Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow Day at Olallie Creek

Well, it's been a weird winter, but this past week we finally got enough new powder in the Cascades to warrant a trip up to the snow. A few friends and their dog, along with Graham, Jake, Claire & I all loaded in the car packed full with snowshoes, tire chains, hot chocolate, and all the mittens, gloves, and scarves a person would ever need to be comfortable in the very cold air. Yesterday and the day before were chilly in the mountains, and when we arrived at the Forest Service road to park we saw the temperature was about 25 degrees, about 10 degrees cooler than it had been the previous few days.

Graham, Jake, and Guiness all piled out of the car and of course played fast and hard, running around like furry little lunatics for the remainder of the outing. Claire and I followed our friends up the hill away from the highway near Olallie Creek, named after the Chinook word for "berry". We certainly weren't seeing any berries this time of year, though we were surprised to see the younger trees and bushes beginning their springtime growth. Many of the Vine Maple and Rhododendrons were sprouting new branches and gave signs of life in an otherwise cold, quiet environment.
After a short hike we came to the top of a hill and played around for an hour or so. Graham and Jake played fetch while the four of us watched Guiness try to pry the packed snow away from his undercoat. He looked rather desperate to remove the snow from his paws but he never whined. Graham could learn a few things from this Irish Setter.

We made our way back down the hill, content with our day of play in the snowy woods, jo-jos from the gas station, and fun friends to spend time with. All in all, a great Saturday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

5k challenge continues

Well, I'm officially 13% of the way through my 2011 5k challenge! It's still fun so far but getting a bit trickier to keep up my schedule. For the first six weeks of the year, we didn't see rain very often so when I felt like running it was simple to walk out the door and do it. Last week I ran in the rain for the first, and undoubtedly not the last time. If goal is made, it shouldn't be easy to achieve or else why set it in the first place? I feel a bit of suffering is in order to really gain something (besides a ravenous appetite) during this resolution.

So far I've ran two days/week, mostly running on Mondays and then again later in the week, anytime between Thursday and Saturday. I built in two "off" weeks into my resolution, 50 weeks of two runs and two weeks without runs, but I haven't been tempted to use them yet. I am hoping to save them for late in the year, when I speculate that my motivation will wane.

The dogs have been on about 10 of the runs with me so far, and I expect we'll go together about once a week now. They really enjoy getting out of the house and off-leash to play, but 5k is a bit challenging for them I think.

Time to get ready for work- happy running!