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Showing posts from September, 2013

A new response to flooded trails

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Recently I was thinking about specific runs that have changed my life. One is the Mt Hood Scramble in 2012, which had about eight raging, snow-melt river crossings and eradicated my fear of getting my shoes wet. This came in handy on Friday, when Ann came in to work so we could run the longer version of our normal weekday run one last time before we both left for two week vacations.


Tualatin Hills Nature Park has creeks, a pond and marshy areas, traversed in places by boardwalks. After a heavy rain, some parts flood. We used to pick our way carefully over the slick side rails, but this time we didn't bother. It's no longer a big deal for us to run right through water.

Les Pins Blancs

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After a full week of vacation, I was ready for a run. I usually don't bother to bring running gear with me, but this is also the first two-week vacation I've taken in more than four years. Nowadays that's far too long to do without.

I found a boxed set of walks in Provence, and searched out the one closest to the house where we're staying. Surprisingly, it was right down the road. Even better, there's a surprisingly long network of trails, making for varied options in the coming days.
I was nervous about getting lost, since so many little false trails head off the main one, and you can't always tell if you're going out to a viewpoint and dead end, or just a short alternate path that will meet back up with the main trail. Luckily, there are lots of signs with directions and distances to main points of interest.
Since it was the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, the narrow coastal trail was pretty crowded. I often got stuck behind a couples walking, dee…

Hood to Coast - Van 1

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Let's get this straight: I love Hood to Coast. It sounds crazy to take 12 runners in two vans 200 miles from Mt Hood to the coast, and it is. It's also raucous, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, illuminating, messy LONG event. You really get to know the people in your van. And when two of those people are my dad and my brother, and the rest are friends and/or rad new people, it's well worth the sleep deprivation and  muscle pain.

I ran leg 1 this year-- my ninth-- as I "collect all 12" to make my own full Hood to Coast. It was a great year for it, since #1's second leg had three miles added to it because of construction near the Hawthorne Bridge, which is the usual exchange between runners 12 and 1. I relished the extra distance in the otherwise short set of runs.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the first leg, which is known to cause some injury because of its steep downhill. Obviously I've been running some mountains recently, because it didn't…

Testing the curse

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On Sunday, Dana and I ran 15 together, using an old route from the blog. We ran on Sunday because Dana arranged for a mutual friend, Gretchen, to show us (well, mostly the kids) around her fire station. Dana's son, who's 4, was super excited. Mine, who's 2 and adores fire trucks, was too overwhelmed to really enjoy it.

We had a bit of miscommunication and the run started with me waiting half an hour for Dana after I thought I was about 10 minutes late. It was a nice change of pace for me to sit quietly on a log and watch the world go by.
Since Ann wasn't there, we walked up the steepness of Cleator, and we thought maybe there'd be no "incidents"-- as in tripping, falling, sliding, yellowjacket stings or other injuries. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for Ann) it didn't hold true. Dana tripped twice and rolled her ankle a bit. 

leif - cleator (mm 0 - 5.36) : 5.36cleator - ww : .24ww - aspen (mm 15.5 - 6.33) : 9.17aspen to aspen road : .23aspen road to ca…

Portland Trail Series - Race 1

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A few months ago I signed up for the Portland Trail Series as a way to get more exposure to the Portland Trail / Ultra Running community. There are several groups that get together weekly for runs, but I am such an introvert that I get anxious about not knowing anyone. I figured signing up for the Race Series I didn’t have to be social if I didn’t want to since it is a race, but at the same time I would get around the community which would help ease my anxiety, so maybe I could get the courage up to join one of the “social” runs.
From the Portland Trail Series web site:
The Portland Trail Seriesis a super-cool, low-key series of trail races held in Forest Park in Portland. A total of five races are held every other Wednesday evening from September-October, and each race will cover a different, challenging course, ranging from 4-6 miles. Runners that participate in at least four races are included in the overall Series standings, and doing well in the Series will land you some fantasti…