Posts

Showing posts from March, 2015

Shetha's longest

Image
After taking Friday off for a long run in the Gorge, we knew we wanted to do a "shorter" long run on Sunday. We teamed up with Shetha for her longest run to date: 17 miles. I picked up Shetha and we drove out to the Newberry Rd end of Wildwood, where John and Ann picked us up and dropped us off at the top of Firelane 3, off of NW Thunder Crest Dr.


The gate at Thunder Crest had lots of signs about cameras, no parking, no drop-offs, etc. They clearly do not want people using this trailhead, and unsurprisingly, none of us had been to it before. 
It was a lovely downhill on FL 3 to Wildwood at mile 13.64. I was delighted to feel pep in my legs, despite our rough ~32-ish miler in the Gorge two days earlier. From there we headed north on Wildwood, all the way to the end (and my car).

We had a discussion about four (and more) leaf clovers and Shetha remembered seeing something even more rare: a four-leaf trillium! Even better, she remembered where it was and pointed it out to us.

The…

Plan B loop

Image
Susan and I had planned another day off of work training run, this time with our trainer Willie. We had our eye on the loop around Mt. St. Helens, since we knew a few people who had ran it in February and there had not been any new snowfall since then. But unfortunately due to a few scheduling mishaps and the possibility of bad weather we decided on Plan B and to do Mt. St. Helens in May or June. 



Plan B was something I cobbled together a few nights before our run, before we knew Plan B was going to become Plan A. Which really means that I didn't put as much research into the route as normal. I looked at my Columbia Gorge maps and linked several trails, which we had not run on or had not been on in awhile to nearly form a 40 mile loop. Normally I would look up the elevation gain and loss of each trail and read Oregon Hikers trail reports, but I didn't do that this time. 


I knew that I wanted to make Susan run up Larch Mountain, since she has a mental block on part of the trail a…

Tarawera Ultramarathon 2014, or the perils of running your first 50 miler 21 timezones away from home in a cyclone

Image
Editor's note: This race recap was a year in the making. Ann and I ran Tarawera Ultramarathon (TUM) on March 15, 2014, and it has taken me a full year to chronicle all that happened during what was our longest run ever, the farthest from home, in the most dangerous weather conditions. It's long,  full of photos, and hopefully entertaining.

************************************************
With Ann’s sabbatical about a year away, we hatched a wild plan: we would run a trail ultra-marathon together in another country during her time off. Somehow, New Zealand became the obvious choice. There are tons of trails, long distance events, gorgeous landscapes and multi-day hikes for Ann’s vacation. We set about researching races, and quickly settled on the Tarawera Ultra Marathon because it’s one of the larger events, had a distance that was longer than we had raced but not too big of a leap, and appeared to be extremely well-organized.

We kept an eye on race day 2013, happy to see two p…

Mental toughness in four parts

Image
It's basically impossible to do a long-enough training run for a 100k race, so one strategy is to really pile on the workouts in order to fatigue your body and simulate additional milage. So that's what we did this week. On Thursday and Friday, we made sure to go hard to pre-fatigue for our long run on Saturday. Here's our "mental toughness" training in four parts.


Part 1 - Group PowerThursday morning: an hour-long weightlifting class
Part 2 - Animal Athletics night runThursday night: from Lower Macleay to the Pittock Mansion. 5 miles and 1,000 ft of climbing. In the dark.
Part 3 - 50 Shades of Willie TrainingFriday afternoon: 4 hill repeats on Dogwood Trail, with insane tasks in between-- like holding planks while facing each other and alternating touching each other's hands, then turning around holding planks and alternative tapping each other's feet.
Part 4 - 30 mile runSaturday:birch - ww : .22ww - wc : .39wc - leif : .56leif - cannon : 11cannon - ww : …

Gorton Creek - Herman Creek Loop

Image
Taking advantage of our mild winter, Susan and I planned a "day off work run" in the Gorge to get some harder hills in for our Miwok 100k training. Originally I thought we would run Eagle Creek, but since we had done that a few times I pulled out my Columbia Gorge maps to plan another route. I immediately noticed that Herman Creek connected with the PCT to make a nice loop and that there were several other connecting trails to use to add extra miles. We wanted around 28-30 miles, Herman to PCT wasn't going to be quite long enough, so used Gorton Creek to add extra miles to, which made a perfect loop. I had hiked Herman Creek and Nick Eaton Ridge before, but I had never been on Gorton Creek, so I had no idea what to expect as far as trail conditions. The one thing I knew was that we would gain 4000+ feet over 9 miles. 



The days leading up to the run were pretty warm for February and we got spoiled running in capris and light weight shirts. Living in our spring time bliss i…