My team didn’t get picked for Hood to Coast this year, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get snatched up by some other team last minute. I’m actually assuming that tons of teams will be trying to to recruit me the week of. I might not do it, because who knows what other things I’ll feel like doing instead, but I enjoy the part of this process where teams fight over me and send me gifts in hopes that I will pick them. To improve the quality of the gifts I’m given, and to increase the number of teams that send them, I am training hard at skills that will make me better at Hood to Coast.
The most important skills of Hood to Coast are eating doughnuts and sleeping at weird hours, but I’m already really good at those things, so I have bypassed that part of the training regiment. Most of my training has just been ordinary running. I’ve been trying to do some of in the heat, but that tends to make me complain way more than it’s worth, so that activity has been limited. On Friday I took my training to the extreme, and went up to Mt. Hood – the “Hood” of Hood to Coast.
My Mt. Hood adventure started at Timberline. My first step there was to eat half a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, and to be extra careful to not lock the keys in the car (even though I’ve learned that if you’re going to do that, Timberline will happily fix it for you). Then I started up the dirt trail that takes you to the first chair lift. This chair lift was not the ultimate destination though – where I was going, there was no trail. Just tons of rocks and sheets of icy snow. I had to go beyond the “No Ski Boundary” signs, but I was just hiking and not skiing, so I decided it was okay.
It took me 2-3 hours to get up to the end point, and my biggest accomplishment was only complaining a very small fraction of the amount I thought about complaining. Several times I felt very compelled to turn around and head back, but there was a voice that kept insisting I could make it, that I needed to keep going (this voice was not my own). Finally I got right above the Palmer lift, which was a satisfactory end point.
|Pascal complained a lot more than me and crawled around on the rocks like a little baby.
My main concern was how to get back down. It looked very steep, and I felt very scared. It turned out to be okay – it was just brutal on my quads, which are still sore. And it looked like this:
It took 1/3823 of the time it took to go up to get back down. Once I got back to the car I ate another half peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, and Pascal kept complaining. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him cry this much in my life. He probably got his paws all sore, next time I need to get those stupid-looking dog booties.
Yesterday I went on my first run since then, and I was still super sore, but it was manageable. So all of you Hood to Coast teams that want me on your team – I’m going to need a pretty big gift to be convinced to run with you, because I am in fine form and well versed in the nuances of Mt. Hood. Not that you run anywhere besides the highway on Mt. Hood, but you want someone who is ready in case of a last-minute course change from highway to unmarked non-trails near the ski lift.
I can’t wait for two weeks from now when the requests/presents come rolling in!
Miles run in 2012: 352.5