Reach the Beach

Babymoon

I have to confess, I don’t really like the term “babymoon”. It’s kind of cheesy but…it’s a nice idea. One last holiday as a family of two before becoming a family of three. When we started talking about doing something, I foolishly considered Vegas. I mean, we both LOVE Vegas and this could be the last opportunity to go before the baby…I can go to Vegas and not drink. It’s not about the drinking for me; I love the atmosphere, the food, the glitz, the trashiness, the gambling…But in the end we decided not to spend the time/money going to Vegas and I’m glad we did. Something a little more low-key was what I wanted by the time the mini-break was upon us and I was glad we decided on the beach.

Even though Bella loves the beach we decided not to take her with us this time. We wanted something relaxing and about us and the one drawback to bringing Bella is that we can’t leave her alone in hotel rooms (she’ll cry) so it makes it difficult going to restaurants and such. Besides, Bella needed some puppy play time! So she spent the weekend with her Auntie Amy (the dog walker) and her boyfriend Raja. 😀

IMG_0097

You think she was excited to go?? 😉

We decided to go to Pacific City, near Lincoln City. Pacific City happens to be a place we’ve been before–when Michael and I biked Reach the Beach! It was kind of a blast from the past to drive part of the route we biked! And to see the monster hill we biked up (and where I threw my bike chain!). We stayed at The Inn at Cape Kiwanda. Michael got a Groupon for it, which was nice.

IMG_0102

Saturday morning I worked out, we packed and ate lunch and Amy picked up Bella. We were on the beach by mid-afternoon. There was a nice break in the rain so we had a chance to go for a walk on the beach. It wasn’t raining but it was stormy. The waves were huge and the tide was coming in.

IMG_5336

IMG_5339

There was a lot of froth on the shoreline, too. It was cool to see. While we were walking there was a break in the clouds and the sun came out just a little bit. Sure it would have been nice to have a perfect weather weekend but even stormy weekends at the beach are fun.

IMG_5341

IMG_5346

IMG_5359

One odd thing–there were bunnies all over the place at the hotel! They were so cute. And you could buy bunny food for 50 cents and feed them (which I didn’t). I guess that’s why there’s so many bunnies hopping around the yard.

IMG_5373

Our room was on the top floor and had a deck and view of the ocean across the street. We had the deck door open the entire weekend so we could hear the ocean. It was nice. The hotel had a “happy hour” on Friday and Saturday nights. We went down for a little bit. Michael had some complimentary beer, I got sparkling cider and they had a cheese plate out where I ate way too much smoked Gouda (it was so good).

IMG_0110

Then we walked across the street to the Pelican Pub & Brewery for dinner. I was craving fish and chips and that’s exactly what I got! And I have to say it was one of the better fish and chips I’ve ever had. Perfectly crispy, great flavor, beer battered fries…it was absolutely excellent! Michael got the fish tacos. It came with a southwest quinoa salad that I had a bite of and it was really tasty.

IMG_0112

Part of the Groupon gave us a credit for dinner and a free beer for Michael. He got the double IPA (which looked and smelled amazing…cannot wait to have my own soon!).

IMG_0115

IMG_0113

The place was packed but the food came out really quickly. Dinner was excellent. We got dessert to go. It was a key lime mojito torte. We hung out in the hotel room and ate the cheesecake in bed. PERFECT.  😀 It was so so good.

IMG_0118

Falling asleep to the sounds of ocean waves and rain is most excellent.

Sunday

Sunday morning we went to a local hole-in-the-wall called Village Coffee Shoppe. It was an odd, quirky little place. A mom and pop type cafe, small with limited seating and a simple and cheap menu. They definitely liked the decorations and the place looked like Valentine’s Day had exploded in there! They even had a sign on the wall counting down the days until Christmas….LOL

IMG_0119

Michael got a sausage omelette and I got the french toast. The french toast was decent. The coffee was really good. After breakfast we went back to the hotel. Michael wanted to watch the Seahawks game and I had intended on working out in the small hotel gym (it had a treadmill, stairmaster and bike). But I sat down in the chair near the deck, listening to the rain and ocean waves and decided to take a nap instead! I’m not the type of person that takes a nap–like ever. Unless I’m sick. But I was suddenly so sleepy. I crawled into bed, Michael kindly took my shoes off (yes I am getting to that stage where I need help with my shoes) and promptly fell asleep for over an hour!

IMG_5390

Once I woke up, I was itching to get out of the hotel. There was a break in the rain so I decided to go for a walk on the beach while Michael worked out with his kettlebell and finished watching the football game. It wasn’t too windy and the walk was kind of nice. The beach was really quiet.

IMG_5396

I ended up walking nearly 2.5 miles, went back to the hotel to shower and change and then we drove to Lincoln City.

IMG_5409

We spent an unlucky 30 minutes at Chinook Winds Casino, then walked around the outlet mall. I got a nursing bra for cheap and ended up buying some really adorable and SUPER CHEAP baby clothes at the Carter’s outlet. Everything was on clearance. We got a few cute outfits and some newborn mittens. By this time we were both getting hungry after skipping lunch so decided to have an early dinner.

Dinner was at Kyllo’s Seafood restaurant in Lincoln City right on the water. We shared the spinach artichoke dip (it was SO good!).

IMG_0122

Michael got the blackened salmon Caesar salad and I got the clam chowder with garlic bread. It was so delicious. The entire meal was perfect and just what I’d been craving.

IMG_0123

We made it an early evening and relaxed watching a movie in bed in the hotel room. The whole weekend was really relaxed and leisurely and exactly what I wanted. I got this photo from Amy:

IMG_0117

Bella caught with her boyfriend Raja! So cute. It was nice to hear she was having such a fabulous time on her own puppy vacation!

 

The Portland Century – Part 3

The Portland Century – Part 3

The Home Stretch

 

Read Part One and Part Two.

I definitely felt a sense of relief when we arrived at the Springwater Corridor. It was where we’ve done the bulk of our training and it felt familiar. I could mentally relax knowing how close we were from the finish.


Heading west on the Springwater Trail means two things: the wind is usually at our back and it’s slightly downhill. Which means we can make up a lot of time by going pretty fast on the trail. The only downside is that there are a lot of stops for roads/intersections.


Michael and I stayed pretty close together for most of this stretch. We were in a group with other cyclists.



For most of the ride there weren’t any issues with non-cyclists until the Springwater. There was some guy not participating in the Century on his bike who shouted something rude to the cyclists going by, but I didn’t hear what he said exactly. Then a bit later, we were trying to make the light at an intersection and we had 5 seconds left on the signal so we booked it. We made it through the light with enough time but some guy sitting in his car shouted rude comments at us. I thought that was weird and uncalled for, I mean he’d have to sit at that light anyways so why be a jerk? Who knows.


The final Rest Stop came up pretty quickly. I think it should have been placed closer to the end of the Springwater Trail because that’s where I needed it to be. More on that later. We stopped at the East Gresham Park to rest.


This Rest Stop had Hot Lips Pizza! I was not hungry but had a slice anyways. We found some shade to sit down in and I did some stretching.



After stretching and getting more water, we headed out on the rest of the trail. It was the home stretch, mentally I knew how much was left and I was excited.


My back was also starting to hurt. I tried doing lots of stretches while I was on the bike–every few minutes–but it was getting hard to sit still. I was feeling the fatigue in my lower back and my shoulders and neck.


We biked down the Springwater, through Sellwood, and passed Oaks Park. It was cool to be biking where my commute is.

We passed OMSI and I knew I needed to stop and stretch. I was thirsty. I was starting to get cranky and my back HURT. Michael and I stopped underneath a bridge in the shade. I was trying to stay positive and not give in to the Cranky-Pants-I’m-Crashing-Mentality. I could see it looming over me and I wanted to complete the Portland Century with a positive attitude–not like how I finished Reach the Beach or Hood to Coast last year (near tears). I stretched and drank my water (which was hot at this point–yuck) and Michael said his butt was hurting. We both agreed that 70 was the right distance for us–that neither of us were ready for the full 100 yet.

We continued on up SE Water Street in the bike lanes and then we had to wait for a train to go by. That meant another break.




The wait was probably 3 minutes or so. Then we continued on. We were heading East–which was annoying me because PSU was west! I had no idea where we were heading. We crossed a few streets and then the signs said to turn left. There was a group of us turning left together and we all had our arms out indicating as such. A car behind us decided he wasn’t going to wait and he sped up and cut us off–narrowly missing a girl right in front of me. She came within INCHES from being hit! Whoever that guy was, he’s an asshole! Grrr! We turned and looped around a few blocks and then the route took us over the Burnside Bridge.


I’ve never biked over the Burnside Bridge. The bike lanes were nice and wide. We looped around through downtown once we were off the bridge. We biked through the very congested Saturday Market area and then up to Broadway where we biked the last stretch of the course–uphill of course, and with lots of stops at lights. A car almost hit me. I had the right of way and apparently he wasn’t paying attention to the bike lane when he decided to turn right but he stopped just in time and I stopped on my bike. SIGH. People can be jerks to cyclists.

We arrived at PSU and we were finished. And here is where I have two complaints about the Portland Century. 1) There wasn’t a finish line that we crossed. It was anticlimactic to just be DONE. Where’s the banner to ride under?? and 2) There was no stinkin’ medal. I wanted a medal. I paid $70 for this ride, there should be a medal at the end of it. I know that’s petty but dammit, why not?

Portland Century Stats:

Time: 6:28 (with all the stops)
Calories Burned: 3229
Distance: 71.9 miles


First order of business: get our checked bags and change out of our sweaty spandex!


It felt so good to be in real clothes. The next order of business: BEER.


A Widmer IPA. Then we got our gourmet dinner at the finish line. Salmon, salad, grilled asparagus, Dave’s Killer Bread, chicken, orzo salad (which was delicious) and of course dessert:


The salmon and chicken were a little dry but the food was decent and yes–I had two desserts!

We hung out at the finish line for about an hour. We relaxed, drank our beer and ate dinner. There was a band playing awful music, lots of people. We chatted with some guys that did the full 100 and then we ran into my friend Kristin. She volunteered for the event and rode the 33 Mile Route. (She’s also a runner and ran the Boston Marathon this year!) It was such a fun event! We had a blast and I was glad that I was able to enjoy the after party this time. I missed it at Reach the Beach because I crashed so hard and got hypothermia. That was not the case this time (it was 90 degrees!).


We headed home to shower. We were both truly exhausted and struggling to stay awake. Here are some final stats:


As you can see, our actual riding time was 5 hours, not 6.5. That 1.5 hours was sitting at lights and the rest stops. Also, our actual miles were 72.51 biked. That could just mean that we took a wrong turn at some point and got a few extra miles in. Our average speed was 14.4 mph. Michael thinks the elevation was off but I’m not sure.


What a cool app. I’m glad to see the actual stats from our ride to compare it to our training rides.

QUESTION: Have I inspired you to try something like this? 🙂