Saturday, June 30, 2012

Track Thursday: sisters!

Track Thursday is back!!

With our Rock 'n' Roll Half behind us and our Giant Race half coming in a couple months, it's time to get back to the track to pick up some speed!

Eryn, who can run forever but not very quickly, is jumping on the Track-Thursday bandwagon in hopes of getting a bit faster.
Because the THS track is under construction all summer, we headed last week to Twality for some laps.

I decided to do three 1,600s (four laps) with a 400-meter (one lap) walk recovery in between. I was aiming for a 8:19 average.
Eryn wasn't sure about her 5K PR (we were aiming for 10 seconds under our personal records), so she decided to run a 10:30 average.
We both did the first 2 miles "easily" and then struggled a bit on the last one. I ended up running quite a bit faster than I planned and then had to do a short walk in the middle of my final mile. Eryn did a walk between each lap during her last mile.

It was warm and muggy but not too bad out. The biggest annoyance was all the people riding bikes, strolling, walking dogs and skateboarding on the track around us. Keep the inside lanes clear for runners, please :)
Here's how my workout looked:

I rode my bike about 1 mile to the school and then did a warm-up lap.

Mile 1 average (each lap):

400-meter recovery

Mile 2:

400-meter recovery

Mile 3:
300-meter recovery

I cooled down a bit and then ran the end with Eryn. Total: 4.54 miles

Felt great :)

This week, life got in the way and Track Thursday got pushed back to Friday. Eryn did her's Thursday, but I had to go alone in the morning.
All was quiet as I did my laps. Just one other woman was there when I showed up, but she soon left me.

I decided to do four 800s this week. Here's how my workout looked:



200-meter recovery


200-meter recovery


200-meter recovery


The crazy humidity combined with my still-asleep body (I don't do morning workouts!) made a really hard workout. I felt a little puky, so I allowed myself to slow down on that fourth interval. I'm glad I slowed instead of quitting!
Total: 3.13 miles in 30:32 minutes.

I'm glad Eryn's joining me in this speedy journey :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekly Wednesday ends in tragedy

Our first Weekly Wednesday of 2012 started quite normally, with a train trip north to Seattle for Mariners game. We scored a table on the river side of the car:
Dad now gets to join us since he's retired :) He thoroughly enjoyed the ride:
He who chooses to sleep in public chooses also to get harassed a bit :)
 The 3-hour trip allowed time for sightseeing:
 And blogging our Solstice Stupidity adventure (love Amtrak's free wifi!):
We arrived without incident (aside from Mom chasing down the train with her jacket still on board) and headed to Safeco Field. The gates to Qwest Century Link Field were open, and since Eryn and I have never been, we took a quick peek inside:
 It was so exciting that Eryn fell asleep:
 Home of the Seahawks and the Sounders:
Free stuff on the way to the stadium!!
Great seats right behind homeplate:
Rally Monkey was chillin' in the empty seat:
 Four guys in front of us arrived a bit late after stopping off to purchase these sandwiches:
 Smelled amazing! We were all drooling, even the veggies in the group. We took pictures for Brad :)
This group shot got a lot of laughs. Nice one, Mom!
Despite my rally cap and our rally monkeys, we did not win:
We knew it was going to be a bad day when Oakland's lead-off batter hit a homer off the first pitch. Oh well, it's just a game.
Beautiful day in Seattle:
Rainier showed herself, too:
The game was really fast, so we had some time to kill before the train left for home. We hit our favorite thrift store across the street for some bargain hunting.
Eryn scored this cute summer/beach dress/coverup for just $3!
We made our way back to the train station and boarded for the trip south.

Everything was going smoothly until about 15 minutes north of Vancouver when there was this loud whoosh sound and we stopped quickly. A smokey smell filled the train from the emergency brakes, and we weren't sure what was happening.

An announcement came a few minutes later: "We've had an accident. We hit a trespasser at the bridge."

I gasped. Horrible, horrible news.

Because we were not near a road, we were required to stay on the train while the incident was investigated. Fortunately, it was only about 3 hours before we were rolling again.

After gasping and then praying for the person killed and the train conductor, my news blood kicked in - big time. I tried to reach all my news friends and ended up doing a phone interview with KGW. Thanks again to that wifi, we were able to watch the story on Dad's netbook computer at 10 p.m. while still waiting for the investigation to conclude.

Here's the follow-up story from Thursday:

The strangest thing was the reaction from those on board the train. One woman was crying and one man was on the phone yelling about how he makes too much money to be stuck on the train like that.

Otherwise, people were pretty much just going about their business: reading, sleeping, texting. I was very surprised at the apparent lack of concern that our train had just killed a woman. Strange.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Solstice Stupidity: bike bonus!

The rest of the group was happy to call it a day after a sunrise hike up Palmer, hiking in the Gorge, a 5K race and a dip in the ocean. But Brad and I thought we'd go for one last adventure: Sunday Parkways.

The once-monthly event shuts down streets in a section of Portland to allow bikes to take over for a few hours. We did a couple last year and loved them, so they're on the calendar again this summer.

After a short night and a drive home from the beach, I begged Brad to let us stay home and nap. But he insisted we go, knowing we'd have a great time. Of course, he was right :)

This month's event was in north Portland. We parked just off Rosa Parks and jumped on the course. There are things to do along the way, and we soon saw this fun band entertaining us on Willamette Boulevard:
Because we started late and had a short time to ride before the course re-opened to cars, we mostly just rolled through, taking in the sights but staying on the bikes.

Then toward the end we rolled up on Peninsula Park, a HUGE rose garden. I had no idea this park existed. Very nice!
We had to check it out for a few minutes:
Portland Sunday Parkways is a great way to get outside, stretch the legs and see other parts of the city. Anyone want to go with us next month?? :)

Previous Solstice Stupidity adventures: 2011, 2010, 2009

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Solstice Stupidity 2012: polar-bear dip

OK, so a sunrise hike up Palmer, hiking in the Gorge and a 5K race is stupid enough, right. Nope!

We got right in the car after our race and tried to beat the sun to the ocean.

I think we all filled with a little dread as we anticipated our next stupid adventure: jumping in the water at Oceanside. The original plan was to go crotch deep, but we all decided that if we were going to do it, we were going to go all the way!

We parked just after sunset and jumped out quickly before losing our nerve. I really really really wish we had pictures, but it all happened too fast.

As we stripped down to our running shorts (plus sports bras for the ladies), a man and his son (10ish?) asked excitedly if we were going in. We looked like we were working up to it, they said. Yep!

Shouts of both terror and joy escaped our mouths as we took off running for the water, which was a long way out because of the low tide. The boy from the parking lot ran alongside, yelling, "They're going in! They're going in!" to make sure everyone on the beach was aware of the stupidity.

Honestly, it felt great! Refreshing and invigorating!

We drove the couple blocks to Ma and Pa's beach house to quickly drop the cars and get the oven heating for our reward pizzas. Then we ran (mostly) up, up, up to the top of Maxwell Point as our final act of stupidity.

Heading out (they were doing some little dance of delusion):
Look at that... sunlight was still peeking over the horizon!!
Our mission was complete :)
We did it!
Trying for a silhouette picture:
Under the tiny moon sliver, we walked down to the house for showers and mass quantities of pizza. We chatted sleepily until just after midnight, concluding our day of stupidity.

I'd never met Rachel and Jonathan before Saturday, and I knew Jeffrey only in passing because of Brad's Mount St. Helens climb in drag. I had a great time getting to know everyone, laughing and playing outside.

I can hardly wait for more adventures!!

We slept in a bit Sunday before eating cookies for breakfast, straightening up the house and heading home. 

But first, one last summit shot with the gang:
Awesomely stupid! :)

Previous Solstice Stupidity adventures: 2011, 2010, 2009

Solstice Stupidity 2012: let's run a 5K!

After sunrise on the Palmer Glacier and hiking in the Gorge, some people would call it a day. But that wouldn't be stupid.

You know what would be stupid? Running a 5K race!

The Twilight Run, to raise money for Tigard-Tualatin schools, started at 7 p.m. at Cook Park behind Tigard High. But before the race, we stocked up on take-and-bake pizzas to eat when all the stupidity was complete:
After a short rest at home, we drove to THS for the start of the race. Rachel and Jonathan joined our little party at the last minute, and the race was already sold out.
Ready to run:
My mom took this awesome picture of Brad and me sprinting to the finish line:
The running gang (thanks for this pic, Rachel!):
Tyler took 7th place with a time of 20:26! He's fast. Jeffrey, who ran cross country in college, donned his racing flats and short shorts and ran really fast! He came in ahead of Tyler, but we don't have his official time.

Nick came in at 25:37 - nicely done!

Considering the day we'd already had, I was aiming for 30 minutes. But I finished in 28:38! Brad was a peach and ran right next to me :)

(Official race results)

Eryn also ran:
We grabbed our free snacks and chocolate milk and did some stretches outside CE2 before hitting the road for our next stop.

Next up: polar-bear dip. Stay tuned! :)

Previous Solstice Stupidity adventures: 2011, 2010, 2009