Category Archives: Marathon

NWRT Photo Recap… Northern OR hightlights.


Begin NW Road Tour Photo Recap… AZ and NV highlights.



Marathon Finisher!

I made it!

Wildwood Trail Marathon complete! …and I am still alive 😉

(Pre-race, trying to stay warm)

The race was a rough one. The elevation gains and loses, gains and loses…more gains and loses really gave it to me. I trucked up that first thousand feet gain pretty good (thank you adrenaline). I drank some sports drink at the first station around 6 miles in and started the down hill to the uphill to the halfway point (with all the ups and downs between the uphill and downhill, you get the point). Along that second quarter of the race I was running in time with two other women -both of whom had ties to New Mexico. Both of them took a fall and I had a strong feeling with all the rocks, roots, holes and bumps in the trail that my own fall was bound to happen sooner or later. One of the women was also doing her very first marathon, like me. The other woman was on her 19th…yes, 19th marathon!!!What a glutton for punishment! Though, she thought us first timers were the gluttons, doing what she dubbed as the most difficult marathon she had done to date as our first one. I had caught up to them on the downhill section and was thinking I should go on around when we got into the main part of the uphill to the halfway point and they began to pull away again. I really should have done more hill training, I knew that though.

When I got to the halfway point, everyone at the aid station was cheering my name…I was half delirious from pushing up the hill and was thinking “how do they know my name”… when I spotted E, somehow volunteering (no big surprise there) and making several new friends. It was so nice to see a familiar face at the halfway, putting smiles on everyone else’s faces too.

The third leg was the hardest for me. Fatigue setting in a bit and another long climb back to the first station. I set off down from that aid station at a good pace and caught back up to everyone who had pulled away on the way up to the station. Then a few miles later the uphills started getting more frequent again until they were fairly steady and some of the runners kept on pace while I began to falter. Everything started hurting and it was getting harder and harder to tell myself to just keep moving. For once, my strong mind could no longer will my body past the pain and fatigue. The last mile or so before the third (and last) aid station my run up the steepest stretches began to get so slow that it was actually faster and less effort to speed walk it. I felt a bit like a failure for doing this, as I had wanted to complete the race without walking any of it, but since it was actually faster and gave some of my pain spots a rest I let myself. Getting to that last aid station was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was nearly literally all down hill from there. With just over six miles to go, when most people hit “the wall” in a marathon, I was looking forward to the last quarter of the race. The well intentioned aid station volunteer asked if I would like my camelbak refilled as I ran over to the rent-a-john and I said that would be sweet of her. I took it off, handed it over while apologizing for its soaked-in-sweat state and continued on, half listening as she offered ICE water. I muttered “sure” over my shoulder, walking into the relief station. When I came out, I put on the cold camelbak pack and started off. It hit me… ICE WATER and a hot body do not mix well when still trying to perform. Your body has to warm it up to use it. I was getting thirsty though and didn’t want to finish feeling dehydrated so I drank some anyways. Immediately my abdominal muscles were cramping and stayed that way for the next three miles or so. THAT was painful and I soon forgot about anything else that had been hurting. It also made breathing more difficult, as things did not want to expand correctly below my ribs. Never will I make that mistake again!

The last mile was really fun, knowing I was so close and somehow finding those reserves that you never knew you had- that always come at the end of a race somehow- and kicking my way past a few guys. I never did catch up the those two women from earlier in the race, though at the end I discovered the one that was also doing her first marathon was only 2 minutes ahead of me! She was also in my age group.

(Post-race with my finishers metal)

After finishing, I ate some oranges and collapsed in the grass to stretch. After that I walked up to see my final time and placement. As I was walking up they called my name for third place in my age group!!! What a surprise! And then I saw I was two minutes from taking 2nd place. A good race overall. I loved how absolutely secluded and beautiful the Forest Hills Park felt in the middle of big ol’ Portland, OR. A highly recommended race to all.



Amy Jones Albuquerque NM



3 F 20-29



And to dissect this, since not everyone speaks runner, this bar taken from the Wildwood Trail Run site states…

  • I came in 38 out of 81 runners.
  • My bib number was 1436.
  • Age 28.
  • I finished third female in the 20-29 group.
  • My overall time was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 26 seconds.
  • My average pace was 11 minute 14 seconds per mile.

So I definitely missed the four hour mark that I had wanted to meet originally but I am pleased with how well I did over all after seeing the course first hand. The fastest it has ever been ran by a woman was 3:59:42 in 2010. That’s only an hour faster than my finish time and most marathon first placers are well over an hour faster than that usually. It really shows the difficulty of this course. All in all, I FINISHED it and that fall I had expected never came. I would love to do it again… but maybe the, ummm, HALF marathon next time on this course.


“Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.” – Mark Will-Weber

Epic NW Road Tour: Part II

And the adventure continues…

Day 11 of the journey we will drive to Seattle, WA where we will be camping 20 minutes away on a bayside campsite at Dash Point State Park. From there we plan to go explore the city, poke around Capital Hill, find a good co-op and an exciting dog park for Parker Jade. Then late in the evening we have plans to make an epic dinner with our friends we made at Telluride this year. Can’t wait to hang with them again! In the moring, a short run on the beach at the campsite and then start the slow journey back south.

Day 12 its off to my old high school stomping grounds for some dispersed camping action and some brewery recreation! We will be driving over Mt. Hood to Bend, OR. The first day we will head into the woods somewhere<—winging it this night, for some back woods camping. Maybe dinner at one of the many AMAZING breweries there, like the Bend Brewing Company before heading out to claim in spot in the forest.

Day 13 will be a day for the river and The Beer.  First off, a little sunrise jog along the Deschutes River on the First Street Rapids Trail with a possible swim in the river at the end, followed by a Deschutes Brewery tour. After, I will probably want to stop at a few of my old favorites…Pizza Mondo(one of the best pizza shops ever), Of the Earth(super fun clothing store), find a local bead shop(one of my favorite souvenirs to get), and some road snacks for the next day’s drive at Nature’s(happy its still there).

Day 14 we will be driving all the live long day, with Moab and Arches on our minds. This is by far our longest driving day. It should be filled with lots of scenery and books on tape! We will be camping in Green River, UT by the end of the day. We are hoping to pull in mid evening, just in time to set camp and cook up some tasty grub before hitting the hay, errr…. sleeping pad.

Day 15 I will be looking at this from above our campsite! But first we will get up from Green River to drive an hour to Moab to drop off Parker at doggy daycare(found a good’on) since she isn’t allowed on the Park trails and I wouldn’t dream of leaving her in the car in the hot desert. Then its on to Arches to tour the Park to hike around for the day.After the day of hiking, Parker Jade will join back up and we will poke around Moab for the evening before heading to this lovely camp pictured above called Dead Horse Point.

Day 16 we might do another hike for the sunrise view and then find some yummy breakfast. Then it’ll be time to drive back to ABQ, hoping to make it home by early evening.

What a trip!

Epic NW Road Tour: Part I

The huge trip will be commencing shortly!

The planner in me has been in overdrive in the last week getting the last details into place. Trail runs along the way, camp spots, double checking stay dates with friends, finding co-ops along the way to shop at and fun things to do in the cities that we are staying in for multiple days. I have also been picking up last minute items needed such as a sleeping pad, tent stakes since some were ruined at Telluride, tarp for the stuff in the back of the Baja in case of weather, a camelbak for my Marathon, a good stock of dog food to bring along for ParkerJade, ect, ect.

First up is a stop for lunch at the Flagstff Brewery to enjoy some tasty grub and brew before we head down into Sedona, AZ for a quick look on the scenic drive. Then its off to Las Vegas, NV for the night to stay with a good buddy of mine from high school. Normally I would not enjoy staying in a scene like Vegas but since he is a local he shows me around the local spots like this place where we have had brunch several times.

Day two sees us setting off into the deserts of CA. Near the Mojave desert we will be pit-stopping for a training run off of Death Valley Road in the Hollow Hills Wilderness. Then a non-stop Baja flight to San Fran for the night. Walk around the city with Parker, have some wine in the park, get some groceries, and then cook up a mean batch of fresh NW coast crab mac’n’cheese for E’s birthday dinner. In the morning is a training run through the city, down to the beach, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and along the trails in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Day three we will be rushing up the coast to the town I was born in for a Jones Family Reunion! Ha! Hot damn! 😉  Should be a kick in the pants. That eve we will camp at the park the reunion is at or my brother’s yard. Perhaps My nephews would want to camp in the yard with us!

Days 4 and 5 we will be camping up the North Umpqua River, doing some hiking to some waterfalls, swimming in my secret spot, doing morning trail runs along the North Umpqua Trail. We may also tour some of the local wineries back in town. As well as more visiting with family, surely.

Day 6 we’re headed to the Oregon coast! To stay with my very good friend in Coos Bay, visit the beach, catch up and play with the kiddos. Hopefully cook up a nice dinner so my friend can have a night off from being the world’s best wife and mom. The next day we will be doing a training run along a cliff overlooking the ocean on the farthest western point of Oregon down to the oldest and tallest lighthouse on the coast! Called the North Cape Trail in the Cape Blanco State Park.

Day 7 its off to Eugene, OR for lunch at one of my favorite spots, either McMenamin’s High Street Brewery & Cafe or The Bier Stein and then maybe  Sam Bond’s Garage afterward for one of the music nights on the patio with friends from the area. We will be staying the night with another good friend from high school at her home in lovely West Fir, OR, not too far away from Eugene.

Day 8 after a short hike and hopefully cooking up some yummy brunch for another professional full time mom friend we will make like babies for Portland, OR. The first day there I just want to relax in preparation for my marathon that is happening the next day. Maybe visit with a friend and go to bed early.

Day 9 is THE MARATHON! So I will be up early to have a carby breakfast of the usual english muff with peanut butter. Then I have to set out for the race to pick up my packet around seven am. The race starts at 8 am and hopefully I will be finished somewhere remotely close to four hours later. Awards and metals (finishers for me!) and pictures and such and then on to a post race celebratory meal! I want to eat at this place called The Farm Cafe, gorge myself really… cause I will deserve it! Then maybe beers with a friend somewhere or a movie at The Kennedy School. Though that would be hard with Parker since we are still trying to find a place to stay at, let alone somewhere for Parker to hang out while doing such activities.

Day 10 is about exploring Portland fun. Some of the usual hits, mixed with some events and whatever else comes alone. There is never a shortage of things to do! The Portland Saturday Market will be a stop after breakfast at my favorite spot, Mother’s Bistro and Bar, then onto the 24th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival. Powell’s bookstore will be on the list, the coolest dog park we can find for lil Parker  and then we shall see what else we come up with between now and then…

Stay tuned for Part II of the Epic MW Tour

Sweet accomplishment!

20 miles run under my belt!

20.8 mi to be more exact. And though it took me four hours due to various reasons, I am feeling MUCH better about being ready for my marathon now.

It was in the nineties by the middle of my run and I also ran out of water at around mile 14 but I still (deliriously) made it through and back to my house with a few short stints of walking it the hottest areas. Talk about extreme training.  With that in mind and a steady four hour training run accomplished and the elevation in Portland being four thou lower than here at the highest point of the marathon I am not as worried about that mystery 5.2 miles I will be doing in 11 days.

Not that I am not nervous still… cause my stomach tightens every time I visit my marathon’s page!

BUT, yay I accomplished a 20 miler non the less!

21 Miles later...

Now I am super stoked for some shorter and hopefully faster runs over the next few weeks as well as the upcoming road trip home.

I will be doing more training runs in:

  • Las Vegas (or perhaps at a stop somewhere in So Cal on way to SF)
  • Bay area in San Fran
  • North Umpqua National Forest (right near my birth city)
  • Along the Oregon coast in Coos Bay

And then recovery (post race to prevent muscle ache) runs in:

  • Portland area
  • Seattle area
  • Bend, OR area
  • Moab/Arches area

Much to look forward to!!

Quiet for a reason…

Obviously, I have not been including much of anything for posts on training for my marathon.

(Which is only 17 days away…17!!!)

There are several reasons for this quiet…

  1. I have severe lack of motivation to train right now. Its like my running shoes have been dried into some kind of invisible cement so that whenever I tie them on it becomes SO difficult to take that first step (even toward the front door!). If fact my aversion lately is like my hands are anti-magnets to my shoes when its time to pick them up. My poor shoes… I have just gotten so far behind during field school that I already feel a failure.
  2. It is hard to post about my downturn in my training because then its like holding myself accountable. Like if I don’t talk about how hard of a time I have been having then it won’t really be true.
  3. I have been so busy in the last month that I have not had sufficient enough time to properly train, let alone post about it. I checked when I signed up for doing my field school last month if I would have time to still train, logged everything we would be doing into a schedule so I could plan my training into the schedule to make sure even, and then there were days where we were going from breakfast to tours to hotel check-ins and dinner and talks after that til our schedule was ending up being 14 and even 16 hour days. It was so frustrating that I double checked and planned for everything and still did not get sufficient personal time for training(This could turn into a rant needing its own full posting so we will stop here).
  4. The Bosque has been closed due to fire danger so my in-city trail running options have dwindled, are mostly paved options, and I am too uninspired by my surroundings to talk much about them lately.
  5. I no longer have access to a nice running program, any running program in fact, to keep good track of my running stats to have anything to talk about there. I can map out later to get approximate mileage but I have not been getting PRs in that regard either without sufficient time to complete long runs.
  6. I have been so exhausted from being run ragged last month that I am still training to catch upon rest and sleep. This makes it difficult to train in the mornings when I am still SOOOO tired, to get up and head out for a run at the only cool part of the day. So I have tried evening runs (in 90+ degree weather) and this is very hard to do well at, though it does feel better than running at zombie hour for me.
  7. I have not even completed a 20 miler yet! I have gotten close… 18.2 but I should have done three 20 milers last month according to my training schedule. Last month should have been my highest mileage month and it actually dropped! It went from over 110 miles in May to 86 in June and nearly 40 of those were before my field school started.

Ugh!! I was so excited and doing so well.

My dad even said he might come up to Portland to watch me(he lives in southern OR where I was born and he used to run marathons too) and I was going to invite several friends to cheer me on. Now I don’t really want anyone there if I fail. I will still finish this marathon hopefully but I will not likely do well and would not be suprised if I have to walk some of the large elevation gains I could have conquered well before last month’s field school.

I feel like someone popped my pretty red balloon and all I have is a sad dangling string…