Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There's Place Like Home....

Especially during the holidays!!!!

I was able to score a quick trip home to Oregon, at the cost of Adam having to do some work out there. Business for him in Oregon and I got to tag along, lucky me!!! I needed a "mountain and fresh air fix" and headed west for a few days. Along with visiting my family, I was planning on doing some running, and playing in the mountains.

I packed my "medium" warm running gear. No need for the heavy stuff running in the outskirts of Portland, even in December. However 10 min. into my first run, I am stripping off a layer. It was a damp 50 deg, out in the morning and I was too hot. I have taken some down time from training since my last cross race, so I was looking forward to just going out for a run with no agenda. My parents live in the foothills of the Cascades 40 miles from Mt. Hood. So it is very hilly there....like real hills, and way too scenic. I had a big fat smile on my face the whole run. Even huffing up the hills.

We also did a little Christmas shopping, Christmas cookie baking, relaxing, and decorated a tree.....but

the other part of this trip was supposed to be a "no work, no computer, no Blackberry, no "training or racing" trip for Adam and I. I try to nail him down on this 1 x a year. I think the only way for this to really happen would be to take a cruise (no cell towers.....but I'm not a big fan of cruises), or trek off some remote location like Mt. Everest. But we came really close with a trip up to the top of Mt. Hood and a night stay at Timberline Lodge. We weren't looking to summit the peak, just hang out in the mountains. The ride up there is amazing, even when raining. We hadn't planned to ski, or really know what we were going to do, which makes it even more adventuresome. I had wanted to snowshoe/hike, but daylight hours were limited by the time we got up there. We checked out the lodge (very cool old place actually filmed in parts of THE SHINING!), with the snow has high as the windows on the 2nd floor. My only request was to get out there and do something in the snow. So we decided on night skiing, and it was awesome. The slopes weren't crowded and as the sun started going down it cleared up and it looked like you could see all the way to California!

Its always hard to leave there, but stepping off the plane back in Chicago, and I am faced with work, a Christmas party, 2 days left until Christmas, hosting Christmas eve dinner, and the start of our basement being framed and dry/walled. I may have gotten a little out of shape during the past 2 weeks, but I am up to the task. I know how to dig deep during crunch time like late in a race when you've dropped your gu, or salt tabs, ( or like the time during Horribly Hilly when I missed the last aid stop and its 100 deg. out) Its exhausting, sometimes but worth it in the end!

Happy Holidays!

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