Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salmon Marathon

I tried to write an actual race report, but I got bored in the process. So here's an all over the place version of the good and not so good.

Our campground view
After being really sick the week before the race, I got a "go ahead, but use your head, good luck" message from the urgent care doctor. Steve, Bud and I took the camper on a beautiful journey through Montana and Idaho. We arrived to warm sunshine, huge campground discount and a nice reunion with former Kalispell running partners.

The race is one of the best. Very well organized. Lodging, packet pick-up, transportation to the start and the finish line all within about .2 miles of each other. Technical shirt - yes, bright lime green but I kinda like it.

You get transported to the start where a one room school house is open to keep runners warm. Plus, your extra belongings are transported back to the finish line for you. The race started on time. We ran a winding gravel road with great views of the mountains. Absolutely beautiful for sure. Aid stations every couple of miles with Heed and water. Plenty of port-o-potties at start and along the way.

I got to run the first miles of the race with Deb. That was fun and she provided motivation. The first half was GREAT. More good? My mix of Hammer Heed and Sustained Energy. The just remembered Gu Roctane taken at mile 23. The guy at mile 25.5 cheering me on like I've never experienced before. Despite the immense pain, he totally cracked me up.

Re-grouping to run again the last couple of miles.

Not puking. (See the not so good section)

Seeing Steve and Buddy cheering me in.

Becoming a Salmon Marathon finisher.

No blisters.

Danni and Mary Ann placing in their age groups!

Beer at the finish.


The out and back section shortly after mile 13. It was a long uphill section that never seemed to end. I was still feeling ok at this point, but it was kind of uninspiring compared to the rest of the course.
The sudden stabbing collapse of knee pain at mile 18. Where in the heck did that come from? A short walk and some stretching helped, as did a change in gait that made me run like Frankenstein for the next few miles.

Excruciating sore throat from mile 20 on. Drinking too much water to alleviate throat pain. Eventual nausea from drinking all the water.

Mixed feelings about my time of 4:51. I know I could have done better, and I definitely learned some lessons for next time. Like don't surround yourself with 600 little walking germ factories two weeks before a race.

Feeling really hungry for the burger I ordered at the post race dinner, and not being able to enjoy it because of the searing pain with each swallow.


I'm definitely ready for something other than Hal Higdon's novice plan. I should have done a couple more long runs. The tempo runs I added have helped. Many of my miles were under a 10:30 pace. It was the major walking I did between 21 and 24 that hurt me. When I say major walking, I mean down to about a 14 minute pace.

Very good decision to return to my Asics. Drymax socks really are the best.

It's a personal decision to run a marathon when sick. I don't think I did any lasting damage, but my crud hasn't gone away. Despite quad pain and stiffness immediately following the race, my body feels normal except for a lingering, constant fatigue; kind of like you get with a flu. Was it worth it? I'd have to say yes, just because it was a fabulous race.

Last - did I mention the absolutely cool finisher's salmon medal? Normally, I don't know what to do with the thing, but this one is hanging in my office. Yes, it's that awesome. I'll have to try and get a close up of it.

Next up? The Wolf Creek Relay next week!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Yep, day three of a virus that has knocked me out pretty good. What started as a scratchy throat turned into major sore throat, fever, and being oh so tired. After work on Friday, I immediately went to bed and stayed there until Saturday evening. I was supposed to run with Rebecca, who was doing her "unofficial" one person marathon today. That didn't happen. Instead, Buddy and I hiked up to meet her to at least cheer her on. My brother-in-law reassures me that all will be ok even without my final 8 miler.

Although I am worried about being sick and Saturday's marathon, it was a good opportunity to spend five hours on my Career Development Plan. Sometimes I wonder...instead of spending time writing down what we hope to do in our job, what we are required to do in our job, what we are doing for professional service outside of our job but for our job, maybe we could just DO our job?

Busy week ahead. See you after the marathon!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I've hit most of my planned runs despite a busy back to school work schedule. At first, I was disappointed that my marathon taper hit right at a three day weekend (my usual holiday plan is lots of long trail runs). My second thought was oooooh - rest! Rest I did.

Before that, I needed to complete my last semi-long run of 12 miles. Friday night, I received a phone call from one of Rebecca's friends and we planned to meet up for 5 miles of trail. Fun getting to know someone new! I combined this with 7 miles of road running, then slept for THREE HOURS! Guess I was tired.

Sunday, Buddy and I enjoyed the cooler temps with a four mile tempo run. One mile of warm-up followed by four miles of faster fun. The rest of the weekend? Sleep, food, good books, a new running magazine and lots of walking with Buddy.

I am catching glimpses of the runner I possibly could be if I were more dedicated to a training plan. Long strings of easy 10 minute miles have become normal, and during my faster 3-5 milers I see mile splits of 8:30's and 8:40's. This concerns me a bit for the marathon. Since I have no prediction for this race, I really hope not to go out too fast and then blow up. But, what is too fast? How does one know? Do I mimic my long runs? Or is that too conservative? I guess that's part of the game. To gamble or not to gamble? We'll see...