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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My treadmill desk!

I’ve had a make shift standing desk for months and love it. But I knew that my boss would never pay big bucks for a treadmill desk. Then Hannah told me that someone in her office bought a cheap treadmill and just removed the handles and put it under her desk. I was intrigued.

Hannah sent me a couple of pictures and I was on a mission. I found the treadmill on Amazon for $200! Although my boss thought I was crazy, he approved the expense and then I waited.

The treadmill arrived in 6 days. The guys helped me unbox it.

20150521_110757 (2)We were a little stuck, the wires for the controls ran thru the handle bars, then Hannah sent me a link to a YouTube video. In about 15 minutes we went from this to this

20150521_121635 (2)

I love it! It’s perfect for walking. I would not run on it and if you have big feet the base is not very wide. I have it set up so I can easily move it over for my chair.

I walk pretty slow on it but I’m getting about an additional 5/7 thousand steps a day!

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Eugene Marathon Race Report

Short version: Marathon #7 Great race, well supported, warm for me but PR!!!! 4:21. Super happy about this, my last marathon PR was in NYC November 2013. I ran Vancouver, BC and Chicago last year with no PR.

About mile 24. Thanks for the pic Travis!

About mile 24. Thanks for the pic Travis!

I went to Eugene with my friend, Amy. We arrived about 12:30 Saturday and went straight to the Expo. It was very small. Amy and I thought this sign was funny. And yes people were buying plants.

Amy's picture

Amy’s picture

We quickly picked up our bibs and shirts then headed to McMenamins for a lunch of burgers. Then we stopped at Voo Doo Donuts!

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We checked into our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express. We could walk to the start/finish line, which is super helpful. They also gave us a late check out of 2 pm and had breakfast open at 5:30 on race day!

We went back downtown and shopped at the Saturday Market and the 5th Street stores. Eugene is a college, hippy town. We stumbled across a great restaurant for dinner, Ambrosia. It was modern Italian and very good.

We got up at 5:30 on Sunday, got coffee and a bagel in the lobby and headed over to the start at 6:30 for a 7 am start. It was already a little warm about 55 degrees, but it was partly cloudy which helped during the race. I think we started a few minutes late and I was in corral D. The 4:40 pacer was in C. I never saw another pacer after I past him in mile 1.

Amy and I at the start. Amy's pic.

Amy and I at the start. Amy’s pic.

The race went through some neighborhoods and along the river, on bike trails. It was a very nice course. Mostly flat, a few rolling hills and a bigger hill at mile 8. There was lots of shade, which I loved and water stops every 2 miles at the beginning, but I think almost every mile towards the end. I felt good most of the race. I started a little too fast, but slowed down quickly. And stayed in a good groove for about 22 miles. The volunteers were great and the police officers along the course were the best I have ever encountered on a race.

I was getting tired at mile 22 and it was warmer about 65. This is when I heard someone call my name. We had our names on our bibs so at first I thought it was a stranger, but I looked up and it was Travis, my friend Marilyn’s husband! It was so good to see a friendly face. We chatted a few minutes and he told me I looked good, and I told him I didn’t feel good. He was on a bike and I saw him a few other times those last few long miles. It was the pick me up I needed. Thank you Travis!

The last 2 miles were hard. I only walked through the short water stops. I knew I had a PR and did not want to see it slip away. I just kept moving. I came onto the track at Hayward field and the finish still seemed so far away. I tried to sprint, but had nothing left. Official time 4:21:03! A PR of 4 minutes! At the finish I was given chocolate milk, which the volunteer opened for me, my medal, a bag with water, bagel, PB, cookie and nuts.

Race Swag

Race Swag

 

Next up Mt St Helens climb in 2 weeks!

 

 

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Gametiime Puppy Run

I joined Gametiime about 18 months ago. It’s a great local site that has since expanded to a nation wide running community. They are having a virtual run called the Puppy Run. A virtual run is a run that people are running where ever you may be. You pick the time during the weekend. No rushing to get to a race. You can then connect with people across the country on social media who also ran. And you can also register your dog.

Cognac and I will be running. He is running about a mile with me now, but has done a bunch of hikes and I think the 5k will be perfect for him.

Cognac ready for a run.

Cognac ready for a run.

 

There is great swag for this race, including kids and pup swag. Plus if you use the code bethany10 you can get 10% off your registration fee.

Join us the June 5-8 for a fun run.

 

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The rest of Beijing and Shanghai

In Beijing we had some great food. Our favorite restaurant was Dali Courtyard. The food and service were top-notch. It’s a fixed menu for about $25. We were brought 7 different plates and everyone was amazing. We also had peking duck at one of the top rated duck restaurants in the city, Da Dong Roast Duck. The duck was good, but the service was horrible.

Dali Courtyard

Dali Courtyard

Da Dong

Da Dong

 

We went to the Temple of Heaven and many shopping areas called hutongs.

Making nut candy

Making nut candy

temple of heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also went to the site of the 2008 Olympics and saw the Birds Nest and the Water Cube.

birds nestcube

 

 

 

 

 

We were only in Shanghai for one full day. We walk the Bund, during the day and at night. We also went to the highest observation tower in the world at the World Financial Center. It’s on the 100th floor. And went to Yu Gardens.Yu Garden2
Shaghai night

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of travel notes. Bring toilet paper, there is none in any public bathrooms, including train stations and airports. Communication was easier than I thought. Most people spoke a tiny bit of English. The Beijing subway is awesome! For .50 you could travel anywhere including transfers. The Chinese people to not wait in lines, so don’t be surprised if you get cut in line. It was a great vacation!

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One of the best days ever on the Great Wall!

I walked the Great Wall of China! It was the best day ever! I never would have thought that I would have the opportunity to go there.

Great Wall

We splurged on hiring a car and driver from our hotel to take us to the Great Wall at Mutainyu. It has a large section of restored wall, but also a part that has not been restored. We arrived at about 9:30, an 1.5 hour drive from Beijing. We purchased our tickets and then took a shuttle to a gondola which brought us to the wall. It is enormous and seems to go on forever.

wallwall tower

lookout

wall2

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We walked for about a mile mostly up steep hills and stairs, and reached the point of “old wall” with this sign.
danger sign

We continued on for about .33 miles. It was overgrown and the wall was non exsistant in some places.
old wallold wall2

This was my favorite day on the trip. It was amazing to see something so old and big, in a place I never thought I would have the opportunity to visit.

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