Monday, August 11, 2008

16% of Cascade Crest 100

Aye-yi-yi. I have the up most respect for anyone who has finished, (or even attempts) a 100 miler. Don't get my wrong, I have lots of respect for lots of different people, but right now I'm talking about 100 mile trail runs. After sampling only 16 miles of CCC100, I have even more respect for those who have done this run and for those who have been training to it August 23rd-24th. I don't know if I was still tired from the run the day before or if I was hungry or what, but these 16 miles were hard for me. I am pacing Francis for this and so I really wanted to check out some of the course to preview what's in store for me. Whoa. The views are amazing though and for me, that is a large part of why I love trail running so much. I think the experience of running through the night will be good me in case I ever decide to run a 100-miler.
Glenn knows the course like the back of his hand, so he took Struth and I up to French Creek Cabin and we ran from there to Thorp Mt, then on to No Name Trail and then back again. When we got up there, it was incredibly cloudy and threatening to drizzle. This week I was prepared, unlike last week when I had to wear pink cotton. We started off and within 2 minutes I was feeling shortness of breath. Oh my, I knew it was going to be a long day. We ran up and down and up and down. And it took me a lifetime "worst" to run 4 miles. I already had to stop and eat. I didn't like my selection of food, so I had to raid Glenn's pack. He brought great stuff. Lots of biscuits for Struth, of course, and then sweet potato fries, peanut butter pretzels and licorice. I nibbled a bit and then we headed up to the summit of Thorp Mt. At this point, we had shed a layer and there were sun breaks. The view from up there was awesome! I really felt like I was running through the mountains. We were high up there and could see jagged peaks in all directions. We took a longish break to eat and chit chat about intricacies that are spoken high up on mountains.

From Thorp Mt. we headed back down scenic trail and continued to No Name. I had bursts of feeling good followed by thoughts of wishing I could row us back to the car. But all along, having a good time with all of it. I was simply amazed and how many ups and downs there were. At WR, it's pretty much UP for awhile, and the DOWN for awhile. Here, it's up steepness, then down steepness, a few steps of flat technical trail, then back UP, then DOWN, etc. There is even a part of the trail named Cardiac Needles. Cardiac Needles? That sounded rough. Then, we arrived at a vast open area and WOW, it really felt like I was out there. It was amazing. Glenn turned to me and said, I don't recognize this. Oh no, a wrong turn somewhere? Oh no. Backtracking? Luckily, we weren't that far off course, so it could have been way worse. And Glenn had a map which is more prepared than I might be, so we were back on track in no time. While he was figuring it out, Struth and I enjoyed the view. Struth has been many beautiful places with me and it really makes me smile when I see Glenn's photos of Struth running right next to me, or right behind me, he is such an amazing companion.
We kept running up and down and at one point, I looked at an UP and then I looked at Glenn and I thought, " I don't want to climb up one more hill!!" But I did, I dragged myself up and right on the other side of the climb was the turn around point. Why do they call it No Name Trail? Because literally, it has no name.Phew. We were finally half way. Struth was tired too. Earlier he had tried to shake a bull frog to death in his mouth, but now he was also feeling it and so we all sat around for a bit and ate and drank. I can't really speak for Glenn, but I think he was feeling it as well on the way back. He was holding onto my camel back in hopes that I would pull him up at one point. No can do! There weren't many snow balls being thrown, in part b/c there wasn't much snow and also in part, we were tired.
As we were running back, the weather was getting nicer and nicer. Although it didn't get really hot, the sun showed it shine and the clouds danced around changing our views of all the peaks around. Once I saw my car, I literally ran towards it and hugged it. I was so glad to see it!

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the beautiful day or wimpy for feeling as though 16 miles were actually 32 miles. I actually had a great day and was happy to be there and very happy to get an idea of what is in store for me when pacing Francis at CCC100.
After the run, we stopped at one of the nearby creeks and soaked for only 15 minutes this time. The mosquito's were INSANE! I had 2 shirts on and was still getting bitten and even today, I am still all itchy. With bug spray even! OMG! They were bad around me but every time I looked at Glenn, they crowded him out. He was waving his hands all around him like a lion or elephant would do with its tail getting in a whole other cardio workout. I asked him what his heart rate was but he had already taken his HR monitor off and so I'll guess 140. HA!
On the way back to Seattle, I got great advice from Glenn on things to do when pacing Francis and more information about the course and such. How lucky am I to learn from the master?
(professional looking photos by Glenn, others by me...)


gtach said...

a sit down and take off our packs to eat break 15 minutes into the run...that was a first. i like these new traditions you're starting!

francis is fortunate to have you as a pacer.

as the old pctr slogan went -- runs that aren't races in beautiful places -- i feel very fortunate to share these experiences with you & bff!

Struthie, the ultra dog! said...

hi mom! why didn't you let me eat my lunch? he was big and soft and juicy and fresh! yum!

you got g good with that snowball! hehehehe...good throw mom!

"may all beings be happy and free [like we!]"

kendrara said...

Looks like a beautiful, strenuous, and (in the end) itching good time! Neat to have your words accompany g's photos. :) If you do pace, look for reddish Mars in the night sky...that was my favorite part despite the fact my boyfriend was that point puking n-o-n-s-t-o-p.

Lisa B said...

Excellent blog, Allison!
Love the pics...and your dog even more.
See you at CCC.