Sunday, May 21, 2017

Capital City Half Marathon

So my picture order is totally out of whack, but right now I'm too hungry to care. There's also an NBA playoff game on now. But pic #1 says, I love Olympia. So far, I agree.
Pic #2 has a banner for the CC Marathon, but others of us actually know it as the turn-around for the 2017 Davis Challenge road march.
 
Pic 3 shows me patiently waiting to eat breakfast. Gerald had awesome idea to eat poached eggs, bacon, bread, potatoes, and coffee about 5 min before the race start. I'm not joking, to me it was a brilliant idea. I mentioned to her that I ran my first marathon 20 yrs ago in Olympia. Also, that OLY is a small city, in the middle of somewhere. The Puget Sound speaks for itself.
 
Pic #4 below shows proof we finished. About 3 hrs, I was ensuring that my volleyball injury did not flare up, which flared earlier in the week. I guess if you go slow enough, it'll be ok. Also, no sugar crash either. Good to know.

 Overall, one of my favorite runs of all time! Why? Just got to hang-out with Gerald, enjoy the best day of the year weather-wise, and grilled up some halibut. First time eating outside, and great dessert. Headed to the office for some overtime, back now, feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Didn't know I could balance it all so well, but that's exactly what's happening these days. One last note, Pantene conditioner really works for my head with pool water, and if I am lacking anything in life, or rather if I could enhance my life at the moment, on today's run, I figured I'd like to get a fern and I probably need to buy a comb.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Urban Tour

So the boys on our RAMROD team "Hill Yes" have a group text thing, where riders can text their ride plans. One of our team members, Carl, posted,
"I'm going to do a 90ish mile ride Saturday early start. Perhaps to Tacoma and back via Vashon..."
I reply "how fast?"
"15 mph on the flats, I'm guessing"
"Let me know the place, I'll be there"
"King St and Alaska Way at 6:50"


Of course, for me it's not that early, and after DNS Skagit last week I'm feeling pretty guilty.

Here is the map. Carl rode 10 miles from Lake City Way to meet me at Alaska Way.
Northern 23rd ave may have been fixed but by where I live, it's pothole city. I realize it has been awhile since I have ridden in the city, indeed that I live in a city. Luckily few cars at this hour.

We start navigating complex turns across bits of city to connect  segments of the bike paths (Duwamish, Green River, and Interurban trails). Passed familiar parts of the Green River snd Tukwila marathons, it's soooo much nicer when the miles fly by at 15-17 mph! Carl has done RAMROD before. It's not that steep but it may be wise not to dilly dally at aid stations, because it is a long day.

The plan is to ride all the way to Tacoma then catch the ferry to Vashon, and traverse the island and take another ferry to W Seattle. The idea of riding from Tacoma from Seattle is cool, I love passing through signs like "you are entering Pacific, Washington". And I've always wanted to see Algona.


We have to cross a bridge to get to Tacoma, and go across this bridge that is closed to traffic. Lots of industrial wasteland. But what a perfect weather day.

We stop for sunblock and coca cola, and I dilly dally being the Japanese tourist, so we have to "sprint" to make the 10:55 Pt Defiance Ferry. Looove just making ferries at the last minute.

Took main roads on Vashon, stopping briefly at Burton Coffee Shop for refreshment, before just making the North Vashon ferry to W Seattle.

I don't know if it's the break but I'm feeling the miles by the time I feel the Jackson St. climb. We part ways at 12th ave, I made 80+ miles/ 3400 ft elevation for the day. (Carl made the century mark, has done rides like this solo).

The Urban tour- it was really something to traverse the city.
Tomorrow- Capitol City Half with Elmer!

Monday, May 15, 2017

When I come back like Jordan,Wearing the 4-5. It ain't to play games with you.

So a little late - but I was given the responsibility of putting together a little something for the something (somewhat) annual recurrence of the /Oprah Voice? EUGENE OPEEEEN!

First I got to introduce my daughter to body Modification. That will turn out well for me no doubt...
Actually I guess that was second. First I tried to go to packet pickup the previous day, but I went to a location where they used to do it years ago. Because I am old. So anyway there we were on a lovely saturday morning getting temporary tattoos and picking up a very expensive T-Shirt for Elmer.

Tennis was played. First mixed doubles. You'll have to ask Elmer and Jay how they determined who would get to be the big spoon and who would get to be the little spoon that evening, but they won the match against Rizzer and myself. We headed out for dinner fixins while they Elmer and Jay played a grudge match for the trophy. Jay was so close to winning before Elmer's epic comeback. Very Conners and McEnroe-esque, just with less natural talent, or effort


Wow, look at all the flat feet in those photos. Just like the pros play!

After much asada, y amigos, y mas that evening it was determined that while Elmer would be taking home the trophy, he paid a price for it. Straining his manhood. He chose to bow out of the half marathon and serve as Jay's chauffeur. They left at zero dark oh my god thirty to set up to photograph the race.
My original plan had called for a walk/run strategy. Without Elmer to talk to though it was time for Plan B. I ran with Rizzer. It went well considering the most consecutive miles I've run in over a year before the race was probably 6. It should be noted that Rizzer ran twice as far as I did and probably complained about it half as much. That said I highly recommend running around your home town on a nice day catching up with old friends.
Hot coffee and a jacket later and we were in the stands waiting for Rizzer's jaunt across the finish line. Shout out to the grandkids that almost dropped 89 year old grandma in the final 20 yards before the half marathon finish line. Reverse shoutout to everyone in the stands who didn't cheer along with me when one of the finishers home town of Weed was announced. Oh and a definite shoutout to the shirtless dude who set himself up along the race course with a guitar and an amp and a desire to just fucking play around with distortion. I'll see you at the crossroads bro.
When the hunter becomes the hunted....

A nice lunch at Bier Stein and it was on the road for the northern contingent and off about my day of limping up and down stairs. Time to start training for the full marathon next year....maybe...




Sunday, May 14, 2017

St. Andrews is still St. Andrews

Elmer gets these ideas into his head and there is no shaking them, you may as well rewrite the Constitution than change the Grapefruit itinerary. This was the week of revisiting D2D.

As part of my plan for RAMROD training I had planned a bike double for this weekend (Skagit Spring Classic century saturday, D2D Sunday). I had registered for the Skagit (I really don't know why I keep preregistering for events that don't require it, but there it is) and was really looking forward to what would be my longest ride to date this season, and even more to attempting D2D on D2, though there was pretty much no chance of getting up St. Andy on tired legs since I couldn't get up it last time. Then I get a random text from Francesca whom I hadn't seen in 2 years, thought maybe we would meet for Dim Sum on the eastside Sunday and emailed Elmer about switching the ride to Zoo/ Montreux. Nope, we would just switch breakfast plans from Speedway Cafe to Glos, but there was no switching rides.

Day of Skagit the weather was perfect, but I was groggy from sleeping >12 hours, about 4 of which involved pressing the snooze button. The only thing worse than being bloated from a non-tasty meal is being bloated from sleeping hours stuck in a boring circular dream that is too real. I rolled over and practically got a paper cut from the stack of unfinished charts I had become accustomed to sleeping with every night. I had finally reached the point where it was actually mathematically impossible to catch up and then I faced another epic battle with myself, honed from a lifetime of procrastination and self-loathing. No I couldn't just make a small dent in the pile and be ahead of where I was, No I couldn't just ride the 25 miler and go home, not worth the 3 hour roundtrip drive not to do the whole century. I just wouldn't go at all. But it's my last chance to get much needed miles in this month, since there was Pigtails 150 in just 2 weeks. But I rationalized (that I'm good at), no work no play, and if I wanted to attack this paperwork properly, I would have to conserve my energy and eat a lot.

I decide to DNS and start paperwork, but there's nothing in the fridge. The thought of braving Seattle Costco alone on a weekend is enough to trigger panic but it's an investment in brain calories, so I fill the Beast up with boxes and boxes, carry them upstairs, totally rearrange my freezer, eat enough calories for a family of 4, then.... zzzzzz.

Well at least my legs were fresh for my date with St. Andy. Temps a little chilly for fingerless gloves but no rain and otherwise perfect for climbing. Driving through Muk was memory lane (and here's where we did the Time Trials at the Tour de Muk!), but riding D2D was the ultimate. Time goes by but the hills stay the same.

3 hills down, 1 to go.
Like at P2P, you get to go down before you go up so you see what lies ahead of you. The last time we faced St. Andrews I had to pull off to the side, and I half convinced myself that my days of doing D2D, like my days of running sub4, were long gone. This time I decide to try doing some switch backs (being careful not to cross the yellow line) and found it really made the climb much easier.

I got up to the top without puking/ passing out/ or getting/ falling off the bike which = success.

I just passed the bar exam. Time for Dim Sum.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Eugene Open 2017

Ah...
Ahhh...
Aaaahhhh...

It's gonna be awesome!
The forecast calls for a lot of rain and pain.

And did I mention Beckerish acrobatic tricks and Johnny Mac type of whining?

I've done a lot of non-training for this event with plenty of beer,cigs,weed,pretzels and pizza.

All in the hopes of setting a baseline for my competiveness against others. Especially ones who are Korean and non-neurosurgeons.

Bring your gameface because you're gonna be so physically exhausted to-the-point that you're gonna walk the marathon!

If there's a God I'll be taking the the picture of you guys crossing the finish line.

If not, It'S STiLL GOnnA HURT....

If anyone has a bluetooth speaker bring it so we can listen to music while we play.

...And maybe a Corona and some water because the water situation sucks at all of the tennis courts in Eugene for some reason....



Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's never too late (Tacoma City Marathon 4/30/17)

The plan was to ride Vashon Saturday and run TCM Sunday, but 5 days ago I got this email

Pacers Needed

The Tacoma City Marathon & Half Marathon are in need of a few Pacers this weekend. Here are the pacing spots that still need to be filled:

MARATHON PACE TIMES
3:30
3:40
3:50
4:00
4:15
4:30
4:45

HALF MARATHON PACE TIMES
1:30
1:40
1:50
2:10

I’ve always wanted to pace a marathon. It’s one of those rites of passage. I can proudly say, I’ve never failed anyone I’ve paced in an ultra but pacing a marathon is different. It is like driving a bus, and people get on and off, you have to be encouraging to all but can't get too committed to a single runner, and there's less wiggle room. I remember following the 4:00 pacer at my first Chicago marathon in 2006, and overhearing her talking about a marathon she had run 2 weeks prior.  Outrageous. But thanks to the Maniacs here I am signing up to pace a week after a 50 miler.

Looking back at my times over the past year, a sobering reality. I barely beat 4:45 when I’m “racing”. And TCM is a hilly course. Another sobering reality, I go to pick up my pacer shirt and I can’t fit in the large. XL it is.

I decide I should bail on Vashon, and instead did a nice 38 mile FLAT ride on the Centennial trail in Snohomish with EG. Holy nostsalgia of BRS rides of the past. It was cold but the pink flowers were out.
Yes, these are twin Ti Davidsons. We “climbed” 458 ft over ~3 hours and talked about “getting the band back together” at the office, while getting some much needed caffeine at the Proper Joe. Sobering reality #3, how my quads felt even this leisurely ride, but it was the right thing to save the legs for pacing.

After the packet pickup at MM “world headquarters” I head to Oly to meet Elmer for pre-race dinner. Listened to my new fave addiction, SYSK podcasts about lying, composting, and other fascinating topics like, “Southerners weren’t ‘lazy’, just infected with hookworms”.  

Went for a short walk and saw a lovely waterfall, feeling the cool spray on my face another nostalgia.


Chef Elmer prepared an amazing carb load with grilled bread from Bread Peddler (with mashed potato on top), scallops, spiced shrimp, corn on cob and salad in wooden bowls, then I balanced a big bowl of buttered Whirleypop popcorn on my belly while watching “Hangover III”. Went to bed ridiculously early on the awesome army cot, woke up 4 AM to start the laborious process of anti-chafing before heading to Tacoma.

We had to wait about an hour outside in the cold before the start. A lot smaller crowd than when I last ran it at the MM reunion, but some familiar faces, like the Prez.

Ran into R., an experienced pacer. I expressed my anxiety, my slowing times, the fact that I didn’t have a garmin. He tried not to look too surprised when I revealed my plan to rely on the paceband taped to the pole, as well as my “internal garmin”. “Good luck with that”.

I was pretty nervous, took off waaaaay too fast. Had no idea what speed I was going but I could see the 4:00 pacer way off in the distance and figured was OK. Then I hit the mile 1 marker at 9:10, a 4:00 pace. “you’re pacing 4:45 not 3:45!” and “you’re ahead of pace!" came from passersby. My reply, “I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry”. I slowed down, and by mile 4, I was on pace, but running alone. Not easy to be a bus!

Met up with first time marathoner Amanda, and we ran together about 10 miles, she was actually pulling me along the hills of the 5 mile Pt Defiance loop. She was a former competitive Scottish Highland dancer and she educated me about the differences between Scottish and Irish dancing, and we both confessed a love of blood sausage. We parted ways at the Blues Brothers station, hamming it up and taking photos I got 1 minute behind.


It was a perfect weather day, and I got to try some new race nutrition, Huma energy gel with chia seeds. Yum. Ordered a box immediately on getting home. 

As a serial positive-splitter, I am all too familiar with the sinking sensation of being swept by multiple pace groups, and I felt a little like the grim reaper, carrying a stick with a maniac with cat on head, casting shadows while descending on runners. But chatted with many wonderful people. Met Barry who apparently had run the same distance as I did at Dizzy Daze. “don’t get chicked” was enough to get him running again despite a knee injury.


Got dual medals and chatted a bit with MM PK and Angie,

saw RD tp! and the dude who signs the national anthem, got to cheer on Amanda finishing before heading home with an ice cold diet coke.

I was so glad to finish in 4:44+ but next time I'm getting a garmin. Hopefully I won't run them through the laundry like my last 2 iPods....


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It's ON!

I got into RAMROD 2017! Yee haw.
It has been on my bucket list for awhile. OK I just want the jersey.

Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day. It’s a lottery and your chances of getting in are better on a team. A colleague of mine had a 4 person team “Hill yes!” and there was room for a 5th.

I have been skydiving (ok tandem) but it was pretty awesome 


I have done P2P (ok it was just the weasel) but the BRS bucket list does not specify.

But there is no downgrading RAMROD. There is no hiding. Biking hills is what keeps me honest, makes me want to be a better person. Too bad that resolve lasts only about 6 hours.

I was waiting to start training until I got in. Is procrastination a comorbid condition to addictive personalilty? Gotta look that one up sometime. There are 102 training days left. Not enough to fit into a wedding dress, but maybe enough to climb 10,000 ft over 152 miles?

Running was something I could not procrastinate. But humans learn to conserve effort. After nearly 300 marathons/ ultras, I’ve mastered the skill of running slowly, choosing “easy courses”, learned how to cover distances of 50, 100 miles with only the training of the race the weekend before. After a couple 100 mile PRs last fall, I registered for Pigtails 200 (sure, never mind I DNF’d the 150 years ago when I was younger, faster). But I am also the queen of biting off more than I can chew. I TALK big.

This weekend, bike double. Vashon Weenie on Saturday, Zoo hill Sunday. I whined after which Elmer gave me a reality check. From here on I would be known as "RAM-RO".

Met ELMER at the Pt Defiance ferry. I was waaaaay overdressed, expecting the cold/ wet we had become used to but it was a beautiful, warm sunny day. Though we weren't going to do Burma Rd today, it was still a rude awakening. It was considerably harder after another winter off the bike.
We stopped to refuel at the Burton coffee stand, just in front of the Vashon Bike shop (which is in the back of a moving truck). The Burton fog- Earl Grey tea with sweetened steamed milk, genius. I was all too happy to cut the course short (skipped Evil Twin #1) to beat the traffic home.

This morning, my quads already stiff despite the advil. After a big breakfast at Glos (my favorite thing in the world),
it was hard to breathe, my clothes were uncomfortably tight.

We crept up the first climb. I start yawning which is what happens when my heart rate gets too high. Right before I start burping/ puking. I pulled over and felt my quads trembling. Wtf we weren’t even at Montreux yet! Elmer was waiting for me at the top and made the executive decision to “save us from ourselves” and change the route to the Lake Washington loop. After climbing 16% grade hills, it was luxurious to coast the gentle bike lanes with views of the mountains. Elmer noted how lucky we were, perfect weather, no flats (jinx). 

After Dim Sum (happy Easter!) I felt recovered enough to add a couple Mercer loops, of course I get a flat. I changed it myself but it shortened my plans. But still managed 65 miles/ 5000 ft of climbing for the weekend. Rather than facing my paperwork, started looking at century rides to do that wouldn’t conflict with Pigtails in May or the Inca Trail marathon in July and noted that I missed out on a 2 day ride to Mazama. Waitlist. Maybe next year?

I am seriously considering liposuction to get down to climbing weight. Or maybe hiring a weight loss coach? Whichever is most cost-effective.

Signed up for RSVP (bucket list #4).

Next up- the EUGENE OPEN is BAAACK!