Friday, August 18, 2017

Badger Creek Wilderness run

us and our favorite mountain 

When I started planning our adventure runs in May, I wanted to do all new routes, at least ones we had not ran before. I have been wanting to take Susan to Badger Creek Wilderness for several years but for some reason or another we never made it. I was excited to to run it for our first adventure run of the season but the snow line was too low in May and June, so we weren't able to tackle it until mid-July and that was after I hiked to the top of Lookout Mountain the weekend before to check out the snow level. I told Susan that we were only going to run the route if we had clear skies, because the view from the top of Lookout Mountain was not to be missed.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Elk Meadows - Timberline Loop

Mt Hood and Lupines -  our view most of the hike

John and I had 12 hours between dropping off one nephew at the airport and picking the other one up, so we decided to go on a hike. I've been revisiting a lot of my old maps and hiking / backpacking books in search of new routes. I thought that we might be able to do something in Mount Margret backcountry or in the St. Helens area, but with the amount of driving involved I thought we might be cutting it close. So, John and I started thumbed through our hiking books and John said, "What about Elk Meadows?" I was pretty sure we had done the hike before, but I went back and looked at all 5 copies/editions I have of William Sullivan's red book and didn't see any notes on the Elk Meadow hike. I always write some kind of note, if not at least the date of when we completed the hike in the book. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Salt & Straw run, take 2

Ann recently reminisced about our 21-miler to Salt & Straw last year, and we decided to recreate it. We met up with Anna and Leslie for the first ~12 mile loop, then took off for the ice cream shop. I added a mile to the first part, and because Lower Macleay is currently closed, we ran down Aspen and some neighborhood stairs, through the neighborhood to Salt & Straw. It wasn't as hot as last weekend, but the cold treats were still deliciously welcome.

Ladies on the trail

Sunday, July 16, 2017

To Dad, From Ann


Dad and me jumping into our pool in the mid-80s
When I traveled to Italy a month ago I started listening to the She Explores podcast, which about women in the outdoors. I've really been inspired by all the different women and their stories of long distance hiking, starting outdoor companies, etc. It has made me think of what more we could do more with Girls Gone Wildwood, but that is a different blog post This post is about a She Explores podcast I listened to running this week called, To Dad, From Daughter. The podcast is stories from different women on how their dad shaped their outdoor experiences.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The accidental 37 miler

Ann was out of town for two weekends, which meant we were ready for a good long trail run upon her return. Since my family was going to be out of town, we had the whole day to drive somewhere new and run. We discussed doing the Summer Solstass 50k up Silver Star Mountain. Ann contacted the organizer and we were in.

But we started to wonder-- would it be better to do our own thing, something a bit shorter since neither one of us had run much the past couple of weeks? Time with just the two of us, to catch up, no pressure.

Siouxon Falls

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Salmon River and all of Hunchback Mountain

Mt Hood from Hunchback
A few weeks ago, Susan and I took a Thursday off of work to go on an adventure run. We had requested the day off months ago, but what we hadn't planned on was going on a 37 mile run a few days before. 

Our 37 mile run was supposed to be a 20 mile run but due an extreme stream crossing we had to backtrack. Given that epic adventure I decided to go with a route I was very familiar with for our Thursday run. 


Salmon River

Since the snow line was still relatively low, I decided we would run a Salmon River route. Instead of our typical Salmon River - Kinzel -  Hunchback Mountain - Green Canyon Loop, I decided to change it a bit and start at Salmon River and run up Kinzel to Hunchback Mountain and all the way down Hunchback Mountain to the Zig Zag ranger station, which is ~18 miles. Luckily my mom lives a few miles from the Zig Zag ranger station and could meet us to drop us off at Salmon River, so we could run back to our car. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

First Sprinter camping trip

Our new Sprinter - She needs a name
I ordered Sprinter 144 4x4 cargo van a year ago and just received it last week. I wanted a camper van to give Susan and me more freedom with our adventure runs and likewise my husband and I have a lot more freedom for all our hiking or weekend adventures. We are not planning quitting our jobs and living in the van, but we want to build it out as if we were. I plan on documenting the build out process on our blog, but I promise this is still a trail running blog.

When I first ordered the van I thought I would have Outside Van do the conversion, but the quote they gave me was way over my budget, so we started googling "Sprinter Van Conversions". After reading a lot of blogs and watching numerous youtube videos my husband John and I figured we could do most of the work ourselves. He built a brewery at our house, how much harder can converting a Sprinter be (heh)? I also thought I would have the van 6 months ago and have a lot of the build out done before the summer. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trail Jeranto Punta Campanella

One of may views from the race
I recently traveled to the Amalfi Coast and Naples in Italy for my sister's 40th birthday. I arrived in Naples a day earlier than everyone else, so a week before I left I googled 'trail running in Naples'. One of the first results was a page that had a list of trail races in area and one happened to be the Sunday I was Naples waiting for Courtney and Russ to arrive. The race was Trail Jeranto Punta Campanella, it was 15km and only 7. I immediately emailed the race director to see if there was still space left. A day later I was signed up for the race, I just had to figure out how to get to the race.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A run in the Gorge.... a year later


Enjoying the view on a break
I was originally going to write 2 blog posts, one about our day off of work run and another about my year of recovery from a herniated disc. But the route I picked for our Gorge run was based on the route I created a year ago for a day off of work run which we weren't able to do because I ended up in the emergency room. So I thought it was appropriate to combine the two blog post into one. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Chuckanut 50k

Dinosaurs make the best cheerleaders

The Chuckanut 50k is one of the classics of trail ultrarunning. Year after year, people ask us if we've run it and our curiosity finally piqued. The timing has been difficult as we've always had other races; the two previous year's we've run Peterson Ridge 40 miler, and before that it was our cyclone-enhanced Tarawera race in New Zealand. This year is also Chuckanut's 25th anniversary, a milestone we seem to enjoy since we ran Miwok on its 20th and Hood to Coast on its 25th.

At the start

Saturday, March 11, 2017

30 mile taper




Susan planned out our long runs leading up to the Chuckanut 50k and for some reason she put a 30 mile run on the calendar 12 days before the race. I would never do anything like that before a race. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Searching for Savory: Part 6

Full disclosure: I love olives in general and have gone through nearly a dozen Oloves packs during the course of my running career.

When I am at REI (which is not very often), I almost always pick up a package or two of Oloves. They're shelf-stable, convenient, and delicious. They have four flavors, and I enjoy them all. I think lemon & rosemary is my favorite because it's delightfully piquant, and although I love the spicy flavors, you don't always want spice or garlic on a runner's stomach. You know what I mean.

Olives make for a great running food. They're savory, salty, and juicy, not messy or crumbly, and easy to eat. In fact, I would bring olives more often if I could find a good way to carry them, so they don't leak juice or go bad. Oloves solves those problems and provides a great portion size.

Unfortunately they also cost more than I'm willing to spend on a regular basis... at least at full retail. For some reason I've never purchased them on Amazon until today, when I looked and discovered that you can get variety packs or even just one flavor in multiples for just over a dollar each! Woohoo! A search successfully completed.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Searching for Savory: Part 5

Go Umami baked tofu
I was at a different grocery store from my usual, and saw these Go Umami tofu sticks in the refrigerated section. I was excited at the prospect of a savory protein-- baked tofu meant for immediate consumption, rather than to be used in cooking. There were three flavors available, so I bought one of each.

I brought two on a snowy run, and we shared them to try both. The packages weren't too hard to open (a plus with cold, stiff fingers, and something that's been an issue with some other, similarly-wrapped products) and the tofu was firm but juicy with a good, firm texture.

The flavor, however, was too bland for me. I couldn't taste much difference between the two; couldn't taste much at all, to be honest. Ann liked them a bit more than me. Based on their relatively short shelf life (the best-by date was within a week of purchase) and limited availability, I likely won't buy these again. Primal Strips are a much better option-- they don't need to be refrigerated, last ages, and have really bold flavors.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Landslide marathon



I started with an old 24 mile route, knowing it would be easy to add 2 miles on somewhere. I thought a little loop out along Wildwood on the way back down Saltzman would be perfect, but it only added 1/3 of a mile... or more than 3. Ann suggested adding the Dogwood-Kiel loop, which sounded perfect.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rerouting

Most of our recent runs have started at one of the trailheads on NW 53rd, which is convenient since it is close to my house and cuts down on travel time and gives us more time to run. This week I decided to start our route from the Springville trailhead, to give us a change of scenery. 

Mt. Hood from Firelane 7A


Right off the bat we took a wrong turn going down Springville instead of Firelane 7, once we hit Wildwood we decided to head to Firelane 7A and readjust the route at the end. We headed down 7A to Leif, but it wasn't obvious where 7A continued on the other side of Leif. We ran back and forth on Leif looking for the trail and finally decided to head down what appeared to be an overgrown trail without a trail sign. The trail ran parallel with wire gate for while, making us feel like we were in the tv show Lost. We got some good views of Portland and Mt. Hood, it wasn't until we made it to the end of the trail that we knew we were on the right trail, only because there was a trail sign. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Product Review :: NANOSpikes

After sliding around on icy trails during the last ice storm in Portland, I decided it was time to invest in some Yaktrax. I did a little Googling to figure out the best pair to buy for trail running and I came across NANOSpikes by Kahtoola. A lot of reviews said the coil/spring system of the Yaktrax didn't actually work that well for running especially on the ice, this didn't seem to be the case with the NANOSpikes, so I bought a pair. 




This Saturday we got 0.5 inches of snow, which turned to ice by Sunday morning. Since our street was covered in ice I wasn't going anywhere for awhile, I decided to give the NANOSpikes a try. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Good Bye 2016

One of the last runs of 2016

2016 was a good year, but it wasn't a great year. 2016 was the year of readjustments, I spent a good part of the year dealing with a knee issue, a herniated disc and an iron deficiency, Susan dealt with knee and achilles issues. We were an hour slower at the Oregon Coast 50k, Peterson Ridge 40m and Wildwood end to end

Despite all the set backs we still had a pretty eventful year. We crewed our first race at Bandera, we traveled to France to run CCC and experience all that is UTMB. Every race we ran this year we had family who traveled with us and sometimes crewed for us, which made the experiences even more special. 

I learned a lot about recovering from an injury and that taking a break is ok. Susan and I both want to be running trails many years from now, I think this year taught us a lot about what we need to do to accomplish this. 

One thing we didn't do much of in 2016 was self supported runs outside of Forest Park; this is our 2017 running resolution. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wildwood E2E 2016

It's our yearly tradition to run Wildwood from one and to another during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is usually in between our birthdays. This year, however, the weather was awful and we just weren't feeling it... so we postponed til the next weekend.

When the next weekend came around, Ann had just got back from a conference in Las Vegas, and we postponed again.

Then there was snow, twice, then Ann was in Michigan, then it was Christmas... and finally, we had a day when everything aligned.

Festive bird feeders that look like donuts (chocolate, pink, and rainbow sprinkles)