Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moving forward....running plans for the new year.

If you haven't heard my drama from the past weekend, here it is. I drove to Portland to run in my 8th 50K at Hagg Lake in Forest Grove, OR. The Hagg Lake run is extremely muddy with poor footing, some hills. It is a tough run. It would have been my 3rd time running the mud run. I knew driving up that the forecast was really dicey, with a scheduled low in Forest Grove of 27 degrees and a chance of snow showers.

The morning of the race, I woke up at 4:45 AM, excited about the run. I got dressed and headed out the door. I first noticed that the roads in Milwaukie, where I was staying were a little bit icy, but not bad at all. My car window however had to be scraped.

I drove about a mile and my car slipped a little bit. This got my heart racing and I was completely nervous from then on. I might mention here how much I am completely terrified of driving on ice. I have major panic attacks. So from then on, I couldn't even eat my breakfast.

Driving on Hwy 26, I noticed two horrible wrecks and I knew the ice was to blame. Luckily I found a car going 40, so I stayed behind them. When I got off the freeway and into Hillsboro which goes to Forest Grove, which is where the real trouble began. The "black ice" turned into an icy road that was very visible. So as I was shaking, I turned into a parking lot and called my husband at 6:45 AM, woke up and said "Brett, I am so scared, there is ice everywhere......" he told me that I probably shouldn't go any further because I'd likely make a mistake. I knew he was right and I turned my rear wheel drive only car around. I gave up the race.

I saw a car flipped over on its side on the way home, but was still upset about having to give up the race. I did later, once the sun was out and roads were no in a horrible condition, drove to Hagg Lake and watched runners finish for about 2 hours. It was heart warming to watch friends finish. 

To redeem myself, I am running 3 big races in 2.5 months. The first two are in preparation for my main goal, the Mt. Hood 50. I will be running the McDonald Forest 50K on 5/14. Next will be the Sunriver Marathon on 6/25 and the final is the Mt. Hood 50 on 7/30.

The McDonald Forest run will provide the hill training; there is an elevation gain of 6,700 feet. For further information, go to

The Sunriver Marathon will provide the elevation training as Sunriver has an elevation of around 4200 feet. It will also be warm.

The 3rd is the Mt. Hood 50. Taken from the website,

"The heavily shaded course is an out and back almost entirely on the Pacific Crest Trail.  The trail is generally soft with good footing, although there are some technical sections with rocks and roots. Runners will start by running North from the Clackamas Ranger Station to the Frog Lake Aid Station. They will then return to the start/finish and head South to the Warm Springs Meadows Aid Station, where they will turn around and head back to the finish.Total elevation gain is approximately 5,630 feet."
Running these 3 races will also qualify me for the Marathon Maniacs, finally. To qualify, the lowest entry is to run 3 marathons in 3 months. I’ll be doing 2 ultra’s and 1 marathon in 2.5 months.
I will be training with my dog. He can run 24 miles and since he was away from me for a month, he has gained a few pounds living with Grandma and needs the exercise. He will also help me gain confidence in the new forest in my new hometown.
I have also decided that I will not be signing up for anymore winter runs in Portland. I live 6.5 hours away now and the weather is too unpredictable.

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