Tuesday, March 31, 2015


A few things from my Monday...

Jazmin KILLED it on our afternoon run! She ran a whole straight mile - and then a second mile after some walking! In all, more than a 5K - so proud of her :)
On my lunchtime walk:
Umm... I wonder what those kiddos thought they were drawing???

Wildwood Part 4: 30 miles done!

Dad and I have been doing almost-weekly hikes for quite a while. But he has back surgery coming up this week and will be missing out on the fun while he recovers and regains strength.

So we decided to challenge ourselves and hike Portland's Wildwood Trail (30+ miles!) in four installments. With the weather turning and surgery looming, we decided to finish it up Sunday after church. Brad finally got a day off (dang end-of-quarter pressures!) and joined us on the trail.

We started at the Birch Trail on Northwest 53rd off Cornell:
This is definitely the hilliest part of the trail, but Dad thought it was the prettiest. But since it was Sunday, and really hot, and the popular section of the trail, it was a bit like being at the mall! So many people! Usually hiking mid-week, we just aren't used to that. We've gotten spoiled :)

The Wildwood winds its way down, down, down to Balch Creek. On its shore is this random stone house, known to some as the Witch's Castle. It was Dad's first visit, so he had to explore:
The trail then climbs out of the canyon and up to Pittock Mansion. Then through Washington Park and the Hoyt Arboretum. Near the end, a lookout provides mountain views and some historical and geological info:
Finally... THE END!
30 miles on the Wildwood! Congrats, Dad :)
Mom's schedule allowed her three of the four times to be our shuttle driver, saving us tons of time. And then she got to partake in the refueling. Eryn skipped this hike to do her long run of the week and also need food... Davidson's food!
Good job, Dad! You're a fun trail buddy, and I can't wait until your back is all better so we can do even more this summer :)

Wildwood Wednesday: Part 1
Wildwood Wednesday: Part 2
Wildwood: Part 3

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sweatband for the win

I came home the other night to find Brad on the treadmill sporting a sweet orange sweatband. We both laughed at his sexiness, but then he said it was actually really awesome at keeping the sweat out of his eyes - a constant struggle while treadmill running.

So when I had to do my speedwork last week, I donned my own sweet sweatband:
It was awesome! Although, to be honest, I was hoping no neighbors saw me through my open garage doors :)

Without sweat running in my eyes, I was able to focus on my Netflix my tempo run.
See how fast I was going??
WHEW! A good workout :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Adventure Thursday: Wildwood Part 3

Spring Break! Eryn joined Dad and me for the third leg of our Wildwood hike. We started Thursday morning at the Saltzman Road trail head off Skyline Boulevard:
It was foggy early on, and this corridor was filled with wet webs like this. So cool!
This was our longest chunk, about 10 miles in all. We hung a right at the Birch Trail, where Mom was waiting to shuttle us back to our car.
Last week's rain made the trail really mucky in parts. I'm glad I opted for boots!
Just one more leg to go :)

Wildwood Wednesday: Part 1
Wildwood Wednesday: Part 2

Sunday, March 22, 2015

No. 13

Back to non-fiction!

I have mysterious tummy troubles. I've experimented for years and years and years with traditional treatments, alternative treatments, experimental treatments. I've had every test and tried every medicine and diet.

A doctor once recommended the low-FODMAP diet. I've been researching it a bunch lately and decided to give it a try. Really, it's the only thing I haven't done, so it's kinda my last chance.

Dietician Patsy Catsos seems to be the leading authority, interpreting Australian research and creating an elimination plan. I ordered her book on Amazon, it arrived yesterday in the mail, and I devoured it in one sitting!

No. 13 is IBS Free at Last! The tag line is "Change your carbs, change your life" - oh, how relief would change my life!

The FODMAPs concept is really easy and really complicated at the same time. It gets fairly technical, and I'll spare you the details. If you want to know more, visit her very extensive Web site.

Everything in here makes SO much sense. The testimonials are spot-on with my own experiences. And a huge bonus is that the elimination phase is only a couple weeks. She says I should know almost immediately if FODMAPs are something that causes my trouble. If so, I can start the challenge phase: introducing each category one at a time to see my exact tolerances/intolerances.

So... the journey begins tomorrow with a two-week elimination diet. Fingers crossed for finally some answers and some relief!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Shamrock Run (3/15/15)

Sunday was my third - and wetest - Shamrock Run!
Luann joined us, and we got there way too early (I always get nervous and push the timeline up too far!). But we got a perfect parking spot and sat in the car, in the dark, listing to the steady rain until it was time to brave the elements and walk across the Hawthorne Bridge to Waterfront Park.

It was so wet that I decided to leave my camera in the car. So here's our only picture:
We were already wet by the time we arrive at the park, found some porta-potties and ditched our warmup clothes. Luann and I ran the 15K, which started at 7:30 a.m. We made our way into the mob, inched toward the start line, and finally, we were off!
The race is SO crowded! The crowd and energy is part of the awesomeness, but it also makes for a very slow start with lots of weaving. The 15K course, at least where I was, never cleared out. It thinned a bit but was wall-to-wall runners the whole time. 

Because of our recent training run on Terwilliger, I felt prepared for the big hill. But for this race, you start by going all the way up Broadway before you even get to Terwilliger. I knew I was in trouble when my legs were already tired near Portland State University. 

It was about that time that I told Luann I was turning on my music, and she said she was going to drop back a couple steps and meet me at the finish.

I did fine on Terwilliger, though I didn't feel as strong as I had hoped. Also, there was a problem with a water station not having water ready, costing me valuable time. :(

Still, I motored up, excited to hear the pipers at the top. I crested the hill, grabbed a slug of water and pointed downhill.

I was gunning for a 9:45 average, which would have been a PR over last year. But I didn't have Joel, my personal pacer, and I just couldn't do it. I pushed hard, dropping a whole 30 seconds off my pace in the last 3 miles. But I was soaked, it was crowded, and when I realized I wouldn't make my goal, it was REALLY difficult to keep pushing that hard.

Almost done:
I finished in 1:33:10 - a 9:53 average. The statistical average for the 15K? 1:33:20. Always smack-dab in the middle ;)
I got my medal and some water and headed back to the chute to watch Luann finish a couple minutes behind me. Nice job, Luann!!
Brad was running the inaugural half marathon, so Luann and I grabbed our salmon chowder and went to the bag check area to wait for him to finish. We may have danced a little to the music at the 5K starting line :)

Nice job on the 13.1, Babe!
Overall, it was a good, fun race. I knew going in that it would be super crowded - that's the nature of the beast. The temperature was perfect for running, and Sunday's crazy windstorm didn't start until we were finished. The rain was intense, but nothing use Oregon runners can't handle!

Mom, Eryn and Dad also ran, but we didn't even try to meet up since the crowds are so huge.

Until next year... :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Adventure Thursday = Wildwood Wednesday

Full calendars have again forced our Adventure Thursday activity to move to Wednesday. I realized I like "Wildwood Wednesday" better, anyway!

This week's plan was Springville Road to Saltzman Road.

Mom wasn't available to help us shuttle, so we drove two cars to Forest Park and made our own shuttle. We started at last week's exit point: Springville Road.
 Look how sunny it was! A big change from last week's clouds and drizzle.
We hiked about 6 miles on the Wildwood Trail before heading up Saltzman Road to our other car.
We think it's about 7.5 miles in all.

Refueling happened at Native Foods Cafe, but I left my camera in the car. Eryn, Mom and Brad joined us, and yummy food was consumed! :)

Wildwood Wednesday: Part 1

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish intervals

Should I do my intervals or should I skip them? That was the question I wrestled all day.

My hammies are much less tight than they were yesterday. And I'm feeling fairly rested - so I decided to go for it - in my new kicks!
Today's prescription was 7x400 meters at a 8:13 pace with a 200-meter recovery between. I pushed the last one up a notch. Good thing I have Flash Point to watch on Netflix:
I had just a short time between work and my union meeting, but I got 'er done! (Actually, I squeezed in a quick nap, too!) With warmup and cooldown, 3.55 miles in all... in my green and orange. Happy St. Patrick's Day :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nos. 9, 10, 11 & 12

I read two books at once this time, a fiction to entertain my brain and a running book to expand my brain.

As expected, I flew through Joanne Fluke's Carrot Cake Murder:
Brad ordered Daniels' Running Formula and has already started following this program for his upcoming marathon (Vancouver USA in June). He suggested I read it. Brad really loves reading how-to type books, but I have a really hard time with them.

Daniels is very technical with lots of formulas and charts and such. It's not that I don't understand them, but I just get so bogged down processing all that info.
So while I was still slogging through the running book, I picked up my last Fluke: Apple Turnover Murder.
Such an easy, fun, effortless read :)

To be honest, I was still working through Daniels when I picked up No. 12: 
Patricia Houck Sprinkle's Somebody's Dead in Snellville was a fairly standard murder mystery. It was well written, but there were SO many characters. I usually read while falling asleep for an afternoon nap or at night. My tired mind just couldn't keep track of everyone in this hill-billy family.

But I still enjoyed it!

I finally finished the running book this weekend - woohoo!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Waterfront cherry blossom shakeout

Look how I started my Friday!
After work, I went downtown to exchange my race shirt at the Shamrock expo. Last year's injury forced me to skip running with the waterfront cherry blossoms. I took advantage of being in Portland on a 70-degree afternoon and went for an easy pre-race shakeout run.

There they are! 
I ran one lap, just under 3 miles. Perfect!
I made a quick stop at the car to grab my stuff and then walked back down the Eastbank Esplanade to the race expo at the convention center.

In all, 5.67 miles of walking and running on an unseasonably warm afternoon.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Adventure Thursday: Wildwood Part 1

Back on the Adventure-Thursday bandwagon, Dad and I have been hitting Tryon Creek State Park lately. But with the time change and more evening daylight, I suggested with hike the Wildwood Trail in Portland's Forest Park.

Several years ago, Brad, Tim, Laura and I hiked the entire 30-mile trail in four sections. I asked Dad if he wanted to try it and he agreed. We plan to do it in over the next four weeks, finishing just before he has back surgery that will take him out of the game for a while. (But hopefully alleviate lots of pain!)

Scheduling made Wednesday the better option this week, so I picked him up after work and drove to the Newberry Road trailhead - the far west end of the Wildwood Trail:
We easily covered the 8 miles of rolling trail to Springville Road, our exit for the week. We feared it would be really wet, but it just sprinkled the last hour or so. We were damp but not wet. And the temp was great for shorts and long sleeves.

We mostly had the place to ourselves, crossing paths with just eight people in 2.5 hours.
A short hike up the approach trail, and we were done!
Mom couldn't hike with us but volunteered to meet us at Springville and shuttle us back to the start. That was awesome and saved so much time! Thanks, Mom :)

Our reward was dinner at Davidsons - yum!
Brad got in on the action, too. He was having a rough week at work. Grumpy Pants:
Looking forward to next week's hike :)