Monday, November 2, 2009

September 26, 2009

Hundred in the Hood

Short: 23:12, 6th female

Slightly longer: This was my 5th 100 miler of the year, one month after Cascade and two 50K races between. My 11th total (one 150 miler, nine 100 miler, and one 24hr run/108 miles). I traveled down to Mt. Hood, Oregon with Jess Mullen and Allison Moore Friday before the race. It was a great girl's weekend. We stayed at a decent place in Government Camp. After checking in and dropping our stuff off, we headed to the start at Timothy Lake to get our race packets. Olga Varlamova and co-RD Mike Burke were there to greet us. Olga and Larry, newlyweds, acted like an old married couple. They seemed very comfortable around each other. We chatted with a few other runners and headed for dinner at a pizza/pasta restaurant in ZigZag.

We retired after dinner after getting our race morning clothes ready. I felt dehydrated but did get up to pee a couple times. It was pretty warm, which made it hard for me to sleep, so I opened the window. It helped some but there was a loud noise outside and it kept me awake, so I closed it back up. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.

The race started at 5am. It was cool out but not cold. I spaced that it was going to be dark at the start and didn't have an extra one. Allison lended me hers, which I returned back at the nine mile aid station. The race layout was out 14 miles, then back, and then 37 miles out on a different part, then back. That's right, 102 miles. The entire race was on the PCT, so it was too runnable. It took it's toll on many of us. Allison was there crewing for Jess but helped me out quite a bit as well until she took over pacing duties at mile 55.

There was an amazing view of Mt. hood off to our left on our way out in the first out and back. On our way back, Karl Jensen caught up to me and we were coming into a group of spectators. Several children were screaming/cheering us on. I screamed back. Then Karl said, "I didn't touch her, really!" I played along and said, "Get your hands off me you dirty old man!" The crowd loved it!

I started to experience the same problem as at CCC where I had to pee a lot. (I had not figured out yet that the caffeine in the GU in addition to the Fraps I was drinking was dehydrating me). As a result, by 50K, my legs were heavy. I slowed down but continued to move along. I was passed by a bunch of people by mile 55. (I ended up finishing before most of them.) Jess caught me at this aid station, where Allison joined her and she continued to run strong. I was very impressed! She had gotten serious with Cross-Fit and lost 10 pounds after starting on a Paleolithic diet. Whatever she was doing was clearly helping her. I was not able to keep up with them and just concentrated on running my own race. The section after 55 miles was beautiful (Breitenbush)but challenging. The entire race was a series of hills that were too runnable. As a result, you felt compelled to run these but wore yourself out in doing so. The section after 55 miles featured more of the same but the trail was more technical, so that taxed us out even more.

This was only my 3rd 100 mile race without Ken crewing. I had run most of them before without a pacer, so this was not new, but it would have been nice to have someone to keep me company during the night. At times I was worried that I was off trail, even though the PCT is the main trail there. The trail was not marked except at the aid stations. I also heard things in the bushes that freaked me out. I basically ran the last 25 miles completely alone. I finally was caught about mile 90 on a significant uphill that I didn't remember being so long on the way down but lost the runner and his pacer from having to stop and pee constantly. At least I could make out their light far ahead. When I reached the last aid station, I had caught them. We were all under the impression that we only had less than 5 miles to go. Apparently, we had over 6 miles to go. I lost them again. They were laughing and taking their time when I caught them for the last time with about 2 miles to go. They let me pass. The last mile was on a different trail than what we ran out in and wouldn't you know it, it was the most techhical trail of the run. Many people got hurt in this section, which was during the night for most. I also got very cold. The temps got into the 30s. But then I would put on my shell and get hot. Clearly, I couldn't control my body temp, which is usually a reflection of dehydration and calorie deficit.

I took my time in this last mile so that I wouldn't trip but still had some urgency to finish. Finally, there it was! Jess and Allison were wrapped in blankets sitting next to a fire and cheered me in. I got my belt buckle and hat and headed straight for the car. I changed slowly, careful not to pull anything. Just as I was finishing, Jess and Allison got in the car freezing. The fire didn't do enough to keep them warm. We decided to head back to the hotel. Fortunately, it was only a 30 minute drive and Allison drove.

Jess finished 4th woman in 22:33! A strong sub-24. Only sub-24hr finishers got a very cool belt buckle, which I didn't know. Next year they will give out Bronze buckles for sub 30hr finishers. I'm glad I didn't blow up too much and was able to bring home more booty. First male was just under 17 hrs and Shawna Wilskey won in her first 100 in 18:26. Sick! Apparently, the front runners (the first 10 runners, including Shawna) missed the trail to the major aid station for miles 55 and 75 because of a mis-marked trail and had to go basically 14 miles without aid.(There was a section of the race where it was a 10-mile stretch between aid stations with a water drop a mile from the main aid.) Plus, they were supposed to pick up their pacer at 55 miles. But everyone held on tough.

When we got back to the hotel, I really had my first chance to see how pale and weak Jess looked. She really left everything out there on the trail. I couldn't see her well in the dark. But back in the hotel room with full lighting, I became very worried about her. I asked her if she wanted us to take her somewhere (like the hospital). She said she just needed to rest. Allison and I went down to the hotel restaurant and got her a hot chocolate and Sun Chips. This helped her she said. I was the first to hop in the shower. That was nice! Jess was next. Allison had to deal with both Jess and me coughing our phlegm out as she tried to get some sleep. After Allison showered, we headed to the start/finish to see others finish, like Tony Covarrubias and Shawn McTaggart, engaged since CCC. Also, Nic Plemel and Mark Dahlby (his first 100). We had a bite to eat and hit the road. We thanked and hugged Olga for a fine race.

We took turns driving home and stopped at Dairy Queen for some calories. We re-lived the weekend with laughter and pictures. Good times! Thanks girls for a memorable weekend!

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