Monday, October 31, 2011

Epic October runs

After Worlds I had a case of post-event funk, not really enthused about training, while at the same time really wanting to sign up for something, but unable to find anything that fit into my schedule around some previously planned trips and visitors.  I finally settled on Hellgate 100K as a "distant" goal in December and opted for some epic runs on routes that I'd been wanting to do.  Throw in running the Portland Marathon with my sister--her first--and October has been a month of epic runs to remember including:  St. Helens Circumnavigation, Portland Marathon and topping it off last weekend with a rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon.  Some photo memories from October....

Mount St. Helen's Traverse, 33 miles, Oct 2nd with Jason, Randy, Shane, Kathleen, and Ellen.
Early on in the day.  The day started out gray, and stayed that way most of the day.  It was comfortable at first, but we were all anxious to get dry and warm by the time we finished.
The trail is well marked, although some markers are easier to see than others.  Hard to miss these mini-boulder-pile-style cairns.
Felt like we were running on the moon at times.  Like no other place I've ever run.
On a hot sunny day, the trail would be quite exposed.  Luckily for us, it was overcast and raining much of the day.
Pretty obvious reminders throughout of the eruption.  A highly disturbed landscape.
Our moment in the sun.  This sunburst lasted just moments, but it was nice to see the sun, St. Helens, and our shadows, even if only briefly.
Portland Marathon with my SISTER!!  Oct 9th.

Lisa and I pre-race.  My sister rocks! I can honestly say that I never thought I would get to run a marathon with my sister. I love that she's gotten into running.
Early on.  Lisa was smiling!  Weather was perfect, and very Portland.  Cloudy, drizzly, and cool, and actually pretty much perfect for marathoning.  I gotta say that the course certainly does not show you the best of Portland.  Lots of train yards and industrial areas.  
Running buddy, Jason, gives 1000s of women the opportunity to meet the man of their dreams.  
Just a few blocks from the end and Lisa is still smiling!  Way to rock it in for a great first marathon finish!  
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim with Meghan, Jason, Todd and Yassine.  Oct 23rd.  51 miles.  A truly EPIC run!!  
(Epic may be grossly overused in this post, but this run truly was epic)

Couldn't have asked for a better group with which to experience this--you all are the best! 
First sighting of the Grand Canyon upon arrival on Saturday.  Excited for the adventure to begin early Sunday morning!
Yassine put together this great video from our adventure....A fun way to sum up the journey.

October brought a lot of fun memories!  Here's hoping for a few more epic runs in 2011, including the Hellgate 100K in just 6 weeks!  I've wanted to do Hellgate for years, so am excited to be back on the right coast in December to experience what will hopefully not be an overly epic run through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the cold wintery dark.  One never knows what Hellgate might bring....