Monday, November 29, 2010


We got back last night from a week and a half in San Diego. It was a really tough trip with a lot of really difficult stuff to deal with. We are back home and life goes on but it is all still weighing heavily on me. It’s going to take some time to get back to normal.

The short story is that William and Melanie are “ok.” William is in good spirits and it was great to see him. He is busted up pretty good but will recover soon. Melanie suffered a serious head injury and it will take her a very long time to recover. We are all very hopeful and thinking positive. I honestly don’t really want to get into specifics of their injuries beyond that. Please keep them in your prayers.

It’s been very hard for all of us.  We are very thankful we didn’t lose them, and that was really brought home after attending the funerals of people that did not make it. Things could be much worse. Even so, this has been really tough to deal with. I am holding up ok. Zach and I are leaning on each other and we have the support of an amazing group of family and friends. We are trying to think positive, stay busy, and celebrate the holidays as best we can.

Something I really do want to talk about is how I have found my escape in San Diego and now back home out running. I didn’t do any yoga, which I plan to resume asap (in fact, I need to finish this blog later and head there now!) but I did run. And it was great. I had several good runs in CA and today I did a long run back home. Running was a nice break from the stress of the long days at the hospital and will continue to keep me centered back home. It’s weird- when I’m out running, it is hard to put my finger on what is so great about it. It isn’t EASY… in fact most of the runs have been pretty hard. It isn’t even that distracting… I tend to let my mind wander to all kinds of serious things and it’s not like I forget what’s going on. It just feels right. It feels like – this is what I know how to do. This is how my body wants to be moving right now. It’s therapeutic somehow.

To recap my running a little: I ran 35 miles while I was in San Diego including a 17 mile long run on Coronado Island with Zach (yes, he ran slow with me!). Back home I did a 20 mile long run out on the snowy Banks Vernonia trail west of town. It was beautiful and hard and took forever and I loved every second of it.

I’m going to keep up the running because I know I need it. I also need to get back to yoga, which has an important role in keeping me centered too. And I can’t wait to go back to the climbing gym, it has been so long!!

Thanks for reading and for all your support in this difficult time. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! Here are a few pictures from our trip.



Long run on Coronado Island



Wine tasting with my bestie


Mission Beach


Back home – Long run on Banks Vernonia trail

IMG00105-20101128-1052 IMG00108-20101128-1107


Monday, November 15, 2010


It's been a crazy couple of days. There was a horrible accident on Saturday outside of San Diego and Zach's dad and stepmom, William and Melanie, were seriously injured. They are going to be ok, and I am so so so so grateful for that.

There is a news article below with all the details, it is so scary. Zach's dad is an experienced motorcyclist and Melanie was riding on the back of the bike. We are so grateful they survived and our prayers and condolonces go out to those families who lost someone.

We were already planning on going to San Diego for Thanksgiving, but now we have moved up our flights several days and will be spending some time down there. There is nothing we can do but we just have to be there.
Right now, the latest is that they are both doing ok, all things considered. William had survery on his wrist and foot and has some small breaks in his ribs and pelvis. Melanie had a head injury but is improving and will be ok. She also has a broken leg. They will both be in the hospital for a while, but William will probably be out in a week or so. I just can't wait to see them and hug them (gently) and help out however we can.

This really has been a shock but it has also made us count our blessings- they are alive, they will be ok, and they will be around for future Thanksgiving dinners and Turkey Trots for years and years. This Thanksgiving holiday will be a strange one, but we will be more thankful than ever.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Forest Park Run

Just a quickie post about my long run today. I went up to Forest Park and ran 15 miles on the Leif Erickson trail. It’s one of my favorite places to run because it’s a nice dirt path in the forest, so much better than any concrete run. But, it’s not very hilly or technical so it doesn’t require as much concentration and I can let my mind wander and listen to music.

It was super foggy and cold, like 40. I was comfy in tights, a couple layers on top, and gloves. The trail was very muddy and squishy with fallen leaves. The fog settled on my eyelashes and I could see my breath. It was quiet and lovely and I was lost in my own world as the miles flew by.

I kept the pace pretty easy for the first few miles and at two Gu’s along the way. My pace for the first half was 9:29. I picked it up a little on the way back and then really cranked out the last couple of miles. The last mile and a half or so of the trail have a nice decline and it’s fun to hammer it out. I ran a negative split with the second half at a 8:40 pace (last two miles at 7:30)! My feet were a little sore but I finished feeling great and on a big runner’s high. A great run!!

Here are a couple of pictures. Thanks for reading!! :)

11 13 10c 

11 13 10b

11 13 10a

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Silver Falls Trail Half Marathon Race Report




This was the inaugural  running of this race and the folks at Run Wild Adventures nailed it. What a fun event! The course was so extremely gorgeous, very challenging, and well marked and supported. They limited entry to 400 runners so it was never crowded, but I was never alone either. Everyone was super nice and I’m so glad I ran it.

We signed up a few months ago (which is good- it sold out fast!) and it kind of snuck up on me. I’ve been doing a lot of trail running, but my overall mileage is low and I certainly haven’t been “training” for anything. I haven’t run a race since the Helvetia Half in June, so I’ve been taking it pretty easy! 

My only goal was to finish and have fun. The morning of the race I said if I could finish under 10:00 average pace I’d be very happy- my pace on trails varies a lot but I usually average 10:00-11:00 ish. I didn’t know what to expect- I had seen the elevation chart but didn’t know what that would really look like out there. Also, due to my lack of racing lately, I wasn’t sure how hard I would push myself.

We drove the hour or so down to Silver Falls State Park- truly one of the gems of Oregon. It was misty but not really raining and a comfortable 50 degrees. We arrived and got our numbers and used the park’s nice facilities a couple of times. We saw Marya and her husband! We sat in the car for a while to stay warm and then made our way to the start.

The first mile is on the road through the parking area and campground which was nice- this served the purpose of sorting everyone out by pace so by the time we hit the trail we were somewhat seeded. Unfortunately, I probably started out way too fast and was too far up front when we hit the trail, which resulted in me getting passed quite a bit in the next couple miles. That’s not fun! I need to start lining up farther back and starting off easier. Ya right.

The trail was pretty muddy in places but not bad. I wore my trail shoes and my feet stayed nice and dry. I could tell I was running hard, probably too hard, in the first couple of miles so I tried to back off. I was sipping water and trying to pace myself.

There was a big hill just past the mile 4 marker which slowed me a lot. I walked a bit of it. Then the course was flat to down hill for several miles. It was so beautiful out there. I was running with no one ahead of  me but the course was well marked at trail junctions. I did have a little trail of followers though- about 4 runners who were pacing themselves off me. I chatted with them a bit and told them I was glad to hear their footsteps to remind me I was in a race, and not just out on a fun run! They stayed right behind me miles 8-10.

There was a steep hill leading up to one of the waterfalls (the trail goes behind two huge waterfalls) and the gang passed me. Apparently I am not a great climber. Right after the waterfall there was a HUGE set of stone stairs that was labeled “House of Pain” in chalk (flour). HA! I got in a new line of people and we walked/jogged up them. Dear Lord were my quads burning! There was another huge climb in mile 11 which I walked some of. I was amazed at the people running up it. It was steep and long!

I was still feeling really good and not too tired, which was good because there was a final big hill in the last mile. I leapfrogged with a girl Summer and we encouraged each other. We flew down the last steep and muddy down hill and into the finish area. I couldn’t catch her but she helped me push! I finished with a big smile on my face. Easily the most fun race I’ve ever run!!

1- 8:06
2- 8:40
3- 8:14
4- 9:07
5- 10:17 (big hill)
6- 9:45
7- 8:36
8- 9:46
9- 9:42
10- 10:55 (Stairs)
11- 11:16 (big hill)
12- 8:55
13.1 8:52 (8:04 pace)

Official Finish time: 2:02:16 (9:20 pace)

Yay! I was very happy. I hugged Zach and we talked about our races.

Can I just take a minute here to discuss that guy? He is REALLY good at trail running. All those giant steep hills out there? He ran up them. He ran the whole thing! He kept pace with the second place female the majority of the race and finished right behind her. He averaged like 7:40 on this course. I couldn’t run that on a pancake flat course! He makes me SICK! He was 21st overall. He had a blast too and loved the challenge. I think he has found his niche because wow. He is absolutely incredible!!

While I’m sidebar-ing, I am also going to take a minute here to talk about age groups. This was my first race as a 30 year old and can I just say OUCH. These ladies are for real. The reality is, there aren’t THAT many 20-somethings into running compared to older AG (there were twice as many 30-39 as 20-29 here) So it’s way easier to place high in your age group. I appreciated this very much in my 20’s and collected some nice age group medals. In this new age group, I ain’t shit. Also I’m not exactly in peak running shape here, which didn’t help. On top of those harsh realities, this race decided to go with 10 year age groups, so I was extra screwed by the older-is-faster rule. Burn! 

17/84  30-39 Age Group

I played with the results in excel and if I may take the liberty of creating a hypothetical 5 year age group, I finished 5/39 in the 30-34 AG. Yay! That makes me feel better! Ha!

Zach’s age group screw-ed-ness is even more pronounced. He finished 21st overall but ended up 10th in the 30-39 AG. But really, he was 3rd out of 29 30-34 year olds. Very cool!

Back to the race at hand. They  had a great finisher’s area set up in the park’s shelter area with hot chili and bread, a fireplace, water and coffee. They posted the results as soon as they could which was nice. We hung out for a bit, scored some free shirts and hit the road.

Back at home we soaked in the hot tub for a bit, Zach made a big brunch, and then we met Emily and Josh at Goose Hollow for some Europe stories and a couple of beers. Zach and I went to Rogue for more beer and a burger and then we were done. We went to bed ridiculously early… set our clocks back before we crashed and so technically we went to bed at 7:00. Hilarious. Not surprisingly, I am typing this race report at 5:00 am on Sunday. Even after that big race, I do not need 20 hours of sleep. My legs (mostly knees) are super sore but I’m going to suck it up and go climbing later. :)

Here are a few pictures. There are my pictures from before and after the race, some official photos, and I put in a few pictures from Zach’s parent’s visit last fall and a couple others I found online.

Thanks for reading! :)

 DSCN2062 DSCN2064 DSCN2068 DSCN2072

silver falls-8

silver falls-15

silver falls-63

silver falls-99





DSCN2076 DSCN2079 DSCN2087 DSCN2089 DSCN2090   silver-falls-6

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy Feet


I have all kinds of random thoughts floating around but can’t seem to put them in any kind of order. This calls for bullet points!

* Climbing! LOVE. We’ve gone almost every day since we took the belay class a couple weeks ago. I’m all over it! It feels really natural and fun but challenging too. I’m learning a lot. It’s not like running, there’s not as much “beginner-friendly” info, but people at the gym are cool and I’ve found some good info at So far I love the top rope climbing the most, but Zach’s really into bouldering so I’ve tried that too. It is super hard and I get worn out fast. My hands are getting all calloused and my forearms are going to look like Popeye's soon. Yea!

* Race! Running has been going great lately. We got out for some more trail runs including a long 11 miler on the Wildwood. I have some new trail shoes and they really help my feet on the rocky trails. So…. this Saturday we are doing a trail Half Marathon. We signed up for it a while ago but it kind of snuck up on me. It’ll be my first race since June! I’m excited. It’ll be super hard so my only goal is to finish and have fun. Check it out: I’ll post a little race report I’m sure.

* Weather- we had a really lovely streak of warm weather this week, up to 70 degrees. It was so nice! The leaves are all changed and it was just beautiful. With the time change this weekend and more rain on the way, winter is really on the way.

* Yoga- It's been a little more of an effort to go, what with all the climbing, but I've been keeping up a steady practice. I've been going to a really challenging Power Vinyasa class once a week (in addition to easier classes) and really seeing some progress. I'm super flexy and strong (which helps with the climbing!). I need to get back to more of the meditation classes though. I have some big plans for a yoga weekend coming up but will talk about that in another post.

* Sore! Between climbing and power vinyasa my shoulders and arms are perma-sore. I have considered an upper body equivalent of an ice bath but it is logistically challenging. I'm sore in my fingers, forearms, shoulders, upper back, etc. Everything. Thankfully, my legs have been feeling ok! They are strong from running so the climbing/yoga doesn't affect them much.

* Halloween- We went to a party at Amy's house last weekend and had a great time. Me and the other ladies dressed up as the Spice Girls, and Zach and the men dressed as the Village People. HI- Larious.

Pics of all this stuff- enjoy! Have a great weekend everyone. :)

Climbing Gym:

PRG card    

climbing feet

Trail Running:

running feet


Gorgeous Fall Colors:

 Fall colors 70degrees  Path