(View from the summit of Larch Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge...today was much more clear and gave us views of five volcanoes...whew!...wish I brought my camera)
This week started with a strenuous climb of Table Mountain out in the gorge and ended with a spectacular venture on the opposite side of the river up Larch Mountain. Both times Joe and I tackled the climbs and danced the technical downhills with a bounce in our step that was influenced by the awesome weather we've been experiencing here in Oregon. Sunny, warm, dry weather in months that are known for their darkness and wetness. I'm not complaining! It's definitely been a great welcome for someone accustomed to the winters in the Northeast.
Today's 24 mile long run capped off another solid week of training. I've been focusing on quality runs that involve good climbing, speedwork, and of course...long runs. I definitely have been getting ample mileage too and it seems to be paying dividends so far. Next trail ultra on the calendar will take us to Chuckanut in less than a month. Hopefully all this gorge running will help in the middle 30k of that challenging 50k. I may end up racing the Shamrock 15k which starts right down the street from me in downtown Portland the Sunday before Chuckanut and use it as a "tune-up". Looks like a fun race! See you there? Better bust out some green clothes!...I've got mine already lined up. :o)
So...while milling around after the Hagg Lake 50k and 25k I caught up with Sean Meissner who had a few words for fellow ultra runner Matt Hart regarding their friendly little bet they have going. Sean looks really good in that pink vest and if you put your finger on his chin you can picture what he will look like with a mustache! (Along with the vest the runner with the slowest cumulative time between Orcas Island 50k and Pocatello 50-miler will have to wear the stache for six months...So far Hart has a 23 minute lead ;o)
Here's what Sean had to say to Hart!
Today's run in the gorge was inspired by taking in a different perspective of an ultramarathon trail race yesterday at Hagg Lake 50k and 25k down in Forest Grove, Oregon. I was able to help out at this race and direct people through a pretty technical area that crosses a creek and dilapidated bridge up the hill. I saw some people in pain but toughing it out, some shoes sucked off, and others just downright eat some mud (literally!). I felt that I got a little more "plugged in" to the trail running scene out there and, again, enjoyed the "Postcard" day weather. What a fun day!
Enjoy the little amateur video that I put together while volunteering at Hagg Lake.
Looks like 2010 is going to be an exciting year on a lot of fronts. If you haven't heard already Erica and I are expecting a little ultra runner this August! We just got through the first trimester and coincidentally the due date is on my birthday (Aug. 28th!).
I came across this quote earlier today and really liked it. Hope you do too...
Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense.The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being - a call that asks who they are ... - David Blaikie
Run strong and free!