Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Round and Round We Go

When we stop nobody knows! Yep it was time for the Pac Rim 24 hour run again. Gail and I really wanted to run for all 24 hours this year. We even went as far as to rent an RV so we could park on the street next to the course and take a quick nap if need be. We also spent the night before at the park so we didn't have to lose too much sleep the morning of the race.

Course markings? Just don't cross a street!

Speaking of the race its the same course as always. Around Lake Sacajawea in Longview, Washington. It's a great little 1 mile loop course. I am writing this about 3 weeks after the race so I am sure I will forget some things. The starting line had some really tough runners and was the biggest group yet of about 75 runners. We said hello to all of our Ultra friends and had a blast at the start. We set up our table with all of our goodies and preparations to survive 24 hours of running. We then listened to the Fred the "Wildman" who was our Race Director again. He didn't say much new but it is always a joy to listen to his chats.

Fred telling us "just turn right!"

The weather was trying to cooperate. It was going to be just the right temps in the mid 40's and 50's with no rain til late Saturday night. So Detour and I were ready to go. Rick decided to join us and try and do a 50k, his longest run since his latest battle with "A-fib".

Fenny and Gail

Who is that guy? Oh its the winner Tim!

So Fred set us off in our clockwise loop. We trotted and chatted for a few laps. Then Katie and Eric came up to join us. The made a quick coffee run then came back and ran 5 or 6 miles with us. It was a good time and the Starbucks was great! Thanks Slugs! They headed back to Portland and we just kept a loopin'. I tried to take a break every 10 miles. Not eat every lap but just now and then. Tried to eat more solid food and less gels. (I think I only did 3 the entire day?) It was just so much fun to see our friend Sarah out there, her first big race after a couple of years of serious injuries. He "old man" Marc who was going for it too. Lisa and Tim, last years winners. Our friends Jim and Fenny. My dad who at 74 decided to come up and walk a half marathon. Eric and Michelle from up north and there gang. Steve Walters who was running for charity. Susan K who was going for a PR in 100 miles. Leif, Beast, Amy and many others who I am sure I have missed naming. As you can tell it is a good group. Oh and I can't forget Ben and shouts that tear through the night! :)

The bestest lap counter ever, Bart.

Gail and I kept running together. All but a few minutes here and there we stayed side by side. It was pretty cool be running with your wife for all those miles. Mile 1o was fun. Mile 20 I was feeling pretty good. Around mile 30 life started to suck a bit. So I told Gail I was putting on my tunes. That really juiced me up. I felt soooo good on miles 30 to 40. We walked most the pavement sections and the little up hills. So we probably walked 1/6th of every lap? Maybe not that much but its just a guess.

A nun who decided to run. Nah its Susan and she is cold but happy!

Rick got his 50k and was dang happy. So did Sarah who didn't even think she would run that far til the Tacoma Marathon in May. Susan was hurting with back and leg pain so changed her goal to 50 miles. Others came and went as a 50k was Fred's minimum for getting recognized in this race. After that every mile counted to your standing in the finish.

Way to go Sarah! Welcome back!!

Rick decided to keep going and see how far he could go. He ended up getting 40 miles in which is amazing as he hasn't run that far since the Portland Marathon last October? Congrats to Pole!

Gail and Rick...and he got his 40 miles too.

When we got to mile 40 I was feeling real good. We took a good 10 to 15 minute break to eat and check out the feet etc. After we got up I was stiff for a mile or so. I turned off the tunes and Gail and I just chatted as we ran. After each lap it got quieter. I was starting to have doubts about this. I couldn't wait til mile 50 when we would take another break. I was getting cranky for sure.

Detour and Fatboyee...round and round!

At mile 50 we stopped again for 15 minutes. I ate a little and really tried to keep hydrated. Gail and I pressed on. By this time I was ready to walk. After the mile 51 we pretty much walked all the time. A few jogs here and there. I was in big pity party mode. "Why do I do this? It is no fun to feel like shit" "Marathons and 50ks? Yeah those are fun, but this distance is just insane. Why do this when it isn't enjoyable? I'm quitting at mile 55. You can keep going but I am done. Don't care about this 24 hour crap!" So you get the point? I was out of it. It was all walking. Gail kept telling me "just another lap". "We will just see what happens at 55 miles" She was being most excellent at keeping me moving.

At 55 we took a break. Gail said lets go do some more so off we went, walking. I actually started to feel a tad better when Gail got severe blisters on the balls of both her feet. She had been shuffling them for quite some time but I didn't want to say anything about it cause we all do abnormal things at this point. At mile 58 she was in really bad pain. Her legs felt fine, her energy was great but she was just in agony. We stopped and tried to fix them. Nothing seemed to help. So we did two more miles for a total of 60 and told the lap counters we were done for a bit. Actually I said we were quitting and Gail said we were just taking a break!

So off to the RV we went. We crawled into bed and tried to sleep. How crazy was that. Bizarre nightmares, restless legs, and just overall strange things going on. Gail had me set the alarm for 7 am to see if we could do a few more miles.

As the alarm went off I was hoping to just stay in bed. Gail said "no lets get up and see what we can do." So up we got and changed into our cold weather gear. It had rained and was pretty chilly. We got back on the course. Saying hello to all those that were doing the all night thing. Probably 20 folks went all night. I think 14 ended up going over 100 miles.

Feeling loopy yet?

Gails feet still really hurt. So she couldn't run. I felt good after a lap and wanted to trot but Gail and I had stuck together the entire race so we would stay together again now. We ended up walking with another woman and it really helped to pass the time. We got 3 more miles in and without being able to run we quit 20 minutes before the cutoff, finishing the 24 hours with 63 miles. Just over 100k that we did last year. Our longest run ever in 1 day.

Marc did 75 miles. Many in his loafers due to foot pain.

They gave out the awards as we ate some good food. Tim won again with 127 miles? Jess from Seattle got second overall and top woman with a course record 116 miles. Wow! It was fun to see them hand out the awards. Everyone was tired, hungry and a bit loopy.

Those "thong girls" from up north.

I said I was done with this distance. It was not fun after mile 50 this year. Now, 3 weeks later I will try it again. I have no idea why I keep doing this? It sucks. I feel bad afterward. I am slow so I never win anything. It is just a crazy hobby. Do I need help? Fat, tall old men are not supposed to this. I should be working on my garden or something. Strange....not sure if I will ever figure it out. But I do enjoy the friends I have made. They are all great and I enjoy everyone one of you! Thanks for putting up with me. Cya all out there on the "loop" next year.


Susan Kokesh said...

AAAGGHHH. Pac RIm the tight hip flexor nightmare. Great blog post. You and Gail did awesome. It was such a pretty, sunny afternoon and the running community showed its best (both runners and volunteers) that day. The loop course was both fun and a nightmare as well for me. :)

Lisa B said...

Yay! Great report, Bret. Awesome job to you and Gail. I keep wanting to write up a report but I haven't found the time yet. Still... better late than never. I liked reading yours. Hard to believe that was only 3 weeks ago! Feels like forever. See ya at the next one! ;)

Sarah said...

Nice pictures and report. Thanks for the shout out for the family!