Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spring in Oregon, a.k.a, the early runner gets to see the early bird get the early worm

Marci and I have been training for the Newport Marathon that's at the end of this month. Two weeks ago was our 16 mile run, and we tried to get it done as early as we could, because we had so many things to do that day. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not a natural runner by any stretch of the imagination, but Eugene is the perfect place to learn how to love running. There's tons of great trails everywhere throughout the city. We've been doing our long runs on the Amazon Creek bike trail that follows a cool little creek, and it passes some beautiful wetland areas as it winds through the city. Because we left so early, we were able to see some awesome wildlife up close. Aside from the fauna that we typically see, we saw a great blue heron, a pair of great egrets, a nutria, a painted turtle sunning itself in the stream, an American kestrel, cinnamon teals, a killdeer and we saw one of these trekking across the bikeway that I later found out was a Ranchman's Tiger Moth caterpillar:

All of these new sights, plus the fact that we used power gels for the first time (it makes you feel hardcore), combined to give us a little boost. Although seeing all the new animals was great, the animal that gets the sixth-man/cheerleader award for helping us out is the red-winged blackbird.

We saw dozens of them, and they have a really cool song that kept us going. You can hear their call by going here.
Oh, and my brother-in-law Matt definitely gets an honorable mention for making our runs a success. A long time ago, he gave us the audio book of World War Z, and I've been listening to it a little bit at a time as we run, and I finished it the day of the 16 miler.
I obviously haven't posted for a long time, so I have a few more random, spring in Oregon pictures.

I rowed with the UO Crew team in the fall, and they had their home regatta at the quaint little lake where we practiced, so we took a trip out to Dexter Lake to cheer the team on. This picture is actually of the women's crew team.

This pair of massive magnolia trees are right between the building where my office is located and the building where I teach. The picture doesn't even begin to convey how impressive and beautiful they were when they were blooming. Oh well, traduttore/traditore I suppose.


becky rigby said...

Brands, love the pictures. I can't wait to hear how your marathon goes.

Michelle said...

Good luck with the marathon! That's pretty impressive that you're both going to do it! I've never been to Oregon but it sounds pretty awesome!

Scott and Kourt said...

Good Luck with your run. There is nothing like a good marathon.

Sherrie said...

To quote Dwight K. Schrute...
"If you want to feel like a champion, you've got to FUEL like one."

(...said as he's downing a power gel. I thought of it the second I read that part of your post. Good luck to both of you!!)

Gabe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabe said...

Hey, haven't spoken to you in 10 years, but I live in Newport now and if you and the fam want to stop by for dinner (or breakfast - carb load with some alfredo, whatever) drop me a line.
Gabe Phillips (Viva Huesca)