FKT: Marissa Shaver - PCT: Bridge of the Gods - Timberline Lodge (OR) - 2023-09-23

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16h 2m 45s

FKT: Bridge of the Gods to Timberline Lodge (southbound) via the PCT - unsupported


Wow. The first thing coming to my mind after I finished this is gratitude. Gratitude for being able to do this — for a whole season without injury (well, I kept re-rolling my ankle, but it also kept improving), for a kick-ass PT, for being able to complete the runs leading up to this that constituted the training to do this. For the total whim (a Saturday gone wrong, where my run got delayed until the evening) that got me out to Table Mountain a couple weeks ago for a night run; without which preparation, this run (at night on Mount Hood) would have been a whole lot scarier. For Derek being available to scout with me last week, which helped (my confidence, spirits, and time) a lot when I was on Timberline at night when it’s difficult to see or find the trail in quite a few places, including three river/stream crossings (one was easy, one was not bad; the Sandy would have been tough to find). For Tin being available and willing to shuttle me, both for my initial scout of the first part of the trail earlier in August and for the big day. It helped so much knowing what to expect for the beginning and end portions of the run. And then the middle part was a surprise… a beautiful, way-more-flats (or at least, uphills that weren’t very steep)-and-downhills-than-expected surprise. And a surprise that I got to see during the daylight. And gratitude for a body that could make it. Holy cow. I was so incredibly surprised how strong I felt still when I was in the mile 40s. I was still running in the 40s. (And then I ran to the finish at mile 50). I think I could have run a little bit more than I did, physically, except I bonked around mile 48, because I hadn’t eaten much for the last several hours (nausea… couldn’t be bothered to eat much more than the last of my gin gins — “ugh - more food? no”). But so surprised I was still running. I didn’t want to very much. I speedwalked a lot of the last five miles. I think what really helped was my nutrition (before I stopped eating - lol). I brought a lot of real food with me this time, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and potatoes, and some gnarly nutrition things I had with lots of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. I could tell such a real and huge difference in how long my energy lasted and how well my muscles worked. And I also think it helped a lot stopping and stretching out and putting muscles in different positions - just for a couple minutes - every 5 miles, starting at mile 5! Thank you to Anna for that idea (the stretching out in general idea). 


Okay. Other things: I found lots of signs of either a cougar or a coyote (indistinct tracks, but definite lots of poop) I think, between Indian Springs and Lolo Pass… Mount Hood/Timberline after dark was somewhat scary, quite a few noises (bear? cat? smaller creatures too) — different feeling from the peaceful Table Mountain night run a couple weeks ago. Not sure exactly why. Maybe partially due to the cloud coverage? Maybe partially due to the lack of comforting night noises (there weren’t the froggies and the cicadas and such). (The rivers were loud). I don’t know. Water - I only needed to stop to filter twice! (Wahtum Lake, and again at some nondescript spring closer to Mount Hood). And both of those were just to top off. 


I can’t believe I did it. It is indeed a different undertaking to go so far… different than even a 30-miler (or 32-miler). Something starting in the upper 30s and going farther … it literally boggles my mind to think of how people go 100 miles, after having gone 50. I was done after 50. My body was also done. (Granted, I did stop eating…). I approached feeling like I was going to pass out a few times between miles 48-50. (I would feel that way every time I pushed and ran, instead of speed walked). That’s how done, haha. (My spirit wanted to run).