Monday, January 7, 2013

Tiger Fat Ass 25k and week #1 of training program results

I wasn't expecting anything good from the first race of the year - Tiger Fat Ass 25k. Originally I planned to run 50k, but my trainer has not approved the whole strategy of racing 50k+ every week, so 50k was not an option even before I started the week one of training. I started it pretty hardcore - with running up to mt Si on Jan-1, that took me 4 days to recover from. I should probably mention that recovery included running 7m the 2nd, and 4 on the 3rd. I felt awful on the third day of running, and I felt even worse on Friday, the planned day off and a "taper" before Tiger Fat Ass. We went to the Seattle Bouldering Project, and while Kolya and Kostya were having a blast crushing all around, I was completely wasted after just one hour of climbing. It was a total tiredness in the whole body (including one bloody fingertip from my holiday cooking experience).

On Friday Kolya woke up at 5am (apparently he forgot that the race was at 8, not 7), bought some banana bread at Starbucks, so when I woke up 1.5hrs later, my breakfast was ready and waiting for me. The day before somebody posted in Seattle Mountain Running Group FB page that there was a lot of ice on the top of Tiger and some traction devices were highly recommended. I doubt for few minutes if I want to carry heavy microspikes with me all the way up because of some ice probability, also worried about the hydrapack that could easily be damaged by the spikes. Finally convinced by our run to the Si 4 days before I put them to the pocket of the pack.

We got to the parking lot at 7:30, were surprised how hard it was already packed for the unsanctioned race with no information about on the internet. There were at least 100 people at the start. Everybody wrote their names in the notebook, everybody was expected to use own watch for timing and then write the results into the same book.

Then some old guy said "go" and we started on the dirt road to reach the upper parking lot first, then some nice flats and downhills to get to Issaquah high school. The "Russians" were all running together (myself, Kolya, Stas and Alexey). Alexey made some jokes about me running too slow, but I actually ran with my normal pace (I was not pushing, I never do on trail races). Running felt surprisingly good considering my condition just one day before. The trail marking was great (they used Christmas decorations for it), I was not worried to get lost on Tiger anymore. Also I ended up to be running with someone all the time, never was alone.

Then we passed the high school and uphill started (at mile 3 or so). I kept running, but apparently slowed down a lot, as everybody went far ahead of me, and soon I lost visibility of all three other members of the gang. I still felt pretty good, and I didn't run faster because I knew that if I do, I'll get out of breath soon and it will be worse. Surprisingly I was passing people on the uphill, that's uncommon for me (usually everybody passes me on the uphill, and I pass everyone on the downhill).

At some point it became steep, and I switched to hiking, with periodic running on flats. I was surprised when Stas caught me, I thought he was long way ahead (he had a bathroom stop apparently when I passed him). So we started running/hiking together, snow appeared somewhere around the trail, but trail itself was still in great condition. I still felt pretty good, but needed to use a bathroom. That's what I hate about being a girl, is that I really have to go deep to the forest for that, when men can just turn with their back to the trail to do the thing. It takes huge amount of time, and sometimes pretty hardcore bushwhacking to find a nice spot. However my previous experience proved that if I don't pee, I stop drinking, and then it may get really really bad. So I left Stas and hiked into the bushes.

 Soon I was back on the trail, and running became much easier :) I caught Stas pretty soon again, he was tightening his laces. We again started running and hiking together. Soon the uphill ended and became a nice partially snowpacked rolling single track with technical sections. That's my kind of terrain! I quickly lost the visibility of Stas (this time he stayed behind!) and passed lots of other people. Then very heavy snow pack started and I switched to hiking again, some guy who I passed few times before passed me again, and we kept going together almost till the very end of the race. Later he recognized me from the climbing gym, and we exchanged with some phrases about climbing, running and how fun this race is.

Near the top of Tiger 1(?) just after passing the fully decorated Christmas tree, I felt something that people call deja vu. That was Kolya slowly climbing uphill on heavy snowpack (last time that happened on Seattle marathon, when he first built a big gap between us, but then slowed down and I passed him). Apparently he wasn't eating since we started the run and he was pushing really hard on the uphills, so now he was completely out of fuel and out of power. I asked how he felt, kissed and left him to struggle alone.

On the top of Tiger 2(?) we (together with that guy from the gym, forgot his name :() met another older guy (Terry), who was very chatty, but had REAL troubles understanding my accent. I repeated each phrase like 3 times for him, but finally after a mile or two he started understanding me fine enough for a good chat :) He told me about his son who was an exchange student in Russia, and now studies somewhere in Europe. He told me about Badwater he ran few years ago. And at some point I figured that we are now on the top of Tiger 3 where I hiked two years ago. There were lots of old Chinese men and ladies on the top, just tens of them, and other tens were climbing up when we started the last downhill! My watch only showed 10-11 miles at this point, and I remembered that the last long downhill had to be 3 miles long only. I was confused, and decided that probably the downhill is going to take 6 miles!

First mile of the downhill was SUPER ICY! I was sliding, and fall two times, but got up and kept a fast pace anyways. I haven't put the microspikes on, as you can see :) Terry took a huuuuge fall with long slide, I thought he could have broken something, but he got up and kept running.

At this point I recognized Alexey's backpack, and here he was - the last one from the Russian gang that left me alone when the uphill started! I joined him for some run and chat, then stopped to tight the laces, then caught him again and we finished the run together in 2:55. I still felt great :) Downhill was only 3 miles as promised by book.

I quickly jumped to the car, changed my shirt, socks and shoes, mixed ultragen, took iPhone and ran back to finish line. Stas was already there, and I haven't even had time to ask him about his race, when Kolya appeared. His watch shut down at some point, so we guessed the time using the guy who finished after him.

Track: Tiger Fat Ass 25k

The track shows about 14 miles, but according to book it is 16 (and we ran according to book).

Next day we went for 6m (almost 7) run on Cougar, and  I was pretty tired, though managed to run all little uphills (the run is not too hilly). I've also tested Suunto Ambit for the first time. It feels really good on the arm, even better than lighter Forerunner 310XT. I don't like how many clicks it takes to start/stop running though.

Track: Cougar 7m

So the first week on Karl Meltzer's program is done:

42 miles
~8200 feet elevation gain

Not bad!

PS: And I also got in to the Chuckanut 50k!

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