Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Headline: Fat-Boyee Gets Lost On Home Course
Just like my running I am slow to post on the run at the Forest Park 50k. It was to be a wet and muddy day here in Portland. Gail and I had a good time before the race chatting with our Ultra friends. Rick was making a comeback as it was his first race back from his little medical situation. The weather was just ugly with tons of rain for the first 3 hours or so but the temps were actual nice in the upper 50's or so. The race started at 0830 and we have a pretty good climb for the first 5 miles or so up Macleay trail then onto Wildwood. The race had quite a few runners this year as they started the 20, 30 and 50k all at once. There was allot of walking the first few miles till the crowd thinned out. I started near the back as usual but after a few miles I was into passing mode. The trail was just one mud hole after another. The foliage was wet and hanging down over the trail everywhere. Being the tall guy it was rough as I was having to run leaned over to miss the branches during allot of the race. Problem was do I watch my feet and poke out an eye or watch my head and do a face plant?
At aid station one at about the 10k mark I refueled and headed out. Never did look at my watch but was sure it was probably at around a 11 min pace or so due to the traffic and hills. Over the next 6 miles it was just rolling hills until we hit Salzman road. I started to notice that the course had been vandalized again and many folks were being led down the fire lanes when we should stay on Wildwood. I corrected quite a few but they were hesitant as the ribbons suggested they go the wrong way. We soon learned most everyone took a wrong turn somewhere as these idiots changed the course in multiple places. Around mile 10 or so I ran into Olga. We chatted for a bit but she was having family issues and was having to stop and answer her cell every time it rang. So I passed her up after we decided at aid #2 to get a photo taking together.
I hit Salzman road and started the long climb up to the aid station. I grabbed some more water and a few snacks. I was again gellin' every 30 mins and water every 10 minutes. I was about to blast out of the AS when I saw Olga coming up the road. I yelled a few comments to her (something about getting you fanny in gear) and we then had Sarah take a picture of us.
Off I went to do the loop down the firelane. This was a nice downhill section and I let my legs just stay loose but flew down the road. I took the single track trail and soon ran into Marc the non runner runner. I followed him and we struck up a conversation that was to last for about 5 miles. We soon found the hike up the hill to the oil pipeline trail. Then came the fun. Down the super steep section that was like ice but covered with mud. I lost my footing and down I went on my ass. Sliding down the hill I could hear Marc behind me cracking up. I got up went 20 more feet and down I went again. It never hurt but I could feel the mud sliding up my shorts! Oh the joy of the wet trails. Marc cruised by me and we then got off the hill and back on the road. We again started chatting and having a great time. We soon found out we were chatting a bit much. We came out off the trail to a huge intersection of trails and roads. We had missed a turn we figured. Marc said we should head up and I agreed. No ribbons to be seen and both of us were getting freaked out . Rats! Lost on my home course! What a dork! We agreed we screwed up but that we would probably find AS 3 which was the same as AS 2. Pluggin along up the hill we finally saw ribbons. Marc and I "high fived" as we knew we were so smart. WRONG! It was the Wildwood trail and we were heading the wrong way! Well I guess we just run the wrong way back to the AS and then turn around. More hills. AS we climbed back I recognized about 20 people I had previously passed. Darn, darn, darn. At AS 3 I refueled and we told Sarah how dumb we were.
Out of AS 3 it was nice cruise down the road to Wildwood. I hit the trail and still felt good for the day. I walked only the biggest of hills and trotted up the small ones. Usually by this time I am walking most every hill. The rain had stopped by now and I was missing its cool effect as I started to warm up in the humid air. My ipod had broken so I was running music free today which I did miss at times.
I got into the last AS and was a happy runner knowing that the majority of the last 10k was downhill. As we had to make one more slid down I steep muddy section I was determined not to fall again. (Mud adds weight to this already fat 220 lb body!) Back on WW I was cruising right along, passing folks here and there. Crossing the Birch trail intersection I really began to fly. Nice big downhills! Again I told a few folks not to go down some trails as they were miss marked. I hit the technical section along the creek and noticed I was going to PR today. Yeah! But was sad as if I hadn't missed the turn earlier I would have broken 6 hours for sure. I guessed we ran about 1.5 miles extra. I broke out of the trail into the park with the finish line in sight. I cruised across with energy to spare at 6:05 and change. It sure felt great to finish with juice left in the tank.
Being a back of the packer most folks had already left. I ate some soup a coke and then heading to the car to change. As I waited for Detour to finish. (BTW...I think I should have that nickname now.) I ate some more and chatted with Olga and others for a while. Gail crossed about an hour later. She was a bit frustrated with the day but still did an awesome job. For those of you that don't have a spouse to run with you don't know what you are missing. I am so thankful that she has joined me in this crazy hobby I have. Most folks go boating together. I drag her out on muddy wet trails on Sundays. Thanks Gail I hope you know how much it means to have you out there.
Well next up for us is the Deadwood, South Dakota trail marathon on June 8th. Then after that I work for 3 weekends so it will probably be the Flat Half Marathon on July 4th.