Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bridle Trails 50k

Flooded Skagit field off I-5 at sunrise
“Old Testament weather,” one of our local meteorologists predicted, a few weeks back. It sounded scary, but then it sort of sounded cool too. Not so cool anymore—the prediction was pretty square on. The arctic snows were really bad, crushing the carport of at least one friend, and making road travel dangerous. Then came the rains. While the snow melted. The rivers rose. Floods. Noah, get your oar.
We have floods everywhere in the Skagit and Whatcom, and other parts of Washington State got it even worse. One home which I thought about buying a few years ago is probably flooded. Sitting by the Samish River, with Chuckanut sunsets, it looked wonderful. The neighborhood has been front page news the last two days, completely flooded. Put all this bad weather together with daily reports of recession, (or it a Great Depression? Economists argue!), record jobless claims, government budget deficits, businesses folding, and then even the WWU football program getting the pink slip….and it’s all just a bit too much. I can’t remember so much general anxiety in the air.
All this said to introduce my Bridle Trails 50k post. I HAD TO GET OUT, and my college friend Aaron was game to run. So, I ignored the weather forecast, as I knew most die hard ultra people around town would. And they were there—before the race, you could tell people were excited to run, weather be damned, after being cooped up for so long.
Still, once out on the course, no surprise---the five mile loop course was one giant puddle, with occasional cameos by Charlie Horsepoop. The rain NEVER EVER EVER stopped. The good news is I kept on, but my time was almost an hour slower than last year. I’d give at least half that hour to the rain and my lame attitude. I changed tops twice during the race. I cramped in my lower abodmen during laps 2 through 5, but never really focused on adjusting or figuring it out. Also, once it got dark, with the rain never stopping and the puddles just getting bigger and bigger, it got a little grim and depressing, which slowed me down too—dark, rain, puddles, no one around, etc. I knew I wasn’t going to knock out a good time, and so of course, I didn’t. On the whole, not too happy with my performance mentally. Still, I got out and I got done, so that's something. Right?
The coolest thing about this race was that Holley, my cousin’s wife, ran lap 1 with me. Also, Aaron, a Huxley friend, ran with me for a bit, and it was the first time I saw him in three years. Sorry I didn’t catch you Aaron! Seattle Running Company puts on a terrific event—this is one of my very favorite races, in large part because of the job they do. I've ran well here the last couple times, for me. It’s a blast to run for an hour in the dark on a Saturday evening, in the winter quiet, and then suddenly pop out into an oasis of light and have a bagel or noodles or whatever, get some smiling support, and then take off again. Hopefully next year the Puddles God will stay home.

I-5 Before Bow Hill, near Samish River

Looking east--this sea is normally farm land

Truck on oft-closed Highway 9, above the floods

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Scotty,
Even though you feel that you didn't run well, you have to feel good about finishing considering the weather and trail condition. Next year I'll get some miles in before the run and you can show me how to finish the damn thing! Thanks for getting me out, I'm amped up to do some more fun runs this year. See ya, Aaron.