Friday, July 31, 2009

Fires in the Interior

Here are recent pictures of the Wood River Fire, now at about 90,000 acres, just 25miles or so south of Fairbanks.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Running under the radar

Two things about age group running, especially after turning 50: First, where did every one go? Second, with the exception of fellow age groupers, no one cares.
With a sport like running, it gets more difficult to keep going past mid-30s. Injuries, illnesses, life happenings, weight gain, or other priorities all take their toll. Depending where you live, masters competition into the 40s can be fairly stiff, but by late 40s the number of competitors and proportion of competitive times drops off considerably.

With nearly two seasons of 50+ age group competition, not a single loss, a bevy of course and some state records, and some top 10 national rankings (mile, 3000, 5000 m on the track and 5k and 10K on the roads), I’m lurking in a no-man’s land: an aging unknown runner. Been placing well at the local races, but not in the top 3 very often. Unseen, except for those in my age class.

Anyway, I did the 1500 and 3000 at the Alaska International Senior Games on Saturday under smoky skies and with a dozen or so friendly senior competitors. I ran 4:44.9 in the 1500, 22 seconds faster than the previous best for the meet, and 10:11.7 in the 3000, a record by 50 seconds. The 1500 seemed to go fine until the final 150 meters when I really tied up. I was at 3:46 for 1200 but locked up and ran the final 300 in 58.

The 3000 was kind of the opposite. I felt awful for the first 1600, and came through in 5:32 (83/lap). But each lap was faster than the previous, and I was sub 80 by the end. The plan is to run the Senior Games road 5K on Wednesday, on the Chena River Run course. This isn’t the fastest course, the weather hasn’t been great (80s and smoky), and I won’t have anybody to chase, so an age group personal best will be tough to get. My goal is run a personal best for the Chena course (17:27), which I'm pretty sure would be another AK Senior Games record. It will also be fun to run the course with 12 competitors instead of 1,200.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New youtube adventure and other things

Here is a youtube take from last weekend's 800 m time trial. Kind of meh, but about what was expected.

Meanwhile, been kind of a mediocre month for training so far. The fires have kicked in, 1.3 million acres burned statewide and climbing 5-10% a day, so air quality has been bad off and on.

After the off week, when we went canoeing, I picked the training back up in preparation for the Alaska International Senior Games starting this weekend, but now my knee has been bothering me. Still planning on a stellar triple: 1500 and 3000 meters on the track this Saturday and 5K road race next Wednesday.

Hope to establish some records (not than anyone keeps track of those things, let alone if a record board even exists), with the idea that the guys who follow in the next 5 or 10 years will go What was that guy even thinking?!

But then again, someone could just walk all over any established marks.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Yukon River Canoe Trip: Canada and Independence Days

Eleven of us convened in Eagle on June 30th to embark on a canoe trip down the Yukon River from Dawson, on Canada Day, to Eagle, on Independence Day. Despite a few glitches--a malfuncitoning inflatable canoe and a rogue hail storm that started a forest fire--the trip went well and we all made it back with memories and tales that will last a lifetime.

Here are some pictures to chronicle the trip:

Trecherous Taylor "highway"

Small sample of the devastation in Eagle.

Yukon Queen II - Simply awesome!

The Yukon from the Yukon Queen II

Family picture on the Yukon Queen II

Robert Service Cabin

Tamara nabs candy at Canada Day parade in Dawson!

Canada Lynx

Old Man Rock

Late evening paddle

Canoeing on the Yukon

More cliffs