Friday, September 11, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Katahdin hike

I left the champagne at home and did the Hunt Trail ascent of Mt Katahdin in Baxter State Park, northern Maine. I took a few photos along the way, most have some clouds as they rolled through pretty consistently throughout the day. The starting elevation was around 1,000 ft and the peak is nearly a mile high at 5270 feet. The whole route is about 5 miles each way and took my sister and I over 8 hours. There was some running, but quickly it became a hard scramble over boulders. A few folks were finishing their long sections of the Appalachian Trail which was great to see. And several folks commented on the Fells Point on my shirt. The climb out of the forest became a scramble. Not necessarily harder than the one I encountered in the Tetons, but more intimidating for sure. At one point we climbed up over a sort of ridge where it dropped off quickly on both sides. I worried about it on the way down, but somehow most of it was easier going down. After quite of bit of scrambling, with a few iron bars to scale harder climbs it flatted out (relatively) into a broad, flat area. But it was still going upward. There was concern in this area about harming the endangered plant life up there. The clouds were constantly moving around us. At some points you could see them raising up as they hit the mountain. It was reminiscent of a volcano at times. The top was something else. At the bottom we spoke to a ranger who said Nation Geographic had named it the second-best summit climb and I can see why. The far side fell away drastically down to a green valley. The peak extended as a ridge to the east, the aptly named 'Knife's Edge,' a thin pile of rocks. I wanted to try climbing a bit, but the way up was enough for me at the point. At the bottom was a waterfall that races along the path. When we reached this, we knew we were close to the bottom. On to the next one. Season is running out, so maybe next year for Long's or a try again at Grand Teton.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Caribbean Excursion - Puerto Rico and Saint Thomas

A few shots from my Caribbean trip. Did manage to run a few miles in St. Thomas on the second day.
Isla Verde beach, 20 minutes after landing in San Juan

Old school hotel on the way to Old San Juan

Walls of Old San Juan

A view of Old San Juan from 10 stories.

My first views of St. Thomas

Self explanatory
Charlotte Amalie wall

Up and over the hill to the beach (cruise ship is visible in this one)

Magens Bay, not too shabby

Random Garmin

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

(Don't Go Back to) Rockville 10k

Not much to say about this one. Went out around 6:05 pace. Couldn't hold it past 2 miles. It was hilly, but not that hilly. Good support (thanks Conrad, Dan, Tom, and Chicken Tender!). Both races i've done purely for the MD RRCA Grand Prix deal have been turds. So maybe that's a lesson.

One thing that was pretty lousy was a 5k started after the 10, and they finished together. So I was weaving through the middle of the pack for the last mile or so. Not my favorite thing ever.

Time didn't match the 10k a ran November of last year. I don't think it even matched the 10k split of the 10 miler I ran two weeks ago. Certainly was light years behind my 10k split at the Cherry Blossom.

That's running.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Falls Road 15k

(aka Baltimore Pacemakers Prep 15k)

The Falls Road 15k is the only the race i've managed to run all 3 years of my running revival. A small race with rolling hills through Druid Hill Park (not the dreaded hills, though) it's one of my favorite races, since 15k is pretty much my favorite distance to race. In 2011 I went to Fells Point festival and had several Natty Bohs, but will still happy with my 1:08. Last year I was in much more respectable shape and cut that time down 1:04 and the place down to 12th overall. Back in December of last year I made a notecard goal going under 60 minutes in 15k, so I was looking to get the final goal completed.

This year a 5k was added in addition to the 5k. It didn't have much effect on the race up towards the front. Cory was running the 5k at an easier pace since he is two weeks away from Chicago. He did take the lead through the mansion loop, but by the time we were around the lake 3 out of the top 4 places overall were 15k runners (first, second, and fourth). I went out aggressively and was hanging with the second place runner. First place had checked out and i'm not sure who all were behind me because I wasn't checking at this point.

The hill on mile 4 is where reality set in and my pace slowed. Second place pulled away and I was running the rest of the way on my own. I try to push the back side of the park through Woodberry because it's mostly downhill, although the switchbacks are a bit tough. The turnaround at mile 7 was my chance to see the next person behind me, and it wasn't so close. I had pretty much already lost out on sub 60, so I was just finishing up however I could.

Final totals. 1:01:30 on my watch. 3rd Overall. On to the next one, either Newark Mile or Army 10.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

3200 Time Trial

This is likely to never be formally documented anywhere, so I figure I should get this on record. Ran 11:15 for 3200 last Saturday at the UMBC track (Garmin says 11:13, but I think it starts a few seconds late for some reason). I was lucky to have faster (and much faster) people running ahead, so I feel like it was pretty much race effort. Something around 5:25 for the first mile, but I couldn't hold the pace to get under 11. Hopefully there will be another attempt before the summer is over.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Big Horn

My sister put some pictures from the trip on her blog.  Some from the race, some from what they did to kill the 12 hours and 58 minutes it took me to finish.

My favorite picture was this one--I got tired of carrying the water bottle after 50 miles, so I found a place to put it:

I am not going to bore anyone with a very detailed description of the race.  It took 13 hours and was 50 miles.  I don't even care to remember much of it at this point.  But the basics were this--a point to point course (the 100 ran out and then back, brutal).  Start was 8800 feet, dropping down to the footbridge at mile 18 somewhere in the 4900 range.  Then back up (quickly) to 7000+ in about 2 miles.  Some ups and downs until mile 40 (a hill known as 'the haul') where the course dropped from 7500 down to Dayton, in the high plains below.  While that's a tough course the scenery was pretty unbelievable.  It really reminded me of going to several different national parks in the course of one day.  There were parts very much like Zion, which is my favorite park, so that's saying a lot.  One of the folks at an aid station said he would have liked to take about 4 days to hike the course and see it all, which seems about right.

The downhill beginning felt good, I tried not the push the pace cause it was so early.  I still felt good at the footbridge station.  I changed my shoes (the Mizunos were giving me blisters, because of course they were).  The climb after that was pretty much a walking affair.  I felt like stopping completely a couple of times, but knew that would kill the momentum.  The next 10 miles or so were up and down, and I ran a good deal.  I passed quite a few people (some doing well, some limping along) at this point.  The aid station at 28 had a few issues (they told me it was 26, which mentally made a big difference), and they were just about to run out of water.  I got half a bottle so I wasn't hogging.  The 6 or so miles to the next station were starting to get to me.  I walked a good deal.  It also didn't help you could see it, several miles away and several hundred feet higher.  But my family was waiting there, which helped keep me moving forward.  Another shoe change, some soda and such and we started up the path.  They got to walk with me until I decided I wanted to jog (which didn't last long). 

Around the last serious up, a hill known as 'the haul,' someone I had been running with earlier in the race caught up to me.  She had done the race previously and warned me about the downhill that was looming. And she was right, I wanted to quit in that part.  I couldn't even walk down because the it was so steep.  So I ran down the hills and walked the flat.  My legs were pretty thrashed at this point.  And even when it flattened out several miles later I still walked from one aid station to the next cause it was trail and I couldn't lift my feet.  With 5 miles to go the trail became a gravel road and I managed to walk and run that part.  But it was very exposed and I could feel the sun burning my neck and the back of my arms.  And there just wasn't much shade.  I think I ran extra trying to go anywhere there was trees.  At 1.7 mile to go there was a last aid station, a quick spray of the hose and a icee pop (!) and I was ready to go.  I think I ran most of the last mile and finished in under 13 hours.  Immediately swearing not to do another for at least several years.

The rest of the trip was a nice vacation.  I was (carefully) climbing Independence Rock just two days later.  But I didn't technically run a measurable amount for 10 days.  It was my longest break in two years.