Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Something Like Summer

Well you'd never know it from reading my blog, but training has actually been going quite well. The little racing I've done has been good too. In fact, I had a report on McDonald Forest halfway completed but just couldn't seem to find the time to finish it. Long story short, I had a solid run for 4th place a week after the Sunflower Marathon.

So then what have I been up to for last month or so? Well as I said, training has been solid, so that's keeping me fairly busy. I've also been working hard at the new store. Speaking of the new store, things are really going well at Fleet Feet Seattle. The store is looking really sharp, so if you haven't seen it in a while, come check it out.

It's hard for me to believe that it's already June 1st. Yikes! Can I make a confession? I'm going to miss being at Western States at the end of the month. As tough as that race has been for me and, as much as I know I need a break from it, I'm going to miss being there. There's definitely something special about that race. I've found myself out on runs lately daydreaming about States. Guess whose name is going to be back in the lottery next year? Something tells me that the Fat Dog 100 just isn't going to have the same allure.

Speaking of Western States, it should be another barn burner this year. As always it will be an incredibly talented field. I'm putting my money on Hal for the three-peat. Ya, there are definitely guys that could beat him, but I'm betting on Hal's experience and confidence. Oh, watch out for Phil Kochik too. He won the very last Ultra Cup spot into the race, and he's coming in very motivated.

Okay let's hope that this weather can start to resemble something like summer. I need to get out of the foothills and start running up in the cascades. A week ago Friday, I was snowed upon atop Mailbox Peak. That's just not right.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Good Times in the Valley

Good friends, beautiful scenery, and a bit of running make for a fantastic weekend in the Methow Valley. Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the Sunflower Relay and Iron event, and I was there to run it with a team of good friends...and all by myself. Yes, I ran the first leg of the relay for our team and then proceeded to run the iron event. It was a "semi-douche-y" move, thus the team name became Summer's Eve.

The race went quite well for both the team and myself. Summer's Eve finished 13th overall in a time of 3:28, and as a solo runner I was 5th in a time of 3:09. I had hoped to run 3 hours, but an ambitious first half may have cost me late in the race. I went through the halfway point in a time of 1:24 and ran the second half in 1:44. The second half was significantly hillier than the first, but I should have been able to run slightly more even splits. Although the course was very runnable, a couple of the climbs caught me a bit of guard. According to my altimeter the total ascent for the course was 1860 feet and the descent totaled 2300 feet.

After the race, the team gathered for a potato bar feast at the local pub. Upon reaching our fill of baked potatoes and beer we retreated to Eric and Kelly's palatial cabin which sits atop their own private mountaintop. The place literally has an uninterrupted 360 degree view. Incredible! Thnking the day's work was done, I helped myself to some chocolate chip cookies and began to recline. No sooner did I began to settle in than Eric, Danimal, and Jon began discussing plans for an afternoon run. To be fair, they had not just run a marathon. Their legs were each about 4 miles, so they weren't feeling quite the exhaustion that I was. It wasn't long before the inevitable question came. "Brian, you coming?"

Long story short, nearly 2 hours and another 2000 feet of climbing later, I was putting every bit of energy I could muster into grinding my way up Eric and Kelly's seemingly endless driveway. I was thoroughly whooped but psyched to have banged out some bonus mileage. The hard work was rewarded handsomely with laps up and down the driveway in the ATV. Boy, you want to talk about a good time?

The rest of the weekend was spent eating delicious food and socializing in a spectacular setting. That's good times in the Methow Valley any way you wanna' slice it.