Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ahhh...That's Better

Well spring is officially here in Seattle, even though it's only February. We've been having some pretty outstanding weather, and I for one have been loving running in it. These past few weeks I've got my training on track. Don't get me wrong, I've been running all winter. However, it would be a real stretch to call it training.

I've sacrificed a little running time on the weekends to go fly fishing instead. The bulk of my mileage has been run to and from work. Then on the weekends I've opted to go fishing versus go out on a long run. I've realized that I'm not a guy who can train all out all year long. I've got to have my down time of year, and I've chosen to spend a lot of that down time fly fishing. Which, by the way, finally paid off a few weeks ago when I landed an 8 or 9 pound steelhead on my spey rod. But that's another story for another time. What I will say though, is that catching that fish after a winter long drought, allowed me to finally hang up my rod for the year and get to training.

It has felt great to get out for some 4+ hour runs on the trails over the past couple of weeks. I've really been digging Tiger Mountain. How lucky are we here in the Northwest to have trails that we can run on year round that provide some much elevation change? It's really something that none of us should take for granted. Last week Dan, Jon, Eric and I did 21 miles or so out at Tiger with 5700 feet of ascent. We had a gorgeous day with Fantastic views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympics. Just phenomenal.

Today was the real adventure though. Unfortunately Jon opted out of the run today, so it was just the three of us. Jon, being the supportive and loving husband that he is, sucked it up and partied into the wee hours last night in celebration of his wife's 33rd birthday. Needless to say, he wasn't super pumped about an early morning. So the three of us met at High Point at 7:30, and Dan's wife Eva was kind enough to shuttle us out to Rattlesnake Lake. Thanks Eva! The plan was to run from the lake to High Point. We estimated it to be around 27 miles.

Surprisingly the weather this morning was quite nice. Forecasts were calling for rain, but the sun was out and the temperature was really warm. From the get-go I realized, as did Dan, that we had misjudged the weather and really overdressed. Better too warm than too cold I always say, but it was REALLY warm. Thankfully as we reached the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain the temperature dipped a bit and cooled us off. I was really amazed how little snow there is on Rattlesnake. It's hardly worth mentioning it was so insignificant. I've run out there in May when there was much more snow than today.

The entire trip across Rattlesnake was pretty uneventful. The weather was nice and everyone seemed to be feeling quite good. We departed from the main trail as we intersected the powerline, then bee-lined our way toward Highway 18. This route technically goes "off trail" for a bit, although there still seems to be a pretty defined path. We successfully negotiated the super steep and very slippery "death slope" section and were soon at the Raging River ford. Being that we've had very little rain, the river was quite manageable. With feet soaked we slogged our way up to the East Tiger Road. I say slogged, because this section is really not runnable in the least. There are actually two stream crossings followed by an incredibly steep, muddy, brushy kinda' trail.

Once back on the manicured freeway that is the East Tiger Road, we stretched our legs out and began to run again. Eric and I were just running. Dan, on the other hand, was running too AND puking. What happened to the Danimal, you ask. He blamed a S-Cap/Clif Block overload on the bout of nausea. Sounds like a deadly combo. Of course, as Dan's puking and running and Eric and I are just running and winding our way up the never ending grade of the Preston Trail, the rain begins. Really? Now? Talk about kicking us while we're down. By the time we reached the top of East, the fun was starting to seep out of the run. I think we were all wishing that we were at the car instead of being 5 or 6 miles away.

Thankfully we regrouped and pulled it together. Dan's stomach settled down and Eric and I gutted it out. In the end, we were all very satisfied with the run. We finished in just over 5 hrs. The run had 6500 feet of ascent and close to 7000 of descent and we estimated it to be about 27 miles.

If I get out for a recovery run tomorrow, I'll be over 80 miles for the week. I know that's not a lot by some standards, but I never go much beyond that 90-100 mile range, so 80 at this point in the year feels pretty good.

And what would a Brian Morrison blog post be without some Pearl Jam talk? Well tomorrow night Mike McCready is hosting a Hootenanny for Haiti at the Showbox. There will be a whole bunch of local musicians, including Pearl Jam's drummer Matt Cameron. It doesn't get much better than going to a super fun show and supporting a great cause while you're at it. Rock on!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Well That's Fantastic

My sister just called me here at the store. She was laughing as I answered the phone. That's really never a good sign. "Have you checked out your blog recently," she asked. "Uh, not for a couple of days. Why?" Frantically, I began to pull up my blog on the computer in front of me. She was laughing so hard she could barely spit out the punchline. "Your blog has been taken over by Asian porn," she blurted out. What? How? But...

Sure enough, as I pulled up my blog and glanced at the one and only comment on my most recent post, it appeared to be a link to some "non-running" related subject matter. I say appeared to be, because I was at work and opted to not even follow the link. Besides my sister seemed to have already sussed it out for me.

Now I know that I'm not updating with as much regularity as when I'm in the thick of my racing, but now I've got a single comment and it's a link to an adult website. This is just sad. The good news is that Chuckanut will be here before I know it, and racing will begin in full swing. This past week I've felt really good about my training. I'm still doing the bulk of my volume on the road, but I know the trail miles will come shortly.