Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cascade 1/2 Marathon - Flat and Fast with a Chance of Snow

Flat and fast, that's the starting description for the Cascade Half Marathon held Jan. 15th.  Then nature adds some extra fun just to make it all a bit more challenging.

In 2011, it was rain and high winds (...and for Gimpy running past the turn around and a shoe lace coming untied about a mile to go in the 10K race resulted in a 51:02 (8:12/mile).

I still can imagine that shoe lace flopping around in the wind, hoping I didn't step on it and fall flat on my face.

Near Turner, OR
This year I bumped up to the half and there was near freezing temperatures, a light snow, and some slushy / icy road patches which made for some occasional poor traction and slippery sections.  And of course, even with double tied knots, my shoe lace came untied.

Heading over to the race I thought, uh-oh, looks like slip and slide running.  Fortunately, the temperature stayed above freezing and only light snow fell during part of the run.  While traction wasn't the best for the run I was still thankful the wind in the last two miles wasn't as high as the previous year.  However, it still slowed me in the last couple of miles, much like last year.

This year the Rosling trio, Mike, Tonya, and Kristin, showed up and kicked some major Cascade butt.  Way to go!!!

Ultimately, I Gotta thank Eric "Daddy Long Legs" Jensen for the time challenges at the Cascade Half Marathon.  While I regret not getting my 1:46:15 for the Block 15 invite, I did get my PR, so I'm still pretty stoked with the training plan Coach Rosling's got me on.  Thank you sir, much appreciated.

I'm still not sure if I will make it to Block 15 in Corvallis, but I still gotta give three huge thumbs up to Mike, Kristin, and Tonya Rosling for some great running at the Cascade 1/2 Marathon.  Major motivations all the way around.

I went into the race with a couple of goals:
  1. Finish in 1:46:15 or better (After party at Block 15)
  2. Don't let Kristin "Smilin" Rosling pass me in the last mile
  3. Finish with a PR
  4. Finish with a smile

Goal 1, not so good, just short of half the miles met the 8:10/mile pace I needed.
Goal 2, Kristin started out smilin' and fast.  My come from behind strategy work to the extent I started from behind and stayed there for the duration of the race.  Hmmm! New strategy in order.  I may need to revert to the time handicap for both Mike and Kristin.  I'm beginning to suspect some kind of running super gene in this family.
Goal 3, Happily I did get a PR.  I've ran six (6) Half Marathons since 2007. 

04/29/2007:  1:49:18 (Eugene Half)
05/03/2009:  2:05:38 (Eugene Half)
10/10/2010:  2:13:06 (Portland Half)
09/10/2011:  2:15:30 (Heart Health Trail Half)
09/18/2011:  1:54:00 (Champoeg Half) - Beat by Smilin' Kristin
11/05/2011:  1:59:22 (Silver Falls Half) - Beat by Smilin' Kristin
01/15/2012:  1:48:57 (Cascade Half)    - Beat by Smilin' Kristin - [Urghhh 3 for 3]

Goal 4, always finish with a smile

I was hoping for 8:00'-8:10'/mile for most of the run.  So how did Gimpy do:

Mile #  Time 
1          7:52 Yippee!!
2          7:55 Yippee!!
3          8:12 Close
4          8:27 (8:07) shoe lace tying - Urggh lost some momentum- triple knots next time
5          8:17 Not so good
6          8:12 Better, got a gel down - but no water to wash it down
7          8:08 Better still after turn around and into light wind
8          8:29 Holy smokes what happened here, was this the slushy section or did I slow down for water.
9          8:21 Not good enough, was trying to reel the Smilin' lady in, BUT!!!
10        8:14 Better
11        8:24 Crudite: Wind and legs against me
12        8:29 Cattle crap: Wind and legs against me
13        8:32 Rattlesnake spittle: Wind and legs against me
13.1     7:08 Push hard, nice!! Why couldn't I do this earlier.
Final Time: 1:48:57

In general, I'm pretty happy with the results and the training to date.   Might just head on over to Block 15 for a beer with Eric and the gang to salute the Rosling's.

Best part, at least I didn't run past the turn around and I also noticed I just missed catching Bret Henry. (1:48:15).  Bret's beat me big time at Mount Hood 50M and a number of other races.  He's also finished Waldo 100K, another race goal I've got my sights on this year.

Perhaps these are good signs for the future.

Either way let's go Gimpy, Time to run!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Running Rewards - Natures Beauty

One of the rewards of running the night shift...

Near the top of Powderhouse Trail...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011, All Done! 2012, Let's Go Gimpy, Time to Run!

I have really had a lot of fun running in Oregon this last year.

In reflection, 2011 included 1500+ running miles, a bunch of extra hills, and continue to receive some great training advice from Coach Rosling,  The motivation and encouragement from "Pain Train", "Daddy Long Legs" Jensen, and Tonya was much appreciated. In addition, I appreciated all the race directors, volunteers, family, and friends who kept me motivated this year.  The Run Wild Team in particular is awesome, I always feel welcome at those training runs and races.

Keep your eyes peeled, you never know!

I got beat a couple times by Smilin' Kristin Rosling at the Champoeg half and again at Silver Falls half, that's teachin' me some lessons about finishing strong.  The "Guam Bomb" beat me regularly most of the year and I only started to feel like I could compete with him late in the year.  Gene and I got to enjoy getting passed by the Smilin' Rosling first hand with about a mile to go.  Getting beat, is not all bad.  It turns out those races were some of my favorite runs.

Here's some 2011 memorable runs - Some I hadn't planned to run, but that gave me some new running confidence and experiences.  Others planned, but provided lessons unexpected, with a peek at some 2012 options:

1) Hagg Lake 25K - (Tougher than it looks with the mud and all the little up/down hills), but I'm bumping up to the 50K in 2012 for twice the fun.

2) St Patrick's Irish Heritage weekend runs with family (10K Eugene (Sat) / 15K Portland (Sun) - back to back, fun to see the costumes and Irish Setters dressed in green in PDX).  I haven't decided whether I'll run these this year, with all the other runs planned (Need to get in some long runs +20 miles).

3) Peterson Ridge 20M - (Best trail run east of the Cascades I've done, re-learned to run with a cramp - slows you down, but it doesn't have to ruin the run!), Gimpy's bumping up to 40M in 2012.

4) Forest Park 50K (Most satisfying redemption), but switching to McDonald Forest 50K in 2012

5) Gotta feel good about the improvement in my half marathon time at Pacific Crest Duathlon.  I gain a lot of satisfaction out of my tag team with my Brother-in-Law (Joe Rothery) - Ultra-biker extraordinaire.  Hope you get those knees healed up for 2012.

6) Mount Hood 50M (Had two of my top 10 best training runs training for this race, Gimpy's 1st 50miler, first time I felt the OMG! I'm glad I'm done relief!, and appreciation award for my sister Darlene hiking me to the finish).  This will be a repeat for 2012 to see if I can break 11 hours and qualify for Western States 100M.

They used to run over there (Wow!) and back!

7) Santiam and XDog Mt Hood Scrambles (Scrambles are just plain fun!!) - Not sure what'll happen in the 2012 scramble world.

8) Flagline 50K (Highest altitude just get 'er done run), hope to do Waldo 100K in 2012.

9) Autumn Leaves 50M (2nd 50 miler - flat course, but confidence booster once I got under 10 hours).  Probably not re-running this one, as they've removed it as a Western States 100M qualifier for 2012).

10) Multiple runs with Coach Rosling and Derek, I always run faster when I'm running with Speedy.  Derek has shown lots of heart and he just keeps on running.  I like it when my running game is raised to a higher level.

Eric and Mike beatin' it to top of Mary's Peak

Derek up at Dimple Hill

2012 is looking challenging and I've signed up for some new runs while including a few repeats to see how much I can improve from last year.

First runs in 2012 - Capitol Mile (6:47), Hangover run (14:57)

More pics and clips at this link for Hangover Run:

Run Wild Adventures - Hangover Run Images-Clips

Happy New Year! Now let's go Gimpy, Time to Run!!!