Monday, March 31, 2014

Beauty - 3/31/14

Great food, great waiter.
Laughs in the TSA line.
Candy Cane Inn's Alejandra.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beauty - 3/30/14

Running one mile.
Ghirardelli sundaes.
Fast-pass sister.
Silly husband.
Shorts and sandals.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV 


No. 18

No. 18 was All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab.

Someone, presumably a teenager girl, returned this to the book drop at the THS library. Instead of shelving it, I checked it out under my own name and brought it home. Another teen romance - with a murder-mystery twist!

It was written in first person, but alternating between two main characters. I liked how the back story and mystery unfolded from the two perspectives, back and forth, back and forth. Time also jumped backward and forward. Interesting style.

And a good twist is always appreciated :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sisters AquaJog

AquaJogging has been a good addition to my cross-training regimen while I nurse Achilles tendonitis. I haven't run in 10 days - which seems like an eternity!

Eryn joined me at the pool Wednesday, and it was nice to have a buddy while I did mini laps in the deep end.

I also tried out my brand-new swimsuit. Like a real one. Like for real swimmers. I feel much less out of place at the pool now :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

And one of Brad

You've seen my lovely Shamrock pics... now here's one of Brad - racing to the finish line :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free race pics are still ugly

Most race courses are staffed with photographers trying to catch the perfect pictures - so you'll pay lots of money for some prints. The problem is that we look really dumb when we run - and the pics are almost never worth buying.

I bought a print from each of my marathons, but that's it. Usually they are horrible. 

But for this year's Shamrock Run, they offered FREE photos for all runners. Unfortunately, they are still fairly horrible! Here are a few of the better ones.

Near the start - not too bad:
Going up Broadway - with Joel:
Finally, some downhill! Posing for the photographer:
And as soon as I thought I was out of his shot - the real me is back:
 The home stretch. I love these. I'm dying and Joel is... singing??
The finish line is in sight... go hard!
 Free pictures are fun :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beauty - catching up

Lots of beauty spotted recently:

Saturday - hiking with Sean and Karen. Fantastic views.

Sunday - first day of sandals! Lunch with Sarah and Joel.

Monday - hard work in the yard with big payoff. Feeling accomplished. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Larch Mountain - 3/22/14

I am on a roll! I'm not running for a couple weeks, so I'm really upping my cross training - including hiking!

Brad, Sean, Karen, Eddie and I drove up, up, up to Larch Mountain for a snowy Saturday hike.
Snow closes the road every year until May, so we parked at the gate and hoofed it up the road about 1.7 miles to the spot where we'd normally park and jump on the trail. Because of the added mileage on the road, we decided to skip the loop and just head up the right (and steep!) side straight to Sherrard Point:
The road's patchy snow and ice got deeper as we climbed. We assumed the trail, which goes through dense forest, would be more snow-free. It was not. We decided the snow just added extra intensity and calorie burning to our workout :)

We kept going, knowing the clear, wind-free day would provide a perfect view at the top.
Oh, yeah - there it is:
We had the summit all to ourselves. Perfect!
I think it's really cool that Brad has stood atop all five peaks - Hood, Jefferson, St. Helens, Rainier and Adams! I've been on three - not too shabby :)
Eddie was so well behaved!
I love a hike with a beautiful reward - especially when shared with good friends :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Beauty - 3/21/14

Spending a sunny spring afternoon watching my friend coach softball - beautiful!
Watching Tigard win 14-0 - beautiful!
Eryn WALKED to the game from home - beautiful!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV


Beauty - 3/20/14

Celebrating a job well done :)

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shamrock Run - PR!!!! (3/16/14)

This year's Shamrock Run almost wasn't - but ended up being amazing!
Because of this stupid Achilles tendonitis, my mileage has been very low for the past five weeks. I've done a couple races, because they were already on my calendar and paid for, but hardly any additional miles. For five weeks! Ugh.

I almost bagged Shamrock but decided to go ahead and do it because I have no other races planned until May. Lots of time to rest my tendon.

The most preparation I did was picking out my outfit (which was awesome!) :) Up at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, prepped and ready to race!
Sarah and Joel rode downtown with us for the 7:40 a.m. 15K start.
It was warm but a bit windy. And it drizzled off and on, but nothing serious.

Notice the Morrison Bridge lit in green, white and orange?
Racing with my bestie:
We ditched our warmups and hit the portas one last time:
Sarah's excited! Or something.
Windy hair! (I'm a little disturbed that I look half asleep in all the pictures...)
So Sarah had announced that Joel wanted to run with me. He's new(ish) to running and still learning about pacing. He likes to go out fast (because he's really fast!) but is unpracticed in sustaining. I figured we'd go out for a little jaunt together, embracing the happiness that is the easy run. I figured so wrong.

Before I realized we were gunning for a big PR:

We got in the corrals at the last minute and ended up a long way from the front. It took a really long time to get across the start line, then we ran a half mile out Naito and had to stop for an Amtrak train. Oops.

Once the train cleared the course, we wove through heavy traffic again to get back up to speed. Then we turned south and worked our way through old town and then onto Broadway. Despite starting uphill, we were still making good time. 

After the warmup came the real hill: Terwilliger Boulevard. We kept a decent pace, though I could tell Joel really wanted to go faster. I gave him permission to ditch me, but he chose to stick by my side, encouraging me the whole way.
If I had been alone, running the casual race I planned, I definitely would have joined the walkers trudging up the big hill. But I couldn't let Joel see my weakness, so I kept going. Chug, chug, chug!

* Side note: I just looked up "chug" and the dictionary says: a dull explosive sound made by or as if by a laboring engine. HA! That sounds about right ;)

We finally hit the top, I grabbed a swig of water, and I prayed my tired legs would hold up as we started down the hill.

I watched my Garmin as our pace started dropping. I gave Joel updates as we approached a 10-minute-mile average. Then we dropped below 10 and I was satisfied. But Joel didn't want me to rest on my laurels. Apparently he had a secret plan to try and kill me.

My legs were barely hanging on, but we pushed and pushed down that hill. Joel was awesome - taking over when I was all out of positive self talk. You know that saying, "Pain is temporary but pride is forever"? That was my mantra for those last couple miles.

I kicked as hard as I could at the end, and we crossed the finish line in 1:32 (according to my Garmin, which I paused when we stopped for the train and later for a line of cars)
Whoa! That was tough - but I did it - and I'm thrilled! I can honestly say that I left it all on the course.

Thank you, Joel! I absolutely wouldn't have done that without you.
PS - and great job to you! You killed it, too :)

Brad also had a good run, but got stopped by two MAX trains. He may not sign up for anymore downtown races!
Of course, Sarah nailed it, too. She's amazing!

Aren't they cute??
All of us measured the course long, and some of that could be from lots of weaving through the huge crowd. I finished 9.43 miles at a 9:46 average.

My splits:
  • Mile 1: 10:26
  • Mile 2: 10:07
  • Mile 3: 9:48
  • Mile 4: 10:42
  • Mile 5: 10:15
  • Mile 6: 10:06
  • Mile 7: 9:12
  • Mile 8: 9:08
  • Mile 9: 8:52
  • Mile 9.43: 8:27


I am incredibly proud of this race! And I loved pacing Joel slow at the beginning and letting him pace me fast at the end. What a team :)


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beauty - 3/19/14

Happy birthday, Cousin Kayla!
Thanks for sharing your special day with us :)

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV


James and Lori

We had the honor Sunday of witnessing the union of James Jula and Lori Ireland.
James and Brad met through Mazamas and have been on many hiking/climbing adventures over the past few years. I've joined on some of the low-key trips and think James is terrific and lots of fun.

All ready!
James's two daughters served as flower girl and bridesmaid. Lori's son was the ring bearer:
The beautiful bride!
James and Lori looked so very happy! We wish them all the best in this new adventure :)