Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Build-Up

Okay, let's get back to it. It seems as though I haven't posted anything of much value since the man crush topic. I think that may have been my blog's high point. I mean really, how can you top an ode to Hal Koerner? Well even if that was as good as it gets, I'm still going to keep at this whole blogging thing.

So what's been happening? Well as I briefly mentioned in my last post, I ran the Sun Mountain 50k. I actually won the whole darn thing. That felt pretty good after getting hammered by my "man crush" at Chuckanut. Hal and I were discussing, after Chuckanut, the fact that I had beaten him nearly every time we'd raced. However, the collective margin of victory, of about 5 or 6 races, was probably less than 5 minutes. Well Hal soundly beat me by 10 or 11 minutes at Chuckanut, and made me realize I've got a lot of work ahead of me before we race again at States. Thus, winning the Sun Mountain race felt good and it seems I'm on the right track.

The race at Sun Mountain turned out to be quite exciting. My mindset going into the race was just to go out and have a good solid training run. I had trained through the week and even did a single Squak ascent at threshold pace on Friday. Therefore, my legs weren't anywhere near fresh, at least not at the start. The lead pack went out at a pretty fast clip. Fast enough that halfway through the first of 3 ten mile loops, I realized I wasn't going to hang in there at that pace. I slowed down slightly and watched the four or five guys in front of me pull away. If I was to stand any chance at catching up, they were going to have to slow down a lot, because my legs just weren't up to that clip. Thankfully for me, midway into the second loop, I started to gain some ground. The brisk first loop was already weighing a heavy toll on the front pack. By the middle of the second loop I had passed all but the lone front runner, and he still had a sizeable lead on me.

Strangely my legs started feeling better as I struck out on the third and final loop. I was content with the move I'd made in the second loop and would have been quite pleased maintaining my place to the finish. However, about 1/3 of the way through that final loop, I caught sight of the front runner. He was no longer so far out in front. Suddenly my competitive instincts took over, and I was back in the race to win.

I caught up to Chris Twardczik at the top of the final climb. With less than 2 miles to go I put my head down and hammered the final descent, finally able to pass and even get a little separation from Chris. I didn't really ever look back, but I had a reassuring feeling that I'd be able to hang on. I won in a time of 4:19 and Chris finished second in 4:24.

So, the season is still early, but Western States is quickly approaching. I'm really pleased with my runs at both Chuckanut and Sun Mountain. Next up, I'll be heading down to Olympia for the Capitol Peak 5o miler. My intention was to run Miwok on May 2nd, but due to Kiwi's ever growing vet bills, I've decided to scrap the trip and stay closer to home.


Michael said...

How's Kiwi doing; she getting better?

See you at Capital Peak!

Lindsay said...

Hey Morrison, Its Nick Wood. Long time no talk. It has been really interesting reading up on all your running. If you get a chance send me an email, I would love to hear how you are doing and Oliveto too. Take care bud.


Chris Twardzik said...

Morrison - Just wanted to say that I was waiting for you to catch me at Sun Mountain! Once I saw you back there I knew it was gonna be a tough road to the finish. When you passed I just didnt have the kick left to even THINK about sticking! nice work as usual and we'll see ya at Cap Peak. you the man,

Hart said...

nice work..