Sunday, October 25, 2009

Results of the 2009 Columbia River Power Marathon

We left on Thursday after work and drove for 9 hours to Hilgard Junction State park, about an hour before Hermiston, OR. I was so tired and I promised Cathi that I'd stop when I got sleepy. Trying to sleep in the van with 9 people all scrunched up was tough. It was cold outside and every 10-15 seconds someone would whine and then go back to sleep. It was extremely uncomfortable. Never again.

Got up around 5 am and drove the rest of the way to Umatilla. Got to the Umatilla Marina and got a tent site. We set up camp and I then slept for another three hours while Cathi took the kids out with the van to explore. When they got back we went to get the packets. It was a very rainy day. We went to go see "Where the Wild Things Are". Not the best movie ever, but it was pretty fun. Sam and Oliver laughed out loud several times throughout the movie. Definitely a kid movie.

Then we went to Pizza Hut. The kids loved it. I had a salad bar and all the crusts the kids didn't want. Sleeping that night was so much better than the night before even though the wind for most of the night was extremely violent. It broke one of the side poles and I got up in the middle of the night to tie it up to a nearby tree. Then Isaac had some sort of stomach flu and threw up all over inside his sleeping bag. He had vomit all over his pajamas, his face, in his bag. Thank goodness the campsite had showers. So I carried him over to the bathrooms and got him showered up and in some extra pajamas we had that were way too small for him. Then carried him back and he slept with Sam in his sleeping bag. It was great after that. The wind died down and I slept for another several hours.

Cathi, Jacob and I woke up at 6:30 and got ready. I told Austin the computer password so he could sign in and play movies for the kids while we were gone. It was a chilly morning. Probably low 50s. Here's the route:

This route was fun because we got to Cross McNary Dam and run the next several miles in Washington State. The hardest part was miles 9 - 11 where it was uphill. Mile 2.5 - 4 was also hard, but since it was so close to the start not that big of a deal. I was very pleased with my pace on this race. At mile 5 I started to feel a little discomfort in my left knee. I said a prayer that it wouldn't get worse and that I would have a good race. I sure got an answer to that prayer! It didn't get worse (it didn't get better though) and it was a constant ache, but nothing that really prevented me from running my normal pace. At mile 6.5 we start across the McNary Highway Bridge. On the switchback up to the bridge I saw Cathi was only about 200 yards behind me. I yelled out for her and gave her a wave. She smiled and waved back.

When I got to mile 10.3 that is where the Full Marathoners keep going down a trail while the half marathoners loop back and finish their last few miles. At that point where I looped back, I saw Cathi and hooted for her and she ran a great first 10 miles.

There was a guy who passed me at mile 3 who stayed ahead of me up to a quarter mile. But after the hills at mile 11 I was able to gain on him and ended up passing him on the last stretch of the race on Willamette Ave just after mile 12 and he fought the pass, but couldn't keep up. I gave this race my all and my legs are making me pay today. I'm hobbling around like an old man. Anyway, my time was 1:54:49. I waited for Jacob to finish and that poor kid had a tough race. He came in at 2:27:28. He took first place for the 17 and Under division (too bad there weren't any other kids in that division at all).

We hurried back to camp. The kids just finished a movie and we loaded up the van. We got back about 10 minutes before Cathi got there. Because of the hills, I thought her time would at best be 4:00. She ended up getting 3:51:19. That's a fantastic time considering the two good sized hills to climb. She took first place overall for females! There were 16 female marathon runners and she took first! Here are the official results. Way to go Cathi!

We had such a great time on this "vacation". The kids got along great considering the close quarters. Thank goodness for the movie setup I have in the van. It helped keep the kids minds off the very long drive.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chest workout

Since doing cardio so much the last year, I haven't spent as much time in the weight room and man I miss it. Today I did chest:

DB Flys: 4 x 8,10,12,14 @ 40
Decline Press: 12 @ 135, 10 @ 155, 8 @ 175, 12 @ 135
Pushups: 4 x 20 slow ones

Not much I know, but should be enough to get the pecs a little tender.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Six mile run with Cathi again

Ran six miles with Cathi this morning. Felt like giving up several times. Not because I had any specific joint pain, just felt lazy. I didn't end up giving up though. My pace wasn't the fastest, but I did run the whole time (except once when Cathi had to make a quick pit stop).

It wasn't cold this morning. It was starting to sprinkle a little, so we had plenty of cloud cover. What a good morning.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Six mile run with Cathi

This morning I got up with Cathi and we ran for an hour (just under an hour). Here's the route:

6 miles in 57:13 (9:54) That's really slow. My right calf is a little sore. No knee issues. Tried to take it easy and not walk at all. When I stopped at the end my heart rate was 140.

A little worried about next weekend's half marathon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ragnar Tragedy

From an email to Ragnar Relay Participants....

Most of you are aware that there was a tragic accident during last weekend's Ragnar Relay Las Vegas. The level of concern that Ragnar participants and members of the community have expressed has been overwhelming. We appreciate your patience with us as we've worked to release information in the most appropriate fashion. Our first priority at this time is to be sensitive to the needs and wishes of our participant's family.

Details about the accident are somewhat limited, but we want to share with you what we can confirm at this time.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 10 Jeremy Kunz was struck by a suspected drunk driver while providing support to a runner on his team. Police and Rescue responded quickly, as did several Ragnar teams. Unfortunately Jeremy could not be resuscitated. Special thanks goes out to team 184, "The Dog Pound," which was first on the scene and provided immediate aid to Jeremy. Jeremy's family has asked us to thank team 184 and other teams who were there. Thank you!

The driver was apprehended and arrested for DUI and other charges. He is currently in custody. Police have released very few other details. We expect a full incident report to be released sometime today (Monday, October 12).

This was Jeremy's 3rd Ragnar Relay. He has participated with his family in two Wasatch Back Ragnar Relays in addition to the Las Vegas Ragnar. He was participating as a member of team Wanabees. His family wanted teams to know how much he loved these relays. They are finding some comfort in the fact that he died doing something he loved.

We at Ragnar Relay feel tremendous sorrow for the family's loss. The level of concern and sorrow that other Ragnar participants have expressed has been very moving. Laurie Pratt (a Ragnar participant) expressed our feelings and those of other Ragnar participants well in a comment on our Facebook fan page: "On the course we all look out for each other and feel a kinship that few may understand if they haven't personally experienced it." Never have we seen that support and kinship more evident than at this time. Thank you all for your concern.

Many of you expressed interest in making a contribution to the family. A family friend will be setting up a fund that will benefit Jeremy's young family and children. We will provide information to participants when details are available. Until then you may email if you are interested in donating. Please include "donate" in the subject line.

Our hearts and deepest sympathy go out to the family. We ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Many teams have been expressing their grief on our facebook fan page. It has been incredibly touching. You may read comments and post your own here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Las Vegas Ragnar Relay, 2009

On Thursday morning 10/8 Cathi and I got up and drove with John and Kristen Buchi and Kyle Hamblin to Las Vegas for the Ragnar Relay run to start on Friday.

Basically a team of 12 runners. 2 vans of 6 people each run a relay over 170 miles taking about 24 hours to complete. You can check out the website for details on that if you want. Here are the complete stats of our run. Click the image to see the details:

I was nervous about this relay as I had runners knee issues the past few weeks. This run was great for me because I didn't have any issues whatsoever with my knee. I didn't wear the band I bought because I wasn't having problems. I had it in my pocket in case I did. I was the second runner in Van 1. I got my hand off from Cathi. She ran so strong.

My first leg: I started my run at 10:04 am and ran 3.8 miles. It was relatively flat. I ran it in 32:04 which was exactly what I had projected it would take me. I really pushed it on this first leg and was sweating like a pig. It was pretty hot and I sprinted at the end.

I handed off to Kyle who ran great. He was the speed demon in our van. Kyle was fun to get to know. He had a good sense of humor, had a very laid back and humble way about him. I was very impressed with his endurance and speed. Overall he was the fastest person in our van.

Kyle handed off to Stacy. She had run I believe the San Diego Marathon and was a good distance runner. Her first leg was brutal. It was uphill and it was hot! Her other two runs were faster cause it was dark (cooler temperature), flatter and shorter. Her experience with running was a great asset to the team.

Stacy handed off to Kristen. Kristen's goal was to get faster than 10 min miles on her run. She did well under that on the first two legs. The last one had a fairly good headwind. Plus the worst leg for everyone as far as running under fatigue was the last leg. We had to run that one at 3:00 am after only getting a couple hours sleep at a park with boy scouts running and shouting. Not the best conditions for a speedy run. Regardless she did well and didn't end up walking on her portions. She was great!

Kristen handed off to John. John had the hardest 3 sections in our van. The first two were considered "Hard" with the last one "Easy". He really endured through all of them and the numbers don't really give him credit. The runs he did were truly hard and he was brave to take that leg on.

John then handed off to Ele who was in Van 2. Once they had the handoff we would then move to our next station which was about 26-40 miles up ahead on the course.

In between our first and second runs we waited at Lake Mead. I went for a 2 mile swim.

My second leg was run in the dark. It was my hardest run. It had some good rolling hills and it was 4.8 miles. I saw a light way up ahead of me and I was determined to pass that runner. The van kept going ahead and waiting with water. I was convinced that I could pass that runner and turned down any water until I had accomplished that goal. I could tell that I was gaining and ended up passing him within 2 miles. I then was glad take a good drink while running. At the hand off I had to go up a hill and then handoff to Kyle who cruised right ahead.

In between our second and third sets we tried to get some sleep at the last exchange for us. Kyle, John and Kristen and I all slept in sleeping bags over on the grass next to a baseball diamond at the last exchange. Cathi and Stacy stayed in the van and slept on the benches. Kyle woke me up around 2:30 and said that the van 2 just texted them and that we needed to get moving. I woke up Cathi and helped her get ready as she was the most crucial runner to be ready for Van 2 at the hand off.

On my last run I had to run a straight path the whole time. I was on a paved bike trail along a major road. It was flat and dark. I was glad to have the headlamp. I could see a runner about a half mile up ahead and nobody behind me. I was hoping to catch the runner, but only was able to close the gap just a little. Passing someone on a race like this is called earning a "roadkill". I collected six roadkills on this race and was not a roadkill victim to anyone on this race. So that is a first for me in a running race at least.

Kyle was able to pick up my slack and was able to pass that team within the first half of his run.

I was so glad to be done. The last leg our team really worked together and cheered at the early hour of the morning. We helped Kristen with her run as it seemed to take a toll on her. What a great experience to do a race like this! In other races I've been in, it's all about yourself. You either achieve or fail by yourself. In a relay, you really help each other and support each other in a way you just don't get in any other kind of race. It really builds lasting friendships and I'm so glad that I did this. I will definitely do this again next year and preferably with the same group of people we went with this year. It was a true pleasure!

Here are all the pictures.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Tour de St. George

This morning I got up and started this ride at 8:30am. I took 5 quarts of water and only needed 3.

My plan was to do the full St. George Century, but ended up just doing the right side of the Tour de St. George. Well, this ride was hilly! 65 miles was well and good enough. I was beat. It took me 3:40 to do this ride. It sure was pretty. What a beautiful ride! I'll put together a video tomorrow and post it here.