Sunday, June 29, 2008

What a beautiful weekend!

It was soooooooooo hot and I loved it. On Saturday I took a break from running. My alarm went off at 5:30AM and I did not want to get out of bed. But when I opened my eyes, I saw the moon sliver though my window above and it got my mind going so I got up. I picked up friend Mikenzie and we drove out to Colman Pool in West Seattle for a swim in the fabulous outdoor 50M salt water pool. It was so beautiful and calm. The swim was great, just what I needed to wake up and for my tired legs. For swimming, nothing beats swimming outdoors.
After swimming, a few of us went for coffee and donuts and the bakery, delicious. I seriously didn't think I liked donuts but I had one and it was pretty tasty. Looking forward to doing that again.
After donuts, Mikenzie, Asa and I went to the farmers market and dog park. M's dog, Jolee, is one of Struth's favorite dogs and vise verse, so they had a good time in the hot sun at Marymoor. And cooling off in Lake Sammamish.

By the time I got back, I needed some cooling off so I rode my bike down to the lake to take a dip. It was so refreshing but the many soft green things floating around and touching me made me keep thinking there was a fish or something bumping into me. It was just algae and what's it doing being so plentiful this time of year...can't imagine what it'll be like come August. I did see 4 eagles though and that was cool. And I took not one, but two naps in the shade. What's better that that??

Today, Sunday, Struth and I went up to Tiger to get in a good solid run. Whoa, it was hot. We started up Nook and then Section Line. There was no one out, it was early, 7ish, and I didn't see one person. I could tell it was going to be super hot and we had a long ways to go yet.

I got up to Tiger 3 in 45 minutes, my best time by 1 minute. And I was feeling pretty good. We continued on to Tiger 2 and Tiger 1. Beautiful view of Rainer up there. Struth and I got to East Summit in about 1 hour and 50 minutes and I was feeling it, hot and wet from my camel back nozzle cracking and leaking all over me. The water felt great but I was worried that I would have enough water to get me through the run. We got up to East Summit and I went to touch the famous rock to make it official and someone, (GLENN!) had left me a nice surprise up there. I knew it was him as I had just seen him 30 minutes earlier coming from that direction. A WhaGuru chew for me and a biscuit for Struth. Thanks Glenn. I devoured it.
Struth and I headed to Middle Fork and this is when things took a southward turn. I made a wrong turn somewhere and wound up at the bottom of somewhere and had a long was to travel back up to East and there wasn't much shade and I had no more water and my bottles of electrolyte were almost gone and I wasn't sure where I was. So, I just re-traced my steps and walked/ran all the way up back to East. From the time I left East until the time I got back, nearly 2 hours of travel time had passed. I stopped at every watering hole for Struth, he was so hot and so was I. I was not feeling so great now. We headed back towards Tiger 1 and stopped at the creek for Struth to cool off. I actually considered drinking from the stream b/c I was hot. I shared my turkey and cheese sandwich with Struth and had a hard time getting it down b/c I was so thirsty.

(I'm so envious of Struth here getting some cold beverage)

We got to Tiger 1 and then Tiger 2. I could not run up Tiger 2 because I was so dehydrated, my heart rate was skyrocketing when I would push it a bit, yet all I wanted to do was to get back to the car so I could get a drink. I had wanted to go down to the parking lot the back way, but I was not in good shape and 4-1/2 hours had passed and I thought running down Tiger 3 would be good enough and really, the smart thing to do as my body was already stressed from dehydration. We got up to Tiger 3 and I put the leash on Struth and we ran down Tiger 3 pretty fast. I was feeling bummed about the run and how it had turned out, but then I thought, this is a good learning experience and also, my leg did not these are good things. I was so excited to see the car, yet so out of it. I gave some water to Struth and then I downed an entire liter of water before I even changed my shoes. This made me feel very light headed and I had to sit down. I felt horrible. I took off my shoes, drank my recovery drink and then started the car. On my windshield was another present from Glenn, more treats for me and Struth, thanks again Glenn.

On the way home, I got 2 bags of ice for an ice bath and a huge cold Gatorade. I drank the Gatorade in about 4 minutes and then ran an ice bath immediately. I didn't even notice how cold it was, I actually dozed off in the tub full of ice water. Yikes. I drank another liter of water and then another. I didn't pee for about 30 minutes after that second liter after the bath. I did get cooled off b/c I got to go sailing and the breeze and air really perked me up. It was a gorgeous night on the boat. We sailed out to Port Madison and anchored and the BBQ'd some halibut and ate it, along with other delicious treats. I continued to drink water. The sky was really starting to look cool, some clouds were rolling in.It was still quite warm until we stared to head back. The sky was dark in Seattle and yet to the west in Port Madison, the red sun was setting in party clear skies. We even saw a SHARK! (haha)
Anyway, we motored back b/c there was not enough wind to get us back in a timely fashion. It was cool to see the lightening in the sky so far away and yet when I looked over my other shoulder, I could see the setting sun. A great way to end the weekend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I am lucky to work 4x10's and with that is a perpetual 3 day weekend. This is awesome, I think everyone should have this option. So today, I slept in. I thought I'd sleep until my usual 8:30 rising without an alarm, but not today. I slept until 9:15! Wow. And I woke up to some warm seems like the nice weather might finally be here. It wasn't that long ago that I was running with gloves in the morning and thinking....will the temperatures ever rise and will the sun ever come out this summer????

I did my morning routine and then Struth and I headed out to Tiger for the FatAss loop. Last summer I had a running injury and what I did was ride my bike a lot. I rode quite a bit with good friend/accomplished triathlete Hallie and she has a rule that I did not need to be coerced into following. She said that for every workout that lasts longer than 3 hours, you get a Red Bull. Last summer, I drank a lot of Red Bull with her. Funny how I don't often think of doing that now, but today...I thought I would fuel up with Red Bull!

Struth and I arrived and it was already pretty hot. I only had 2 bottles with me and was counting on the stream for Struth to drink out of, but it was already a scorcher. Struth started out already kinda hot. We headed out on the swamp trail and I realized that I forgot the map. I am directionally challenged but have done this loop a few times so was relying on my memory. I felt terrible the first 15 minutes or so and was dreaded the hill climbs and was already coming up with a plan B. But as I approached the first hill, I was surprised how good I felt. I just kept running almost to the top of Poo Poo point. Then as it got steeper, I walked a bit and ate some and gave Struth some biscuits. We got to the TMT and it was so beautiful out. The sun was shinning through the trees, there were lots of birds, we saw 2 little snakes and there was plenty of water for Struth. I love the TMT b/c the terrain is pretty varied and I hardly ever see anyone up there so it's quite peaceful. I was ahead of schedule for a sub 3 hour finish and was still feeling good. And I was still on course....I got to Paw Print and the sign says, 'rest stop', so I thought I give Struth a bit of a break, he was getting tired and hot. I gave him some more biscuits. If he could talk, I bet he'd be saying..."these biscuits.....are making me thirsty!' (Seinfeld reference) . So we continued on, I was surprisingly still feeling good but starting to think of the mandatory run (my personal assignment) from Tiger 1 to Tiger 2 and although it only takes 5 minutes, that 5 minutes seems like an eternity when tired. There was a guy there sweating up a storm using his machete to clean up the trail, I thanked him in between heavy breaths. That is so nice of him. Anyway, we got up to Tiger 1 and my watch read 2:08. I ran down to the base of Tiger 2 and then started my short climb to Tiger 2. I know it's only 5 minutes and in reality, it probably isn't that steep, but after a few miles, it feels much worse than it actually is. As I was rounding the corner the satellite dishes came into view. I'm never that happy to see satellite dishes on a trail run, but that means the peak is almost bagged and so I am happy to see those dishes here. And on my iPOD came the lyrics, 'as you progress, so must your creativity' . It got me thinking about all the storied I've heard about people coming so close to meeting their goals, but since they didn't see the finish, the stopped, ex. like the famous English Channel swims, 26 miles in frigid wavy shark infested waters with a current you must out-swim. Some people have actually been within a 1/2 mile of finishing but b/c it is so foggy, they can't see the shore and so they give up. Can you imagine? Making it that far and giving up only to find out that you were almost done? I suppose next time, more creativity must be found somewhere lurking in places you just haven't found yet. Anyway, I digress....I made it up to Tiger 2 and then to Tiger 3 and it was 2:18 on my watch. I knew I would finish sub 3 hours as all I had left was 3 miles down. I stopped twice at the creeks for Struth to get some water and we finished in 2:44. We got back to the car and I drove almost immediately to Lake Washington where we both went swimming to cool off. I forgot to get my camera out of the car, too bad, because the view of Rainer was amazing!!

A very fun way to spend a hot sunny summer day, and the day is not even over....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I spend quite a bit of time running the trails with my dog Struth. Even if it's a hot day out and it hasn't seemed to have rained in awhile, somehow, he always finds what mud may exist and play in it. I suppose that is one of the things I really like about him, he is like a kid who stomps in rain puddles and makes mud pies. It's very comforting. Last weekend he and I and friends Francis and Glenn ran 11/12 summits at Tiger. I was so impressed with all of us, especially Struth who did not know what was in store for him. I think Struth went out too hard b/c by Tiger 2, he needed some water and there weren't any watering hole for some time, so I shared, (photo by G. Tachiyama). I knew what was in store for me, so I got up early, ate, stretched, got prepared in the various ways one does for a long day running in the woods. We started running about 7:30 AM and finished around 4:30 PM. We had made some stops and unexpected turns and overall, I was happy to have been out that long with everyone. I know we were tired because we started out counting the peaks and by number 7, we were far less enthused with the number bagged because it was a reminder of what lies ahead. Good thing I had plenty of biscuits!
In preparation for White River 50, I decided to do some searches and found lots of blogs to read which gave me ideas on how to get ready for this run as well as lots of inspiration. After reading about the 12 summits in Cheri Pompeo Gillis's book, 50 Trail Runs in Washington, I thought that was something I wanted to accomplish. I was really excited about doing it and although we only made 11 out of the 12, had we had different circumstances, I know we all would have made it. But, we still covered lots of ground and lots of elevation. I was surprised how good I felt after the run until I tried some miles repeats a few days later....whoa...still tired...but manageable.
So, Struth and I will head out this weekend again to find some mud for him and some hills for me to run. With plenty of biscuits of course.