Capitol Peak Recap

I can’t call this a race report because a) it was a fatass, and b) I didn’t race it. So it’s like a long training run report, which I normally wouldn’t bother to rehash but given the number of people involved, I figure I should say something.

I dropped from the 34 to the 17-miler, as I only needed to get in 22-23 miles, so I planned to run nice and easy for the race then add an hour or so. I got to the checkin at about 7:55 and was still in the bathroom when everyone started. Oops. After 10 minutes or so I bullied my way forward enough to be able to run and settled into cruise mode. It was muddy, as has been said by anyone who set foot/knee/ass on the course. The first few miles of easy climbing were lovely, with a few sections that had me feeling a bit of a burn from my hilly tempo workout on Thursday. The middle of the course, climbing up the ridge and rolling through some beautiful forest in the mist, was easily the happiest parts of the trail- the running was good, the terrain was fairly dry and non-technical through here too. There were some longer road sections here too where I forced myself to let go of the 3 ladies sitting just ahead of me and the 1 right behind- normally I probably would have slaughtered my legs just to get some distance on them. Being able to dial back, cruise, and focus on the goal (Orcas) was very liberating. Also, to be able to step back from racing and just enjoy a course for the challenges and beauty it offered made the run mentally a lot easier. The downhill miles to the finish were fast and fun but the puddles and mud had grown drastically- it seemed like every 100 meters I was splashed up to the waist with cold water and mud. I was not excited about having to run more- I just wanted to be done. But I trotted into the finish, got a refill of water and a few chips and headed back out for another muddy wet hour. I spent those last 6 miles running a crazy series of out-and-backs, loops, and meandering through the parking lot trying to make myself keep going. My legs felt fine but my fingers were frozen and I was starting to get really really cold. And bored. Super bored. Finally finished around 11:45 and went straight to the soup and hot chocolate, double fisted it, then stripped down in the car to put on several dry warm layers. Hung by the fire for a while to see the 50k finish (yay Max!) chat with Gretchen, and see my 7hills teammate Chris (who actually wasn’t even there) and other friends finish, but got too cold and went home. All said, a miserable day on the trails in good company is better than a miserable one on the couch!

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I (almost!) got a Grimey!!

Hey, nothing eases the pain of leaving friends and family and sunshine like getting some props from back home! I agree with all the awards given, and can attest that the people actually awarded are superb humans and runners, and having my name mixed up with some legendary folks is pretty fantastic 🙂 Cool stuff from Uphill Running!

See Long Form Ultra 🙂

http://www.uphillrunning.com/#!2014-Washington-Ultra-Grimeys/c1hra/811EAC93-6FE7-45E7-8D82-6DCC09953CDB

7 Reasons 2015 will probably be awesome

1) it comes after 2014
2014 was a fantastic year, both in running and the rest of life. I had great races, met and got to know lots of awesome people (runners especially, see reason 5, but also some cool non-runners too!), traveled a lot, got to spend time with almost every person I care about across the world, and stayed healthy for most of it all. Given this trend, 2015 should be a spectacular year!

2)I’m getting older
As odd as it sounds, I’m currently enjoying the aging process, particularly the emotional part wherein I become smarter and wiser and calmer and overall a better human with each passing year. I’m looking forward to applying my growing sageness to trials at work, at home, and on the run. Also, now that I have wrinkles and get grumpy with less than 6 hours of sleep, I’m more motivated to wear sunscreen, take naps, and generally just take care of myself.

3) I’ll have more time for adventures
Just after Christmas I got informed that for the first few months of the year, my hours at the pub would be cut back pretty heavily. While not unusual for thus time of year, I’d been making enough money with this second job to put a big dent in my student loans & have a few fun weekends away, so I was bummed. Then I realized my lack of Friday and Saturday night work meant Id have way more time and energy to explore the trails and ski close to home! No more sleeping on Saturday until 11 just to get a solid nights rest- I could get up early and go play in the mountains every weekend if I wanted. That’s worth at least a few hundred dollars a month. I’ll also have more vacation time than ever this year, while still getting paid, thanks to the awesome school year calendar that gives a week off in Feb and another one in April, before 10 glorious weeks to run and explore in summer.

4) I’m running with a plan
After a good season of running, I was reflecting on how to improve in the new year and realized I had no real clue what I was doing in training. Yes, I built up long runs and tried to do hills but totally lacked the ability to plan out my training over a few month period. I started to look at training plans, coaching services, etc but found it all a little overwhelming. Then over Thanksgiving I went on a run with an old training partner, the person I probably run more miles with than anyone else in life, who also happens to be starting a coaching business! Lucky me! Tricia knows me, my running habits and mentalities, and she’s tough! Two weeks in and I already can tell it’s going to be a great partnership 🙂

5)I’m part of an incredible community
Last year I got to meet and get to know some awesome people in the running community- the Rainshadow crew, the Seven Hills staff, plus so many various and inspirational people during races and at finish lines. I was also blessed to be offered a sponsored position on Team 7 Hills. What this means for 2015 is I’ll be able to race more frequently, spend more time hanging out and volunteering, more time training with great runners, and have access to a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and humor that I wouldn’t get if I were plugging along solo.

6) I get to share my love of running
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be one of the coaches for the Shorewood Cross country team for the 2015 season. It will be a great chance to spread the gospel of running, hopefully inspire some kids to get out in the woods, and give some hope to those at the middle of the pack that a 9:00 pace can be impressive.

7) I get to tackle new mountains
Literally and figuratively. One of my biggest running goals is to get at least one new mountain in each month- I know my schedule and admit it won’t be easy, but given the fact I’ll have my choice of weekend days to tackle it, I’m pretty sure I can tackle it. 2015 also offers lots of other mountains: finishing my first year of teaching, running the wonderland trail with my moms, learning how to actually race, and potentially running further than I ever have before. I love a good challenge though, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an incredible year.