Monday, April 14, 2008

Peterson Ridge Rumble 30K

Eric and I decided to make a weekend of it. We left Friday after work and drove half way down before calling it a night. We slept in the next morning, got up and got back on the road. We were in Bend by 10:30 or so. We wandered around town a bit, trying to find the new running store for packet pick up. No one knew where it was, though we got several "somewhere over in that direction" replies. We bravely drove in "that direction" and stumbled across the store! We picked up our bib numbers and found a place for lunch. Then it was back to Sisters. We checked into the hotel and spent a relaxing couple of hours sitting on the deck reading. After that, we went into Sisters to walk around the shops. While we were there, we checked in with Karen and George W. We met them and headed to a cafe for some iced tea - but the cafe was closed. However, there were nice benches out front so we spent an hour or so sitting and talking. I got to hear all of Karen's Coyote Two Moon adventures.

The next morning was one of the more mellow race mornings we've had. Eric's race started at 8:00, mine at 9:00. We were five minutes from the start, but we drove over an hour early anyway. We like to have time to settle in, visit with friends and enjoy the atmosphere. We saw Trevor, and Steve (Marathon Freak), and Olga, and several other runners we know. We visited George in the camper (Karen took an early start and was already out). Then we wandered over to the start line. It was chilly, so Eric had his coat on over his pack. He handed me the coat and kissed me good-bye. A few minutes later he was back - his bottle of s-caps wasn't in the pack. I didn't have time to get to the car and back before the start, so Eric bummed caps off his buddies all day. Runners are the best!

After Eric's start, I talked to a couple of nice guys on the way back to the car. One of them told me I'd be surprised at how quick it would warm up in the next hour. I fiddled around in the car and talked to a few more people till it was time for our start. It was much warmer, I had on a long sleeve shirt over a tank, a skirt, arm warmers and gloves. That was a little too much. The race started on a nice wide trail, with an immediate up and over two logs. Then we wound through the dry landscape till we popped out on a wide dirt road. We ran along that, in the full sun, for a couple of miles. It wasn't long till I was down to the tank top with everything else stuffed in my pack. And then, it wasn't long after that when I felt sticky cola dripping from the pack. I had new bottles and one was leaking. I tried tightening the cap, but it didn't make much difference, so I just ran with it leaking. I did worry that some hungry bees would start following me...

I chatted with various runners as we ran down the long, long road. One guy stopped and had a volunteer cut the sleeves off his shirt because he was overdressed. We finally got off the road and on to an awesome single track that zig-zagged along beside the creek. This was my favorite part of the whole run. We came into the first aid station, then crossed over the bridge and into more dry forest. The landscape seemed kind of barren to me - sage and pines, everything as dry as it could be, our footfalls kicking up puffs of dust. Very different from the wet and mossy forests, packed with dense undergrowth, in our area. Around here, it is not hard to find a private spot to pee in the woods. I spent a lot of time on Sunday scanning for a really wide tree or tall sage to hide behind - I finally found some at mile nine!

I ran with an older gentleman and his dog, Nell, for a while. He was entertaining me with stories of running ultra's in the '80s. He started telling a story about these two guys, one of whom was Jim Pearson. I laughed as I told him Jim was one of my high school teachers. How's that for a small world? I eventually left them and ran alone for a long time. I didn't have any trouble following the trail - it was very well marked. I caught up with a lady and her dog , Woody. (Notice a theme here? I caught the dog's names, but not the runner's. That's how it used to be in 4H too). I would play leapfrog with them for much of the day. Sometimes she'd get far ahead and I would catch her at the aid station, sometimes it would be me ahead and she'd catch me walking.


At this point 60K runners were passing me in the opposite direction. I enjoyed seeing lots of runners I knew fly by, in fact, all of them. Eric stopped and took my picture and gave me a kiss, prompting the guy behind him to ask for one too. I had to decline... This section was the only real climb of the course, and it wasn't bad. I got up aways and found Olga. She said she was not doing well and was DFL - all said with a huge smile. I told her I thought I was too, we hugged and moved on. After that I had a long quiet stretch all by myself on the trail. A mountain biker flew by at one point and it was kind of a strange feeling to think he and I were the only ones on that section of trail.

I finally made the turnaround and got to start heading down. I was beginning to struggle with the heat, but still moving pretty good. I came into the aid station, got my water bottles filled and kept going. The trail took us back out to the dirt road, which by the way, grew longer when I was on the trails. Or maybe it was simply me. I was back out in direct sun, and I do not handle heat well. It was quite warm and I could feel my chest tightening up. Earlier in the day I had heard Eric mention the 50/50 - run 50 paces, walk 50 paces. I decided to use that strategy to keep me moving. When I was running I was short of breath, but okay when walking. I was a little worried though - my hands were bright red, swollen and my fingers tingled. I slowed way down and focused on some good Pilates breathing. It seemed to help so I kept shuffling forward. I didn't think the road would ever end. I was leap frogging Woody and his owner all the way down the road. Poor Woody was tired - he kept stopping in the shade and laying down. She'd call him and he'd look at her, then eventually get up and trot. Really, without Woody and his delaying tactics, she would have left me in the dust.

Once on the trail, I kept looking for the logs. I knew when I got to the two logs I'd be almost done. My Garmin was showing over 18 miles and I was whipped. I was hot, my chest was tight, I could feel the blisters on my feet and I wanted to be done. I came to the logs, climbed over, and could see the start line - which I thought might be the finish. But no! I had to cross the street and run through the parking lot. So then I thought where we checked-in that morning would be it. But no! We had to run 3/4 of the track! I was done. I started walking on the track. I could hear a runner coming up behind me, and he shouted out "Oh no! You're not done, come on, we'll do this together" and ran up beside me. A complete stranger. He smiled at me and cajoled me and got me moving again. We ran to the finish line, and he dropped back and let me cross first. That was one sweet guy and the best example of the comraderie of running I have experienced. My Garmin time was 4:37:24, and my Garmin mileage 19.5. (Eric just told me it got up to 81 degrees during our run.)

We showered up at the junior high, loaded the car up and headed for home. We took a different route than we did heading down and saw some beautiful country. We got in at 9:30 last night, to bed about 10:30, then up bright and early to go teach Pilates. I'm feeling a litte tired today, more from the late night and early morning than from the run.

I think I was due for a struggle. I have had a series of great runs, and that couldn't last forever. Yesterday was great too, up until about the last three miles. My pace for those was something like 15, 16, 16. I am happy with my time though - I predicted 4:30 to 5:00 hours, though I didn't think I'd have to work so hard to get it. I have four good blisters again, and a bright red heat rash on both feet. I'm taking tomorrow off to let the rash go down.

I am going to go easy till Big Sur - which is the weekend after next. I plan to run nothing longer than five miles during that time, probably about 20 more for this week, and 20 total for next week. I'll leave you with my other six word memoir:


Great first half; goal: strong finish.

28 comments:

olga said...

Aren't trail runners the best? Awesome you persevered, in this heat with your heart. Way to go, Michelle! Tell Eric I need my picture:)

robtherunner said...

Well done out there! I loved that run and especially the single track down by the creek that you mentioned. I am only semi-jealous.

Smithposts said...

Based your re-cap, this race sounds like it was very successful! Even with the challenges, you finished strong. Congratulations!

shawn said...

I love it when I laugh out loud at a post...and I just did reading yours...can't believe you didn't give that guy a kiss! :) Man, that sounds like a tough challenge - 81 degrees is too much. My cousin Ryan just ran Diablo and said it also hit the 80s. I guess we sure lucked out at Mt. Si with the perfect weather.

What is up with the leaky water bottles? - my bottle and camelbak were leaky/drippy yesterday too. I've never noticed them doing that before; although I didn't mind because it was just water to cool me down.

Congratulations Michelle!

Steve Stenzel said...

That sounds like a GREAT runner you finished with! Great post!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

I love to do that when I come up behind runners towards the finish too... try to give them that last boost to finish strong. You never said how it was to have your first solo trail run. How was that? I know you had others around you at times, but no one the entire time. Did you enjoy the solitude? You were sure tough in the heat! I'm glad it was a good trip. I'll do that one sometime....
Jenny

Sarah said...

I was thinking of you in the heat! Glad I got to see you near the end. I have this funny video of Bart, where you can hear me in the background cutting it short because I could see you coming across the street. Great that you were feeling good enough to teach pilates. Congrats!

Laura H said...

Good job Michelle! Those hard runs really make you appreciate the good ones. ;D I was so glad the weather calmed down up here for Mt.Si. Much as I liked the heat Saturday, I'm not ready to run in it! Rest up good for Big Sur!

craig said...

Another race, another experience. Sounds like you and Eric had a great weekend. I always enjoy reading about your adventures.

Jack said...

Great run Michelle, way to tough it out at the end. Great report, what a bunch of great runners in your region!

Trevor said...

Great job on your first "solo"! The sudden increase in heat on that day affected quite a number of runners, but you seemed to handle it well without any major setbacks. (minor setbacks are ok) ; ) Should be a good temperature prep for Big Sur. It was great to see you and Eric again and I'll see you next time at...???

Thomas said...

You never solved the mystery. Did the S-caps ever turn up?

Wes said...

Another great race! You are definitely getting me excited for when my kids are older!!

Ryan said...

Very happy to read and see things are going well for all of you! Enjoyed all the stories and pictures from the roads and trails….Keep on having fun out there!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

way to go. i love the running community - that a random stranger at the end would pull you thru :)

Donald said...

I was wondering if you were going to rest a bit before Big Sur! Nice job out there. Great story about the other runner.

Mama said...

It is so beautiful in Central Oregon. I guess that is why we went down there every summer for about 15 years. That is also where my mom grew up (in Redmond).

Glad you survived Pilates and you will get a well deserved taper.

Talk to you soon,
Lorri

JustRun said...

Eeek, you are right. 80 is so different than 70. Way to stick it out.
And Bend is just the most beautiful little place, isn't it?

Joe said...

You reflect well on the experience, Michelle. I'm glad you took care in the heat...I worry about you in those conditions. Hope everything cleared up for you.

Congrats on persevering and doing it in a smart way!

Journey to a Centum said...

hey look! you made 20!

Gotta' Run! said...

I love reading your blogs! Thanks for sharing.

Cat.

Makita said...

I so wish I could have been there... it just wasn't in the cards this year. I feel bad about it... I wanted to meet you! Hopefully, another time/race.

Great job on the run - it was hot and a mile longer than expected! Sunday was a prelude of summer, I think... but now we are back down in the 40s/50s.

I have saved our local paper that lists all the finishers and their respective times... would you like me to send it to you?? :D

Hugs!

Annette said...

I love running in Central Oregon, but the elevation is a killer! (At least for us sea-level dwellers!) I love the comraderie among runners - even complete strangers. That guy at the end was awesome!

Rest up and get ready for Big Sur! (I'm jealous of that one!)

Meghan said...

Michelle,

I've tried to comment a couple of times, but I can't seem to get Blogger to take it. I hope you don't get 17 comments from me.

Sorry the race turned into a struggle for you. I hope you're able to recover fast and rest easy up until Big Sur.

One of my friends is going out from here for that race. She'll be the cold weather girl baking in the California heat. Poor thing!

Hope you're well,
Meghan

Sunshine said...

A kiss from your Favorite Runner!! Isn't that just a great part of it?!

Sunshine Girl said...

Glad to hear you are still livin' large and if it makes you feel better, I was out there suffering there in the heat as well!!

Leslie

lizzie lee said...

Michelle... thanks for your report. I feel I was there..... I can relate you running at 81. On Sat 12th we had 75 in Seattle and 3 dumb miles were hard. We are too spoiled with our weather (when is around 55), will we get there anytime soon?.... congrats for your race!!

lizzie

mtnrunR said...

it was great to see you michelle. you looked good to me at the finish. i didn't know it was that warm. you are right, that is a little warm for us this early in the year.