Friday, August 22, 2014

my big announcement

My fingers just sit lifeless atop the keys... not for a lack of adventures to tell, but at a loss for a way in which to tell them.


I know in my past posts I have focused less on my streak, but to be clear I am still streaking. My failure to acknowledge my running everyday is a testament to the fact that it is no longer a "goal" but simply my new reality. I run every day. Period. And this is day 233.

On to the adventures!

I recently summited Mount Saint Helens, like a boss, and did the round trip in 6 1/2 hours. Only thing missing from the view at the top was...well...the view at the top. Shrouded in misty clouds we saw nothing of the mountain's massive crater or the surrounding picturesque landscape.

Well, shit. 

Not to worry though, just means another attempt is in my immediate future.

My roommate and I had scored the passes for Mount St. Helens last minute. What I didn't factor in was the fact that I had signed up for a 5k earlier this month to be run less than 48 hours after the hike. I figured, "Ahh hell, I hike my far share, shouldn't be too bad." I don't know how many of you have hiked the 8,000+ foot volcano, but if you have you'd know she's a beach. Pause for comedic brilliance to sink in... Many stretches of terrain along the route are the equivalent of walking in a sandy beach angled at a 30 degree incline. Two steps forward, one step back...followed by a slip, fall and face plant. So in effect, she is a b*tch-beach of a climb. It goes without saying that I was quite sore the next morning, and even more so the morning of my 5k.

As for the race. I finished top 10 overall and was first woman (yay) with a time of 20:15 (crap). Back in April I ran a 5k only two weeks after my 50 miler and completed it in 20:38, so to not be far ahead of that is a little unnerving for the start of XC season. In hopes of shaking off a little more rust, I will also be running a 5k at the Women of Wonder held at Greenlake on September 7th. This time I won't be climbing mountains before hand because that is obviously responsible for my sub-par performance and not my lack of speed training.

I <3 Nerds 5k

And finally, the BIG news...

Being the glutton for punishment that I am and the worldly explorer I aspire to be, I have signed up for another...long run. I thought long and hard about this decision (maybe, 6 seconds...) and have signed up for the Antelope Canyon 50 Mile. You read it right, another 50 mile. My resolution has now become a lifestyle?

However, this is not your ordinary 50 miler. This is the holy grail of 50 milers! Words cannot describe, so let these picture do the talking.

That's for real.

Be jealous...

50 miles of breathtaking views. 

4,350 feet of elevation gain and loss.

Not sure how I will afford to get there, but I'm officially signed up so it's happening even if I have to hitch-hike 1,300 miles.

My peaks this week:

Mount St. Helens - 10 miles

Mount Pilchuck - 5 miles

Next up, the Enchantments! Until next time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ragnar, the effects of napoleon, and my weekly peaks's been a while. But thankfully we are like old friends who, despite long gaps between encounters, can pick up where they left off without skipping a beat. Yes, we are the oldest and dearest of friends.

Time to play catch up.

My Ragnar NWP experience was...interesting. If you've never run a Ragnar Relay, the general premise is that you and 11 other suckers agree to split the burden of 196 miles to be run over the course of 24 hours. Sounds like perfect fun to me!

Ragnar effectively falls under what I so lovingly label: The Napoleon Dynamite Effect.

Remember that adorably horrendous movie Napoleon Dynamite staring everyone's favorite llama and curly-haired geek with glasses? Of course you do! Chances are you have found yourself (on more than one occasion) chuckling aloud at the thought of voting for Pedro or seeing a Liger in the wild... Ah what incredible jokes arose from that blockbuster hit! But I'll be damned if any one of you can say that you actively enjoyed that movie as you were watching it. You may think you did, but really we all looked on wondering why we had ever agreed to plant our asses in that chair. Ragnar was much like that, tough to suffer through at the time...funny as hell after the fact.

Top 10 Ragnar Take-Aways:

10. Gym floors are for playing basketball, not for sleeping. Sleep in the car, thank me later.

9. You're not going to sleep regardless of where you are.

8. We all mastered the art of the "U-turn."

7. You will either love or hate the people you're stuck in a van with. Thankfully we were the former.

6. Don't pack enormous amounts of food that you probably won't eat. But bring chips, everyone eats chips...

5. Beware the bitch eaten' crackers and understand that the struggle is real.

4. You do you, and I'm gonna do me. Translation: I will get the parking spot that you missed while cutting me off at the transition zone.

3. The legs associated with Van 2 run up every major hill in northern half of the Washington coast.

2. I met "Post-Fontaine." Enough said.

1. Absolutely the most breath-taking views of the Whidbey Island countryside.

Since the completion of Ragnar, my XC training is now in full swing. My weekly mileage has steadily climbed to 30+ miles and workouts have begun.

I've had to combine my passion for running and my love of hiking, resulting in a love child that I've aptly named "Trail Run Tuesday." And yet despite the fact that I ride the struggle bus all the way up the mountain, I find myself falling in love with this sport as well.

Trail Run Tuesday:

7/28/14 Rattlesnake Ledge - 5 miles
8/5/14 Goat Lake - 10 miles
Currently training for the Sundodger Invitational on September 20th hosted by the University of Washington. 

Even more exciting, Mount St. Helens is on my horizon for August 15th! 

I want to give a special thanks to Scott and Jill for being incredible friends and encouraging my hiking endeavors. I should only hope all of you have people in your lives that are as special as these two.

Until next time, get outside!