The latest dirt from "Extreme Makeover: Trail Running Edition"

June 2, 2008

I think I’m making progress in my quest to become a competent trail runner, but that progress seems much more evident on some days than on others. A few highlights and lowlights since my last entry on this topic:

May 10th: Ran “Seattle’s Favorite Loop” (counterclockwise) at Tiger Mountain in 2:12 — a disappointing time, since last year I did the same loop in 2:20 and kept going for two more loops. Even worse, I felt quite spent after the quad-crushing descent from West Tiger peak #3.

May 17th: Won the Cougar Mountain 5-Miler, as mentioned previously. It’s hard to say what the time (31:19) means, but I was pretty smooth on most of the trails and held my own on the downhills. That’s what the runner-up told me afterward, anyway. He turned out to have the surprisingly apt name of Pantilat (“pant-a-lot”), which among mountain/trail runners must be an appellation high point. (Get it? Appalachian high point?)

May 24th: Ran the standard SRC Cougar Mountain loop twice with Uli, with a 13-minute break in between. The times were decent: 1:52:44 and 1:53:43, respectively. Also uplifting was the fact that I dropped Uli on the second loop. (Sorry, Uli! A more gracious training partner wouldn’t mention that. The temporary illusion of superiority was wonderful, though.)

May 28th: Ran up Mount Si (from the water spout near the parking area up to the rocky clearing at about the 4-mile mark — NOT all the way to the stone bench or Haystack) and back down. My ascent time was 41:24, much slower than last year’s best of 40:11; the descent of 28:15 was a huge improvement over my previous best of 30:54 but trashed my quads just as thoroughly as always. So it was kind of a bad news / good news / bad news workout.

May 31st: Did a modified “Twelve Peaks” run (roughly 33 miles) at Tiger Mountain with Susannah Beck and Brian Morrison. Not a time trial, just a fun, challenging run in good company. Quads felt OK. Brian zoomed away from me on the trickier descents, but, unlike some people, he’s too nice to brag about it on his blog, so I’ll just give him credit for it here.

This coming weekend I will take a break from the technical trail stuff in favor of the Fremont 5K.


  1. Hi Greg,I, too, will take a break from the trail stuff and run the Fremont 5k. After our double Cougar loop I have some extra incentive, though I was going for a sub 15:00 anyway… :)Seriously, I think I'm feeling a lot better. Did a modified Tiger loop (Bus trail, PooPoo point, One view, TMT, Bootleg, WTiger3, WTiger2, cut-off to TMT, down the TMT in 2:02 with Forest (our dog, for those who don't know Forest). Felt good all the way. Let's talk about more trail runs on Friday.

  2. Geez, yer fast!Is the Mt. Si trail runnable? I would have guessed it was still snowed in.Balto

  3. Balto: Yes, Mt. Si is FINALLY snow-free!

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