Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Juggling January

2010 - A new year, and a clean slate for BRS points. This month's challenge will prep participants for the DC. Juggle the following requirements and earn 2 BRS points:

10 Days - Do 50 sit-ups
09 Days - Do 25 push-ups
08 Days - Run or Walk
07 Days - Eat at least 5 servings of fruits/vegetables
06 Days - Do not skip a meal
05 Days - Do a new activity (bike, swim, rollerblade, spin, exercise class, etc.)
04 Days - Don't drink Booze
03 Mile road march with pack
02 Days - Do not watch t.v.
01 Army PT Test
00 Injuries

Possible for several different requirements to be accomplished on one day. Log activities on spreadsheet. Good luck!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 New Music November Results

is NMN's 2009 Winner! Congrats CROW! You get 2 BRS pts, a special prize to be announced at a later post (it was going to be a hard cover of Sarah Palin's Going Rogue) and you also get to select next year's required feature artist (you may elect to keep Randy Newman). 2nd place is YETI (we used the NCAA Div.I Football voting method). Nice work everyone!!! Full results here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who shot ya?

Once upon a time, many christmases ago, a man named Sean Combs had an idea to have all his friends exchange music and then vote for who picked their favorite songs. It was going okay, Shug Knight's collection of Tammy Wynette's European Bootlegs seemed a lock for the eventual win, but P Diddy couldn't crown a victor because his buddy Tupac refused to vote. So he talked to his Illuminati friends and next thing you know, Tupac was disenfranchised. It was a Christmas Miracle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i.o.u.BM(Q) Do Good December

I'm giving theGuth a beer. So for Do-Good December, I baked lemon squares under the supervision of Miranda (aka - Wolf) and gave them to some co-workers. Yum! But for my donation requirement, I figured I'd just give money this year.
Then I heard that Michael took one for BikeRunSwig and visited the hospital after donating blood. So following his lead, on my day off, I dragged myself to the Puget Sound Blood Center in Lynnwood and two good things happened. First, my blood pressure was low enough to donate and second, it was just an overall satisfying experience. Every one there was a volunteer, and it just felt really good giving something that someone was going to need.
Guth, you've got to share your "action photo" from the ambulance, and I'll bring your Rogue in tomorrow if it survives the night in my fridge.

Updated from Guth: Yeah yeah, so the first time I try to donate blood is likely my last. Dr's orders. I seemingly have the opposite problem as Crash, blood pressure so low that it drops off the charts once i lose even just a pint of it. About five mins after donating (but not before I got m y cookie and juice) the world goes white and I bonk my head on the floor. I was having a nice lil dream until I woke up to strangers crouching overhead and stuffing ice packs down my shirt. EMS was already on their way. Before they got there they took my blood pressure (was too low).
After EMS got there they took pressure readings too, couldn't even get to register when I was standing up. This wasn't really to their liking so off to the hospital with me. En route I get another needle in the arm for an iv some oxygen. Putting back some of what was just taken out. At the hosp I was parked in a hallway for an hour or so until they could take my BP 4 more times and give me an EKG (according to doc just a precaution, something about The Eurythmics). Then they popped yet another vein to take more blood (enough with the needles already!). After finally registering some normal blood pressure I'm discharged and off to find some pho. Needed it after all that.
Next December it's going to be sperm for sure.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Do Good December

Last monthly challenge for 2009. Donate either blood, time, money, or sperm (new this year) to an organization of your choice AND you must also BAKE something and share it with someone else. Yes FirstClass, pot brownies count too. 2 possible BRS pts.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seattle Marathon 2009

Day #3 of the Triple. Sleep schedule all messed up from poor sleep hygiene, i.e. drinking too much then napping after the races only to wake up at midnight wide awake. Boy was I stiff at 2 AM; and I somehow managed to gain 3 pounds in just the last 3 days- I'm blaming muscle edema. Drove to Seattle Center very early to get a good parking spot, brought some charts along (AS IF....) as well as ice, blister shield, and more food. Fitful nap in car then decided I better head to porta potties before they ran out of TP.

Very quickly I met up with John is doing race #2 to qualify for MM. Last check there were 1988 Maniacs. Lily was the one who got me to join less than 2 years ago. Run 3 marathons in 3 months? Are you crazy?? .... Perfect day for running. I started running with them and realized my legs didn't feel at all like I had run over 54 miles the past 2 days. They actually hurt less running than walking. Still, was afraid to turn on the gas just yet.

I could feel the chafage burning (for those of you who have not experienced chafage for yourself, wrap a tight, wet elastic around your chest and rub it around for 4.5 hours. Repeat for 3 days in a row) but I figure, I could rest the next few days and let it crust over. Or maybe the rest of my body will finally achieve full amphibian status.

It has come to my attention that some of you may not know what BQ means, it means "Boston Qualifier". The Boston Marathon is one of the best and most storied marathons in the world (I can tell you, having run it bandit as my first ever road race in 2005) but so popular you have to meet speed criteria (see or raise thousands of dollars in charity $ to get in. If you qualify based on time criteria, that means you have a minimum level of credibility as a "real runner", as opposed to a "slow fat jogger" to paraphrase RB.

Saw many familiar faces in the early out-and-back portions, i.e. fast people going the other way, including Eric Gierke (of Orange Julius) and Janet (from Jungfrau) as well as the Prez, busily snapping photos but easily hanging by the 3:30 pace group. Later I ran into other Triple runners, runningguy, Larry Macon, and Monte who just had ankle surgery a few months ago, even glimpsed Bob Dolphin who is 80 years old and just finished his 456th marathon/ ultra, his 18th of 2009. He PRd (3:00) at age 58 and was still breaking 4:00 at the age of 73!

Once I got to past Arboretum and Interlaken at mile 22 I knew the end was in sight. Finished in 4:37:25 which is only 2.5 minutes off last year's time. Vvn (Maniac #780, whom I'd met when we got stuck on Snoqualmie Pass on the way back from the Yakima River Valley marathon) saved me some soup and hot cocoa, and her husband shot this photo:

80+ miles in 3 days (16+ hours running). I can't fathom how some people run 100+ miles in under 24 hours. But I can fathom doing a quadzilla next year. Or maybe a 50 miler? Or dare I utter it, an Ironman? For now, NO ICE BATH. JUST WILD TURKEY.

Signed, Maniac #748 (aka slow fat ULTRA jogger)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ghost of Seattle

Seattle Triple, Day #2

Due to messed up sleep schedule, have been awake since midnight doing nothing but eating (and blogging). Bowl of cereal, 5 egg omelette with Tabasco, vanilla pancakes, banana, leftover stuffing, gatorade. Still managed to be late for the early start of the Ghost marathon.

Luckily it was in my backyard, the Lake Washington Blvd/ Seward Park Loop, i.e. the flat part of the seattle marathon, done twice. Luckily they let slowpokes like me do an early start so they can finish and party with the fast people before all the post-race food runs out.

Found parking a block away, but kept forgetting stuff in my car so missed the early start and took off on my own, about 16 minutes after the early start folks, 44 minutes before the main pack. Then I started running in the wrong direction, had to start over and restart my watch. Hey, the arrows were only pointing in one direction, and I had no one to follow.

The first 5 miles I was amazed to be moving at all, and by mile 10 I started to think I could actually do this. I got to Seward Park and passed all the early start people going the other way, could feel them mouthing, "you're going the wrong way". Had I entered the park backwards? Geez, I've only run here like 50 times. I finished the Loop and started following the arrows, which not surprisingly, led me back for a 2nd Loop as I had erroneously done my first loop backwards. I found another runner wearing Maniac gear and decided to follow.

Ran most of the race with Maniac #122, whom I'd met before and was doing his 316th marathon, but only the double this time. Hearing tales about the local running scene as well as a lot of classic races passed the time quickly, and made me forget my stiff legs. His advice for doing triples? Eat little afterwards, stretch a lot, and don't run again (but do bike and cross train) for 3-4 days after the race. The rest stops were awesome- there was Coca cola, red bull, boiled potatoes with salt (as far as I'm concerned, the BEST rest stop food ever, marathoners can learn something from cyclists!), PB&J sandwich wedges, orange wedges, cookies, muffins, pretzels, water, gatorade, even gummy bears (though this last is a terrible race food, I think it was there just to make the Portlanders happy). Most everyone either knew everyone or at least gave high fives to fellow Maniacs.

I saw EatDrinkRunWoman ahead of me, she had already BQ'd earlier this year, and done the early start so she could meet her husband, "Thing 1" who was trying to qualify for Boston (yes, the Ghost is now a USATF certified race). I caught her around mile 23, but then she smoked me at the end. Sadly, Thing 1 missed BQ by 48 seconds. I would have to either PR by 15 minutes, or repeat my current PR 6 years from now to qualify. I recall lamenting this fact to a fellow Maniac at a pasta dinner once. His reply? That the only way he'd qualify for Boston was to have a sex-change operation.

I wanted to beat 5:00 today and met my goal at 4:55:25. Steve "the Prez" Yee (Maniac #1) was at the finish line handing out medals. Must say, the Ghost medal was even better than the actual Seattle marathon medal. Then the post-race food- hot chili and grilled hotdogs (your choice, regular, beef, or veg) with all the toppings, while other Maniacs sat in front of a fire.
I was anxious to get home to my ice bath and post-race meds (which today consists of Wild Turkey and Advil). I'm a little stiffer and my chafage is significantly worse (believe me, chafage is worse than any blister), but my legs actually hurt less than yesterday. Of course my stated goal is to just finish tomorrow. I'd love to beat 5:00 again, but realistically? It's a pretty hilly course. We'll see.....

Seattle Triple 2009

Today is the first day the # of marathons completed exceeds my age.

I remember when I used to think a marathon a month was excessive. It was only 14 months ago at the Montana marathon, I was talking with some more seasoned Maniacs about how I was a little worried about completing my first back-to-back marathons. I was referring to the fact that I'd run Nottingham 1 week prior. They were all doing their 2nd of the weekend! I ran a bit with "runningguy" (everyone on the Maniacs site has nicknames), a Canadian who is now retired and travels the world with his wife, doing marathons together (often doubles) nearly every weekend. I'm sure they've done over 100 apiece by now. Being Canadian, he advocated Galloway's run-walk method, which is what the pacers do up there. He even BQ'd walking every 10th minute. I tried that, but just ran even slower and thus felt more tired. The other thing he recommended, is the 10-minute icebath immediately following the race, followed by 2 hour brisk walk.

I figured I'd do a double (2 marathons in 2 days) someday, but it never happened. It wasn't just about the fact that just one marathon still hurts a lot (every time I finish, I think either, "now, go swim 2.4 miles and bike 112" or, "now run another one", in homage to Ironmen and ultrarunners). It was mainly logistical. Most marathons require you to go to the expo the day before to pick up your packet, and rarely are there 2 marathons in the same city the same weekend, so you'd have to spend 3 days off and travel to another state (i.e. be retired and independently wealthy, or at least a network of friends to pick up your packets and have a really good travel agent). Or, if you don't care about getting "credit", you could just do a 100k training "fun run" between your 100-150 mile races, like Van "Pigtails" Phan does.

Previously I had relied on to plan my race schedule, but I realized there was a goldmine of local small runs, mainly ultras, on the Marathon Maniacs site. That's how I heard about the Wishbone run, a 28 mile trail ultra advertised as the "first run of the seattle triple". I knew Seattle had a double, many races have a "ghost" marathon the day before just for those nuts who don't get enough for one marathon in a weekend, but the triple is more rare. I initially signed up for the Wishbone, thinking I'd have Saturday to recover for the actual Seattle marathon. Then I signed up for the Ghost Half, thinking, well, it's ONLY a half... then I realized, well, if I'm going to look/ feel like mincemeat the cat just dragged in ANYWAY, may as well go for the whole triple. It's the only logical solution. You can't just stop at 2-1/2M when there's a triple in your face.

Today was the Wishbone Ultra, a 27.8 mile trail run in the Crescent Forest in Gig Harbor. Luckily I started early because I got lost twice and it took me 90 min to get there; iPhone told me to take a road that no longer exists. Anyway, it was a perfect, cool cloudy northwest day in the mid-40's. There were probably 30-40 people there, nearly all doing the triple, nearly all Maniacs. Lots of familiar faces, and new faces whose names I recognized from the Maniacs site, with names like, "Roadkill" and "EatDrinkRunWoman". .

I was "smart" and wore my trail shoes this time, even spent 50 miles breaking them in. It was 4 x 7 mile loops shaped like a figure 8 through the forest. As advertised, the path was well-marked, but I still managed to miss the first turn off and do an extra 1/4 mile or so before I saw runners going the other way and realized I had made a wrong turn. As advertised there were a few "small patches" of watery mud from the rain the day before. I asked Roadkill, who has done over 222 marathons in the last 30 years, how ultrarunners keep their feet dry. His answer? They don't. Sometimes you have a creek in front of you and no bridge, the only downside is that the water is 35 degrees and you have 8 more hours to run in wet socks. Then there was the woodchips getting inside my wet shoes every 5 seconds. EatDrinkRunWoman (so named because she is a personal chef) advised me to invest in some DGGs (Dirty Girl Gaiters). She cautioned me not to forget to type in the "gaiters" or I'd be getting a whole nuther set of web links unrelated to trail running. She had done the double last year and advised me to eat as much as possible immediately after the race (no problems there). Note to self, long tights much better than knickers for avoiding scratchy shrubbery.

The first 2 loops were a real Zen experience. Cool, quiet, nothing but me and the trees. The arrows at the figure 8 crossing pointed to the first (left) and second (right) loops. Naturally it made me halt in my tracks and think about my life. Which loop was I on? Which way should I go? If only there were arrows in my daily life that would tell me where to go...

I had the pleasure of meeting the famous Larry Macon, Guiness Book of World Records Holder for most marathons in a year (105 last year at the age of 64, total of around 600 lifetime marathons), who is every bit the cheerful and unassuming guy he seems on the video. Check out this runner's world video:,8052,s6-21-0-7,00.html?bcpid=2888992001&bclid=1508311825&bctid=26423738001

Even though I was way behind 90% of the group, I did manage to get some huckleberry pancakes (YUM) before the 4th loop. I think I finished 4th to last with a time of 5:46:40. My ankles were pretty sore and there was a large hotspot on my right arch, but I think the legs are OK. The ice bath sure hurt, even though I made sure to add the ice after getting into the tub. Now I'm good to go for marathon #2, which starts in less than 3 hours.

BikeRunSalmon Photos 11-15-09

I don't know what made me bid on the Alaska King Salmon for 20 package at the Parkinson's Project auction in September, but for the first time ever I won something. Then I realized I haven't cooked in 5-6 years and this fine salmon would run the risk of wasting away, unappreciated. The solution? Give it up to people who will make good use of it, preferably at a dinner where I can just show up and mooch off their culinary artistry.
Salmonfest at Hacienda Spiz was like being a guest on Iron Chef. Salmon Salmon Salmon. Salmon sushi, salmon cakes, grilled salmon, braised salmon, pecan crusted salmon, salmon everywhere. No salmon ice cream though, there was vanilla and pumpkin homemade in a serious ice cream maker (complete with infrared temperature detector) .
Then beautiful plating on snazzy plates , almost too pretty to eat, but tasted even better. Thanks to the BRS chefs

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Love my Ducks!!!

So Team Joe Camel is the current reigning Davis Challenge Champion, BUT...

Are these the type of folks that we want representing a BikeRunSwig major? No worries, the DC Steering Committee has just called an emergency meeting. All I have to say is thank GOD I live in Washington State. I'll let y'all decide...

I don't give a god damn about UW's record. Thank goodness I live far away from Eugene!!!


Friday, November 13, 2009


The Majors are over. There are no situps to be done. We all have a craptonne of NMN tunes to listen to. Oh, and Gerald won 'King Salmon for 20' at a recent benefit auction.

Hopefully a new annual tradition, this Sunday at the Furnace Hacienda, you are invited to join us for BikeRunSalmon. Show up at 6pm, bring your own swig.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NMN - New Music November

Compile your best playlist, selecting one song from each category below. Give to Crash or Guth by October 31st. Listen to everyone's CD, and vote for your favorite song from each category and your overall favorite playlist. 2 BRS pts and special prize for best in show and 1.5 BRS pts for second place. 1 BRS pt for participating. (you choose playlist order & 4 letter animal for anonymous voting).

1) Cover Song
2) Non-English lyrics
3) Hard Rock / Metal
4) Rap
5) Punk
6) Classic Rock
7) Pre 1950
8) Indie
9) OR / WA artist/band
10) Instrumental
11) Unplugged
12) No limitations (your choice any genre)
13) Randy Newman Song
14) Country
15) Live

Good Luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 Tour de Mukilteo Recap

A race recap (from a mid-pack rider's view) :

Prologue: MVP goes to Gerald for bringing bags of bagels and bagel accessories.

Stage 1 (ind tt): With 15 sec delayed starts between riders, I figured that I would be passed by Kadlec, but never imagined by Spiz too, and both before the turn around point. Even though Spiz won Stage 1 and wore yellow (and looked a couple shades of yellow too) the numbers show that Kadlec was only 6 sec behind.

Stage 2 (K2): Kadlec took off like a rocket, stole the first KOM sprint points, and then learned what 22% grade hills feel like. Seasoned tour riders Spiz & Guth cautiously stayed back, and Spiz took his second stage win, edging Kadlec who finished 3 sec behind. Both Gland Slam & Gerald succumbed to the K2 climb, and Spiz remained in yellow.

Stage 3 (wz lp): This was the first stage in tour history where total descent was greater than total ascent. Kadlec edged out Guth for the stage win, and Spiz remained in yellow, 8 sec ahead of Kadlec.

Stage 4 (hhh): Stage shakeup! Crash, Guth, Kadlec, and Spiz were all bunched up early in the climb, but then Spiz separated and took the KOM sprint points. Then Guth, (riding on his daily commute course), attacked Spiz and took the stage win. He also yanked the yellow jersey off of Spiz's shoulders and led the tour by 4 sec. A historic moment took place in the back of the pack! It was the very first time a rider born without a vagina got beat by a girl!!! Yes, Gerald edged out Grand Slam at the line! Move over Danica Patrick!

Stage 5 (wat lp): Once again, Kadlec, Guth, and Spiz were battling it out for the lead which ended up with Kadlec collating his second stage win. Guth started to look a bit feverish, but boldly defended the yellow jersey. Crash, under threat of protest from Gerald & Grand Slam, put on his helmet for this stage.

Stage 6 (pp spr): Kadlec took his third stage win, beating Spiz at the line, but Spiz recaptured the yellow jersey. Guth cracked, and both Crash & Grand Slam passed the former leader of the tour. This was also the most scenic stage of the tour.

Stage 7 (pp cl): Kadlec took the early KOM sprint points, but Spiz ended up collating his third stage win and remained in yellow over Guth (28 sec) and Kadlec (34 sec). At the back of the pack, Gerald threatened to beat Crash, but fell short by only 3 sec. However, she did beat Grand Slam once again.

Stage 8 (d2d sv): This stage makes the Tour de Mukilteo, the Tour de Mukilteo. Every child growing up in Snohomish County dreams of winning this stage and every rider residing in Snohomish County dreams of winning St. Andrews climb. Spiz took care of business early, by grabbing the KOM sprint points, and solidified his name on the the trophy as 2009 King of the Mountain. Kadlec ended up winning the stage (his fourth stage victory), but fell 15 sec short and took 2nd place. Guth ended his reign at the top as two year champion and placed third. Crash took fourth, and Gerald fifth. The title of lantern rouge goes to former two-time champion Grand Slam. Spiz is the 2009 Tour de Mukilteo Champion and KOM. Well done!!

Epilogue: Special thanks to Skirtsteak and Davies for being official timekeepers, judges, and support crew. Thanks Grand Slam for making the shirts. I also apologize ahead of time if I happen to address you as LR, instead of Grand Slam, in both writing and in speech. (I will also check to see with the podium girls if they need / want a third member).

Bottom line. Lots of fun, and now bring on the Davis Challenge 2010!!!

Tour de Muk 2009

Dear Grand Slam ... I mean, Ventoux ... I mean, Lanterne Rouge, aka Beat By A Girl (awwwww)

Did someone say there would be a women's division in the Tour de Muk next year? Will there be Podium Boys?

Dear Tour Director: Do I win LR points by virtue of coming in last place in most of the events?
This year's course far surpasses the quality of last year's course. Unbelievable the amount of pain that can be packed into 38 minutes, at least w.r.t the lead pack (Spiz- winner, Kadlec, and Guth) or closer to an hour w.r.t "the peloton". However, I respectfully propose a new rule, and riders without helmets are automatically DQ'd.

Signed, The Tortoise aka Gerald

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2009 Tour de Mukilteo

Who? Markk, theFurnace, Gerald, Crash, Bodhi, and Grand Slam
What? 6th Annual Tour de Mukilteo (co-sponsored by Vodka & Oregon Beer)
Where? Mukilteo
When? 10/10/09 - 0800
How? bike, blood, and guts
Why? friends, hilly hills, vodka, and beer. Why not?

2009 TdM Course Description:

Stage 1) individual tt
Stage 2) K2
Stage 3) Wired Zone course
Stage 4) HHH (Harbour Hts Hill)
Stage 5) Chateau Chapeau Loop
Stage 6) Picnic Point Sprint
Stage 7) Picnic Point Climb
Stage 8) D2D

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Orderly October

Orderly October or Old School October. Either title works.  Challenge is to maintain an even, disciplined effort throughout the whole month, by adhering to the following requirements:

1) complete 25 push-ups (or 10 pull-ups)
2) complete 50 sit-ups (or 50 crunches)
3) jog 20 minutes (or walk 30 minutes or bike 40 minutes)
4) eat 1 serving of fruit
5) eat 1 serving of vegetable
6) abstain from drinking alcohol (i KNOW! it hurts so bad, so hard just to type this)!!!

Activities 1-6 must be completed on the SAME DAY, and must be done at least FOUR days EACH WEEK. No credit for splitting up activities on separate days, or cramming 7 days one week, and 3 days the next week.

Each candidate must also complete the next activity at least ONE time EACH WEEK:

7) consume 1 serving of alcohol (or milk).

Activities must be logged onto the spreadsheet that will be posted on the blog soon. Also, due to Ventoux moving, our wine making challenge will be postponed, but Six Minute September will be continued for one additional month.

Good luck! (i'm gonna need it for activity #6)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My First Ultra- Equinox 9/19/09

I can now list among my accomplishments, being able to write upside down and backwards, able to polish off 2 sacks of white castle sliders in under 10 minutes, and now ultramarathoner. Diary of a Slow Ass Chapter 3.

This is the first time I hurt since, well, the last trail marathon I ran a year ago July. This is the hardest run I've ever done, though a somewhat serious woman who breezed by me at the end when I was coughing up a lung assured me, this was easier than the IronMan. Goody for her.

Planned my work trip to Alaska to coincide with the Equinox marathon, which I had heard about from one of the neurologists in Fairbanks I was visiting. While registering, I saw that this year was the inaugural Equinox ultra (50km or 31.2mi). I didn't read much about the course until the day before I left. 80% trail. 3000 ft of climbing (in the marathon), 1800 of which was a 4 mile stretch at mile 10, then a steep descent of about 1000 ft over 1/3 mile, followed by another 1000 ft descent over bumpy trail. 80% of the runners last year were stung by wasps, and one year it was cancelled due to excessive snow. But anyone can tell you, it's the steep micro-ascents and treacherous descents that makes trail running so difficult for klutzes (or is it klutzi).

It was 40 degrees but thankfully the heavy rain of the day before had stopped just before the race. Luckily there was the UAF gym to hang out in, check out the cool polar bear decor.

The start was 700 people en masse clambering up a grassy hill that reminds me of cross-country footage I've seen. Squeezing through a small hole in a fence, had to chuckle because everyone started MOOing.

Up until the descent, life was good- amazingly beautiful course with some of the best fall foliage I've seen since Amherst (the iPhone photos just don't do the scenery justice). Mostly forest trail, some wide gravelly roads and rocky dirt trail. Walked up most the hill to the Ester Dome but that was OK, reached the halfway point well-under 3 hours.

The last time I ran trails, I promised myself I would get trail shoes, which I did. They don't do too much good if you don't wear them, however. Early on I was wishing I had brought my trail shoes, but I hadn't packed them, being stupidly afraid of running 31+ miles in shoes I had only gone 6-7 miles in.

For those of you who find my whining distasteful, turn your head. Ironmen don't whine, which is why I'm not an Ironman. Here is a summary of the descent, which started out with "The Chute", a hard dirt path with narrow tire ruts, covered by leaves and pebbles, At least 3x steeper descent than what we had just climbed.

don't face-plant.
don't face-plant.
don't face-plant.
Am I the only person who descends twice as slowly as they climb?
OW Toe cramp- walk sideways for awhile.
TA cramp. or was it EHL? Who gets a cramp in their TA while running?
Soggy woodchips. Like running on a mattress, you'd think cushy was good but it felt like quicksand, no push off and splinters getting through your socks.
More soggy woodchips. Tree roots were easier. Was actually relieved to get back on hard trail.
Slowed to a 13+ min mile pace the last 4 miles.

Limit was 50 runners signed up for the ultra, which had a 7 hour time limit. There were 22 male and 20 female finishers, the winner didn't even break 4:01. I was the 4th slowest overall in 6:44:00, but once again eked in under the buzzer.

Next stop, Bellingham Bay. After a couple beers, my legs no longer hurt, and I am contemplating a bike ride tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

davis v food

labor day weekend:

creme brulee 1 - davis 0
bbq pulled pork / cole slaw 0 - davis 1


creme brulee 0 - davis 1
brown sugar topping 1 - davis 0

alcohol 0 - davis 1

davis - 3-2.  i can live with that...

Jungfrau Marathon- Sept 5, 2009

Jungfrau apparently means “young maiden (virgin)”, or “Virgo” (astrol) and stands 4158 m (13, 682 ft), forming a solid 10 km wall, along with its sister peaks the Mönch (4,107 m) and Eiger (3,970 m) near Bern in central Switzerland.

Jungfrau the marathon only goes to Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m) and reportedly has one of the highest finishing rates of marathons despite the nearly 5920 ft total elevation gain (1823 m) and time limit (6.5 hours). 3308 men and 822 women from over 60 countries started this year, and the winners finished in 2:58: 33 (same man holds course record of 2:49) and 3:34:24 (women, record 3:21). I was already scared after the whupping I got in Davos last July, then the Angst was fueled further as I watched videos of last years runners at the expo, amazingly fit and skinny people who looked liked something the cat dragged in, some kneeling and tearful by the time the crossed the finish.

My goal was to finish under the 6:30 time limit without getting swept. I knew from that they “sweep” the slowpokes if they don’t make certain timecheck points, but still give you a T-shirt and medal even if you don’t finish. I learned from a man, Hans from Hamburg who had done this course 5 years running, that if you don’t reach 38k by 5:45, they actually place an avalanche curtain as a barrier to stop the slow runners. I also read that because of all the single file parts, it was important to position yourself amongst people your speed, or you’d spend your time on the sidelines letting people pass or being frustrated being stuck behind someone even slower than you.

At the hotel I met this woman, Janet from Vancouver Island who had done 250 marathons/ ultras over the past 20 years, including 2 previous Jungfraus, Pikes Peak, and the K78 at Davos. She told me to add 90 min to your usual land marathon time, and to pace yourself easy in the beginning

After 3 days of rain, race day was perfect and sunny. Notice runners using nature's toilet- there were no portapotties on this course. I started with the 6:00 pace group , the first 10k was on flat land through the city of Interlaken. I knew these fit folks weren’t just shuffling along for no reason when I lost them at 20k, but in retrospect I probably should have gone faster on the flat part to have more of a buffer later.

As advertised, there were some rollers in the 2nd 10k, before hitting “The Wall” at 25.5k. It was steep trail switchbacks, and where I was, everyone switched to walking. It was completely demoralizing to huff and puff along for what felt like a mile only to see that in the interim you had advanced from 26.0k to 26.25k. Don't know if the quarter km markers were a good or bad thing for morale. I had expected the whole 2nd half to go this way like Ventoux, but fortunately, there were several flat portions where we ran through scenic mountain towns
with an amazing number of spectators with cowbells and numerous bands, including these clowns . We went through quiet riverside forest trails, rolling green mountainsides , real Nike ad terrain, and several times would turn a corner to face a huge, snow-capped mountain which took your breath away. I could see why many think this is the most beautiful marathon in the world, and afterwards I realized I had taken over 60 photos/ 5 videos during the race. We saw the famous Jungfrau helicopters which legend had it would rescue stranded runners from mountaintops, but were probably really there just to carry supplies. There was a bagpiper on one peak , Alpenhorn players and schoolboys waving swiss flags on another, and rest areas every 2k in the middle of nowhere, they could only get there by copter probably.

From 38k-40.5k was single file rock scrambling . At mile 25 a very fit woman collapsed in front of me with an agonizing cramp, and a man had to pull her leg. I had felt some tingly pre-cramps in the back of my left leg for the previous 2 hours and considered myself lucky as I climbed past her. The peak was 7234 ft (2205 m) and there was a group of half dozen people standing there to help climb the runners over the rocks before the steep descent to the finish at Kleine Scheidegg.

I could hardly believe seeing my sister and her daughter at the finish line, but I think they were more amazed at seeing me cross the line in under the time limit, at 6:17:44. I remember thinking, hmmm, I can actually run 6 hours, the Fairbanks ultra in 2 weeks shouldn’t be too bad then, and also thinking I wanted to be a better runner. Of course the resolve to be a better person melts in 30 seconds as I had to have the postrace beer and Olma bratwurst before cramming like sardines onto 2+ hour train ride back to Interlaken. We met Janet,
who had finished an hour before me, for more pasta and beer, and discussion of possibly taking on the Zermatt marathon next July, over 7000 ft of climbing and a 7 hour time limit. The next morning at 6 I got ready for the 24 hour trip back to Seattle, while Janet went for another run in the mountains.