Sunday, November 16, 2008

Autumn Leaves 50K - 2008

How does this work? Margaret, Cat and I decided to take our time and enjoy the day. We stood around chatting with the volunteers each time we came to an aid station. We waited around while all three of us used the portapotty. We stopped to pet dogs, shed clothing and stretch. And, we came in 11 minutes faster than last year! And, I felt great - last year I couldn't eat for quite a while, this time I was ready to chow down. And, again, no blisters. Obviously a fun and wonderful day!

We lucked out for the second year in a row with beautiful, clear fall weather. Champoeg State Park offers beautiful and serene views, vibrant fall colors, and glimpses of the slow moving Willamette River. We got to see other runners that we know - Tony and Shawn, Bret, lots of Maniacs, plus Olga was volunteering. I don't want to steal any one's thunder, so I'll just say that you should be sure to check out Jenny's blog in the next few days. She is a tremendous athlete!

We had a fun drive down, with Steve, Jenny, Rob, Margaret and I in one car, with Lesa and Cat following in another. Eric stayed home to tile the bathroom floor. All seven of us stayed at Jenny's parents house - many thanks to them for opening up their home to us. Cat and Lesa drove home yesterday, the rest of us stayed the night and came home this morning (it's about a three hour drive).

We all took the six o'clock am start, with Jenny and Rob heading in one direction for the 50 miler and the rest of us running a short out and back before starting the loops for the 50K. We had two headlamps between five of us, but the moon was bright and offered a lot of light. It was cold and clear, with a low ground fog in some areas. We had a lot of fun all day, more than I can write about so I'll give just a couple highlights:

  • My day started well when I discovered the chocolate chips in a bowl at the 2nd aid station. My food of the day became banana chunks rolled in chocolate chips and washed down with coke. I had this every time we passed the aid station.
  • "Feeling Groovy" was the theme song for the day. Cat knows why...
  • Cat and Margaret were 50K virgins, Bret wanted to hang out and hear our girl talk, but kept getting ahead, so we saved up words like "virgin" and "thong" to toss at him whenever he went by.
  • There was an inordinate amount of talk about GI systems, and I don't mean soldiers. It was matched with an equal amount of discussion concerning thongs.
After we'd been done about an hour, Jenny had one final loop to go for her 50 miles. Margaret decided to run it with her - giving herself 36 miles for her first 50K! We finished the day by sharing dinner out with Tony and Shawn. This morning we managed to hit Starbucks twice on the way home, arriving here about 11:30. Another great weekend with the best of friends is in the books!

I know I say it almost every time I write a post - I guess it's because I am in awe of this group of friends that we have. I am amazed that we can continue to run and travel together and have so much fun. And lest you think I will be attempting to run three marathons in three days alone, know that I am not. Rob will be out there running anywhere from one to three of them with me, Lesa will try to run a loop of marathon #1 with me, Margaret will run all of day two with me, and Rob and maybe Jenny will be there to run with me on day three. Not to mention Eric, who has now signed up for all three as well! How can I help but be successful with that kind of support?

20 comments:

lizzie lee said...

Congrats on your Autumn Leaves. Now I am confused with your 11/28, 11/29 and 11/30 plans....

I understood weeks ago that you'd run only the Ghost of Seattle... are you and Eric really planning on running three on consecutive days? Seattle? If so, we need to meet.... Please....

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

It really was a wonderful weekend wasn't it. Even with Mr. Grumpy pants who doesn't give himself enough credit(you did good too).
Looking forward to many more weekends!
Jenny
PS thanks for the shout out in your post.

Darrell said...

Running friends are the best. You are especially lucky in that department.

Congrats on having a great day at Autumn Leaves.

justrun said...

That's great! And what a great way to share time with friends.

Lisa B said...

Congrats! Sounds like a great time. Especially the no blisters part.

Have fun with the triple. You got guts, girl! :)

Bret said...

You were just having too much fun. Running is supposed to be painful not fun. Ha! It was a blast talking with you and your "gang of virgins". It took my mind of the task at hand. Have fun with your "triple". Which is just crazy you know. But so is running as far as we all do.

And yes it is great to see the same friends at these races. Rick and I decided that they just let us all out of the Mental Hospital to do these races, thats why everyone looks the same! We are all crazy!

Glad you had a fun time during and after the race. No blisters is awesome. I got a few but nothing that hurt.

Legs and Wings said...

Wow, you have so many great friends. Congratulations on another 50 K...really great news about the blisters.

Janice said...

Congrats~ this makes me very excited to continue on my goal for my first 50 miler next June. Way to go!

Anne said...

I'm not at all surprise you bested your previous time since you weren't as mindful of it and instead let the setting, friends and food carry you through the miles. Sounds like you all had a grand time.

Jack said...

Great race, and you are so right about running with friends! I only need to find one that likes to run as far as I do :-)

Makita said...

Great race - running with friends, chocolate, & Starbucks. What more could a runner ask for? :D

Wes said...

Having really cool friends to run with IS the awesomest, isn't it? :-)

Laura H said...

Sounds like it was fun weekend! And good luck on the 3 in 3 days - very inspiring! I like the 'no blisters' part the best! Hope it continues!

robtherunner said...

You did great out there and looked much better at the end of the race than last year. I am looking forward to the triple.

Sarah said...

Banana chunks and choco chips sounds like a combination that can't be beat. Good friends and running sounds pretty good too. : ) Glad you had another year of good weather!

Steve S said...

So you don't like GUs, but Bananas, chocolate chips, and Coke will do just fine for a Mad Monkey. I think the great company, solid training, and increased eating and drinking have all contributed to you becoming a true Ultra veteran. Good luck on the triple.

Sunshine Girl said...

Damn, you are on a roll Michelle!! First the inspirational post on "lessons learned", then a moment of spontaneity (that Rob is trouble!) and finally,a fun 50k with the ladies, complete with trashtalk?!? I suddenly have this urge to jump on a plane and run 3 marathons!
You make it sound so FUN!!!

Annette said...

Thongs and virgins, huh? :) Sounds like you were having fun. It was a great day. Glad your run went well! Good luck with your Thanksgiving weekend quest!

Joe said...

Oh, what a cool run!!!! The social elements really keep you going!

And three coming up!!! Oh my!!!

Sarah Elaine said...

Sounds like a great day. Must try bananas rolled in chocolate chips now.