Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Centennial Trail miles 28-23????

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The plan for this run was for Gammies and Liam to drop me off at mile 28, just west of Spokane Falls Community College and run the 3.5 miles into downtown and then through Riverfront Park to Gonzaga University. They were going to hang out at Riverfront Park with the ducks and geese and I would try to hustle because, of course, it was hot and getting hotter.

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The first mile was downhill, thank goodness, because a nice hill was coming.

Total run: 3.89 miles (missed turning GPS off and on so section missing), pace: 9:00/mi., HR 148, asc: 878 desc: 778.

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Bloomsday's famed Doomsday Hill and if you think it doesn't look that bad, you go run up it with 50,000 other people in May.

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Less than a marathon left to the border! Now the trail is now a bike lane along a fairly busy road and through a neighborhood some call "Felony Flats" so you can imagine how nice it is here.

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The identifiable portion of the trail has ended and I'm apparently lost, without knowing it. I hit some stop lights and paused my GPS, forgetting to turn it back on... and I can't find the next mile marker.

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We're in the city now!

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What the? Where did miles 25 and 24 go? After returning home I found that mile 25 is not on the map anywhere so I emailed the Friends of the Trail and I'm waiting to hear back. I will have to go back for mile 24 photos.

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What a lovely downtown!

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I called it a day at mile 23 since I screwed up the route somehow. I found Liam and Gammies running through the fountain downtown which was perfect since the shooting cold water felt great on my burning quads. This might be better than the river for post run cool down. Now I have to figure out where I went wrong on that route...

Doggie Dip and Wash

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We aren't the types to take our dog to the dog park, he gets his exercise when we get our exercise, well, except when we swim at the pool. Marshall finally got his day at the pool when Spokane Parks and Rec had their annual Doggie Dip and Wash to benefit SpokAnimal's dog park. 

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Before entering the pool, the dogs are washed by volunteers. Then they are let in and allowed to run amok at the city pool. Liam was disappointed that he couldn't swim with Marshall and I was concerned about some of the over excited dogs getting too close to Liam, otherwise, it was a great time. Especially for Marshall dog.

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Bill got Marshall to do some running jumps, but one dog outshined Marshall by jumping off the diving board several times.

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I think the dog had a good time. The temps had been hovering around 95 for several days which isn't great for a busy black dog.

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Another good day for a boy and his dog.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Centennial Trail miles 33-28

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Oh look, another bathroom along the trail. These Spokane people love their bikes baths and their bathrooms. I'm into it!

So far, I've only been able to get out once a week to tackle running the trail which needs to change, I want to get through the Idaho portion before it snows! This portion of the trail runs through Riverside State Park and has tantalizing views of the Spokane River with no easy access to get to the river. But I came armed with a plan this time: end the run at the river no matter what. It was too warm to not cool off after running.

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This run started right off with some hills and I had too much coffee in the morning so my heart rate was elevated for the entire run. Nice. Run summary: 5.09 miles, 9:05 pace, total run 46:13, avg HR 151 asc: 868 ft desc: 733 ft. Click here for map + elevation on Map my Run.

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Bill and I have done some mtn biking and trail running here, but he has been injured so we haven't spent nearly enough time exploring here.

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All you have to do is scramble down that bluff to cool off.


This road is shared with cars, but there are very few of them and they seem to expect people so I think this area is pretty safe for shared use.

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I plan to do a lot of training here in the future. Safety + rolling hills = happy mommy.

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There is a bridge over the water here, this is the "Bowl and Pitcher" area where there is parking and lots of tourists. I don't spend a lot of time there but the views are nice.

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Getting close to Spokane Falls Community College now and only 3.5 miles to downtown Spokane from here. Incredible! The next run leg means the trail ends and the sketchy neighborhoods begin.

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I start here tomorrow. This is about 1 mile away from Doomsday hill, the famed portion of the Bloomsday course that everyone loves. Can't wait to run up it and into Riverfront Park. My goal for tomorrow is to run as far as I can to get to Witter Pool, the 8 lane, 50m outdoor pool I've been swimming at all summer. I am seriously depressed that it is closing for the season.

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Until then! Check out the river rat!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Centennial Trail miles 37-33

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Super geek!

Since moving back to Spokane I have spent more time on the Centennial Trail than any other place in town. It's the heart and soul of my experience here, where I walk, run, and bike my stress and anxiety away. The trail is something I truly appreciate, a good idea at the right time. Like a beautiful woman in a great dress, or, even better, midnight at George Clooney's place in Italy with a few empty bottles of wine and no where to go for the next 6 months... oh wait, where am I?

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I'm always on the same section of the trail which is ridiculous considering this trail runs 37 miles through Spokane all the way into Idaho. I decided I want to see all of the trail, by foot, one 4-6 mile segment at a time, and document each mile marker for a photo slide show. Yes, I am super geeky.

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To prepare for the adventure, I joined "Friends of the Spokane Centennial Trail" who mailed me a map and send email updates about the trail.  That's about it for my preparation, I'll figure the rest out as I make my way through to where the trail ends 24 miles into Idaho. I have no timeline or goals, just run the entire 61 miles that make up the trail.

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According to the map, the trail starts here at Sontag Park Trail Head in Nine Mile Falls which is north west of Spokane. For some reason, the first mile markers starts .21 miles after the trail head so I enjoyed a little walk in the shade to get started. Today's route info: 4.24 miles, 9:36 pace, total run 40:43 avg HR 142 asc: 600 ft desc: 539 ft. Click here for map + elevation on Map my Run.

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Mile marker 37 let's roll.

It was a little balmy this morning and I am still recovering from crazy girl's weekend so I thought I should take it out slow and enjoy taking photos along the route. These first few miles are on secluded road and I didn't see more than 2 cars the entire way. There were some little hills and nice shade in the beginning.

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Look at this, already one mile down. This section was lovely, I think there was a remote bathroom along this route which made me think marathon training here could work. Runners will understand that line of thinking, the rest of you, ignorance is bliss.

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Is it getting hot or am I running crooked?


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Mile 35 and the hills seemed to be getting steeper and the trees providing less shade. Why did I drink so many mojitos last weekend? Another bathroom up ahead, hey, I really should consider a marathon, can they hold it right here because that would work for me.

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A nice view of the Spokane River, inconveniently located down a steep bluff. I'm already sweating my pink flowers off.

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Mile 34, no shade, entering a residential area which leads toward a section that is a bike lane on a major road which didn't matter because there was no shade and that's all I can think about now.

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Horses enjoying the only shade in the area. Greedy horses.

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Hey look at that, mile 33. No river in sight but shady. Luckily my husband is here with the air conditioned Jeep. Next time, I will end where I can soak in the river post run. Cold water = instant recovery.

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Liam wanted to run-da-run like mommy. Ohhhhh. So sweet. Mommy needs an ice vanilla latte so she can catch a nice caffeine/sugar rush. This is where we will start next time. Perhaps I'll try to start earlier in the day?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Girl's weekend, summer edition, 2011

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We moved to Spokane, WA almost one year ago and I've yet to make any close friends since we've been here. Mostly because I'm lazy, plus, I live with people, do you need more people? I probably need to join a triathlon club or something, it's getting pathetic. Luckily, I was able to convince my gorgeous and hilarious girlfriends from Oregon to come visit me in Spokane for the weekend.

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Our plan was to spend  2 nights at my house in Spokane and 1 night in nearby Coeur d'Alene. I reserved a boat rental for the final day so we would have some fun time to unwind on the water before they flew out. The only trouble with the boat rental was that none of us had ever driven a boat or had a lot of recent experience boating but hey, piloting a $50,000 ponton boat couldn't be that difficult, could it?

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So I'm not really going to tell what happened during the weekend, we ate good food, had amazing drinks, shopped, danced, laughed, swam, bounced on a water trampoline in bikinis, got a little too wild at times, and managed to drive a boat around without injuring anyone.

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My husband did have to rescue us a couple of times, most notably at the end of the weekend since I was too scared to drive the boat back across the lake and gas it up by myself after the girl's left for the airport. He doesn't look too unhappy about saving me.

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I know I need to invest in new friends here, but my old friends are just so damn good, I think I'll keep them too. Nostrils girls! Somewhere right now, a duck is farting.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Flathead Lake MT and Lake Coeur d'Alene ID

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Flathead Lake, MT

After spending the morning driving through Glacier National Park, we thought we would drive south and camp out at Flathead Lake since the forecasted temp was 95.
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If Liam can throw rocks in the water, he's happy!

There was NO WHERE to camp anywhere near Flathead and not a single hotel or motel room to be had either. So we enjoyed the lake for an hour or so and then started driving south toward Missoula, MT.
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The best way to fix spending all day in the car!

We got a terrible, cheap room outside of Missoula but it didn't matter because we just needed to sleep and head out. We hoped to spend the day on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho the next day but it was so hot we ended up just spending a few hours in CDA before driving home which was only 1/2 hour away.

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Trying to coax Liam into chilly Lake Coeur d'Alene.

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What kind of mommy wears a "Will Run for Beer" sun visor?

It was a good trip and I think we'll attempt another camping adventure in the few weeks we have left before summer leaves us and we start thinking about snow. I miss our friends in Oregon but we're doing great here and enjoying seeing some new things and let's be totally honest, I don't miss the rain in OR.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Glacier National Park

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Lake McDonald in western Glacier National Park

I knew a trip to Glacier meant that there was a likelihood that it would be cold at night and since it's July, it could be hot during the day. Weather + bears meant this was not the place for an extended camping trip with a toddler for us. I know there are pluckier souls out there and you have my respect but my nerves and need for sleep outweighed a desire for adventure.

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So we saw Glacier from the car, which turned out to be nice but short because this park is for hiking! You can see great sights at some of the trail heads and pull-offs, but there is not enough parking at the pull-offs and the road is narrow. You have to be tenacious even if you are just driving through and we weren't so tenacious with a squirmy worm in the car seat so we hit the high points.

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Liam loved seeing the snow.

We saw a huge buck with a big rack of antlers trying to dart across the road and oddly, a big white mountain goat and a ram grazing together near the side of the road. But no bears.

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Not going to swim here...

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Fields of wildflowers all over around here that the camera doesn't pick up but it was lovely.

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Bill enjoying lunch in the parking lot with the dog.

It was super windy that day so we were challenged to find a good spot for a picnic lunch. We ended up making sandwiches in the parking lot of the east side visitor's center and I had a great moment with Bill... I was squatting down between 2 cars to shield from the wind and I'm trying to spread mayo on bread that was flying away in the wind when Bill saunters up and declares, "I want tomatoes on my sandwich!"

Oh REALLY? Would you like stone ground mustard, organic lettuce, and salt and pepper on it too? Let me just pick the bread up off the asphalt first and I'll get right on it.

He now says he asked me if I wanted tomatoes on my sandwich so there you go, two sides to every story but I'm the one that writes the blog. We spent all morning driving through the park and decided to try to camp south of the park at Flat Head Lake which will be my next blog...