Silver Falls Half – 11/8/15

Silver Falls is one of those events that sells out within about an hour of registration opening. Jesse and I happened to be running the Cascade Lakes Relay when that happened – I remember the moment vividly and giggle. In The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Oregon 5 of our 6 crazy runners registered from their smartphones. It might have been a little ambitious, but it had to be done.

Months later, it was no longer 100° F outside and race day arrived. Jesse was still in Germany and he gave his spot to my colleague so there were really only two-thirds of our CLR team; but it was a fun reunion nonetheless. (I ran into Matt and Lee from CLR at the final aid station; they were both all smiles!)

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John and me – enjoying the post-race rain and grub!

It was a rainy, drizzly day, as you’d expect in early November in Oregon. I knew the falls would be raging and I was excited about running this event. Jesse ran the full marathon two years prior and it was easily one of the top to-do events on my list.

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I started out too fast; it’s easy to do when you’re feeling pumped. It had been a few months since I’d done an event and pre-race adrenaline didn’t help matters. Around mile 3 I lost my timing chip (they were the zip-tie to your shoe kind) and I had to stop and re-attach it. My colleague caught up to me at that point and we ended up running the rest of the event together, which was great. It was nice to chat with him and having a running buddy during an event is always a treat.

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I had a finishing time of 2:21:03, which I was feeling pretty good about (considering I walked the last slippery hill). You can see the professional race photos here and here.

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We enjoyed the post-race stew and reminisced about Cascade Lakes. After a while we were all getting chilly as the wind picked up so we hit the road for home…but not without another race registration on the books (we’ll all reunite in April for the McKenzie River 18-miler)!

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Germany – Oct 2015

It’s Christmas and I’m just now blogging about Germany! I hate that I’m so far behind in my posting, but c’est la vie. Here’s to getting caught up over the next few days. Maybe we should just adventure less and then I’ll have less to write about…? Nah!

Jesse’s work required him to travel to Germany back in October (tough, right?) and I was able to tag along during week one. Although he was going to be working in Karlsruhe, he was technically on vacation while I was there and we were able to fly to Frankfurt and head directly to Nuremberg to visit his family.

I love Europe as much as the next person and Germany was par for the course. Per usual, catching a train is easy, everyone is friendly and generally speaks English, and the country is beautiful. All the buildings are old and well kept and the food..my goodness! Cheese and sausages and bread…all of my favorite things!

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The pretzels are 2nd to none in Germany!

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A true feast.

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My new favorite snack – literally 3 sausages in a bun!

Fall is by far my favorite season and to see all of the leaves changing colors and falling during our stay was quite special. Some days it was pretty chilly; I was definitely layered with my merino, beanie, and gloves, but the sun was generally out and it was fun to walk around Nuremberg on such nice days. We were staying right near the lake and the lovely path made getting to downtown a super easy walk.

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Nuremberg, like so many other European cities, is old and beautiful and full of history. I’ve been in ancient churches, of course, and they’re so interesting but I was excited about the castles in Germany. They didn’t disappoint! It was easy to imagine wealthy folks enjoying leisurely days in the courtyard, roaring flames in the big fireplaces, posing for portraits, and sending someone to fetch water from the 50m deep well. They certainly had a grand spot to live.

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After a few days of exploring Nuremberg, we drove to Munich to roam around the city. Again, the architecture was incredible. Jesse and I climbed up to the top St. Peter’s church to capture some great views of the city; including the spectacular Town Hall building. We then finished off day 1 in Munich with a trip to the infamous Hofbräuhaus for dinner!

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Day two in Munich was a visit to the Nymphenburg Palace (King Joseph’s summer house). I think I am in need of a elaborate gold carriage for all of my commuting now…

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On the drive back up to Nuremberg, we made a slight detour to the world’s oldest monastery brewery, Weltenburg Abbey. It was at the end of a very narrow road in the Danube Gorge and we enjoyed beers and pretzels and the fall colors over the water.

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We ended the day’s adventure with a ferry ride to the other side of the river. A tiny, man-powered ferry took the four of us and the Mercedes across the water for just a few euros. It was a highlight of the day!

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On one of the coldest days of our visit, we explored Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The main part of town is surrounded by a wall / towers. You can climb stairs up onto the wall and walk pretty much all around the city center. The wall was partially destroyed during WWII and the rebuilt sections commemorate donors names in bricks throughout.

Rothenburg heavily featured one of my favorite things about Europe – red roofs! They also have an amazing Christmas museum / shop and it was fun to pick out really special ornaments to bring home.

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Some other highlights of the trip were cruising on the autobahn, a morning run around Nuremberg with Jesse, and evenings filled with laughter, incredible food, and the traditional schnapps.

I fell in love with Germany; it’s hard not to. We were lucky with the weather and we had the greatest hosts showing us the best parts of Bavaria. We thoroughly enjoyed their company and can’t wait to go back!