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Showing posts from July, 2014

Running on empty

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Ok, running on empty might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it sure felt like it. Susan and I decided in the middle of one of our highest mile weeks (~70 miles) to start a 10 day detox. We decided to try Dr. Mark Hyman's The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox because it had excellent options for vegans and vegetarians. In a nutshell you cut out sugar, grains, caffeine, alcohol, dairy and gluten. There wasn't any real reason I/we needed to do a detox, we have had several friends do similar detoxes and post about awesome they felt, so I was really just curious how I would feel.

None of our friends who did similar detoxes run the amount of miles we do, so I wasn't sure what we would do about food for our 23 mile run on Saturday. The first 2 days of the detox we were both hungry and a little irritable, Saturday was day 3 of the detox, I was hoping my energy level would be up by then. Back to our food dilemma, we normally take tortilla wraps with peanut butter or avocado or som…

Pre-fatigue 10

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Ann needed to run Sunday this week, so we decided to run 10 miles in order to pre-fatigue-- but not over-fatigue-- before our day-off run on Monday. Luckily, Anna posted on our running group that she was looking to run 10 miles on Sunday, so we joined forces. 
Not pictured here are Sara and Dana, who also joined us but took a different route back. It was so good to run with these awesome women and trade some stories. Hopefully they won't hold this hilly route against me...

Start at Springville trailhead.


Springville to Trillium-- .13 miTrillium to WW (18.57)-- .25 miWW (18.57) to FL5 (16.69)-- 1.88 miFL5 to Leif (6.58)-- .23 miLeif (6.58) to Maple (le 6.44)-- .14 miMaple to Saltzman-- 1.18 miSaltman to Leif (6.20)-- .83 miLeif (6.20) to Gas Line/FL7A  (8.03)-- 1.83 miGas Line to WW (19.96)-- .28 miWW (19.96) to Springville (ww 22.49)-- 2.53 miSpringville to car-- .33mi
Total 9.61

West Highland Way (or how to run an ultra without running one)

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In June I went to Scotland with my Dad and step family to hike the West Highland Way. The West Highland Way is one of Scotland's most popular multi-day walks, it is ~100 miles from Glasgow to Fort Williams. The hike starts in the low-lands but most of the hike is in the Highlands. You pass quite a few mountains, spend a few days walking along the forested shores of Loch Lomand. Towards the end of the hike the trail becomes more remote without a lot of options for shelter or escape routes, in case of bad weather or injuries. Luckily we had good weather our whole trip and never found the trails too crowed. Most people do it in 6-8 days, we decided to do it in 7 days. Most days were around 13-15 miles, but we did have one 9 mile day and a 20 mile day. 

I decided to run at least one leg of the West Highland Way, of course I picked the longest day (20 miles). Luckily all we had to carry were day packs, the rest of our luggage was transported to our next hotel. After years of backpacking…

Ecola Point to Tillamook Head

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I spent the long, Fourth of July holiday weekend in Manzanita with family. Usually I run Cape Falcon, but this time I decided to switch things up a bit and run up Tillamook Head in Ecola State Park. My husband, his brother and his father came along to hike, and my brother-in-law's wife, Shetha, joined me for a run.



The problem is that the tons of other people at the coast for the same reason had the same idea. The park was packed. So full, in fact, that we had to park at Ecola Point instead of Indian Beach, where I normally start. Because of that, we ran a mile and a half of the Coast Trail I had never been on before-- up and down bluffs, through forest and past amazing sea stack views.



Once at the Indian Beach picnic area, we (accidentally) took the old road up. It's not exactly scenic, but it's shady and cool(er), and it's graded so it's runnable. At the top of Tillamook Head, we took in the view of Terrible Tilly before continuing north on the Coast Trail.



Once…

Mental toughness training

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At the beginning of June Susan and I started training with Willie from Animal Athletics in preparation for our 50 mile race in September.  Willie provides us a monthly training plan and meets with us twice a month for an hour long training session. This past Friday was one of our training sessions and in an email from Willie confirming our session he wrote, "I'm glad were good for Friday, it will be a real doozy of a session". This statement made Susan and I both a little nervous. 

We met Willie on Friday and chatted a little about his recent fast packing trip in the Sierras and then instead of heading into Forest Park to start our training we headed towards the hilly neighborhoods of NW Portland. We started out jogging slowly up and down some hills to "loosen up", then we headed up some stairs and up a few more hilly roads and then Willie stopped and looked up at house. Quickly I realized he wasn't looking up at a house but instead a hidden staircase. This …

Annual 4th of July run

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Since this is the 2nd 4th of July weekend for me to run the Ramona Falls - Bald Mountain loop, I guess it makes it an annual run! This year I added on a few more miles by continuing on the Timberline trail to do an out and back before turning onto the trail to Bald Mountain. When I got back to the trail junction to Bald Mountain I ran into Chris, Karrla and Oscar!




The wild flowers were out in full bloom, Mt. Hood was as majestic as ever and I never tire of the of the alpine views from Bald Mountain down to the Muddy Fork river. The 2 Muddy Fork river crossing were a bit tricky but I had my hiking pole which made it a bit easier once I found a good crossing point.

I am looking forward to the run next year and maybe making it to Mc Neil Shelter.










Eagle Creek - Ruckel Creek loop

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Susan and I took a day off of work, just before I headed out of the country again, to run a 27 mile loop in the Columbia Gorge on Eagle Creek to Wahtum Lake and Benson Plateau and down Ruckel Creek.

I few years ago we ran a 22 mile out and back on Eagle Creek and ever since then I have wanted to run the loop. I backpacked the loop years ago and had awful memories descending Ruckel Creek and was hoping running it would make it go by quicker. Ruckel Creek is ~4 miles downhill with a descent of ~4000 feet, but more about that later.

The weather was forecasted for possible rain in the afternoon, but in the low 60s most of the day. Perfect running weather. I didn't anticipate that I needed a long sleeved shirt until we got to the trailhead and got out of the car. Luckily Susan brought one and arm sleeves, so we were all set and ready to go.
The Eagle Creek trail is one of my absolute favorite trails close to Portland, in the first 7 miles you pass at least 6 waterfall, each one them u…