haven't been here in some time. time to recap with some more boring running tales:
Beginning of Dec. I did Shellburg Falls Run. It was classic Run Wild fare with a 6.8 mile course in the Dept. of Forestry lands just east of Salem (in Lyons). The course was a mixture of logging roads and single track, with lots of elevation gain and tight turns on the descents. I had a blast sailing through the heavily wooded course which was covered in fallen leaves with slimey, slick mud underneath. I am not sure if I'd lost my trail touch with all the road miles I'd been putting in or if my traction just sucked (on the the NB MT1010) but I fell more in this race than ever. My hands touched the ground on at least 3-4 occasions. My chest even hit the ground once. I wanted to fly down the final descent but all the tight corners had me hitting the brakes quite a bit to avoid more falls. In the end I couldn't catch the guy in front of me despite my efforts to "drop the hammer" in the last mile. I was surprised when I placed 7th overall for I thought more hot shots were in front of me. Finish time was 50:33. Results.
Did a Fat Ass called Mac Ass 50k up in McMinville, OR in January. It seemed a full on race was actually taking place with a check in, tents, fires and all but once out there I realized it was a classic fat ass experience. Me and a few others in the front of the pack (which included some hot local runners) quickly took a wrong turn about 5 miles in and added another 5 miles or so to the already long 25k loop #1. With around 4000' of gain and 21 miles in the first loop me and a few others bailed when we got back to the beer and all the hot food. I would have liked to challenge myself with another loop but I had a huge blister on my left heel (new kicks, La Sportiva X-country) and put simply I had other things to do that day (wine tasting!).
In the beginning of Feb. I did my first road race, Zena Road Runs. Of the various distances I opted for the 15k which went from the Spring Valley Community Center out in NW Salem up Bethel Heights for a steepish (by road runners' standards) climb up to the ridge were we ran (quickly!) past some great Eola Hills scenery. The vineyards and Christmas trees went whizzing by as we flew down the hill back to Spring Valley Road. I clipped away a couple 5:30ish min/miles (fastest was 5:24) before heading over the giant rollers back to the start. I was surprised to take one place in the last mile and nearly take another in the last few hundred yards as the field seemed pretty spread out in front of me. Mile 8-9 was not entirely downhill by any means and I was able to eek a 5:48 in there. Guess there was still some gas in the tank which is a good sign. My 57:38 was good enough for 11th place in a fast crowd. Results.
I've been diligent about the track workouts (Mondays, though hardly with the group in the morning) and easy stuff (with them on Tues. and Thurs.). I've been doing hills at effort on Wednes. evenings. They are generally loops at Bushie ascents on the Derby Hill and descents down "Rollercoaster". The hill is not very significant so it's more of a 25 minute tempo effort than a real climb trainer.
Not too much long stuff. I joined some Corvallis folks (and Dennis G) for a nice run in the Mac back in December. No new trails but great conversation and a good longer effort at 23 miles with some of the bigger climbs the area offers. I did sneak in a marathon distance run a few Sunday's ago. It was on roads and gravel through the hills out south. The hilly run felt good but I did suffer some pain in my bottom left forefoot for a week of two following. Those Montrail Rogue Flys are shot, I can feel it. Time to retire them to the garden. Probably pick up another pair for the roads stuff as the uppers held up really well and they did last well over 700-800 miles. Plus they are half price, always a factor to consider when picking shoes! Just this past weekend I got out for another 20 miler on Mac's West Side with some cool dudes that basically wrote the Mac story. They knew every blade of grass out there as they made almost all the trails way back when. I forget how tough that side of the course is. Unfortunately, they are looking to add another big bump in the elevation profile this year at mile 27ish by routing it up the antenna hill. Just cruel...
Next up is Buck Mountain Mudslinger on 3/9. Ran the course with Kattie the weekend before last and it was in good shape (by Buck Mountain standards). It's since snowed and blowed a bunch so I am sure it will be treachorous again come race weekend. Hoping to do really well there this year. I was a newbie to running last year (I am still "new" but I've definitely got more training now) and finished in under an hour, this year I'd like to go around 50 minutes.
I feel like the Cinco de Mayo R2R2R with Nick and Dan trip is not going to pan out so I am looking for other options to fill out the Spring race calender. I am okay with this as the budget is a little tight right now and fall has always appealed to me more for this run. I'd like to do the Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 mile (or 20, that was fun last year). And the Mac 50k would be fun to do every year. Maybe I'll just come up with an adventure run somplace closeby and call it good with no races for awhile. We'll see.
I am currently signed up for Granite Man 10 Mile Run at Applegate Lake, Oregon on June 2nd. Don't know much about this one but I've been wanting to get down to Southern Oregon for an event for awhile now.
Whew, I've got to do recaps more often, this is really long winded...