Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lake Samish and Bridle Trails

Saturday was a bit of a first for me, as I ran two races in one day. Trying to challenge myself and get in shape with WS on the horizon. Not that big a deal really, since I didn’t go for broke in either event, but it was a bit of a test, as far as the starting up, stopping, and then getting going again. I got a solid thirty-seven miles in, saw many great friends and family in Bellingham and Kirkland, and the weather was downright balmy for January.

The first event was the Greater Bellingham Running Club's Lake Samish Runs, a January tradition. I think this was the 33rd year of the race. This race has 6.5 mile and 13.1 mile options, meaning one or two laps around Lake Samish. Lake Samish is the lake to the west of I-5, just south of Bellingham. I took the 6.5 mile option. Start time was 10 AM, and there were about 300 runners. The run is free to GBRC members.

Conditions were the best in years--I think this race has been canceled two or three of the last five years. Forty-five degrees, with no real wind and a beautiful lake always to the left. My run was not real serious, as I stopped and took pictures a bunch and really got stuck on this one eagle for a couple  minutes. When I ran, I kept it pretty steady. "Comfort speed" = 8:15/mile. Room to improve, for sure, but its January. The eagle, pictured above, was at Mile 4, sitting in a tree, about 25 yards off the road. The point and click camera just doesn't really get the job done, but I try. I'm thinking of taking a course on raptors this month.

Race No. 2 was the Bridle Trails 50k. This race starts at 3 PM in Kirkland, 80 miles to the south, and so it was a bit of a scramble to get there, but very doable. It seems like every year is a little different, in terms of conditions. It can be a mud and poopfest, running on horse trails at night. This year the conditions were really good, and not that muddy or poopy, considering the rain we’ve been having. It is a six lap race, 5.2 miles per lap, and the last four laps are in the dark. There are also relay options.

I ran with Holley for my first lap, my cousin’s wife, and I spotted Aaron and Marty at intervals. I wasn’t that organized—I messed around way to much with gear between each of the first three laps. I seemed to settle down a little after that. I ran ok, but I can run better. 5:52, which isn't close to my PR--this was my fifth time at BT. There were some mudder stretches, and lots of bats flying straight at the headlamp.

I really enjoy popping out of the woods every 50 minutes to a little oasis of potato chips, M&Ms, and GU. Who doesn't? Seattle Running Company puts the race on, and they do a great job with all their races. It was good to test myself by running two events like this, and it went ok, but I have my work cut out for me. Or play, as it were.

There were some really impressive, noteworthy performances yesterday. Terry S. also did the B'ham-Kirkland double, opting for the half at Lake Samish, and he finished really strong at each. Dan P. had a lights out time at BT.  Shawn was the gal's winner, and then Aaron goes out and nails a win in the 2X relay! And, then on top of that, Peter and his buds set a course record for the 50k relay. I'm like that kid in the Bruce Willis film who's dead, except I say, "I know fast people." Congrats all!


Trail Runner said...

Thanks for sharing! I lived in Burlington for 9 years and miss running Blanchard Mountain and the Chuckanuts...appreciate your blog...keep it up!

Scotty said...

Hey TR--glad to see someone reads it! I'm with you--this really is a wonderful neck of the woods. If you're ever back this way, let me know. And....I checked yours via the backlink, so good luck with Capitol Peak. That sounds like a great schedule for the year. I've never done it, but I might this year. Thanks for checking in!