The 2015 #SRCBrooks team is off to the races! Below, read (and see) what everyone’s been up to and what’s to come in the summer (hint: lots of Cougar Mountain Series races!).
The first quarter being an SRC/Brooks team member went great! (For the most part!)
My year started with a long vacation in Europe.
In Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Germany, I paired my favorite pair of shoes with my favorite pair of running shorts: fire-red Cascadia 9s & 5″ Sherpas. They were the only pair of shoes that I needed, and I stretched them from smooth bike trails in the Netherlands, a whole lot of cobbled sidewalks everywhere, and the German countryside—and up mountains to a castle or two.
At the Brandenburg Gate, another couple of runners ACTUALLY said “Toll schuhe.” (At least, I’m 75% confident that was the phrase. It actually might’ve been “super schuhe.” Either way, they loved my shoes.)
In Paris, I don’t think I ran past anyone that didn’t glance at my feet. I couldn’t tell if they were offended by the color, or they REALLY liked them.
In March, I ran my first 50k with thousands of feet of elevation.
It went so much better than I anticipated, and I wore my NEW favorite shoe for trail running and racing: Pure Grit 3. It was Type-1 fun for the first 30, followed by Type-2 fun for the last 20. (Type-1 is fun when it’s happening; type-2 is fun ONLY in retrospect.)
There were some tough spots on the Chuckanut course, but the Grits have enough traction for rocks, mud, and regular-old trail. It was a blast.
Now, mid-April, I’m gearing up for the Boston Marathon.
I’m really quite excited for the marathon, but have a bit of a knee issue I’m working through. With luck I’ll be finishing—and with a goal time of 2:48—but I’m preparing for some pain!
I’m optimistic, though, and will be running in T7s!
The first part of the year has gotten off to a great start. I’ve had many training runs and try to get up for Win Van Pelt’s weekend long runs at Cougar Mountain as often as possible. Saturday April 11th 2015 I completed the Squak Mountain Half Marathon 1st in my age group and 8th Overall. This was a wonderful course with many switchbacks built in, allowing for significant elevation gain throughout. The hill climbs during the first half and the winding single track to finish off the race were superb! This was a great race for me as I was well rested and felt strong throughout. It’s giving me confidence as I look forward to my upcoming marathon on the 20th.
Training has been intense and has included early morning destination runs followed by full days of climbing and/or skiing. This has
included Mazama (Methow Valley), Skaha (Penticton, British Columbia), and Frenchman Coulee (Vantage, WA) thus far this year.
I’m looking forward to the Boston Marathon on April 20th and feel very strong going into this race! Beyond that I plan to make as many of SRCs weekend and weekly workout runs as possible while also racing throughout the state this year. I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I was this time last year so I hope to have a strong cross country season with Brooks Running and the Seattle Running Club!
Not much of a report from me as I have been getting over an injury…but I am finally healthy! I have had a great year so far building strength (Pure Barre) and endurance through miles on road and trail. I am looking forward to the month of May in which I will race for the first time in 9 months (!) at the Women’s Snohomish Half Marathon and the Brooks Trailhead 10k.
On my training runs, the long sleeve has been my favorite piece (I have one with the screwed up logo). I have a picture attached when I decided to wear it up Granite Mountain. There was a 10 degree temperature change from bottom to top and it was the perfect material. I also like how soft it is – I don’t have to worry about any chaffing.
There will be much more to share after May!
Thus far in the SRC singlet I have been having a lot of fun. After a fun full racing cross country with everyone, it was time for me to hit the track. I ran my first steeplechase of the season at the Spring Break Open. Although it was not the race I wanted, I won the event and learned a lot that I will be taking forward with me as I gear up to race at the Mt Sac Relays. Training with everyone on the track at Wednesday night workouts has been a blast, not to mention the energy and support has been wonderful! I am excited to see what this team can do in each of our personal events. My favorite new gear to train in is the Brooks T9 Racer and SRC tank top; it feels comfy and fast. :)
The first quarter of my year as a Brooks team member has been dedicated to increasing my base miles, improving core strength, and planning for the rest of the year. I have done many training runs at Grand Ridge, Bridle Trails and Cougar, as well as along Lake Washington, while wearing my Launch, Ravenna, and PureGrits. I have also been an active member of a moms fitness group while wearing #SRCBrooks gear and shoes. My goal is to increase the number of races I participate in throughout the year and peak in October and again in December.
I mainly focused on training this quarter, averaging in the mid-to-high 60s for miles per week and logging my first ever +100 mile weeks. My race results include an overall win at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 50k with a time of 3:33:23, a 17th overall, 5th age group finish at the Chuckanut 50k with a time of 4:21:32, and a 6:11 win at the Mt. Si 50 Mile at the end of April.
I have been putting my arsenal of Brooks shoes to good use, already logging +500 miles on a pair of Glycerin 12s. I have also raced in the Pure Grit 3s and train with the GTX Ghosts, Glycerin 12s, Pure Grit 3s, Cascadia 10s, and the ST Racer 5s. Other gear I use frequently are the Essential 3.5″ split short, Infiniti 3″ split short, Essential SS II top, and LSD Lite Jacket IV.
Next on my racing calendar are the Cougar Mt. Racing Series, the Brooks Trailhead 15k, the Cascade Relay’s Bend Beer Chase (with teammate Derek Reiff), and the White River 50 Mile. I may likely add another 50k in May or June.
12-27-14: Loop the Lake Marathon – tie for first in 3:07; marathon PR; Brooks Launch
1-3-15: Tiger Mt Fat Ass 50k – 5:39, course PR, 3rd place; Brooks Cascadia 9 with screws for the ice/snow.
1-10-15: Bridle Trails 50k – course pr in 4:17, 7th place; Brooks Pure Grit 3
2-1-15: West Seattle Fat Ass (75k) – tie for 1st in 7:27; course PR; Brooks Launch 2
2-14-15: Sedro Woolley 50k – 1st place in 3:52; 50k PR; Brooks Launch 2
2-28-15: YMCA Fund Run 6HR – tied for 1st after a 20 mile jog to the start; Brooks Launch 2
3-21-15: Pacific Rim One Day – 1st place, 115 laps; Brooks Launch2, silver bullet jacket, LSD jacket
4-11-15: Rock Creek Ramble 100k – 1st place in 11:33; course record; Brooks Launch 2, compression socks, white hvac hat, SRC blue gloves, blue long sleeve SRC shirt, blue/grey SRC Pure project short sleeve, LSD jacket.
I’ve had three focus races this winter/spring and one fun race.
Fun race first: Uli and I ran the 50k pairs relay at Bridle Trails again for the first time in 10 years! Our goal was to lower the course record we set back in 2005. Both of us were in good shape back then, so we knew it would be a pretty lofty goal. Despite me having a not-so-great day, we lowered it by 3 minutes!
Focus races: The first focus race for me was the Hillbilly Half-Marathon. This is a hilly, trail half and is the first race in the La Sportiva Mountain Series, so it brings good competition. It ended up being a beautiful sunny day with just a light breeze, so I peeled off a bunch of my layers right before the race started. I finished a solid 3rd place behind a woman who was 11th at NCAA DI XC Nationals a few years back and a woman who won the US Trail Half-Marathon Championships last year – not bad. I wore the PureGrit 3 for this race, especially because there are quite a few big mud puddles along the upper section of the course. I wanted to be sure to not have to worry about traction and the shoes pulled through!
The second focus race was the Gorge Waterfalls 50k. This was the main focus of my spring and I was ready to go. I knew there would be good competition and I was excited for the opportunity to compete. It was also the first ultra I have run a) outside of Washington state and b) where I didn’t know the entire course beforehand. That was a strange feeling. I held myself back at the beginning so I wouldn’t overdo it because there’s a huge hill to climb at the end of the race and I wanted to be able to make a strong push at the end. I lead the race from start to finish (minus a few minutes a few miles in where another lady went ahead briefly and then I passed her and never saw her again), winning by 11 minutes over Krissy Moehl. I wore the PureGrit 3 again for this race and those shoes felt incredible! For me to wear a pair of shoes for 5 hours and not even have a blister afterwards is a huge deal. Usually my feet hurt me during races and that ends up travelling up the chain, causing issues around my knees and/or hips. There wasn’t a chance for that to happen wearing these shoes. I love the fit, traction, support, and comfort!
My final race wasn’t as much of a focus race because I was travelling the few days before for work to California and I knew circumstances wouldn’t set me up for having a great race. With that said, I knew I could still run well and it was important to me to get the experience in. I ran the Whidbey Island Marathon, having not run a road marathon in 4 years. It was a lonely race for me as I was by myself for all but the first 3 miles. I was 2nd woman AND 2nd overall – very strange experience to not have any men finishing ahead of or around me. I beat the 1st place guy by almost 6 minutes and the 3rd place woman by almost 20 minutes. It was good to get a feel for a road marathon again, even though my body was tired from travel. I have to gush about the PureFlows. I have worn a lot of different pairs of shoes for road marathons and have always experience foot issues, painful blisters on my right, big toe, and not enough support from the shoe so other areas up the chain would hurt. My feet felt great the entire way! Turns out I got a fairly big blood blister on my right, big toe, but I hardly felt it and was surprised to see the blister when I took off my shoe. This shoe was awesome and makes me even more excited to run another road marathon. Double thumbs up!
As always, my Brooks apparel was super comfortable. I never noticed it during any of my races, which is a great thing. If you notice what you’re wearing, it’s probably not fitting you right. My favourite is the Versatile Shape bra. That thing is supportive, comfortable, and I haven’t experienced any chafing, even during a 5 hour race! Fantastic work, Brooks!
Next up for me is the Zermatt Marathon in Switzerland, which is a combination of road and trail. It starts at about 4000′ elevation and climbs almost the entire time, ending at about 8500′. Three weeks after that is the White River 50 Mile trail race where I’ll be taking on not only the women’s competition, but also some of my male SRC and SRC-Brooks teammates – I’m certainly the underdog in that race! I’m looking forward to racing 50 miles again as it’s been 12 years since I last raced that distance.
I was nervous being selected for the Brooks Seattle RC team this year as a was staring the Big 4-0 in the face. Could I still run, let alone race? I wasn’t sure, but then I remembered SRC member Uli Steidl still kicks butt and is a couple years older than me, so I got over it and kept logging miles. My updated Brooks Ravennas and PureFlows keep my feet comfy and the Brooks wet/cold weather outerwear keep me dry and warm. The effort Brooks has made in the last year on their clothing line really shows now and the quality is immediately noticeable. My first race came in early March where I went back to my Alma mater to race a 5k. I’ve been running my season opener there almost every year since 1994 with time ranging from 15:20 to 15:50. This year turned out to be no different when I completed the race in 4th place with a 15:38…take THAT, 40! This was my first race with the new bright yellow T7 racers and they were awesome! In late March I had the opportunity to assist Brooks with shoe development testing at the new headquarters building in Seattle. The folks working at Brooks are dedicated to making the best running shoes on the market and I was pleased to help. Next I’ll be racing at the Earth Day 10k in Magnuson Park as I prepare for the worlds best 12k in Spokane: Bloomsday!
I started off 2015 injured, and I’ve done no running races–and not a whole lot of training–since receiving my SRC Brooks Team gear.
Most recently on the racing front, I ran unofficially in my own trail run, the “Spring Run for Fun @ Redmond Watershed” on March 8, finishing the 5-mile race in 30:06. I wore my royal blue Brooks Seattle Running Club racing singlet for that race.
Being eager to use the new gear, I’ve been going for training runs around the neighborhood in the Adrenaline GTS 15 or the Adrenaline ASR, and I took the Mach 16 XC spikes for a track workout, after which I wowed my Facebook friends with a photo of the bold shoe design.
In the off-road and off-trail department, I took a silver and a bronze medal at the U.S. Orienteering Championships and Team Trials the last weekend of March, and I earned a spot on the U.S. Team racing at the World Orienteering Championships in August in Scotland.
I’m looking forward to jumping into some local races, maybe Earth Day 5k at Magnuson on 4/18, Spring Eagle Trail Run on 4/26, and the Cougar Mountain 5k on 6/13. I don’t have any big goal runs on the horizon, as I’m primarily focused on building my training up.
I’ve had a busy first quarter of the year running for the #SRCBrooks team. My first race of the year was the Bridle Trails 10M on January 10 where I took 3rd place. I used February as a heavy training month and spent a lot of time running trails in my new Pure Grit 3s, roads in the awesome Ravenna 6, and getting used to my first pair of racing flats – the Racer ST5. In March I had two big races. First was the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon on the 7th where my first race in flats paid off in a 3 minute PR (1:18:25) and 12th place out of over 1800 finishers. On March 21 I ran my first 50k at the classic Chuckanut 50k and learned some good lessons – taking 36th place in 4:45:07.
Super stoked for next quarter where things begin with a bang on April 20 with the Boston Marathon which I hope to run in about 2:45. Training has been going well and I love marathon time in Boston. In May I’ll begin my goal to show well in the Cougar Mountain Long Trail Running Series by running the Cougar 10. I plan to put some serious mileage on my Pure Grit 3s this summer. Then I’ll run the Brooks Trailhead 15k on May 30 – which will be my first 15k. June will bring the Cougar 14. You can read all about my running adventures on http://whatsnextmatt.wordpess.com.
The first part of this year in running has been about getting back in shape. I was out from October to late January with a strained Achilles. It’s always humbling how long it takes for the top fitness level to return, but it is awesome to be back running again. I started with regular runs, then started doing a workout one day a week. From there I progressed to two while slowly building up the mileage.
Rotating several pairs of Brooks shoes has been a big help building the strength and flexibility back into my Achilles and calf. I’ve been rotating between a pair of Ravennas, Ghosts, Glycerins, Launches, Racer STs, T7s, and Pure Flows. The early morning run commute to work was never too cold with the Essential top.
I gave back some volunteer time for all the hundreds of events & races I’ve done in the past by helping at the Arnie Young High School Track & Field meet. As a distance runner who has never had any hops, it was impressive to see great performances in the High Jump while officiating it.
I plan on running Beat the Bridge as my return to racing, then look forward to a great summer and 2015.
This year has mostly been an exercise in patience and frustration for me but there was a bright spot.
I came into the year nursing an injury that was extremely hard to shake but slowly building fitness. My goal this year was to run some ‘warm-up’ 50k events to get stronger and then to run the UW Sky Running Series races in August and September.
I was going slower than I wanted but paced myself well for my current level of fitness. Unfortunately my back gave out after five laps and I had to drop with one lap left. I wore the Brooks PureGrit 3 and it was fantastic. Light, not too light, and very comfortable.
Here are some pictures.
I followed Bridle Trails with a snow race and my first time running almost an entire event in the snow. Hard! But also a really cool (literally and figuratively) experience. And I got second in my age group.
Here are some pictures.
I wore my Brooks Cascadia 10 shoes for this race and they were fine but it probably didn’t much matter what you wore… :)
My next race was the Orcas Island 50k.
Conditions for this race were WET! Based on the reports of others it was the worst it has been in years with rain all during the previous night and right from the start. And I had fun. :) Again, my pace was a bit slower than normal due to my fitness level but I paced myself really well and never slowed down. I wore the Brooks PureGrit 3 again and where everyone else was sliding around I either had traction or at least felt in control. I was skiing down descents with a big smile on my face.
On the flats and climbs my fitness was my limiter but on the descents i was able to pass lots of people and this along with the fact that I didn’t slow down at the end meant I still won my age division.
Here are some pictures:
After Orcas my injury flared up again and I had to take some time off. Just as I was coming back a second time I was halted by a hernia and had to withdraw from both the Chuckanut 50k and the Yakima Skyline Rim 50k.
I will hopefully be able to start running again soon and I am guardedly optimistic that if I go slow, I will still be able to achieve my primary goals for this year which are the US Sky Running races starting in August.
Being part of this team is fantastic and the camaraderie is awesome! I really miss the group runs and the Wednesday night track workouts but for the next few months I’m going to be living vicariously through everyone else.
The first three months of 2015 were jam-packed full of new challenges in trail racing, six to be exact. From a humid, jungle run in Nicaragua to my debut ultra in the Columbia River Gorge, I could always rely on Brooks shoes and gear to get me through. I logged most of my mileage in the Brooks Ravenna 5 and 6, often beginning runs at my neighboring Ravenna Park while still finding time in the mountains to train and race with the Brooks PureGrit 3. It’s a great feeling to know I can mindlessly throw on my Brooks shoes without needing to worry about anything going wrong. I’ve been able to rely on the gear which allows me to focus on my training.
I spent about five total weeks of this first quarter fighting colds and sore throats (I suppose that taught me to not skip the flu shot next time) which forced my training plan to rely more on the key runs each week and less on building a stronger base. Despite this challenge, I was able to still exceed my goal race plans. The biggest highlight was winning my debut ultra at the Gorge Waterfalls 50K. Taking the advice of my peers proved to pay off: eating a lot at the aid stations and not really “racing” until more toward the second half of the race. Other race accomplishments included taking a very close 2nd place at the Fuego y Agua “25K” (it’s a 33K) on a volcanic, lake island of Nicaragua (Fuego y Agua race report) and a 4th place finish in the very competitive Hillbilly Half Marathon near Olympia. The remaining three races in my schedule all included 1st place finishes at the Fragrance Lake Half, the Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass 26K and the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 5 Mile.
My spring/summer schedule is far from being set in stone but I plan to continue competing in trail and mountain races. A few races I have tentatively planned are the Armstrong Redwoods 30K near Napa, a Cougar Mountain series race and the Angels Staircase 35K. Thanks again to Seattle Running Club and Brooks Running for the amazing support!