To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Progress Report #11

I got up this morning an hour early so I could sufficiently wake up my mind and body and head out on a short 2 mile run. It felt Great!! I think I will try to make a habit of waking up early for my shorter runs - leaving my long runs for the weekend as usual.

Also, today I began a 12-week 10K training program through the Nike Plus running website. I've already done that trail race 10K, and I have one on Sunday, but I feel like I want to be extra prepared and confident going into the Prefontaine Memorial 10K in September. This new program will have me finishing just in time for the big race. I staked out the course... and "challenging" is an understatement. But I will not give up. I will just train that much harder and master hills. I am sure I won't be a winner or anywhere in the top half of finishers, but that doesn't matter. Just to cross the finish line is going to be a huge accomplishment!

Only one more run lined up for Friday - 3 miles - and then it is rest time for me until Sunday morning and the Butte to Butte 10K. I know this starts with a killer up hill 1 mile stretch, and then a big downhill segment before switching to just a flat, fast road. I'm not even nervous about this one anymore now that I know Prefontaine's race will be worse!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunproof Satin Latex

"Sunproof Satin Latex" -- that is the latest description I have just typed at work. Harmless compared to past entries like the one that made me giggle or the first one to really shock me. But the image it put into my head was equally .... disturbing? hysterical? sweaty?

Every single time I type "latex" on a check I am reminded of my visits to the Cellblock, aka the Padlock, in Phoenix, Arizona.  I've been there twice - once when I was in the process of turning 29, and then again a couple of months later. On the latter visit I was the only female in the entire bar. Oh, did I neglect to mention that not only is it a gay bar, but it is a leather bar? Oh it is a total delight!

Men in:  leather, chaps, chains, masks, hats, vests, no shirts, bar asses, leashes, wrist straps, nipple clamps, etc.... Hence why "latex" triggers these memories of more "alternative" establishments.  The fun I had at the Cellblock. I spent quite some time "alone" (Mike was trying to find me a souvenir shirt, Clark was off checking out the "scenery") in the gift shop with tons of men learning about colors and sides. Like if you wear a yellow bandana on the left or right side that means you either like to pee on people or be peed on. Yep! True story. Can't make this up. The men were all too happy to educate me on this sort of stuff, and I was just like a sponge - soaking it all in and loving every minute of it!

Anyway -- that's all. Now back to the latex.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Progress Report #10

The 4th of July is rapidly approaching, as is my next 10K race. Today I am mentally ready for it. I'm feeling like I'm back to my old self with the strong desire to run, no matter the weather conditions. My body is feeling the healthiest it has in almost 2 months. And overall I think my pace and form are improving - at least I hope so!

Yesterday I made a special visit to the Sunset Memorial Park cemetery to visit Steve Prefontaine. It was a weird feeling that I can't explain. Surreal to be sitting on the ground right next to a legend. Humbling. Sad. Inspiring. 

And once again, I have had a whim. I think it is a good one. I don't really see anything acting as a hindrance to it. What's this crazy whim you wonder? (Okay, maybe you don't wonder because you know I'm going to type it up next. I'm so predictable.) .... The Coast to Coast Challenge medal. I want it. In one calendar year I have to run a 1/2 or full marathon in Walt Disney World and then the Disneyland 1/2 marathon in California. Well, I'm already signing up for the Princess 1/2 in February 2011. The Disneyland 1/2 is in September 2011.  I can skip my annual WDW pilgrimage and switch it to a long weekend down in Southern California, run the 1/2, and get my medal!   I think it is brilliant!  Plus I haven't visited Disneyland since my college graduation present to myself back in 2000. I'm long over-due!

AND Sara and Jason seem to be on board with meeting up for the Vegas Rock'n'Roll 1/2 in December 2011. Sweet!! 2011 will be THE year for my running career... at least until 2012 gets here and become the next "year" for me!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh Youth, How I Already Miss You!

I read a blog. In that blog was a link. The website shows you what you will look like in 20 years.

Oh. My. Gosh.
Seriously? Okay, so I had to do it. And here is the first result.

What the hell is happening to me over the next 20 years?? That original picture is from from last month's Vegas trip. Holy cow I'm going to go downhill - all except for my forehead apparently.

So I thought I better try one more time.

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! The original is from the Eugene Marathon weekend last month. Apparently all this running is going to do some crazy things to my laugh lines.

Still not satisfied, I added one more picture.  I dare you to not laugh. I will be booking a consultation with a plastic surgeon NOW!
My teeth? My laugh lines? My chin? My left eye? My upper lip on the left side? Am I going to have a stroke in the next 20 years and thus end up looking like an alien???

I'm terrified.

For reals.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

15 Minute Babble: Busy, Busy, Busy

  • Sara should be coming to town super soon, if my calculations are correct. Yay!
  • I'm taking my little Lady Bug to the coast on Sunday. We haven't been there together in a while, so it is time. She's going to have so much fun.

    • We will be making a stop at the Sunset Memorial Park to find the graves of my great-grandparents and Steve Prefontaine. I suppose that may seem morbid, but I really do enjoy a peaceful, pretty cemetery. You can learn so much history just by browsing through.

  • My head is totally back in the running game. My body is finally cooperating, so tonight I'm excited to go out and run at least a 5K in prep for the 10K on the 4th of July.
  • The Abby's Golf Tournament last weekend was .... boring. Not to the fault of the Country Club or the sponsors. It was just cold. The usual party atmosphere was not there at all. And the margaritas were disgusting. I didn't even bother to try to drink them.
  • My dog is trying out life as a bulimic. It almost makes me one, too. Nothing like cleaning up after her at 11 o'clock at night when I should be sleeping!
  • Our hotel room for the annual WDW pilgrimage has been booked!

    • Next up - we buy our tickets for the Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom!

  • Perhaps due to my blog about hating food, yesterday I had a super weak moment. I mean BEYOND weak. I was so hungry, I needed gas in my car, I had to do some shopping ... I found myself having dinner in my car at Pete's Drive-In. It was so good. I think I clogged some arteries, but it was soooo good!
  • I really can't wait to be at the beach. I hope it is nice weather. I want to take my shoes off and feel the sand between my toes!
  • I love running with my Garmin. I'm still figuring it out, but so far I have the basics down - and it is so cool!
  • The rest of the summer is going to be busy. Races, weddings, parties, projects, more races, more weddings. Lots of travel.
  • I'd like to say that will stop after this Summer ends - but it won't. I don't see any resting until AFTER my 1/2 marathon next February. But then I'll just start filling my schedule again. Good thing I like to be busy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Sick Relationship With the F Word

I should really banish "food" as one of the labels for my blogs. I hate food. I hate eating it. I hate smelling it. I like cooking it. I sometimes like smelling it. I hate hearing it in other people's mouths. I hate seeing it going into other people's mouths. I hate seeing it get scooped in greedy heaps onto plates at potlucks and buffets. Nearly everything about food grosses me out. The way it hardens onto a plate. The way it gets mold of different varieties when you forget about it in your refrigerator. The textures. The appearance. The nutrition labels. The ingredients.

Why am I not skinny?? For someone that hates food so much, I should be anorexic. I have amazing will power, but apparently not that amazing. 

I spent the weekend watching people gorge on free food. I am mortified that on the second day I actually did have some of the free food. And I liked it. Ugh. I still want to vomit.

The first day I hid behind my sunglasses in disgust, watching as everyone around me held onto a little black plate covered with a variety of pizza slices. They were eating as if they have never had food before. The people cooking the pizza and disgusting donuts were pimping it out as if they were working on commission and wanted everybody to eat a full pizza on their own.
Everybody around me, shoveling the food into their mouths, was happy.

And there I was. Completely disgusted. The thought of even getting a piece of pizza was mortifying. Having people see me holding a plate that had food on it was just too difficult to imagine. They'd see me eat. They'd then think "oh look, surprise surprise the fat girl is eating again."  I never judged them as being "the fat people eating the food" -- and trust me, there were some hefty guys there. But I just "knew" they would all judge me and laugh at my weakness of eating in public.

So I just didn't eat. It took a ton of rum to get me to relax enough to eat a simple slice of cheese pizza on day two. 


And this is my life. All the time. I feel shamed when I buy food at the grocery store. I refuse to eat in public places like the county fair or a summer concert. I never participate in potlucks. I only nibble on a few small things at a tailgate party. I avoid dates that revolve around food - i.e. dinner and a movie. 

I wonder if I'll ever be like everybody else. 29 years of being unable to have a normal, healthy relationship with food is, well ... it is tiring!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Kissing Correlation Theory

My friend and I have been working on this theory for quite some time now.  We've had many discussions over important lunch meetings, and we think we are on to something. Of course we are both virgins and have no real idea what we are talking about. Yep - my friend, the one with the daughter - immaculate conception! Yeah, go figure!
So here's what is up for discussion. Kissing. Are the best kissers the best in bed? Have you kissed someone that was a great kisser, then a total let down once you progressed further? Or maybe kissed someone and there was no spark, but then, wow- did he/she knock your socks off in bed?

Our research and informal investigations/questions/surveys/etc... seem to go in the direction of good kissing equals good in bed. But IS there a correlation? Click below on the link to take this completely anonymous, informal survey to help us either prove or disprove our theory!

Down the road I'll share the overall results!

Did you forget to click the link? I promise it is safe - and only one multiple choice question - where you may click multiple answers! Please help our theory and take the survey. Feel free to leave any comments in the comment section of the blog.

Thank you in advance for your assistance! 

Great Urban Race 2010 - Portland

One word sums up the 2010 GUR -- FUN!!

I was up at 5:30am, ready to put on my "costume" and head up to get Jessica on our way to Portland. The weather was fabulous - if not too hot at times! We got to the starting area early so we knew we'd be able to park and check in with plenty of time. Great plan - we had the closest spot you could get, and it did not require any parallel parking! It was fun just to be at the car listening to music and while putting on nail polish, sweat bands, knee socks, etc....  We may not have won the costume contest, but I think we looked absolutely adorable!!

Of course we got comments all day - ranging from "He's a Hawk" (in reference to TJ not being a Bengal anymore.), "Go Ducks" (um, F You!), "Yeah Beavers! Oh wait, Bengals. Wait. What?" --- given the fact that we were representing the Beavers and Bengals we did cause some confusion. Now Jessica understands what it is like to be a Beaver fan and how annoying people can be about it!

Okay, so noon comes and we are given our envelopes. We had 12 clues, 11 of which we had to complete. There was a 5 hour time limit to get it all done and be back at the starting line. Our plan was to find a more secluded spot in the shade and go over all of the clues to figure out the best route. It wasn't that simple though - first we solved puzzles in order to know the name of the establishment, then had to figure out WHERE that establishment was. Thank goodness for Jessica because I knew NONE of the places we were going to or where any of the streets were. 

So here are the 11 tasks we chose to complete:
  1. We got our GUR driver's license. Jessica pushed me on those little square roller boards from grade school around a track. We gathered a little too much speed and crashed on the first corner. I am so happy I asked the volunteer at that station to take pictures of it all. That was probably the highlight of the whole day for me!

  2. At Paddy's, an Irish bar, we counted the number of bottles behind the bar. Thank goodness for our amazing math skills, we got in the right range on the first try. FYI - there are somewhere between 504 and 540 bottles!
  3. In Pettygrove Park each of us had to jump rope and hula hoop for 30 seconds. I rocked the hell out of that hula hoop ... on my arm. I didn't even try it on my hips!
  4. Jake's Famous Crawfish was our first stop.

    We had to get a photo holding a menu and a live crawfish. Poor little guys. I felt bad for them. Imagine how many times they were picked up and down, up and down. Being overachievers, we EACH held a crawfish!
  5. At the Art Institute of Portland, our final stop, we had to draw our team logo. Jessica was the lead on that. I just watched and colored in a pink bow on our beaver. If any of that sounds dirty .... it should.
  6. The yummiest stop was Hot Lips Pizza. We sampled two flavors of fresh fruit sodas and then got photographed eating the yummiest Greek pizza. If you are in the Portland area, I highly recommend stopping by for a slice!

  7. The coolest (woohoo for air conditioning) stop was AM Living for a game of Venetian solitaire. We were brilliant at it on our very first try!
  8. Cheers! We hit the Rock Bottom Brewery to get photographed by the GUR logo on a mash turn. Apparently a mash turn is something they use to make beer. That was a welcomed stop -not for the beer we didn't drink, but we finally found a bathroom. Of course that wasn't as relaxing as it could be. In a mad dash to save time I grabbed paper towels to use the toilet that was out of toilet paper. And taking off my 2 layers of shorts was like peeling off a wet swimming suit and then putting it back on. I swear we must have sweat off a few pounds that day!
  9. Tic-Tac-Toe was so much fun! We had a grid of 9 things to take pictures of, and had to complete a tic-tac-toe with it. We were overachievers once again. The things we got pictures of were: a teammate shaking a dog's paw, all teammates in front of a rose bush, all teammates in front of a taco stand, teammates pretending to dive into a fountain, all teammates with a street performer, and a teammate honking the car horn of a stranger.
  10. At Apple Music Row we had our picture taken next to a cardboard Paul Stanley (from KISS) sticking our tongues out. No sweat, my pet!

  11. We had to jump off of this strange bicycle/tricycle structure. That took a few takes because the team helping us couldn't seem to capture us mid-air.

In all we covered 6.78 miles - according to the new Garmin! And we took 3 hours 11 minutes to finish it. I'm sure we could have done faster had we a) not stopped to go to the bathroom, b) not run into the parade over and over and had to wait to cross between floats, c) not paused to take in some sights and get pictures for ourselves, d) run the entire time instead of walking. BUT it was really hot, neither of us are used to running in heat. And we knew we had no chance of winning, so we just wanted to have as much fun as possible.

Leave It To The Beavers shall return next year. Same team, probably a new name and newer, improved costumes.  See you in 2011!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Progress Report #9

My Garmin is here!! I am so excited! Tonight I will be taking it out for a 1 mile test run just to verify that I can use it properly before tomorrow's race.

That's right, the Great Urban Race is FINALLY here!! I laid out our costumes for tomorrow and I really do think we're going to look pretty darn cute! The butterflies kicked in today at lunch. I'm hoping when I do my run tonight they will calm a little bit.

Progress wise, I am doing so much better. My hip is 95% healed I think. I have stiffness still if I don't move around enough. But I am limp free! I've done two runs this week and had no problems whatsoever with pain. Feels good to have survived my first injury and now be back on my regular training schedule!

Something new to me is the heat. I've yet to have to run in heat. I'm already noticing a change and find myself completely gross and sweaty by the end of my runs. I hate it -- yet at the same time I love it!!

So that's what's up with my running. My copy of Prefontaine arrived this week. I immediately threw it in the Blu-Ray player and was completely absorbed in it. I'm going to put it in tonight while I finish packing for tomorrow.

Okay - enough babble. Go team!! Tomorrow be sure to root for "Leave It To The Beavers"!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good Job, Grandma!

The year was .... a long, long time ago .... in a nursing home .... not too far away.

The phone rings. My grandma is told there is a serious situation and that she must come down to the nursing home immediately. My mom and Grandpa join her. Let's just pretend I was there, too - 'cause I probably was. I mean if I wasn't, what the heck did they do with me??

So "we" (see - I'm totally there!) hop in the car and drive to see what was happening with my great-grandma. Can we pause here to discuss family names? Thank goodness I was named after Grandpa!  My grandma's name was Eunice. Her mom's name was Mildred. Yeah - I got lucky!!

Okay, so we arrive and what was the crisis?
We found Mildred's teeth .... in the men's ward!!

Obviously the uptight nurse found this to be a problem. But what was Grandma's response to the obvious popular nature of her mother?
Well at least she was nice enough to take her teeth out first!

 I love my family!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Things Are Looking Brighter

I've been in a funk. At first I didn't know why. I thought maybe it was the weather. Turns out I know people in Florida that don't even know what SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is. Ah, must be nice to have sunshine all the time. So, anyway, I thought maybe that was the case. Then I realized I'm just in running withdrawals. It is killing me to not run, but at the same time I know I have to take a break to let my hip get back to normal.

My mood feels like it got a boost. Maybe it is the sun coming out. But mostly my hip is feeling better. And tonight I will be throwing on a skirt and running. (I love saying that. Sure it is a specially made running skirt, but whatever. Yeah, I run in skirts!) I'm just so excited to get out and feel my legs move. Feel my lungs start to burn. I'm ready, ready, Ready!!

This is also race week. I love race weeks! It is like a long build-up - foreplay, if you will. Nerves, excitement, confidence, concern, carb loading, laying out clothes the night before, buying a bagel and banana for the drive up to the race, drinking tons of water to stay hydrated, training - but not too much! - I just love it. Somehow I can turn one race into a week long event for myself. I really hope I never lose this either. I would hate for a race to just become ho-hum and no big deal. Every race I choose to do has something special about it. Whether it is just a first time for me, a new route, a cool medal - I always have some reason why I pick a particular race.

And this week's event is no exception. This race is totally not just a race - it really is an event. Nay, an Adventure!  At 7am I am rolling out of town and heading up to Keizer to pick up Jessica. From there, Leave It To The Beavers are en route to downtown Portland for the Great Urban Race!  I spent the weekend studying different neighborhoods of Portland and booking marking helpful website in my phone. Over the next few days I will load our team backpack with supplies and get our costumes laid out and ready to be worn. I think this is going to be so much fun - win or lose!

After the race I think we'll head down to the waterfront for the Rose Festival. There is a big parade starting at 10am that morning - just about the time we are rolling into town. That is my one concern --- navigating through town to find the starting point and get a parking spot, while tons of people are flocking to the same area for the annual parade. But we are getting there almost 2 hours before our start time so that we can park, sign in, get our packets, and then start studying maps and working on our official game plan.  

Once we are done with the Rose Festival it is time for dinner. Where? At the Grilled Cheese Grill!! I am so excited! I saw it on the Travel Channel a couple of months ago and have been dying to go check it out myself! I've already studied the menu and have my options narrowed down to two different items. I'm hungry just thinking about it!

I'm just happy to finally be feeling more like myself.  I went to a fun housewarming party this weekend, watched Goonies, sat on the deck with my little cat brother while staring at the river, mowed my lawn and emptied the pool .... I was busy finally doing summer things!  It was great. And I have many fun things to look forward to, so yay - I'm coming out of my non-running funk!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ridgeline Ramble 10K

(My race report from

Well I did it! I have officially completed my first 10K .... even AFTER nursing an injured hip for almost a month!

This particular race was the Ridgeline Ramble 10K/20K trail race in Eugene, Oregon. Oh my was it a doozy!  Okay, let me back up.

My alarm went off at 4:30am and eventually I rolled out of bed. Around 5:45am I was on my way north and going through waves of feeling confident and completely petrified. Just last week I had ice on my hip at work, and here I was off to do the longest run of my life!  I made it up there pretty quick and checked in to get my number and tech shirt. What a bummer - the tech shirts hadn't arrived yet, so they are going to mail them to us later this week. I always like to have my shirt to wear around the rest of the weekend, so I guess that will have to wait until next weekend. There weren't that many people there - I think it was capped at less than 200 runners - which made sense when I saw how narrow the trail was for most of the course.

At 8am the 10K runners were shuttled up to our starting line out in the middle of nowhere. It was really pretty though, and nice to see a new part of Oregon that I didn't even know about.  8:30 the cowbell started us off, and we immediately had to start going up a muddy hill.  Now let me just say when I read over the description, I was under the impression that this was mostly downhill, while the 20K course had the insane steep ups and downs for the 1st half of their race. Oh how wrong I was!  After about 1/2 a mile I was already in last place. I knew going into this that I was going to be at the back of the pack though, so I was fine. I took in the beautiful scenery and smells. It seriously smelled like I was running through Christmas trees!

To sum up - it was insane! Steep up and down, like a roller coaster, the entire time. The terrain kept changing. Mud, puddles, jagged rocks, gigantic crevasses amongst the rocks, a dirt path up a hill, a neighborhood with mansions lining both sides of the road. I literally ran up and down a mountain. Had a great view of the city, though! And I totally didn't feel bad for stopping at the top to take a couple pictures. I had to walk more than I normally would, but considering I was injured, I had to make sure I could get to the finish line - and of course I crossed, still running - with a smile!

After the race they had a huge spread of food to make burritos, and chips, cookies, bananas, drinks. I was pretty impressed. It was a nice, laid back atmosphere. Everybody looked worn out, stiff, limping. The 20K people were covered in mud, and I saw a few covered in blood. I wasn't even surprised. I don't know that I could possibly describe how crazy the course was. I'm really happy I did it. I feel like it helped give me the little boost I needed. But I'm not sure I will do it again next year. That night I ended up at home with ice on my hip and my knee wrapped up. It was certainly hard on the body. I'll be sticking to road races for quite a while I think!

Overall it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes. I'm actually shocked that it was that fast considering the video/picture taking and the moment I stopped to lay on a bench for a photo op.  I was 47 out of 51 people. I have no idea how I beat 4 people. I only passed 2. I am wondering if the other two got too close to the start pad and were getting timed before we actually started.   All in all it was certainly an unforgettable experience!!