oregon adventures

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sandy hill ride

What do you do when it was 106 yesterday and it's supposed to be 100 today? Go on a hilly bike ride of course! My friend Steve and I set out early for the small town of Sandy through country roads with lots of rollers. Went through the town and out in the country and saw 362nd avenue and took that. It had some steep rollers and I was using my front derailer more than the back it seemed. At one point hit 43 going down one hill. That road circled around and ended up back in Sandy. I used to carry maps- now I just ride. Back to Steve's house in Gresham at 33 miles with an average of 14.8.
Going to Michigan on Monday for a little over a week. My mom has a cottage on a lake, so I should be able to swim, maybe. And run the dirt roads, hopefully. It's a family reunion with picnics every day, golf tournament, square dance, etc. Training may suffer!
PS- Watched a repeat of the time trial in the tour- way to go Landis!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Seattle To Portland Bike Ride

Imagine a beautiful blue sky weekend of riding along on your bike with literally 1000's of other riders in the company of good friends and a support van along the way to augment the food stops every 20 miles or so. I've done the 204 mile Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride three years now and had a good time- but this year was great! It started Friday when I met Frank S and his wife and sister Terry, Kriss, and Kevin at the base where we left our cars and piled into Frank's van with all our bikes on top and drove up to Seattle. Met up at an Italian restaurant with Steve K and his wife and Ray who were riding it in one day. Took up a whole corner of the small place near the University of Washington that had fantastic food (I had salmon and pasta)and really pretty waitresses. Stayed the night at the University towers hotel where they had a guarded bike corral in the conference rooms. The next morning we rode less than two miles to the start line while Frank's wife took our baggage to the midpoint. Started in the last group to leave and it was still huge with a couple hundred riders- slow and crowded at first, but we slowly moved apart as people settled into their own riding speeds. One of the prettiest parts of the ride is in the beginning as we ride around lake Washington with the mansions on one side and a park and the lake on the other. Passed a triathlon clinic going on along the lake. Frank's sister Terry is a slower rider than the rest, so Kriss, Kevin and I would ride together then wait at the food stops to regroup. At one point Kevin sprinted on so Kriss and I were cruising along at about 21 and passed some young guys who when they saw her pass said "I thought we were going fast!" Kriss and I ran the Hood to Coast (170 mile relay run with 10 member teams) together on the base team in 2004 and in between runs would talk about hiking and running and dogs, etc. So we rode along talking about hiking, biking (she started riding this year), family, etc. Her and her husband are climbing St Helens in August. I mooed at the cows and when I neighed at the horses Kriss said that that horse should be put down, she used to ride horses as a kid. I have to work on my neighs, the horses never even look up when I do. The cows almost always look now. The first day Frank and family, Terry and her family and Kriss stayed at the campground in Centralia at the 100 mile mark. Kevin and I rode on to Chehalis to St john's Lutheran church where they have a gym in the basement with a kitchen and showers. They give you all you can eat spaghetti at night and all you can eat breakfast in the morning and floor space for $40. The Centralia campground is free, but Frank said he'll look into the church next year because it was too crowded and noisy. He rode it in one day last year and Steve K and Ray called him Saturday night and they made the 204 miles averaging just under 19 making only 4 stops. I averaged 15.8 over 108.7 miles and that includes walking though the food stops and all the stop lights. Oh yeah, there are 9000 riders who do STP, so when you stop at a light there's usually at least 30-40 people with you and when we all start up when it's green and click in- it's amazing- it sounds like a machine gun going off. The next morning up and ready to ride, we were the last one's to leave the church at 6:30. We had agreed to meet at Winlock the first food stop. We had gotten so many comments on our Oregon Air Guard jersey's that I washed mine out and wore it again on Sunday. Frank had them made for the bike riders on base. Right after Frank and Kriss and Terry arrived at Winlock a guy came over saw the jerseys and said he worked on the base too- small world. Terry told Frank she was fine on her own, so Frank, Kriss, Kevin, and I did a pace line with speeds of around 20.5- to 25 on flats. Frank would time us and yell "breakout" every 2 minutes and we were having a great time when we came up on an accident where someone had touched wheels and gone down and he was having trouble breathing. The last two years I've done STP, I didn't see any accidents, but this year we passed two down riders and saw one happen. That spooked us, so we went to a relaxed pace line with about 4-5 feet separation. Frank's wife was driving support this day and she was by the road at just the right time for a drink break with Gatorade and water refills and snacks. I'd never had a support van before, it was great she even picked up a Diet Pepsi for me at one of her stops. Usually the second day starts to drag, but this time the miles melted by as we took turns leading and Steve K met us at the town of St Helens where he lives and rode with us for 6 miles in his Air Guard jersey. About 4 miles from the end we were zooming along and Frank was leading and said "on your left" to a guy and he moved over and kept moving like he was going to go into a gas station, but the curb had a lip and he hit that and went down and his face slid on the cement. We turned around and went back and some people had phones out and called 9-11. He was pretty bloody, but said "I'm a marathoner, I'm ok, I want to finish and get the patch." Then to the finish line with a line of cheering people and they gave us a patch and bottle of water. Loaded up and back to the base to the cars. 98.1 miles at a 16.3 average for the second day. Luckily I had today off, because I'm tired! Next is Michigan for a family reunion, then the Mid-summer sprint tri and then maybe the Garlic festival 10K or a mooing contest in Southern Oregon, then the Apple Capital olympic tri. After that- no concrete plans yet.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Centennial HS Run

Today after work I went golfing with my friend Jerry and shot ok, 53 for 9 holes, and got home late so went running right by the house. The high school both my kids went to is a 1/2 mile away, so I ran over there and went around the track doing intervals and then back home for 3.5 miles in 28:48 for an 8:14 pace. Very pleased with that time. I should have been doing intervals all along, but they hurt my knees before so I shied away from them. But last night I went to a meeting of the Portland tri club and the guest speaker was Erin Ford a local professional triathlete and Scott McMillan a professional triathlete coach- very inspiring. Plus Jessica was there and she told me her schedule and I signed up for a couple tris in August.
I'm off to Seattle tomorrow to do the Portland to Seattle bike ride so no blogging until maybe Sunday night.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

PIR Bike Race 4

Decided to go racing at the Portland Speedway tonight for the 4th time this year. Two times ago I went right after a triathlon and lost the group on the 3rd lap. This time it was right after a triathlon, but I decided to do it anyway. Started out and fell back and had to push to hold on then stayed fairly close, but still not as close as I should be to the wheel in front. There was a very strong wind and only about 15 people, so the line was ragged and hard to stay with as it gyrated and went from one line to two and back to one. Unfortunately at the end of the 3rd lap they had a hot spot (like a sprint bonus in the tour)and everyone sprinted to get the points. I was on the back and there was a delay in acceleration back there and when they took off, I didn't have the legs to stay, but I gave it everything and pushed to get back to the group and kept them in sight all through the fourth lap and even gained a little in the straightaway pushing it to 24.5- but one rider against the wind versus 14 against the wind is not going to work and they started to pull away. I kept going full bore and finished to some applause from the few spectators as I did a one man out of the saddle sprint at the end. Even though I fell off the group, I was proud of this race because I pushed it even with tired legs and I felt like I am improving and finished with a 22.9 average with a headwind. I talked to Sandy (pretty girl from the base who did Onionman tri with me) today and she did a marathon Sunday and had her worst run ever. She threw up twice during the run, but she said she was going to finish no matter what and she did.
On a personal note I got promoted at work, got the swing shift supervisor job for my shop. After a couple of months of days, I'll go to permanent swing shift- no idea what that will do to my training and adventuring.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hagg Lake Triathlon

Saturday I did the Hagg Lake Triathlon, Olympic distance. It's held out past Forest Grove at Henry Hagg Lake which is a park with camping and mountain bike trails and a paved road around it. A guide book on biking I read once said the paved road around the lake has 750 feet of elevation gain- the olympic tri does 2 loops for 1500 feet. Then the run is on the road, so more hills, this would be the hardest of the year for me. My friend Kevin is doing a half-ironman with a girl form his tri club in a few weeks, so he needed one more race to tuneup. Got there and it was blue sky and already warm. I was in the last wave and stayed in view of the group until the 3rd buoy and then they disappeared- I must be getting lazy halfway through the swim and not realizing it. Got out of the water at 39:07 a new pr for olympic distance swim by 51 seconds. Of course I was about the only bike left in transition- that's disheartening. The first loop I did ok and there is one really steep climb and I did 7-8 mph up that and passed a bunch of sprint tri people- they do one lap. I checked my speedometer at the start of the second lap and I had an average of 17.8, then the 2nd lap. All the sprint racers were gone, so I was by myself and it's hard to keep a high pace alone. Climbed the steep hill at 6 mph this lap, but by then I had caught some olympic people and wasn't alone anymore. Into transition with a 17.2 bike average. Then to the horror and downfall- the run. It was very hot by now and I started out and going down the first hill 3/4 of the people coming back were walking up the hill- I wish I hadn't seen that. I kept running up and down the first 3 miles seeing a lot of people walking the ups. About 1/2 mile before the turnaround I saw Kevin and knew I'd lost again. It didn't occur to me the heat and hills would affect him also, instead of kicking it out and trying to catch him, I gave up and did a walk run mix after the turnaround and drank 2 cups at each water station. During the run I saw an Oregon Air Guard jersey on a bike rider and it was Ray a guy I'd ridden with last Sunday, he was out riding around the lake. We said hi to each other but of course didn't stop. About 3/4 of a mile from the end a guy came up beside me and said "run in together?" so we ran up the hill I saw everyone walking and crossed the finish line jogging. He said it was the worst run of his life- looking at my watch- it was the worst run of my life also. An 11:50 pace, ironically Kevin ran the whole way and had an 11:30 pace. The first time ever he has beaten me on a run- racing or training. I finished 172nd out of 183 and dead last in my age group- a first for this year in any event. Best to forget about this debacle and take a break from tris for awhile. The only bright spot- saw Jessica (the really pretty girl from several races) and talked to her, she got third in her age group and ninth overall for women. Heard a woman on the run thanking the volunteers- I used to do that every race, it needs to be fun again. Normally Kevin and I take separate cars, but this time we took one car so as we driving home he said he wanted ice cream, so I jokingly pointed to a sign saying Tilamook 52 miles and said we could go there and get Tilamook ice cream. So he turned and 52 miles later we were in the very crowded Tilamook cheese factory having ice cream with a ton of people. Several asked about the Hagg Lake t-shirts we were wearing and the numbers on our legs. Then up 101 a few miles to Rockaway beach to go out and walk in the ocean- the water was holy cow cold. Tons of people on the beach- all of Oregon's beaches are public. Then the long drive back to town with a dinner stop at the Log Cabin restaurant for a buffalo burger, never had one before, it was good.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Starvation Ridge Hike

On July 4th morning I had my running bag in hand ready to go do a 10K run when my friend Steve called and asked if I wanted to go hiking. So I put the running bag down and headed out to Starvation Creek Falls trailhead. Unfortunately my camera was in the running bag, so no pictures. Steve said he wanted to do just a small waterfall hike, but when we got there and he saw the squiggles on the map past the waterfall, he said let's just go a short ways up. Several switchbacks later and about 2100 feet up we turned around. The way up wasn't just steep, it was holy cow steep. The guide book says the climb to Mt Defiance, which is where the trail eventually goes, is one of the hardest in Oregon. Very pretty climb though with good views of the Gorge every once in awhile through the trees. Totals- about 4 miles 2100 feet. Hope everyone had a good 4th.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Three Corner Rock Hike

My friend Kevin (bottom pic) and I (top pic) hiked the Pacific Crest trail to 3 corner rock today. It was another sunny 80+ day in town, but up in the foothills it was cooler. Parked at the trailhead with not a soul in sight and hiked up the PCT for 1.5 miles and took a 3/4 mile side trail to the top of three corner rock which is about a 50-60 foot high pile of rocks that used to be a lookout site where you can see Mt Hood, Adams, Ranier, St Helens, and Jefferson on a nice day. Soaked up the view and headed back down. On the drive down we saw a huge bear cross the road about 50 yards ahead- first time seeing a bear in many years! Totals for the hike 4.4 miles with 800 feet elevation gain. A 1000 feet under last years average, but I haven't hiked much this year, so I have to build back up. Made it back to town in time to go to yoga.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Livestrong Ride Route Bike Ride

Drove out to the west side again today to do a bike ride with 5 people from work. Frank, his sister Terry, Ray, Ken, and I rode the 40 mile route of last year's Livestrong ride. Started at the south entrance of the Nike campus (picture), and rode out of the city into farmland with vineyards and alpaca and horse ranches. It was a beautiful day out, good scenery, good company- just a really nice ride. All 5 of us will be doing the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride in a couple of weeks- 206 miles. Ray is doing it in one day everyone else is doing it in two. Last year Frank and Ken did it in one day I've done it in 2 days the last 2 years. When we got back to the Nike campus today we stopped at the Tiger Woods building and spun the cement ball they have sitting in a fountain held only by the water. Last year Frank and I both did the Livestrong ride and people were lined up to play with the cement ball. He did the 103 mile route, I started that way, but got to talking to people at the rest stops and they closed one of the turn-offs, so I ended up doing only 73 miles. Got to hear Lance give the opening speech, but it was too crowded, so I didn't get to see him. This year the Livestrong ride costs $500 for one day- way out of my range so I won't be riding it this year.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

West Side Ride

Drove over to the west side of Portland to Hillsboro to do a bike ride. My intention was to do a training ride with the Team Rose City bike racing team. They do rides every Saturday from Liberty High School (picture). When I got there- nobody. Oh well I drove all the way out here- so I rode by myself. Tried to keep a race pace at first then the exhilaration of being on a bike on an 80+ degree blue sky day with nowhere in particular to go took over. Rode up some hills just because they were there and up to a golf course just to see it, etc. Saw tons of riders, it almost looked like an organized ride there were so many riders on the route. At one point a group ride of about 25-30 people passed on the other side, it looked like a colorful peloton zooming by. Of course I was waving and yelling hi to all the riders and the 3 or 4 runners I passed, even passed some girls on horses. Saw a guy with a Team Rose City jersey and caught up to him and asked about the team- they didn't have a ride today because too many people were on vacation. He said they work on pace lines and race form- so I will be there when I next have a free Saturday. Got back to the high school at 32.7 miles with a 17.0 average. Then I put on my running shoes and took off to do a brick. It was about 88 by now, so I didn't push it, did 4 miles and decided to stop- I have a tri next weekend and didn't want to wear myself out. Looking at my time, wow that was slow- 39:56 for a 9:59 pace. Went and sat in the shade for a few minutes and felt much better. Also, my right hip/sciatic area has been stiff since the Solstice run making me limp slightly. Anyway, sitting in the shade I did a yoga type move of leaning forward with the legs open while that area was spasming- I may have found it- it felt much better and I can walk without limping now! It's the little things!