Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Le Foot

I'm trying not to freak out. In fact I think yesterday I was silently chanting that to myself for a few hours straight. "Don't freak out. Don't freak out. It's gonna be okay."

The thing is, when you train for something (Vermont City Marathon in this case) for so long (eh, four or five months maybe if you include the training leading up to the Moab 1/2 marathon), it becomes your focus and drive in life. I mean really, what do I do? I work, I run, I eat and I sleep. Luckily, I don't have a significant other because if I did I'm pretty sure that relationship would be a bit strained unless he too was a total fitness freak.

So, when my foot started hurting on Sunday night with every step I took on a leisurely walk down by the river, I was a little worried. I went home, iced it and took some Advil (this girl doesn't ever take meds unless necessary). Monday it felt fine so I went running with the group. Less than a mile in I had to stop and walk. And that's when I tell you, fear set in. And because I had barely broken a sweat I headed straight for the gym for a cardio session on the bike followed of course by more icing and Adviling.

Yesterday, the foot was aching at work. I took some Advil, accepted the fact that I could not run and did a 35 min aqua jog (damn that works the legs). Then I hit the gym for some upper body and abs and short bike. Last night the panic set in. I mean really I have no idea if it's a big deal. It doesn't hurt terribly, but it's enough to make me nervous and see all that training slipping away. It's crazy to see how mentally defeating it can be. But part of me wonders when things like this happen, if it's not the universe or God or a greater being out there telling me something? Physically, I realize there could be some other components to it, but I also believe everything happens for a reason and sometimes those reasons may be greater than what we are willing to understand.

This weekend is a scheduled 20+ mile run and I'm starting to worry that it may not make the books. Breathe in. Breathe out. Either way, I'm staying positive that if the foot doesn't heal as I demand it to, I still have an amazing trip planned with some of my best friends and that alone is worth it. Breathe in. Breathe out. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevate. Repeat.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another reason why I love thee...

Tar-get that is. Okay, and maybe you, maybe. What I once thought was only available for purchase at Sephora was recently spotted and purchased by yours truly at Tar-get.

Since I don't live in the shopping mecca, we definitely don't have a Sephora nearby. My only option is sephora.com and don't get me wrong it's equally fabulous. Just last month I bought this and paid zero on shipping. But when I saw Philosophy's Coconut Frosting shampoo, bath and shower gel (cheers for 3 in 1 products) during a quick run to get face sunblock, I had to buy it! I already have the Margarita one and since summer is coming and all, why not have the Coconut too?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thankful

I just want to say that I'm thankful for what I have and all that I sometimes take for granted.

Last week a roommate was in a car accident, totaling his car but not injuring his girlfriend or himself any more than some severe whiplash. This happened just a day after his younger brother swerved to miss a deer, crashed and was hospitalized for various injuries. The kid has now had five surgeries to his right arm and they will continue tomorrow with a bone and skin graft coming from his pelvis to fix the arm. The kid can't move his fingers properly or stretch them out fully, but hey, he's alive and functioning well otherwise. Whew.

Then today's newspaper had an article about a local high school girl who went from being vibrant cheerleader and swimmer to a young girl who can no longer speak or walk and be the same person she once was thanks to a car crash. Her story (and crushed car) is now an example used for pre-prom mock staged accidents shown at several high schools nearby.

And I'm reminded of a few high school friends who had a college friend of theirs fall over a second or third story balcony drunk during a watermelon seed spitting contest, land on her head and never recover to be the same person she once was.

For everything I find to complain about or criticize in life, I just have to say that I'm thankful that my family and friends are healthy, happy and safe. You never know when life's going to throw you a curve ball, but I'm just glad that to this point, it hasn't.

There have been moments when I look up just in time (when my mind is somewhere else) to slam on my breaks and I've silently whispered a prayer for looking up when I still had time. The little things (like being able to walk, drive myself to work, text or call my mom, laugh with friends, etc) are really important. I don't want to dismiss the little things in life because without them, it just wouldn't be the same. And clearly, I'm lucky to have what I do because not everyone is so fortunate. Sometimes, it just takes a little nudge to sharpen your vision back to 20/20.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Surreal

Tonight a few of the runners and I went to an invitational track meet, which included runners from high school to college to professional level, to cheer on our speed coach (in the photo). Living in the city we do, seeing runners of elite caliber has become the norm over the last year.

But I have to say, when Adam Goucher yelled "Alberto, where are my sweats?" my friend K and I gasped and just looked at each other bug-eyed. It was one of those surreal moments no matter how used to it we should be by now, we weren't. I mean, of course his coach Alberto Salazar would be there (standing two feet away from us) saddled up to the fence supporting his runners.

For those of you not familiar with the running world, Mr. Salazar is to running what Michael Jordan is to basketball, or so it seems. I am pretty new to the whole track thing. I mean I ran long distance track in high school, but I rarely knew who was good on the opposing teams (because I wasn't) and frankly I didn't care. But being that I now live in the city where the Olympic Track & Field Trials will be held for 2008, 2012, etc. and I have been running with an organized group here for over a year now, I've been quickly catching up on my professional runners knowledge.

When I started coming to the group runs, hearing people say names like Salazar, Goucher, Ritzenhein and Symmonds meant squat to me. But now I know those names and the faces to match them...and sometimes even smile and wave as we see them out on the trails. Kind of weird, but not surprising. After all, running is one of those sports where all you really need is some shoes and shorts (and a good sports bra for the women) and a little bit of motivation.

Photo courtesy of: Phil Johnson

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What you should make tonight for dinner

So, I found this recipe last weekend when I was home visiting the fam. My mom has been on Weight Watchers for a while and this was from one of her mags. I've tried it now twice and it's so good (and healthy) I had to share.

Grilled Veggie Panini

-Slice and grill zuchinni (or yellow squash), red (or yellow) bell pepper and yellow sweet onion
-Sandwich veggies between two slices of high fiber bread
-Spread the inside of one piece of bread w/ 1 oz goat cheese and top with fresh basil (this is key) and a bit of balsamic vinegar
-Grill in panini press or grill pan

*I added a slice of turkey for a bit more flavor and protein. Use whatever veggies you like. I used my George Foreman for both grilling the veggies and the sandwich because hey, it works just the same as a panini press in my mind. I used Pam to coat the grill. Oh, and I used rosemary peppercorn goat cheese...so good.

Trust me, this sandwich is freaking awesome.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's hip to be green

In honor of Earth Day, I was thinking of the things I try to do regularly to be eco-friendly.

What I'm doing now...

-Taking my trusty Trader Joe's canvas bags to the grocery store (and even to Target!)
-Saying "I don't need a bag" when I purchase something at a clothing store or somewhere I don't bring my reusable bags
-Turning off the light when I leave a room (although the roommates make this difficult sometimes as they don't always get it)
-Recycling everything I possibly can (I can't imagine living in a state where you just toss everything into the trash...cringe).
-Bringing my travel mug with me whenever I get a Starbucks!
-Filling my tank with biofuel
-Avoiding all red meat
-Passing on clothes I'm done with to the local woman's shelter
-Buying almost all organic food, especially produce

What I'd like to be doing...

-Riding my bike to work more (but dang, it's cold and wet still)
-Driving and flying to visit all my friends and family a bit less (major carbon footprint)
-Growing my own herbs and veggies
-Using cloth napkins only

When I started to think about it, I realized I'm doing a lot more than I originally thought. Good to know.

Monday, April 21, 2008

He wants to visit and I'm not even joking

Yeah I know, crazy huh?

So, it turns out that sometimes eH will send you someone who is truly a great match, even if they happen to live over 1,000 miles away (because hey, this girl wasn't finding anyone of quality coming from an entire state so she adds a few states she wouldn't mind visiting/living/etc) and voila! Anyway, after a few weeks of e-mailing and now chatting on the phone a bit, he wants to visit. And to be totally honest, he also has a friend a few hours away he's been meaning to visit.

Abundance, let's talk about it. A few weeks after we started chatting I started to actually notice guys who smiled at me and shocker, I actually smiled back. I realized that the more I opened myself up to it, the more life offers you. Sometimes it takes a little bit of a nudge to make you realize that what you were doing before wasn't necessarily right, no matter how comfortable it was. Comfort for me has often been avoidance...of eye contact, nervous stomach flip flops, smiles, relationships, conflict, whatever. But you know, comfort doesn't always mean happiness. Whatever this means, I'm just happy that it's a step in the right direction. A step towards opening up and seeing what's out there. Hallelujah.

In other news, I have to say that Mondays are not my fav and never have been. This Monday started out with a flat tire for yours truly, to which I promptly called my pops (who happens to be a mechanic and my personal car guru) who gave me the local numero for Les Schwab. The roadside crew guy comes and fills my tire for free (which has gone flat multiple times and has been checked by Les Schwab in the past.) I get back on the road and head directly to the nearest tire center and ask them to please check my right front tire AGAIN while I read my trashy fiction novel and watch the Today show in the lobby. And this time, Trusty Travis finds that sure enough my right front tire is nearly worn through, but the rest are just fine. $65 (with the $25 credit they gave me for the old one) and I can have a brand spankin' new one. Fabulous. And seriously guys, you didn't need to give me the credit. I would have paid another $25 just to know my life was on safer tread. But whatevs, it's fixed and I for one am definitely a fan of Les Schwab.

And then after work and a run, I find out that one of the roommates got in a doozie of a car accident this afternoon, totaled his car and has been in Urgent Care for the past several hours. He's fine, but seriously, what are the automobile gods up to?

I think it's time to file this Monday away. It's been a long one.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Exhausted to the point of "I'm not sure it gets more exhausting than this."

You know what I'm talking about. You neglected sleep like an ugly step child thinking you didn't really need it and that you could get along fine without it. Yeah, that's where I'm at. I haven't been sleeping much, going to bed late and getting up super early, running a lot and forgetting that sometimes I really need to just stop doing so much.

Eyelids are barely managing to stay open, brain function is running on low and I'm not sure I even want to wash my face or move the clothes sitting on my bed before passing out. That's when you know it's time to just give in. Thanks life, wake up call duly noted. It's definitely bedtime.

Running 20 miles tomorrow and the forecast calls for snow...in Oregon. Um, did someone forget to tell the weatherman it's April 19?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

These hills are a beast

Every frickin' week we subject ourselves to a rather grueling speed or hill workout thanks to Mr Coachy Coach, Olympian in Training. This Thursday was our fabulous monthly hill workout. For almost an hour, all we can think about is how good it better make our butts look in those jeans (or tone up the bod for swim suit season-yikes), or else...

And once again, we survived. It may not have looked pretty and we may be a little sore tomorrow, but in the end I'm sure it was all worth it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yummy salmon marinade

I've been trying to eat fish a bit more often since it's pretty much the one thing on all the "Top 10 things to eat to __________" (avoid cancer, stay healthy, maintain your weight, etc) lists that I don't eat on a daily basis. It's not that I don't like fish, I do. But it's hard to find good quality, fresh fish AND you have to plan for it. It's not like you can just buy the fish on Sunday, shove it in the fridge and wait until the end of the week to cook it.

Anyway, the last few times I've made salmon I have used this recipe, which is quick and easy and has ingredients you usually have in your kitchen already (which is always a plus)! Thanks to the Food Network that always comes through for me when I'm in a recipe bind, here it is. I hope you enjoy!

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon Fillets

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and ground black pepper
Cooking spray

In an oiled shallow baking dish, combine lemon juice, Dijon, honey, and lemon zest. Stir together. Season both sides of salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place in the baking dish. Flip salmon to coat in glaze. Bake immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.*

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes or until fish is fork-tender.

* I definitely do not have time to wrap and refrigerate the sucker for 3 hours so I just bake immediately and usually throw in a few veggies during the last 10 minutes.

And being that I just cook for lil ole me, I cut this recipe in half and then save half of the fillet of salmon for the next day's lunch or dinner. Yum Yum!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gym fashion faux pas

Working out at the University's rec center can be an eye opener every now and again. But hey, it's cheap, convenient, is a great facility with new equipment and open at all hours so I can be working up a sweat at the crack of dawn, on my lunch hour and even as late as 11 P.M.

Ok, so I realize I'm a bit of a gym/workout snob for the mere reason that I've been comfortable in the gym (and even the weights section around all the big beefy guys) since I was in 8th grade.

However, I do not think the fact that some people are not as seasoned allows them to get away with avoiding a few basic rules.

First off, you're going to the gym to sweat, burn calories, work off that extra jiggle, tone up, etc. so wear something that is conducive to such an activity. Read: your boobs hanging halfway out of your top can't really be comfortable AND for the love of god, please wear a sports bra no matter how flat you think you are.

Second, impressing the boys should not be your main motive in hanging out at the gym. After all, have you seen them? Most of them hardly have time to shave, put on deodorant or throw on a shirt before strolling in to do the bench press. BUT if that's the only thing will get you off your ass, more power to you.

Tonight's fashion faux pas included:

1. a girl wearing a dark blue thong under white, terry cloth shorts while climbing the stairmaster. Talk about an ultimate wedgie. Girlfriend, that's what shorts with built in undies were made for (or any old shorts not purchased in the pajama section).

2. blush on a girl that could resemble clown makeup. Seriously chica, check out the mirror before you stroll on into the gym to impress the males. Joining the circus act is probably not what you had in mind tonight.

Thank you!

Your fabulous fellow gym goer

Monday, April 14, 2008

I want to be here...

Cinque Terre, Italy
Unfortunately, after you graduate college, the idea of backpacking around Europe and anywhere you damn well please for a month or so is a distant memory.

But I'm still scheming, seeing as how I never did the whole study abroad thing and am still aching to see the world. Typical quarter life crisis I'm sure. ;) Being the ambitious woman I am, I thought getting into a career would satisfy my hunger. But instead, it's left me salivating for everything I don't have.

How far would you go to find a challenge, serenity and a new perspective on life?

Image: epac08

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What I don't understand is...

how I could have made it to 25 and found myself still a child in certain ways. I'm an old soul, always have been. I'm always the reason when recklessness butts its evil head into my life or those around me. I'm the "mother hen" according to some of my friends. I was the team mom, coordinator, trip planner, organizer and peace maker of our lacrosse team at times.

And yet, I feel so young sometimes. Just call me anti-relationship. As much as I want one, I avoid them like the plague. I run hard and fast away from them and I'm finally tired of running. The tough part is admitting to those you want to potentially date that you'd like to be able to relate but see, you "sort of missed the whole dating, boyfriend, summer fling boat." Hard to imagine, I know. Am I even allowed to admit this? Does society understand that there are people out there whom we compare ourselves to that aren't actually all they seem to be?

I didn't know how to open up to guys I cared about, claimed I was picky (and still do), was afraid of being vulnerable, afraid of losing my independence and ultimately, afraid of rejection. So in turn, I rejected them one by one before they could ever get the chance to reject me.

I've used and abused power and hid behind success to avoid more relationships than I care to admit. After all, who needs love when you've got a job that keeps you busy, a few too many hobbies, push your physical limits to the max and generally seem to pull off being a well-rounded person? Me, that's who.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Summer summer summer time!

I know, it's not here and it won't be for a few months, but seriously, how did this happen? My schedule is already full. Nearly every weekend is jam freakin' packed with work functions, races, Olympic Trials, concerts, weddings, a trip to Tahoe with the lacrosse alumni girls and I don't even know what else.

When people ask what I'm doing this summer I'd rather just forgo the laundry list and say "I'm not really sure, I'm just busy." Is anyone else feeling like summer's not even here and you're pretty sure you might blink and miss it?

Crap! I have all these fabulous sandals, skirts and tank tops I want to wear. Not to mention stacks of books I fully intend on reading...some day. And friends that need catching up with. It simply cannot go by this quickly. These are the times when I just miss the old days when summer meant no commitments, lazy days, late nights, driving to the lake and sun bathing, reading, short skirts and FREEDOM! Ah, to be a kid again.

If I were a kiddie on summer break, I'd want to be...

1. wearing this


2. eating this








3. or this


4. OR this




5. drinking this



6. watching this











7. doing this




8. and laughing with my friends around this!








But alas, I'm not. What would you want to be doing if adult life (and prior commitments) weren't calling your name this summer?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Four beers too many

A few hs friends and I got together Friday night. Well, it was a bit more complicated than that. I drove a few hrs, picked up Tay in Portland and off we headed for a few more hours on the road, arriving in Washington in time to head out for the evening with Wulffy. A change of clothes and some fresh deod and this girl was good to go. As it always is, the high school girls never cease to put me at ease. There's simply something comforting about knowing a person since they were five.

We headed down the street to a local brewery where the young people flocked. A few good beers, good friends and a fun atmosphere make for a pretty fabulous time. Then it was off to the salsa bar next door for a few more beers and dancing. Humor is when one of the only attractive males in the bar asks me to dance and I learn he's from the military base and served in Iraq for four months. Of course he is. It's just ironic how sometimes the people you try to avoid will seek you out. Just another example of how we can't always control our lives, no matter how hard we try.

We sauntered home a while later and I was surprised to find my phone telling me it was after 1 A.M. This girl does not get out very often so the 2 A.M. bedtime was a bit unusual.

Needless to say, because I drink maybe a glass of wine or two a week, when I awoke at 6:30 A.M., I was greeted by a splitting headache that couldn't be solved by chugging a few glasses of H20. 8:30 A.M. still no different. UGH...so off to Starbucks we headed for a morning pick me up and breakfast.


Then it was off to a local park for a fabulous little hike and fresh air. By the time Tay and I were headed back to OR my headache was a dull throb. By Sunday I was fresh as a peach and ready for my LONG run.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happy, Glorious, Magnificent WeekEND!

You know that feeling, every Thursday evening when all that stands between you and your weekend is a measly Friday. Ah, it's priceless isn't it?

It's interesting how some weeks you have absolutely nothing to say that would matter to anyone and other weeks you just can't seem to stop the flow of words. Well, this week was one of the less inspiring ones. I've been stressed and I can't imagine subjecting you to the details of that.

But one thing I have been realizing lately is that I take on burdens. Many women do and I can say I often fall victim to it. If something can't get done, I'll pick up the slack, if something breaks, I'll figure out how to fix it, how to make sure everything is under control, how to make you feel happy about a situation that was your fault, how to make sure not to inconvenience you. You being the hypothetical you...the people whose burdens I shoulder. I don't know where it came from, probably a good dose of instinct and culture, but it's kind of freaky. At the end of the day, I need to realize I can't do it all.

This whole eHarmony thing has really got me thinking about my role in interactions with other people (especially men). And geez, this dating stuff is hard. Just thinking about it makes me stressed. In 2008, being an independent woman is still a tough thing to do. I look at all the girls and women I see happily coupled and realize that they have been able to in some way give up some of their independence to rely on another person for their happiness.

I still remember walking into one of my big lecture classes in college and this guy holds the door open for me and all I could think was "Are you joking me? I don't even know you." If I had been drinking water I would have surely spit it out through my nose. Chewing an apple? I might have choked. Luckily, over the past few years I've been able to get over the door holding thing even though it still weirds me out.

Which gets me to what I'm really trying to say. Contrary to popular belief, I truly want to find someone who allows me to be dependent on them for at least a few things. I'm just not sure how I'll get to that place where I trust myself enough with a person that I allow him to do something for me without shooting him down. How to let go of having total control over your life and just let someone else take the reigns for once. That's a scary thought for an independent woman.

In new situations my instinct is always to make it known how capable I am of doing everything on my own. No help from you thank you very much! But that really hasn't gotten me anywhere, has it? People want to help each other out. It's like when you go to a party and if you offer the host/ess help, he/she is supposed to let you. Same goes for relationships (or so I've heard).

And oddly enough, through the years I've seen various friends and acquaintances again and again find fabulous jobs, friends, apartments, boyfriends, opportunities and more because they just let things happen. I'm starting to wonder if the universe has a way of conspiring around those of us who try too hard to make everything happen "just so." There just might be a lesson to learn from those who sit back and watch the grass grow once in a while, or give up a little control. Hmm...

If I haven't thoroughly confused you with my ramblings by now, congrats!