Sunday, April 15, 2007

Aliens on Tiger Mt.
















CHAPTER 1 - FEELING FINE



tc & King Arthur are not from this planet. Sheela, Arthur's Australian Blue Healer isn't either. All three of them collectively kicked my arse on the Twelve Summits training run yesterday.


Twelve Summits is a 34 mile out and back run with an elevation gain of 10,500' on DNR property. The location of these trails is at Tiger Mt. Issaquah Alps located in King County WA.


Jenny met me at 5:30AM and we carpooled up to the Tiger Mt. High Point Trailhead. Rob met us at the trailhead. The plan was for Rob and Jenny to run about a 15 mile loop and for tc, Arther, and I to run the twelve summits run. Rob was at the trailhead when we arrived and tc, Arther, and superdog Sheela showed up shortly after. They had parked tc's car at the half way point for 12 summits stocked with food and water. Rob had a quick look at my map of the area and decided to try a loop on the Poo Poo Point trail named after the sound of the coal or logging train made as it traveled an old RR track back in the early days. We all got our gear together and the adventure began.


This was not my first attempt at 12 summits. Steve an I tried it earlier in the year and lost the trail due to snow. In hindsight it was probably a blessing in disguise as I'm sure we would probably been found frozen in a snow bank had we made it onto the correct trail.


tc, Arthur, Sheela, and I started up the Nook Trail toward T3. tc started hiking up some of the runnable sections early and latter I found out why. Summits T3, T2, and T1 seemed to go quickly. We started down T1 from the Hikers Hut on NEIR Bypass Trail and then went the Bootleg Trail to the East Tiger Trail. We continued to East Tiger Mt. , then over to Middle Tiger Mt. and then to South Tiger Mt. before dropping 1500' down to Tiger Mt. Rd. off of Issaquah Hobart Rd. tc had us go down a trail from South Tiger that was a little steeper down hill, very technical, and a great workout for our quads.


This was the half way point and we were all feeling pretty good. We refilled our water containers, ate, feed the dog and started back the same way we had come.


CHAPTER 2 - DEAD MAN RUNNING


The climb back up to South Tiger Mt. did not go well for me. Instead of going my pace I tried to keep up the those other 3 Alien creatures. This resulted in my heart rate going over "red line" for too long and suddenly I was running the ragged edge of bonkville. I slowed down some and started fueling, drinking water, and had a shot of doubleshot espresso that I had in one of my handhelds. I drug my sorry behind up to the summit of South Tiger and then headed back down and off to Middle Tiger. tc waited for me at the major turns or I not only would I have been running on empty I would have been hopelessly lost with no ability to reason my way back. I started feeling a bit of nausea as I climbed to the summit of Middle Tiger Mt. We dropped our packs and bottles at the road leading up to the summit and I started up. I think this was when tc made it to the top of a summit, ran down to me, and then when back up again, running. REPEATS!, The guys doing repeats when I dying? Anyway when I made it back down to my hydration pack and water bottles my teeth started to feel numb and I was woozy. I took another S cap, ate three cliff blocks, regrouped and headed on down the trail. By this point I had to hike/walk on any uphill section. I still could run on flats and downhill. The nausea feeling went away and except for my slug-like slowness on the uphills I was doing better. The three Aliens with me were kind enough to wait at the summits and major turns. Somewhere between West Tiger and T1 I jumped across a small stream and had my right calf go into full throttle cramp mode. tc was running behind me (making sure I didn't fall down) and saw me pull up lame. Since I was hopping around on one leg he thought I'd twisted my ankle when I jumped over the stream. What really happened was the extension I made when I jumped was just a little too much for my leg to take and it reacted with a nice little cramp. Once the cramp went away I was able to walk about 20 feet and resume running w/o any further problems. As we climbed to T1 both tc and Arthur started running up to the summit. Those guys are animals! So's Sheela but we already knew that. We finally made it to the top of T2 then T3 the number 12 summit to be treated to a view. Well actually two views. The sun was shining and I was able to get some pictures of the valley below. The second view was of a woman hiker who unaware that three trail runners had just made the clearing was squatting for a pee. We were kind, diverted our attention to the trail ahead and moved on. tc took the West Tiger No. 3 trail down and Arther and I chose to run the challenging Nook Trail which is an unmaintained trail filled with roots, rocks, and mud. The last mile was a long one but we finally made it to the parking lot and I had my first 12 summits in the bag!


The run was followed by a meal at Jay Berry's in North Bend where I picked up a veggie pizza for Michelle (her favorite pizza place) and headed home for a relaxing 25 min ice bath.


I ran 5 miles this morning and felt really good. I think I could have easily gone for a 20 miler.


Thanks to tc and Arthur for showing me the 12 summit course. They are running the 50 mile Mt. Si run next week. After watching them on this run I don't think I'd try to keep up.


Oh and tc - don't think I didn't notice that you noted that you 34 miles "easy" yesterday on your blog. I'm going to have to beat you at WS 100 for that one!

Cheers!
































20 comments:

Backofpack said...

So now you know you can bonk and recover. Good training for WS! Looks pretty, maybe we can go up sometime for a shorter run.

Thanks for running with us this morning - it was fun!

Wes said...

Man, that's just crazy stuff! crazy stuff!! Good for you for never saying I can't, instead you said when, and you persevered. Nice pics and nice job on an important day for WS 100.

robtherunner said...

It sounds like I made the right decision not to try and tackle that course. I think you should go for the 50 miler next weekend. Think of how well trained you would be if you do a 12 summits, followed by a flat 50 miler, followed by a 50 mile/marathon double. Is it tempting yet?

Journey to a Centum said...

Nice try Rob, you'll find me on my bike or occasionally running at Mt. Si. But yes, in a sick and twisted kind of way it is tempting. It's tempting to run the TMT trail on Tiger Mt. on Saturday. That's 32 miles but avoids the summits.

Oh by the way our time yesterday was 8:17.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Glad you survived! Thanks for the ride! Hope your legs are feeling fresh! Congrats.
Jenny

wendy said...

Wow - those guys do sound like aliens! You looked like you were 110% today, I can't wait to hear how you whoop up on tc at WS this year. ;-) Then we can officially start calling you an alien too.

olga said...

You mean you are NOT planning to run 50M/marth next weekend??? WHat the hell are you talking about?
SOunds like a neat run that 12 summits...lets go read tc's recap of how easy it was:)

Thomas said...

Epic ... well done!

Jon said...

Oy! If you were dying up on 12 summits, then you'd all be digging my grave if I came along! tc's description makes it seem so EASY to do. But, I STILL want to come along next time. :-P

Meghan said...

Eric,

Glad you survived! Bonking? Oops! Was it over-exertion or not staying on top of food/fluids? Sounds like you went through a few nastyfuzzy moments, but pulled through!

Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

King Arthur said...

Anytime you want to go back I'd be glad to run with you. Glad to see you recovered nicely.

Arthur(& Shela)

Sarah said...

Brutal! Glad you recovered so well.

I don't think the words "relaxing", "25 minute" and "ice bath" belong in the same sentence. : )

Darrell said...

You are amazing, going from dead man to feeling like you could run 20 overnight. You are going to make me work at Eugene, aren't you?

Phil said...

Outstanding run! Most of us would have completely bonked before we got to the half way point. Great pictures.

Dori said...

Any race where you cross the finish line deserves a "Good Job"! Way to hang in there. Is doubleshot espresso a Gu flavor? Caffeine usually picks me up.

Nice of you to look the other way when that hiker was relieving herself. Poor woman. Just when you think it's safe to squat, three runners appear from nowhere.

Ryan said...

What doesn’t break you only makes you stronger! Way to push thru the rough patches and keeping yourself moving along. Congratulations on completing the twelve summits!

runliarun said...

I checked the blogs of those people clad in blue and they are indeed aliens. You are a cool human though. We falter sometimes.

GotLegs! said...

You guys have to remember a few things in the "everything's relative" department. First, I've run 12 summits about 25 times (3 times during a 50 miler). Second, I love to climb!!! It's my forte ... watch my sorry arse decend - I look like a total wimp! Third, I've been doing this stuff a lot longer that the two I was running with - experience helps A LOT. How do you think I know exactly which climbs NOT to push?

Eric, you did great and had a good bonking experience that will do you well in WS. Now tell the nice people out there I'm not so scary ;-)

*tc

Addy said...

Awesome job on a super tough run!! Sounds like it was great training for States :)

Addy

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