Who would drive 12 hours into the wet South Sound area of the Pacific North West in January to run 50kms? THIS GUY.
Training has been going pretty well, but I have been getting super antsy to race, so making the journey up north was easy and took little to no convincing to drive on up there. Some other motivational factors….I stopped in Ashland, OR and got to visit with my coach, Brett Horning for a bit. While in Ashland I also got to drop off a finished frame with my painter, John Slawta, In addition I went by United Bicycle Institute to show them the “Drive Thur”. To make the pit stop even better, I had a quick early dinner at Standing Stone Brewery before heading further north. My in-laws also live in Olympia, WA and are less than 5 miles from the start line…..sooooooo easy peasy.
After leaving Ashland, I thought I would go to Eugene or Albany, but I ended up driving all the way to Olympia. The miles just were rolling by and I arrived just after midnight. I figured, I could sleep in, get a nice run in and just chill for a whole day before the Capitol Peak 50km. Things totally went to plan, I even connected with Bernard at LBA park for a quick hello and stroll. All day was just chill, 2 things I got accomplished were, getting a discovery pass and a burrito from the west side taco truck. WEST SIDE! At the risk of being rude, I turned in pretty early, about 7 P.M.
The 7 P.M. bed time made great sense, because of the 5 am wake up. Coffee was made, and egg was fried and out the door I went to the start. Massive drive…haha 4.4 miles to the start. I was there pretty early and grabbed a good spot to park…then I sat in my van and selected my gear. It was cold, about 30 deg and high humidity. So, I figured it WAS going to rain and very well MIGHT snow. So, I went Boy Scout with my gear selection
Shoes: Altra Timp 1.5s. I had with my the Lone Peak 4s and also the MT king 1.5s. I have been enjoying all of these shoes in training, but decided to go with the Timps. Glad I did, they were great and I never thought about my feet all day.
Hat: The McGovern Cycles floral hat, it was awesome and I got many comments during the race, “cool hat”. http://www.mcgoverncycles.com/shop/ they should see me at the grocery store….it’s a do everything hat
clothes: Altra 2.0 trail short. TNF Flash Dry long sleeve shirt. Socks, swiftwick Vision 5
Hydration: Carried an UltrAspire 300ml soft flask in hand and one in my UltrAspire waits pack with another 300ml soft flask tucked. the waist band was awesome. I was also able to roll up and carry my jacket that I started in and lash it to the waist pack. It stayed put and I never had any issues with it. Really happy about it.
I also ran with DeFeet gloves. i never took them off and I was happy I had them. I also had a neck “buff” on around my neck and one on my wrist. The pic below shows the set up
The Race. If you have not run in the Capitol Forest I highly recommend it. The trails are super fun and varied. For a place that is so wet, I was really surprised what great shape the trails were in. The route essentially goes up for the first half of the race and essentially down for the second half, this is over simplified…so check the strava link
quick shout out to the Friends of the Capitol Forest, https://www.friendsofcapitolforest.org/ the trails were so rad, I will be back with a bike!
The Oly Trail Runners for putting on this awesome event. 16th year? is that right? http://www.olytrailrunners.com/
The start line was a mix of 25 km and 50km folks, so of course we took off really fast. About 3 miles in, I started to think, “you know, you should slow down a bit…no one around you has any water bottles with them” I figured that if you were running the 50km, you had to have started with some source of water….with this logic, I backed off a touch and just settled in. My assumption was correct, as I did the head count of turn arounds at the first aid station (25km turn around) and I figured out I was leading the 50km. Having a blast, I stopped, filled up a flask and proceeded up. The legs were totally happy grinding away and rolling hard off the top of everything. This is the groove I found and stuck to. It was really cool to be running through this dense dark forest on these really cool trails and then pop out into a clear cut and have all this light and this interesting line twisting across it before disappearing back into the heavy woods. The miles just clicked off. As I neared the summit, I was looking for the 2nd aid station, it wasnt there, and I thought, maybe it was on top of the peak (there was a small loop at the top of the course) so I continued on, looking for, but not needing the aid station. I topped out but still no aid station. Weird! ok, keep on running. after topping out, I also Lapped out and there was the aid station. I just beat it to the top. Ha! All good though, like I said, I didnt need it. The folks manning the station apologized and made sure I was all good…..”all good, Thanks!” and I started running hard back down. The down was soooo fun, in between greeting every runner on their way up, I was making moto noises…it was that much fun. Again these miles just ticked off. I got the last aid station and again topped off the flasks. Everyone was really shocked I was there so soon. To be honest, I had not looked at the watch all day and it was at this point I realized I could go under 4 hours. That got me super excited. I was roughly about 12km from the finish. The trail was getting muddy and slick and it was the first time all day I started to worry about a time, or not going fast enough. I tried to keep these thoughts at bay and just run. move your feet, look for tacky ground move and smile. I was having so much fun all day, why let time or pace ruin that? In fact a thought struck me……. why would I or anyone want to exchange a present moment for the possible outcome in the future. meaning stay right where you are mentally and enjoy, dont fret over the future. That thought just lightened me. As I got closer to the campground for the finish I saw my buddy Bernard. He ran the 25km and waited for me to finish. I was so happy to see him, and I couldnt wait to share stories from the trail with him…I was also lucky enough to go grab a killer lunch with him afterwards…we were lounging hard in that restaurant, haha.
3:53:22 was my official time. New course record and my fastest 50km to date. I am very happy with how I felt, I was able to push the whole race, I never got ahead of myself and never had to back way off. I just kept the governor right where it needed to be…I kept fueling, stayed warm ad stayed positive.
So now the hard part, I have to recover. (12 hour drive home Sunday sucked) I will have FOMO while not logging big training this week ad next. Then I will will worry about my fitness for my next race 2/16, the FOURmidable 50km. I have to believe it will all be ok. Because win, lose or draw it will be ok. Especially with my #relaxandrecover strategy from Floyd’s of Leadville
Super grateful for having the ability to move through the Capitol Forest and share all that energy with everyone out there. Thanks!
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John Volz said:
Great job Chris! looks like 2019 is going to be a satisfying and fruitful experience on the trail for you! See you at Fourmidable 50k!
Thanks John. Looking forward to seeing you at Fourmidable.