Sunday, 5 August 2012

Speed Work During The Olympics

I'm now fairly exhausted, mentally and physically, from about the hardest couple of training days I've ever done plus the excitement of the athletics at the Olympics with three fantastic British golds in under an hour (Jess Ennis - Heptathlon, Greg Rutherford - long jump, Mo Farah - 10,000m). So the races this weekend in Bend were extra special and I was hyper motivated from British, American and every country's star athletes. Therefore this is a brief posting getting straight to the point.

Firstly, reasons to spend your summer running in Oregon (I couldn't help doing all of these):

- 28 July, Mt Hood 50 miler (fun and fast trails along the Pacific Crest Trail)
- 3-4 August, Cascade Lakes Relay (216 miles in 36 legs for a team of 12 or less, starting near Crater Lake, finishing in Bend and not really sleeping)
- 5 August, Haulin Aspen 7.1/Half/Marathon (lots of single track in Bend)
- 11 August, Crater Lake Marathon (rolling road at altitude around the lake in the National Park)
- 18 August, Waldo 100k (12,000ft of climb and absolutely stunning - Oregon's premier ultra and a Montrail Ultracup qualifier for Western States)
- there're more races but this'll do for now
- Oregon-based Mo Farah and Galen Rupp (10,000m), Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher (marathon) plus a few other track athletes raced in the Olympics this weekend

Then my last 48 hours in numbers:

- Number of 100% effort runs: 4
- Miles raced: 31.4
- Number of wives at home: 0 (of 1, obviously)
- Miles raced on trails: 13.2
- Miles above 5,000ft: 18.2
- Miles raced above 5,000ft as Spiderman: 2.1 (costume competition leg)
- Total ascent: 1,755ft
- Total descent: 1,872ft
- Total time racing: 3:17:12
- Hours slept: 6
- Highs each day: 90-100F
- Race results: 2 (Mixed team win at Cascade Lakes Relay, 3rd overall in approx 23:59:30 for 216 miles; 5th in 1:25:58 at Haulin Aspen Half)
- Number of times our team got lost: 1 (wouldn't have made for as dramatic finish without this, just nipping under 24 hrs)
- Number of Olympic events I got up in the middle of the night for: 2 (women's marathon, men's tennis final)
- Number of times I screamed at the online video stream: too many
- Number of times in my life I've thought twice about getting out of bed for a half marathon: 1 (Murray was almost two sets up on Federer when I left home)
- Number of times a man called me handsome in the middle of the night: 1 (3 Non Joggers' Carl the Mailman, possibly while drunk and watching the women's marathon on TV, although he denies drinking)
- Inspiration and motivation from seeing the Olympic athletes: unmeasurable
- Need for more sleep: high
- Chance of sleeping with so many Olympic events on: zero

Photos from Cascade Lakes Relay:

Change-over after leg three

Jordan finishing leg four at speed

Change-over area after leg four - hot

Change-over area after leg four

Our van - minimal decorations for speed

Relaxing after our first six legs while the girls did their thing in  the second van

Silver Lake van change-over area after leg 12

The second change-over of vans after leg 12, just as the sun was setting

A Badger-themed Ultra team (six or fewer runners instead of 12)

The final van change after the men had completed all their lags with the ladies finishing the final six legs

Katie running a very steep downhill (actually flat)

Slick hand-over between Frans and JJ in the boiling heat

Both van 1 (men) and van 2 (women) waiting around the 32nd  handover

About to finish as a group as the clock ticks to 23:59


  1. just curious.. you were watching the womens marathon with Carl the Mailman>>??? That sounds epic

  2. Benj - No, communication via Twitter. I only had 2 pups for company and they were sleeping :)

  3. Nice finish at CLR! This was my first year running there and I think my whole team has decided to make it an annual tradition. What a great event!