Monday, August 31, 2009

Race Report: I Hood to Coasted!

The "mother of all relays" is made up of a few fun elements: 197 miles, 12 team members, 2 vans, 2 drivers, clif bars, bottled water, smelly socks, porta pots, head lamps and reflective vests, and little to no sleep. The team's goal is to run from the base of a mountain (Mt. Hood) to the ocean in Seaside, OR as fast as possible.

Our team was made up of 6 men and 6 women from the local running store (that paid for half our race entree fees! Thank you ERC!) group I run with a few times a week. Every six legs the two vans switch so that Van 1 ran the first 6 legs, then handed the timer and time sheets off to our van while their final runner passes on the wrist baton on to our first runner and so on. Basically each van has three rounds of running with a few 3-4 hr breaks in between. The faster you are, the less time you have to rest between your legs. So, in almost 40 hrs I think I got MAYBE an hour of sleep total. This includes 10 min cat naps on the way to the next exchange point and the 30 min of sleeping bag time I logged in a grassy field where tons of teams/vans are constantly coming in and out.

Now on to the good stuff...

My stats:
4.39 mi EASY in 34 min (7:44 pace)
4.18 mi EASY in 32 min (7:40 pace)
7.28 mi HARD in 62 min (8:30 pace)

Let me tell you, after those first two fairly flat and semi-fast (for me anyway) legs, my physical legs were done. The thought of running 7+ miles (all of which was a gradual incline) did not sound like my recipe for fun. But carry on I did.

Going into this final leg, I told myself "hey, you can walk or slow down if you need to." But once I got truckin', there was no slowing down or stopping. This leg was especially boring because it was in the midst of an old gravel logging road with clear cut all around us. The nice part was, our fast team was catching up to some slower teams so I had a ton of "road kills" on this leg. When the path reached the main road about 3/4 of a mile before the finish I was like "what? already there?!" I asked a volunteer just for clarification how much further we had to the exchange point. "About a half a mile" he responded. Halleluiah! So these legs kept on chugging.

After we reached the beach and ran our last runner in, we hung out for a bit to enjoy the views, take some pics, and some even enjoyed a few beers. Then it was off to our campground to set up tents. After setting up camp, we headed straight for a brewery in Astoria. After 24 hrs with no "real" food, our stomachs were eager for something that resembled a meal. The food was so so, but the beer was much better. I opted for an albacore tuna melt w/ green side salad. Gotta get a little protein in!

Bellies full, we headed back to camp for a little shut eye. The next morning we made our way to the store for a little food and Starbucks and headed home. I'm a little sore today, but nothing like after a marathon.

Team finish: 23 hrs and 19 min. This was fast people! It didn't feel super fast, but looking back, it was. And we finished 12th in our category out of 313 teams with half and half women/men (mixed open category). Looks like we averaged 7 min/mile over those 197 miles. Not too shabby!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting Caught up on Take It and Run Thursdays

Truth is, I kind of forgot about Take it and Run Thursday's and how much I enjoy the opportunity to respond to a specific running related question!

Last week's topic was: When did you know you were a runner?

When I saw Heather's post on this I thought "Dang! How could I have forgotten TiaRT's?! Such a good topic!"

I remember the first day I embarked on running. I mean sure, I had to run during soccer, volleyball, etc before then, but it wasn't until the summer after sixth grade when one night I decided I was fat and needed to lose some weight. So I went down to the school's cinder track about 1/4 mile from my house and started jogging. I remember being able to job 4-6 laps without stopping and being proud of that and running home. My lungs screamed, every ounce of fat jiggled and my legs wanted to give up, but I made it. From that day on my internal mantra was "Yes, this hurts like hell, but it will get better. Just keep it up." And I did.

But it wasn't until I joined the long distance track team in high school that I felt like a runner. Sure at my 8-8:30 pace I was still cranking out a pedestrian pace, but we were running hilly, muddy trails (I was even getting lost in the woods once in a while), finishing workouts called "gallaxies" because the loop was so huge, and doing sprint workouts that nearly made us puke. It was the time in high school when I'd finish a track meet and then opt to run from home to my gym to do some weight lifting and then run home because my legs were happy to carry me a few more miles after a hard workout.

And I didn't truly feel like a "racer," even though I raced in high school, until I did my first full marathon. In high school I always had that idea that oh well, I'm going to be last or damn close to it. But finishing that half marathon and then completing the full (after I never in my wildest dreams thought I could run such a distance), I realized that this running thing had gotten a little addictive and I loved the atmosphere of the race. It's not about winning, for me anyway. It's about getting out there and leaving all I have to give on that particular day, on the pavement. It's about the mental fight to not stop running and the sprint to the finishing chute. It's about not puking on the volunteers who are so kindly removing the timing chip from your foot and putting a medal around your neck. From athlete to runner to racer, it's been quite the journey and I know there's so much still ahead.

So, if you missed last week's topic, when did YOU know you were a runner?

This week's topic: It's the morning of your LONG run. What do you eat?

Well, I'll tell you! I learned early on from marathon books and word of mouth from other runners that anything with acidity, oil, spice, and for some even dairy, is not a good idea on the morning of a big race or long run. My breakfast of choice is usually a piece of whole wheat toast topped with almond/peanut butter, a little cinnamon and a sliced banana. On the side I might have a small glass of milk and some water. If I don't have that, option b) is oatmeal with blueberries and a splash of milk mixed in.

Why these two choices? They both have protein and fill me up so they're gonna stick with me for a long time. And if I were to have just a bowl of cereal and milk sometimes that doesn't sit as well in the tum tum. Some people also have to be careful of fiber intake before long runs, but it's usually just fine by my bod.

What's your go to power breakfast? Want to know what I'll be eating this weekend during our 24 hr Hood to Coast relay? I've planning on peanut butter pretzels (protein/carbs/sodium), Cool Mint Clif Bar (mmm!), some of Jerry's mother's cookies (teammate whose mother bakes both vans several batches of delicious cookies-halleluiah!), a banana/apple, and probably a hefty amount of water and a bit of Gatorade. There's not too much time to digest a real meal between the three legs so it's all about fueling the bod with things that are easy, but pack a punch, and sit well with the stomach.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My favorite grocery store

I walked into my favorite grocery store last night. The one I miss dearly since I'm often at the manfriend's, yet still paying rent and utilities at the place I don't frequent. I sighed. I used to walk the aisles of this place once, twice and maybe three times a week just taking a gander at their beautiful organic goods, baked section of sin and plethora of wine/beer. And oh, I purchased a few (x 100) things too for my various cooking and baking adventures.

Because these days, I shop at a more generic, less organic-available type grocery store near the man's. It makes me sad. But once I walked into my grocery store, it was time to do some damage. And although Tom's organic apricot deodorant and Ricotta cheese (for the lasagna I'm making tonight) were all I had on the mental list, apparently breakfast was on the brain.

Because this is what I ended up with (and mind you, I already have two opened boxes of fabulous cereal at home, as well as oatmeal and bread for toast)...

24 oz box of honey almond granola - (locally made and YUM, YUM, YUMMY!)
32 oz of nf plain yogurt (locally made!)
1 box of vanilla/almond clustered cereal
1 peach
1 nectarine
Ricotta cheese

Moral of the story is, breakfast is the most important meal. So why go hungry when you could go for the glory!

Today's breakfast: Nancy's nf yogurt, a scoop of granola, a scoop of TJ's flax cereal, a handful of blueberries, 1 diced peace and a dash of cinnamon!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Do you play favorites when it comes to your grocery store or do you just shop where it's cheapest or closest? After my Monday night runs, I often make a stop by Trader Joe's bc I freaking love that place and the running store where the group meets just happens to be right next to it. Fabulous little coincidence.

PS-Last night's 5 miler was TOUGH. Legs/butt were still sore from hiking and the lungs weren't so pleased with my attempts to run. K and I made it (although I forced us to walk twice for a minute or so each) and I feel better for it. Now it's time to take it easy for the rest of the week, get in some miles, but nothing serious because HTC is almost here!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A weekend recap that just might make you tired

Whew, am I exhausted. Friday, we hit the road for our camping extravaganza a little after 5 PM. We headed out of town about an hour to this gorgeous lake I've never been to (or even knew existed) and found a spot about 20 miles from the lake entrance by 630PM along a little river. We set up camp, and enjoyed dinner and a few beers next to the campfire. I bought the turkey/cranberry wraps from Costco-highly recommended for taste and such a perfect on the go meal/snack!

The Lake!

Saturday, we woke up and started our big breakfast of whole grain pancakes, eggs and hash browns. Even though you're camping, you can't slack on the eats! A few hours later, we drove up the road a few miles and parked near a trail for a bit of a hike. It turned out to be a pretty hilly hike and warm. The man wasn't quite used to all the huffing and puffing (bc cycling is less of a cardio workout than running) so I was setting the pace for most of the hike. We went for about 2 hrs, took a break for an apple, peanuts and water and headed back down. On our way, we could hear some mountain bikers coming down the trail so we moved aside as about 10 riders came barreling through with full on knee, leg and elbow pads. Guess what sport the manfriend wants to try next??

The view near the top of our hike!

After 3 hrs of hiking (8-10 miles we're guessing), we went back to camp for a few more turkey wraps and a dip of the toes in the river. Then it was to town for more wood. Later that afternoon we headed out for a bike ride, which felt insanely hard after working those glutes so hard that morning. After just two miles of riding I couldn't shake the thoughts of "This hurts. I can't make it. We should turn around now." But I didn't say a word and just put the bike into an easy gear and pushed on. After 13 miles out and several decent hills, we finally turned around for a fast decent back to camp. Needless to say, the legs were dead and it was time for dinner after such an exercise filled day.

On the menu was: turkey burgers w/ pepper jack cheese and a slice of sweet onion on top and Sweet Onion Kettle Chips on the side. MMM. For dessert: S'mores!

Turkey burgers (w/spinach, avacado, red pepper, mustard, ketchup, cheese and onion)!

Sunday, we woke up a bit stiff and chilly. The man started the fire and I started on day 2 of the epic camping breakfast. Then we decided to pack it up and head home to get a little more rest and organization in before the weekend's end. After several hours of cleaning the garage and back covered porch, the man had successfully put things into order, I had helped unpack, taken a decent load to Goodwill/donation, went on an hour run in the sun (bc I had to for this weekend's Hood to Coast relay!) and then an 1.5 hr bike ride. Whew.

It was no surprise then that this morning I woke up feeling like "UGH. SERIOUSLY?! How can it be THAT time already?" But now that I got him out camping, I think we may just venture off once more before the summer is over. Yippee! Anyone else have an exhaustingly fun OR just plain relaxing weekend?

Friday, August 21, 2009

A trial of sorts

As of late, I've been run run running along as usual, building up my base and getting back into the swing of it. Sometimes I do a Thursday speed or hill workout and lately I've been doing a longer run once a week. But really, it occurred to me last night, I haven't REALLY pushed it in a while.

So this morning, taking a few tips from my recent RW mag, I decided to do a little speed on my own. I took the dog out for a decent 10 min warm up. Then, I went out for 16 min of alternating 4 min of HARD with 2 min of EASY (not walking, just a slow run). I would have gone longer, but it was time to shower and get ready for work.

My face was red and sweat was pouring. It felt refreshing to push it to that place where things are no longer comfortable. Where your legs are screaming "I really can't do this much longer!" And eventually, I know it won't feel as bad and my pace may just improve as a result. Not a bad thing in my book!

Well, this weekend the man and I are off on our first actual camping trip of the summer after you have no idea how many times of nagging him! Last night we did some serious grocery/beverage/camping supplies shopping and are ready to go. I can't wait (and now, neither can he)! We're looking forward to some relaxation, biking and hiking, and sitting by the campfire.

What adventures do you have up your sleeve this weekend?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Well hello there sleep.

Where did you go? Last night we just weren't friends. 3:15 does not sound like an ideal time to wake up. Perhaps I was channeling Tera Moody's inability to sleep every night. GAH. Can't.even.imagine.

Anywho, last night after racing home and pulling on some spandex, the man and I headed out in the 100 deg heat for a nice little hilly group ride. As a beginner at anything you are humbled by that which you are not. I am not fast, or strong on hills, or gutsy enough to fly down the winding declines without breaking. And so the group ride quickly becomes much more of a solo affair.

One in which I'm totally okay with because really, it's just the opportunity to get out there, do the hills and see the country side. I'm a little ashamed when I pull up to a stop sign where the group has chosen to wait for stragglers. Final straggler=me. I wish they'd keep on riding, but as groups do, they protect each other, somewhat.

Last night I took the middle distance of the three routes and I was the only one. That was just fine by me. I know the area enough to figure out how to get home, but not so much that I could explain to a friend how to find me if say I crashed/sliced a tire and couldn't fix it. Alas, I pedaled home trying to beat the sunset and almost succeeded.

Manfriend arrived shortly after, doing the longer route, about 5-7 miles longer, as I made chicken burritos for dinner.He said one of the guys on the longer route hit a deer and crashed and then a woman behind him hit him as he got back up on the bike. Everyone was ok, but still. I almost took the long route. I'm kind of glad I'm slow and didn't have the guts to do another five miles of hills last night.

Now back to chicken burritos. Men are funny. Men will buy spinach wraps bc they think you'll like them bc they're healthy. You will then look at said label which declares each wrap 210 cals and declare no, not so healthy, that you usually go for the Low-Carb/Low-cal whole wheat version. Men will ask if you have sour cream to which you'll reply no and to which they'll ask for yogurt (i've been known to use nf plain yogurt instead of sour cream). When you reply no, they'll ask "what about peach or cherry vanilla?" to which you'll reply "um, i don't think those sound good on a burrito." To which they'll decide on cherry and you'll eat a burrito that tastes slightly like birthday cake.

FAIL=birthday cake flavored burritos and reading your August Runner's World at 330AM when you can't sleep.

I rode the bike to work today in an attempt to snap me out of this coma, but so far it hasn't done a whole lot. Maybe it's time for a little caffeine...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big City Bound

Friday night I hopped in the car after work and headed to the big city (Portland) for a multitasking 24 hrs. I was tired and contemplated turning around and heading home multiple times during my two hour commute.

But I forged on because my agenda included:

dinner with mom and brother's girlfriend, S
Hansel & Gretel opera with mom & S
waterfront walk and breakfast with friend T
shopping with mom for dresses for manfriend's brother's wedding in November
cousin's engagement party

And boy I'm glad I did! Mom called to tell me they had decided on Portland City Grill for dinner (one of my Ptown favs), which instantly improved my mood. I quickly made my way downtown, parked and took the elevator up to the 30th floor, which overlooks the city and the Willamette River. We ordered a round of almost everything on the happy hour menu, to include salad rolls, california sushi rolls, cesar salad, ahi tuna, chicken satay, crab/shrimp brushetta (YUM!) and the mango/cucumber stacked salad. I ordered a refreshing (and strong) mojito because you just can't go wrong with the flavors in my book. After sampling everything, we headed on to the opera, which was a small production with a girl we knew from home who played the part of Hansel. Voices were amazing and these college students made the whole story hilarious!

Afterward, we headed to my bro's apartment to crash for the night. After reading a bit of Time of My Life, I crashed hard. Next morning I woke at 7am to get ready for a nice little walk with T on the waterfront. This is a place I would be EVERY morning if I lived in the big city. It is always filled with walkers, runners and bikers enjoying the chance to exercise along the river. I was starving after our appetizer feast that lacked the usual carbs/protein I'm used to. I had a banana while putting on my Nike pants and top (cuz hey the clouds were looming and the sun I thought might be out was nowhere in sight).

On my walk down to the river, I made a pit stop at Voodoo Doughnuts because it's pretty much a requirement and it's right by the bro's apartment AND I was still starving. I picked out a blueberry donut and a glazed w/ choc and nuts on top. The blueberry was awesome as always, but the choc & nuts left more to be desired.

As I was making my way to find T, a bunch of marathon training groups came running along the sidewalk. I love knowing that they're getting ready for the upcoming October Portland Marathon and that these little groups are all separated bc they are different paces. Oh you little marathoners, you.

T and I (and her dog Charlie) met up on the path and walked one big loop, which took us about an hour. By then the sun was still hiding and our stomachs were ready for some real food. I suggested Mother's Bistro & Bar because well, the food is awesome, the interior is just so freaking cute and the employees seem to actually enjoy their jobs! We arrived just 20 min after opening and the restaurant was packed and we were put on a waiting list for 25 min. No prob, it's well worth the wait!

T chose the tofu scramble and coffee, while I had the eggs benedict (w/ tomato added) and jasmine green tea. YUM! Afterward I was sooo stuffed, but confident that meal would hold me over for several hours of shopping. T headed on her way and I met up with mom.

Tofu Scramble!

Eggs Benedict!

Call your mother!

Shopping/dress report to come...

Monday, August 17, 2009

A long run in which I encountered two things...

(that I found remotely interesting enough to share).

1. On Sunday, I found myself run run running along thinking "hey, why am I running on the right side of the road in the bike lane??" Oh yeah, I thought I was a freaking cyclist! Wrong sport, sass. Cross the street and hop onto the sidewalk!

2. I decided to do 90 min (approx 10+ miles) with hills smack in the middle to give me some hard stuff after I was already a bit fatigued. Well, on my way to the top of a long gradual hill, I encountered a deer. It stopped and stared. I kept running up the incline thinking "ok, deer...move on. Shoo shoo!" The deer didn't run along and in fact started running toward me. So, I did an immediate U turn and went on my merry way taking the long route to the bottom of the hill to get the rest of my incline work in. (I checked over my shoulder to make sure the thing wasn't running after me.)

Just a reminder that we have to be somewhat aware when you're taking it to the streets (and the trail for that matter). Keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Two nights of serious cooking down, many to go!

Wed night we arrived home at 8:45PM to an anxious to be fed dog and hungry bellies after 45 miles of cycling. Since I had decided to hitch up the horses and get back on the cooking wagon, I had purchased fresh wild salmon on my lunch hour for dinner. I cooked the salmon about 6 min on each side, using teriyaki/soy sauce marinade with a few slices of onion on top. The man cooked up some brown rice and I made us salads. I highly recommend it for a quick (I need to eat NOW!) kind of meal.

Last night was the night our blue cheese burgers finally made their way to our bellies. I had been talking about making them for some time now and since I don't really eat red meat, it's quite the rare occasion I would cook such a thing. But for people we love, we do things, crazy things, we might not otherwise do. So after picking up organic, 7% fat beef, sweet corn on the cob and whole wheat buns, we were set.

I added a dash of parsley, garlic salt, cracked pepper, red onion and 1-2 oz of blue cheese to the beef and made our patties. The man got the grill ready and I shucked our corn and put it in the pot to boil. I added some spinach, tomato, mustard and ketchup to the bun and our blue cheese was literally oozing from the burgers. Looked and smelled awesome! We also had cheddar kettle chips on the side and I even made organic brownies (from a box) for dessert.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pics of either meal, but they were great! The blue cheese is a bit pungent for me so in the future I'd use goat cheese or something else, but it was fun to check one more meal off the list! I have sooo many recipes just waiting to be cooked in my cooking binder from all the good eats I find from other bloggers, food network and the newspaper. And this doesn't include the cookbooks I've been given over the years. Who has time to make all these fun things?

I'm starting to think planning, shopping and cooking one's meals could be a full time job. Well, maybe that's just because I love the whole process. Not sure where I got it really (and neither is my mom) bc growing up we were lucky if we sat down for dinner together as a family once a week. I remember nights of ham/cheese sandwiches, cereal, or spaghetti leftovers because we were all running in different directions from volleyball practice to soccer to a band concert to...

This morning after such a big dinner last night (too much for my belly that's for sure), I grabbed the dog for a good 20 min run. Then decided to bike it to work because hey why not and the sun was out. Somewhere between there and here, my mouth was open a bit and a bee flew in. YUCK! I immediately spit it right back out, but not before it had a chance to sting the inside of my mouth. Double YUCK! So, my mouth is kind of pulsing, I took an advil, drank some tea and am going to focus on finishing 3-5 high priority things at the office before hitting the road. Then off to Portland I go for some shopping, visiting with the bro, seeing friends, and walking on the waterfront.

Any tasty meals on the horizon? And what's your feel on the analogous color scheme in your wardrobe? Don't worry this word was new to me too. Basically it just means colors close to each other on the color wheel. This morning I thought of the academic chic ladies as I biked to work in an analogous outfit. Two layered cycling tops, one light teal, the other a greenish seafoam. I'm definitely a fan since I get scared of wearing two colors that are way crazy different like red shoes with black pants and a purple top, or something to that nature.

Happy weekend!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Searching for Motivation in the Kitchen

I'm needing some serious motivation in the kitchen people. It's been hot (and then not so hot) and we've been low on charcoal so I've been less than eager to pull out the crock pot, bake a lasagna, or get creative in the kitchen. But I think the tides are turning because they need to. The man would be perfectly happy to go to dinner 3-4 nights per week, but financially there are so many other things we could spend money on if we saved a bit in the dining department.

I blame this on laziness. Manfriend likes the ease of either opening a can of chili, pouring a bowl of cereal with milk or slapping pb & j on bread rather than taking the time to prepare a few items for a healthy, well balanced meal (like chicken, veggies and rice). So if he's in the mood for a real meal he's eager to suggest one of our many fabulous restaurants in town, and I'm a pushover (and enjoy getting out of the house).

But what I know for sure is that when I plan meals, we're less likely to spend $ on food. Besides, with so many hobbies that cost $ (and my goals for the remaining summer weekends), some extra cash couldn't hurt. So this week, my goal is to get back into the cooking routine. Plan out some meals, look up some recipes, and get the goods.

For my cooking inspiration, I often look to Joy the Baker (although she does a lot of baking), We Are Not Martha, Iowa Girl Eats, the Food Network, my go to recipes and a few of my fav cookbooks! What about you? Do you try new recipes or just stick with your standard favs?

On the running front, things are good. I attempted a 9.5 mile run yest and succeeded! I took the ipod just in case (bc it's been a while since I've run more than 6.5 miles) and used it about half the time. Surprisingly, the legs didn't get too tired and I didn't have to stop like I had expected. Woohoo! Afterward, I was rewarded with a fabulous brunch with all the runners full of fabulous eats, sunshine and a great view from D's deck!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A pea coat to work in August. Really?

If I had a never ending amount of sunny, silly, summer weekends left at my disposal, I tell you, they'd all be full. Full of wonderful, marvelous, relaxing things. I've been dreaming of these upcoming weekends I speak of quite a lot and yet, I haven't actually been planning them. I think it's about time the list was written and promptly posted on the fridge.

So if I had as many weekends as I could wish for, this is how I'd fill them:

1. Camping (this could take up many weekends)
2. Brunch/breakfasting it up at all the local favs
3. Oregon Coasting it, sleeping in a yurt and eating crab from a local bistro
4. Wandering through the Saturday Market buying fresh produce, huge bouquets and those fabulous tofu burritos (trust me, delish)
5. Running in the high dessert of Central Oregon near Bend through rocks, trees, dirt paths and along the Deschutes River
6. Picnics in the park
7. Sunrise/sunset hikes
8. Yelling Yeehaw! at a few rodeos (this country girl needs her fill)
9. Visiting all the friends in Portland (this would take a few weekends at least)
10. Taking the manfriend to see the grandparents' cabin
11. Marathon training in time for the Portland Marathon (Oct. 4)
12. Taking long rides with the man through the hills and country roads on the fabulous newish bike
13. Finishing those scrapbooks I promised myself (and others) I'd complete ages ago
14. Documenting it all with my cameras and actually learn how to use their features

Anyone else have a case of the "HOLY CRAP IT'S ALMOST FALL!" out there? This could be partially induced by the fact that I had to wear pants and a pea coat to work today, but besides that, summer is coming to a close much too quickly. I have things to be doing. I better get to it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Say what you need to say

I was getting ready for work this morning when I heard this song come on tv in some commercial and it was kind of like an a-ha moment (yep, that's Oprah speak for ya). I'm all too guilty of refraining from bringing up the subjects I don't want to talk about because it's just easier that way. But really, what do you have to lose? A little dignity? Why look at what you could lose when what you could gain is strength and peace of mind?! Say what you need to say.

Yesterday I took a rest day from working out, meaning I only took the dog for a 15 min morning run/jog and went on a 30 min hilly walk at lunch. And still I managed to wake up feeling a little sore this morning. Tonight, a long bike ride is on the agenda along with yoga and some time at a local coffee shop with the man.

So, what is it that you need to say? (You don't have to tell me. It's more of a rhetorical question.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Out of town but getting it done!

This weekend I met up with my closest girlfriends from high school for the big country music fest in Oregon. We're a close bunch and have done well at reuniting and staying in touch as much as possible. Most of us still live in Oregon, but one flew in from Salt Lake (hey T!) and another drove from Washington. It's truly a dedicated crew.

EARLY Friday, I said goodbye to the man, drove north, worked out a my parents gym for about 45 min and got ready to go. A few hours later, we all piled into the cars full of camping gear, food, beer, and cowboy hats and hit the road. After a long day of swimming in the lake, listening to music and having some good laughs, I went right to sleep laying on the hard ground listening to our neighbnors' blasting music.

Saturday, I woke up early, as you always do when you're camping. Friend J and I had agreed to go running so we slipped on our clothes and headed out for a run in the already hot sun. We ran past the festival entrance where the early birds were waiting in line, ran past the security guards (who joked that there was "no running" allowed near the entrance) and through town. We finished back at camp feeling good but tired after a solid 55 minutes of running and chatting. It sure felt good to keep up the routine even when I'm out of my element.

Sunday, we did the same. Woke up early and hit the pavement for just 30 minutes this time. Still felt great and I think we might have been more sweaty after 30 than we had after the 55. Yesterday, I got home in time to hop on the bike for 17 miles of spinning in the sun. I like that I'm not willing to abandon my routines for a fun weekend with friends because really you can have your cake and eat it to, so to speak. And, it's nice not to come home after a weekend away and feel like you have a lot to "undo".

P.S. Just started "Water for Elephants" this weekend and it's interesting so far. I'm loving all these books I've been reading thanks to my renewed friendship with my local public library! If you haven't stopped by yours lately, I suggest you do. Next on my reading list is: Julie & Julia (as in the book the movie is based on). I also have a few workout videos waiting to be picked up.

What's on your reading list?