23 March 2010

Running the Deschutes River Trail

I finally feel 100% healthy after my nasty Feb/March sinus infection.  Winter has been very mild in the Northwest this year and many winter trails are displaying spring conditions!  (I'll happily let my sister in Dallas get all the snow.) 

I spent a few days in Bend, OR over the weekend.  Sadie and I ran 21 miles (10.5 out and back) on the beautiful Deschutes River Trail.  Enjoy some photos:

Running past an open meadow with
snow-capped Mt. Bachelor(?) in the background.

View from Deschutes River Trail.

View from Deschutes River Trail.

Sadie taking a river break.

Ancient lava flow.

Deschutes River

Benham Falls

We love to run.

Keep running!


13 March 2010

Making Some Plans, and a Podium Finish

A nasty sinus infection kept me on the couch for about 3 weeks, but I'm getting back into speed and making up for lost training time. Maybe I'm crawling out of my winter blogging blues too.

Last year was a quiet year for me in terms of races. I'm feeling a bit recharged and have a couple big races on tap the next few months. I've been wanting to do the Spokane River 50k the last two years but haven't been able to fit it in my schedule, so I'm making that my priority spring race.

I'm not sure if I can swing an epic overseas trip this year, but I still want to get out of the States for a race and I've been looking at some races within driving distance in British Columbia. At the top of my list is the Edge to Edge Marathon in BC's Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Yesterday, while researching races in the area, I came across a St. Paddy's Day 5k just down the road from me on the Snake River in Clarkston, WA. Though I woke up to snow this morning (the weather had been so beautiful until the last few days), I thought it might be fun to push my long run until tomorrow and drive down for the race.

I'm not big on speed workouts or wearing a watch while I run (if you've read my blog long enough you know the reasons why I run), so I had few expectations for the race. I'd run a 5k a couple years ago and clocked in at 22:41. I thought for sure I could better that, but my legs have been a little dead this last week and I really don't have a good grasp on my short distance paces.

My pre-race goals were simple:
1. Start off really fast, and then try to speed up along the way.
2. Beat my PR.

So I ran hard, and it hurt. The most amazing part of the entire race is when I didn't puke with about 100 meters left. Another fellow ultrarunner told me a couple years ago that if you didn't feel like your lungs are going to come out of your throat in a 5k, then you weren't running hard enough. Well, that's how I felt. And on this day it paid off. I placed 3rd overall (out of 110) and 1st in my age group with a 19:30 (results). This is my highest finish since I beat my little brother in a race across the street 25 years ago.

Playing with Sadie before start.
No snow in the valley.

Races are fun, aren't they?

After-race finish board and snack station.

3rd place medal.
Keep smiling!

And keep running!