oregon adventures

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Larch Mt

Saturday a group of seven of us rode from the club in Camas Washington over the 205 bridge to the Oregon side and up to Larch Mountain a 4200 foot peak that has a paved road up to about 4000 feet. The forecast was for 80 degrees and sunny, but it was cloudy and misting at times instead. First we did a 2100 meter group swim and then started out on the ride. We climbed and then climbed some more and then climbed some more. Last year I did Larch Mountain from the Women's Forum park which is about 750 feet up so less climbing and the total ride last year was 30 miles. This year I didn't get to the Larch Mountain road until almost 30 miles into the ride. Then 14 miles of steep climbing. Got to the top and the legs were shaking for awhile, went 7-9 MPH the whole time climbing. Passed a recumbent bike going up and I said "that looks too comfortable, it's supposed to hurt" he said "It hurts!" Saw 4 bikes going down as we were going up and passed 4 or 5 bikes going up. At the top we waited until everyone was together, coach Denise was very slow, she hurt her shin on the last Friday run with me when she went straight from running to teaching a step class. She got off the bike and was limping- very bad sign. We ate in the bright sunand headed down after awhile. It was misting at first on the descent, I guess the top was above the clouds, and at first Gigi wanted to go fast, so I zoomed and then some of the sharp corners were a little hairy, so I got nervous and slowed way down. Denise caught up and said "what's wrong with Gigi" and I said "she's scaring me." We passed around 15-20 bikes who were going up while we were going down, must have been a large club ride. After a 35 or so average MPH descent for the 14 miles we went down some more to the town of Corbett and stopped for a water refill. Then down to town and over the bridge and back to the club at 86.1 miles and a 15.8 average.
Today was long run day and coach Denise can't run, so I went with a group of four and they are all fast, so we started out and were soon zooming along at a 7:40 or so pace. I stayed with them for about 3.5 miles and then had to fall back and kept them in sight until about 5 miles when there was a turn along LaCamas lake and I a saw a really pretty girl throwing a stick in the water for her dog so I slowed down to say hi and then couldn't speed back up. Then the long climb back to the club and through a neighborhood and back at 10 miles in an 8:43 pace- very fast for me lately. I should run with them each time and try to hold on longer and longer.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lolo Pass Ride and Sunriver

Four years in a row I've stayed at a trailer in Sunriver when I did the Pacific Crest tri for free with the understanding I would help the owner build his house. Well it was pay up time so I went to Sunriver Saturday and then all day Sunday and a couple hours Monday helped build a retaining wall. My job was to mix concrete.
Because I was going to be gone for the Sunday long run, coach Denise decided to run with me Friday morning. She had a class at 1030, so we decided to start at 745 giving me a few hours to sleep (I work until 12 midnight). We were doing 14 miles and did a 7 mile loop from the club to start and then stopped in to see if another girl would run 3 miles with us and she couldn't get away. So back on the road and we did a smaller loop and Denise had to get to her class. Her foot pod said 11.5 miles done, my GPS said 10.5. So I did a 3.5 loop by myself to make 14 by my GPS or 15 by Denise's foot pod. I think her's was right because I came out with a 10:20 pace and I think we were going faster than that. Then she moved the Saturday morning ride to 6AM instead of swimming first, so I could ride and then go to Sunriver. So 6 of us drove to Sandy and parked in the Goodwill parking lot, by an espresso place of course. We rode out towards Mt Hood and the town of Welches by using country roads that went steeply up and down. It was misting on and off so the roads were wet making the steep downhills not so fun. Got to Lolo Pass Road and turned up that. 10 miles of constant climbing to the pass and end of pavement. We passed a beautiful viewpoint of Mt Hood, but could only see the bottom part of the mountain because of clouds. On the way down Gigi (my bike) told me she was going to leave me if I didn't go fast downhill, what could I do she's a temperamental girl, so I flew down Lolo Pass road and missed the group stopping for a great team photo. I hit a rock in the road wrong and flattened my front tire. Just as I finished changing it the others caught up. I explained what Gigi had said and after that everyone played along and Gigi has a personality now. We took Highway 26 back down to Sandy doing pacelines on the flats and downhills. Got back to Sandy at 58.1 miles and a 15.9 average and a ton of climbing. I got a Chai tea latte and left to go to Sunriver and here's a picture of the retaining wall, it's not done.
The rain stopped on the other side of Mt Hood and Bend and Sunriver were hot and sunny. The top picture is of the Three Sisters on Monday driving home. Drove back Monday in time to work and Tuesday rode with coach Denise for 20 miles and then saw Jon and Julie leaving on a ride and joined them out to the Troutdale airport for 30 more and ended up doing 56.8 miles on Tuesday. Wednesday I swam 3500 and then ran 8 miles at work that night. Thursday a nice 20 mile ride with Anita.
This is a picture of the house Keith has built over the last couple years, mostly by himself there in Sunriver.

Less than two months to the Grand Columbian full ironman (Sept 25th)- I was nervous before Lake Stevens, now I'm excited- I believe I can do it now!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Windy Ridge Ride

Saturday morning ten of us rode from the club in Camas to the Mount Saint Helens area and down to the town of Carson and then to Beacon Rock. The Headhunter van would be used for support and anyone who didn't want to ride the whole distance would switch out driving and riding. The ride started out along the Ride Around Clark County (RACC) route until about 20 miles and then we turned and went up a long 3 or 4 mile hill that finally crested and then a fast downhill into the town of Amboy where they were set up and waiting for a parade to start. So we rode down the parade route. (top picture) Then many miles of up and down and a short stop at Jack's store where you go to get a climbing permit to climb Mt St Helens. Then to the town of Cougar past a reservoir that had tons of ski boats on it because it was a sunny 80+ degree day. Then to a bridge over the Swift reservoir and a long climb up towards St Helens with good views down to the reservoir. I have driven this many times to go hiking in the area and it looked like a hard riding hill- but turned out to be not bad with lots of down also. Then we turned down forest road 90 and headed toward the Lewis river campground, but turned before that at a sign for Carson. We had stopped to regroup and there was a steep hill after the turn, but it looked short. We started up it and I ended up about third in line going up and we all spread out as it kept going and going. Each corner would revel more hill, all at a very grueling grade. Then it would get stepper and you would have to stand up and pedal for a tiny bit. I kept it between 7 and 8 mph the whole time. Some of the others said "you climb really good for a big guy." About the 4 1/2 mile mark of the hill there was a viewpoint with one of the best views of St Helens I've ever seen, so we stopped and had a water stop with the van and took an amazing picture, but I won't post it because I didn't get permission for some of the people and some were new who don't know me or that I blog. Then what looked like the end of the climb just past the viewpoint wasn't. It wasn't as steep after that, but we climbed for a couple more miles and the computer someone had in the van said we climbed 1400 feet to the viewpoint. Finally after passing some snowparks that I had used to cross-country ski before, we finally got the downhill. I stayed back and braked alot because of the sharp curves and screaming speed and not knowing what was around each corner. Miles of down later we came out by some hot springs and tons of motorcycle groups. Then the long slight descent into the town of Carson, but there was a headwind at that point. Then we were in the gorge along the Columbia river and we headed to the town of Stevenson where we hit the 103 mile mark on the ride. People training for ironman decided to do 10 more miles, everyone else got in the van. Some 5 of us rode along the river for 10 miles, but with the headwind we ended up in two groups. A girl training for Ironman Wisconsin and her husband were doing the ride with us and I had ridden with her about a quarter of the ride, so we were in front by ourselves and I went in front of her to break the wind for her and the two of us slogged the ten miles at 15-16 and then 21 on the downhills. She said I made such a good windbreak that she wasn't working that hard back there. We got to Beacon Rock state park and piled in the van at 113.1 miles at a 16.1 average speed. I had drunk uncountable bottles of Accelerade and water and Diet Pepsi- I'm so glad we had the van every 10-15 miles. Ate 7 e-caps for the heat, a pbj and one protein bar. The first thing everyone said in the van- "food". So we stopped at the Lakeside Chalet restaurant and ate dinner.
Today was long run day. A group was doing 14 miles, but they were all faster runners and hadn't done the ride, so coach Denise and I went on a separate 11 mile run at a moderate 9:30 pace. At one point towards the end I said, "can we slow down a little?" and she said "thank you, I was trying to keep up with you"- I had been trying to keep up with her- the viscous circle. It took us 1:44 for that run.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lake Stevens Half Ironman

Sunday I did my first half ironman distance triathlon the Lake Stevens 70.3 in Lake Stevens Washington which is north of Seattle outside of Everett. Rode up in the Headhunters van on Friday morning with a stop along the way at a Nike outlet store. Got to hotel and they had an expo and packet pickup in the same hotel we were at on the edge of downtown Everett. The expo was really weak- 4 booths and all the jerseys were too small. I bought a bike jersey anyway, but the XL was more like a M. For lunch we walked a couple of blocks to Buck's Grill which was in an old bank building with the old vault door intact. Really good food. In the afternoon we went to the Woodfire grill on the water by the Everett navy base. Huge windows with hundreds of sailboats moored outside and microbrews. I had two "blind pig" dark beers, they were good. Then when it was getting late we found the Vintage cafe downtown for dinner and we were the last customers in the place. Then to the hotel pool for games and hot tubbing.
Saturday up early and over to Denny's for breakfast because it was next door. Wow- after being around triathletes and then seeing the customers in Denny's. Then over to the lake to ride some of the course. We broke up into two groups and I was in the first group and we rode 6-7 miles of the loop to get a feel for it. Then got in the van drove to the halfway point and the next group rode some of it. It turned out to be pretty hilly, not big hills, but tons of small ones. Then we drove the run course which also was pretty hilly, but not as hilly as the lake trail by the club that I've been training on. Some of us didn't think ahead and put our numbers on our bikes, so we had to go back to the hotel to get numbers, then back to the lake to put the bikes in transition.
The race started at 630 so we needed to go to bed early. For dinner they had a pasta buffet in the hotel, but they said they had to set it back up when we got there so we went back to Buck's for a good pasta dinner.
Up at 430 in the morning and packing everything into the van because they didn't have late checkout even though that was the expo hotel. Then out to Lake Stevens to set up and do my first half. Nervous would be an understatement, but there were so many people from the club in this race that I was too busy saying hi and good luck to think about it. Then putting the swim cap on and down to the water for the 45-49 men wave. (top picture, I'm in the middle somewhere) They had some country music playing as we sat on the dock then in the water and the gun went off- I started. Face in and a great rhythm and feeling strong. Then around the first buoy I was on the inside having discovered that the buoys were tied to a steel cable that was very shiny and visible so I didn't have to look up- just follow the cable. Others discovered it and converged and I crashed into four people converging into one point. I lost my rhythm and the heartrate and breathing were way too high as I fought the panic and started swimming again. Because of that I was gasping and not feeling good and wanted to quit, so I dog paddled for a couple of strokes and said to myself- "get it together, you're not a pro don't worry about it, enjoy the day". Started back up and caught the group I was in and did combat swimming for about three buoys where I would hit people and they would hit me. Finally it worked out where I was following one guy and one guy was beside me and that's how we stayed through the halfway point and into the turn back to shore. That's when we caught the back of the wave in front of us- a first for me. I had to do a lot of weaving and going over people for a bit to stay over the cable. Then into shore and I went up the ramp and pushed my lap button on the watch and couldn't believe it- 37:23. The four previous years of doing tris that would have been a best for an olympic distance swim! Ran through the bike area to find Gigi and got my wetsuit off in record time for me got my stuff on and was off jogging Gigi to the mount area with a 3:03 transition time- most of my non wetsuit transitions aren't that fast. Started out and couldn't clip one foot in, so I stopped took a breath and clipped in and started up. Something new happened as I left for the bike- people were yelling my name and good luck- lots of spouses from the club plus some relay people. From riding the day before I knew it had about two miles of downhill to start, so I kicked it in and was doing 27 for a good part of that. Then the rolling climbs where if the legs started to feel the hill I would use the small chain ring- "have to save the legs for the run- remember the run". I was sipping my Accelerade every couple minutes and at the halfway point of the first loop (14 miles) they had a bottle exchange and I had just finished my aero bottle, so I took a bottle of water and squeezed it into my aero bottle and tossed the bottle they had given me. Then for some screaming downhills with a couple of short steep climbs in between. On one downhill a truck was in front of me and a rider who was slower then me was in front of the truck and it was curvy so he couldn't pass the rider. I ended up having to brake and it ruined a 40+ downhill. Then after a climb there was the best downhill of the course and I flew down it and it comes to a curve and a bridge with a bad seam with water bottles strewn everywhere and a right hand turn. I looked after the race and my max speed was 50.1- a new all time high- pretty sure it was on that downhill on the first loop. Then some flats were I did 22 or so, then a long curvy climb and a turn and the course goes along the lake back to the start where there was a straight for the second loop or a turn to finish. It is slightly down through that corner so I was in the aero bars and flying through a big crowd and I heard my name and cheering, talk about pumping you up, that was fantastic. One person got a picture of me there, but I haven't gotten it in email yet. The second loop was much harder. On the first part and the rolling climbs, I ate a couple fourths of a peanut butter sandwhich and half of a protein bar because my stomach started to growl. I had poured Accelerade into my aero bottle after the water ran out and at the halfway of the second loop, it was gone, so I got water and poured again. The downhills were not as fast this time it seemed, maybe I was tired or maybe because it wasn't new. Some of the pros passed me on the second loop- they went by me like I wasn't moving. They had P on their legs and low numbers. I had been leap frogging a beautiful 38 year old blond (ages were on the legs) on a Trek for a loop and a half and then she tired and I lost her on the fast downhills. She passed me on the run and said "good riding". Finally the bike was done- I was ready to get off of that thing but came in at 2:54:20 for a 19.3 average. Ran in and parked Gigi (there were TONS of Cervelo bikes, mostly P3's but also alot of P2's like mine- I've rarely seen P2's before) got my running shoes and braces on, hat and sunglasses, gels and was off. Didn't want to go too fast but saw some Headhunters and they called my name and cheered so I started out faster than I wanted. Went up a small hill where the Headhunter van was parked along the street and hit it with my hand like a high five as I passed. Got to mile one at 8:54 and got some water and kept going. Then a barren stretch of industrial land with no trees on the road and slightly uphill for a long time. Got to mile 2 and walked through getting water with a 9:22 split. To mile 3 was downhill and I had a split of 8:22. Just past mile 3 was a water stop and port a pottie which I used and then the hilly out and back portion. It was flat at first along the lake and really pretty with a split of 9:37 to mile 4 and then up and up, luckily not as bad as the hills I train on so it was just a matter of going up at a speed that was not taxing. Then it goes downhill to a turnaround and back up. Got a split of 9:52 for mile 5, by this time I was taking both water and Gatorade because it was hot out. Then back to the start area but along the lake they didn't have mile 6 marked, they had 10K marked so mile 6.2 split was 11:57. Then the second loop. High fived the van and my mile 7 split shows 7:52 because it was only .8 of a mile. Then the "badlands" as I called them the uphill slightly, no trees, and ugly part. I forgot to split mile 8, but I was flagging by then and at mile 9 got a 2 mile split of 21:09 for a 10:34 a mile pace. But I looked at my watch and I realized I could make under 6 hours if I keep running, so I slogged on. I had been leap frogging a young (28 or so) Portland tri club girl and when I started to flag, she said "come on Headhunter" (I was wearing a Headhunter tri top), but I couldn't stay with her. Hit mile 10 with a 10:24 split and was back to the double hill climb area. Looked up and most people were walking up the hill I thought- "come on it's not that steep" and ran slowly up halfway and my shoe lace came untied, so I had to stop and tie it and start running again. Hit mile 11 at an 11:05 split. I looked at the watch and knew if I could keep running I would make it under 6 hours. All during the out and back portion I had been high fiving or saying hi to people from the club and at one point coach Denise, Nicole, and Karen were all running together, so I high fived all three in a line. Then Bridget came right behind them. I saw my ex-training partner and put out my hand and said her name- she nodded and gave me the peace sign- " God I miss her". Hit mile 12 with a split of 11:06. By then I could hear the announcer and there was a woman playing a tambourine and I could sense that it was almost over!! So I stepped it out and around the corner and through the shoot and I finished. with a mile 13.1 split of 9:45 for the last 1.1. I haven't got the email with the finishing picture, but it's ok- I did 5:47:13 - 13 minutes under my goal, very pleased with each part of this race. Went around congratulating everyone and then went to the lake and stood in it to help the legs recover. They had cookies, fruit, and Coke's- but that was it, very weak for a major 70.3 event I thought. Loaded up the van after awards and some people had mentioned a brewery and grill on I-5, but first we went back to the hotel and they let us use the pool shower to rinse off- that was nice of them. We all put on our tech t-shirts they gave us and our medals- I'm on the far right with the sunglasses. Then to Olympia were we found the place called Ram. One person agreed to stay with the van and watch the bikes and we went in and had really good, huge gourmet burgers (I haven't had a burger in a long, long time). I also had one "butthead amber" that they brewed there, very good. Then the drive home and it was over. Stats: 5:47:13 33/61 for my age group- they don't have an overall ranking. I was 26/61 for the swim and 23/61 for the bike and 38/61 for the run in my age group.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth Workouts

Happy Independence Day! While my daughter cooks I thought I'd blog- not really. Last week logged 6200 meters swimming, 98.7 miles biking (first week under 100 miles since the first week of June), and 22.2 miles running. This week is taper, so a lot less. Sunday I ran 8.4 miles with Anita on a really pretty route that included the trail in the top picture. Ran it at around a 9 minute pace. Today joined four others at Home Depot in Portland and we rode up and down Marine drive to Troutdale and back for 19.9 miles at around a 20 something average. All of us had tri bikes and could go fast, pulls of 23-26 on Marine drive. Stopped for drinks at a coffee shop in Troutdale that has outside seating and a ton of bicyclists. One pretty girl was there by herself and of course I started talking to her- turns out she was from Kalamazoo Michigan- I'm from Battle Creek. I gave her my number if she needed someone to ride with. Supposed to be the other way around- I was supposed to get her number and everyone I was riding with gave me a hard time about it- they're right, but it feels so invasive to ask someone that. Must get over that, chances at my age are rare. Then after I got home decided I needed one last run before Sunday's race, so off to Glendoveer Golf course for an easy 5 mile run at around a 9:40 pace because it was in the low 90's by then.
Leave Friday for Lake Stevens Washington and the half ironman on Sunday. Pretty nervous about it- mostly the run. I've heard it's a really hilly course, but I'll give it my all and see what happens.