Thursday, May 28, 2009

Who knew?

Another short and random thought. My total mileage for Memorial Day weekend was 36. The best part? All 36 miles were on trails that left directly from town. Even better? Not a single part of trail was repeated. What runner wouldn't want to live here?

Monday, May 25, 2009

What goes up...

...gets to come down!

As much as I'd like to be a good uphill runner, I'm just too stinkin' lazy. Today, I wanted to get up high to explore some new trail. In order to do that, I had to go up, up, up. My ankle has been doing great as long as I warm up well. That was my excuse for hiking the entire way!

The day was spent on Mt. Helena and the Ridge Trail. The wildflowers and weeds are in full bloom so it was colorfully beautiful. Nice to see so many families out enjoying the day together. Of course, I was a bit jealous because Steve had to work the entire weekend. I got in almost 11 miles, all but the first mile running with some very fun downhill moments. I'd been watching these clouds building up all morning, and finally figured I'd better head back to the car. Just in time - soon after it started to pour!

A few thoughts on what I'm calling Saturday's "misadventure." We should have made sure to stay together as a group. We also should have had a back up plan and meeting point if the group accidentally split up. You'd think "accidentally splitting up" would be hard to do, but we found out otherwise. Another should have? Exchange phone numbers BEFORE someone goes missing, so we'd have an idea of who/where to call.
The good things? I'm very happy to have brought the Nathan pack. It carries so many extras and I never notice the weight. It's perfect for the "not sure how long I'll be out there" kind of days. Long ago, I got rid of the Nathan bladder due to its constant leaking. Now, I've got a 50 oz. and 70 oz. Camelbak that fit perfectly. Luckily, I had brought the 70 oz. because people did run out of water.

Don't forget the gaiters. My heel is a mess from all the dirt.

Loving the saltstick caps. It was fairly warm, around 80 degrees in the afternoon. I took one per hour with no cramping or stomach problems.

Last, very wise decision on my part to go back to the good ol' Asics. I've been using the 2100 series for road shoes and went through a couple pair of the 2120 trail version. Last week, while in Missoula, I tried on every pair of trail shoe at The Runner's Edge. Finally, I just went with what has worked in the past and got the 2140 trail. Much more stable than the Cascadia, lots of cushion, the shoelaces actually STAY TIED, and the tongue doesn't move around all over the place. Best of all, I've had no residual ankle pain. In the past week, I've put 58 hiking and/or running miles on them with no problems. Yay!

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend. Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Danni style adventure!

The email I received this week said something like - "meet at 10, we'll go slow, 4-5 hours, plan to get lost." After the many expeditions of last summer, I've learned to pack well for things like this. Lots of water, lots of food, really good sunscreen, a camera and a go with the flow attitude. We did indeed get lost a few times and actually lost a member of our group (sorry M and thank you for leaving the message that you were alive!). I also saw some beautiful new trail, met a couple of new cheery people, and enjoyed the sunshine. A well spent day outside, but will be way better prepared next time. Like maybe having a map and compass?
The girls on one of the many climbs.
Bouldering...(not sure that's really a word)

More debris covered trail - sound familiar?

Hmmm...Are we lost? And, where is Martin?

Yay! A trail - who cares where it goes? It's a trail!

Disgusting beetles.

Message to Bill - We need your email so you can join us for upcoming adventures! Although you might not want to join THIS kind of adventure!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Perspective?

It's been kind of nice to slow down. With no races planned while I completely recover from this injury, I'm able to just play. I've been keeping workouts around one hour almost daily. Sometimes the hour involves a lot of hiking, some days a nice run on flat trail, one day an angry run against the wind, or cross training at the gym, etc. Pretty sweet, actually.

With a warm, still Sunday morning, I decided to spend a long time outside. There's been a lot to think about - the loss of a childhood friend, the purchase of a house, an uncertainty looming that I'll keep quiet about for now, more uncertainty about how I handled a recent situation... What better way to mull it all over than on trails?

Two hours were spent running what I could run and hiking the rest. Steve joined me for the last 5 miles and we explored a beautiful area that is new to us both. All of these pictures were of things seen along the way.

I'm a little uncertain how this bone got in this tree, but found it interesting...

This was one very angry bird as I hiked on through...

A peaceful day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bad Blogger

Can you tell spring is finally here? I'm making the most of it by spending a whole lot of time outside. Here are some quick thoughts...

1) My ankle is still not happy, so I'm doing a lot more hiking and cross-training than running. The area that was injured is doing fine, but time in the cast and the awkward gait from the cast caused another nuisance injury in the form of achilles tendonitis. Hills hurt, the backs of shoes hurt, massage hurts, walking in the morning hurts...blah. I'm back in road shoes finding as many flat trails as possible.

2) Because of #1, I didn't get to run my favorite race that welcomes spring - Don't Fence Me In!
My plan had been to run the 30k, but instead, I got to be a cheerleader taking a whole lot of pictures in the process. As in over 300 pictures! Some still need to be uploaded, but eventually, a link may be added to the race website so that runners can search for photos of themselves. I'm sorry that I couldn't catch everyone - the batteries in both cameras died before the end of the 12k.

It was fun cheering on familiar faces. Rebecca did awesome in the 30k. It was also fun meeting Bill, who, during the 12k, ran by asking if I was the running with my thoughts website girl. Loved it! Anyway, he's taken up trail running and gearing up for Elkhorn. Go Bill!

3) We bought a house. We've been doing our research for several months, but finally started working with a realtor two weeks ago. Ironically, I fell in love with the house I had originally refused to look at for a few petty reasons. It's in a great neighborhood, close to trails, has a big yard with lots of gardening possibilities, and it was at a great price. Each house we looked at had a different feel. This one felt like home. With good peaceful, happy energy.

4) The dog search is on. The humane society has been visited and a trip to Kalispell is planned to meet Berni's puppies. They are cute balls of fur, and we'll see if one of them would like to bond with us. If not, there are many out there needing a home. It's just finding the right one. It's even more exciting now that Rebecca also adopted a dog. She's adorable and a fun addition to our running get-togethers.

5) Because I work in the high schools, I got to experience my first Vigilante Day. My co-worker and I took in the parade, visited with students, and had a good lunch downtown before returning to the constantly growing pile of paperwork. There's something to be said for tradition, and it was a great day.

That's it for now. Oh, and yay to Danni who had her first safe "run" in with a bear family!