Saturday, October 31, 2015

Nos. 33 and 34

I put this book out every year with my Halloween decorations. I finally decided to read all of it!
It's a collection of "spooky poems and tales".

I bought it when I was a kid... in a book order!! Do you remember those? Best things ever!

The poems and tales weren't that scary. But I really liked this one:
When the night wind howls in the chimney cowls, 
and the bat in the moonlight flies, 
And inky clouds, like funeral shrouds, sail over the midnight skies--
When the footpads quail at the night-bird's wail,
and black dogs bay at the moon, 
Then is the spectres' holiday -- then is the ghosts' highnoon!

-William Schwenck Gilbert

No 34 was Missing Pieces, by Norma Fox Mazer:
As you can see from the acid-washed denim jacket, it's from the '90s. Eryn was thinning the THS library collection again, and I grabbed a few "gems". This was about a girl looking for her father, who left the family when she was a baby. It's a pretty good book for young readers.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Heavy medal

Look what we got for doing the Run Molalla Series:
To be honest, we signed up because of the goat and Bigfoot logos. Participants got trucker caps with this logo, and that was good enough for us!
Also, three races for $89 is a pretty good deal.

We had a blast at all three events! They were so well organized and supported. The Goat and the trail race were two of the toughest I've ever run - but also two of the best! And the Freedom 5K was just small-town awesomeness.

I bumped into one of the organizers at the last Discovery Run and told her how much fun we had at the trail race and how impressed we were with the whole series. Apparently, there was also a series medal that somehow Brad and I missed. She wanted us to have the bling, so she offered to drop two by the store so we wouldn't miss out. Then she messaged me to let me know they were waiting for us. Seriously - these people are awesome!

The medals are so, so great! Bigfoot and a goat... what more could we want??

We just can't say enough. We will definitely be signing up again next year for these terrific events! Join us!! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Soccer shakeout

Knowing I planned to race Sunday's Run Like Hell, I stayed very conservative with Saturday's workout.

My cousin's son, Ryan, was again playing tiny soccer at the nearby elementary school. So Brad and I ran the short distance to cheer him on, then ran home again for a short shakeout. It was pretty chilly, and we planned to stand around for a bit, so I wore way more clothes than normal. I broke out the crazy pants Sarah got me for my birthday!
Parents Amy and Kenny were out of town, so my Aunt Pat and Uncle Dave were on grandparent duty:
Good job, Ryan!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Barrier Peak/Tamanos Mountain (8/16/15)

After July's failed attempt to climb Tamanos Mountain in Rainier National Park, we planned a return trip in better weather, hoping to backpack (since we didn't have reservations) and also bag a couple peaks.

Heading up early on a Saturday:
An empty backseat where Brittany was supposed to be. We were so bummed to not share the adventure with our young, buff friend!
The back-country camp was all booked, but after much harassing by a cranky park ranger, we acquired a cross-country camping permit and very specific instructions on where we could and couldn't camp. The jerky ranger basically threatened us, but we weren't intimidated. We know what to do in the woods, thank you, very much!

Parked, packed and ready to hit the Owyhigh Lakes Trail:
Because of all the cross-country permit rules, it took a long time to find a place to set up camp. We bushwhacked through the wet brush, following game trails and looking for flat-ish spots big enough for our tent. We eventually found what we think was a deer bed (guessing from all the deer scat in the flattened spot) and apologized out loud to any nearby deer for invading their home for the night.

The weather was perfect, but the wet, waist-deep brush left us fairly wet and chilled. Brad let me huddle in the tent to warm up while he got water from the lake and did other camp set-up stuff.
Brad joined me in the tent for "dinner", which ended up being trail snacks. After going over gear with Brittany the night before, I accidentally jettisoned the freeze-dried pad Thai we were supposed to eat. Oops! But energy bars, trail mix, hot chocolate, Pringles and Joe-Joe cookies did the job - and added to our crazy adventure :)
Rainier could be seen from our potty spot down the hill from our tent:
Also, Tamanos Mountain - one of our summit goals for Sunday:
We packed up Sunday morning and made our way toward Barrier Peak. We could see our destination, but since there was no real trail for most of it, we had lots of route-finding fun!
Lots and lots of photo opportunities:
Tamanos Mountain:
Checking the GPS:
Are we there yet?? Brad always enjoys the route-finding more than me. I prefer a nice, obvious trail.
Mount Adams to the south:
Rainier peeking over the ridge:
After lots more bushwhacking, a little getting lost, and a bunch of steep scrambling, we were on the summit with an amazing view of Rainier. 
Looking across at Tamanos - Owyhigh Lakes below:
About 6,500 feet:
And because we had cell reception, we couldn't resist texting a "wish-you-were-here" summit shot to Brittany :)

Next up was figuring out how to get down more efficiently than we went up. More bushwhacking.

We eventually made it back to the main trail where we were able to ditch our giant overnight packs in some brush and trade them for much lighter summit packs.

We were pretty pooped by this point, so we took the steep, sunny trail nice and slow.

There were several rock blocks near the summit, and we had to figure out which was the tallest. I think he got it!
I joined him up there at about 6,800 feet - with Rainier in all her glory:
A waterfall was flowing off the glacier:
Bad lighting for photos, but it was absolutely stunning:
The weather was perfect for hanging out on the summit. We snacked and took tons of pics before heading back to the main trail to grab our big packs. We were alone on both summits - such a wonderful perk of climbing less-popular routes!

As always, the 3.5-mile hike out seemed to take forever, especially since it was so hot and I was out of water.

Finally, we heard the traffic on the road, and then we spotted the car through the trees. YAY!
We returned our bear canister to the cranky ranger and were on our way home. It was a very long day, but so worth it for the awesome views and new peaks to check off our lists :)

No. 32

This book gets me!

The female police detective said this about her gun and shoulder holster:

"It's odd, really: I'd feel naked at work without that shoulder holster I've worn for years, but the moment I walk in the door at home the holster becomes a maddening encumbrance." 

I feel the SAME WAY about my rings! If I leave the house without them, I instantly feel naked - I suddenly realize they are missing. But as soon as I walk in the house, I rip them off. They truly become a "maddening encumbrance"! I've never heard anyone express that before... I'm so happy :)

Otherwise, it was a good mystery about circus performers. I enjoy learning something about another culture or activity while unraveling a mystery!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Run Like Hell - PR!!!! (10/25/15)

I killed my old 10K PR yesterday!

The annual Run Like Hell 10K in downtown Portland is one of my favorite races! The weather is cool, the course is flat, the swag/finish line is great, the race support is terrific, and the costume theme makes me so happy.
This was the fourth time I've raced it, and I've set a PR three times. (Last year was just 2 seconds per mile off of another PR!)

After months and months and months of marathon training, Brad didn't want to commit to any events until he finished his early-October race. He survived (more than survived, actually!), but wasn't really up for racing again so soon. So I asked if he'd pace me and try for a new PR (personal record).

My goal was to get anything below my current 10K PR of 8:47-minute miles, set in 2013. Brad, the Excel guru, made a spreadsheet so we could lay out my plan. Then I left it all up to him. I didn't look at my watch once, trusting that he was pacing me where I needed to be.\

Our 10K started at 8:15 a.m. We were up about 5 a.m. and then picked up Eryn about 6:45 a.m. to drive downtown. No costume but Halloween colors. And since it was already over 50 degrees, I went with tank top and arm sleeves:
Because we were so early, we snagged a parking spot just three blocks from the start at Pioneer Courthouse Square and then stayed in the warm, dry car until the halfers took off at 7:30 a.m. Brad tried to sleep:
By then, the sun was rising and it was time to make our way over to the party and hit the porta potties. Portland...
I bumped into Ashley from kickboxing class. Why didn't I take a picture of Ashley and her twin sister dressed as bearded ladies?? (circus theme this year)

Because my race strategy didn't leave room for a slow start, we got up near the starting line to avoid congestion. And since Brad was there as my pacer, I made him stand between me and the wind until we took off :)
Eryn has been working her tail off to get back in the game after a year of sickness and injury. This was her first racing in a long time. We were matching in our orange and black:
Mom and Dad showed up to cheer us on! They are so great and supportive!!
Fortunately, we started right on time! (it's not always like that with this race)

Brad and I zoomed down Salmon Street and then down Naito. About 2/3 of a mile in, a sign next to the road announced Mile 7 (for the half marathon), and as we passed, a kind woman cheered that we were at mile 7 - almost done. I hollered back that we were 10Kers who just started :) OOPS :)

Brad shouted out a couple times that we were right on target. The course is an out and back with a slight uphill trend at the beginning. I was doing good, but toward the turnaround, I started to lose Brad a bit. He got about 15 feet ahead, and I just couldn't keep up on the slight incline. He asked if I could pick it up a bit, and I told him I could not.

But then came the turn, and a little downhill, and I turned it up. That also brought a headwind from the east, but Brad ran in front of me and blocked it nicely!

I spotted Mom and Dad a couple times on the course. I tossed them my unnecessary gloves and arm sleeves. Thanks for taking my stinky laundry, Mom and Dad!
One great thing about an out-and-back course is that you get to see all your fellow racers, including Eryn! We gave high fives as we passed.

I felt like we were cruising. I was working hard but not dying, though I told Brad I didn't have much more to give. In the last mile, I pulled over to the side and slowed a bit for a half block or so. I just needed a little breather. Then I picked it up again... the finish line was close!

After crossing Burnside and spotting the finish line, I dug as deep as I could and went for it. I passed a couple women who had just passed me, and I flew over the timing mats with all my strength.

Unfortunately, I had a watch malfunction that left me unsure of my pace - and whether I had PR'd or not. After working so hard and leaving it all on the course, I had a mini breakdown. But after a few minutes, and some measuring, calculating and reassuring by Brad, we decided that I did, in fact, PR! We just weren't sure by how much. (because the course was long)

Mom and Dad showed up in time for us all to watch Eryn finish. Here she comes!
There she goes:
Eryn ran sub-12-minute miles - a new PR for her, too!
We got our jackets from the bag check, snagged free hot soup and other goodies, and hung out in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a while.
The crew:
Then it started to rain, so we hit the road. Perfect timing!

The results:

For Brad and me, the course measured 6.37 miles, and my finish time was 54:53. So that means I did an 8:37 pace!! That's 10 seconds per mile faster than my PR - woohoo!!!

I came in 197th out of 1056 overall, 83rd out of 714 women and 14 out of 147 in my age division!!!!

My splits:
1 - 8:37
2 - 8:51
3 - 8:53
4 - 8:40
5 - 8:23
6 - 8:35
.37 - 7:51

Not too shabby :)

After showers, we went out with Eryn for pizza refueling. Pizzasmith for the win (again!)!
Then after well-earned naps, we all went to the Tigard Library for Mom's community band Halloween concert:
Very fun Halloweeny music :) Nice job, Mom!