It’s fall in Oregon and I love that.
I love Oregon. I know, I know, I say that all the time, but damn if it isn’t true. This year we had a lovely and very long hot summer and that was awesome, but now its fall, and a mild fall at that. I am so not complaining. Only praising the fact that HELLO, it’s November 8, 2012 and the sun is shining, blue skies are present and the temperature is a lovely 58.
This is a picture of a tree in my front yard. Screaming FALL!
I.Love.Fall. It’s probably my favorite season. To celebrate the Fall season Blue Eyes sent me flowers on November 1st.
Don’t they look totally fall like. It’s 8 days later and they are still flourishing on my desk. Again, I can’t complain.
Last Saturday I ran the Silver Falls Half Marathon. While I believe Oregon itself is pretty spectacular (yes, I love it here), Silver Falls State Park is an amazing aspect of the spectacularness of Oregon [Yeah, I know that’s not a word]. A trail run through the park only heightened my sense of love for this state I live in.
I ran this race last year, and talked about it here. While I enjoyed it last year, this year was better for a couple of reasons. First, it was WARMER by about 20 degrees. I didn’t wear a jacket, and never regretted not having one. Second, although it was raining a lot when we arrived, by the time the race began at 9 a.m., it had stopped and only periodically misted on us through the trees. Most of the moisture came from the waterfalls. Ahhh, the lovely waterfalls.
There are a total of 10 big waterfalls in the park. But if you factor in all of the other water trickling over rocks at varying degrees of speed there are likely upwards of between 20-25, maybe more. I’ve hiked the park multiple times and now having run it twice I can say with complete certainty, hiking it is much easier.
This was my favorite waterfall — since it had been raining the week before they were all raging. It was great!
We ran behind this waterfall — there were two that we were able to run behind, but this was the one we were closest too on the underside of it.
This year was the first year (in the 3-year-old event) that they also had a marathon. I considered signing up for the marathon, but because I anticipated running my first 50k the weekend before, I decided to stick with the half marathon.
My running, of late, has been so non-existent that I actually considered NOT running this race at all. After not running for over 2 months my motivation is lacking (and my ass is getting larger because of it) and quite frankly I struggle with it on an almost daily basis. Something like “ugh! I’m gaining weight, better get out there and run. . . but I haven’t run in so long it will hurt. . . better to stay in bed and sleep. . . but ugh, I’m gaining weight . . . I should run . . . but it’s cold and dark . . . maybe tomorrow, yeah, maybe tomorrow.” Pathetic.
It’s not that I haven’t run at all. I have. But it hasn’t been with any regularity and it’s been totally half ass. Now that I’m no longer preparing to run the Honolulu Marathon (more on that later) it’s like I have no purpose other than my big fat ass, that keeps getting bigger, to run. And apparently my big ass is not enough motivation. So I thought about not going to Silver Falls.
My subconscious knew I needed to run it, however, so the stars aligned and I committed to riding in a carpool to the event. Yes, I could have backed out, but it was harder since I had people willing to drive to my house pick me up, deliver me to the race and then drive me home. So I went.
On the way to the race the driver asked me if there were many hills in the race. I said something like “yep, there is one big one right at the very end, but that’s it.” Apparently, however, running a race with lots of hills is like having a baby. You forget about the hills as soon as the race is over because DAMN the whole freaking race was a series of big hilly trails. Beautiful, big, hilly trails.
The first mile is pavement and then you hit the single track trail that winds through the park. It was lovely and smelled so fabulous. Truly, no matter how fast I was going, or NOT going, it felt right to be out there, because when it comes down to it, I just like to run. I forget that sometimes. I know you’re surprised by that, but I do. I forget until I run. I forget that I NEVER regret a run, even a BAD run, until I run. Then it all comes flooding back to me and I’m like — yeah, this is what my life is about. The peace and tranquility that only comes, no matter what else is going on, from my run.
So, was it was hard? Yep. Did it kick my ass? Yep. Did I finish? Yep. Was my soul happy? Yep. Even though I didn’t improve my time and actually added ten minutes, my soul was very happy. So was my heart, my head, and my big fat ass. It was time well spent indeed.
Here are some more pictures.
This was at mile 6.
Me, at mile 6.
It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this is at the top looking back down at the water and the 188 steps that we had to climb at mile 10. I clearly remember complaining about that last year. It wasn’t any better this year.
Me and my finisher’s medal.
My shoes at the end of the run. Nice and muddy.
Friday before Silver Falls I went to the movies and dinner with a girlfriend. Saturday after Silver Falls I went to the movies and dinner with Blue Eyes. Sunday afternoon I got together with my relay team (I say “my” because I’m the captain) so we could “discuss logistics, legs, etc.” Turned out we were collectively more interested in drinking beer, swearing and talking shit. It was the B.E.S.T. time and while we know which legs we are assigned – we’re not so sure on some of the routes – and since this is a Fat Ass event with minimal course support it might be a challenge, but after a couple of beers we agreed we’d wing it and we’d be fine. Ha! Stay tuned for that outcome.
Here is my team “discussing”
And here we are after said “discussions” – I love these women so much.
So the relay is on the 17th and I’m excited. It’ll be fun if nothing else. Otherwise, I’m running with a few different running groups over the next few weeks to try to get my mojo back, so to speak. Hoping it helps me out.
Leaving for Hawaii in a little more than 5 weeks. My oldest son has finals that fall around the time we would have to be gone for me to run the Honolulu Marathon and while I initially asked him to ask his teachers if he could switch around the dates to fit MY schedule, that wasn’t fair of me, and caused him undue stress.
Truthfully, I have the rest of my life to run the Honolulu Marathon and only a little bit of time to include him in family vacations before he’s not available because of work and other “adult schedule responsibilities,” so even though I’m out the entry fee for Honolulu and I won’t be there for Jennifer, when she runs her first marathon, I will get to witness my boys’ experience Hawaii for the first time, I will get to hear all about Jennifer’s marathon in person and I will be happy and content because, well. . . I’ll be in Hawaii.
Now I just need to try to make my ass a little smaller in the next five weeks. . . .