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Showing posts from June, 2012

Running with Friends

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A few years ago when I started training for my first half marathon, I was doing all my training by myself. I finally asked Susan if she wanted to run with me at work. Susan was a seasoned runner; I was a yogi, cyclist and snowboarder but not a runner, though I was able to keep up with her on our 4 mile lunch runs.

Part of me was convinced that she was just running slower to humor me. She had been telling me that every weekend she ran with a great group of people and that I should join them. It took me several weeks (maybe a month) to finally agree to meet them for a run. I was convinced they were going to be super fast, and I would end up turning around and running back to my car.

The run was scheduled for a Sunday morning, and I spend way too much time on Saturday coming with weird scenarios in my head about these "super fast runners" and how they were going to leave me. I was proud of myself Sunday that I got into the car and drove across town to meet everyone. Well that w…

Eagle Creek Trail 22 miler

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I'll start by proclaiming that this was one of the best runs of my life.

It began with two strokes of genius. First, Ann and I took Monday off work to fit in a long run so that we could go out to the Gorge, try a new route, and not be rushed for time. Second, Ann planned the run on Eagle Creek trail (440)-- a scenic, well-graded path past breath-taking waterfalls, uphill for 11 miles (plus an additional 1/10 mile to a lovely waterfall) to our turnaround (about 3,100 ft of elevation gain), at which point it would be all downhill.  As I said, brilliant.


The weather was perfect (mostly cloudy, mid-low 60s), company scintillating (Ann!), and I couldn't have asked for more. We had to walk several places where the path was rocky, narrow, wet and slick, and of course when I wanted to stop and take photos of the gorgeous scenery. I was pretty tired by 11.2 miles when we sat down to eat, but the delicious potatoes Ann made and the vegan brownie I brought really perked me up.

This was …

Girls' Beach Weekend

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We spent the weekend in Manzanita for my sister Courtney's bachelorette getaway, and of course we took the opportunity to run on the beach. The weather was not that favorable, it was a constant down pour most of the time. Susan had to make the comment, "I don't think we could possibly get anymore wet", then the wind picked up and the rain started coming down sideways. Luckily we were only a few 100 yards from the trail head, so we sprinted back to the car.

We parked at Hug Point Beach and ran north 5 miles to almost the end of Cannon Beach and back. The tricky part about starting at Hug Point is you have to clamber up rocks to a barnacle path to reach the other side of the beach. Susan and I weren't very careful on our way back and slipped climbing up the rocks and scraped up our hands. If you are there during high tide it is nearly impossible to cross, so check the tide tables or park on the other side of Hug Point.




Happy Father's day

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Some of our favorite runs have been with our dads! We love you!


Gear :: Gloves

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A few years ago Susan made an impulse purchase that the Nike outlet store, she bought us both a pair of running gloves. The Nike convertible running mittens have become an essential part of my running gear.

They are light weight, breathable and thin, but still do an excellent job of keeping my hands warm on cold days. The best part of these gloves is the pull over flap which helps to keep your hands warm, but running in the Pacific Northwest I use it more to keep my hands dry. When you aren't using the mitten flap it tucks nicely into a little pocket on the front of the glove. They have also held up to almost weekly washings.

Susan lost her gloves on a run recently, I was happy to find that Nike still had them in stock online. I bought several pairs, so we should have happy hands for a few years.




Mt Hood Scramble and on-course ice baths

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The Mt Hood Scramble is one of those races you overhear people talk about and think, Why would anyone do that? We had talked about doing it for years, but no one was ever quite crazy enough to register. Or if we tried, we were saved from our own craziness by the race already being full.

Well this year, our luck changed. Bob, Gretchen, Kevin, Ann and I-- and a few others who, unfortunately, didn't end up running-- registered early and formed Team Beer Pressure.



The race started and ended in the parking lot of White River Snopark, which also served as post-race party central. From there, the course climbed gritty, volcanic ridges and rocky riverbanks; crossed White River's crotch-deep, raging, frigid flow six or eight times; scaled two waterfalls; dipped through countless dry and wet streambeds; scurried across about a third of a mile of snowbanks; balanced across a number of fallen trees; and hurtled through dense forest undergrowth. Oh, and there were a few muddy spots.



At …

Friday 10 Miler

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We are heading to Mt. Hood for the weekend to run the Mt. Hood Scramble on Sunday, and won't be doing our normal long run on Saturday. Luckily my work schedule is a little more flexible on Fridays, since I work from home, so I decided to do a quick 10 miler in Forest Park this morning. I love being able to run in the park on Fridays, it is so peaceful and quite. There was hardly anyone at the Thurman trail head when I arrived, I actually got to park next to mile post 0. Normally on the weekends you don't even see it because there are so many runners hanging around it.  

The Thurman trailhead / Leif, up a connecter trail to Wildwood, is our default not-put-a-lot-of-effort-into-planning route. I decided to run Leif to Chestnut, which is right before mile post 3.5 and right after Nature trail. The trail sign is few yards up the trail, and this time of year it is hard to see. There is a picnic table which a good landmark. Chestnut is about 1/2 a mile long, and a nice steady climb…
Yesterday was our first run of the year for which we've taken a day off work-- and we have about two more each month through the summer. Although yesterday was a standard Forest Park run for us (post upcoming!) I am so excited to plan some of our "vacation runs" farther afield: the Columbia Gorge, maybe Mackenzie River, towards the coast. We are so fortunate to have Forest Park nearby, and even more so to take time off together to get muddy!

Not BPA Free

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Susan and I took Friday off of work to run our first 20+ miler since December 2011. It was her week to pick the route, which she sent to me at 11pm on Thursday night. I looked at it quickly and noticed the dreaded BPA road. We ran BPA a few months ago: it is a long grueling hill, and Susan said we would not have to do it again. So I was wondering what I had done to make her hate me, 20 miles and BPA??? (Ann)
I have to admit I'm a last-minute route planner. So when I took out my maps, mileage charts and trail lists late Thursday night, I went straight to the Germantown-Newberry side of Wildwood, which we hadn't run recently. A beautiful little loop stared back at me from Wildwood to Firelane 15 to Firelane 12 to BPA and back to Wildwood. After our previous <strikethrough>insane</strikethrough> intense experience with BPA, I wasn't pleased to include that trail, but I was certain it wouldn't be as bad as the lower part down to Highway 30.

Overall I was very …

Trip :: Seattle

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The last time I was in Seatlle on business I ran from my hotel downtown to South Lake Union and noticed a map showing a 10k route around Lake Union, I didn't have time to do the whole route then, but made a mental note to do it the next time I was in Seattle.


I went to Seattle over Memorial Day to visit Courtney and ran the route over the long weekend. The official name of the route is Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop. Though it isn't on a trail, it is a really nice route in the middle of Seattle, and I really have a hard time complaining when I get to run around water. You run through Gasworks Park, along the Burke Gilman Trail, and over the University and Freemont bridges.  I highly recommend it if you are in Seattle.

 Gasworks Park
 South Lake Union Park
 The Space Needle
Other random running bits from my trip:

 Outside of the North Face store in downtown Seattle. Can we fit in one more 50k this year??? 
Vegan and Ultrarunner Soctt Jerek was going to be in town the day after I l…