Thursday, August 19, 2010

plans change

i got a call last night from my pacer-friend in Idaho, who was planning on running with me for 23 miles through the night at Wasatch 100.  she called to tell me she was bailing out on me and wasn't coming down for the race.  she's had some negative stuff going on in her life (breakup, lack of money, car trouble) but nothing out of the ordinary and nothing a good long run wouldn't solve.  she's got experience running Wasatch, so i'm pretty bummed that she won't be joining me.

but on the other hand, if she's feeling that negative about things, it's probably better that she pulled the plug on her roll in my event.  i've been feeling quite a bit of negative energy from her in the last month or so, and to tell you the truth, it's kind of a relief that she won't be down here.  she's a good friend and it's hard to see a good friend go through a tough time.  but it's also hard when that good friend's "tough time" starts bringing you and your own dreams and goals down too.

so that means i'm in need of another person to pace me at Wasatch, either during night for 15-23 miles or for the last 25 miles (depending on if i need to switch pacers around a bit), so i've been calling and emailing around trying to find some poor soul who wants to listen to me whine and cry for several hours (nothing new there).  the race is 3 1/2 weeks away.

to keep with my training in this home stretch, i got in my head that i wanted to do several laps on White Pine, with my car serving as my own personal aid station.  i went up White Pine today with the intention of running 2-3 laps (the initial plan was to run 4 laps, but then i started doing the math, and 11 hours of running seemed a bit extreme having just come off a 32 miler last Saturday).  each lap in White Pine is about 10 miles round trip and 2500 vertical feet.  i thought after running the El Vaquero Loco and giving my legs a few days to rest up, doing another long run would be really great for my training.

my legs felt really great this morning, but on the whole i'm feeling kind of tired after "summer of running".  and to make matters worse, i was on one of my favorite 6 mile loops yesterday with the dogs and whacked my head really hard on a branch/log.  i have a huge goose egg on the side of my head.  when it happened, i sat on the side of the trail and cried for about 5 minutes.  the dogs didn't even notice what happened--they were way ahead of me down the trail.  i still had a headache when i woke up this morning.

i got going about an hour or so later than i had initially planned, but didn't think too much of it as i was hoping the extra rest would do me good.  i loaded up the car with all of my favorite snacks and drinks and goodies, ready to do at least 2 laps, and hopefully three.

it started out as a cool morning at around 65 degrees.  perfect.  as i climbed up the White Pine trail and got above tree line, i noticed that there were some really dark, low clouds rolling in.  i didn't think too much of it, as weather can change quickly in the Wasatch.  hopefully it would be just a quick shower and clear out.

tree across the trail near the trail jct with Red Pine.
as i crested the top of the climb, i looked across the large, boulder-strewn basin and could see waves of what i thought were rain, but later found out were waves of hail sweeping across the landscape.  it started to flash lightning and crack thunder, and i quickly made my way back down the trail to tree line.  i huddled in the trees for a few minutes to wait out the worst of the hail, as it was really painful hitting me around the ears and on the fronts of my legs.  i took a few pictures and a short video of the hail.

starting to get cold because of lack of movement, i began to make my way downhill again.  i ran through puddles of slush water in some places, and down a trail that had turned into a small stream.  the side creeks were jumping their banks.

i made it down to the car and quickly changed into some dry clothes.  got a baloney sandwich and some pringles and a protein drink (Ultragen) and cranked the heater in the car.  the thermometer said 47 degrees.  a man in the parking lot came over to me and said that he was glad i had made it down.

debris on the newly-paved Little Cottonwood road
as i drove down the canyon, the Unified Police had blocked several sections of the road off.  upon closer inspection, i saw that there were several places where the side creeks had created mud and rock slides across the road.  snowplows were brought up the canyon to clear the debris.

a hot shower and some hugs from the dogs when i got home and i'm feeling better now (and of course, the sun has come out this afternoon, but more showers are in the forecast).  i wish i had gotten more than 10 miles today, but it was definitely a run through adversity.  i might try for my White Pine 3 laps another day next week.  we'll see how the weather holds.  plans change, but the end goal is the same:  finish Wasatch.

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