Monday, July 13, 2015

Recap time: July '15

Short recap on running shenanigans since the Mac50k.

Weekday training was in a funk for a bit but has been pretty consistent for summertime. Sure I've missed a couple planned days here and there and substituted the old 1/2 hr run when I couldn't get it all done more than a few times.  Work and life continue to throw monumental loads at me and my running suffers as I struggle to find the time (and I'd rather rest than anything).  I can see clearly now why many runners disappear when they have very young children, but I won't fade.

Mostly just been rolling around the farmlands of NE Salem at o'dark thirty but I've had a couple fun adventures worth sharing here. 

A while back I got out for a neat 20 mile circumnavigation of 3-Fingered Jack with Don G. that was pretty inspiring.  I'd love to go back and do it again in the late fall--maybe even after a trace snow has fallen.  That would be epic.

On Father's Day I was able to get up and do the Summer SolstAss event I've long wanted to check out just cause I liked the pictures I'd seen.  I did the 25k (16ish miles) that featured 4900' elevation gain as a pretty honest effort with some time spent taking in some of the best views I've experienced while running.  There were wildflowers, woodsy creeks, canyons, jagged technical ridgelines and pristine mountain views.  All incredible.  I finished "first" though it wasn't really a race in 2:25.  Awesome to meet the great people, the Yelas, that put the thing on and run in such a beautiful "hidden gem" not too far from home.  I'll definitely go back and do that loop again.

Went to Idaho to visit family and got in a nice adventure in with Jeremy Humphrey.  It was low on miles but decent on vertical and ridiculous with views.  We jammed up from Boulder TH to Jug Mtn (a favorite of mine as it is the prominent peak viewed from Kattie's childhood home) via Louie Lake and then rolled down the backside to explore Buckhorn and Kennally Ridge before returning via or near Rapid, Vic, and Boulder Lake.  The following day I ran up Bear Point Rd (?), a forest service road that goes all way to the top of Brundage Mtn which is the local ski hill.  Unfortunately, I had was short on time and turned back way shy of the summit but was able to explore Payette Rim Trail on the way back to the meadow where I parked (Bear Basin).

On the 4th of July I participated in Brundage Mtn Cat Track 10k which started at 6000' near the lodge and ran up to 7640' to turn around at the top of the Bluebird Chair.  It then bombed down the same route for a total of 10k.  I finished in 46 min and change for 3rd overall.  I had no lungs on the climb as some allergies or the altitude (which I've never had trouble with before) that had been bugging me all week really manifested on this run.  I arrived in 4th to the top and was closing hard on 2nd place by the finish.  The guy that won was wearing Crocs, so that was a first for me (getting whooped by someone in sandals).  It was great fun though and a cool way to kick off the holiday.

The 12th, yesterday, I did the Mt. Hood 50k.  I signed up for it on a whim after the Mac gave me some stoke for the distance. Honestly, I was less than super excited to run that kind of distance once the big day came around.  But I liked the course, wanted to check out a new area, and so I committed to doing it once I knew we wouldn't be working the usual Sunday harvest crew this weekend.  A tad flatter (advertised as 2400', though I saw one Strava account said 2800') than most 50ks run on single track it featured a fit and fast crowd which made it quite fun.  I run a lot of 50ks that involve a hefty dose of vertical and seem to attract 100 milers in training and what not.  I don't know how to describe it but it's a different type of running fitness that involves sheer strength and grit to get through 7000' 50ks.  Think power hiking and lots of low grinding gears.  This was different, this was a runner's race so I was interested in seeing how I stacked up (especially given my looooww volume of training of 35-45 mile weeks for a long time now).  We went out pretty quick but I felt comfortable.  At the turn around I deliberately dialed back as we made the climb back up to the high spot thinking these guys are crazy and someone's gonna blow up, not me.  Steady did it, no one was coming and no one was getting too far away according to AS volunteers.  Going back down the long gradual descent was fun but I still tried to hold back just a bit to make sure those flat 11 miles to the finish where doable.  Once it flattened out and repetitive flat running kept going on and on (I didn't think it was ever going to end) I could feel a lack of mileage in my legs.  They were hurting and I was just holding on eating salt tabs and gels to pass the time.  I managed a 3:40 time and 6th overall.  2nd AG, and I am willing to put money on 1st dad as there was not a lot of obvious dadfactor in the other 5 guys previous finishers.  Kind of funny to see all these team/club singlets at a trail race the day I busted out my SWAP uni.  There was Reed, Bowerman, and one intriguing one called Jaccuzzi Boys Athletic Club.  Anyway fun and tough day.  I am done with 50ks for the year, I think.

Superfans, (mostly wife, 3 mo old that doesn't know any better and sleeps through distance running events, and mom) I appreciate your support.  Kattie, please continue to kick me out of bed at 4:40 while I try to reset the alarm and skip the run...  Alyce you don't know how much you inspire me to be an inspiration to you (does that even make sense? whatever you know what I mean).  Family, thanks for not working me quite to death in our business and allowing me to pursue such ridiculous endeavors from time to time.  Thanks also to David Roche and the SWAP team for the inspiring adventuresome pursuit of badassery you live out everyday, I can't reduce my pursuit to anything less and not feel like a chump with you guys around. 

Live while you're alive!