Guest Post by Lewis (lowercase) Taylor
Hi. lc, here. I’ll be conducting the juices in Thornley’s absence for the next seven days. In case you haven’t heard, LB, Bili, TW, MB, GM, SLF, et. al., have headed off to the annual Michigan Bluff Training Camp. I’ve been to this camp before. It’s a blast. Basically, you spend your days running on the Western States course, eating, drinking and watching WS videos. Then you sleep in and do it all over again. Rough life! I wish I could go, but unlike Thornley, I’ve got a life outside of running.
While the boys* are off running the canyons, Cal Street, the Thumb and all the other WS greatest hits, I’ll be here in the Yooj taking my kid to school in the baby jogger, pounding out the miles on the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Bike Path and living vicariously through those guys.
I’ll be taking reports from the field and ghost writing a collective training log for the OR crew. I’ll also be conducting a juicy experiment of my own as I attempt to simulate the MB Training Camp here in Eugene, a city a certain barefooted one concluded was a crappy place to be trail runner. I disagree, but what do I know? My goal will be to capture some of the spirit of camp without actually being there. Hopefully I can inspire myself to run a little bit harder this week by deluding myself into believing I’m right there in Michigan Bluff.
*Even though GM is most definitely not a dude, Thornley assures me I can refer to her as just one of the guys during training camp. Laurie Thornley, aka “The Queen,” is currently the sole female and the only smart one in this confederacy of dunces.
Day 1: Saturday, April 25
This might be the only day that I manage to run more miles than the boys. While they’re planning a 6-miler from Foresthill to Michigan Bluff, I’ll be sweeping the first 55k of the Capital Peak 50 Miler in Olympia, Wash. Since I can’t replicate their runs on a daily basis this weekend, my goal will be to equal their two-day mileage total. Today, at least, I kick their asses.
What They Ran: A few camps ago, Bili and LB decided to make grand arrival in Michigan Bluff by running there. Sure, it’s a bit pretentious to come gallivanting into town like you’re, well, Lord Balls, but it’s also Hella-fun to get out the car, strap the shoes on and run right into Volcano Canyon. Along the way, you get to see Jurek’s dead dog, Chez Trason-Anderson and the location of the old MB whorehouse.
What I Ran: Up, down, side to side, big up, big down in Capital Forest near Olympia, Wash., at a blistering 20-minute pace.
I swept the Capital Peak course for RD John Pearch and got some good time on my feet thanks to two older dudes who had tons of spirit and not much leg speed. I came through the 19-mile point in just under 6 hours.
Their total distance/time: 6 miles/1 hour.
My total distance/time: 34ish miles/8:25.
What they saw: Horses.
What I saw: Lots of orange ribbons.
Camp Conditions: LB said he felt pretty crappy running after all that time in the car. Reports were that GM was strong. Bili, who arrived a day early, ran out to meet them halfway. The temps were in the 50s with reports of snow on the course, earlier in the week. On the menu for dinner was spaghetti with salad. Bili’s brownies earned high marks.
“They were sweet and chewy,” Thornley said. “They were probably about the seventh best brownies I’ve had in my life.”
Day 2: Sunday, April 26
The boys have a training camp classic planned for today: Robie to the River and back to the finish. It’s 38 miles of pure WS Love and a great way to put you in the spirit of camp.
I’m going to try to replicate it as closest I can in the Yooj with about an hour to do it.
What They Ran: Meandering trail through some of the most crucial miles of the WSER. Even though “out” section of this run follows the course backwards, by the time you get to the “back” you’re starting to feel all beat down and Western States-ey. A great race simulator with epic aid stations staffed by the womenfolk/nappyheads/Queen. The tradition of taking the Way Too Cool 2008 shortcut route on the “out” continues.
What I Ran: Spring Boulevard to the Willamette River and back to the South Eugene High School Track. Okay, so this was a pretty lame attempt at a simulation, but Spring has that sleazy teen make-out spot feel that Robie does and running around Capital Drive to Hendricks Park feels a lot like the streets of Auburn at the end of WS. Finishing at S. Eugene High was a no-brainer.
Their total distance/time: 38 miles/7 hours for the A group, 7.5 for the B group.
My total distance/time: 9 miles/1:09.
How I stacked up against them: I ran 43 miles to their 44, but I beat Thornley split (53 secs.) for 250 meters on the track by six seconds.
What they saw: Wild turkeys, Jon Olsen and a yo-yo smuggler with a French bulldog who was hot for Monkey Boy’s visor-wearing business.
What I saw: Frisbee dork, hippie bonfire, Pre’s Rock.
Camp Conditions: Rob Cain, aka SLF/Perma Premie, “daddied it up” and ran great (sub-18-hour) splits all the way to the finish. A goal for this year’s camp will be to put some weight on SLF, who is still recovering from double-hernia surgery with a chaser of Rogue River Giardia. The Queen brought much-appreciated Dibs ice cream treats to the Hwy. 49 aid station, Dan-O ran a 6:30 mile @ the track to impress the ladies and round out a 100-mile week and Pete’s Diner was the post-run venue.
SLF’s weight on day 2: 125 pounds.
On the camp schedule for tomorrow: 12 miles easy peasy.
As a result of my 4th place at AR, I was not invited to the 2009 Michigan Bluff Training Camp. Maybe next year. What this means is that I am available to join you in your camp simulation. Great post. Keep them coming.
You are cordially invited to attend Eugene Training Camp ’09.
time to break out the paper plates like i did last year in iowa and simulate the ws course by writing the famed names on the plates, the plates will make you feel oh so western statey after the run you can enjoy lunch using the plates….
@Cougarbait – Great idea, CB. You must have had some big lunches. I think I’ll use keg cups instead.
1. could you please inform the masses of your obvious infatuation with mr. selleck? i just don’t understand it to tell you the truth.
2. i was a bit disappointed that you weren’t wearing a pocket square in the photo. i needed to explain what a pocket square was to these heathens here in michigan bluff.
3. what is the reference to 1984 in the picture? most of the guys in the photo weren’t out of puberty then. our shorts would have been much shorter. on reflection, i’m not sure some of these guys are yet out of puberty.
4. your staging of the picuture was great with the exception that you forgot the snifter of brandy.
Thanks again for letting me tag along guys! I had a blast catching up with the bark eating, non wasp juice eating, tanned deficient Oregonians. One of the prized moments of the day was Jeff R’s turf eating fall on a stretchiously flat well groomed dirt section on Quarry Road. He found “The ROCK” on this entire road. Sorry Jeff. I had to do it. By the way, I hope you found your Ipod.
I also must add, that I am currently going on a diet after meeting SLF. I feel fat now and I am have negative self-image. For the next week, I am having wasp juice for breakfast and lunch, then I will end the day with a Slim Fast for dinner.
Have a great week guys and I will see you for the Peace Run. I am sure there will be some smack talking going on then. Let the Wasp Juice material begin to accumulate.
@lowercase – lc, I too was left behind. But, might I offer the gentile-men of the Eugene Training Camp 09 the crewing services of this womanfolk/nappyheaded/Princess (as there can only be one QUEEN)? I have culinary training and can supply turkey, cheese and advocado sandwiches; brownies; pop; water; milk; GU; some miscellaneous facts about what Bili calls ‘crap music’ and last week the Coburg Store had Dibs on sale………….you may contact my cell. 3BU – FYI, Disco? its in!
You’re a brave, brave man going down there with that group for a week, SLF. It’s like you can watch the collective maturity level drop on a daily basis. By day eight it will be all fart jokes and dick references. Your constructive criticism of my candid photo in front of the oil du Selleck is well taken. What’s a pocket square?
@Jon Olsen – You’re a good Californian to run with the Oregonians, Jon. Like a marble, Bili stops rolling on the flat sections. Too bad he’s not round. Then he wouldn’t keep falling on his face like that.
@Jon Olsen – p.s. WTF does “stretchiously” mean, Jon?
@3BU – OK, 3BU. I’ll take you up on your offer. Meet me at South Willamette Trail and Patterson Mountain Road tomorrow at 4:30 a.m. Forget the Dibs, bring coffee!
@lowercase – Rats! If only I’d written sooner. Have you considered running much later or working nights? Work has got me busted w/ a 13-15 hr shift tomorrow broken into 2 parts.
Alas, since Bili is my trophy husband (aka/husband with a trophy) I’ve got to work and toil…work and toil.
Offer still stands and might I suggest services for Thursday (before 1500 or after 0000) or anytime Friday, Saturday & Sunday? Have cooler – will crew.
since you are at the helm this week and living out your “letters to editor” fantasy which I know all you reporters have, hence your masterpiece theater pose and writing jacket…is william f. buckley in the house???….can i post some more inflammatory guest blogs?
how to piss off elite runners in one easy step….
how to paint a bull eye on your back…
what is the median income of ultra runner?
why are 99% of ultra running blogs nauseatingly boring and narcissistic?
and one more thing…didn’t you show up late miss the start to your first ultra???? yeah…that was you at the mile turnaround on the hill at hagg 3 years ago…i was the dude turning people around….
Sorry about that:) I meant treacherously. Of course I still probably spelt it wrong. I am just taking my UTEP quality education for a spin.@lowercase –
@3BU – Yeah, what’s wrong with this picture? Husband with a trophy is away reverting to his old third grade self while you’re working doubles. I’ll be sure to give Bili a punch in the quad when I see him.
@Jon Olsen – No worries, JO. I think you invented a word (like Fred Durst when he said “agreeance” instead of “agreement”) and I kind of like it better than the original.