Monday, February 05, 2007

Eugene Training - Week 5

Another week in the bag. It turned out well, I think. I made it to the track, I got in all my runs and my new shoes came in the mail. On Saturday I finished up my week with a 13 mile run. I stayed close to home.

Nearly all the Cruisers were running in one of the races associated with the Pacific Shoreline Marathon, thus no scheduled run on Saturday. I woke up on my own around 7:30 and just hung around the house, lingering over my oatmeal and banana, waiting for the sun to warm things up a bit. By 10:00 when I finally got myself going it was nearing 70°F, another absolutely beautiful day. I headed over to Bonelli for a leisurely 13 miles. I ran my perimeter loop and doubled back for most of my 5 mile loop as well.

I was greeted by a family out for a hike at about mile 5 after reaching the top of one of the longest climbs in Bonelli. The wife was carrying a baby in a backpack and the dad was keeping his eye on a couple of 3 or 4 year old boys. The wife commented to me that they had watched me run up the hill and jokingly thought to themselves "show off", at least I think she was joking. We talked about how nice the day was. They asked me how far I was going. When I told them 13, the Dad said, "Well that explains the shirt then." I was wearing my new Marathon Maniacs singlet for the first time. I guess to a lot of people anyone running 13 miles is a bit of a maniac. I came across some horse riders who actually pulled over to let me pass. I thought that was funny. It turned out to be a really enjoyable run, with no major issues and I felt great when I was finished. 13 miles in 2:12; 10:10 pace was OK with me for a laid back run in Bonelli.

Miles for the week: 42

M: 6 miles, 54:49
T: 6 miles, 50:32
W: 6 miles, 55:11
H: 5 miles, with 3x400 & 1x800
F: 6 miles, 53:31
S: 13 miles, 2:12
S: Rest

Rest, yeah right! Well I didn't run but I'm not sure it was really a rest day. I volunteered at what may be the most blogged about race ever, the inaugural Twin Peaks Ultramarathon. My official duties were at the Holy Jim aid station at mile 27 of the 50 mile course. The day was a veritable who's who of Southern California blogging, with a little Tuscon thrown in. I knew a lot of people were going to be there but I wasn't sure who I'd actually get to meet. I signed in at 8:30 which was earlier than required but really quite late considering Jessica and Angie among others had been there since something crazy like 4:30 or something. Soon after checking in, I ran into Anne (Run-DMZ).

I still can't quite get over that "Hey, I know you!" feeling the first time I meet a blogger in person. I always instantly feel comfortable with them and as though we have a connection even though we've never met. That feeling was repeated several times that day. I didn't get to chat long with Anne before I had to leave the starting area to report to Holy Jim, about a 30 minute drive away.

We arrived about 45 minutes before the first runners came through. Carol and I, a new trail runner from Santa Monica, got the food set up and mixed up the electrolyte drink. Heiko manned the radio. While we were setting up a truck pulled up and I hear someone say, "I hear Darrell's around here somewhere." I turned around to find Angie (onepinkfuzzy). I got a big hug and just marveled at what a little dynamo she is. She was having a blast driving all over those mountains delivering water and supplies. She dropped us some more water and was off to her next stop. Carol and I were joined later by Patti, Sarah and Linda.

It wasn't long before the lead runners came into the aid station around 10:30. They had been on the course for about 4:30 when they reached us at about 27 miles. These two had run more than a marathon over some pretty tough terrain and looked as fresh as two guys out for a 10 mile training run. The each had a drop bag and were pretty much self sufficient. One guy was Dean Dobberteen, who's name I had seen at other trail races. The other guy turned out to be the eventual winner David Goggins. I didn't find this out until I got back to the finish hours later. Dave has an awesome reputation as well if you care to Google him.

The runners came through one or two at a time for the next 4 hours, 48 of them in all. Greg came through in a group of about 6 runners. He was just grinning from ear to ear and having the time of his life. His energy level is pretty infectious. The other runners with him were obviously having fun as well. A little while later, Mike came through. I had run with Greg and Mike on this trail back in November. Mike changed his shoes, filled up his bottles and off he went. The next thing I know he was back at the aid station. He had decided to call it quits with foot issues.

Another runner, Mike Kennedy, got to the aid station just as his sister in law and three nieces pulled up. It was quite a coincidence and had to have brightened "Uncle Mike's" day to see all the familiar faces. His brother, Tom, was out there walking the course.

One guy came through near the end that had never run 50 miles before. In fact he had never run a marathon before. He does run 10 miles with his dog. He had seen the race announcements and decided that it sounded like a good idea. He was in his 50's and looked pretty healthy. He seemed to be in pretty good condition for just having run 27 miles for the first time. He did say he wasn't sure he would ever to this again. I wish I had gotten his name to know how his race turned out.

Tom, the walking brother, finally made it to the aid station after 11 hours on the trail. He was the last one through. He looked fine and said that he felt good and was really enjoying himself. Unfortunately he ultimately DNF'd.

Before Tom got to us, Nattie (accounts of madness) came in. It had been quite a while since anyone had come through so I decided to walk back up the trail to see if I could meet Nattie. I didn't get very far before she was there. She of course greeted me with that big Nattie smile. She walked in but went about getting resupplied and was on her way. She seemed a little disoriented to me, but determined to go on. Later, just before I finally left the finish line I heard that she had passed the Santiago Peak aid station just before 6:00 p.m. which meant she still had 15 miles to go. I wondered for the rest of the night and most of today how she had fared. I know now (the official results are up) that she DNF'd. I will be interested to read her story of the day.

After the last runner came through, we packed up everything in Patty's SUV and headed back to the finish line. I unloaded the drop bags for the first finishers along with all the leftover food and supplies. I found Jessica and asked her about Matt (igotblistersonmyblisters). He was running the 50K so didn't go through my aid station. He is the one SoCal blogger I hadn't had a chance to meet and I was hoping I wouldn't miss my chance. Jessica wasn't sure if he had finished yet. I did some miscellaneous stuff that needed to be done and had just decided to walk up the trail to see if I could meet up with Matt on the way down. Just before I did, I hear Jess call out my name and there was Matt. It turns out he had been finished for awhile and was napping on the picnic table the entire time I was there. What a pleasure it was to meet Matt. He and I chatted for probably nearly an hour. He's a very unassuming, genuine guy. I love Jeff's description of him. I'm hoping to meet Matt again at a couple of races we are both planning on doing, Malibu Creek and the Great Race of Agoura. Matt has a great story about how this race almost didn't happen for him, I'll let him tell it if he chooses to. After having met him, I think it personifies him completely.

With all those meet ups, I didn't get a chance to catch up with Jeff or to meet Kim or Ashley. But on a rest day, I had a great day out there supporting the 50 mile runners and meeting some old friends. Maybe next year, I'll work up the nerve to try the 50K. By all accounts Twin Peaks is a great race. So what are you doing next year on SuperBowl Sunday?


Celeste said...

Rock on, Darrell! Sounds like quite a day off to polish off a nice week of running!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

woo hoo! it was awesome meeting you out there darrell, and i look forward to seeing you next year - as you cross the finish line! ;)

Neese said...

Ok where are the pictures people!!? :) Sounds like a blast!

Backofpack said...

It sounds like everyone had a great weekend - volunteers and racers alike! Can't wait till we get to meet in Eugene...

Wes said...

That is so cool that you volunteered! I would like a pic of you and your maniac jersey? Any chance??

PLANET3RRY said...

speaking of meeting bloggers, we are going to be in San Diego on the weekend of March 3-4... I email you more details and it looks like I might have more time to run, if you can work it in.

Sounds like I great race. I would had loved to be out on that course... ehhh, maybe just volunteering at this point :)

Anne said...

I'm glad you had a blast too. It gave me the fever to do more trail running.

Speaking of which, based on what planet3rry wrote, there's a 10k trail run in Rancho Bernardo on March 4. I'll be running it.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Hey, I'm running Eugene too! I'll keep an eye out for you! Probably be with some of the Washington Bloggers! If you can do a marathon, you can do the 50K. I know, I just did it! Sounds like volunteering was just as fun as running! So cool to meet so many people form the blogoshpere!

Bob Gentile said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Way to go Darrell!!

Sarah said... year it'll be running the 50k for you! Great that you helped out at Twin Peaks. I've enjoyed reading the different perspectives.

OCRunnerGirl said...

So sad I didn't get to meet you Darrell. It was quite a day and full of really great bloggers and volunteers! You are great for coming out to help. I hope to meet you soon! ;)

Journey to a Centum said...

Sounds like your volunteer efforts allowed you to do some serious blogger networking. Welcome to Marathon Maniacs #440! Looking forward to meeting you in Eugene.

Eric MM#153

Rae said...

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's tales from this race! It's so great that so many of you got to meet up!! It sounds like an awesome race.