Friday, February 13, 2015

Muddy trail running...my true valentine.

It's race day eve...it's also Friday the 13th...and technically, it isn't really a race tomorrow...it's a long run as part of our 50 mile training plan that just so happens to be taking place at an event I've paid to participate in and will get an awesome shirt and a cool pair of socks (assuming I finish).  Yeah, kind of sounds like a race.  So, happy race day eve!  The race event I'm referring to is the Hagg Lake 50K and rumor has it there will be a fair amount of mud.  In fact, the weekend itself consists of a 50K on Saturday and a 25K on Sunday and is billed as the ORRC (Oregon Road Runners Club) Hagg Lake Mud Runs.  Luckily, this year though, it hasn't rained since last weekend and it's looking like mostly sunny skies to round out this weekend, which should make for somewhat drier trails.  It should definitely be better than last year when it poured the whole time and there were knee deep mud puddles...or so I've read, here and here.   I'm not too afraid of mud, I've seen my share of muddy courses, in fact our last 50K (The Oregon Coast 50K last October that I've yet to blog about) had one of those hilariously muddy hills that you slide back about 3 feet for every foot that you climb and can't help but laugh at the absurdness of it all. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.  Should be a great time.

Heather and our friend Katie are running too.  As is Katie's husband.  He has a decent shot of winning the race, mostly because that's just what he does.  This will be Katie's first ultra.  She's worked really hard in the just over a month she's had to prepare for it.  Unfortunately, however, she dislocated two ribs the day before yesterday.  Ouch!  She's been to the chiropractor a couple of times and is feeling better but still pretty sore.  Luckily she'll only need legs to run 31 miles.  HAHAHAHAHA!  She's a tough girl though and will still soldier through it all, it's just a bit unfortunate that she won't be going in totally healthy.  So, with Katie hurt and Heather and I merely running for the miles, it could make for a long day.  Good thing muddy trails are one of my big loves because it doesn't look like I'll be doing much else for Valentine's Day.

Being Valentine's Day though, I decided race day wear needed to be somewhat festive.  It took me a bit to figure out a combo that I was happy with, actually it took a long bit, long enough that Euan got bored and took a nap in my closet.
Finally, with some help from Heather (who happened to stop by at the right time) and a little fashion show for Dan and Emme last night, I settled on a red tank, black skirt and cherry blossom arm sleeves.
 I'll pretend that you care (and are actually reading this) and bring out my inner fashion blogger to tell you that the tank is the Scantron tank from Oiselle via clearance at Runningwarehouse.com, the skirt is a really old black one from Lululemon, the arm sleeves are from Sugoi but I got them on clearance through Amazon a million years ago and can't find them anywhere...they're fleece lined and super toasty though, the socks are from Runningskirts.com and they are the first pair of compression socks I purchased...ie they are old and have a hole but I'm going to wear them anyway because they have hearts, the shoes are the Pearl iZumi EM Trail N2 (also via runningwarehouse) and the headband has little red hearts on it and is from an etsy shop.

Unfortunately, Wallace thought it would look better covered in cat hair  :( (Wally gets called by his full name when he does bad things like this.) It really doesn't matter though, because chances are after a few miles it will all be covered in mud.  :)

Hopefully, despite the month off of blogging I just took (again!!!) I'll get back on here early next week for a legit race report.  Have a fantastically romantic valentine's weekend (or at least a nice and muddy one) doing something you love with the people you love.

Oh, and as a disclaimer and in case Dan ever reads my blog again, he is still my one and only valentine.  He knows where he stands with my trail running and that although if a decision ever had to be made between him and the trails it might take a while...I'd eventually make the right choice.  HA!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday again?!

Seriously, where did this week go?  It got off to  slow start but then ended in a blur.  I had great intentions of blogging a bit more than I did, but at least I've been somewhat consistent with this rebound into the blogging world.  Anyway, here is some randomness to end the week:

I ended up taking off Monday, like I mentioned earlier in the week and never did make up the missed mileage.  I think it was a good call.  My hammy is still giving me a little bit of issue, but nothing out of the ordinary (for me) and after resting Sunday until Wednesday my hip doesn't seem to be having any residual issues from Saturday's run.  I did run 8 miles on Wed and 6 this morning.  We have 16 on tap for tomorrow and then this first week of 50 mile training will be in the books.  I didn't do as well with cross training as I had intended to do this week.  That is my big goal for this year.  I'm thinking about hitting up some lap swimming next week.  I think in order to be motivated to actually do legit cross training I need to go somewhere.  Also, I'm a fish and I miss the water.

Last night we went to art walk at my kiddos elementary school.  Calvin's project was "paint it big" and he spent the entire art block working on a giant O.
 I think he ended up coming home most days covered in more green than his painting did.  Leona's project was "trees" and she made some pretty cool things out of sticks and leaves.  She was most proud of this creation, however, that she made for our cat.

In other news, Euan (and Jonny but I don't have picture evidence) has turned into quite a little gamer.  Yay, all my dreams are coming true...my boys are gamers.  (Hopefully, the sarcasm is evident even through the computer screen.)


Well, it's now 5:17 on a Friday night.  Let the excitement begin... either that or dinner preparations.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Girls Gone Rogue: 2 Days and 40 miles on the Rogue River Trail Part 2

(if you missed part 1 (which I posted several months ago) you can read it HERE.)

Saturday, July 12th... Day 2 Plan:  Paradise Lodge to Foster Bar 13ish miles

We woke up Saturday morning with a nice leisurely attitude.  We weren't in a big rush to get on the trail and the lodge wasn't serving breakfast until 8am so I don't think we even set alarms.  On our way to breakfast we happened upon this pile of loveliness
(spoiler alert) it was the closest we got to a bear... apparently pretty close, but we slept through it.
Heather's bed was right there by that open window on the bottom...pretty close.
Breakfast was pancakes, eggs, sausage, ham and orange juice.  It was good and I ate too much.  I think we all did, so we took our time getting our packs loaded and went on a picture tour of the lodge.  The sauna might have been nice in a cooler month...
 although, I'm not sure how I would've felt about this guy staring at me while I was getting toasty.
We also found the Fountain of Youth
 and the best looking guy on the trail.
Enough dilly dallying though, the day was wasting away and it was time to get back on the trail.
 Leslie pointed the way and we were off...
 which sounds a lot more simple than it was.  We headed in the direction the sign sent us, but ended up wandering around the property a bit before we found the actual way and were truly on our way.
 Once we did though, we found ourselves in a beautifully lush forest,
 followed by high up views of the Rogue River,
 and then wonderful waterfalls and bridges.
 Honestly, there was a little bit of everything.
 With no real rush, and only a little over a half marathon to run, we took our time seeing the sites and relaxing under freezing cold waterfalls

 and jumping off of rocks into the river.
But, alas, the day wasn't getting any cooler and we had to finish at some point, so we left the water behind and headed inland to find our way towards Foster Bar.
 I won't lie, there was a fair amount of walking towards the end of day 2.  There was this horrible section that was full of switchbacks up the mountain and then right back down.  It was crazy, we seriously covered close to 2 miles but had only moved about 1/2 a mile laterally.
 We had to take a quick stop at "Dan's Creek".  I figured if I came home with a picture of me getting all snuggly with Big Foot, I better at least take a pic with a creek named after my husband.
 Then we came out of the forest and it was a whole lot of open dried fields, with no shade and no water coverage.  I think we all agreed that it was our least favorite part of the adventure.  If we were to do a down and back trip, I think that we opt to turn around before reaching Foster Bar...right about at the entrance to these fields.
 However, before long, we were at the entrance to Foster Bar and happy to be almost done.
 A few hundred more feet and we were once again reunited with the Rogue River and what should've been the end of our running, which was a good thing because we had each pretty much drained our water.
 But wait! My watch didn't quite have the mileage to make the whole trip add up to 40 miles.  So what do any crazy tired runners do...well serpentine through the parking lot until those magical numbers are reached of course!
I'm pretty sure that Leslie thought we were insane as she didn't take part, but she was kind enough to get some nice photo documentation of Heather and my obsessiveness.

Day 2 Stats:
12.81 miles (for a total of exactly 40 overall)
2:42:24 total time
12:41 average pace
2,137 feet elevation gain
2,317 feet elevation loss

In summary, it was one of the most amazing adventures I've had to date. I couldn't have asked for better company or better conditions. We were so blessed with the perfect weather, especially on the first day when we had overcast skies.  I don't think I would've done anything differently.  I was happy with my pack and my clothing and my fueling as well as hydrating.  Definitely an adventure worth repeating...or maybe we should go down and back next time... anyone up for an adventure?



Monday, January 12, 2015

Today is THE DAY!!!

Today is a pretty big day.  First and foremost, it is the first day of my 50 mile training plan!!  I have been so excited... really looking forward to this day.  So, how did I celebrate it?  I took the day off. What?! Well, on Saturday, Heather, Katie and I went to Mt. Pisgah to run around in the mud and low hanging clouds (also known as fog) and it was a great time.  I should be more specific, it was beautiful and exhilarating and also really, really hard.  We ended up with 15.5 miles, about 3000 feet of elevation gain and it took us well over 3 hours to complete it, I think...I actually didn't have my watch.  Katie had never run at Pisgah and Heather and I hadn't been there for a while...it's rough going, we forgot how rough, but oh so beautiful...take a look for yourself:
"She turned me into a newt"
"A newt?!"
"I got better."
This is halfway up one of the decent sized climbs.  I thought that if I got a picture of Heather and Katie further up it would give perspective to the steepness of it...doesn't even come close.  :)
Can you see the face?
I was of course tired after the run but not really too sore.  I took a long hot shower and Dan gave me a nice massage.  Then I sat on the couch and was really lazy until it was time to go to bed...well somewhere between all of that, I drained our house of anything closely resembling junk food too and Heather and her lovely family even brought me the best tasting Blizzard I've ever had in my life...I don't think I fueled very well.  Anyway, I was tired but not too sore until I got up to go to bed and then I realized that my hip really hurt.  I've been fighting with my hamstring for quite a while and have self-diagnosed it as a proximal hamstring strain (I actually can't find the site that diagnosed myself on, but that one seems fairly pertinent too).  It is kind of always there but doesn't keep me from running and I'm working on strengthening my hips and core and overall legs as a preventative/curing measure but I've never had too much issue with my hip.  By the time I went to bed the whole back side of my right leg was stiff and sore from my hip down to my Achilles and even around into my shin.  I had to get up in the middle of the night to re-up on ibuprofen so that I could sleep.  Unfortunately, I didn't get much relief on Sunday (if anything, sitting through church made it worse) and I did the smart thing and texted Heather to let her know I wasn't going to get up early to run today.  I've since decided to take the whole day off and may or may not look into making up the mileage tomorrow.  Not the best way to start a new training plan, but better to take a little bit of mileage off now than take a whole lot off later when it really matters...or so I keep telling myself.  I am feeling quite a bit better today and have been pretty diligent with my foam rolling so I have good expectations.  

So, the second thing that makes today THE DAY is that Oregon is going to be playing in the National Championship football game!!!! We are all so excited.  I think it's going to be a great game.  I don't think by any means it will be an easy game for the Ducks, but if we've ever had a chance to win the national title it's with this team on this day.  If you don't have a team to root for (and even if you do) you should enjoy a few hours rooting for my ducks...it will be well worth your time.  5:30pm PST on ESPN