Monday, April 25, 2011

Ups and Downs

It’s been an up and down 9 weeks.  So much so, in fact, that it’s kept me from updating this blog.  Before I could finish writing about something good that happened, something bad would happen and I wouldn’t feel like writing about something good.  Then, just as I was ready to start writing about the bad stuff, something good would happen and I’d be right back in the same boat, only backwards ish.

So, with the help of my running log, and notes jotted or emails sent to friends. Here goes the last 9 weeks in semi abbreviated form.

5 Miles Per Bride, March 5, 2011

For several weeks, I could feel myself needing a long, point to point, run.  I hadn’t been over marathon distance since October, and the loops of my local runs were starting to wear on me.  My favorite part of long distance running is getting somewhere.  From the minute I signed up for Pacific Rim 24 hour run, which is a one mile loop course on March 19th, I knew I needed a destination run to offset that craziness.  The best destinations for me are always food and/or beer, so when I went looking for something 30 to 40 miles away, the destination became obvious, Seven Brides Brewery and Taproom.  Seven Brides Brewing is a great story:

“Several years ago, three dads and two uncles would gather on a Saturday in one of their garages to master the art of home brew. Before long, the salesman of the group said, “You know, this is good enough to sell.” So the friends set out to do just that.
The name “Seven Brides” actually came from the dads’ kids. Between the three of them, they have only daughters. With the rising cost of wedding nuptials, the guys decided they needed to sell enough beer to pay for their daughters weddings. Each of the girls has a beer named after her.”

One of those “dads” was Nathaniel and Jewelia’s chemistry teacher in high school, Phill Knoll.  Phill is also, I might add, a very good runner.
Shannon, Tracy and Paul at mile 8.
I got very lucky on weather, 6 hours of running and about 10 rain drops, total, on my head.  I ran the first 8 miles by myself, then met Paul, Tracy and Shannon at Oak Knoll Golf Course.  We picked up Denice and Jane 5 miles later in West Salem.  I had some form of company all the way to mile 22.  It really helped having a 14 mile distraction.  I stayed pretty steady the whole 35.  I didn't have much spirit for the uphills, in fact it was pretty laughable how quickly I "gave up" on some of them.  
Seven Brides! Mile 35.
I had estimated finishing at Seven Brides Tap Room between 12:30 and 1:00 and pulled in at 12:42.  Two young ladies were waiting at the door with a beer and water, saying "Are you Chris?  Phil (Knoll) thought you might need this"  Doesn't get much better than that!
Have to drink water too!
Maybe it was the distance, maybe I was just really hungry....but at the time, I thought that was one of the best burgers I ever had!

Fall Down Go Boom, March 9, 2011
Post crash
McDonald Forest has been a perpetual source of adventure for me and this night was no different.  It was misty, foggy, wet and dark, so pretty much like the rest of this Winter/Spring.  Coming down the mountain I was running faster than I could see and I’m blind as a bat at night.  While I was on the main trail and I knew the footing was ok, even if I couldn't see it, I could trust it.  Once I hit the technical section, I slowed to what seemed a safe pace given what I could see.  I was probably no more than 200 meters from being out of the tricky shit and stepped on a root I never saw.  My ankle turned and I went flying head first down the hill.  My head lamp ended up in the brush, fortunately the light stayed on and I was able to find it.  I was pretty messed up.  I couldn’t put any weight on my left foot.  I banged up my right knee, elbow and shoulder pretty bad.  To make matters worse, my already messed up shoulder made using crutches almost impossible, but more on my shoulder later.
Looks worse in bad light!
Pacific Rim 24 Hour, March 19, 2011

10 days after my crash, I was feeling well enough to give Pacific Rim 24 hour a try.  I did a test 10 miler the Wednesday before and everything felt good enough.  I had three basic goals and some things I wanted to work on.  My three goals in no specific order were:  Run between 100k and 80 miles, stay on course for as much of the 24 hours as I could without going so deep in the well that I needed a long recovery.  These goals were, in some ways, complimentary and contradictory.    I went through the first 40 miles pretty comfortably and was well ahead of the pace I wanted.  At this point I realized that I was either going to hit the 100k to 80 mile range way too soon, or would eventually be tempted by 100.  So I decided to take a break.  Physically, this hurt me more than it helped me.  Of course my little nap was curled up in the back seat of a sedan, but more on new car selection later.  My back really tightened up during the break. I got it loose again after the 40 mile break but took another one at 100k and it never did loosen up after that one. I decided 70 miles seemed like a nice round number in between 62 and 80 and that by virtue of the 2 breaks I accomplished the “staying out there goal” too.  My legs felt pretty good and I was still able to run at 70 miles. It was pretty humbling and inspiring watching the leaders go past me every 5 or 6 miles. By midnight there were probably less than 20 people still on the course and they were all studs.  The thing about a timed event on a short loop is that you are routinely getting passed by people that are in better shape than you, not necessarily more talented just better trained. It's pretty humbling to watch it go by, again and again.
Awesome picture Jeanne took of me crossing the bridge near midnight.
I Handled food and water really well. Even peed 4 times.  I still need some work on early pacing but am getting better and better.

Contacts, March 22, 2011

My crash in the forest confirmed one thing for me, my luck with running while not really being able to see, might have run out.  So, thanks to Dr. Huggett I am now an everyday wearer of contacts.  So far, so good.  I should have done this a long time ago!

Shoulder, April 4, 2011

My right shoulder has bothered me since hurting it throwing a towel over the shower rod in a motel in Pasadena, while there for my sisters wedding.  I finally broke down and went to my doctor.  His preliminary diagnosis is a torn labrum, but x rays MRI’s and Orthopedist still to come.  Surgery, if necessary can wait until after Western States.

Fall Down Go Boom the Sequel, April 10, 2011

Peterson’s Ridge 40 miler, became an 8 miler for me.  Stepped on a rock and sprained the same ankle again.  I tried to see if hobbling it out would help but quit at 8 miles.

Fall Down Go Boom III, April 23, 2011

I was recovering nicely from sprain 2.  I ran a pretty solid 17 miles the next weekend so I decided a guided trip through “the Maze” of MacDonald Forest would be a good idea.  Another step on another rock decided otherwise.
Very cool path during 17 miles in Bellevue, WA

I’ve got myself to current.  I’m taking a few days off to let my ankle calm down and think through some training decisions.  I’m really in need of some positive running experiences right now!

No comments:

Post a Comment