When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Monday, April 16, 2007
Proposed goals: break 7 hrs, run even effort on both halves of 60k.
Outcome: 7 hrs broken, 60k (37.3M) extended officially to over 38M, even effort with 90%run, lots of fun had, many best friends seen:)
Let's have a "bubbly post" per Craig's request!
Gail and Sid picked me up from the house afetr 5 pm on Saturday (after our family spent a few hours bowling). The drive through Mt. Hood area was uneventful, though had snow and rain over the pass, and we arrived to Madras, OR, to Maura and Stan's house at 8 pm as planned. After dinner and a chat we turned in around 10:30 pm.
Gail took and early start for the run, so I rode with Maura, an hour to Sisters, OR. It was beginning of a great day...Not a cloud in the sky, clear, crisp, calm and relatively warm. After checking in, saying about 2 dozen's of "hello" and giving same amount of hugs, I decided to not wear a rain shell even for the first hour. It was a nice day, no rain and warm!!! Finally:) (photos taken by Brian Conaghan unless otherwise noted, more photos by Oregon velo)
Early starters went at 7 am, while the rest of 60k'ers lead by Andy J-W, took off at 8 am. Just before sending us off, Rd Sean Meissner announced the course is not 60km, but rather full 38 miles and change (what is a mile longer). So much for setting a time goal! I did not want to heare anything at all.
Jeff Riley and Craig Thornley, brother Tom Riley, superstar Van Pigtails Phan, Theresa Schut, that would be me
The first few miles take us on gentle upgrade on a dirt road. My legs are holding on awesome, I have a very mild tightening and expansion of the compartment, only 10 min of a foot drop and a total of no more than 30 min pain, and by the fist AS (around 4.5M) I am free of that lil' monster. I am running wearing Heart rate Monitor, as I always try to do at altitude, and this run goes between 3,000 and 4,000-and-change feet. By trail standrad this is a flat run, with only a couple "real" hills (one been a "Grunt") that are walkable, so there is a big shame on walkers. The first incline that my HR goes above 170 and I break into power walk - I get "it is not a hill" from Anna Bates behind:) So I gotta run! (photo by OR Velo) My average HR was kept at 165 for the first half and 160 for the second, and thanks to Albuterol I didn't forget this time, my breathing was quite remarkably good (at the finish we all later got in to a circle of asthma-friends with same Albuterol inhalers). Soon we turn onto single-track trails, soft packed dust with pine needles, and inhale the views. Beautiful!!! Too bad I don't go to races with the camera. I won't desrcibe it turn by turn to not get you bored, and Peterson Ridge trails are very much all alike, gentle up, gentle down, more upograde, more dirt road, and sharp turn to the left - and towards me before that turn and whole train of people who missed it and went an extra few minutes wrong direction! I feel bad for them, but that's all included in trail running. I get lost aplenty...
As we get up a short climb, there is an awesome couple of miles single track downhill, and I lead that "train" with Caroline Klug right behind me. I know once we hit flats people will start passing, and it's true, soon one by one about 5 people go ahead, although the bunch of them is still behind. And somewhere around/before that section I ran with and passed Maniac Hippo who claimed I got to do it at this race:) (next 3 pics by Sarah) We eneter the "Grunt"! This is my second time at this race, and again, this climb is nothing. It is very steep, but welcome as a break, and it is very very short, I doubt if it's a quater mile! So before I even got to enjoy it, it was over. Sarah's husband, "non'runner" Marc happened to be right behind me, so I got a picture taken and a cow bell ringing at the top! Quick water refill at no-aid AS (I really wanted to take off my shirt, but with a pack and an i-Pod over it didn't hustle). Slight decline to next AS, and 20M gone and done in 3:30! My 7 hrs goal materialized into something very much possible...(gotta share this picture of Theresa, not sure where it was taken, but looks exactly what trail running is about!)
Eventually we cam to an AS surved by high school girls, but unlike 2 years ago, we still had 14 mile loop coming instead of been on the way to finish! That was a bit of a mental downer, and right after that there was a long red dust/rock dirt road, uphill, (photo by OR Velo) and according to my watch I had no time to walk, and I ran, and ran, and it was a long 7M section with no aid, hot, up, rocky, hitting those rocks with my soon-to-be-fallen toenails, swearing, still running...I passed a couple of gals we played tag with the whole way and tried not to look back. I couldn't afford to walk!!! I can't allow myself to walk - that was my mantra.
Soon we got to run on the top of some ridge along bushes (forgot the name, starts with "M"), it was rolling and beautiful. Finally it was obvious we got little left - last AS, less than 4M and 45min to break 7 hrs. (photo by OR Velo) Can I do it? Somebody says we got to go down to Sisters, and I expect easy ride - and no, where is down? Still up, some gentle downgrade, more up on dirt road, turn, more up, flat, little down, more flat...Gawd, I staill have to work, and if I don't see a sign of a road at 6:50, I am not making it!!! At some point I feel my lower jaw trembling, and I walk it off to calm down - I can't afford to cry now, too much energy, I need to run...so I run, almost praying, my communist-brought up atheist, asking God to please let me achieve my goal and give me a glimpse of hope for my future running...and I see the road and two boys pointing through the parking lot, I see the track, my friends cheering and yelling my name, and the clock...sweet clock, that didn't even turn 6:55 as I crossed the finish line!!!
I can't believe I reached my goal. It wasn't easy. I had to work for it. And I am happy I was able to. It was a glorious day, lots of hard work, great chatter and many smiles and hugs. Oh, we all could have hot shower at the school and I even got a great massage at the finish!
(next photos by my finally taken out camera:))
RD Sean Meissner
with Maura at the finish
Van and I share inhaler stories More relaxing time photos curtesy of Tom Riley