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Building A Better Bumblebee

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:00 pm

It doesn't mean anything now, that you're undertrained.  You might find out that you've trained enough!  No, REALLY!

So will the weather forecast of universally cloudy be the key weather factor for the race or will the west wind be felt all the time (no topping a hill with a blocking effect on the other side)?  The rain of varying rates cause chilling, even with a jacket?

Is there an "oh, shit" moment if you see rain clouds that would constitute a heavier rainfall rate or will a bad rain sneak up on you?  Would you get lightning and thunder, too?

Do you get another rock or a smaller rock?
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:53 pm

@ounce wrote:It doesn't mean anything now, that you're undertrained.  You might find out that you've trained enough!  No, REALLY!

So will the weather forecast of universally cloudy be the key weather factor for the race or will the west wind be felt all the time (no topping a hill with a blocking effect on the other side)?  The rain of varying rates cause chilling, even with a jacket?

Is there an "oh, shit" moment if you see rain clouds that would constitute a heavier rainfall rate or will a bad rain sneak up on you?  Would you get lightning and thunder, too?

Do you get another rock or a smaller rock?

Good point on the moot point. And you're right: I actually think it will be enough. Maybe not enough to run to the best of my potential, but how often do any of us achieve that, anyway? I've trained perfectly for some perfectly awful races, after all.

Good question on the weather: There isn't really a blocking ridge to keep the wind at bay, and there is a glacial (U-shaped) canyon we'll run along that might make a dandy wind tunnel, but the race is run in the forest, which ought to serve as a bit of a windbreak. As far as the rain goes, it depends on when the heaviest rainfall comes. Better in the mid-50s than the mid-40s. Even so, gear should be able to handle it. I wear a Patagonia Capilene®️ shirt for such conditions. The fabric wicks well, dries fast and does a good job of regulating body temperature even when wet. With that, a hat and my jacket, I should be fine.

I'll bring other gear with me just in case it looks nastier that morning. And lots of BodyGlide.  What a Face

That wind-breaking forest I mentioned before will probably do a good job of hiding oncoming dark clouds, though it's not like it's going to make a difference knowing you're about to get rained on again. That happened at the six-hour run. It got suddenly gloomy, and then we could hear the rain sweeping toward us through the trees. I actually said, "Oop! Here it comes!" at one point.

No rock trophies this time. This is just a race, not an existential statement. (I should get another pint glass for my troubles, though.)

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:35 pm

Sometimes the events we're undertrained for turn out to be pleasant surprises.  Hope you're able to enjoy the event no matter the outcome...I'm thinking of both weather and pace.  You're going into it with a good attitude and that always helps.

Stay safe (and warm) and have fun!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:48 am

@nkrichards wrote:Sometimes the events we're undertrained for turn out to be pleasant surprises.  Hope you're able to enjoy the event no matter the outcome...I'm thinking of both weather and pace.  You're going into it with a good attitude and that always helps.

Stay safe (and warm) and have fun!

Thanks! I'm glad to just get out there and run those trails again.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:49 am

Have a good trip.  I'd work on your foot extension and flexion while driving.  Gas mileage will suck and if you get pulled over by the local yocals, just tell them I said it was okay.

Oh, and be sure to turn off the water supply and drain the lines before you go. affraid
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:26 pm

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:06 am

The weather system came in a bit earlier than expected so we had to shut down early last night.  We got wind and rain...nothing extreme but enough to pretty well shut us down for the weekend.  I'm hoping that this is an indication that the storm will move through early enough to give you a nice window to run in on Sunday.

I had time to reread your race report last night.  I'd forgotten a lot of the details...I'm not surprised they chose it to promote the event.  It's a well written and interesting read and does a good job of putting the reader in your head.

Enjoy your weekend.  Run well and stay safe.  Looking forward to the race report.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:46 pm

@ounce wrote:Have a good trip.  I'd work on your foot extension and flexion while driving.  Gas mileage will suck and if you get pulled over by the local yocals, just tell them I said it was okay.

Oh, and be sure to turn off the water supply and drain the lines before you go. affraid

Already did some theraband work on that pesky ankle. I'm hoping it's taperitis, but if it's not, at least I know it tends to fade away when I run. I'll be nice to it next week.

Oh, I'm sure Fluff will think of some other type of mischief. Or at least step it up a bit. Thank goodness we don't have one of those big water tanks nearby, for the neighborhood's sake.


Ha! I've seen this before. It's awesome. Very Happy

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:56 pm

@nkrichards wrote:The weather system came in a bit earlier than expected so we had to shut down early last night.  We got wind and rain...nothing extreme but enough to pretty well shut us down for the weekend.  I'm hoping that this is an indication that the storm will move through early enough to give you a nice window to run in on Sunday.

I had time to reread your race report last night.  I'd forgotten a lot of the details...I'm not surprised they chose it to promote the event.  It's a well written and interesting read and does a good job of putting the reader in your head.

Enjoy your weekend.  Run well and stay safe.  Looking forward to the race report.

Oh, I WISH that were the case. Here's the forecast:

Low pressure currently off southwest British Columbia will slowly drop south-southeastward into western Oregon Saturday night and Sunday. An unseasonably strong pressure gradient will set up along the coast late Saturday afternoon and evening with pressure gradients likely opening up enough to produce 30 to 40 mph wind gusts along the coast. In addition, warm advection ahead of this system should bring an increasing threat of steadier rain from northwest to southeast late Saturday. Given the low level low pressure is forecast to track across the Willamette Valley by several models on Sunday, we will be in a good position to see a deformation band produce an extended period of steady rain Saturday night and Sunday. Some locations certainty stand a decent chance of seeing rain totals in excess of an inch. Given the time between now and then and subtle discrepancies between the models, that pinpointing the highest rain totals remains a low confidence forecast at this point.

Meanwhile, this system will push snow levels down into the 6500-8000 ft range. While snow will fall across the highest elevations, anyone with outdoor plans in the Cascades...even at pass level should be prepared for unseasonably cold and wet conditions this weekend.


So. Yeah. I think I'll make sure to bring a hat. What a Face

Thanks on the race report! It's resonated with people more than I'd expected. I guess that means I'm not the only one who feels those sorts of things, especially when times get tough. It helps to know we're all in it together.

Enjoy your forced break from farmwork! Maybe you could go for one of those rare runs in the rain! Very Happy

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:57 pm

Barefoot Run: 2.1 miles

Weather: Overcast, a bit drizzly. 62° Gear: Bare feet, shorts, T.

My traditional shake-out run before the race this weekend, and I decided to do it barefoot. I haven't gone shoeless since before I broke my toe earlier this year, so I was a little nervous about how the soles of my feet would hold up. Would it be a foolish idea so close to a race?

Nah. They were fine. With all the ankle creakiness I've had in the last week, I decided I needed a session in which I had no choice but to focus on proper form. That includes not pushing off, which I suspect might be a bad habit I've been developing. So I headed out into an intermittent drizzle and let my body dictate the pace. I did the first mile in 9:49, the second in 9:13. My HR rose steadily throughout, but that was okay for this run. I've done so much at the lower end this time I wanted a reminder I could get my HR up a little without issue.

Now, to the mountains!

Average HR for entire run: 138. Max HR: 153

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:29 pm

Ah, snow in July.  Why, I remember seeing snow in July in Houston!  I think it was some place in the southern hemisphere on TV.

No taperitis on you, when you're running barefoot before the race.

Have a good race and I paid a few extra dollars to place some more roots on the course.  Enjoy!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:46 pm

@ounce wrote:Ah, snow in July.  Why, I remember seeing snow in July in Houston!  I think it was some place in the southern hemisphere on TV.

No taperitis on you, when you're running barefoot before the race.

Have a good race and I paid a few extra dollars to place some more roots on the course.  Enjoy!

Thanks! I'll do my best.

And... look! They just issued a special weather statement for this weekend.

...THIS WEEKEND WILL FEEL MORE LIKE MAY THAN JULY...WITH SOME SNOW
POSSIBLE IN THE HIGH CASCADES ABOVE 6000 FEET...

AN UNSEASONABLY COOL AND STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM FROM THE GULF
OF ALASKA WILL MOVE INTO OREGON THIS WEEKEND...BRINGING PLENTY OF
RAIN AND EVEN SOME SNOW TO THE HIGH CASCADES ABOVE 6000 FEET.

A COLD FRONT MOVED THROUGH THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST THURSDAY...
LEAVING BEHIND A COOL AND DAMP AIR MASS THAT WILL CAUSE
TEMPERATURES TO STRUGGLE TO RISE ABOVE THE 50S IN THE CASCADES
THROUGH UPCOMING WEEKEND. ELEVATIONS ABOVE 6000 FEET WILL
EXPERIENCE TEMPERATURES IN THE 30S AND 40S THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

THE COOL TEMPERATURES WILL PROBABLY ALLOW SOME PRECIPITATION TO
FALL AS SNOW ABOVE 6000 FEET...ESPECIALLY AS THE LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM MOVES ACROSS THE CASCADES SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY
MORNING. A FEW INCHES OF ACCUMULATION ARE EXPECTED ABOVE 6500 TO
7000 FEET...WHICH MAY AFFECT SOME CLIMBERS AND OUTDOOR
RECREATIONALISTS ON THE HIGHER VOLCANO PEAKS. SOME WET SNOWFLAKES
MAY EVEN MIX IN WITH THE RAIN AS LOW AS WILLAMETTE PASS...BUT NO
ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED.

THOSE PLANNING A WEEKEND CAMPING TRIP IN THE CASCADES SHOULD COME
PREPARED FOR COOL WEATHER MORE TYPICAL FOR SPRING THAN JULY. EVEN
IN SUMMER...COLD WEATHER EXPOSURE CAN BE HAZARDOUS IN THE HIGH
CASCADES DURING WEATHER PATTERNS SUCH AS THE ONE EXPECTED THIS
WEEKEND.

Adventure awaits!

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:01 am

Typically, Special Weather Statements are deviations from the norm and worth a read.  I'd say snow in July in the U.S. qualifies.  At least you won't have to be concerned with keeping the body cool, hopefully you won't get chilled.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:17 pm

Okay, FINALLY feeling the nerves now.

I blame the weather. Forecasts by the Weather Underground folks put the morning temperature at the race site in the upper 30s, with rain and wind. Yipes! That’s got me checking with the National Weather Service, which is forecasting lows of 44 with a 70% chance of rain when we show up at 6 a.m.

The NWS predictions proceed thusly

8 a.m. (race begins): 46° - 61% POP (possibility of precipitation)
9 a.m. 48° - 61% POP
10 a.m. 50° - 61% POP
11 a.m. 51° - 72% POP
noon 53° - 72% POP
1 p.m. 54° - 72% POP
2 p.m. 54° - 72% POP
3 p.m. 55° - 72% POP
4 p.m. 55° - 72% POP
5 p.m. 54° - 50% POP

So, in other words, wet and cool. But not quite wet and cold, which is good from a potential hypothermia standpoint. Even so, I’ve added a few more items to my packing list, including my bigger hydration pack, which has room to stash layers if I need to peel them off. It also has room for additional food and an emergency blanket, just in case.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:13 pm

Well, since Alec won't be doing anything, get him to run along side with a heater or fireplace.

Seems like a steady 10+ wind wouldn't be welcome for a long period of miles.  What channel has the race?
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:51 pm

Remind me not to sign up for any events that you and Alita are planning to participate in!  Wasn't CIM 2009 one of the coldest starts on record?  I seem to remember waking up to snow the next morning.  I actually enjoy cold starts especially for a marathon but the wind and rain...not so much!

Stay safe out there...can't wait to see how you handle this in your race report.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:36 pm

@ounce wrote:Well, since Alec won't be doing anything, get him to run along side with a heater or fireplace.

Seems like a steady 10+ wind wouldn't be welcome for a long period of miles.  What channel has the race?

I like the way you think! He will be getting the most out of our hotel wifi while I'm out there, so his role is secure -- at least in his mind.

Alas, no channel carries the race. In fact, there aren't even live results. No cell service in the race zone. Guess they're too cheap to spring for a satellite phone. Wink


@nkrichards wrote:Remind me not to sign up for any events that you and Alita are planning to participate in!  Wasn't CIM 2009 one of the coldest starts on record?  I seem to remember waking up to snow the next morning.  I actually enjoy cold starts especially for a marathon but the wind and rain...not so much!

Stay safe out there...can't wait to see how you handle this in your race report.

Ha! Good point. I remember that dusting of snow. It was nuts!

But! We went up to the mountain today to check out the 50-miler in progress, and the weather was actually quite nice. The rain missed the race course completely. I hope we're that lucky tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath.

One sidelight. I saw Mr. Western States out at the finish area -- first time since the race three years ago. I got a huge hug. Nice. Also was recognized on sight by the race director. "So, you're kind of famous around here," he said. Eep. I'd be lying if I said I didn't blush a little.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:31 am

Quick glance out the window this morning confirmed your fears.  Mt. Hood is completely obscured by very ominous looking clouds!  Maybe they'll just hang around and hold their moisture till after you finish.

Pretty awesome that they recognize and acknowledge you at the race but with that comes the responsibility to finish and write an interesting report.  You have set the standard high!

Hope you're enjoying the challenges that the trail and the weather throw at you today.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:35 am

The Forecast Discussion that was issued at 3:25 PT, this morning adjusted the floor height of the 'moderate' rain mixed with snow to 7,000 from 6,500 yesterday:
.SYNOPSIS...Low pressure, centered just off the mouth of the Columbia
will continue to fill and move southeast today. It will come onshore
along the central Oregon coast early this morning and bring one more
band of of moderate rain with snow above 7000 feet across the
forecast area. This system moves well east tonight with lingering
upslope showers. Another low in the southeast Gulf of Alaska will
brush the Pacific Northwest with a few showers again as early as
late Monday. Warmer weather may return during the middle of the
coming week.

I imagine Mark won't notice, unless he has the elevation feature activated on his watch.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:46 am

Looks like the light rain and/or snow appears to be lessening at 8:30 PT, after raining for a couple of hours.  Hopefully not so much rain that it scared away those volunteers that easily melt.

Presently, it appears a box of moderate rain, evidenced from the coast to Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area for the west to east, and Salem to Eugene for north to south, is moving due east and will not affect.  The rain also seems to dissipate as it approaches Mount Jefferson.  I guess that's the height.  This easterly movement tends to indicate the center of low pressure is around Vancouver (maybe at Mark's house, possibly Fluff, but that can't be scientifically confirmed).  As the low moves east, the rain stays away for a while.

This would be a break for Mark.  And since there's no chance of the temps to reach the point of convection (>82 degrees), the rain can't intensify because of that.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:44 pm

At noon:30 PT, rain is of the small hit 'n miss variety from the north-northwest.  The low pressure appears to be located east of Mount Hood around Hermiston.  The heaviest concentration of rain is a line from Walla Walla to Helena that's headed north.  There is a speckled, mish mash (sure to be a meteorological term) of showers headed south from Boulder River Wilderness Area and makes an easterly turn at Mount Hood.  The cool air aloft is now east of the Cascades.

Temperature is to be around 53 degrees with a west wind at 10 mph.  Accumulated rain from noon to 5 pm is to be 0.06 inches at the Timberline Magic Mile location, elevation 6,990.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:10 pm

Weather was better than expected, but it was not my day.

Crammed/jammed my right ankle at about mile 19. Hobbled five more miles before getting a ride back to the start with the medics. DNF-medical.

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:13 pm

Bummer.  Shit happens.  Go Shots your sorrows.  And since the cat isn't there to kick, Alec might make an adequate substitute!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:22 pm

Sorry to hear Mark.

So what's next?  I know there will be something.  Mt. Hood next year?  The ultra near Yachats?  I know you and Alita both plan to do the 12 hour event next June.

Rest up and take care of that ankle and let us know when you chose your next goal.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:02 pm

@ounce wrote:Bummer.  Shit happens.  Go Shots your sorrows.  And since the cat isn't there to kick, Alec might make an adequate substitute!

I really enjoyed your weather reports. We were south of Government Camp in a bit of a rain shadow. We had a little drizzle off and on, but that was it. Still, I am very glad I took my pack and stashed some just-in-case gear. I needed it when a moist wind started coming over the lake at me. If I'd just had my shorts and shirt, I would have had s problem.

We went to a brew pub next to our hotel. I got an extra dark IPA, which, alas, didn't quite hit the spot.

@nkrichards wrote:Sorry to hear Mark.

So what's next?  I know there will be something.  Mt. Hood next year?  The ultra near Yachats?  I know you and Alita both plan to do the 12 hour event next June.

Rest up and take care of that ankle and let us know when you chose your next goal.

Thanks, Nancy!

Next is seeing if the ankle responds to home treatment. If not, it's off to the doc I go.

The tendons all function and the bones don't respond painfully to pressure (medics worried about a calcaneal fracture but ruled it out). So probably a sprain, hopefully without much ligament or tendon damage.

The race in Yachats is sold out, so I'll have to find something else if I want to scratch that itch this year. I know next year, our plan is to do the 12-hour run together.

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