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Three Things Thursday

I was all prepared to do a Wednesday chub-day update on my baby, and then read the Ambitious One’s Three Things Thursday and realized that it is, indeed, Thursday. My world is topsy turvy! (I vote for Lucifer!)

So – no chubby thighs for you! Mwahaha.

1. I have had an extra (not terribly large) sum of money come into my possession due to me being generally awesome. (Prize money for my capstone award.) I am trying to decide what to do with it. I should probably put it towards my student loan debt, but would rather do something fun. I worked hard on that school thing, and on my capstone project, and would really, really like to use it for a personal reward. Current ideas in the running: (1) new tattoo; (2) new road bike; (3) mini vacation. Other ideas? (Yes, I know that shoes aren’t on the list, but I don’t actually NEED new shoes and have instituted a rule that says no new shoes until there is room for them in my closet. Which would necessitate getting rid of at least a half dozen pairs that are already shelf-less.


2. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about future plans recently. I’m done with my MS, but instead of feeling done, I am feeling that I want more. The more that I want specifically includes a velvet tam.

However, I also like my job! And have a baby! When would I have time to go get a PhD? And my area of interest for further study is not applicable to my current career. Conundrums!


3. The anxiety I mentioned awhile ago is not getting better. I am working on my favorite strategy of “fake it ’til I make it,” but that is not so effective on a long-term basis it seems. It will get better, that I know. In the meantime, I will try not to be too avoidy and isolationist. But a little isolation is not so bad, I think.

Monday, already?

When I have a 2-day weekend, Monday totally takes me by surprise! I did fit a lot of stuff into my two day – although not as much as I’d hoped.

Friday morning started out with an exciting event! The architect was in the shower, and I walked downstairs to make coffee. And there it was: A giant puddle of water with a solid drip stream coming through the ceiling.

I ran upstairs yelling “get out of the shower! shut it off!” which made him think that maybe the house was on fire & we were all going to die. I was having flashbacks to streams of water pouring through light fixtures, followed by months of moldy walls (thank you, wonderful Venice, CA landlords!).

Once the shower was off, the water stopped coming through the ceiling. The next day, the architect cut a hole in our ceiling, re-caulked around the tub upstairs, and ran the water. And no water came through the ceiling! I asked if I was cleared to shower upstairs, and he said yes. And then added, “but put a bowl down underneath, just in case.” So yesterday, I showered, and when I went downstairs, there was water in the bowl, and all around. Guess the caulking didn’t work. (Hee.) We are now pretty sure we need to replace the sheetrock behind the tub (it looks like regular sheetrock & not bathroom sheetrock was used), replace the stuff that is supposed to keep the walls dry (the ugly bathtub wall thingie), and obviously fix the ceiling….or maybe not…

Modern Art?

Per the architect: this installation emphasizes the emptiness of modern life.


Ceiling/bathroom issues aside, the rest of the weekend was great.

The architect & I went to Migration for dinner/drinks after work on Friday – it was such a gorgeous day! Then Saturday, after changing the tube in my front tire (for the third time in 3 weeks) we headed out for a long-ish bike ride (longish for me = 20 or so miles). One of my summer goals is to learn to really enjoy/appreciate biking. (Also, I have a triathlon on Saturday.) I was having a great time. There was a long downhill and we went so fast! I love going fast. After the down-hill there is a slight uphill that I seldom even notice. For some reason it was wicked hard on this ride. I was struggling. And then, I looked down. The front tire was completely flat. Again.

I flagged down the architect. He had two extra tubes in his pack. We took out the flat tube & put in the new one. We pumped it up, but before we even got everything back together again, that tube was flat. We then got out tube #3, but it was too big. 🙁  We pumped up tube #1 again, and couldn’t find an obvious leak, nor could we find anything on the tire or rim that would be causing all of my tubes to flatten. We had to abort the bike ride. We put the first flat tube in as that one seemed to hold air the best, and turned around (and immediately had to ride back up the long, long hill). We had to stop one more time on the way home to pump up the tire. My overall average ended up being only 13.2 mph, which is not nearly fast enough, although on the miles where my tire wasn’t flat, I was hitting 15 mph+ consistently and the long downhill was closer to 19 (of course the long uphill was more like 8, but whatevs!).

Post ride.

After returning home & cursing at the bike a LOT, I changed into my 2nd set of workout clothes for the day. Sarah met me at my place & we headed to Rushing Water Yoga in Camas for a free Living Yoga yogathon class with Emily. It was two hours & really challenging. Really challenging. But good! I just wish Camas wasn’t so far away; I’d go waaaay more often. Like more than the once/year I’m averaging now!

After yoga, I made Sarah go to Gartner’s with me. My sausage stuffer (finally) arrived, and I needed ingredients! I picked up some beef shortribs for my all-beef hotdogs I’m going to make, and more pork belly for some bacon.

Then, it was time to buckle down. I spent the rest of the most gorgeous day of the year (so far!) holed up in my office doing homework. I finally finished at about 7, and made the architect go sip gin with me on our patio before we headed out to Leisure for dinner.

Sunday morning, I got up bright & early at about 9, and headed out to the trails for a nice, long run.  I did a gorgeous Forest Park loop (Saltzman -> Wildwood -> Maple -> Leif -> Saltzman) that ended up being about 8.75 miles + 790 total feet in elevation gain.  I felt great for most of the run, although there were a few sections on Wildwood (miles 13.5-15 or so) that were so overgrown and/or muddy that I had to go pretty slow so as to not slip or trip or die.

View from the Leif/Saltzman intersection Muddy post-run shoes

After my run (and stretching like the good girl that I am), I rushed home to shower & head over to pick up Alisa for our afternoon of shopping fun. We headed to Woodburn for some outlet action. It was my first outlet shopping experience, and I came away poorer and with a lot of great summer clothes. I need to head over to the tailor this weekend to get my pants hemmed, but am pretty pleased with my purchases and am super glad that I had someone who knew what they were doing & had an action plan (and a good eye for clothes).

I was so exhausted last night after my weekend of activity. The architect & I made a little picnic meal (the last of my homemade chicken/tomato/basil sausage, some cheese, some homemade bread, homemade mustard, and homemade beer…we are so homemade!) and watched “The King’s Speech” before I hit the hay.

This is my last week of my current class, and my last week of pre-triathlon training, so I expect it’ll be a wee bit busy. BUT THEN, I have  a 5-day weekend this weekend…I don’t work Friday, and I took Monday/Tuesday off (no work! no school! What on earth will I do!).

Happy week, everyone!

I have survived

The craziness isn’t 100% over, but my two biggest projects are, as of today, completed & turned in. AND, I got a box of chocolates and a 5-pack peanut butter in little yummy cups. Apparently my shameful peanut butter addiction is not a secret!

Yesterday, I left work a little early as I had to go to FedEx to send my ginormous project off to the east coast, and I hit the mall to reward myself after. I used to reward myself with food, which, while cheaper in the short run, not so much in the long run.

So – I decided a few months ago to start a little ‘reward’ savings account, and whenever I survive a particularly stressful time, I get to dip into it.

I got this. I couldn’t find it on any English language sites, but I promise I have no idea if I actually spent 18,900 yen on it. No idea at all.

While at the Kate Spade store, I saw this. And I almost died. And wished that I had $900 (who knows how much that is in Japan! Probably like 1,000,000 or something) so that I could have the pretty, pretty coat. I stayed far away from the shoes, because I wasn’t sure I could resist the sale rack, and I really don’t need a pair of $276 on sale shoes.

Kate – if only I had more money – I would totally leave my boyfriend Kenneth for you.


On my bike ride home today, I saw a man in a suit, talking on a bluetooth, riding this (in the middle of the path! asshat):

I thought to myself, “where in the world could this douchebag be going on his stupid scooter?” And then I passed him & quickly forgot about him.

About 1/2 mile later, I saw TWO MORE DOUCHEBAGS on three-wheeled scooters, all in suits, all with bluetooth devices. And then I knew what was going on. It was a douchebag anonymous meeting!

Seriously. I didn’t think there was anything lamer than grown men on segways, but I was wrong.


Tomorrow, I am getting massaged & then heading out to the exciting wedding event! I am the very important doughnut courier, and I take my responsibilities VERY seriously. I am going to try to fit in a run, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I am nine days pre-marathon, and have not yet once even checked the 10 day forecast. I feel that I am growing as a person. Or else I’ve been super busy at work and school. Could go either way. 🙂

Happy (almost) Friday!

Rekindling an old love

But, before I get to the escándalo, I want to talk about my trail run on Monday. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my love of trail running. Oh, wait…you say I have? Frequently? And you’re pretty much sick of hearing about it by now? Hmmmm……this is the last time I’ll mention it, I promise.

So – anyways – Monday, after a morning of homework (still no toga party invitations, and you’d think they’d be rolling in…I’m the only female in my class!), I headed out to the trail. My goal for 2009 is to run the entire length of Wildwood Trail in Forest Park – all 30.25 miles of it. Not in one go, of course. Since I don’t often feel like doing a 2-car crazy drop-off pick-up thing, I’ve been doing mostly out & backs, with a few semi-loops if I can arrange it. As of Monday morning, I had 13 miles of trail left to do, 11 of it consecutive miles. Unfortunately, without car support, there was no way to do the whole 10 on Monday, because that would’ve actually ended up being about a 20 mile run. So, I headed out to Springville Road off of Skyline, and proceeded to knock off 6 more Wildwood miles, for a total run of 10.1 miles. I did a kind of loop…I ran almost a mile down Springville to Wildwood & then headed towards Portland. I ran just over 6 miles of Wildwood, turned around for 2.5 miles more before hitting the very short looking (on the map) Trillium Trail, which would take me back to Fire Road 7, which would take me back to the parking lot.

It turns out that according to Garmin, Trillium Trail was about .5 miles long. And if a trail LOOKS short on a map, but isn’t, that’s generally because it’s nothing but straight-up switchbacks. I’m not sure how many feet I climbed in that .5 miles (and the .15 miles of Fireroad 7 back to the car), but it was a lot. It was so steep, that I actually couldn’t run on Trillium. And I love hills. A lot. I still made it up that hill in about 7 minutes, though, so I was still booking.  I did the whole 10.1 miles in 2 hrs, 3 minutes & 37 seconds. Even including two five-minute walk breaks for water (I can drink & run on the roads, but not on the trails….too many tripping hazards) & my uphill power-hike, that’s still averaging about 12 minute miles, and if you take out the 1 mile total walked (my two walk breaks were about .25 miles each, and the power hike was .5 miles) that’s 1 hr 46 minutes, 9 miles, and an 11:47 pace. Not that I’d actually take the time to figure all that out.

Ahem. The only bad was when I took off my socks at home, there was BLOOD! Poor little toe (damn! I had a photo, but it is not currently available…you’ll just have to imagine my bloody toe now…sorry!)

So, to recap – great run.  I really did intend to bring my pepper spray, but couldn’t figure out how to carry it, so I came up with a new plan that was basically, “don’t get attacked.” And it worked! The power of positive thinking.

Tuesday, still enjoying my time off, I did homework (a theme, perhaps?) and then headed to the pool. I did 1000 yds again. 1 lap warm (next time, will warm for 2 at least), and then a set of 800 (to make sure I could), which I completed in just under 20 minutes. Which is not so fast. And then I cooled down for 3 more laps. And then, as I finished my last lap, I popped out of the pool at the end of the lane. Where a new swimmer was waiting to ask if he could split the lane with me. And the man in the other lane was taking a short break. And do you know what else popped out? Go ahead. Guess.

Major wardrobe malfunction. And unfortunately, it wasn’t JT catching the show. Later I looked at my suit (which I bought 2 years ago) and realized it was a size 12. Yeah….classy! Needless to say, I just let that guy have the whole lane to himself.

And then, I headed east. To a tri-athlete store. And I spent a lot of money. I bought a new swimsuit, and some tri-gear. Now I just have to lose enough weight around my middle that I won’t be ashamed for people to see me in my super-duper tight top that is supposed to hold my wily chest in check.


Now, finally, the love story.

It all started back in 2004, right before Christmas. The architect took me to a bike store. And I bought Trixie, my beautiful green mountain bike. Two weeks later, I broke my hand (long story), so it was a while before we really bonded. But we did bond. We rode all over the Santa Monica mountains. The first time I rode up this long steep hill on Mulholland, I was so proud of how far I’d come.

And then, we moved to Portland. And Trixie only got out a couple of times. And then….I betrayed her. I bought a road bike. And the road bike was so light, and aerodynamic, and better for commuting & doing road rides. And Trixie moved to the castle, where spiders lived in her, and plants grew on her, and she didn’t see the light of day for almost 2 years. TWO YEARS!

A few weeks ago, when I was bitching about my road bike that doesn’t really shift well on hills, which is a bit on the unfortunate side, the architect got Trixie out of the castle & cleaned her up. She’s been living on my porch (safe from rain) while I make sure she’s spider-free, and yesterday, I took her out to the trails for the first time.

And fell in love all over again. We had such a great ride, and yeah she’s a little heavier than my road bike (that doesn’t have a name), but she shifts so smoothly, and has great shocks! And yesterday we went 27 mph together (also, we went 3.2 mpg together riding up Saltzman).

I think that I’m just a trail girl. It’s just not as much fun if you don’t get a little muddy!