New Study Spot

So yesterday morning, I had some reading to do for school, and I found a new great spot to get that studying done:

Pretty, no?

Actually, I was a volunteer for the Go Girl! Trail Run hosted by Run With Paula events. This is the third year (kind of – it used to be called the Run Like a Girl – not sure what happened to the name). I ran it the inaugural year, and was SUPPOSED to run it last year, but my torn hamstring & whacked out knee did not let that happen. This year, although I wanted to run it, I wasn’t sure if I’d be up for a trail race one week after my half marathon – and I’m glad I made the decision to sit this one out.

I showed up at Lower Macleay Park at about 7 AM & got my volunteer goodies. I had a chair and a giant bag o’ tricks (you know, the usual – 1/2 gallon of water; 32 oz cranberry juice; textbook weighing approximately eleventy billion pounds). I toted my shizz up the trail 0.86 miles to the Stone House (or Witch’s Castle, as it is apparently also known) to help the runners & walkers stay on course.

The early starters went at 7:30, and the timed racers began at 9. I was on the course until just after 10:30, when I lugged my chair & all my crapola back down the hill.

It was pretty awesome to see all the runners – and so many of them thanked me for being out there (and I didn’t even have any goodies to distribute), which was hella cool. ALSO, I got to see my kick-ass neighbor get back into the racing groove. She kicked some serious trail booty, and swears she doesn’t hate me for talking her into it!

After I got back to my car, I went for a swim at the pool. I did a 100 warm (look at me, I said 100 instead of 2 laps – it’s like I’m a swimmer suddenly), and then a set of 800 (approximately the distance of my tri-swim) – and a cool down 400. My 800 set was 2 minutes faster than last time, and I know if I really got dedicated to the swimming & did it more than every 10 days, I could get good at this! I think the answer is my own private lap pool. I am now taking donations for the Amy pool fund. Let me know if you’re interested in contributing! (Also, the pool was so gross! It was like a squid had gotten scared in there, or a drunken business man with a fancy fountain pen had fallen in – weird inky spots that didn’t disperse in the 30 minutes I was in the pool….made me think of this gross story Emily told me a few weeks ago.)  (Other good news – the new swimsuit seems to offer adequate protection against accidental flashing! Win!)

After my swim, I headed BACK to Forest Park – determined that I would finally finish Wildwood. I did the same run I’d planned to do with JM on Friday. And it sucked so much ass. It started at Pittock mansion. From which, as I’d mentioned to JM, you can see all the mountains on a clear day (Hood, St. Helens, Adams, even Ranier & Jefferson). Do you know what that means? It means Pittock Mansion is f-ing HIGH. And there’s nowhere to go but down. I ran back to the Stone House, which was 99% downhill. I thought about seeing if I could run home, but that was another 20 miles, and I didn’t feel up to a trail marathon Sunday, so I girded my loins & turned around. Holy balls that was hard. But, once I got to the top, I realized that the 1 mile section between Pittock & Burnside had been run two years ago, so it didn’t count as my ‘run all of Wildwood in 2009’ – and I didn’t want to cheat. So I ran down to Burnside & back up.

The whole route was 5 miles. It took me 70 minutes. That is 14 minute miles, I think. Wicked slow! I even broke my own rule & walked a bit so that I wouldn’t die. I am so glad that I did it alone so that I was the only one hating on me, instead of other people who I value as friends!

At least it was pretty, though, right?

6 responses to “New Study Spot

  1. Awesome job on the swim…and your swimmer speak! 100–yay!!!!

    Pretty pictures!

    I should volunteer at a race sometime. I am always so grateful for the volunteers.

    Great job on the trail run—if you were walking I woulda been walking at snail pace the whole way. You’re such a trail rock star!!!!!!!!!!

    • It was so steep – it’s probably not the absolute steepest part of Wildwood, but it was the longest steep section I’ve ever encountered – 2 miles of up! I promise not to take you there on any trail runs EVER! 🙂

      I think I am going to try to hit the pool again tonight. I saw that you did 5 miles this morning already, but I’m going to do my 5-miler route here at work, and then head to the gym & gross pool.

  2. This is so funny, I JUST hiked up to the Stone House for the first time ever this afternoon! It was so neat!! Great pics.

    Nice work on the swim and on the trail run. You are really on a roll! Glad the UTI is history and you’re back on the roads.

  3. wow, your part of the country is absolutely beautiful. i bet it was fun volunteering for the race, sounds like everyone had a good time. and 14 minute miles on the trail? wow, that must have been really challenging. at least you rose up to meet that kind of challenge. good job!

  4. Thanks again for telling me to get my ass in gear and run this race! I have to say it was very refreshing to see you near the last mile smiling and cheering while I was ready to colapse and die!

    You are the bestest cheerleader ever!

  5. Am I the only person that finds destroyed houses like that kind of creepy? Or am I in the group of people who call it the Witches House? hmmm.

    Kind of glad we missed the run on Friday. Thanks for saving me!