Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wind Horse Half Marathon

I ran the Wind Horse Half Marathon today in Bellingham.  The course is an out and back on the Interurban, out to Clayton Beach and back to Fairhaven Park.  The race is a benefit for the Blue Sky Education Project, who's mission is to assist with child education in Mongolia.  The race also seems to honor Bellingham's sister city relationship with a city in Mongolia, amongst others.

For me, this was the right measure for this Saturday.  After many days of relative heat, today we had light rain, light wind, and cooler temps. Perfect for running, and questionable for alternative adventures in the high country.

As far as my running goes, I struggled, with start and stops on the way out.  It seemed like I cracked things after that though, and there was some genuine running for parts of the way coming back. Mostly, though, this horse was winded.

The last few months and even year have been full of big change--as things settle down, I'm hopeful to find my legs again. I'm not worried about how much endurance I build--I just want to have a steady, good run. Might have to mix in some bike and other activities. I was pretty happy though when I finished up today.

The picture above is the bridge in Arroyo Park. Could've worked harder on pics, but it's the Interurban, which is not news for local trail runners. The Interurban is a rail trail most of the way, with a bit of single track in Arroyo. I run this trail routinely, and it's part of many other races, such as the Chuckanut 50k, the Chuckanut 7 Mile Run, and at least part of a few other events.  As familiar as it is, that doesn't change the good fortune we have to have such a gem in our community. The race had a few aid stations which serve double duty, since its an out and back. The course is slightly slower than a road half marathon, I think, because of a few small hills and gentle up and down inclines.

Great medals and shirts with a horse on them, and mongolian beef kabobs at the finish line. Good to see Bill, Lindsay, and a few other familiar faces.  Thank you to the Race Director and the volunteers for all their work too. Success!

Great way to start the weekend. I'll just keep at it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Evening Run

Last night I ran a short run around Mount Vernon.  We've been in something of a heatwave for the last few weeks in Northwest Washington. "Heatwave" is a relative term, as it rarely gets up to around 90 degrees around here, and the sunglasses and shorts come out somewhere around 60 degrees.

I ran the Kulshan Trail, which is near the house, and is a paved arterial cutting from near the Skagit River to the eastern side of town. Blackberry bushes are prospering, and they get picked fast once the berries turn. A friend called these an invasive weed, and I suppose they are, but they make for a good pie and smoothies. I usually keep a carton of berry cups in the back of the car for spur of the moment picking this time of year. Northwest Washington is known for some of the best berries in the world.

My stride is a struggle, but the evening heat seems to make it easier to loosen up then I find in any other time of the year. The other night I was out on the roof until 10 PM, cleaning up. The long days too make it easier to get out. Nice to see kids walking around, soccer games and frisbee golf in Bakerview Park, and smell a bit of barbq.

At home, I've got three different types of bird seeds going, which has brought in murders of crows (is that how you say it?), stellar jays, bushtits and titmouses, pileated woodpeckers, and a family of squirrels. I'm trying out tomatoes in pots, and even have a couple hot pepper plants. After the run, I completed some transplant operations.

Not too much more to say here, and this wasn't anything spectacular to post. The thing is, as I was jogging last night, I was just struck by what a beautiful night it was. The right summer evening is full of the good stuff.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Great Sedro-Wolley 5.17 Mile Footrace

Another Fourth of July, another Loggerodeo 5.17 mile run. Weather was perfect, and spirits were good. I ran about the same as I did last year, which isn't good, but that is an improvement over my run last week.

I've been running this event on and off for over a decade. It is flat and fast, going through neighborhoods along the parade route, with folks lining both sides of the street, watching from their lawn chairs. There is a 2 mile and 5.17 mile option. The 5.17 mile race goes slightly outside city limits, taking a road by farmland, and then along the Skagit River and by the fairgrounds. Pretty fun as you finish up to see people selling balloons and flags from grocery carts, and others selling burgers and hotdogs. Afterwards, a parade of rodeo queens, chainsaw artists, and John Deere tractors follows.

As always, great to see the turnout, and so many friends from Skagit Runners. Thanks to Terry, Delores, Kevin, Stan, Brannon and to all the other volunteers from the Rotary Club. Service clubs like Rotary really make a difference in communities.

Raced out of there to watch the second quarterfinal match of World Cup. Hooked, as usual. We finished the evening on the Skagit River, watching fireworks over Edgewater Park in Mount Vernon. Happy birthday USA!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

March Point 10k

I ran the March Point 10k last Saturday. I think this was the 20th running of the event, which is a regional classic of sorts. The 10k starts at the Tesoro refinery, drops down a hill, and then you basically circle the hill, running for a few miles on the waterline. There is a big hill in the second mile, pictured above, which is a bit of a grind. Wind can be a factor.

Afterwards, a great awards ceremony, with hot dogs, drinks, and chips for everyone. All for about $12, if you pre-register. Great to see many Skagit Runners friends out volunteering, running or both. Took my time on the course, jogging and walking, dealing with a bit of lower back pain. Glad I showed up--so often, showing up is what counts. Gave me a great start to the weekend.