Running in the desert

When I booked an early flight to Southern California for last week, I thought oh I’ll go for my long run at Huntington Beach, I’ll see the ocean it will be lovely! And that’s what I almost did.

DSC01409Except that when I got to California and opened up my wallet I saw my National Parks Annual pass and I was like oh I wonder what parks are around and then I felt like a dumbass because I was only 2 hours from one of my all time most favourite of national parks: Joshua Tree. So I said to myself and also texted to Eric: I’m going to take an impromptu trip to Joshua Tree and run my miles there! Sure I’d be driving 4 hours to run 5 miles, but honestly, what else was I going to do with the day? I mean other than sit on the beach and probably shop. I like the beach, but I like Joshua Tree better and the beach is more accessible for days when I don’t have a ton of time.

DSC01425Off to Joshua Tree I went. Additional things to note about the day is that I ate two breakfasts because I had a first class upgrade and I was like eh, why not? Although, I know that I should only eat one breakfast, but it turned out to actually be a solid decision! Because it was noon when I arrived at Joshua Tree and if I hadn’t had second breakfast then I would have been starving for lunch and would  have had to eat and then wait to run. Instead I was still full and immediately went for a run.

DSC01417I chose the nice and flat boy scout trail. I had never hiked it before and that was part of the goal, to see new places at the park. I didn’t do the whole trail because it’s 7 miles one way and I wasn’t going for that long of a run at this point anyways. So 2.5 miles in and 2.5 miles back. Perfect. Long run complete and it was only 1:30. That left quite a bit of time to explore the park and get back to Fountain Valley in time for some grocery shopping for the week.

DSC01437I can tell my fitness is improving. I’m not tired after longer runs and I’m ready for more activity instead of being like whew! spent! no more moving for me! It’s pretty exciting and motivating to see the hard work pay off. When I trained for my previous half marathons I wasn’t as on task with my mid week runs and as a result my long runs on the weekend tended to be a bit torturous and then my shorter runs during the week never really improved because I wasn’t being consistent.

DSC01433I then hit up a few other scenic spots and a little bit of hiking here and there and a bit of climbing on rocks and being very jealous of those who were really rock climbing. I felt a small itch to break out those climbing shoes again and perhaps soon I will but for now the focus is running.

DSC01407Joshua Tree is one of my favourite places to be alone. I can’t wait to also bring the boys there sometime soon but I find it to be a very peaceful place to be lonely. There’s something so warm and cozy about those rocks. To me they seem like big friendly giants who one day got a bit sleepy and have laid down to rest. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were to yawn, pulls themselves up from the ground, and carry on with life someday. There is something very special about that piece of desert and I’m glad that it’s being protected.

“Rest” Day

DSC01358Sometimes I suck at rest day. For example, today for rest day I hiked 2.5 miles and ran 1 mile, but I did it with leisurely thoughts in mind.

DSC01391We hiked out to Pool of the Winds out near Hamilton Mountain. I keep meaning to hike Hamilton Mountain.

DSC01366We brought The Outlaw Josey Wales with us in his new adventure gear. He loves the woods and water as always. We did go a bit off trail adventuring below the falls.  Last time I hiked this trail, the water was too high to climb about on the rocks but today the water was low so we had some fun.
DSC01350Then the little bear and I went on a 1 mile run to start training for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. The joys of running with a 6 year old is that at mile .64 he made a request if we could just stop for a minute and do the hokey pokey. Can’t say no to that request! So we did the hokey pokey on the trail. It was pretty legit!

The Long Run

969153_961047142188_397370688_nThis is me. Super stoked after running my first half marathon. My goal of that marathon was just to finish. I ended up running it in 2:31, which I never thought would be possible and ended up discouraging me in future races. I thought, well that’s it. That’s my PR. I’m not a fast runner, I’ll never beat that. So I went into every half marathon after that expecting that I would never make it past that.

And to be honest, I was pissed. I was pissed off that I ran with someone who pushed me too hard during that race and that I didn’t do the pace I wanted. I wanted to build up my running. I just wanted to finish that race. Then I wanted to set future goals. The next half marathon I ran was in the dead heat of summer on July 4. I am not good at running in the heat so my time on that was pretty terrible. Then after that I did three more half marathons, but I kind of gave up running and walked a good portion of those. I wasn’t interested in pushing myself because beating 2:31 didn’t seem like an option.

But now I obviously understand that being pissed off at my running partner was not at all the appropriate response. I should have been pissed off at myself for giving up, for thinking I couldn’t be faster, and for obviously not wanting to put in the work to get there.

Why am I thinking about this today? Because yesterday I legitimately had the best run of my life. It was fun. It felt good. It felt easy even though it wasn’t easy.  And it was all on a treadmill where I don’t traditionally shine as a runner.

I’m not disillusioned. I know that every run won’t be like that. I know that there are still a lot of shitty runs in the future.  But I also know that there are a lot of good runs in the future.

I’m not going to let that 2:31 loom over my head anymore as discouragement from trying.



Last night Eric and I went out on the town (aka Portland) to celebrate the wrapping up of my Dallas project. And by celebrate I mean eat a lot of things and go see some folk music. I’m currently on the not drinking a lot band wagon so my usual beer consumption was replaced by tacos and ice cream.

But it was an overindulging kind of day. I started off the day by needing to go buy some new black heels for work because the heels I’ve been wearing I’ve had for about 3.5 years and I wear them every day and I have repaired them numerous times. They’re looking ratting, it’s time for a change. So, I intended to buy one pair of shoes. Instead I bought heels and adorable olive drab boots with heels (which I wore and felt like a giant in and I was like oh I get why tall girls can be bitches. I really let that power of a 3-4 extra inches of height go to my head) and 4 new pairs of leggings and a new crop top. All things that I really do not need, but hey, sometimes when you’re like I have worked out so much this week and I’m feeling good, you gotta treat yourself. Right? Sure. That’s how I’ll justify it.

I did get a good 3 mile trail run in though. That was in the afternoon and I overindulged in listening to too much Kesha on that run. Guilty pleasure music!

Then I made the mistake of being like oh, I’ll just wait to eat until we go to dinner, which was a few hours after that run. I was very very hungry leaning towards hangry at that point. So we went to Cruz Room on Alberta and they have AMAZING tacos! So I meant to get two tacos and a salad and no beer, but instead I got a beer and three tacos.

But then we had a conundrum as we’re both trying not to drink much and one of us has to stay sober because we moved too far out of the city for cabs and that conundrum is what do you do in Portland if you’re not drinking? Basically the whole nightlife of that town centers around alcohol consumption, as it does in most towns, not just hating on Portland (we’ll get to that later). So, the obvious answer if you’re on Alberta St is go to Salt ‘n Straw and get some ice cream.

Obviously since I was feeling over confident in my results from working out and because I was still hungry from earlier, I was like let’s do this bitch! Something to know about Portland if you haven’t been here yet is that people stand in a lot of lines and regardless of how long they’ve stood in that line, when it’s there turn they completely forget that others are standing in line and perhaps it would be polite not to doddle and not try every fucking flavor of ice cream. Live a little, take a chance, and just order some ice cream you haven’t tried! I promise you, it’s ice cream, it can’t be bad (but I’m not a picky eater so there’s that). When it was finally my turn, the girl was like want some samples and I was like no, I got this. I’m throwing mother fucking caution to the wind! And wouldn’t you know, that I got the ice cream with pop rocks in it and it was an amazing surprise party in my mouth. See how that worked out everyone?

Next up was going to Mississippi Studios to see Korey Quinn and Charlie Parr. I really like Korey’s music as I’ve seen him a few times. This time David Lipkind joined him on harmonica and he is the most amazing harmonica player I have ever witnessed! I will make it a point to go see him some more. It was really impressive. I was like how is a harmonica even making that sound?

I always dig Korey’s music. It pays homage to a style of country roots that I really enjoy. I also really dig his voice and how he has a level of raw grit that I really love in a vocal style.

Charlie Parr I did not connect with, which I find weird. I liked his style of playing a lot and his voice, but I didn’t find his lyrical content to be compelling. However, I will go see him again if I get the opportunity. I’d really love to see him outside of Portland. I’m annoyingly sensitive to the vibe of the crowd I’m in and I know that a hipster crowd at the Mississippi has a disingenuous feel to it and that may have really had an impact on if I could connect with his music. I know, I’m weird and annoying and all my friends who I go to shows with would so totally eye roll at that take on Charlie, but they also weren’t there so maybe they should have been to help make that crowd a bit more real.

And then we hopped by the The Know to catch the last punk band that was playing that night… We get around.

Goodbye Dallas

It’s my last week in Dallas. I’m not sad about that. Texas is not my cup of tea. I really tried at some points to make it an enjoyable 6 months here, but it’s been a struggle and the lack of easy access to being outside has been very trying on my psyche.  But I’m trying to stay positive as things are wrapping up. Next up is southern california. I will say that I’m not sad to do my weekly long runs along the sunny ocean rather than in the rainy pacific northwest.  However, I do have to be realistic in that it will likely be cold and rainy on race day and I’ll need to be mentally able to push through that.

In other news, I am still missing being nosey and seeing what everyone is doing on Facebook. I will admit to 5 minutes of weakness today in which I got super lonely being in Dallas and reactivated it for a few minutes and scrolled through super quick and then deactivated it again. I am weak, but I shall persevere.

I have a lot more time now that I’m not constantly face booking. I’m using it to shop for funny/punny running shirts. I will likely be getting one that states “will run for beer.”

I will likely being seeing a sloth in real life for the first time this week. I really hope it actually happens. I’m super stoked and I plan to selfie with it. Don’t worry that selfie with be here. I’m also questioning if a sloth should be incorporated into my animal totem leg tattoo due to my love of them, but I’m thinking I’ll do a separate sloth tattoo and stick with the bear, wolf, and jackalope for my totem. Decisions, decisions.

Half Marathon Training Again

I’m back at the half marathon training. Someday I’ll just keep running instead of stopping and starting again. I believe it’ll make life much easier when I decide to inevitably do another half marathon. However, some of the past training I have done has stuck with me. The first time I decided to take up running, I never thought I’d be able to run that 5k and then I did. This time I’m starting my training at 3 miles and it doesn’t seem so bad.

Of course this time I have my training buddy, Josey. He’s not quite ready for running more than a few miles at a time, but we’ll work up to it. He has a lot more stamina for running when we’re on trail in the woods.  The woods are his jam. However, there are some abrupt moments when he sees a squirrel or a bird and turns on a dime and takes off in a different direction. We’re still learning to run with each other.


This half marathon is in December, a couple of days before my birthday.  I’ve done the 5k portion of this half marathon before. It’s not really the most beautiful area of Portland, but it’s fun because it’s holiday themed. The first year I ran it, we had just moved from Wisconsin and it was rainy and “cold.” I ran it in a tank top while others ran it in a parka. This year, I think I’d be in the parka or at least something more than a tank top. I have acclimated to the PNW and have spent a good portion of the last 6 months in Dallas and am about to spend a good portion of time in Southern California. I am not a truly cold weather girl at this point anymore.

In other news, I am still not on Facebook and I’m still constantly wondering what everyone else is doing. I have been like what if I just log on for a minute? Just to get a taste. But so far I have held fairly strong. I had to reactive for a few minutes earlier this week to see if I could disassociate my Facebook account from my Spotify account. But then I deactivated again.  I have really increased my productivity at home and gotten a lot of stuff done without the time suck of Facebook. I think it’s going to be a positive change for sure, but I’m still suffering from the addiction.

Time to get in some miles. Run on.

The book of faces

I’m giving Facebook a break. So far it’s been about 30 hours. It’s a pretty intense breaking of an addiction. So far I’ve had the following thoughts:

  • I wonder what everyone else is doing
  • Why does it matter what everyone else is doing
  • How do I still know when my favorite bands are playing
  • How do I keep up with what events I’m going to plan to go to
  • I wonder what everyone else is doing
  • What’s everyone else doing
  • How am I supposed to know what everyone else is doing?!?!?!?!

Ultimately at the end of the day, the question is why does it matter what everyone is doing every second of the day? I’m not saying that I’m quitting the Facebook for forever but I’m certainly looking forward to asking my friends what they have been up to lately and getting to hear their stories first hand.

I’m also being a little antisocial right now so I’m pretty happy to be kind of ignorant to the fact that everyone else is still going to be having fun without me. I’m taking a social break right now from the big group of folks. I don’t want to harbor harsh feelings towards them because they decided to continue having fun and lives while I’m taking a much needed rest from the scene. I hope to come back to the social world refreshed and ready and in a better place to not let it take over my life again.

Also, I’m excited to write things of more substance here instead of putting small bits on the book of faces and feeling like this space is duplicative.

a weekend shit show in missoula

Sometimes I’m very fortunate to have opportunities to go to amazing places with amazing people and see amazing things. And actually, sometimes isn’t the best way to describe it because it’s rather often that I find myself in those situations. This weekend presented itself as such an opportunity.

I spent the weekend over in Missoula with some friends. We were there to celebrate a friend’s birthday and see one of our favorite bands (Fruition) on Friday. My friend who I stayed with asked me what I wanted to do for the rest of the weekend since we weren’t coming home until Monday and I said all I really want to do is make sure that i get to see the super moon and the eclipse. Then the question became where we wanted to watch it.

We spent Friday in Missoula and it was an intense shit show. People were almost arrested. People were lost and stranded. I walked 7 miles after 1 AM. Just no good all around and not a night I wish to relive. Despite the fun that was had, it doesn’t seem entirely worth it for the mess that could have and nearly did happen. So it was quite a nice thing that on Sunday we had planned to go up to Flathead lake and watch the eclipse. My friend’s family has a condo there and we climbed up to the top of a hill to overlook the lake on one side and the mountains on another.

I’m still not awesome at night time photography, but below are the best two photos I captured of the evening. We then went back to the condo, which is on a golf course and I wandered out onto the green to take in the stars in such little light pollution.  All very beautiful. All very good. A strangely good weekend and a strangely bad weekend. Overall many important conclusions were drawn that I think will lead to more happiness.DSC01337 DSC01344

Summer into Fall

Well, this summer turned out a little bit differently than I originally planned as often life does. It left me with little time and space in my brain to focus on writing. Life required survival mode there for a bit, but it’s all good now. As the air changes towards fall so life changes as well.

I love change. I crave it.

So a few changes for the season.

We moved out of Portland and over to the Washington side of the river. We’re further out in the columbia river gorge and in a quiet little town. You can hear the crickets so loud at night and the coyotes yipping on occasion. I know us well enough to know that this isn’t where we’ll live forever and that while we’re enjoying the break from the city right now doesn’t mean we won’t go back. There’s a great big world and I don’t think I’ll ever settle on a place that I want to live “forever.”

We also added a member to the family. An amazing pup named The Outlaw Josey Wales. Josey for short. He’s a fantastic dog. Super chill and a couch potato at home, active and happy outside as well. Don’t worry, he’ll be written about plenty more here.

And next up, my current contract is coming to an end. I am in Dallas this week, next week I work offsite, and then the first week in October will be my last week here. This project has been intense. I’ve learned a lot about myself, work, other people, remembering what makes me happy, dealing with stress, how my ability to be social with people outside of work is impacted by stress at work. I am ready to move on and get back to a less stressed life that includes more fun. I have to get back to consciously not letting work find it’s way into my mind on the weekends. Next up, I go to southern california for the winter. I won’t complain too much about sunshine for the winter months and I feel a trip to Joshua Tree for my birthday will be in order!

Here’s looking forward to fall and the refresher in life that the change of seasons brings to us. A chance to start over a bit and clear our minds! Let’s get ready for more adventures!