Early in the year, when I knew that I'd be able to add some marathons and ultras to my running schedule, there was no doubt that the McKenzie River Trail Run would again be one of them. And so when the final race in the Oregon Trail Series rolled around again this year, I was there and completed my 10th marathon or ultra of 2010. Wow, 10! How did that happen? It's been an amazing year and it isn't over yet.
|It was a chilly at the start|
I had a pretty good race, finishing about 10 minutes quicker than I ran it in 2006. My nutrition/hydration system is still working well for me. Basically, I drink water only and take a gel about 45 minutes to an hour into the race and then every 45-60 minutes thereafter. To compensate for not drinking sports drink, I pop an electrolyte/salt cap up to once an hour, depending on the heat of the day. At the aid stations, I avoid anything too fatty or sugary, mainly sticking to fruit. Watermelon is my favorite, but bananas and oranges are good too. If my stomach growls, I'll eat part of a Lara bar that I carry, or some potatoes from the aid station. \So far this system has kept my head clear, nausea at bay and my energy up. I think in the past, my stomach problems stemmed from not eating soon enough and mixing sports drink and other sugary fare with gels or similar.
|The early starters are off!|
Due to some construction, they changed the course a little bit this year so that there was more running at the top section and the race ended a mile or so before the old finish. I liked it a lot better, mainly because I think the scenery and trail are nicer near the start. This was the first trail race I ran with my new Garmin 310xt. It turned out to be very accurate, measuring the course at 30.98 (I heard that the official measurement was 31.07). It felt odd to see my pace staring at me, but I think it helped spur me on. Despite the overall loss in elevation of this race, it really is fairly technical in spots and there are some hills. I found that I ran more uphills than I normally would but had to walk some downhills that were rocky enough to warrant more careful attention to footing.
|Marc and the little guy enjoy the scenery|
With the new course, us early starters got to see the fastest regular starters twice; once when we met on the out and back at the east end of Clear Lake and then again when they caught up and passed us. So it was kind of fun to see what to expect and how some of the positions changed from the first to the second meeting. I really don't mind at all stepping aside for the fast folks. How could I when they are so friendly? I can't remember one who didn't say an encouraging word as they passed.
|Coming into the AS at mile 23.5. How is it that I always look so disheveled whereas I see other women finishing ultras without a hair out of place?|
I didn't see the boys for most of the day and wasn't expecting to, but they did show up at one of the later aid stations. I was working on making my stops quick so we didn't visit too long. I look tired in the picture above, but I felt pretty good.
|He may be in middle school now but he's still all boy.|
I thought maybe I'd see them again at the next and final aid station, since it had easy access to the road. But the boys were making the most of a lovely day and stopped to hike by the stream instead.
|A beautiful day to play in the stream|
And then I guess they were having too much fun, because when I crossed the finish line they were nowhere to be found. After scarfing down some chips and cookies (okay now that the race was over), I walked to the parking lot and found the van. But they weren't there. I walked back to the finish thinking I must have just missed them. Nope, not there. So I walked back to the van and changed into comfortable shoes. Back at the finish I saw Bret and he told me they were a quarter mile up the course waiting for me to come in. Bret had told them he hadn't passed me, but they still didn't clue in that I may already be done.
|I'm probably finishing about now|
|Waiting for me to pass...but I was already done!|
I convinced Bret to walk up the course a little bit with me and we soon saw them walking in our direction. And now you know why there aren't any finish line photos of me. But the little guy is still cuter than I am so that's okay.