Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enchanting Shag Carpets

On Sunday I headed up to the Enchantments with Seattle Running Company. Wow. I had never been there and have always wanted to go. I was a bit hesitant because I thought I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the fast people and I knew it would be an all day event and yada yada yada. The night before I kept having dreams that my toe fell off and I had no balance for running. In my dream I kept looking at the space where my toe was meant to be and wondering just when it fell off and bummed that it would not grow back. I woke up at one point and thought to myself, this must be a sign that I shouldn't go. But when I woke up at 5:30, without an alarm, I thought, well surely this is a sign that I should go. So I got up, walked Struth, made coffee, grabbed my bag and was off.
On the ride to Leavenworth I was in the SRC van with about 6 others and the time passed quickly as we were all talking and made some stops to pick people up on the way. In no time we were at the Snow Lake parking lot where we dropped off a few cars and loaded up the remaining cars to head to the Asgard Pass Trail head. Scott trying to round us up here get our running stuff was COLD!
We mushed into 2 cars from about 4, so it was a crowded 6 miles to the trail head were were starting from.
It was pretty cold but I decided to wear shorts and bring plenty of layers, a windbreaker and LOTS of food. We were a pretty good sized group, maybe 15 or 20, but of various different speeds which made the 8 party limit easy to accommodate.

So off we went...running up towards Asgard Pass. I was trying to take pictures and trying to keep up with Wendy WJ, Ponytail Glen and Linda. My photos didn't turn out too well at this part as I was concentrating on keeping up. I have a hard time starting on a hill, so I was panting like crazy. I purposely did not wear my HR monitor because I didn't want to know how fast my heart was beating.
Too bad there were No Dogs allowed....I was missing Struthie, but thanks to friend Cari, he was being well taken care of. . . !
We ran and walked through such beauty. I was so excited to finally experience the Enchantments. I can see why it is called the Enchantments.
I came across a bridge that goes SOMEWHERE...

And that somewhere was Asgard Pass. Wow, what a climb. There were times when I needed my hands and feet, times when I thought I was headed in the right direction, (but was not), thanks to Wendy for yelling down to me to tell me which zig zag way to get to the top of the very windy Asgard Pass.
There were some great views on the way up. to the top of Asgard Pass and turns out, I had just missed seeing a mountain goat. I remember seeing a bunch on my backpacking trip at Ingall's Lake, was hoping to see some here, but the views were so spectacular that missing a goat was no big deal.
Linda, Jonathon and I ran from Asgard Pass from rock to rock, lake to lake, stream to stream and through what inspired 70's shag carpeting. No kidding. The leaves on the trees littered the trail with the most brilliant colors and textures. I was continually amazed at what I saw and stopped regularly to snap a few photos, some turned out a little crooked as I was multi-tasking. But here's some of those sights to see.

We had plenty to drink thanks to Scott's filter, which is giardia proof.

As we reached the forested decent running switch back after switchback, I was still running through brillinat colors and snowcapped mountains.
After we were all done running, some of us headed to Gustuv's for dinner. Linda and I celebrated with what Enchantment Ale! Delicious.
It was a great day running, with amazing views, fun people which led to a awesome night's sleep and some stiff legs on Monday. What more could I ask for????

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Color of Fall

Today I slept in until 10AM. Extraordinary. Although I did stay up to watch Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. I love the rap Amy did....too funny. Although Sarah Pallin seemed to be ok with people making fun of her, that doesn't sweeten the deal for the Republican ticket, it still stinks no matter how much freshener you spray on it. OBAMA/BIDEN 2009!

I decided to take it easy on myself today. Yesterday I had a great run with none other than Struth E. Moore. My leg still bothers me from time to time, left over from the injury just before Boston Marathon. Yesterday I had some tugs while running so today I just went for a long walk with Struth along Lake Washington. I took my camera because fall is here and the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees. The colors of fall are so unique. They are unreproducible outside of nature. That is one of the reasons why fall is like a holiday. The chance to see these colors comes only once a year. So today, I put aside any ambitions I had to go inside a gym and spent the time outside in the fall air enjoying the day with my babe Struth.

I came across this column with a message....."Let Go".
I decided this was a message for me to let go of things I am housing that do not serve me in a positive way. So I started to think of all these draining things one by one and one by one, I let them go. I started off with a quick list and then spent time thinking about the less obvious drainers and eventually let them go too. I almost blew away with the gentle breeze I was so light. Good thing friend Matt called and joined me for the latter half of the walk as he keep me from flying away.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Away from Home

Well, it's been quite some time since I have visited my own blog. Seems like ages ago as in the last post it was sunny and warm. It's hard to believe it was only one month ago.
In the past month I had the opportunity to crew Lisa Bliss at the Spartathlon. Here is a link to her blog with more detail of what happened before the race, with photos!
Greece is a beautiful place filled with modern amenities and plenty of evidence of Ancient Greece. What seemed so amazing to me what the dichotomy of the city itself. As you are traveling through a bustling modern city
at any point you can look up and there in view are the remains of an Ancient City rich with history.
I was constantly analyzing the old and the new and the relationship between the two.

The highlight of the trip was the race itself. First off, I am truly impressed and inspired by Lisa. She had only 4 days to recover from a sprained, (badly sprained) ankle before the 153 mile grueling road race from Athens to Sparta. I never once heard her complain about her situation; only her desire to run in the Spartathon and do the best she could. Being a part of her accomplishment of completing 120 miles through such adversity was an experience I am glad to put in my own books. Note to self: you can do your best if you try your best.
The village kids were another highlight of the trip. They were so excited that the runners were coming through their village and they show their enthusiasm by riding their bikes next to the runners as the approached the aid station. For those kids who did not have a bike, they ran next to the runners with their own Spartathlon jerseys. They loved to get their photos taken and to practice their English. We were given handful of freshly picked grapes from an older woman and fresh baked sweet bread from a older man.
Although I don't speak Greek and they didn't speak English, the offering of food is universal!
Not to go too much into detail.....but another thing that inspired me was just watching the race. So much emotion was worn on the faces of the runners and at all stages of the race, especially the finish line, the statue of King Leonidas in Sparta. I cannot even imagine how the finish line feels with 153 miles on yours legs and on your mind. Congratulations to all who participated. Scott Jerek won for the third year in a row dominating the field with a winning time over 2 hours ahead of second place. And Stacy Bunton from Portland was second for the women, great job!
I just might add, that one of the fun things I did in Greece was make a fuss over all the cute stray dogs. Here was one of the cutest...a puppy!

After returning from Greece I spent much time getting reacquainted with work.. :( and much time spoiling Struth.. :) Then about 10 days later, I left again. Do I have a flexible job or what! I flew down to Sedona
to meet up with my dad
for an extended weekend. It was great to see the sun so consistently. As I was soaking up the sun and enjoying the brightness, I started thinking to myself....WHY do I live In Seattle? Should I move to a sunnier place? I've been flirting with this idea on and off for a while and the desire once again is strong to move along. We'll see....
Anyway. . . .the trip to Sedona with my dad was awesome. Highlights: seeing my dad, eating great food, going on a hot air balloon ride,
going on a jeep ride through Red Rock Canyon and going on a short trail run near sunset. . There are a lot of low flying cacti!
The colors are amazing, the landscape is awesome and the history of Arizona is interesting, learned about that from the pilot of the hot air balloon and the jeep driver.
My dad and I spent a few hours in haunted Jerome, a rustic old town situated in the hills above Sedona. It was an old copper mine turned desolate; turned arty with a huge marijuana crop; turned flavor-rich tourist town. And Elvis lives there.

From Jerome, we headed back to Phoenix to visit with my favorite cousin
and then on to visiting old family friends. It was a whirlwind trip. A great time, very relaxing. Now, it's business time. Work, play, making plans for future travel.
Next up: I have no idea!
Stay tuned for picassa web album with MORE PHOTOS!