Waldo 100k

coming down from Fuji photo credit Teri Smith

The last few years we have DNF'd or cut short runs longer that 40 miles for various reasons, but mostly mental toughness. Despite these set backs we knew we had it in us to run > 40 miles, so when the lottery for the Waldo 100k we signed up. There was a part of me that knew that we wouldn't get in since we signed up using the buddy system. To be honest, I was ok if we didn't get it, because I could still say, "well at least we tried." 

Well of course we got in. Which meant that my family and I had to shift our trip to Iceland by a week, oops. It also meant I needed to do some mental toughness training and we needed to push ourselves more than we had the last few years, since Waldo was mostly over 5000 feet and was a tough course. I decided to hire a coach, Yassine of Wyeast Wolfpack. In the past, Susan and I had trained with a coach together, but this time I need to work on my mental toughness and focus on myself. 

Overall my training went according to plan, though Yassine got on my ass about not following his plan. I was feeling ready for the race, I felt strong and prepared. But that all seemed to go to hell once I knew I had less than a week until race day, which was also when I got back from Iceland. I got back from Iceland the Sunday before the race and I had a brilliant idea to try and stay on a jetlag sleep schedule until the race, since we opted for the early (3 am) start time. My jetlag sleep schedule was 8pm - 4am, which was fine for the first few days, but my body naturally wanted to return to PDT. Which didn't help with my anxiety but every time I started to worry too much I would just tell myself I was going on a really long run on beautiful trails with my bbf, which seemed to help. 

John, Cedar and I decided to take the van and camp at the starting line, while Susan rented a house about 30 minutes away from Willamette Pass. It was fun to pull into Willamette Pass and see all the other dirt bag runners and their camper vans, RVs and tents set-up everywhere. The other bonus about starting at the ski resort is the use of the bathrooms, no port-a-potties!  


Gold Lake Aid Station : Mile 0  - 7.4 

starting in the dark

All I remember about the first few miles is slogging up a ski hill with a bunch of dust in the light of my headlamp. After the ski hill we were on glorious single track which would continue for another 60 miles. I felt like we were making pretty good time running in the dark but when we reached the first aid station it was later than I expected. 

Fuji (1) Aid Station : Mile 7.4 - 12.4

The majority of this section was runnable, a lot of rolling hills. The sun had risen enough by the time we reached the aid station we were able to turn off our headlamps. Despite starting at 3am, I really enjoyed running in the dark for a few hours. 

Fuji (2) Aid Station : Mile 12.4 - 14.9

from the top of My Fuji

This is a quick out and back to the top of Mt Fuji. We did get to see Hal Koerner heading up  as we were making our way down.

Mt. Ray Aid Station : 14.9 - 20.5

applying bug spray(?)


After leaving the Fuji aid station the people heading towards us started warning us of bees. It wasn't much longer after that Susan got stung twice, which made us run faster. We did get passed by Hal again. 

The Twins (1) Aid Station : 20.5 - 27.1

truth


During this section my calf really started to hurt, I really don't remember much more than that. It was the longest stretch between aid stations and I really thought that I would drop when we meet my husband at the Road 4290 aid station if the pain didn't work itself out. 

Charlton Lake Aid Station : 27.1 - 32

At Charlton Lake, not sure what I was trying to do


The nice folks at the aid station gave me some pickle juice for the pain in my calf. I didn't think it would help, but at that point I was willing to try anything. I also remember being so happy to get to the aid station. Since it was crew accessible aid station there were a ton of people and dogs cheering us on, I really needed the boost. It also made me excited to see my husband and Cedar (dog) at the next aid station. 

Rd 4290 Aid Station : 32 - 37.2

This section was pretty runnable and my calf started to feel a little bit better but not 100%. There was still a part of me that thought I might drop when I saw my husband, but I was actually feeling pretty good and figured I had pushed through almost 20 miles with a tight calf, what was another 20 miles? We hung out at the aid station a little longer than the rest since Cedar and John were there and they had icee popsicles. I shared half of mine with Cedar. 

The Twins (2) Aid Station : 37.2 - 44.7




I honestly don't remember much about this section, probably because the next section is burned into my mind. 

Maiden Peak Aid Station : 44.7 - 49.9 

Up to this point the race hadn't been easy but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be either. There were some challenging climbs, but some really nice runnable sections. 

I ran to the top of Maiden Peak in July and didn't think it was that awful, but I went the opposite direction of the race and hadn't ran 45 miles before the climb. Based on that I didn't think I needed poles for the race, well that was a stupid mistake. Luckily Susan was smarter than I was and brought her poles and let me borrow one. Calling it a slog to the top of Maiden Peak does not adequately describe the difficulty of the climb. We both went at our own pace to the top and had to dig deep to keep going. I had never been so happy to see the top of a peak than I was to see Maiden Peak. 

After reaching the top, you would think it was jog down to the next aid station. Not so much, it was a rocky first mile or so and our bodies were wrecked, but it did feel a lot better than the climb up. 


top of Maiden Peak


Maiden Lake Aid Station : 55 - 62.5

This aid station had whiskey! Susan hesitated when they asked us if we wanted whiskey. I was like, "yes, please whiskey and coke!". It was amazing. 

We ran the whole way back to the finish so we could make it in time for the hat cut off. We made with 30 minutes to spare. We were disappointed that we didn't get trucker hats, but beanies instead. But we proudly wore our beanies and drank our finisher beers. 

photo credit Teri Smith


The Finish!

Finishers! photo credit Teri Smith

We were both so happy to finish another 100k after a few years of DNFs. It was amazing and really difficult at the same time. My calf never worked itself out, so I ran almost 40 miles on a really tight calf. We decided it would probably be another few years before we toe the line at another 100k, but who knows what crazy ideas we will come up with in 2020. 

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