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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hello From My New iPad!

Hi everybody! How ya doing post Christmas vacation? I'm pretty much not ready to return to work life at all, but that's to be expected.

So updates:
I have been getting caught up on blogs via my awesome new toy, but its not letting me comment. I guess the trusty laptop will have to come out for that again!

MF tried to teach me how to see as I attempted to make my headband for the WDW Marathon. I pretty much suck. There was blood AND I bent the needle!!

I'm ridiculously excited about our new curtains that my mom got us for Christmas. Our bedroom is pitch black now. Love it!!

We have also been moving furniture around and I find it glorious! Sometimes change is good, this is one of those times.

Yesterday MF and I had a spontaneous trip up north to shop. A big score? Batman sunglasses for the marathon! Also I picked up some vacation clothes although we have no idea what of how to pack. Florida is unpredictable already, but when you add my mom to the mix it gets even crazier. So runners beware... It could be snowing and blistering hot all in the same day!

I need to get back to my Glee marathon now. Back soon with more!
Oh! I'm adding a new half marathon to my schedule, too, thanks to Cilley Girl. Exciting!!

*I took the liberty of attaching the first photo taken with my new iPad. I need an intervention!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eugene Holiday Half Marathon

Longest bus ride Ever!
It was with great relief and concern that I arrived for the Eugene Holiday Half Marathon.  The relief came from knowing this was the last race before Goofy weekend. It was my nineteenth half marathon, and had the potential to be the coldest and wettest, hence the concern.

I arrived at the finish area with plenty of time to catch the bus back to the start area. The bus ride seemed to take forever, raising my concern about a) the distance and b) surviving the weather. I was pretty confident that this race was only a half marathon, but you know inaugurals go - sometimes there are kinks. I was hoping their big snafu wasn't making us run 20 miles instead of 13.1.  Eventually we arrived with all of our layers in hand at an Applebee's for check-in.  It was nice that we were able to hang out inside until start time. It actually got toasty in there, causing me to only put on 2/3 of my layers until the very last minute.  The negative of hanging out at an Applebee's at 9am is that you can't exactly order yourself some spinach and artichoke dip and a nice adult beverage. But the warmth was appreciated!

Just before 10am I walked out the door, applying another layer, as well as hat, ear warmers and gloves. The weather had been so nasty that I was prepared for all the weather ... all the bad weather that is. Before the start I found myself butting into a nearby conversation about Disney races. I couldn't help it, I've got Goofy Fever!! I also met a blog reader ... Hi Wendy! Before long we were on our way, and for me that meant staying off to the side so that all of the other runners could easily pass me.

My plan for this was to treat it just as it is planned to be, a slow, long training run. I had to just set my ego aside and watch others go by and not let it bother me. I have to admit it was hard, but soon I was happy everyone else was ahead and I could just relax, enjoy conversation with Man Friend and be thankful that the weather was great! I ended up ditching my gloves and nearly took off one of my three shirts!

The flat was so flat that when there were some hills I didn't even flinch and just continued on my way. I stuck to a run/walk ratio since that's the plan for Goofy. Also, MF is on doctor's orders to continue with light running and walk breaks so as to not injure his spine anymore, but keeping up with the moving to help him out. So on with our intervals we went, and how excited were we at the first water stop when we saw not only was there water, but also Gatorade, oranges and Clif Shot Blocks! I grabbed MF and I each a pack of shots, a cup of water and continued on my way.  

It was at the second water stop that we discovered this inaugural's mandatory snafu. Water, or shall I say lack there of. I was handed a very small cup of water and told it was the LAST cup. MF didn't get any, and the bit I got barely wet my mouth. Bummer. But you know what we DID get? More Clif Shot Blocks!

Shortly after that stop I was on this very long straight stretch along a two-lane highway. With no shoulder to speak of I had to make sure to not let myself slide into the ditch or drift into the road. I closed the gap on a couple of runners, but did get passed. I was pretty certain I was dead freaking last at that point!

The next stop had water. Hallelujah!! AND Shot blocks!!

Return of the bloody shoe, damn fat toe!
At mile 8.2 that my foot felt funny. My sock was strange. I knew that feeling. I looked down and my hot pink shoes were now RED and hot pink. Well hello there, fresh blood stain! Oh well, I must continue along!  When we got to the next water stop we learned we weren't dead last ... there was a walker somewhere way in the back. Dammit. I actually had visions of coming in the very final runner. Oh well, I must continue along! But I didn't continue before getting ample orange Gatorade, water to wash down the vanilla Clif shot I had taken and a gingerbread man cookie. Did you know if you mix all of those things together and then burp it tastes like a creamsicle? Now you know!

So much for the blood, hello mud!
Imagine my surprise when I actually caught up with runners and started passing people! I was continuing along at a steady pace, but I flat out stopped and socialized at two water stops and let MF take a potty break. All of that I was now passing?? Crazy! I'm telling you, Jeff Galloway knows his schtuff! 

My leg started bugging me so I did back off a hair, but not all that much. My goal is to not get injured before Goofy, so more walk breaks were fine by me. At the final mile marker is when the rain started. Not even real rain by Oregon standards, just a mist in the air really. I was happy to almost be done. We crested the final hill and dropped down to the park at the reservoir where the finish line was. I saw a volunteer directing us off the path and got the direction to follow the flags. 

Um, yeah ... we followed the flags that would be in nice grass if it were summer, but this is December - it was a mud fest. Now I just wanted to get through the last tenth without falling or breaking anything. It was a sloppy finish filled with laughter, but I did it! 

I saw pizza, bread, oranges and beer at the finish. All I wanted was to get some photos with my cool blue glass medal, get to the Jeep, change clothes and head into town for warm food in a dry location... so that's what we did! It was a really fun time, we lucked out and honestly, considering the slacking off I did my finish time wasn't horrible for me ... and I beat 11 people!!! Woo hoo! Oh - and those Shot Blocks? Our ultimate race goal that we created mid-race was to accumulate 13 ... one for each mile. And by golly, we did it!

Half Marathon #19!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Run 2.??? - Screw It!

My running is so sporadic that I'm just over logging it in my blog ... for now. I can only think about Goofy and writing about runs now and then is just so blah to me at this point.

I can say that I recall a couple of really great runs in this last week. We did a five miler and it felt pretty awesome! The chill in the air seems to be helping me. I guess it is motivating me to keep moving to stay warm and get done faster. I had another great run, but much shorter.... a whopping 2 miles. We warmed up inside, went outside and then realized it was freezing. No joke, I mean I think we had some snow flakes come down on us. The run felt fabulous though. I was loving it!

So unless it is super fabulous or super horrible I'm probably going to not bother tracking the rest of my puny marathon training. But I'm not ditching running or writing about it. Just between now and Goofy I can't keep up. My mind is busy with Dopey costumes (that's THREE race outfits!), wedding, Christmas, running, wedding, packing, Vegas, wedding... and now ....

Damn you, runDisney. Why do you keep coming up with things that I cannot say no to?  Looks like I'll be getting another Coast to Coast medal this year because I just can't pass up on the first ever Disneyland 10K followed by the Half. Anyone else smell a Team Jam reunion??  Man Friend and I have already been staking out hotels and are loving his military discount for that and park tickets!  

I started packing, sort of, for Goofy weekend tonight. Race costumes are being set aside, and I think I have all the pieces for all three races now. I won't officially pull out the suitcase until after Christmas though. But it's coming up so soon, it will be hard to resist!

We are watching the Fugitive right now. Tommy Lee Jones looks so young. Makes me want to watch Men in Black now. Ooh, maybe I'll put in Toy Story. I want to do some Disney movie watching to study up for the big trip.  And also can we talk Jersey Shore? I pretty much watched all of the marathon last weekend leading up to tomorrow night's final episode. I'm sad. Dammit, why?? Why did I get myself hooked on this stupid show? I'm going to miss them. Ugh.

That's all. I'm freezing. I need to go sit in front of the heater.
I might run tomorrow. Oh, and I have a half marathon on Saturday. I'm officially on Snow Watch 2012.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


When I do stuff like this at work it really makes me day!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Run 2.13, 2.14, 2.15 - Catch Up

I caught my dog sleeping on her back, under the covers
completely passed out. Her grandparents spoil her so  much!!
Run 2.13 was the Reindeer Run half marathon. As far as long training runs go, it was pretty darn nice! I can't stop raving about how great everybody was and how we lucked out with the weather. One of my slowest half marathons, but some of the most positive experiences and memories came from it!

Run 2.14 was 3.1 miles in the evening after work. Not 3, but 3.1 in honor of the 3 year anniversary of my first 5K.  My only goal, aside from not falling down due to running in complete darkness, was to run faster than I did during that first race. No sweat! Goal accomplished.

Run 2.15 was my "long" run. I'm a complete and utter slacker, so my long run was five whopping miles. It actually was a pretty great run after I had a mile 2 mental breakdown. I think I'm just so ready for Goofy to be here after thinking about it so much. Forget that I'm not training for it ... but dammit, I'm ready!!

So let's talk Goofy ... again.  "Costumes" for each of the three races have been finalized. Pieces have been ordered and we are ready to dress up and have a little gold ol' fashioned Disney fun!

Also along the lines of ordering, wedding supplies ... I have gobs of them arriving all the time. Today alone we had THREE packages waiting for us when we got home. Tomorrow my new prized possession of all decorations shows up and I cannot wait to see it!! It is killing me to not dish the details, but trust me, this is going to be THE decoration I can't top!

Reindeer, hat, wine & a yet to be opened gift ... all part
of our holiday sweater party dominance. We are Tew Legit!!
What else? My cats are getting closer and closer. Millicent keeps creeping up on Tinker Bell and sniffing her. They even touched noses once. I was such a happy mommy. I like seeing my girls get along and get used to each other more and more.

2Fish and I went to our first of three sweater parties this weekend. There were four prizes to win -- we took home 3. Boom! Team Tew Legit knows how to do costumes and outfits, and apparently we know how to dominate at Bunco, whatever the hell that game is.

Goofy nightmares are increasing. Usually I am having difficulty getting TO the races. I'm always so relieved when I wake up and realize it is all just a dream. Makes me wonder, will I sleep at all during Goofy weekend??

Okay, that's all for now I think. Just babbling. I have a killer headache, which we think is from not having any caffeine all day. I think I'll grab my little posse and head to bed! 

OOOHHHH!!!!  I closed down the mall by shopping in the jewelry store until they locked up all the merchandise. I went to go browse and look at necklaces to wear at my wedding .... yeah, necklace, wedding bands for myself and a band for MF were all taken care of. Yippee!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reindeer Run Half Marathon

On Saturday, December 1st in St. Helens, Oregon I ran my 18th half marathon, the Reindeer Run. I can’t say enough how spectacular ALL of the volunteers were! From the people giving us our bibs to the men handing me prizes at the finish line to the people done with their role and still lingering to show support and cheer, every single volunteer was great. I’ve never felt so appreciated. During the course the volunteers would be genuinely thanking us for participating, and in turn I was genuinely thanking them for putting on such a lovely event for me to participate in! So let’s back it up now and start at the beginning!

I guess for me the start is in the middle of the night while sleeping at my future brother in law’s guest room. I was awoken to the sound of pouring rain and a terrible wind storm. I kept thinking, “will I need to be that person in the garbage bag?” and “Should I get up early to go to the store for rain gear?” Once up for the day I looked outside and it wasn’t all that bad, but still dreary. Oh well, what can ya do? Man Friend and I excitedly put on our Christmas apparel and hopped in the car for the “long” drive just around the corner to the church that was putting on the race. We quickly parked and hurried in to get our bibs. Inside it was glorious! Christmas trees, music inside and outside, and a roaring fire… Heaven!! I decided to go grab my food and water and just hang out by the fire stretching and enjoying the atmosphere. Just before 8:30 we went outside to start the race.

The gun goes off and I just kind of laughed and stretched a bit. The field was so small and I was certain I would be the back of the pack, so I may as well not push to try to get swept up in the initial burst. When I began running it was really nice! Weather-wise it was perfect and dry, I actually had to borrow some free expo sunglasses I had given MF earlier this year. We left the church area and ran along a main road until turning into a neighborhood and farm land. I kept hearing people on my tail (I don’t REALLY have a tail, mind you). I pushed harder than I wanted to since this really was just a training run for me and not a race. But I didn’t want to let these girls pass. Finally I succumbed and said to just let them go, that I knew we’d pass them again. And so there they went… and there I was … THE very last runner in the race. Not a soul behind me. Que sera sera!

I decided on intervals of .4/.1 since they’ve been working so well for me in the past. What hadn’t been working well was my stomach. Soon the ratio was “run when I can and walk when I’m about to vomit”. Great. I think after 4 miles I was officially not last. I did pass those two girls again, as well as another couple. My goal became to stay ahead of them, regardless of how sick I was feeling. *I never did let them pass or even get close to me! About 2 hours into the race I was finally NOT sick and I was ready to run it on home … Hello, Marathon Injury. Fortunately my spirits were high because if they weren’t I’d have been miserable. My leg was hurting pretty bad so we realized we had to walk more just to save myself for Goofy. I wasn’t out to impress anyone or prove anything, so I had that in my favor at least.

The course was very rural. I had to keep avoiding road kill consisting of frogs and mice. I saw some ginormous dogs that I thought were fake at first. A volunteer had a dog in his hands, so I did make a slight detour around mile 10 to go nuzzle my face into his. So sweet! Hilly, another word to describe this course. The middle was flat for the most part, but to get to that point you had to go down and then up, both ways! At least it was an out and back, so the return trip wasn’t any surprise to me!

Coming into the finish I was babying my leg again, just like during the marathon. Once I saw the finish line though, I decided to run it in. And MF, dang it, he tried to keep up, so then I’d have to speed up. Somehow he finished a second before me even though I crossed before him, guess we didn’t start in sync. Next time it’s MINE! We barely crossed the finish and ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ started playing – perfect given MF’s attire for the day! A volunteer handed me a bottle of water and a package in bubble wrap, which I thought was my medal. Then I saw MF get a medal on a lovely lanyard. Huh? Then they gave him bubble wrap, and soon I got a lanyard. Turns out we not only got really nice medals, we also got reindeer Christmas ornaments!

Inside there was an assortment of fruit, bagels, donut holes and coffee. People were mingling and waiting for free massages. I decided to people watch, sing and just enjoy what felt like a big accomplishment. Upon learning that this was my 18th half marathon, one of the volunteers even asked MF if we had any advice on ways to improve. All we had was to put one more water stop at the turn around … I kid you not, I was about to put my face in the ditch and drink the water than was flowing. Gross, but I was THAT thirsty!

But really this was a top notch race! I don’t even go to church but said to MF that if I lived near St. Helens I’d probably have to go at least once just because everybody was so welcoming and nice. I’ll never stop raving about it. Oregonians and SW Washington peeps, if you ever need a December half, I suggest the Reindeer Run!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goofy and Wedding Talk - Shocker.

I am suddenly ridiculously excited about going to Walt Disney World and Marathon/Goofy Weekend. I stared at the course map for the full yesterday and it doesn’t scare me at all. This will be my third time doing the half marathon course, so I know I can do that with no problem at all, especially since I plan on “Team Jam”ming it by goofing off, laughing, doing cartwheels, getting pictures and having non-stop fun! Looking at the full I see that yeah, there is that stretch after the race track as you head toward the back of Animal Kingdom … that could be not as thrilling. But considering Animal Kingdom was my home for 3 years I know that as I go down Bear Island Road and get closer I’ll be picking up on the smell and getting excited to be in my old stomping grounds, so for me it will be full of anticipation and might help pull me along into that second half of the course. Osceola Parkway – I feel that stretch is notorious and people dread it. I actually don’t mind it. I’ve raced on it twice now and had no problems. I guess I like that I get to run where I used to drive all the time. And you do get to see some sights, so it’s not like you’re just doing some local rural half marathon where it is farm land after farm land. And all of that stretch leads you to this mysterious “Mile 20 Spectacular”! What is it?? Will we ever learn? Do we have to wait until Mile 20 to find out? I’m loving the build-up of it all. I can’t wait to see what it is!! And from there you just have the run back to the Studios, which really isn’t that bad – I mean if I could do it at midnight in 100 degrees plus humidity, we can handle it at the full!! – and once in the Studios it is non-stop goose bumps and cheering fans all the way to the finish line! Fellow marathon and Goofy runners, we CAN and WILL do this and we WILL have a complete BLAST!!! 

Confession: My suitcase from Tower of Terror weekend is still on my spare bed. It still has things from the luncheon we crashed in it (I’ve been sleeping in my t-shirt lately, Abby!), as well as hotel soaps and costume pieces from each of the 3 outfits I created. SO …. I guess I need to unpack so I can pack! I haven’t even started my official Excel list. I need to get on that! Run wise I have one race left before Goofy, and that will be half marathon #19 … all with the intent to have my 20th half be the WDW half marathon the day before the 20th anniversary of the marathon! 

Wedding talk time! I’ve purchased some fun things for my lovely bridesmaids and even finished accessorizing them. I still need to settle on the perfect necklace that I’ll wear that day. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple at two different stores. One says “sweet romance” (not literally) and the other says “Sin City romance”. So I think I need to see them in person and decide which speaks to me. Also along the jewelry lines, I’m thinking it is time to find MF’s wedding band and figure out the wedding band for my ring. I’ve already got quite a rock on this finger, so I can’t have something totally weighing me down, but also it can’t be invisible. Obviously! ;) The boys have their outfits done – I think. I’m not sure if the Best Man got his measurements or not. I need to best the Groom about that one. The boys DON’T have their outfits done. Never mind. I need to finish accessorizing them. Also this weekend I staked out the building where my local reception will be held. While crafters were hoping I’d look at their crap and want to buy it I was busy staring at the ceiling figuring out where my disco balls will go and where my “red carpet entrance” for the guests will be. Ooh – I should get a red carpet! Remind me of that down the road, ‘kay? And then there is reception decorations. We’ve been having fun using Black Friday and Christmas sales to buy things we plan on using. The looks we’ve gotten with some of our purchases has been quite funny! 

Also in the works is my ugly sweater. We decided to have an ugly sweater competition at Christmas this year. I can’t say anything about mine because there might be spies trying to find out what mine looks like. Top Secret!! Let’s just say I’m upping the ante a little with mine and not putting any limits on myself. 

So that’s what’s up in my world. Still not running as much as I should, but at least I’m feeling more like myself every day. I am actually excited about things again and wanting to not be such a total lazy ass! 

Up next I’ll have my race report for this past weekend’s race in what might be the friendliest city in all of Oregon!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That's Me In The Corner...

... That's me in the spot light, losing my motivation....


the act or an instance of motivatingor providing with areason to act in a certain way: I don't understand what hermotivation was for quitting her jobmotive,inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.
the state or condition of being motivatedWe know that thesestudents have strong motivation to learn.
something that motivatesinducement; incentive: Clearly, thecompany's long-term motivation is profit.

Mom, Nancy, Me
I've lost my running motivation. I'm not exactly sure where it went or why. I should be flipping out excited. In about 45 days I'll be going full Dopey as I do the 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon in Walt Disney World. A favorite place to go play, the home of some of my favorite races, and soon to be the place where I run 3.1 + 13.1 + 26.2 miles. And what am I doing about it? Not a damn thing. I'm training by running half marathons. Woo. I can do that in my sleep. I mean really, I don't train for half marathons anymore, granted my speed isn't increasing either, but I don't even care. *Incidentally, at the last half marathon I ran my fifth fastest time! 

During the day I want to run. I think about how fun it is was and how I wish I could get back that sense of fun. So then I wonder Why? Why isn't it fun. I don't have an answer. This whole post is me just thinking aloud. When I'm actually out running, for the most part, I am enjoying it. I think I'm kind of over the headlamp though. Sometimes it hurts my head. I'm not liking that the cold weather makes me have Meniere's issues when my ears aren't covered. But weather conditions aren't even the issue I don't think.

Nancy and I this past summer
I think the biggest trigger for my downward spiral happened in September. I had just done insane training all summer. I was doing 20 mile runs, finishing when it was 90 degrees outside. I was training harder than I have in my three years of running. The heat was killing me. But I was doing it. And while doing that I got engaged (yay!!!) and started the fun planning things. A big event was buying my wedding dress. I bought it on a Saturday with Jessica and Cilley Girl at my side picking out their bridesmaids dresses. Also in attendance was my mom, quietly giving her input, and my boisterous aunt/godmother.  It was such a memorable day, and one that I am certain I'll never forget. Saturday night I had a lovely dinner with my mom and my aunt at a restaurant we all have loved for years but never get to go to. The car ride home was hysterical. So many moments where we were rendered speechless.  But also a moment that we won't ever forget (and not in a good way).  Tuesday morning I was hysterical (and not in a good way), trying to figure out how to speak and breathe and tell my mom that her sister just committed suicide. Days after we had such a fabulous time together, discussing the fun of Vegas that lies in store, talking about how exciting the future is .... and there I was just lost. I was so upset I didn't realize that I never told my mom how she died. My mom thought it was a heart attack. Driving to my grandpa's house (mom and I work together), I cried the whole way and was mad at her. How could she put us in the position of having to tell Grandpa what she did. Being there when my mom told him was the single worst moment of my entire life. I ended up pretty much sitting on his lap, sobbing with my arms around him. I never want to go through anything like that again. It was horrible.

Last Christmas
That day changed things for me. On Thanksgiving I felt a big hole. The person I was always by and talking with wasn't there. Nobody wanted to discuss the Bravo Housewives. We all did talk about Vegas because of the wedding, but not how Nancy and I talked about it - making a girls trip to see my drag queens and someone like Celine (barf) or Cher (yes!). That hole wasn't just on Thanksgiving though. It's like that Tuesday happened and I zoned out of everything. I spent Tuesday just spacing out staring. I don't even know what I stared at. Staring and crying. (I'm so uplifting!) Wednesday night I was on my way to get Jessica so we could go to Disney World. MF had to drive me because I couldn't be alone. Even in Florida I couldn't be alone. The one time I was I ended up sobbing in bathrooms at Epcot. I guess Disney was a good way to cheer up while grieving though!

My mom (Sinderella), Nancy (Mommie Dearest)
and myself (Malice in Horrorland)
I came home the next week, missing the memorial for Nancy due to being in Florida when it happened. When I got home I had no desire to do anything. To this day my suitcase is still full of things from WDW. I know, don't say anything! ;)  I don't even know if I did any running before the marathon. I just lost my spark when I lost my aunt. And then the marathon happened and I got hurt and had to walk the last 10K. Not the way I planned on doing my first full marathon!  That messed with my head and I was nervous to run again. But I keep trying. BUT when I run I think, and so then I talk things out. Most runs since that September day have been me talking about my aunt and venting about the whole situation. It's rather complicated. I mean I guess it was an event that shouldn't have surprised us, but I was there the days before and witnessed an incident ... and basically I see what was the catalyst, and I just can't find forgiveness in me. I feel like this really important person was taken away and I see what caused it. I am washing my hands of said catalyst. I want the negative out.

I'd say still 2 or 3 nights a week I have the nightmare where I am sobbing in my sleep. I have had loved ones pass away before, but never by their own hand. I didn't know the whole grieving process would be so long and complicated feeling. It's like I go up and down. And in turn I'm just moving on auto pilot getting up, working, coming home, sleeping. I mean look at my blogging .... what blogging? Oh, those few most boring posts ever about pathetic runs? I'm just in an overall funk. I love running so much and I just hope that I can at least get through the funk and get back that drive I used to have. 

I don't know what I just babbled up a storm. I think better writing it out I guess, and so much is going on in this head that I had to write. 

Run 2.11, 2.12 - Terrible and Nice

Run 2.11 - basically I used to love running in the cold. Now that I have the wonderful company of MF in my house and our 3 little furballs, well, being inside a warm home is just too tempting! So the other night we set out for a run. I didn't really warm up. I didn't put my ear warmer thing on. I set myself up for failure. I'm learning that when my ears get really cold my Meniere's Disease messes with me. I didn't even run long enough for that to happen this time. My legs got all tight and then hurt. No good excuse - just plainly my fault for not preparing at all. Blah. It was the slowest two miles. Absolutely ridiculous. A waste of my time. I mean I ran TWO miles?? Seriously? Who trains for Goofy by running two freaking miles and not even running all of it?!?

Which brings me to run 2.12 tonight. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was dry, a tinting of warmth, a beautiful moon that looked so pretty it seemed photoshopped. I had my ears covered, headlamp and ankle light on, and I just felt a bounce in my step. With absolutely no plan of how long to go or where, we just started running. In the end it was a great 5 mile run. I could have done more but didn't. I do have a half on Saturday, so that will let me get in a nice long run (potentially a super cold one), and then Sunday I want to do another run to get into the groove of back to backs for Goofy weekend.

I'm trying really hard to get ready. My mind is just not in it, which might be my next blog. But tonight's really great run gave me a boost, perhaps it's the boost I needed!

This was painfully boring, I'm sorry. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Run 2.7-2.10 - Wedding Update!

I've been seriously slacking in blogging for a LONG time now - but MF hooked me up with wifi in my living room, so I am happily couched out watching TV and blogging!!

Run 2.7 was a long run, and a race... the Scappoose Half Marathon, which you can read about here. It was freezing cold, but enjoyable. During almost every long run I say how I wish they'd come complete with bathrooms and water stops with people cheering me on. Finally I have that!! Racing for a long run is just much more rewarding I think!

Run 2.8 I can't even remember. I know I did it. I vaguely remember a lot of zigging and zagging through my neighborhood. It was dark. I think, yes, I tested a long sleeve shirt as a potential race shirt in the upcoming months. 

Run 2.9, the Run to Stay Warm, was my 17th half marathon, and my fifth fastest! It was raining before the start and very cold. Once I started I warmed up and my legs felt great throughout the entire time, only stiffening a hair in the last 5K when the wind and cold picked up again.

Thanksgiving silliness!
Run 2.10 was a nice 2 mile run on Thanksgiving morning. It was rejuvenating, and a great way to start the day!

Now let's talk wedding!!!

RSVPs are slowly trickling in, and any time I get a response I get ridiculously excited! My black Friday shopping consisted of buying things for the wedding reception being held in Oregon.  What might that entail? Try sequins, candles, feather boas and strobe lights! Man Friend and I have a ton of ideas, and have even worked out a tentative floor plan for the tables and dance space. MF's mom has volunteered to hook us up with table clothes made just the way we want them, too! Things are really falling into place.  I can't remember if I have shared the link or not, but if you want to see the story of how we met and how the proposal went down, click here to see our official wedding website!

So that's all for now. If you'll excuse me I need to get back to planning, shopping and doing all the things that go along with creating a fabulous wedding reception! Is it April yet??

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Run To Stay Warm Half Marathon

The shirt - I like the shoes!
In my quest to half-ass train for Goofy weekend by doing half marathons I just ran my second in a string of four before the end of 2012. This was the EWEB Run to Stay Warm in Eugene, Oregon. Two years ago I was peer pressured by Kim to run the 5K even though I was getting over a cold … that was my first ever blogger meet up! I also got to meet Small Town Runner and Laurie, so imagine my excitement when I walked in to pick up my bib and sitting there was none other than Small Town Runner! I knew then that it was a good sign that this would be a good race for me!

Getting my bib, chip and shirt was a breeze. Everyone was so friendly – and the building was nice and warm, bonus! I thought the shirt was pretty cute, but it had such a strange fit… big around the body, but short on the sleeves. I took my things and went back to my car to wait for the start and stay warm. I watched the rain come down and stared at the temperature staying at a steady 46 degrees. I decided to add on one more shirt, putting me at a total of 3 shirts for this race. On went the gloves, the ear warmer and the Garmin. I was ready to run! The bathroom line was outrageous so I decided I could hold it. Well lucky me, as I walked to the start line there were 2 potties with only 4 people in line. Score! Soon I was at the start line and accepting the fact that while I might run well for me I was in Eugene, Track Town USA, and basically I was telling myself it was okay that I would be the back of the pack. (Long story short, I was!)

The gun goes off and I started with a bounce in my step and smile on my face. I always enjoy running in Eugene. I think my ego and being around such great runners always forces me to do just a bit better. The start was pretty congested since we were running on a smaller path, but by the time we were one mile in it was thinning out. The runners had spaced out and people were pretty much in their spots that wouldn’t vary much for the remainder of the race. It was during this first mile that I discovered the person I “knew” I “had” to beat. She was so loud behind me. Nonstop chatter, which is fine, but just soooo loud. I didn’t want to force myself to go too fast at the start to stay ahead of her, and then burn out, so I just let her pass and celebrated that one small victory – the noise was gone!

Something I just loved during this half marathon was the dog! A beautiful yellow lab that seemed to run my pace – if you add in her potty stops. She was just as cute and happy as can be. Dogs as spectators always make me so happy, so to run near one that wasn’t in my way was just tops in my book! *The dog did beat me, and that’s okay. Good girl!

The course was on trails I have raced on before, except for miles 7 through 10. Seven through ten were nice, too. I got to see parts of Eugene I’ve never seen before. It was also in this stretch that I started to pick out my rabbits. I was sticking to my run/walk ratio since that’s my plan for Goofy weekend and this race was essentially a long run as part of Goofy training. The intervals were really working, too. I was feeling strong the entire race until the very end when the wind picked up and made my legs cold and stiff – but that was only the last couple of miles, nothing to complain about. Feeling great I knew that I’d have to start making my move. That loud talker from mile 1? I could see her and I declared that she would NOT cross that finish line before I did. This motivated me to pick up my pace a bit and just keep chipping away at the distance between us. It was at mile 11 that I passed her and the other runner in her Portland Marathon finisher shirt. Maybe it was just their marathon shirts that made me feel like I had to pass them, I don’t know. But I do know that it felt like sweet victory when I did pass and then keep increasing the gap in my favor. I did pick out and pass a couple more runners before the end ….

…. And then true R0nda came out. That would be the girl that sees she is doing well, gets excited and nervous and then her upchuck reflexes kick in and it’s a race of praying for the finish line to get to my feet BEFORE I throw up. I stopped trying to pass people and focused on enjoying the race, running a nice pace, breathing, and not puking. Once I hit mile 13 and could see the finish line I did go for my final sprint and did NOT get sick!!! This race was only 3 minutes slower than my finish time at Seattle Rock’n’Roll, which for me was a huge deal! I’ve been feeling so slow and sluggish since the marathon, so this made me feel like I had a huge physical and mental victory over myself!

I am really glad I signed up for this one --- and I am REALLY glad the rain stopped before the race began. We all got pretty lucky that day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Scappoose Half Marathon

Training run.
Smallest half EVER.

Punctuation? Complete Sentences?
The above are ways I would describe the Scappoose Half Marathon put on by the local rotary club.  When I couldn't make it to the Runaway Pumpkin Half I decided to find one to sneak into my schedule to keep me busy racing. A little search on my phone led me to Scappoose! With only a few days until the race I decided to register. It promised a finisher's medal, t-shirt and boxed lunch. What's to complain about!?!

The race started at Scappoose High School at 10am. We were basically there while they were still setting up, and took advantage of the situation and time by staying inside the warm high school. I snooped around the girl's locker room, checked out the cafeteria, used the "girls room", marveled at the gym and entertained myself by reading some signs...

Check-in, once I finally decided to, was very simple. I got my cotton t-shirt and crazy enough didn't even complain that it was cotton. I realized quickly that this truly was a race put on by older men without any sort of race/running knowledge. They had good intentions and I thought for a first time during a cold month in a small town, well I think they pulled it off. Every single volunteer was very nice and chatty, even on the course! We got our bibs and MF noticed that there were hardly any people getting bibs for the half marathon. It was then that I knew I'd officially be the back of the pack. I didn't care. We later learned from locals that there was no advertisement for the race, hence the small turn out. Good thing I had no ego going into this race. 

I found Prefontaine in the locker room!!
This race was strictly a long training run as I prepare for Goofy weekend in just 2 months. I'm still getting back into the groove and rebuilding my ability to breathe, so I knew I wasn't going to be "racing". Fun was the name of the game!

Soon the 5K, 10K and half runners were making their way to the track. I was shocked at how many people were in shorts as it was still not even 40 degrees out (I think it even got cooler during the race)! I was in pants, long sleeves, gloves and a headband to keep my head warm. Just a week before I was in a t-shirt and skirt and sweating!  The half started first with a lap around the track before heading into the wilderness. I did push myself and keep up with the pack for that lap, staying around 9 minute mile pace or lower. Off the track I slowed down and four tenth of a mile into the race I was officially in the back where I'd stay the rest of the 12.7 miles!

Early on I decided to "Galloway It" with a .4 run/.1 walk ratio. We kept that the entire time and it really did help, especially mentally. I was able to assure myself that I could run .4 miles with no problem. Those .1 breaks were glorious! After the first 2 miles we were on our own. The 5K runners and come, turned and gone while the 10K runners were fairly sparse. Drink stops happened quite frequent in the beginning. I think we had 3 of them before we hit mile 3! And I'd call them water shots, certainly not big cups. I think at each stop I had two "shots". 

So there we were, on our own, just MF and I. Most of the race we could look ahead and behind and never see another person. I decided it would be fun to play music from my phone that was in my iFitness belt. It helped keep us entertained, especially around mile 5 when we had a full performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. I bet the wildlife really enjoyed that!

We saw horses, llamas, dogs, cows, birds and a snake that I had to jump around to avoid stepping on it.  I heard all sorts of animals as well. It was pretty cool! Not as cool was the road kill I had to avoid stepping on. 

Smells were prevalent. For a while it was pine trees. Loved it! But, crazy as it is, I was really excited near miles 9 - 10 when it smelled like .... wait for it .... manure. Yes, wildlife and manure. I don't hate it. It reminds me of when I was a child and of the county fair. 

The course was pretty quiet, human wise. We rarely had cars pass us, and only at a couple houses did we see residents out and about. Most interactions we had were with the volunteers at the water stations - minus the station that was only a table, bottled water and plastic shot glasses! I can't say enough how nice all the volunteers were. They were out there freezing and always greeted us with smiles and encouragement!

It was a very cold race.  MF had no gloves or pants yet (we remedied that later that night!), so he was losing feeling in his hands. I was pretty toasty compared to him, but I also have tons of accessories available for warmth. I started going numb and my legs didn't want to bend anymore. I think the pain started in my ass and worked its way down, making every joint stiff. I did my best to ignore it so I could get myself to the finish line sooner than later. 

The exciting finish line....
And soon it was there, the end.... Most of the time you hit the finish line and hear cowbells, announcers, music, cheering family members. This was not one of those times. I had a hard time even seeing where I was supposed to run to enter the track. Once I did I saw the finish line right there ... with 3 men. They were the 3 men running the timing equipment. Not one single spectator or volunteer welcoming us to the end of a cold, long race. They did say our names when we crossed, gave us bottled water and were nice, telling us where to go to get our medals, warm soup and sandwiches. We quickly went back into the high school.  Finishers were few and far between so nobody even realized there were two new frozen people arriving, wanting food and medals.  The boxed lunches were really nice - a BIG sandwich (sadly ALL of the meat variety), a banana, cookies and a Clif bar. I had to go find someone else for my medal. Being one of the last runners I ended up with a 1st in Division medal versus a regular medal. I didn't complain, again I knew this was a first time race put on by older men as a way to kind of celebrate Veteran's Day. I just decided I came in 1st in the Awesome Person division.  

We hurried to the car to thaw out and decided on pizza for some post-race food. It was glorious! Pizza, nachos and bread sticks. Pure Heaven!! Later on I checked the results. I wanted us to finish in less than 3 hours - and we did with no problem at all. AND I was 3rd in my division .... ignore that there were only 4 of us in my division. A half marathon with 55 runners! Smallest half I've ever done. And really, No complaints! For someone wanting a nice, relaxing run through the countryside and a lunch at the end, I'd actually recommend it! That's my Sweet Sixteen half marathon, and a sweet little race it was!

Run 2.6 - Adding in Yoga Booty Ballet

I'm posting this mostly just for my own sake to remember, so when you're like "gosh, this is the second most boring blog I've ever read," ... well that's totally okay. I know I can never be THE most boring blog ever ... that title is given purely to this girl and her obsession with her cat and her husband that might some day eat said cat. Anyway.....

I set out to run 4 miles. Apparently running a) in the dark b) with a headlamp on while c) cars are zooming by with headlights blinding me and d) my ears are frozen for the first time ... Hello Meniere's attack! 1.6 miles in I was very unsteady on my feet and really nervous about continuing further from home. We decided to turn and head home to finish out a three mile run. I actually powered up the two hills quite nicely, I was proud of myself!

Post-run I ditched the shoes and put in Yoga Booty Ballet (YBB). Due to the fact that I couldn't balance myself because of the vertigo I skipped the ballet portion. I always skip the yoga part (I just find it for me to be so blah). So it was a thirty minute workout with cario/weights, abs, inner thigh work and stretching. Oh man did I feel it! Man Friend was a trooper and even tried it, too!  I'm hoping to make this a normal part of my routine since I quit the YMCA.

And that's that. Nothing special. But I am loving the new shoes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Run 2.5 - Election Night

While many people spent the evening watching election coverage I did not!

After work I was pretty excited to put on my new shoes, flashing ankle light, head lamp and flashing light on the back of my head and head out for four miles! It was perfect weather, clear and mildly cool. I loved it!

What I didn't love was how hard it is to get back my speed, not that I was at all fast. Strep throat wiped me out!! I feel almost normal, until I run. I was working so hard and felt I should be seeing low 10s on my Garmin. Yeah, 11:14 average pace for the four. Ugh. But I'll take it. Besides when I'm running I still feel the pain in my leg from the marathon so I won't complain. At least I'm back out running!

And so after the run I completely forgot about the election. I did some facebooking then had a yummy dinner .... With vegetables!!! Then Dexter. When Dexter ended I finally, accidentally, saw election coverage. Didn't last long. I saw the winners then switched to the Beverly Hills Housewives. Am I really supposed to believe Kim is clean? I'm not buying it!

And that was my night! Running and trashy tv!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Run 2.3, 2.4 - I'm Winded!

Taking such a huge break in running wasn't planned, and it is sure making for a difficult return. I'm trying so hard to get back to where I was. I think I'll try to not get strep throat anymore.

Saturday morning was my 3rd run since the Portland Marathon. It felt really good, mentally and physically, to finally be able to be out running again. The weather was nice and being out so early left for empty pathways, which is always a plus. The bridge triggered some Meniere's nonsense again, but after a brief pause to get my bearings we were back moving and finished it out. Nothing worth bragging about at all, but when I realize that just days before I couldn't even walk to the kitchen from my bedroom, I'll take any run I can get!

Sunday I wanted to do 8 miles for my birthday run. The best part? I had a new Skirt Sports skirt to test out AND the present I bought for myself for my birthday. Behold! Yet another pair of Adidas, and this time they are so neon they make my other bright pink shoes look pastel!  

These shoes are so freaking light, and when I held them up with the insert out, I could see through the soles. No joke! They felt pretty darn nice on my feet!

For the 8 miles I had us run over the river and through the woods .... not to my grandmother's house though. We ran along the freeway bike path and ended up at the county fairgrounds to stake out the building we have reserved for our Oregon wedding reception. Unfortunately an auction was happening so I couldn't go check it out easily. It certainly looks like it will be big enough! We visualized where chairs and tables would go --- so we'd have ample room for a dance floor! I plan on dancing the night away!!  

Most of the run was spent discussing Goofy weekend in January (on the way to the fairgrounds) and then planning our wedding events on the way back home. Time flew by! It did get pretty toasty, I was shocked. I regretted not bringing any fluids with me, especially when I resorted to using my hands as a cup and drinking out of a sink. Whatever works!

We finished out the 8 and felt really good about it. It wasn't any fabulous time, but right now I'm just trying to get my stamina back after the stupid sickness. New shoes help with that I'm pretty sure!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How I'm Spending My Birthday Weekend

Happy Halloween!
Hello! I'm alive!! I've recovered from strep throat and am back to normal for the most part! And happily I was 100% healthy for the weekend where I had to say good bye to 33 and hello to 34. Yikes.

Saturday MF and I started our day with a 3 mile run. Not gonna lie, it was challenging. I was just getting back to running when strep throat happened, so doing 3 miles wasn't so bad on my legs, but hard on the lungs. I was a little wimpy thing. But it felt so good! We'll call that Run 2.3 in preparation for the next marathon!  

After the run we got ready to head north. First stop ... registering! On Thursday night we were up in Eugene at Bed, Bath & Beyond to register and we didn't get to use the scanner gun. Darn it! So we decided to stop in Eugene on our way up to OSU to register at Kohl's and Target. Way too much fun! They let us have the scanner and be on our own to click away at whatever we wanted. Being the frugal person that I am, I resisted temptation and didn't ever scan the fancy pants Margaritaville blender. I did, however, click on the foot massagers and foot bath things!

We don't have a Target where we live, and let me tell you - registering there was a blast! Finally something that would sell you a set of measuring cups for less than $50! Soon we had leave to get up to Corvallis for the football game. But first! I have this plan for my wedding/Oregon reception (I have two different events in two different states). In order to make this plan happen I have to do some investigating. This led me to Best Buy, which did not offer what I need. On the way I was humored by the school bus and pulled in and parked in front of the porn shop. Yep.

Next stop, Oregon State University. In the Spring it is covered with beautiful flowers and in the Fall it is just gorgeous. All of the trees are so colorful and the ground dusted in leaves. I love it so much. I always miss school even more when I'm up there on a perfect day with the beautiful colors and sound of football in the air. As per usual I just show up to tailgate and spend the first half of the game hanging out. MF and I wandered around campus and paused at some of my favorite spots, like the stairs in the Memorial Union and the tables I used to sit and study at that look out into the big, open green quad. I really did get so lucky spending my college years on such a picturesque campus!

Just a portion of the Memorial Union

I got a new hat, too! Now I have two hats with ears that are not of the Mickey Mouse variety! It was Dad's Weekend. I always liked Mom's and Dad's Weekend. My step-dad and I reminisced the old days of my youth and how we did a Father/Daughter bowling tournament, terrible hotel rooms with water beds, shag carpet and silver wall paper, nice dinners out, and more. Ah, the good ol' days. Seriously, I can't even believe it's been 12 years since I was going to OSU. Twelve?? Crazy!!!  Twelve years ago right now I was probably busy studying, as I was in my final term of college and had a full schedule of Psychology courses, including my writing intensive course that was actually pretty cool, and my fun photography class - which I had with someone that is now in the NFL! He was pretty funny ... and cute.

After half-time Man Friend and I began our drive back home. We took a little detour to go by the bar I used to dance and have drinking contests at every Thursday. Oh, Top of the Cock, how I miss you so!

I'd like to say I wasn't a crazy party girl ... but I can't lie, so yeah ... Let's just say I had A LOT of fun back in the day! My liver likes me much better now I'm sure!

And here it is, Sunday, November 4th. At 4am I turned 34 years old. I was treated to breakfast in bed, with my two cats and dog (and MF) all there with me. I was given the choice of spending the day however I wanted ... and corny as it is, I just wanted to be home with my little family, the front door open so my dog could go play in the sunshine, some "Tidy Janes" and tater tots, and a run. *Tidy Janes are the vegetarian version of Sloppy Joes ... the name created by none other than Cilley Girl! Tomorrow night my mom and step-dad are taking me out for dinner .... we all wanted to just have a lazy Sunday and not have to get all dressed up!

It's been a perfect day. I'll write about the run later in it's own post. On tap for the rest of my evening I envision perhaps some popcorn, a little bit of Dexter and then Breaking Amish. Okay, does anyone else watch that show? I'm so addicted to it. Now every time I see a girl in boots I ask 2Fish (MF) if she is Amish. Watch it if you haven't, it's addicting!!  Oh, and I'll probably continue being Bridezilla. My invitations are going out in the mail tomorrow, so now it's on to creating the guest list for my Oregon party and continuing to make the most fun music set list ever. And then the choreography.....  I forgot - I'm registering for a half marathon that's on Saturday. I need to make up for the one I had to skip when I was sick. Addiction ... apparently it's not only for the Amish show!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Run 2.2 - Non-Running Post

I ran a second time. As I recall it was a whopping 3 miles. It may have even been four. I kind of just don't even care. It's been a long time since I ran. Why? Because I'm freaking sick.  I've had step throat for a while now. I'm pretty much disgusting. I can't eat. I can't drink. So I'm really weak and can barely sit up. I haven't worked a full day since last Tuesday, which is when I started having a minor sore throat at the end of the day. Ugh, lovely. My dad came to visit though, and got to meet MF for the first time. They hit it off well, so that's always a plus! Also my dad helped me retrieve my music and photos from my old computer. Hallelujah!! I bought all of my Seattle RnR photos and then there they were, gone. Lost in the Blue Screen of Death. So now I have them back! Let's put one in here now just because I can! Yay!

Let's see, what else? My mom is in Vegas right now and checked out my wedding chapel. She said it looks really nice and is in a quiet location away from the casino floor. She keeps calling me from Vegas. It's driving me nuts. I mean I'm not able to work - she could have just taken me with her!

MF and I went to a bridal show before I became a gross, non-hair brushing, pus filled person that is miserable. OMG, let me get you a screen shot - speaking of pus. I kind of posted a photo of myself and a caption, not really reading the caption or thinking maybe I could have written/worded things differently.  Here it is. Wait, my phone is updating - I'll get to that later. Okay, so the bridal show was fun. We didn't go with plans to book a wedding or reception location. We didn't need a dress or photographers or caterers. Pretty much we went because it was an EXPO and we did need to discuss manly attire. Samples were lacking, but we did get to see a cheetah from the Wildlife Safari and enter a ton of drawings. I'd say most of our success came from hitting the cruise booth (we do need a honeymoon after all!) and after talking to Men's Warehouse. There were photo booth vendors as well, so naturally we took advantage of that!

We also had luck on finding my wedding shoes, funny enough NOT at the bridal expo! And while getting my wedding shoes we picked up some accessories to create what was to be our costumes for a Halloween themed half marathon. Yeah, that didn't happen. For the first time ever I paid for a race and then didn't go. I physically couldn't do it at all. I mean I haven't eaten a real meal since last Tuesday. I can't even brush  my hair because it hurts too bad, so sadly I had to skip a half marathon. But we have costumes ready for another time!

Oh - yeah, so this is yours truly! Aren't I just divine?? I did finally brush that mess, but it looks like that again. and to translate the caption for you, just in case you're reading this on a smaller screen: 
In bed for 3 days so far. Swollen. Pussy. Tired. Fever. Imminent bed sores. Unable to eat or drink. Strep throat has never been so sexy!

Um, next time I'll just say my throat is all swollen and filled with pus, NOT "swollen. pussy." Bad call on that one, but an absolutely hysterical boo-boo, too! 

So that's what I've not been up to. This is actually the first day I've been able to sit up unassisted, so that's exciting! I should probably go shower.

Oh yeah - I'm quitting the Y. They stopped my swim class in the morning, so I'm just going to replace it with some fun workouts at home instead. Welcome back to my life, Yoga Booty Ballet!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Run 2.1 - Marathon Training Take 2

I took a 10 day break from running. I mastered the art of sitting on the couch watching TV, sleeping, eating, and eating. No joke, one day we put in a movie, devoured popcorn and immediately followed it up with ice cream. Pure gluttony. So now I feel like a lazy blimp and I'm ready to be back into training mode!

Last night we ran for the first time. It was a whopping 4 miles and a non-impressive pace. BUT I'm happy with it. Very happy, actually! I ran it with zero walking. Given the fact that the last time I ran was the marathon and I got hurt and could barely walk, this was a huge accomplishment. It lit that fire in me again... the fire to race, to run, to be healthy!

As of this morning I'm back to monitoring what I eat and trying to lower my cholesterol again. Last time I did that I lost 17 pounds. I did gain some happy weight of about 5 pounds, but you know what, I'm freaking happy!! So I'll take those pounds -- and now go lose them! Today I'm on my Bridezilla diet - just meaning I'm being healthy and exercising!

Speaking of Bridezilla, after my aunt's passing I pretty much just shut down in all respects. That's when the sleeping and doing nothing and eating started. And wedding planning stopped. So to get rejuvenated, MF and I are going to a bridal expo on Saturday! I'm pretty darn excited!

Also exciting, I got to update my Upcoming Races tab and put in 4 more half marathons! I registered us for 3 last night, and the 4th one will probably be finalized this weekend after checking with the family for our busy dates in December. That gets me to Goofy weekend in WDW and the half marathon ... it will be half marathon #20 for me!

So things are turning around!