Monday, November 30, 2015

Peak mileage

I've reached my peak mileage for this training cycle!!

Sept. 1, right after Hood to Coast, I started specific training for my next goal half marathon. So for 13 weeks, I've diligently done speed sessions and tempo runs on the treadmill and long runs and short runs on the streets and trails. I've logged almost 300 miles in that time, with every workout serving a purpose.

Saturday was my last double-digit run for this plan. I've been a little ahead on my weekend miles, so while my original plan called for 12 miles, I'd already hit that and didn't feel the need to do it again.
After Thanksgiving, the Turkey Trot, Black Friday shopping and all that, I wasn't looking forward to getting out. It was cold and windy, and I was tired. I put it off all day and finally decided I better get it done before I lost daylight.

I planned to just run 10-12, depending on how I felt. I knew Brad was running 14.

Well, it was a beautiful day, and I hit my groove. I kept it nice and easy, and the miles just flew by. I was on a true runner's high, and I just kept plugging along. I was having such a great time that I decided to run 14 - but then I had to beat Brad and round it off to 15!

My later miles were a bit slower, as my body fatigued and my heart rate climbed. But I was strong and happy the whole time. It was a truly outstanding run.

I don't know if I'll hit my goal at the Holiday Half in two weeks. But I've nailed my training and prepared the best I can. I'm so pleased with my effort and feel great about where I am. :)

No. 37

No. 37 was Joan Hess's A Conventional Corpse. A local bookstore owner ends up hosting a mystery-writer convention, and all kinds of things go bad. Of course, there was some murder.

Since I'm a mystery reader, it was interesting to hear about different sub-genres of mysteries. Most of these simple ones I read are "amateur sleuth". I never thought about it, but that's where they fall. And most are women.

I don't think I'm going to break my record this year... 2016 is coming quickly!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Turkey Feast 2015 is in the books!!

Eryn and I did our big shopping trip Wednesday after a union meeting in Beaverton. I made her do this:
Got it!
Eryn carted over table, chairs, plates, flatware, candle holders and crockpots, while I prepped the house for a crowd. We're doing a bathroom remodel, so the place was pretty trashed. It was a long week of cleaning and prepping!

Sunday, we got down to business. But after things were under control, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. In our matching Crocs, party pants and puffy jackets:
Then we got cleaned up, put the finishing touches on stuff and waited... and took selfies:
Soon, it was time for the guests to arrive and the feast to begin! The table was ready and waiting for 12 hungry diners:
And the buffet:
Plenty of food for all the tummies! Because it was so close to Thanksgiving this year, we opted for a ham. SOOO much easier than turkey. We all joked about what kind of meat we'll serve at TF'16... so many options :)

As always, I was too busy feasting and chatting and hosting to take any people pictures. Ugh! Maybe I'll remember next year :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Birthday bowling

Mom decided to have a bowling party for her birthday!

First up, dinner in the restaurant at Big Al's in Beaverton.
My camera wasn't liking the low light.
Brad was trying his pouting selfie lips:
The food was surprisingly good. The prices were a little high, but the portions were huge.

Eryn and I split the fish tacos and the taco salad. The salad was fairly boring and not worth eating. The server asked if I wanted a box, but I told her that it honestly wasn't that good. Then she took it off the bill! I was so happy with the great customer service!

Then it was on to bowling... a pitiful showing by most of us. Except Mom - she actually did pretty well!
Brad pulled some stomach/groin muscles and was complaining a lot about his "uterus" hurting.
He still won.
Dad almost fell down a lot...
Clearly, we don't do this very often:
Still lots of fun!
None of us had been to Big Al's before. It was a really nice, clean, family-friendly place. I'd go there again!

After bowling, we walked across the street to Menchies for frozen yogurt. Yummo!

Happy birthday, Mom!!!! :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

$5 Friday

How'd you spend your Friday night?

We joined a bunch of crazies for a major sweat session at Fierce Fitness Kickboxing!
While I make it to class about once a week, Brad spent the past many, many months marathon training and couldn't join me. But the marathon's over, he's recovered, and it's time to kickbox again! 

We jumped at the chance to go to the special $5 Friday class, expecting a great workout and also hoping for a discount (they often have a one-night-only sale). We each scored 10-time passes for $99 - a huge discount off the regular price! So I guess we'll be kickboxing lots together in the coming months - can't wait! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No. 36

No. 36 was read almost entirely last Wednesday while working on our tiling project.

With the Veterans Day holiday, Brad and I decided to use the full day off to grout our master-bath shower. And it took the whole day!

The work wasn't always a two-person job, so while he was doing some of the solo tasks, I laid at the ready on the nearby bed. I read most of this whole book that day: Bell, Cook, and Candle by Joanne Pence:
Still not sure what the title means, but it was a mystery about a cake baker and a Satanic cult! Very dark for a culinary mystery, which are usually a bit lighter. But I did get a peek into a different world, and that's always fun :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nana oranges

I just had my first Satsuma of the season!
They are my favorite, partly because Nana used to keep them around at holiday time.

We'd eat them while sitting on the davenport with a napkin in our lap. So I sat in my car at lunch with a napkin on my lap and peeled my little Satsuma :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wrong mailing list - again

Somehow, Brad and I got on the wrong mailing lists again!

This American Girl catalog came Tuesday in the mail:
Considering the total lack of children in our lives, I'm uncertain how we got on that list!

And last week, Brad got his temporary membership card for the NRA!!
Makes all the sense in the world, except we actively fight against the NRA.

But if we need a handy pocket reference for the Second Amendment:

Last time, it was the National Hunting Gear Field Test Panel.

I think someone wasted their money on these lists :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

No. 35

No. 35 was Julie Johnston's Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me.

It was another book weeded from the THS library collection because of its dated cover and lack of recent circulation. I figured it was worth a look - maybe a laugh like others I've salvaged from the reject cart. But it ended up being a good book.

The main character is a 15-year-old foster child who is entering a new living situation. The book is her journaling on a computer. It was really touching and reminded me of why I work with at-risk youth. There's a lot going on inside those kids' heads and hearts that we don't always know about - and often for some fairly big reasons.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Benham Falls

We accidentally ran too long last weekend!

Kari and Vicki generously allowed us to crash at their Sunriver home for some relaxation. My training program called for 9 miles, and after some research and recommendations, we decided to run the dirt trail to Benham Falls.

And since it wasn't long enough, we planned to run from the house to the trail head. We thought it would be just about 9 miles - perfect!

Well, it was actually 11.5+ miles by the time we got home!
But we kept it nice and slow, enjoying the beautiful, easy run along the Deschutes River. The leisurely pace made 11.5+ seem like a piece of cake. Not to say we weren't tired at the end, but we weren't wiped out.

Overall, it was a great weekend to hang out, eat, sleep, play dice games, watch Netflix, finish my book and enjoy family time with Brad's folks. And we made a bunch of holiday plans! Can't wait :)

Oh, and then it was snowing like crazy on the way home! I love snow!! :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Adventure Thursday: Cook Park, Christmas and Tofurkey

From last week's Adventure Thursday:

Dad came over to THS to join me in a lunchtime walk in Cook Park. 
It was a bit chilly and very fall-like!
In the evening, the fam went to Al's Garden Center for the annual Evening of Lights Christmas preview:
We sampled yummies, bought a few things on sale and got into the holiday mood with all the fun displays.
Oh, and Santa!!
After, headed to Whole Foods for a school fund raiser. $5 for a mini Thanksgiving meal. Eryn and I got to sample the Tofurkey:
It sure was good! And now we're all ready for the holidays :) :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Phase 4

I'm now in my fourth - and final - phase of my half-marathon training!

After a short post-work nap Monday, I hopped on the treadmill for my first tempo run of the week. 
The Jack Daniels program had me at a faster pace this week - quite a bump up! But I nailed it!

I'm so anxious to see how this program works for me. Five and a half weeks and we'll know :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pre's Trail

Eryn and I spent a gorgeous Sunday morning running on Pre's Trail in Eugene!
We were in Eugene for the marching band championships and decided to do our long run the next morning on the famous wood-chip trail.

The fall colors were magnificent as we did 7+ miles through the woods, along the water, through several parks. We could not have picked a better place to run!

We laughed when the Oregon mens' and womens' cross-country teams passed us. Nothing like training with the big boys :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Even teenagers like to carve pumpkins

Friday was pumpkin day in CE2!

It often starts slowly, with me strongly encouraging students to join me in the pumpkin-carving fun and them acting as though they're way too cool to be interested. But then a few join in, and it gets fun!

I sweetened the deal by hollowing most of them ahead of time so the students could get straight to the design without worrying about the guts.
Maria's pumpkin had a big grin - just like Maria:
David made a special "CE2" pumpkin:
 Adrian went traditional:
Dylan's was two-faced - cat on one side and a sad, scary face on the other. He also had a costume! (He was also happier than his face would suggest) ;)
 Adrian went with scary teeth:
And Omar made this very elaborate guy with arms, legs, tongue, sword and shield: 
It was a joint effort, so they named him Salomddas (written on the white board) - a combination of initials from all the people involved:
What a fun afternoon!!! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015