)* 77
3) Mike Buzbee (57) 75
4) Larry Defeyter (35) 72
5) Drue Mathies (62) 64
6) Lars Weston (9) 60
7) Jim Kepfer (45) 58
8) Cody Carlton (15) 55
9) Ken Gaal (69) 53
On the women's side, 74 year-old Lynne Hurrell is once again running away from the field with a perfect 80 points, and is 2 points away from clinching for the 4th straight year. There's currently a tie atop the 60-69 age group, so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Overall, there are 7 women with 50 or more points...
1) Lynne Hurrell (74) 80 pts.
2) Joy Castro-Wehr (12) 62
t3) Linda King (62) 61
t3) Jeanine McNeill (65) 61
t3) Anne King (51) 61
6) Tamara Zuromakis (35) 59
7) Diana Wilburn (49) 50
Next up is the Run Through the Colors on Sunday, October 25, and the MBII Turkey Trot on November 26th.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Folsom Lake Winter Trail Run Series (Race #1)

That's right...that's the Dave's legs!
a couple minutes in, Dave's just happy cuz we haven't hit the hills yet.
Molly:race-series mascot
photos all courtesy of breakoutracing.com

After not hearing back from anyone regarding the...uh...fullness of the Bizz Johnson Half (real professional there, guys), I had in my inbox an email from Breakout Racing on Saturday morning regarding the Folsom Lake Trail Runs series, which in other seasons has been Thursdays. I've deleted them thus far as driving 4 hours round-trip on a weeknight just didn't seem like the best idea. This series, though, starting on 10/11, goes for 8 races every third Sunday, and offers a short (3+ to 5 miles) & long (10-13.1) run on each date. Nice.
So, Dave & I hit the road early Sunday morning and drove to Negro Bar between Folsom Lake & Lake Natoma. Even though I feared man-card revocation from Gretchen, I talked myself out of the half on the way there for several reasons. We were on a schedule and more running would mean less beer before going home, the short race was cheaper, and, I haven't slept well lately and just didn't feel up to it, so I opted for the 3.03 miler along with Dave.
I warmed up on the course so I could insure my directionally challenged self wouldn't get lost en route. After a 2 minute loop, the hills would start, and there were a couple doozies. Dave measured the second (& longest) one as a 295 ft. climb. Knowing I'd have to start fast to even have a shot at running a decent time on a course like this, I did so (maybe too fast, Idunno)-I didn't really have a good sense of pace yesterday. All I know is I had a good lead by the time we hit the hills and the singletrack, and while I figured I may have been losing a couple seconds on a few of the rocky/technical downhills, I was shocked to hear footsteps (for the first time) on the final descent before a flat sprint finish. Luckily I'd been holding back enough for a kick (foolishly thinking I had a bigger lead) and I was able to finish fast and build a 12 second lead over the last minute or so. All in all, I ran a 17:54 (5:54 pace), 2nd was 18:06, & 3rd was 18:58, then a 5 minute gap before runners started to file in every few seconds.
Dave came in on this slower-than-we-thought-it'd-be course in 31:00. The way the scoring works for the series is a percentage based on the male/female winning time. The winner in each gender persuasion gets 100 points, and all following runners divide the winning time into theirs to get a % (ie-a male runner would've gotten a 50.0 for running a 35:48 based on my time). AND, you get to drop your worst 2 results if you run all 8 races (6 count). If all goes to plan, I'll run 7 of 8, and get 1 mulligan. Gotta like that! Points within each race are for your overall time, regardless of place, but at the end, you will be in your own age group. The cool thing about this season (as opposed to those past) is that their is no long series/short series...just the one. So Dave & I plan on running both long & short courses during the series. In fact, I'm already registered for the 10 miler on 11/1.
Anyway, we went back to Sac Brew to have more of the Amazing Mirror Mirror from Deschutes Brewing, as well as a couple other solid brews (Sac's own black IIPA, New Belgium Eric's Ale, & Firestone Walker Double Jack) before heading back to hang with the fam before my brother gets shipped off again. Anyway, I'm finally taking a weekend "off", and am looking forward to a good long run on the TRT on Sunday. Anyone & Everyone welcome...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Finally matched an effort from the spring!

In my last 5k time trial in May before running the Buzz Oats 5k in Sacramento & the Fitch Mountain 3k in Healdsburg, I ran a 3k/5k time trial with a slightly faster start than I was used to, a kick at the end of 3k, and another at the end of 5k. I ended up running a 16:31 a few days before running a 16:32 on a fast course in Sac and a 9:29 3k on a fast course a couple weeks later. Today, after struggling a bit since my breakthrough in New York, I was able to run a time trial comprable to May. Needless to say, I was happy with it, and if I ever hear back from the Bizz Johnson race director, I'll follow through with plans to run the half on Sunday. Anyway, here's the splits from May compared to today's...
May /October
.25 @5:13 pace /2 miles @5:21
1.37 @5:21 pace/ .9 miles @5:18
.25 @5:00 pace /.2 miles @5:00
.99 @5:24 pace
.25 @5:00 pace
16:31-3.11 miles /16:29-3.10 miles
That was pretty much my peak for the spring...hopefully I can build on it this time around. If I can match my 1:20 from last year's Bizz, I'd be ecstatic!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kokanee Salmon Trail Runs

TLD before
1/2 marathon start
Dave low-fiving near the end of the 5k
mile 13 of the half

TLD after
support crew
getting...sleepy...(the pavement was warmer than anything else if you found a dry spot)
wine and a fake salmon - beat that!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to South Lake Tahoe with Team Library Dork (and a few others) for the 20th Annual Kokanee Trail Runs. For the past couple editions, they've offered a 5k, 10k, and half marathon. It had been my intention to run the half, but I'd begun to waffle over the last few days, since I got sick the night after the last race and haven't totally recovered yet. Sunday's forcast was beggining to call for snow well below lake-level, and sure enough, as Abby, Hannah, Dave & I drove through Carson, we could see Mt Rose had a fresh coat, and there was even a touch through Washoe Valley, at 5000 feet! Oh well. Snow running is actually quite fun, but due to my condition, this particular day I would have welcomed 50 & sunny. We met Amber, Turi, Gretchen, Abby II, & Sarah (TLD Carson) at about 8:15. I bit the bullet and signed up for the half for two reasons...1) a 13.1 mile training run is better than 3.1 or 6.2, and 2) It was 29 degrees and trying to snow, and I really didn't want to wait an extra hour in the cold and then attemp to run fast (the half started at 9, the 5k/10k @10). I chose to forgo the warm-up completely, opting to ease into the run over the first mile or two, figuring nobody was going to be going to fast, between the elevation, rocky trail (which was covered in fresh powder) and hills. I was half right. Nobody started too fast. As we climbed up a gradual incline for the first mile and a half, I settled into second place, but was having a little trouble with my breathing. It was cold, but this suprised me a bit this early in a race, and going at a pace that more resembled a training run. As we hit the trail at 1.55 miles, I was still hanging onto the leader, but was passed by old buddy and Odyssey teammate Ross McMahon. 9 minutes later I was passed again, struggling to maintain contact with the lead pack. Luckily for me, though, nobody was breaking away. The runner who took lead the first mile swapped the lead with Ross a couple times, and just when one guy would put a few yards on the other, they'd get reeled right back in. Meanwhile, 19 minutes in, I'm now sitting 4th. All three of these guys are taking turns with the lead, but nobody is pulling away, yet. I'm struggling to hold onto the back of this pack, never moving up from 4th, but not losing contact either. For the first 5 miles, our group is pulling slowly away from the rest of the field, but we're only a few seconds apart from each other at any given time. Even during the early struggles of this race, it was hard not to notice the scenery, running along the shore of Fallen Leaf, and around Tahoe Mountain.
At mile 5, the runner who'd started 4th had taken the lead and began to push the pace. He finally broke from the group and would put 20-30 seconds (per mile) on us between miles 5 & 7. About 5.25 in, there was a long, hard climb, and I took advantage to move back into second place, with first continuing to pull nearly out of sight. This was the first time since the start I'd been able to respond at all in a positive way, so I was quite happy with it, & surprised my first move came on the biggest hill on the course. By mile 7 I was starting to feel better, and once or twice through the trees, I was able to get a glimpse of the leader. The next two miles were rolling hills, and a couple mellow declines, and I was able to push the pace much more than I'd done before. From 7-8, I was able to cut the lead in half, and surprised myself by doing the same in the 9th mile, and was running side by side with the leader about a minute or two before the nine-mile mark (only 3-4 miles after barely holding onto the back of the pack). Just goes to show no matter how much you're struggling, to keep your head in it, and see what might happen. Between mile 9 & mile 12 I ran either directly behind the leader (he knew the course far better than me, and there were a few suspect turns) or ventured briefly into to front for short lived leads. Each time I'd start to build a lead, I'd lose the trail (3 times to be exact - stopping dead twice to wait and get going the right way). So, the race really started anew just before mile 12, but as I'd been running comfortably, especially compared to the first few miles, I was confident I'd have a kick, as long as the side-cramps that have only been absent in one of my six races after taking half the summer off, stayed away for the remainder. They did, and once I knew where I was going, I was able to finish strong, speeding up considerably, especially during the last half mile downhill (road) section, and came in 35-55 seconds ahead of 2nd, in 1:34. Sorry...no official results yet. There was some sort of computer issue, so the results weren't in 'til about 2 1/2 hours after I crossed the line, and as of now are not posted yet. I found Dave, who had run the 5k at 10:00, and we were able to see Turi, Gretchen, and Amber finish the half (after a chili dog of course). Gretchen was coming off a win at the Lake Tahoe Marathon last weekend, so this was a "recovery" run for her...as much recovery as a trail run at 6500 feet and a few inches of snow can provide.
After they got the results ironed out, we skiped the planned outdoor Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson due to the cold, and instead went to the Brewery at Lake Tahoe. I distinctly remember Sean, Rocky, & Hayes thoroughly enjoying their pizza after the Tahoe Realy in June, so the 8 of us had 2 giant Pizzas (one greek & one Thai chicken) that could rival just about any Reno has to offer. Throw in a couple beers, and some artichoke dip, and it was quite a tasty lunch. I gotta say, through, if anyone's listening...it's October and there's several inches of snow on the ground. Time to ditch your spring/summer seasonal for the cold weather ones, no?!
Up next is Bizz Johnson, which I think will be my 6th race in the last 6-7 weeks, trying to race my way back into shape. So far so good, but I'm leaning towards the 5k in that one. I'd love to do the marathon, but I'm not even close to ready (just a handful of runs over 10 miles this year) and I did the half last year. Too bad there are no breweries in Susanville, though...