Sunday, July 31, 2011

August 1, 2003

 DSCN1138 DSCN1144 DSCN1146 DSCN1148 DSCN1158

DSCN1176 DSCN1194



Happy 8th Anniversary, Zach.

Thank you for making my dreams come true. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for caring for me when I could not care for myself. Thank you for every second of every day.

I love you more today than ever. We have been together for nearly half of my life, but you are my whole life. I don’t know why God chose us to find the world’s most perfect love but I am grateful for it every moment.

You are the strongest, smartest, funniest, most loving man on earth and I am blessed to be your wife. I could go on and on, I could stay up all night writing about you and describing in detail how wonderful our life is. But you are in the kitchen, cooking me dinner, and I am going to go in there and kiss your warm, smiling, perfect face.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Girlfriends and Dudes Sprint Tri Race Report

I signed up for this race on a whim a couple of weeks ago after just a couple swim and bike workouts, and just wanted to do it for fun. I am in the midst of ultra training and ran 16 miles the day before the race so this definitely wasn’t a main focus. But still, I was really excited to do my first tri in a couple of seasons!

It’s been kind of a rough week for me, physically and mentally. I had a couple big trail runs Thursday and Saturday – which went ok except that on both of those runs I took big falls. Same kind of fall both times - caught my foot and straight up belly-flopped onto the trail. No harm done but I was shaken up. Anyway, a bit of family stress in the mix and I was pretty worn out. Saturday night we went to an Avett Brothers concert and didn’t get to bed till about midnight. So worth it though, they are amazing. I knew I would be a bit tired for the race but it was just for fun so who cares!

The real excuse came on Sunday morning when I woke up.

July 17 Weather

Barf. It was POURING. At 7:00, when I was supposed to be leaving the house, I was sitting on the couch in my robe watching the rain pour down.

race day rain

I had pretty much talked myself out of going. I texted Emily and Amy and told them I probably wasn’t going and that they shouldn’t bother coming to cheer. Finally, about a half hour later, at the last possible minute I decided Fuck it! Let’s do this. I told Zach - guess I don’t have to bother with sunscreen!

We drove up to Vancouver and the rain had let up a bit. I set up my transition area, using a plastic drop cloth in place of a towel as a base and threw a small towel over top of my stuff. I listened to the pre-race meeting and we all walked a half-mile up the river to the start.


Swim: 1/2 mile

The water was cold, but this swim course was the awesomest. Like I said, we walked 1/2 mile up to the start. Meaning we swam a half mile downstream in the Columbia. On the walk I talked to a guy who did the race last year, and said my swim would probably take 5 minutes less than normal. Whaaa? I got in the water and it was very cold. My wave was second and not that large.


Off we went! I felt really good the whole time and could tell I was moving fast. I wasn’t pushing hard, but I was breathing every two strokes so I must have been working. I didn’t bump into anyone or freak out or anything. I had no trouble sighting since we were just along the shore and there were swimmers all around me. Oh and I could see Zach the whole time, walking along the shore! I even waved once.



 DSC_0206 DSC_0212

Swim time: 12:42

For SURE 5 minutes faster than normal, if not more. Yay current!

DSC_0213 DSC_0226

I saw Emily and Amy by my spot in transition. So nice of them to come cheer for me!! I was really quick in transition and felt good.

T1: 1:38


Bike: 12.5 miles


The bike course was super flat. The road was wet but there were only a couple turns so it wasn’t much of a concern. I haven’t been on my road bike much so I figured I wouldn’t be terribly fast but wanted to push it as much as I could. My speedometer said 16-18 mph for the most part which was good. I was having a lot of fun and all the athletes were cheering each other on.

The friendliness ended briefly when I was passed by a group of women who were quite bunched up. I know that happens sometimes, but after they passed me they kept right on riding together. WTF? I hollered out “Are we passing or drafting, ladies?” and it looked like a couple of them tried to move past of fall back. But for the most part they stuck together. Real close too, very intentional. I was pissed. So after a couple minutes I geared down and sped up, standing up to gain speed. I yelled out “on your left!” and proceeded to lecture the half dozen women about the rules of triathlon as I passed them. I was friendly enough, I started out my monologue with “I don’t want to be a dick, but…” I was pretty fired up so I rode fast for a while after that, but several of the women passed me back later. At least most of them weren’t drafting as much. I didn’t see a single official on the course which I thought was a weakness of the event. But still, official or no, stick to the rules. This applies to everyone, especially people who think they are faster than me.

It as a great ride though and I didn’t let that get to me. I did my best to let them know the rules, but then I moved on. It’s such a short ride I was not too tired toward the end. It  started raining again with a couple miles to go.

Bike time: 43:19 (17.3 mph)

 DSC_0250 DSC_0256

More cheers from my crew in T2 and I was in and out. I wished that I had put quick laces in my running shoes because tying my shoes took some effort. The rain really started picking up.

T2: 0:57


The run was tough. My legs felt like lead for the first mile or so. I felt simultaneously like I was running through molasses and like I was working way too hard. I focused on picking off women ahead of me. I assumed that they were all part of the drafting pack and felt very determined to pass them back. There’s no cheating in the run! I got passed by two women, a super leggy and fast 25 year old and a ridiculously athletic 46 year old. Plus a number of guys. I passed quite a few people too. My first mile was 8:10 and my second mile was 7:55. Right about where I hoped to be! I knew I was doing really good and was getting close to the finish. I saw one girl who I know was one of the drafters and barely passed her with a few hundred yards from the finish. I said mean things in my head. I sprinted to the finish with cheers from Emily, Amy, and Zach!

DSC_0288 DSC_0292

Run time: 24:32 (8:10 pace)

Total time: 1:23:08

A sprint distance PR! I was super psyched. I was tired but not too bad! I got a medal and a souvanier water bottle too then met up with my fans.


The girls had to take off and Zach went to get the car. I walked over to the results area and saw that I had placed in my age group!!! When Zach pulled up I told him to park and we would wait for the award ceremony. It was absolutely dumping rain and we stood around for about a half hour. It was worth it though! I got a bad ass trophy for placing 2nd in the F30-34 AG. I even got to stand on a podium!

 DSC_0298 DSC_0305


Official results: 1:28:03

2/24 AG

22/134 Females


I was SO cold and wet, so of course the post-race priority was a long, hot shower. Then we walked down to the pizza place and ate a ton of food while watching the soccer game. I followed that off with the perfect race-day treat: a 2 hour nap. We went over to Deana and Dana’s house for dinner and I got to rock the race numbers and boots:

Tri numbers and boots

It was a really great day. Not sure if I’ll do any more tri stuff this summer so I’m glad I sucked it up and completed this race. Now I’m back to trail running until September!

Thanks so much for reading and for all the support!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let it ride

I'm feeling super run down today and maybe even on the verge of getting sick… but it's not bad enough to know for sure. I am probably just tired and whiny. Hard to tell. I HAVE been doing a lot of stuff lately. It's true that I have been pushing myself to enjoy every waking hour of these beautiful (and looong) summer days. I've not only been spending hours outside every day running, swimming, playing softball, etc, but also spending the evenings drinking and socializing and staying up late.

I'm sunburned (ok just really tan), dehydrated, and exhausted.

But I kind of love it. And I'm not going to stop! It's a gamble, but I think I’m going to suck it up and let it ride. I know if my body sends me real signals of "SERIOUSLY " then I will rest. Until then I'm going to make sure to get to bed early, drink tons of water, lay off the beers, and try to find a level I can maintain for another few weeks.
We did have an insanely fun weekend with lots of quality workouts and fun. Here's a quick rundown-

Friday, as I mentioned in my last post, I rode my bike home and then rode to the pool and swam 800 yards without a break. Success! I did 1000 yards total and called it good. I rode home and even went for the world's shortest run, just to try a "brick." I literally ran around the block. I survived. Success #2! We had friends over for dinner and game night and got to bed late (as usual).

Saturday, we slept in. Yay! We spent a couple hours doing errands and chores and then finally made it to Forest Park for a trail run. We're alternating back-to-back trail runs with one single longer trail run every other weekend. This was a back to backer. So I ran 9 miles on the Wildwood and I was just cruising! I ended up with a 9:30 ish average which is blazing fast for me on a trail! Fun fun.

We grabbed a sandwich and then met our softball team at the park for some practice. It was very hot in the sun and practice lasted a couple of hours so I was pretty tired by the end. But there was a beer festival! So we stopped by there for a bit. More sun, lots of beer, some fried pickles and more beer. I was toast. But some of our friends were grilling! So we stopped by there next. I borrowed their shower and switched to water and managed to have a really good time. We got to bed late again!

Sunday, again with the sleeping in. This is a dangerous cycle. Especially when you have a long run to do and it's going to be a HOT day. We did chores and errands again before finally heading out to do our trail run. We drove out to Hagg Lake and got started a bit before noon. We weren't sure what the distance was but I was prepared to run 15. It ended up being less then 14 and thanks be to God for that. It was HARD! I employed a strategy of walking up the (MANY) short, steep hills. This worked out pretty well but even the non-hills were tough. It was a pretty technical trail and largely exposed to the sun. I ran out of water at one point for a couple of miles which was scary. It was really warm (80 ish) and I was working so hard. When I finally hit a picnic area I chugged a bottle full and refilled to go. It's so hard not to do that, but ohhh the sloshing. Anyway, I made it! Zach seemed to have a good run too and I couldn’t believe he said he didn't walk AT ALL. WTF? Who is this guy?! Well, I was happy with my strategy though and I finished strong (ish). I ended up with an 11:20 pace over all which includes all the walking. Not bad! The key was "walking with purpose" or "power hiking" or whatever you want to call it. It's not a lazy stroll, it's a pump-the-arms march.

After the run I changed into my swimsuit and grabbed my goggles etc and went for a short swim. It felt great to cool off, but it was really so that I could get in an open water swim before the tri next weekend. I had plans to go on Monday too but it was a good chance so I took it. I didn't  bother with my wetsuit but only swam a few minutes so it was fine. I felt great in the water! We headed back to town, grabbed lunch (I love you, Pizza Bagel!), and showered. Next stop: softball game. We rocked it. Our guy hit a big homerun in the extra inning. So great! Suck it!! (<team motto) Then we hosted the team for a bbq at our house. And you know what? You guessed it! We stayed up late.

Monday, sadly, no sleeping in. Got up at 5:15 or whatever. I stuck with my plans to do an open water swim with Amy and am so glad I did. We had a great time! She has dramatically improved since starting open water swimming - she used to get so nervous! We swam side by side around the lake twice. We swam for about 35 minutes! I felt very comfortable and am ready for the race this weekend. Thanks Amy!

I fell asleep on the couch when I got home. I tried to go to bed early after dinner and chores but it was late again. Frick.

So that brings us to today. I'm tired, my throat kind of hurts, and I'm tired. Did I mention I'm tired. But there is no rest in sight… 8 mile run tonight (edit to add- run done, felt Ok!), bike ride and climbing tomorrow, trail run on Thursday, swimming on Friday, long trail run Saturday (concert that night down in Salem), and then triathlon on Sunday. And then a big softball double header.

I figure if I got through 6 months of Ironman training I can certainly handle this. But, then again, I don't HAVE to do any of this either. So I am going to listen to my body and all that. If it's not fun, then I'm not doing it. That's the take home here: Keep it fun and don't be dumb! That's my new mantra, feel free to borrow it!


Super sunny Saturday afternoon:

sarah jen deah


z and  michael july

Hagg Lake (looks cloudier then it was!)




hagg july 

Team bbq! Save the Whales Motherf#%*er! (team name)

softball bbq

Friday, July 08, 2011

Iron Beginner

I did something spontaneous yesterday- I signed up for a triathlon! It’s next weekend!

I haven’t been training for it obviously, and I didn’t think I would even do a tri this summer. But I have gone swimming a couple times. Today I went and swam the race distance (1/2 mile) in the pool without stopping, so that makes me feel good. I have also been riding my bike quite a bit – sure, mostly my mountain bike, and sure mainly just to and from work and the rock gym a couple times a week. But I’ve been running a ton! I am not the most prepared I could be, but it sounded fun so I’m doing it.

I am a little nervous, especially about the swim. I’m going to do an OWS next week with Alisa and Amy to practice. I am also going to get on my road bike once next week since I’ve only been on it twice this year. Meanwhile, I’m getting into the thick of my ultra training so I will need to be keeping up on that mileage.

I am just going to do it “for fun” and just try to finish. I feel like such a beginner. I haven’t done a triathlon for over a year and a half, but I need to remember the last one was an Ironman. I think I can handle this!


swimming july

  Bike July

Run July

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

4th of July Super Weekend

Weekends like this remind me why I live here. We put up with months of grey, rainy weather for these glorious summer days. Portland really shines and there is just so much to do. We definitely took full advantage of the beautiful weather and the extra long weekend! Here are some highlights and lots of pictures:

Friday I got off work early and went for a summeriffic walkabout (um, hike) in Washington Park with Amy. We visited the Aboriteium and the International Rose Garden with great views of Mt Hood. After that, we went to my house and sat in the garden there drinking lemonade and relaxing in the sun. We met Alisa for a nice swim in the local outdoor pool and I swam 1000 yards! Yay swimming 2 Fridays in a row! Zach met us after and I ran home alongside him as he rode his bike. It was my day off running , but it's just about a mile home so no big deal.

rose garden july

swimming july

Saturday we had our long trail run. We drove up to Forest Park and ran on the Wildwood. I did 14 miles in about 2 1/2 hours and felt great. So beautiful - it went by really fast! It was the perfect place to run on a hot day. This finished off the week of running for me with 33.6 miles total: one 6 mile run with my new speedy running buddy on the waterfront (low 8's pace), one easy solo 5.1 miler, one fast-paced 7.5 mile trail run with Zach, one mile run home from the pool, and then the 14 mile trail run. Good week of running!

(no pictures from the trail, refer to the  millions I’ve posted before)

We stopped at the farmer’s market, and then spent the rest of the day doing stuff around the house and then having friends over for a dinner party. I got my sofa delivered finally (I ordered it 3 (!!!) months ago) and hung up some purdy new artwork. Zach cooked some amazing food- veal osso bucco and parmesan orzo and sausage stuffed-shrimp and almond tortes and wine pairings for everything. Ah. Mazing. 

PSU Farmer's market:

farmers market july


Sofa and art:




 DSC_0061 DSC_0065 DSC_0068


Sunday we slept in, walked to breakfast, and then to the farmers market. We spent a few hours on some more fun crafty/decorating/gardening stuff around the house and I took a long nap. Finally we got out of the house and drove up to Sauvie Island for a bike ride! I've only been on my road bike once this year for a couple miles so this was my first real ride in months. We did 18 miles and it was just so fun and gorgeous up there. I even saw a bald eagle! USA! After the ride we stopped at one of the little farms and picked a bunch of strawberries and bought some veggies at their market. Back home we bbq'd and ate the veggies and watched a movie on our comfy new couch.

Sauvie Island:

  sauvie is 2 sauvie is 3 sauvie is 4 sauvie is 5 sauvie is 6

sauvie is 1sauvie is 7 sauvie is 8

sauvie is 10sauvie is 9

Monday - fourth of july! I lit some sparklers in the morning, my favorite. We lounged around and I sat in the sun reading all morning. I finished up my craft projects and made a pie from the berries we'd picked and some rhubarb we bought at the farmers market. We went to a bbq at Amy's where we at tons (tons) of great food and lit fireworks and drank beer and all that. It was a late night but the perfect end to the holiday weekend.

Crafts: painted frames for Paris photos

 DSC_0072 DSC_0073 DSC_0093


Painted old Paris map/poster onto canvas (idea from HERE):

 DSC_0080 DSC_0082 DSC_0085


Pie project (baking a pie in your bikini is so 4th of July):

 DSC_0110 DSC_0111



4th of july2

That's it! Whew! I am looking forward to lots more weekends like this. I love summer. I love my house. I love Portland! I want to bottle this feeling and sprinkle it on the winter weekends when I need it. I wish it worked that way…

Back to reality now, a busy week at work but at least a short one. Have a great week, thanks for reading.

July 5