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Showing posts from 2015

Doing the (North) Nasty and then some

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Yassine of Animal Athletics decided to do one last long training run in preparation for his 3rd HURT 100 and invited a lot of the Portland trail running community to join him. His route was 4 loops of the "North Nasty", which is ~11 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain. 


Last year Animal Athletics did several group runs they called the "Nasty Series", for one reason or another Susan and I weren't able to make any of the runs, well technically we tried to make one, but we were late. This time since Yassine was doing loops, we knew we could start any time and he would eventuallycatch up to (pass) us. 

We decided to do 1 loop of the North Nasty and add on an extra "easier" 9 miles to give us a good 20 miler. 



We really enjoyed seeing so many people running the route and chatting with everyone, even if was just passing and saying, "are you doing the Nasty?". Yassine and several other fast runners eventually did catch up and pass us, but not before…

Washed out Wildwood

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It was a dark and stormy morning... day... week... month... This December has turned out to be a really wet month, even by Oregon standards. We have had quite a bit of flooding and road closures this week, so I shouldn't of been surprised to see so many parts of Wildwood flooded and washed out, but I was. 

I ran about 18 miles and every 2 miles or so there was either a wash out, mud slide, or over flowing streams. I can't ever remember seeing so much damage on the trail at one time. I had to stop taking pictures because I was so wet and cold, my fingers just wouldn't function. I don't think I have been that wet running since the The North Face 50k in California in 2012, which I am pretty sure was the last time it rained that hard in Northern California. Luckily Wildwood isn't as much of a disaster as the trails during The North Face 50k, but they are not far off if the rain doesn't let up some. 

The pictures below are between Springville and Birch on Wildwood. Th…

Hawaii Four-O

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Seven months ago I decided I didn't want to spend my 40th birthday at home, I wanted to go somewhere with just John (my husband) and relax. As much as we travel it had been a few years since just the 2 of us had taken a vacation together. I looked at how many airline miles I had and based on that and wanting to go somewhere that wasn't cold and rainy, I picked Hawaii (the Big Island). Added bonus, we hadn't been to the Big Island before, so I was excited to be able to go somewhere new. 



What I didn't know at the time was, shortly after booking that trip, I would spend the next 6 months interviewing / looking for a different job. I had a co-worker who took another job at a different company, who wasn't really looking but responded to an inquiry on LinkedIn and ended up with an awesome job working from home. I really didn't have any intention on looking for another job, yet alone leaving the company I had worked for for 12+ years. But one day after coming home fro…

Pre-birthday, semi-celebration run

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As we've done the past few years-- with our birthdays only six days apart-- we wanted to run our age in miles on Wildwood trail. Since we're three years apart, we have a bit of wiggle room on the total distance. This year, however, is a milestone birthday for one of us and we wanted to run that particular number.

Travel plans have us apart and out of town for nearly three weeks around our birthdays and the conveniently long Thanksgiving holiday, so we decided to postpone the official birthday run. Instead we ran all of Wildwood, from the zoo to Newberry Rd (simply because we hadn't done that direction since 2011) on Saturday, before Ann left on her trip the next morning.


I parked at the Newberry terminus, then John and Ann picked me up, and John dropped us off at the zoo. To cement his spot as Top Trail Spouse of the year, John then parked the car at the 53rd Ave trailhead so we would have an aid station at mile 9, and he hiked home. Now that's service. Thank you, John…

Michigan in the Fall

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Last weekend I flew to Michigan to surprise my dad, which ended up not actually being a surprise since he read an email I sent to my stepmom about coming. It was still nice for him to pretend to be surprised. As we normally we do we spent each morning running on the trails around Gun Lake and Yankee Springs Recreation area and the afternoons trying local microbrews. 

Every summer when I visit we run these trails, I have posted about them a few times, but this was the first time I have been on the trails in the fall. The trails felt so different with all the leaves off the tress and being able to see a lot more of the surrounding area. 

Every time I start to get a little burnt out on running the same trails all the time, the seasons change and the trails start to feel different and new again. This is one of the things I really love about trail running. 

I am ready for all the changes this Winter is going to bring us. 








Running Unplugged

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It's been a long time since I've run solo and in silence-- no talking, podcasts or music to distract from my thoughts. But Ann was in Michigan, and I didn't realize I forgot my headphones til I was almost to the trailhead. I frantically txted her husband to see if I could stop by their house an borrow a pair. Moments later, I decided the silence was just what I needed and rescinded my query.


I had meant to start out at the Thurman end of Leif to do my standard Ann-less loop, but drove on autopilot to Birch. So instead I did the 18 mile loop Ann picked for us the previous weekend, with a few added flourishes-- like going up Morak on the way out and Keil on the way back.

With four hours of quiet ahead of me, I was nervous I would bail early because the time would go slowly and make the run feel like a drag. But the first hour whizzed by. After a recent, impromptu trip to Florida for a family issue, I had a lot to think about. I consciously steered my thoughts to specific top…

Runicorns' Hood to Coast 2015

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This year's Hood to Coast was singular, if only for the weather. With gusts of wind up to 70 mph, rain from all sides, and lots of lightning, it was very unusual for August in western Oregon. Despite that, we had a great time in van 2, did some running we were all proud of, and reveled in our new team name: after years of being the Honey Bucks & Buckettes, we are now the Runicorns.

We were lucky to get a team this year after last year off; my dad and brother, Ted, came out for it and Ann's dad, Fred, and step-brother, Noel, did too. At the last minute her step-sister, Gretchen, was able to join us, which meant that Noel got a reprieve from running to help out as one of our required three volunteers. Our team start was 6:45am, the earliest I've ever had, which meant that van 1 had to get to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood at a painful pre-dawn hour.


Gretchen kicked butt as our first runner, but Fred wasn't feeling well after his first leg, so he swapped out with Noel. W…

Our first DNS

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Susan and I ran our first 100k in May and really wanted to run another 100k or 50 mile race in the fall, but didn't want to travel too far for it. Surprisingly there aren't many in Oregon or Washington that time of year. Despite having a great summer of adventure running / circumnavigating mountains (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt Rainer), we still wanted more. 

I was in Italy about to start a hike in the Dolomites when I checked Facebook and noticed that Candice Burt posted she was going to add a 100k the same weekend as The Bigfoot 120 miler. There wasn't a lot of information about the run yet, except it was the first weekend of October and it was a shorter version of the 120 miler. The timing was perfect for us. I immediately emailed Susan and told her she had to sign us up for it, since I would be without cell coverage when registration opened up. This was our first mistake: signing up for an inaugural race without more information. 


After I got back from Italy more inform…

A Marathon for Susan

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Wow, it has been a long time since we have posted anything. This doesn't mean we haven't been running, since our last post we circumnavigated Mt. Rainer and Mt. Hood and ran Hood to Coast, post are forthcoming. 


As we normally do on Friday afternoon we text about how far we want to go on Saturday and Susan wanted to run 26 miles this week. It was my turn to come up with a route, so I decided to add on a little more so we could run at least a marathon. I mean if you are going to run 26 miles, what is another .2? Not that it really matters, but there is something fun about thinking you planned and ran a marathon with 12 hours notice. 

We both had a new pair of Altra's we had been wanting to try, but I didn't want my first real run in them to be 26+ miles. I had us start at NW 53rd and Wildwood, so it was east to stop by the car part way through the run and change shoes and get more water. 


The first part of the run we ran to the Pittock Mansion and back. The second half we …

A flat 20 miler and a newly closed trail

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Still recovering somewhat from our Mt Hood circumnavigation, I went back through the blog looking for 20 mile routes and found one that was as flat as I could make it. Whoopie!

As we ran down Gas Line, the main, sketchy-ish trail straight down to Leif had a big branch across it. We decided to follow the little, unobtrusive sign to the left, pointing "to Leif Erikson." That trail has had lots of work recently. They're obviously revamping it to be a nice, new, switchbacking and gently descending replacement for the other. When we got to Leif and passed where the old trail joined, we were greeted with a surprising sight: the whole thing had been filled in with branches. That trail is definitely closed!

We decided to deviate from the route after Maple, because 2 1/2 miles on Leif just sounded like too much. Instead, we continued up Maple to Wildwood. We did some quick trail-math and realized that the overall mileage would be just about the same. It was a nice little improvisat…

Mt Hood Circumnavigation - take 2

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It was time to truly run all the way around Mt Hood. Two years ago we mostly did it, but due to difficulties at the Eliot washout and getting lost around Eden Park, we exited at Ramona Falls instead of making it back to our car at Timberline. Coming off a glorious circumnavigation of Mt Rainier in August (post coming soon), we felt ready.

Well, almost ready. We pushed back our planned September adventure run by a week to accommodate work, and it definitely helped to have an additional week to rest from Rainier.


Unlike last time-- when we planned and meticulously packed for our very first mountain circumnavigation-- this time felt relaxed and casual as we tossed together our trusted gear and favorite eats. We spent the night at Ann's mom's house and drove up to Timberline in the early morning, leaving on time (!).

It was cold and dark at our 6:30am start, and the lodge wasn't open yet. There was no pen or pencil to fill out a wilderness permit, so with a quick use of the d…