oregon adventures

Thursday, November 30, 2006

LaCamas Track Workout

Wednesday I drove over to the LaCamas Swim club to do a track workout with some girls from the triathlon team. Got to the club and my Jeep said 31, I've never run when it's that cold that I can remember. Cecilia showed up and said 2 other girls wimped and were going to do the treadmill, so we started out of the parking lot at a slow warmup jog. Two more girls drove up as we were leaving, so we stopped and waited for them. So the four of us jogged over to a middle school track that was almost exactly one mile away, one of the girls had a gps on, I forgot mine and my Power Bar gel. The track (top picture) was up a slight hill from the club which didn't have snow. We did a warmup lap to see how slippery it was and then started doing 4x800's. The first two laps I was worried about slipping and not really used to track running. Slow lap in between and do it again. The first mile came out to 8:26 by my stop watch, the second mile came out to 8:03- that would be a pb if I could do it for 3.1 miles. Then a slow jog back to the club and into the gym to do lunges with weights. Cecilia said they usually do the lunges at the track, but it was way too cold. They hadn't used the weights before, so that was new. We walked up and down the gym doing lunges twice and then over six steppers in an obstacle type course and then jumping lunges up onto the steppers. Then repeat everything, my legs hurt all day afterwards, but very good workout. The girls said it was nice having a guy there, so I have to come next week too. I still had an hour until swim class and wanted to go eat something. Saw Julie from the Saturday swim spin group and she said to go to Panera like we do each Saturday. So I went and had a bagel and spinach souffle and chai tea. Took this picture from the Panera parking lot to show the snow on the hills.

The tri group decided on the Grand Columbian full ironman in September at Grand Coulee Washington. It has a ton of climbing on the bike, but the Bigfoot in Canada had only 12 people in the full last year, so we decided not to do that one. The other choice was Vineman full in California, but it was in August and training started too early because a couple of the girls are doing the Boston marathon. So- September 15th will be pure torture and then September 16th I will be able to say I'm an ironman!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My F-15 Ride

Wednesday I got to ride in an F-15. Once a year they hold a lottery to give out 2 rides for the year and I won last year. I've been in the Air Force/Air National Guard 26 years and this was my first and probably only ride.

Started at 7:30 Am getting fitted for a flight suit. Mike the life support guy also ran the Turkey Trot and said he had run the Hood to Coast relay 3 times. After getting fitted I had to go through emergency procedures in the simulator and then hang in a parachute simulator. My friend Kevin works on base, so he was allowed to come over and take pictures.

After that my pilot Major Poorman ("papa") gave me a briefing and some maps of where we were going. We were going to buzz Reiser stadium to practice for the fly-by during the OSU-UO civil war game and then along the coast. The weather was extremely crappy, rainy and low clouds, but we went out to the plane and got ready- notice the big smile I'm wearing?

Got strapped in and the pilot went through his checklist while I looked around. Looking at the cramped cockpit and the weather and I decided to let Kevin keep the camera and get take-off and landing pictures.

Taxied out and armed the ejection seat and the tower said you can go. It was time!! Papa said here we go and we started up and then he said going afterburner and in a second or two we were airborne (top picture), and then we did a gate climb which was straight up to 15,000 feet. The G-suit around my legs inflated and I tensed up and did yoga puff type breaths. It was only a couple of seconds and we were flipping over and leveling out at 15000 feet. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day and all I could see was white. It was a very strange sensation and sight- sitting in a bubble completely surrounded by white. Then we went down to 5000 feet trying to find some clearing. The instruments said we were going down and the sinking feeling said we were going down, but the white didn't change at all. That on top of a slight head cold I believe did me in. I started to get dizzy and nauseous, so I unhooked the mask and looked at only the instruments. It seemed like only a couple of minutes and we were descending on Corvallis to see the stadium. We came down to 3000 feet and we came out of the clouds and I could see the town of Corvallis and then we flew over the stadium and then up into the clouds again. On the ascent I lost it and used the air sickness bag. A few minutes later we were at the coast and came down to 2000 or 3000 feet over the water and flew along the coast looking at Newport and Lincoln City and the whitecaps on the ocean. It was great and weird at the same time sitting on air in a bubble floating along the coast. We were supposed to do a bunch of aerobatic moves then pulling G's and doing flips, but I was in bad shape so we did one slow roll so I could say I'd been upside down and we did it. I had time to say that was cool and then really lost it, so Major Poorman took it up in the clouds and zoomed back to Portland. The flight plan had us going over St Helens, if I weren't sick that would have been great, but all I wanted to do was stop and get out. Finally I stopped losing it and we descended into the Portland area over Sauvie's Island which is where we came out of the clouds. I could see the roads where I'd ridden and then downtown Vancouver and then on the runway and into the base.

As you can see by the pictures I'm not smiling as I got out. Even though I got sick it was still cool to fly in something like that. I didn't get to take the stick or do big G's like a normal ride, but I guess I'm not good with motion. I've never been motion sick before- not fun. But I did get to do a gate climb. And I got a view of the coast I would never see normally.

When I got back to my shop, they took one look at me and I was off for the rest of the day.
This Saturday after swim-spin at the club, we talked about Bigfoot full and it turns out only 12 people did it last year and Denise (my coach) said that wouldn't be fun being out there by ourselves. So now the choices are Vineman full (California in August) or Grand Columbian full (Washington in September with a 5000+ bike climb). Everybody will vote next week and decide.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Zoo Turkey Trot

Drove over to the Oregon Zoo for the Turkey Trot 4 mile run this morning. It was damp out, but not raining, but cold. The announcer said there were over 2000 people and it seemed about right because the start was jammed. A little whinning first: last week sometime the wind was really strong and blew the fireplace in my bedroom open and I woke up teeth chatteringly cold. Closeed the flew, but the damage was done and I've been fighting a head cold ever since. Yesterday I took my F-15 incentive ride (this coming Sunday's post), so I was not on my top form today. Since I had to be in to work at 7:30 AM yesterday for my ride, getting up today for an 8 AM run was easy. At the start line I saw Mike, the life support guy at the base who fitted my flight suit yesterday.
At the start I walked for a while and then finally was able to start running after a 100 yards or so. Last year I worked really hard going around everyone. This year I got boxed in a couple times and then would go around and then get boxed in again. Finally after the first mile (8:50) it thinned enough to go at a normal pace. It was close to the same route as the Cheetah run a few weeks ago, so straight down to the Japanese Garden and then back up. On the climb up I was breathing hard, but noticed everyone around was also. At one point a guy slowed way down in front of me just as I was passing some walkers and got boxed in and lost all my momentum. Up the hills and then a downhill through the zoo past the tiger cage where I tried to roar at him, but it hurt the throat. Came across the finish line at 37:39 for a 9:25 pace. That's the worst pace in a run only event this year, but it wasn't a race and after you read this Sunday's post maybe you'll excuse me (hint: I should never ride a roller coaster). At the finish line they had oranges and bananas and a chocolate turkey and jungle crackers. I saw people with pumkin pies, so I found the booth where the Portland Running Co. were giving out pumpkin pies and got one- score! Afterwards it started raining hard, so I walked back to the Jeep through the bear and sea lion exhibits.
Went to Starbucks for a Chai Tea and they were giving away $5 gift cards to each customer- score! Later today I'm going to friends for turkey dinner. My daughter and her boyfriend left for Bend to have Thanksgiving with his dad- she was dressed up- my baby is all grown up. Not ready for that!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Blue Lake Run

Today before work I drove out to Blue Lake to do a run since I wimped out of yesterday's run. Time to whine a little: had to work nights this weekend, but wanted to get the swim-spin brick in at the club on Saturday so I woke up at 5AM on Saturday and did 1800 meters in intervals swimming. The rest of the group did 2000 meters, I missed the cutoff on a couple so I rested until the next interval. Then to the spin room for an hour fifteen of triathlon club spinning, which means hard going. Then to coffee with the girls and the full ironman in September has 5000+ feet of climbing on the bike, so we changed plans to the Bigfoot full ironman in Canada in August which means the half iron would be in May- there are none around here that early, so California I guess- Caliman or something like that. The club has a big van with a bike trailer, so gas split many ways will make it seem local. The only problem is Bigfoot is setup for beginners and I would like it to be a real ironman for that much effort, but then again I might be crawling to make it on a flat course the first time so Bigfoot it is for now.

Sorry, way off track- back to the run. After the swim-spin-coffee on Saturday I went to work until midnight. Then back to work at 1130 on Sunday until 8 PM. So this morning I was slow getting up to run and didn't really want to go since I have to work tonight. Started at the parking lot in the top picture and pretty much the same route the Midsummer Triathlon took back in August. I ran out the Marine Drive path for 2.25 miles and turned around. The path was slick with leaves and moss and roots have pushed it up in places. After the turn around I was coming back to a railroad crossing and a railway worker crossed the road and stood looking at me. After I passed I found out why, he flipped the blinker test switch after I was past, he was waiting for me. I waved thanks. Got back to the Jeep at a very slow 42:02 a 9:09 pace- unbelievable- that was my pace for the 5K at the end of the Midsummer tri on the same path.

I was planning on doing the Turkey Trot 4 miler again this year at the zoo Thanksgiving, but I have to work Wednesday night until midnight, so I have to decide if I can get up for the run. I'm the boss though, so maybe it won't be until midnight on Wednesday.
PS- My smoothie recipe- Blueberries, Banana, Marionberry Yogurt, Spoon of Peanut Butter, Spoon of Flax Oil, Scoop of Chocolate Whey Protien Powder, Low-Fat Chocolate Soy Milk.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spinning-Run Brick

Did a spinning class with coach Denise this morning for an hour. Tough, she had us do two intervals of one leg riding. I must not have a smooth stroke because it was hard and hurt. Then at work tonight I ran three laps around the base (picture is from October) with a flashlight. Usually, I run around base on Wednesdays after swim class, but it was windy and rainy last night, so I wimped out. Tonight was clear and 51 degrees. The legs told me on the second lap "hey let's stop this and go have dinner". I told them to speed up on the third lap and they listened somewhat, my third lap was faster than my second. Did 4.84 miles in 42:40 for an 8:49 pace. With the legs talking to me it's obvious I need more bike-run bricks next year.
In swim class, we've been doing intervals and when I remember to keep my head down and body straight I am much faster than before. We also did a little wall turning practice. I'd tried it on my own before and couldn't do it. Being shown how, I was able to do it and had a really strong push off. Something to maybe add for the pool triathlons.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pier Park 8K

Ran the Puma Cross Country Series #4- Pier Park 8K race today. It was at Pier Park on the north side of Portland. I was originally going to run the Vancouver 5-miler in Washington, but yesterday at spinning I was invited to run with the Headhunters team. So run with a team or run by myself- I picked the team. We met at the club and piled into the Headhunters van with the temperature in the high 40's. It was myself, Denise (coach), Kevin, Julie, and Anita. Kevin has a bad knee so he was driving, but not running so I gave him my camera to take pictures. Nobody had bothered to print out directions, so we were almost late, but made it. The women's race was a 5K and it started at 9:15. The men's race was an 8K and started at 10. So the girls took off and I was at one corner cheering them on. They did two big loops and one small loop. Julie (black Headhunter shirt) and Anita (red vest) are fast
, they finished in the 7's and Denise (yellow jacket) said she slipped and felt it in her back so she slowed down and finished with an 8:30 pace.
The course had some hills and mud. They waited around for my start (top picture) and we were off. Up a hill and into a forest with 3 good size climbs and then a small loop with a couple of muddy spots and then a short downhill sideways down the hill- the camber was bad and that is where Denise had slipped, so I slowed way down and ran with my feet trying to point up on that portion. We did 3 big loops and 2 small loops. Since it had hills and mud, I didn't go very fast, just running to enjoy.
Having a cheering section at each loop was very cool. Then the girls were at the last two steep hills before the finish cheering me on and said they would run in with me at the end. They took a short cut that took them up and down a ravine, so they didn't make it until I was at the finish line- but I heard them yelling! I came across at 46:16 which is a 9:18 pace.
After that we went to Starbucks by the St John's bridge. Julie told how a guy had come up to her at the end of the race and said "you're gorgeous, want to go for coffee?" She said he apologized after she told him she was married, but you could tell she was flattered. Gutsy, I'll have to try that some time. Results came out and I was 85 out of 90 for the men and 30 of 33 for my age group. For a 9+ pace that's good, the hills slowed most. The men's winner had a 5:06 pace- he flew past me when I was on my second loop- made me feel like I wasn't moving.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

LaCamas Lake Ride

This morning I did a spinning class at the LaCamas Swim club (picture). The only way I could fit the whole club in the picture was from across the street. The greenhouse looking part is the big pool. Anyway, one hour of interval spinning with Denise (coach) talking about full-ironman tris the whole time. Afterwards, I still felt good and it wasn't raining for the first time in a week, so I went for a quick ride. I figured an hour would give me enough time to get ready for work and eat lunch also. Rode from the club to LaCamas Lake and around it past huge houses and Camas Meadows golf course. At one point a creek had overflowed a field and the drainage ditches beside the road were full to the brim and a car was 3/4 underwater in one of the ditches. Should have had the camera with me on the bike. The last week we have had 2 months worth of rain- the mountains and over by the coast have lost numerous sections of roads. Went out 8 miles and turned around because there were a lot of rolling hills. Stats for the ride: 16.1 miles in a 16.1 average. Drove to get a picture of the lake, but traffic had picked up and I couldn't find a good place to pull over, so I took a picture of the lake while driving which is why you can't see the lake.

Denise wants to modify our tri plan to one half tri in early August and a full this September- not sure- I've never run a half marathon distance let alone a full. I'm game for anything at this point though.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Springwater Bike Path Run

I wimped out on running Sunday because it was raining all day and very dark and gloomy. So today after yoga and before work it stopped raining and the Jeep said it was 67 degrees out. Got changed and headed to Gresham city park for the trailhead to the Springwater bike path and of course it started raining again. Then it started pouring and I was about to leave when it let up to a sprinkle.
Started running at a good pace and about 3/4 mile into the run my back and upper right leg started spasming. So I walked a little and then stopped and did bends trying to find relief. I thought I was done running for awhile- but they loosened enough to start running, albeit very slowly. After I got back to the trailhead the spasming was manageable so I went the other way for awhile and then turned around. The last half mile I got back to an 8:30 pace. Did four miles in 37:46 for a 9:26 pace and got soaked. Going to work the rain got worse and puddles were forming on the streets as they flooded. Then at work I looked out and it was torrential type rain. I'd never run right after yoga, maybe that caused the back pain? Or it was time for the back to do it's normal periodic tightening on me.

During swim class, Denise my teacher invited me to the triathlon swim at 6:00 AM on Saturday in wetsuits. Swimming in a pool with a wetsuit is much easier. We did 1500 meters in intervals. At first I was struggling to keep up and then Denise pushed my feet up level with the water when she was drafting me and it made my head go to the proper position and I was much faster then. After the swim, the group went in the club and set up our bikes and did a spinning class doing intervals. It's much harder using my bike than one of the spinning bikes. Then of course Denise invited me to go to coffee with her and Kevin and three girls. We all agreed over coffee to do 2 half ironmans this year (2007) and a full in 2008. I guess I'm in training!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Aldrich Butte Hike

Tuesday before work I hiked Aldrich Butte on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. It was a beautiful blue sky day looking out the window. It was actually very windy and only 41 degrees out. Too nice to waste though, so I drove over the Bridge of the Gods and turned left to Bonneville Hot Springs resort. I had seen signs for it before, but didn't know it was a huge place that looked really nice. Started out on a paved path through the resort grounds and then onto a powerline road. Then to a newly built path that connects to an abandoned road that climbed all the way to the top of the butte. At the top was a turnaround with remnants of a guardrail and the foundation of a small building.
The view of Bonneville dam was great with the mountains of the Gorge in the background. Could also see Table Mountain to the north, from the resort Table Mt. is a 10 mile 3400 foot hike- maybe next summer. The wind was strong and cold at the top, so I didn't stay too long. The actual summit was a 20 foot hike up a path to what looked like a monument with stairs and no view.
Made it back to the Jeep with time to spare before work, so I stopped for lunch at a deli in Cascade Locks. Stats: 4 miles 1100 feet gain.

Yesterday swim class in the morning and then run in the evening at 5. It was already getting dark and it started to mist and I didn't feel like running- but training must be done- so I did. Went slow, but tried to do negative splits for laps around the base and the 2nd was faster than the first, but the 3rd lap was slower. Did 5 miles in 44:17 for an 8:49 pace. It was actually 5.02 miles because I couldn't see the GPS in the dark and didn't know exactly when to stop. Next week I'll have to start running before work, didn't like running in the dark.