Monday, September 14, 2009


The three landscapes are all Juneau pictures. The Taku Inlet, North Douglas, and Lena Point. Pretty isn't it? These were all taken on different days.

Friday I took the fast ferry with boyfriend Nick to Skagway Alaska. We floated over at about 6 pm. We met at the Skagway driver house and had a race meeting. We ate some pasta and took a two hour nap. Then we drove to the starting point of the fifth leg of the 10 leg, 24 hour, Klondike Road Run.

I was leg 5 and had 13.9 miles to run. I hadn't trained much..well. Let's just say I didn't run more than seven miles a week for the last 2 months..since the half marathon I ran last month. So I've been winding down, but I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. I mean I've been running, but not more than seven miles a week.

I figured I could pick up whatever they put down. They gave me the 13.9 mile leg, two days in advance, and I took the challenge. I ran 3-6:05 am. It was dark and I was nervous about bears. I had a head lamp, some reflective bands, and a fancy flickering arm band.

It was chilly outside, but I'm a hot runner. I always strip down when running. I started with the numbers pinned to a hoodie and ended up switching the numbers to my Philmont tshirt while running because I was roasting.

I did alright the first three miles. Then I told the support vehicle with the last four runners to go 4 miles ahead. I was doing ok, what the heck? They said they'd go 3. I said ok. Three miles later I told them to never leave me for that long again. It is hard to run by yourself up and down mountain passes in the middle of the night.

They met me from then on every mile for drinks and moral support. I drank from the water bottle in a stationary pose. I cannot drink while running, it must be a mental block I've put on myself. It was a nice break every mile though. At mile seven, my knees were in blinding pain and I was only halfway finished with the race.

At mile 9 I told the van to tell me I only had three miles left. They told me I had four. There was a lot of yelling about death at that point of my leg. At mile ten I prayed my legs wouldn't break off at the knee until I had finished the race and I walked up the gigantic mountain that wouldn't end. At mile 11 I pooted and thought I'd messed my pants.

After acquiring some tp from the support vehicle, I sent them on their way. I could have shaved five minutes off my running time if they had just gone on instead of waiting right there while I pooped in the forest right next to them. Then they took a picture of me looking pissed. I was angry b/c I thought they'd been taking pictures of me pooping in the forest. They hadn't been, but I have an active imagination and mischievous friends.

At mile 12 I was having serious knee problems and was trying to convince myself the pain was mental and I could get through the pain. Run through the pain Merilee, you'll thank me later. So I tried that for the last two miles and in the end, I had trouble even jogging the last kilometer to the finish line. Boo. Then I took a nap and after waking to deposit waste into the forest for the second time that day, also took 15 minutes to walk 15 paces to a protected bit of forest for this deposit. I was stiffer than a board. It was pretty sick.

Then we took turns driving for the last 4 legs. It was insane, I don't know if I could do it again, but if I did, I would train more. We ate pizza that night from Pizza Hut. It rained a lot. Wow, running up mountains is brutal.


Sarah Gessel said...

There is a thing called too much information. Did you really have to tell us about you going to the bathroom 2x for your 13 mile run? Of course you did.

Livin' Single said...

Just read the last few posts. Good night, nurse--i miss you girl!! seriously. i was laughing super hard because i could imagine you saying every single sentence you wrote. you are a crack-up.
i'm sorry i never called you back. let's try again. i would love to talk.
heather marie

Kristie said...

Way to go Mer... I love these gorgeous pictures. Love.

Raymond and Amy Lambert Family said...

Way to go! How come I did XC in high school and now you and heather are the one's running and not me? you're awesome!

have fun in MO!!!