“Lived in bars
And danced on tables
And ships that sail.”
This years journey run seemed to be a desired mileage in search of a plan. I had several different ideas in mind, but eventually decided on a plan that involved a train. And so, the day after the fireworks of July, I boarded a train in Salem headed north. An empty boxcar would have been way cooler, but an Amtrak to Kelso did just fine.
|"He was waiting for a station just like some people wait for a train" Michelle Shocked.|
Day two is subtitled, the existential crisis in Scappoose. My stomach was really unsettled after dinner the night before and just a few miles in to the morning it was really bad again. I knew that I had 14 miles coming soon with no facilities anywhere, so trying to put this delicately for non runners. I needed some things sorted out before I pulled out of Scappoose. The last thing heading east is a McDonalds on the edge of town. I stopped, drank some coffee, ate a little and waited for what McDonalds is famous for. While sitting, waiting, I lost all my enthusiasm for this trip. I used the usual tricks, break it up, imagine how it will feel to arrive certain places. Nothing really worked. I finally left McDonalds physically ok to continue but mentally in a hole. Then came The Hill, and if your mind isn’t right when you start going up to Rocky Point....it’s going to get worse. And it did, for a while, then the views starting to captivate me, then I saw a cougar, then I reached the top!
The day was still a struggle, I was feeling a little off and couldn’t quite pull it all together. I changed my route a little as I was starting to run on fumes and really needed to get to some food. While I was waiting for food at mile 24, I realized I didn’t have 17 more miles in me on this day and started looking at alternate routes to get home. I ended up with 32 miles for the day and had veered west a bit. I stopped for the night in Aloha, had some sushi and a strawberry milkshake and sat down with the map on my phone and figured out what day three would look like.
|Crossing the Willamette|
I love the logistics and the planning that goes into an adventure like this. I was a little sloppy with my preparation this year, and on long hot roads, with nowhere to hide, it showed. I remember at one point thinking, who turned gravity up so high. Because I’ve run with an 8 pound pack before, I underestimated how much that slows me down. Because I’ve run in heat before, I underestimated that too. I even took the mileage a little too lightly. I’m pleased with my ability to adjust on the fly. I’m also pleased that even though I left myself a pretty daunting final day, I finished it. I did what I usually do on days like that. I make a firm commitment to start, no matter what. That always seems to be the hardest part. Then, once started, do the math, figure out a schedule, where you have to be by when, break it down into pieces and do one piece at a time. I think this, all the time, but don’t say it out loud very often. My Dad would have loved this.