Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Snow geese are here!

 We went for our first birding trip of the fall. We noticed last week that the Swans were back in our area, so decided to drive to Skagit county to an area called Fir Island to look for the Snow Geese. Skagit Valley is a great area to view Swans and Snow Geese. It's fields are full of them throughout the winter months. Usually the Swans and Snow geese arrive about the same time. We saw them but, there were just a few of them in the fields - more to be coming soon!!
Our first sighting
(click to enlarge)
 (click to enlarge)
as close as we could get
(click to enlarge)

 When they are all here for the season, the skies are full of birds looking for a nice field to feed on. They are very noisy, I love to watch them lock their wings for the landing.

Here's a picture I took last year of a group that had just been disturbed, they take off all together and then land all together a short distance away.
Snow Geese


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Juice and Apple Butter

I decided to do something else with our apples, we've been dehydrating them the last few weeks & we've got enough dried now I think. So I got out the juicer and made some fresh apple juice - unfiltered.

Then on to peeling, coring and slicing apples for Apple Butter, I haven't made it for ages. It turned out pretty good.

All of this apple talk reminded me of a song we used to sing with our kids when they were small "Apples and Bananas", to help them learn their vowel sounds. 
Click on the YouTube video below the hear the song - enjoy!

I went for a four mile run this morning before I got started in the kitchen. Our friend the northeast wind is back & the first Swans flew over today - all the way from Siberia! I love that they fly over our house! I actually enjoyed putting on layers, gloves and a hat. All of my aches and pains are gone from my marathon run a few weeks ago. I ran about 6 1/2 miles last Saturday with my husband on the North lake Whatcom trail, just finished that one before a wind and rain deluge hit!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grand opening of the North end of the Snohomish Co. Centennial trail!

Yay, the Centennial trail from Bryant north is now finished. I've blogged before about our bike ride from Bryant south, here's the link to that post - and my unofficial/official Inaugural Centennial Trail Marathon, here's the link to that post -  the route is from Dubuque north (13.1 out & back).
I copy and pasted this from the Centennial Trail Coalition of Snohomish County's blog, so you could see for yourself!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grand Opening Announced for North Trailhead 

Snohomish County Parks has announced the opening ceremony for the north end of the Centennial Trail: 

Grand opening 10.00am, Nov. 3, 2012 at the Nakashima Barn/Northend Trailhead. 32328 State Route 9, Arlington

The location is trailhead #1:
Come and join the celebration for this long anticipated opening north of Bryant.  We will post more details about the event as they are made available.
- Here's the link to the "Centennial Trail Coalition of Snohomish County's" blog where I read the announcement - 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inaugural Centennial Trail Marathon

Yes, I did it - I finished my marathon!
8 hours 25 minutes and 10 seconds. I averaged 19:17 min. miles.
I've been training for 6 months with Bellingham fit's marathon training program. I had originally planned on running the Humboldt Redwoods marathon in October, but realized that I wouldn't even come close to finishing in their 5 hour cutoff time. My pace is so slow that I wouldn't even make an early walker start cutoff time in an official marathon event. Most of the Bellingham fit members were going to be running or walking the Bellingham Bay marathon September 30. So we decided to do an alternative course that same day. My husband came up with a great course. We had biked the northern section of Snohomish county's Centennial trail and really enjoyed it, so he figured out an out & back course that would start near Snohomish and cover the southern section that we hadn't been on before. The course would be fairly flat with a gradual incline hill section from mile 14 to 17.
(if you want to see anything in larger detail just click on the photos)


I wanted it to be as official as possible, so I made an official race finisher certificate. Hence the unofficial/official Inaugural Centennial Trail Marathon was created!

My husband rode his bike and carried all the extra water and food I would need. He was such a great help and support to me. By the time we got everything organized it was 8:20 am. Here I am at the start at Dubuque and Machias near the town of Snohomish. Dick had even put a white tape line for me to start at, very official! I used my endomondo gps tracking app during my run. It was pretty consistent with Dick's bike odometer and the course I had drawn up on the endomondo website.

Besides being my support crew, Dick was also the official race director and course photographer. He did a great job of documenting the day.

Mile 6

mile 10 - headed toward the hwy 9 overpass
mile 12 and feeling really good

mile 13.1 I had just gone past the turn around. Just past Otter road.

& coming up the last section of the 3 mile incline (around mile 16) with Dick
Dick getting me food and more water
The above picture was taken at about the 17 mile mark. I had just finish running up the 3 mile incline, and as you can see it was starting to take it's toll on me. I was very tired when I reached the flat part of the trail again. It was such a welcome sight to see that I had made my way up it. Another welcome sight was that my dad had driven all the way from Sequim that morning and had caught up with me. (from miles 10 through 17 there is limited access to the trail) I finally had some on course cheers & another photographer! My mom had suggested he bring chalk and draw pics and encouraging words on the trail. Awesome idea. Thanks mom!
By the time I reached mile 18 I had recovered a bit and was feeling better, although the hill had taken alot out of me. I started trying to run 15 minutes and walk 2 minutes for the rest of the way.

mile 18
mile 21
Shortly after this picture my daughter Melissa and her 3 girls found me. It was so nice to see them and hear their words of encouragement for me. They walked along and talked to me for a bit and then the first of my bonking episodes started. Melissa and the girls got in the car so they could drive to the next trail access location. Dick started a serious "get more fuel in Kim" routine. I had heard that salty baked potatoes were a good thing to eat on long events.  So I had packed a couple for the day. The info. was correct, they really hit the spot. So between them and my Gu's/Margarita shot bloks and Nuun electrolyte in my water, I was hoping I had enough in me to complete the distance. In my previous training runs I had cramped up badly on the 18 mile run. Felt great on the next 20 mile run, but couldn't complete the 22 mile training run because I cramped up again at the 18 mile mark. We have been having a long dry and warm spell for us here in the Pacific Northwest and I have found that I don't do so well when the temps get into the upper 70's.  I had no experience in my training runs past 20 miles, so the next 6 were a little scary for me think about as the day was getting warmer (it eventually got to about 75 degrees that day) and I was getting tireder. I just kept thinking please don't cramp up. I figured I would walk or crawl if I had to but, I WAS going to finish no matter how long it took me. It had been 26 years since I had last run a marathon (Seaside Trails End, Feb.1986) & I am now about 35 pounds heavier. I had torn my left calf a little over a year and a half ago and that was nagging at the back of my brain as well. Would my mind and my body be tough enough to get me through the last few miles?
mile 24
At about mile 23 1/2 I realized I didn't have the energy to run anymore. I had another episode where I felt like I was bonking again, so really concentrated on eating and drinking. All along the trail my dad and grand daughters had been writing hearts and cheers on the paved trail, so wonderful! My great husband got off his bike and walked beside me most of the way to the finish from here on and occasionally we would hold hands. It seemed at times that I really was getting and energy boost just from that simple gesture. I never felt like I was going to quit, I just really wanted my body to be there for me and either not faint (as I felt like I might do off & on) or just cramp up, so I could continue. My brain was doing the hard work! Finally at about 3/4 of a mile it suddenly sunk in that I was truly going to finish. I just felt a sweet peacefulness sweep over me. I had a few moments of pure relaxation and gratitude as I felt the sun warm on my face and I really enjoyed the view of the trail before me.

Smiling and a bit teary as I get near the finish,
because this is what is waiting in front of me!
my dear grand daughters!
My grand daughters had made a finish banner for me to run through!
hugs all around, I had done it!

my dad in the background still being course photographer

My awesome support crew! (Thanks to my son in law Brion for taking this picture)
& here's one - below - with Brion in it! (Thanks Dad for taking this picture) -

and the best finish a grandma could ask for - her grand daughters sharing their "I love you's" with me! Then my dad gave me my last sentimental tears of the day. He went to his car and played from a CD, Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World".
Now that's the way to wrap up the day.
Thanks Dad, I love you.
Here's a breakdown of my mile & overall times -
(click to enlarge)

 Here's the link to the post I wrote about the Marathon's I've run in the past -