March saw a total of 103.1 miles covered, and that marks my first sort-of 100 mile month.
30.2 miles were covered on the Wildwood Trail Hike the first weekend of the month. In all actuality this was more like a LOONG walk through the city woods, so I didn't know whether to truly count all the miles as our pace wasn't always heart pumping. Even without the 30.2 miles, I still covered over 70 miles just through running and another hike or two.
View of Portland From Pittock Mansion:
A small waterfall along Wildwood Trail
The trail alongside the creek
So glad to reach Mile 30!
And at the very end--happiness!
The trek went well overall, although the temperature dropped about 8 degrees while we were on trail and the group wanted to break more than what I'm used to. My Raynaud's got going and at one point, I couldn't feel my hands for close to an hour and wasn't able to open a granola bar when we stopped for fueling. There were five of us from the Meet-Up group who did the trek however, and overall it was an enjoyable experience and made it much easier to accomplish than if I had tried to do it by myself this year. First physical activity goal of the year was accomplished!
The hike is part of what pushed me over an emotional hurdle though (and I had a painful somewhat urgent medical issue surface early this month) and so except for the other main event in March that was already scheduled, I've taken lots of rest days this month and have dropped my pace while only running on the days when I really feel called to do so.
The other big event this month was participation in the Shamrock Run 15k:
These pictures are from the Shamrock website, but hopefully it's okay to use them (??). Overall the run went really well. I took it easy with pacing while still navigating around people in front of me that were slower. The start was fairly slow and didn't have the pacing groups they'd advertised, but altogether the race was pretty easy and felt like a regular weekend long run....although with 11,000 other 15k runners :) I was probably overdressed, but I'll take dripping sweat over being too cold any day! :) For most of the 9.3 miles I felt like I had a smile on my face, minus the final trudge of the last crest of Twilliger Hill when as I finally thought to myself "I'm so over this damn hill..." I realized it was the last bit of the hill and I laughed to myself. Heading back down off the hill I picked up the pace and my smile was even wider, although as I passed the amazing veterans carrying American flags while they ran, my mind also thought about those who our nation has lost and about Maggie's running of races in memory of her fallen husband. Once I was down to the final mile, I picked up the pace and sprinted the final half mile to the finish line. My overall pace was 8:44 minute miles. Altogether the event was a nice experience (and a way to raise some extra money for our scholarship students), but if I DO complete a half this year I need to make sure that I have a newer pair of Vibrams!
The dogs and I got in an easy spontaneous hike (with some gentle trail running) Sunday afternoon trying to conquer more sections of Gayles Creek. It was supposed to rain mid-afternoon, but once the sun continued shining I couldn't deny the forest calling. Ironically after treking through the flooding creeks we reached a sign about 4ish miles in that the rest of the trail is closed until summer.... After finding ways to navigate around most of the creek overflows uptrail, it was fun running straight through 1-2 feet of water on the return trek!
But other than the Wildwood event and the Shamrock Run, all the rest of the miles in March were kept slower paced and more gentle on my body. (I also had one Saturday run with a newly forming local meet-up group, but I wasn't a big fan of the leader's style.) I'm still hoping to try to continue averaging 80 mile months during the year, but I'm also not wanting to punish my body. On the weekends I am trying to do the occasional run with an acquaintance who is contemplating training for the marathon this fall, so if I help her with training then maintaining mileage shouldn't be much of a problem in the couple months ahead. It's interesting to see how easily the body adapts, as these days regular 6-10 mile outings don't seem to be any problem.
Next on the goal list for the year to be accomplished: kayaking again. I'm registered for three (free with my tuition waiver) spring outings (and waitlisted for a paddle boarding one) and I'm really looking forward to those weekends. (And I'm oh so hopeful there will be a summer community ed surfing option!)