Sunday, June 3, 2012

First Step

There are 138,435 feet in a marathon, today I took the first step.

I have begun my official Marathon training for the 2012 Portland Marathon. As you most likely know, I have no experience in distance running and my only background is the training runs I used to take (5-6 miles) for rowing when I was in college. As of late my focus was on bike racing, so I have some experience in what it takes to have extended training sessions, I hope that will extend into running, how could it not.

My motivation for running a Marathon is simple, I think it is a remarkable accomplishment and an sign of dedication to hard work. So I have always wanted to do one and I figure it only gets harder the longer I wait. My training program like many things comes from online

I hope that I find the experience enjoyable and that I am able to complete this Marathon injury free. My goal is to first of all just finish, but my sub goal would be to come in just under 4 hours on course (9 minute miles). I don't know how reasonable that is, time will tell. Right now I consider myself 25-30 pounds over my ideal marathon weight and I have 18 weeks of training to get there.

What will come after the marathon I don't know, but I am thinking maybe a Triathlon in 2013, even though I am a terrible swimmer and definitely a return to competitive cycling.

(Not me, nor my photo,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Photos from Zion, Arches, and air travel

Sorry no words, just photos from my trip to Utah (for work, he he).

Mt Hood and the Cascades from 15k feet

Delicate Arch, Arches NP

Delicate Arch up close

Arches NP

Arches NP

"Park Avenue", Arches NP

More of "Park Avenue"

"The Windows", Arches NP

More of "The Windows"

Castle Valley, UT

Zion Canyon, Zion NP

Angel's Landing

First set of switch backs to Angel's Landing

Ontop of Angel's Landing ridge line

The first section of chains

Safety chains
More chains

The final approach to Angel's Landing

The "Big Bend" from above

Zion Canyon looking South

Angel's Landing approach ridge

Zion Canyon

Salt wash valley

The Black Dragon

Antelope Island and The Great Salt Lake at sunset

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Plan B!

I usually force my readers (you) to wade through some poorly written story before I provide you with any images, but today we are going to change that.

In case you haven't heard, Oregon is on-fire and we most definitely are not talking about college football (Ducks and Beavs). After a stretch of heat and dry weather there are multiple wildfires in Central Oregon and now Western Oregon (little did I know). Ky and I had planned to do a backpacking trip over the holiday weekend, but were both feeling a little worn thin, so I suggested a challenging hike up Cooper Spur (to Tie-in Rock not the Summit). As we made the turn South out of Hood River, it became clear to me that we needed a new Plan B. So we headed to Elk Meadow.

Elk Meadow was a tougher easy hike than I anticipated (about 6.5 miles RT and 3500' of climbing). Either way it felt good to stretch the legs and let Kona run loose on a safe trail (no precipices), he is still sleeping a day later.

The views of Mt Hood and the accompanying high alpine meadows were stupendous and since we were Southwest of the Mt Hood Fire, we even had blue skies.

After we finished hiking we headed back to Hood River (one of three places I would love to move to) and had a delicious lunch at Double Mountain Brewhouse and a Cupcake at a very unique street cart vendor. Checked out some shops and hit the wineries.

We were too busy enjoying ourselves in Hood River to take any photos, if you were wondering why you are still looking at photos from our hike. We visited the Phelps Creek and Marchesi wineries Ky enjoyed some good wine and I enjoyed some good snacks. I didn't feel like falling asleep on the drive back to Portland since I would be doing the driving.

Back in Portland we suffered through a lousy football game (see links above), but all in all had an excellent Saturday. Sunday has been a day of rest.

By The Way...Do you remember what I was up to a year ago?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog-Worthy Event

Since I don't get around to blogging very often (it's been 5 months since my last post), right away you should recognize I am about to fill you in on something big. This time it is a mountain, the third highest in Oregon to specific, that's pretty big.

Let us start by stepping back a few months, I had overhead a couple co-workers talking about an annual "climb" of the South Sister (her name is Charity by the way). Since I have always enjoyed hiking and what-not I spoke up and asked if I could come on this years trip? I was told sure, just be ready, stragglers would be left behind.

Fast forward to last Monday, I see said co-worker in the hallway and ask what are the plans for the trip. I was planning on heading out Friday afternoon and meeting them at the trail head. Much to my disappointment, I was told just to get going when I was ready and we'd see each other on the mountain. He'd planned on hitting the trail around 7am. I quickly realized that unless I was climbing slow or he was going fast, the only time our path would cross would be as one ascended and the other descended. I told myself not to worry, there would be plenty of people on the trail to make friends with, so on-ward and up-ward.

The only time I had seen The Sisters, was from in-town in Bend and driving over McKenzie Pass. My mental image of the mountain, was not such a mountain, more a large hill. Even though the elevation is that of the third largest in Oregon at 10,358' (Hood 11,249' and Jefferson 10,497') I still didn't really comprehend it's size. That was until I drove over the top of Mount Bachelor to catch this first glimpse, from near where I would be starting my trek.

My first reaction was that I was not prepared to hike this mountain and that I was in store for a world of hurt. After the initial shock and awe wore off I proceeded to find a campsite at the nearby Devils Lake campground. After a bit of panic and a lot of searching, I found one of the last two remaining campsites that would not garner me a fine if a ranger strolled by. The site was worth the effort.

As with all trips, after unpacking I discovered I was missing something, hiking socks. So I ate my KFC in haste, washed it down with a cold beer, and got in my car for a 20mi drive back to Bend to buy some socks. Disaster adverted, I came back to camp, enjoyed a nice campfire, and hit the sack for an early start in the morning.

5:45 I awoke (15 mins later than I planned), cleared camp, ate a quick bite and hit the trail as fast as I could. Having not made the trail until a little before 7a I decided that I need to hike fast, I didn't want to hike the standard 5-6 hrs up and 3-4 hrs down. After the first mile there is little relief from the sun so I needed to get off the summit before it got real hot. So at a pace that set a pretty good sweat I started to climb. The first section is all forested and pretty steep, it is roughly 1 mile in length and a little over a 1200' of climbing. 45 minutes later I popped out of the forest and realized I had a long day ahead of me.

The first on-trail view of the mountain was a real gut checker, did I really have the stamina to get to the summit? Not only was it a long ways up, but it seemed a long ways away from where I was. After another half mile of hiking and not much elevation I was rewarded with a view of Mount Bachelor and Moraine Lake.

As I trucked on, I knew I was hiking at a good pace and making good time, ask anyone that has hiked with me, making good time and staying out in front of the "Boy Scouts" are very important to me. Today the boy scouts were the hoards of people on the trial behind me. About an hour and a half into the hike the trail pitched up again, this time for good.

As I really started to climb, I kept cognoscente of the ever ticking clock that is the sun and put the camera away. Somewhere around the 8000' elevation I took my next break for a quick bite to eat and a quick click of the Camera. Not having an altimeter or gps unit I relied on my previous study of the topo map and felt good about my progress. It seemed I was on track to hit the summit in less than 5 hours.

From here, the trail when from difficult to strenuous, not only was it steep but it was like hiking on quicksand. Every step you took would slide back down in an avalanche of shale and pumice sand. I could no longer see the summit, but I knew I was getting closer.

A thousand vertical feet later I knew I was just over 9000' and only 1300' from the summit. The sun was starting to shine, but it was only 10a, i was doing great. If I pushed hard I would make a four hour summit, which would put me on top and on my way down before the sun began to bake the slope.

After a false summit and a slog through some serious shale, I crossed the summit plateau (which is a crater that his been filled in with snow) and was rewarded with incredible views and the hardest earned, best tasting PBJ sandwich of my life.

Broken Top

Posing in front of the other two sisters.

The views were amazing, the descent was miserable. It took me 3 hours to cover the 6 mile, 5000' descent, only one hour less than it took to climb it.

Next year I have a few summits on the list: Mount Hood, Mount St Helens, and Mount Adams. I am hoping to make at least one if not two of those...

Monday, March 14, 2011

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish...

Well sort of, I am leaving Portland, mostly. Sometime next month I will be starting a new job at Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB for short), my new position will be Staff Telecommunications Engineer. A little bit of my old, with a whole lot of new. The job will be engineering telecommunications systems supporting the Eugene Electrical grid (and more?). I don't know a lot about the job other than it will give me the opportunity to go back to working on my Professional Engineers license and utilize some of the things that I have learned over the last 7 years. I am super excited about the job and a little bummed about the location. Right now I am in the process of finding a cheap dog friendly apartment that is not over-run with tweakers and frat boys. The initial plan will be for me to spend Mon-Fri in Eugene (down on Monday home on Friday) with an occasional trip home in the middle of the week. The exact details of the plan are flexible, at this point in time Ky will not be leaving her job at Good Sam and we owe more than the house is worth so we won't be selling that anytime soon. Due to Ky's long hours at work, Kona will be joining me in Eugene.

Unfortunately logistically it is going to make bike road races impossible (for now), so I will still ride my bike as much as I can, but with less focus on training for long races. I still plan on doing Crits and Cyclocross (as much as possible). Since I don't know anyone in Eugene, I intend on spending a fair amount of time at the climbing gym and at the gym at work (or the fitness center at the appartment). So hopefully, I might get in better shape as a result of this.

And since you read all of this, now some photos.

My new office (which is also new)

Eugene, not quite the iconic skyline of Portland

The Local Inhabitants

Most Important, the Local Brewery. Ninkasi