Saturday, December 28, 2013

BPA Surprise

After Ann's little surprise for me-- my least favorite uphill trail at the end of 23 miles-- I decided to return the favor.
Ann tries to kick BPA away 
Ann's least favorite trail is BPA, and it's easy to see why. From Wildwood it plummets in gravel and nearly-running water right down to Highway 30. And then you have to get back up the hill! 

Surveying what's to come
Luckily Newton intersects right there, so it's a loop. A scenic, painful, slow loop. Strangely, we saw more people coming up BPA than anywhere else on our entire run. Proving once again that runners are a crazy bunch.

View and reflections from BPA
Still, it was worth it when Ann asked me at the start of the run how far we were going on Wildwood, and I said "To BPA." Then she asked how far on BPA, and I got to laugh a long, loud, evil laugh, followed by "The whole way!" Priceless!

Finishing the downhill
For some reason I don't remember Newton from Highway 30 back up to Wildwood from previous runs, but it was really different-- deep, mysterious, and meandering, with some tiny stream crossings. I'd like to run it again-- maybe next time reversed by going down Newton and back up BPA.

At the bottom of BPA, back up on Newton

Mysterious unmarked marker on Newton

  • Springville to Firelane 7 to Hardesty to WW (21.65)-- .29mi
  • WW (21.65) to BPA (27.45)--  5.8mi (6.09 total)
  • BPA to Newton-- 1.53mi (7.62 total)
  • Newton to WW (26.3)-- 1.28mi (8.9 total)
  • WW (26.3) to Springville (ww 22.49)-- 3.81mi (12.71 total)
  • Springville to car-- .33mi (13.04 total)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter trail running in Bend

Snowy, icy and sunny!  

I was in Bend for the weekend with friends for one of our annual Mt. Bachelor ski and snowboard trips, unfortunately it was too windy and a lot of the lifts were shut down. Fortunately, I brought my running shoes and gear (of course) and decided to try and reach Benham Falls on the Deschutes River Trail, which Susan and I didn't have time to reach last year. I decided to start a little closer this year at the Lava Island Falls trailhead, since John was with me and he was going to hike while I ran. I told him that I was going run an hour or so out and turn around. What I didn't expect was how much snow and ice there was going to be, which slowed me down a lot. I didn't make it to the falls, I was probably a mile and half away when I turned around, but I was still able to get a decent 11-12 mile run in. I guess the falls will have to wait for the next time Susan and I are in Bend together.  

Deschutes River



Mt Bachelor peaking out.

Luckily there were trail signs, or I would of never found the trail in the snow.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nasty ending

Ann called this "Surprise for you at the end." I call it mean. After 23 extremely muddy, slippery miles of rolling hills, a steep uphill climb on Holman Lane. I think Holman is my BPA.

Frozen spillway falls
It was much warmer than last week, but many of the small streams through Forest Park were so hard frozen that they were still mostly ice. Luckily for us, the trail itself wasn't icy, except in a few small patches.

Frozen creek

newtown rd - ww .60
ww - fl5 (26.5-16.5) 10
fl5 - leif .23
leif - maple .15
maple - ww 3.17
ww (14.25) - ww (5.5) 8.75
ww - holman (5.5-6) .5
holman - 53rd .76 

total: 24.16

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Same temperature same milage

blowing snow
When we started our 22 mile run, the temperature outside was 22℉. It didn't take long for the tubes on our water bladders to freeze and for Susan to slip and fall. 

I used an old trick that I use to use snowshoeing before I got an insulated tube to unthaw the tubes, put the tube inside of your shirt so warmth of your body keeps the water above freezing. Another trick is to try and blow back into the tube to remove any excess water, but it wasn't working very well for us. 

Trying not to fall was a little more difficult since the ice was hiding under the dirt. Luckily we could see where people before has had slid, which made avoiding the ice a little easier. We did our part and left enough "warning" marks for the people behind us. 

I think this was one of the first runs where we ran up to the Pittock Mansion and Susan didn't complain about the hills, but only because they were keeping her warm. Unfortunately once we reached the Pittock we turned around and ran back down hill which didn't help our body temperature much and it took us several miles for our hands warm back up and not feel numb. Other than that most of the run I felt "warm enough", but I am thankful that the winter days in Portland aren't normally this cold.  I will leave the below freezing temperatures for Mt Hood and snowboarding. 

frozen!

Susan trying to warm her hands up. 





Hay mixed with gold tinsel = unicorns were here!


Frozen creek

Wall o' icicles

Massive 'cicles

Snowy trail to Mt St Helens
Route:
birch - ww .23
ww - pittock (7.5 - 4.30) 3.2
ww - wild cherry (4.30 - 7.89) 3.59
wild cherry - leif .56
leif - cleator (.26 - 5.5) 5.24
cleator - wild wood .24
ww - birch (15.5 - 7.5) 8
birch - 53rd .23
total: 21.29

Sunday, December 1, 2013

North end loops

We needed 18 miles, and I enjoyed the far north end of the park the previous week on my own. So I mixed in just about the only two little loops you can do up there without adding extra mileage. The best part was throwing the infamous BPA trail into the mix. We only did a quarter of a mile of it, but it's fun to be able to throw the name in there.

99 Luftballons... okay, just one

It's a fire lane bonanza!

Hello, BPA.

Can't resist another one showing Ann's love for this trail


FL 7 to Ridge-- .32mi
Ridge to WW (20.86)-- .4mi (.72 total)
WW (20.86) to end (ww 30.16)-- 9.3mi (10.02 total)
WW (30.16) to FL 15 (ww 28.63)-- 1.53mi (11.55 total)
FL15 to FL12-- .37mi (11.92 total)
FL12 to BPA-- .51mi (12.43 total)
BPA to WW (27.45) -- .25mi (12.68 total)
WW (27.45) to Newton Rd (ww 26.30)-- 1.15mi (13.83 total)
Newton Rd to Parking lot/ FL 10-- .60mi (14.43 total)
Parking lot/ FL10 to WW (25.43)-- .15mi (14.58 total)
WW (25.43) to Hardesty (ww 21.62)-- 3.81mi (18.39 total)
Hardesty to Springville-- .29mi (18.68 total)

Total: 18.68 mi

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Solo Sunday 13

It's been a while since I've been out on Wildwood north of Germantown Road (since there aren't many loops up there), so I decided to venture up there for a shorter solo run (while Ann spent the weekend in Hood River for her birthday). My plan was to start at the Waterline trailhead off of Skyline Blvd, but there was nowhere to park.

"REDO H2O" on the way up Waterline
So I circled back and parked at the Germantown trailhead of Wildwood, ran down to Waterline, and up it to Skyline and then back to Wildwood and out all the way to the end at Newberry before turning around back to the car.

A new one for me-- Waterline trailhead at Skyline Blvd
That northern section of Wildwood was amazing. Recently groomed, free of leaves, mud puddles, virtually spotless. There were a few sections of ice in the shade, but it wasn't slick at all. There were lots of people out, especially with dogs, enjoying the rare November sun and peerless blue sky. Heavenly!

Hello old friend, BPA
Original route (mileage is the same):
  • Waterline to WW (24)-- .42
  • WW (24) to end (30.16)-- 6.16 (6.58 total)
  • And back (13.16 total)


Adorable ghosty mushrooms on a dead tree

Chunky frost

Wildwood's end

The sun's low zenith

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunny Sunday 20 miler

We ran on Sunday do to spousal schedule conflicts, which meant that we got to go longer. Twenty miles! Our friend Sally-- the monster who had never run more than 9 miles but joined us once for 15-- ran the first 10 with us. It was a gorgeously clear, sunny day.

Clear view of St Johns Bridge. More impressive in person.

One end of Maple-- we did all of it

Tallest mushroom stems ever. Who picked them?!


Saltzman - Leif 1.62
Leif - ridge 2.25
Ridge - wildwood .44
Ww - Saltzman 5 - total 9.32
Sally runs Saltzman back to car 1.12 for a total of 10.44
Ann and Susan 2nd half
Saltzman - Leif .50
Leif - maple .23
Maple - ww 3.07
Ww - birch 6
Birch - 53rd .23 - total 10.03

Grand total 19.35

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bridesmaid run

"wedding cake toppers" that Susan made
It's my wedding weekend, and how do I entertain my out of town family? By running of course (and drinking beer). My step-sister, Gretchen and step-brother Noel had never been to Portland, so I was excited to show them where I spend most of my time running, especially Noel since he is a trail / ultra runner too. The first day everyone but Noel and I stuck to Leif, but he ventured off Leif with me for a few good climbs up to Wildwood and on Wildwood. Noel is from Texas, so Forest Park is pretty hilly for him, but he was able to keep his pace up.

Dad, Gretchen and Stepanee on Leif Erickson

Gretchen and Stepahnee

Noel and me

1st day of family running

On my actually wedding day the only one from the family who would get up and run with Susan and me was Noel. And since I wouldn't let Susan plan a bachelorette party and I didn't have any bridesmaids, we somehow ended up calling the run the "bridesmaid run". We schemed how in a few years we were all going to run the Tahoe 200 together. It was a lot of fun to have a 3rd person to talk about crazy running ideas with. I couldn't of asked for a better way to spend my wedding morning.

Noel on the Bridesmaid run

Susan and Noel making their way up the hill 



Wild Cherry to Leif (.31)-- .88mi
Leif (.31) to Maple (le 4.21)-- 3.9mi (4.78 total)
Maple to Koenig-- .38mi (5.16 total)
Koenig to Wildwood (14.23)-- .28mi (5.44 total) 
Wildwood (14.23) to Kiel (ww 9.18)-- 5.05mi (10.49 total)
Keil to Dogwood-- .17mi (10.66 total)
Dogwood to WW (8.47)-- .66mi (11.32 total)
WW (8.47) to Wild Cherry (7.87)-- .6mi (11.92 total)
Wild Cherry to 53rd-- .32mi (12.24 total)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Foggy solo 16

While Ann glammed it up at the Nike San Francisco Women's Half Marathon I experienced the foggiest run of my life. The fog was so dense that I kept having to wipe off my face and squeegee my eyelashes-- something foreign to me because my hat usually keeps my face dry from the elements.

Driving on the Fremont Bridge... where's the bridge?
The moisture in the air also imparted a very slick surface to the dry, packed dirt and leaf-covered rocks. It was so slick and difficult to see through fog and fallen leaves that I ran a bit funny on Maple Trail, trying not to slide on the narrow, banked sections. Lifting my feet higher and placing them more carefully took a big toll and I had some nasty sharp hip pain. It was also exhausting.

Dense fog adds mystery
It made me worry about the Columbia Gorge Half the next weekend, which is our one fast (for us) road race of the year. And then the potentially bodacious Silver Falls Marathon the next weekend...

A log full of bright polkadot mushrooms
To save you the suspense, I was fine. It wasn't the distance and the pain didn't last-- it really was just the odd way I ran in that slick fog, which never really dissipated the whole day. Sure it's not as pretty, but I think I'd rather have good ol' rain!

Sun trying to break through

Fog condenses on a spiderweb

Broken grey-cap mushroom

Parasol mushroom

Here's one way to deal with one of the many recent downed trees

Sunbeams and fog near the end


thurman to maple (LE 4.22)-- 4.22
maple to Leif (6.44)-- 2.66 (6.88)
Leif (6.44) to Saltzman (LE 6.20)-- .24 (7.12)
Saltzman to WW (16.01)-- .5 (7.62)

WW 17 1/2 == break

WW (16.01) to Wild Cherry (WW 7.87)-- 8.14 (15.76)
Wild Cherry to Leif (.31)-- .56 (16.32)
Leif (.31) to car-- .31 (16.63)