Gorge Waterfalls 50K, aka The Arena

Remember that one crazy morning in December when I decided to sing up for this? Well, tomorrow is the big day. Here’s an overview of what I have to expect of the Gorge Waterfalls 50K:

“The Columbia Gorge is home to more waterfalls than anywhere else in North America. The race starts out by running to the base of the 620ft Multnomah Falls and passes numerous large waterfalls on it’s way to the turnaround at Elowah Falls. In addition to all the waterfalls, the trail has lots of views out across the Columbia River to the Cascade Mountains to the north. The trail weaves its way in and out of deeply forested creek valleys with moss covering lots of the surroundings, making for a very scenic course even without the big falls!”


While I was looking for my motivation, my mantra, one last big push to get me pumped up, I started to think about how many times I don’t “go for it” because I don’t think I am ready. It only took me about 30 seconds before I lost count. How often do we do that? Think that we will try something when we are better prepared to try.

It takes me back to the “man in the arena”…  You have to get into the arena before you are ready right? That’s what courage is all about; you can’t wait to go for it until you think you’ve got it. Sometimes you have to go for it and get it as you go. I can’t wait around to be the perfect runner for every race. I would be waiting forever (let’s be honest) and consequently miss every moment where my vulnerability would have been a small victory– crossing the finish line, legs tired, doing what they do best.


Tomorrow will be monumental for me because I will actually get myself on the rocky trail that runs along the Columbia River Gorge, embrace the 6,000 foot elevation gain, splash under massive waterfalls, race the Cascades… I will put one foot in front of the other  -ready or not- and go for it.

See you on the other side,



Crater Lake

crater lake

I am giddy with excitement on this post. I did it. I made it to Crater Lake in southern Oregon! It’s the one place I have been dying to go since the day I moved here and we finally found the perfect time to make it happen. John and myself and 2 other couples headed down on Friday to a small cabin outside of the national park. We built a fire and stayed up late playing cards and catching up. On Saturday morning I threw a pot roast in the crock pot (so we could come home to a nice meal) and we all headed out for a fun day of snowshoeing around Crater Lake.

It was possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I plopped down on a ledge of snow and didn’t budge for about an hour. The bright blue sky is reflected in the bright blue water and it is surrounded by beautiful white capped mountains; God’s handiwork over flowingly evident. I couldn’t get enough and we are already talking about making the trip back one summer to take a swim.

John’s fancy new camera has some amazing photos on it but I didn’t want to wait that long to get this post up! These will have to do:



the group


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hand. -Psalm 19:1


new experiences

Today was such a big day for some of our friends. I can remember locking myself in my office 2 years ago today Studyingand inhaling a box of girl scout cookies while I watched the computer impatiently as they called my friends to the stage. John was 5th from the last called (hence why I ate every last crumb of the tag-a-longs). As soon as he said, “Oregon Health & Sciences…” I knew things were going to change.

Fast forward two years later and I find myself sitting at my office desk in Portland, Oregon. A different job, new friends, the outdoors at my fingertips. I am thankful someone convinced me to take a risk and try something new.

I am excited for Patrick and Lauren and Kelly and all the others that learned today where they will spend the next couple of years. I wish I had even an ounce of their brains, determination and discipline to become a doctor.

Last Saturday I met Katy for a run, taught my spin class, then headed home to meet my supper club for a fun day of wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.  We had a driver, everyone brought snacks and we stopped at vineyards we are each members at, making it a very budget-friendly day for all of us!

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First stop for lunch on the patio at Willakenzie.

We rounded out the night with fish burgers on the grill and our first Portland Timbers Game of the season with Ritter and Priscilla. Best day of 2013, by far.

Two weeks until race day. THIRTY ONE (really, Casey???) miles of hilly trails along the Columbia River Gorge. I’ve made a list of 31 things I want to think about during each mile I run. When I hit mile 30, I plan to stop and take in all [almost] 30 years of living and then dedicate my last mile to the start of something new.

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Here’s to new experiences,


smith rock and other things

Smith Rock

Last Friday we piled in the car [again] and headed to Sunriver for the annual Otolaryngology Conference. I had no clue I was going until about a week before, but I was thrilled when John asked me to accompany him. Sunriver is just south of Bend so a day of skiing at Mt. Bachelor was on the agenda. I gathered up my pennies, rented skis, and bought a lift ticket. I wasn’t about to miss out on a fun day of skiing. It was my 5th time to go this season and I am definitely getting better with each attempt.

The residents had to get back to the conference that night and John was one of three presenters (conference attendees vote on the best presentation and the winner is announced at dinner and awarded a large check).  John, a second year resident, beat out two 5th years. I was SO proud. He takes his Boards on Saturday so we went ahead and made dinner reservations at Nostrana for tomorrow night to celebrate.

On our way home from Sunriver we stopped to hike Smith Rock. I don’t climb much but this place makes me want to buy a harness and belay on.

Misery Ridge Trail

Misery Ridge Trail takes you up and around all of Smith Rock. Great afternoon hike.

The group

Our faithful outdoorsy crew: Maria, John, Danny and Ashley.

Monkey Face

Monkey Face. People actually climb this!!!

Smith Rock and Crooked River

Smith Rock and Crooked River. It was a gorgeous day!

  • I made the best burgers EVER for dinner on Monday night. John and Ritter didn’t leave any leftovers.
  • I went to Bunco at Shannon’s Tuesday and had to miss my Lululemon run BUT I got to hang out with ladies that I rarely get to see.
  • Today I hung over 200 incredible pieces of high schoolers artwork in the halls of our building. I wish I had half their talent and creativity.
  • My running has been minimal. Planning to get in a few more 20’s before March 30th! I hate feeling under trained.

It reached 60* today. Maybe that groundhog was right this year…
Hope all of you have a nice relaxing weekend ahead!