Jeesh, Has it already been a month since I last posted?
A lot has happened since then. I was doing so good in my training and my blogging. But then I got burnt out. And lets face it, the blog entries were not that interesting anyways.
So what happened? Well, I got bored. After a while, a waterfall is just a waterfall. What's wrong with me? Why can't I stay impressed with things for long? I feel like it's not just me and it's our society as a whole that is slowly becoming dependent on being constantly provided with new stimuli. Shouldn't the wonder that is the Columbia River Gorge impress me longer than a couple months? Maybe it's the way I obsessively jump into things that eventually leads to it's over-saturation. Like playing a new song over and over because it's so fresh and perfect but then wearing it out until it becomes intolerable. I do that. Often. I tend to jump into things feet first and full of passion. I like that about myself. Just wish that passion would stay.
So I got bored, and then it rained, for two weeks straight. So I skipped my weekday runs. I still did my one weekend run because I still like getting out there and taking pictures but overall I stopped my heavy training.
But then Jenn saved me from myself. "Hey baby, I just read in the paper there's a 15k tomorrow." So I entered the race and I came in 7th out of 95 people. And boy was I charged. It was what I needed. Other runners. And a healthy dose of competition and seeing the results of all my efforts. I found out that I was in shape. Better shape than I've been in almost two years. In fact, I think I might nearly be in better shape than I was before I ran my 50 miler. I certainly don't have that endurance yet, but I'm close. I think I am faster and stronger. I just need to build a little more endurance.
So yeah, had a great time in the 15k and then I decided that I'd run a 50k the following week. Sarah Lynch from the SRC had sent out an email a while back asking if anyone wanted to run this. I said that I wouldn't know until closer to the race. Things lined up and I knew that I wouldn't be busy so I told her, let's do it. But wait.
AT the race I meet the two time previous winner of the 15k I did. This guy Stan who's from Carson where Jenn and I are staying. Stan's real friendly to me at the race, congratulates me and says that he's seen me running out on the road and that we should run together. So I get his number, end up calling him and making plans for Tuesday to run. Tuesday we run 9 miles which include some road through the cascade locks, Herman Creek Trail and some PCT. It rains pretty hard on us toward the end and I think I might have run a tough to fast ;-)
Stan then invites me to take part in an impromptu 24 hours run that is to take place at the infamous Dog Mountain. I do go to this but of course I do not run for 24 hours. I do one lap. This one lap scares me. It's steep. I worry that it's going to effect my performance on Sunday during my 50k. But it was worth it. The view at the top was impressive and the wild flowers that grow at the top are every bit as spectacular as people say.
So Sunday comes and it's 50k time. I have to say that I was nervous. I haven't run that much in a few weeks and nothing more than a few long run with my top being about 26 miles. Things could get ugly. I figure I'll finish but no real idea on how much walking will happen. I jokingly tell Jenn, "I'll come somewhere in between winning the race and DNF".
So I meet Sarah and Julie at the beginning and we all start together. I decide quickly that I need to move faster than the pace that we're all going and dig my way through the crowd. I only stayed with them long enough for us to snap off a couple pictures. So now I'm on my own, slowly digging my way through runners. I'm doing my best to remain calm and not get caught up in the action of it all. By about mile 7 I'm now along and will be for nearly the entire race. Reflecting on it now, the race went by fast. I'm not eluding to my time here but rather the feeling that it didn't seem to drag on and wear on me like other long races have. I was comfortable during most of the race, barely walked anything but the most steep hills and stayed positive throughout. My legs felt great all the way up to about 28 miles where the did get very stiff and I feared I was at risk of injury but I was able to push through it and finish feeling strong.
5:24 My new 50k PR. Felt great. Still not an elite time but two years ago I still had not begun my trail running training. I'm so ahead of the game and if I continue my training as I have been, I will be very strong come the end of the summer. The trick will be staying motivated. I think I just need to throw in some races every now and then and I'll be ok.