Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthday Trail Run

Birthdays aren't over-hyped in my home, but they MUST be celebrated. :)

Don't get me wrong, cake is great... but, my idea of how to best celebrate another year is to find something new to conquer or explore, then spend the next few days refueling and recovering!

Sunday, a friend and I met up in a nearby town at an hour that really should be spent under fluffy covers with a soft pillow. We did a quick transfer of gear and discussed our options again. Then headed to the North Umpqua River outside of Glide, OR.
North Umpqua River, as seen from Mott Bridge

Kristen had a plan for a loop that included about 6 miles of the trail called the "Mott" segment, with a 6 mile return down a different trail. (This would be about 2 miles longer than I have ran in over 6 months.)

Skies had been wet, and the climate is always cooler up in the Cascades. So, we dressed in layers and I brought some essential trail items "just in case". :)

We arrived at our destination at dawn and found a nice, weathered outhouse. And some guy in a van who looked like he spent the night there. He was going to bike the first section we planned to run.
First bit of trail as we headed out..

As we headed upriver, I noticed right away that the trail was beautiful, but had a lot more rocks than another segment downriver. There were some close calls, as sometimes those rocks and roots can sneak up on a runner!  I was glad I had on my Brooks PureGrits, because they allow me to "feel" the terrain without slipping. This was probably the scariest bit of running trail I have ever been on. I am sure I will see scarier though!

The single-track got rather narrow at one point, with a steep wall on one side and a drop off to the river on the other side.. And there were 2 trees across the path. I thought of the cyclist and hoped he was an expert! O_o 

At the end of the Mott segment, we took a bridge (built by the CCC in 1936) across the river. Then we ran along the road for about 1/2 mile before picking up the Riverview trail back down.  This trail was much wider, having been made for forestry vehicles.

Tiny mushroom growing near a campground outhouse :D

Downhill = fun running!!

I don't know any of our actual distance or pace information, since we left before I got a good GPS reading. Oops! Chances are good we might have lost the signal anyway.

Afterwards I was fortunate to get a hot shower at Kristen's house before heading home. If you ask me- a hot shower is a real treat after a cold run! So is a little cake :)


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Do you do anything "running related" to celebrate your birthday?

What items would you take "just in case" if you were heading out to run new territory?

Cake, ice cream, or neither?







52 comments:

  1. I love birthday runs! Perfect way to celebrate a new year :) . Happy birthday!

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    1. Thank you, Bruce~ It was!

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    2. I often run a race that I haven't done before as part of my birthday. Sometimes I would run my age in distance in a solo training run just for the fun of it. I always take my "full kit" to an unknown run on the trails...just in case. Lots of water plus some extra drink and more than enough to eat. Cake and Ice Cream for me! Preferably together!

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    3. I'd love to know what your full kit is, and how you carry yours Johann! I have a small pouch, but might be looking to upgrade for longer runs. Water and fuel are essential!

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  3. Sounds like a stunning way to celebrate -I'm certainly planning on getting out there on my Birthday this Sunday and you've inspired me to look for somewhere special!

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    1. Ah! You have Birthday coming up too :) It certainly calls for something special Nick!! Happy birthday!! Thanks for commenting :)

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  4. What a great birthday adventure Raina! Pics are gorgeous as always and remind me that I need to make it to this part of the country soon. I always run on my birthday but this exploration thing has me intrigued, as my birthday is sneaking up in a few weeks.

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    1. Well, birthday girl, COME on OUT!!! ♥ I'd love to give you a tour :)

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  5. Yay for a birthday run! I love birthdays and birthday cake. My birthday is next week and I can think of nothing better than celebrating with a run. Looks like a beautiful trail to run on!

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    1. Happy Birthday, Christy! I bet you will find a run to celebrate with.. Lots of them next week ;) Also. I bet you have your pick up there in beautiful Montana!

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  6. I love "special day" runs. I'm not big on my birthday, but I love running on Thanksgiving & Christmas days. And that first picture is beautiful! Happy B-day!

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    1. Thanks Jim!! I hope you have a special run planned for Thanksgiving. :)

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  7. Happy birthday!!! I do love to do birthday runs! My friends think I'm crazy that my idea of the perfect birthday morning has a long run in it!! I would choose frosting....:-)

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    1. Thank you, Nancy!! We are crazy aren't we?? Frosting is the best part ;D

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  8. Sounds like a great birthday run! Thanks for sharing the scenary, love the way it looks over there!

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    1. Thank you, Fred!! I'm blessed to have it for a playground.

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  9. I actually did a Birthday half marathon last year which was totally fun. Of course you won't always be lucky enough to have a race fall on your Bday, but if they did I'd do that all the time. Happy late Birthday!

    Those first two pictures are just absolutely breathtaking! They look like something straight out of a movie set or travel magazine. Wow!!

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    1. Thanks Michael ♥ ! The area is very scenic- My photos don't do any justice.

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  10. Parabéns pelo seu blog !!!!

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    1. Obrigado por seu comentário, Nina! (Thank you for your comment, Nina!)

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  11. So happy to hear you had a fun birthday celebration. I only wish I was the "Kristen" you were referring to in your story -- ha! :) You know how much I want to run on a trail with you...take in the beauty around us, run with no time or pace goal, listen to the forest sounds around us and bare our souls to one another as only runner friends can do, right?!

    Although I am slowly coming back from injury and have my sights set on Boston next spring, I am planning a change in my running after that. I'm ready to tackle the beautiful trails near where I live and run with a different purpose than before. I am sure you'll make it back to roads one day (or maybe not!) but I love reading about where you are at with your running these days. I love hearing about steep, hilly, single-track trails where your pace is not at all reflective of the effort you put into it.

    Anyway, I am rambling on your comments section so I better sign off and go pick up the kiddos from preschool. Here's to a beautiful year for you, Raina!

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    1. I would have most CERTAINLY loved to have another Kristen on this run. Your company would have made a great run even better.
      I know how badly you want to be back in Boston for 2014- and I can't blame you a bit! I do too!! It has just been a totally different ride these days, running on trails. It's a new self-discovery, one with different "perks". Not sure I will give up road racing, but this sure is a wonderful new turn in the path.
      ♥Hope you had a great day with the kids!♥

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  12. Happy Birthday!! What a great way to celebrate!! And that is amazingly gorgeous!!! WOW!!!

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    1. Thank you Deb! We are blessed to have it nearby. :)

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  13. Definitely looks like a great place to run!

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    1. Yes!! It is, Lauren!! I hope you are able to get there soon. If you need a guide, look me up :) There's still about 58 miles of the trail I haven't covered yet!!

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  14. Wow, such beautiful trails! And how fun to discover them with a friend. A friend who takes you on a trail run and lets you take a hot shower is a good one:) I am happy you seem happy!

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    1. Thank you Ana-Maria! It's nice to have a partner for this trail. She's a great runner and we plenty to chat about :) I am happy and hope you are too, friend.

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  15. Yes, beautiful trails!! Sounds like you and I like to celebrate birthdays the same way. I am interested in hearing more about your Pure Grits. I saw you mentioned on Amanda's Runninghood page that it was your go-to shoe. What do you like about it? Would they work with road running?

    Good to see you are enjoying some mileage again! :-)

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    1. Thanks Tia! Yes, I love the grits!!.
      They would not be my first choice for a road shoe. I am running almost all trail or bark path these days, so that's why they have won as my "go-to" shoe.
      If you were racing or training on a course that had about half and half trail & road, I might still wear them if I knew the trail would be muddy or technical. If the course was mostly trail, even not technical, I would still pick them. If It was mostly road and a very easy trail without mud, I would probably wear the road shoe. The major advantages being the traction, flexibility and the drainage (maintaining a lighter weight in mud or rain) of the grits. The disadvantage on the road would be that on pavement they feel a little bit like running in a soccer turf shoe.

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  16. A birthday run is a must!!! 2 years ago my birthday fell on the same day as one of the half marathons I was running.AWESOME way to start my birthday off!!!

    Happy birthday, I hope you had a great day!

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    1. I bet you enjoyed that, Laura!! Thanks for the wishes :)

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  17. Happy Birthday! Those trails are stunning. What a great way to celebrate!

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  18. Nice pictures! I didn't see the one of the little mushroom. Glad you had fun and hope we can do another run soon!
    --kristen

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    1. Aha!! You popped in to read! Thanks for saying something. I am posting that to G+ tonight for #FungusFriday but will edit my post here too so you can see it! haha. Hope you are well! Thanks for an AWESOME run, Kristen!
      Again..SOON :))

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  19. Happy Birthday! Beautiful pics! I have to say I am a bit jealous of the scenery on your runs.

    Ice cream all the way.

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    1. Thanks, EB! My favorite is ice cream too. :)

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  20. Happy birthday, Raina! What a beautiful trail and great way to celebrate!

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  21. What a great way to celebrate your Birthday! Happy Birthday! Great pics!! We do lots of hikes but mainly walk them because we are carrying huge backpacks with gear on us! We hiked down and out the Grand Canyon this year and it was awesome! I let my better half pack what he thinks we need and I stick to the necessities like chap stick, tissues, gum and music! Have a great week! Cake over ice-cream for sure! Carri~A Running bee

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    1. I like your style with the gear distribution, Carri! :) The Grand Canyon is an incredible place.. I have only gone into it by mule! It would be awesome to hike.

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  22. Great way to celebrate your birthday! I'd do the same if I had access to beautiful trails like those. We have a tradition down here of running our age in kilometres to celebrate birthdays. I last did that when I turned 42. Perhaps now it could be laps of the track. But then again, maybe not!

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    1. I think I ran for 39 minutes.. or thereabouts .. on my actual birthday. Definitely not up to that many K's yet, Ewen. :)

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  23. I love running on my birthday. I've run a few marathons about the time of my birthday or wedding anniversary. Makes it even more fun!

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  24. Happy birthday...a little late...beautiful pics!!!
    For my up coming birthday...45 yrs old....I will be running half marathon #20!
    I could not pass this...it is ON my bday!
    01.11.14!

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    1. That sounds like an incredible opportunity, Caroline!!! Enjoy the challenge :)

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  25. Happy belated b day. Love your blogs and info here. I have done some trail running in the Sequoias and the Redwoods. You are so lucky to be up North among all the nature and beauty and those trails. Talk again soon. Thanks

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    1. Thank you! If you ask me- the redwoods are just as nice!

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