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The Hardest Thing I have Ever Done

It is quiet.  The air is still. I hear a soft pounding in my chest and my feet on the asphalt.  My heart reminds me of the task at hand: kee...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

More Silver Falls

After looking through my pictures of Silver Falls, I thought I should post some more.  We were tourists on this run, not out there for the run but more for the experience.  I might run it again next year and see how I can do, time-wise.

First off, we stayed at the beautiful Oregon Gardens.  If you have not been there, add it to your list.  It was a nice treat to start out a great weekend.  The Oregon Gardens are about a 20 minute drive to Silver Falls State Park.  They have lovely gardens in different themes, a nice restaurant with delicious desserts, and a quaint pub showing Ducks football games, or whatever else people watch on TV ;)

The morning of the run, we headed over early.  They had hot coffee and a raging fireplace, loads of snacks and lots of fun people to talk with about their goals for the run. 

 I was happy to be running with Stephanie Gray.  Here we are posing with Jeanette Walker, also of Joe's Team.  It was a wet morning, as you can see, but we were all able to keep it real in our shorts.
The night before, my niece Samantha gave me this killer headband in MS team orange!  I Run For Those Who Can't.  I was concerned that I did not have a way to keep my ears warm and viola!  Sam said "Oh, that reminds me.  I have something for you."  And she pulled out this great headband.  She picked it up at one of the Run/Walk events that she does for Suicide Prevention.

 Me and Steph under a fall.  And a bunch of other pictures that I am too lazy right now to write about.  I will say that at the end, there was one full mile of slick track.  It was half uphill and half downhill and it was a lot like running in hair gel spread out over muddy grass.  Fun stuff and must have added about 25 minutes to our time.  The nickname for this monster mile is Nutcracker Hill.  I don't get the reference as I saw no ballerinas, nor were there wooden dolls carved in a holiday theme.  The last few pictures do not do it justice.

From inside Silver Falls.  I should note that we saw a young lady just past this point who had become hypothermic.  I ran ahead to the first aid station and let them know.

Oh yea, here's Nutcracker Hill:

This is my excitement at the finish!  I have never been so happy to get under 3-something.  To tell the truth, I did not even record my time.  Maybe I'll go look it up but that was not the point of this run.  This was just for fun...and it WAS SUPER FUN!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Slow End to the Year...but also a PR!

Well, I see I have not had a post since August.  I'll tell you why.

After training my butt off (quite literally, actually as I am fitting 2 sizes smaller than the beginning of the year), I opted to run the Half Marathon at Oregon instead of the Full.  This came for several reasons.

The first is that I am sensitive to heat, as you know if you have been reading.  My coach even warned against the Full, pointing out that there is hardly any shade along the course.  So I ran the half and I thought I would get a PR but I missed it by a few minutes.  Still, it was hot and so I was glad that I had opted to run the Half.

Then, being all trained up and nowhere to run, I started looking for a Full Marathon where I could cash in on my long miles.  I tried to get into Portland but they weer only taking fundraisers.  Coach said I might be able to get the team to contribute, but in the end I did not run Portland.  I was glad too as it ended up being in the 80s that morning.  Hot!

There was talk about Victoria, and I wish that I had gone there because my coach actually ended up participating (and it is sort of a dream to be able to run or walk or even participate with him--Joe Henderson is a legend!)  But the long and short of it is that I did not finish the year with another Full Marathon.  And that was okay.

I did end up running two more Halfs.  The Silver Falls Half, which had been on my bucket list for quite some time.  And the Run To Stay Warm, where I PRed.  So I started the year with a Half Marathon PR at McKenzie River Half (2:09:11) and I finished the year with a new PR at RTSW (2:07:45).

What's up for 2015?  Well, I am all signed up for Eugene for the Full Marathon on May 10.  I'll be running the McKenzie River Half again, I am almost sure.  I'd like to get a few more official trail runs in AND I think I might do an overnight hike and try to cover some distance in the local Cascades.  We will see.  On thing is certain, though.  I'll keep moving as long as I can.

Here I am at the Silver Falls Half, excited to run under my first waterfall of the course!