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.

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