Sunday, March 27, 2011

Checking out the Diez Vista Trail - will I or won't I do the event?

Dave, Craig, Myself and Liza at a view point on the Diez Vista Trail.

View looking West to Vancouver. Deep Cove in the foreground (the finish of the KneeKnacker and Vancouver 100)

Sunday's run on the Lakeview Trail.

Saturday the weather turned out much better than the forecast - spring was in the air! We decided to go to check out some sections of an upcoming 50km trail event in the Buntzen/Sasamat Lake area. Craig, Liza and Dave met Neil and I at Sasamat Lake to do the first part of the course that takes you up a big climb to the Diez Vista Trail. I haven't been on this trail for a couple of years - I always forget how rooty and rough it is especially on the down side. I always feel so slow and cautious coming down this trail. My knee was bugging me - must have been those two 50km events we ran the last two Saturdays! Once down we discovered the current detours on the trail which will make the event take a little different route this year. We ignored the barriers and went as we had planned. We managed to get through the flooded areas without any difficulty. The journey took us 4.5 hours -a little longer than we had guesstimated. Oh well...late again for the family party! Neil and I managed to make the salad we were bringing in record time. Liza had to do an airport pick-up, maybe the flight was delayed! I think this is common for ultra runners. Helen - Dave's wife seemed to expect us to be longer than we thought. Today Neil and I were going to Marilyn and Ron's for dinner who happen to live in the same area where we were running on Saturday. We snuck in a 2 hour run on some more of the trails. It was great to catch up with Marilyn and Ron for some yummy Indian Food. Neil has signed up for the upcoming aforementioned Diez Vista trail run - I have another week left to decide! ;-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2nd Ultra in a Week - Chuckanut 50km!

Just before the start.

Some roots and mud along the way.

Almost at the top of a long climb called "Chin Scraper"

Reagan White and I at the finish. Congrats Reagan on Ultra #1.

I think this is a first for me 2-50km events a week apart. After completing Dirty Duo last Saturday I had little to no muscle soreness this past week. I was a little tired at times - that post ultra feeling you get. Neil had signed us up for Chuckanut 50km earlier in the year but I hadn't really thought much about it or realized it was the week after Dirty Duo. Saturday morning the alarm went at 4am. Ouch! Chucknanut is in Bellingham Washington so we had to be on the road early to get through any possible border delays. There was a bit of a wait but not bad. The USA Border Patrol thought we were crazy heading off so early to run 50km's. When he asked if we would be leaving anything in the USA - Neil replied "a little sweat". The humour was not appreciated! We arrived in time for the check-in, package pick-up (nice red t-shirt) and to say Hi to some familiar faces. The plan was to run together - this was our 3rd time doing this event. It had been pouring rain all morning but once we arrived the clouds blew away and it was a clear, cold, windy morning. Of ourse we put too many clothes on that came off shortly after the start. It starts with a flat 10km stretch then a climb up, up, then around a ridge then down, down, then a repeat of the flat 10km to the finish. I usually feel better in the second half of a 50km but I knew the last 10km run on the flats was going to hurt. My plan was to have some Coca Cola at the final aid station to help me get to the finish. I was really disappointed to learn that they were all out! Mentally that was tough as well as physically, I was now without the fuel I was hoping for. We met up with Reagan White from Vancouver (participating in his first ever ultra!) at the final aid station. He ran ahead but I could see him and tried the trick of reeling him in. It helped! Thanks Reagan...when I caught up with him I recall saying something negative like "this sucks" - it was a tough grunt to the finish. I received encouraging words from Neil like "dig deep", "you've made it through tougher situations"...he really is the best! That gravel trail just went on and on and just when you think you're done, there is more! Amazing how once off the boring gravel trail I could go pretty good again. Others around me were suffering too...I managed to pass about 7 people so I did OK. We left fairly quickly to head North to the Canadian border knowing that it is Spring Break and many people are on vacation which could add to the wait. We stopped for a coffee to go - wow did it taste good. It was a full day - I think I am going to be more sore this week than last. Perhaps a bit more tired as well with 2 - in a row. That's Ultra #35! Hmmm...which one is next??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ultra # 34 - the First in 2011!!

I'm not much of a score keeper with the Ultra's that I complete but I am starting to count them down with the goal of 50 by age 50. I have some time...and think it is doable! Yesterday Neil and I participated in the Dirty Duo 50km event. There are a few options, 15km, 25km, 50 km, and mountain bike options with relays as well. It is busy out there on the course but fun! This year my running buddy Craig and I decided to head out together to tackle the 50km. It is a double loop of the 25km course but you don't really feel like you are doing the same course again as the transition into the 2nd loop is different and somehow tricks the mind that it is not the same! ;-) Those of you who have done the 50km course will know what I mean! The rain held off for the start. A few hours into the run as the rain was pouring off my face I said to Craig - it's raining - yep he said, it has been for a few hours now! Craig pulled me through the first 25km - it always takes me a few hours to warm up. I pushed him for the last half so we were great partners out there to get to the finish! Neil had a good run too! With staggered start times and varying distances we meet many trail friends along the way. It was a wet and very muddy course which makes it all the more rewarding to complete it. We had a post run party at Craig's and enjoyed the company of Liza & Karl and Chad & Marla. It was nice to meet Vicky who provided us with many good nibbles. The Twisted Quaich from the Bagger Challenge made an appearance. Neil and I had evening tickets to the Cirque de Soleil show, Quidam. It was a really interesting show to see the athletic abilities and strength of the performers. Incredible!! Made the 50km look like a a very simple thing to accomplish!