Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pacific Rim 24hr

Well I went into the race with high hopes, I wanted to aim for 200k within 24 hrs, but that wasn't going to happen.

Steve Walters picked me up at about 6:50 to carpool up to Longview, approximately 61 miles away. We chatted about our goals and how we would achieve them. In order to achieve my goals, I wanted to complete the first 50k within 5 hrs, 50mi within 8 hrs, 100k within 10.5 hrs, 100 mi within 17hrs, and finish the day with over 200k. Steve wanted to finish 50k in 5.5hrs, 50 mi in 10hrs, 100k in 12hrs, and 100mi in 20hrs to finish the day with 105mi. (4 marathons)

When we started, I was close to the front along with Steve for the first couple miles, but the front runners were rookies running too hard to last, so I slowed up and let them run ahead. I watched in dismay as Steve took off with them and I thought to myself, "He'll regret that later! My goals are higher than his, why is he running 8:30 miles!?" When I finally was close to him, I reminded him that he needs to take walking breaks, or there's no way he'll last the night. I also tried to warn the other front runners, Fred and Jamal, but only Fred listened and later thanked me, saying that my advice saved him. Jamal, on the other hand, ran hard and fast and dropped out at mile 41.

In spite of the fact that Steve and I ran together, took it easy, and made sure to walk a little bit of every lap, we crossed the 50k mark in 4:52:44, a PR time for both of us. I was on track to achieve my goals, and Steve was over 30 min ahead of his. It was at about four hours into the race that my left hamstrings started to cramp a little, so I slowed up a bit and stretched my leg out whenever I could.

Between the 50k and 50mi mark I slowed even more because of the cramping, but made sure to take in as much water as possible along with some salt tablets. We stayed together, virtually stride for stride, and finished 50mi in 8:33:33. I was now a half hour behind my goal, but Steve was an hour and a half ahead of his. At 8 hrs into the run, I noticed something even more disturbing than the cramping earlier; although I was taking in a lot of liquids virtually every lap, I hadn't needed to use the bathroom since before the start, and I wasn't sweating hardly at all, except for salt that is. At this point I also became nauseated and my stomach was in turmoil. It seemed I could take in no more food or water, or if I did, I would promptly throw it up. I knew I was in trouble if I couldn't take in any calories.

Steve and I slowed more. At this point I was struggling to keep up with him even though we were taking two walking breaks every lap. My nausea didn't seem to get any better, my strength was failing, I still wasn't sweating or going to the bathroom in spite of all the fluids I was forcing down, and I was becoming more and more worried about my well being.

I decided that if I still wasn't able to use the bathroom by the 100k mark, I would walk out the 63rd mile and rest to see if I could get things straightened out. However, by the 100k mark (11:28:15) I was still having problems, so I alerted the race officials that I was leaving the course, and I went to take a nap. Before I got to the car to sleep, Olga showed up along with some other runners who had been running up at Chukanut and she gave me some sage advice: stop on salt and drink a lot more water. It made sense, I thought I had taken enough salt, by this point I had probably overdone it on salt and that could have caused all my problems. I took her advice but still went and took my nap. I rested and rested, but it wasn't until 7am the next morning (23hrs after I last used the bathroom) that I was once again functioning "normally."

I didn't run any more, and I really hated having to pull out of the race, but at least I got 3 PRs out of it. I watched the other runners finish, and Steve was able to achieve 107 miles for 5th place. First place went to Tim Englund with 121miles!

We got back to Portland and I went right to bed for some more sleep. I woke up a couple hours later and went to my Church's Evening service, followed by a meal with some friends at Laurelwood Pizza Co. I had the Davide's Special Calazone. A great way to recover after having some digestive / intestinal issues I know. ha ha. I'm all back to normal and ready to up the training to take vengance on this run at Ultracentric in November. I WILL do better! Lord willing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Favorite Blog

So I've been tapering for my 24hr race this weekend, and therefore have nothing interesting to write about myself.... Nothing much fun or exciting really happens when you're tapering. (except in my case when I injure myself the day before a race. ha ha.)

So I have decided to take some time to tell you about my favorite online blog......

Dirt Diva
I came across Catra's Blog by accident one day while looking around for crazy races I could aspire to run, and her blog was so unique, interesting, and inspiring, that now I'm checking her blog daily, keeping an eye out for new posts

This is not simply a blog for Runners, or Crossfitters, but I believe anyone with the drive to achieve more/greater would benefit by hearing the things Catra has to say.

Her posts are intelligent and thoughtful, her love for life seems to just leap off the screen as you read, and wow is it infectious.

Do yourself a favor and go check out Dirt Diva if you haven't already; you are sure to enjoy it.

(Photo courtesy of Catra Corbett)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back to the Wilderness....

Well, I felt like going for a trail run.... I didn't have to go to work on Monday, so I got up early, grabbed my trail shoes, a couple water bottles, my Silva Ranger compass, some good maps, and headed out to Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge.

I had a route picked out to run which would have taken me 18 miles with approx. 7,500ft of climb and another 7,500ft of fall. But plans were to change, I just didn't know it yet. Part of the trail I like to run, and one of the wierdest streatches of land I've ever seen.

I pushed myself pretty hard up Ruckle Ridge Trail, on my hands and knees at a couple places, and within the first couple miles I was about 1,500 ft above where I had parked. Everything was going well for a while until I saw the first sigh of the impending doom; at about 2,500ft there was a pile of snow on the trail, and I still had another 2,000ft to climb at that point.

Once I got closer to 3,000 ft, about 4 miles in at this point, the snow became much more abundant, and I wasnt able to see a trail anymore. I kept my eye out for signs that might indicate where the trail was. At that point I also pulled out my Silva Ranger Compass and maps and was able to continue on for another mile or so. There were eventually too many fallen trees to discern any sort of trail, I kept breaking through the ice and snow and falling as deep as mid-thigh, and as far as creating my own path, I was approaching another streatch in which even the trail had 1,000ft of climb within about a mile, and I didnt want to have to crawl to the top. I finally decided that even if I were to continue up and over Benson Plateau, connecting to the Pacific Crest Trail on the other side would be simple, but dangerous with all the cliff explosure on the other side.

A little over 5 miles in, and at about 3,500 ft up, I decided it would be best to just follow my tracks back to the trail and run the brutal descent back to my car. The run back was absolutly brutal, but it's good training.

The rest of the trail back was beautiful... One thing I've noticed, Oregon has a lot of moss.

I got back to my car, and I had a little extra time, so I did a couple miles on the Eagle Creek Trail, but it's not nearly as crazy as Ruckle Ridge. I had to settle for a 12 mile run with about 4,500ft of climb and 4,500ft of fall

I got back home and rested up a little bit, after all, I had my running club to attend that evening. Some of my friends had run the Red Lizard 5 miler on Saturday, so I was hoping they would be running slow like me, but I wasn't so lucky. Although Jeff had run a 36:21, and Jon ran a 32:51, they didnt slow down much for me during the group run, normally I try to be right there with them, but my Quads were completly thrashed from the run earlier that day. I slowed down and ran with some of the other runners there for a 6 miler (plus another couple miles to meet up with the other group runners) to finish off the day with 20 miles of running/hiking/crawling. ha ha
Jeff Huber (36:21) & Jon Dotson (32:51:) respectivly. Congrats Dudes on your awesome times at the Red Lizard 5 miler!!!!