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Showing posts from October, 2012

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…