03/20/2017 – 03/26/2017
A friend asked me the other day what I did this past weekend and I told him, unlike the week before when I missed both weekend long runs, I was able to get out on back to back long 18 mile runs Saturday and Sunday, both in the rain, one which even had bits of hail and snow thrown in just for good measure. His first reaction was a scrunched up face, face pulled back, followed immediately with, “why? What’s your motivation?” I paused, because honestly, those two 18 mile runs sucked. They weren’t entirely what I’d call fun and except for the two hours I spent running with a different friend, I spent 7 hours by myself tromping around in the cold dimly lit wet suburban mountains in March. It’s not exactly the dream weekend that graces the covers of Trailrunner or Ultrarunner magazine or actually now that I think about it, any magazine. So what did I say?
I said, “Because I want to know what I can do. I want to know what my limits are and then push farther beyond them.” He nodded, knowingly (but not knowingly because how do you sum up something so large in just one sentence.) How can one three letter word, “why?” have so many answers and none of them can ever be sufficient? I left the answer at that. I could spend an entire evening explaining without ever actually answering his question. “Why do you run?” has been asked by countless people and answered by countless runners who drag themselves out on long weekend solo runs in weather more associated with a hot cup of joe, a couch, some comfortable clothes and a thick book ripe for reading or remote control and a television. The answer as to why we run has been explained in a myriad of numerous ways and every single reason is both insufficient and at the same completely valid.
This is week 2 of the 3rd (of 5) training blocks which puts me pretty squarely halfway through my training for Bighorn.
Questions to you:
• Why do you run?
• What’s your motivation?
• What’s the worst weather you’ve ever run in? How did you get through it?
Monday – “A Decade On – Brian Morrison and The Western States 100”
We watched this film about Seattle’s very own Brian Morrison, a staple in the Seattle trail and ultra running community. Brian used to work at the Seattle Running Company, the historical heart and ‘sole’ of ultra running in Seattle, along with other giants of the ultra running world, Scott Jurek, Krissy Moehl, and Ian Torrence. Eventually the store closed, becoming Fleet Feet Seattle and with it, Brian bought into and now owns the store.
“In 2006, a young Seattle ultrarunner, Brian Morrison, attempted his first Western States 100. After running for 18 hours on the second hottest day in the race’s history, he found himself in first place as he entered the historic finishing track,. Unfortunately, after using all of his strength to get there, his body gave out within feet of the finish. His crew helped him to his feet which ultimately lead him to not finish under his own power, resulting in a DNF or “Did Not Finish”. 10 years later, Brian returned to finally get his coveted Western States 100 buckle.
Visit Brian’s running store, Fleet Feet Seattle, and meet him in person. He’s just as kind and open as you can imagine.”
Tuesday – Capitol Hill
3m, 0:25, 250′ and 2:00 Bouldering
My brother called as I was heading out the door on my way to the climbing gym so we talked (mostly he talked because I was trying to breathe and run) about everything and nothing that brothers talk about when they live 3000 miles apart more than halfway across the country from each other seeing each other only a week or so every year. Buoyed by the unexpected call I brought the energy into the gym where Travis and I worked on some projects, sending a few problems which have been just a tantalizing move away.
Wednesday – Capitol Hill
10m, 1:49, 1150′
A hard run for some reason. I walked in the last 2.5 miles perhaps still feeling the effects of fatigue. Sometimes it’s just hard to run.
Thursday – Capitol Hill
5m, 1:01, 450′
Tucker, Valor, Kate, and I went for an easy family run around our normal Family 5 mile Capitol Hill Loop. Valor and Tucker stopped to roll in the grass at their usual spots, barked at their friends as we ran past their gated yard, and peed on just about every pole and bush. Kate and I did none of that.
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Tiger Mountain
18m, 5:08, 7000′
Molly joined me for an 8 mile loop up the West Tiger 3 trail, down the Tiger 2 Bypass, over to One View, down Poo Poo Point to the Powerline and returning back on the Bus Trail. Not at my best, Molly kept me talking and moving and by the top of Tiger 3 I was feeling better, ready to run. Returning to the trail, I went back up TMT, up K3 to Tiger 2, over the Bypass to Tiger 3 and made the return trip down the West Tiger 3 Trail. Still needing more miles, I turned around and went back up West Tiger 3 one more time, turning around at the top and slowly picking my way down Cable Line, calling it quits once back at the parking lot short on miles, long on time, soaked from the rain, hail, and brief snow, and wanting for more vert. It was a hard run.
Sunday – Cougar Mountain
18m, 3:33, 4000′
I’m mad at Mother Nature and ridiculously tired of running in 40-45 degree overcast rain. It’s getting old. I’m constantly cold. And finding it hard to get excited for spending multiple hours by myself out in the woods. At breakfast there was brief respite of glimmer of sun which teased and tricked me into traipsing out into the Issy Alps. By the time I showed up, the sun was gone, the rain was everywhere, and it was still cold. I ran anyways and somehow that was a win for me.
Weekly running miles: 54.8
Weekly running time: 11:56
Weekly running vertical gain: 12,720′
• Yakima 50k: 4 weeks
• Tillamook Burn 50m: 5 weeks
• Bighorn 100m: 12 weeks