Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh Boy! Oh Boy!

Lake Sacajawea

The title of this post comes from Gail. That is what she said around mile 52 or so on the Pacific Rim One Day Run in Longview, Washington. She said it as a great sigh, then said "There is the title to your blog for this run." Oh Boy was she right!

Gail and I pre-race. We go through this tent every lap

This race is pretty cool. Different than most it is how many miles can you do in 24 hours. Many folks do a 50k and quit. Some do 50 miles, some such as us do a 100k. Others go the whole night and get the full meal deal. The RD Fred Willet does what only experienced Ultra runners only. Not someone one who will do a 10k and call it a day. So we must have had maybe 40 runners at the start. The course is great but its different. A 1 mile loop around Lake Sacajawea that is probably 80% trail. And no you don't get bored on this course going around and around. There is always something to see. Other runners passing you, people out for a walk, or the ka-gillion dogs out and about.

Our good friend Sarah helped count laps for 8 hours plus!

We ran with Fenny and Jim for many miles

Olga shares her pre-race fueling secrets....a Hotdog!

I have a goal for this race, 100k or 62 miles for you non-metric Americans. I would like to get 80 miles or so but feel that is out of reach for me. I will take 50 miles on the low side if I have a bad day. Gail? I never know. She should be a spy cause she keeps her goals pretty much to her self and there is nothing wrong with that....Honey. (I am not that dumb you know!) So we got to the start 45 minutes or so before the race. We set up our little aid table with all our food and drink, plus any other things we might need such as Ipods, camera, blister kit, change of clothes and a ton of other stuff. We brought too much which was a good thing. I even made Turkey and Cheese sandwiches because I knew I would get tired of the carb-sugar thing and would need the protein.

We are both so quiet and reserved. Rare to get these two to smile.

Then who shows up? Mr. Smith. Mr "I haven't done a marathon or longer race in the last 18 months" Smith, thats who! Jeez..."so ya gonna try and go from an 18 mile training run to a 31 mile race eh?" "Yep" he says. Well good for him. Was a total shock to see him show up but it made our day. So as we get our pre-run briefing from Fred I take some pictures of everyone. This is so cool I think. I mean there are some really big time runners here, and there are some people who just like to run. I like this place.

Go Slugs!

"OK Go!" Fred says, and off we trot through the tent. You see every loop they have lap counters under this tent. Im tall so I have to bend down a bit every lap to go under the roof of the tent. See why I like this place. Since the Slugs are such important runners we always get the big bib numbers. I was number 4, Gail was 5 and Rick was 6. So every time you make a loop they yell out your number so the lap counter can write down your time. So while the three of us ran together we would go through the tent as "Four, five and six".

At the start with friends

The course is simple but different. You have a little down area after the start/finish line. Then a huge uphill of mayb 8 feet or so to cross a bridge, then go along a nice straight stretch to the port a potty, a quick 5 foot downhill then back up a steep 5 foot uphill. Then a turn and go along a sidewalk for a few hundred yards, then a turn and a gentle downhill for a 1/4 a mile or so through the park to a last climb of 20 feet or so. A little 180 degree turn and you are back at the start. So easy!

Olga and Rick discuss race strategy

I had the same fuel plans on this as I do any race. The nice thing is I had what I wanted every mile, plus what the race sets out too. Food and drink were never an issue today.

Other 100 k finishers! Yeah! Go Michelle!

By mile 6 my legs were hurting. Crap! Mile 6!! Oh well thats what I get for doing the double only two weeks earlier. I was running most of the course early. Sometimes I would walk the little hills or if I was running with someone who was walking that was fine with me. Gail, Rick and I probably did the first 10 miles or so together off and on. Someone would take a "P" break and the others would continue on. Olga and I ran a bit early on but she was a bit more determined than I was on this day. I just wasn't in a hurry.

OK got to change gears here. I stopped writing this blog at this point about a week ago. For some reason I just couldn't get into it. Not sure why? I just felt like I didn't have much to say. Strange when you run the farthest you ever have in your life. Well I will press on and post some pictures, maybe I will have some more to say about it in the future.

I just kind of ran by my self for 10 or 15 miles...just cruisin' along enjoying the day. Around mile 29 or so our fellow Slug Eric showed up to run some with us, plus he brought drugs!!! Coffee!!! Nice! So he joined in and trotted with us. We got to Rick's last lap of his 50k and Olga grabs Gails hand and says "Lets walk". So we all walk Rick's last lap. I run ahead and get in position to take some "glamor" shots of Rick crossing the finish line with a woman on each side of him. We all got a good laugh.

Rick crosses the 50k finish with the "Hottie sisters"

"OK I'm done! Now where is my car?"

So Rick was done and I was jealous. Off we went with Eric for more miles and chatting. Around mile 10 Eric was off to his home as he had an early morning ahead of him. Around this time Gail and I kept running together. Just a run-walk-eat-drink kind of race. We would talk about whatever was up. At one point Tim Englund said "There go the Henry's" as we passed him...that was a good one. The amount of runners in the race was getting smaller every hour. As darkness rolled in there may have been only 20 or so of us out there.

The coffee delivery man, Mr. Eric

Around the time we hit 50 miles a bunch of runners who had run a 50k earlier in the day up north got on the course to do some more miles. (Yeah we are all a bit nuts) So we got another 10 runners around 9 pm or so. It did add a little fun as they had more energy than most of us. Gail and I had hit the wall pretty good. We were walking more and not happy with how we felt. Gail started to have nauseous feelings. She had never had these and now knew how I feel at many a race. She is not sure if it was the pizza or not. But others were not feeling too hot either. At this point we decided to walk two miles to see if we would feel a bit better. It did seem to work and we went back to running.

Around eleven o'clock I had 4 miles to go to reach 100k. I told Gail "My leg hurts and I need to run. It hurts more to walk than run" So off I went. I ran pretty hard the first couple miles, then I was tired and walked about half the next lap. I could smell the finish but my energy level was pretty low. The last lap went pretty good and I told the lap counters that this was it, my 100k. They said "you are done for good?" "Oh yeah..this is it!" So they watched me add the quarter mile or so to get to the 100k cone. I crossed and raised my arms. It felt good to run 62 miles but it was not a feeling of elation but more of satisfaction of completing a mission.

Lap counter sheet. Running was much easier

Gail was two miles behind me. As I walked back to our aid station she was finishing lap 60. She was pretty beat and decided to sit for a bit in our chairs. She thought a rest might help her. She was battling her demons, bad stomach, Achilles tendon pain and loss of energy. I just let her be. At this point often that is whats best. Work it out and then get on with it. I told her I would start carrying all our stuff to the cars so that when she got done we could just leave.

Gail's secret ultra marathon food, bacon

Well it took me about 6 trips to carry all our AS setup to the car. Yeah we did have a kitchen sink in there I think. It was allot! I would say goodbye to friends as they kept going round and round.
I had finished a few seconds after midnight. So in 15 hours I got my 100k/62 miles in. I was OK with that.

By the time I got the cars packed I was starting to get a bit sleepy tired. I stretched out the best I could in my car. Then I started to get light headed. "No not the I'm gonna pass out feeling" I never do pass out but I have had instances of getting a cold sweat, little tunnel vision and feel like I am going to pass out but it never really gets to that total darkness stage. What I think happens is your breath rate doesn't return to normal after a long race. The rate at which you are breathing stays the same but you don't need that much oxygen. You then begin to hyperventilate. I put my feet up on the passenger side front window with my head barely hanging out the driver side window. I could feel the anxiety coming on. I needed to relax, get my feet above my head and slow down my breathing. I even got nervous that what will I do when Gail comes up and I have gotten sick all over the car. I was a bit whacko at this point. It didn't last for more than 10 or 15 minutes when I got it under control.

Fifty minutes later Gail came up to the car. She was done!! Nice! She finished just before 1 am and got her 100k in. I am always in awe of her. So we rested a bit and then headed out for our 60 mile drive home. Now that was rough for me as I was soooooo tired. Next time I take a nap first.

Thoughts one week later? I am glad I did it. It was fun most of the time. Was it too far? Yes. Will I go farther, maybe. I really enjoy the people. But I guess most folks in the institution like those people too. Ha! Did it hurt? Yes. I can hardly run now. Been to the doc twice. Same thing on my leg as the PCT injury last year that kept me out of Waldo. The Rumble this weekend....sadly its doubtful. I'm on PT, drugs and lots of ice. So we shall see. Rest now and be strong later or run and be hurt for another month or so. Decisions.....

Thanks to all that took pictures. I did "borrow" some from you. Sarah and Bart...thanks for counting laps. Fred..nice job as run a good show. And to the Lisa's, Olga's, Tim's, Ben's and all the others. You are all so impressive. Thanks for letting us Slugs run with you. You don't know how much you all silently teach me. Eric, you da coffee man! And Rick you are back!
And all the runners that chatted with me. I know many of you and more I know your face but not your name. Thanks for sharing the miles.

Most miles winners Lisa and Tim. Nice job!

See you all soon, Bret.


Sarah said...

I'm enjoying seeing Bart's pictures making the rounds. : )

Congrats to you and Gail! I hope you are feeling better and back running soon.

Backofpack said...

Oh, you had to put up the picture of me in the funky two-shirt combo! (I was having trouble regulating my temp at that point. Too hot, too cold).

Great report! I'm sorry to hear you are hurting though. I rested all last week, ran 5 Saturday, 5 Sunday, rested yesterday, 5 today. I'll rest tomorrow, run on Thursday, then Yakima on Saturday. And yes, I still feel it in my legs! I hope you heal quickly Bret! It was so great seeing you and Gail, can't wait till next time!

olga said...

We are all blessed to run with each other, and this race provided a great venue to do so! It was awesome to walk with you guys, hold Gail's hand and see Rick finish smiling! You did good, you big bear and a your hottie!