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)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nike Women's Half Marathon


finisher's necklace

Months ago I was offered a free entry to the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, so of course I took it. My ego wouldn't let me sign-up for the half, even though I never thought I would run another road marathon. I had every intention on running the full marathon, I mean I had been training for a marathon after all. But after getting to San Francisco and seeing all the crowds at the expo center I started to freak out a bit, I think I have gotten a bit spoiled by trail races where there are a few hundred runners not 30,000+. Then I decided that I would just run the half and enjoy my time hanging out with my sister and friends in San Francisco. 


start line

The race started super early at 6:30am, luckily I was staying at the hotel right across the street from the start. I got to the start line a few minutes before race started, it was cold, the music was pounding and I was surrounded by 30,000 other women (and a few men) who had trained for months for this moment. The energy level and excitement was contagious, I got caught up in the moment. I started jumping up and down and dancing with everyone else, all of a sudden I was super excited to run with all these people.


half marathon route - from my Nike+ app

The route starts in Union Square and travels along the waterfront and the Predidio and ending in Golden Gate Park. For a road race it is a really a beautiful course. There are a few little hills along the way, but nothing like the hills you normally think of when you think of San Francisco. I do have to say I did kill the hills, secretly it did get a bit of enjoyment passing all the people who were walking the hills, but that isn't what it is really about. 

Nike knows marketing which shows along the whole course, they did a great job with the aid stations and on course entertainment. There were ample photographers along the way, which you don't always get in a trail race. My favorite part was getting the Tiffany's necklace instead of a medal. 

Overall I think this is a great road race, the price is pretty high but you get to run in San Francisco with a lot of other women and you get a Tiffany necklace at the end, it is truly a unique experience. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Silver Falls Marathon

A trail marathon in one of the most beautiful state parks in the country (and the largest state park in Oregon), filled with waterfalls-- who could resist? Not us. Ann was at her computer at the moment registration opened, and got us both entry into the Silver Falls Marathon.


Ann running over one of many bridges
It was cold. It rained lightly it rained harder, it hailed, it hailed bigger, and we had a few odd sunny moments. I was a bit disappointed in the beginning with the road sections, and some of the course crossed meadows and strange areas to connect trails. But overall it was very well organized-- the part with the waterfalls was at the very end, when you need the inspiration/distraction most.

Stairs?! At least these are down...
The mud was unbelievable. I landed in one mud puddle up to my knee. And for the first time ever after a race, I was compelled to rinse off my shoes (in the laundry sink at home). My feet were so muddy that washing them in the shower didn't seem to help. I used a nail brush on my feet (another first), and there was still dirt in my toenail beds for the next three days. And the craziest evidence of mud? I had a blister from a few days before, and after this race, it was filled with DIRT. The mud somehow got through my skin. Now how does that happen?!

Running behind a waterfall
This race was a bit slower for us than we thought it would be, but the conditions were pretty bad, and I rolled my ankle on a chunky rock bit, which slowed us down a bit. Overall I enjoyed the race and I would do it again, but not next year.

Ann running behind another waterfall
Big props to my husband, who supported me to run this race even though it was on our wedding anniversary. Thank you, Erik-- I couldn't do it without you!

We're behind another waterfall!

Yet another waterfall

Ann and the fourth waterfall we ran behind

I have no idea why that Swoosh is on my eyebrow


Columbia Gorge Half Marathon 2013

The Columbia Gorge Half (and full) Marathon started in 2009, and this is our fifth year running it. It's a race we won't miss because it's fun, casual, close to home, and the scenery combined with the time of year is spectacularly beautiful.

A rainbow greets us after the initial uphill
We were lucky this year-- dark grey clouds smoldered overhead, threatening rain, but it cleared up and we even had a rainbow. Even luckier, my dad came out from the east coast for his third running in the event.

Beautiful views across the river
This was the first year that the half marathon started in waves, and it made a big difference. There's a small pedestrian footbridge that sways into seasickness when the crowd tromps over it. It happened this year, too, but it wasn't as bad. The big, main uphill from the start to where the road levels off feels less steep every year. It's the long uphill after the turnaround that sneaks up on me!

Sunshine and autumn color
We didn't PR this year, with Ann's painful side cramp and my relentless cough, but we also didn't push, so we felt good afterwards. Plus my dad won a gift certificate to a local Hood River running and hiking store-- can't beat that.

Leif cheers as Grandpa comes into the finish
Afterwards we all went to pFriem for beer and food. It was delicious and made for a relaxing difference from the crowded hubbub of Double Mountain. Plus there was an awesome playground across the street that we made the most of before heading home.

Family-friendly at pFriem