Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday Gatherings

I ran with John and Christy on Saturday morning because we went to Seattle today for the first of five different Christmas celebrations.

We met at 7 am and on the drive over I realized we would be running in the dark and that I had forgotten my head lamp. Luckily Christy let me use hers. I was happy in the dark to be running on the flat Interurban trail. We went all the way out to Clayton beach parking lot, about 7:45 or so I was able to turn off the head lamp as it was finally not needed anymore.

We took a short break and then ran up the Fragrance Lake trail around the lake and down the 2$ trail. About half way down, we came to a sign and the trail was rerouted around some private land. This new section adds some elevation gain and distance to the Cleator road finish.

It seemed like we could run about 30 feet and then have to stop and walk and climb over and through all the downed tree branches, but we made it through. Once on Cleator road we ran down (the 50k we run up) to the Interurban trail and back to Fairhaven Park.

I woke up Sunday and went for a quick bike ride in the garage before we loaded up and drove to Seattle for our annual Christmas gathering to celebrate the birth of Christ with part of my family. My mom made an excellent spiral cut ham with all the fixins. We exchanged gifts followed with dessert made by my sister Danielle.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chuckanut 50K training has begun

We had our first 50K training run today. A little rain during my drive over and waiting in the car, but once we started running, we had no rain. What a great run, we ran on Galbraith also known as Lookout Mountain.

We started with about 11 or 12 runners and started climbing. Not much warmup from Whatcom Falls Park, you start climbing almost right away, but once your up, there are lots of ups and downs.

Our goal was 2 hours 30 minutes of running. The 'wonderland' loop we have done a few times is about 2 hours, so we added a couple other trails on the way up (2 1/2 Trail)and the way down (Intestine). These are great winding trails on some soft mud and pine needles.

Lots of downed trees and some snow drifts still hanging around. The snow was ok in places and a couple I sank into my knees. The worst part about the snow was the hidden puddles underneath. We made our way up to the top of wonderland near the cell towers and enjoyed the 270 degree view from most of Lake Whatcom and even a peak of the Twin Sisters around the north to into Canada. We could see Bellingham, Sandy Point, Ferndale and the refineries, not to mention pretty much all of the San Juan Islands. Words cannot describe, so I hope to bring a camera up there soon.

We went out to the south on a trail we have never run before called Evolution. WOW! The mountain bikers have been up there A LOT! There must of been a full quarter mile (in separate sections) of elevated skinnys, jumps and ramps. All these apparatuses have alternate ways around for bikers not up to the challenge and made for a nice soft descent.

What a great run.
12.3 Miles
130 Avg HR
1600 feet climbing

(Click any of my images for a more detailed view)

Oh Yeah! I ran the 19th Annual Bellingham Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. They did not keep times this year, but I had a great race. I was just off my pace from last year, but VERY happy with my 6:45 mile pace. The 4 mile race took 26:43.

We went on a hunt after and found a great Christmas Tree. A Fraser Fir from Small's Farm on Northwest street, We've purchased from them before and they have a great farm and are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Came hope and put up some lights on the house, then tree. Debbie and the kids added the ornaments. I think it looks great!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holidays are here

Well the snow has started to melt and most roads are fine, I wasn't going to let that stop my bike ride... So I road in the garage. I finally tried out my latest Spinervals DVD 17.0 Areo Base Builder II.

I liked this DVD a little better than the 16.0 version. Both are good, slightly different format. In 17.0, you do a lot of short repeats, 16.0 the repeats are a bit longer.

After my bike ride in the garage, we went to the Bellingham Port Festival to checkout the Gingerbread houses. The port gets gingerbread houses from all over the community. Jacob made a nice Pirate ship and Alex made a Train. Each won an award in their age group!

We came home, got ready and drove to Seattle to my company holiday party. We dropped the kids off at my parents. They had pizza and movies while Debbie and I went to the party. It was very nice, at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott hotel. Three different Salmons and Prime Rib. They gave us each $10,000 funny money and had about 15 casino tables. I played Texas Hold-em for a little while, then went and played some Blackjack and a little Roulette. We ended up with $10,000 after all that. We turned in our chips for raffle tickets. Didn't win anything, but we had fun.

We all spent the night at my parents in Seattle. I woke up and went for a long run. Ran west on the Burke Gilman Trail (I usually head east) toward Puget Sound. Made it past Fremont into Ballard and went right past the Ballard Locks and around all the way to Golden Garden Park. Beautiful view of the Olympic mountains. I ran up the stairs, I didn't count, but there were a lot of them. Continued to wind my way through town and stopped at Green Lake for a drink of water and on my way home shortly after. Very nice run, about 12 miles total 1:47:17.

Got back to my parents and ate and showered and the whole family went to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker. Jacob did great in the theater, but it was a bit much for Alex to sit and watch for the 2+ hour show. We got there early and had lunch in the Center House and saw all the holiday decorations, after we walked through the center again and stopped to let the kids ride the holiday carousel.

Long drive back home and am ready for bed.