Monday, April 14, 2008
I'm so dizzy my head is spinning
Gail and I drove over to Sisters to run Sean's Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k which turned out to be 50k plus a couple of extra miles due to snow and ice on the course. We got to Sisters Saturday night and stayed at great Best Western Motel about 1/2 mile from the start. The room was amazing! Vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace, jacuzzi bathroom, huge shower, dvd/vcr player, kitchen and all in a log cabin decor. All of this for only $89! Not sure why it was so cheap or maybe they just made a mistake but I would sure stay there again for that price. The only downside was on the other side of the highway the Forrest Service was slash burning so the visibility was only about a 1/4 mile in smoke.
Gail and I did the pre-race pasta Pizza and both felt we had a tad too much but what the heck I am going to need those calories tomorrow. Plus my nickname is not Fat-Boyee for nothing! We ran to the store to pick up some breakfast and ran into a couple of runners from Seattle and had a nice chat. Back to the room and off to bed in this huge king bed.
Gail decided to take the early start at 7:00. We were only 5 minutes from the start so not a 0 dark thirty wake up call. Temps were chilly as frost was on the car but it was supposed to warm up to the mid-70's for the afternoon. I got Gail off with a nice size early start group of 25 or so. I really like the early starters, they are out there not to win of course but just for the running. They always have fun and seem to have a great attitude.
An hour later the main group took off. It was a nice size, not too big. I chatted with David from Eugene who I run into at most Ultra's and congratulated Michelle Barnes on her 50 miler at Pac Rim. I could tell she was pretty proud of that as her smile went from ear to ear.
As usual I was DFL as Olga would say for the first few miles. Well except for David who walks the first 10 to 15 minutes of every race then beats my time by about an hour. I saw Sarah out on the course cheering everyone on as she is down do to injuries. She yelled "Olga is not that far in front of you". So I started looking and sure enough she was maybe a 1/2 mile in front of me. I kept plodding on passing a few folks now and then as the miles went buy. I was doing my drinking every 10 minutes and Gel every half hour. This plan seemed to be really working good for me at other races. I have been having problems with blisters the last year so I had read where too much water in the body might cause more blisters to pop up. So I think I was trying not to drink as much as I usually do. This was stupid as it was getting warm plus running at some elevation the air is much drier and I should have been drinking more! I only watered the bushes 3 times this day where on this distance it is usually 5 to 7 times. More on this later.
Around mile 6 or so I caught up to Olga. She says she has issues and is just going to walk this race. She has helped me so much that I thought I would stick with her for a bit and just chat. So we ran and walked for 10 minutes or so. I told her she would probably pass me at mile 20 or so. She said "yeah I do that to Rob every race at mile 25". So off I went. I felt really good. I was running all the hills except the steepest ones and my legs felt very strong.
Just before the mile 11 aid station I ran into Gail heading back from the Grunt. We stopped and talked for about 3 minutes which was nice. Got a kiss and headed back up the hill. At the AS I restocked my pockets with Gel and other supplies and headed out for the shortened Grunt loop. About a mile into the course we ran into lots of snow and ice on the trail on a steep downhill section. At one point I had both feet together and was sliding so fast I just knew a major crash was coming, but I got lucky and right before I fell I hit the snow and caught myself. Many 4 letter words were yelled out as I was sure a major biff was coming. I soon hit the Grunt, which is basically a climb up a very steep hill where you have to use your hands in places. It is a great add to this already fun course. As I headed back through about mile 15 I saw Olga and she said Gail looked strong. Good to hear. At the 30k turn around I started to run into the 30k'ers. It is kind of fun to see some folks again as most of this run you alone for sometimes up to a hour. You also run into dogs! The 30k allows people to take their dogs on the run with them. I had this big Irish Setter running with me for almost a mile. He was right beside me with his owner about a hundred yards behind me. Made for a fun time.
After a while we dump back on to the gravel, rocky country roads around mile 19 or so. This last for just a couple of miles but is straight and pretty boring part. Then back on the trails for a few miles then the big ugly climb up a dirt road to the AS number 6 at the 25 mile mark. Last year this road killed me. I walked for about the whole 4 miles of the climb. This year I felt pretty good and ran all but the steep sections. At AS 6 I was tired and thirsty. Sean, you need to add a water stop somewhere before this AS. Had lots of folks comment that they were out of water when they reached this AS. I was tired here but not feeling bad. I refilled my bandanna that I fill with ice and wrapped it back around my neck. From here it is mostly downhill for the next 8.5 miles to the finish. I started out and after about 5 minutes started feeling light headed, actually a tad dizzy. Every uphill section I started walking. A woman behind me would catch up to me then I would pull away on the downhill. Finally I was running out of juice. She said I was reeling her in and that was not a good thing! I let her go by and she was out of site pretty quick. After a few miles I started getting a really bad sideache, almost like a stomach pain. Every time I ran it hurt. I could walk and it felt fine. I also would drink and it would cause me to dry heave every now and then. I took one more Gel and it barely stayed down. I was now doing the worst thing possible. Not drinking much and no more Gels. I love the S turns through the Manzanita bushes but just had a hard time running, bummer as I really was looking forward to this section. At the last AS at mile 29.2 I was all but done. I refilled my bottle. Food was out of the question. I even went over to the picnic table and sat down. I got some ice and rubbed on my face and head. It did make me feel much better.
Soon I heard that familiar voice in Russian. "Bret, get up!" It was Olga, she had caught me. She mentioned that she found a cute ass on the trail so she picked him up and said "lets finish". Too funny. So I got up and headed out. Trying to stay with them. For a couple of miles I would be with a hundred yards or so but head was still spinning when I ran. I knew I would finish but I hated the idea of walking in. I thought I might have some heat problems. I often get this but don't even know its warm out. For some reason after a few hours I don't notice the heat but it does effect me. They said it was in the mid 70's but I never would have known it.
The last few miles were a real struggle. I could hardly even run the downhill sections. Flats? Forget it. When I saw the main road next to the high school I was pretty elated. When I hit the parking lot I started running again. Olga cheered me and said some comment I cant even remember and I gave her the....well you know. She knew it was in jest! On to the track for a 3/4 lap around to the finish. Gail was there cheering me on which was great.
I finished in 6:55 and change. At least it was under 7 hours. Gail finished in about 7:45 which is great job for her! I am also so proud of her. How many folks get to run these races with their spouses? It is so awesome!!! Also I get very little SPOF at home as she wants to go too. (Spousal Pissed Off Factor)
I went about 30 more steps, through my water bottle down and laid in the grass. I was so done. So depressed about how I felt. I just felt like I had taken a big step backwards. This is the way I used to feel after finishing marathons. Like I wanted to die. I figured I had fixed it and was so happy to feel good at the end lately. Sean came over and said it was the heat, the first warm day of the year hit allot of folks today.
After 30 minutes or so of sitting and feeling sorry for myself Gail and I went and took a shower. It is so great to be able to do that before you long car ride home. We hit the latte shack for a triple shot and started the drive back.
Sean put on a great race. It was so well organized. Every aid station, people would help you out so much. Food choices were excellent. The trails were well marked. He even ordered great weather. Every one should do the Rumble, even the 30k if you are not up to the long one.