Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Ferry Run, Completed

The Ferry Run last Friday (actually now the 12th of August) confirmed, again, something I’ve known all along.  I’m just not honest with myself.
"some things in life you cannot measure by degrees"
The run seemed simple enough, 29 miles, really flat.  I had even scouted out the route by car ahead of time, carefully making mental notes to myself. I knew there was no public water between mile 7 and 16.  I said to myself that if I really needed water there were farm houses I could get water from. I knew this wouldn't work, I know myself.  It was hot, high 80's, no cover, my single bottle was almost empty around mile 12, but, “I don't like the look of that house” or “that one’s too far off the road” etc.  “That one looks trashy, I'll see what the next one is like”, this went on for a few miles, all the while not drinking the last few gulps in my bottle, saving them for when I really needed them.  Mildly dehydrated I came upon a house with sprinklers on.
Whew, barely made it!

I held my hat in the sprinkler to get it wet, then attempted to fill my bottle from the fan sprinkler going back and forth.  it was taking forever, so with my bottle half full I got frustrated and quit.  The water was warm, smelled funny and tasted worse.  I was now only a mile from the Ferry, so I convinced myself there would be water at the Ferry.  I knew there wasn't water at the Ferry, I'd checked it out earlier, but I was convinced, so convinced that I poured the nasty tasting water over my head, so as to not drink it by accident.
Looking South up the Willamette River, yes that's unusual.
There wasn't water on either side of the Ferry.  Jeanne came out to check on me around mile 15 and road crew me in, I was pretty nauseous and bitchy.  She informed me that there was absolutely no shoulder on the road until Lincoln.  I knew this, I'd scouted this out too, making a mental note that there was no shoulder for 5 miles.  At the time, that didn't seem very far, and just stepping off the road when a car went by, didn't seem like it would be a big deal.  Stepping off onto steeply sloped loose gravel every few minutes started out as annoying and quickly bloomed into outright frustration.  By the time I'd reached the Lincoln store at mile 20 I was ready to quit.  I started the "dismount", waist pack unhooked and flung into the back of the car, same treatment given to sunglasses and hat, and the complaints started pouring out.  She handed me a Coke and said, "drink some of this and lie down for a few minutes", and as has happened many times, like the commercial of life, I was reborn.
I'm not sure where I was, exactly, but I was 15,000 miles from where I started.
It wasn’t a pretty finish, but the last 9 miles were much better than the previous 9.  It’s a beautiful run, one that I intend to do again.  I think some consideration could be given to day and time of day that the 5 mile stretch of the Salem-Dayton highway with no shoulder is run.  Late afternoon on a Friday probably wasn’t the best planning.  I went passed 15,000 miles, somewhere in the middle of some hop fields and boarding the Ferry on foot with the other cars was a treat.

Ventis Taphouse was too full to get in, when we got there, but sushi is never a bad second choice.
Next up, Hood to Coast, which is more about social endurance than physical endurance, then Autumn Leaves 50 miler the last weekend in October.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Ferry Run to Venti's

To celebrate the opening of the new Venti’s Cafe and Tap Room in Salem, I’m very loosely organizing a Ferry Run for Friday August 12th.  

Gallagher Fitness and Venti’s Cafe are co sponsoring a GFR/V2V, Venti’s to Venti’s Run/Walk every Friday for the next six weeks.  You register at the Downtown Venti’s between 4:00 and 7:00 PM then walk or run to the New Venti’s, earning you a $2 off coupon for an entre at Venti’s and a $3 off coupon for Gallaghers.

The Ferry Run will start at the New Venti’s at high noon, run through downtown Salem, out to River road in Keizer.  We will then take Wheatland Ferry Road, cross the Wheatland Ferry, .for free on foot.   Then come back on Wallace Road over the foot bridge to the Downtown Venti’s to register.  Then it’s just 2 more miles to the New Venti’s for eating, drinking and relative merriment.

The total round trip route is about 29 miles, a map can be found here.  I was planning to take about five ish hours to do the first 27 to the Downtown Venti’s then walk the last 2 miles in.  There is plenty of water along the course and numerous stores.  There shouldn’t be more than 6 to 7 miles without easy water access and about a 15 mile stretch from mile 7 to about 22 without any stores.  Jeanne will be able to be out on the course and we could easily arrange a water drop somewhere near the ferry. There could easily be ways for shorter distances too.

If you’re interested, email me at owensx41@gmail.com and we can coordinate etc.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birthday Reflections

I don’t normally pay birthdays much mind.  In fact, I prefer something bigger to be going on so that my birthday isn’t a big deal.  For some reason, it’s feeling like a big deal this year.  

A brief recap of my 48th year:

Jewelia got married on the Oregon coast.  It was, in the interest of accuracy, the day before my birthday, but I needed some highlights.
Jewelia and Tyler
My first DNF ever came on my first 100 mile attempt at Lean Horse in South Dakota.  I felt like I learned so much from this experience and maybe I did.  And maybe there is just a lot to learn.
Where the Buffalo Roam
After only completing 55 miles at Lean Horse I felt like I had a bunch of training I didn’t use up and attempted a Boston Qualifier in Tri Cities in October.  It was probably my best marathon effort ever, but very strong headwinds for the last 10 miles proved to be too much.
7 Brides Tap Room
I took the month of November “off”, only running 70 miles for the month, then in early December found out I’d been selected in the lottery for Western States.  My training was going along so well, including a 35 mile run to 7 Brides Tap Room in Silverton, OR and then the first of three separate sprains to my left ankle, including one during Peterson’s Ridge 40 miler, my second DNF.
My ankle almost permanently looks like this now.
In between these sprains and recoveries I managed 70 miles at The Pac Rim 24 in Longview WA.
This picture is only here because Elliott is so cute.
Then came a very fun time at the Western States Training runs, Memorial Day Weekend.

I'll be back.
Followed a month later by Western States, which was the trifecta for DNFs.  

So, what have I learned.  Not much, unfortunately.  I wish I could point to one specific thing, either in training or on race day, but it’s been a combination of things, that mostly just boils down to train more and get more experience.  I do have the feeling of unfinished business for these three races, but am in no big hurry to settle any scores.  I’m going to run on a Hood to Coast Team, and event I’ve always described as more social endurance than physical endurance.  Then set all of my sights and training on running a 50 mile PR at Autumn Leaves in October.  PR is 8:46, but I’m really gonna shoot for sub 8 hours.  After that I’m probably going to give in and get the much needed surgery to repair a  torn labrum in my shoulder.  I originally injured it last November attempting a crazy stunt, even by my standards.  I injured it throwing a towel over a shower rod at a hotel in Pasadena.  My seasoned advice?  If you ever find yourself, freshly out of the shower, in a hotel room bathroom in Pasadena, just leave your towel on the floor.