Spontaneity and Specificity

Today (Tuesday) around 2:00 pm Pacific Standard Time I was sitting at my computer after my classes thinking of where I was going to go for my second run of the day. Some good options in Forest Park came to mind, and then my mind soon drifted off to the weekend. Where should I go in the gorge? Is there still going to be snow up at the higher elevations? I need to get some big miles in! Who will join me? Anyone? I can go solo if need be...then I remembered that I had wanted to make a trip down to the Bend, Oregon area to run at Smith Rock.

I did a little internet surfing and then realized that fellow ultra runner (who is also running Bighorn 100) Jeff Browning won't be available for running because he's traveling to a 50-miler out of state. What 50-miler was that again? Oh yeah...Silver State 50-miler just outside of Reno, Nevada. So I looked at their website....oooooh....they have a 50k too...uh oh...and Sean Meissner is signed up too!....ooooooh.......let me look at the course. Good climbs (like Bighorn), exposed terrain (also like Bighorn), at elevation, hot temperatures....oooh...and we've been talking a lot about specificity in my exercise classes. This could be a great little simulation for me as a long effort that will be part of a 110 or so mile week. Let me give those guys a call and see what their plans are...

My initial thoughts were, if anything was going to happen, I'd somehow catch a ride to Smith Rock... run a bunch of mountain miles...then camp and roll with these guys to Reno and run the 50k as a stout training run. Well as I researched it more and chatted w/ these guys I realized that there were indeed options of catching a ride to Bend (a shuttle from Union Station to downtown Bend...and they give student discounts too! ;o), but the whole Smith Rock thing was a bit much.

So in a matter of like 30 minutes I talked with Erica, weighed my options, and quickly made a spontaneous decision. I arranged a shuttle bus to Bend, to get picked up by Browning, crash at his place, and leave in the morning with three amazing ultra runners (Browning, Meissner, and Ashley Nordell) for Reno, Nevada and The Silver State 50 miler and 50k just like that! I will have to do some work on the bus on the way down...email some things off when I get there, and definitely do some reading on the shuttle bus back to Portland on Sunday.

We'll be splitting gas four ways and a cheap hotel room Friday night, running lots of miles Saturday...which is calling for about 80 degrees, and camp Saturday night somewhere around the Nevada/Oregon border....ROAD TRIP!!!!! wow...I better go dig out my sleeping bag and tent again! :o)

(Some desert trees out on the course of the Silver State 50)

Jeff Browning has run (and won) Bighorn 100 three times, Sean Meissner has run the 50-miler and has been out there multiple times, and Ashley ran it last year and is running it again this year. It's going to make for some good conversation to and from and it'll be great to pick their brains a little.

I've never been to the state of Nevada...but they better watch out...they don't know that they got coming! ;o) Team Oregon! wooohoooooo!

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

~ e.e. cummings


From the time I could stand upright I was chasing soccer balls around with older children at the fields where my father...

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