Sunday, February 15, 2015

I Got Lost!

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope that you had a wonderful day.  I know I did, from start to finish.

A few weeks ago Joe found a trail run at the coast on Valentines Day.  They had a 25k and a 10k.  He wanted to do the 25k.  I figured that I could do the 10k and treat it as my weekend hike.  I asked Meighan if she wanted to do it too and she said yes.

We got up and were ready to leave for Newport at 6:00 a.m.
Ready for Adventures!
It was a nice drive over to the coast.  I always enjoy car rides with the family.  It's a time to talk, laugh, discuss silly things or serious things, play music, sing and just be together.  This ride was no exception.  As we got closer to the coast we could see that the clouds were burning off and blue sky was showing.  It was going to be a beautiful day!

Packet pick up was supposed to be at 7:30.  We had directions to where the race was supposed to start.  According to the directions there would be signs directing us to where we were supposed to go.  The race was partly on some private property so the signs were supposed to be helpful.  Except the signs weren't there.  We managed to find the right road but were unsure of exactly where to go.  We stopped and asked a woman for directions.  She was helpful in letting us know where to go.  But she did not look very happy about us being there.  When she told us where to park she asked us to please not park on the grass.  She really, really, really didn't want anyone to park on the grass.

We worked our way up to the top of the hill and made sure that we didn't park in the grass.  There wasn't anyone there.  Hmmmm, packet pick up was supposed to be at 7:30 and now it's 7:35 and there isn't a soul in sight.

A few minutes passed and a car came zipping up the road and the grass!  It was the person in charge and he quickly was unloading a table and supplies from the back of his car.  We had to laugh about him parking in the grass.

We walked over to a hill and checked out the amazing view.  Wow!  I have mentioned before that I live in an amazing place but it really is breathtaking.
View of the ocean to the west.
View of the sunrise to the east.
My girl.  She loves me.  :-)
My Valentine, I love this man so much!!
Joe and Meighan being silly.
Two of the best people to spend a beautiful day with!
LOVE this girl!!
More people began to show up, but no one else parked in the grass so hopefully the woman will be okay.  :-)

We went over and got our race bibs.  You know it's a small event when the list of people signed up is less than one page long.  This was the first year for this race (we could tell).  The man in charge said that he had forgotten the signs for the road, oops.  But most of the people who had signed up were from the local running community and knew where to go.

Another person who was helping with the event gathered us all together and started describing the route.  You go down this hill and then come up this road, take a right and then follow that trail, blah, blah, blah.  Joe raised his hand and asked if there were signs or markings on the trail because there was no way we were going to remember all that.  The gentleman reassured us that we wouldn't get lost, the trail was easy to follow and well marked.  (Famous last words!)

The 25k and the 10k started off on the same route for a few miles.  We took off and headed down the road.  I was almost immediately in last place.  :-)  It made me laugh.  My knees have been hurting a bit lately and steep downhills can hurt if I'm not careful.  Plus I really don't want to fall down so I tend to take it slow and watch my feet.  I had one lady that I could still see so I just followed her.  We ended up back on the gravel road and I eventually caught up to her.  But as we rounded the corner we could see a road that went to the right with no signs on it or the road we were on that went back to where we were parked.  Hmmmm.  That didn't seem right.  So we went up by the cars and asked the lady that had passed out the bibs where we were supposed to turn.  She said it was the road that went to the right below.  The lady I was with quit.  She said forget it and walked to her car.  I turned around and walked down to the road that went to the right.  I followed it about a quarter of a mile and it opened up into a big flat area with about five trails leading off of it.

None of the trails had signs.

There were no signs of trampled grass or footprints in the muddy areas.

This is not a good sign.

I said eenie meenie miney mo and picked the trail to the left.  I went for about another quarter mile and came out to another trail.  This one had arrows but there were leading back toward the direction of where the race started.

That doesn't seem right.

Now what should I do?

I'm standing there on the trail trying to decide which way to go and I hear the sound of a Mule.  Basically a small vehicle that can haul stuff and has two seats.  It was the owner of the property and he was marking arrows on the end of the run.  Uh oh.  I'm at the end of the trail.

He says to me, "Wow, you are almost done, you must be really fast!"  HA!  Not so much.  I tell him that no, unfortunately I got lost.  I describe what I had done and he tells me he thinks he knows where I messed up.  He will take me to where I missed my turn.  I hop in the Mule and we take off.

I had started to get frustrated when I was standing there trying to decide what to do.  I had started to get mad that I was going to either not do the whole 10k or I was going to be WAY behind everyone else.  So much for trying to see if I could do well with this.

And then my rescuer showed up.  And suddenly I didn't care.  It was a beautiful day, I was having an adventure.  And I was going to enjoy every moment of the adventure!!

Back on the right track!  
My rescuer is off to mark more trails.  
My rescuer offered to take me farther up the trail to make up for the distance that I had gotten while I was wandering around.  I said no.  I wanted to do the entire route the way I was supposed to.  Besides, I was having an adventure on a beautiful warm, sunny day on the Oregon coast on Valentines Day!

There were some big hills.  I mean, really, really big hills.
Not a big fan of hills.  lol

The hills were hard.  The first couple were hard but doable.  I just took it slow and steady.  It was so beautiful so I enjoyed stopping and enjoying the view. (And the opportunity to catch my breath!)

Have I mentioned that the day was amazing?  Warm, sunny and gorgeous!  In February, at the coast, in Oregon!  Crazy!

The trail worked it's way down to the river and then I started passing the 10k people that were already heading back to the finish.  At this point I had put in almost 4 miles.  I figured I was about a mile farther than I should have been if I had stayed on course.  Everyone I passed smiled and waved and told me good job.  I love the running community!

There are always things to see on the trail.  I wasn't alone on the trail, even when I was all by myself.  

I love the texture of the forest.  Everywhere you look there is different texture, light, movement and beauty.  

I then had to run on a road that was flat for awhile until I reached a small park and then I did a loop in that park and headed back to the trail that would lead me back up to the the finish line.  

The single track trail that I had come down was a lot different going back up.  I was tired and starting to hurt.  I reached the point of a 10k on my Nike+  and the result wasn't too bad.  
Pretty decent considering all the hills.  
But then I really struggled.  That single track trail was deceptively steep and I was running out of steam.  I had to stop a lot to rest.  My glutes were burning, probably a good thing since that meant I was engaging my glutes when I went up hill.  I have been having some issues with my IT band the past few months and about halfway up this hill it really started hurting.  I think I must have stopped to rest at least five times.

Single track from hell.  Ugh! 
But I kept moving forward.  

I had come this far and I wasn't going to quit!

I got up to the top of the single track trail and followed the arrows.  I knew I was getting close to the finish line because I was where I had been standing when I was rescued.  I also knew that I couldn't have gone much more than a mile extra when I was lost. 

Then I come around a corner and see an arrow that is pointing to my left.  I look over and there is this super steep, clay track that is about a quarter of a mile up.  Well, shit.  One foot in front of the other.  Getting to the top of that little (but super steep) hill was probably the best part of the day.  It was hard!  I was tired and pooped but I did it.  

I got to the top of the hill, came around the corner and there was that gorgeous view.  And the finish line.  I had done it!  

Here are pictures that Ardor Adventures took and posted on Facebook.  Pretty fun!
This is before I got lost.  :-)
Joe did awesome in his 25k!
Like mother, like daughter!  Meighan got lost too.  We will both do better next year!
Meighan finishing up.  
My 10k + more.  Almost done.  :-)
Pretty awesome view to finish up with!
25k Trail Run.  Stud! :-) 

Hanging out at the finish!
The day didn't go as I had planned.  The trail was MUCH harder than I had anticipated.  But I had a blast and was able to push through the difficult parts and enjoy the run and the day.  I'm proud of how I did push through AND I'm proud of keeping a good attitude throughout the day.  I would have really been hard on myself last year and ruined the day, in my own head anyway.  

So it was a successful day on so many levels. 

It may not be every ones idea of a perfect Valentines Day.  But it was totally perfect for me!   

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