Tuesday, May 29, 2007

PCTR 50k, Forest Park 4/27/2007

here is a link to pictures of the PCTR 50k last weekend. (Bottom of page.)

There are some of the 20k, 30k also. No pictures of 10k runners. I did not have a bib #s list so many has no names on them

Picture of Cemetary on Skyline drive. We should all be thankful for all that we have here in this country.

Sarah looking great embarking on back to back 50k's in two weeks!!!

Pete helping out at Saltzman Aid station

Olga's last training run before bighorn?

Sean Meissner, one last training run before Bighorn 50.

John Timm doing his first Ultra, with son. He hasn't ran anything longer than a half I believe. He looked great in his first 50k!!!

ps I am having a terrible time posting pictures. I will try again later. But for now you can look at the zillion pictures with the link.

by the way. the new lens was put through the test. really low light all day and it performed like a trooper. no flash used. image stabalizaion used and not used. already looking to drop another $1000 on my next smaller lens. isn't spending money fun?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Proud Parent!!!!

I am a proud parent of a new lens today. I love taking pictures of places I've been and adventures that I endure. This will be my "workhorse" for sure.

No, I won't be taking it down the trail on runs. I will have to leave that to the little portable Kodak.

I had to throw down some serious bank for this one. But I have wanted it for a long time and it will fill a greatly needed void that I had. O.K., actually I am really only getting started but this lens will help greatly.

The thing that this lens brings to the table is the quality. Very fast apature with superior quality optics compared to it's brothers and sisters that have been part of the clan. It will give the ablility to take pictures in much lower light settings without having to use a flash. The apature is a 2.8 throughout the focusing range while my others were f4-5.6. Believe me this is huge.

So, welcome to the family Mr. 2.8. I will be putting you to work right away... Taking pictures of the PCTR 50k on Wildwood this Sunday in Portland.

Don't worry, I will take good care of you. Here.... Here is a UV filter to protect your optics. There, no scartches for you. Don't worry. I will keep you warm and dry. No rainy days for you.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Silver State 50 mile

Pictures below. (all pictures here)

Took 75 pictures on the course of Silver State 50 mile run near Reno, Nevada.

The goal for the day was to run comfortably and don't push the "effort" button at all during the day. Run when it is flat or downhill and hike EVERY uphill section.

10,000 feet of gain. Beautiful day. 83 degrees for a high. Race run on 40 miles of jeep roads, and less than 10 of double track through the ponderosa pine forests. Only three miles of single track, yup that's it, just three. Two major climbs. 25oo foot climb right at the start, 4800-7300 feet. Make another 1000 foot climb at mile 26. Then hit the coveted single track into Boomtown at mile 27. From mile 30 at Boomtown climb from 4700 feet to 8700 feet. 4000 foot climb on road and four "grunts" in 7 miles. Yes, I hiked all of these seven miles!!!

Work your way down to 8000 feet from mile 37 to 42. Mile 42 start some technical downs. Not quite Zane Grey technical but you do need to watch it as you hammer the 3200 foot decend on jeep roads. Let the 4x4, atv's pass, they out weigh you.

No cougars or bears seen this year. Definately not a "snow" year. Jasper Halekus won in 7:49. 2nd Paul Sweeney 8:32. Womens winner Karalee Morris, 9:05. Tina Ure 2nd, 9:17. The legandary Kathy D'Onofrio finished third in 9:40. Scott Dunlap had a very comfortable run and finished 5th in 9:05. Hal Koerner was in the lead when he took a wrong turn and only got credit for a 50k. I do not know the times for the 50k.

This was the 20th year running of Silver State. This will be the last year on this course because the railroad system will not allow the race to cross the tracks getting into Boomtown. So, the course will be moved or altered completely. Possibly moving south near old mining towns or just staying on the south side of Boomtown and winding through those hills.

Don't know when the results will be posted as this is a pretty low key event. Many I ran with during the day are using this as a last tune up before States or Bighorn.

I made a scheduling error when signing up for this earlier in the year. I thought it was three weeks out from Kettle but it is only two. Well, everything was paid for so I went ahead and did it. It might be a mistake for doing so. But if not it is good training for Waldo. Now for some serious tapering and a massage Tuesday.

Olga finished 6th female in 11:16 and had a great run all day. Felt great all day and just enjoyed it. I finished in 10:30. 12th I believe. Tired heavy legs most of the day. Let me think, I live at 180 feet, ran at 7000 most of the day. Maybe a little oxygen to the muscles might help a bit. Would they allow me to carry oxygen? Probably not.

didn't come here for this

Scott Dunlap and Olga at Pre race meeting

On the way up at the start

Start off with a 2500 ft climb in 4 miles

Yea, I have to go up there
(click and mag on picture on this one. that is how far behind i am at the start)

Sage Brush and Aspens at 6000ft

What we ran on for 40 miles

making a turn

oops, not that way

dude in red turned around. Is going to do a 40 mile 50k after making a wrong turn. do the 50 man!

Dawn Inferna-Bean on a small 1000 ft climb at mile 25

the ONLY section of single track. a 3 mile down


That mountain accross the way is where we are headed (Dawn and John Nicolls heading down)

heading up on the 4000 foot climb in 7 miles

still heading up

clumbsy camera work

a little farther

hearty flowers at 7000ft

one of the few patches of snow on this "grunt" at 7500 feet

nice at 8700 feet

you can dip here if you want from snow run-off. at 8600 feet

double track

seeing double

olga finishing

finishers scribble

Friday, May 18, 2007

quicksilver finish

Graham Cooper and Jeff reflect on the day.

picture by Scott Dunlap

Saturday, May 12, 2007

good news

good news speed racers... Red Wings are up 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals over the Anaheim Ducks. Go Red Wings!!!

But the real good news is Jeff just got second at Quicksilver 50 miler. He had gone in with no real expectations afterall, he just came off his monster running camp at Michigan Bluff last week.

His only real goal was to run hard the last 50k hard.

He knew the top mens splits from last year so he could gauge how he was doing. He eyed the splits that were around 7:23 Mark Lantz,(3rd the year before). And didn't really want to be ahead of his splits So, if he did 7:30-7:40 he would be happy. (No splits for runners around 7:30-7:40 last year.)

He started off and noticed he was breathing too hard the first two miles so he backed off and watched a group of 10 or so gap him. That was fine. Moving along through the race he slowly moved up feeling good and just enjoyed the running.

Then moving up and into the first split, Last years splits: Mark had come in right at 2hrs. Graham Cooper (winner of States last year)1:51, Jon Olsen 1:51 (winner of Rio last year). And Jeff came in at 1:54. He was two minutes behind a group of three and nine minutes behind Graham leading this years race. He knew he had ran too "hot" but he was feeling good. And it was here that he knew he was going to finish sub 7:30.

Onto the next split he had passed the group of three and was still feeling good. All he could think about was where is the single track. Not much on the race he said. Lots of double track and footing was not an issue.

Then at mile 32 he was only two minutes behind Graham. He thought what is happening here??? Hey Jeff, your training has been epic!!! That is what is happening.

Well, he actually thought it would be fun to win a race. So, he had caught Graham a little later at about mile 36. They chatted. And Graham comfirmed that he was meeting him, Craig, Bev, Alan, and others for the 52 mile Peace run on the States course again this Memeorial Day weekend.

Graham let him go on the long down. There was one last big climb left and Jeff knew he would be seeing him again. Sure enough, Jeff started to hike and here comes Graham. Graham said, "thanks for waiting for me". Off he went. Jeff knew he wouldn't see him again as he could start to feel it from last week.

So, Graham set a course record, 6:39. Jeff finished in 6:46 for second. Mark Tanaka (2nd at Rio last year) finished 3rd in 7:17. Mark is running Kettle also.

Jeff had to laugh late in the race. Since nobody knew who this guy running minutes behind Graham all day was. He was known as the 2:20 marathoner guy running his first ultra. Let me see, new to ultra's and you are wearing a Sunsweet ultra team shirt and also sponsored by Sporthill??? Well, don't worry, Jeff only did one sub 3 marathon and it was no where near 2:20. This was not his first ultra by a long way. He got pegged because there was a 2:20 marathoner in the race but he wasn't carrying any water or food in the race. I don't know how he finished.

So, after being up for 27 hours straight, eating three bean burritos and drinking a milkshake the night before he was pretty happy. But really more surprised than anything.

Now all Jeff is doing is driving 10 hours up I-5 back home to a warm bed. Oh, our conversation was cut short as the sign "barbeque" was on the hi-way sign. And next to that, McDonalds. Brisket sandwich and a milkshake I think was on his mind right now. Sounds like good road trip food if you ask me.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Game on!!!

Game on speed racers...

Jeff (brother) called me tonight and he and Laura (wife) just got back from a great 11 days down at Michigan Bluff on the States course. Jeff, Andy Jones-Wilkins (M6 at States), Scott Wolf, (2nd at American River), Lewis Taylor (1st at Cool, 3rd at AR-80% effort), and Craig Thornley (prev. top ten x2 at States), and others racked up some pretty hefty miles at the usual training camp every year. I believe Beverly Anderson-Abbs (F2) and Alan Abbs showed up also.

Jeff, Craig, and Scott were there all 11 days. Lewis had to bail just short of their second 50+ mile run as he and his wife had beautiful healthy Cinco De' "Alice" . Congratulations Lewis and Rebecca!!! AJW flew in from Idaho for part of the training camp.

The boys racked up 222 miles in 11 days!!! I am wondering if Jeff made his tray of brownies each day after the runs???

Jeff is feeling good. They got a little heat trained with a few days in the 90's and both 50+milers were warm. They were all stoked about this. They were hammered those days but they were happy to have a little sun while they were down there.

Brother is excited about States. The mens field is deeeeeeep. He knows that. All he is going to do is do his best. With Greg Crowther (wins this year just unbelievable, so many to list!!!) Lewis, Scott, Craig, AJW, Rod Bien(4th at Miwok, fastest Oregonian ever), James Kerby, David Terry, (and all the other top ten from last year) running really well, being in the mix might not happen but all he knows is he has prepared himself the best he can. He is going to have fun.

I am more excited about this day than any of my races. So far I am crew #2... Flying solo, yikes. I'm on my own to get to the #2 aid stations. Have to figure out how to get to the different aid stations in time.

I will be glad when I just have to pace him from the river to Auburn. That will be the easy part.

But for now it was exciting to hear how he is doing.

He congratulated me on my 45 minute PR at Capital Peak. That was very nice. But I am more excited about his race at States, hands down.

It is going to be fun June 23rd. I am sure you will hear more from me about this.

The best part... As a the only pacer it is my job to paint his toenails before the race. Why, it is what "team Eugene" does. See, then with your sandles, flip flops, etc, you stand in all your glory when you go and pick up the buckle. Last year "Cosmic Plum" was the color. What will L.B. bring to the condo this year??? Of course, you have to have your toenails at the end of the race to show off the pretty toes first. I lost five on race day, three more later. Thank goodness I was sporting a speck of the color of the day on my big toenail. Have to be part of the team you know.

Happy training. And for those that live in the PNW, we finally have sun for a few days. Yea!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Capital Peak 50 miler

O.K. speed racers here it goes, I actually had a pretty good race this last weekend up near Olympia Washington.

The plan was to run Capital Peak 50 miler with effort as I won't be able do that in a few weeks at Silver State 50. That one is just too close to Kettle. I made a mistake on counting the days before Kettle when I registered for Silver State.

(picture looking east on the climb up to Capital Peak)

Anyway, back to Capital Peak... I woke at 2:30am for the drive north. Coffee was ready to go as so was my breakfast for the drive. I ate and drove in the wee hours and at 3:30am I was thinking a nap would feel good right about then. But my cruise control doesn't steer also. My truck isn't that fancy.

Got to the start in plenty of time. I was lucky I had been here before as I forgot my directions. Low and behold I should have read the web site more carefully. They moved the start about .2 of a mile. I am eating my beans and wondering where are the early starters??? Then I hear a bull horn through the woods and realize that something has changed. I ask a fellow runner where the start is and he pointed the way. Whew, glad I got here a little early.

The start at 6am was uneventful. Said "hi" to a few friends but noticed a lot of new faces. The 55k and 50 mile runners started together. At the start we ALL took a wrong turn. Funny, as we all had to turn around on the road and go back to the trailhead.

This was my third 50 here. But I did not remember the first loop all that well. The first part of the race my legs were heavy like two weeks ago at Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k.

Like I had a heavy metal running through my legs or something. Let me see.... I have on Vasque Mercury shoes, is there mercury in the inserts permiating my blood vessels in my feet??? I didn't want this to happen again! That is the reason why I took a day off before the race and only logged 31 miles this week before the race.

So, I figured if this was going to be a slow day but I would do one thing right and that is eat and drink properly. So, that is what I did. Be self sufficiant also. The plan was only use three aid stations. I had two drop bags with bottles and race belts full. That way I would spend minimal time changing things out.

I am being passed by many on the first climb. Many are just the speedy front runners coming back after the off start and many are the 55k runners coming up front again. At about 12 miles my legs actually felt a little normal but I am still going to concentrate on eating and drinking at this point.

(this part of the trail was under water last year)

(that is where I am headed to the top-Capital Peak)

I met up with Stan Holman, 5th last year at CCC 100. (Stan in Orange) Stan was running with Ed Brown from Seattle, his first over 25k. How great is that? A super Ultra guy showing the ropes to a new runner all day long in the 55k, awesome I tell ya.

Stan and I talk for the next 10 miles or so. It was great. We finish the first of three loops (sort of a clover leaf course without the forth leaf) I look at my watch and we did that 14.3 mile loop in 2:44. I try to think what my split was last year and I can't. Dumb runner here. So, I just stop looking at my watch until much later in the race. I am just going to run as much as I can and try not to make the hiking sections endless.

(Stan and Ed climbing the back side of Capital Peak. Might have to click and mag to see them better.)

Stan, Ed, and I climb up the back side of Capital Peak on the second loop together. No snow this year. Don't see a rabbit like last year either. The sun was trying to come out a bit. I snap a few pictures and then bid Ed and Stan farewell as it is time for me to start running with effort. I tell Ed it is a sweet finish. Run everything. I tell him becuause the bumps in the trail are small and it is downhill after the short climbs. Dang, trail knowledge is huge.

The best part of the day was actually at about mile 20 I figure. There was a blow over that went accross the trail. The only problem is I didn't know if I could get over it. My little short stubby legs were going to be challanged on this one. I give it a try to jump up on top of it. Well, my two inch vertical wasn't going to do it. I fell back off the log onto the trail. Oh I was laughing. RD John, "o.k., we have count of everybody except tom. Has anybody seen him". Oh yea everybody has. Runner, "I last saw him taking running starts at a log accross the trail and he just kept slamming into it without getting over". "Try there at mile 20". Well, I finally did get over. But I was busting up for miles after that.

I am running alone now for the next 9 miles. I turn on my i-pod and try to keep pace. I notice that I don't see cougar tracks going accross the trail heading into Wedikind campground like I did last year. I am fine with that.

I use the next aid station. I needed some fluids for this next section, my favorite.....Not. The Hell's Creek Bottom trail is appropriately named. Last year it was like, scratch that, it WAS a ankle deep river of snow run-off!!! Always fun running on legs that are like posts. Well, that is good because they are already frozen you can't feel it when you twist your ankle. Plus, you are pre-icing the buggers.

I am not sure how long Hell's Bottom Creek trail is but my guess about 2-2.5 miles long. Slow running through here even if it isn't a creek. Just large rocks the whole way and I think some have little signs written on them. "Ankle breakers", "rocks donated by Orthopods of Olympia", are some of the written scriptures on them.

I manage to stumble my way through this year getting ready for the 2000 foot climb to follow.

I am trying to calculate my finishing time now. I know this loop is slowest of the three. So I was hoping for a finish between 9:30 and 10:00. I am guessing but I think I am going to finish around 9:40. I know I haven't been running as well as last year but I just didn't want to finish too much over 10 if I could help it. But truthfully, I can't remember exactly how long it will take me to do this loop.

(Eric almost done with the first half of his epic weekend)

It was on this loop that I see Eric. He is running well. I watch him ahead of me before we meet up. He was having great leg turnover and moving at a good clip. I would be watching him along with other ultra friends the next day at the Eugene Marathon. We run together for a bit helping each other along.

I continue to try to figure out when I am going to finish. I just can't seem to figure it out. Finally make the end of the climb and on the way down I see the sign to Wedikind again. "1 mile to Wedikind". I know better, there isn't one mile marker sign on this course that is right. It takes me 4 minutes to get to the last aid station.

That's right speed racers, I just did a 4 minute mile. O.K., O.K., I don't even buy that. I figure it was less than a half mile that I just traveled.

I get into the aid station and I finally know where I am and what it will take to get to finish. I look at my watch and to my surprise I was going to go sub 9. (see.... I am a truely dumb runner!!! Don't let me do your taxes)

I get to the aid station and see Co-Rd James Varner and "no thank you" to fluids and just pass by the table saying, "55 minutes baby". "It's time to drop it!" I know my best split from the past and that was it. I think Meghan Hicks and I ran a 58 last January. It is time to step on the pedal to the right.

So, for this 6.5 miles I just had to jam. I pretended Meghan was nipping at my heels like she was a few months ago. I turn up the i-pod and listen to the likes of some Techno, DJ Tiesto, BT, Way Out West, and Junkie XL. I calculate my time again and wonder if I can truely do this section running 8:30's again. Wait! I could come in under 8:45 if I don't faulter. Oh, that only gives me three minutes to spare. Hey, we have to go farther to the finish. That isn't fair I thought. But then I think, this is a trail run, don't worry about a measly three minutes. So, I figure it will take me three minutes longer to the new finish. Yikes that puts me at 8:45. Hold on here...... John started the race at 6:01am. That gives me one minute back! Oh, this is going to be close. Come on legs don't fail me now. I can't afford heavy metals running through the vessels now. Maybe I should have worn my Vasque Amp's???

I pretend I'm in a race. Hey speed racers, I do have a wild imagination. I run the numbers through my head again. Yup, it's going to be close. I just keep the techno pumping and just going to have to save the Barry Manilow for later.

I knew I had 200 calories at the start of this section and after drinking along the way that would equal 300. That was plenty to get me to the finish. But with 30 minutes of running left I went ahead and slammed another gu. Yes, I know that it takes 20 minutes for the body to start using this fuel but I just wanted every chance possible to get there.

I get to the old finish and look at my watch, 55 minutes exactly! Now John better not have moved that finish line any farther I thought. I turn the corner and just keep looking ahead for an opening through the woods. It is taking forever. Then a small incline. Wait, I can't run up hills to save my life. Come on finish. There it is, an opening in the trees. Ahhh, I'm almost there.

I finally cross the finish. I look at my watch and it says 8:44. But what was the official time??? I ask, 8:42:58. Very nice. 11th place. And 8th in my age group. That rocks. Just have to laugh at that age group placing.

This was a 45 minute PR for me. Very nice. And 3:45 faster than two years ago. (but that course was 56 miles not 50)

Van Phan always finishes ahead of me but for some reason not this day. She does have asthma days, maybe that was the problem again. That is a bummer that she has asthma. She was the womens winner and James Kerby won for the second week in a row after winning Mt. Si 50 the week before.

So, I accomplished my two goals for the year.

1. I didn't have to scroll to find my name on the finishers list.


Saaaaweeeeet baby cakes. I can retire now.

I think I have just have this week of 100+ and then start bringing down the mileage for some fine tuning. I am sooo looking forward to feeling a little bounce in the step again. It will be nice to not run on tired legs all the time.