Pam dropped me off in the little town of Williams on a Saturday before sunlight. 22 1/2 hrs later she picked me up in Ashland long after dark.
In between, I traveled 103 miles on trails, dirt roads, and a little pavement while climbing and descending a total of 20,000'. I felt great at the start, and didn't give up the lead until 10 miles. That was on the first of 3 long, remote, beautiful trails over 7,000' mountains that I had never before traveled. I made good time on a flat section of dirt road, averaging about 7:20 pace until I got back on trails and hills. The light rain and cool temperature was fine at low elevations while I was moving well. Later, when I wasn't moving so well and the wind was driving rain sideways it wasn't so fun. I borrowed a jacket from a friend, fleece pants from a stranger, a garbage bag from an aid station, and a hat and gloves that I had sent ahead in a drop-bag.
About mile 60, I started having a deep ache in my legs with each step. I had experienced this once before at my first Where's Waldo. It was torturous, but self induced, so I asked myself why I was doing it. I didn't have a good answer. But I was at least going to get to the next aid station, at mile 66. I spent 30 minutes there in a chair sipping chicken-noodle soup by the heater. I decided I was going to at least go to the top of the peak since it was only another 1/2 mile. I felt better once I left, so I kept going. I knew my friend, David Jordan, was waiting for me at mile 83. The leg pain didn't come back until mile 81. I spent another 1/2 hour in a chair and again had relief. We walked about 7 miles to the top of the last peak, then jogged the steep down-hill, ran the dirt road, and limped in to the finish. I hadn't much cared earlier when they were passing me, but I worked hard to pass people back, and caught everyone that had passed me after mile 60 to finish 4th.
This was my 2nd 100 mile finish. 100 milers cause a high level of physical and mental stress. If I ever do another, I need to train longer miles for it ahead of time. Which is another challenge- they take a huge amount of preparation.
My legs were very sore for 3 days. I was able to do 800m repeats with Esther on the 4th day, but then a couple of spots on my feet really hurt. I went for a bike ride Saturday, but haven't run again. Yet.
Next on the schedule is the Ashland loop trail marathon, but it's the same day as state xc.
Once a year 12,000 crazy people decorate their cars with double andantes, and run through the night from the parking lot at Timberline to the beach, largely on back roads. For a fee of $100+ each, the deal includes smelly bodies and car sickness in dusty stop-and-go traffic after 2 1/2 hrs of sleep in a field to get to a long port-a-potty line before dashing down the road again. It's a special kind of hurry-up and wait.
team 821, van 2, "before"
In my defense, I view it as a celebration of running, and is worthwhile if you have a fun team.
This year I got on a team with 3 cardiologist, several of their staff and family, and a couple of friends that I ran with last year. One of the guys, Ken, was former Air Force, served a mission to Korea, and works with the young men's organization in the other stake, so I really enjoyed talking with him.
Mike was on a team named ROUS (Runners of Unusual Stamina). They started before us, but I had hopes initially that our team would catch his and we would see each other. 24 legs into the race, in a field off a small country road miles from civilization, we pulled in to take our last long break. 2 vans down I noticed the ROUS rig, surrounded by sleeping people but I didn't recognize any of their faces as they were each covered to shade from the light. I found an empty patch of grass, and caught a little sleep, until the guy orthogonal to me straightened his legs and kicked me in the head. Sure enough, it was my favorite Andrus brother-in-law. His team was doing well, and we never did catch them, but it was great to see him if only for a moment. At that same transition, I was also greeted by friends Ammon and Ann Ebert from Medford.
in a hurry. At least, I was.
A nice part of being on a slow team is that the only pressure is what you put on yourself.
I had leg 8, which starts and ends with fairly flat 4+ mile legs, and has a middle leg that climbs almost 1000' total over 5+ miles. I beat my time estimates, especially on the climb. On my legs, I averaged 5:28/mile, 6:20/mile, and 5:41/mile. I still felt pretty good, so I joined a team mate for the 7 mile next-to-last leg.
our team leader
We enjoyed good weather this year, and made it back to Forest Grove before dark to rendezvous with my wife. I jumped out of the team van at a stop light to hop into our Honda. She did a little geocaching on our way back to my sister-in-law Tracy's birthday party then arrived at the posh motel-Lake in McMinnville. It was after 10pm, and Esther hadn't run yet. She was dragging Zachary out with her, and not wanting to miss out on the fun, I donned my shoes yet again for 1 more leg. It's an admittedly strange way to have fun.