Monday, April 6, 2009
Peterson Ridge Rumble 60ishK
At 4:30 am on Saturday April 4th, Will and I headed off for Bend, Oregon. As Will said with two hours of the eight hour trip left, "pretty uneventful trip." Don't get me wrong gorgeous, but no exciting stories. That is until we realize we have not seen a gas station in a long time. In a period of an hour +, there is no gas station to be seen and the fuel light has been on this whole time. We finally see a gas station... oh shit, the sign says closed! The next town it says is 30 miles away. I keep thinking to myself we could run it, but our legs would for sure feel that the next day racing. We make it another 15 miles or so, not sure how, but we do. As soon as we run out of gas, we coast down the hill a little bit. I can't fucking believe it, but we can make something out in the distance. For sure a restaurant, but it isn't clear if they have gas. We make it about 1/4 mile from the place and get out and walk. I have never been so excited to see gas in my whole life (and a restroom, I had to pee like crazy during this whole adventure). So we get gas at Diamond Lake Juncture and we're on our way.
We roll into Bend, stop at the Motel 6 to check in and then walk over to Fleet Feet to check in for the race. We talk to Rod Bien for a little bit before heading down the street for a little Mexican food, and then a short walk through town. Both super sleepy from the drive so prepping for the race, napping, and a good night of sleep we're next on our list.
Sunday 5 am, April 5th, a bowl of yogurt and granola and a suncake. Then it is time to check the temp outside. Burr!!! Yup not going for the sports bra and shorts instead knickers, long sleeve shirt, La Sportiva baseball cap, my lucky Wildcats, and striped mittens. Nervous about the race as my stomach had not been feeling great, Will's intestines were not up to par, and of course I had no idea what to expect of the course or other runners. The drive up to Sisters is beautiful with constant glimpses of the mountains.
During our warm-up, I could tell I was more anxious then normal, but tried to remind myself to stay relaxed. I met Sean Meissner (the race director), Alan Abbs, Jenn Shelton, and Eric Poole at the start. In the first mile of the race, Will and I chatted with Eric and Jenn. I also met another woman Pam Smith who hung close for the first two hours of the race. She actually zoomed pass Will and I when we stopped to pee about an hour + in the race and then again during the icy section. As for the course, flat, winding, rocky, uneven, icy (Will took a couple falls, I walked that fucking section). Oh, I failed to mention, I took a nice fall in beginning, loosing a shot blok to the dirt. About 2 + hours into the run Will and I were still running together and there was no sight of another women close by. I tried to settle in, but as Will would attest I still had bursts of anxious running. Then we had lots of long straight a ways to run (they brought back memories of running in Michigan... straight up, I do not like long straight a ways... mentally challenging). At 3 hours, we had a hill... whoppy!!! Almost to the top and Will tells me he needs to pee again, I keep going (I guess a good thing as the remainder of his run becomes "crappy"). Aide station at the top and I find out 8 miles left, I look at my watch and tell myself that means I'll finish at 4:36 (I kid you not, I have no f'n idea why that is what I assumed, but I did). Now, I am running by myself and nervous that I am going to miss a turn because it is back to winding trails. Then I come upon a beautiful vista, the mountains were amazing, and I remind myself that shit, I am in Oregon! But, once again, I take a fall. This time mud, striped mittens and bottle are covered. Oh well, I get up and go. I got back into a rhythm with my breathing. In fact a good portion of the run, I did a yoga mantra over and over just to keep myself calm. Alright then I am super excited to see the next aide station and I hope they say 2 miles left, but instead they say 4. Doesn't matter, I am still on my 4:36 pace that became ingrained in my head 4 miles back. As soon as I could see the road and the high school, I knew the run was almost over. The race finished on the track, so I was able to give it a nice kick at the end. First comment to me after I came through the finish was wow your dirty (I have to say, that is a new one). I finished 1st woman in 4:36:57 and 8th overall. Will came in 9th overall at 4:47:20. Pam came in second woman at 5:02:28 and Jenn third at 5:12:40.
So the drive back to California was pretty uneventful, no running out of gas. Lots of beautiful views especially Mt. Shasta. Back to the bay by 12:30 and in bed by 1:30. Slept good, but can't believe how sore I am. Running flat trails definitely uses different muscles. Once again, I can't thank my body enough. Thanks Will for your continued confidence, driving 16 hours, and giving me a good story to add to my blog. Thanks to Sean for a beautiful run and to all the super nice Oregon folks I met. Now it's time to get ready for Miwok.
(photo courtesy of Glenn Tachlyama)