Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mt. Si 50K














Mt. Si 50K. Rick and I finished arm-in-arm, 7:05:37. That is approximately 3 minutes better than my first. First, my awards speech: thanks to Rick for sticking with me through good and bad, a special thanks to the best husband ever - Eric, for running about four miles out onto the course with a loaded pack to see if we needed anything, then hustling back to the aid station to lay out our stuff, then showing up again at mile 16, running back to the aid station at 21, then meeting Rick and I four miles from the finish and running us in. Eric logged about 20 miles today - all done with a full pack. Sonya also gets a special thanks for hanging at the aid stations, filling bottles and getting us whatever we needed and especially for standing in the rain for a couple of hours. Michelle and Melissa ran with us for 27 miles before kicking it into gear and heading for the finish. Patch looked strong out there too. Patch, Michelle and Rick all completed their first 50K today, and Melissa achieved Maniac status. It was a good day!

The course is an out and back - a slight incline for 14.5 miles, then a nasty downhill (only nasty because you have to come back up) to the 15 mile aid station, and then a lovely slight downhill back. Just to show you how gentle it was - Garmin shows it as a 1000 foot elevation gain over 15 miles. We had a lot of fun - conversation ranged from disgusting to hilarious to serious. My favorite part was seeing all the other runners on the trail: tc, Van, Hippo, Diana, Stacey, Arthur, Karen, Barb and many more - all 50 milers. And all the other 50K runners, plus all the relay teams. Running the gauntlet of teams at the relay exchange was awesome - the cheering and encouragement made me feel like a rock star. All the relay runners passing by gave loads of encouragement and told us we were awesome. That was very cool and gave a good boost.

Coming into the finish, Rick and I locked arms and ran across the line together. To the best of our knowledge, we were DFL. And that was fine with us!

Sadly, this is going to have to be my last 50K. I suspected it was not a good distance for me at Pigtails and I confirmed it today. Apparently 31 miles is three miles longer than my heart can handle. I started struggling for breath about three miles out - if I didn't know better I'd think I had asthma. However, I have had the definitive asthma test, and I don't. The last three miles were very hard - I just couldn't breathe. We resorted to my old familiar point-to-point. I was panting when we walked - and we were not running hard at all. My chest was tight. I finished up and wheezed for about five minutes, then it was over. The other symptom I get showed up at dinner (my favorite pizza place again!) - my jaw is so tired I can't chew. I used to get that on five mile runs, so I'm not complaining about it after 31 miles. Add it all up and I recognize the beginning of my usual heart problems. So, that's it. I have to be smart about this. I don't have this trouble in marathons, so it's marathons or less for me from here on out.

Oh, and the toes. Don't look any farther if you can help it - one toe is bad, plus I got blisters in two new spots. What is up with that? I attribute it to the rocky, gravelly trail - I think my foot slid from side to side a little and gave me new blisters. I also think I had the bad toe wrapped too tight. The Kineseo tape worked great on my troublesome big toe - not a blister to be found.

All in all, it was a great day. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the friendship of my running buddies and the camaraderie of the Marathon Maniacs, and the support of Eric. I love the social aspect of these runs. I'll be back next year - not as a 50K runner, but as a relay runner. Rick and I are going to get a team together.













Signing off from the North Cascades, where the racers are friendly, the support is fabulous and the 50Ks are over.

32 comments:

Emily said...

Sorry to hear that you were having problems on the run. That sucks. Glad Rick was with you and made sure you were okay.

Beautiful pictures, especially your toes :)

olga said...

First of all, Michelle, I congratulate you on a nice finish - a 50k is a 50k, how many out there you can poke at and they would be able to do it (or at least know what it is)? Secondly, let me congratulate you on a decision you had to take on it - and you are one of the smartest out there for sure! I was almost afraid you won't stop:) Not that I don't want you to go up, but if you do have problems that are life-threatening, heck, who needs it? One can live with blisters (even as eeky as yours), but one can't live with no working heart. Beside, go back a few sentences - how many out there could say: oh, I'll take it easy and run marathons, like every week, but will just do that and no longer...ha! You are a STAR!
Now, you fav part...looks nasty! And you know, there is something about your shoes and your running gate. I understand the one on toenail, but insides are quite weird. You must be seriously overpronating and wearing wrong shoes? Running with inside foot striking? Too much wiggle room in a shoe? Think, think...it's bad and brings too many unnessesary problems.

wendy said...

Michelle,

Congrats on another amazing finish. I almost always tear up reading your race reports - what a wonderful family this running community is. You are always an encouragement to me - I loved the detail about your jaw, and how it used to hurt after 5, that makes me feel like things will eventually not hurt after 5 for me too! =) I hope your toes heal up quickly for next week, maybe you should take it really easy (like 12 minute pace!) this week, just to be on the safe side. ;-) Congrats again - and high fives to the awesome support you had out there, especially Eric and Rick!

Donald said...

Again with the foot pics? I'm gonna have to install some filtering software of some kind for your posts.

robtherunner said...

Hopefully Donald will send me that filtering software once he gets it figured out. Congratulations on another great race. Sorry to hear about the breathing problems.

Try@thlete said...

Congratulations Michelle!

Thomas said...

What would a race report be without pictures of your destroyed feet?

Wise decision on the 50k, don't risk your heart.

And most of all, well done! You're a running machine these days.

Joe said...

Oh, Michelle, you scared me with the heart description. I know that, despite your joy in finishing, you are takign this seriously. Your decisions seems sound...do hold to whatever you decide. As Olga said, blisters are one thing, your heart is another.

Eric is a trooper...what a guy! He has quite the weekend coming up!!

Great report, glad you are OK!

JustRun said...

Nice job! How great to have so many friends and a great hub to support you! I'm sorry about the feet and I'm glad you're gonna take it "easy" on the miles. :)

E-Speed said...

7:03 with the last 5 miles wheezing. You did great out there! Glad you are going to stick to marathons though. We want to keep you around!

Wes said...

Nice job, Michelle! I'm glad you were able to figure out the 50K question. 50K is to long, but back to back to back marathons is cool :-) Luv all your pics, and Eric is such a trooper for backpacking for you!! Well done!!!

Sarah said...

Congrats on your PR! Sorry that your 50k career is over. But you still have your marathons. Olga is so right. Not may out there that can say, oh I'll just do marathons. You rock! : )

That's exactly where I get my blisters. (But not that yucky-lol!) This weekend I tried the "potion" I've seen different ultrarunners (such as Julie Berg) post about (desitin, a@d, vaseline, aloe vera, vitamin E cream.) It worked great!

runliarun said...

Oh, I remember when you ran your first 50K and thought it would be your last, and then you said you had fun and started planning for the next one. You are so brave, Michelle, when you challenge yourself as much as when you let go. It takes courage to recognize our boundaries, even if they are only of the body and not of the spirit. The way I see it, you explored the possibilities, and found out marathons are a good fit :).

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Way to go! I was sending you positive thoughts from my couch. I stayed home today. No energy to move around all day and I still feel a bit queasy. Gotta rest up for Eugene! :)
So glad you had fun despite your heart, and wise to reconsider 50k's.
Still are inspiring many people though! See you soon.
Jenny

GotLegs! said...

Hey Michelle! Nice to see you out there yesterday and glad you had a nice day. The weather was optimal that's for sure.

It saddens me that you have to give up on utlras however - glad you are ok with it.

Pretty feet ... compared to mine ;-)

Not sure I want to give props to Eric however ... he was getting in a workout. You KNOW he was having fun! (tongue in cheek).

*tc

Laufenweg said...

you are my hero!!

Michelle Sarabia said...

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement Michelle. you are the best den mother a running group could have.

maniac hippo said...

Michelle, it was so incredible to see you folks so many times. I'm so glad you had a good day. It makes me sad to hear your decision to not do 50K again. I'll see you at marathons for sure, but... Be sure you don't mentally lock the door you've closed. Sometimes things get stronger over time and it would be a shame to miss signs of this happening. You also might talk to Karen W who has had similar symptoms to see if you can compare notes.

I hope by now you've heard from everyone what an amazing husband you have. All of us were completely blown away - if he ever needs an emergency substitute for crewing duties all he has to do is ask. I'll make it happen.

I told Michelle how lucky she is to live near you guys. I'm totally jealous of her.

See you next weekend (I hope).

Steve said...

Congrats on a another Ultra and PR. Only time will tell where your long term running will go. But a wise decision for now. The good side for you (and us) is maybe fewer bad toe experiances. R&R and hopefully I'll see you on Thursday.

Anne said...

Oh gosh, those blisters make me wince. Glad you managed to have fun on your final 50k. I think your feet are going to thank your heart for making you take it easier.

Meghan said...

Michelle,

Congrats on what sounds like a great day, albeit with its share of physical problems.

The heart thing is scary, and I'm glad you recognized it and are okay with modifying things to accommodate the issue.

I hope you figure out the right combination of stuff to keep your feet from getting so messed up. Really, this shouldn't happen from a 50k event!

Your husband sounds like an angel!

Happy recovering!
Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

Anonymous said...

You continue to inspire me Michelle! Keep up the great running.

--Monica

Shawn said...

Congratulations Michelle on another 50k under your belt! You done good - even though you say the 50k isn't for you. I hope you're able to keep your "phantom" asthma (I don't what else to call it) at bay. BTW - That's a great picture of you guys stretching at the bridge!

craig said...

This year has been a great one for reaching your goals but it's been tough on the feet. Ouch. Glad you finished another one.

Addy said...

Congrats on doing such a great job out there on that 50k! As everyone else has said, all the amazing racing you do is quite impressive, but its also really impressive that you're able to make such a sound decision regarding your health. It's sad that you won't be able to do any more of these, but your marathoning abilities will keep you plenty busy, I'm sure :)

And, as far as last races go, it sounds like you had a great one to remember this distance by!

Congrats again!!

Sarah Elaine said...

Wow! You're amazing. I'm so proud of you! Clearly, I am not alone. The fact that you have people around you so support you every step of the way (literally) is a huge gift and speaks volumes about who you are.

Sexy, slim, speedy... and wise. Well then again... maybe not so sexy with those blisters. (Kidding!!! - Actually I have one to match on the ball of my right foot.)

Anyway, rock on, sista. You'll always be my inspiration.

King Arthur said...

Great job Michelle,
I looked like your group was having way more fun than I was.

Jessica Deline said...

Congratulations!! Your accomplishments are awesome!

Darrell said...

Congrats, Michelle, you are a marvel and one smart lady. Do take care of that heart.

I'm really jazzed about getting to hang out with all of you at least for a little while in Eugene.

psbowe said...

Congratulations Michelle, you are simply amazing. I think it's great that you're not letting the stubborness get the best of you by listening to your body and backing off from the 50Ks...as I'm sure it's probably not an easy decision. Wish you nice recovery.

Dori said...

DFL is better than DNF. Congratulations on your race.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

how wonderful that you got to run 50ks, and how wonderful that now you can continue to run marathons - ms. back-of-the-pack, who used to only dream of such things!