05/15/2017 – 05/21/2017
On a last minute whim, I decided I couldn’t miss out on all the fun for the weekend, what with Kate volunteering and Mike running the Sun Mountain 50k so I joined in. Unlike last week when all I had planned was just long training runs, this week I added a three hour volunteer shift and a race that I didn’t really race, but kind of did (because how can you not?) I kept to the two a day training runs again this week although more by necessity than by design.
I can see the end of my training for Bighorn 100. It’s not this hill and it’s not the next hill, but it’s right over there and I can see it. It’ll be here before I know it. When it arrives, I’ll be ready to Buckeye up.
Questions to you:
• What is your favorite task when you volunteer at races?
• Have you ever signed up for a race the day of? What was the distance?
• What’s your local running store?
05/17/2014 – Sun Mountain 25k – Mazama, Washington
A course with a little bit of everything including blue skies and wild flowers, the looped 25k race traversed through 2200 vertical feet of rolling summer trails on Sun Mountain in the beautiful Methow Valley. With climbs both runnable and literally breathtaking, mountain range vistas and meandering hillsides cascading into the valley, and hundreds of people scattered along the trail we finished where we started with pizza pies, cold tasty beverages, and stringing lively music by The Pine Hearts.
The Sun Mountain 25k is my fourth event of the year and takes place this coming Saturday (05/17/2014) on Sun Mountain in the Methow Valley. With wildflowers in peak bloom and the trail winding through snake, bear, and cow country, your focus on sweeping the trail will be checked by the vertical elevation. At 1900 feet of vertical gain and most of it coming in the front half in one fell swoop, the back half of the looped course should be a screamer of a descent.
04/20/2014 – Yakima Skyline Rim 50k – Yakima, Washington
What has 31 miles of distance, 9,500 vertical feet of elevation ascent, high fives, congratulations, and pizza and beer afterwards as a reward? That would not be me. Wait, what? What has 26.8 miles of distance, 8,450 vertical feet of elevation ascent, full body cramping, strangers and sweepers stopping to make sure you aren’t dead, an aided 2 hour rescue by truck, and a DNF? Oh right, now that would be me, other wise known to the Race Director and all the volunteers who helped get me off the mountain as Runner 411 or “did you see that guy who was laying on the ground in the fetal position?” or “I heard that runner was unconscious.”
The Yakima Skyline Rim 50k is my second event of the year and takes place this coming Sunday (04/20/2014) in the Umatum Recreation Area up, down, over, and through the Yakima River Canyon in Washington. At around 9,500 vertical feet of elevation gain, this out and back 50k ridge course should be the hardest race I’ve attempted yet.
Let’s start with this – I’ve never run a race with 9,500 vertical feet of elevation gain. Actually, let’s take a step back – I’ve never even run that amount of elevation in a day. And actually, let’s take one more step backwards with both feet this time – I’ve never walked or ran 9,500 accumulated vertical feet in a week. So…I see no reason why this race shouldn’t go well. (Ah yes, double-negatives.)
03/29/2014 – Gorge Waterfalls 50k – Cascade Locks, Oregon
So this race was just another one of your every-weekend fairly rocky, rooty technical but at the same time soft singletrack 6000 foot vert point-to-point 50k run through ankle high streams, over snow patches, past stretches of moss covered everything, in sunshine, rain, hail, and wind and traipsing under, around, and through 500 foot tall waterfalls through the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge in the Pacific Northwest.
The first event of the season is always a litmus test. Am I ready physically? Am I undertrained or overtrained? Am I ready mentally? Remember what this feels like? Have I finally figured out how to run long distances as pain free as possible? All great questions and in one ‘little’ run I’d have answers to all of them. Continue reading