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Showing posts from February, 2014

Splish splash groan

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In order to train for our big 85k race in New Zealand, we ran 8 miles on Friday to pre-fatigue, and then 30 miles on Saturday. We decided to re-use a route (that was already stolen) with lots of elevation change, so we did the Trail Factor course. It rained hard from start to finish. So hard that the only sound was the splashing of our shoes in the puddles and impromptu streams. So hard that there were lots of downed trees and mini mud slides. So hard that it was difficult to run on the sloshy, slippery trail.  We weren't sure if it was the rain or the run from the previous day, but we were both tired and slowed way down. So slow that after about 5 hours into it, we decided to avoid the run up Firelane 5 and back down Saltzman, to leave out some climb. A little while past that, we realized that we had miscalculated and knocked off too much mileage.  So we added another little up-and-down. I had to walk most of the uphill, while eating the last of my food.

We were both ravenous an…

10 miles in the snow

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We have been pretty fortunate to have a pretty mild winter in Portland so far, it has been so nice in fact that it almost felt like spring. But that all changed on Thursday around 11am, snow started to fall and hasn't stopped much since. Susan and I had a 20+ mile run planned for Saturday, which I wasn't sure was going to happen or if it would just turn into a snowshoe trip.


Since I live a 1/4 mile from a trailhead I did a quick trial run on Friday. The snow was light and fluffy and a lot to run in, though I was wishing I was snowboarding in it instead of running. Forest Park being covered in several inches of snow was gorgeous, my own private winter wonderland. I knew we would have a lot of fun on Saturday, as long as Susan could make it to my house.

Saturday morning I got the text from Susan that she was on her way to my house. Yay! I took a quick glance outside and realized a lot more snow had accumulated over night and that our run was going to be quite a bit different th…

A different start

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"We are going to meet at FL1 on hwy 30 behind la quinta" began the subject line of Ann's email. I'm not sure why, but I wasn't surprised. I had suspected we would start from that odd trailhead in its junky, industrial location. Hidden behind a hotel you wouldn't want to visit and starting with a concrete Jersey barrier, you would never know it's there-- and you certainly wouldn't be tempted to follow the gravelly path-- unless you had taken it before.


We must have talked about the one time we ran it-- with Willie McBride of Animal Athletics, during their Mountain Goat Hill Running series (which, by the way, was fantastic)-- during our long run the previous weekend. Once stirred awake, the memory of that long, rambling, rarely-traveled trail could not be dismissed. Sure, it's a climb, but most of it is rolling and runnable, and it's just so different from other fire lanes and most of Forest Park's trails that it is utterly charming.

Ann'…

Orcas Island 50k

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I signed up for the Orcas Island 50k as a solo run months ago when it looked like Susan wasn't going to be able to come to New Zealand to run the Tarawera 60k with me. I felt that mentally I needed to run a 50k by myself, so I wouldn't be as anxious about running Tarawera solo. The timing of the Orcas Island 50k was perfect, just a little over a month before Tarawera, plus it was being put on by Rainshadow Running. James and his team from Rainshadow Running put on some of the best trail races in the Pacfic Northwest. 
Oh me of little faith, Susan as able to get work, a family vacation and New Zealand all to line up and work out. But by this time that Orcas Island 50k was sold out, so she couldn't join me, and we had also changed from the Tarawera 60k to the 85k, I knew the 8400 feet of elevation gain on the Orcas Island 50k was going to be good training for Tarawera, but it still didn't make it any easier mentally knowing she wouldn't be joining me. I know people …