Easter in Canada (4/14-19/17)

It had been over a year since I journeyed to Ontario (and almost 6 months for Jesse), so we thought we’d take a few days this spring to head east to see the fam’. Luckily, tickets were reasonably priced over Easter weekend so we booked it!

We took the red eye from Portland to Minneapolis and while I’d ideally be sleeping through this, I was captivated by the sunrise (while true, it’s also a fact that it’s difficult to sleep when your 6’2″ husband is sprawled across your lap trying to catch his own zzzs), which was subtle, yet beautiful.

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We arrived mid-afternoon (EST, of course) and hung out in Michigan on the banks of Lake Superior, enjoying the cloud-free day and walking off our jet lag.

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No Easter weekend is complete without some egg-dyeing. Round 1 of simply dipping the eggs is on the top row, while round 2 with the more carefully crafted, hand-painted eggs are on the bottom row. As a small tribute to April the Giraffe and her new baby, Jesse painted an egg in her honor.

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One particularly cold and windy morning beckoned us for a run along the HUB Trail through Sault Ste Marie. We managed a very slow 14 miles around the city and I enjoyed running with Jesse, as we are seldom able anymore. I put most of the blame for my sluggishness on our trip to Gilbertson’s for some maple syrup-y goodness the day before, but it could have just been general travel fatigue. I guess we’ll never know!

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My favorite spot was in the Fort Creek Conservation Area. It was a quiet green space tucked away in the northern part of the city. There were signs warning us of bears and I was secretly hoping we’d see one but alas, no such luck. Only dogs and Moms with strollers.

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We had such a great visit with family and friends; loving and being loved is the best.

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December 2016

December was filled with all wonderful things. Jesse made friends with urban farm animals, I did some volunteer leaf raking on our favorite trail, and we got some skiing in.


Portland had some strange weather – wind storms, ice storms, and snowy days. I ran 30 miles one Sunday and caught the aftermath.

16 miles of downed trees makes the miles seem long

Riley dog, enjoying the icy trail in Forest Park

For Christmas, we packed up for several days and journeyed down to Sunriver, OR. We rented a house with my parents, my sister & brother-in-law, and my two nieces (and a few dogs, too) for even more fun in the snow.

Kylee at the top of the lift!

Ms. Sheridan’s first time on skis

Snowshoe adventure on Lava Butte

Sleigh ride in Sunriver, OR

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Ice skating in Sunriver

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Walkin’ in a winter wonderland

Oh, and just to be thorough in this catch-up post, here’s a photo of our Thanksgiving dinner. My favorite item: stuffing.

Mt. Rainier – 8/7/16

You remember my 50k buddy Sybil, right? We finally got around to running together again and planned out a weekend on Mt. Rainier. Well, it was less of a weekend and more of a Sunday-Monday adventure. But then I started a new job on August 1st and it turned into just a day trip. But still – it was a fantastic day!

I woke up insanely early, as running tends to require, and drove 3 hours to the mountain to meet up with Sybil & Belia for a day of exploring the Wonderland Trail.

I was in awe of Rainier the entire time. Mt. Hood is a great mountain right in our backyard but Rainier is Hood’s bigger sister and I fell in love instantly. Driving into the park had a very grand feel to it; the top of the mountain barely visible, expansive forests and valleys, and other daunting peaks cropping up along the way. I guess that’s why it’s a National Park!

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Our route took us from Fryingpan Creek up to the Panhandle Gap and as you can see, it was not a beautiful sunny day! Our views were limited but the trail (and the company) were spectacular!

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It was a decent hike up to Panhandle Gap; around 3,000 ft of climbing in 5.5 miles. We traversed some sketchy snow patches, fun bridges and water crossings, and enjoyed the marmots scurrying about. Although we were climbing, it cooled off quite quickly and hats, gloves, and jackets came out. It didn’t stop of from playing in the glacial pool, though!

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I could have watched the marmots play all day!

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“If that lady can hike this with a baby on her back…!”

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Sybil was certain this hole would be the death of us

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Photo courtesy of guy in Saucony’s and school backpack

We ran most of the 5.5 mile descent and it felt great to get in some mountain running with my badass lady friends.

Out Like A Lamb

March, indeed, went out like a lamb. We’ve been enjoying summer-like weather in Portland these last few days and I can’t get enough! It’s almost downright hot on my runs!

Jesse & Riley doing the stairs on Mt. Tabor


We have an 18-miler on the McKenzie River Trail coming up in mid-April so I’ve been trying to up the weekly mileage. Between running more and climbing lots more, I am exhausted. But no complaints here; I’m not injured and life is good!

A muddy mess on the first day of Spring; plus, the trilliums are out!

Brown’s Camp Loop – 9/27/15

I’m busy working on our Table Mountain adventure post (I am having some technical difficulties), but in the meantime, enjoy a recap from our Brown’s Camp Loop run/mountain bike from a few weekends ago.

I was the runner this day and Jesse was on his bike. The route was a figure 8 shape, totaling just under 17 miles in the beautiful Tillamook State Forest.

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Starting at Rogers Camp following the light green, yellow loop, then dark green.

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We went our separate ways and planned to meet at the car after a few hours. The trail began with a steady incline and after a few minutes I ended up catching up to Jesse!

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I had logged quite a few miles throughout the week and was feeling, well, weak. Around mile 5 I took a detour to have some snacks, rest, and see University Falls…

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Rockin’ the Princess Anna braids (I hated them the whole run)

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…and around mile 7 I gave up completely and returned to the car, making it an 8 mile day. Some runs are just plain lousy. At least it was a scenic walk back!

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Jesse, of course, had the car keys so I lounged on some big rocks, rehydrated, and enjoyed the sunshine (as much as I could over the roar of the dirtbikes and ATVs racing about). Jesse showed up just about the time I started getting cold – perfect timing!

My Fabulous Friend Comes to Visit!

I love and miss my gorgeous friend Erin an absurd amount. She moved to the mystical land of San Diego to live with her man and to be a lawyer and to do all the running without me (although she one-ups me constantly with her speed and ability to do triathlons).

But for one fabulous week she was back in Portland.

I picked her up from the airport after our Smith Rock event and the next day we did a few miles in Forest Park. And a few days later we did a lovely bridge loop 10K. And a few days after that we did a quick 10-miler on Wildwood (complete with embarrassing moments, strawberry shakes, french fries, and a NoPo tour).

Look how much fun we’re having! I loved catching up and adventuring with her all week.

Hello, Fall

To round out our beautiful September, Jesse and I wandered down to Silver Falls for old times’ sake (one of our first “dates” was a lovely trip Silver Falls). The last time we had been there was for his marathon in November, so it had been a minute or two.

The day was classic fall – crisp in the morning with a delightfully sunny afternoon; the trails littered with brightly colored leaves. The waterfalls make the run, for sure, but they were definitely much less impressive due to our unusually dry summer. It was easy to see where the water levels had been and probably should be at this point in the year but nevertheless, it’s always worth the drive.

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Silver Falls was busy, as expected, and for the first mile or so we were dodging small children (and large ones), the usual “selfie” groups, and the occasional regular hiker. Once we made it past the first two waterfalls, the crowds thinned and we could pick up the pace.

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It was a glorious 8 mile loop and the miles seemed to melt away with ease. Sometimes runs just feel easy and those are the days to cling to.

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The rest of the week boasted some bouldering (including the Portland Boulder Rally), a couple of shorter runs, and a few rest days before our Condor 25k. We also received our wedding photos! I am looking forward to putting up a little gallery soon!

(Random photo: on one of my bridge loop recovery runs, I was feeling a little fatigued somewhere in the middle and was instantly perked up by this little gem. Good work, Portland!)

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Sunday 9/21/14

Since we didn’t do as much running as we’d hoped for in Europe, I knew I’d need to get some serious runs in upon returning to Portland. We’ve committed to the Condor 25k on October 5th and I’m feeling nervous ready.

Jesse was working all weekend so I got up early on Sunday and headed to Forest Park by myself to just run. I had some water in my pack, a couple GUs just in case, my favorite skort, and a good podcast; I was ready for an adventure. I was debating with myself what a good distance for the day might be and kept reminding myself: “It’s not about what you’re capable of, it’s about what you are willing to endure.” –Orrin Woodward

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15 miles later I was done. I had a few issues towards the end (well, throughout the whole run actually, but nothing worth whining about on here) but it was a fabulous fall morning and was pleased that I was able to finish and will hopefully be in good shape for our Corvallis event coming up. Except I’m paying for it a little today (and made the foolish decision to climb tonight as well. Ouch!)

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McKenzie River Trail – 8/16/14

Last weekend Jesse and I hummed and hawed about what to do, debating the importance of mountain biking, running, sleeping in, eating candy, and watching TV.

In the end, at the last minute, we decided we could sleep in, eat candy, and watch TV any other day of the year but the number of mountain biking/camping/nice weather running weekends were limited and we should grab life and the world by the, um, horns, and take advantage. We would camp Friday night and on Saturday Jesse would mountain bike from one end of the McKenzie River Trail (MRT) and I would run from the other end and we’d meet in the middle somewhere.

So Friday afternoon I spent some time shopping (i.e. researching) sleeping bags for me, as I didn’t have one (I ended up with the Mountain Hardwear Petaluma 20, which I’m very happy with). Long story short, I needed the left hand zip one and ended up with the floor sample at a discount because of a small cosmetic blemish. But hey, I’ll take it!

We packed up the trusty Outback on Friday evening and headed to Sisters, OR; with some not-so-quick stops at Chipotle and Target for “supplies”. Of course. Though we were not brave enough to try these. They sounded too questionable. #’merica!

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We arrived at our carefully selected campsite around 11 PM…….I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh, setting up a tent in the dark when you’re tired is literally the worst thing about camping. Literally. Not even kidding. It’s awful.” However, I’ll have you know, our tent is pretty spiffy and sets up in about 3 minutes. I’m so grateful for that thing – good work, REI.

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Morning quickly came and Jesse was itchin’ to get on the trail so we ate our oatmeal in the back of the Subaru, packed up camp, and drove the .1 miles to the trailhead (that was lucky planning)! He took off on his bike and I drove the 20-some miles to the other end and started my run.

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According to the website, it would take Jesse about 2.5 hours to ride the trail; so assuming he had about a half hour start, we would meet mid-trail somewhere and that would be my turnaround point.

The trail was really beautiful, as promised. Though many of the first miles were near the main road, which was a bit of a drag. It was a fairly warm morning and running along the river offered a nice reprieve (though the water was too cold for swimming or even wading, it was gorgeous scenery and the light breeze over the water felt incredible).

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IMG_4539(I don’t know why the “Leaving National Forest Land” sign cracks me up, but it does. National Forest Land – such a magical place…)

After about 2 hours of running, not including the 30 minute drive time, I still hadn’t run into Jesse (or many other riders in general), and I started to worry that either A) he was injured and I didn’t have cell service to know; or B) I was on the wrong freaking trail and he was waiting at the car, completely confused.

I confirmed that I was indeed on the MRT by no fewer then 3 people and turned around, certain he was hurt and I should probably head to the ranger station to figure out what to do.

At mile 11 of 15 of my run, Jesse comes barreling up behind me, grinning from ear to ear. “What the hell!?” I yelled. “Where’ve you been!?”

“Oh, it turned out the 2.5 hour thing meant to mile 16. Not end to end.”

Well. That’s slightly misleading! At least he was okay. Ironically, I was the one who was hurting! I ended up walking my last 3.5 miles or so; hips sore, feet, and heart, sad. If I was injured again, I was going to be super pissed. (I had done a 10 mile run on Wildwood 3 days earlier and still felt sore. I was panicked I had messed something up in my hips again.)

We were both pretty beat and though extending the adventure was tempting, we decided to head straight home.

On Sunday we slept in 🙂 Later I met up with my friend to help her pack for her move to San Diego (of which I do not approve. I miss her dearly already).

This week I had a 7 mile run on Wildwood from 53rd, since I hadn’t done that section in a while, and a 7.5 miler the following day on the Waterfront/downtown Portland. Both felt really good, though for the next few days I was feeling incredibly hungry!

Our DIY project this week was making our race medals into fridge magnets. We decided this was a much better use of them – on display, rather than sitting in a box in the garage. They turned out pretty cute! But we’re missing a few – will need to find them and add to our collection!

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We’ve also been enjoying some backyard slacklining, as we finally put up our set between the deck and the tree. Jesse’s getting pretty good – my suspicion is that he spends hours a day on that thing while I’m at work!

In other news, at this time a week from now I’ll be on a plane with my love en route to France!

Update: 6/16/14-6/26/14

Today is my beloved’s birthday! We’ll be celebrating with steak and cake – as it should be.

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I’ve been a little MIA on this blog because I’ve been busy working on a different one for our France adventure! More details to come, as it’s still under construction, but I’m loving the look of it and can’t wait to share!

We were busy over the weekend with lots of celebratory BBQs so the running has been minimal. But let’s be honest…running is a four season sport but having grilled burgers in the sun with friends is usually only a summer thing, so I’m happy to miss a training day (or 3) to enjoy it.

Friday we were in the fancy part of town for my boss’ daughter’s graduation party and being only steps from Forest Park was taunting us all evening. We socialized and ate lightly then made our way out for a lovely 8 miler. I chose the Pittock Mansion route, resulting in some serious climbing!

Saturday was my friend’s birthday and we spent the afternoon in Kenton celebrating. Then Sunday was another friend’s birthday celebration/summer solstice party and again we found ourselves in Kenton partying it up.

Yesterday I ran from downtown Portland up to Council Crest on the Marquam Trail (more climbing!). I hadn’t been up to see that view in a while and it was perfect running weather.

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And this is Riley from Tuesday night at home. I just love his whole face!

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