Saturday, January 11, 2014

Let's Get Physical

Not my usual kind of post.  Completely off-topic, to be precise...

For my 50th birthday last year, I wanted to challenge myself physically.  I would say that was accomplished--in triplicate.  As the next birthday approaches, here is a run-down of some of the highlights of my physical 50th year on the planet.

Bright Beginnings

Hoo-Doo trails & Snow-shoe shelter
Birthday weekend in the snow.  Cross-country skiing for the first time in 20 years, snow-shoeing the following day for the first time ever (let's just go for an 8-mile snow-shoe hike, shall we?)  It was a truly magical birthday.


Even though I spent more than a decade in the U.S. Navy, I never was much into physical fitness, and wouldn't run any more than Uncle Sam made me.  A comment from Sweetie got me started on the Couch to 5K running program in May of 2012.  I would say that 2013 was my year to step into the title of Runner.  (Really, who would have thunk it?)

Finish line of Eugene 1/2 Marathon (looks empty, doesn't it?)

  • First 10K race for St. Patrick's Day.  
  • 1/2 Marathon in April (less than a year since starting running!)  
  • 4th of July 10K (a significant hill at the beginning) 
  • Second 1/2 Marathon in August
Dorena: yummy view along the berm--after scaling the dam to get there

  • Dorena Dam 5K (what is it with these hills?)
  • Jingle Bell run (took place on top of packed snow) 
Not a timed race: just darn fun

  • Ugly Sweater run in December
  • First Run at midnight on New Year's Eve


I live in Oregon, an area rich in natural beauty.  I have hiked in the past, but this year saw an uptick in the number and difficulty of the hikes.  Even tried "running" a bit on trails.

  • Mt. Pisgah, twice
  • Spencer's Butte (an unfortunate fall on the downhill run cracked a rib; ouch)
  • Brice Creek
  • Mt. June, tallest point in Lane County
  • Backpacking in the Fall Creek area (including a dry overnight in a cave, listening to it pour outside)
  • Multnomah Falls (to the top!)
  • Badger Mountain, Washington

Brice Creek Trail: Trestle Falls, which you can walk behind


I found myself saying, "YES" to some physical adventures this year that made me wonder who exactly was talking for me.  Prime example: leaving a toasty bed at 8:00 on Christmas morning to run to the gourmet coffee shop, get some warm brew, and walk back to the house before the kids showed up at 10:00 to open presents.

Mom & Son, just before his big adventure
Bicycle marathon (26.2 miles) before school on the last day of the year in June.   A boisterous group of teachers and former students.  I talked my son into going along this year, even though we start out at 3:30 am.  Halfway through the ride, he got a fatal flat tire; ended up with him jogging a 1/2 marathon, pushing his bike alongside him.  Ah, youth!

Team Rainbow: before and after
The Dirty Dash.  What can I say?  I overcame some serious baggage to sign up for this--visions of drill sergeants yelling in my face during obstacle courses when I was in the Navy--but having a fun team to get muddy with made it all worthwhile.  And we have the pictures to prove it!

Snow-shoe trek around town after the worst snowstorm in 20 years.  So funny to be doing this on city streets.  And fortunately, my snow-shoe skills had been honed earlier in the year, right?

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