Monday, May 21, 2012

April 28-May 12

Part I: Eugene Marathon– Running with Ventoux, April 29, 2012 I was very excited to hear that Ventoux was going to run the “full” this time. Got to see View and Anna (turning 2!).
Didn’t even consider “Anna Montana” when I got her Montana souvenirs from a recent trip there. Sammy was looking distinguished with a grey fringe.
Too bad none of the other Cutters could come (see April 2008 entry), though Jay had an excuse (taking photos). He came by to help complete the BRS pre-race regimen which started with lunch of deep fried chicken fingers and pickles with fries and beer, followed by staying up late chain-smoking and drinking more beer. I being an old lady retired early. Race day weather- perfect. Brought my camera so that I could take a picture of Ventoux at mile 22 as a favor to Ocean Man, though I thought 50/50 Ventoux would be way ahead of me by then. We were on pace for a sub-4 through the half, but then my Death Zone kicked in. Ventoux was looking strong so I urged him on; I’d live to run another day (like next week) but too bad I wouldn’t get my mile 22 photo. I took one of the sign just for posterity….
Then I picked up speed as my death zone went away and I caught Ventoux shortly after mile 24.
At least I got a finish line video, damn greasy thumbprint as I fiddled with the camera, and even a photo with the Krusteaz Pancake man!

Followed by some awesome homemade soup containing pulled pork. But damn I’m never running in that shirt again, I’m sure the horrible chafage had nothing to do with my overhang.

Part II: Bye Bye Spokane, Hello Leschi

Bye Bye East Side, Hello (again) West Side (Seattle -> Spokane -> Seattle) Got back from Eugene, pulled an all-nighter packing for my move, then had my last day in the office. A year ago today I thought I had found the Quiet Life in Spokane.
People seemed to find that bizarre, and some placed bets on how long I would last there. It seemed an ideal to me, escaping the politics and pretentions of big city big institution. How could it be more isolating than being surrounded by people here, yet not belonging anywhere? Is there such a thing as too much peace and quiet? Maybe it’s my amnesia, I’ve forgotten how much the winters suck.
Human beings can get used to anything, and as soon as they do, they miss it. I wished I could run just once more the bluff trails less than a mile from the house I was renting. But as I drove through Snoqualmie Pass I was amazed to see Seattle again. Looking forward to being in a house again. Ocean Man came to help me unpack and Dyno rode by on his way back from work. They've got this thing going on with pushups? (The pic is so blurry because they're moving so fast!)
Part III: Miwok, a classic 100km trail run just north of San Francisco, so popular you have to enter a lottery. I pretty much knew before I got there that I’d DNF (nearly the same course as the Northface 50mile which I DNF’d in December but longer- 64 miles- and harder- 13,000 ft vertical), not to mention I had a 45 mile trail run in Germany the following week, but I’d already bought my plane tickets. I crashed a house rented by several Maniacs in Stinson Beach, thankful I didn't have to drive that windy road at 3 AM raceday.
>25% of the runners DNF’d, and even the last 25 finishers failed to make the 16.5 hour cutoff. The winner finished at 9:20 but I dropped at mile 33 at 10:20+.

Part IV: St. Gallen never gets old.
I miss the Bougies (the 3 nieces) terribly. This is her back yard.
Part V: GutsMuths Rennsteiglauf is the largest cross country race in Europe with about 1500 runners in the Supermarathon (72.7 km) alone, in its 40th year. It is has a modest 5138 ft of elevation gain on wide, non-technical dirt trails through the Thuringen Wald, in the former East Germany.
I’d been wanting to do this one for a couple of years, but the logistics of running an ultra in the middle of nowhere Germany alone was intimidating. Luckily Jenny had a gap in her concert schedule the same weekend I had free before starting back at the Mothership. Travel is better with a companion and even better with someone who speaks the local language. It had taken me 3 days for my brain to recover from the move and jet lag, and 4 days for my quads to recover from Miwok. Friday we started our train ride from St. Gallen Switzerland to Eisenach. Jenny was flipping through a travel magazine she found on the train, with pictures of a tropical beach. When was the last time you’ve been on a beach? she asked. I had to think about it, probably before I started running. Lying around on a beach sounds like a complete waste of time. I’d much rather ride 4 trains for 8 hours to east Germany just to run a 45 mile trail run. Apparently Eisenach was the birthplace of J.S. Bach,
and Telemann also lived there. Lots of baroque history.
The race was huge, like a Rock n Roll marathon but in the German forest. I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t find my camera so was stuck with iPhone which takes crappy pics, for my one chance to see these sights which are so different from western Germany.
They had buttered toast with chives with hot tea at the rest stops,
which were every 5k. Caught a guy running his 32nd GutsMuths! There was bratwurst and beer at the half (38k)
and lots of beer at the finish in Schmiedefeld.
Was glad to have my tunes since 99% of the runners were German and I had no one to chat with. I finished in 9:20, got on a 1 hour+ bus back to Eisenach and met up with Jenny who had done the 17k walk. It was still light out, so we took a taxi to Wartburg, the castle where Martin Luther lived, just at dusk.
Next morning headed back to Switzerland, then arrived in Leschi the night before my return to the MotherShip.

No comments:

Post a Comment