Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Smooth and clean and frosty white..."

Almost done with a month-long rest from running and looking forward to getting back to it. Nice to share a hike with Swoish today, however brief; wonder where all the other people were?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"November arrived, cold as frozen iron..."

Ethan, Kate and I knew it was going to be cold but were hoping that all the "clear" weather forecasts would deliver a little sunshine (and good views/visibility). Clouds sat over the Chiwaukum range all morning and into the afternoon, however, with a light snow falling for the first few hours. About 8" of fresh snow above Frosty Pass started to feel a little deep so the Ladies Pass loop will have to wait for another day...

A lot of very fresh blowdown on the Frosty Pass trail; trees were creaking and moaning all day
Upper Frosty Creek basin
Frosty Pass, 5800'
Snowgrass Mountain and the Wildhorse Creek drainage
Above Frosty Pass at ~6100'

Kate, Ethan, me
Icy log slide across a creek on the Frosty Creek trail

Monday, November 3, 2014

Carkeek 12-hour

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, legs and feet have completely rejected the notions that: 1) the Carkeek 12-hour was actually fun; 2) Matt and Kerri Stebbins like the runners who sign up for their events; 3) stairs aren't really that bad; 4) all of the above.

I genuinely thought the mental aspect of running two-mile loops in a city park for 12 hours would be the hard part. Nope. My body gave out far earlier than my mind.

With 435' of gain per loop, 50 miles works out to have over 11,000' of gain, more than the White River course and more gain-per-mile than mountain 100-milers like Cascade Crest and Plain. The fact that most of it is runnable adds more hurt as the usual recovery hiking that a mid-packer like me gets to enjoy doesn't last longer than a hundred yards before you're running again.

Enough excuses, I hope?

In reality, besides the fact that I'm still limping around everywhere, I had a fantastic time. I got to run with friends (Paul, Dave, Matthew, Ian), meet new ones (Alex, Matt, Eric again, Russell), get cheered on by Sir-Hikes and co., see salmon spawning in Piper's Creek and for the first time ever someone asked me, "are you Luke from Seeking Ultra?"

After warming up for the first hour by headlamp with a small group I was feeling pretty good and probably pushed too hard for hours 2-6, as by the time I was getting past 30 miles I was starting to hurt good. Of the 28 large loops I did of the park, my fastest one came at miles 13-15 (lap 8). This probably coincided with the brief time that I was leading the race and adrenaline may have gotten the best of me; an aspect I don't usually deal with.

Alex (I swear he's The Hulk) Swenson is a beast and crushed the day; Eric, who I ran with at Deception Pass, pipped me in the last 15 minutes and finished second after I'd taken a seat for the day, bumping me down to 3rd place with 55+ miles and 12,870' of gain. Results should be here soon.

People wore crazy costumes all day (see Glenn's photos here) and Matt and Kerri put on a casual, friendly event. They've done wonders for Rainshadow's organization and logistics and I have a feeling that their own races are going to flourish even more as people see how wonderful they are, both as people and RDs. Thanks, you two.    

Some of the stairs that ended up thrashing my legs (and soul) after descending them thirty times
(28 via the large loop and two times on the small loop)
Cruising with Alex for a few hours
Going up wasn't too bad
One of two short flat sections, with Alex
Kerri keeping track of the loopiness
Paul swore this was a costume...