Well, besides the patriotic cake that my sister baked and I decorated.
|Suck on that, Pinterest.|
And of course, the hike we took up Skyline Divide with my dad, with views over the North Cascades, Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker.
Sadly, it was a bit hazy thanks to smoke from forest fires up in British Columbia drifting down. The Pacific Northwest has been much drier and hotter than normal this year, and forest fires look like they'll be a larger than normal problem up there.
I'm pretty sure no flowers are as pretty as mountain wildflowers.
Mt. Baker, also known as Kulshan. It has the second-most thermally active crater in the Cascades (Mt. St. Helens is the most active).
Skyline Divide is a tough hike, climbing roughly 2000 feet in less than two miles before you get to the ridge, which you can hike for several miles more. The views from the ridge are worth it, though, even with the flies you have to contend with before you break above the tree line.
Mt. Shuksan, looking picture-perfect as always.
I have a hard time drumming up much to say about base building, but I'm feeling strong as I head into the last two weeks before marathon training starts. Yesterday, I headed up to LA for a Flywheel class and breakfast with my friend Nicole, from law school, who I hadn't seen in a few months. I have some referral credits to use at Flywheel, but the only location is in LA, which is too far to go for a 45 minute class, even if it's free, so I was glad she was willing to give Flywheel a try with me. We took Lacey Stone's class since I'd heard great things about her teaching style.
The class was great and Nicole really enjoyed her first spin experience. Even better, without even feeling like I was killing myself, I beat my previous record power score by 21 points. That previous PR power score? It was from October 2013, a week before I ran the Chicago Marathon, when I was at peak marathon fitness.
I think I'm in much better shape now than I was then, especially when I look at the times I was running in my 2013 log versus what feels easy now. I'm excited to see how well I can extend that fitness to the marathon distance once I start training.
I believe I've mentioned previously that I'm doing an 18 week training plan for the California International Marathon (CIM). I know it's a long training cycle, but Coach Jess and I agreed that with my unpredictable work schedule, it makes sense to build in extra weeks as a cushion for any craziness that comes up at work.
I'm getting really excited to start marathon training. I have a lot more to talk about when I'm pursuing a plan versus just focusing on getting in quality workouts to build up my base. Plenty of running has been happening (about 20-25 miles a week), and a fair amount on trails, which makes the miles both more challenging and more fun.
In related and extremely exciting news, we're moving to a lovely townhouse that is next to a paved path system that circulates through all of Irvine and covers at least 50 miles total, is close to several trails, and is within a 5 minute drive of Back Bay and a track for speed workouts. We're moving at the end of August, and I'm psyched. It's a place we can see ourselves living for a few years until we can afford to buy a house. After moving every year in all but one of the past eight years (and often moving more than once each year), we are excited to be "settled".
Okay, picture time. Mostly from an incredibly gorgeous evening run I did along the Pacific Ridge of Crystal Cove State Park, but also one from a lovely sunset run I had at Back Bay a few days ago.
It drives me crazy how the San Gabriel mountains never really "pop" in pictures. In reality, they're 9-10,000 ft. tall!