Sunday, December 12, 2010

the power of two part two

Jeason Murphy and I ran together through the half marathon line way ahead of schedule, then on to lake Washington Blvd. where we picked it up more and started to pass people, again, we chatted, we joked, we relied on each other to keep calm and keep pushing. We hit a small hill, Jeason shot ahead, I caught up, he said, "that was my surge", I said, "oh, sorry." Then the real "marathon" hills hit at mile 21 (Madison hill) and the trail running legs took over, we shot past person after person, I started to cramp in a hamstring but took another S-cap and it went away, up and over Capitol Hill we went, then down the other side, as we could see the EMP we caught yet another runner then were unceremoniously passed by a 16 year old kid who was flying! He was a block past us by the time we threw it into overdrive. I put it all out and chased the kid for all I was worth. I slowly reeled him in and knew he was toast as we hit the stadium. He ran for the finish line, I sprinted. By the time I passed him, he didn't have enough course left to counter attack. I crossed the line in 2:56:23 a new PR! The kid came in three seconds later followed by Jeason 12 seconds after that to also PR. Jane, Hazel, Theo and Allen were at the finish as was a gloriously sunny Seattle sky. I was amazed to have run 26 miles of 26.2 with the company of a friend in a highly competitive event.
     The finish area was another friend fest with Heidi setting a PR. Annie qualifying for Boston yet again, seeing Dan Galant and finding out Joe Creighton also PRd. It was like the course was short by a mile this year only it wasn't. It seems as my friends get older, they are getting faster.
     End of story: Finished 24th overall, 4th Masters, 2nd in age division. Had a blast, destroyed my feet and heels on all that damn pavement and will undoubtedly be back for more next year. Warning: If you are running at a 6:44/mile pace next year, and Jeason isn't with me, bring an Ipod or earmuffs 'cause I'll talk your ears off.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The power of 2

I ran like a gazelle, now I walk like a Fox...Redd Fox. The Seattle Marathon was on Sunday Nov. 28th. I toed the line in front of the EMP for the fifth time. Seattle was my first half, then my first full Marathon, so it has a certain charm and allure which makes up for it's lack of good weather or flatness.
     The day started cold and wet but not raining, not quite above 40 degrees but not bad for running. I wore my neon yellow Brooks ID singlet over a long sleeve running shirt and my Hardrock arm warmers. I tend to overdress by elite standards. Shorts, hat and Brooks Launch shoes and I was ready to rock. I also snuck on my spybelt secret fanny pack filled with S-caps, Gu chomps a Gu Roktaine and car keys. At least I didn't bring a sandwich! Still, I felt secretly dorky but I really didn't want to drink Gatoraid and knew I wouldn't need to if I brought my own electrolytes.
     I sauntered about and worked my way up to the front of the crowd. I was psyched to see various Ultra friends slipped in about the marathoners. Owen, Gwen Scott, Joe Creighton, Heidi and Caroline, Van, and my friends Jeason Murphy and Annie Farris. I've known Annie since Kindergarten in Aspen and I met Jeason exactly one year ago at this very race.
     I am a chatty runner. Anyone who has run with me will attest to this. I love to pass the time running both my legs and mouth. If I don't have a friend to talk to during a run, I'll make one. Last year Jeason was running my pace and therefore got sucked into my chat vortex. I told him about running marathons and mostly about running Ultras and how awesome they were, he was really fun to hang out with and we kept it up until somewhere along Lake Washington Blvd where I lost him. Fortunately, we met back up at the finish and later on Facebook and have had a friendship ever since.
     From last year to this, Jeason has improved dramatically as a runner. This we both knew as the gun went off and Jeason, Joe and I hustled down 5th avenue at the head of a 2500 person Conga line. It was nice to have friends to chat with as we started ticking off miles, at about mile 4 or 5 Joe took off and that was the last we heard from him. Jeason and I , however, stuck together and passed the time and miles pleasantly chatting away, occasionally involving another runner then we'd be on our own again. I would tell him,"feel free to drop me if you've got it in you." He'd say, "I'm fine." and on we'd go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Running addiction?

     I had a question for the medical intuitive on the radio. I am not one to call into radio shows but, the muse hit and I called in. On the air, live, I asked if I could do anything energetically to recover from a long trail season. She explained that I have a running addiction... I need to find out how to feel good in my body without subjecting it to miles and miles of punishment. I mumbled pleasantries and got off the line with that phrase "running addiction" echoing about in my head and heart. Do I have an addiction? Should I tone the running down and replace it with- fill in the blank- to feel good in my body. I skipped my 10 miler for the day, went home to the family and puzzled the question some more.
     The next day was a work day full of stress and thing to get done which got done as they mostly do. I ended the day by driving to Lake Union in the darkening, wet, evening and changing in my car into my running gear. I felt like I was getting on my super hero suit, my super hero Brooks running shoes, I even left the Ipod behind because I wanted to feel if this was an addict doing his drug or a runner living his freedom. I ran. I ran fast, I ran hard and I ran happy. By mile three of seven I had my answer. I am not addicted to running, I'm addicted to feeling alive. I'm addicted to the joy I feel when I'm free and burning it up around the lake, the course or on a mountain trail. I run to breath, to think with clarity, to maintain a body which can do amazing things. I run for my wife, my kids, my friends, family, parents and for people who might be looking for a way to improve themselves. I run for me, because the better I feel, the more I can give back.
     I got back to my car, a recovered addict. I had that familiar rush of endorphins and excitement post run, gave a whoo to the rearview mirror, took a swig of water and put that question to rest.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cascadiadam is born

The time has come to dip a toe into the waters of the blogesphere. Hopefully it won't be as cold as a 12 minute lower body soak in a glacial river after a 50 mile trail run. So far, so good. This blog is going to be my venue to bring together thoughts about running and mountain adventures and present them to a wider audience. I also enjoy reading other people's race reports and feel it is my turn to give that pleasure back to others. Plus! I want to highlight my favorite running gear, shoes and nutrition. This blog will also serve as a repository for my myriad odd thoughts, funny anecdotes and a trail mix of training routes and ideas. With all that in store, how could you not be excited to read "Cascadiadam, the Blog".
ps- The name is a double entendre ; first, I reside in the Cascade region of the Great NW, second, my favorite running shoe is the Brooks Cascadia Trail Shoe... Voila! I will now save, post, publish, panic, repost, go postal, preview, review, rearview, great view.