maku mozo :)

When one makes false calculation by accepting the recognition of oneself as a being, a dichotomy of active and passive occurs that may be called delusion.

Gorge50k is in the books. What an amazing run!
Recapping a few notes so that I remember for next time.

The course was *extremely* technical. When I lived in D.C. I volunteered at the Massanutten 100 twice. Both times at the 50 mile aid station. I found it to be the time when people really decided to continue or take a perma-seat under the aid station tent. A lot of people pulled the plug at that aid station. It began with stopping to talk… kind of a blank stare at the food table… then they maybe sat in a chair or on a cot…they they just keeled over and rested. I think the fastest way to eject yourself from an ultra is to sit down.

Never. stop. moving.

I never felt like I was going to fold. Ever. I never contemplated stopping until I was finished. That’s the best I could hope for.

In no particular order…

I killed my iPod shuffle. It’s kaput. I think I lost all tunage around mile 15. Maybe it just got wet from the rain … can’t remember if it was raining that early or not. The silence was nice actually. I chatted it up with a few runners and in one section through the forest *the BIRDS* – they were singing so loudly. It was amazing.

Need to start closer to the front of the pack. I stayed in the back 2/3’s because I wanted to keep it slow at the start.. but there wasn’t enough runway to thin out before the trail converged into singletrack and I was behind a line of people walking uphill. It was rough passing… but once I started it became easier. “Pass on the left, please.. (pass)… thank you!” Again and again. I took off with Mr. Chicago for a while … and we rolled for a few miles around a sub-10 minute pace… in another section a woman stuck with me as we passed a few people – I think this was going into the first aid station; “I found you!” she said. You always want to find the person who is going to match your pace. We hung for a while, but then I lost her at the first aid station.

There was snow on the trail 🙂 I passed a group of 3 or 4 people up high crossing a snow slope. I shouldn’t have done that – I could have slipped and fallen on them (or fallen down the mountain myself).

Strategic f’up –  My pace was slower than I anticipated and I was eating and drinking sooner mileage wise than I normally do… so I made a mistake when I blew through the first aid station at mile 9 with one bottle + a little bit in the other. I should have refilled at the opportunity. By the time I got to the 2nd aid station at mile 18 – I had not had anything to drink in about 3-4 miles. That was really dumb. I ate a few Clif blocs with nothing to drink and they just stuck in my teeth. I didn’t feel bad at all – I just wished I had something to drink.

The UD vest is too big. As I became more dehydrated, the vest became looser and the bottle in my left front was hitting my rib and causing a bruise. More annoying than painful. Super annoying. I ran holding the bottle every so often to keep it from bouncing. I ended up only refilling the front right bottle and keeping the left bottle half  / empty so it wasn’t so heavy.

I lost all GPS and pace/mileage/time 🙂
The watch started to go into auto-pause mode b/c I couldn’t reach satellites in the Gorge and yeah… that’s it. I locked the buttons at the start so that I didn’t accidentally stop it and for some reason (still have no idea) I couldn’t push the correct sequence of buttons to unlock it to actually see what time it was.  So I had no idea what time it was (until I finished). Strava recalculated all the blacked out sections and kept the final end time (plus moving time) and only messed up the elevation. Totally unreliable though. Heh.

I left a drop bag at mile 18 and was going to change my shirt (soaked), until I realized I would have to unpin/repin my race number – meh. I decided to just keep trucking. It wasn’t raining at the time and I wasn’t too cold.

The suck.

Coming into the aid station at mile 18 I could hear my girls ringing the cowbells. Sooo awesome. My youngest gave me some M&Ms and my oldest filled up my bottle. And I was out. The next section was about 3 miles on the road — flat with a headwind.  Then the course went into the woods and started climbing on very technical (rocky) singletrack. Major low point. I couldn’t see anyone.. didn’t see any course markers.. the sky was starting to get dark as weather was moving in. This was the low point mentally in the race. I had no idea where I was (no idea what time it was)… knew the biggest climb was coming at mile 25. So yeah. This was the suck.

I’m not sure when it started to hail. The temp dropped, the wind picked up. I was getting cold – so I ate some more Clif blocs and kept drinking. I rolled into the last aid station and kind of stared at the table for a few seconds. It was pouring and I was standing under the shelter. I grabbed some potato chips, drank 2 cups of coke and had my bottles refilled with electrolyte water.  Then I asked a volunteer to pull my shell out of my pack and I zipped up over my pack and rolled out. A mile or so later I asked a hiker to shove my shell back into my pack – I was trying to unclick the buckle on my pack and I couldn’t get my thumb to work b/c my hands were so cold. ** I dumped my iPod and gloves at mile 18. ***Always keep gloves.


Rainbow from the spray coming off Multnomah Falls (from the finish).

The climb was really tough. Up and over Multnomah Falls over the Larch Mountain trail. Really tough climbing on tired legs. Descending was very loose and steep … and wet. Finally the trail smoothed out… it’s usually where the tourists turn around I guessed. It became more runnable.. then turned to tarmac switchbacks. Down and down and down and down and down. Then back up and over to more singletrack – still runnable though. I passed 3 people here and left behind my descent buddy.

That’s mostly it. I crossed the finish line and gave the race director a high five.

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