Monthly Archives: May 2011

Shoesday, Interrupted!

No shoesday today…sorry. I have to tell you about my awesome 4-day weekend, instead!

My four-day weekend started Thursday evening when I had to determine what kind of gin drink I was going to have (such hard decisions!).

I went with a martini….


Friday was a busy, busy day. The night before I’d dreamed that the piano delivery guys backed the truck up to my front door, knocking over my trellis and running over all my plants. So I trimmed back our wisteria to try to make it easier for them to get to the front door.

First blooms EVER on this wisteria; it was the first plant I planted when we bought our house

I also interviewed a housecleaner. Yes, I am now that kind of person who is going to pay someone else to wash my floors. I feel simultaneously guilty and extremely happy about that.

Just after she left, the piano! arrived. Yay! It looks so pretty in my house.

I dug up some embarrassing old sheet music.

Not pictured: Bryan Adams & the Complete Chart Hits of 1991

Jasmin loves the piano. She likes to sit on the top while I play, and gets upset when I stop.


Eventually, I had to stop, though, so I could make a cake. Chocolate butter cake with orange buttercream frosting. It was pretty good (although I think a bit dry), but was fairly popular at the Fiddler on the Roof movie viewing Friday night.

Chocolate Butter Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Saturday was another good/long day. I started the birthday cake. I yoga’ed at the newish People’s Yoga in my ‘hood. Such a great class; I can’t wait to make that studio part of my regular practice. After yoga-ing, I headed to Livingscape Nursery. Such a cute place! And they were so friendly. I picked up a couple seed packets and a bunch of starts (every year I say I’m going to do my own tomato/pepper starts from seeds, and every year, I remember that I have cats who would dig them up in a heartbeat, so until I have my greenhouse, it’s starts for me!). I watched the rain from the front porch…



I spent all Saturday afternoon working on homework, and then took the architect out for dinner for his birthday. The place we’d picked originally was a bit busy, so we walked down street to County Cork and had a laid back meal.

I wore stilettoes! For the first time in over a year! So pretty.

Sunday morning, I worked more on the birthday cake (it was a 36 hour process for this cake) and did a LOT of yard work.


About 4 pm, people started descending on the house for the architect”s birthday party. I thought afternoon party, because then people would eventually get hungry and go home, but we had so much fun that it was well after dark (i.e. after 10!) before everyone was gone.

There was cake (of course!)

Praline Brioche Rum cake

And a fire.


And, naturally, some sing-a-longs. I played the piano for a bit, trying to remind people that I’d only had my piano for 48 hours and wasn’t up to par yet.

After exhausting my repertoire, we switched to a Disney song dance party. So crazy. And so much fun.


Monday morning, I took the architect out for brunch, and then spent the rest of the day gardening and site planning. Darwin helped out outside for awhile (he’s such a helper!) and then we curled up inside with an architectural scale and some triangulation measurements.

Welcome Wagon!


Keeping an eye on things...

I have the overall site plan drafted out; now I just need to cut down the ugly hedge, put in a nice fence, build a deck and do all the plantings….so that should be done in about 100 years.


Today came much too soon. Somehow, however, my schedule has worked out so that I will not actually work 5 days in a row again until the last week of June. This week, I work Friday, but since yesterday was a holiday, it’s a 4-day week!  Next week, I have Friday off. The following week, I took Monday & Tuesday as vacation days, so even though I work that Friday, 3-day week! And the next week I have Friday off. Although the last week of June is a 5-day week, the following week I have Monday (7/4!) off AND Friday….yay me!

Happy short week, everyone!


I am just over 6 months out of my boot, almost 8 months post surgery, and 4.5 months pre-marathon.

So – “how are things with the foot,” you ask anxiously (I imagine).

I’m so glad you asked!

October 19, I was here:

ewwwww, right?

November 16, I was here:


Last Monday, I was here:

Tight bike shoes fit without pain!

(It’s been over a year since I could wear my bike shoes without pain.)

And then, last Wednesday and Thursday, I was here:

Yes – you are seeing right. I was able to wear my favorite pair of wedge sandals ALL DAY for two days in a row. That is awesome, right?

Even better?

Saturday, I was here:

Clevery Staged Photo - not in my office at ALL! ha!

The feet are feeling pretty good. Not super, but not too bad. I can wear a lot more shoes than I could even a month ago, and I have very little discomfort at the incision site anymore. Also, except for the weird not-broken toe thing a couple weeks ago, I’ve not had any issues. All the feeling has returned to the right foot, and my toenails have started growing again (although they are NASTY looking, since they hadn’t really grown for about 6 months…I’m almost ashamed to go in for a much needed pedicure.)

I ran 10 miles last week, and 7 a couple weeks prior.

The most noticeable difference now is that I can no longer wear size 6 shoes. *sob* Which means that my largish collection of size 6 stilettos is nearly useless. *double sob*

However, never let it be said that I’m not a silver-lining kind of girl – this means that I have to go buy a brand new collection of size 6.5 stilettos! Yay!

Happy shoesday, ya’ll!

Weekend (with pictures!)

I worked Friday (my second Friday doing so), so that doesn’t even really count as a weekend. After work, however, I headed over to Zach & Jen‘s with the architect’s pickup so I could help them get a few boxes over to their new home that evening.  We got quite a few boxes over between the pickup & their car, and then I got the grand tour of their super cute house and awesome garden. (Also they rewarded me with beer! Yay!)

I headed home, but not before stealing Jen’s cellphone (apparently I require more rewards than just a beer) and they chased me all the way back to my ‘hood before I relented and gave back the phone. I then took the architect out for his carb-load dinner and pre-race beer and we settled in for the night.

The next morning wasn’t too rushed. There was coffee and breakfast and loading of the car – and then we were on the way. I drove him to the race start (this bike ride is so laid back; you can start anytime between 6 & 9, and we were aiming for an 8 am start). We got lost. And by the time we got there and got the race number and everything, it was nearly 8:30.

While waiting for the architect to get his gear together, I bike sat and people watched.

I was amused by the moving truck that takes people’s bags to the finish line


I wish there was a place I could just drop off my baggage for the day.


Finally, he was ready to go.

He’s wearing his STP 07 jacket in anticipation of the potential rain.

After he rode off, I hopped back in the car & headed to Manning, OR – one of the trailheads on the Banks-Vernonia trail.  Before I got there, I stopped at a gas station to…*ahem* use their facilities, and because I always feel bad when I do that without buying something, I bought a Diet Coke and a Clif Bar. (This is important later. Kind of.)

I finished making my way to the trail and emailed my “don’t die running” buddy to let her know I was starting, what my planned direction was, and when I anticipated being done.

Now – before I talk about the run, I just want to say that the last long run I did was April 30 and was 7 miles. Since then, I haven’t run over 3.5 miles, and have been running about once/week. On my schedule for this week was 9 miles. Which is quite a jump when one hasn’t been running, right?

So, I decided that I would run out & back towards Vernonia (uphill out & downhill back) for a total of 7, and then, if I felt good, I would head out towards Banks (flat, but not as pretty) for either 1, 2, or 3 miles, depending on how I felt.

The first 7 miles were great, actually. Since it was my first long run in a while, and I didn’t really need to WIN anything, I decided that after mile 1, I would walk a bit at the top of each mile, just to save my legs. The splits for my first out:

Mile 1: 10:26
Mile 2: 11:43
Mile 3: 11:56
Mile 4: 11:04 (turn around at 3.5)

I was feeling good – both about my legs and my times. I really want to run my long runs about 30 seconds slower than my planned marathon pace. Since I don’t actually have a PMP for reals yet, I’m basing it on an 11:10 pace (about 15 minutes faster than my last marathon), so am aiming for an avg pace of 11:40-ish; so far, so good!

I turned around at mile 3.5 and headed back – downhill (slightly) now. I felt really good, and had to work not to go TOO fast, because I wanted my quads to function the next day. I kept up my brief walk at the top of each mile. During this section, it also became apparent that this was the longest run by far I’d done in my new shoes. The balls of my feet started hurting, but I was able to walk it out on those short walks (I had about 10 miles on the shoes, never more than 3.5 miles at a time, before Saturday’s run).

Mile 5: 10:54
Mile 6: 10:39
Mile 7: 11:42

I stopped at my car, cursing myself for not having found my fuel belt before my run. I was sooooo thirsty. I drank about 20 oz of water & ate most of the (aforementioned) clif bar. I also updated my “don’t die” buddy (she was done with her run) with a new ETA and headed back on the trail.

I decided that I would do my scheduled 9, but then at the turnaround point, I felt okay, so I decided to go for that 1/2 mile extra to make my run an even 10. I felt great to the 8 mile mark, but definitely felt it the last couple of miles. I took walk breaks every 1/2 mile after mile 8.

Mile 8: 11:06
Mile 9: 12:11
Mile 10: 12:29

I was so happy to be back at the car. I got an email from my “don’t die” buddy just as I was walking to the car, since I was later than I said I’d be done (my slower pace on the last 3 miles + my decision to eat & drink more after sending her my planned finish time were to blame). I confirmed that I was done and not dead (and actually pretty happy).


Overall pace: 11:25 (1:54:10)
Pace for 1st 8: 11:18 (1:30:30)

I am pretty happy with this run! It was my first double-digit run since early March 2010. I finished the whole thing with a good pace, even with my decision to walk at the top of every mile. My feet felt fine about 20 minutes later. The only regret? Not having water/fuel with me on the run. I haven’t had to carry anything for ages, and had lost my fuel belt. Also, I hadn’t even planned on fuel at all – so glad I bought that gas station Clif Bar! (I told you it was kind of important!)

I am thinking of getting a new one – something like this:

Thoughts? Other recommendations?

ANYWAYS – my day was not yet done! After stretching (trying to be a lot better about this this time around), I hopped back in the car & headed to Pacific City.

I got in about 1:30 with a desperate need for food and a bathroom – not necessarily in that order. I headed into the Pelican Pub & Brewery and said, “I really want to eat, but do you have a bathroom?” They pointed me in the right direction, and after waiting in line for AGES, I finally got in. I took care of business and changed out of my stanky running clothes. I headed back to the front of the pub and got seated. I had some really good Mahi Mahi tacos, an IPA and apple crisp for dessert. After deciding I couldn’t draw out the sitting inside any longer, I headed out to wait for the architect.

He was texting me occasionally, and I knew he was going to be much later than he’d planned. There was a crazy-ass headwind, and his chain was all janky.  In 2009, he finished the ride so quickly that I didn’t see him cross the finish line. It took waaay longer this time.

Finally, though, I saw him approaching the finish line!


Yay, architect!

He got off the bike and I gave him his finish line gift (a Pelican jersey), and he checked his bike. We walked to the beach and sat for a bit.

At that point, he decided it was time for food. He didn’t want to wait in line for the questionable-looking post-race food, so we went across the street for some pizza (no line!).

After pizza, we headed out again – this time to McMinnville.

We stopped briefly near Grand Ronde so that I could check out the porto bank Pow Wow grounds.

Finally – the hotel! We stayed at the Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, and it was…cute. I knew we would be sharing a bathroom with other rooms on the floor. I didn’t know that our room would be directly over the stage with the cats in heat karaoke. (Also? no TV! How can I have a hotel experience without cable?)

After getting settled and changing clothes, we went up to the rooftop bar for a much deserved beer.


It was chilly, but the view was amazing.


We headed back to the room, and as soon as the karaoke stopped, we were both out.

The next morning, we had breakfast (so convenient to not have to leave the building) and headed the rest of the way home so that I could do homework (yay!).

I did procrastinate a little in the garden before buckling down, and we got to harvest the first radishes of the season!



The rest of the day was spent doing homework and recovering from our combined exertions (i.e. nothing very exciting or picture-worthy).

Happy Monday! (and happy short-week followed by a 4-day weekend.) (oooh – and happy “piano gets delivered on Friday” week!)


Three Things Thursday

  1. I went for my first open water swim of the year yesterday with the Ambitious One. And you know what? It was fine! Not at all like last year’s disaster. I didn’t cry even once. (I did, however, once again get yelled at by fisher people.) I went in very slowly at the beginning, and except for a brief moment of panicky chest-tightening when my neck was immersed for the first time, I was A-OK. I swam 1.3 loops (exiting the lake in a different place to hopefully avoid the ire of the fisher people who rather loudly suggested that maybe they’d try to hit me on the next cast), and actually for real SWAM! I have a tri in three weeks, and I am thinking that 2 more OWS might be in order, but I know that I can absolutely do it! Yay!
  2. The crazy budget portion of my job is done (for a YEAR!) and if you go by all the approbations I received, I did a good job of stepping up to the plate and (competently) getting things done that needed doing. I actually am beginning to think that maybe I can do both of these jobs in my .9 time. The paycheck I received last Friday kind of helped me come to that conclusion as well. I still have secret plans for the future, but my countdown clock (which is set to my 35th birthday, which shortly after finishing my Master’s coursework) is now a fun countdown instead of a “countdown to when I will leave this job and not look back” kind of clock. I am feeling stressed a bit still, but confident that by July 1 (which is an arbitrary date I just picked out of a hat), I will know for reals what I’m doing, will have new routines down, and will be doing a good job.
  3. Saturday is Reach the Beach. The architect is reaching the beach by cycling. I am reaching the beach by driving to pick him up. After refueling him, we’re headed to McMinnville for the night…just a wee bit of relaxation that is greatly needed after a century ride (or a crazy month of work). You can donate to support the American Lung Association (and the architect).


Today, as there were no real requests, I am going to show you a picture of a pair of shoes I personally own.

Bike Shoes

Those are bike shoes. On my own personal feet. It was the first time since before I hurt my foot last spring that I’ve been able to put these on comfortably.

I rode 10 miles last night, in my fancy bike shoes, and if it wasn’t for my broken valve stem on my front tire which made re-inflating the tire impossible (and the very slow but steady airleak from said tire), I could’ve ridden more. Perhaps I should stop and get some tubes on my way home so that Jorge (my bike) and I can spend a little more time together.