05/31/10

64 degrees and very muggy out tonight! After my week of vacation, where I followed my heart and just ran easy and kept it fun, I’m back on a training plan again.  I’m ready and excited to focus on the upcoming summer racing season! I have a 10k in about 3 weeks that I’m hoping to PR at and a half in about 6 weeks. I’m looking forward to lots of fun trying to get a bit faster this year! 

Stats: 6.51 miles. Easy run. 10:42 pace. 1:09 time.

Hit my second best mileage for a month — 120.02!

05/30/10

First Spring bike ride with the family. I had the bike trailer with a bonus 80 lbs in it between the two younger girls.  Things went very well until my left pedal broke off around mile 6. Ugh! This happened on this same bike a year ago. This is a new pedal. I’ve rarely rode this bike since I bought it four years ago. This was maybe my 10th ride and I rarely go far since I have the kids along. Looks like I need to save up and get a new one soon. 

7.36 miles (love that the Garmin can be used for multiple sports!

05/29/10

I want to share a couple of vacation photos with you gals.

Here’s the kids and I getting ready to hop into the jacuzzi on our deck.

The five children and I running along the seashore. 

My run on the Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge (it swayed a bit!!)

Here’s how it looked (it’s 200 feet long and 100 feet above the rushing water and a water fall!!)

Here’s the waterfall (as seen from the suspension bridge.)

Me before embarking on my rainy run up to the top of Multanomah Water Falls

I did it!!

It was a great vacation to the Oregon Coast!

05/28/10

I’ve been visiting Multanomah Falls in Oregon on my way to the Oregon Coast since I was a little girl. Most people visit the falls from the bottom, take a few rainy photos and head home. The mildly adventurous walk a little further up to a trial that leads to a beautiful bridge at the lower part of the falls. Those who year for a calf-cramping hike (or run!!) go the full trail up to the top of the water falls, where you can look down (and get the belly to do a little flip flop) and see the waterfall from above. I’ve only been to that viewpoint once in my life and my Dad likes to tell how I rode the entire way up on his shoulders (I think I was 3.)  Today I made it my goal to jog up to the top, take some pics and jog on down on my own two feet. My wonderfully, supportive family patiently waited in the minivan in the parking lot since it was cold and pouring rain (thankfully the kids had their ds’s to keep them occupied and my loving hubby took a much-needed nap) while I made my way up the mountain.
Though the bottom of the trail starts at very close to sea level, the hike quickly takes you winding through dripping wet green, moss-covered canopies of trees on a narrow asphalt path to the top of the 620 foot waterfall (the second largest year round falls in the U.S.!) I thought I was in reasonable shape, but this trail had my calves crying out for mercy before 1/2 mile was done. My heart was beating a mile a minute and I couldn’t believe how heavy my breathing was. I had to hike stretches of the path as I caught my breath, but the area is so beautiful I couldn’t help but still smile and enjoy the journey. From about the midpoint, you can easily see the Columbia River Gorge – and it’s a view to behold!
I did make it to the top and enjoyed taking my own photo, grinning like crazy and dripping wet. Then the real fun began. Now an elevation gain of about 700 ft going UP is a challenge — going DOWN is pure, heart-pumping, feet-pounding fun!!!! This was the first real run for my new Nike Trail shoes and they were amazing! Even though the path was soaking wet and covered in many places in moss — I didn’t slip once! And, that’s saying something since I was flying down the mountain having a ball, passing families huddled (and even one dog) in rain coats who were just making their way carefully back down the mountain.
After a change into dry clothes, I kissed my husband and thanked my kids for letting me have one last bit of selfish fun on this vacation trip. I rode the rest of the way back home feeling like I was on a cloud. It was a long drive back today – about 10 hours in the minivan with five children and the hubby!!! We’re so happy to be safe and sound back at home. I can’t wait to load up the vacation photos we took and share some with you. I’m still crossing my fingers that my cell phone will rise from the dead in a day or two after drying out the components!!!

Stats: 3 miles! RAINY!, cold and FUN!!! 

05/27/10

What a beautiful, sunny morning for a beach run! When on vacation, I believe it’s a sin to forget to stop and smell the ocean -or more accurately, this morning — to NOT stop and enjoy the tidepools along the way. So, doing the right thing, I stopped and looked for treasure at every opportunity today.

I saw pink, purple and green sea anemones. I photographed entire rocks covered in huge purple and orange starfish (going so far into the water that I was knee deep in surf just for the perfect shot.) I ran right over black, smooth, rock stretches of the beach and forded my way through several streams emptying into the sea. The most challenging one was about 2 – 3 feet deep, 10 feet across and the water was rushing. I was wet up to my thighs after getting across that (and grinning from ear-to-ear!) A group of teens was nearby when I was on my way back and hit the same spot. There they stood in their coats and hats staring at the wide stream and wondering how to get to the other side. So, of course, I held my head up, and charged right into that water, not breaking pace one bit.  Ha ha!

I discovered I need a larger fuel belt today. For more fuel? No, no, no, no! For seashells, ocean glass and treasures of course!  I ended up taking out my cell phone halfway and deciding that I’d just run and carry it to make more room for sea treasures to bring back for the five kids (who were still snoozing in their beds while Mommy was out on her adventure.) There was only one problem, shortly after having this “ah ha!” moment, I dropped the cell phone right smack dab into the tidepool I was hunching over. Oops! I grabbed it quickly (and I swear the tiny school of itty bitty fish laughed and pointed their fins at me) and tried to shake the water out. Within a minute, the screen went white, then blank – and all I could think was, “No! I just took some awesome running pictures I want to share on daily mile!”

I’m back to the beach house now, after my pleasure-filled morning 9 miler and my cell phone is under the watchful eye of my techie husband. I’m crossing my fingers he can bring my phone back from the dead. I want to share those pictures with you guys.

05/26/10

The sun finally came out for the first time this trip! Hooray! We visited two beaches, took off our shoes and ran right into the waves. The 3 year old and 5 year old girls giggled so hard when the water came crashing around their knees. They held on for dear life to daddy’s hands and kept begging to do it again and again.  We took a different path home than I’d done before and discovered a beautiful, out-of-the-way lighthouse. We walked the nearby trail to see a very old tree known as the Octopus Tree since 8 trees grew as one. It was huge and made for some great photos! The rest of the family is heading back down to the beach for some sandcastle building and I’m crashing and recharging my batteries.  It’s been another fun day.

Walk/hike — 1 mile. Fun day. Did I also mention we visited a cheese factory in the morning? We had the most declicious squeaky cheese, fudge and ice cream! Yummmm

05/25/10

This is something I’ve wanted to do for years and today was my day! It’s drizzling outside, 50 degrees and gray. Perfect for a slow-paced jog along the seashore. I ran through the water several times, falling flat on my face once when I missed a step coming up onto the sand again, laughing the whole time. I upset a flock of seagulls on the beach as I zipped right past them. Luckily, they didn’t poop on me as payback! I stopped to pick up pretty shells and just to stare at the surf and take it all in. Breathe in….relax….let the tensions go….. enjoy the trip. That’s what I’m here for. 

4 miles.  Looking forward to taking the family on a whale watching boat ride into the Pacific Ocean in a couple hours.  I’m enjoying my vacation.

05/24/10

We did it! The entire family hiked for a mile through lush, rainforests and mud and across a suspension bridge, 100 feet in the air! You could stare down below and see Drift Creek Falls waterfall and it was so beautiful.  Savannah rode on my back for about a mile. Now adding that 40 lb backpack gave a whole new meaning to the workout.  ha ha! 2.64 miles hiked.

We swung by a candy shop afterwords and bought salt water taffy, fudge and sea foam. Mmmmmm… I’m totally enjoying a well-earned treat!

05/24/10

Relaxing 2 mile walk along the surf.  Collected a lot of shells. Enjoyed the sound of the waves and sea lions. I’m glad to be on vacation. Looking forward to hiking up to a suspension bridge over a waterfall today. I feel daring!

05/22/10

What a truly beautiful run today! Many friends, lots of laughs and some really tough miles up and down mountain trails, along canyons, by a lovely secluded stream. I had the pleasure of cheering in a great friend as she ran her first 13 miles! She was SO strong out there and was a great inspiration!  It rained, it was very windy and my shoes were filled with water for most of the run. The mud was so thick in places, we slogged through it — but we did it all with smiles on our faces, knowing we were having an adventure of a lifetime — as each trail run seems to be. 

Stats: 13.11 miles. Ave pace (mountain running is a whole different beast when it comes to pace. ) 16:23 (this can give you an idea of what many trail ultras are like even when you’re pushing at a pace that keeps the heart racing!) Time: 3:34. Windy, rainy, 40 degrees and BEAUTIFUL!

Two of my most special childhood friends.

Lots of steep climbs up and down, slippery mud, rocks, roots and narrow singletrack trails. VERY fun!

After hiking amongst amazing red-rock canyons and interesting rock formations, we found this lovely little stream right at the base. Beautiful! Bertha and I loved it!

Our running buddy, Sam.  Always the encourager to the group and a die-hard, focused runner who’s about to do his first 50 mile mountain race in a week.

At the summit of our trail. What a view!

My buddy, Marci, completing her first 13 mile run – and no ordinary run either – a challenging, mountain trail one – with a bunch of ultra runners! Marci ROCKS!!!!  She did amazing out there!!!!