Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weekly Wednesday: National Cheesecake Day

When I learned it was National Cheesecake Day, I knew what we had to do!

I got a Cheesecake Factory gift certificate for my birthday, so I ordered up a couple slices for my family to sample: Adams Peanut Butter, Red Velvet and Oreo.
We ate and played a round of May I? - and I didn't lose! Dad usually creams us, but he was having an off night :)

I hope you celebrated, too!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I biked up Rex Hill!

I did it! I rode my bike all the way to Champoeg State Park and back - all by myself!
The fam was camping Monday and Tuesday nights to celebrate Ma and Pa's birthdays. I decided to send my small bag of stuff with Mom and Dad and bike my butt out there.

Armed with directions from Google strapped to my top tube, I left home in Tigard at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. I went through Cook and Tualatin parks, out Tualatin-Sherwood Road, behind Sherwood and came out at Highway 99W and Sunset. I peddled along Highway 99, DOWN Rex Hill (I hit 34 mph!) and took a left on Springbrook to Highway 219. Then Champoeg Road took me straight to the park.

About 22 miles and 1:37 later, I cruised into Ma and Pa's campsite. No problem!
Truthfully, it was a fairly easy ride. I left early enough that it wasn't yet crazy-hot (75 when I arrived), and most traffic was traveling in the opposite direction, toward Portland. Riding on the highway was no biggie, as there's a huge bike/emergency lane the whole way. I never felt uncomfortable.

The only problem spot was on 219. There's a narrow bike lane/shoulder that narrows down even more on the bridge across the Willamette River. And because it's only one lane in each direction, cars are pretty close. I was praying and going as fast as I could past the really low guardrail when an empty log truck went by. I felt the wash, and that freaked me out a bit. But I survived and was very glad I made the trip.

We had a little celebration for the birthday boy and girl:
I plotted my return trip and decided earlier was better to avoid too much traffic on Highway 219.

I got up at 5 a.m. and hit the road at 6 a.m., just as the sun was rising over the mountain. Highway 219 wasn't too bad - I just rode fast and prayed hard. 

But then I had to tackle Rex Hill on Highway 99 coming out of Newberg. I got up as much speed as I could on the approach, then geared all the way down and cranked up the giant hill. There was a TON of traffic since I was now heading into Portland during rush hour. But again, the bike lane is huge, and I just got it done. (I also passed some fossilized roadkill on the pavement and a deer skeleton in the ditch!)

Instead of riding back on Tualatin-Sherwood Road, which offers a more narrow bike lane and faces directly into the rising sun, I went back out on 99 for a couple miles, then took a right at 124th and a left on Tualatin Road. Easy. The ride home ended up being almost the same distance - 22.5 miles in 1:43:
SO proud of myself for tackling the ride and the big hill, especially on my own!
After a long shower, a couple vegan pancakes hit the spot!
I have a week and a half of summer vacation left. I wonder how much more fun adventures I can squeeze in :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Streakin' - Week 5

** Monday - sweaty kickboxing class:

** Tuesday - 60 minutes on the bike:

** Wednesday - 3.5 miles on the 'mill:

** Thursday - 20.2 miles on my bike:

And 4.04 miles at the July Discovery Run:

** Friday - 37.5 easy miles on the Springwater Corridor with Dad:

** Saturday - shakeout bike ride to Ma's birthday BBQ and then Harbor Freight - 6 miles:

** Sunday - Lacamas Lake Half with Mom and Eryn:


Monday, July 28, 2014

Lacamas Lake Half Marathon (7/27/14)

I returned to my roots Sunday... Lacamas Lake, my very first half marathon.
In 2011, at the last minute, I decided to run the half. Three years and a dozen halves later, I went back to try the course again. Unfortunately, my stupid Achilles tendon is still unhappy, so I decided to walk/run this one with my Mom. Eryn was also there, her first half post surgery.

Three McKee ladies ready to go!
Mom's game plan was to walk the flats and ups and run the downs. This was her second half, and her loose goal was to finish in 3:30. Her PR from her first half, which was all walking, was 3:56.

According to my Garmin, we went 13.24 miles at a 15:59 average:
Total time: 3:31:52. Pretty close!
Eryn had a good race until her calves cramped up and she had to walk the last 2 miles. Still, a good showing for her first race back.

All done! 
The festivities were pretty much over 3.5 hours after the start, but the announcers were still there to say our names as we crossed the line - one of my favorite parts! We got our medals, some water and bananas. Then we drove up the hill to Lacamas Lake for some soaking in the water:
That felt so good!

Then on to Mom's request - The Original Taco House on 82nd Avenue in Portland:
 I ate way too many chips, salsa and guac. And this black bean and rice bowl was yummy!
For Mom, it's all about the guac!
Congrats to Mom on her second half and to Eryn on her return to racing. So what's the next race??? :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Boring bike ride

Dad agreed to bike part of the Springwater Corridor with me this morning, so I rode to his house about 6:45 a.m., and we loaded the truck and hit the road for Southeast Portland.
The ~21-mile trail is missing a section in Sellwood. We parked at the east end of that section and jumped on the trail at Southeast 19th Avenue and Ochoco Street, about Milepost 5 on the trail.

It's an old railroad right of way, so it's flat and straight - perfect for an easy ride. We took a snack break at Milepost 14 in Gresham, and Dad said to keep going. When he finally started to tire, we were just a few miles from the end - so we kept going... all the way to...

The clouds were just starting to clear as we took a break at the end of the trail.

The way back had a slight downhill trend but also a headwind. And we were tiring, but we made it:
Dad and I rode about 35 miles - his longest ride ever - woohoo :)

Including my trip to his house and back, I hit 37.5.

While the route itself wasn't challenging, 3.25 hours is a long time to sit in that saddle and keep your legs moving. Way to go, Dad :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No. 30

There was lots going on during last weekend's camping trip, but I still managed to finish this THS castoff.

Death of a Baritone, by Karen Sturges, was a formula murder mystery but set at a camp for opera singers. Different :)

Will I beat last year's record of 54??

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No horses

Saw this sign on our weekend trip to Mount Hood. Made me laugh :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Timothy Lake 2014

What was once an annual event fell by the wayside in recent years. But this year, we revived the Timothy Lake camping trip!

Brad and I have been organizing the trip since college, with the last one in 2010. It was so nice to have the gang (at least part of it) together again for some fun times in the great outdoors.
Most of us arrived Thursday, set up camp and started relaxing. Friday, Eryn and I gathered the energy to step away from the campfire and hike from Gone Creek Campground to the dam and back - about 5.5 miles.
Such a beautiful view of Mount Hood:
The campground is now run by PGE, a nice improvement over Thousand Trails. New signs, maps, parking areas. Friendly staff.
 Tim and Laura brought a crawfish trap - a big hit with the kiddos:
Tim invited us to join him on a hike around the lake - 13 miles.
A good time was had by all :)
It was a very nice, relaxing weekend with friends. Can't wait for next year :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer streakin' - Week 4

** Monday - 9.35-mile walk/run with Mom:
And a 1-hour kickboxing class with Lindsey and Brittany:

** Tuesday - 41 minutes on the recumbent bike (PS - so glad we recently upgraded to this new bike. Love it!):

** Wednesday - 60-minute shakeout on the bike. Then another 1-hour kickboxing class with Brad and Brittany:

** Thursday - 10-mile bike ride, mostly cruising but one BIG, lung-busting hill toward the end:

** Friday - 5.5-mile hike around camp:

** Saturday - 13-mile hike around Timothy Lake:

** Sunday - 60 minutes on the bike. Tablet's battery was dead - had to read magazines. I miss my Netflix: