Jul 3, 2010

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon and Mountain to Sound relay

Last weekend was fairly epic; Rock n Roll Marathon on Saturday, Mountain to Sound Relay on Sunday.

The Rock n Roll was an interesting experience for me. I didn't really train for it. I had been running a bit (and did run a half recently) so I had some base, but nothing that qualifies as training. About a month out I figured I better throw in a few long runs, nothing over 15 and nothing near my original plan. It's just a marathon right? Race day comes and we head to the start. Last year it only took 20 minutes to get to the start area to drop a runner so I didn't think to double check the road closures for this year. Same race, right? Bad call.. there were more road closures resulting in a very long line of cars to the start. Result - I was 20 minutes late. I've never been late to a race start. Ever. I was extremely frustrated, and pretty much ready to bag it. Since I don't quit either,  I calmed down (I'm sure Becky has another perspective), jumped out of the car and was happy to see that runners in corral 23 were just getting to start. I think there were 36 or so corrals, it's a big race. Finally, 55 minutes after the race started, I was on my way.

I'm not really a marathoner and I'm not a fast runner. I'm usually a multisport athlete and typically too busy thinking about nutrition or hydration or transitions or how my gear is holding up to spend a lot of time chatting with other racers. I'm also never late to race starts. I'm usually early and setting up or warming up, or too busy wondering if there are sharks in the small ice cold lake to chat with other racers. Since I was late, I was not too worried about anything, I just wanted to get going. While walking to start, I met an amazing guy from Nashville who had done a bunch of RnR races, super cool guy and our conversation took my mind off being late. Met another guy from California who was handing out TP he purchased on the way to race in the Port-O lines, too funny and so many people needed it. Met a half marathoner from Tri-Cities who was pondering his first Ironman, saw my IMC hat and struck up a conversation about how amazing Penticton is. I have never seen so many people at a race so excited to chat with everyone, it was crazy.

The first few miles of the race were pretty slow with lots of people on the course. The bands were fun and folks really got into the rock n roll of the race. By mile 6 folks were settling down and getting into their grooves. I was feeling great and knew as I was approaching Seward Park I'd see some Becky and the kids (which I did, big boost!). Shortly after mile 8 the race splits and the marathoners head out I-90. I knew there were a lot more half runners, and after turning off it felt like a much smaller race. The out and back was easy but boring, but I've ridden across the bridge a few hundred times so I knew what to expect. Next up was the drop into town and up onto the viaduct. Mile 13 came and went in about 2:12 (slower than expected, but not surprising) and my legs started to remind me that I hadn't trained. I was expecting this a bit earlier, so I was happy I made it this far without issues. I kept plodding away, kept the fluids and GU's going and mile 16 was suddenly upon me. Saw Becky and the kids again, as well as her bro and his family. Miles 16 - 19 were simply not fun. They were not painful, wasn't tough terrain, no issues with heat etc. They were just work. Every half mile or so I had to walk to keep my heart rate down, I was having a hard time dialing in a pace that I could hold. Finally, as I crossed mile 20 I got my mojo back. I felt like I was flowing from 22 - 24 and once I crossed 24 I knew I was done so I just put cranked em out. At least it felt like I cranked em out, but it was slow. The band at 25 was the best of the day, really helped the last mile go by.

So it's done. The marathon I really didn't need to do, or maybe shouldn't have done. I had a blast, and managed a 4:48. Not too bad considering.

What's the best thing to do the day after a marathon? Another race of course!

I did the kayak leg of the Mountain to Sound Relay. Much like the marathon, I didn't train. Not only did I not train, the last time I kayaked was a couple years ago. A friend asked if I wanted to join the team on short notice, and I said "Sure!". I managed to get in a short paddle on Thursday in my friends kayak and called it good. I was at least familiar with the boat, and I felt like I could at least finish. Sunday morning comes, my legs are dead, I get to the transition area early :-) and I'm ready to go. The biker comes in and hands off to me, and I launch. Immediately, my hamstrings are yelling. Shut up I say and I paddle on... for 3 hours... 12 miles down the Sammamish Slough.. in a sit on top Ocean Kayak.. with lots of food and water. Good times. I was slower than most and faster than a few. When I finished my arms were rubber and my hands blistered, but our team had a blast and that was all that mattered. I managed to catch Becky and the kids a few times too, and that was unexpected. Each time I saw them I was pumped up for a few miles. Now I'm thinking MTS would be a worthy Iron challenge.. maybe next year.

Jun 10, 2010

Summer is finally here

Memorial Day is usually a kickoff to summer for us and this year was no different. We went to Spokane to support friends riding solo in the Round and Round 24 hour mountain bike race. The last couple years I've done this race on a team with them, it was really fun to support them as they took it on solo (one on a single speed). 

Single Speed!

Lap 1


JJ"s first race

Mace tearing it up

We took the Apache with us to the race for the first camp of the summer. After figuring out what we forgot in Spokane we loaded up and hit the road the following weekend. We went to Newport, OR and played on the beach a ton. Beck also ran the Newport Marathon where she ran a great race (3:46) after having a rough start with her training.

Post race goofing around

Cocoa makes the rain easier to deal with

go beck go!

Mar 28, 2010

10 miler today

A great run, here's the map!

View 10 miler alki in a larger map

Mar 24, 2010

First weekend of Spring

We welcomed spring by loading up the weekend with a bit of fun - the Alki Street Scramble on Saturday and the Mercer Island Half Marathon on Sunday. Street Scramble's are a blast and very family friendly. It's a great way to get outside and play while learning a bit about navigation and the neighborhood the event is held in. We managed to grab 4th in our division without going all out, and the weather was amazing.

After the scramble Jack and Mace came with me to Mertyl Edwards / Olympic Sculpture Park to play while Syd and Kenaia saw and met Jodi Picoult at the Central Library. The girls were pretty excited about meeting the author and managed autographs and cell phone pics like any good fan.

Sunday morning was spent on Mercer Island for the Half Marathon. I didn't train like I wanted to and I've been fighting a cold for the last week or so but I went for it anyway. It's only a half. Right? The only expectation I had was to finish and I would have walked if necessary. Things went pretty well and I managed a 2:07. Not bad considering I've been a total slacker for the last 6 months.

A pretty good weekend. Hello spring!

Feb 26, 2010

Bikes and the Ocean

A few weeks ago I decided to make a few changes to the stable of bikes. After IMC the road bike was hung with flat tires and never saw the light of day for the remainder of 2009. It's actually sad, I put in a lot of road and trainer miles last year and the Felt took it all in stride. Due to all the road training I barely rode the Rush after the 24 hour last May.

IMC took a lot out of me, mainly my desire to ride. It's a weird side effect as I can't recall any other time in my life that I would NOT have wanted to ride. I had to do something to get back on the bike so I sold the Rush and Felt and picked up two 29ers. A '09 Cannondale 29er 4 mountain bike, and '09 Marin Hamilton 29er SS for commuting.

The Cdale -

The Marin -

I never seem to find the stuff I want locally, but the Marin I found in Seattle on clearance at REI. I was looking at their range of bikes when I saw this one sitting on top of a Thule display. It had clearly been there a while as it was covered in dust. The '10 models are in, so this one was a steal I couldn't pass up. I swapped the the lame OEM seat and pedals with the parts off my old commuter, including the rack. The niner is sweet for commuting, bigger wheels and larger tires make for a smooth ride on rough Seattle streets. The SS isn't so bad either, some of the steep side streets downtown have me walking though.

I found the Cannondale on Craigslist in Portland. After riding one in Seattle I started shopping around finding this one on accident. I really didn't expect to find a used one, let alone one within driving distance. Of course, when I asked Becky if she was up for a day trip, she responded by saying we should spend the weekend at the Ocean. So we did.

After meeting the seller and picking up the bike we headed to Manzanita for a stay at a cozy little motel near the beach. The kids (including the dog) had an absolute blast. We spent Sunday on the beach in Manzanita then went up the coast to Cannon Beach.

Here are a few pics-
Manzanita, OR

Feb 8, 2010

Change is good

2009 was an epic year for me thanks to IMC and the training leading up to it. I fully expected to finish, take a few weeks off, and roll into a marathon or two. My reality was a bit different. I basically stopped until December when I finally managed a few runs and some skiing. I didn't get on a bike until January.

A few weeks ago I decided I was ready to get back to it, but I needed something to kick start the fire. So I sold my mountain bike and the road bike I used in IMC and picked up a couple bikes - a new Marin 29er single speed commuter, and a one season old Cannondale 29er 4. I've decided to bag the road rides this year and focus on running, mountain biking and getting outside. I may do an off-road tri, but I'm pretty much done swimming for now.

The race plan as of today - Mercer Island Half and Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon. That's it. I may do a local mtb race or two, 5Ks, 10Ks.. who knows. But I will be having fun and rebuilding fitness :-)

Jan 27, 2010

Selling the Cannondale Rush

Looking for a great XC Mtn bike? I'm selling the Rush to make room / justify a 29er.

CL post here