Running from Washington to Oregon and ultra training

Its not as far as it sounds if you start on the edge of one state and run to the other but what makes the Grand Columbia Crossing 10k interesting is that you get the once a year chance to run across the Megler Bridge (more pictures).

Its an early start as always becuase they have to bus 3000 people across to the start line. So you either get their early, ensure you get a bus and wait at Dismal Nitch in the cold or you show up late and wait in line for a bus in the cold. You can pass the time standing in lines for portapotties or you can wear a silver cape from a previous race and pretend to be in Zoolander

Zoolander in silver

There's a 1 mile run to the bridge and then 3 miles in a long straight line. As always a lot of people go like a bat out of hell just to give me someone to pass for the rest of the race. The views are great even though you are down low to the water. It takes forever to get across the flat bit and then the climb starts at mile 4 for a little over half a mile till you get to the top of the high bit. I was taking it pretty easy due to lots of training so I used these opportunities to take some pictures. I think my camera is on the way out - they are really not very good but check them out anyway.

Once you are at the top its a fast downhill to what looks like the finish line but wait, that's only 5 and a bit miles.... where are they taking me.... oh no a half mile out and back to make up the distance. But wait, I'm feeling pretty good here and people are slowing down I can look like a real athlete here and pass people. One guy got screaming past me so I chase him to the end and we pass lots of people. I almost catch him but he crosses the finish before me. Final time 56:18 - my slowest 10k ever! My splits were 10:20, 9:16, 8:58, 9:03 (start of the hill), 10:24 (uphill, photos, downhill), 8:15 (for the 1.2 miles which is actually 6:52 pace which suggests a bad mile marker or short race to me!). Either way a great race and lots of fun. I think there were more walkers than runners so if you ever feel the urge to walk the bridge its a good day for that too and you can wear more sensible clothing.

I've alluded to lots of training for my upcoming 12 hour. When I first started running a 5k or 10k would earn you a few days off training to recover. You got a whole week for a half marathon and longer for a full marathon if you needed it. Now I'm doing really long races everything else becomes a minor blip. In the last month I've done 2 half marathons purely as a long training run and no I don't get time off after them, even the one that was my 2nd fastest half ever. This weekend the 10k simply wasn't going to cut it so the day before I got up at 6am and ran 2 hours as a warm up before Sundays extra 6 miles. There won't be any days off after this either. I think its only going to get worse until next April - I already have a 50k planned as a training run!

On the other hand it does feel quite cool to say I'm a ultra runner doesn't it?

Published 12 October 2009 11:08 AM by zman


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