Buck Mountain Mudslinger – 2/22/14

Just a nice little 6.5 miler on a gorgeous morning at Silver Falls with my running buddy.

And the ‘Mudslinger’ part was no lie. I thought L was going to kill me.

I tried to get her to take a shot of whiskey before the run to relax – everyone else was! She vetoed that right away, as it was only 8:30 AM. The amount of booze at this event was bizarre…

Sadly, the run did not go by any of the falls, as it was on the equestrian trails, but I can’t get over how beautiful the run was. It was so muddy, but so sunny and the light through the trees…stunning.

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The elevation gains weren’t as significant as we were led to believe. Don’t get me wrong, there was a good hill or two that constituted some sloooooooow jogging (aka walking) but overall it was a challenging, but do-able, course. The difficult part was navigating the mud and standing water, to be honest. One girl just ahead of us, whose tactic was to just bomb through these mudholes, lost her shoe! Up to her elbow in mud and a facial expression to match, she dug it out, dumped out a sloppy mess of water, mud, and likely a stick or two, and seriously debated sticking her foot back in the shoe at all. We stopped to cinch up our laces out of fear and carried on. That’s all you can do, really!

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It was such a fun run, though. Although we had to drive ~3 hours for such a short distance, Silver Falls never lets me down.

More goofy race pics can be viewed here, here, and here.

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Whisked Away to Whistler

Back in the fall, as we were registering for winter running events, I agreed to do the Hagg Lake Mud Run 25K, and Jesse signed up to do the double feature (50K on Saturday and 25K on Sunday…eek!). Upon further review, I noticed this happened to fall on Valentine’s weekend and I was less than thrilled. I thought it would be awful to spend two full days at Hagg Lake just running, but agreed nonetheless, as Hagg was Jesse’s very first ultra and he was determined to beat his previous time. We later found out that we both had the following Monday off for President’s Day as well, and it seemed like an additional downside. *sigh*

Just a few days before the event, Jesse suggested we skip Hagg and get out of town instead. Secretly delighted, I was eager to brainstorm a long weekend adventure. San Fran? Bend? Canada?

The Whistler option won and the night was then consumed with booking accommodations, lift tickets, arranging for doggie daycare, etc. I do just love spontaneity..when it’s carefully planned. 😉

We drove to Vancouver Friday night, arriving at the hotel around midnight. I’m always irritated at my dependence on technology when I have to be without, but we successfully navigated to the hotel using only text directions rather than GPS. Always a good skill to retain!

After a quick breakfast buffet at the hotel, we headed straight to Whistler-Blackcomb and were skiing by noon. The snow wasn’t great but I had never been to Whistler before and was excited just to be there.

This is what happens when we try to take selfies:

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Ok, that’s better…

Love the trees in Jesse's goggles!

Love the trees in Jesse’s goggles!

It was snowing by the time they called last run and they predicted over 20cm (err…9 inches) to accumulate that night. Our drive to our rental was sketchy at best, but we were in the Subaru so it was no big thang!

Our rental was a small basement apartment in Pemberton. Our host had a helpful “welcome book” with local business suggestions and we ended up at The Pony for dinner. It is a rustic place with the Olympics on every channel – I do love Canada for that.

We arrived at the hill a little later than planned on Sunday due to a detour to a local bakery in Pemberton for “breakfast”. I’m such a sucker for pain au chocolat!

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The line(s) for the lifts were absolutely ridiculous! We shopped for some neck warmers (I was only slightly miserable the day before regarding the cold) and were able to avoid what was apparently a 45-50 minute wait. But then, of course, that means everyone is on the hill!

The snow on Sunday was really great – lots of fresh snow and less ice. The view was not as great, though, as it was foggy and snowing pretty much all day.

I will admit, I was anticipating Whistler being extremely intimidating. I’ve been skiing since forever but I am still a pretty cautious skier. I very much dislike moguls and am slow on black diamonds, double or not, but I was pleasantly surprised at the ratios of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs they had. No wonder people stay for weeks! Jesse is a far superior skier than I, but he is sweet and picks the trails he knows I’ll enjoy and I try not to whine (or seem annoyed) when we change it up to his preference. I must say, we make a pretty good ski team.

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                                                                                          Though clearly I’m a gold medalist here…

On Monday we made a quick stop at The Pony for brunch, an even quicker stop in Vancouver for Jesse’s coveted watermelon bubble tea (yes, it’s a thing) and made our way back to Portland.

It was definitely a whirlwind weekend, but it was fabulous nonetheless.

Twenty-Five

Well, it’s official. I’ve been alive for a quarter century. Turning 25 didn’t bother me as much as I anticipated but that’s likely because I love birthdays and this year was no exception!

Last year was my “golden” birthday. I’ve been told this is a mid-west thing only, but I love the idea nonetheless. I turned 24 on the 24th and I took a week-long trip with my mom to Hawaii. It was fabulous…see? Hawaii Jan 2013

This year, my incredible boyfriend took me to Boulder. As the mecca of all things outdoors, it seemed like a great fit for us both – some running, some skiing, some climbing, and other Boulder-y things like test-driving mountain bikes and dining on Pearl Street.

We left Portland Thursday night so that I could wake up in Colorado on my birthday. We flew to Denver and the woman at the sketchy rental car place somehow talked us into upgrading our Chevy Malibu midsized for a Nissan Frontier pickup. “The roads are dangerous!” she advised. Well, okay, it was a little more chilly than Portland, but the roads were clear. She had the most bizarre sense of humor and her lipstick was poorly applied, but we upgraded nonetheless. We drove up to Boulder and found our basement apartment rental (courtesy of AirBnB – love that site!). Our host wasn’t kidding, the front door was really a piece of art!

Friday, my actual birthday, we slept in some and then made our way to “downtown” Boulder. It’s such a cute little college town (comparatively, of course) and I wanted brunch. So we ate in the Buff. AT Buff, excuse me 😉 Delicious. The fruit “bowl” was intense.

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We made our way to Pearl Street and wandered around. It was 55 degrees and so so sunny! Pacific Northwesterners are constantly amazed at how powerful the sun actually is!

Stemming from our mountain biking excursion from a few weekends ago, I’ve been on the lookout for a bike of my very own. I’ve found a cute, pink Specialized and was hoping to find a shop in Boulder to take it for a spin. While they didn’t have my exact model, they had something similar and we spent an hour or so cruising Boulder on bikes we had no intention of buying! Sorry new guy! You were extremely helpful and your naivety was adorable, but it was an informational stop only!

Later, I was in the mood to cut my hair. For those of you who know me, this is a big, big deal! I’ve had really long hair for many years and since the mood struck me, I knew it had to happen then or I’d change my mind! We found a lovely salon and 2 hours later, my hair was 5 inches shorter! Eep! Then was my birthday dinner at Salt. It. Was. Amazing. That is all.

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On Saturday we did some Flatiron running (*ahem* hiking. Let’s be honest, trail running in Boulder is in.sane.) The weather was 60 degrees, sunny, and it felt like spring.

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Saturday night we ended up at The Spot for some bouldering. Bouldering in Boulder? We couldn’t not. We both ended up really liking this gym and it even had a climbing treadmill! Jesse was too tall to use it properly, but novel all the same! And, to top it all off, I climbed a v.2 for the first time! Such a proud moment but my forearms were mad at me for the next three days.

Sunday, we somehow ended up sleeping lots and lots. Something about Colorado makes one really sleepy! [Insert comment about secondhand smoke here]. We ended up taking an afternoon drive in our “truck” around the mountains and there are really no words to say how beautiful it is. The winding roads, the mountains, the houses. All of it is truly incredible and I want to live there immediately, if not sooner.

It started snowing Sunday night and just didn’t stop. We ended up at the movie theater (we saw ‘Her‘) Sunday night and then just went “home”. By the time we woke up and got checked out of our place on Monday, there were several inches of snow on everything! It was really great to get to see Boulder in those two lights – spring and winter. It was cold, everyone starts driving a little slower, and the shops are quieter. Maybe that was because it was no longer the weekend, but for dramatics, I blame the snow!

Our plane wasn’t leaving until later that evening, so we still had all day Monday to play in Boulder. It was snowing the entire time, but it was really dry snow and once we got moving, the 18 degree temperature felt less obvious. We ended up getting all bundled up to do some snow trail running (*ahem* hiking). Look how cute we are!

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An hour into our “run”, throwing snowballs, taking photos, and having a generally care-free time, we reached a clearing and a fork in the trail. Jesse wrote me a very special message in the snow, looked me right in the face, and in the middle of Colorado in a winter wonderland, he asked me to marry him. I am, without a doubt, the luckiest girl in the world.