Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I Did Something!

On Monday I swam across the Columbia River.  I’d have this event on my radar for years and this year, doggonit, I finally did it.  The swim is not a race, so not timed and no ranking of finishers.  (I part love that and hate that.)  I timed myself and based on how many people I passed I probably won it.  Won the whole damn thing.  Here are some pics:


Found this on my way out of the cabin the morning of (at 5 a.m.).


Sporting my Michigan suit given to me by a good friend that was on the diving team, probably 10 years ago!


The Sternwheeler, that we jumped off of on the other side of the river.


That morning I decided to do the swim in my wetsuit.  I was sick, a little nervous, hadn’t trained AT ALL – this was my blankie.  I’m so glad I wore it but honestly I probably didn’t need it.  Hard to say, but man did I float!


Swimmers getting geared up before boarding the boat.


Hey, its 6:30 in the morning, what more do you expect?


On the boat, ready to party!

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Pretty views of the morning river (Josh took these while I was on the boat).


Here you can see the Sternwheeler cozied up to a barge.  This is where we docked to jump.  The tiny boats to the left formed a boat lane that we had to stay inside of. 

Sighting was, to my relief, very easy.  We went in a diagonal from the boat to the shore and headed toward a very obvious large green highway sign.  The current was altered by the Army Corps of Engineers upriver somehow to make it better for the race.  I think this means that they held back water so that the current didn’t rip us out of the course, but I’m not sure.  I can say that my watched showed my finish time in just under 24:00 for 1.1 miles.  That’s smokin’.  Which means there was a nice current that helped assist w/the ride.




They had people jump off in waves of 10 and I was in the 33rd wave, so a LOT of people ahead of me.  My friend Keith, who signed up the morning of (and also hadn’t trained), was the last person to jump off the boat.  We met up at the end, took some pics, then had breakfast and bloodies!

Super gorgeous day, well-run event and really fun.  It was much easier than I’d expected so I am glad that I dragged myself out there.  I’m not even sore!  If you’re looking for a fun swim, try this one next year.

Event website:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marginal Success

I ran three times in Florida, which I’m considering a marginal success.  I went slow, and still not far but I got out there and did it.  I am starting to psyche myself out about my knees.  They hurt/ache a lot.  Is this because I’m starting to run again?  Because I am heavier than I was when I last was running (10# more and 5% more body fat!)?  They creak and snap with every step up the stairs.  Not to mention many other times throughout the day.  I have an appt with a local ortho doc but it isn’t until mid-January.  I’m just hoping that all these years and miles haven’t fucked me up forever.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me!  Has anyone else gone through this too?

Since I’ve been back from Florida (three days) I’ve somehow dropped the running from my calendar.  Tomorrow is another day though so I’ll make sure I get out tomorrow.

As for the above-mentioned weight/fat gain, I am starting to get really pissed about that too.  I keep saying I need to get myself back on track but just haven’t been able to.  I desperately want to maintain a healthy lifestyle – now and until the day I die.  I do not like ruts like this at all.  I can feel it taking its toll on my mentally and physically so it is time for a plan.  Here goes…

What I want to accomplish:

  1. Lower my RHR (resting heart rate)
  2. 45 minutes of cardio 4x/week

How I’m going to do it:

I know with consistency I can do this.  Here are some of my grand plans…join the gym down the street from me, start spinning and swimming in the pool.  Take tennis lessons (after buying some really cute outfits).  Run?  See what the doc says.  Continue with yoga!  Maybe add in a few weights. 

I want to reach these goals by Feb 2011. Is that so much to ask of myself?


Here are some of my pictures from FL (my dad broke his collar bone):

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Running Fail

I moved my 7 miler from yesterday to today since I had a full day yesterday and wanted to be home.  We got our xmas tree on Saturday night and I really wanted to decorate it before leaving for FL.

Well, I had a small window to make the run happen this morning and it didn’t.  I was up for about 3 hours last night in the middle of the night for no reason and still had to pack this morning to leave by 10 a.m.  So that’s what happened.  I’m trying to be accountable here!

Most of my day today will be spent at airports and in the sky.  I am looking forward to seeing my family this week, including and especially my adorable nieces – Amelia Violet and Eleanor Violet (Millie and Nellie)!  It has been months since I’ve seen them so I know they’ll be different.  I wish I could see them every day.

image Amelia with me on our last visit in Michigan – I took her to play pinball for the first time!


Eleanor on our last visit in Michigan – happy as a little clam!







I had a mini-yoga retreat yesterday at my teacher’s house in the woods.  He has a neat little yoga studio separate from the house that he built himself.  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have that.  The meeting was with the other teachers in training and mainly discussion.  We were each given assignments and he lent out books from his big yoga library.  I am kind of excited, my assignment is all about yoga for women (before, during and after your menses and pregnancy!).  I am hoping to turn mine into an all out presentation that I can do for an audience.  I have a few very thick books that I’m going to lug in my carry on, so I have to make sure to read them!

Plan is to run in FL and I have all of my gear with me.  The weather is supposed to be cool by FL standards – mid-60s and sunny, which is perfect for me!  I’m also going to yoga quite a bit there but need to buy a mat as soon as I arrive.

Have a great week!

Friday, December 03, 2010

So Far So Good


I’m doing well with following the plan so far:


After observing how SLOW my pace is now and that is doesn’t actually correlate well with the pace/HR chart I had from 2 years ago I decided to repeat this week’s plan for several weeks in a row.  This will give me a little better base to launch from.

I’m also going bananas on the yoga, which is awesome!  I started doing some vinyasa again this week and finding that my wrist may not be ready for so many chaturangas yet. 

Yesterday I went to THREE yoga classes.  Kind of psycho but not really.  The first one was a Yin class (very chill), then 1:15 of vinyasa, then my intermediate Iyengar class later on in the day.  I also ran 4.5 miles.  Wheeeeeee!  I was expecting to be HELLA sore today but luckily I wasn’t.  I did, however, sleep over 10 hours and needed to drag myself out of bed.  I guess my body isn’t so used to the movement!

I’m feeling great this week!  Hope you are too – happy weekend.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This week’s plan

All I did was change the dates on my schedule from 2008!  Sure, things may be a little different now (not starting in the same shape, not training for a half), but who cares?  I THINK THIS IS GREAT!





I just put everything on my calendar.  The above doesn’t include all of the yoga that I am doing.  Seeing as yoga is my new career, it will take precedence over running if necessary.  I’m going to give doing both a shot and see where we are in two weeks.

I have sore legs from yesterday.  And a sore upper body as a result of a twist heavy yoga class last night.  Everything is sore and it feels great.

I leave on Monday for Florida thru Sunday.  I’m going to have to find a yoga studio nearby or be really dedicated with doing my own practice.  Running should not a problem while there though.

I am going to need to dust off the old heart rate monitor, which I haven’t used in a while.  I’m kind of excited!

I made an appt with a knee doctor and am looking forward to hearing what he thinks is going on w/my knees.  They’re really crunchy and don’t move as well as I want them to.  Hopefully he tells me all I need is to do some exercises that will cure everything!  I do not want surgery.  He’s also going to look at my elbow that I cracked falling down the stairs almost a year ago and hopefully my wrist too. 

I’m all fucked up!

This post is so poorly written but I don’t care.  Hopefully you didn’t either!  To make up for it, here is another random picture…


My favorite running buddy!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Comeback in effect!

I did it!  Not only did the three miles go well, but the FOUR miles went well.  I made a point to go very very slow and not stop unless I had to for traffic. 

I forgot how much I missed by not running:  seeing Mount Hood covered in snow, increasing my heart rate, waving at other runners to name a few.  It really does make me feel like a part of my community by running around my neighborhood. 

I eeked out a pace of about 9:30 which is good enough for me right now.  I think I am going to start back on the program I used two years ago when I really started back into running from basically scratch.  I still have the daily plan that extends for a couple of months while I was training for a half marathon.

I’m checking out a new yoga studio today in Portland:  Sunset Yoga Center.  Hopefully my body stays fresh!  I have started teaching at Rushing Water Yoga in Camas on Wednesdays @ 5:45 – it is a beginning Iyengar style class that is *FREE* through the end of the year!  I picked up another person’s class there on Sunday, so had the opportunity to refine the same sequence.  It is so helpful to teach the same sequence twice and honestly the 2nd time is much better.  If you’re in the area, please come by and check it out!  I still have my other blog dedicated to yoga so check that one out too:

(Thank you for the THREE comments I received between these two posts.  That really motivates me and reminds me how great my running friends are.  Love you guys!)


Some photos for you….

Yoga + Beer =

Thanksgiving at our house this year (Josh wearing my grandma’s apron):


Oh dear lord, stop me.  I’m about to go out for a run!  And yes, I’m obviously procrastinating because who stops to update a deserted blog before going out for a run.


I’m procrastinating because I’m scared.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  Some part of me just doesn’t believe that this person has run 3 marathons and is terrified of a little 3 mile jog.  I can see how beginners can hate starting a running program.

So, the goal is this:  just go out and do it.  Run slowly and simply plan to finish the run.  That is all there is to it.  If I go fast (which I know I will) I’ll die and need to stop and feel defeated.

That’s it!

Hope all of you real runners out there are getting along well…


Monday, November 15, 2010

Yoga Retreat

I just returned from a week long yoga retreat last night.  It was a teacher training retreat focused on Yin Yoga.  You can check out the description here

There is so much to write about the experience and I hope to have a fuller post on it someday (right!), but for now I’ll show you our typical day:

6:30 – wake up
7-7:30 – seated group meditation, typically done in silence
7:30-8 – free time, but I typically did my pranayama
8-9 – breakfast
9:30-12:30 – morning yoga session
12:30-1 – free time
1-2 – lunch
2-3:30 – free time
3:30-6 – afternoon yoga session
6-7 – dinner
7-8:30 – evening yoga session

That is 7.5 hours of yoga, meditation and discussion a day.  That is a lot of yoga-related activities.  I met some wonderful people.  I spent time in a quiet beautiful place tucked into the woods.  I ate good vegetarian meals every night.  I soaked in natural hot springs.  I was more introspective than I’ve been in quite some time.  I came out as the same me, but a more settled me than the start.  I have come a long way in 33 years but especially in the past year and had time to appreciate that.

I am so happy I did this and I would recommend that all of you try something similar at some point in your lives.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Just Breathe - Pranayama

As part of my regular yoga practice, my goal is to do pranayama at least once every day.  Right now I’m targeting 20 minutes for each session, but will build on that once I can prove I can make it a habit.  For now this is an achievable goal.

I’ll get more into pranayama later – the how, the why, the origins and different methods.  For now I’d just like to log what I’ve done.

Today I did a cycle of the following:

  • 5 minutes of regular breathing
  • 5 minutes of deep ujjayi both in and out
  • 5 minutes of viloma 1
  • 5 minutes of regular breathing

Ujjayi is “wind in the throat”, where you produce a quiet hissing sound in the back of your throat.  There is a bit more to it but that’s about the gist of it.

Viloma 1 is breaking your inhale into 3 parts with a pause inbetween each.  Exhale is regular uyajii.  During the pauses during the inhale you are to continue expanding your lungs.  This part I find tricky – how do you expand without breathing in more air?  Somehow I think I’m making it work.

I have a feeling after today’s session I may have some soreness in the muscles between my ribs.  This will be a good sign!

Regardless of what the books and philosophy say, I like doing pranayama and I like what it does for me.  I don’t meditate, so this is kind of a quiet meditation session for me.  I shut everything down, get myself in “advanced” savasana and just breathe.  It sounds so simple (and maybe kind of boring) but every day that I do this I feel tremendous the rest of the day.  Am I just happy because I accomplished something off of my checklist?  Or, are there really psychological and physiological benefits? 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Summer 2010

A few months back, I stopped posting here because my focus was less on running and more on other crap that, honestly, no one wants to hear about.  I’m constantly trying to figure out how to better organize myself and be more efficient, but feel like those attempts always manage to fall short.  I started a blog that only I could read – mainly I liked the format of the blog and wanted to use that to keep myself organized.  It is a nice tracking device and to do list that you can organize with pretty links and background images.  I kept up with that for a while but stopped doing that as well.  I can’t believe I still have not come up with a foolproof way to make me organized and sane.  I’m almost 33 for god sakes!

I also started a yoga blog, but intend on using that as a tool for reaching out to students and developing a “business”. 

So, without rambling more (ha!), those are the reasons I haven’t been blogging.  But, I miss it a little and miss you a lot!  So, here I am, for the time being at least. 

I tried looking back on old posts to see where I left off so I could provide some updates:

  1. My Bangs:  They’re starting to grow out and I’m happy!  Life with bangs is kind of tough, esp for a girl that likes to spend 0 minutes on primping.  But in other hair news, I recently went a little darker…  Not sure if I love it but it is what it is – a change. 
  2. My Mom:  Ugh.  She is doing okay but her chemo started off really tough.  She got very very sick after the first treatment and ended up in the hospital.  They changed the formula and it got better after that.  Instead of a family trip in August, we decided it wasn’t a good idea, I went to visit them at their house. 
  3. My Yoga:  Really really great.  On my yoga blog I put together a list of what I’d accomplished over the past few months.  I used it as part of a request for donations for Living Yoga, but I’m so glad I documented it all in one place.  If you want to see that list, please click here.
  4. My Running:  Non-existent.  It makes me sad too.  After I healed from the marathon I did a few really fun trail runs in Forest Park w/Josh.  We had a blast, but for some reason stopped doing them.  Then, after a longer break, we decided to run just a few miles in the morning first thing.  We kept up with that for about two weeks and stopped again.  I’m not quite sure why.  Although I was in great shape from yoga, I had lost a lost of cardio fitness, and running was not easy.  It is so humbling to go from marathon-ready to that shape.  Not easy. 
  5. My Garden:  So much fun – we built raised beds and I planted a shiteload of tomatoes there.  Because of the colder temps, many of these ended up green but its all good.  I have many lessons learned to incorporate for next year.  I could go on for novels about the garden, but I won’t…
  6. Travel:  I spent 4 weeks in Italy, London and Spain.  So much to report on there!  I’m hoping to dedicate an entire post (or many) to this trip.
  7. Fun Stuff:  Lots of fun summer activities and now ready for the fall stuff.  We had a garden party/BBQ that I’ll post pics of below.  It was classy for many hours until late-night started and all hell broke loose.  At least no one called the cops.
  8. Injuries:  This deserves a post of its own.  I’m scared about the condition of my body.  My knees especially – they’re kind of f’ed.  The crunch around on every step/bend and after all of the walking in Europe, I can tell something ain’t right.  Aside from that, I have ganglion cysts in my wrists and my left wrist has been bad for a while.  I can’t really do downdog for long or anything else that puts weight on it.  Makes me very sad.  I’ve had this for many years but it usually doesn’t matter that much.  However, now with yoga, I NEED my wrists to be okay!  Other, less urgent things are:  bunion – one is starting to bother me; right elbow – I slammed it falling down the stairs 11 months ago and it still hurts.  I suspect there is nerve damage or a little bone fracture, so I need to find out what to do about it.  I’m taking action on all of this by going to a doctor, so will report back after I’ve gone.

That little report was obviously not in order of importance, nor did I cover deets, but it is something.  Something to get me started FGS!  Now, w/o further ado, here are some pics!


I treated my mom to a spa day before her surgery in June.


After my mom’s surgery (she looks pretty good!), about to head back to Portland.


Yoga night at my house (followed by Champers!) with the girls.


Fun times at the lake.


4th of July @ the lake.


My little peanut/niece Eleanor in Michigan in July


Taking my other niece Amelia put-putting in Michigan in July.


Alisa’s bday lunch at Veritable Quandary with PDX peeps.


Classing it up on the Columbia River


Classing it up at New Old Lompoc in Portland


Being outdoorsy near Mt. Jefferson in July


Coast trip August


Backyard BBQ in August


All cleaned up for wedding in September


Amazing camping trip near Bend, OR in September (this deserves a post of its own)


Garden booty in September!


Back to the scene of the crime (Chicago) for our 1st wedding anniversary in late September.


Our perfect little family home at sunset in October…

Meetup with Petra in London in October.

Bullfight in Madrid in October.

Wow – going through my summer pictures again makes me realize how much I did and how I should never take anything for granted.  That was nice.  There is so much more to be said and posted here, but this is about all I can muster for now.