Saturday, February 19, 2011

Woolley Trail Runs 50k

The effort to get in shape continues. Probably should stop eating some food groups, like the junk food group. In the meantime, I'm going to try to bump up the distance, and hopefully the weather will get better, and the world will be filled with happiness.

Today I ran the Woolley Runs 50k, a Terry Sentinella production. Thank you Terry and your all star cast of volunteers. It occurred to me that at least half the volunteers, all very cool peeps, are 100 miler finishers. That's sort of zaney. Everyone smiled so well--it seemed like there was a lot of good will out there on this day. Again, thanks!

It was pretty cold at the start--I probably could see my breath. The hills have snow on them, and I never took off my lightweight jacket. Over 100 people showed up. Chip timing. Cool coins to the finishers. Three different distances. Barbq at the finish. $25.

The course is flat. Really flat. On the drive home I realized there wasn't even a dip on this course. Not one. A cool little stretch of stream crossing, where the feet did get wet. The course starts in Sedro-Woolley and goes upriver to Birdsview (near the Baker Lake turnoff). And back. Four aid stations times two.

I loved it. It was a gorgeous day, with the beautiful river, icy creeks, many bridges, horses and buffalo, good friends and new friends.

I ran ok. Six minutes slower than last year, and I didn't stop at the Tavern this year. I was more focused by this time last year, and so I'll take it, and just keep at it. Music on the way back helped--haven't been doing that lately. Random on the shuffle leads to weird mixes, like Rage, Linkin Park, and then LeAnn Womack.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Desert Island Discs

"Greatest Hits", "Anthologies",  and "Collections" (Gold, Essential, Platinum, or otherwise) are not allowed on desert islands. Compilations and Box Sets are out too. They drowned. Live albums are very suspect.

Also, there are no ipods or ipads on the Island—only a record player with two big speakers purchased from a van in the back of a Safeway parking lot. You use the speakers as a raft to save you from the wreckage of your submarine, and to escape Charles Widmore. Unfortunately, you had to use Abbey Road and Revolver as paddles.

So, here are the records that made it:

Rumours –Fleetwood Mac
Car Wheels on A Gravel Road-Lucinda Williams
Full Moon Fever-Tom Petty
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood-Neko Case
Running On Empty-Jackson Browne
Blood On The Tracks-Bob Dylan
The Woods-Sleater-Kinney
Pet Sounds-The Beach Boys
Parallel Lines-Blondie
Teaser and the Firecat-Cat Stevens

Note:  I may or may not have a second desert island, just like they had in Lost.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Whenever I hear the word "fever" I think of the old Peggy Lee song. Or Bieber Fever, lately. Unfortunately, it seems I have a real live fever this weekend, and it officially sucks. It's pretty rare that I don't go out and do some sort of run or hike on a Saturday, but today I was parked with a book next to a heater.

The book, Deepness in the Sky, was sort of lame. It is a sci-fi paperback where this evolving race of spiders outthinks two different human races--some Space Nazis and some Space Peddlers. I can't believe I stuck with this schlock to the end, but it was a Hugo Award Sci-Fi book of the year ten or fifteen years ago, and it started out ok. Since I seem to be wasting the day away, I'll probably watch Machete next. I've heard good things.

I felt my present ill sickness coming on around last Tuesday. Depsite the symptoms--swollen glands, dry mouth--I went ahead and ran nine or so in 30 degree weather. Probably a dumb move. However, I am so ready to start pushing the mileage up. Apparently the body and the weather are not cooperating. Thursday was a tough day in the office, coughing violently and yet trying to tend to necessary matters. Friday was marginally better.

On the subject of pneumonia, I read this really really amazing piece in the New Yorker from about a month ago. Joyce Carol Oates is a well known, prolific writer-- I believe the in-residence writer at Princeton (sort of like Einstein was there for math). She wrote a "Personal History" for the magazine (my favorite, btw), and it was about her husband of forty years. Basically, he didn't feel good one day, and he went to the hospital, and a respiratory infection type complication caused his heart to stop about a week later. When I started reading, I thought it was a fiction, as that's what Oates writes. It was a powerful piece--one of the most memorable articles I've read in the magazine in twenty years.

Not that I have this kind of worry. But, as much as I want to run this weekend, you got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them. Kenny Rogers said that. So I'm staying home and watching Robert Rodriguez movies and reading bad books.

Maybe I'll sneak around a mountain tomorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Orcas Island 50k

Tough race, gorgeous place. I think what I like most about the Orcas Island 50k is how excited everyone gets about it. All the Facebook posts and tweets, the emails--there's just a lot of good energy leading up to the race, sort of like kids awaiting Christmas. As usual, James and his crackerjack team of AS operators did a great job in making it a fun and challenging event for everyone. And I use the term "event" purposely--Orcas is more than a race or run--it's a bit of a gathering.

Lots and lots of tough climbs, as expected. Maybe 8k in climb, 33 miles?  The powerlines in particular were "special."  I struggled most of the day.  I didn't come to the event with enough focus or fitness. The fitness will come, sort of, as I suppose I'm now suitably motivated. The focus comes and goes for me. I suppose I'll have to pick an event where I try to get from the start to the finish as fast as I can someday. It wasn't going to be yesterday.

The weather was kind of funky on Saturday. The temps were probably in the 40s, but felt pretty cold at times, and especially near the top of Mt. Constitution. I eventually pulled out my light windbreaker and gloves at the Mountain Lake waterstation, and I felt a lot better thereafter. Sometimes I need to pay attention more to when I'm uncomfortable. Focus.

I spent good times with lots of great peeps. Dan and I went over together Saturday morning, meeting in MV before 5. A gathering of friends on the ferry ride over. A last minute decision to do the early start, which I really like. I ran the first few miles with Mike C., and later with Scott K. (great stories) and Tracy, and later yet with Craig and Roger, going up the Mountain.

Leaders started passing me somewhere soon after the first aid station. Soon after that, I wasn't all into conversation, but even when I was unhappy with the body, or whatever, I found a lot to be happy with in the trails. Beautiful finish around Cascade Lake, including the backside loop.

Afterwards, lots of great times with friends, burritos, a fire, and then a later ferry ride home.

More pics here.