Sunday, November 26, 2006


We got lots of snow this weekend, but that was not going to affect my exercise, or was it.

I woke up Saturday morning to an inch or two of snow and drove out to Lake Padden for the second Cyclocrazed Cyclecross race. As usual I was one of the first to arrive. Got ready and eventually went down and registered. They were busily setting up the course. I waited in the car to stay warm, once enough of the course was set I went out in the snow to see how my bike would handle, or how I would handle the bike in the snow. It was not too bad. I made it around the course a few times and on my third lap I noticed that the bike was a little sluggish, slowed down and saw that I had a flat. I was hoping that it was a very slow leak and I just noticed it. I borrowed a pump and heard the bad news before I saw the tiny bubbles percolating out from the in between the rim and tire. I was toast as I unloaded everything from my bike at home and did not bring it. UG. Jacob showed up just as I was noticing the problem. We let him ride the course. He made one lap and that was enough for him. We decided to head home.

On Sunday, I woke up to green grass (no snow) and left to meet the group of trail runners at 8 am as usual. We ran from the VET in fairhaven. On my way there I went through a section of town that had about two inches of snow and is lower than our house (at the lake elevation: 340 feet).

The trail starts out flat and was very wet, not much snow, but starting to snow. We ran out the Interurban trail. After the first flat mile or so we turn and go up towards Lost Lake, turned onto a trail called Hush Hush (yeah don't tell anyone - its a great trail). As we ran up and up this very windy trail with lots of switchbacks where you can high five your friends as you run past I was noticing sections where it was in between trees that I was seeing 4-5 inches of snow.

At the end of Hush Hush we turned left and went towards the Hemlock trail and some went back and a few of us kept going up towards Raptor Ridge. The snow was getting deeper and deeper. It was GREAT! Running single file through the snow and we cut a nice path. We saw a lot of other runners out there today. We made it to the turn to Raptor Ridge and went up only to be turned back less than a quarter mile into this section of trail due to too many fallen trees blocking the way and with the heavy snow, no promise of beautiful view at the end. We turned back and ran down the same cut pathway we made coming up. I think the snow got as deep as about 7-8 inches on the run.

Going down in the snow was fun and slippery, but with a little care you can kindof run fast and slip and slide just a bit. Again we had lots of fallen trees to deal with, but not too bad.

We got back to the car to find about two inches had fallen while we were running. After driving home and parking out of our driveway, I mean the sled zone, we had lots of fun playing in the snow at home. I left with green grass to come home to about 3-4 inches. As I write this later in the day, we just got back in from Jacob testing out his new snowboard on our driveway and I measured about 10 inches in the backyard. Should last a couple days.

Sunday Run:
10.1 miles
138 Avg HR
1900 Ft Climbing

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Turkey Trot

Yesterday, the whole family did the Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC) Turkey Trot again this year. This local event is down at the Haggens near our house and very easy and is a FUNdraiser for the food bank. We arrived and registered and walked over to the starting area. We saw lots of friends milling around. We visited and did a little warmup around one of the buildings.

Debbie has run this event for three years in a row, and the second year in a row for the whole family. Alex is still in the stroller for this distance, but Jacob has run the 3.1 miles each year. Debbie ran ahead this year and I ran with Alex in the stroller keeping Jacob company. He sure did great, ran most the way, walked some.

We ran without any rain and very little wind which was a change from the toterential rain and wind this week. We only lost power for a little bit, but some in the county were out of power for a couple days.

We enjoyed the rest of the calm day by cleaning up the leaves and getting one last mowing of the lawn in.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rain, Rain and more Rain

I got wet this weekend, very wet.

On Saturday I went for a bike ride with two friends of mine, Mike and John. Only real heavy rain was going to stop our ride. I rode over to John's place to meet them, I was already very wet before we started our ride. We went south out and around Lake Samish. My neoprene booties kept me warm enough, but they soaked up so much water that it affected my pedal stroke. I felt real sluggish. Both John and Mike are great cyclists (They took two of the top three spots at the Hill Climb this year) and I fell back on each climb (even the small short ones). They'd wait for me at key locations, so I probably got a better workout since I didn't have to stop and get cold every so often ;-). As it turned out, we had maybe 10 minutes of our 30 mile ride with no rain, but we knew it was going to start back up because Mike kept saying how nice it had gotten.

On Sunday, I met the trail running group at the vet in the rain, The run is on trails through the woods, but it had been raining so much lately that the rain was coming through even the dense evergreens. I started back in the gym this week and even getting out of bed was feeling quite sore in muscles I hadn't felt in quite a while. This combined with my bike ride on Saturday made for a tough run. I started out fine (its a flat first mile) but when we started climbing I was really feeling tired. We went up and ran the "hush hush" trail. This is a great trail that winds back and forth through the woods, not very much under brush, and the trail is very soft and full of leaves and pine needles. It winds so much that there are switchbacks where you could take one step over a log and skip a large section of the trail. This also makes it a great trail to run with a group, because even as we spread out you get to see all your friends.

I made it to the top of the hush-hush trail and was feeling very tired so decided to turn back with Carol who has been working through an injury was cutting her run shorter too. The rest of the group was going to continue up to Lost Lake. I finished with the 7 mile run soaking wet.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Today marked my first cyclecross event. Going to bed the night before to an thunder and lighting show made me wonder if I was going to go or not. Sunday morning came and there was a full moon as I walked to get the newspaper. I was not so concerned about the full moon, but happy that I could see through the clouds. I didn't have any rain for my race or for Jacobs after.

Jacob and I had been to two cyclecross practices and were looking forward to actually racing. I went up to WWU campus about 8 and Debbie, Jacob and Alex came up a bit later. There was a delay in the start to the Mens C race which was my classification (by choice) so they were able to get some good pictures.

There were 10 in the Mens C classification, We rolled out at about 9:30, the Mens C Masters went about 1 minute behind and the women's C went about 1 minute after that.

The course was on and around the south part of WWU campus, We started in one of the gravel parking lots, riding north around through a tunnel, first a little run up (some rode, but I chose to run it each time after crashing during the morning warmups). Up and around one of the famous campus sculptures and around and over a single barrier and through the "castle" structure, around the trees and across the road down a short single track section back onto the gravel. That is the north loop. The south loop was longer and tougher.

After crossing the road we weaved through and around some trees on the slanted grassy slopes towards the new tennis courts, down and up and then a short run up right near the visitor center. Again I chose to run this each time after crashing during warmups, these little run ups gave me problems, I got knobby tires, but kept slipping out and then over as I couldn't keep balance and nor get out of my clips. Its all fun though as you fall over onto the soft wet grass.

After this we go up a path and gravel road to the real run up for the course, this is where I finally made my first pass. At the top we turned left and met the barriers to run over. Looped around and cross the 'finish' line... 5 more laps to go...

To get back to where we started, We looped around the gravel parking lot back to the sloped grass and trees just north of the new tennis courts. The toughest part here was the loose pine needles and sloped hill covering all the exposed roots. Getting past that we had a pretty steep down hill section only to have to run back up (most biked back up, but again I just ran). More weaving through the trees we finally crossed the road back to where we started to go do that north loop again. What FUN!

I'm looking forward to doing this again, The Cyclcocrazed people will be doing another event on November 25 up at Lake Padden, Check it out at

Jacob had fun doing his race too. He went with about 7 other kids of various ages, He 3 loops of the very same north loop, doing all the same run ups and barriers, going through the castle and down the single track.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sunrise Bike Ride

Some friends and I road up to Sunrise this summer. It was a beautiful day.

Don, Pat and I met at 6am at Federation Forest State Park. After figuring out parking we got on the road about 6:15 or so. The road is State Highway 410 and at that time in morning there was not much traffic, but even so we had a very nice wide shoulder.

We made a stop at a rest area with a nice view of Mt Rainier, it was the first view of the mountain on the ride.

After a bit more riding we made it to the entrance to Mt Rainier National Park just past the turn to Crystal Mountain ski area. Before we knew it we were at the fee station collecting fees for entrance to the National Park. $5 each and quick rest and then we set off for the real climb. Actually just after the ranger station the road goes downhill for about a mile.

Still no view of the mountain. We climbed and climbed, not too much traffic, not much shoulder, but riding with friends help visibility with drivers. We kept climbing, eventually we came to the turn of the final switchback and this turn is on its own peak with beautiful views all around. As we make the turn we got an excellent view of the mountain.

After this switchback, it is about 1 more mile and not much more climbing. We rolled into the parking lot at about 9:55, parked the bikes and saw that the grill opened at 10:00 am, so we each got a burger and some rest for the fast decent.

What a great ride!