Thursday, February 28, 2013

Run For My Supper

For the last few years, when I was really training seriously, I would run home from work, once a week.  It’s 18 miles door to door and when Jeanne worked in Salem, this was a great plan.  I’d run home from work and she would drive me in to work the next morning.  Ever since she stopped working in Salem, I’ve struggled with a mid week long run, especially in the Winter.  By the time I'd get home from work and change, that 10 to 18 mile loop or out and back would end up with a short cut too many times for me to feel good about.

So, I’ve come up with a new plan, Run for my Supper.  I’ve always had good success motivating myself for long runs by running toward food.  My Mom and Sister both live in Monmouth and Jeanne’s daughter Hailey lives in next door Independence.  From the near side of Monmouth to the far side of Independence can be anywhere from as short as 10 miles to as long as 18 depending on the final destination.

So far, I’ve run 10 miles to Yeasty Beasty in Monmouth.  They make their own dough from wild yeast that they captured in their own handy dandy yeast trap, ok, that kinda sounded gross, but as someone who has done this, it’s pretty cool.  Good pizza, impressive beer selection on tap, and really cool people.
Koyote Cafe Tamales
Last week it was 10 miles to Koyote Cafe in Monmouth.  I over ate, a little, because their special was chicken tamales, which I had to get, and a small carne asada taco just wouldn’t leave me alone.
Pastrami Sammich at Pink House Cafe
Yesterday it was 12 miles the Pink House Cafe in Independence.  This is one of the Willamette Valley’s best kept secrets.  The owner, Paul, had a little teriyaki place in Salem years ago that was very good, but I think he’s really found his food niche now.  It’s right across the street from the Independence Cinema, and the food is absolutely wonderful.  I shouldn't have had the Rum Cake because all I can think about is going back for more dessert.

This will be my Wednesday run for a while, patiently waiting for Funky Bun to open.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stalking 100 Miles in One Day

I know I can run 100 miles in one day.  It seems so easy in my head.  I’ve done all of the possible split scenarios a thousand times.  There have been 20 miles runs where I’ve thought of little else except how I “should” be able to run 100 miles in one day.  And yet, the truth is, I’ve failed in 2 attempts so far.  The 2011 Western States DNF bothers me, like any DNF should, but I understand it.  I wasn’t really prepared for the running on ice and snow, fell way too many times, and just let myself get beaten up.  I can take those lumps as they come.  The 2010 Lean Horse DNF still haunts me.  I was in fantastic shape that Summer.  Physically, that may have been the best shape I’ve ever been in.  A wiser person than I, always admonishes me on long journeys, “it all comes down to how well you take care of yourself”, and I took horrible care of myself that day.  I made so many mistakes that it drives me crazy thinking back on it.  I don’t count 2011 Pacrim 24 hour as an attempt at 100, I decided ahead of time that I was going at least to 100k but no further than 80 miles and stopped at 70.
Crossing the bridge, Pacrim 2011
Which brings me to the 2013 Pacrim 24 hour, March 16 in Longview, Washington.  My stated goal is 100 miles in one day.  I can say with certainty, that I will not be in as good a shape as I was for Lean Horse, but I am in pretty good shape.  Hopefully, I’m a little wiser now.  A one mile loop course removes many mistakes that could be made regarding hydration and food, but brings with it new issues to resolve.  I have to treat that “every mile” aid station and crew as essentially non existent at least 5 times in a row, every hour.  I’m constantly perplexed by the “how slow early” riddle.  9 minutes per mile is the most comfortable pace I can possibly find.  8 minutes per mile is marathon pace, and that starts to feel like work after about mile 15.  10 minute per mile pace does feel a little easier than 9 but not by much.  Anything slower than that feels like wasting time.  I think I will run in the low 9’s to start and take at least a half mile walk break every hour, which will also, hopefully, allow me to eat a little each hour.  And do this until I can’t do it anymore.  Then, I suppose, I’ll make it up as I go along.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Hunt For PRs

I’m almost 50. I’ve been running for 10 years. The realization that most of my best times forvarious distances has been set for life is slowly creeping in. I have a PR list in a spreadsheet. Iknow which ones I feel I still have a shot at breaking. There are some odd distances that I eitheronly ran once, early, or haven’t ran at all. Those don’t really count. Of the more regulardistances, my half marathon time has always seemed one of the “softer” PRs. On one hand,that’s surprising to me since it’s a distance I absolutely love. It’s long enough, for training to playa slightly larger role than talent, but short enough that you can “go for it” without the glamorousflame out that the marathon can bring. But, maybe that’s why I see my PR in that distance assoft, because it always feels like I can run a solid half.
It was cold!
I feel like I have this year’s big races set up really well for myself. Better than in any other year inquite a while. A 24 hour race in March, Pac Rim One Day. Then a marathon in June, NewportMarathon. Then my Run Across Oregon in August. High mileage training for the 24 hour race,then put some speed training in for the marathon, then back to high mileage training for the crossstate run. The only part of it that didn’t really make sense was the half marathon I signed up forin January, Cascade Half Marathon.
25 Seconds
I had a really good second half of 2012. No injuries, since giving up the trails. A good 50k inOctober, but no speed training to speak of. Out of respect for truly fast runners, I shouldprobably rephrase that, no track work. So, I went in to the Cascade Half not really sure what toexpect. It was cold! Around 23 degrees at the start. I didn’t warm up nearly as much as Inormally would for a half marathon. I ran the length of the indoor hallway at Cascade HighSchool several times, but that was it. I missed the first 2 mile markers but noticed at mile 3 that Iwas very close to my PR pace and feeling pretty comfortable. The road was icy in patches. Notenough to make you alter your stride, but enough to make you pay attention. At the turnaround Iwas 15 seconds off PR pace and still feeling really good. I told myself to just keep it undercontrol for another few miles and then I’d let myself start picking up the pace. Then around mile9, I started feeling some tightening in my hamstrings. It’s usually one leg or the other whensomething starts to go wrong, so it was strange to feel it equally in both legs. By mile 10 theywere both knotted up pretty good. Every other part of my body wanted to go faster, even myeyelashes were saying “let’s go”, but every time I tried to pick it up, they felt like they were on theverge of tearing. I missed my PR by 25 seconds. But I feel very confident that with some speedtraining, a little better weather and a more appropriate warm up, my half marathon PR is one thatwill still get lower. Next attempt, Corvallis Half Marathon, April 14