Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oregon Run

I started my Christmas celebrating early by making a run home to Oregon. My dad turned 65 and I was in the mood for some TLC, and early holiday fun at home in the suburbs of Portland and foothills of Mt. Hood.

We crammed all the typical holiday traditions in a short 5 day visit just to get this season started off right. I'll skip the details of all the tree trimming, cookie baking, shopping (Oregon has no sales tax.....also will soon be the first state to ban plastic grocery sacks!! ) and gift exchanges. But 1 event that topped the list on this trip was a ride on the Polar Express. If you doubt there is a Santa or stopped believing then you should make a trek to Hood River Oregon and board the Polar Express that takes you to the North Pole. Along the way you get all the goodies just like the movie, Hot Chocolate, cookies, music...the hobo, and of course....Santa who will give you a bell and tell you to "believe". How can you not believe after that ! The highlight for me was the bathroom break on the drive there at Multnomah Falls.

how is this for a pit stop!

Traveling home to Oregon always gives me a great chance to get in some scenic and HILLY running. A very welcome change of pace this time of year and much different than the treadmill or the frozen subdivision loops. With no bike, and not easy access to a pool I ran every day. Nothing crazy or long or fast, no special workouts just ran in the hills. I ran on a trail along the Clackamas River, I ran a hard hilly loop curved up hills and down into valleys with grade's steep enough that I could reach out and almost touch the road. I had runs where I turned the corner and had views of Mt. Hood in the distance. Every run I could smell Christmas trees, and wasn't layered in all weather gear. And.... I only got sprinkled on for part of 1 run. During my running I thought a lot about 2010, the good and the bad and changes for 2011. As an athlete with a new year, new season on the horizon it is hard not to get excited for new goals, new challenges and new perspectives. For some reason at 42 I still feel the need to set goals and challenge myself. It may not always be in the sport of triathlon, but have always tried to have something out there.

As a coach this time of year gets busy setting up the yearly plan for athletes. Encouraging them to pick out races, or camps and convincing them to set high goals (and to be specific). Dream big. Why not. There is nothing to lose. In the last few days of 2010, give yourself a holiday treat and go for a run, leave the Ipod at home and indulge yourself on dreaming big and ......

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