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Showing posts from 2012

Double Mountain Run

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This wasn't a run to my favorite brewery Double Mountain, but that would make for an interesting 100k.

The morning was cold enough that we both wore our warmest running clothes. I was afraid I was going to over heat since the first part of the run was a nice longish climb up to the Pittock Mansion. Luckily that didn't happen and we were rewarded with views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood, Mount Rainier was even poking out a bit, so I guess was almost a Triple Mountain Run.




 We turned back around and headed down Wildwood to Aspen, to connect with Leif. We weren't even 2 miles in on Leif when we saw mile maker dressed up as a mouse. I love Portland.
We ran Leif to Maple, it had been a long time since we had been on Maple, it felt like running a whole new trail. I loved the gradual uphill to Wildwood. We finished our run by running back to Birch and 53rd via Wildwood and Keil. It was great route for our last run of the year.

Route

house - birch : .30
birch - ww : .22
ww …

Best of 2012

2012 has been real discovery of what it means to be trail / ultra runner. In 2011 we were just running on trails, this year we experimented with nutrition, discovered gaiters, got packs so we could run longer without stopping to fill up water bottles, found a whole community through pod casts, picked up water purification tablets and a first aid kit. We wanted to share some of our favorite things from this year. We are looking forward to continuing our trail / ultra running adventure in 2013, hopefully running longer distances, tapping into the local trail / ultra community, trying and posting more recipes, and who knows what else.

Best Event
Long: PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50k
Epic: The North Face Endurance Challenge - San Francisco 50k
Short: Mt Hood Scramble

Best Disaster
Running out of (potable) water on a 26 mile run in 92 degree heat in the Columbia Gorge.

Best Trail
It's a toss-up between the sheer joy of taking a day off work to run the waterfall-filled wilderness of…

REI gift picks for utlra / trail runners

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@REI tweeted the following:

I then saw +Brooks Running respond, which caused me to 1 up their #giftpick request. And I ended up with a customized gift list from REI. Good picks REI! I own similar items to all the things listed, but I really love the fact that the Brooks gloves have the removable thumb cover, my current gloves don't have that.



Enjoy!

North Face Endurance Challenge 50k-- San Francisco

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We chose the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k in the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco because it's an easy flight, near a city we like, on some fun trails with gorgeous views and likely decent weather in early December.
What we ended up with is a radically different story, which I will preface by saying that both Ann and I enjoyed the run. It was challenging, and we enjoyed it.
Faced with the threat of massive amounts of rain (4-7" each day), North Face was forced to reroute the event. Instead of a chain of three connected loops, the day before the race we were notified that the course would consist of a small inner loop, a larger outer loop with an out-and-back at the far end and another out-and-back right to the start/finish line, and then a repeat of the small loop. There was no updated elevation map, which was perhaps a good thing. The highest elevation section-- a loop through Muir Woods around Mt Tamalpais-- was removed and the course was actually 30 miles rat…

15 mile taper

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One year ago this weekend, Susan and I ran our first ultra marathon distance. We had the brilliant idea while on a long training run for the Lithia Loop Marathon, that a few weeks after the race we should run the full distance of the Wildwood trail, which is a little over 30 miles. We decided to do it over Thanksgiving weekend, since it is between both of our birthdays, most people have a party for their birthdays, we just run 30 miles. After that we knew we had to run a 50k in 2012.

This year we have already ran one 50k, Bunker to Bonneville 50k and today we ran our last taper run before our next 50k next weekend, The North Face Endurance in San Francisco.



start at springville

fl7 - trillium .17
trillium - ww .25
ww - saltzman (18.6-16) 2.6
saltzman to leif .5
leif - cannon (6.20 - 11.1) 4.9
cannon - ww .32
ww - trillium (24.5 - 18.6) 5.9
trillium - fl7 .25
fl7 - car .17
total 15.06

A Wet Taper and Susan's Butt

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Now that is getting cold we are starting to wear our full length running pants, and on one of our recent runs Susan commented that she wanted a pair of pants that weren't flared at the bottom and didn't look like they were from the 80s. I stopped by our employee store to return something and decided to pick her up a pair of running tights. I inner office mailed the tights to her with the note, "I hope these make your butt look as good as that guy on Leif Erickson".

This is our first of 2 taper runs before The North Face Endurance Challenge, we decided to only do 12 miles this weekend since my sister was in town and 15 next weekend. I was sure glad we did the shorter run this weekend, it down poured for at least 4 miles, I haven't been this wet on a run in a very long time, and our rain jackets were pretty much useless. I guess we know the winter rainy running season is here.

~ 12 mile taper
Holman to Wildwood (5.93)-- .76mi
Wildwood to Alder (ww 9.40)-- 3.47m…

A feel-good 26 miler (not BPA-free)

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I will be the first one to admit that I was shocked at how good this run felt-- during and after. It seems like you shouldn't be able to run a marathon distance and enjoy the whole thing. John, Ann's main squeeze, dropped us off at the far end of Forest Park, at the Newberry trailhead of Wildwood Trail. We ran to BPA Road (Ann's least favorite), up to Skyline Drive, then WAY down to Firelane 13, connected to Firelane 15, and back to Wildwood. That extra loop gave us about three miles so that we could end at the Birch trailhead, a third of a mile from Ann's house. Perhaps one of the most helpful things we did for this run was stop twice for mini-meals, at 10 miles and again about 8 miles later. Breaking 26 miles into 10, 8 and 8 made it so manageable. Of course it helped that this route was MUCH flatter than last week's 22 miler, which really wiped both of us out. Looking at the elevation map the next day, we discovered that the 22 miler had 10 miles in a row of …

22 Miler and First Part of Wildwood

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This is our 2nd to last long run before we taper for 2 weeks for the North Face 50k Endurance race in San Francisco.  We had already planned our last long run, a 26 miler, we are going to start at the end of Wildwood and run 26 miles. Since the trail is a little over 30 miles, I wanted to get the part of the trail we are going to miss next week, this week. 
We started at Vietnam Memorial, which is the beginning of Wildwood. It started out a little drizzly, but it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous fall day. 
The route was broken up into 3 ~7 mile segments, the first on Wildwood, the second on Leif and the third on Wildwood again. Breaking up a long run like this always makes it seem a little easier.
We were on Leif Erickson around mile 6.5 and thought we had passed Firelane 7. We were stopped trying to pull up maps on our iphones, when we were passed by half a dozen college guys, one of them had the most perfect looking butt, which made Susan and I both stumble over our words as he…

Columbia Gorge 1/2 Marathon 2012

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This is the 4th year that Susan and I ran the Columbia Gorge 1/2 Marathon and 2nd that her dad ran it. This is a road race, but it has to be one of the most scenic road races around. I think it caps around 1000 people, so it relatively small race and never feels crowded.

I was happy that the race started at it's original start location, last year they bused us 2 miles from the original start so we could avoid a hill. Frankly I like the hill at the start, it gets your heart going, warms you up and makes the rest of the race seem pretty easy, though there are several more, shorter hills.



We were afraid that it was going to rain on us the whole time, and we spend quite a bit of time debating wearing rain jackets or not. Luckily the rain held out, and I was actually pretty warm in my long sleeve shirt. It ended up being a gorgeous fall day, we even got a few rainbows.
 Most of the run is on the historic Columbia River Highway, which is lined with trees changing colors and magnificen…

Double turn-arounds

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After a two-week break (I was in Chicago last week) from big distance, we were up for the longest run since our 50k on September 1st. I decided to take it easy and have us stay on Wildwood to reduce the heavy elevation changes going between Leif Erickson and Wildwood Trails.

It was chilly at the start, with cold rain making us doubt we had enough gear on. After we warmed up, the rain came and went, with a bit of heavy downpour and even sun breaking through (a good time to get out the camera). Then, just at our final mile (including the only real uphill), the rain picked up to monsoon-level, hitting us with tiny, stinging beads of hail and thoroughly drenching us. Ugh! It took me an hour to warm up again, but we are so fortunate that it happened at the end of our run, rather than right at the beginning.

Springville trailhead to Firelane 7-- .13mi
FL7 to Oil Line-- .47mi (.6 total)
Oil Line to WW(19.45)-- .35mi (.95 total)
WW(19.45) to WW(17.5*)-- 1.95mi (2.9 total)

For Dana:
WW (17.5*…

Finding dirt in the Chicago suburbs

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I went to Chicago for a long weekend to visit a friend, conveniently scheduling one of our "shorter" training runs while I was gone. Armed with a few Googled ideas for where to run, along with suggestions from my friend, I ran just over 14 miles in the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.
The park surrounds Argonne National Laboratories and is infamous for having albino deer. Unfortunately, I didn't see any on my run.
The main trail circles 9.5 miles through the park, so I looked for side trails to add extra mileage. Sure enough, there were two of about a mile each that allowed me to loop back and add about four additional miles. Overall (at least according to my Nike+) the route was 14.5 miles.
The trail was very flat but meandered nicely, and the gravel was small enough that it kept a nice pack and didn't feel rocky at all. It was a bit chilly and tough to start, but as soon as I warmed up and the sun shone through, I really enjoyed the peaceful deciduous forest at its g…

podcasts

While traveling in Germany and Austria for 3 weeks I finally got a chance to finish "Born to Run", which I absolutely loved. After finishing the book I was craving more running stories, I starting googling the different runners in the book. That is when I ran across Ultra Runner Podcast, they had interviews with a lot of the people in the book, and even several with my running crush (who is not in the book).

I sent an email to Susan about my find, telling her she had to listen. She replied back with links to Trail Runner Nation podcasts. I was hooked, the whole flight home all I did was listen to podcast, even some non-running ones.

On one of the Trail Runner Nation podcast someone asked the question, "What is your longest training run when you are training for a 50 miler?" Their answer was, 2 50ks. What the what? We are already doing that this year, we might as well run a 50 miler. Susan listened to the same podcast and we both couldn't wait to tell each other…

more than a runner

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Yesterday I was suppose to run 14 miles, with Susan out of town I was too lazy to plan a route, so did my standard Thurman/Leif -> Maple -> Aspen loop with a little out an back to add a few extra miles. About an hour into the run the outside of left knee started to hurt, it did this the week before, but I figured it was because we were running longer than I had in 5 weeks, with 3 of those weeks without really running at all. It started to get so painful as I was running downhill on Wildwood to Aspen that I had to stop and walk a bit, and starting up again hurt so much that I didn't add on my extra few miles. I very rarely cut a run short. I was starting to get concerned, all sorts of (crazy) thoughts starting going though my head, what happens if I can't run? Would Susan still hang out with me? What if I could only run for an hour and not longer? What about the new house we just bought that backs up to Forest Park, that would be a big tease if I couldn't run. I told…

jet lag 13 miler

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Jet lagged? Check.
Haven't ran in 3 weeks? Check.
Only back in the coutnry 36 hours? Check.
Going on ~4 hours of sleep? Check.
Want to run 13 miles? Sure, why not?

I had just got back from Europe and was in a let lag haze, but I really wanted to run. Luckily Susan came up with a route, and drove us to the trail head, all I had to do was run. Despite feeling completely out of it and having no idea what time zone I was in, the run felt absolutely amazing. It wasn't a cure for my jet lag but it sure helped me mentally.

Springville trailhead to Ridge: .33mi
Ridge to Leif (8.47): .75mi (1.08 total)
Leif (8.47) to Koenig (L4.57): 3.9mi (4.98 total)
Koenig to WW (14.23): .15mi (5.13 total)
WW (14.23) to Trillium (WW 18.57): 4.34mi
WW (18.57) to Hardesty (WW 21.67): 3.1mi (12.57 total)
Hardesty to FL7: .21mi (12.78 total)
FL7 to car: .13mi (12.91 total)



Two eights

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With Ann away in Europe, currently on an eight-day hike in the Alps, I went with an "eight" theme and ran one loop with Jay, and another on my own.



Start at Springville Trailhead

Firelane 7 (Oil Line) to WW (mm 19.45): .95 miles
WW to Satlzman (mm 16.01): 3.44mi
Saltzman to Leif (mm 6.2): .5mi
Leif to Hardesty (mm 9.0): 2.8mi
Hardesty to FL 7: .56mi
FL7 to Springville TH: .08mi

8.33 miles total


Round 2
WW (at Hardesty, mm 21.67) to Canon (mm 24.63): 2.96
Canon to Leif (mm 11.17): .32mi
Leif to Ridge (mm 8.47): 2.7mi
Ridge to WW (mm 20.99): .35mi
WW to Oil Line (mm 19.45): 1.54mi
Oil Line to Springville TH: .95mi

8.82 miles total

PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50k

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Let me start by saying that we really wanted to run the McKenzie River 50k, which was this past weekend (Sept 8). I stayed up til 12:01am the day of registration opening just to make sure that Ann and I got in. But entry was still a lottery, and neither one of us made it. We buried our disappointment (after many bitter comments) and moved on-- we planned to either do our own 50k again, or find a nearby race right around the same time.

After a bit of deliberation, we found the perfect race. Only one week before the McKenzie on a lovely trail (the Pacific Crest Trail or PCT), a nearby start in the Columbia Gorge, a small number of runners (150), and put on by a rad-sounding running club (go Columbia Gorge Running Club!): the B2B 50k.

We registered and were content. Fast forward to three weeks before our race. I got an email from the McKenzie 50k stating that I got in. What the what?! Sure enough, Ann got one, too. I wish they had told us there was a wait list, although I wonder if that …

Friday 15 miler

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Dana and I were both headed to Seattle for the weekend, so we met super early Friday at the Thurman Leif Erikson trailhead to get our long run in. Dana was actually the first car at the trailhead. Jay who was also headed to Seattle joined us for the first 3.5 miles.

I seriously love running in Forest Park early in the morning when no one is there, when you can just lose yourself in the park. I wish my scheduled allowed for it more, but I will take it when I can.

Friday 15
leif - cleator (mm 0 - 5.36) : 5.36
cleator - ww : .24
ww - aspen (mm 15.5 - 6.33) : 9.17
aspen to aspen road : .23
aspen road to car : .5 (cool down?)

total 15.5




Gorge Trail 400

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Susan and I took off another day from work to run 26 miles in the Gorge. We had decided to run 26 miles of the Gorge Trail 400, leaving one car at Angel's Rest and having John drop us off 26 miles down the trail. As I started to seriously look at my map, I noticed that trail 400 isn't a continuous trail. Parts of the trail piggyback on other trails, and between Ainsworth and John Yeon State Park it didn't look like the trail existed. Once I realized this wasn't going to be as straight forward as I thought, I called the Ranger Station. It was 6pm on Friday night, they were closed and not open again until Monday morning, which is when we were running. From all the backpacking trip planning I have done, I know to call the Ranger Station early in route planning, this was big miss on my part. Luckily, John and I were going hiking in the Gorge on Saturday and could stop by the Hood River Ranger Station, which is open on Saturday, and check out the "missing" sectio…