Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NYE Randomness

Happy New Year's Eve kids! Here's some of what is going on in my head today.

- I am still unemployed and actually going to apply for an unemployment extension. I'm really grateful for the money but I could be making so much more if I was working. Most importantly I"m booooooooooored. I think I've applied for about 100000 jobs. Not many interviews. sigh.

- I have an opinion on every single commercial and remember the actors. An example of my insight is that the other day I picked out the voice of Steve Buscemi in two different animated roles in like the span of one hour (well one was the simpsons but still). This of course shows that I watch a lot of tv.

- It's like everybody's birthday around here. Maritza Dec 27th, my dad on the 30th, my friend Alee today the 31st, Zach's Grandad Tomorrow the 1st, my friend Inga's is the 5th. I kind of suck at birthdays around holidays... sorry gang!

- I am going to start cycling 2-3 times a week as sort of a build up to my Spring training. I rode my Mtn bike yesterday down along the river rather than ride my road bike on the trainer. Really I could have taken my road bike out, the streets were dry and it wasn't raining, but I'm not quite ready for that (It's been a WHILE). I pushed pretty hard and actually averaged 13 MPH which wasn't bad on my heavy ass mtn bike! I figure I will do most of the riding on the trainer but I'll try to get out when the weather is clear. Tuesday: bike 10.0 miles/46:12/13.0 mph average

- I ran 5 miles today and bumped into Emily on the river trail, so I joined her on the route over to Anne's house. They went to yoga and I ran home. Wednesday: run 5.0 miles/44:56/8:59 average pace

- Today is my friend from Missoula Alee's birthday. She's a grad student and super smart and funny and easily one of my favorite people. She came to visit us a couple of years ago for New Year's Eve/birthday and we all went out in North Beach in SF and got real intoxicated. It was one of the funnest nights ever. Observe some pics of that historical event with estimated timeline (as if I was at all aware that night). This takes place at a few different bars:

9:00 pm -
10:00 pm-

11:00 pm-

11:30 pm-

possibly after midnight-

12:30 am (Zach and waitress)-

1:00 am-

1:30 am-

2:00 am impromptu party on Bart

2:30 am- (passed out on Bart)

Happy Birthday Alee, love!! Happy New Year to everyone else. Be sane. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Race Schedule

January 25 CCRC Vancouver Lake Half Marathon

March 15 Portland Shamrock Run (5, 8, or 15 km race)

April 5 Race for the Roses (5k)

April 19 Bridge to Bridge to Brews (10k)

May 3 Eugene Half Marathon

May 31 Hagg Lake Open Water Swim (4k, 2k, or 800 m)

June 13 Blue Lake Triathlon (Sprint)

July 11 Hagg Lake Triathlon (Olympic)

August 16 Lake Stevens 70.3

November 22 Ironman Arizona

New Toys

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! Ours was wonderful. :) We had a lot of fun making delicious food and eating it all, opening presents, and having a little Christmas day jam session with Deana. I got a couple of very cool running related gifts which I have taken out on two runs so far:

North Face Flight Series Swift Hybrid Jacket (super lightweight and very cute)

And a new iPod shuffle!

The snow very rapidly melted starting the day after Christmas and is completely gone now here in the city (still some snow up in the hills). Those last couple days of snow- when it got all dirty and slushy, and then the melting days were ugly but we are rewarded with clear runable sidewalks. Yay! I hadn't run outside since the marathon and it was awesome. Zach and I ran together on Sunday and then I did a solo run this morning.

Here's the stats and then a few final pictures of Christmas and Arctic Blast 2008:

5.0 miles/44:20/8:52 average pace

3.0 miles/25:13/8:24 average pace

Christmas Eve Snowman:

This is always the best part of Christmas morning:

Jam session featured Deana on violin (she played in school too):

Zach on guitar:

And I was on piano (although we actually switched- Zach also played piano and Deana also played guitar). It wasn't good, but man it was fun.

Driving to pick up Deana on Christmas Day (the first time we ventured out in the car):

December 26th slush:

Piles of yuck:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry christmas

I hope everyone is having a nice Christmas Eve and is ready for a nice day off work to spend time with friends and family tomorrow. I went grocery shopping last night and am fixing all kinds of treats- ham, apple pie, egg nog, apple cider cocktails, etc. Zach is getting off work early today and we're spending the evening around the house. Then tomorrow my friend Deana is coming over to hang out. It'll be a quiet Christmas- just the way I like it. :)

It's also looking like we're going to have a white Christmas! It snowed again this morning- we've got over a foot out there in the downtown area. They said this is the snowiest December on record! The warmer air is moving in though and we'll be getting some rain and the snow will start to melt fast. It was fun while it lasted! It was neat to experience a tiny "real" winter again.

In the spirit of Christmas, I busted out my fiddle last night to play some carols. I played in an orchestra all through middle and high school, but now my violin only sees the outside of the case once a year. Every year I think "I should really play more often" but it hasn't happened yet. It's an old violin that was my grandpa's and it has a beautiful sound. Well, it has potential. Let's just say I'm a little rusty!! I won't make you listen to my playing, but here's a picture..

I do have some training to report before I go:

Tuesday: bike

30 minutes trainer ride


Wednesday: run

4.0 miles/40:00/10:00 average pace

Treadmill run with some incline variation to make it slightly interesting. Felt great!

Strength Training in the weight room

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Week Running

I can't believe it is STILL snowing here in Portland. It started on Sunday the 14th and has pretty much continued since. There have been a few breaks, and there was some freezing rain in there somewhere too, but mostly snow. I do love it, it's very pretty and very Christmassy! However, I am bummed that I can't run outside!

I don't know how people who live in very snowy climates train during the winter. I suppose it doesn't help that people here don't even own snow shovels, let alone use them. I've been out walking every single day and I personally think it would be impossible to run. The snow is deep and crusty and where it is clear it's very slick. Those of you who do it: I admire you. Also, you're crazy.

I'll post some new snow photos below, but first let me report my recent workouts. Yes, I have worked out! Go me!!

Friday: bike
30 minutes on the trainer
Strength Training in apt.

Monday: run!
3.0 miles/30:00/10:00 average pace
Easy run on the treadmill. Legs felt great!!
Strength Training in weight room.

Over the weekend Zach and I walked all around in the snow for a couple of hours each day. It's a pretty good workout I have to say! Much like walking in the sand. But not loggable, imo.

My goal for the coming week is to alternate treadmill running and trainer rides and do strength training at least a few times too. It is supposed to warm up enough to melt the snow later this week so hopefully I'll get outdoors to run soon!

Here's pictures from Saturday morning:

And Sunday morning, after a layer of freezing rain capped off the snow (and made it very tough to walk in):

Ice covered the cars:

This is where I wish I was running:

Some ice along the banks of the river:

Awww, shoot! We really wanted ice cream:

Have a very merry Christmas Week everyone! Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Urban Christmas Tree

We had hoped to go old school and drive out to the forest to cut down a tree, but what with ARCTIC BLAST 2008 that is not going to be possible. So last night we did something new- we walked about 10 blocks to a little tree lot and carried the little guy home on our backs (well, Zach's back). It was pretty neat.

It's so cold and snowy, it really feels like Christmas. I love it. For 6 consecutive California Christmases (say that three times fast), I got into the spirit with music and smells... but it never came close to my ol' Montana Christmas. I guess this isn't the same either, but closer. Something magical about freezing your ass off.

I have no physical activity to report unfortunately. My marathon recovery is slipping into no-excuse-laziness. Today I'm going to bundle up and go for a long walk of at least 45 minutes or an hour, if I can make it that long without freezing solid or falling down repeatedly. I need to do something to balance the cookie and wine intake!

Picture time!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Storm Watch 2008


One of the many weather stories Portlanders tell is that of the annual (sometimes biannual) snowstorm. They say that when the snow falls the city shuts down. This is quite the understatement. After a couple of hours of the fluffy stuff falling from the sky, the authorities were on DEFCON 1 and local news stations moved to 24 hour coverage. With one inch of snow on the roads, they started requiring chains on the freeways. CHAINS.

Don't get me wrong, the weather is really bad. It was in the 20s with wind chill in the single digits and as the day progressed the roads became quite icy. I certainly wasn't planning on driving anywhere! But come on. I'm literally watching a press conference with the mayor right now telling people to check on your neighbors and talking about crew fatigue (road clearing crews I guess). He might be surprised to find out that similar weather conditions are quite common in a wide swath of the country for about 6 months a year in a phenomenon known as WINTER. Like my hometown of Montana for example, which had a high temperature yesterday of -10 degrees. And my 82 year old grandma was out going about her business like it ain't no thing. The schools in Portland are closed today. In my 18 year educational upbringing in Montana they closed the schools EXACTLY ONCE, in 1989, when it was -40 degrees with a windchill of -80 degrees.

(Wow, I actually just found a website to verify that outrageous claim! Check out #4 on this page of "Top 10 Montana Weather Events in the 20th Century" Also note the blurb about the train explosion which occurred about 6 blocks from my house and shut down power to most of the town)

Anyway, I'll stop with the ranting and teasing now. Let me move onto my next point which is IT IS BEEEEE-YOUUUTIFUL! I have a bunch of pictures at the end of this little photo essay.

My best friend Inga was in town from Phoenix and we had a very fun time walking all around the city, doing some Christmas shopping, eating, drinking, and just catching up. We hung out with my other best buddy Deana who lives here- we've all been super close since 5th grade so it's awesome to spend time together. Inga really got to experience a range of weather while she was here- sun, rain, and snow!


We picked her up at the airport in the morning and it was pouring rain. But later that afternoon the sun came out so we grabbed our coats and headed out.

Inga (left) and Deana (right) on the North Park Blocks

Me and Deana stridin' it out

Posing at a random Christmas tree

Blue sky down by the river

It started raining hard again, so we took the streetcar home


Deana had to work so Inga, me, and Zach bundled up and hit the streets

This was another rainy day. We're in Jameson Park here.

Deana came over and we had a little party that night

Which of course lead to karaoke/interpretive dancing


When the snow started falling yesterday morning we threw on our swimsuits and went up to the hot tub which is on the very exposed and freezing cold roof.

After that, we dried off and headed out for a hot breakfast

My hair demonstrates the blustery wind

This was right after Zach threw a snowball at my head (on "accident"... riiiight)

Same place the umbrella picture was taken the day before

A snowy scene at the South Park Blocks downtown

Oh, one last story. So Saturday when Inga, Zach, and I were out shopping we encountered a spontaneous outbreak of the Electric Slide at Whole Foods. Let me set the scene: we are at Whole Foods, and a line of people are suddenly doing the electric slide.

Yes, I joined in. Yes, Zach took a cell phone video.

(if that doesn't work, try this link: