Friday, May 20, 2016

The Big D

Katy Trail in Dallas


I flew to Dallas for the weekend to surprise my nephews, and my Dad and Stephanee-- who were also visiting. I grew up in Dallas and had not been back in 7+ years. If someone asked me what I thought about Dallas or Texas I normally didn't have very positive things to say, so I was curious if going back after all this time would change my perception. I also wasn't much of a runner the last time I was in Dallas, so I was eager to see what kind of trail my sister Gretchen would take me to. 

Saturday morning Gretchen and I ran from where we were staying to Dad and Stephanee's Airbnb, to surprise my Dad (Stephanee was in on the surprise). I wish I had a picture of his face when he saw me. I tried to surprise him in November by flying to Michigan for his birthday, but he is nosy and read an email I sent to Stephanee. So this time I was very careful not to send her any text or emails about the visit. It also meant not posting to social media and turning off all location tracking once I was in Dallas, as my dad is obsessed with Friend Finder. It is really hard to be sneaky in the digital age. But somehow we managed to pull it off. 


Me, Stephanee, Gretchen and Dad after running the Katy Trail

Saturday was pretty packed with family activities, and we only had an hour or so to run, so we headed over to the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is a 3.5 mile paved pedestrian path built on an old rail road track. It was the perfect distance for a quick out and back for all of us. 

Sunday morning Gretchen and I had a little bit more time and headed out to some trails. She took us out to Cedar Ridge Preserve, which is 25 minutes from Dallas but feel like you are running in the Texas Hill Country. The trails are very similar to the ones at Bandera, which makes sense why Gretchen did most of her training there. There are only 10 miles worth of trails, but given the amount of time we were going to run it was perfect. I took a picture of the trail map but didn't really look at it, I figured I wouldn't get too lost. 


A sign I never see trail running in Oregon



A pond at Cedar Ridge 

I was pleasantly surprised how nice the trails were and the area in general. When I think of the Dallas metroplex I don't think of trail running, but if you look hard enough you can normally find an oasis anywhere, even if it is only a few miles of trails.

Overall I didn't feel that Dallas had changed that much since I last visited-- though they do have several microbreweries now-- but what had changed was me. I have grown up and Dallas just felt like another city to me. It wasn't about all the memories and feelings from years ago, but more about my family who I was visiting and the time we got to spend together. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Two loops with Anna

On a de facto recovery week, I txted Anna and Leslie to see what they were running this weekend. They were looking for about 8 miles, and I was looking for about 18. I wanted to not end on the uphill (so they'd agree to run with me in the future); starting at the NW 53rd trailhead was just about the best option.

Leslie decided to skip and get some much-needed rest, and Anna and I enjoyed a cool, cloudy run on surprisingly dry trails-- a far cry from the hot weather we've been having and a welcome change. The first loop went by so quickly, enjoying Anna's company. The second loop was more of a slog for me, but it was nice to zone out on the Leif and Wildwood stretches.


Start at Wildwood/NW 53rd trailhead

Wildwood (9.18) to Alder (ww 9.4)-- .22 mi
Alder (ww 9.4) to Leif (1.49)-- .84 mi (1.06 total)
Leif (1.49) to Maple (ww 4.22)-- 2.73 mi (3.79 total)
Maple (ww 4.21) to WW (12.84)-- .86 mi (4.65 total)
WW (12.84) to 53rd (ww 9.18)-- 3.66 mi 
8.27 total


WW (9.18) to Dogwood (ww 8.47)-- .71 mi (8.98 total)
Dogwood (ww 8.47) to Leif (.92)-- .34 mi (9.32 total)
Leif (.92) to Koenig (le 4.57)-- 3.64 mi (12.96 total)
Koenig (le 4.57) to WW (14.23)-- .15 mi (13.11 total)
WW (14.23) to 53rd (ww 9.18)-- 5.05 mi 
18.16 total

Friday, May 6, 2016

All the ups and downs

My son loaned me his lovey for our run-- as long as I didn't get him stinky.

Thought I'd have a little fun and make us hit lots of the trails between Wildwood and Leif. My first iteration was only 20 miles, and by the time I got that far into route-making I just used the easiest method of adding on. So there's a longer stretch on Wildwood from Nature Trail to Ridge. The multiple, short climbs break things up nicely.

Firelane 4 is difficult to run even downhill, so might as well go up it.
I knew the hike up Firelane 4 would be overgrown, but I didn't realize there'd be stinging nettles there, too. Now that's incentive to get up a hill quickly!

Moss creeping in on Firelane 3.

Dogwood to ww (8.47)-- .66 mi
ww (8.47) to Alder (ww 9.40)-- .93 mi (1.59 total)
Alder (ww 9.40) to Leif (1.49)-- .84 mi (2.43 total)
Leif (1.49) to FL 1 (le 3.03)-- 1.54 mi (3.97 total)
FL 1 to Nature-- .53 mi (4.5 total)
Nature to ww (11.83)-- .65 mi (5.15 total)
ww (11.83) to Ridge (ww 20.99)-- 9.16 mi (14.31 total)
Ridge (ww 20.99) to le (8.47)-- .35 mi (14.66 total)
le (8.47) to Saltzman (le 6.20)-- 2.27 mi (16.93 total)
Saltzman to hwy 30-- 1.26 mi (18.19 total)
FL 4 to Maple-- .55 mi ?? (18.74 total)
Maple to Leif (4.21)-- 1.03 mi (19.77 total)
Leif (4.21) to FL 3
FL 3 (le 4.22) to WW (13.64)-- .31 mi (20.08 total)
WW (13.64) to Chestnut (ww 12.14)-- 1.5 mi (21.58 total)
Chestnut (ww 12.14) to le (3.46)-- .49 mi (22.07 total)
le (3.46) to Thuman-- 3.46 mi (25.53 total)
Thurman to Aspen-- .25 mi (25.78 total)
Aspen to ww (6.36)-- .23 mi (26.01 total)
ww (6.63) to Wild Cherry (ww 7.88)-- .1.25 mi (27.26 total)
Wild Cherry to 53rd-- .32 mi (27.58 total)

Lovely spot for a slug nap.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Peterson recovery

Massive trillium

Ann was out of town and I wanted to recover after the tough time we had the previous week at Peterson. My achilles was really been bothering me, and I was worried about how painful this run would feel. I snagged an old 18 mile route starting from the Leif trailhead at Thurman-- that's where I start when I'm feeling particularly lazy because it's the closest to my house, and it's always nice to end on that downhill.

Headed somewhere off-trail

8-ft high stinging nettle selfie

The first 6 miles or so were tough. I really didn't think I was going to make it. I listened to podcasts and tried to ignore the various pains and twinges all over my body. Soon, though, something magical happened. I noticed how amazing the light was this morning. I saw new plants unfurling-- signs of spring that made me smile, look around, and pay less attention to myself and the physical.

Unfurling at the side of the trail

Deep magenta trillium on a leafy platter

And just like that-- the magic of running long-- I was immersed. I made a quick decision and some bad-running-math calculations, and added a couple of miles. Instead of coming back down Dogwood, I ran Wildwood to Aspen and came back to the trailhead along the road. Not even running on the road could dampen my spirits by then. I'm so glad I pushed on and and ended up having a good run.

Fiddleheads (in a sea of nettles)

All dried up, huh, Ann?

Tender fungus

Horses tethered on Aspen Rd

Start at Thurman
Leif - Maple (le 4.22): 4 mi
Maple (le 4.22) to Leif (6.44): 2.66 mi (6.66 total)
Leif (6.44) to Wiregate (le 7.13): .69 mi (7.35 total)
Wiregate (le 7.13) to ww (18.15): .31 mi (7.66 total)
ww (18.15) to Aspen (ww 6.36): 11.79 mi (19.45 total)
Aspen to road: .23 mi (19.68 total)

road to car: .1 mi (19.78 total)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Not listening to good advice






We started just before dawn and got to watch the sun rise


Sometimes you listen to the advice your coach gives you, sometimes you don't. This weekend was one of the times I didn't. Not that I think I know more than Ann Trason, but the weather was perfect and my husband and Susan's husband and son were all out of town, so we didn't have to be home by a certain time, which made it really hard not to run far. Ann Trason suggested that I run ~12 miles, since we are running Peterson Ridge 40 miler next weekend, but instead we ran 30 miles. Luckily I am feeling great the day after the run, now I just need to make sure I take it easy this week, so I don't over do. 


Throwing away trash that was left on the trail 


Portland from the Pittock Mansion 
I did feel really guilty when Ann sent me an email asking me how far I ran and I had to admit I ran ~30 miles. I am the worst client ever (not really, but I feel like it).





We modified this route a little while we were running because firelane 7a from Leif seems to be missing. 

53/ww - pittock : 5
pittock - apsen : 2.18
aspen - road : .23
road - thurman / lief : .50
leif - dogwood : .85
dogwood - wildwood: .34
ww - alder : .93
alder - leif : .84
leif - maple : 2.41
maple - leif : 2.73 (16.01)
leif - fl7a : 1.16
fl7a - ww : .25
ww - keil : 10.8
keil - dogwood : .17
dogwood - ww : .66
ww -53rd : .71 
total 29.76

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Leif-less route

In a very unusual situation for us, we both made routes for this run. Usually when it's my turn, I create one around 11pm on Friday night before the run. So I was proud to create and send this on Friday afternoon. 

Fiery sunrise

But right after I sent it, I saw that Ann had just emailed me a route. Two for the price of one! We decided to use my route this time, and modify Ann's for next week's 30 miler.

The sun peeking up to start to illuminate the trail


This route has the distinction of never touching Leif Erikson, which is a nice change to avoid the rocky gravel and crowds. We started at 6am to get some time in the dark, using our headlamps. We were treated to an amazing, fiery sunrise, none of the expected rain, and a great run.

Ann in the shelter on FL 5


Start at Wild Cherry/Dogwood trailhead 

Dogwood to WW (8.47)-- .22 mi
WW(8.47) to Morak (ww 10.65)-- 2.18 mi
Morak (ww 10.65) to FL1-- .08 mi
FL1 to WW (11.18)-- .33 mi
WW (11.18) to Trillium (ww 18.57)-- 7.39 mi
Trillium (ww 18.57) to FL 7-- .25 mi
FL7 to Gas Line to WW (19.96)-- .8 mi (11.25 total)
WW (19.96) to FL 5 (ww 16.69)-- 3.27 mi (14.52 total) *** nice break point here
FL5 (ww 16.69) to Saltzman-- .87 mi (15.39 total)
Saltzman to WW (16.01)-- 1.12 mi (16.51 total)
WW (16.01) to Wild Cherry (ww 7.88)-- 8.13 mi (24.64 total)
Wild Cherry to trailhead-- .32 mi (24.96 total)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The scenic route to Salt and Straw




success!
Last Thursday Susan sent me a text that Salt and Straw had a new vegan flavor, coconut mint chip whoopie pie. My first reaction was, "let's go". With the next obvious question being when? We both live close to different Salt and Straws, but I wanted to experience this new flavor together. The next time we were going to see each other was for our long run. Then like a light bulb going off over my head, I had the brilliant idea of running to Salt and Straw. The Salt and Straw in NW Portland is only a few miles away from Forest Park. And that is exactly what we did!


selfie with Anna and Leslie, before we took off to Salt and Straw

I met Susan at Salt and Straw Saturday morning, leaving my car there we drove her car to the trailhead at 53rd and Wildwood, where we met Anna and Leslie. We ran the first 10 miles of our 21 mile route with them. Then we ran 11 miles, mostly downhill to Salt and Straw. It started to rain a few miles before we arrived, so we entered Salt and Straw wet, dirty, and stinky but very ready for our post-run treat. 


winning!
Susan asked the very helpful Salt and Straw employee if they had the coconut mint chip whoopie pie ice cream because it wasn't on the board, and he said he didn't think they had it yet. Disappointed Susan opted to buy 2 pints of different vegan ice cream. Well I ran 21 miles to get there and I was going to have a scoop at Salt and Straw. As we were paying the guy who had been helping us came out to tell us they did have coconut mint chip whoopie pie and just hadn't put it out yet. I am pretty sure Susan let out screech of joy. With Susan's 2 pints and the 2 scoops we had, we ended up with 4 different kinds of vegan ice cream from Salt and Straw.



coconut mint chip whoopie pie

Eating ice cream while wet and cold probably wan't the best idea... On second thought, yes it was.


Route:
53rd and ww (9.20 - 14.5) - koenig: 5.3
koenig - maple : .27
maple - leif : .38
leif - dogwood: 3.3
dogwood - ww: .34
ww - 53rd: .71
total: 10.30

53rd - alder : .22
alder - leif: .84
leif - fl1 : 1.54
fl1 - ww : .46
ww - lower macleay (stone house) : 5.68
lower macleay - park : .86
lower macleay park - salt and straw : 1.2
total: 10.8

grand total 21.1

eat ice cream!

total calories burned : none