another trip around the sun

Today I celebrated the end of my 45th trip around the sun.  As I’ve tried to do for the past several years, I started the day by running up Mount Si, a 3800′ peak in the Cascade foothills, about 40 minutes east of where we live.  This year I was fortunate enough to be joined by my friends Sue, Tony, and Bob.  This is the first time I’ve had company going up the mountain, and it was easily the most fun. 

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We started out at about 8:30 in the morning, with the temperature a chilly 30 degrees.  On the drive out to the trailhead, I came out from under a blanket of fog to see a beautiful blue sky.  We got ready, then headed out a few minutes after arriving.  The trail up was nice and even, helped by the dry weather (little erosion).  We took some walk breaks on the way up, but kept a reasonable heart rate most of the way.  The trail goes steadily uphill, with few level breaks.

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We clicked off the first mile in just under twenty minutes.  This is a bit of an adjustment.  When you’re running uphill, ordinary pace goes out the window.  Having company really helped here – how can you help but stay positive as you climb when you’ve got good friends to talk with ?

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By the time we reached the 3.5 mile mark, we were running mostly in snow.  There were some very slippery spots, but on the whole, the trail conditions remained pretty good.  It was a bit tricky climbing up past the final stretch of rocks, but we took things slowly and avoided any major falls.

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At the top, the view was incredible.  We stayed up there and enjoyed it for about ten or fifteen minutes before things started to feel pretty cold – time to get moving again!  It took about as long to come down as it had to go up, which always feels surprising.  But, the trip down is when your quads really tend to work hard too, so it makes sense to slow down and take things a bit easy.

And then we were done.  Always a treat to start the day like this.  And it was really nice spending the time with friends.

The evening was very nice too.  Kris prepared a wonderful Thai dinner, and we spent the time with my parents and brother (who is up from San Francisco this week). 

Nice day, and a great way to begin another year on earth.  I feel very fortunate indeed.

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