oregon adventures

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pendleton Training Weekend

It's May, so time for a road trip ride and run. Coach Denise had said we were going to go to Hood River, so I took the weekend off work, but the trip fell through. So Natalie and I decided to go do our own training weekend. I found a really good looking ride in Pendleton Oregon which is a four hour drive away. So we talked Kevin into joining us and after a 2100 meter group swim on Saturday morning we started out with the temperature expected to hit record levels. When we were passing Hood River Kevin called me and said he wanted to stop at Pro Motion a wetsuit company in Hood River and try on a suit since we were passing. I said "it's a road trip of course we can make stops". Anyway, while in the shop Natalie found a wetsuit and bought it and Kevin's on call work phone rang. An hour and a half of phone calls later, he had to turn around and go to work. So Natalie and I continued on stopping in Arlington Oregon for lunch. I asked the waitress if this was the town that had the mayor recalled for posing in her underwear on a fire truck. It was and a couple customers chimed in- "it wasn't about the pictures, she made some businessmen mad that's why". We got to Pendleton and the Jeep said it was in the mid 90's, so we checked into the motel and unloaded all but bike stuff and found a Shell station to park at on the edge of town to shorten the ride. The Jeep said 98 degrees by then. We started out along the Umitilla River on a quiet country road with gorgeous scenery. We got about 10 miles out and Natalie's breathing became ragged, so we stopped in the one shady spot we'd seen and rested and she downed a half a water bottle and some e-caps. Then we took off for 5 more miles or so and saw maybe one car per hour, so we were able to ride side by side the whole ride- very fun! We turned around at 16 miles out and she must have been feeling better because we were zooming along with me mooing at the cows (cattle country- loved it) and baahing at the sheep. Some of the cows had tags, so I would moo and then say "how's it going 568?, etc" Got back to the Shell station done in by the heat at 32 miles, but very happy with a great ride. Checked the phone book for restaurants, very weak selection, so we did what probably most people do- went to the nearby huge casino (Wild Horse) with 4 or 5 restaurants in it. We walked in and the smoke almost knocked us over, we covered our noses and ran to the non-smoking section by the restaurants. Had a great Salmon with morels and sauteed potatoes and asparagus with Oregon wine of course. Then we stopped in the casino bar for one drink, but smoking is allowed and someone walked in with a cig and that meant time to leave.

Then next morning we went to the Umitilla River Parkway which is an asphalt bike path through the town of Pendleton and goes in back of the Pendlton Round up rodeo grounds. It was a beautiful path that only had a couple of street crossings over it's 2.6 mile length. We did an out and back and decided to stop at 5.2 instead of doing 6 to 8 miles like we had planned. The Jeep said 86 degrees and that's hot running when 60 something is as high as it's been all year I think. Pictures are of Natalie at the start of the path.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Eugene Marathon

Did the Eugene Marathon this weekend for my first stand alone marathon. Drove down Saturday with two others (Natalie and Vern) and stayed at the Days Inn right across the street from the University of Oregon where the start line was. Met up with a couple from the club who were also running and tried to go to an Italian restaurant called Ambrosia. Last year we had only a short wait for a table, so I didn't think of reservations. Got to the restaurant and there was a hour and a half wait. Went to another Italian restaurant nearby and it had an hour and twenty minute wait. Someone suggested Olive Garden, so I did a 411 call and found an Olive Garden. When I asked the girl on the phone "where are you", she said, "at the Olive Garden restaurant..". So we eventually found it and they had an hour and a half wait, but we lucked out and got five stools at the bar and ended up eating there. Then back to the motel and getting everything ready for the race.
The next day really early, we walked over to the start line and it was fairly cold. I had planned on meeting Mikita at the start line around the 9 minute pacer, but it was a sea of people and I couldn't find her. We went to bag check and put our long sleeve shirts in the check and then to the start. Natalie wanted to qualify for Boston, so I let her use my GPS watch to keep track of pace and time for her. We were off to the side of the main line, so we had to blend in for the start. Natalie took off, and Vern who has run lots of marathons, but had gotten back from Costa Rica on Friday was going to pace me at a nine minute pace using his GPS watch. About a half mile into the race, Kris from the base caught up to us and said hi. We talked for about a mile or two and then we separated. We did a 10:16 first mile because of the crowd and then surged for two miles and were on a 9:03 pace for a good 8-10 miles and then I had to go bathroom really bad and stopped at a porta-pottie in Springfield for 3 minutes. That ruined the 9 minute pace, but I felt much better. Vern said Kris passed us and the pacer for 4:05 passed while I was in there. We got to the halfway point at 2:01 and just ran along the river path admiring the beauty of the course and the area. There was an out and back separated by trees around miles 4-6 or so and at one point the trees stopped and there was Natalie, so we yelled her name and she waved. It was a beautiful day and they had good crowds- just really nice running. Between mile 18 and 19 I hit a mini wall and had to slow down from the 9 minute pace to probably 10 something. Vern would say, "just cruise", "pump your arms", "stay aerobic", "don't accelerate". He was like running with a personal coach it was great! When there were crowds, Vern had lots of energy still so he would wave his arms and say "come on let's hear you" and get the crowd pumped up and hi five the kids. At mile 23 Vern started telling me we were on the UL loop which is a 3.2 mile loop by the club we run all the time. He would look at his GPS watch and corelate it to the loop where we would be- that helped because I was a zombie by then. We came up to the finish finally and came in at 4:15:06. That was good for 1002/1741 overall and 100/134 for my age group. Found Natalie who had run a 3:38:01, good enough to qualify for Boston which had been her goal for many months. She was 19th of 107 for her age group and 400th overall.
Picture is of the Boston bound girl, Natalie. Saw Kris, so sat and talked to her for a bit and then we hobbled around trying to find the shuttle bus. Finally one came and we had to stand it was so full and imagine a bus filled with sweaty runners- it smelled slightly. Got back to the motel and the clerk gave us 20 minutes extra to check out. Then off to the King Estate winery outside of Eugene for a really good lunch and wine. It was a beautiful place that looks like a castle on a hill with a good view. Then the drive back to Portland.
For a report with pictures see Mikita and for a report on the half-marathon see Kara.