Sunday, November 27, 2005

Seattle Marathon - Half Marathon

I raced back from skiing at Crystal Mountain over Thankgiving to sign up for this race on Saturday night (they have snow in Washington, unlike us poor Californians waiting to use our season passes!) I got there just in time, which was good since there was no race day packet pickup, let alone registration.

It was pouring down rain at 6am on Sunday morning on the Eastside. And I had no raingear to run in. I gritted my teeth and drove down to downtown Seattle anyway. I walked over to the race start in front of the Experience Music Project museum. I had some time so I walked up to the Food Court in Seattle Center to get a grande latte.

I have not been running distance recently. So my goal was to clock eight minute miles the whole way, and I hit this almost exactly. I finished in 1:45:05.

There are some reasonably pretty neighborhoods but also a lot of mundane highways. I'm really not convinced that they are showing off the best of Seattle in the route. Overall this is not that memorable a course. Give me a trail any day.

I was trying to do 1:45 even (there were prizes for predicting your time) but I guess my estimate of how long it took me to hit the start line must have been off.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot - 10K

I showed up at this race just after the race time of nine o'clock. Luckily it was oversubscribed and people were still filling out registration forms until well after then. There were over five hundred people in the 10K and almost one thousand in the 5K. We ran out over the mundane San Jose city streets. After the 5kers turned around we at least got a little bit of a run in a park. I tried to run a steady 6:45 pace, hit the two mile at 13:30, three miles at 20:15. But then I slowed to 7 minute pace to four miles at 27:15, five miles at 34:15, six miles at 41:15 and did the last 300 meters in a minute and a half. I finished in 42:51.

It was fun to hang around and watch the pro women and men race a 5K afterwards, but otherwise this is an unremarkable race. I'll do the Ocean Beach Turkey Trot next year.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Orinda 8.4M Turkey Trot - Briones

This race is on the wide trails and fireroads of Briones Regional Park near Orinda. I was feeling pretty tired from the Castle Rock Trail Run. I wont belabor the point of my poor performance as I really didn't race it. I finished in 1:13 right around midpack.

It is very pretty country and I do like the hills despite being slow on them today. But there was only water at the handful of support stops. And NO food at the end. Amazing. I would recommend skipping this race.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Castle Rock Trail Run 10.5 miler

This race run by Redwood Trails starts at Saratoga Gap close to my house in the Santa Cruz mountains. So I left a bit late thinking it was just minutes up Summit to Skyline and 9. I got there just as the bulk of the racers were leaving. Another woman was also late and we both started the race with the 5Kers who started 10 minutes later. It was a beautiful hot and sunny day for a run. We ran out on the northside of Skyline for about a mile and a half. Then we crossed the road and ran down the hill. It was total singletrack with lots of rocks and branches ont he descrent. I had been planning to do the 10K, but it was too nice. At the turnaround, I decided it was too nice to just do the 10K and kept going to do the 10.5 miler. The trail started climbing again up the mountain and then descended again to the turnaround for the 10.5 miler which looped back on a slightly different path. At this point I was really glad I did the longer route. The trail started offering up incredible vistas of the Santa Cruz mountains down to the ocean in the distance. It was quite rocky and a bit treacherous, but that just made it more fun. I had been feeling great up until about mile eight. The last mile on the south side of the road was quite hard for me, and I even found myself walking for a few seconds on the uphill. I finally made it up and crossed over the road to do the mostly downhill back to the finish for the last mile and a half. I finished in 1:54:06, fifth among the 40-44 year olds.

This is a beautiful race and well worth going out of your way for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Stanford Home Run 10K

The idea of doing one race literally right after the first one was a new one on me.  I got to the starting line just after finishing the 5K.  I wormed my way up to the front as I’m used to doing. But it was sort of pointless. I clocked the first three miles in about eight minutes a piece, running alongside Kelly, and feeling pretty tired the whole way.  At the top of the hill as we approached the three mile mark, I felt better and started to really run at a seven minute clip.   I hit the stadium at 45 minutes and finished in 46:15.   The back to back races was fun, although its not clear what its really training for.  The website had a separate category for “Ironman” (both races), but just six people (including Kelly as well) were in it.

Stanford Home Run 5K

The race started in the to the east of Stanford Stadium.   The 5K was relatively flat. Given that I was going to run the 10K afterwards, I wasn’t really pushing it.  I ran a 6:45 first mile, 13:30 at the 2 mile, and hit the stadium at 20:15. Around the track, I finished in 20:55, bad for me if it was just one race.   Kept running up the hill and out of the stadium to do the 10K.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Woodside Sequoia Trail 5 Miler - Huddart Park

While waiting in line to register I saw Kelly Emo (who is of course doing Treasure Island tomorrow as well). She knows I like hills so she convinced me to do the 5 miler instead of the 5K, which apparently has proportionally more climbing (1000 feet instead of 200). Five minutes after the marathoners and half-marathoners were sent off, the 5 milers were released like foxes after the hounds (the 5Kers were sent out after us). Again, this arrangement doesn't work well as we were quickly running up onto the back of the marathoners.

It was a beautiful run up the single track trail up King's Mountain.

I felt good all the way up, and seemed to be in fourth after three younger guys. I hit the turnaround at 21 minutes. Then back down, significantly slowed by the climbing marathoners. Finished in 38:13, and I think was fourth. I was pretty happy with the time given all the climbing. We'll see soon on the web site.