Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jam-packed weekend!

WOW - this was a weekend jam packed with excitement and hard work!

I started off Saturday morning with 3 sweaty miles on the 'mill while watching my newest Netflix obsession: Say Yes to the Dress. I can't stop watching!
Then it was over to Eryn's for a deck-raising party - her birthday present from the fam. 

Just getting started:
Lots and lots and lots of digging holes and trenches for the footings. You'd have no idea how sloped Eryn's yard is... until you have to level a deck on it :)
Fortunately the weather was good (dry but not too hot), and we got the bones all finished before total darkness set in.
With rain predicted, Eryn decided to wait on placing the decking so that she wouldn't have to wait longer for it to dry out before staining. I think the decking/stain comes later this week.

So proud of my family for working well together and getting this done - without any major meltdowns or ER trips! This is truly an accomplishment ;)

Brad's family is all from the Midwest - Indiana and Ohio. Part of being in their family is learning about Indy racing - and spending Memorial Day Sunday watching the Indy 500. I figure if I can make Brad watch the Super Bowl, I can learn to like Indy!

We gathered at Grandma Barbara's house in Newberg to watch the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. I LOVED how she had Speed Racer napkins, checked-flag place mats and and flags and a little oval race track set up. A woman after my own heart!
And it ended up being a really exciting race - at least in the final laps!

On bonus-day Monday (Aren't three-day weekends glorious?!), I got up and did some chores and then went outside (!) for my long run of the week. I hadn't done a real run outside in a very long time, and I was really anxious about it.

Brad offered to go along, and that ended up being a bad idea. I get too worked up emotionally and psychologically when I run with him. Totally my fault, not his. But I really need to remember to just go solo next time.
Although my Achilles did fairly well, the run was very hard and disappointing. My legs were shot from Saturday's digging/squatting/lifting, and I couldn't get my head on straight. I did 6 miles around a 10-minute pace, including several walk breaks. Next run will be better...

After a short re-charging nap, we consulted our new Washington County bike map (thanks for the tip, Shari!), picked a trail, loaded our bikes in the car and left for what we thought would be an easy, casual ~14-mile shakeout ride. 


We quickly realized that this trail, which runs under the power lines from near Scholls Ferry Road to Hillsboro, went OVER Murray Hill. And then OVER the hill next to it. And because of all the switchbacks (thank goodness for switchbacks!!), it was more like 10 miles each way.

Holy cow!

Our turn-around spot at the end:
Then 10 miles back, OVER the mini mountains. Phew, we made it!
The whole point of this "little jaunt" was to test out my new road bike. It's totally awesome and I love it! BUT... it's a road bike, not a mountain bike. I was working HARD to get up those hills... like, REALLY hard.
Brad was pedaling three or four times on his mountain bike for every one of my strokes. Mine is not geared for hills. Fortunately, my legs/butt are built to climb, and I killed it ;)

The whole time back, we were talking about our friends who were no doubt chillin' with beer, burgers and kiddie pools while we were out working our butts off. Not sure we're the smarter ones ;)

Thinking this was an easy ride, I brought along just one bottle of water and to share, just two Honey Stinger Waffles we scored free at Thursday's Discovery Run. The chocolate was good, but the vanilla was excellent. Yummy, but not enough calories and fluids for this ride!
I'd love more vanilla for my birthday, if anyone's looking for an idea :)

We stashed our bikes in the car, which we'd parked at Big Al's on Barrows, and drove the short distance to Five Guys, Subway and Jamba (two-for-one coupon!). Brad had been craving a Five Guys burger all day.
Subway veggie patty for me:
We are pooped from our busy weekend - but so satisfied! I love that we spend our free time pushing our bodies to the limits and really earning those burgers :)

What might next weekend hold???

Sunday, May 25, 2014

No. 24

While Brad was picking up a video from the Tigard Library, I spotted this mystery on the new-release shelf. It's about cheese, so I thought it had to be good!
Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames was a fun, quick read.

I really like this kind of "light" mystery where an average person (cheese shop owner!) moonlights as a detective, sticking her nose into the middle of the investigation - and then figuring it out. It's very formula, but I enjoy it.

Plus, there are cheese recipes in the back of the book. Bonus!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Discovery Run winner!

Brad won a raffle prize at Thursday's Discovery Run!
The Tualatin Road Runner Sports store hosts the scavenger hunts on the fourth Thursday of the month. The 2014 season started last month, but it was rainy and windy so we bailed. But last night was hot and humid - perfect for running around town and collecting raffle tickets!

They pulled the tarp off the giant map at 6:30 p.m., I scribbled down the locations, and we were off. A ton of people were there - most donning our official, high-vis Discovery Run shirts.

I love the look on drivers' faces as we all run past!

We hit almost all the spots, collecting bonus tickets for wearing our shirts and for doing little stunts - like pushups in the fountain.
We returned to the store after an hour, grabbed our root beer floats (SO glad they didn't just have beer this time!) and laid out our tickets:
Raffle time...
Brad's number was called!!! Certificates for froyo, compression sleeves, nutrition drinks and online running training - SCORE!
We also came away with a ton of coconut water, Muscle Milk, gels, Honey Stinger waffles and blister powder!

The best part was that we were having a blast while getting in our workout. Because of my injury, we didn't go full out. But we did still run 4.23 miles at a 12:03 average - traffic lights, ticket stops, pushups and all :)
I love these events! Can't wait for next month :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Iris Festival Half (5/18/14)

My injured self ran a terrific Hippie Chick quarter marathon two weeks ago. Well, I was also signed up for a race last weekend. 

I felt fairly good the week after Hippie Chick so I decided to go for Sunday's Keizer Iris Run. I was signed up for the half but thought I should again drop down to the 10K distance to be safe. I decided to play it by ear.
This race was so small! The Portland Rock and Roll was going on at the same time in Portland - with 10,000+. The Iris runs had a total of 300 between the 10K, half and full marathons. There were just four porta potties at the start/finish! Small-town races are fun :)
The forecast called for showers but the temp was good - around 50 degrees. We parked just one block from the start line and walked back and forth a couple times. Loved that! And we could hear the DJ blasting tunes from around the corner. Getting pumped!
Unfortunately, my Achilles hurt just a bit from the start, so I figured I'd turn back at the 10K turnaround (the whole thing was a giant out-and-back course). But as I approached the big arrow on the road, I told myself that if I didn't feel anything before I reached it, I would keep going - maybe going out a few more miles and then turning around.

No pain, so I just blew past the arrow and headed north.

The course was gorgeous. Only a few cars cruised by as we passed the fields. And I think most of those were spectators chasing their runners around the course.

It was almost totally flat with few turns. Easy running! I kept a good pace and trucked along, taking short walks at each water station. I felt like a real runner again - and it was glorious!!!

As I approached the half turn around (yeah, I ended up running the whole half!), I realized there had been a big tailwind. No wonder it felt so effortless ;)
After grabbing some water at the 6.5-mile mark, I kept walking and gave myself a bit of a break. I also stopped briefly to tighten my right shoe, which was rubbing like crazy. I'd never worn my Newtons for a long run before. Then my toes started to go numb. Rookie mistake.

Of course, Brad finished before me and snapped a couple pics. See that lady in the yellow? She was about a half-block in front of me. I kicked to the end with my only goal being passing her before the finish line. Mission accomplished!
I have no idea what I'm doing here, other than trying to pose while also trying not to pass out and hoping Brad takes the picture quickly!
I did the first half the race at about a 9:30 average. I took two short walks on the way back (plus the strong headwind), and finished in 2:12 - a 10:03 average.
My splits:
  • Mile 1: 9:32
  • Mile 2: 9:36
  • Mile 3: 9:30
  • Mile 4: 9:40 (water/gel)
  • Mile 5: 9:22
  • Mile 6: 9:41
  • Mile 7: 11:33 (walk)
  • Mile 8: 11:09 (water/gel)
  • Mile 9: 10:02
  • Mile 10: 11:28 (walk)
  • Mile 11: 9:53
  • Mile 12: 10:02
  • Mile 13: 9:44
  • Last .21: 8:19

Considering the last time I ran more than 9 miles was mid-March, I'm absolutely thrilled. It was a strong run, and once I warmed up, my tendon felt fairly good.

The weather held beautifully. The sun came out, but the temp stayed low. The rain held off until about the last half mile of my race when it just started misting. I actually loved it!
Brad also ran the half but didn't have a very strong race. He was disappointed, but I still think he's awesome :)
He felt better after eating some free pancakes :)
I'm glad I went ahead and ran the half. I'm so happy that I had a strong run. My Achilles was a little mad at me after, but I don't think it's a setback. I have almost a month before my next race, so I plan to baby it and do cross training and short distances.

The course was fantastic, support was great and the price was terrific. I would definitely recommend the Keizer Iris Run!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My two aunts

I'd like you to meet my two aunts, Kari and Vicki.
Kari (on the right) is Mom's sister (perhaps you see a resemblance!?!) and Vicki is her wife.

On the day I was born (many moons ago...), Kari gave me my beloved Odie, who loves to dress up for holidays (duh!!) and still sleeps next to my bed. Kari's been a big part of my entire life.
And Vicki joined the family when I was in high school... I think. It was so long ago - I feel like she's always just been around.
Kari and Vicki are wonderful examples in my life of loving, caring, generous people - and an example of a dedicated, healthy couple. And together, they are raising two kind, compassionate daughters who are growing into fine young women - like their mothers.

Kari and Vicki first married in Canada and then in Portland when Oregon law briefly allowed it. Monday, they threw a party to celebrate same-sex marriage being legal once again in Oregon.
They are 100% a normal family - with houses and kids and cars and jobs and holidays and stress and parties and fun and sad and struggles and triumphs. I consider myself so fortunate to have that modeling - in any relationship, but especially in a same-sex relationship.

As humans, we understand so much better things of which we have firsthand knowledge (in all areas of life!). When we have concrete, positive examples, it's much easier to understand things/situations different than ourselves. It takes away the fear of the unknown, the different.
I fully acknowledge that my life experiences have shaped my strong beliefs and made this situation completely normal to me. And I am so incredibly thankful for that. I also acknowledge that those without similar experiences may have a harder time understanding. I wish everyone had similar positive examples in their lives like I've had :)

I am thrilled that people in my life, people I love, now have the same legal marriage protections that I do. I'm thrilled that this ruling brought an enormous smile a coworker who's been waiting to marry her fiance. I'm thrilled that my aunts' marriage is again legally recognized. I'm thrilled that the courts are striking down discriminatory laws.
My heartfelt congratulations to Kari and Vicki, Pauline and all others who are now able to marry their best friends!

In the words of the famous Reed Coleman, GO LOVE!! :)

Sunrise pedal

Somehow, I again convinced Dad to get up before dawn and join me for a bike ride before work.

A layer of clouds at 6 on this gorgeous summer-like morning:
We zipped through Cook Park, around Tualatin, through King City, up a heart-attack hill (Naeve Street), through Summerfield and back home in time to shower before work.
I managed about 10.5 miles. Not bad before 7 a.m. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

We love free food!

Native Foods Cafe is one of our very favorite dining spots - close to home, super yummy, good prices and all plant-based.

When we were invited to Saturday's private soft opening of the new Clackamas restaurant, we jumped at the chance to continue our anniversary celebration with more free food!

We arrived at the Clackamas Town Center location at our appointed noon time and were each told to order an appetizer, entree with side, dessert and drink. That's a TON of food!
We ordered the Native Nachos and Chicken Wings to start. Then the Twister Wrap and Southwest Chipotle Chop salad with sweet potato fries and potato salad. We each sampled teas and juices from the bubblers. We took home the Double Delight Brownie and the Toffee Cake for dessert.

It rang up at $50! We ate a bunch and then wrapped up two huge leftover boxes to take home.
The potato salad, chop salad, wings and desserts were new to us. I loved them all! Will definitely order that salad again!

Thanks to Native Foods for all the wonderful treats :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

No. 23

Grabbed this short book off the "A" shelf at the THS library.

Names Will Never Hurt Me, by Jaime Adoff, is the one-day, parallel stories of four high school students. It was a bit depressing because the students were all bullied. But it also drew attention to the very serious problem.

Interesting read.


Annabelle and Miguel

Brad and I celebrated our anniversary Friday at the wedding of Miguel and Annabelle, one of my very favorite (CE)2 students of all time.

The ceremony, held at the West End Ballroom, was very nice!
We went upstairs for dinner, cake and dancing.
We got to meet Sue's friends Kate and Amy and their son, Evan. Heard so many good things about this energetic  guy!
(CE)2 group shot!
The food was amazing - so good that I have to put in a plug for Divine Catering. We dined on spinach salad, roasted veggies, rice, salmon, steak and bread with garlic butter. Everyone commented on how good it was!
I was so glad to spend our special day celebrating Annabelle and Miguel! Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Rios!!!!!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Hippie Chick 2014 - PR!!!

I signed up for my fourth Hippie Chick months and months ago - way before I knew I'd spend the first half of the year battling injury. 

I was supposed to run the half, but that was out of the question. I decided to go ahead and try for the quarter and see how it felt. 6:30 a.m. - ready to go!
They wanted to charge me $30 to drop to the quarter. No way. So I ripped off my timing chip and just ran! I know, I'm such a rebel.
Lynn, Mom, Sondra and Eryn:
I expected to feel pain right away... but I didn't! In fact, it felt pretty much normal for almost 4 miles. Then it felt a bit off, and stabbed just a couple times, but really felt good.

After experimenting with different shoes and speeds and such, I decided on my Newtons, tried to keep up the pace and watched for uneven ground and tight corners.

I told my family beforehand that I reserved the right to do the whole half if everything felt good. BUT... my iPod died in the middle of the second song and I knew there was no way I could battle through 13 untrained miles without music. I think it was divine intervention ;)

This year's race ended on the new Hillsboro Hops baseball field. The turf is brand new and really squishy. It made the kick at the end extra challenging.
Luckily, Brad spotted my hot-pink shorts and was able to get to the finish chute in time to snap some pics.
Absolutely ecstatic! 
I finished the 6.61 miles in 1:02 - a 9:23 average.
Hot dang! Not too bad considering I haven't really run in two months.

AND... I actually PR'd!! My old quarter-marathon PR pace, set at the 2012 Hippie Chick, was 9:24! I WILL TAKE IT :) :)

Eryn had foot surgery in February, and this was her first post-op race. She ran/walked it and kicked butt! So great to have my running buddy back.
Brad and Dad came to cheer us on and take pictures (and to eat our leftover pancakes).
Mom sprinting to the finish:
Great job!
I adore these ladies :)
Pancakes: get in my tummy!
The loot was awesome! They were handing out piles and piles of Ghiradelli chocolate bars, and bread and donut holes and mini bagels...
Run with Paula sold off her races last year to the Better Series. This was my first taste of a "Better" race, and there were some definite goods and bads. 

The Web site sucked. I couldn't find anything I needed, including info about changing races and packet pickup. Duh. And the price was completely and totally outrageous. (I signed up very early for a big discount)

But the course support was good and the start/finish was great. I did notice there were not porta potties on the quarter course. I sure hope they had some for the halfers!

I wouldn't pay $100 for this race, but I would definitely pay $50... and that's just what I did when I registered that night for the 2015 race!!! (Though I couldn't find the link to save my life. Only got it through Sondra's Facebook posting. Still don't know how she got there!)

As always, the Hippie Chick was a wonderful celebration of women! Loved it :)