Monday, February 18, 2013

Fort Ebey Kettles Half Trail Marathon

I trotted through the Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Half Marathon yesterday, put on by NW Trail Runs. A bigger turnout than I expected.  The trails themselves were eminently runnable. Lots of short ups and downs. The course starts along the bluffs, and then winds through endless single track, reminding me of the Lake Padden Half, but with Pacific coast views. Rustic trail signs mark many turns—“Princess Run”, “Escape”, “Roy Evans”, “Kettles”.  Very northwest, and absolutely gorgeous.  Weather was good—a little brisk starting out, but I felt fine.

My leg didn’t really cooperate, and my fitness is not there, but I’d say I ran a bit better this week than a couple weeks ago at Orcas. Nothing to rave about, but trotting worked here and there. I signed up for the full originally, but wisely stepped down to the half.  I enjoyed myself—got the cardio and muscles working. The full is two loops of the half, and there are also 10k and 20m options.  

I’ll just keep trying to progressively build up. Food. Core. Stretching. Consistency. I have physical therapy scheduled this week.  We’ll see how that goes, and keep it all real, and have fun.  

The Fort Ebey bluff trail is a terrific trail for the winter time. The trail is right on the edge of a 500 foot bluff, looking down at the ocean.  Besides being beautiful, this is a historic site in Washington State. In college, I had to read a book called “Land Use, Environment, and Social Change: The Shaping of Island County, Washington” by Richard White, a UW professor and awarded of the MacArthur Grant. The book is an environmental history of Island County and makes great mention of Ebey’s Landing and this area of the island.  

Great to see Rich there, and to meet Connecticut Brian—who won the half, in record time! Good time at the Skagit Brewery aftewardsAlso good to see Chris too! Many others—Eric, Michelle, Ras, Kathy, Wendy. Just a really fine day! Congrats to all who ran or volunteered this weekend--I know it was a full weekend with the BTRS Frangrance Lake Runs and the ever lovable Woolley Runs in Skagit. No shortage of organized events these days--very fortunate.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Eagles in Edison

Saturday mornings in February are just grand in the Skagit.  Got up a little late, grabbed a cup of coffee at S. Bucks, and drove up Chuckanut for a hike/run in the C-nuts.  A misty morning--good conditions to be out.  Ran into Grant and his brother in different spots, and a few others, all training for Chuckanut.  While not a good run for me, it wasn't horrible either.  I managed to run all the way down without having to pull up.

The highlight of the morning were the eagles in Edison.  About a half mile past Edison, on the Farm to Market Road, there were about 50 eagles in the trees above the slough.  The picture captures one group, but there were groups like this in several trees.  Presumably, they are feeding off a salmon run.

I saw that the painter Alden Mason passed away this past week. His work is in the Seattle Art Museum and other galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest and points farther.  I was taken once by a painting of his of the Skagit Valley, where I understand he has ties. RIP Alden

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Orcas Island 50k

Thanks to Rainshadow Running for another great Orcas Island 50k!  I only made it 14 miles or so, as my left leg stiffened up too much to run, and I was reduced to hiking and shuffling down the last few hills. I'm ok with it--it was a good morning, with great weather, on beautiful trails. I take it for what is, not for what it's not. And, terrific to see so many friends that I haven't seen in quite some time. Smiles everywhere, with great food and music afterwards. A top class event.

Next up:  scheduled for the Fort Ebey Trail Marathon--I may run the half instead. I hope to get some physical therapy scheduled this month.