The squadron known as the #SRCBrooks Beast B-Teamers have had a busy year racing our wonderful trails &….paved roads, all the while stepping into the grime of the running community and getting their hands dirty with volunteer work, be it race volunteering, digging blackberry root balls out of the ground at Cougar Mtn, or offering to give Keith Laverty a couple hours of babysitting so he can go hit the trails. We all give a shout out to Brooks Running for allowing us to do all of this in fresh kicks and cool gear that can’t be found anywhere else. But enough from me, let’s hear from the team themselves!
The first half of the year started off with a significant event… my wife, Elisa, had given birth to our baby boy, little Luke, born on January 2nd. New year, new baby! From this point forward, somehow, this event had also sparked some extra daddy power into my training and resulting in perhaps, my strongest and most consistent string of performances in a row.
Maybe this is because I have a new found purpose, or really making use of the time I have to train, to really count. Or maybe, it’s been those few extra hilly training runs with a stroller that has elevated my training. With all that said, it’s been a fun first six months of 2017, racing 10 times. Of those 10 races, 3 of them were new Road PR’s, 4 of them were setting new CR’s and 2 races running under the previous Course Record (Smith Rock Ascent, Mt. Hood). All the hill running combined with speedwork seemed to translate well into the roads, especially on the hilly course like the Rhody Run in Port Townsend.
Giving back to the community is ever so important for our sport, our trail systems we use and for our peers. So far, I’ve volunteered with SRC at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival in January and a trail work party at Cougar Mountain.
I finally took a crack at the muddy Chuckanut 50k this year, which so happened to also be arguably the fastest men’s field ever for the race with big names sprawled all over the entry list and a world championship spot up for grabs. So I knew I wanted to go into it well prepared while also running my own race. Rocking the upcoming Brooks Mazama 2 trail shoe, these shoes were dynamic enough to feel fast on the 12+ miles of flat and nimble and sturdy enough to handle the technical Ridge Trail and the Chinscraper. I ran just smart enough to be able to close the final 10k feeling good to finish in 9th place.
I capped off the end of Spring/early Summer with two local trail races. At Rainshadow’s Beacon Rock 25k, I shaved off 14 minutes from my 2014 time to take the win in 1:58. Experience + course knowledge paid off this time around. Then going into GoBeyond’s Mt. Hood 50k, with only 2,700’ of elevation gain, I knew this had the recipe of a monster 50k PR opportunity – and that is exactly what happened in the new PureGrit 6 trail shoe. Thank you again to SRC and to Brooks for continuously making my feet happy and my running happy.
2017 1st Half of Year race results:
1st – Orcas Island 25k (2:19:39)
1st – Valentine’s Day Dash 10k (33:07)
1st – Fort Ebey Kettles Marathon (3:25:51)
9th – Chuckanut 50k (4:03:13)
1st – OAT Run Half Marathon (1:22:05)
4th – Oiselle’s Tenacious 10k (32:13)
4th – Smith Rock Ascent 15-Miler (1:46:09)
1st – Rhody Run 12k (40:02)
1st – Beacon Rock 25k (1:58:40)
2nd – Mt. Hood 50k (3:22:06)
2017 is flying by: This year’s heavy rain lead to anti-depression training which in turn lead to a couple solid early efforts with PRs in the Half Marathon (1:12:00 for 3rd) at Mercer Island and trail 10 miler (58:45 for 4th). Both races are becoming annual events for me, and both races nail my weakness against hills in a mid race panic attack kind of way. I loved them, and can’t wait for next year. To conclude the early year road racing I finally was able to make it to the Beat the Bridge where I ran my fastest 8k in recent years. Pre-race tensions were heightened lining up next to Garret Heath, it was fun to latch on to the front pack even if only for a couple of minutes.
Those early longer efforts built up a good base for my later spring/summer races where I focused on shorter, faster events. Hopping back onto the track, I was happy to race for Team SEA in the Seattle vs Portland 3k at the Portland Track Festival, helping the team take its first victory over our southern rivals. Rolling with that I finished up the summer attending several Club Northwest All Comers meets in Shoreline, hitting a season best in the 5k of 15:14 and racing my first 1500 since my collegiate days; once again Heath and I squared off, lined up against a squad of Brooks Beasts (A Teamers) and various talented individuals. I was unable to attain an Olympic A standard of 3:36 in what was perhaps my best opportunity to do so, instead running a relaxed 4:09. In all seriousness, the 1500m is a special race for me and that heat gave me a real taste for it again. This track season made me extra sentimental and In 2018 I am aiming to put effort into speed work and getting back to my 1½ k roots.
The season has been stellar for spectating as well. Before/after racing the Portland Track Festival I was able to watch heat after heat of world-class races. Although I have been in the sport a long time (for my age) I have never seen anything like it. The excitement was boosted by watching my teammate Caroline Austin qualify for her first USATF National meet in the Steeple Chase, an excellent cherry to an impressive season. The Brooks PR Invitational in June was a highlight and one of the most exciting track meets I have attended; the talent level of those high school athletes is simply amazing. Off the track I also was very proud of my friend Olin Berger winning the White River 50k to punch a ticket to the Ultra Trail World Championships, a very sweet accomplishment.
Cheers to 2017 so far, I look forward to ending it with a fast paced Cross Country season and if you are a SRC member reading this, I hope you come out and join me and the rest of the team!
In The first 1/2 of 2017, I’ve spent my races and training time getting ready for another FKT attempt of the cross Washington Iron Horse/John Wayne Trail. I’ve focused on leaving my comfort zone and trying some distances I had not done before. I’ve had a great time racing, volunteering, and hosting SRC Thursday night runs while representing both the club and Brooks in this whirlwind nearly eight months that have flashed by.
Late March was My first major race and first 50 miler at the Badger Mt Challenge in the tri cites. Fifty miles, of which 35 of those were in rain, wind, and frigid temperatures. I finished the race with a middle of the pack ranking in less than favorable conditions. The next big race was the 100km event at Lumberjack Endurance Races on the beautiful Kitsap peninsula. Destined to have a year of challenges, Lumberjack did not disappoint. Known for mud, mud, and more mud, this year was the muddiest “they” said! I realized that was true when at one point I stepped and one leg ended up deep down into black gooey mud up to my knee!
The last eight months have also been spotted with “short” races with distances from 5k to 20 miles. Two SRC Cougar races, one 20 and the other 14.5 miles ended in 1st place age group wins. In addition, the 14.5 miler gave me a 2nd place USATF masters win!
The Northwest Trail Runs winter series ending in January gave mea 3rd place masters win throughout races ranging from 4km-5 miles.
The majority of the remainder of the year will be running the and then recovery following my FKT (and first) attempt to run the entire 300-ish mile Iron Horse/JWT.
By the end the year I’ll be picking up in training and racing some 1/2 marathons as speed training for the next year.
2017 first half of year was not as smooth as I would like. At the end of 2016 I should have take some time off to recovery from a relatively successful year but I did not, so I entered 2017 with goals and foot injury (peroneal tendonitis).
With Boston marathon in the calendar, I still managed train through the injury with multiple 100 mile weeks to prepare for Boston. My A goal is to run 2:47, but I only ran 2:57. Although weather did not help for setting the goal initially, I think over training is the main reason I fell short.
The next couple months, my foot injury seemed to calm down a bit and with that I was able to run two marathons in May and June: BMO in 2:54 (8th female) and Seattle RnR in 2:50 ( 2nd female). Seattle RnR was very close to my PR (CIM 2016), considering the course and unexpected restroom break, this was a step forward. For shorter distance, I had an awesome opportunity to run as a member of Team China for Bolder Boulder 10k in international competition. I have also set a new 5K PR at Big Backyard 5K, which is also my 1st time to break 18 mins and set a new female course records (17:54). For trails, I under performed a bit, besides Bridle 10 miles (1:07:44, 2nd female) I have not run another race. I did have some time during the bolder boulder 10K weekend to run mountain trails in Boulder with Brooks Launch which is surprisingly good for the Rocky Mountains. Hopefully I could devote more time on the trails later this year.
Training gear: I love the new team kit, the teal blue is beautiful.
Shoes: Brooks Hyperion is my go to racing flat from 5k to marathon distance.
Volunteer: I have participated in bridle trail running festival, chuckanut 50K, brooks PR invitation as well as cougar mountain trail work party so far. This is a great opportunity to give back to our club and our running community.
I admire people who have a never-ending love affair with running. I imagine they wake up everyday, yawn and stretch, and lace up their Launch 4s while whistling. Sometimes I love running. Sometimes, I hate it. I start “getting it out of the way” or “putting it off” until later in the day. I feel ungrateful. I have legs that work, most of the time. I live in a beautiful place for training. However, this year has been a struggle for me.
I started the year focused on preparing for September’s Run Iceland trip. My plan was to push myself farther outside of my comfort zone from five-mile races to ten-milers. I know, I know, that’s basically a sprint for all you ultra runners, but a reach for someone whose long runs have been 10-11 miles. I was excited about running with my coworker and friend, Katie, who is a legit marathoner. We ran our easy days and pre- and post-workout runs together. I opened up in February at an extremely muddy Lord Hill and managed a second-place finish. The real win was falling ZERO times thanks to my Brooks Mazamas. In March, I ran a favorite of mine: NW Trail Run’s Redmond Watershed Preserve Spring Run for Fun, finishing first female in the ten-er. The Squak 12k was memorable mostly because my husband somehow managed to lose our car key out of his ZIPPED shorts pocket. Thanks to SRC teammate, Jo, we were able to hitch a ride back to Seattle to get the spare.
My favorite race of the year was the Yakima Skyline 25K. I had a goal: to finish. I realize that sound rather un-ambitious for someone who considers herself a competitive runner. And yet, finishing can be a great goal. One, I am terrible at climbs/hills. I’m not just saying that. Ever since I fractured my femur in college, my mechanics have changed and my butt does not like to assist me in running. My hamstrings fire first, then my QL, then maybe my ass gets in gear. Two, 25K is the farthest I’ve ever run, let alone “raced.” Three, my mental toughness was not where it was last year. So, my goal was to finish. Once we finished the first ridiculous climb and started running along the rim, I actually enjoyed myself! Descending to the turnaround point, I saw teammates Jo and Jenny, and the hubs crushing it…inspiring! Long, long, story short: I finished! I was super thankful for SRC-member Jim and his red shirt; he (or the back of his shirt) kept me company for most of the miles.
Since Yakima, my motivation has plummeted. I changed jobs and no longer have Katie to run with (and wake me up) mid-workday. I have been giving myself a lot of leeway in adjusting to my new schedule, and I am just not in it to win it right now. Buuuuut. I have been loving volunteering: It was absolutely awesome to be able to watch the talent coming out of high school at the Brooks PR invitational; and we have done a lot of work digging drainage ditches and clearing trails at Cougar with the King County Parks and Rec department.
Coming up next: Run Iceland! I am super excited to explore a new country in my Cascadia 11 GTXs!
I began the year with a crisp, cool, Bridle Trails Winter Festival 10 miler. I finished second there…and re-strained my calf. Two weeks off and I was back running, cautiously. This calf strain had plagued me since last October and it had definitely hampered my training. The Chuckanut 50K was coming up and I was feeling hopeful but unsure. “You know what, what’s the worst that can happen!! I bet I’ll crush it!” Well, that didn’t happen. At 21 miles I was bonking and wondering why I was in such a hurry all those miles earlier. By the time I reached the last aid station, there was 10K to go. At this point I was no longer calculating running pace…I had become a speed walker and the math I was now doing was all new to me as I dialed my body and mind into walker mode…”running’s overrated,” I thought to myself. A little over an hour later I crossed the line, finishing my first 50K in a total time of 5 hours and 27 minutes.
I shook it off and focused on the year to come. And you know what, it’s been a pretty solid year of trail running for me!
Lorde Hill Half – Second Place!
Rattlesnake Ridge Half – Third Place!
Sun Mountain 25K – Disqualified (I took a wrong turn but I will be back next year for this one!)
Cougar Race #1 – First Place!
Cougar Race #2 – Second Place!
Cougar Race #3 – PNTF Open Champion!! (second overall)
Cougar Race #4 – PNTF Open Champion!! (second overall)
I did some volunteering at one of the cougar races pouring beer for all those thirsty finishers. I’ve also had some good training on the trails at Cougar Mountain, Bridle Trails, the Watershed, and out in the North Cascades including a really great 31 miler along the PCT from Rainy Pass to Hearts Pass with a couple buddies.
I’ll be heading out to Mazama for an 11 mile race at the Cutthroat Classic this weekend, which I’m really looking forward to. After that, I’ll be zeroing in on the Crystal Mountain Sky Marathon. I competed in this race last year (placed 5th) and I’m hoping I learned a thing or two that will produce a better performance this time around. After that, and if I’m still healthy, I plan to jump into a cross country race or two, probably PNTF.
Due to my work schedule, I’m unable to race much during the spring. In light of this, my first race of 2017 was the Rhody Run in Port Townsend. This race is a tradition in the Steidl household and we’ve only missed it a couple of times since we started racing it back in the early/mid 2000s. This was also my first race as a masters runner – finally! I won the masters division, but ran a personal worst due to untimely changing of my nutrition. Ultimately the nutrition change has greatly paid off, but (pro tip) I highly recommend not making significant changes within a couple of weeks of any race or big adventure during which you want/need to be on top of your game. The Hyperion were great shoes for this race.
The 10+ miler at the Cougar Mountain Trail Series was also a PNTF Championship. I raced this mostly as a way to practice for my race the following weekend. Since I hadn’t raced much earlier in the year, I thought it would be smart to practice my pre-race routine. It was a bonus to race with and see so many of my Seattle Running Club teammates and friends. I ended up 4th overall and won the PNTF masters race, winning a cool 200 bucks! I wore the Mazama trail shoes for this race and was impressed with the traction they provided.
I was fortunate to win an entry to the McCall Trail Running Classic through the Tribute to Trails Calendar. I chose to race the 20 mile option. The race takes place at altitude and on beautiful trails in McCall, ID. I wouldn’t say I went into the race fully prepared as my longest run up to that point had only been 2-2:30 hours and I knew/hoped the race would take me 3:30-4 hours, but I stayed tough and snagged 2nd place woman, won the masters category, and squeezed in under 4 hours. After how great the Mazamas were at Cougar the previous weekend, I decided they would be the perfect shoe for this race as well and wasn’t disappointed! This is a race I definitely want to go back and do again! You can read my full race report here on FB.
In addition to these races I’ve been involved in some great volunteering opportunities. I had a blast at the Seattle Running Club trail work party at Cougar Mountain at the end of June (I love giving back to the place I started trail running!), helping out at two of the Cougar races and White River 50, as well as helping to maintain trails that are a part of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (and the Bigfoot 200 mile) that aren’t usually otherwise maintained.
My awesome SRC-Brooks gear has taken me to a lot of cool places outside of my races and trail work. I put together a three-day trip at the end of June to go to Mt. Rainier and run to Camp Muir as well as on the Wonderland Trail. We experienced some interesting weather and had a lot of fun adventuring as well as relaxing together. I climbed part-way up the Emmons route on Rainier (wearing the Cascadias; had to turn around so I could get back for dinner plans that night – poor planning on my part), and to the summit of Mt. Adams (wearing the PureGrit) with my husband and my dog, Forest. I’ve also gone on many training runs on the beautiful trails surrounding the greater Seattle area.
I have had an absolutely awesome 8 months of running as a member of the SRC Brooks competitive team so far, and am going to share with you the highlights.
First and foremost, it is such an honor to be on the SRCBrooks Team with such a great group of people! It is my dream to be a sponsored trail runner and I feel I am living it to the fullest. As you know I try to run a race almost every weekend just for the pure fun of it!
As a thank you for this opportunity, I chose to give back by volunteering at the SRC Cougar Mountain race series, and it was so much fun! I’m a waitress for my day job, so I took my superb skills as a server and used them to cater to a wide variety of pallets at the post-race snack tent at each of the races. I will tell you what I witnessed: my appetizer selection was by far the most popular and continuously depleted; pizza became as decadent as lobster regardless of race distance run; some runners loved the shots of pickle juice, whereas gauging from the reactions of others, I might as well have offered them a shot of pee or poison; and whoever came up with oreos topped with peanut butter is pure genius! Cheering on these weary but determined souls was the highlight of the race series. My two personal goals for running this series you ask: run the whole long series PR’ing wherever possible, and win it for the women. Both missions accomplished!
It is truly a pleasure to represent Seattle Running Club and Brooks in all of my training runs and races this year. I set a personal record as to how many races I’ve run this year so far, 21, 17 of which I placed in the top two for the women. I also set at least two course records that I’m aware of (Taylor Mountain, and Cougar 26.6) which I’ve never done before so those were super exciting for me!!! I am quick to thank my amazing Brooks Calderas, which I pretty much live in.
As always, I share with other runners and racers the story behind why I run the way I do, and I invite them to come run with me and with SRC. Brooks is beyond amazing for helping us to have such a stunning team of great people and competitive runners. I am so excited for the rest of the year with this awesome team!
I started 2017 hoping that the symbolism of rebirth and a new beginning would apply directly to a sprained ankle I had suffered towards the end of last year. It held true for a few 100 mile training weeks and I felt prepared to take my second shot at the 100 mile race distance, heading down to Texas for the Rocky Raccoon 100 to redeem a less than thrilling first attempt of the distance at 2016’s Cascade Crest 100. Instead, I logged my first ever DNF and learned that sand gives no quarter to weak joints.
After a couple months of anguish and impatience, I was ready to test my ankle’s capacity again at the Gorge Waterfalls 100k. In terms of pacing I ran possibly my smartest race ever, but that failed to compensate for my ability to miss a turn on the second half of an out-and-back course, leading to a 25th place finish, but confirmation of a healed ankle.
Deciding that my previous mishaps proved I needed someone more responsible to be in charge of my running, I began working with a coach. He earned his paychecks by helping me to a repeat victory at the White River 50 Mile, my first time under seven hours at that race, and a spot on 2018’s Team USA for the IAU Trail World Championships in Spain. I used the Brooks Launch for this race, my favorite shoe, which held true even on the trails.
Other than racing, I tried to be a staple at SRC’s aid stations at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival and the Cougar Mountain Race Series. I am looking forward to my first international race at the Ben Nevis 120k in Scotland in September and, especially, continuing my training for the World Championships in 2018.
My 2017 started with ignominy as I selected the world’s worst year to bribe Jim McCue into being my 50k Pairs teammate at the 2017 Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival. How could we have known that two other teams were also going to arrive, both hungry for course records? Long story short, about 3 hours later we set a course record, but as the 3rd pairs team that day to do so, could only manage a bronze finish, in 3:04:03. Two and a half minutes behind gold’s 3:01:25 and 10 farting seconds behind silver’s 3:03:53. Fortunately, the net result was meeting Dan Sloat, Josh Kaplan, and Karl Augsten, who have since been providers of much mid-year (and hopefully future) runspiration. Jim and I do not speak anymore, and he has only rubbed salt in the wounds by moving to West Seattle and slowly stealing all my neighborhood Strava CRs.
I applied salve to my ego and entered a local road 10k in April because I felt that distance was my best hope for a confidence-building distance PR (ie, the softest/easiest). The clockwise Lake Union loop at Oiselle’s Tenacious Ten did the trick as I pulled a 33:39 out of my ass, a time most people would never believe I could run if they’d ever seen my form and stride length. The Brooks Asterias have been my go-tos for anything near oxygen-debt pace. They are great for all occasions, except maybe church and job interviews. They tell passerby and #teens you that you know how to run fast without you having to actually TELL passerby and #teens that with actual words and come off like an insecure douchebag. (I’m not insecure).
Cougar Mtn has definitely felt my racing shoes’ footsteps over the years, but lately I’ve become, along with Olin Berger, more known for providing sustenance and cheer for racers at Aid Station #2. This year we took on three of the four race dates (May, July, and August), wheel-barrowing in PB&J & water jugs and even, in July, carting out Derek Reiff’s iPad for Seinfeld fans to soak up the laffs as they struggled with their gel packets. The facts are this: we probably by ourselves coaxed at least 3-4 people to consider joining our club/team/squad this summer, all without the need for any #hashtags. I don’t know if any racers were peeking at my shoes (I don’t judge), but if so they likely saw me rocking some well-worn Launch 4s. These shoes are so well-worn my girlfriend (who does judge) has requested I leave them in the garage and never bring them in the house ever again because the Febreeze stands NO CHANCE.
In June, I answered Evan Williams’ clarion call to take over the Washington Brewers Festival 5k out at Marymoor Park, taking 3rd on a rare *long* course behind Evan’s repeat 1st and, (sigh), Dan Sloat’s 2nd. I *did* beat Josh Kaplan’s 4th though for a bit of Bridle Trails redemption, so he definitely had the best view of my trusty Asterias and #calfhair. As you might expect, the Brewers Festival website has no idea how to display results on their site, so you’ll just have to take my word that I ran about 16:45 on a course that was prob closer to 3.25 than 3.1mi long. The beer fest afterward was pretty cool too! I tried to convince the Georgetown Brewing bros that my 3rd place finish probably earned me a future pony keg of Bodhi or something. They were polite about it.
The emotional & physical peak of my year was the White River 50m, but my advanced age reared its ugly head and I had a slight injury scare at probably the worst time to have an injury scare before a 50 miler, leaving me with no training peak and a way-too-long forced taper. With last year’s DNF haunting me for the past 12 months, I settled on simply enjoying the day and finishing, and definitely accomplished one of those goals. Afterward at the cabin, after the world’s most painful-to-eat pulled pork sandwich, I redeemed myself fully with an overall 2nd place finish in the official Mile High High Mile. In Asterias, no less!
While the world and less-metaphorically my home and surrounding states slowly burn, the rest of my year looks like it will be the annual Fat Glass 50k, the ying yang of XC pain caves and XC camaraderie, and periodically donating to various natural disaster charities. This late in the year it’s not unusual for me to feel as weathered as my face appears, so who knows what I’ll be able to pull off on those grassy loops, but thanks to Brooks and SRC I’m ready to enter that cold darkness. Vivez la torture and lung burn. #Resist