Saturday, May 29, 2010

T - Uncle Lee

God damn,

First time I really, truly, thoroughly enjoyed Harry's Pipe! I know it's called Harry's pipe, but really the true inspiration came from Harry's brother Lee. He's been a committed lifetime pipe smoker, as well as a dog lover, and an early retiree.

T- Uncle Lee. I got's my middle name from quality. T - also, grand-father Lendall!

SPC Davis

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Name Change

I, Crash Davis, officially amend my name to Specialist Davis (or SPC Davis). Good luck View & Ventoux (mostly View) today! I call dibbs on the placenta if no one else has yet.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I wanna be a trail Junky

Not quite at B.U.I. level but getting there, at least enough to be blog hog for the day. Surprisingly stiff and sleepy after walking home from Beat the Bridge with Team All for Alan (pleasant surprise to see Murtz x 2, Curtis and wife there). Nothing a couple glasses of scotch can’t cure.

After reading “Junky”, I decided, William S. Burroughs got it down. You can be perfectly content with road running (M) as long as the supply is not cut off, but after a while, you naturally encounter other avenues, like cycling (C) which is still the high of choice but requires more planning and gear. Guess that makes trail running “H”.

Yes, there’s the “cool” factor. There are runners who only do fast flat courses; they are like the popular kids who wore designer clothes. Then there are folks who do multiday events in harsh natural elements like, 130 degrees and blowing sand, climbing 20,000 feet, carry your own nutrition and lodging for a week. They are just nuts, doing things for kicks or to spit in the face of authority. Then there are the “real” runners, who come from ordinary backgrounds but do outrageous feats on trail for the love of it. (ok so I’m romanticizing). They don’t take themselves too seriously, are not afraid to wear spandex if it works.

I know some of you (Spiz) think I'm crazy or extreme (Ventoux) but my reasons for being crazy have nothing to do with running.
There is something about the utter quiet of being enveloped in trees for hours , to be absorbed in nothing but avoiding roots and rocks and emerging from a forest to see a view like this (Redwoods Trail, 3000 ft). Or tumbling down a single track, you feel like a human pinball. You can’t call it pain because it is infinitely better than the toil of daily existence, (being in the office), it’s a privilege. I’m not yet at a place where I look creek crossings or shoe sucking mud but never say never.

Thanks to Eyjafjallajokull, I got an extra week of Swiss trails. I’ve been running around St. Gallen for my annual vacation for 4 years now, I knew the local running paths by heart, so I thought. But I was just scratching the surface without running the trails.

There are woods literally in their backyard, and they live on the top of a huge hill that overlooks the entire city. St. Gallen, has forests, lakes, and cows literally 10 minutes from a metropolitan cultural downtown. Everyone bikes scary hills on sturdy bikes to get from here to there, and families hike mountains for fun on weekends, eating cheese, sausage, and sipping Rivella at the mountain top restaurants.

I took these photos on my last day there, which was not as gloriously sunny as the preceding days, but there it is, you never have the camera when you want it. I need to get a helmet cam.

Here is the entrace to the forest behind their house.

On one day you can exit this forest and enter 3 lakes, where you can view the city, or the lakes where people swim or hang out in summer

After the 3 lakes you can pass the monastery and climb a monster hill, watch cows grazing on 45 degree incline hills (no wonder their dairy is so good)
to hit another set of trails or a lake before a screaming downhill back to St. Gallen.

Or you can enter another forest on the other side of 3 lakes, not even groomed enough to call "single track"

Before climbing to another spectacular view where there are grills and benches to hang out and enjoy the view

If you have time, the best trail is behind the crest onto wide open farmland, where there is a single track over rolling open hillside to the next forest:
Make way for horses
Then more single track until the next forest

At the end of the forest, is this sign: achtung!
Then exiting the forest is like entering the open farmland from the forest

Then you wind back between forests connected by single track farmland

Then I get home and it’s like spring suddenly happened: everything is green. I took my camera on the Interlaken trails by my apt (is the name a coincidence?). Can I honestly say the trails here are any less beautiful than the Swiss trails, other than being more familiar?

There are stairs to nowhere
lush greenery
and after some flower-lined single tracks and more shoe-sucking mud, a view, complete with rainbow

And heading back up to 19th ave, a confidence ribbon
Is there a trail run in my own backyard? Sign me up

What I learned at the Redmond Watershed Preserve 12-hour Run 5/15/2010:

I woke up shortly after 3 AM with a start, ridiculously nervous. My first attempt at the 50 mile distance, and I seriously feared missing my goal. I try to avoid having time goals because it seems to just make me slower (e.g. Zurich), but for this one I can’t afford to dillydally too much. It would be close- if I did a 5 hour 1st marathon and 6 hour 2nd marathon, with a 3 minute break each loop and 10 minutes to change clothes halfway, well, that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Even though I had just run 13 marathons in 12 weeks, I felt out of shape (particularly after crawling up Montreux with Crash on Wednesday). Overtrained? Nah- taper, schmaper. Fat and out of shape? Yep. The longest I had run before was 50k in December, my last double was nearly 2 months ago, and struggling on short runs in Discovery Park last weekend didn’t boost my confidence. Need to sleep. Need to sleep. Forget it. Got up, did a couple pushups hoping it wasn’t too late to reduce chafage from spillage, showered, then applied about half a stick of Body Glide.

The Redmond Watershed is a beautiful rolling forest trail, and we were to do as many loops (comprised of a longer, 4.66 mile loop followed by a shorter, 0.72 mile loop) as possible in under 12 hours, with the option of just repeating just the short loop the last 2 hours. It was nice to see familiar Maniac faces, and some superstar runners like Van “pigtails” Phan who has the course record of 71 miles.

The first 2 loops went an hour apiece, right on target. Pleasant chatting with Monte, one of my favorite Maniacs, who was doing his “favorite double”. He’s doing Capitol City Sunday (where I am told Joan Benoit Samuelson, who still cranks out sub-3’s, won her Olympic trials in 1984), so probably stopping at WP12 after a “mere” marathon or 50k. Hard not to linger too long at the rest stop, which is stocked with excellent ultra fare, potatoes and salt, cola, fruit, and birthday cake. I kept passing then being passed by #82, who happens to be 81 years old, because I kept losing time at the rest stops, eating and reapplying Body Glide.

Early into the 3rd loop, out of nowhere, I had a sudden sharp pain under my right lateral malleolus (ankle), so bad it stopped me in my tracks. I started sweating, it reminded me of my stress fracture on the other ankle 4 years ago. Great, my race is over before it started. I looked around for a place to sit, nowhere to sit except for the next pile of horse crap and some shrubs downhill. Couldn’t sit on the path, since I’d be blocking all those runners who were now passing me (including #82). I looked for a tree to hold onto so I could try rotating my ankle- maybe I just had a tendon strain or an air bubble, like a knuckle that needed cracking. I ended up doing the stork for 5 minutes, stretching/ massaging then gingerly and gradually putting weight back on it. After about 20 minutes I was able to hobble, but I felt myself limping and getting pain in my left calf. This went on until the end of the 3rd loop, when I was able to down some advil, sit and massage my foot, which seemed to take care of the pain.

Back in the game, but now seriously behind. 4th loop went OK, but started to feel some chafage on my left side. I wasn’t wearing a belt, and it was well above my shorts, but just to be safe I rolled the seam outward on my shorts and kept tugging down the left corner so it wouldn’t ride up to the burn. Early in the 5th loop, it was getting up to 70 degrees and I was starting too feel chafage all around my gut. I peeped under my shirt, dang! There was blood coming from my right flank, and my entire belly, which was protruding even more than usual from the litres of cola I was downing, was all red and raw from chafing against my now wet shirt. That must surely be something ultrarunners don’t contend with often, “muffin top” chafage.

At the end of the marathon distance, I got a bandaid from the aid station, where the guy looked at my bloody shirt and asked if 1 bandaid was all I wanted. I knew after I changed and put more body glide, nothing was going to stick to me anyway. It took ridiculously long to pry off the 2 sports bras (yes, double bagging helps protect the girls from chafage) and lube up my entire torso. Then I ate a turkey sandwich and set off on loop #6, dry and still optimistic.

Felt pretty good after 50k but getting slower and slower. Loop #7 walked all the hills, Loop #8 walked the entire first half mile with a ham sandwich, and all the hills. I began to realize that I would not make the 50 mile goal, started to do some mental calculations, though my brain was starting to feel fuzzy and stupid. Nope, there was no way. Oh well, at least I’ll get 40 miles in.

Then halfway through the small loop- OOFF! Face-plant, wind knocked out of me. Nice road rash on my right side. Actually it was like a furry woodchip shirt because everything was sticking to the Body Glide. That’s it. I’m quitting. I’m a quitter. There’s 1:50 left to do ?8 more miles? No way.

I emerged from the forest and saw… VVN and her husband Tom. What were they doing there? They had been hiking earlier and came to watch the race. Actually, VVN had hoped to run one of the big loops with me, and was wondering where I was, had not even done 8 loops in over 10 hours. I washed the woodchip arm and tried to eat some food but just felt drained to the bone, physically, mentally, spiritually. What’s the point, I wasn’t going to make 50 miles, not this time, not this year. I don’t give a crap. I’m a quitter. A loser.

It turned out, I had already done 43 miles, but in my mind there was no way I could do another long loop even with 1:40 left to spare. VVN convinced me to run a couple short loops with her. Amazingly, I started to wake up, and actually sped up. Seeing other runners still slogging it out to the end, race volunteers, Tom, and other Maniacs cheering you on, and VVN telling me intresting running stories kept me going. I lost track of the small loops, but she says I got up to 48.8 miles. About 1.5 short loops or 13 minutes short of my goal. But I had to admit, I sure was glad I kept running.

Afterwards, I got to meet another Maniac whom VVN knew from their gym, and whom I’d seen romping on the trail with his children. He still looked fresh as a daisy. Apparently he had done the H.U.R.T (a 100 mile race in Hawaii) 6 times, and in fact, got into the Maniacs by doing 4x 100 mile races in a month! He said (I’ll paraphrase) “I hate running, I only do races… 100-milers are the only way to go. OK, you feel shitty from miles 45-61, but after 100k you’re so high there is no pain. Nothing can hurt you.” He added some other gems, like, it’s easier to have the required mental fortitude after the age of 45 (there's still hope for me?), and after 50 miles it has nothing to do with your athletic ability but all about your skill keeping up your nutrition status, something I’ve heard about Ironmen before. Or in my case, keeping chafage under control. Or not listening to my stupid brain when it wants to quit; in the end it’s all mental.

And, we all need friends. Thanks VVN.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BikeRunSwig earns an A+

There's Guth. There's Guth posing in front of Gary Payton's old house. How'd he get there?

Well, we rode from Factoria Mall, up Forest Dr, down Montreux, up Zoo Hill, up Cougar Mountain, down Forest Dr, and then back up Somerset Hill. Earlier in the day, I swam an hour, and Guth offset that with a quick 70 mile jaunt around Whidbey Island...

Yesterday, after work, I got out to ride with Gerald on the Eastside. We rode up Montreux, and also all those hills to get to Montreux. I believe Guth rode with Mark Ohlsen too...

So rest up this weekend, right? Not BRS! I believe Gerald has a 50 mile run (no - that zero after the five is not a goddamn typo), Guth, Spiz, & Crash will tour Whidbey Island for Gramrod's first training ride, and Kadlec, Gerald, Murtz & Murtz will all be running Beat the Bridge!

Hey View. I am going to nominate you for an individual BRS point for childbirth. I think that sounds pretty physical.

At least the Murtz family is keeping us all honest with their MayBuffet commitment to swiging the whole month.

Keep up the FUN work!