Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mountain West At Oregon Twilight

4 of the Mountain West ladies made the trip to the land of Pre last weekend (May 9th) for the Oregon Twilight meet.

First up were Meg Lerch, Jennie Newton and Rye Palen in the women's 5K.  Long story short - it was a good day to be wearing the MW colors.

Meg Lerch gets the win with a stellar 16:42.04.  She is on a roll this seaon and looks poised to hit sub-16:30.  Jennie, getting oh so near to the masters ranks, runs a sub 18:00 with a 7th place 17:58.95.  And, in 8th was Rye - her 18:05.68 also well under 6:00 pace.

In the 1,500, Dianne Cummins continues to run fast. Her 4:17.25 (roughly a 4:35 mile) brought her home in a close 2nd place to Oregon's Nicole Blood. 

Way to go Mountain West ladies.

Bloomsday Pix

Courtesy of Ray Hunt

Jimmy Grant Looking Fit and Fast In His
Stylish Big Sky Distance Project Singlet

Yes, Nicole - it is okay to smile when
you're running fast and kicking ass!!!!

Look at the that old buzzard holding off
the young punk

(Okay, so - the young punk came back and got me at the finish. But, I made him hurt if he was going to get past me :-) )

Checking Out The Blooms With 50,000 Of My Closest Friends

Okay - so it's a bit late in coming; but, here's the Buzzard's report of Bloomsday (Sunday, May 2nd).

The weather was kind of sketchy in Spokane as we pulled into town on Saturday afternoon and arrived at the convention center to pick up our race packets.  Periods of heavy rain and gusty winds had me a bit nervous about what things would be like on race morning.  But, not too worry.  Conditions were extremely good as we woke up early Sunday.

Clear skies, cool (but not cold) temps and only mild breezes created the 49,000 + runners who made the annual pilgrimage to Don Kardong's festival of running.  Erin and Zoe headed to the start line a bit after 8:00 (we stayed at a motel within about 1K of the start); and, I followed at about 8:30.  It was a perfect warmup distance to the second seed corral; and, had time to hit the porta pottie and get in a few strides.

The only real mistake I made was settling in a bit too far back from the front of the second seed runners.  Once the gun went off, I probably was 3 to 4 seconds before hitting the start line, then had about 400 meters of very crowded street.  But, I really tried to focus on staying controlled and keeping the pace reasonable.  My training hadn't been going to well over the last month.  Felt flat, heavy, fatigued and uninspired.  Felt like a case of overtraining; but, whatever the case, didn't have really high expectations.

Earlier this year, I had hopes of running 42:30 to 43:30.  But, with how I had been feeling and running recently, I was thinking that 47 or 48 may be as good as I was going to see.  So, I was pleasently suprised when I hit the first mile at just under 6:00 pace.  Then, got into a bit of a groove and just kept hitting 6:00's.  Just barely over 6:10's for the miles that include sections of Doomsday hill. 

Ran pretty strong into the finish and was happy to be right about 45:00.  Turns out, ran exactly the same time as 2009 - 45:09.  So, while not the time goal I had set earlier this year; it, was a pleasant suprise given how I felt coming into the event.  Clearly though, I have a few things to work on over the summer.

In looking at pix and videos from my last couple of races, I see that my leg lift and stride length are pathetic.  My leg turnover and general leg speed are also woefully lacking.  And, I probably need to get some bloodwork done to make sure that I don't have some underlying physiological issues that are contributing.  But, I'm confident that I can get back on track and be ready for lat summer and the fall racing/XC season.

As to the rest of the Montana crew.  Here's a list of the top 25 Big Sky runners:

1. Jimmy Grant, 31, of Missoula, MT 0:39:20

2. Dewey Peacock, 30, of Bozeman, MT 0:42:21
3. Noah W Stout, 21, of Darby, MT 0:42:34
4. Ian C Blair, 38, of Billings, MT 0:43:34
5. Nicole B Hunt, 40, of Deer Lodge, MT 0:43:43
6. Jesse Q Carnes, 24, of Missoula, MT 0:43:52
7. Scott Gaiser, 47, of Kalispell, MT 0:43:53
8. Patrick T Murphy, 28, of St Ignatius, MT 0:44:23
9. Ted Burnham, 40, of Kalispell, MT 0:44:35
10. Doug Neil, 31, of Bozeman, MT 0:44:38
11. Jake Neil, 31, of Bozeman, MT 0:44:40
12. Ed Detzi, 43, of Bozeman, MT 0:44:52
13. Adam Peterman, 14, of Missoula, MT 0:44:57
14. Steve L Morley, 42, of Bigfork, MT 0:45:06
15. Tony Banovich, 47, of Plains, MT 0:45:09
16. Donald P Rosenleaf, 36, of Butte, MT 0:46:53
17. Brett J Larsen, 29, of Missoula, MT 0:46:54
18. Eddie P Mundall, 36, of Thompson Falls, MT 0:46:54
19. Mike D Jr Kallas, 25, of Butte, MT 0:47:07
20. Makena Morley, 13, of Bigfork, MT 0:47:22
21. Kal J Tucker, 22, of Bozeman, MT 0:47:24
22. Scott Stearns, 37, of Missoula, MT 0:47:39
23. Randy T Welch, 33, of Townsend, MT 0:48:03
24. Gary L Caton, 51, of Bozeman, MT 0:48:04
25. Mary K Thane, 46, of Missoula, MT 0:48:05

Some of the performances of note (from my pespective):  Tops has to be Nicole Hunt's run.  Competing with the elite women, she was 17th overall woman, 6th American and 1st master's women (she turned 40 just days before the race.).  Here 43:43 is a screaming fast time and placed her 5th amongst all Montanan's.  Kudo's to the new fastest old chick on the block.
Next up was Jimmy Grant of Missoula.  Continuing his string of solid performances dating back to early 2009, Jimmy repeated as the fastest Montanan.  His 39:20 got him 34th overall and was 3 minutes ahead of the next Big Sky athlete.
Dewey Peacock had a great run as the second Montanan and the only person besides Grant to break the 43:00 barrier.
Adam Peterman of Missoula, a Hellgate High freshman, took a break from his track season to pop off a sub 45 with his 44:57.  That strenght served him well as the next weekend he just missed the sub-10:00 3200 mark.  Not a bad "rookie" season.
Finally, there is a Makena Morley of Bigfork listed with a 47:22 time and an age of 13.  If that's all accurate, we may very well have our next Zoe Nelson.  Does anyone know anything more about this girl?  If so, let me know.
Well, there you have it - another year of Bloomsday behind us; and, I'm glad that we made the trip over.  Gave me a little shot in the ass and has inspired me to really commit to doing the little things that I need to do to get my times back down to be competitive with Ray, Kyle, Pat, Herring, Telling, et al.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard

The Buzzard Took A Nap

Been away for a bit from posting.  First off, we got back from Bloomsday on Sunday evening.  I took off the next morning for a 4 day trip to Billings for work.  Got home late Thursday and spent Friday getting caught up at home and work.  Then off to Kalispell all day Saturday for the Archie Roe track meet.

On top of everthing else, we have been remodeling our living room.  When we bough the house, the living room walls and celing were "finished" in ugly, dark brown paneling.  '70's basement rec room flashbacks every day.  It was dark and really detracted from the rest of the house.

So, we finally undertook getting it upgraded.  We had someone come in to do sheetrock on the walls; and, hired someone to do tongue and groove pine on the ceiling and pine board trim around the doors and windows.  In order to stay ahead of the contractors, I was using all of my free time to stain boards, trim out electrical devices and do general clean-up and dust control.

We're getting close to being done; but, still have to stain and install boards for wall base and trim around a closet and some upper windows.  And, need to put up a "built in" book case that goes from floor to the 12' ceiling.  It's been a lot of work and has really killed my "free time"; but, man, it really looks great.  Will post some before and after photos when we get it all done.

But, now I'm back and ready for some posting on the last couple of weekends.

The Muddy Buzzard