Some adventures in road and trail running.
For Running stuff click here. For Eclipse stuff click here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Top of the World

Top of the world...well actually only up to 8364 feet (and whatever depth in snow on top of that).

The day started way too early at 4 am. We got up, tried to eat a little and headed to Scott's to rally with Rick, Scott and Martha to Mt St Helens. Short stop at Jack's Restaurant to pick up our climbing permits and we were climbing out of the cars at Marble Mountain
Snow Park. The Worm Flows Climbing Route is the winter route for Mt St Helens and it is 12 miles of hiking with 5600 ft of climb. This route differs from the summer route in that there is more hiking in the forest, much less bouldering and a lot more snow. We started in the fog but soon there were glimpses of the wonders to come!
After going through the forest and then up some minimal rock fields it was out onto the snow. Then some more snow and then some really steep snow and then some really deep snow. But man, God's handiwork is beautiful!

No matter where you looked you would see another volcano in the it is Mt Adams.
After about 5 hours of hiking we summited.

100 people a day are allowed up on the permits. During the time we were at the top there was between 20-25 people hanging out on the snow cornice on the crater lip.

I did a little side hike to go to the edge of the crater to peer down. Unfortunately Spirit Lake was obscured by clouds but Ranier looked amazing.

Now the really fun part...going down! With all the snow a major part of going down was glisading. The snow was soft and forgiving and with the right slippery pants you could really cruise down the hill. What took us 3 hours going up took less than 1 hour going down...and most of that time was to let your backside warm back up!

An amazing day with 9 hours of hiking, laughing, sliding, glisading and eating. Man do Burgerville's hamburgers, fries and smoothies taste great when you really have earned them. Now if I could only learn to put on more sunscreen!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Back to Going Long

We were finally around for a full weekend so I was able to head out for a long run on the trails. Rick, Scott and I started running around 7 am at the beginning of the Leif Erikson trail. It was a nice warm-up and we trudged along till the end of the trail (11.22 miles). We fueled and watered up at the end of the Leif and head out on the new Cannon trail connected to Wildwood trail (less than 1/2 a mile).

Wildwood is a great urban trail that runs 30 some miles through Forest Park.
We hit the trail at mile 24.5 and planned to hoof it in to the Wild Cherry trail at mile 7.88.
The running was great, the trail was in good shape and the greenery was still not too thick. I ran the middle miles a little too fast (24.5 down to 16 (Salzman Road)) and I would feel it later.
After drinking and eating we were off again.
These are the tough miles of Wildwood. There are some nice downhills but also some climbs back out of the creek drainages. My legs were started to fatigue and I could tell I was working on a big mileage week. Rick was running like there was an In N Out at mile 11 so we were all trying to keep up. We regrouped at mile 11 and headed for Wild Cherry at 7.88. 11 down to 8 is some nice downhill cruising and we could smell the barn.
These shots are Rick and Scott smiling away when they know we have only about 1 mile left to go and the plan to suck back some cold Cokes at the end!

It was great to get out on a sunny day for close to 30 miles with the two guys who got me into trail running.
Great start to building up for the ultra summer!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bicycle Built for Two: Reach the Beach 2007

Trisha and I had the good fortune to do the 100 mile Reach the Beach bike ride on Saturday.

The ride goes from near our house out to the coast at Pacific City, Oregon.
On Friday night we drove out with Grandpa and the kids to do a little playing and eating at the beach and drop the car off so that we would not have to ride back from reaching the beach :-) !

With Grandpa Swanson holding down the fort with Cole and Leah, we headed out Saturday morning from our house on Scott's tandem (thanks again for the lender Scott!!)

We met up with Mary, James and Jeff for the ride and pretty quickly got on our way.

The ride works its way south west out to coast. This year there was a pretty strong headwind for the entire ride. We also believe they snuck in a few more hills. We had no flats but the tandem refused to shift into the lowest gears so we got a great workout going up the hills!

We had lots of fun in our group and the constant eating on the an ultra without quite as much aerobic workout ;-) The easy way to do a 100!

The is great to end with a series downhills after cresting through the coastal range. The cruise down to the beach is very scenic and fast. You pass through the Suislaw national forest and race over numerous one-way bridges.

After about 6:15 of riding time we hit the finish line.
We then posed for the traditional Reach the Beach finish shot.
We ate some more food and then headed to the Bed and Breakfast and the hot tub.
If you ever want to stay in Pacific City, check out the Craftsman B&B...great location, food and hosts.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Running an Aid Station: Hippie Chick

Last Saturday I had the privilege of volunteering at the "Pump" station aid station for the Hippie Chick half marathon and quarter marathon.

Trisha was running the race so the kids and I had fun manning the aid station. Cole and I where pretty much the only guys in sight at the all girl race.

It was truly inspiring to see all the runners working hard. Leah and Cole did very will passing out water and Gleukos to the runners as the passed by up to 4 times. They did end up getting distracted with the massive ant nest in the tree nearby...but really who could blame them??

Seeing the people racing made me want to get back into training...pretty sure I am going to race the Run for the Roses 5km.
Should be good again this year...especially as they have tweaked the age groups so I do not have to compete against the young punks anymore :-)

Trisha had a great strong race beating her times for the race from the past with a 2:03:30.
I am proud or you Babe!
Now Trisha has to choose between Helvetia or my favorite the Foot Traffic Flat?? Next time sub-2!!

Diggin in the Dirt

I have not felt a strong need to get out for long runs on the weekend: slightly sick, Trisha has been out of town, and the legs are still sore. So with the plan to kick back into heavy training not until next week I decided to tackle a landscaping project!

The long term goal is to make room for a pond near the back patio of our house. So I needed to move some dirt! I started out trying to just do it manually and then I quickly realized that I was not 25 anymore. As well, there is a reason God gave us the insight to create machines. Off to Home Depot to rent a mini-excavator! I had great fun making a mess of the backyard and discovering two sprinkler lines I did not know about...ouch!

When Trisha came back from her beach weekend away, the backyard was definitely bigger!
Unfortunately for me I still had to schlep the soil off to the corner of the yard. Finished that up after about 1 week. It did not kill me so I am hoping that my upper body is stronger :-)


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Eugene Marathon 2007

On Sunday April 29, 2007 I ran the Eugene Marathon.

As I have stated here in the past I was running for a sub 3 hour marathon.
I came tantalizingly close: 3:03:05 Second fastest marathon for me and 75th overall.

The race went right as planned:
  • Wore the racing flats with no issues

  • No stomach trouble as I was steadfast in not succumbing to Jim and Scott's taunts to have wine or beer the night before the race.

  • I believe I paced myself correctly holding back in the early stages and on the hills around miles 4 and 5.

  • My crew saw me twice and my brother was even able to run with me for a small part. We both can train up to running / pacing for Western States in a few years??

  • Saw lots of ultra runners and road runners. I was glad to read the Sean M was there to pace. When I saw him pulled over at Mile 15 I could not believe my eyes: no dress!

So why did miss 3 hours?

I got to mile 21 and things just kept getting slower and I could not dig up any mental gumption to push harder. The miles started to really drag for the first time and I started to get passed instead of passing. Up to 21 I felt invincible and thought the race was in the bag. Kept going but realized I would miss 3 hours. My mantra switched to NO WALKING allowed. Part of my brain was screaming that since I missed my goal why not take it easy and walk. I had fallen prey to this advice in the past so I was happy to have backup plans: beat my PR, beat 3:05, get a Boston qualifier.

I finished out the race and crossed the line with a bit of a push. Then I realized what I had messed up. My brain was no longer working. BONKED! I chugged some Gleukos etc and found a comfortable piece of grass that seemed to be spinning less than the rest of the world. I was religious on the gels during the race but once again I slipped up for the last 6 miles or so. I must keep eating past 20 miles. I believe I took my last gel around mile 18? I should have had one more at mile 21-22 and maybe even on more at mile 24. If the stomach is fine, no reason to be stingy. Another lesson learned.The course was great with enough shade along the river to be cool and enough bike trail to not feel like you were really running a road marathon. They do need to ensure that all the mile markers are in place but otherwise I think they did well pulling off the marathon.

I would be interested in hearing if there was any congestion on the trail for those running near a 4 hour marathon. The trail was pretty narrow in spots. All together there was 1500 marathoners and about 2000 half marathoners on the course.

It was a great fun hanging with the group from Portland.
I think most people either set a PR or ran their second fastest marathon (Jim, Rich, Bill, Dave and me). Thanks again to Jim for letting me steal the couch in his room and for encouraging me to do the dreaded 20 minute ice bath!

Time now to heal and prepare for some short road races to pound out some new PRs.
Then on to FINALLY getting back out for some long hours on the trails with my ultra buddies. Black Saturday needs to be in my near future!

The quest is still not over...I think I almost like it :-)