Sep 27, 2010

Pine 2 Palm

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.


Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

It sounds excruciating. Can you figure out the reason for the pain?

Em said...

I really like the last photo. I haven't ran since Saturday =(

g said...

crazy. can't imagine running that far.

Ken said...

Makes riding to the top of a volcano in cold pouring rain look like a walk in the park! You should see a doctor. Oh, wait . . .

brenda said...

I love listening to your music on here!

Don't know how I missed this post--that race sounds beyond brutal. That deep ache might be your body trying to tell you something.