Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cascade Crest story part II, "The Climb"

Okay, here goes. After much reflection I can finish my story.
I left Hyak wishing I had more time. I felt rushed there partley because of the cutoff and partly because Hyak was the aid station my friends were hosting. I really needed to take the time to attend to my feet, blisters and change shoes and socks but I just couldn't with all those people there. So I changed my shirt and kept on moving.
Along the paved road section out of Hyak I noticed a cramp in my foot. It came and went so I thought nothing of it. Rob and I we doing 50/50's which was good, but I really knew I needed to be running more. My feet just hurt. I was sleepy. I was wishing for a rope to tie myself to Rob so he could pull me along and I could sleep as I climbed the road to Kacheelus Ridge. I took a few breaks on this road just for a minute or two while Rob attended to nature. I was thankful. At one point the cramp came back and was very painful. I began looking along the sides of the road for a place to sit and rub my foot. There weren't any so I saat on the road. It really didn't help, but the pain subsided some and I was able to move without limping. On up the road. It really seemed we would never get to the top. That 5 miles seemed like 10. Once we did get to the top it was cold and we had to put on jackets. We arrived at the aid station and had a quick bite. It was around 5am. When we left the aide station we passed a pacer coming back in and saw the runner sitting attending to blisters.
The way down the mountain was an 8 mile downhill. This would be easy on any other run. Not so here. What was beautiful was the sunrise over the mountains with clouds below in the valley. Gorgeous. Breath taking. Rob had me continuing to run with some breaks. My feet were hurting and that cramp was still off and on. The downhill pounding on the road was taking it out of me. My legs felt good though, my feet felt beat. I knew now that I had a big blister on the bottom of my right heel. I felt it every time I put my foot down. Soon we were joined by Bill Barmore and a runner he was pacing. We leap frogged some and ran together some. We worried about making it to Kachees Lake before the cutoff together. I began to walk more. It felt better to walk fast than it felt to run slow.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that we made it to kachees by 7:15am, 45min ahead of the cutoff. My race was still on.
I really needed to take care of my feet, but we chose to push on. I took off my lights and jacket and did not stop at the aid station. Rob called "12 in, 12 out" as I kept moving along up the road. My wonderful crew was a bit confused but still took my pack and filled it and gave Rob food for me and Jamal ran up the road and brought me the pack and food. Rob caught up and we scrambled up the side of the hill onto "the trail from hell" as it is lovingly referred.
I have run the last 27 miles of Cascade before so knew exactly what to dread. What seemed like hundreds of giant logs, like Lincoln logs strewn about for weary runners to try and climb over as fast as they can. I tried to just take them as they came and made my way over as best I could. I am sure Rob was laughing to himself watching me do this.
My wonderful pacer was convinced that I would be able to move fast enough to get through this section, to mineral creek and up the next logging road to No Name Ridge by the cut off at 11:30am. We really had to be moving to do this. I appreciated his efforts to get me to move, but I was really going as fast as I could. My feet were really hurting, but the rest of me was willing to go, go, go.
I wasn't going fast enough. The end of the lake and the turn off wasn't getting any nearer. I began to realize I would make it to mineral creek, but I would not make it to No Name Ridge by the cut off. I knew I needed at least 2 1/2 hours to make it up that 7 mile climb by 11:30 am. Rob kept up the faith that I could and we kept moving along.
By 9:30am though, together we knew that I would not make it and my finish line would be at Mineral Creek and not at the Easton Fire station. Rob said we could keep going and not worry about the cut off and just keep going anyway. I was torn inside about that. I have run this section before and knew how hard it would be to continue. I knew my feet needed attention and that would take more time due to my ankle braces coming off and going back on, besides the cleaning and draining of blisters. So I decided I would finish at Mineral. Rob ran ahead to let Michelle and Sonja know to bring the car down to the aid station so I wouldn't have to go an extra 2 miles to the car.
I was feeling good about the decision. Happy to even be this far and to be a participant. I really enjoyed the event..there were moments of misery but I loved even those. I was happy to be done, to sit down, to take off my shoes and see those blisters. The giant bubble one on the bottom of my foot. I was happy to know that I had gone farther than I had ever gone before and that I still did feel really good, despite my feet feeling crappy. I'd have gone on if there wasn't a looming cut-off to tell me I couldn't go on. I wasn't ready to say I'd ever do this adventure again, but now I'd say I would. I know now what I would have done differently and what other kinds of training I would do to be better prepared for those super loose and rocky sections (especially int he dark). I can't say that it would happen next year or even the next, but someday I'll come back and tackle those climbs again.

The Climb....(has Miley Cyrus taken up running ultras?)

I can almost see it.That dream I'm dreaming,
but There's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it
Every step I'm takin'
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin'
But I gotta keep tryin'
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down,
butNo I'm not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most
I've just gotta keep goin', and
I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, but
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb
Keep on movin'
Keep climbin'
Keep faith baby
It's all about, it's all about
The climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith

Grace and Peace to you

21 comments:

Backofpack said...

A wonderful adventure, no matter how you look at it! Thanks for sharing "the rest of the story" with us. You'll be back at it in no time! Think of this foot thing as a forced rest, and how fresh you'll be when you are out of the boot.

Andy said...

Sorry you didn't quite make it but thats still a fantastic run and good story.

[This is Andy #1273 - we ran together a bit at the last chance in December. I found your blog searching for race reports on Carkeek as I'm running it this year]

Darrell said...

What a great run. Thanks for the inspiration to keep moving.

Joe said...

Excellent, perceptive, insightful reflections and report, Jenny. I'm so impressed with your endurance...making it all night... keeping going despite the blisters on the foot. Awesome.

Hope your ankle is healing up.

Way to persevere!!!

Shannon Cortez said...

Nice effort. You did great!

Check out this link

http://challenge-by-choice.blogspot.com/


Jen is a fellow adventure racer, whom I've raced against. I've since retired, but have done several multi day races and not had blister problems.

Shannon

非凡 said...

I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^

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