Sunday, March 9, 2014

CTR 50M March 8, 2014

I’m drinking at 8:30 AM (which would have been 7:30 if you account for Daylight Savings) but I’m still pescatarian this month, GD it!

Grapefruit accountability.
2/18: 15 PU + 50 SU
2/26: 15 PU + 50 SU
3/3: 20 PU + 50 SU
3/5: 20 PU + 50 SU
3/7: 20 PU + 50 SU
I’ve only gained back 1 lb of the weight I lost in the first 2 weeks of Drynuary, and realized it does make a difference when I gave a lecture in my old suit Friday (the one I got in 2007 for my job interview and my mom laments I never buy any new clothes) and it fit. Only 8 more lbs to go to be in reasonable shape for Comrades June 1. I’m considering doing another dry month between now and then (but it can’t be first 2 weeks of April, can’t not drink in Paris and Ticino!). Anyone else in?

Friday after my lecture, buzzed from adrenaline and sleep deprivation, I drove with VVN to Spokane for the CTR 50M. I had done the 37 mile point-to-point both up (2012 Nine mile to Idaho border) and down (2011 Idaho to Nine mile) so when Ken the RD introduced the 50M this year of course I had to do it. When people see us running all day they ask, “what are you training for?” as if anyone needs another reason to run 10+ hours straight, or do a marathon carrying a ruck. VVN has the Badger Mtn 100 miler in 2 weeks and I have the Pac Rim 24h next weekend. Our other friend Francine (with whom I ran CTR 2012) who is training for the Umstead 100 couldn't make it due to her husband having hip surgery.
Long drives are so much more pleasant in the Beast (4Runner) and with company. I wanted to stay at the famous Davenport Hotel because I figure, if I drive home the night after the race this would justify the cost of staying at a fancy historical place for 1 night. It is opulence above opulence.
Too bad I was too tired to shower and enjoy the fluffy white towels. I don’t know why I sleep so much better on hotel beds. Apparently I too could own the Davenport bedding for a cost of like $10,000.

This is a totally unsupported “fatass” style run, and though the weather gods were smiling (no ice spkes needed!) I didn’t think I could carry all my supplies for 50 miles on my back. Plus the western part of the course (from Nine Mile to Spokane City center) is the most scenic, so we decide to do a double out-and-back. But that means doing the hilliest part of the course twice. It didn’t help that I took a wrong turn and we spent the first hour doing an extra 1.3 miles straight up the wrong hill.

I have not run uphills in a long time. I walk hills and grind through the mindless flats, this is where my brain turns off and I find peace. VVN on the other hand, loves steep climbs/ descents and technical trails. Although I warned her the "centennial trail" was actually a completely paved path, in her trailrunner’s mind she imagined jeep gravel instead of cold, hard pavement.

I had forgotten how hilly it was, but VVN kept a steady jog-walk pace so we ran up all the hills. We ran to Spokane city center and turned around, so it was mile 30 when we got back to Nine Mile. VVN looked like she’d had enough boring pavement for a lifetime, but we came there to do a job, so I chugged 2 protein shakes, we refilled our water bladders, and got back on the path.

We happened upon a young man in camo and boots humping a large pack. Of course I had to ask the obligatory questions, how much was in the pack and “what are you training for?”. Turns out, it was 55 lbs, and he was doing a solo 20 mile RM to prepare for the Bataan Death March. Of all places. He is doing it with a team of 4 other Army reservists in the Military Heavy category, and there are 2 girls on his team! We chatted about Bataan and he seemed to find my description of the Davis Challenge amusing, being very familiar with PT tests. He insists that Tuna MREs are in fact delicious and that the heating packets can be converted into explosive devices. You meet random like-minded people you would never meet, and spend 10+ hours talking not just texting with people, this is something that people who don’t run 10+ hours cannot understand.

We are starting to get cold from walking >2 miles and I’m having major GI distress from the protein shakes, so we bid bid Random Army Dude adieu and take off. I regret not getting a photo for posterity. We do the last turnaround and pretty soon we have only 9 miles left to Nine Mile. We pass a family that asks, “did you see the deer?” Nope. But soonafter, we see several clusters of deer. They are very well camouflaged except for their white butts.

We finish just before dusk, and just before the pouring rain, at 10:38:30. I’m sore and stinky but mentally at peace for the first time in days. We stop at McDonald’s and the heartbreak of not having a Big Mac is tempered by the World’s Best Fries and the Filet O Fish. The drive through the pass in torrential rain is tough despite coffee, Pringles, and nasty Twizzlers, but the DC mix helped.

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