So, we haven’t been great at blogging this summer. Okay, that’s an understatement. Among our long list of excuses: We’ve all been busy running, which is good and we’ve been busy at the shop, which is also good.
So, I (katie bien) am filling in for the competitive runners and am writing a blog from a casual runner’s perspective. I love to run. I really love it. I don’t race very much but running on the trails, taking in the Bend scenery and having complete quiet are my perfect escape (not that I don’t love the cacophony that comes with 3 small children and 2 businesses - I obviously do!)….
Anyhow, to me, there’s nothing like it. This summer has been a great running summer for me because I’ve worked less and spoiled myself with a babysitter one morning a week to go on a long run. My favorite run of choice: hands down, my favorite run in the world, in fact, is the Green Lakes Trail. To me, it is the Disneyland of running. With huge towering forests, waterfalls, log bridges, a long creekside valley and lakes… I think there’s no place like it in the world.
I know. It’s the most popular trail in the high lakes. I get that. I don’t care at all. I kind of like seeing the other people who are so impressive on the trail: little kids going backpacking with packs bigger than themselves, groups working together to make it to the top wearing blue jeans. I like it. I’m impressed with them. And I don’t even turn it into a loop with the Soda Creek trail. In my world, if I can have waterfalls on the way up and down, I’m in. I go by myself, listen to my music and truck slowly like a 1980s Subaru up the hill. The way down is my carrot - I love downhills where you can hop over rocks and let it all out and know that the really hard work is over.
Running Green Lakes is really hard work for me. I have to train in the Spring for it the way other people train to run half marathons. But when summer comes around, I’m always happy I did. I used to run it with Rod, when we were younger, I was faster than I am now and Rod was slower. He’s a little too speedy for me these days as I kind of like to run my own pace, but we sometimes start and finish at the same place and can talk about the pretty wildflowers on the ride home.
So, Green Lakes is kind of a boring trail to recommend since most people have been on it, but the river trail out and back from Aspen to Benham is my other happy place… so what did you expect?
If you want to hear of a new and different trail that you all might love, I do have one to recommend in that arena, the Paulina Creek Trail, another favorite of mine. I ran it two weeks ago with our dog Charlie and the only beings we saw on the trail were a coyote (really close and remarkably unafraid of a ferocious yellow lab) and a few deer. The trail is similar to Green Lakes with a steep uphill and a coast back down. There are a few ways you can do it.
You can start at the Peter Skene Ogden Trailhead but I abbreviated the run quite a bit and was really happy with it. I started at the McKay campground. (You can google directions for McKay Campground and Peter Skene Ogden Trailhead for more official directions.) I took the trail uphill 4-5 miles and then turned around and got some of the best views of waterfalls, went through forest and the burned section on Paulina and got to enjoy some quality time with Charlie and no one else (on a sunny Saturday afternoon, believe it or not). Highly recommended if you are looking for a pretty run that's a bit out of the way.
So, anyhow, at the store, we have a lot going on. We are just finishing up our Trail Running 101 course. It has been a lot of fun. The participants are training for the Xterra Half Marathon and 10k. The Xterra races are September 13th and should be a lot of fun. They start from the Old Mill and follow the river for much of the course. Some people are intimidated by the title Trail Running National Championship and we should emphasize that this is a race for everyone. It is for all levels of runners. It is a national championship and the winner gets some real cash, which is kind of unusual in a trail race, but it is open to everyone and all speeds will be there.
The next thing we have coming up is our next round of No Boundaries, the 5k training program for people who want to walk or run a 5k. I love this program. Since we opened our stores (Patagonia by Pandora’s Backpack 6 years ago and Fleet Feet 17 months ago), I am largely a behind the scenes, reclusive worker: doing the bookkeeping and a little advertising from home.
For No Boundaries, Rod called me out of hiding to administer the program and I was so glad I did. It was so fun to meet everyone doing the program. They started out nervously, some looking for motivation, some to run for the first time, some to get back into running or walking, some, like me, for a way to get into shape with a few kids at home… I watched as the people who kept coming got into better and better shape. They shared their concerns, told us about any aches and pains they had and worked really hard. At the Heaven Can Wait 5k race, I was so proud watching them run in so easily and comfortably. They did a great job and I was glad that Rod brought me in for the program.
The Fall No Boundaries participants will be training with the Girls on the Run Thanksgiving 5k in mind. This will be the inaugural year for the Thanksgiving 5k walk or run and will be a great way to bring the whole family out for a little exercise before the turkey feast begins. Heather Vihstadt, the director of Deschutes County Girls on the Run, has talked Rod into wearing a turkey costume and the kids in the race are going to have the goal of trying to catch the turkey. Ha! Please bring your cameras if you are a spectator at the race. I need to save the photos for this one!
So, that’s what we’ve got on tap for now! I’ll give the other folks at FF a nudge to see if we can get the bloggers back now that the running season is winding down.