Monday, March 25, 2013

New Kicks

Hoping these are on my porch when I get home today...  ordered them last week after getting a "friends and family" code from Montrail for the shoe testing I did last summer.  50% off is a good deal, well worth the time it took to write a shoe review.

They'll be my road shoes.  I'll admit they look a little "hoka-hokey" but I think I could use the extra cush on all those paved miles.  My feet never give me much trouble but both the Rogue Racers and Rogue Flys seemed to lack foam in the forefoot.  After long efforts I occasionally felt soreness in the balls of my feet but I love the light and fast feeling they give me on paved or well groomed trails.

Also a race update:

Did Buck Mtn. Run (6.5 miles) and had a great race.  The day was perfect, nice and cool, and the trail was in outstanding shape with only a little bit of mud and running water on it--no snow this year!  It's still quite technical with lots of rocks and roots and hills.  After directing traffic for an hour (great warm up!) I headed off to the start line and got in a position towards the front of the crowd.  I got off to a quick start as I knew making my goal of <50 minutes would require a hard effort throughout the course, even the 1st mile.  I passed a couple guys then a couple more until we moved to the first short, steepish climb.  There I passed one more and locked into 4th place.  Near the top of the climb I moved into 3rd place with 1 and 2 a good distance ahead.  3rd place was short lived as Don G. came up on me as I relaxed a bit on the downhill, conserving just a bit on the rollers before the long climb ahead.  I stayed close to him and came close to overtaking him a couple times throughout the next 3-4 miles but never availed in my efforts.  In the last quarter mile he really pushed hard and knowing I didn't have anyone over my shoulder I accepted my position and pushed it in comfortably.  I finished 4 overall with a 45:27.  As with any Run Wild Event a good post race brew (or 3) ensued and I was stoked to see Evan O. and Justin C. come in with some hugely improved times.  Later we enjoyed 1/2 off at 7 Brides with our race bibs!  Epic winning all day!

On the 17th Kattie did the Shamrock Run with my Mom.  It was a circus out there with 30,000 people running!  She finished the 8k in 40 minutes and was elated to know she could hold ~8 min/mile pace for so long!  I think it might have been a breakthrough run for her.  Now, she's taking running just a little more seriously...  look out!  My Mom did well too with a 29:16 in the 5k.  That got her 6th in her age group!  BOOM.

Monday, March 4, 2013

an offering to the god of guts

For a long time now I've wanted to go down to Track Town (Eugene) and do a little running on the trails there and stop by Pre's Rock to make an offering to one of the sport's greatest legends.  Yesterday I was going to pick up KT at the airport there so I finally had my chance to make the pilgrimage to the site of the world of running's own folk saint's fatal crash.  It was moving and inspiring.

I was shorter on time than I'd hoped to be so the run was not going to happen.  But I had the perfect window of time to make it out the bluffs above the Willamette River just outside Hendricks Park.  I looped around a bit in search and finally found the Rock.  I pulled over and the dog and I walked to the shrine.  I'd brought a shoe (one of the blown out Montrails) that I'd been training and racing in lately and my 2nd place ribbon from Zena Road Runs 15k.  I placed it in front of the memorial stone amist a few other recent offerings: a NCAA medal, a couple folded up notes, fresh flowers (yellow and green of course).  I then read the plaque and sat there "taking it all in" for a few minutes.  Thinking about Pre's feats as an athlete and as a person.  I dwelled a bit longer on his gutsy style which I admire a bit more than most folks in the long distance/trail running crowd seem to.

A passing car broke the silence and with that I left.  It may sound corny but the place has a spiritual vibe to it.  I was glad I got to be a part of it.