I'm two race reports behind so I need to get moving on writing these up. I originally got into blogging for the social aspect. So I have to admit, it's a little disheartening to post and not get many comments, let alone hits. But I think my reasons for blogging have changed over the last year. I suppose now I get my online social fix on Facebook and Daily Mile. Lately this blog has become just a place to record my race reports. However I'd like to get back to writing more about my goals and dreams and general random thoughts, mainly associated with running. I find I blog in my head quite a bit (often when running), but then it never goes any farther. I'd like to work more on getting at least some of those thoughts and musings recorded. I find I really enjoy looking back and reading what I wrote 4 years ago and seeing where my head was at that time. Anyway, on to the race report....
My racing schedule so far this year has been all over the place. A few races on my schedule were ones I've always wanted to run, like the Siskiyou Out Back 50K and the Haulin' Aspen Marathon. And some were favorites that I've wanted to return to, like the McKenzie River 50K. Some were spur of the moment decisions, but probably none more so than the Operation Jack 7 Hour Challenge. After my 3 weeks of marathons and a 12 hour race in August, I wanted to recover, train and go into September feeling rested and ready to go for McKenzie River on 9/11. But then I got an invite on Facebook to attend this 7 hour race in a Tigard park, the week before McKenzie. This was a donation only race, partially orgainzed by fellow maniac Steve Walters, to benefit Operation Jack and Train 4 Autism. Click the links to read more about it. I really like fixed time races and have goals for longer ones. But my first reaction was no, it would mess up my plans and goals for McKenzie. Its hard to resist a hometown race and I soon changed my mind, thinking I could stop at 20 miles or go really slow and practice my walking for longer fixed time runs. Of course, by race day I was pretty sure I wouldn't be happy with anything less than a marathon.
The race took place at Summer Lake Park in Tigard, on an approximately one mile loop around a little lake with houses on the outside. It started at 6 am and the usual maniac suspects were there. I also had the good fortune of meeting Teri who I had recently met on Daily Mile. I'd just purchased a Garmin 310xt for my birthday and this was my first real run trying it out. I set it to vibrate every .25 mile. I planned on running a quarter mile and walking a quarter mile. But after the first few laps, I felt like I was walking too much, so I switched to running half a mile and walking a quarter mile. Perfect.
There were only about 17 us running around the lake. Since the views across the lake was obscured by trees and bushes, it seemed even smaller. I pretty much kept to myself and listened to my music the whole time, greeting others as they passed or I passed them. The volunteers at the start/finish were awesome. I loved being greeted by name and cheered for every time I passed. The weather was perfect. Cool and cloudy most of the morning with no rain.
As I neared the marathon distance, I thought about continuing on, but kept to my original intention of stopping. I finished in 5:07, which I was happy with considering I was intentionally trying to go slow. I hung around for awhile and then was home within 30 minutes. Just another day at the office. Feels good to be back to a place where I can pull off a marathon without too much thought.