Tuesday, March 18, 2008

24 Hours! Yeah Right

Saturday Gail and I drove up to Longview for the Pac Rim 24 hour run. We packed enough close to run for a week because it was supposed to rain all day and we figured better to over pack than to forget something. We got to the race about 45 minutes before the start. Many famous faces were there and I was in awe that I could be participating in a race with such Ultra greatness. That is what is so great about this sport. I am like the weekend warrior on the field with Olympians.

We got registered, met my dad and set up our little table with all of our supplies. Each mile as we come by we could grab gels, water, or anything else we would need. The course as I am sure you have heard about is a one mile loop around Sacajawea Park in Longview. It is mostly gravel with some pavement/concrete. It is mostly flat with just a couple of very gentle up hill portions.

At 0900 off we went. There were about 40 runners at the start. Gail and I ran together at a nice slow 10:20 pace or so. Both of us had hamstrings that were pretty bothersome but over time they loosened up. The two of us ran together for about 15 miles or so. Walking the slopes and every time we passed my dad who was walking the course. He was having a rough day but really wanted to get a 50k in. Gail stopped for a little break and I said I was going to press on. I mostly ran for the next few miles. Then I got the surprise of the day. Around mile 23 or so I came around the corner of the course there was my running buddy Rick! Standing there in his running gear holding a water bottle and ready to go. He joined up with me and said he probably couldn't keep up as he has to keep his heart rate under 200. I said "Trust me, we will be going really slow!" We did about a 1/2 a lap and then said "Lets walk and let Gail catch up to us". Gail had said earlier in the day that Rick really should be here doing this with us and I definitely agreed. So it was a real energy boost for both of us when he showed up. We all cruised around the course as Rick said 6 miles was all he can do. Time just flew by as we chatted the entire time. Around mile 30 Rick said it was time to head out. We said our goodbyes and off he went. Gail was starting to have some foot/ankle problems and said she was just going to get her 50k in then take a break and see how she felt.

I grabbed my new Ipod shuffle and headed back out. I have only ran with music once in my life and didn't like it at all. I felt it made me run faster than I wanted too. At home I have been converting all my old records to MP3 format. I have put about 800 songs on my computer from the old 1970 through 1990 time period. So I had put about 150 songs the night before on the Ipod. I even asked Sarah what she thought about it and she said it sometimes made her a bit queasy. But I was going to give it a try. So the tunes went on and off I went. I really started to enjoy the music as it is old rock music I grew up with. In my previous life I played in heavy metal bands and music was the most important thing in my life. When my career path changed to aviation all that changed.

I started pumping out the miles. Mostly running up all but a few of the slopes on the course. Never looking at my GPS mileage. I just wanted to run while I felt good. I would gel or eat every third lap and drink every lap. I felt a blister starting to form on the inside of both my heals. I had taken a couple ibuprofen as my legs had started to get that achy feeling, and they really helped as usual.

Around mile 40 Gail popped back on the course and said she was mainly going to walk as her foot was really hurting. I took a chair break and wanted to pop my blisters. They were not too big and I got most the fluid out of them and hit the trail. My dad was struggling and had taken about a 2 hour nap in his car but was back at it. For being 73 he amazes me.

As it started to get dark I was in the mid 40's running still with my tunes. It was great to see Steve Walters going for his 105 miles (4 marathons he said) and his buddy Tim who was having stomach problems all day, poor guy. Lisa Bliss the Badwater 135 champ was out there doing a 50K and then walking with others the rest of the day. Sarah's non running husband Marc was out there too but seemed to be struggling a bit and ended up calling it a day at 40 miles, which still is awesome. Sarah btw was at the timing tent for at least 8 hours! That was so nice of her to volunteer for that long while she works through her injury. Her son was great too, calling out our bib numbers way ahead of time to help those keeping records of our crazy loops.

Around mile 47 I started to get pretty tired. My dad decided a marathon was enough for him that day and he quit with 27 miles under his belt. Go Dad! To bad he won't turn on his computer and read about how proud I am of him and how he does walking all these races. At mile 48 I stopped and sat in our lawn chairs. I said "OK I'm tired now". At that point Gail was done and had got her 40 miles in and was getting very cold. I said I would do 2 more laps and call it a night. So off I went and waddled through the next two laps. I could have done more but it seemed like a good spot to stop as I had really not trained at all for this distance.

Gail had packed up all of our stuff and had it ready to go in the car when we heard that distinctive voice from afar. Yep you all know who it was. It was Olga cheering and hugging everyone as she and Mike had just dropped by after running a 50k in Bellingham. We chatted with her for a bit then headed off to our flea bag motel to get some rest.

At the motel I took my shoes off and to my surprise my blister was huge! Sticking out about a 1/2 inch and wider than a silver dollar I was shocked as it didn't hurt that much. Gail took a shower and I popped this thing and fluid was going everywhere! I never got these until last summer. I started hydrating more then with just water. I have heard that excess water buildup can cause these. If anyone has more info I would sure appreciate any advice.

We thought we might go back but both of us knew in our heads were done for good. I ended up running the 50 miles in a nice easy 11:33. Pretty slow but that was fine by me. The next morning we got up early and headed home after a golden arches breakfast. I felt tired on Sunday but by Monday my energy level was back. My legs never got sore only tired which is great.

Well thanks to all that helped at Pac Rim and it was a great race and good to see such nice folk again. Hope to see you all at The Rumble next month in Sisters. Oh and Gail just signed up too! YEAH!


Sarah said...

Last year a 50k, this year 50 miles, next year 24 hours! : ) Nice seeing you and Gail. Congrats to you both!

olga said...

Guys, you both did nice runs considering the lack of training besides the races you did. So glad gail is doing Ramble! yay for it! I am glad you turned around to give me a hug - and I wasn't THAT loud, was I? :)