Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tiger with a twist

UPDATED: Added Tacoma Narrows Slide Show at bottom of post.

Let's see.... my 24 summit adventure ended at peak 7 at around 1:30 AM. I met Michael Cartwright at 7:00 PM at the trail head at Highpoint Way. We had a surprise last minute participant Rob "Rattler" Hester who also met us at 7:00 PM.

We had beautiful weather with the temperature at the start being 73 degrees. It stayed light until 11:00 PM when we made the 4th Summit at East Tiger. As we headed back down East it was as if someone had flipped a switch. We had put our headlamps on at the summit of East. Rob and Micheal both had some auxiliary hand held flashlights that could knock small animals from trees with their sun like brightness.

Things were going quite well but Rob started to feel a bit queasy from the climbing demands the course offers. He wasn't complaining but he was being more quiet that normal.

I managed to ram my two smallest toes into a rock on the trail. I fouled the air with f-bombs as I walked the jammed toes pain off. Micheal assured me that I did not damage the rock in any way when I kicked it and that it would be fine. A short while later the trail became much less technical and I tripped over a log that was across the trail for trail erosion and landed in a heap on a very smooth soft trail. I bounced up and was running without any major aches or pains.

When we made the half way point (17 miles) I pulled the cooler I had stashed at the trial head out and we all drank and refueled. Michael had run dry of water before making the turn and lamented that he should have taken on water earlier. Rob was starting to experience some nausea and was not feeling to good.

We stashed the cooler and headed out for the second round of summits. We approached the long 5 mile climb back to South Tiger with a very reasonable pace that mostly involved power hiking with short runs in the traverses.

When we made it to the out and back trail head for South Tiger Rob was really feeling bad. We sat at the trail head and tried to rest for a while to see if Rob would start feeling any better. After about 15 minutes we headed up the trial to tag the survey marker at the top of South Tiger. Upon reaching the summit we sat down again and Rob was not feeling any better. We had a choice, we could continue for another tough 12 miles or turn back to the Tiger Mt. Road Trail Head and have someone meet us there.

I really wanted to attempt this 24 summit event this weekend but it seemed like a pretty selfish decision to choose to go on with Rob feeling so bad. Having a college student living at home has it's perks. I know my son Riley does not go to bed until around 3AM. I have him a call from the top of South Tiger and asked him to come rescue us at the Tiger Mt. Road Trail head. He was on his way and so were we down to the road.

We met Riley just as we emerged from the trail onto the road. Our timing was excellent. Riley shuttled us back to our cars at High Point Way trail head. Rob, Riley, and Michael headed home. It was a good decision to pull Rob off the Mt. and Micheal was thinking that he was in for some trying times as well so it was probably best in the long haul.

Thanks to Michael and Rob for taking on the night run with me. I appreciate your help and really enjoyed the run with you guys.

I remembered a couple of our Y-Run Club members were meeting at 4AM to climb Mt. Si. I gave them a call at 3AM and asked if I could join them for their run. We determined a meeting place and with about 30 minutes to kill I took a nap in my car. I woke up just in time to see Lesa and Jane pull into the parking lot.

We got to the trail head and got started on the run by 4AM. Mt. Si is an 8 mile run with 4 miles uphill and 4 miles down. The overall elevation climb is about 3600 feet. I think Lesa could have run half the distance up the Mt. but Jane and I were working hard at power hiking. It took us two hours to summit but the view was worth it. We all spread out on the way down the Mt. I was hanging with Lesa for about the first 2.5 miles and then I got hit with a bonk. I found a place to sit and took a shot of Hammer Gel and ate a PB & Honey sandwich. It didn't take long for the food to take effect and I was once again running down the Mt. The trail is chunky with lots of embedded rocks and roots.

We encountered many hikers and runners climbing as we descended. I was within ear shot of the trail head when I saw three hikers below me heading up the trail. I looked up to see which side of the trial they were on and I rammed my already sore toe into another rock. This time I crashed hard on some large and small rocks that simulated a cheese grater. I smacked my left knee, elbow, and shoulder as I rolled down the trail. I was hurting pretty bad and laying there trying to do an assessment of my injuries. The three hikers came up to me concerned having seen me crash and helped me up. Aside from the lacerations on my knee, elbow, forearm, and shoulder I did something to my ribs. The rib thing concerns me the most. If feels kind of like I was hit with an arrow with a sore entry point in front and a sore exit wound to the rear. I seem to be able to take deep breaths without any real discomfort so maybe I just strained some muscles. Time will tell if klutz boy will need to curtail my running to allow things to heal up.

Tomorrow I'm planning on running across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with our Y Run Club. I've not run the new bridge span. It's a very large suspension bridge and I'm looking forward to the opportunity.
Click to play Narrows Bridge 2008
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runningtwig said...

Sorry you did not get the 24, but it sounds like you had a good weekend anyways! Glad you have so many people on call at 3am for rides and runs! That made me laugh!

robtherunner said...

I did not really want to turn around, or call anyone, but I couldn't get the strength up to argue either. I imagine by the way I felt the majority of the way back and also the next day it was a good choice, but I am sorry that it foiled your attempt at 24. That was really my only concern. I didn't care too much about my own personal well being. If I wasn't afraid of the dark I would have told you to leave me there at South Tiger. Perhaps I would have begun hallucinating and wrestling imaginary bears and cougars.

Journey to a Centum said...

Twig - What will you do when you get that 3:00AM call?

Rob - No big deal rattler! Remember, I had already resolved to the fact that I was not going to be able to run the 24 this year. It wasn't until Michael called that gave it promise again. Based on my time limitations due to the wedding I don't think it would have happened anyway. I'm just glad we did what we did. In the past I fairly certain we would have made the wrong choice and kept going. At least we didn't have to say "I hear the helicopter coming now, just try to relax, they will be here to help you soon."

aquaasho said...

Aw, you must be disappointed a little. I can understand, I've had a similar experience. On the flip side, you're running across a new bridge, that's cool! I love running across bridges! Doesn't it make you feel great!! Enjoy and mind those toes!

Journey to a Centum said...

Aisling - I'll be back out there next weekend for another 12 summits.

I think the toe is going to be fine. It's my ribs that are most annoying right now. I ran 8 miles today with some discomfort but I think it's just a strain.

Hope your training is still going well!


Michmas said...

Jeeeeezus - take it easy out there!! Maybe you should consider investing in downhill mountain biking gear so that the next time you fall, everything will be protected :)


Journey to a Centum said...

Michelle M - Runners will think they are caught in some sort of Monty Python movie as I run the trails with my armor on. NEEP! NEEP!

olga said...

Any run is better than no run. Glad you found a group to pack a few more miles instead of going alone.

Gotta Run said...

First - I do have clean undies now but for the record I am no better about putting gas in my car...LOL!!!

I continue to be amazed by all of your running. In every post you can see how much you love it!!! Very inspiring.

Like the background sounds. cool. took me a few minutes to figure out where it was coming from :)

Gotta Run said...

One more thing... the Rim to Rim would be a factor with the altitude for me. We were in AZ for a week and I never seemed to adjust. Crazy!!

Anonymous said...

You are relentless! Just didn't get enough from one adventure - had to go for two, huh? Did you get any sleep (besides that 1 hour nap)?

Hope the rib pain is just temporary. Take care of yourself!

kendrara said...

Dude, we live in Puyallup now. I actually love it. Does that make me straaange? Do you ever run in Clark's Creek like during the week (to save on gas $$)? I'll check back for yer response. The other day I ran the Powerline trail until I got into a scary section near Portland Ave. There were gang signs on the Water District no trespassing sign. Oh what the hell do I know about gang signs. It might have just been graffitti. Neep.

Journey to a Centum said...

Kendra - I'm typically an asphalt sniffer during the week but sometimes run by Clarks Creek. We live up on the South Hill near Wildwood Elementry School. The Gas Line Trail that I think you are talking about does present you with a bunch of fences and stuff. It's a good run but I typically run out to 520 and back instead of going on toward Tacoma.

We have a group of 6 folks running Tiger 12 Summits tomorrow if at all interested. You are probably booked. 206-406-3307

We have a couple of women in the area who could probably keep up with you. One is preggers right now and the other is at the peak of her training for Ironman Canada. Some good talent out of Fleet Feet Running up in Bonney Lake as well.

Our Y-Run Club meets at the Mel Korum YMCA at 7:30 AM on Saturdays for an hour long run. You don't need to be a member of the Y and we don't have any dues so it meets most runners budget. We meet for coffee after the runs. We consider ourselves coffee drinkers with a running problem. Coffee at Starbucks can last up to 2 hours.

AS far as you being strange for living in Puyallup I don't think so. Remember Puyallup is the same sound a cow-pie makes when it hits the ground!

Olga - I had a nice run and got to run Mt. Si for the first time.

Robin - Glad you solved your undie crisis. The birds singing on my blog are driving our cat nuts!

I didn't realize the Grand Canyon was at such a high altitude. I might be sucking wind there too!

Annette - Funny, the ribs only hurt when I lay down to sleep in bed. They seem to be getting better slowly. Based on my progress and judging from previous rib injuries I'm guessing I'll be good as new in about two weeks. That's assuming I can stay on my damn feet while I run.

kendrara said...

Nice, thanks. Craig and I are doing some White River action this weekend (my first long runs in ages) but I'm psyched to know about all these options, thanks and thanks for the digits! I hope your ribbies feel better soon.

wendy said...

I'm glad that poor rock was okay! Although you have cat-like reflexes, your gorilla-like strength could have doomed the poor thing. ;-)

Meghan said...

Dude. Good grief. Talk about 2 million variables to challenge an already challenging training run. Way to git er dun, though.

Man alive, I'm glad that you didn't mess up that rock when you fell.

Take care of your ribs,

Sarah said...

Wow, you are a super stud. I would have been home asleep after the first run. Now I know why chicks dig you. : ) ; )