Saturday, February 23, 2008

Today's plan was to run down Green-line from C-line to Falls Creek and back up Mima Porter to Wedekind where I would meet John as he surveyed the bridge damage just out of Wedekind. It was sunny and the trails were in great shape on both the down and up. Just before the intersection with trail 50 I ran into patches of snow. After the intersection, the trail was covered with soggy untracted snow 1-2' deep and I started slogging through the crap up to my shins. I didn't think John should hike in this stuff and was hoping on meeting him at the first washout out of Wedekind and tell him not to go any further. But after taking over 45 min. to cover 2 miles, I arrived at Wedekind to find the road unpassible with over 2' of snow on it and just some snow cat tracks. I had told John I would be really pissed if he wasn't there, so my first thought was why he didn't meet me at trail 50 since he couldn't drive down here, so it was time for plan B, I figured I would hoof it up the road which was a longer distance but at least it was semi runnable. I actually had a nice run up to the Capitol peak junction and started down the road which was still not driveable. Right after the rock quarry, there was John with two other pickup trucks. It seems that after dropping me off, he drove about 2 miles up the road and got stuck and been there the 2 hrs it took me to run around. My timing was great, everyone was unstuck, and we were able to take off. Of course John was a wreck, and as usual, he was in worse shape even though I'd been running and slogging all this time. He hadn't eaten and didn't have anything to drink and thought he'd be spending the night out there, so we had a good laugh and chaulked it up to another great adventure in Capitol Forest.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I have to admit, I wasn't looking forward to Orcas this year due to my tender hamstring and lack of training so far this year, but sunny weather was to be had, and a new, lower course which should make for an easy double loop brightened my spirits. I helped out this year by hauling all the aid station stuff that John took out of his car so he could pack his bike. Fortunately, at the last minute, Dave decided to go with and run the 25K. We had an easy drive up to the ferry and caught the same one as John even though he left an hour before us. James put all us Oly people in the same cabin so we also had Kris and Dan bunking with us. It wasn't terribly cold in the morning so I stuffed some gels in my shorts, wore my patagonia zip tee and light gloves and grabbed a water bottle and headed to the start. I stashed a short sleeve shirt in my drop bag in case it got warmer on the second loop. I was a little worried about covering the last 9 mile section with just one water bottle but thought it could work out. I started too fast as usual but after the first hard climb up the powerline, I took it easy on the downhill remembering my goal not to hurt myself any more. My water bottle leaked all over my glove so my hand was frozen till the first aid station. While I was there I didn't drink but ate a gel and took off. The rest of the 9 mile loop I started to slow down and feel tight. Just before the end of the first loop, Kris caught up with me and we decided to run the second loop together(at a slower pace) On the second loop I wore my short sleeved shirt but kept the gloves, it was still cool but it worked well. I still didn't feel good until we got to the aid station and I figured out that I needed some electrolytes, drink more and eat more. After that I felt great, and we plugged along at a comfortable pace enjoying the sunny day and the great views. Unfortunately, just before the last major climb with about 4 miles to go, I ran out of water. So I stayed behind Glen who was slow up the hill and conserved myself. With about 2 miles to go, Kris smelled the barn and took off. I just hung with Glen since I know the easiest way to aggravate my hamstring is to be dehydrated. I felt great at the finish (over 7 hrs!) and especially enjoyed taking a hot shower right after finishing. Later, John, Kris, Kent, and I went up to Mt.Constitution to catch the sunset. The views from there were stunning. It was a very good weekend hanging with the ultra crowd, listening to live bluegrass music, and getting great advice about Cascade Crest. James managed to still get almost 7,000 vertical in this race so it truely did kick my fat ass. But everyone loved the course so next year the fat ass label will be gone. This is now a classic NW ultra!