Monday, September 3, 2012

RAAoT Wrap up - Part 3

Day 17 - 41 miles road, 0 miles trail
No much but minutia to add to the blog posts and FB entries for this scenic day on the road. I remember running through the little town of Dixon (population 203 in the 2010 census) around mile 25 and noting the only services there was the Post Office. Yes, I notice post offices, and yes, we were running rural highways this day. This was the first day of the Run in which every mile was on state highway (caveat - there was some sidewalk to run at our one turn and near the day's end at Arlee to get us off the highway shoulder). Even though we were on rural highways, plenty of cars past us at high speed. Justin ended up running 100 yards past the day 17 end point since there is a Jocko Rd access from the highway south of the Jocko Rd stopping point. If you input the 47.15263, 114.06831 GPS point into you can see an access road to Jocko Rd which is where cars heading south on MT-200/US-93 can turn in order to get to Jocko Rd. When I finished I was surprised not to see Heidi at the finish stop sign - but she too also stopped at the Jocko Rd access and waited for my arrival. Thankfully I only had to wait 10 minutes or so before Heidi found me. After Heidi picked me up we obtained Subway for Jen who watched Daphne while Heidi and I went out to Fuddruckers - one of the best burger chains in the country. Yes, minutia.

Day 18 - 36 miles dirt road with near zero cars, 0 miles trail
By far the worst day of the Run for the two hours or so Jen and I were lost in remote Montana, but all turned out well in the end. I note that I had left my maps of the day 18 route in the hotel room. ARRGGHH. I can't say with certainty that I wouldn't have led Jen and I down the wrong road at mile 9 or so if I had the maps with me, but we probably wouldn't have ended up being lost. Instead we would have probably simply run a few extra miles or so. Justin was also affected by Jen and I being lost in that he was stuck at the day 18 finish point for an hour or so until Adam could get to Justin.

Day 19 - 39 miles of road, 0 miles of trail
Jen and Justin ran well on this good weather running day. I started the day concerned about my left Achilles - although in hindsight my issue was the left foot posterior tibial tendon. Justin and Jen were out of sight ahead of me on the curvy highway in short order. At mile 6 I tripped on a nail hammered into the asphalt causing the left foot to land poorly. The tibial tendon told me it was not happy and I dropped to a walk for the next 33 miles to close out the day. Copying from my blog post, " Not fun, but I felt this (walking) was the correct action to take." 
The scariest moment of the Run for me came when I was about a third of a mile from the finish point on this two turn day. I was walking downhill against traffic on highway MT-141 which had near zero road shoulder and only about a 6 inch gravel shoulder in this section. There was a significant crosswind coming from the west which nearly blew me off the road several times in the previous five miles. As one would expect it is tough to hear car noise over the sound of the wind. Anyway, I had moved off of the asphalt onto the gravel shoulder to keep out of the way of a car heading north towards me, and before I could move back to the asphalt for easier walking a car passed another car heading south - like I was -  on the road. Most of the time when a car passes another car behind you and heading in your direction one can hear it, but I didn't hear any engine noise whatsoever to indicate this car passing was taking place. I only knew the car passing was taking place when I noted the car inches from my right hand. That was a close one!!!

Day 20 - 42 miles of road, 0 miles of trail
Not much to add to the existing blog posts. Jen and Justin ran well again on another good running weather day, and my outlook on life improved tremendously when I started to jog again decently at mile 6. We ran through great Big Sky country all day! I especially enjoyed the views from miles 15-20 or so. Maybe I was just happy to be running, but I doubt it as Jen wrote is her blog the "scenery was stunning again". Finally, my memory tells me that Justin beat the rain up MacDonald Pass (the highest point of the Run at 6325 feet), but Jen and I didn't beat the rain and we both were freezing as we neared the top. Jen obtained some relief from the biting rain, wind, and cold by calling Justin and Adam and having them deliver her a coat for the last miles, but I wasn't so fortunate. I was so cold I didn't even stop to pick up a quarter in the road shoulder about a quarter mile from the top of the pass - probably the only quarter I passed by on the Run that I didn't pick-up. I note that mostly later in the Run I passed by a number of dimes, nickels, and pennies without picking them up, but my initial plan for the Run was to pick up all coins that I saw that weren't in the roadway or too close to a highway with too many cars on the road. Thanks to Heidi and Daphne for taking care of me!!!

Day 21 - 42 miles of road, 0 miles of trail
Adam departed and Margaret arrived to drive the Scooby Van. I didn't get to see much of Adam since I was so far behind Justin every day. I trust Adam has fond memories of the trip though. Justin, Jen, and I all ran well this day - a downhill with the wind running day with good temps and a fair amount of cloud cover. We stayed the night in Townsend, MT (population 1,878 in the 2010 census). We ran by the hotel and through Townsend on day 22 and I wrote in my blog, " if you are considering moving to a small city in Montana, make sure you check out Townsend - just 35 miles from the state capitol of Helena." I recommend the Wood Family Grill as a place to eat. 
Unlike most places, I note that the high temperature of the day is often reached at 5:00 PM or even later in Montana, so we are often off the road before the high temp for the day is reached. Yes!

Day 22 - 40 miles of road, 0 miles of trail
We encountered one of the largest deer roadkills of the Run around mile 14 this day. At mile six we crossed the Missouri River which we cross again on day 46. The fantastic scenery continued as we all three ran OK as we battled muscle and tendon issues. In White Sulpher Springs where we stayed for the night we drove by an old mansion built as a castle which now serves as the Meagher County Museum. Jen pointed out that the castle really wasn't old - otherwise Jen's flat built in 1904 would have to be considered old!!!

Day 23 - 42 miles of road, 0 miles of trail
Due to stomach issues, Justin walked a mile with me to start the cool-which-would-turn-into-a-very-warm-day (high 70s). We both started jogging slowly thereafter, but my jogging was slower than Justin's and by the time I reached mile 4 I couldn't see Justin in front on me through the haze. As reported in the blogs, Jen and Justin ran close to each other the rest of the day to finish in just over 8 hours for the 42 miles. I finished about 90 minutes back fighting off a right quad issue I picked up from all the downhill running. Heidi snapped two outstanding pictures of the Old Milwaukee Road railbed which paralleled the nearly forgotten highway which we ran on for most of the day. Those two pictures are two of my favorite scenery shots of the Run. I note these pictures can be seen on the Facebook page. We ate pizza and calzones from Jailhouse Pizza in Harlowton where we stayed two nights. Jen had a super calzone which was so good that she had another the following night. Jen would recall the super calzones from time to time when we ran. 

Day 24 - 38 miles of road, 0 miles of trail
Not much to add to the existing blog and Facebook posts. One thing to note is that when we left our motel and headed about 20 miles west to get back to our start point there was construction work in progress on the MT-191 - the road that intercepted US-12 at our hotel - but there was no construciton on US-12. When I reach our hotel at the 20 mile mark heading east on US-12 I now have to run through another construction zone (a short one at least) on US-12 right in front of our hotel. I had to laugh and shake my head in disbelief that the road was being dug up on the day we were running it. Anyway, later on it was a great relief to get through the nine mile construction zone on this zero turn day. Additionally, the forecast heat was kept in check by cloud cover that broke after we finished running for the day! Unlike most places, I note that the high temperature of the day is often reached at 5:00 PM or even later in Montana, so we are often off the road before the high temp for the day is reached. Yes!

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