Three Early Season Races

I’m a bit behind on my blogging so but I wanted to record the two races I’ve run so far this year. In one I embraced having a cheering section and got along with a little help from a stranger. In the other I ran a tactical race and had fun pondering strategy.

#1 2016 Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival

Bridle trails is always a good start to the year with the Running Club. It’s a fun course and a good vibe as it starts so late in the afternoon. People pay money to run in the dark – go figure.
This year I ran the 10M again. Last year I took 3rd place in 1:05:08. This year I was 5th in 1:04:45.
This year my family had a low key day planned and decided to come and watch me race! It was great to see them at the start. Since I completed two laps of the five mile course I got to see them two more times during the race. Each time it was great to see their smiling faces.
I hit a rough patch about 2/3 the way into the race where I felt myself slowing down. A guy behind me caught up to me and I realized I had some more in me and could hang with him for a while. In my head I was thinking that I should just take it easy. I knew I wasn’t going to win the race and probably wouldn’t pass anyone. But I wanted to still run hard and I had already worked hard in the race so I should complete the effort and hang on.
Eventually I discovered that the guy I was drafting off of was actually running the 50k. So instead of competing it became a cool vibe of cooperation. We spotted a few more racers ahead of us eventually and he encouraged me that I could catch them and it definitely gave me a boost of energy.
I pulled ahead of my 50k friend (who would go on to win the 50k) and caught a few more people on the way to the finish – although another guy came up and passed me that didn’t seem to be working at all.
Lesson learned – it’s nice to have someone to work with.
On Strava.

#2 2016 Frost Eagle Half Marathon

As I build up to the 100M race I’m running on March 25th I’ve been looking for excuses to get milage in. As part of the prize pack for winning the Cougar Mountain Trail Running Series last year I received free entry into a race from NW Trail Runs. I spotted this event on their calendar and signed up – figuring it would give me a good excuse to get some more milage in. I decided I would run the half marathon and then go out for some bonus time after.
I think this is the first time I’ve run what I would call a tactical race. I knew I wasn’t going to win with a few really fast people there and knowing I had already had a hard training week and needed to keep something in the tank for my bonus milage. With that in mind instead of using the pace I looked for folks running a little slower than my body felt like it wanted to push it and use them to pace myself.
At the first I also just wanted to hang with my teammate Dustin Hinkle as long as I could. After chasing him for about half the race he started to slow down and another runner caught us. I paced off of him until mile 11.5 and in the process we passed a younger running that had gone out too fast and blown up. That put me in fourth place with 1.6 miles to go. I decided to push for third and passed the guy I was drafting off of. He didn’t have much in the tank to counter my move and I was able to pull ahead for the 3rd place finish.
I’m hoping to find someone I can draft off of in a similar fashion for the 100 miler. It’s good to have someone setting the pace and keeping me motivated.
I went out on the course for another eight miles of bonus work after the race. Getting strong for the hundred!
On Strava.

#3 2015 Lake Sammamish Half

I decided to use the Lake Sammamish half as a build up race for the hundred as well. Rather than starting with my wife at 7:30 at the starting line I ran up the lake from home which put me at about 17.5 miles before the race started. I ended up getting a 35 miler in for the day and ran the half in 1:41. After I finished the first time I ran back up the course and caught up to Carrie at mile 11 and finished with her and Becky.

I’m feeling pretty good going into the 100 mile Badger Mountain Challenge on March 25. I’ve trained about as well as I can with everything else going on in life – probably more than I should if I were actually a responsible adult. I felt like I could have easily logged another 20 to 30 miles at 8:30 to 9 minute pace. I plan on running the 100 much slower.

Track on Strava.

Pure Grit 4 for Bridle Trails and Pure Grit 3 for Frost Eagle. I love them about equally. The Ravenna 7 was great for a long road day for Lake Sammamish.
What’s Next?
Also have a blog post of about some epic trail runs at the Grand Canyon, AZ and Snow Canyon, UT I completed in February that I need to get around to posting.

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