Monday, January 29, 2007

Easy Run, My @SS!

Well this was supposed to be an 'easy' week, with less time and lower intensity prior to a final 3 week build before we taper for the Chuckanut 50K trail run.

Well it was not easy (for me at least) and my injury is still ever present. So much so that it has me re-thinking about actually running the 50k.

We started with the flat Interurban Trail out to run a few of the lower hills of the 50k course. Even on the first section, Fragrance Lake Trail, I had to walk quite a bit. I was able to run most of the $2 trail as it is generally downhill. The next section UP Cleator road was another walk. This was as high as we planned to run so we went down the trail and road back to the Interurban Trail, I was able to run this downhill section and once on the Interurban was able to run most all the way back to the cars, but it hurt.

As the Chuckanut is not my "A" race for this year, I am not going to run the 50k this year. I will be there to cheer and support for my friends.

Monday, January 22, 2007

That hurt

Took Jacob to Mt baker on Saturday for another snowboard lesson, we got there early and decided to attempt the rope tow and then the chair lift. Jacob couldn't get the rope tow down, but did great on the chair lift, a little trouble getting on, but got off great.

Jacob and I did two runs before his lessons started at 11:30. During his lesson I went up and down a couple times. Lots of nice powder. I only snowboard a couple times a year, but each time I 'feel' it after. It seems to use slightly different muscles than I'm used to.

After his lesson we had a bit of food and headed home. I didn't notice any 'new' muscles until dinner time. I wondered if I would attempt my run planned for Sunday morning. Jogged a bit to get the morning newspaper and felt fine, so decided to go and meet the group.

We planned a route that would hopefully get us about 4 hours. We ran south from the Vet clinic and took the connector up to the Lost Lake trail. Once on the Lost Lake trail we were on the 50k course and the plan was to follow the course all the way around Chuckanut Mountain to the bottom of the $2 trail and then skip Cleator and the Ridge.

Towards the middle of the Lost Lake section where it peaks, I got a bit behind the group as I was starting to feel fatigued and achy in my legs, no real pain yet, but needed to walk some of the hilly section back there. At the peak I was able to run just fine down to the start of chinscraper. I didn't stop, I wanted to get up the trail so the group would not have to wait as long at the top. I new I would be walking a lot of chinscraper. My HR was way up even just walking this section. I looked at my GPS data after and parts of chinscraper range from 17-25 percent grade. You feel like your chin could scrape the trail on the way up.

This tough section was working me over today, I got to the top and still had about 6 inches of snow up there, which made a softer/faster descent down Cleator road.

Coming down I was generally able to keep everyone in view until on Fragrance Lake Road and the faster guys got out of view, I was really feeling some tightness in my legs.

We got down to the bottom and then started up Fragrance Lake trail and must say WOW, I've never thought this lower trail was as tough as chinscraper, but it felt like it. My legs just did not want me to run. So I walked most this section. I was surprised to find the group waiting for me. I hoped they didn't wait long and told them to not wait at the next stop (they did - what a great group).

Even in lots of pain, I was able to run most of the $2 trail because it is generally flat to downhill. At the end we just had about 4 miles to get back to the cars, I started to run down Cleator road to the Interurban Trail, but running was pretty much out of the question by now. I had to walk down the road. Once on the flat IU I was able to run for about 5 minutes and then needed to walk. I walked quite a bit, ran some when I started feeling a bit better, but didn't last long, maybe 3-4 minutes max at a time, with at least that much walking.

This was just like the end of the 50k last year where I just couldn't run back. I had a little pain in the same spot as I had in the 50k and am seeing a PT for now, but my calf's were very close to cramping up and my upper legs (I think) were really dead from snowboarding.

I took my electrolytes on a same schedule I had been doing before, 2 about every 30 minutes. I think I may of missed or extended a bit, but think I took enough. Maybe not though, I had salt streaks around my eyes and chin. So maybe a combination of not enough electrolytes and sore muscles from snowboarding.

Next Sunday is a lower intensity run with less time planned as our last 'easy' week before getting into the final 3 week build of runs planned for 4, 4.5 and 5 hour runs.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

White Sand

As we were running up cleator road, someone said it was like running on sand, so for the rest of today's run I was running on a white sandy beach.

Ok we weren't really on sand, but the snow was white, soft and grainy like a sandy beach. We met a little earlier than normal to carpool to the start of our run, we got to the parking lot and it was closed, so we turned around. Really we did, to a parking spot on the side of the road a bit closer to town.

We headed up right away, no warmup needed in 17 degree weather. Right up Fragrance Lake trail. The toughest part here was just going straight up without any warmup. The parks deparment keeps these lower high use trails pretty clean, but there were still a few logs to climb over, nothing too bad. Fragrance Lake was frozen, but I wasn't going to test how frozen.

We were on a mission today to complete the middle 30k of the Chukanut 50K race. I quickly took a photo and caught back up with the group on the $2 trail. Once completed we headed up Cleator road, this 3 mile section of the race is about 8-10 percent grade., but all in all not too bad unless covered in 4-7 inches of powdery white stuff. This section took a lot longer than normal, the whole run toook longer than normal.

Once at the top, we run along the ridge trail and it is a ridge, views to both sides. Beautiful today. I was suprised that it wasn't worse, I had read about all the downed trees and branches and there were some, but not as many as I was expecting (based on articles I'd read). Stopped midway to take this picture of Mt Baker.

From Chukanut 50K ...

John and Paul had run a half marathon on Saturday so were falling a bit back. We decided to head on and hope they would skip the chinscraper section and we might all get back to the car about the same time. The Lost Lake section was a total difference from a week ago, no huge puddles, no huge mud pits, just lots of snow and some hard frozen ground. On the section Christy took a fall and hurt her leg and toes, but after a short walk she was running again.

The four of us in front made it to the bottom of Chinscraper and after a couple minutes started up. About a quarter mile into it, Christy's injury was making itself felt, it was a lot more painful for her to run up than down, so she turned around and took the shortcut to the fragrance lake road to get down.. John, Mike and I kept going up to the top of Chinscraper. We enjoyed the view for a minute or so and headed down Cleator Road to a short connector over to Fragrance Lake road back down to the car.

As it turns out, John and Paul skipped Chinscraper and only had about 10-15 minute wait for us, they had 4:20 run time, Christy got down and ran some of the flat Interurban and got back to the car just ahead of us. I had 4:11 run time and 18.86 miles. almost 4000 feet of climbing there somewhere. It was about 32 degress at our finish.

Another epic run after last weeks epic mud fest. GREAT!

All my images can be found here

Monday, January 08, 2007


Wow did I get wet this weekend. It's been windy and rainy for the past week or more and figured we'd get wet on our Sunday run.

On the way out at after 5 minutes of running was a very large puddle which I climbed through the bushes and over a rock to avoid, I shouldn't of bothered.

We did the Samish loop backwards and to add some time and (not) fun we added the "So Easy" trail. The "So Easy" trail is not so easy, its a hike (no running here) up a stream, normally this is not too bad and you can avoid the water, but not today. At the top it flattens out a bit through a quarter mile mud hole. By this time we are just so wet that you don't even bother trying to run around the edges, just right through and hope your shoes are tight enough to not disappear in the mud.

Coming down the Lost Lake trail (we run up it in the 50k) was like running down a river, this section is muddy in the middle of the summer and was a constant stream today. The spots that are muddy in the summer were small pools, and again no need to skirt around the edges.

Once out of the swampy area I thought it'd be nice and easy to get back to the car, but coming down the section through Arroyo park, I hit a nice patch of mud and slipped and fell, nice soft landing, but stretched out my quad unexpectedly. Walked a bit and then ran most the way back to the cars. No lingering quad pain later in day and next day leads me to think I'm fine.

Sometimes we stand around and talk a bit after the runs, but today everyone was cold and soaked to the bones, so we got in cars and headed home pretty quickly.

Looking forward to running more of the course and we are running the middle 30k (first and last 10 k are flat out and back). I've heard the ridge trail has lots of downed trees, but have not been up there in a while...

Things are picking up for my IRONMAN training as well, I got in the pool three times last week, but the third was cut short at about 15 minutes because the power went out at the pool. Getting dressed in the locker room was not too bad until the emergency lighting went out too.

I only got on the bike once last week, but it was outdoors. I need to ride more.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

IMCDA training has begun!

Just a quick message. I'm using a modified training plan from "Training Plans for Multisport Athletes" by Gale Bernhardt.

When I planned this out, it had me starting on Dec 25 which is 26 weeks before the IRONMAN on June 24. I did some training between Christmas and the New Year but not 100% to the plan, so I officially started on Tuesday January 2.

Not too much to report as yet.

I did have a great run on the morning of the 31st with a smaller group, we did the 'Samish' loop. Lots of climbing over the 3 hour run. We saw a Bald Eagle on a dead tree branch hanging out over Lost Lake, it took flight right after I turned on my camera (which makes a sound when I turn it on). I have since reset the settings to NOT make a sound when I turn it on.