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Showing posts from 2016

Searching for Savory: Part 4

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I subscribe to a monthly box of vegan snacks, which is how I first tried these "nori wrapped energy sticks." There's a light crispiness to the seaweed wrapping, and the sunflower seed filling gives them a substantial chew. I had never eaten anything quite like it, and I immediately looked for where to buy more.

I ordered two of each flavor from the maker's website, and enjoyed them all. I discovered that my local vegan grocery store carries them. Then I don't know if I got tired of them or I just got a bad batch, but suddenly they didn't taste good to me anymore.

A couple of years passed, and I decided to try them again for this experiment, specifically for running.


Fun in the snow

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Last weekend we got snow in Portland which turned into freezing rain. It took out a lot of trees in Forest Park and the surround streets, which one of them I live on. The tress took out power lines on their way down. There was also a mud slide on NW Cornell, closing down access into Portland. And that was just my little area of Portland. Since we knew we weren't going anywhere any time soon, us and a few neighbors got out chainsaws and started to clear the tress on our street. Since NW 53rd was closed, it was a ghost town at the normally very crowded trailheads, it was nice feeling like I had that area of the park to myself. 

Holman 25

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Susan and I normally run all of Wildwood Thanksgiving weekend because it falls between both of our birthdays, this has been our birthday tradition for the past 4 years. This year there were torrential downpours over Thanksgiving weekend, so we decided to push it out a week. The problem with that plan was, I was spending the week before in Vegas at a work conference. Knowing that I was going to run all of Wildwood the day after I got home from Vegas definitely made me behave in Vegas. But a week in Vegas is still a week in Vegas, no matter how much I tried to behave and I was feeling exhausted when I got home on Friday, and Susan was getting over a stomach bug, so we decided to push all of Wildwood out again. Instead of running ~30 miles we decided to run 25, makes perfect sense, right? 

Oregon Coast 50k

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We ran the inaugural Oregon Coast 50k two years ago, in 2014. The weather was bad to start, but got better, and the course was stunning. So it wasn't too difficult for my friend Leslie to convince me that we should run it this year. Ann's sister, Courtney, and my husband and child joined us in a house on the beach in Yachats for the weekend.


Courtney dropped us off at the Adobe, where we picked up our races numbers and talked to Leslie and her bestie, Erin, who both decided not to run due to injuries. Ann and I boarded one of the buses and we were all driven six miles north to the start.

Searching for Savory: Part 3

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Some days are better than others, and some runs are better than others. Today was not one of the better ones. Only a few miles in, I tripped on a root and landed on my left hip, sliding on my side through the mud. My right hand was covered in prickles. Almost immediately my phone stopped working, so I didn't have any podcasts or music to listen to, and my run didn't get tracked.

The muscles around the sides of my back throbbed in persistent pain that never warmed out, as I had hoped when I started. It felt like the body aches of coming down with the flu.
But one good thing did come out of it: I tried a new savory bar and it was pretty good.

Iron Deficiency Trifecta

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Four weeks ago I got a flu shot and almost immediately after I started to feel dizzy and tired. I left work early and went home and slept the rest of the day, the next day I only lasted at work for 2 hours. Over the weekend I started getting headaches and felt fatigued no matter how much I rested. I figured I was coming down with a cold or something. After a week of not getting better and having a mild headache all day I went to Zoomcare to try and figure out what was going on.



The doctor at Zoomcare told me she thought I had over training syndrome because I didn't take enough time to recover after CCC. I tried to debate this with her but it became apparent that she wasn't use to working with endurance athletes, so I dropped it. She conducted a normal exam and said it was possible that I was suffering from sinus headaches, but she still suggested I take 2 months off of running. She said no one wants to run in the rain anyways. UGH! I got a prescription for Sudafed and went on m…

Searching for Savory: Part 2

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Last year I heard about the weirdest running food product: a pizza-flavored paste in a pouch. Sounds gross, right? But it's vegan. And it was developed by Clif with Scott Jurek, who wrote the awesome book Eat and Run.

I first tried it during our Mt Rainier circumnavigation and was happily surprised. It tasted good to me, went down easily, didn't upset my stomach, and satisfied my desire for savory food.
Then I bought more, but when I got around to eating one it had a bad aftertaste-- and it turns out they were all expired (although only by one month)!
I decided to give it one more go when I got a great deal on a case.

Searching for Savory

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For the past few years I've been all about eating "real food" out on long adventure runs. It feels healthier, and the range of options is far wider. But most of all, I get sick of sweet foods and I love salty things.

My go-to was a small tortilla with hummus, spinach, and some kind of pickle (okra, please!). Sure, it gets warm, the tortilla can get soggy, and the spinach wilts... And sometimes it's just not what I feel like eating.


Easy like a Sunday morning route

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The last 2 weeks I have been dealing with headaches and general fatigue, so much so that I skipped the Columbia Gorge 1/2 marathon for the first time since the race started 8 years ago. Susan had come down with a cold and an infection on one of her fingers, so we decided we would take it easy and only run 15 miles. I was just going to reuse one of our previous routes, but we only had one 15 mile route labeled and we had used it recently. I came up with moderate 15 mile route that I thought would be perfect for a mellow Sunday morning. 

Product Review :: Saucony Women's Bullet Capris

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My current favorite running capris are the Saucony Bullet, which I came to own by happenstance. 

In March I traveled to Denver for work. If I stay in a hotel for more that a day I always hang up my clothes or put them in drawers, so I don't feel like I am living out of a suitcase, which is exactly what I did in Denver. After Denver I flew to Michigan to work from my Dad's house for a week. The first morning in Michigan I was digging through all my clothes looking for my favorite Nike trail running capris and I couldn't find them, I also couldn't find most of the running clothes I had packed for the trip. I slowly realized that I didn't grab anything out of the bottom drawer at the hotel. I called the hotel and they said they didn't find anything in my room. GRRRR! 

There was no way I was going to spend a week surrounded by trails and not run. We made a trip to Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids so I could buy some new running clothes. The capris I lost had big pocket…

Girls Gone Wildwood releases limited-edition stickers

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Show Your Wild Side on the Trails Girls Gone Wildwood releases limited-edition stickers reflective of Portland’s Forest Park
Portland, Ore. – Girls Gone Wildwood, a one-stop shop about the adventures of two ultra-trail runners, has released new limited edition, weather-resistant stickers. Designed after trail signs in Portland’s quintessential Forest Park, these new stickers reflect Girls Gone Wildwood’s Oregon roots, but showcase the global footprint of two dedicated outdoor enthusiasts.
Be a part of a movement that celebrates women who lace up their sneakers, hit the trails and rack up hundreds of miles both at home and abroad. GirlsGoneWildwood.com was founded in 2011 by best friends Ann Wallace and Susan Kelley as a place to record all their Forest Park running routes. It is now the largest repository of running routes in Forest Park and has grown to include race reports, hiking and running routes from all over the world.

Running and a Wedding in the Olympic National Forest

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Last week a good friend of mine, Wes got married at Lake Crescent, in the Olympic National Forest. The first time I went to Lake Crescent was 20 years ago, with Wes, Chris and several of our other friends. I was captured by it's beauty then as much as I am today. Though 20 years ago hiking a few miles was probably enough for me.

Upper Middle Rheinsteig hike

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After spending a week in Chamonix, France hiking, running and enjoying all the UTMB festivities, Dad, Stephanee, John and I headed to Germany to hike the upper middle section of the Rheinsteig. I was a little nervous about the hike because only a day earlier I had run the CCC, but we DNF'd 55km in, so my legs weren't totally destroyed.

Girls Gone CCC

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It started with a surprise Christmas gift. Ann informed me that she had payed 50 euros each to put us into the lottery for the smaller sibling of the most famous—and infamous— trail ultra in the world. At 101 km, Courmayeur-Champex Lac-Chamonix (CCC) is a distance we’ve done before, much less daunting than the 170 km of the original Ultra-Trail du Mount Blanc(UTMB). Best of all, the course is set in the Alps, a circumnavigation through three countries of the tallest mountain in Europe, renowned for outdoor enthusiasts and some of the most beautiful views I’ve only seen in photos.
This whimsical gift took a turn about a month later when we discovered that we both got picked in the lottery to run. All of the races we had planned for the year had to be reevaluated. Peterson Ridge 40 miler was still a good way to get our base miles up early, but our big race for the year—the Fat Dog 70 miler—wouldn’t work since it was two weeks before CCC. We cancelled and forfeited the money. 

Running the wrong way

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Six days after getting back from Europe I was finally adjusted back to the Pacific timezone and decided I wanted to get a good run in, but I had been experiencing minor back pains since the flight back and didn't want to over do it. I decided to run 17 miles but was being a little lazy about creating a route. Drinking a cup of coffee and staring at my Forest Park map, I realized that running from the Skyline Tavern to my house is just a little over 17 miles. If I was smart I would of waited until later in the afternoon and ran from my house to the Skyline Tavern and enjoyed a beer while I waited for John to pick me up. But instead I had him drop me off at 8 am and I ran home, I wish could blame it on jetlag. Next time.... 



Running in Chamonix

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We walked from our rental house to the Chamonix Planpraz cable car, rode to the top, and took the TMB (Trail du Mount Blanc) toward BrĂ©vent. Ann had mentioned taking the cable car up and running back down, so I was surprised by the climb at the beginning.


The absolutely nutty North Umpqua Trail 100k

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After an amazing year full of adventures-- our first 100k atMiwok, running around Rainier, Hood AND St Helens, a PR at the Columbia Gorge half-- I was looking for our next big thing, preferably in our beloved home state. I found the North Umpqua Trail, 72 miles end-to-end along the Umpqua River in southern Oregon. And then I discovered that there was a supported race entirely along it, the NUT 100k. It was too good to resist, so when registration opened, Ann & I signed up.
Our race calendar for 2016 filled up and then we got picked for the CCC, one of the Ultra Trail du Mount Blanc (UTMB) races in late August. The NUT fit into our race calendar as the perfect big training run-- a similar distance but about half the elevation gain, and much closer to home.
Our running and training was going smoothly, even with our disappointing time at the Peterson Ridge 40 miler, until suddenly, it wasn't.

Ann's major back issue hit the day before we were set to take off work to do our …

Preparing for CCC

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Every week our friend David has been asking us how our training has been going and if we are still planning on running CCC. We half jokingly respond, "what training?" There were probably only a few times after I went to the ER, that I thought I would have to cancel the whole trip to Europe, but I had more than a few doubts about making it to the starting line of CCC

But that was several months ago, every week for the past 2+ months I have been adding 3 miles to my weekly long runs and I am up to ~27 miles for this week. Initially my main goal was recovery more than training, but the last few weeks I have been focused on the race and using the time we have before the race in the most efficient manner, without over doing it.

Siouxon Creek

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My sister, Courtney was visiting from Seattle and we had planned to hike around Mt. St. Helen's, because in the 10 years she has lived in the Pacific Northwest, she hadn't been. Saturday morning I checked the weather and the forecast called for no rain but overcast at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, so we headed out for the 2 hour drive from Portland. We were within 10 miles of Johnston Ridge and it started to rain and as we got a little closer the fog was so dense that we could barley see 10 feet in front of us. We pulled over at a look at point and pulled out our hiking book to figure out what plan b was going to be. We picked Siouxon Creek.

Elk Mountain - Kings Mountain loop

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Friday Susan and I did our "long run", since she was leaving on Saturday for a 2 week vacation to Ireland. A long run meaning an incremental increase to what I did the week before, since I am slowly easing back into running because of my herniated disc. We ran 2.5 hours / ~13 miles in Forest Park. With the long run done and the long 4th of July weekend ahead of us, I planned a few harder hikes for John and me to do. The first being the Elk Mountain - Kings Mountain loop.


5 week update with a little bit of running and a lot of hiking

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It has been 5 weeks since I went to the ER for what turned out to be a herniated disc. I have also changed jobs, so I had a few weeks in between jobs to focus on physical therapy and recovery. 

The only pain I have had is a little in my lower back when I sit and slouch for a log period of time, but even then the pain is probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10. What I have been experiencing is paresthesia. Paresthesia is often described as "pins and needles". The best description I found is from here. "The sensation, sometimes, occurs without warning and is a mostly painless sensation. It’s best described by its tingling, numbness and distinct skin crawling feeling." 

The first few weeks my lower left leg didn't have as much sensation when touched as my right leg, which felt really strange when I tried to shave. It also felt like my leg had come into contact with stinging nettles. In the 3 weeks since my original blog post about why I am not running, the paresthesia in my…

Why I'm not running

Friday, May 20th 
noon : yoga, I tweaked my back while twisting, enough that it hurt to go into a headstand.

Saturday, May 21st 
7am - noon : We ran ~23 miles, my lower back did hurt when I started running but it didn't feel any worse when I was done. 

Sunday, May 22nd 
7am : It was hard to bend forward and my back didn't feel great so I decided to skip going to yoga, since I didn't want to make it worse because we were going to run 30 miles in the Gorge on Tuesday. I instead drove an hour to my mom's house. 

11am - 4pm : At my mom's my left leg felt sore, but after lunch I had a noticeable pain going down my leg, I wasn't sure what was going on. 

4pm - 5:30pm : Driving home the pain in my left leg just kept getting worse, I kept rubbing on it hoping that would help, but it didn't. 

5:30pm - midnight : When I got home I could barely walk from one room to another without stopping to lay down. I WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN. It felt like my leg muscles were spasming, I had ne…