Monday, October 29, 2007

Great weekend of fun exercise!

Had a busy weekend, it all started out with the Cyclocrazed cycle cross event at Cornwall Park in Bellingham. I had lots of fun, great weather, one mechanical issue (twig from a tree got stuck in my derailleur and had to stop and get off to 'fix' my wheel so I could pedal), one crash (complete endo over the front handle bars as I attempted to ride over one of the log barriers - needless to say I ran and carried the bike every other time).

I raced in the Mens C category and we did five laps all around Cornwall park, including a large circle of death on the big grass field where we spiralled around and around getting closer to the center to a hairpin turn at the center to spiral all the way back out. This was very cool, we had maybe 20 - 30 riders in this same spiral on the first lap and was neat having riders going both in and out at the same time. Kind of an optical illusion, some riders passing you but were really still behind or in front of you.

The course went through a lot of underbrush under all the tall evergreens. Not much underbrush, but more tons of pine needles, small tree twigs, some big twigs, but this soft surface also caused the twigs and such to kick up and I got some in my derailleur a couple times. One worked itself out and another was big enough to cause my chain to not even move, which made it tough to pedal, had to stop for that one.

One run up which you could ride if you had a lead up ride to get some momentum, but the course creator forces you up the side of the hill, hitting the pathway used for the run up about a quarter of the way up. By doing it this way, made it tough to start riding your bike in the middle of a pretty steep hill. I ran/pushed my bike every time, my friend Mike rode up a couple times, but it worked out to be about the same.

After the race I made my way out to the soccer fields for Jacobs game. We stopped on the way back to get a couple birthday gifts (Jacob had two parties this weekend) and home in time to eat and wrap gifts and finally relax a bit.

Sunday morning I ran with the trail runners, we had a great run, about 15+ miles just under 3 hours of moving time. We ran out past Lost Lake, which made me wish I had brought my camera, it was perfectly still, not a ripple, very black looking. I wonder how deep it is. After running past Lost Lake we got to our destination, a trail called 'So Easy', well it is not much of a run at this point because it is pretty much straight up.

We wait for each other at major intersections, or key locations and at the top of 'So Easy' we regrouped and decided to complete the loop around Chuckanut by running down past Fragrance Lake and the $2 (two dollar) trail, dumping out onto Cleator road and down to the Interurban back to the Vet and our cars. My knee started hurting, so started getting farther and farther behind the group. We met up on Cleator road I doing more of the down hill stuff it kept on hurting, but once on the flat Interurban I was able to run. It hurt some at the beginning, but towards the final mile or so was able to run without much pain. I did take a shortcut as I was pretty far off the back and actually finished a bit a head of half the group.

Halloween costumes were part of Jacobs birthday party today, so after ice on my knee and lunch helped Jacob and Alex get all dressed up. Man was I glad to just have to drop them off, 10-15 kids all dressed up with no place to go, it was quite hectic over at Jimmy's house.

Monday, October 22, 2007 MTB Duathlon

This is the third time I've done this event and first time we had no rain, there was still a bit o mud up on some of the trail but it was a great day.

As always I arrived quite early to pickup my packet and shirt. Got settled, road one lap around the lake to warm up and then setup my transition, great spot near the entry/exit. Lots of friends do this race so it is a great time chatting and releasing the pre race tension.

The race starts with one lap running around the lake, then we mountain bike followed by another run around the lake. They changed the bike loop from two laps of the 'beginner' course to one lap of the 'expert' course. The expert course adds some serious hills, some pretty easy switchbacks and then hooks up onto the beginner course and doing only one lap makes this a slightly shorter event than in the past.

Lance was being Lance at the start and held up the starting gun and yelled 'GO', then about 10 seconds into the run he fired the starting gun, put a big smile on my face at least. I always seem to start my runs a bit fast, but with a bike and then another run, I wanted to go a bit slower than a fast run, maybe tempo pace. Thought I was in pretty good company and felt good throughout, carried my bike gloves and during the final quarter mile or so, ate a gel and put on my gloves.

My mountain biking shoes are just my running shoes so quickly put on the helmet and was off, nice quick transition. This was maybe my 5th ride on my new bike (well new to me) and I think it's great. I was able to climb and coming back down hardly felt the drops and bumps. very nice, very quick. I did get passed by more than a few going up, but was not passed on the way back down. I did catch up with someone and was happy to stay a bit behind as I was also thinking about the run after.

Back into transition I again had a 20 second stop to park bike, take off helmet and grab my running hat. I think I gained ground in the transition area on more than a few competitors.

The second run is the opposite way around the lake and starts with a bit of a hill (not really anything to talk about) making the transition from biking to running a bit of work, but once at the top of the crest starting feeling like running. Shortly after though my stomach started saying when are you going to stop running, so I slowed a bit, took the better part of the lake before I felt like really running fast again. Coming around the lake past the play structure (about a quarter mile from the finish) I see Debbie and Alex and Alex was ready for a high five, but after the high five he wanted to run with me, so I slowed (a bit) and he kept up for the final quarter mile and got lots of cheers.

About an hour after the adult race they do a kids duathlon and Jacob did it again for the third time, he did the 'long course' with about a half mile run, bike around the lake and then the same half mile run. He did great. I think he could bike faster, but completed everything with a look of determination and trademark tongue stickin out, working hard!

Great event and great day.

Great race and event overall

Monday, October 01, 2007

On the Trail again...

Finally got back on the trail again this weekend, running with the same group I was before. Boy o boy did I miss this. Didn't realize how much till out running this weekend with the group.

Rained the whole time, nice easy pace, catching up on the news (no gossip at all ;-), what a great time. The time/distance just melted away, before I knew it we were back at the cars.

Its great to be on the trail again
Running with the best of friends
Just can't wait to get on the trail again