Every runner needs a source of motivation. It’s what makes us put on our shoes when it’s cold out and it’s what makes you run the last mile instead of shuffling it in. Recently my motivation has been a tiny purple Post-It Note. Every Monday I write a little post-it note and affix it to my computer monitor. The Post-It note has the week’s date, the week’s goal mileage and the days written out. Then every day I write down my run and if I’m really feeling cool, maybe a few notes: “Monday: 7 miles AM, trail, tired legs” It’s a simple system and yet oh-so-effective! If I’m tempted to skip a run the thought of not filling out the post-it note pushes me out the door. Do not let the post-it note go empty, Heather!
According to the post-it notes I’ve racked up 4 weeks in a row of 50+ miles. I’m not yet flirting with 65 miles a week, yet, but that’s my aim. I have faith that my Post-It notes will help me get to that magic number soon.
Ok, so now to talk about my recent running adventures. The weather has been getting nice here in Portland and this weekend was the first that I remember in months that I didn’t have to go out to the grocery store with a jacket (hooray spring!).
I woke up extra early, made coffee, gathered my stuff and drove to Multnomah Falls. To those who are unfamiliar with running at Multnomah Falls and in the gorge in general, let me say this. You are missing out. It is trail running at its finest – hardcore, steep, rugged, beautiful.
My plan was simple – run from the base of Multnomah Falls to Larch Mountain and back. My trail running book described it as a be a 13.2 mile run out and back with nearly…. oh, dear…. 4,000 feet of elevation gain. At which point I asked myself if hill work wasn’t an appropriate name for my workout and that “mountain climbing” might be the better description. A swallowed my nervousness about the run, strapped on my water bottle and started slowly, slowly up the switchbacks.
Trail to Larch Mountain
The run was one continuous up-hill slog for 4.8 miles and then a sloggier slog for another 2 miles through snow. I passed a few hikers. One said hello and I replied that this was the longest 6 miles of my entire life. He laughed. I did not.
You’re almost there, except not at all…
Eventually I actually made it to the top! Woohooo! I ate a GU admired the scenery, looked sadly at my snow-soaked socks and and took the trail back down. Going down was not all that easy either. It was a steep decent and technical too. Larch Mountain, you were not easy! Let’s hang out again real soon.
While I was busy running up the side of the mountain, my (boy)friend, Sir Cycles-A-Lot opted to ride the 43 miles from town to meet me at the romantic Multnomah Falls parking lot . I arrived at the car following my run looking and smelling something special. Sir Cycles-A-Lot, on the other hand, appeared looking dapper in carefully coordinated spandex like he had just stepped out of a catalog. I had been outdone. Sir Cycles-A-Lot and I drove back together to town, freshened up (not that he needed to) and stumbled in a haze of low-blood sugar to a breakfast restaurant where we wolfed down a truly amazing amount of food.