Monday, July 23, 2012

Mid Summer Blahs, Cool-Wet Doldrums

I don't know what it is, but my legs (and feet) just feel awful. And it's been that way for weeks now. June was kind of a cutback month mileage wise and I focused on getting some quality workouts and races. I felt good throughout. Then I shifted to easing toward more miles, without much fast running, in July but I haven't been able to climb beyond about an hour a day of running. That's not bad, but if I had any ambition to run a marathon in the fall 50-60 min with a long run of 1:30 to 1:45 is simply not enough. So for now my quads are dead, left heel has been off and on sore for the past 10 days (achilles), right heel has been chronically sore (flexor rectinaculum I think) since early May. It's a lot like plantar fasciitis, but the pain goes from my heel more toward the top of the foot, not across the bottom. Meanwhile I've had some shooting pain in my right knee (the arthritis thing), but that only happens when I really push it with a longer run. But yesterday my entire leg spazzed out a bit (sciatic!?) on a 70 min recovery run. Falling apart.

So I'm rollerskiing a little more, and should be biking. Keeping it together for Santa Claus Half should be okay, and hope to do the 10K at Senior Games, but anything beyond that is very much up in the air.

Helped out at Gold Discovery Run for the 6.75 mile aid station. I kind of wanted to run, as  I mentioned the other week, but decided going for a decent time for the half marathon seemed like a better choice. I'm glad not to be hobbling today. Still it was fun participating as support and to encourage the runners. They had some logistical problems due to broken down buses, and we were low on cups (but worked around that by playing musical cups: we took the 14 mile station's cups, and then they got more from the finish line crew).

Could not believe it when some ATVs went up the trail; and was flabblergasted when something like 15 or 20 jeeps lined up. Fortunately, only three runners remained on the course by then. That's something for RDs to think about because it would be a real mess if there were 70 or 100 runners out on the course when the jeeps came barreling through on the path.

Finally, all this rain is getting to me. Not too bad, but it would be nice to have a few weeks of drier days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bun on the Run a good fun run

I'm not getting out much this year travel wise and have no definitive plans for races outside of the Interior. Just missed an opportunity to run the half marathon in Denali last weekend; we were there for a family camp trip and walk while the crew was setting up, but with a 3 PM start. We needed to get back to town by late  afternoon, and figured it would be too late. Maybe next year, and maybe for the better because both heels have been bothering me on and off recently.

Anyway, Bun on the Run is a resurrected 5K run at Creamer's field, now managed by Kevin Brinegar and friends. The only chances I get to place high or have a chance to win a race anymore are the little out of synch races, out of the local radar screen. Last year I went for an evening jog there, just when they were wrapping up, and thought that running the one race out of the year at Creamer's (a semi-urban wildlife/bird refuge on the outskirts of the city) would be fun. It was.

No splits, and the course wound around all over the place with lots of sharp turns and dips on the interpretive trails, mostly packed gravel and forest path, with stretch on squishy woodchips. Fortunately Kevin was there leading the way on his bicycle. Even though the course was flagged well, at times it would be hard to tell which way to go! I followed a local high school runner (scouting out for my son's team, haha) for almost half the race, testing here and there to see how much fight he had. Finally, at about 8 or 9 minutes I could sense a slight slackening of the pace so, knowing that he'd have a stronger kick at the finish, I put down what I had for another mile, trying to surge around corners to get out of sight. I slacked a little with about 600 meters to go for about a minute or so before kicking it in, otherwise it was a good 5K effort. 18:00, about 24 seconds ahead. (the paper said, I "edged" him). Guess I should have put just a wee bit more of a strong finish to break 18.

However, no matter how small or low key, a race is a race and a win is a win.

Thanks to Kevin, Ben, Liz, Chad and all for being out there and putting this on. And for a good cause, Solaid, a non-profit to help people in Cambodia.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Random Running-related Belly Aching

It's not that I've been here too long yet, but I'd definitely like to break away from the local running scene for some weekends. We have dozens of races to choose here, but really only a handful of good-decent ones. And even with those, we seem to be backsliding. I'm pretty much bagging the Flint Hills Series this time. I've never completed the entire series anyway, and running even six or seven out of eight kind of ties up your season. 

Run of the Valkyries is tomorrow and after some cajoling and inititiative from the running club/timers the course was accurately measured last year. However they had their pre-sign up more than two weeks ago and the price goes up what another $5 or $10. The opera club is only in it for the money, and it's been a second rate operation from the get go. The course is boring, they give out lousy awards and post race is long and also boring, they charge a lot, and I just don't feel like listening to the fat lady sing. It was much better as GCI 8K, put on by Jr. Nordics Comp Group (RIP).

Next week is the Gold Discovery Run, and I've been planning to do that this year but at $30 with that odd 16.3 or 16.5 mile distance and all that downhill pounding you have to ask to what end? It's scenic and the beer is good, but recovery is never fun. My plan was to just run at 7:00 pace for the hilly trail part and then on the screaming downhills go no faster than 6:15 to 6:20, but even with that I'd have sore quads for a week or 10 days, and for me the flat and fast Santa Claus half marathon two weeks hence is a much better race. In fact it's about my favorite local event.

So I'm thinking of doing the Bun on the Run 5K next week. Kevin, Chad, Ben et al. put on nice little events and fast 5K at Creamer's field seems kind of fun. Next month It's Santa Claus Half and I just signed up for AK Senior Games 10K, which will be on a Monday probably on the Chena River Run course.

I'm considering a fall marathon, and would prefer a flat-fast course but logistics are an issue with so much going on with the kid's running program, so Equinox is a 30-35% possibility. It is the 50th, and there is some sort of Sonot-Equinox combi award going on, and I'd be remiss if not lame if I'd let Bad Bob walk away with that! Thing is, my longest run in three years has been about 14 or 15 miles, and I'm just getting to that point now.

My final peeve is the Midnight Sun Run.  The ceramic plates from the MSR were about the only local awards worth keeping and displaying. This year they went with a little 3.5" by 3.5" embroidered patch. Lame.

Hey, other than it's all good. Running 50-55 miles a week, healthy, training the kids and they're just in great shape. Plus it's summer, the best time of year here. Can't beat that!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top Age Grade Results from Midnight Sun Run and Flint Hills Mile

Okay I'm a little behind here. After the Midnight Sun Run I spent some time updating the all time masters (men's so far) rankings for the event ( then last week things got too busy with work and vacation time mixed in, so now a little bit of catch up. I'm only going down to 75 percent for now but may add more later.


Melissa Lewis (42).......40:48.9.....77.81
Dorli McWayne (59).....42:49.6.....90.26
Erika Van Flein (53)......46:01.6......77.54
Jane Lanford (57)..........47:05...... 79.86

Kevin Brinegar (43)........35:57.7...... 80.80
Roger Sayre (54)............36:16.1...... 87.46
Gary Holton (48)..........38:18.1...... 78.87
Dave Leonard (58)........40:51.1.....80.31
Bill Hoople (62)...........43:24.8.....78.27


Melissa Lewis (42).....6:03.1.....74.73
Dorli McWayne (59)....6:17.5.....89.43
Erika Van Flein (53)....6:51.0......75.62
Jane Lanford (57).......6:33.7......83.35

Roger Sayre (54)...........5:03.9...... 86.53
Dave Leonard (58).........5:33.6.....81.53
Robert Weeden (50).......5:38.5.....75.18

*Special thanks to the first responders who helped the runner that collapsed in the infield after the first men's heat. True heroes.