We started at the Whistle Punk Trailhead, did a short out and back, then headed up onto the PCT for about 28 miles. There were two big climbs and two big descents, with the second descent being almost 6 miles. I loved it but Deb felt differently about all the downhill.
At mile 18 we climbed a huge rock formation and gazed out onto pretty views of all the surrounding mountains (St Helens, Adams, Jefferson, Hood, maybe Ranier too). We finished up a few seconds after the final runners, as we caught up to them and only stayed about 1/8 of a mile behind once we were on pavement again. It would have been nicer to finish up a little quicker, but the walking was a nice cool-down.
Total mileage: 34.06 and 6,200 feet of gain. My longest run yet!
I took over 100 pictures of the trail and the view but keep forgetting to bring my laptop with me during the day to post them. I never want to do anything on my computer at night. I had uploaded them all to Facebook but the upload failed. I do have a few pictures though to post in the meantime until I can post some others!
Pocket Fuel was a sponsor and since we were last at the aid stations, I ended up with quite a hefty bulk of them! The last aid station tried to give me a huge bag of them, but I only had so much room in my pack. We scored a nice t-shirt and a pint glass for climbing 3 corner rock. Very cool!
Last night Deb and I ran the first Portland Trail Series race. The runners of this series are a bit intimidating since they're all so fast, but it was a good way to get out and log a few miles before this weekend. My legs felt like bricks and my ankles were crying out for mercy for the first 4 miles. I should mention that the trail we were on this past weekend had a few miles of nasty slag rocks that were the trail. I'm impressed with anyone that can run on that without rolling an ankle. Anyway, towards the last 1 1/2 miles of the race last night I sped up, raced up the very end of the last hill, then coasted down 3/4 mile to the finish. We walked a lot but I still ended up with a decent 11 min average pace, which I'll take for such a short time after this weekend!! This series is not about ranking for me, it's just a way to enjoy the trails and maybe push myself just a little.
This weekend is the McKenzie River 50k! My calf is a bit tender from last night but besides that I think I'm good to go. Besides that <6 mile trail run, this weekend is it. My legs aren't as fresh as they could be and I'm taking the early start so I don't feel time cut-off pressure, but if I have a good run I'm hoping to knock off good chunk of time from my Sun Mtn time. Though the ultimate goal is to just have a lovely time on a new trail and keep things easy if I need to. Thankfully I now feel a lot more comfortable about the distance, especially since this isn't a mountain 50k. My body is asking for more sleep so I'm hoping to get in another solid 9+ hours tonight. Recovery from long distance running requires a lot of sleeping too!
I'll leave you with a fun picture that Deb took at the very end of the B2B sweep. We found a smiley face about 100m from the finish and I got down for a cheesy thumbs up grinning pose! This photo makes me happy because it reminds me how good it feels to finish such a long distance and be on cloud 9. Running is tough, but I really do love it. I also really love having company and Deb and I seem to run well together. New trail buddy!