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St Helens Ape Canyon- Windy Ridge- Smith Creek- Lava Canyon loop

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Mt St Helens is beautiful, distinctive, and convenient from Portland. But its circumnavigating trail, Loowit, is... well, too much. Despite being shorter, the one time we did it, it took about the same time to run as Timberline around Mt Hood. The rocky lava fields to start, the lack of water, the relentless exposure, and the numerous washouts at the end of our clockwise route made me not want to do it again anytime soon. 

Same trails, new route

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Susan and I have been running 25+ miles each Saturday since covid-19 and have been recycling through a lot of the same routes. I feel like we have gotten a bit lazy about creating new routes, so I decided to create a new route for this weekend. Some of my favorite routes are made up of a lot of small segments, it give more variety than 10+ miles on Wildwood.
This route had enough ups and downs, but not too much. It was a perfect 24 mile route for a Sunday morning. 
fl 1- ww .25 ww- maple 1.56 maple - leif 3.55 leif - hardesty 2.58 hardesty - fl7 .55 fl 7 (gasline) - ww .85 ww - saltzman 3.95 saltzman - leif .50 leif - cleator .73 cleator - ww .24 ww - koeing 1.24 koeing - maple .27 maple - ww 1.2 ww - nature 1.42 nature - fl1 .65 fl1 - leif .53 leif - alder 1.54 alder - ww .84 ww- morak .126 morak - fl1 .10 fl1 - car .08 total 23.99

The privilege of running and other things

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"Ooh child things are gonna get easier Ooh child things'll get brighter Ooh child things are gonna get easier Ooh child things'll get brighter
Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone Someday when the world is much brighter Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun Someday when the world is much lighter"


I have listened to the song O-o-h Child a lot this weekend. It has been a very hard week for this country especially for people of color. I have been at a loss for words and searching for what I can do to make things better. I have donated money to Black Lives Matter, I have posted things on social media, I have talked to friends and family, but there has to be more I / we can do.   I know every morning, afternoon and evening that I go running without worry, that I am privileged. Only a few times in the 10 years I have been running in Forest Park have I felt unsafe.  I know living on a street with 4 trailheads into park with 80 miles of trails …

Hamstring escape loops/ Perfect 23

After my sore hamstrings turned into a cramping pain that curtailed our run the previous weekend, I spent the whole week gingerly trying to run-- and failing. So I did yoga, and stretched, and tried to improve my home office setup for ergonomics. 
When it came time for our long weekend run, I wanted the possibility of doing the whole thing, without being forced to limp 5 miles back to the car (again). So I made a route starting at Springville, using the branches of Firelane 7 to loop around and never get too far away from our trailhead start.
As a bonus, it added up to a perfect 23 miles-- Ann's lucky number! And it did turn out to be lucky. I felt good the whole time and was able to run all of it. 

Start at Springville Spr to WW (22.45) (stay left)-- .33 WW (22.45) to FL 10 (ww 25.43)-- 2.98 (3.31) FL 10 to Leif/Canon-- 1.9 (5.21) Leif (11.17) to Springville (le 9.37)-- 1.8 (7.01) Springville (le 9.37) to WW (22.45)-- .38 (7.39) WW(22.45) to Hardesty (ww 21.62)-- .83 (8.22) Hardesty to FL7…

Nasty in the Middle

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On the weekends we have been trying to avoid the more crowed parts of the park so it's easier to practice social distancing. Well last weekend it was in the 80s and it didn't matter which end of the park we were in or which gnarly firelane we took, there were people everywhere. But all but 1 person were very nice and tried to maintain as much distance as possible. 
Susan and I have been participating in Wyeast Wolfpack's Climb 4 Community, which is a virtual challenge that over the course of 2 weeks you try and run either the distance around or complete the elevation to the top of some of the PWN's most iconic mountains. I've been averaging 50-55 miles each week since Covid-19, so the distance wasn't a challenge as much as the elevation. I decided we should run the NW Nasty, but it's only ~11 miles, so I added ~9-8 miles on either side of it. So now you have Nasty in the Middle.

Cedar enjoying a roll in the grass.








Top 
Saltzman - WW: 1.12
WW - Ridge: 4.89
Ridge -…

Social Distancing while Running

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I have been asked multiple times if I am still (trail) running during Oregon's Shelter in Place orders. The short answer is: yes, I am. But the longer answer is: yes, I am but this is what I am doing to maintain social distance while running.... 

My approach to how I handle social distancing on the trails in Forest Park changes daily / weekly as we get new information and guidance from places like the CDC, WHO, etc. 

I plan on runs taking longer, because I am slowing down and letting people pass. Unless you are on Leif Erikson or any of the Firelanes the trail is probably not 6 feet across, so it's impossible to maintain the recommend 6 feet. 

So what am I doing? I try and run durning non-peak times or I try and run at the north end of the park, which tends to be less crowded. But neither of these guarantee I won't see another human on the trail. When people come towards me on the trail, I don't assume they are going to pull over for me. I move as far off the trail as I c…

COVID-19 anxiety reduction marathon

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A week into our "stay home" directive here in Oregon, with rumors swirling that we'd soon be more strictly confined to our homes, Ann & I decided we needed a LONG run. We started with this 27 mile route, but updated it to avoid the notorious Firelane 4 and ended up with a bit over 26 miles-- basically, a marathon.