Monday, September 29, 2008


It was a great weekend to be outside and we did plenty of that. My two training runs went well and then Sunday we got out for a mountain bike ride. I know fall weather (aka rain) is coming so I'm soaking up the sun while I can.


5.0 miles/45:38/9:08 average pace

Easy solo run


15.0 miles/2:14:03/8:56 average pace

So, this run was unexpectedly an ass-kicker. We ran an out and back along Terwilliger Blvd through southern Portland to Lake Oswego. There's an asphalt path separate from the road for most of the way. In some cases, you can't even see or hear the road and are running through a forest. For a couple miles, though, it is just sidewalk through a busy part of town which was kind of annoying (concrete was hard on the legs, stopping for intersections was a pain, etc). The one thing that was consistent for the entire distance: HILLS. Omg. I know I am kind of a wimp when it comes to hills but this run was tough. It was rolling the entire way, so there was no relief when we reached the turnaround. In fact, at that point we faced about 3 miles of uphill. I wanted to barf. We ran slowly, like 9:30s, for a lot of miles with some faster splits when we had more down than up. As we neared the end we knew we had two miles of basically downhill to the car, so we pushed hard. I didn't think there was any way we'd finish the run with under 9:00 average pace, but the last two miles did it: 7:50 and 7:33. Zach was a huge help as always, pushing me along and not letting me complain too much. This was his longest run ever so big props to him.

total miles for the week: 39

Sunday, we took our new mountain bikes out to get dirty. I found a pretty mild trail, the Klickitat Rail Trail, to test my mtn. biking skills. Zach has done this before, but I've only ever really been mountain biking a couple of times back in Montana several years ago. We drove a little over an hour east of Portland to a little town in Washington just across the Columbia from Hood River. We ended up doing 11.2 miles total in about an hour and a half and had a blast. I think I'm ready to try some tougher trails because the few tricky sections were my favorite parts. Here's a few pictures. The second one is really interesting- we didn't know what it was at the time, but found out that those platforms are used by tribal fisherman who get exclusive access to this salmon-rich river. It was very cool.

After the ride, we loaded up the bikes and drove over to Hood River. It's a super cute little town with a few outdoor shops and several breweries. We had a beer at a little pub and talked to the bartender for a while. It's a very friendly town. I had a Full Sail (one of the breweries in town) LTD Lager- LTD for "living the dream" :) Cheers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Week 2 So Far

Just a quick update on Week 2 of marathon training. So far so good.

8.0 miles/1:08:09/8:31 average pace
I did 4 miles alone at an easy pace (9:12 ave) before Zach got off work. Then, he changed and we went back out together for the 4 miles of Tempo Pace. We started off a little slow at 8:22, then dropped our pace each mile with the last mile coming in at 7:17. Average for that 4 miles was 7:50- not bad. It was hard but I did it.

Tuesday: bike
about 45 minutes on the Mtn. bikes just around town (scoping out Zach's bike commute)

11.0 miles/1:43:17/9:23 average pace
Really slow and easy long run solo along the waterfront. I turned on my ipod and just zoned out. I didn't feel like I was going very slow, but I was, especially at first. Whatever though, it felt very easy. I didn't take any breaks and it was done before I knew it.

Oh, I've also been doing some light weight training at home after my runs. I'm shooting for 2-3 times a week and it's going good.

Tonight Zach still has to do his run so I think I'll take my bike out and ride along with him.

So that's it for my boring training update! Have a good day everyone. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

It rains in Portland?

It was another fun week for these unemployed Portlanders. We ran, we partied, we cycled, and we celebrated... because Zach got a job!! He will be doing some kind of analysis for a utility company. It all sounds very complicated and impressive but YAY! Now it's my turn to re-join the labor force. I hope soon, because it is not going to be as fun exploring Portland alone. Plus, you know, the money thing.

The first week of training was good. My right shin felt a little sore, so I shortened my Friday run a little and iced it a lot. It feels better now. I am not surprised considering I have ramped up my running like tenfold in the past month. I will play it by ear this week and take any extra rest I may need.
Here's the three training runs since my last post, but you can skip to the end because that is where the awesomeness can be found.

9.0 miles/1:21:20/9:02 average pace
Waterfront trail, some with Zach and some solo

Thursday: cross training
bike 19.5 miles in about 1 hour and 1/2. I had not been on my bike since my half ironman! It felt odd. Needless to say, I was slow.

3.0 miles/27:12/9:04 average pace
Easy solo run

13.0 miles/1:55:05/8:51 average pace
Long run at Marine Drive with Zach. This pretty paved pedestrian path parallels the Columbia River. How's that for alliteration! It's positively peaceful. We kept a really consistent pace and the miles flew by.

Cloudy and cool:
Zach consuming a Gu:

TOTAL miles for the week: 33

Saturday night, after a bit of rest, we made our way down to a busy bar to meet up with KK and her gang from Boulder who were in town to kick some serious ass in the triathlon. We had so much fun!! She is amazing. Her sister and their husbands were so nice. It was yet another reminder that triathletes are the coolest and friendliest people around. I feel like I found a real friend in KK and even though it's too bad we live in different states, I hope to meet up again for future races (cough, ironman, cough). Check out her blog for her race report, by the way. Incredible. Stay tuned for pictures.

So, on Sunday we went out and did a little shopping:

After making our purchase, we decided to ride around. We made our way up to Forest Park when the strangest thing occurred... The sky turned very dark and this water just started falling from the sky!! What is this phenomenon, we wondered? Then we realized, this must be the "Rain" so many people had warned us about. Fascinating!!

Hehe. Actually, it was an incredible downpour and it was freaking rad. We were soaked to the bone and tearing through mud puddles and having a blast. The bikes are so tough that I didn't feel scared just because it was wet. We did get pretty cold on our ride back down the hills to our apartment, but a quick dip in the rooftop hot tub fixed that. Life in Portland is GOOD!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Running Update (and more pictures)

I haven't been talking about my running lately, what with all the moving and exploring and whathaveyous. So here it is, a running post! Although there will be a lot of non-running-related photos at the end too. But I will at least start with running as a topic.

I ran a lot of miles last week in preparation for marathon training, which officially began yesterday. I feel like I have been in mediocre running shape all summer, a negative side effect of triathlon training. Sure, I stayed in good shape overall, but I didn't do much running and it is obvious. So I whooped myself into shape by running a bunch and I think it worked. I already feel better. My pace is faster and it's feeling easier. Of course it helps that Zach is running with me, pushing me to run faster and distracting me from the discomfort. Occasionally, I've been insisting on a slow and easy pace, and he has been accommodating.

So here is the summary from last week:

4.0 miles/34:51/8:43 average pace
Waterfront with Zach
13.1 miles/1:56:07/8:52 average pace
Happy Birthday Half Marathon!
It was so beautiful and very fun. I was a little sluggish and breathing hard at first, but then I realized it's because we were gaining quite a bit of elevation. Which made it real fun on the way down! Our last few miles were fast: 8:18, 8:03, 7:59



10.0 miles/1:30:11/9:01 average pace

Spontaneous longish run. We were just going out for 4 miles, then 6, then what the hell, let's do 10. This resulted in us being very thirsty with no water in sight, but we finished. It was nice because it freed up the weekend for some easy short runs.


3.0 miles/26:45/8:56 average pace

Terwilliger Rd. with Zach. This is a nice long rolling road that I heard about from a random dude on the streetcar the night before. It was nice and has the opportunity for long runs. Thanks, random streetcar friend! And good luck at the Portland Marathon. :)


3.0 miles/31:06/10:22 average pace

Waterfront loop with Deana. Deana is my friend from Way Back who lives in Portland (and about 79% of the reason I moved here in the first place). We used to run together back in high school (for fun, not like for the track team). Anyway, she is an occasional runner and in great shape. She knows it is inevitable that I will suck her into my twisted world of running, and she's not fighting it. Yay Deana! Portland Marathon 2009 here we come!! (hee hee)

total miles for the week: 33.1

So, my Marathon Training has officially begun! It is 12 weeks until my 3rd consecutive running of the California International Marathon and boy howdy do I have my work cut out for me. I am optimistic though. I also have a kick-ass runner for a husband who is training with me, which will be a huge help. It is Zach's first time training for a marathon, and my 7th, so I figure with my experience and his superior strength and speed we will balance each other out. Should be fun.

I started off the first day of my first week of training by skipping a run. Ha! But for good reason! Seeeeeee?

The pictures are from a 7.5 mile hike called "Trail of Ten Falls" where we saw, you guessed it, 10 falls! It was gorgeous!! I was pretty tired at the end though. 7.5 miles isn't a big deal on a run but that's a damn long time to walk. It took about 3 1/2 hours. We drove over to the campground and set up our tent and camped overnight. We made s'mores and the whole thing. Then, this morning we got up and headed home. We stopped to do our make-up run at a place just southwest of Portland called Champoeg State park. Here's the stats and a couple pics. It was a tough run but I got it done.


8.0/1:10:28/8:49 average pace

I'd say the training is off to a good start! Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Portland Photos

The Move:

We left Dublin about 4:45 am on Friday morning.

The kitty rode on my lap in the car:
Zach drove the Uhaul.

Here we are heading toward Mt. Shasta in northern California:

We arrived in Portland about 5:00 pm. Here is the blank slate:

Unloaded all our stuff. A lot of unpacking to do, but in reality this is really rather close to the end of the whole process. As anyone who has moved can attest, packing is the biggest pain. And then you still have to load the truck, make it safely to your new home, and then unload the truck. UGH.
We spent about three days unpacking and organizing. The place is small but nice. We got a storage unit for all the overflow crap. Here's the kitty taking a break from all the hard work:

Finally, a home!!

After all the work was completed, we finally got out to explore our new city. The weather has been warm and sunny and the area is beautiful.

We went for a hike called Angles Rest in the Columbia Gorge:

We came across a snake on the way back and of course Zach had to pick it up:

Thursday night Farmer's Market by our house:

Zoomed in view of Mt. Hood

We drove out to the coast one day

Cannon Beach:

A moonlight bike ride on the riverfront:

Shopping in northwest:
Streetcar in the Pearl:
Park by our house:
Rooftop hot tub:

Birthday Half Marathon at Banks Vernonia State Trail:

Getting ready for birthday dinner:

I will have more to say in my next post including the stats on the 3rd Annual Happy Birthday Half Marathon (spoiler, it was great!). Have a great weekend everyone!