Monday, December 26, 2011

Mary's Peak Trail Run - Day after Christmas Gift

Thought I'd post a couple of photo's from today's day after Christmas run with Eric Jensen and Mike Rosling up Mary's Peak.  This was a good run for me, especially at this time of year.  I feel like I'm a little ahead of where I was last year for training miles, but I was definitely feeling the quads after I got done with this run.  Of course, Eric and Mike beat me back to the truck.

I wished we could have got Gene and William up the trail too.  I'm sure William and Mike will be doing a double or triple sometime soon.  Gene the trail is looking good, lots of roots, rocks, and well a bit foggy, but still got some good views in near the top.

Eric and Mike leaving me in the dust (Snow)  - Dec 26, 2011

Coach Rosling (#1 to top of Mary's Peak - Dec 26, 2011)
The final time for me was something like 3 hours and 16 minutes up and back to the North Ridge Trail Head Parking area.  I couldn't find my time from May 2011, but there was a lot of snow back then and we didn't do nearly this many miles.  So this is my new bench mark to beat next time.  Maybe a Mary's Peak Double in 2012.

Gimpy (#2 to top of Mary's Peak - Dec. 26, 2011)

Thanks Eric and Mike, fun run...

Hope we get back up there soon...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

No Western States 100M, No Swan Song, and I ain't no bump on a log neither

The Western States lottery (2012) and raffle selections (2013) are done for now and it looks like a lot of good runners were selected with at least 8-9 running to represent Oregon.  However no 'Gimpy' McKay on the list to toe the line in June 2012.

Oh well, thanks to the Rosling and Jensen families for being so supportive before/during/after the selection process, maybe next year...  The quiche' and fresh fruit was delicious!!!

So what's a 100 miler worth relative to goal setting and accomplishments.  For now, I need to regroup and prep a new set of running goals...

A couple options:
1) Complete the Oregon Trail Series (Tough, but possible with extra miles)
Hagg Lake (50K)
Peterson Ridge (40M)
McDonald Forest (50K)
Siskyou Out N Back (50K)
Mount Hood (50M)
Waldo (100K)
McKenzie River (50K)
Flagline (50K)

2) Run a Marathon or two (I'd like to go sub-4hrs and ultimately <3:30 for a Boston qualifier):
Timberline Marathon
Foot Traffic Flat Marathon
Victoria Marathon
Silver Falls Marathon

3) Specific Goals:
=>Re-qualify for WS100 2013
     a) Run a 100K in under 14 hours
     b) Run Mt Hood PCT 50 in under 11 hours
=>Run a sub-4:00 Marathon(s)
     a) Victoria Marathon
     b) Other??

4) Stretch Goal:
=>Throw caution to the wind and run the Plain100 (Scary for sure, depends on how I feel after 100K)
=>Beat the "Weiner Dog"

So while I still need to figure out what additional runs Gimpy will do in 2012, I know it's not the end of my running and I won't just be sitting around.  When I ran Peterson Ridge 20M last year, I thought the run might be over when I got a cramp at mile 8-9.  I ended up slowing my pace, regrouped, and finished one of my more memorable running experiences.  I think that's how Gimpy see's the lottery for Western States, it's just a little cramp, now I need to adjust my pace, regroup, and just keep moving.

I took this picture of a swan at Cline Falls near Redmond before the 2011 Peterson Ridge run.  It made me think about the phrase last "Swan Song".  So, even though I didn't get into Western States, it's not my last running experience.  In fact, I have many more running adventures to go.  So in fact, it's NOT my last "Swan Song".

"Swan song" is a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or retirement.  (Reference from Wikipedia)

...and since I like to run and try new adventures, I won't be a bump on a log either.

So with a little advice and reflection...  I should be back on the trail in no time.

I'll probably consult Team Rosling on this one...

Not a "Bump on a Log" either

Until then, Let's Go Gimpy, Time to Run...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shellburg Falls - Sunny with a Chance of Fun

The Shellburg Falls Trail Run is not a super competitive event for Gimpy, but since I started running trails last year I get a chance to compare my times over similar courses.  I was hoping to do a little better this year on this somewhat hilly course since I'd started running a lot more hills over the last year.  I'm also hoping to run the entire RunWildAdventures series this year, if possible.

I woke up a little late for the drive up to Shellburg Falls, but was able to make up some time and got to the race start early enough to see William, Mike, and Gene, do the packet pickup, and still get a little warm up run before start of the race.

Carmen at PDX, returning home
The reason I got a late start was that Carmen, my wife and partner for a little over 31 years, had just gotten back from a three (3) month vacation/family reunion in the Philippines the running logistics are getting more interesting.  I was pretty happy to see her and wanted to give her  a chance to hangout with the kids before heading home.

Andrew, Carmen, and Amber
We decided to hang out with the younglings, (Amber and Andrew), before driving back to Albany.  We went to Blitz's Sports Pub for dinner and then to my sons apartment about a block away to wait my daughter.  We didn't get home until about 1AM and it was close to 2AM before I snagged a few hours of sleep and then headed out with a delayed start to the run around 730AM.

Carmen's not big into running or into being cold so she decided to stay home and catch some sleep while I drove up for the run.  But, she supports my running addictions and I hoped to be back home before she got up.

Shellburg Falls is a pretty cool area and even though I've lived in Oregon most of my life, I'd only learned about the place the last year when I started running trails.  It's similar to Silver Falls Recreation Area, but not as developed.  There are still a lot of nice trails to run, hike, and bike on, but can be hard to find if you don't know about it.

Upon arrival at Shellburg Falls I noticed my arch foe "The Weiner Dog" in pre-race form.  He looked good and I was a little nervous that he was running the race.  However, I was hoping I'd get a little competition and find out how my hill climbing would pay off.

Shellburg Falls Trail Run
Shellburg Falls Final Time

The race went well, I think,  compared to last year:

Mile #     2010            2011
1             8:53             9:18
2           10:48           10:30
3           16:20           14:52
4           10:36           10:09
5           10:39           10:10
6             9:04           11:00
6.9        13:17               -
6.5           -                 8:09
Final      1:14:49       1:10:37
Overall the course was shorter than 2010, but matched the inaugural 2009 run course, which I didn't get a chance to run.

I think I did better in the first 3 - 4 miles where the course is the same as last year.  I tried to stay with Gene who took off pretty fast and I only caught him briefly while he went over the first bridge, where I'd decided to  take the creek route.

There is always a queue going over that bridge and the wet feet are only a minor inconvenience for a few steps before you forget about them on the next somewhat rocky uphill section.  I was trying not to save anything for the stairs after the falls or the big hill that I knew was coming, but my legs still felt a little heavy going up the first little climb to the falls.

I do think the latter part of the course might have been tougher last year mostly because of the added distance and a hillier trail section before popping back onto the road for the finish.

Gene pulled ahead of me again right after the first bridge and I lost sight of him as we headed up the trail and I kicked into Gimpy gear from here to just before going under Shellburg Falls.  I had no idea where my "Weiner Dog" challenger was, but I was going to push as hard as I could because I didn't think he was in front of me at this point.  Ultimately, I held him off until the steep hill climb where he passed me like I was standing still.  I tried to stay with the little "Weiner Dog" as best I could, but those short little legs are faster than you might think.  This is also where I spotted William "The Sasquatch".  Thanks for the high five William, it gave me a boost along with following that little four legged critter that ultimately helped me increase my pace enough to pass Gene on the same uphill section.

Once we got to the top of the "Walking" hill I lost sight of both Weiner (ahead of me) and Gene (Behind me).  Now I had my mind worry about keeping my pace up to stay ahead of Gene and glancing ahead to see if I could find Weiner.  I managed to stay ahead of Gene who finished close in 1:12 and some change.

Nice run, Gene!!!

Weiner dog beat me by almost four minutes (Dang!!!).  I'd like to say part of that was because I got behind someone who was faster than me on the uphills, but slower than me on the downhills.  The last mile or so is downhill and I tried a couple times to pass, but he wasn't having any of it and every time I'd just about pass there was a switchback or the trail narrowed.  Well so much for my excuses, I'll have to take a few more chances next time.

I'm still not sure I'd have caught the "Weiner".  Nice run "Weiner Dog", errggghhh!!! Until next year!!!

Also note worthy, Mike Rosling finished a strong 3rd and had a nice run time of 49:57, just breaking 50 minutes and a 7:20 average mile pace.  Wow, way to go speedy Gonzales.

Mike and I had a good 8 mile run on Wednesday at Cardwell Hill and then the Fitton hill loop, I'm now convinced those good training runs before a race can pay off sometimes.

Well, I'm looking forward to a good running year in 2012 and can't wait 'til next year...

Until then gotta few more days before the Western States 100 drawing, raffle, and many more miles on the trails.

Until then, Let's Go Gimpy!!! Time to Run!!!