Hood to Coast!

I don’t know where to begin to explain the best Relay ever! I have learned that relays have nothing to do with the location and everything to do with the people on your team.

On Thursday my friend Rebecca and I headed down to Oregon City. We were staying with Devri and Barry 2 members of our Heathen Brewery team. Devri and I meet a few years ago and when she ran HTC last year I begged to have a spot her team this year.

We got up at 3:40 am for our 6:15 am start. Devri was our first runner. I was number 2 and could not wait to start. There’s not much open at 4 am, but we did manage to find Joe’s Donut shop. The donuts were great, but the coffee not so much.

The girls, Devri, me, Jamie and Rebecca

The girls, Devri, me, Jamie and Rebecca

Start Line

Start Line

My first leg was all down hill, right down Mt Hood. It was awesome! I really tried to slow down but it was hard not to just cruise.

My first leg, loved the Pac Man van!

My first leg, loved the Pac Man van!

We met up with the other van at a school. They were all super nice and welcoming.

3/4 of the Heathen Team

3/4 of the Heathen Team

Barry and Brandon, put up with a lot of girl talk

Barry and Brandon, but up with a lot of girls talk

After our first legs we went back to the Pieratt home and showered and a great lunch. Then we were off to run our second legs. It was hot and humid now. Most of this leg was along the train tracks in an industrial area in Portland. One of the first buildings I ran past had a thermometer, it was 79 yuck! This was my hardest leg.

Second Leg hand off with Devri

Second Leg hand off with Devri

We were hearing about how bad the weather was going to get, but we were having a great time and just kept running. At some point we did know that the finish area was moved and there would be no beach party. Bummer, but safety needs to come first.

After our second legs we went to the next major exchange and got some sleep.

Me, Jamie and Devri in "bed" for some sleep.

Me, Jamie and Devri in “bed” for some sleep.

When we got up about 3:15, again, it was pouring and was super windy. Devri started her last leg is some pretty bad weather, but by the time she handed off to me I was running in dry 60’s. It rained a bit here and there but nothing bad, until we got to Exchange 30, the last one for our van. It was pouring and the wind was howling. This was also the exchange that we had the worst traffic of the race. Up until this point all the traffic issues that they had last year had been resolved.

Our legs done! We headed to Seaside for food and to wait for Van 2 to finish. It was not raining in Seaside, but it was so windy.

No beach party this year

No beach party this year

IMG_7949

Van 2 finished and we all ran across the finish line together. It was great. I have run 5 relays in the past 3 years and this was one of my favorites. It’s all because of the great, friendly group of people who I had the opportunity to spent 30+ hours with. Running is an individual sport, but on these relays you are part of a team, working together to finish. They made the rain, wind, heat, humidity, and sleep deprivation all worth it. Thank you Heathen Brewery Team hopefully you will let me back again next year.

Jenny, Colby, Alison, Rebecca, Sunny, Devri, Jamie, Brian, Jamie, Brandon, me and Barry

Jenny, Colby, Alison, Rebecca, Sunny, Devri, Jamie, Brian, Jamie, Brandon, me and Barry

All pictures are Jamie Hill’s or Devri Pieratt’s Thanks ladies!

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Lake Union 10k Race Report

On Sunday Hannah and I ran the Lake Union 10k. She picked this race because Portage Bay Cafe was serving breakfast after, and we both love their breakfast.

hannah

We arrived at 6:45 and got free street parking. We picked up our bibs, and shirts. They only had 1 womans medium left. They were running small and many people had sized up, they should have t-shirt exchanges after the race.

The race started on time and is a nice loop up to Fremont and around the lake. There were 2 water stops on the course and a few steep hills at the end. I finished 53:53, 4th in my age group. I was about a minute off my PR from my last 10k, 2 years ago. Hannah did great for her longest run ever!

Portage Bay did a great job with breakfast. It was french toast with their breakfast bar of fresh berries, butter, whipped cream, maple syrup and orange juice. Marley Coffee, one of my favorites, had a booth set up with coffee samples.

It was a great race, one I would probably do again.

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On a sad note, I needed a headlamp this morning on my run.

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Hiking to Camp Muir on Mt Rainier!

On Saturday I hiked to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier at 10,000 feet!

My friend Laine and I left after work on Friday. It is about a 2 hour drive from Seattle. We stayed at Whittaker’s Bunkhouse. It’s rustic to say the least. We only planned this about 3 weeks ago and they had the only available rooms in the area. It was clean and the wi-fi was working but no television, fridge and the pillows were like pancakes.

We arrived at Mt Rainier’s Paradise Visitors Center at 6:30. We were hoping to beat the heat and sun. It was going to be 90 and sunny. We had some visitors in the parking lot.

deer

Rainier1

The first few miles are a relatively easy hike to Pebble Creek.

poles

After you cross the creek, the snow field begins and goes straight up for the next 2 miles.

Rainier ants
Rainier ants2

 

 

 

 

 

Yes the dots are hikers. It was long and hard. Even when you see the camp, it is still about 45 minutes away.

Camp Muir

Camp Muir

tents

 

We ate and rested for a bit at the camp. We had amazing views and the pictures do not do it justice. Compared to my Mt St Helens hike this was perfect weather.
Rainier2

We headed down the trail and many people were heading up at this point. The snow was not easy to hike down and we had to get used to a step. slide rhythm. I tried to glissading down a shoot, but the snow was soft and with my shorts on I didn’t get very far.

It was a great hike and is definitely making me consider going for the summit. Maybe next year?

All pictures are from Laine.

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Ragnar Relay 2015

This is my third year running Ragnar and each year it’s awesome. I was on team Soul Mates! A mixed team with some members of my Spokane to Sand Point team. In van 1 me, my friend Amy, S2S runner Diane, Gani and Suresh runners from the Bellevue Running Club and Mike a friend of Amy’s. In Van 2 Scott M and Sophie from S2S, Corine, Alison, Scott K and Matt. This was my first year not on an Ultra team. Van 1 and 2 have very little interaction, it really feels like 2 separate teams.

NWP3

We had an 8 am start which was perfect. We left Renton at 4:30 and arrived in Blaine, after a Starbucks stop, about 7. Gani was first up and was super excited.

I was runner 5. My first run was at 12:20 and it was super hot already, about 75 and full sun. 5.8 miles at a 9:50 pace.

NWP 1 run

First hand off

First hand off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After handing off to Van 2 in Bellingham we had a great lunch at Aslan Brewery.

My second run was my favorite. It was at 9:08 pm. It was 8.25 flat miles along farm land with the sun setting on the Cascade mountains and it was beautiful! 9:32 pace, it had cooled down to about 65.

sunset

Like this but prettier. This picture was from the Ragnar Blognar.

After these legs we went to Oak Harbor High School and got a few hours of sleep before our final legs.

My last leg was the shortest, but already 65 and sunny at 8:30 am. 4.5 miles at 10:09 pace. That is what heat, hills and sleep deprivation does.

DONE!

DONE!

After our last legs we went to Useless Bay Coffee Company for a great lunch. Mike did a great job of picking the restaurants. Then it was on to the finish line to wait for Van 2.

Soul Mates! Done!

Soul Mates! Done!

I loved eating real food in a restaurant and getting sleep. But I missed the challenge of the Ultra team. Once again Ragnar does everything very well. We had no issues. Thank you to the amazing volunteers along the course, especially the volunteers at Coopville High School. Thank you to the other teams, who make this the blast that it is. This is my favorite 2 days of the year, until you run one you have no idea how much fun a sweaty, slightly smelly, sleep deprived group of people can be.

And I get to do it all over again in  month at Hood to Coast! Can’t wait!

Thank you Suresh for the awesome pictures!

 

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Hiking in the PNW

I’ve been doing a lot of hiking. While I was training for Mt St Helens I was hiking twice a week. One was a mid week, 2 miles straight up called the Cable line. It was gruleing, but got me ready for St. Helens. Here are some of the hikes I have done with pictures.

Pratt Lake is 12 miles round trip with a fair amount of elevation but not too steep.
Pratt Lake2Pratt Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Si is 4 steep miles. There is no flat only up. Many people training for Rainier hike this with full packs. It was super hot the morning I hiked it for the second time.

Mt Si

My favorite hike so far was Mt Defiance. It is long and steep and hard, but the views were amazing!

20150620_101447(2)Rairier

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite hike in the area?

 

 

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We went to the World Cup!

Hannah, Emily and I went to the World Cup in Vancouver, BC. It was Hannah’s idea. We bought our tickets and reserved the hotel in March. Vancouver is about 2.5 hours from Seattle and we knew it would be a great overnight trip. Vancouver is a beautiful city. This was the first time I was there without rain.

harbor

whale

 

 

 

 

We arrived in time to have lunch at Nandos. It’s a portuguese chicken chain. mostly in the UK. Then we headed over to the stadium for the game.

It was a great game Nigeria vs USA and we won! One goal at the end of the first half. The stadium was a sea of red, white and blue.

at game

After the game we headed to the FIFA Fan Zone which was only ok, not much to do. Then to Fox Sports live show at the harbor. We were surprised there were so few people.

fox sports

Reggie Bush with Fox Sports

Reggie Bush with Fox Sports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a great quick visit to Canada. If you have not watched the World Cup yet, what are you waiting for? #ibelieve

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I climbed Mount Saint Helens!

On Monday I climbed Mt St Helens! It was hard, very hard.

On Sunday Laine and I drove down to Cougar, WA where we were going to meet my friend Jayne. On the way we stopped at Johnston Ridge Observatory for an amazing view of the mountain.
ridge1

Ridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday the three of us got up early, ate and headed over to the Climber Bivouac trailhead. These are the happy, dry before pictures.Jayne

before
register

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jayne decided she didn’t want to hike due to the weather, but Laine and I were excited. The first 2 miles were a nice easy incline on wide dirt trail. I was thinking I could do this all day. Then at mile 3 and almost 5,000 feet we hit the boulders.
climb

The boulders went on for 2 miles. There were small, sharp, round, square and any other kind of rock you can think of. It was a long hard rock scramble. You had to think about every step and where you were going next. There was at least one time that I thought, why am I doing this. The weather was foggy, cloudy, windy, about 40.

Then we hit the pumice stone and some snow. And it got windier, and colder. The last mile was a slog up the mountain, with every step you would slide back a little.

Then we made it to the top, 8365 feet. You could see NOTHING. It was white on white. The only way we knew it was the top was one small post. It was depressing. All that work and not even a tiny glimpse.

Top viewtop with Laine

 

 

 

 

We were only at the top a few minutes. Then we started down. It was easier going down, but the boulders were still difficult. It was windy and started raining. By the time we got to the bottom we were very wet.

This was one of the hardest thing I have done. It was about 7.5 hours of very hard hiking. But I did it!

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