Saturday, January 14, 2012

Angels Rest Hike (and a little about races!)

January 14th, 2012

I've been a lazy updater! Before I talk about the hike I went on with Anise last Saturday, I wanted to give myself a little happy pat on the back. Since Xmas I decided I should probably get a little more serious about losing the extra weight I've gained from being a bit less active. I realized that I mentioned it a lot and it was just bringing me down so I became one of those calorie counter people. (I know! yuck!) But it works! I am here to report that 20 days later I'm down a healthy (and respectable) 7lbs. Do I look much different? Nope! Things fit a little better but it's more just a confidence booster at this point.

I've started training again for my 1/2 on April 1st. Last year at the Race for the Roses I ran the 5k but I signed up for the 1/2 this year. I signed up really early because that's when you get the pretty great deals and this was a pretty great race (with lots and lots of goodies at the end - bagels, yoghurt, fruit, granola, free lbs of coffee, a free finisher picture, an awesome shirt - and who doesn't love all that stuff? Okay, to be honest, I've not really been training very seriously, just getting outside for 3-5 mile runs - but it's a start. I did load up my google training calender with runs though. Same with last time, it's more of a "suggestion". I don't do well with running schedules (especially because of weather variables) but the calender does act as a reminder of where I should be so I can somewhat stay on track!

The only other races I have planned right now are the one at the end of January (because it was free!), the Shamrock run with Cliff and Kim (yay!), and Run Girlfriend Run at the end of May with Anise. If the Run for the Cheetah is happening again I'll gladly sign up and do my best running up that crazy 900ft elevation gain hill again.

Onto my hike!

Anise came and stayed with me last weekend and we wanted to do something fun. Her birthday was on Tuesday (she is 12 now!) so we celebrated by doing a lot of fun things but one was a hike up Angels Rest in the Gorge. It's about a 45 minute drive from Portland and really close to Multnomah Falls. The hike is short but the elevation gain is significant (about 1550) and over 2 miles that made for some good exercise!

There were a few other people with the same idea as us, because we saw a lot of people on the trail. Someone was nice enough to take our picture near the bottom.

It was really muddy and there were a few parts where I thought maybe we should turn around because I wasn't sure how I was going to make it back down the steep parts without wiping out - but we kept on - and I'm glad we did! The views as you are hiking up are just little previews of how amazing they are at the top. Here are some pictures from the hike up:

Views of the Columbia

Cooper Falls

Anise stopping for a break to enjoy the view!

Hydration is important people!

There were a lot of switchbacks

Near the top you start walking over a section with lots of rocks.

The top! The outcrop of rocks is what is called Angels Rest. We hiked up a little higher to a rock so we could overlook the entire Columbia and have our picnic lunch. We packed sandwiches, fruit, carrots, hummus and a couple caramels. We started to get cold pretty fast though as it was chilly! I was smart and wore lots of layers (which wasn't so great on the way up) and was thankful I packed a hat, but Anise left hers in the car. Brr!

We were above this foggy/clouded area and it made the whole hike pretty magical feeling. I took a couple more pictures and we headed back down.

One of Anise and I before our picnic. I was really sweaty :)

Pretty snow topped mountains in the distance

Someone offered to take our picture again on the way down. No smiles from Anise!

And finally, my favourite picture ever of the entire hike! I LOVE living somewhere that is so beautiful.

Don't you just wish you lived here??

The website said it would take 3-4 hours but we conquered the 4.6 miles in a little over 2 hours (plus we ate for at least 20 minutes at the top). I think we did well! I know my legs and gluts were really sore a couple days later and I hope to go up there again when it is a little less muddy. I also would like to hike up a bit further to Devil's Rest, which is a couple more miles up.

That night I bought Anise a massive cupcake called "Chocolate Explosion" from Whole Foods and also treated her to some gelato. I wanted to bake something delicious but my toaster oven is kind of sad. She loved it though and even she couldn't finish the whole thing.

I made her a homemade birthday card (I've been all crafty recently and getting into lots of random projects) and I thought it turned out well. Yay for cardmaking!

This weekend my only goal is to get a 70 minute run in and catch up on some rest! I meant to run yesterday but a close friend from the UK (Trish!) is in town so I spent the day with her. I think I may break out the video games because I can't seem to sleep in anymore and clearly I need a reason to stay up really late engrossed in some RPG. I'm going to go old school and play some Final Fantasy. It's pretty chilly outside and the forecast said it is going to snow in Portland tomorrow! That means we'll maybe see a couple flurries, but it's still exciting. This also means snow on the mountain - and I think next Thursday or Friday I'll be going up for a day of skiing!

It was a long update, but I had a lot to catch up on! Go outside and enjoy some nature! And take pictures! :)


  1. Nice work on getting down 7lbs! Since quitting my job I have gained about 10lbs. Apparently not being stressed all the time means that you eat more :) Also, while I feel like I exercise more than I use to we also don't leave the house a whole lot which means that I snack a lot and generally move around less. I am hoping to be able to get into a rhythm and loose the weight over the next three months. That is my goal. So with that in mind it makes me so happy to read that 20 days in you are already doing awesome.

    Also, the photos from the hike are beautiful!

  2. Thanks! It was such an awesome hike! I read your Spencer Butte one, which was what got me to finally get around to posting mine :)

    Not being stressed does wonders for your brain but not so much for your body. Plus snacking is so easy. I eat more when I am single and living alone so I have to be careful, especially when I'm not active. It's harder in the winter though because it's dark all the time, and especially since I'm working when it's light out, I am not motivated often to go for a run in the dark. (and I don't think I'll ever be a 6am runner).

    Good luck! I think even just walking 30-40 minutes every couple days (with a little running to get the heart rate up) would make you feel good. At first I usually eat more when I start running but it evens out. Plus, c'mon, you gotta train for the Shamrock run ;)

  3. Congrats on the weight loss!!

    Gorgeous photos, and what a cute card you made her. :)