Saturday, December 03, 2011
Where have all the blue skies gone?
The goal I set back in August was to run from west end of the Spokane Centennial Trail all the way to the eastern end in Idaho before the weather got too extreme for outside running. My tipping point is below 20 degrees and you can't predict when that type of weather is going to hit so I had to keep at it if I was going to get this done.
We were having a mild enough winter so far, a little bit of snow and temps in the 30s-40s. Perfectly good running weather. No excuses, let's get it on! Unfortunately the doors were locked at the state line rest stop bathrooms so I was in search of some bushes or trees with coverage, all I got were these fancy trees, putting on a show with their fall colors.
I found a suitable spot right before mile one and the highway section, of course, there was a porta-potty right up the road from here.
OK, I have to be honest, I was starting get a little grumpy about this Idaho section. The trail was no longer following the river, instead it was bordering the freeway. The trees were gone. Nature was sparse.
This is not my idea of great trail building. I had been spoiled by the Spokane section and since Coeur d'Alene is such a lovely little town, I had high expectations for Idaho.
This section got away from the highway but there were run down trailers next to the trail instead. Right about here, some beast of a dog came running toward me from one of the trailers, gave me a hearty snoooorch and then went after my dog. Luckily, I had used those bushes earlier.
I'm not too far from Lake Coeur d'Alene, so I'll just have to tough it out until I get to the lake. Just keep running...
Thursday, December 01, 2011
This day was one of THOSE days, the kind where you look out the window at the last sunny day in the forecast, and desperately search your schedule for time to get outside and run.
I had to get outside. I asked Liam's sitter to work longer and to drive me to the drop off and pick up points so I could soak up the last bit of sunshine and warmth before winter hit.
It was worth it. So many people I talk to about using babysitters act like its a crime to pay someone to watch your kid(s) to get a workout in. Ridiculousness! It was one hour, my son got to run around outside in the sun with his buddy (the sitter's son) and mommy got what she needed. The world would be a better place if all mommies ran on sunny days.
Four miles to the border to Idaho, I'm going to make it today!
This part of the trail starts to near I-90 so you start to get the noise of the freeway. Not my favorite section although just up ahead I have a great memory of Bill trying to cross a low section of the trail after a rainy day on his bike... he came home with 2 wet feet but I turned around. Winning is in the eye of the beholder when you are married.
At least the Spokane River is on the other side of the trail. Doing these runs has made me appreciate this lovely river. Thank you Centennial Trail designers.
This section needs a little TLC. Must be an old road.
One mile left to the border and there is my child. Next time mommy. We'll cross the border next time.
My kiddo loves to run like his mommy and it was a great day to get out. This effort has been so worth it. It was fun to run in new places, to challenge myself to get out when it wasn't convenient, and to stick with it even though it took longer to get done then I originally thought. Goals, no matter how small, are motivators. When you have a toddler to fill up your heart and your schedule, you need a little motivation to do something good for yourself. Up next: the border crossing, what will Idaho bring?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Mile marker 10 is about 3/4 of a mile from the Mirabeau Park trail head which is pretty heavily used year round. Its near the Valley YMCA so we try to ride our bikes on the trail here to swim in the summer. This is a lovely section of the trail and I have a lot of nice scenes in my memory from these miles.
The trail here passes behind the valley mall and around mile marker 9 you can actually smell Krispy Kreme doughnuts which sits just above the trail. You can't see it, but you can smell it. I like to take Liam there occasionally when we are out riding bikes (he in the bike trailer still) as a diversion. He licks the "chalk-it" frosting off a doughnut and we share some milk and get back on the trail. I love sharing little things like that with my little love, the small things are absolute joy.
I'm behind on blogging but I remember this day, we had been following Ironman Hawaii online and when we left the house the pros had started the run. I was thinking about Raelart trying to catch Crowie and my pace kept picking up as I thought about it. I have an active imagination which is one reason why I don't run with an iPod.
Daddy, baby, doggy running the other way. Mommy got some time to herself. So bittersweet. Bill drops me off at the start and then runs the other direction while I run toward the car to go get him. Or he does an out and back and runs with me which means I have to pick up the pace to impress him. More bittersweet.
The miles are ticking by, we have to pick it up though so we can catch the end of the Ironman race online.
Something to meditate on. Bumps in the road, all smoothed out.
Never in such a hurry that I can't enjoy a good view.
Blue sky, dry grass, pine trees, and the Centennial Trail. That's how I will remember this summer.
Monday, October 31, 2011
There's this thing about 2 year olds, they are incredibly entertaining and charming while being nightmarish and mind numbing all at the same time. Example: I bought the DVD "Rio" for Liam a few weeks ago and he will watch nothing else. He will point at the TV, all hours of the day, and say "PB! Birdies! Watch! On!"
Halloween presented a problem for me, I had to make a costume for someone who only wants to wear his "Cars" jammies. Inspired by Liam's new obsession with birdies, I bought a glue gun and a feather boa and hoped for the best. "Rio" features a pair of blue macaws and several obnoxious songs that are constantly looping in my head so I had no trouble envisioning a costume while singing "Everybody loves samba, the music is wild and free..."
For his costume, I made a blue fleece hat and glued felt circles on for the eyes. At one point, hot glue got on my finger while I was gluing the eyes on and I whipped my hand around while my skin burned off, losing the felt eye in the process. We searched everywhere for it but didn't find it until bed time when I noticed it was stuck to the side of the dog.
I made the birdie tail out of felt, pipe cleaners, and feathers. I made a belt out of felt and a buckle I had around and then did my best to convince Liam to put it on by dancing around in it myself.
Liam at Kindermusik class with the other toddlers on 10/31/11.
After Kindermusik, we had a quick dinner and then took Liam around the neighborhood to trick or treat. He picked it up amazingly fast, funny how that is. He kept saying, "More punkins!" as we went from house to house. When we got home, he had to show us all of the treats, one at a time, and then show us again. He didn't eat any of them, if he remembers tomorrow, we'll let him have one. He likes a little "Chalk-it". So does mommy and daddy bird.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Most people suck at using any type of technology. Even people who consider themselves trendsetters use their smartphones like glorified Facebook browsers. Take a look at this list to see if you suck at using the internet:
- Your computer is no longer a storage device. Your apps and files should be available regardless of the equipment you are using (virus threats, multiple computers, hardware failures, etc) so get yourself a Dropbox account (or similar internet based backup system) and keep your files centralized and backed up via the internet. If you have privacy concerns, uh, they should have covered that in your special agent training there Special Agent Oso.
- Google your name + location and see what you find. You should have an internet presence including a Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn profile. I just Googled a guy who bid on doing some remodeling work at our house and it looks like remodeling might be a side gig for him since he currently shows a full time job selling insurance on his LinkedIn profile. Not hired dude.
- Don't waste your time on the same stupid crap when you are on the internet. It's like walking into a gorgeous library with every resource available and ignoring it all to sit in the same corner and read the same magazine. Try social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, or Delicious. I use StumbleUpon to discover new things and Springpad to organize sites I want to visit again. I'm building an amazing compilation of recipes that will insure I never lose those last 5 pounds.
- I can be an interface snob so I use smugmug for my photos. You can share your photos on a free site like flickr so you don't have to email them all to me. Please?
- Gmail: setup a gmail account that you use for internet shopping and other account setups so the email address you love doesn't get 50 messages every night from retailers.
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists once a month. There should be a link at the bottom of every message you get that allows you to unsubscribe. I do this for my husband when he is out of town, oops honey! I don't know why you aren't getting Bike Nashbar ads anymore...
Sunday, October 23, 2011
The Maringo trail head is the place I go to get through stress and problems. I bring it all to the trail and leave it all behind. It's cheaper than therapy, better for you than drugs, and makes the legs and soul strong. I wish everyone had this gift, to understand what I need to do to keep myself together, it's the most valuable thing I own.
This mile marker is where I end most of the tempo runs I do, little out and backs ending at 13. This is where the damn dog decided to stop short just as I decided to surge for a good mile split. I strained my ankle just before Bloomsday earlier this year. He had been such a good training partner up until then.
This is where daddy and Liam go to throw rocks into the river. I goaded Bill into swimming across the river here, he kept stopping and yelling about how cold the water was. Duh! Keep swimming!!!
12 is at the top of a little hill. The easier that hill feels, the better my attitude gets. Bill has won many a sprint point here. You can see we have a "loving" relationship.
There they are! My training partner and husband, running the other direction. Probably wise, I'm trying to meditate while running sub 8:15 pace.
The usual turn around. I like to try to negative split my runs, I want work toward 8:30, 8:15, 8:00, and 7:45 as an "easy" run. Right now that will give me a high HR, so I'm hoping to get my HR and pace down as the weather cools off.
I can't wait for the fall colors to get here! It's like running in a painting. I don't get people who run on treadmills at the gym. Get outside, it will change your life.
We didn't get on the river this summer, next year! Something to look forward to.
10 miles to the Idaho border, let's keep going! There's a Krispy Kreme doughnuts shop not far from here, we can get some sugar and do this!
Run: 4 miles, 32:46 total, avg pace: 8:11, HR 147, asc: 543, desc: 494
Hmmm. This run isn't going to go as planned... Upriver Drive had been closed for weeks while they installed new pipes or something under the road. Things had been closed for a while and I needed to move on with my running so, off I went.
Milepost 18 is somewhere over on the right, next to the area where people should not be running around at. This area is close to our house and I run here all of the time, sometimes running faster, usually slower, but running around here either way, which is really what inspired me to get out and run the entire length of the trail.
Popular rock climbing area next to bike downhill course, this area is a little like a mini X Games training ground, or that's how it seems to someone who does triathlons because moving forward, and not laterally, is the only possibility for someone so uncoordinated.
Bad photo, taken as the sun was getting ready to set. I used to run mile 17-16 at race pace as part of a 5 mile run to get ready for Bloomsday. Lots of pain, lots of growth left on this stretch of trail.
Now this photo worked out better. That rope hanging from the tree on the right is used to jump into the river. I probably wouldn't swim here, its directly down river from a paper mill and Kaiser Aluminum. I could see swimming in a wetsuit, ear plugs, and nose plugs but even then it's probably not worth it.
Bill and Liam were waiting for me here, throwing rocks into the river, so I called it a day and ran the next 2 miles later on. I ended up getting really sick after this run which is why given the option, I try say yes to running, in case the option isn't available the next day.
This section of the trail is on Upriver Drive, a road that has way too much traffic given that its windy and follows the river. Drunk drivers end up in the river multiple times a year here. There are not enough bridges over the river so people end up on Upriver instead.
Here is the view you will get at the intersection with Argonne Rd.
Finally! Off the main road and headed to Maringo Drive, the trailhead we use the most. I am there most days of the week with Liam, who loves running around in the woods and in the fields there. This area feels like home to us so I enjoyed the rest of my runs on the trail on my way to the border with Idaho.