Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Heavenly Weekend of Running

Great weekend of running: long run out on the trails on Saturday followed by helping a friend race to a PR on Sunday.

Saturday I headed out with Scott and Rick on the trails of Forest Park.
The weather was great: cool with the sun peeking out every once and while.
The park is taking on its fall colors and yet the trails still have their summer hardness before turning into the sloppy mud of the late fall and spring.
We started at the Zoo a little after 8 am and ran out on the Wildwood trail to mile 10.
Note that they are doing some pretty major construction on the trail at the Redwood forest section of the Arboretum. On Saturday you could get around the work but you had to be creative
After the Wildwood section we headed back and then down the Alder trail to Lief. Once we were spit out on Lief it was time to pick up the pace and push it on the downhill and road. Played around the 7 min per mile mark. Then it was time to head up the Aspen trail back to Wildwood.
I got a nice second wind at this stage and was able to do some nice work back in for the 6.5 of Wildwood back to the Zoo.

This is a great 20 mile loop that I would recommend: lots of change-up in pace and terrain. You get all the climbing on Wildwood (Pittock Mansion *2) and then the climb up from Balch Creek (Stone Building) at mile 5.25 out to around mile 7. The speed work section of Lief is tough but fun and you can look forward to the "rest" pushing up Aspen.

Sunday morning the crew headed down for the Run Like Hell 5 km race. I was running with James as he tried for a personal record (PR) in the distance. For the last month and a bit James has been working hard with a training plan I drew up for hill towards the 5 km race today. I have been using Google Calendar for drafting up the training plans for a couple friends and it is working out quite nicely. Michele was also out to race the course.

We saw Mike Rosling before the start of the race as he finished the 10km event in a personal best time. His cool racing flats were still smoking!! Um...Mike and Sean, I am not sure ultra runners are supposed to be using such light shoes and running such sweet fast times at road races??!!
I think I might have to get me a pair of those Nike LunarRacers!

We also saw Kelly from Run Oregon and I picked up the Garmin 405 from her that I am going to test drive for the next week and write up my experiences.

Now to the race. It was a little nerve wracking at the start as things were pretty crowed: 700 plus people crowding into the start that is also the finish for the 10 km and half marathon participants streaming in. But amazingly it all worked out. Just before we started the 5km, the race organizers subtlety shifted over the finishing chute and we had the room we needed for the start.

The air horn went off and we were running. Nice 4-5 blocks of down hill running to spread out the field and get the legs fired up. You do have to make sure not to go out too fast. We hit the end of the downhill and turned out onto Naito. James found his stride and hit the first mile in 6:46. I had predicted James would run 6:53s so I thought this might be a little fast but the footfall and breathing sounded good so lets see what happens. Through the turnaround and to mile two with no major changes: striding out on the flat (most of it) and using the little ups and downs as mental pushes to keep the pace up.
Mile two in 6:41. Now I knew James had his PR. Out along the Portland waterfront park which was flat and fast. Then push to the turn for the return up the hill to the start/finish. James dug deep, pushed hard and crossed the line in 20:54 (6:44 avg). I was one second back at 20:55 as we took first and second in our 35-39 age group, 30 out of 750. NICE!
Full race results for the Run Like Hell 5km are here.
Now I get to revisit James' training plan and tweak it up a notch using this new race baseline :-)

Run Like Hell is a great race with smoking fast 5km and 10 km courses. I think I will race the 5km next year to try for my own PR. I also recommend hitting Elephants for a post race feast/celebration.

I got to end the day with a nice 6 mile leg stretcher with the tunes on to add some more quality miles to my training towards my next race.

Stone Building photo credit to Dar's Foto Faze


saschasdad said...

Hey Darin, if you get a pair of Lunaracers and don't p.r. in the 5k next year, well, uh, it's not the shoes' fault! Great job helping your buddy get his p.r.

Mike Rosling said...

The Lunaracers are great...they've definitely done something for me...but I think it's all in my head.