Breaking up is hard to do.

I came across this article/story/blog post via Twitter. (Twitter, you’re so awesome!) I found myself laughing out LOUD. I do this a lot (reading and laughing) in the presence of my husband-to-be, which generally results in a confused, sideways glance….Anyhow, breaking up IS hard to do and when you’re a teenager it seems like the most devastating event in your life. Unless you’ve experienced poverty or death, it probably is.

As you get older, it can have a similar impact. I can think back to my own personal experiences and remembering how sad I was. The constant crying, disrupted sleep, lack of appetite (ok, so I ALWAYS kept eating). I reveled on how life would never be the same. “Why me? Why doesn’t anyone love me.” Thankfully things never would be the same again. Life will never be the same. And often times, for good reason. We grow, we change, we get over it. Time it will take, but we often come out stronger in the end.

This little piece is a humorous way to reflect.

Everything as Fuck by Ian Karmel

 

 

 

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The plunge.

I’ve toyed with the thought of running a marathon for a few years. I’ve been asked many, many times by family and friends, “Are you going to do a marathon?”, “When are you going to do a marathon?”. My kind response has always been something along the lines of “NEVER!”

I have been recently invigorated about running after nearly a nine month slump of disdain, dislike, obligation, and the waning interest of a sloth. I can’t really pinpoint exactly what about running was discouraging me so for all that time. I couldn’t change my mind or revive my motivation about lacing up and hitting the pavement. I turned the corner and awoke with a renewed love affair after a seemingly innocent question from my sister in law about running Hood to Coast. Running Hood to Coast has always loomed in the back of my memory space but I always lacked a team and the know of enough people that actually liked to…run. I’ve walked Portland to Coast so I’m aware of what the end to end process entails, the commitment it requires, and the extraordinary pain and fun you will experience at the finish line. It’s the challenging accomplishment that drives me forward into new journeys.

On the couch, sharing quips about our aches and pains from last weekend’s Shamrock run, my brother and I looked over the Hood to Coast website. He (I may be jumping the gun here) has an interest in doing more running after I coaxed him into being part of my Shamrock team this year. TANGENT! Now I asked him to be on the team, but I didn’t advise him to jump right into the 15k without any running experience. Many thought he was a bag full of nuts, but in the end he made it to the finish line dusting me, the gal with the experience. I can’t say how proud I am of him (and my niece) for jumping right in and giving it everything he had. TANGENT COMPLETE! We talked about the possibilities of forming a team and I shared my experience from the PTC team I’d served on in 2009. After reviewing the legs of the course for 2013 and learning all the specifics, we queued up the Hood to Coast movie. It was very inspiring and made me want to jump right into the pool for 2014. (I’m already thinking about the additional 7 people I need to recruit to form a team of 12.) I’m not sure if the movie shied him away from the opportunity or convinced him more that he needed to be a part of such greatness.

After mentioning the viewing to my boyfriend, he pointed me in the direction of another documentary called “The Spirit of the Marathon“. I’ll have to admit I was a bit hesitant to view a film about the topic since I hadn’t had any real interest (still at this moment) to run a marathon. (Funny thing is that I have ‘running a marathon‘ listed on my 101 things to do in 1001 days, alas, I didn’t think I’d actually ever accomplish it.) I found the documentary available on the Netflix instant queue and gave it a go. Halfway through I knew. I knew I’d run a marathon. I suddenly became bound and determined, come hell or high water, that I would run a marathon. With enough patience, training, and dedication, nearly anyone can run a marathon. The thing is, running a marathon is not about winning. It can’t be. A very, very, very small percentage of humans in this world actually win marathons. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who can finish a marathon is a winner. To cross the finish line means you fought both physically and mentally to take every single step and that is something to be proud of and to celebrate. I know I’m never going to be a Flanagan, Goucher, or Kastor, but I know I have what it takes to cross that finish line just like those that have come before me.

Next up? Figure out which marathon I want to do. It’s likely going to be one close to home and either in May or June of next year. Having the finish line set out over a year away allows me enough time to build up my running base and settle into a more than adequate training schedule. I’m looking forward to my new journey and achieving my goals. Hopefully I will be able to inspire a few people along the way and helping them realize their great potential too!

Date night. news you can use.

Wednesday was date night. It had the promise of many things and just so happened to be hump day AND my day off. I was already half way through the work week where I had only worked one day. Things were definitely looking up.

The grand evening plan was the Blazer game, section 102. I only mentioned where I was sitting because I’m used to sitting in 302-land where the air is thin and the players look thinner. Being up closer and personal is great on a number of levels. Less strain on your neck and eye muscles to look downward for several hours. Second, there were only three steps, okay maybe four, to my seat. The beers and baños were nearby making the viewing as convenient as sitting on your couch at home. But the question remained, even with all of these great amenities, how would I feel should the Blazers lose to the Pacers?

Beforehand my boyfriend decided upon a happy hour spot he’d been wanting to check out. County Cork Public House is nestled in the rising neighborhood on NE Fremont.  It’s an Irish pub that caters to people of all ages. Typically I don’t like to imbibe in spaces where Littles can run at my feet, but I was feeling exceptionally permitting this day. Walking in just seemed like a regular bar, nothing exceptional. The space felt a little cold, both in temperature and atmosphere and surprisingly there were about a dozen people or so enthralled in conversation, throwing back some brew, and awaiting their meals. We sat in a wooden booth along the bank of windows that open wide during the warmer months (read: July, August). This was January and it wasn’t one of those warm ones. A pair of Lagunitas IPAs were ordered as we decided on happy hour eats. The ales were satisfying but I was a bit worried about the food choices. Judging by the atmosphere and space I didn’t have high expectations. I expected mundane and greasy bar food. We settled upon:

  • Buffalo wings
  • Scotch egg
  • Fish and chips

I know what you must be thinking. What the fuck is a Scotch egg? Yeah. My boyfriend described it to me as a hard-boiled egg wrapped in ground sausage meat, lightly breaded and deep-fried. Okay. Weird. Those were my inaudible thoughts. The Scotch egg came out on a plate cut in half so each side had equal parts sausage and egg. The waiter suggested we use a little sweet hot mustard and we would NOT be disappointed. Well. Truth be told, he looked like a hippie and I rarely trust that kind. I was surprised at how much I LOVED it. It was delish! So were the buffalo wings. Crispy and the right amount of saucy and spicy. Perfection. I’m not really a fish and chips gal. Fish and chips can be very heavy and leaving you feel like a bomb went off in your stomach. Not these. They were excellent. I mean, excellent. The fish was perfectly moist, the breading not overly greasy. And the tartar sauce was so yummy I could have dipped anything in it just to finish the small container we were given.

If you’re ever in the area head over to 1329 NE Fremont. Just pay attention to what door you walk into. Why????

Because as we were hustling in the cold to get into a warm space, we went into the wrong bar. What we thought was our destination was actually a chic, dimly lit bar called Free House. It was just before 5pm and there was only one other patron at the bar besides us. Realizing our mistake we decided to stick around for a beer and give the place the old college try. It was a nicely decorated bar with wood tables and chairs. The atmosphere felt very comfortable despite the absence of humans. There was a TV mounted above the bar and music playing throughout the space. There were food entrees listed on the chalkboard and we vowed to return here at a later date to taste some of them. I can’t remember what we imbibed but they have a plentiful tap list, in addition to canned and bottled selections. I didn’t check it out up close but they have a patio space out back that is heated and was OPEN that evening for guests. Next time! I loved the bar. I wanted to stay all night and just people watch (well, provided more people showed up!) It was definitely our kinda place. Head on over to 1325 NE Fremont and check it out!

Despite the Blazers seven game losing streak they beat those smugly Pacers by twenty points and everyone got Chalupas!!!!! (Except us, because we didn’t care.) The front and off-centered experience was great. A win is a win and even though the Blazers aren’t the most exciting team this year, I still have a great time when I’m at a game. Win or lose. I look forward to more nights like this, trying new places, hitting events and making memories.

Rrrrrun forest rrrrrun

Ever since I started running road races I have been asked a single question time and time again.

When are you going to run a marathon?

My response is usually a quip preceded by a gasp of amazement. It’s not something I’ve truly ever taken seriously, as in thinking it’s something I could actually finish without several medical teams following me throughout the entire course. In the last few half-marathons I’ve participated, around the 6.5 mile mark, I’ve wondered “what the FUCK are you doing?”, when I only had that same distance remaining. This was usually about the point in the race where the half-marathoners split off from the marathoners. At that juncture, I couldn’t even fathom having to run another twenty miles. I’d sooner die.

However, I believe a lot of my feelings toward marathons and even the feelings that surface during the half can be attributed to my poor, inconsistent training. Clearly, I am not afraid of half-marathons. In a 12-month span I’ve signed up for five and still have three left to complete in the next four months. What compels me to sign up again and again is the sense of satisfaction I feel after crossing that finish line. All of these thoughts start flooding through my brain, “Fuck I just did that, again. I’m still upright. I lived!” And it’s in that moment that I know I can do it again, and again.

I’d say a large percentage of long distance running is a mental game. Sure. You should probably be in some decent shape and have logged some serious miles under your belt before you safety-pin that bib to your shirt, but once you’re several miles into the race the mental game takes over. For me, I get bored quick. I need to find a way to stay engaged in my race. Music is a definite requirement. The number one thing I do NOT want to hear is my own breathing…or panting, or gasping. It throws off my rhythm and will generally cause my breathing to be irregular as a result. Music also blocks out the people around me. I don’t want to hear the conversation about who screwed over who at work last week. Honestly, if you’re able to carry on a convo during a race then you’re doing it wrong. Run faster. However, after a while music can lose its luster. I have a bad habit of using the same playlist during my races that I use on my training runs. I get used to what is coming up next and it affects my momentum. Keeping it fresh is something that I’m going to have to do in the next several months to overcome runner’s block.

Oh yeah. And then there is my piss poor training regimen. I’m sure that isn’t doing me any favors. I have a hard time getting in my long races on the weekends. Sometimes because of laziness, sometimes because of other social commitments. I use them as a viable excuse to not run and that isn’t something I should be doing. And then there is my trusty summer sidekick, beer. Shame. I’ve been doing too much of it and it’s been pushing the energy to run some miles aside. Obviously that affects consistency and then running generally becomes something I can do ‘tomorrow’, like a diet.

Okay. So I know where my weaknesses are and where I need to make improvements to not feel like a caboose in each and every longer distance race I do. Where was I? Sure. A few running friends (and my few, I mean like three. My circle of running friends is teensy.) and I have chatted over the last year about the possibilities of doing a marathon. I start to seriously consider signing up, mull over the pros and cons in my head and then quickly remember how I feel at mile 6.5 in a half-marathon. Decision made. Hell no, I won’t go! But something has changed. I feel compelled (by inside and outside forces) to sign up for and actually finish a marathon, even if I just do it once. I’m a person that needs to try everything once (well almost everything) and even though a marathon is not the epitome of running excellence (ultra what?) it’s something I need to check off my bucket list.

I don’t have a race in mind, but I know it will be at least a year from now. My greatest challenge will be consistent training and dedication to this milestone. I’m not sure how I am going to get there, or where to start, but shit, that’s why they invented Google, right? Inevitably there will be a lot of cussing, sweat, tears, but this is my only life and my chance to accomplish my goals. I’m going to get after it and even if I cross the finish line over the 5 hour mark (which I have no doubt) I will still have finished a marathon. And then I will need someone to carry me home.

 

Do you bleach your ones?

No? You probably should.

I’ve been to a fair number of clubs where the ladies dance in their underpants (okay, so they don’t really wear anything after the first song) and I never look at $1 bills the same way. Ever. Hey, I know the paper money goes through a lot of shit that one can only imagine, but when you see it first-person it really kinda skeeves you out.

So I suggest just not to think about where all those ones are crammed and lodged and stuffed. And don’t put your fingers in your mouth after handling them.

Unless that’s part of the thrill.

Mild observations

Often when I’m driving the streets of Portlandia I am making silent observations, noting them down in my mental notebook, knowing of the three I just made I’ll likely only remember half of the first one. I wish I could just say them out loud and they would be recorded or captured by a scribe lurking in the backseat (well, maybe that would be creepy). I think I would have many more blog topics if I could remember later exactly what I was thinking in that moment, several hours later.

Today was a huge success. I actually retained several things I observed.

  1. Bow Ties. I don’t see enough men wearing bow ties. They should. Mix it up a little. It’s nice.
  2. Riding a Bicycle Donning a Short Mini-Dress. Not a good idea. Unless you like sharing your naughty bits for free.
  3. Dead Squirrels. There are so many of them on the road. How are they getting hit so often? Or are they plummeting to their deaths from the high wires above? Aisha Tyler (comedienne) was in the city the other day and tweeted about this very thing. I see it all the time. I saw three while I was out today.

Fortunately, for the list above, I hit about every stoplight on my way to my appointment so I was able to capture each observation in my iPhone at the red. When that isn’t an option, I’m trying to find new ways to retain information. I might need to do some mind exercises.

 

Kayak

Ever since last summer (maybe even before then) when I saw someone kayaking on the reservoir at Prineville I thought to myself, ‘I can do that!’. It looked relaxing and despite the zooming boats and jetskis all around I felt confident I could find myself in a kayak and paddling along. A relaxing afternoon. But time and social status in the city of roses prevented me from heading down to the water and taking lessons. I knew it had a place on my bucket list.

My balls grew ten times yesterday and I bought a deal to learn how to kayak. Kayak lesson here I come. I’m beyond stoked and for as short as this post is,. it’s just that important. Breaking out of the norm, getting on the water, learning something new.

That’s what life is all about.

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