February 25, 2014 § 2 Comments
Saturday morning I awoke to the most colorful, layered sunrise sky I have seen from my new apartment (I apologize for not capturing that gloriousness in a photo – will do next time!). For some unknown reason, I sat up with a start early-ish this lovely weekend morning. Perhaps because the time was 7am and my body usually experiences the 6am wake-up alarm of the M-F routine, or because Saturdays are reserved for the group run, which commences promptly at 8am, and a little worry may have crept into my sleeping brain that I might soon be missing something important.
Last weekend, Saturday’s agenda took an unusual path. I was meeting my sister for breakfast in the suburbs, and going to a baby shower a little farther yet from home. And I was nervous. Why, you ask? Because I was driving outside of the city…
To most people, this will seem a little dramatic. But to tell you the truth, I was a little terrified. I have only had my driver’s license for a little over a year, and a car to drive for less than three months. (Yes, I am a grown adult and nearly 32 years of age – I’m just a little late to jump into the vehicle game).
…and I had NEVER driven on the freeway alone…
I knew the easiest, and most time effective, method of getting to my destination meant driving on one of those multi-lane, 50 mph and faster highways with crazy people speeding, merging, and darting around me. I was…
My morning progressed slowly, meaning by the time I walked out my door, I was running late, and since the back roads were going to take about 26 minutes, I needed to save myself ten minutes and take the highway. So I sucked it up, got in my car, and drove right onto the highway ramp. I drove my little car down the big, scary road, and you know what? It really wasn’t that bad, after all.
Also, I am eternally grateful for the little voice in my phone that tells me where to go. (Thank you Apple!)
I had a lovely breakfast with my sister, we discussed baby shower details – Yes, I am going to be an Auntie! – and then we decided to wander and shop at a surprisingly nearby mall. (There is a possibility I have missed this from my teen years). It’s incredible how close things become when you can drive to different locations in mere minutes.
New adorable flats in hand (the Jeffrey Campbell “In Love” flats – a la Miss Meers, my favorite shoe boutique from the college years), I hugged my sis and was off to a friend’s baby shower. We played games, munched on some delicious food, and guessed if the baby was a pink bow or a blue bow. They had been keeping their little one’s gender secret for many weeks… and the reveal came just three and a half weeks before baby is expected! I picked a pink bow to pin to the board, and … I guessed right! Woohoo! (Yes, I am very proud of guessing correctly – two of three recent births… one still TBD). I am very excited for this little person to join the lives of my good friend and her husband, and can’t wait to meet her!
After all the congratulating and asking to be notified of when and how it goes, we all left in our vehicles… I was excited to get home and get to my run!
I really wanted to catch the view of Portland before the sun set, and since I was heading out the door after 5pm, I knew I had little time. Choosing to take the most direct route to my favorite overlook of the city, I went straight up the hill… as fast as I could without making myself sick, that is. And the view was lovely, of course.
On my way back down the hill, and toward the waterfront, the sky turned red…
Once I reached the waterfront, the sun was fading from the sky, and night began to envelop the city. A blue hue fell over the water and clouds. I was greeted by a very large flock of birds floating near the water’s edge.
The night was beautiful. Dry, quiet, and water so still; a mirror reflecting the city back upon herself. Dazzling even to those who hadn’t just run eight miles, I’d wager.
In the next few weeks, I will be increasing again, training for the Newport Marathon. It’s crazy how quickly these dates catch up to us – this marathon at the end of May will be my “longest run” (or one of my longest runs) in preparation for a 50K in July – The Siskiyou Outback. Part of me can not believe I have chosen to challenge my mind and body in that race, the other part is thoroughly excited. :)
A shorter race is upcoming before these two long races. In March, I’ll be tackling the Shamrock with a bunch of friends, running the 15K. I have never actually run in this race, despite having registered on two separate previous occasions. I look forward to finally running amidst all the green attire and silly Leprechaun get-ups. Thinking about this race, I’m wondering if I should have some kind of strategy for race day. I’d love to hear from you – how do you plan for race-day? What is your strategy?
All my best to you out on the trails, roads, puddle jumping, and sliding through snow…
February 8, 2014 § 2 Comments
Last night, as I went to bed, I decided to let myself sleep in as long as my body would let me, regardless of the fact that Saturday is traditionally the group long run day. Of course, I woke up promptly at 7am and decided at twenty after I would throw my clothes on and run out the door to meet my friends on foot at 8am… two miles away, for an eight mile run. In the snow.
Fortunately, I made it on time, and I am so happy I got out of bed to meet them – It had snowed again overnight, there was hardly any traffic, and it was gorgeous.
Toward the end of our run, it really started snowing heavily. I had a wonderful time walking home through all the white flakes of fluff.
We were lucky to have one more day of glorious snow; we are currently experiencing freezing rain, and it seems the conditions tomorrow will be best suited for staying indoors.
What are your favorite snow-day adventures?
Be safe and stay warm, everyone!
February 7, 2014 § 5 Comments
Over the past few days it has snowed. It snowed a little on Monday and again on Tuesday, and while it looked pretty floating in large white balls of fluff, the air was warm enough that it all melted away moments after it hit the ground. Then, on Thursday, after a very cold, dry Wednesday, the weather reports were all over the board, as is usual when there is a potential for “winter weather” in Portland.
And then… at about ten in the morning… tiny, white flakes began falling from the sky.
The snow did not necessarily stick, but was blown around by incredible gusts of wind.
When I decided to leave work at twelve thirty in the early afternoon, snow was piling up, the wind was crazy, and the temperature was around 20 degrees (with a ‘feels like’ six degrees!). Needless to say, in a location where drivers are inexperienced with the white stuff falling from the sky, a half hour commute turned into nearly three hours, much of that spent waiting for a bus in ‘blizzard’ conditions. I rewarded myself with a hot chocolate at one of my favorite coffee shops close to home, and on my walk after the fortifying hot beverage, snow-covered the ground.
Snow was predicted for varying amounts of accumulation, and to my delight – there were measurable inches by the end of the day! Which of course meant that today I was probably going to skip the commute to the office and work remotely.
And I did - delighted to sit at home at my desk, and gaze out my single-pane window at the snow-covered city.
After a few hours of sitting, staring, and finishing some work, my legs could not sit still any longer, and I had to get out and run!
I layered up (three wool shirts!), headed out the door and quickly learned that running on lightly compacted, powdery snow is very much like running on dry sand. Challenging and so much fun; I found myself giggling every two minutes as I would slip or slide. And of course, I took pictures!
It was a beautiful morning…
During this morning’s run, there was no precipitation, in fact the sun starting peeking out from behind some clouds. At noon, it was snowing again… and it has not stopped! I am looking forward to walking out into a dreamy, white winter wonderland to get my morning cup o’joe, and plan which direction my feet will take me on the Saturday long run…
Where do you like to run when the weather is … compromising?
How do you stay warm? I thought about a scarf today to cover my nose, but decided against it as it could have been uncomfortable.
Keep warm, and have fun getting outside!
with joy in running (and the unexpected),
January 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Sunday I went out for an early evening run. The day had been bright, and I was seeing a soft, warm glow of the beginnings of sunset when I decided I needed to pull my shoes on and head outside. It was cooler than I had expected, and I was happy I bundled up, heading to the waterfront to visit the well-known bridge loop.
The sky was putting on quite a show, varying in light puffs of cloud to the dark menacing threat of storms. I had a ball capturing the many different beautiful faces of Portland clouds with my iPhone (which thankfully, did not shut down this time!).
The run felt great – to get out and be able to photograph the little things that catch my eye make each experience of lacing up and getting going two hundred times more exciting. The world we live in is so beautiful, and I cannot stop admiring her.
I am looking forward to the long run with Saturday’s Run group of gals. Secretly, I am hoping it will be foggy … That would make for a gorgeous photo story!
What is the weather like where you are? Do you have to wear special gear to get out in the snow?
I’ve heard something about putting screws in the soles of your shoes for ice and snow… Does that work?
Happy running everyone!
December 27, 2013 § 9 Comments
Much to my surprise and delight, I have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! by sister runner and blogger BayRunner Jamie. She is spunky, enthusiastic, and a truly motivated runner. Thanks so much Jamie!
The blog award rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you, answer some questions, nominate 10-12 other bloggers and notify them on their blogs. (I will do this soon!)
Favorite color- For many years I have claimed “I like all colors”, and now, with confidence, I can say red and turquoise. (… and maybe magenta)
Favorite animal - cats and dogs, and I am allergic to both
Favorite non-alcoholic drink- Coffee, no question
Facebook or Twitter- Facebook, although I rarely participate anymore
Favorite pattern- floral patterns (good gracious, I am girly!)
Favorite number- 13
Favorite Flower- Rose
What is your passion- Running, singing, encouraging others to pursue their passion
And now for the nominees!
Each of these women has inspired me in one way or another: through humor, with great cooking ideas, DIY’s, motivational running stories, or other pursuits of happiness and health in life. Check them out! Forewarning: they are not all running blogs, although I assure you, you will enjoy each and every one of them!
Thanks again, Jamie, for the nomination!
Happy Blogging, everyone! And Happy Holiday.
December 23, 2013 § 6 Comments
The last couple weeks have been cold.
I mean Cold!
I have recently acquired my first OMNI-HEAT Down-jacket from Columbia Sportswear, and I am loving every second of wearing this blanket from heaven.
I can not believe it took me so many years to get one of these jackets. It is a total game-changer! See it here!
I have also learned the effects of the cold on my regular habit of picture-taking on my run… three-quarters of a mile in, one picture snapped, then – the screen goes black and the little circle of doom spirals, sputters, and disappears as my phone shuts itself off.
Does anyone have a solution for this iPhone “it’s too cold out to function” shut-down prevention? How do folks in Alaska and North Dakota use cell phones or smart phones if they just shut off when it is cold?
Needless to say, I haven’t been getting many scenic captures in the past few weeks. Fortunately, the weather has warmed a little, my life is calming, I’m feeling the breathing room, and I’ll be able to get out and share the view very soon.
Here are a few pictures from a run when the temperature hit the teens; the sun was setting and I was able to get in a few pictures in the first 8 minutes of my run before the spiral appeared in blackness and my phone took a nap:
I plan to find a solution so I can continue my favorite pastime of iPhoneography while running, and until then, you may find more words here than images. I welcome any thoughts or advice you can offer!
I hope everyone is staying warm, and having fun tackling the elements, whatever they may be where you run!
December 1, 2013 § 3 Comments
Out on the waterfront with my friends for our weekly run, I could not help but admire the stillness of the river. Each bridge, the treeline on the water, and clouds reflected on the surface of the water a secret world hidden inside its flows. The cool temperature and shapes of the high, light clouds reminded me that winter would soon be upon the city.
We caught a few sprinkles of rain, and beyond that the morning was perfect. I got home in time to bake a cake for an evening celebration of Thanksgiving with friends. I am so grateful for these wonderful people in my life.
Happy running, and wishing you all a happy holiday season!