Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Adventure Fail

I didn't make it. I've had a lingering cold that has settled in my chest. I'm not sick enough to stop doing things but too sick to do anything well. It was 37 degrees and pouring rain this morning, and those conditions weren't supposed to improve. So, mother nature won out. I opted for 13 miles on a treadmill and finish 9 miles short of 2,500 for 2009. A pretty good year kind of went out with a whimper.

Monday, December 28, 2009

One Last Adventure

I spent 7 miles this morning thinking about my 2009 in running. I was trying to relive the ups and downs and I got an idea. Sometimes, once I get an idea stuck in my head, I gotta do it. I'm 22 miles away from 2,500 miles for 2009. A 25 mile run from the 45th Parallel sign in Keizer back to home would complete a 100 mile loop combined with a 30 mile run from home to the Corvallis Riverfront Park fountain in the summer and the Dawn to Dusk route.

So, looks like I'll be doing an easy 25 on New Years Eve.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dawn til Dusk I Complete

That was quite an adventure:

I left Corvallis' Riverfront Park at exactly 7:42 AM on Sunday, December 20th, the shortest day of the year, headed for Keizer 45 pesky miles away. It was warmer than expected and I was able to start in shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I crossed over the Willamette for 3 miles on hwy 34. I turned North on Riverside drive with the knowledge that I stayed on Riverside until it tgurned into Queen Ave in Albany. About a mile up Riverside I came to a road with a sign that if I followed it, would have me turn right. That didn't seem right but I followed it. That's a weird way to run, thinking you're going the wrong way, not a lot of conviction in your legs. I had my iPhone in my waist belt for emergencies and it had my map on Mapmyrun. I finally resorted to pulling my phone out and sure enough, the sign had been turned around. On a side note, if you are an app developer and you build a mobile app for mapmyrun that allows someone to view a map while on their route and it doesn't display mileage, you're retarded.
Back on course, I spent the next several miles meeting one free range dog after another. Very socially progressive, are the trailer living free range dog farmers of Oregon. I was never so happy to see Albany, to get away from dogs and be able to go to the bathroom!!!

The 18 miles from Albany to Independence was loooooong. It was drizzling on and off for the first 15 miles, from mile 16 to 20 it poured pretty good. I changed shoes, socks and shirt at mile 20. I'll say it right now, I didn't eat enough. I went through 70 ounces of Infinit, half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 2 small boiled potatoes, 2 apple pieces and a handful of tortilla chips. If you're planning on running 45 miles I'd recommend eating more than that. That being said, I still threw up right after my clothes change at mile 20.

I made it to Independence and mile 30 very tired but slightly ahead of schedule. Looking back I don't know how much of my doldrums was fatigue and how much was being intimidated by the hills to come. A 4 mile hill is tough at any time but mile 31 to 35 hit me pretty hard. I was dead on my feet by the top of the hill.

It started raining again near the top of the hill and never let up til I finished. The last 10 miles were pretty slow, it was all
on concrete, with bad sidewalks and driveways, but I did finish, 8:13, much harder without other runners around.
Much harder with hills and rain.

Once again, Jeanne was amazing road crew. Just the right amount of encouragement. I really don't like a lot of rah rah, which I know leaves someone feeling like there is very little they can do. She was perfect. She told me I needed to eat more, and she was right, but didn't argue with me when I refused. When I couldn't remember where I was going, even though I was running right through downtown Salem, where I've lived for 16 years, she patiently told me where to go. I only cried once, when Jeanne told me I had exactly 1 mile to go and I thought I was closer than that.

I'm glad I did it, people always ask me, so, yes I lost 5 pounds during the run. Though I don't
recommend it as a weight loss plan :-)

oh.....and....yeah 45 miles with wet feet looks pretty ugly after.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dawn til Dusk Prologue

I'm officially antsy. I picked the week leading up to my birthday, in the summer, for my Run the Gorge, and was blessed with temperatures above 100 everyday. I picked the Winter Solstice for Dawn til Dusk 1 and will be running in a monsoon tomorrow. Weather predictions are calling for over an inch of rain and 15 to 20 mile an hour winds....ok, not quite a monsoon.

My plan is to try and not let myself run too much faster than 10:00 per mile pace early. The official sunrise is 7:47, so that will be the start at the fountain in Corvallis' Riverfront Park. My course goes over the Willamette and through Albany at about mile 10 at around 9:30. I'll then cross back over the Willamette and make my way up to Independence and go over the Independence Bridge (and the Willamette again) at mile 30 around 1:00 PM. Then things will get interesting, with a little more than 4 miles of uphill, hopefully I'll hit Skyline road and Vitae Springs in South Salem by 2:30. Then 5 miles of downhill in to Salem and another 5 to the 45th Parallel sign on River Road in Keizer at 4:29 PM.....if all goes according to plan.

Eating while running is still an ongoing experiment. I'll have 120 oz of my custom blended Infinit, which I can not endorse for free enough. Beyond that Jeanne will have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, boiled and salted red potatoes, apples and salty tortilla chips available for me. Oh yeah......and a can of coke for the last 5 miles or so. I've always heard that in Ultra Marathons, they have coke in the aid stations and thought that seemed funny. I had a coke at mile 42 of my 50 miler in Sacramento in October......greatest thing I've ever tasted in my life, ok maybe that's an exaggeration, but it was really good.

Other than some anticipated clothing changes, whose locations will remain secret to protect the innocent, I'm about ready. Next post will be a "hey look, I made it".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dawn til Dusk I

I have a new plan! I started thinking about this a few weeks ago, and maybe it took the disappointment of not getting into Western States to make me finish the details but here goes. December 20th is the shortest day of the year, 8:42:06 in Oregon. I'm gonna run 45 miles from Dawn til Dusk and finish exactly at the 45th parallel....half way between the Equator and the North Pole. The route will start in Corvallis, go through Albany and finish at the 45th Parallel sign on River Road in Keizer. So, that's the plan. You're welcome to join me for some....or all. I should hit 2500 miles this year. I may even hit it on that run. It's 20 degrees in Salem right now. Hopefully it will warm up a bit by then!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Virgin in the Dark

So much to learn if I'm really gonna run on a trail, all night, I bought a headlamp and I've been practicing with it.......but running with the headlamp on roads wasn't fooling me.....they are the same roads I run on in the dark all the time....that isn't "practice" running with a Monday night I ran 2 miles on train tracks in the dark.....I'm sorry to report my suicide attempt was unsuccessful, trains are so unreliable.

Last night I waited until it was completely dark then headed out to a trailhead that starts uphill to run hill repeats in the dark. I finished my second repeat and cool down and was just about to start number 3 when I glanced into the woods to my right....and no more than 20 meters away are 2 glowing eyes looking right back at me. I froze. Turned toward the eyes and started a somewhat trembling process of elimination....coyote?.....too small, I think.....mountain lion?.....god I hope not.....deer?.....I would have scared it away coming down the hill, right?? Fearing the worst, and thinking back I didn't rule out Sasquatch, I slowly glanced over my shoulder to gauge how far away my car was if the decision to run for it is the final I realized the car was way too far away and turning my headlamp back to the woods, there were now 2 sets of glowing eyes......I'm pretty much scared shitless at this point and I don't think I rattle very I gain control of myself I realize that 2 sets of eyes rules out mountain lion.....and calm down a little....I'm not really afraid of coyotes, I see them all the time while I started backing toward the car, my position relative to the wooded area changed and I could now see open space behind the "creatures" and therefore a silhouette.....Deer....4 of them actually. So it appears, that among the many things I need to learn about night time trail running....I need to add glowing eyes identification to my list.

....and yeah that third repeat was pretty learning new things!

Run the Gorge 09

Until I officially take the time to move all of the content from Run the Gorge 09 to this blog a link is