What To Wear?

One of the hardest parts about a Goal Marathon: what to wear? Shorts are easy enough (the shortest ones I’ve got, of course); but the shirt? Here are the options:
Umstead Tick Shirt:

Because nothing says "understated" like a neon green shirt with a giant tick on it.

Because nothing says “understated” like a neon green shirt with a giant tick on it.

Pros: easy to pick out in a crowd, tradition, bugs
Cons: a little heavy, tight around the neck, living in the past

Ink’n Burn Blue Mountain Shirt:

I thought it was a bottle of chocolate milk. Boy was I surprised!

I thought it was a bottle of chocolate milk. Boy was I surprised!

Pros: aesthetically pleasing, looks like our new home, accolades from the Ink’n Burners
Cons: a little long in the torso, blue hard to pick out in a crowd, attention from Ink’n Burners would make failure more public

Shirtless (SDBC):

There's a lot going on here.

There’s a lot going on here.

Pros: lightest option, sweat maintenance, damage-free nipples
Cons: chilly at the start (low-mid 40s), bib-rules, traumatizing for onlookers

What do you think? Your opinion matters, NOW MORE THAN EVER.

So I Won A Couple Of Races

This isn’t bragging so much as trying to entice some fast friends to come and visit…

First, there was the Dog Day 10K on the Olympic Adventure Trail. I was planning on running with a dog from the local Humane Society (for whom the race benefited), and even took the precaution of wearing the sturdy Merrell Trail Gloves in the event I was paired with a puller and/or toe-stomper.

Somebody get me a dog!

Somebody get me a dog!

Unfortunately for me, they played it cautious (I assume it would be bad PR if one of their dogs got loose or didn’t get along with someone’s family dog), so I ran the thing dogless.

Look at Iris, all up in the front!

Look at Iris, all up in the front!

Now, this was a Fun Run in every sense of the word, and my main competition was a guy who like me had run hard the day before and was taking it easy. I took it a little less easy than he did, so I got a big bottle of wine.

I thought it was a bottle of chocolate milk. Boy was I surprised!

I thought it was a bottle of chocolate milk. Boy was I surprised!

A couple of weeks later, I ran the Quilcene Half Marathon.

I was expecting this:

Looks faster than Martinsville!

Looks faster than Martinsville!

… but got this:

Good preparation for a flat marathon, no?

Good preparation for a flat marathon, no?

No PR, but still managed to pull of a win in the wet and windy conditions.

Gravel and chip seal felt good through the Vapor soles.

Gravel and chip seal felt good through the Vapor soles.

So there you go, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Well, not entirely. There’s that whole training thing that is pretty much wrapped up at this point. I’ll post on that later. Less than a week before Victoria! I’m definitely going for a sub-three. Wish me luck.

We’re Here

Looking out my window I see Hurricane Ridge wearing a cloud like an ill-fitted toupee. The cloud is just sitting up there, flopped over in what looks like exhaustion from the climb. Or it’s enjoying the views.

We left North Carolina and the familiar life we were living a couple of weeks ago, driving across the country in a van with three dogs and the well wishes of friends we hope will eventually follow us. The trip was uneventful in a good way, the dogs being models of excellent travelling behavior. I had hoped to continue running every day of the trip, but was compromised by a nasty sinus infection (I’m feeling better now, although poor Iris is suffering from my germ generosity). Seeing the country fly by day after day, it was surprising how much desert there is. All that taupe is not our scene, and it was a bit of a relief to be surrounded by the green of our new environment upon arrival.

Today I’m going for a run along the water. It will be my fifth day of running in a row, and I have a feeling my next “rest day” will be far in the future. The barefooting in Port Angeles is challenging, and I look forward to learning from the long stretches of extreme roughness on the roads.

Educational. Gah.

Educational. Gah.

For when the feet get overwhelmed but I still want to run, I’ll rotate between the Vapors and the Moc3s. The rough stuff feels wonderful covered in a thin layer of rubber; will I be able to learn how to enjoy these roads au natural? Time will tell. There’s a chance my running life will be a little more shoey, though. Not just because of the local stretches of chip seal, but also because of the many trails in this incredibly beautiful part of the world. In fact, you might notice a deviation from business as usual in my penciled in race calendar for the foreseeable future:

August 4: Port Gamble Half Marathon. Singletrack. There’s another half a week prior, a fast and flat road course in Anacortes where I could finish near the front. I want to run the trail race instead. Who am I?

August 24: The Bahokus Peak Challenge. This isn’t really a race, rather a part of the Makah Days festival. The Makah are the people who (among other things of course) didn’t bother with the shoes until they met their new neighbors. I plan on doing a little investigative journalism and find out why they gave up their barefooting ways.

(Nothing yet for September, October, or November; if any locals are reading this, recommendations?)

December 14 (15?): Deception Pass 25K (50K?). Trails. The plan is to run races like this to enjoy the new surroundings and not to race. We’ll see how that works out. Will Deception Pass be my first 50K?

January 25(?): Orcas Island 25K. Birthday run for Iris! With orcas!

March 29 (?): Gorge Waterfalls 50K. GOAL RACE. Why?

Gorge Waterfalls 50k – 2013 from Project Talaria on Vimeo.

So basically, my running life is getting a complete overhaul to ensure I take full advantage of our surroundings. Should be fun!