Monthly Archives: July 2011

Long Run – So Many Firsts!

Today was my 15 mile long run in the marathon training cycle. There were so many firsts!

  1. First time I’ve ever run in Forest Park and started & ended at my house
  2. First time I’ve ever had to “find some bushes” while running
  3. First time I’ve almost gotten caught while using said bushes
  4. First time I’ve run over 14 miles since my last marathon in October 2009
  5. First time I’ve ever fallen during a run.

The last item is the only one that is even mildly upsetting.

I was running along on Wildwood, having a great run, and all of a sudden I was laying face first on the trail. I seriously felt like I’d gone from upright to kissing dirt with no transition.

The first thing I did (of course) was stop my Garmin. Then, and only then, did I evaluate the injury potential. My right shoulder was a bit sore – it seems apparent that I tried to break my fall with my right arm (it’s apparent by the fact that the entire underside of my arm from wrist to pit is covered in dirt).

The trail was dry, but I wasn’t, so my sweat mixed with the trail dust and gave me a lovely mud puddle look.

I decided I was fine – I didn’t even have any cuts (no blood, no foul, right?), so after walking a couple of minutes, I just started back up again.

My overall pace for my 15.25 mile run was 12:51, which considering the ~1700 feet of elevation gain is pretty damn good for me.

I think this is the best long run I’ve ever had, and that’s not just the endorphins talking!  With the exception of the fall, everything just went perfectly. I love Forest Park.

 

There’s no reason to ever expect things to go as planned

Especially when that thing is a run that Sarah & I are doing on a new route.

We’d talked about doing a point-to-point run on Marquam Trail. This trail goes from the Zoo to Willamette Park (waterfront) and is 7 miles. I have previously run on all of Marquam Trail but the last .7 miles and a middle 1.5 mile stretch, but never all at once.

I parked my car near our end point, and after my PT appointment (where I graduated! With honors!), I took the streetcar to MAX and ended up at the Zoo. Sarah drove to the Zoo, and at 5:45 we got started.

I knew there would be a lot of steep inclines in this run, and I was prepared for it to be a long haul. I anticipated that it would take about 1.5 hours for the 7 miles, due to the elevation gains.

It was so pretty, and the fact that I’d run all of the tricky parts before came in handy. We did not get lost! Go us!

There was a .3 mile section of the trail that was closed about halfway into the run, but we blatantly flouted the caution tape & took the trail anyway! We are rebels! Rebels who will run the entirety of Marquam Trail, no matter what the man says!

The only place I was really worried about losing the trail was right at the last turn before the .7 mile descent to the waterfront. But we found it with no problem. And do you know what else we found? A giant detour sign.

The trail was closed. Normally this would not be a big deal, but the trail was also one of the few places that you can get across the freeway.

There was a detour. A TWO MILE DETOUR. So, we took it. Obviously.

It was a little sketchy. I was pretty glad I wasn’t alone for some of that open sewer side run.

We finally (FINALLY!) made it back to my car. Where I drank about 30 oz of water in 13 seconds (or thereabouts) before driving Sarah back to her car.

I got home about an hour after my planned arrival time.

I went online this morning, certain that I’d missed the trail closure notices when I was looking up the route on the Portland Parks & Rec site and the Friends of Marquam Nature Park site. But no – there was no notice whatsoever. Not even on the Portland Parks & Rec “Closed Trails” page.

I’m just glad I wasn’t doing this run alone! I did sent stern and mildly chastising letters to both PP&R and FMNP today, expressing my disappointment with the notification of the trail closure.

However, the experience was pretty awesome – we had a great time. 🙂

I also feel a little hardcore that I did a wicked hilly 9-mile trail run on a Thursday night. (That totally makes me hardcore, right?)

After I finished eating all the food in the house last night (mmmm….broccoli from the garden = yum), I slept so hard. It was beautiful.

 

Three (3) Things Thursday

1. I am working from home today. I have a gigantic to-do list, but I am confident it will all get done. Why? Because when I work at home, people who send me emails cannot come into my office 2 minutes later to (a) confirm that I got the email and then (b)talk about said email until I fantasize about stabbing their eyeballs out with my pen.

Full disclosure: I found a photo of a snake being stabbed with a ballpoint pen, and almost used that, but then decided the hints of animal cruelty (the note insisted the snake had been found dead….)+ the fact that it was a snake might be too disturbing. You’re welcome.

 

2. Starting next week, I am a bona fide manager type person. I will have 2.75 people reporting to me! (Actually, I will have four people, but two of them are not full time). I will have to delegate to them! And chastise them (hopefully  not too much of this). And conduct annual reviews. AND, one of my direct reports will (hopefully sooner rather than later) have two direct reports of her own, which means I will also have indirect reports. This is so effing fancy. I hope I don’t suck. (I don’t think I will.)

I'm watching you!

 

3. Non work related third thing: OMG, people! I started this hours ago, and apparently couldn’t think of anything non-work related (that, or I was actually too busy, I don’t know, WORKING!). So – thing #3…this weekend is one of my college BFF’s wedding shower/bachelorette party. It makes me sad that I can’t be there, although I will be at the wedding in August! (yay!) I wish I had all the moneys so that I could just afford to jet off to South Dakota for the weekend. (Although if I had all the moneys, I would very seldom use that money to go to South Dakota….just sayin’…)

Yep, lots of it really is this empty. It's more of a desolate beauty.

* all photos were found by searching my 3 things key words for Creative Commons licensed photos at Flickr

 

Nothing to see! Move it along….

Ha! Just kidding. Please don’t go (girl).

There were no shoes yesterday, because I am in a shoe funk. Over the weekend, I packaged up two of the four pairs of shoes that I’d recently purchased. They are going back. *sob*

Yesterday morning, on my way to work, another pair broke! NEW SHOES BROKEN! So sad.

 

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The left shoe heel strap stitching just ripped. Fortunately, I had backup shoes with me (the fourth and only surviving shoe of my four shoe ordering spree).

I am so sad! I need to go shoe shopping! (In person, apparently.) I also need to sell eleventy-million pairs of shoes on eBay.

 

Today, I have no new book reviews for you, because I have finished no new books since last week. I know, right????  Crazy. So – I am going to go read like a crazy person and hopefully I will have some new book reports for you next week. I have to be almost done with the 1st Game of Thrones book, right? (I bought it for my Nook, and it was cheaper to get the four-book boxed [relatively speaking] set. Unfortunately, they do not download in separate books, but rather as one big file. Which means that I know I’m on page 284. BUT, there are 3,483 pages total in the boxed set, so I’ve no idea what that means in terms of finishing book one. Does it mean that each book is 870 pages? That seems like a lot. My tiny boxed set picture doesn’t make them look that fat, and wouldn’t the camera add a few pages?

ANYWAYS…garden news! So many tomatoes and peppers and tomatillos! And green beans. Tomorrow we will eat our first broccoli. There are tons of potatoes. The corn is looking awesome & should start tasseling soon. The grape is super grapey! There is a zucchini and a few baby cukes. And beets – oh there are beets! And they will be pickled on Saturday afternoon. (LOVE beet pickles.)

ANYWAYS, I promise a return to content eventually. Shoes! Books! Corn!

Naturalizer Mystic - the only shoes left...

 

The Nook is getting quite a workout

 

Not actual corn from this year...just a representation.

 

Lightning Strike!

This morning, at about 5 AM, I was having a crazy dream involving submarines, fog monsters, crossbows, and Sarah refusing to help shoot the encroaching fog monsters because she was afraid of twisting her ankle and not being able to run tomorrow.

And then, there was a bright flash of light. So bright that it immediately woke me up. I think I’ve established that I am a fairly heavy sleeper. Sounds rarely wake me up, much less light. BUT oh, this was bright.

I opened my eyes and before I could even register what was happening, the loudest crack of thunder I’ve ever heard shook the house. Before it even finished, Darwin was gone. Like a furry bolt of lightning himself, he ran to the basement, and didn’t come out again until nearly 8 AM.

The architect came into the bedroom (he’d woken up a little earlier when the thunder was further away & was closing windows) to see if I was okay. I was – it was just a storm, after all, and I am of hardy midwestern stock.

I got up and we went to the hall window. Just as I’d decided the fun was over, the powerlines outside our house started…shining. And then, another blinding flash. Before the flash was over, the thunder pealed again. SO FREAKING CLOSE.

The next lighting/thunder was further away, which was nice.  A few minutes later, it started pouring down rain. I was so angry! I’d just pulled all the garlic and they were sitting drying out in the garden.

It was eerie that there was no wind, either. That freaked me out more than anything. After the first crash, we noticed a horn was on not too far away. I think I saw the cause this morning.

Two blocks south of us, this happened:

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That beautiful cedar was one of the tallest trees in the ‘hood (obviously, it was the one the lightning hit, after all). The top 20 feet are just gone. There was exploded tree debris for at least a block in all directions. One of the larger branches had landed on a car in the neighboring driveway, on the other side of the house.

It didn’t look like the residents of the house were there. I think it’s renters, since the house was for rent about a year and a half ago. The broken branches did bring down at least one wire.

I went around the side of the house to see if the chickens were okay, and they seemed to be (yes, I do obsessively stalk all the neighborhood chickens).

I met another woman who lived a couple blocks in a different direction. She said the second lightning bolt hit the transformer outside her house, and that they had just recently had power restored.

As I was walking away, I noticed a few dead crows on the ground. Creepy.

The Fox 12 news van was out, filming the whole scene. Maybe I’ll be on the news, ill-advisedly standing UNDER the large tree & looking up. FAMOUS!

Anyways, that was our morning excitement! I hope all other PNWers weathered (hee) the storm okay!