Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I won some Skittles, and have been a bad, BAD blogger.


I should have posted this a while ago, but I have been a bad, BAD blogger.
My apologies to anyone who might have been itching for their latest edition of my little updates here. Heh.

Aside from the normal level of craziness, the weather has been good and the kids are now on spring break, so we have been doing lots and lots of outdoor activities. I am fresh out of good excuses, so here's my attempt at cramming a few weeks into one sensible (short) read.

1) I won a race.

In typical Raina fashion, I found a small trail race that had perfect weather, went with the shorter distance, (because running somewhere in the 40-45+ minute time range hard sounded too tough), and came home with the BIG prize. 

This time, the Lucky Clover 5k was truly Lucky for me... Everyone fast must have done the 10k. I won myself a big package of Skittles and some new shamrock pony-O's.

My strategy was to line up near the front and run as hard as my out-of-5k-shape-legs could carry me. 

It worked!

We took off on a trail that had 2 loops and was a combination of gravel, tallish grass, and a very nice dirt trail through a filbert orchard and trees. 

My GPS stopped working right after mile 1, which beeped at 6:49. The other 2.1 miles must have been similar.. (not my best average, but reasonable for the mileage and speed work I have hardly done)

As I got closer to the finish line, I heard them announcing "Overall trail 5k winner" with my name.. which seemed funny at the time. (And I thought I heard them say 24: something.. but I was mistaken.). Apparently the three men who had led were all doing the combination 10k (5k trail+5k road), so I was a winner by default. 

I have no way of knowing if the course was accurate or not, but it was not "rough" for a trail race. So, I'm using this race as a workout, but counting it as full race effort and plugging in that 21:10 to my calculator for training paces until I prove I can do better. 

Not going to lie here.. It feels good to start the year off with a win, even if it was not where I want to be for fitness right now. I was all smiles afterwards- Running is a GIFT I am grateful for.


Yep.. I got LUCKY. :)

2) The trails have been incredible this spring!
Friends and I have been running the #NUT (North Umpqua Trail) recently.

A few weeks ago we hit a segment that I hadn't been on (There are still many I haven't been on!).
This section is 15 miles and the joke is that it is uphill from both directions.

In a way it is the truth. There is a net downhill if you park and run down river, but there is a plenty of elevation gain to be done any way you slice it.

A little work needs to be done to get the trails ready for summer traffic.


We headed out, but turned around at the top of the highest climb and ran back (eliminating the need for 2 vehicles, and also the need to run UP the mountain again. haha).

All in all it was about 12 miles, but the time spent running was much longer than it would be on the road.


The view from the first big climb.. overlooking the highway that goes to Crater Lake National Park.


We had more than a few water crossings.. some with bridges some without.

It was raining, but our feet felt great after the initial cold water treatment!
Late edit- The awesome lady is my running partner, Kristen. 
My own, dear, dad thought it was me ☺ 





A few land slides to overcome.. Not bad, just don't look to the side; it's straight down to the river.


No bridge? No worries! Taking my Altra Lone Peaks for a swim :)




3) I don't brag on my kids enough, but I am including this today because I am incredibly proud of my boys. This school year has been demanding for them, but I am SO happy to see their progress, especially in reading and writing. My middle son, who is 6, and had forgotten how to read when we enrolled him at the home school/charter school co-op, wrote this:


It took him about 4 different days, broken into pieces, and with lots of spelling help. He chose the topic, but followed the formula/ writing guidelines. I dictated his own writing to him to rewrite. And, doing this day-in-and-day-out is why I have, at times, had to leave my blog to the crickets.

That said, it has been completely worth the time investment to see the progress made. I hope we can continue this academic arrangement next year. Time will tell.
***

Have you ran any races lately?

Trail running ... love it or hate it?

Are you super proud of anything with your kids or yourself recently?

56 comments:

  1. Congrats on the win of your first race of the year! Prizes that I can eat or use are my favorites. Last year, I had my first look at the Statue of Liberty. If he hasn't seen his favorite landmarks yet, I hope he gets the chance to someday soon. Nice writing!

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    1. Good to hear from you, Tina. M. has never seen either of these landmarks in real life.. Hopefully a family trip will happen to one or both!

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  2. Congrats on the win. It looks like a difficult path, it means that you are very fast and competitive.
    The photos are priceless.

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    1. Well, I am very competitive, but not so fast right now. haha. Thanks, Stefano. I hope you are better soon and have a great week!

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  3. Congrats again on the big win! Thanks for the great summary! Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thanks so much, Fred! Hope you are recovering well from your recent HUGE accomplishment.

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  4. great job on your win! And love those pictures of Crater Lake National Park.

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    1. Thanks, Chris! I am glad you enjoy the photos. These were actually outside the park and down river many miles- but the park is certainly worth visiting too!

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  5. Congratulations, nice pictures.!!!

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    1. Thank you, Manuel. Great to hear from you!!

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  6. great job raina - a win is a win!

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  7. Love this pics. I don't "race" often. Usually am taking kids to fun runs and participating. I like just showing up the day of a race and winging it. I love trail running. Limited opportunities where I live. Keep sharing! Joel J

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    1. Sounds like your kids are having a lot of fun along with you, Joel! Enjoy the chances you get :)

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  8. You know me...I love trail running! I don't do it as often as I'd like, mostly due to time constraints and safety concerns. (Boo!) But nothing refreshes my soul quite like a long, quiet run on the trails.

    Congrats again on your win. Amazing that you can run sub-7:00 miles in long grass, gravel, etc. Once you get your racing speed back, you are going to be bringing home more awards for sure!!

    As for being proud of my kids, yes, they do so many little things that make me proud. My son just got accepted at a high school where he applied so I am super proud of him right now! And my girls are progressing in swim lessons, which also makes me proud. :)

    Keep posting your beautiful trail pics, Raina!! xo

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    1. I am really happy that he got in! That will be great for the next 4 years of prep- certainly something to be proud of too!
      I love trail running, but think it's good I really only get the "pretty" trails once a week or so- or I'd be spoiled!!
      Good to hear from you :) !

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  9. Great job on the win even though I have no doubt it was tough. You always take the best photos - really really cool! And, trail running - definitely don't love, but learning not to hate it as much - ha.

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    1. Thanks about the race and the photos!
      I doubt you hate trails.. you just just haven't met the right one yet, ha. :)

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  10. Woohoo! I'm not at all surprised about the win. :) Your trail pictures make me so jealous- I know there are some good ones here, but I'm too new to have it all figured out. That's a goal for the spring and fall before winter comes around again!

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    1. Yes!! Grab yourself a partner and go do some exploring. You will have a ton of fun. Thanks for the comment, Laura. Great to hear from you!

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  11. Congrats on the race win! That is awesome.

    Beautiful trail pictures. Like running in a post card.

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    1. Thanks Mike! It does seem that way a little- happy to be near my slice of postcard. Hope you have a great week!

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  12. Well done! Good time for a trail 5k too. You would have been F1 in our local 8k trail race last Saturday - the winning time was 44:35. Beautiful trail again. I remember when we drove to Crater Lake the snow drifts were about 20ft high!

    I'm always racing - raced twice last weekend. Love trail running and easier/short trail races.

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    1. The highway goes uphill fast from where we were.. It's a low snow year though at CL, (about 4500 ft above this trail) No doubt there are snow drifts there this time of year despite that. Keep on that racing! It makes you feel alive :)

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  13. Awesome prize! Great job on the 5k, I am signed up for a 5k this weekend, but not sure if I will run it or not, I have developed a new foot niggle. annoying

    NUT looks like a beautiful place to run!

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    1. Sorry about the foot niggle.. it's always hard to tell at first if an injury will go away on its own or not. If you race, I hope you have a blast and bring home the goodies!! Thanks for the comment, Christy!

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  14. Congrats on your big win!! How exciting. I hope you enjoyed your prize! The trails looks so green (and wet)!

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    1. Thanks! Green and damp, but not too cold and very refreshing. Hope you have a great weekend, E!

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  15. Winner! Nice! Love the pics. Enjoy the beauty!

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    1. Thanks! Always good to hear from a favorite loopster :)

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  16. I'm super proud of YOU, winning the race - that is brilliant! Enjoy those Skittles!!
    Your trail run looked amazing, and I would have loved to be there! I ran a trail race in the weekend which was the complete opposite - hot and dry!

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    1. I bet it is HOT there this time of year.. fall is coming for you, and some lovely cool weather. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Sherry.

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  17. Those pictures are gorgeous! I have run a few little 5ks lately and even got a "jogging stroller PR." That's about it over here! :)

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    1. Haha!! A jogging stroller PR is awesome! I have an award from a race I ran with one that will always be special to me.

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  18. Congrats on the win! I think Skittles are a great prize. And as always, your photos are stunning!

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    1. Thank you, Cassie! Sour skittles, even! Hope you have a great weekend :)

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  19. How exciting!! Congrats on your win, such a fun prize! Love all your fabby pics makes the desert I live in look pretty boring! Awesome job by your son! Carri~A Running bee

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    1. I don't think the desert could be boring.. it is SO cool! We should trade locations for a week :) Thanks so much for your comment, Carri!

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  20. Congrats on the win, that's fabulous! Yum, Skittles!

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    1. Thanks Kristy! It's plenty o' sugar for me. :D Hope your training is going well..about to go check in on it.

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  21. The pictures are great
    This is the only way I will get to see your land and your trails.
    I don't do trails much. I am a bit unsure of my footing. But I would have definitely done them 50 years ago if trails had existed then.

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    1. Haha! I love that- before roads there might have been trails. :) Yesterday we hit it again, but I went at a pretty easy pace. I am not very graceful, so have to pay attention for rocks and roots, especially on the NUT. Thanks for commenting, Geoff!

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  22. Skittles! Hee! What a great prize. Congratulations! I think I would dissolve with your wet conditions, glad they don't keep you from the trails. Me, I'm a desert flower!

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    1. It really was not so bad- but you might like the dry summer mornings better up there. You can have your wind and I'll keep the waterfalls and rain :)

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  23. I love that you won Skittles. Congrats on the great time! I love trail running, I haven't done enough of it lately. Need to take the ride and do it! Great pictures, I always love seeing what you post.

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    1. Hope you can get to some trails soon! So good to hear from you :)

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  24. Amazing views, as usual :) .

    Congrats on that win!

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  25. Racing a trail 5k myself this weekend! Expecting the best and planning to be tough no matter what, I'm just happy to be out there:) Sadly, I know there will be no Skittles at the finish...

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    1. Yes!!! Love that you are back to racing!!! Maybe there won't be skittles, but there's always the thrill of the race, and maybe some prize money :)

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  26. Love the pics and the course looks awesome.

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    1. Thanks Thomas! Long time, no hear. Hope you are doing well!

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  27. Great work on the win Raina - you have SOME speed! But those trails - that's what I'm really jealous of. Gorgeous! And hey - keeping it all up and helping your kids to learn - you're doing great!

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    1. Thanks Petra! I hope you can come out here and run them with me someday!

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  28. Those are some beautiful trail pictures! And congrats on the win! I got to see some cool newts a couple weeks ago too! They are amazing creatures aren't they?

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    1. They really are so neat. Thanks for the comment John! I bet you are enjoying your own amazing trails these days. :)

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