Monday, July 29, 2013

Stevens Pass to Deception Pass Trail Run

Well, if anyone is wondering why I haven't posted to my blog in a long time here is why:

Etta June Charles (also known as the lion cub, and hereafter referred to as "cub") was born in June of 2012, and since that time I have had considerably less time to blog about adventures. I have still been getting out for outdoor adventures (albeit not as frequently), but not writing about them. Hopefully that will change from here on out, but don't count on it.

Anyway, one adventure that I am scheming and thought was worth writing about is the birthday challenge that I am planning for this year: I want to do a trail run (shuffle?) of the section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass in a day. This is commonly done as a multi-day backpacking trip, but it seems feasible as a one day outing. Actually, it seemed more feasible for the past few months when I thought it was 75 km long, but this past week I actually looked it up and found out that it was 75 miles long. I had been thinking that I might do it this past weekend, but upon realizing the actual length (and understanding that there are no roads along the way where you could bail) I decided that a shorter trail run might be in order (since the longest outing of this nature that I had done previously was more on the order of 20 miles).

So, I decided to do an out and back on the PCT from Stevens Pass to Deception Pass, for a total distance of about 45 miles (22.5 miles each way). Since I would like to go to bed right now I will keep it short, here are the stats:
  • Total Distance: 45 miles
  • Total Time: 11 hours and 1 minute
  • Total Fluids Ingested: 4 litres
  • Total Food Ingested: 4 buns with peanut butter and honey, 3 granola bars, 1 gel
 And here are the things that I learned to do differently next time:
  • Use anti-friction rub on the small of my back to try and stop my pack from chafing
  • Use chamois butter or equivalent (you can guess where)
  • Stop and swim more frequently (I just did this once at the 26 mile mark but it felt awesome and I was re-energized after)
  • Take deliberate sit breaks (I kept moving until the point where I swam, but I think it would have been better to stop to eat even though you can eat on the go)
  • Don't bother bringing sunglasses (I just wore a hat which was fine) or a jacket (just a long sleeve shirt is fine)
  • Bring a third pair of socks (fresh socks feel great, I think your feet deserve a new pair every 25 miles)
  • Bring less sweet food and more savory food (I like sweet food like pop tarts in normal life, but your stomach acts differently when you are really tired which I why I don't think I was able to eat as much as I should have)
  • Don't run any steep uphills (even though you have energy to do so at the start I think things will turn out better if it is conserved)
So, my next opportunity for a crack at this would be in late August since we will be away through the middle of the month. If I have forgotten how terrible I felt at the end of 45 miles by that time (likely) then maybe I'll try the whole thing then.