Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Would You Like Some Cheese with your Whine?

Being an "older" runner, I've been lucky to have been pretty much injury free for so long. I've had a few bumps and bruises but nothing that has really kept me from running for more than a few days. I had a frozen shoulder which kept me from being able to raise my left arm for 8 months. But I could still run! Until now.
I fell on the hike down from Whitney, didn't do much but scrape my shin and bruise my knee. So I thought. Days after the fall, my left leg was black and blue and swollen from ankle to knee. The knee, a little puffy was giving me more trouble than I was expecting. I think I was favoring that knee every time I ran after the fall. Which led to my hamstring woes just before the Long Beach Half Marathon. Which I think then led to my left foot finally pulling the plug on the whole running thing. The Wednesday before Big Sur my foot was pretty sore,it had been sore for weeks, the doc said no fracture, probably just a strain. I could run on sunday, but it would delay the healing. Any running wouldn't hurt it further, just delay healing. I got a strong prescription anti-inflammatory which also upset my stomach. So I ran, got thru 10 miles with pain, then my right quad, angry because it was doing more than it's usual share of the work started to cramp up. I think I finished the race running because I couldn't face the thought of walking the rest of the way with all that pain!
I spent yesterday with my foot in ice. Looking up new races. Trails to run. Eating cinnamon rolls. Complete denial.
I thought I would roll out of bed today with my foot completely pain free, like it was a bad dream. No running today.

My Man, Bart

A speaker at the Big Sur Half Marathon Expo was Bart Yasso.
A few weeks before we left for our Mt. Whitney climb, I purchased Bart Yasso's book "My Life on the Run". I enjoyed it so much, I xeroxed the last few unread chapters, packed it in my Whitney stuff and read it at night by headlamp before going to sleep on the mountain.
He turned his life around with a jog.
After running on all 7 continents, in all manner of races he's slowed down a bit due to complications from Lyme's disease. He's very active in fundraising and giving back to the community.
When his name showed up on the speakers list for the Expo I was thrilled!
We arrived in Monterey, picked up our packets and had a little time to kill before the lecture, so we wandered thru the vendors. I was looking at socks or something, I heard Matt call over "Lori, come on over here, there's someone I want you to meet". I slowly made my way a couple of booths over, still looking down at the tables of pamphlets etc. When I looked up there was Matt talking to Bart Yasso! Matt said "Bart, Lori has been running for about a year and a half. She's read your book and it's really inspired her."
Matt, thank you!!!
by the way, he will be in Laguna Niguel Nov. 20, for a book signing and fun run with the Fleet Feet crew. It's open to everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Sur Half Marathon

At some race expo there was a booth for the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey. A beautiful poster was displayed with the Pacific Grove coastline in the background and a line of runners making their way along the road.
After I got home, a spur of the moment decision was made to sign up.
It was the most beautiful course I have ever run.
The start is close to fishermans wharf and you run for about 5 miles thru the city. At one point I remember looking up and the shoreline was just ahead. It floored me. The ocean, the trees and the jagged shoreline-amazing!
I am putting this race on my calender for next year.

The Summit

The morning was very cold. Matt was putting on what seemed to be every piece of clothing he brought. The first stop was trail camp, 5 min. up the trail to fill our camelbaks. After filtering and filling we took off for the trailhead, it was about 0700.
The hike started out easy, the sky was clear and the wind had died off. Soon we were peeling off layers, at one point Matt stood guard as I tried to strip off my long underware on a switchback.
Everyone complains about the 99 switchbacks, yes, there are 99 of them and yes, it is a chore.
We arrived at Trail Crest , admired the views and were encouraged by the time and how well we still felt. Most say that if you can make it to trail crest you can make it to the summit. A brief rest and we pushed on. The trail takes a very steep drop at this point, you can see Guitar lake , then slowly climbs. I liked this part of our hike. The views were breathtaking. At one point we reached a section where you could see Whitney and the long winding trail that takes you to the summit. The altitude was becoming a factor now and that long trail to the top was going to take a long time to hike.
We were having to stop every 30 min to catch our breath, they were short breaks, but our muscles needed rest and more oxygen. When we could see the summit hut , maybe 0.5 miles from the top, the headaches started and every step from that point on required focused determination. 10 steps and rest. 8 steps and rest. Finally we were on top and all the pain vanished. As Matt said, "It was all he had hoped for and more". We signed the book, took in the views and sat down to eat. My headache was gone and we were both suddenly hungry. It is amazing to be on top of a mountain. To take in that 360 degree view with nothing higher than yourself....
It was a long process to reach the peak. The training, planning and cost were certainly all factors. But that first step on the summit made it all worthwhile.