Monday, February 23, 2009

Hagg Lake 50K

Last Saturday I ran my 3rd Hagg Lake 50K and 10th turned out to be a day very similar to the 2008 race. I remember thinking earlier in the week how it seemed like the 2008 trail season had just ended, but really it had been over 5 months...I was very excited to race "long" distance again. The other great thing about these races is seeing all the familiar faces...some of the Corvallis group was there...Scott, John, Dave, Erik, and Sander...I got to congratulate Darin Swanson on his sub-3 hour marathon...and Sean Meissner was disappointed I didn't wear my liger shirt. I didn't tell him, but I'm wearing my Waldo shirt this year for the's all about redemption there this season.

As Tom Riley captured in this picture below, it was a beautiful morning...if anything, I think it was warmer than last year.

I knew I was better prepared for the race this year and unlike last year, I wasn't coming into the race after getting over the flu. Realistically, I was hoping to run somewhere between 4:08 and 4:15. We all started off on the out-and-back...a little way up the road we heard a warning of roadkill, but as we got closer the Pain Train pointed out that he wasn't dead, just drunk...glad someone took a picture of this.

We hadn't gone too far down the trail when we saw Tom Riley taking pictures...thanks, really makes my blog look a lot better. I ran almost the entire first loop with a group consisting of Brendan Trimboli, Will Kalenius, and Joelle Vaught. I had some aid station splits written down to give me an idea of how fast I was going...we were on about 4:00 pace at the first aid station. I had the feeling it was a little too fast for me, but did I slow way. I continued to hit about 4:00 splits all the way around the first loop. Matt Daniels passed us without a word just prior to the Tanner Creek aid station...Brendan was the only one of us to go with him. And at about the 1 mile to go mark on the first loop, Will left Joelle and me. As I came back into Sain Creek, I stopped and picked up my full bottle.

After grabbing my bottle, who should catch up to me...the Pain Train...that gave me a boost and I consciously picked it up...I wasn't trying to break you...just a little bit of shake 'n bake! We caught Joelle and passed her after she took a spill...a short time later, we caught Will and ran behind him for a couple miles. Eventually he stepped off the trail and let us lead...and then, surprising to me, I could see Matt Daniels not far ahead. We caught and passed him as we popped out onto the road just prior to hitting the dam. Now for much of this time, I had the feeling that I was "running over my head"...then the Pain Train made his move...I was able to keep up on the road, but once we hit the trail again I fell back. And a few miles later, I really slowed felt like my hamstrings and calfs were getting real tight. Soon after that, Will caught and passed me...then Joelle caught me at the Tanner Creek aid station. My only thought at this point was that it was going to be darn close if I wanted to finish in 4:15. Unfortunately, this last stretch is probably the toughest to run...I tried to push...I even fell once...but in the end I was a little upset with myself that I didn't push quite hard enough to finish under 4:15...4:15:36. The Pain Train finished another great race in 4:05:54! He continues to impress me.

After the race I took a soak in the, that was cold! But I think it did me some good...everything feels pretty good a couple days later except the right hamstring. Hope I didn't make a mistake signing up for the Fall Creak Run-Around 20 Miler next weekend! Time for some road racing before the Boston Marathon.


Leah said...

Runners cease to amaze me. Believe it or not, we actually have another friend that runs ultras. Here is his blog
Happy racing!

Kristin Collantes said...

You are a machine. Boston will be here before you know it!!

Bullseye said...

Mike anytime you would like to try my aid services just let me know.You probably better take advantage of them while you get them for cheap.If you work out some kinks and run like you can this year,you will probably have to pay the champion rate.Wait a minute,thinking back you have some W's and an ultra series age group title.Might have to negotiate compensation.

ktjane said...

seriously. you're a mad man!

and the drunk skunk is hysterical!

William Swint said...

Mike, as always a great report. Thanks for the shake & bake.

saschasdad said...

Dude, happy Boston training! Enjoy the heck out of Boston, and remember to stop for a kiss at Wellesley.

As for Hagg, had you scrapped the Waldo shirt and worn Liger, there's zero doubt in my mind that you would have won in a new course record. The has special powers, man. Believe it!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

hey mike! so glad i stumbled upon your blog -- was great running with you at hagg... hope to see you at another race man!


Mike Rosling said...

Thanks ran a great race! Hope to see you again too.