Saturday, August 25, 2012

Week of August 12 - Added bonus, Waldo race report

 Sunday - Ran the Wheeler/Green Pond loop with Curtis.  Nice easy Sunday morning run.  Miles 8.7

Monday - Did my usual five miles at lunch.  Kinda warm, but not bad.  Pushed it a bit and managed to average an 8:27 pace.  Started out wkind of slow at around 8:30-9:00 but managed to get it under 8:00 for the last couple of miles.  Miles - 5.0

Tuesday - Went on a run from 22nd street that I like.  I head from there south to above Weber State for 3.5, then turn around.  On the way back I came across Forrest, Breein, Misti, and Deb.  Figured I'd turn around and get a couple more miles in while chatting.  Much more fun to run with friends.  Miles 9.2

Wednesday - Went for the usual lunch run but was I ever sluggish.  My average pace was 9:58 vs. 8:27 for the same run on Monday.  Don't know what was wrong, just tired and slow.  Couldn't get into the run at all.  Miles - 5.0

Thursday - Didn't do squat except sit in a truck and drive to Oregon.  14 hours.  Ugh!  Britta went with Karen and I and got entertained by the "Jim and Karen show" as she called it.  The air the entire way was murky from all of the fires in the west.  Miles - 0.0

Friday - Spent the day visiting with my siblings.  Great fun to just sit around, drink beer, and visit.  Found out that there was the possibility of the race being cancelled due to a small fire in the middle of the course.  By the afternoon we had been told that the fire was knocked down and the race was on.  Just a slightly altered course that would end up adding around four miles.  I can handle that.  Miles - 0.0 

Where the action starts and stops

Saturday - Woke up at 3am to head for the race.  I actually got a decent amount of sleep too.  Usually I toss and turn before this race.  This time I didn't.  The start is at 5am, but since I was staying at my sister's house an hour away, I needed to get up a little early.  I get a little envious of those that camp at the start.  They don't have to get up until 4:45am.  I thought the day was going to be pretty warm.  When I left my sister's house it was 60 degrees (at 750' elevation).  When I got to the ski area, it was still 60 degrees (5500' elevation).  It was cloudy and there was some lightning in the area as well.  Still, I wasn't unhappy about it being warm.
Once I got to the lodge, I got some coffee, filled my bottles and just hung around looking for people I knew.  Saw Pam Everett, said hi and chatted for a few.  Finally saw Breein and Shawn and we chatted a bit too. 
Start to Gold Lake- 58th place

Waiting for the gun to go off

When the gun went off, Shawn left us in the dust while Breein and I went up the first climb together.  This is a 1000' climb in about 1.5 miles, so it's a bit of a grind.  Super dusty this year as well.  When we finally reached the top, we turned left on to the sweet single track this race is known for.  I bolted and left Breein behind.  My race plan was originally to try for a course PR, but with the lengthened course, I figured I'd just go out and have a good time and run as well as I could.  Anyway, this first section of trail is primarily downhill and I really like it.  You can make some time if you try. 

And we're off

Disappearing up the trail

I got to Gold Lake at the 1:25 point.  Not bad, but not my fastest. 
Gold Lake to Fuji- 51st place

I hurried through there and started the climb up to the Fuji aid station and Fuji Peak.  This section is uphill for the entire distance.  Still, I was able to run a lot of it which felt pretty good.  I've been working on my uphill this year since that's my weakness (along with generally not having much running talent).  I got to the Fuji aid at 2:33, so a little over an hour for five miles of uphill running.  Not bad.  I blew through this aid knowing that I would see it again in about three miles.  The remaining miles up to the top of Fuji peak weren't too bad.  I still felt pretty strong and was able to trot a lot of it.  I caught up to Shawn just before we hit the top.  While we were ther, I took her picture, looked at the view (stunning) and headed back down.  Shawn, meanwhile, was pretty much out of sight.  Oh well, so much for hanging with her for a few miles.  I did see Breein heading up about a 1/4 mile down from the top.  She had her usual perpetual smile on.

Shawn on top of Fuji Peak

Waldo Lake from the top of Fuji Peak
 Fuji to Mt. Ray- 52nd place
The run down to Fuji aid and on to Mt. Ray was uneventful.  The field had spread out and I didn't see too many people.  I managed to pass a few, but a couple also passed me.  Still, it was a net gain in placement.

Running thru Pothole Meadow

Shawn getting chased by a bunch of guys down Mt. Ray trail

Mt. Ray trail

Breein with her game face on coming down Mt. Ray trail
Mt. Ray to Twins- 47th place
Mt. Ray is where the fire detour started.  It's also when the rain started.  Not a lot of rain, but it was a steady light rain.  Kind of nice in that it kept the dust down.  On the other hand, I really don't care to run in the rain and by the time I got to Twins 1 I was kind of cold.  This section also had us run a bit of road for the first time ever at Waldo.  Roughly 3/4 mile worth and uphill.  Very runnable uphill, but still, it was road.  Once we got back on to the trail to Twins, we still had uphill to go for another 1.5 miles. 
Twins to Charlton Lake- 47th place
At Twins I met up with Mike Burke.  He was running his 10th Waldo and every year finishes ahead of me.  The guy is fast.  We also ran a double crossing of the Grand Canyon together several years ago.  We ended up running the next 12 miles together.  The run to Charlton Lake was pretty nice.  I felt pretty good and Mike and I ran a nice steady pace.  Coming into Charlton was nice.  I was expecting to see Britta since she had planned on dropping there anyway, but Pam and Jared were there as well.  Nice to have a little cheering section.  Needless to say, we kind of pushed each other and I'm sure my time would have been slower had we not been together.

Shawn coming into Charlton Lake
Forrest and Britta coming into Charlton Lake
Breein coming into Charlton lake

Coming into Charlton Lake

Charlton Lake to Rd 4290- 45th place
The next five miles to Rd 4290 went by fast, mainly because Mike and I ran the vast majority of it.  I think I ran this section the fastest I ever have.  By now the weather had cleared, it was sunny and starting to get warmer.  Thank goodness.  I still felt pretty good.  Fuel wise I was doing ok, staying hydrated adequately etc. 
Rd 4290 to Twins- 43rd place
I knew that the next section back to Twins was notorious for sucking the life out of you if you aren't prepared.  It's seven miles of continuous uphill, usually in the afternoon when it's warm, plus you gain about 2000' feet in the process.  I tanked up on fluids so much that my stomach sloshed on the way out and it was a little difficult to run.  After a few minutes that feeling went away and I was good to go.  I don't remember this section being particularly difficult this year.  Maybe it was having someone to chat with and take up the time, maybe I was trained better.  Who knows, but this section wasn't too bad and before I knew it we were making the steep descent into Twins again.  Right at the top of the pass I caught up with Forrest and he was looking a bit rough.  We also caught up with Shawn on the descent and ran together into Twins.  Twins the second time always has popsicles and these are always welcome.  It was a lot warmer now than when I went thru in the morning. 

Forrest putting some ice in his cap at Twins
Twins to Maiden Peak- 46th place
I spent a few minutes longer here than I probably should have, but when I finally left, both Shawn and Mike had bolted and were heading back down the hill towards our little road section.  Once again, this was part of the fire detour and instead of heading directly for the Maiden Peak aid, we had to make the trek back to the Gold Lake aid station.  The bonus was to get to run on some new trails.  Running on the hillside above Gold Lake was pretty cool.  I ran past several large springs right next to the trail.  Pretty neat to see. 
I wasn't looking forward to the trek out of Gold Lake.  With the reroute, we were looking at just under 3000' of solid climbing to get to the top of Maiden Peak, with the steepest part at the top.  Not fun at all.  It seemed like the section to the Maiden Peak aid station took awhile, but I'm sure it wasn't as long as I thought it was.  By now the sun was pretty warm.  The ari was probably in the mid 70's but if you got out in the sun, you got warm fast.  During the section to Maiden Peak aid, I did manage to catch and pass a number of people.  Always a good thing in my book.
Maiden Peak to Maiden Lake -
When I got to Maiden Peak aid, Mike was there and just heading out.  He tried to take a different trail (downhill) as a joke but was quickly corrected by the aid station folks.
We started the climb together but Mike eventually pulled away.  The good thing this year is that I was able to climb steady all the way up.  In years past I've had to stop occasionally for a few seconds of rest, then keep going.  Pretty uneventful climb, I was climbing along with a lady and we hit the trail junction just before the summit together.  We had been hearing thunder overhead and hadn't really thought about it, but at the junction, a course marshall stopped us.  We weren't allowed to make the last 1/4 mile climb to the summit, bummer!  We also had to wait until everyone at the summit ahead of us made it back down before we were allowed to continue.  Made for a few minutes rest, which was nice.  Once the last person was off the summit, we were cleared to go and I took off.  This section of trail is called "Leap of Faith" and it is.  Very rocky, steep, loose, and treacherous.  Lots of people ahead of me were taking it easy.  Having run this race many times before, I knew what was in store and could fly down the trail.  I knew that from here to the finish (9.5 miles) it was downhill.  I picked up the pace and passed roughly 6-7 people in the last couple of miles before Maiden Lake aid.  The legs felt good and I took off.

Coming down Leap of Faith

Forrest not looking happy

Maiden Lake to the Finish- 44th place
Every year at the Maiden Lake aid, there's a lady that takes a clean wipe and wipes your face and neck down.  It's a tradition there.  Needless to say, I had my hat and glasses off before I got in.  That little wipedown works wonders.  Kind of rejuvenates you for the last 7.5 miles.  I spent about a minute there and took off, I was starting to smell the barn, plus I wanted to get donee before dark.  The trail out of Maiden Lake starts out as a short little uphill, then goes to a downhill.  This is definitely my favorite section of the race.  The scenery is awesome, running past several lakes and through the forest.  The trail is sublime, twisty and rolling but primarily downhill, the trail surface is soft, fir needle covered, a few rocks.  Just some of the best trail you could ask for.  It was through here that I caught back up to and passed Mike.  How did that happen?  The dude is fast.  Must not have been a good day.  I did manage to catch a couple more people through here.  About 3.5 miles from the finish the PCT branches off.  It was here that Karen was originally planning on meeting me and running with me to the finish.  Alas, she wasn't there.  Oh well, keep going.  Now I'm running past the Rosary Lakes.  Beautiful mountain lakes, granite cliffs on the other side, trail right beside the lake.  Very cool.  Once past there, the trail starts down again.  It's here that I start listening for the highway.  I know that once I hear cars on the highway, the finish is close.  As I came around a corner about 1/4 mile from the finish, Karen, Britta, Carmen and Cindy were there cheering me on.  That brought a smile to my face.  As I ran past I asked which one was running with me to the finish, they just laughed.  At that point I could see the finish line and the clock.  I noticed that the time was getting close to 15 hours and I knew I had to get under that.  I managed to finish with a time of 14:59:53.
Glad to be done

Forrest, done

Crosssing the finish line


So, my 6th Waldo 100K is in the books.  As usual, I had a great time.  This has to be one of my favorite races.  The course is beautiful, the organization impeccable.  Low key, less than 125 runners started, and they keep it that way.  Crai Thornley does an outstainding job every year directing this race.  With him moving on to the Race Director's job at Western States, that race is in very good hands.
By the numbers-
Time - 14:59:53
Place - 41/113
Age group place - 7/20

Fueling - This time I used a combination of 1st Endurance Liquid Shot and what ever the aid stations had.  No stomach issues at all and I stayed fueld pretty good.  Got hungry a couple of times, but it really wasn't an issue.
No blisters on the feet.  Not very sore the next day at all.  I was more sore after Speedgoat, and that was half the distance.
Now that I'm done with Waldo, let the taper for Wasatch begin.

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