The Birch Bay Marathon

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Check Me Into the Asylum Because I've Gone (Ultra) Crazy!

Over the past few weeks I truly have gone (ultra) crazy. Before this year I had done 1 run of over 30 miles. I've done three already this year with another one planned for this Saturday. Why the change, you ask? Well quite frankly, it's the best balance I can find right now towards maintaining competitiveness and staying healthy. While I have increased the length of my (ultra) long weekend runs, I've decreased my total mileage and the mileage of my weekly days. In fact, besides my one long run per week, all my other runs have been 10 miles or less. This has allowed me to work on my speed during the week while working on endurance on my long runs. Will it work? Will I still be able to race like I want to? Time will tell.
For the time being, I've signed up for some ultra races both to test my fitness against some great ultra runners, and to break up the monotony of running 3, 4, or 5 hours by myself.

The first race on the schedule is the Hagg Lake 50K. Normally this race wouldn't be considered too competitive but this year it looks like the Oregon ultra series will start off with a bang. Top contenders should include Lanny Gower, the winner of the Oregon Ultra series last year and Ruben Galbraith from Portland who set the course record last year at the Forrest Park 50K. Dan Olmstead, a 2:26 marathoner and course record holder at the Peterson's Ridge Rumble is also signed up. The toughest competition though, should come from Montrail athlete Max King who has won some prestigious ultras including last year at the American River 50 miler. Normally in an ultra race I would consider myself to have pretty good leg speed compared to the competition but Max blows away my PR's across the board. He and I are both undefeated at the ultra distances so something will have to give on Saturday. Truth be told, if I were a betting man, I'd bet on him, but I'm still going to give it everything I've got on race day.

The next race on the agenda should be the popular Chuckanut 50K in Bellingham, Washington. The entry list for that one looks even more stacked than Hagg. So much so I think it may take breaking Uli Steidl's course record just to secure the win. And finally, I've bitten the bullet and signed up for the American River 50 miler in April. This one should be the best test of all, as I've never run close to that distance before and the competition includes the previously mentioned returning champion Max King, along with Ultra-Running Magazine's Ultra Runner of the Year, Geoff Roes.

It should be an exciting couple of months to say the least. We'll see if I'm cut out for ultra running or if I'm just ultra crazy for putting myself through all of this...

7 comments:

Ryan Altman said...

Your just crazy but I love it! Never hurts to try or maybe you will hurt while trying but you would never know if hurt unless you tried. Do I make sense or should I join you in the Asylum????

Good luck, I'll be watching or should I say following you.

Rod Bien said...

I'm comin' for you at AR, Martin. You better be glad its a flat and fast. I've heard about your downhill running. I hope I see you hobbling around in the 30's when the trails start.

Andy Martin said...

So the legend of my awesome descending ability is spreading! I remember flying past Katie last year at Green Lakes. Of course, I prefer more obstacles in trail because I run better on rolled ankles. I've heard the AR trail has some obstacles, but not the downhills. Oh well, the rest of the world will have to wait to see what I'm capable of...
Here's to hoping I'm still running during the trail section!

Rod Bien said...

I'll have a much better shot at you at TNF but I'm going to be well trained and ready to go at AR. Unfortunately, the 20 minutes you'll put on me on the road section may be tough to make up! I look forward to seeing what you can do there. How did you like Hagg. Looks like ole Mr. Galbraith almost reeled you in! I probably should have done it but wasn't feeling it this year....

Ruben said...

"Ole" Mr. Galbraith? Younger than all of you...

I didn't even see Andy until the finish chute. Heard he was five minutes up on me when was passed through the start/finish the first time. How did those last ten miles treat you?

Hoping Team Oregon can lock up the entire podium at AR.

Andy Martin said...

9:37 on mile 29 crawling in the mud on my hands and knees. How do you think the last 10 miles treated me?
Seriously, if I were smarter I would have stayed with you when Max took off. You ran a much more intelligent race. Next time...

Mr. TTM said...

Andy,

I am a huge fan of yours and ultra-running.

I was wondering if it is possible to get a couple of autographed pictures of you for my sons. They would be great keepsakes to pass down to them once they are older. They are 4 and 7.

If it is possible - you can email at: cschell@wausau.k12.wi.us

Thanks,

Chris