Monday, February 7, 2011

We’re on an Island!

I am sitting on the boat from Orcas Island back to the main land, jamming out to some Black and Yellow and Flo Rida, after running a fabulous 50k yesterday.  I had such a blast running with my friends and meeting new ones over the weekend.  As I look out over the water and take in the beautiful view I am extremely at peace and thankful.  Life is good! 
Karen and I started the 5 hour road trip from Portland to the island on Friday morning.  Life has been crazy busy for me the past couple of months and I have yet to catch up so unlike the usual me I was running late and brought a peace offering in the form of Starbucks Chi Latte.  Well it was pretty obvious that Karen was still really stressed so it was time to haul ass up north so that we made sure that we would get on an afternoon ferry out.  I had no doubt that we would make it in plenty of time, and tried to reassure her that I have been able to successfully make it to 55 other races on time before this, but I don’t think that really helped.  So we got rolling and made great time making it in plenty of time for the 4pm boat out with time to spare to take pictures. 
The ferry ride over was about an hour and we had time to running around and play and drink some Starbucks Pinot Noir! 

We arrived on the island around 6pm and headed straight to race check in and pot luck dinner where we had ton of fun digging through the many clothing options for official race gear.  The dinner was also very delish and we met up with some of the other Red Lizards.  It was a fun night trading battle stories about previous races.  It was also good for me to talk to some of the vets of the race and course to find out the scoop since I had yet to actually look at a course map and did not have a clue what we were doing for aid stations.  I found out that we did have about 9 miles between water in some spots and only bringing one hand bottle I started to get concerned.  “Oh well it’s not HURT!”  was my general motto for the race.  I knew it was a difficult 50k, but at least it was a 50k and I took solace in the fact that I would be able to sleep in a bed the night after the race. 

Race morning started at 6:30am with the ritual prerace breakfast and then it was off to the starting line.  We were thrilled to find that it was not raining and actually some pretty good running weather.  The 50k went off at 8:30am so I said goodbye to Karen who was running the 25k that went off 10 min after us and lined up at the starting line.  I saw many familiar ultra faces out there which made the start feel that much more like home.  I do love my ultra running family out there.  There are so many sweet, awesome, real people that just make the sport sooo totally enjoyable. 
The island was beautiful and the course was amazing.  Lots of climbing but what the booty worked for on the up hill the legs got punished for as I bombed it back down.  The downhills on this course are so runnable and fast that it made you almost forget all the pain that you just went through to get to the top… almost!  The black toe nails on every single toe remind me of all the fun I was having out there!  I also had the opportunity to meet many new running buddies while we were slogging along for 31 miles and we had a great time chatting it up on the course.  So most ultra runners are pretty awesome, but I do have to say that the duded that TRIED and yes I say tried to pass me in the last 1.5 miles or so saying “coming through” instead of the typical hi, or on your left to pass just pissed me off.  As he went by I just said “coming through REALLY???” right back at him.  At this point I could have cruised it in, but this dude did not realize what he started.  Te he competitive Mel came out and just hunted him down running right behind him for about a mile just to mess with his head and then passed him in the last few hundred yards up hill really because I could.  LOL normally I would not even go there, but come on who says “coming though” all bothered and annoyed like to me??  LOL maybe this guy won’t anymore! 
Post race food and chill was awesome and the time out there on the island was a blast.  We spent the night hanging out with the other red lizards after they came over and dragged me out of bed from a quick cat nap.  It was overall a great time and race and weekend and I loved it!! 

OH and the best part!!  I didn’t fall!!! 

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