Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ft. Ebey Trailblazer hike

Could our group of Senior Trailblazers ask for a better view for today's hike?

18 of us led by our "Fearless leader - Pat", enjoyed the trails adjacent to Whidbey Island's Ebey State park. Today we (group 2) met an hour earlier at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center at a time of 8am. We'll meet at this earlier time until next fall.

Pat, "fearless leader"
This area has many forks in the trail and signs to follow or get lost by.

We really didn't succeed in getting lost, but we did succeed in having a most excellent hike in a beautiful forest. We ate lunch among the Salal, Madrone and Rhododendrona's.

Today's hike was a bit of up, a bit of down with a whole lot of turns and a whole lot of fun!

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 6.4 miles
Minimum Altitude - 62 feet
Maximum Altitude - 272 feet
Total Ascent - 554
Total Descent - 430 feet

Sunday, April 26, 2015

North Butte Via Alternate Incline trail

For our Sunday "fun day" we decided on the North Butte located on Blanchard Mtn. We were exemplary citizens today. We forgot our Discovery Pass so we actually bought a day pass. :-(
When we began today it was 53 degrees, but it was a chilly 53 degrees. I of course forgot a second layer, but gradually warmed up after we got going. It's been awhile since I'd been on the Alternate Incline trail, it starts out gently enough but holy cow after that it just keeps going "UP". 

We walked quite a bit on our way up to North Butte. Whenever it leveled out we attempted our jog.

The skies were clear enough that we got some good views of Bellingham bay. There was a chilly breeze on top, but it wasn't consistent and whenever it let up the sun felt really nice.

our "selfie"
We even saw some wildlife, on the Butte 

cute little chipmunk
 and in the forest ;-)

Lily Lake
fern in the stream
The trail down from the Butte was a nice downhill for about 4 miles.
It's been awhile since we'd run on a trail together and I really enjoyed it.

Endomondo stats:
Total - 7.12 miles
Minimum Altitude - 802 feet
Maximum Altitude - 2230 feet
Total Ascent - 1393 feet
Total Descent - 1374 feet

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trailblazing Spartan

When our group of Senior Trailblazers hiked last week, our fearless leader "Pat" explained that this week's hike would need to be to a different destination as the access road to the Rock trail had a slide on it. The hike was to be Lost Lake from the Rock trail - 9 miles and moderate, but as soon as I received my email from our chief correspondent "Ginny" I knew I wasn't going to go on today's hike. Pat had switched the destination to Raptor ridge from Arroyo park, the distance would be 9 1/2 miles for the days total. I had hiked up it with my husband in March of this year on a modified route, you can read about it HERE & with the Group 1 Senior Trailblazers in May of 2011, you can also read about that trip HERE.
I am a bit sore this week from all of my Spartan workouts, especially since I did a practice course on Sunday (if you're interested in reading about that fun day, click HERE). and I also ran around the Stimpson Reserve  trail Tuesday with 10 BURPEES every 1/2 miles (100) & a home WOD after.
As the weather was predicted to be cloudy and some rain, I knew there would be no view from the top. 
So a shorter run and workout for me instead today.
I went to Lake Padden and ran 1 loop around it, a total of 2.69 miles. I took this picture of the lake on a different day, but it gives you an idea of where I ran.

I did 10 BURPEES at the start and at every 1/2 mile, then at the finish for 70 total burpees on the run. It was raining lightly when I started, but it wasn't bad at all.
Then when I came home I did the rest of my workout.

20 more burpees, so the days total was 90
Walked with a heavy medicine ball on my left shoulder the perimeter of our back yard & then repeated that on my right shoulder
1 minute balance walk
25 heavy medicine ball throws (squat lift it from ground, lift to shoulder height & push from chest throw)
30 seconds straight arm hang from rings
50 (small jump start) pull ups on rings - 25 with palm grip facing away & 25 with palm grip facing towards me

There you go, that's what I did today instead of a hike. 

Two weeks and 2 days till the Montana Spartan Sprint race day.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spartan Sprint Practice day

Time to do a simulated Spartan Sprint race. 
Since it's less than 3 weeks away I thought I should do a practice run of the Montana Spartan Sprint event, so I can get a general feel for what I'll be going through.
Sunday "fun day" became "Spartan Sprint" day.
Our daughter and son in law are Spartan competitors and they have built Spartan Obstacles in their yard to help with their training. Yay!
Our son in law "Brion" did a great job of getting their place ready for the day. He made up sheets with all of the obstacles we would be doing, so we could check them off and keep track of the number of penalty burpees we did. Since this was just a practice run, I only did 5 burpees per missed obstacle, instead of the required 30. The Sprint distance can be anywhere from 3 to 5 miles and 15 to 20 obstacles. They also added fun touches to the day to make it feel more like the real thing.
They had Spartan tape along our starting trail, the emblem on the hay bales and a past race headband for me to wear!

Some of the obstacles we did would simulate an obstacle but some of them were pretty much what we would have to do. Overall I felt pretty good about what I was able to do. If I were to lose 30 lbs. and get more upper body strength that would be really helpful, but I have to go with how I am now. At least I know I'm heading in the right direction. 
Here's some photos of the day -

Rock wall
Cargo net
Cargo net
Running and more running
Lateral rope
Slack line with support rope
Tire flip
Tire flip
Tire flip
Spear throw
Under & through 8' wall
Over 8" wall
Sand bag carry/bucket carry
The ever present BURPEE practice


Chest has to touch the ground & the push up

Jump off the ground & clap over head to finish burpee
Before & After group photos.

Our course was 4.2 miles and 15 obstacles.
 I declined the rope climb, I'm going to skip it in the race & just go right to the penalty BURPEE zone. 
I fell off of the balance areas & rock/traverse wall & missed the spear throw.
Not too bad for my first simulated event.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bowman Bay/Pass Lake Trailblazer hike

We were blessed with a beautiful, warm and sunny day for our trip to Whidbey Island. Today's hike started at Bowman Bay. If you click on the photo below to enlarge it you will see the Olympic mountain range in the distance. I could have just sat and stared at that view all day.

17 of us carpooled from the Bellingham Senior Center to this glorious spot.
What some of us thought was a solid log to crawl over, others in our group found that it really was.....

"rotten" & easily fell apart.

We made our way back to the hwy via the trail, to Pass lake.

We crossed the road and made our way to the Pass Lake parking lot.

After walking along the Pass Lake trail for a short ways we came to the trail junction for the Ginnett trail, which we headed up for lunch. While we made our way up to the viewpoint, our fearless leader Pat told us the history of the area. The property was once owned by the Ginnett family, and they had donated their land to the State parks. One of the snippets I found interesting was that there was a forest fire that happened in 1909 and the Ginnett's hand planted trees to restore the forest.  

We enjoyed a nice view of Pass lake while we ate.

 I had never been on this particular trail before and I would really like to go back. The forest was really nice with Douglas fir, Cedar, Hemlock trees and a few Madrona's here and there. Ferns, Salal, Vinca,

 Lady's Slipper

 and even a few of these flowers identified by Helen as Dogtooth violets or Avalanche lilies.

As we hiked we were serenaded by birds singing here and there throughout the day.
We then finished up our hike by walking the rest of the Pass Lake loop.

As we strolled along at the finish of the hike, We were bathed in the warmth of the sun and the warmth of good times & good conversation.

I was especially happy today as I had a special friend ;-) join us today.

My sweetie pie
Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 6.6 miles
Minimum altitude - minus 6 feet
Maximum altitude - 461 feet
Total ascent - 762 feet
Total descent - 755 feet