Monday, July 27, 2015

One Run, Two States

Today I ran 12 miles in two states during one run. We're staying at Premier RV park on the Snake River in Clarkston, Washington. I ran over a bridge and into Lewiston, Idaho, and kept going until I ran to Hellsgate State Park. The park looked very much like the rest of the bike trail scenery (see top photo).

I ran 3 goal marathon paced miles, which pretty much means I ran about as fast as I could for three miles! It was my longest run since running the Missoula Marathon on July 12 and it went well. I picked up my dog for the last 2 miles so she could get some exercise before we hit the road to head south towards Boise.

Earlier this week, we were in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, which was crowded with tourists from what I could tell after grocery shopping and overhearing a store employee complain about the traffic. We stayed outside of the city, in Post Falls, where I got in a few runs from the Cabella's store where we stayed. They even had dog kennels there for campers!

Before we drove into Coeur D'Alene, we stopped in Sandpoint, Idaho, and visited the farmer's market for some good food like sun-dried tomato goat cheese and zucchini bread. I forgot to write earlier that we found raspberries and a few blackberries, too, in Montana along a drive in the woods.

The day we left Glacier National Park, they evacuated part of the park because of fires. We left on just the right day! When we were on our way out of Montana and heading towards Idaho, we came across Foys Lake. The color of the lake was just beautiful.

On a later day, we drove through McCall, Idaho, but if we're ever back there, I want to stop in that cute little wooded lake town to explore. We did stop for a lunch break on the way to Boise, in the middle of nowhere or also known as Lucille Recreation Park, and found people in the bushes which led to a discovery... We picked 2 cups of blackberries!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Glacier National Park: Hidden Lake & Bears!

Glacier National Park has been my favorite place to visit in Montana and yesterday was the best day of all! We woke up early and returned to the Hidden Lake trail head by 8:30. We wanted to try the hike again after we had to cut our hike short because of a hail storm a few days ago.

Our First Bear!

Even before the hike, the excitement began when we saw a black bear on our drive. The bear started going towards a walkway where there were some people walking towards the bear without knowing it was there so my husband yelled out to them and they ran back to their car. The bear ended up ignoring everyone, walked down the road and up a mountainside. We were happy to have finally seen a bear. Plus, saving a life or two is a great way to start your day!

A Grizzly Bear, Too!

Next up, we walked to Hidden Lake. I was really nervous when it started to rain and we were 1 1/2 hour's walk from the car, but it didn't storm today like it did before and all was well. Along the way, we saw our second bear. It was a grizzly bear and nobody seemed to mind that it was so far away. I'm not posting a photo of it - it looks like a brown dot in the picture!

Logan Pass Mountain Goats on Hidden Lake Hike

Out of the Way for the Mountain Goats!

We were really excited at the beginning of the hike to see little white dots and to be told they were mountain goats. Little did we know that we'd be walking with quite a few of them later on. We even had to get out of the way for the mountain goats with their babies walking by on the trail. It wasn't frightening - just fascinating and fun!

Hidden Lake

The almost 6 mile hike down to and back from Hidden Lake took us about 3 hours. There were some steep climbs, but it was worth it and I'm surprised that I'm not sore today. You could see the reflection of the mountains in the lake and wild flowers were everywhere. We brought a picnic lunch to eat there, but the mosquitoes were thick beside the lake so we only stopped for a quick rest and then hiked back.

Jammer Tour Cars Seen Throughout the Park

1,000 Bears, Huckleberry Ice Cream and a 4 Mile Run with Zoe

About 1,000 bears live in the park. We were so excited to finally see two of them. After the hike, we stopped at Eddie's outdoor cafe in Apgar Village for a scoop of huckleberry ice cream. Delicious!

Close to the park is the KOA where we're camped in our RV. Today I ran 4 miles on the wooded road out in front of the campground with my dog who has been at a kennel for a few days because dogs aren't allowed on the trails in the park. It felt good to do my longest run since the Missoula Marathon today.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Glacier National Park: Hike, Run, Eat

First Hike, First Post-Marathon Run - A Little Painful!

We've only been in Glacier National Park a few days and we've already seen so many wild flowers, mountains, creeks, water falls and lakes. On our first hike, we drove on the Going to the Sun Road to Logan Pass to hike to Hidden Lake. Four days after running the Missoula Marathon, that was a painful first post-race run but not so much because I was sore.

Here we are happily hiking to Hidden Lake before the storm. "I hear thunder. We should turn around," said one of us.

"No, we're almost there!" said the other. Then the rain turned into ice. The ice pellets hitting our freezing faces and legs hurt like fire. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Here's a video of the hike where we talk about it.

Second Hike with a Fun Run Down the Mountain

Avalanche Lake Hike
Yesterday, which was the next day, we hiked up the somewhat steep trail to Avalanche Lake and then we ran down the trail - my husband's idea! I liked hopping over rocks and roots.

Afterwards, we stopped at Lake McDonald Lodge to eat at the nice restaurant there and played a game of chess in the large foyer. Oh, and the person who thought that we should turn around when we first heard the thunder also won the chess game... Just sayin'!

Camping in our RV 

We're camping just outside of Glacier National Park on the west side. On the way to Glacier from Missoula, my husband and I stayed at the Kalispell Walmart. Close by was a sports store where I tried on the hydration pack designed by Jenny Jurek - seemed to fit well. Then we drove to west Glacier where we stayed at the woodsy Glacier Campground and now we're at the West Glacier KOA - best thing about it is the short wooded road in front of the campground where I got in a short run.

Yummy Foods Lately
  • Nutella Crepe from Amazing Crepes in Whitefish, MT - I need a crepe recipe so I can make these.
  • Housemade Granola Bar sold at the register at West Glacier Restaurant for only $1 - large, kept it in my backpack for many hikes.
  • Bread Pudding Recipe (single serving, I added banana) - today's breakfast!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Missoula Marathon Race Recap

Marathon #17
The Missoula Marathon was my 17th marathon and Montana is my 9th state to run a marathon in!

The Start

The marathon runs from Frenchtown into Missoula. Since I stayed at the RV park close to the start, rather than take the bus from Missoula to the start, I was able to get a ride to Frenchtown with another runner staying at the park.

The course started out flat with a few horses and farms to look at along the way. Everything was going fairly well and I was pretty close to the 4:00 pacers until the 11.5 mile aid station when I suddenly felt light headed and started wheezing (felt like I was hyper-ventilating, unusual). I drank some Gatorade Endurance and by the time I finished walking through the aid station, I was better, but my speed was gone.

The Prettiest, But Hardest Part

Then the hills began. I wondered if walking them would be as fast as running them! Still, that was my favorite part because it was the scenic part of the course with pines and nice houses on the side of a mountain. I took pictures later when we drove the course (see top two photos).

The Bad & the Good: Cramps & Musicians

We ran out of the hills and into Missoula. The spectators and volunteers called out to us, which is always so encouraging. A guitarist sang out a little diddy using our race number! There was a grand piano player (like at the Big Sur Marathon) and a classical guitarist, too. They kept my mind off of my toe cramps. I also had toe cramps at the Kona Marathon, which had similar humid weather.

Finished with a Smile
After My Finish, I Took a Picture of the Finish Line
The last part was a downhill slope (not too much downhill, but just right) and then we ran over a bridge and heard our name called out and they said that I was finishing my 17th marathon on the loud speaker. You should have heard the crowd cheer!

I saw my husband with our dog right away, which was good because I couldn't telephone him because my phone was suddenly all in Greek... When I finished, I took my phone out of my pocket for a picture and somehow all the phone text had changed to Greek. Even the Verizon service person couldn't figure out what happened with it.

Another gadget snafu is that my Garmin Forerunner 220 showed a low battery at mile 23 so I couldn't see my distance. That made those last miles seem longer and I wondered if I'd finish before it died. I did.

Finisher's Shirt & Bib, Tank and Gels for Race Day
More Race Info

Expo: From our RV park which is filled with beautiful flowers, it was a quick 15 minute drive to the expo in downtown Missoula. Picking up my race packet was quick at the small expo. I like the shirt. We visited the farmer's market held beside the expo for some treats like huckleberries, tomatoes and cherries. Then I stopped in at the Runner's Edge store for a free ice cream sandwich. They had Tailwind (good!) and the new pizza flavored Clif Bar gels (haven't tried).

Free Photo for Finishers and the Medal
Weather: In the 60's and a little humid. Cloud cover most of the morning and an early start at 6AM made it a fairly comfortable race day. A spectator yelled out that I wasn't even breaking a sweat in the last mile and that felt almost true!

Fuel Pre-race: Three hours before the start, I had a peanut butter and honey sandwich, a small banana, an egg and coffee.

Fuel During the Race: I ate 2-3 Clif bar strawberry gels that were handed out and 4 of my GU gels: Maple Bacon (my first, good!), Blackberry, Salted Watermelon and Salted Caramel. I started gels at mile 3 and ate them every 3-4 miles, saving the salted gels for last. Also, I drank Gatorade Endurance that was on the course.

Fuel Post-race: A local grocery store offered runners quinoa salad, cheese sticks, watermelon and fig newton cookies. As usual, my stomach wasn't ready for too much food right after the marathon, though.

Gear: Brooks Ravenna shoes, Skirt Sports Adventure Girl SkirtGarmin Forerunner 220

The Numbers:

Finish time: 4:30:58
Average Pace: 10:20/mile
Place: 538 out of 1016
45-49 Women's Age Group: 14th out of 34
Missoula Elevation: 3209'
Missoula Marathon Elevation Gain: 382' (per Garmin)
1,016 Marathoners

Next time I'd probably start out slower and drink more during the race. I made some fun memories, have a new race shirt and, as always, I'm happy that I finished!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Banff Nat'l Park: Run & Hike

Lake Louise

Time to go camping in Banff Nat'l Park! And to run, of course! After running through our campground over to the tent campground where it's enclosed by an electric fence because of bears, I ran back along the Bow River to complete a 10K. We are in Canada after all so kilometers it is! I haven't seen a bear yet, but later I saw a coyote (update: my first thought was that it was a wolf because it was big, but I don't know) run by our campsite!

Mirror Lake
I cleaned up and my husband and I hiked up a mountain to go to Lake Agnes Tea House where I drank a chai latte. Those are so good, but especially after climbing up 2.2 miles. Ok, we're back to miles now! We stopped off to enjoy pretty Mirror Lake along the way - all except for the skeeters and flies. I forgot the mosquito spray again!

Lake Louise
Later, I had some delicious cranberry walnut quinoa salad from Laggan's bakery in Lake Louise Village. After the hilly hike and getting a sore knee, I decided to not run the next day, but two days later, all was well.

Moraine Lake
One day, we drove up to Jasper Nat'l Park and stopped at many spots along the way. I wish I'd had my camera for my favorite: Athabasca Falls - not to be missed if you drive between Banff and Jasper Park.

Bow River Run

I'm running my 17th marathon this Sunday in Missoula, Montana. Can't wait!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fun From Bozeman to Helena, Montana

After leaving southeastern Montana, we slowly made our way to Holter Lake near Helena. On the way, my husband and I stopped in Bozeman where I ran 6 miles (and saw loose cows near the farms in the foothills) and we hiked up beautiful Hyalite Canyon to Grotto Falls (pictured) and Arches Falls.

We stopped in Philipsburg for handmade almond chocolate clusters and a peach smoothie. It was a little unsettling to drive into town and read the sign that said a (too low for our RV) bridge was coming up, but we were able to bypass it. Phew!

We continued on and when we arrived in Helena, we walked up Mount Helena Trail Ridge to see the city from up high. (Some people have asked about Zoe's red collar. It's a Gentle Leader that prevents her from pulling.)

Today's 10 Mile Course at Holter Lake

We Soaked Our Feet in Cool, But Buggy, Holter Lake

Then we left Helena for Holter Lake where we camped. Surprisingly, it stays light here until about 9:30 and then daylight comes early  - about 5:15. This morning I ran 10 hilly miles at 5:30. I pretty much had the road to myself except for one other runner, two walkers and 8 deer.

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