Saturday, October 8, 2011

With Fall Comes New Beginings

Isn't the human body amazing?

Today I went for a small run, and I had an epiphany of sorts. We all run for different reasons. Sometimes I think we run for reasons we cannot even begin to comprehend. It has been almost a year and a half since I started running. Looking back on it all it seems so clear to me that I was running to cleanse my spirit of all its burdens and demons. Some people will run a lifetime and never be free. They will run forever, and only in that small space they have created with their running shoes will they be able to find some modicum of peace.

For now I have found peace, closure, and something intangible that I cannot quite describe. You know I only ran 3.5 miles today, but I began to think, What next? The truth is that I need to change my relationship, or perhaps evolve my relationship with running. My year of running, has been incredible in its own way. Somehow I went from someone who didn't run at all, to someone who over the last twelve months has run hundreds of miles. It is incredible, and although I would have liked to have gone farther, and have achieved more, I think my spirit achieved what it needed to.

Now it is fall again, a time of new beginnings because all of the old ones have wilted away. I have found myself. Now where do I go next, that my life has found balance, stability, and sobriety?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dehydration Headache

So I ran 9 miles today in the hot sun on spring water trail. It was an amazing run, I am kind of excited that I was able to do it at all since I really haven't done mileage like this in a while. However, I kind of screwed up. I mean I ran 5 miles and then had some water, and 5 miles back in 90 degree weather. This really dehydrated me pretty badly and now I am suffering from a dehydration headache/ stomach ache.

I am not happy about it at all. I mean I drank a lot of water,and then felt so sick... Eventually I ended up upchucking protein bar and water. Not attractive. Oye....... So after a little google searching I am drinking beer, and wonders of wonders it is working.  Is my research bad??? Has anybody else heard of this?

It feels good to get back into the swing of things. In other news it is really time to hit the coast. I so need a good coast run while it is nice out, and a water belt so this dehydration bit doesn't happen again.  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Finding Stability

So in the last couple of weeks I have gotten a job, and started work. Its not an ideal job, slinging drinks in a bar, but hey the money is good and I like the people I am working with.  Now, with training complete, I can begin to find some stability, and really get back into my rhythm that I had in the winter.  I have been working out, but I have not been keeping track of it. So now its time to get back into the swing of things, and figure a way to build my resume so that I can find more professional work in this incredibly brutal economy. So onward ho!! You only fail when you give up.
Putting life into perspective

Alright so here is the game plan. When I go to work I am constantly moving and on my feet. According to the pedometer I am averaging about six miles at work, some days even more. So on those days I am going to try and keep my mileage low, and focus on the weights. On my days off I am going to hit the running hard, and try and up my mileage. I am excited about this plan. 

Life is good, and if I have learned anything in the last year, it is to lead with a smile and a positive attitude, which attracts people into your life who you would like to surround yourself with. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Early morning running

So its 4 am and I am at the track. I decided to show up early so that I could get in some work before Rahana got there. The drive there was dark and a little scary. It is kind of strange drive through the empty streets of Oregon City, and then onto the freeway towards Portland filled with people who are heading to work and the gym.  I have been coaching Rahana from 5am to 6am on a track near Clackamas. It is gratifying, if not a little strange. I mean I just can't imagine that I really am capable of helping her, but I am making her sweat so I must be doing something right.

Running in the morning, when it is still dark is just's surreal. Like a timeout from my life. Yes that is a good way to describe it....running in the morning is like taking a timeout from my life...not that I need a timeout, just that putting on life pause, while I can just exist outside of it is liberating....Actually now that I think about it, that is how I feel about running in general, it is a timeout, an escape, and good way to wash away each and every day.

Rahana reminds me all of time that I am lucky. I think sometimes it is hard to appreciate where you are, because there is always someone who is faster, who is stronger, and skinnier. But to Rahana it would be an accomplishment to run one quarter of a mile like it was easy, and effortless. Her body is weighed down, and I know that she really struggles to be free of it. How lucky am I that I can just float over the track somedays. I can only imagine how wonderful it must feel to others who are skinnier, and in better shape. Maybe someday I will be able to feel that too.

Number one running goal...... Find a soft trail. My knees kind of hurt from all of the hard surfaces I have been on.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The truth is that life is not flat, roads are not flat, and in real running there are uphills and downhills. Lately I have been running a lot of hills. It feels more satisfying to do so. It seems to help lift some of the weight that was on my chest even if it is just for a while....

So I guess that this is what it is all about

1. Breathe deep
2.Do what you can
3. Try not to focus to hard on the slope
4. And move forward....just move forward

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Life in O City

So I am now living in Oregon City. It is a strange city/town. It is on the brink of being a small town, but struggles do so in the face of the big city. I think that is why I like it the way I do. Originally I chose this place because it was close to work, was affordable, gave Greg the privacy he wanted, and gave us access to Salem.

Where I am living is on top of a hill and I often run to the bottom, to the main highway, and along the Clackamas river. The surface is really way to hard for running on, but you know the truth is I do it anyway. I like to look at all the old historic buildings built before 1900, back when Oregon didn't have much a white modern identity. It is strange to think that so many people traveled from all over the world to come to the U.S and then they packed their wagons, and walked to Oregon City.  Oregon City sits at the end of the Oregon trail, it is the first town in Oregon, and of all the places that people could have stopped those settlers chose this place. It is almost kind of mystical if you think about it.

Anyways I have begun to pray that the restlessness inside me will be at peace. That I will be able to stay in one place, and I think that if I could do it anywhere it would be here. The other day I watched a documentary that said that African Nomads saw houses as coffins for the living.  I understood exactly what that meant. It made me sad, because I think that there are only a few things in life that are innate, and that feeling of restlessness is one of those innate primal components. It is the cavewoman in me...

Still life is good. Running is good, and I am enjoying the journey, no matter where it takes me.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feeling Run Down..

Lately I have been feeling really tired. Not physically, or emotionally. It is kind of like I have given  everything I have to give, and somehow more is required. It is really making  running a little hard. I took the last couple of days off, and still there is this tiredness on my chest.  I know this will pass, the truth is I need my runs, I need my sweat, and so it has to pass.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Apathy Makes People Fat

fI have no tolerance for apathy. Apathy makes you fat. It is the excuse that you give, that is just that, an excuse, and never a reason. Apathy is a conduit of laziness. It is that voice that says I can't do it, and sadly a lot of people listen to it. Apathy equals weakness. Life is too short to be apathetic, out of shape, and a pacifist in ones own life. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dirty little lies

I have a new philosophy on fitness and weight loss. It's really kind of simple: Try and sweat every day.  Thats it. Thats all you can really do. If you are not sweating..... you are not working hard enough. Period. 

One of the things that is kind of new in my running life is I am waking up at 4:30 to go running. Seriously, everybody should be really proud of me. I am not a morning person. I do not wake up happy. Anybody that does can just eat my......socks. And you know the only thing that really gets me out of bed, besides the fact that I have promised to help a friend lose some weight, is that I lie to myself. Really. I say Cassie, its ok, you're not going to run, you're just going to help Rahana, and maybe walk it out. The funny thing, is that I always believe it, I always fall for it, but somehow I always end up running. 

You know I have been running 5 miles a day pretty consistently, and lifting weights. Maybe its time to take it up a notch. Yeah, I think that it might be time. 5 miles is really beginning to feel the way 2 miles felt at the beginning of this journey a year and a half ago. Wow!!!!! 

In other news my mp3 play is kaput. May it rest in peace.

Ok, so.....
1. Sweat everyday
2. Wake up early
3. Increase mileage
4. Get new MP3 player
5. Continue to build relationships through running - running seems to attract some pretty solid people.

Friday, July 22, 2011

It has been a long time but you got to restart somewhere

 I have been bereft in the world without internet, and getting it set up can be a little bit of an ordeal. But I am back. Plugged into it all, if you will. I have missed the online world, but it was good to take a little bit of a break.

 I guess that as far as my personal life goes there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that after moving all the way back up to Portland, and signing a lease, my job fell through. The good news is that I went to the gym, I sweated in out, and in the morning said its on to the next thing. Look I am not going to lie, the whole experience was a little demoralizing, because this company knew how much I put on the line to work for them, and they essentially treated me like I was less than nothing. However, at the end of the day I have my integrity, and there is nothing I would do differently.

What really has helped me get through this experience has been the running and working out. In the past I would have probably felt pretty beat up by that experience, I would have probably had a little too much to drink, and I would have eaten a gallon of ice cream. This time around, I picked myself up and dusted myself off. It truly is amazing how wonderful being healthy is, and what a big impact that has on your emotional sobriety. So today, I am starting the blogging back up, and I will start updating my attack point.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quick Update

So I haven't abandoned running or my blog. I just haven't had internet for the last month :( It will all be up and running by monday :) I hope you all are still with me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I disappeared

I disappeared  for a little bit. Maybe this disappearing has been a long time coming, but somehow it feels strange -- like I am existing just beneath the surface of something utterly new and different. So I am still staying at my parents place in my hometown in Eastern Oregon. My job doesn't start until the 11th of July, and my husband doesn't come home until the 3rd. So here I am in Eastern Oregon getting in touch with some old roots, and disappearing from everything else.

Life in the country is different than in the city. There definitely seems to be a slower rhythm and naivety in small towns. I have been working hard here. Every day I try and do something for my parents. I have been weedwacking, building a patio (which I finished yesterday), mowing, and filling in holes in the driveway. AND I have been running and hiking. Its been great to just relax, focus on the important things in life, because I don't worry anymore about work.

I don't really know where I am going with this, but I feel my body getting stronger, and I feel like a new chapter is just around the corner. It really is kind of exciting.

By the way today I ran 10 miles, and hiked 3....Life is good!!!!

Me hiking in Eastern Oregon

Pic from the top of my hike

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Running, Hiking, Weedwacking, and Blogging

It's early in the evening, I have just gotten back from a run, and my mother and I are watching Julie and Julia. This movie about a blogger who cooks all of Julia Childs recipies makes me want to eat butter straight, put on 30lbs, and make love to my husband after a glass of red wine.What can I say I love movies about writers, and movies about food. Food....oh decadent food.......... but the truth is food taste better when you are skinny. I mean it just does.

Where was I? Oh this movie talks about why it is important to blog:  it keeps you accountable, and gives you a sense of community. It sounds kind of  funny but my writing keeps me running, and gives me a community of people to run with. I don't know, it is a project, something for fun, that happens to keep me healthy, and happy.What can I say......I like the idea of writing as a way of building something substantial in ones own life.

Okay, so\ today, I got my new pair of running shoes, New Balance 860. I love these shoes. I have never, ever, ever loved new shoes. They make my feet numb, they take a week to really feel good, and like moving in with a boyfriend there is always an adjustment period. These shoes............These shoes fit perfecty, they don't hurt at all, they are light, and provide perfect support. Maybe I am jinxing it, but I really feel like I finally found the right man/ I mean shoe.

Anyways best shoes ever!!!! Heres to you!

I did a lot of hiking this week because I was sans my shoes......Here are some of the pics

Its been raining and is cold

I felt so alone out here

Seriously.......Uphill battle through the mountain

My parents dog....He is a good companion

And a little nerosis... New haircut!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Turning back for Oregon

Me on the Road :)

Ok……………. So first let me say that I never made it to Colorado. I got halfway to my destination, and then got a call from an employment agency offering me a job I pretty much could not turn down. So I turned around and went back to my parents place. The job starts on July 11th, and because I do not need to get a job right away now, there really is no reason for me to hurry up to Colorado. Of course I am going to be up there for when my husband gets home, but come July 11th I will be back in Portland, Oregon.
I don’t consider myself a religious person, but the truth is that I feel some sort of gravity pulling me towards Portland. All around me people are saying “if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be”. The truth is that I have been doing odd jobs in Portland, from working as a personal assistant, to temping at a rehab facility, but all the while looking for fulltime work…..It is just so incredibly bizarre that in the 11th hour in an attempt to leave Portland, I get a call that drags me back. I guess only time will tell what the future holds.  
So Back to the running:
I broke my running shoes. I literally wore the padding in the back of the shoes out. I mean these shoes are done. Kaputz!!!!! (Is that how you spell that)….But I am camping with a friend of mine where there is no cell service, no running shoe stores, no internet connection…I mean I am camped in the boonies of Oregon. So I improvise and take out the duct tape and try to smooth out the spiny edge sticking out of the back of my shoe. …and truthfully it works….
Where I am camping the running is amazing. Actually, getting away from all of the trappings of social media, TV, cell phones, and internet is pretty damn cool. Sometimes I like to just disappear so I can focus on my writing, and I guess that is what I am doing right now.  But I digress.. Currently,  I am camped 30 miles west of Baker, Oregon down Whitney Road, in the Whitman National Forest.  It’s really too cold to sleep in a tent, so I have laid the seats down in my Jeep and made the back into a little makeshift bed. It actually is kind of comfortable. During the day I read and write, at night I sit by the fire and have long conversations with my camping buddy Nancy, who last year installed a bed into the back of her truck and now travels around the country living each day for what is worth
Yesterday I strapped on my running shoes and went for a run down an old logging road that runs past our camp. I don’t know how to tell you how beautiful it was without sounding trite. The forests smelled like rain, and fir trees. In the distance white capped mountains lined the horizon. A small little creek kept the logging road company, and I was satisfied with the deep pounding in my chest, and the quiet cold air around me.  It was beautiful, but the running was hard.  It just didn’t come easy to me. Maybe it was the increase of elevation, my shoes, or the steady diet of peanut butter sandwiches which have sustained me for the last four days, but it didn’t come easy.  Whatever… doesn’t always come easy does it, but at least it comes.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grass cut like stone.

          I am once again in my home town. Eastern Oregon is usually a desert, a high mountain desert, but right now I might as well be in Portland. My parents home has wide windows that look out over a valley, and a deck. You can see a sea of grey clouds rolling in, which I find so bizzarre. Never before in all my memory of this place, can I remember so much water.
         Right now my parents are watching a movie about rock climbing in the Andes. I am drinking red wine, and eating a brownie my mother made earlier. Of course it is not a real brownie: made only with honey and agave. Bless my mother, she is a healthnut but sometimes, chocolate needs sugar, or at least more honey. I went for a long run today thinking that when I got back the brownie would be worth it...... but it wasn't. Now the red wine is another story.
           My parents, are simple people... They have learned to enoy the ordainary things in life. They have an odd love story which is really not mine to tell, but I have come to respect it. Suffice to say, they both became physically  paralyzed for different reasons by the time I was 18. So although so much has been taken from them, they live richly because they have learned to really enjoy things that we all take for granite. Still being here is hard...It is kind of like life just stops, and slows. I am a busy person. I like motion, progress, moving forward and being alive.  Life here seems to be more about watching, waiting, and dreaming. Everyone here is dreaming about living, but never really living. I am too young to do that.
        Running is kind of easy to do here because it is a good escape, a short burst of something in a void of nothingness. So I went for a run. I ran from my parents house, to field's peak road. I took field's peak road and began to  run up it. I have to admit that if I have a weakness it is running uphill. It's probably a  mental inequity. So I ran uphill for as long as I could.
             You know what struck me the most??? How green the grass was. The grass looked like it was made of sharp emerald stone. I can't quite describe it, maybe it was the way the water hit the grass, with a little bit of light peaking out of clouds, but I truly thought as I was running that never in my life had I seen something that green. Incredible...The simple things right????
             I ran as far as I could, then I turned around and went home. So here I am with my glass of wine writing this, watching a movie about endurance mountain climbing. I am sore. Really sore. But it is a good feeling. Truly it is. My body is beccomming strong, and that is kind of cool.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Leaving Oregon

Yesterday I packed up my belongings and headed from Portland, Oregon,  to my parents home in Eastern Oregon... It was hard. It was really, really hard to leave. I took a photo as I was leaving and my heart broke a little, looking out over the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.  This was definitely one of those moment where I wondered whether I had made the right decision to move to Colorado.  Portland pulls me to it, like the city and surrounding areas are axioms of gravity.  So much has happened to me here, and I have grown so much, it is hard to imagine any other place that will ever resonate in such a powerful way. Still I don't know if I am making the right choice.

After five hours of driving, I arrived at my parents house. This house holds  a lot of memories for me, and is the only home I have ever known. My parents recently painted it a pale green, and the colors make the house kind of melt into the sage covered hill.

After a good nights sleep I went for a run on the country road in front of my parents house.. The run felt good, and I went a total of 6.5 miles. Outside the weather feels like winter ....It rained, the temperature dropped, and then there was hail. It will be nice to be in some warm weather in Colorado.  After the run I had dinner with my parents: My mother made wheat free pasta with homemade red sauce, and locally grown browned beef.  Afterwards we watched T.V and drank tea. My dad turned Rambo on, and we talked about running. 
I have to say..... Sylvester Stalone looked damn good in that movie. Holy can-ole was he in good shape!!! You know when you start to workout, you gain some respect for those people who have managed to achieve what he did in his body.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All the different versions of me

I have been thinking about all of the women I have been. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually I have changed. Sometimes  I see pictures of myself, and I cannot remember what it was like to be that girl, in that time and place.
All of these people I have been are enigmatic to me. I can’t really remember what it felt like, sometimes it is even hard to connect to my emotions from that time, or why I felt the way I did in that place. It is hard to hold on to my identity. It is like I am a falling, changing chameleon. What can I say, I love the power, and escape of transformation.
Here is  all of the women I have been:

----High School …. I am 18 in the picture, blonde is my natural hair color. I don’t know how much I weighed… Truthfully if I had to guess I would say 165 to 170. I know that I stopped looking at the scale when I hit 165.  A month later my father had a stroke, and it was at that moment when my father who had defined me all of my life stopped telling me who I was, that I began to change

 I am 160 and 19 here….. Freshman year of college. I fell in love, lost my virginity, and had my first kiss. It was a magical time. It is also the only time in my life where I was ok with my body. I don’t know I was with a guy who I thought accepted me no matter what I looked like. After what happened between us, I don’t know if I will ever believe a man who says that to me. They do care. They really do. A lot. Whatever…..I love this girl, I sometimes wish I could go back to being her, busy with discovering the world, and awakening to all of the possibilities that the world held.

--- 20 years old. I am 170 here…….. What can I say, I was working in a restaurant making decadent foods and hadn’t worked out for 2 years. I held two other part time jobs, and was going to school full time.  This year I would balloon up to 185lbs. I was sad and miserable. The man I was with was going to break my heart.  I don’t have any pictures of that time at 185, but this is right before it all began to fall apart. What can I say I was lost.  I remember deleting all of the pics of myself because when I would smile you could see the fat in my face and the beginnings of a second chin.  This girl was madly in love, but had no self esteem. She was easily broken. Easily hurt, and vulnerable. I think all she wanted was to be loved, but what she needed was to love herself.  But damn was she a good cook!!!!
---21 years old…..The revenge diet. Everything had fallen apart, I had lost my boyfriend, my friends, my school, and 50lbs in 3 months …. I was diagnosed with PTSD by my therapist, I dropped out of school, and started working as a freelance photographer.  It was like photos became the only way in which I could feel the world, and imagine myself the way I wanted to be.  This is the unhealthiest I have ever been…. 135 lbs…. Ironically, the smaller I got the  larger I felt. This weight was not healthy because of the way in which it was achieved, but oh would it be nice to be 135 again.  I walked into  planned parenthood and they would not give me birth control because my blood pressure was so high and my heart rate was so fast.  That was the turning point. I put on weight, met my husband got my married, and began to heal.

--22 years old 155lbs…This picture was taken in Texas the summer before my husband's first deployment…I was back in college,I wasn’t exercising, but I was eating well. Life was good. I was happy. My body still bothered me, but every now and then I would walk outside and feel damn good in my dress and cowboy boots.

At the beginning of my journey

23-----160-165lbs My husband returned home from his first deployment in Iraq, and we moved to Colorado. I finished up my degree. Having to feed him  was hard on my diet. I began to get big again..... At this point……I began to workout….Something began to change. Something began to happen. I began to take control of my body…


Honestly at my happiest

I have found maturity, stability and independence. I do not define myself through the people in my life. I am healthy and emotionally sober!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Balancing Acts

This last week has been a failed attempt at combating imbalance in my life. What I have noticed is that when balance goes, so does everything else: emotional sobriety, physical stability, and social well being. Sometimes it feels like I am walking on a tightrope, and with one turn I will fall. Show me someone who is depressed, who is physically struggeling, or who has social issues, and at the bottom of it all there will be imbalance.

I talk a lot about sobriety in my life because although I have no substance abuse issues, I do struggle with sobriety. Sobriety is not just about drugs, and alcohol, it is about every day life. It is about being happy, healthy, fit, and building your life one block at a time. For me balance is key to my sobriety so this week has been a struggle, and it shows in my excercise blog.

So what has been going on? I am moving next week, and I have been temping for a rehab facility. Perhaps even scarier is the possibility that I might get a job offer this week or the next. I could literally be getting on the freeway to head to Colorado with no place to live in Oregon, and get a call that could change everything.

Last week I interviewed with a company that coordinates organ procurement and donation. I really, really want this job. The employment agency says that this company really liked me, and there was a good possibility they would offer me a position. It is just something I could not turn down period (if it happens). Still my lease is up, I am out on the 26th, and all my furniture is gone. For all intents and purposes I am out the door.

What else is going on?????? Well...... did I mention the temping that I have been doing is a graveyard shift? So my body's sleeping schedule is all out of whack, and trying to regain some normality. In the process I feel tired all the time.

Truthfully I think I need running now, more than I ever did. But......the real question is can I hit 30 miles this week without injury??? I guess we will see.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eastern Oregon Running

As I look out over the desolate Eastern Oregon plains I feel overwhelmed with the feeling of how I can never, ever escape being a small town girl. This weekend I am home for Mother's day, and being home is a little scary. The city is always busy, there is always somewhere to go, people to meet, and places to discover. Here in Eastern Oregon, there is high desert and Douglas fir forests. There is more land than people, and more loneliness and silence in this place than I can even begin to describe. Still it is home, and I feel that right down to my bones. My home is a truth that defines me utterly. Being here in Eastern Oregon is hard, you have to be absolutely alone with yourself.

Almost to the top of one of my trail runs

While I was home I went for a couple of runs into the mountains. They were brutal uphill runs on old dirt logging roads. The elevation was a little higher than I was used to, and well running uphill is just flat out hard. One mile felt like two, and two miles felt like four.  Still I was pretty stinking proud of running uphill, and better yet the soft surface was kind to my knees. In fact I felt no pain, which gives me hope for the 30 miles I am planning on logging next week.
The view from the top. So gorgeous.

The second run I took up the mountain was 3 miles up and 3 miles down. My breath was painful in my chest, and my lungs felt ragged. However, the entire time I ran, the blue mountains that I have lived with all my life rose up behind me. They are majestic.I kept thinking about this friend of mine who is an artist. When I visited her at college, she showed me all of her paintings. She had drawn our blue mountains over and over again. She told me she could not get them out of her head. She said she dreamed of them all the time, and missed them. I guess I understood what she was saying, although I have always felt more torn between home and the unknown than she. I think she just flat out longs for home.
Fields Peak
 Anyways, although I technically only ran 26 miles this week, it was a brutal 26 miles. I am hoping next week to go 30 miles on flat soft surface. Wish me luck. I am hoping to get back into half marathon shape soon!!!!
After the run I drove the logging road to measure the distance and took this picture

Uphill logging road

Me on the way home. I wore a hat to protect
 my poor sun deprived Portland skin!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eugene Marathon Contact High

This weekend I attended the Eugene Marathon, 2 hours south of Portland. I went to see my friend Denise from Colorado, and to watch her husband, Justin run in the marathon. Justin was here to try to qualify for the Olympic Trials. There were seven thousand people who ran the course combined, and as I watched every one get ready at the starting line, ready to run the race, I was a little overwhelmed. There were so many people like me, who have spent hours and miles training to run long distance. It was inspiring, and I am so glad that I went. (Although, a little sad that I wasn't running with them).

As strange as it may be the most inspiring thing that I saw the whole day was my friend's marriage. It takes a lot of sacrifice for Justin to run the way he does, on everyone's part. Still their sacrifice seems to strengthen their commtiment to one another.  Their love is deepened by helping one another to achieve their goals.....I mean it is insipring to watch. The whole time that Justin was running, and Denise and I kept trying to find him on the course, I could tell that she was out there with him.

You know I have girlfriends who complain about their husbands, and who seem to embody the saying "old married couple". Denise and Justin have been together for 10 years, but you would think that they are in their first months of dating. I think that part of their love has to be built on running.

Justin did not qualify for the Olympic trials but he did win the marathon. Honestly, I think that if he had someone to run with him for the last 10k, if he had, had someone to compete with and push him, than I think he would have gotten that Olympic trial time. Still, it was pretty cool to share in that winning moment as he entered Hayward field and finished. It was inspiring to watch everyone finish.

 I feel renewed in my commitment to running longer distances. I know I need to be patient in rebuilding my miles, but I am excited to start trying again.

This week my goal is to run a longer distance than the distance that I ran last week.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

341.2 Miles

Since starting this blog I have ran 341.2 miles.  In some ways I feel as though I have gone farther than this number, and at the same time I really can't believe that I have ran this many miles. I guess it is the part of me, the old part of me that dreaded running even a mile.  To tell you the truth I am a little disturbed at how much excercise I do, and how very little impact it seems to have on my appearance. That is not to say that I haven't physically changed, just that I can't see it.

My husband says that he can tell a difference but I don't know I would be more apt to believe my mother than my husband, he is so biased.I mean what better way to get a girl to take her clothes off than to tell her how good she looks without them on.  Hahaha (too much????)

Where is the transformation?????  To be kind I will say it is on the inside. To be human I will say damn't that is not really where I wanted to transform. How strange it is that we who own our bodies, and have taken agency over our physical selves, can be the least aware of how we change and grow.  Still I like the idea of excercise as this devotional act, like praying or meditating, that improves the self inside and out.

4/27/2011  341.2 miles

Friday, April 22, 2011

Summer Running Songs

Rainy Portland, Oregon is entering those brief golden months where there is sunlight and warmth in the air. Every day the weather is getting better.  Suddenly the music on my mp3 player seems a little drab and macabre. It is almost like I can hear the rain haunting me from the winter months. Running in the winter is about overcoming bad weather, the grey doldrums of snowy wet roads, and the never ending treadmill miles.  It only makes sense that the music that gets you through the winter reflects perseverance through hardship.

Running in the summer is different. It is warm, and light. I love being outside in my tennis shoes and my sports bra, feeling the sun on my back and the light on my face. It is an incredible feeling to be a part of the world in a very primitive and immediate manner. Summer running requires a different type of music, music that reflects the sunlight glinting off of my sunglasses.

Listening to music at the SE Grind, Portland OR
This summer I am looking for music that makes me feel happy and light. All winter long I have been working hard, lifting weights, and sweating it out. Now I want to enjoy that hard work, and listen to music that reinforces feeling sexy, tan, and powerful.

So here is my summer running playlist for 2011:

1. Pumped Up Kicks -----Foster the People
2. Halcyon --- Chicane Under the Sun
3. No Woman No Cry ---- Bob Marley
4. Sweet Dreams --- Eurhythmics
5. Save Tonight---- Eagle Eye Cherry
6. Flying High ---- Jem
7.Gold Lion ---The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8.Around the World -- ATC (A Touch of Class)
9.Crazy Love ---Van Morrison
10. Everthing'll be Alright ---Josh Radin
11. What a Wonderful World --- Sam Cooke
12. The Show Goes On --- Lupe Fiasco
13. That's All She Wrote-- T.I Ft Eminem

I am sure I will edit and add to this list as summer gets closer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Long drive

Today  has been one of those weird days where the world has narrowed, and come into focus.  It started with my roommate knocking on my door and asking, "do you want to take a ride". I said I did, and we went for a drive through the winding dark corners of the pacific northwest. It is oddly beautiful to just drive, to just disappear, and let the world with all of its burdens go. I don't know how to quite say exactly what it is that happens on these drives, its like being disconnected and connected all at the same time. One thing flows into another, and flows out.

My roommate drove a little, and then I drove a little. I am for the most part a very cautious driver. Driving always scares me a little. Still, tonight I felt a little speed inside me, and the desire to be reckless. It was nice.  Today I am not going to work out. I am sore, and tired. Tomorrow is a new day.

Found this cd in the car...Strangely good driving music.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Such is life

60 some pages single spaced.....That is how long this blog is. It kind of blows my mind. Isn't it ironic how inevitably we live in circles, run in circles, and yet somehow never manage to get back to the same place? I don't know if this is going to make sense, but I kind of feel like I am always coming back to the place where I started, but still somehow managing to travel farther away than I could ever imagine.

You know I have a theory that we are given a set of lessons, and that if we don't learn/grow than we have to experience the same hardship over and over. For instance if a girl dates a dirtbag, chances are she is going to date another one and another one. History repeats. Running seems to best embody that concept because you do run in circles. You always end up where you started from. At the same time if you allow it to transform you, and if you allow yourself to learn then you manage to grow even though it seems like you never really truly went anywhere.... 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Feeling Good

So the sun is out, and wow it is just so beautiful. My legs are feeling great, my body is healthy and I am so looking forward to diving back into running. I am excited to get back into it!!!!!  This last month has been hard. My knees have been stiff and even running a mile became painful. It was so hard to accept my own limitations, but the knees are both feeling good and I am so looking forward to stretching them out.

Also, and I guess this is what is most important. I learned that the distance should come first, not the speed. I also learned that I really need to try and stay off the pavement.  Finally, I learned that I definitely need to find a treadmill. If I had treadmill in my home it would be so much easier to up my miles. So I am scouring craigslist for a treadmill.

Ok so life is good, the sun is shining, and my legs are feeling great. Time to get back into it, and to rededicate myself. Funny enough, this month also marks my 1 year anniversary as a 24 hour fitness member... I think that is pretty exciting that I have been able to workout consistently for a whole year. Here is to another year and a lifetime of physical fitness.


Friday, April 15, 2011

I wish you could hear the rain

I wish you could hear the rain in the northwest at night. There really is nothing quite like the sound of rain on your roof as you go to sleep. It is kind of like being out at sea, and hearing the ocean breathe beneath you. I think that I will miss the rain when it is gone in the summer months. Maybe not the grey that it brings, but the sound it makes at night when I am trying to sleep. I think that the rain makes me a little crazy sometimes.  It gives me strange dreams. I guess when you are curled safe in your warm bed, while outside it is raining you feel grateful for your little spot of peace. It may sound strange but the rain here makes me feel safe, and protected. I feel sheltered, warm and surrounded with comfort. Strange right.....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sorry about the hiatus.

Wow....sorry about the hiatus.

I guess I am experiencing a workout identity crisis, and this really is the origin of  my silence. I am slowly beginning to get back into running. And hoping to do so in way that won't re-injure my body.  I don't know what to say, its not my heart, its not my lungs, my limitations lie simply in my joints.  Its kind of depressing.  Still Denise promises me if I go slow, if I am patient, if I don't do too much too soon. If I find some consistency, than I will be able to run distance most only dream of.....

Hitting these limitations has really made me take a step backwards and ask myself why it is I am doing this to my body. Is running really good for it? Ultimately I think so. At the end of the day I feel an emotional freedom when I am running, that I don't get from anywhere else. I guess I just want to see how far I can go and how good I can get. I want to do more races, and I want to improve my times. Still I have other goals, for instance I really want to improve my muscle tone, especially in my midsection around my hips.  I don't know I want to be toned, and fit. I want to be able to wear a bikini and for people to see how good a shape I am in. Although, maybe part of my problem is I am Pacific Northwest white. You know I have the Oregon skin that doesn't see sunlight 9 months out of the year.

I mean gripe of the week..........It is so unfair that some girls who are in horrible shape, can get in a bathing suit and look like they are in great shape, but can't even run a mile. I mean that is my vanity goal, to look as good in the mirror as my body feels and is on the inside. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back to it!!!!!

Tonight was the second night back in the exercise saddle.  Sure feels good!!!! I am a little frustrated with my knees, but hey what are you going to do? The good news is that I went an hour and ten minutes on the elliptical and didn't feel any pain at all.  This is kind of strange because yesterday I did a little treadmill program for 30 minutes, which can be seen on my attackpoint training log here that wasn't straight running, but left my knee feeling sore. However an hour on the elliptical didn't strain my knee at all.  I guess I am just struggling to find some way to get my running training in while not re-injuring my knee. However, the elliptical left me unsatisfied. I mean I like to get dirty and sweaty. If I am not covered in sweat after a workout I feel like a failure. It wasn't until I got in the pool that I was able to feel like I was working out.

The real question is, when my knee is healed, how do I prevent coming right back here? How do I go forward without taking what feels like 7 steps back? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I know to be true.

There is very little I know to be true and the older I get the more true this sentiment becomes. Perhaps someday I will evolve into one of those people that believes in nothing.  First and foremost I believe that my innate self, the self that I am without apology, must live creatively. No matter what else, no matter where I go, or who I love, there must be creativity in my life. Without it I begin to feel lost.  I think that is what drives me to this blog day in and day out. This blog partially satisfies/feeds my creative self.  I believe that this journaling is really just a precursor to writing, or perhaps the foundation to writing more.  I think in the next couple of days I will print out my blog in its entirety, post by post, and begin to edit it. Maybe it is premature, this year of running has had several false starts, and more road blocks/ injuries than I anticipated. But....I am hoping that I will see a creative formation in this psycho babble, something concrete, perhaps a place to begin to really write from.

In other news, Greg leaves tomorrow, and so I am excited to get back to some exercise but sad to see him go. It has been really tough having to balance, exercise, diet, and Greg. In some ways I failed. I don't know how to explain it. I just couldn't leave him to go workout. We have been apart for 8 months, and even now I know that he might not come home. War is dangerous, and this second deployment feels like a tempting of fate. Sometimes it felt impossible to crawl out of bed to go for a run, or a swim. Truthfully, when I did swim, or exercise, I felt weighed down by guilt.  How could I leave him, even while he was sleeping. I don't really know how to wrap my head around what happened these last two weeks, or really comprehend the dynamic of our partnership and the implications that this dynamic might have for my health.  Maybe the lesson here is that I shouldn't be hard on myself and celebrate the time we had together. Does any of this make sense?

So tomorrow, I will begin again. :)

Pics from  our adventures.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Run. Lift. Swim

Last night I hit the gym and tried to run a little bit. It's been about 5 days since I really have done any real mileage, and I thought maybe, just maybe my knee would have been healed. I am so frustrated with this slow healing process. Alas it wasn't long before my right leg felt like a bag of concrete and pain.  Hahaah ok maybe I am being a little melodramatic. It will happen though. It has to. I will get better.  After the run I lifted some free weights and then went for a swim.

Free weights are so much more rewarding than any machine ever has been. I am pretty stinking proud of the fact that I am often the only girl on the free-weight side of the gym, and that I know what I am doing. There is no substitute for free weights because they work through a full range of motion.  Recently I read an article that said that one of the reasons why women don't lose weight as fast as men is because men emphasize weight training and muscle building more, while women focus strictly on the cardio.

The swim after lifting weights was wonderful. In the pool I was able to hit my cardio sweat.  It was nice, and the truth is that I can feel my swimmer muscles coming back, which is really nice. This whole workout I focused on the IM which is a combination of all of the strokes. .  My favorite stroke is the butterfly stroke. It is considered the hardest, most taxing stroke in swimming. It's kind of funny how no matter how hard I try and make it about the running, I am always coming back to the swimming. The swimming really is my bread and butter.

What else???? Life is good. Love is good. It's all really good. Still it will be nice to get back to some normality.

Interesting article:

I think I might check out

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Cherry Trees Are Blooming

Every Portlander knows that when the cherry trees start to blossom spring has arrived. My beautiful rainy city, is still a little grey, but the city of roses has begun to bloom. It is a vanity of the city, its not like cherry trees grow naturally in asphalt. The city plants them, nurtures them, and every year they bring in new beginnings. This time of year is an intermission between the wet season and the dry hot season. It is a time where peace is made, and the weariness of rain begins to leave.

I can't wait for when my knee is healed. I will ride the max downtown one early Sunday morning, and run the districts. I will crisscross the bridges, that divide the city, and unite it at the same time. I will run the waterfront, and watch as the seagulls scatter. I will run from Chinatown, to the Pearl District, to the up and coming Alberta Arts district. I love how many flavors my city has. I love how clean it is, and hope that it will smell of cherry blossoms, and the sweetness of fresh rain.

This fantasy of mine is what keeps me going. Ever since I became a Portlander 5 years ago, I have wanted to be one of those strong sexy women I would see running, while I sat inside my car drinking my coffee. I don't know, I envied them, and the way in which they experienced the city. Soon I will be one of them.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pet Peeves At The Gym

I may not be perfect, and I definitely don't know everything there is to know about working out, lifting weights, and eating healthy. But.........I have been lifting weights for ten years, and have taken several classes on the subject. I know enough to be stupid. Still I can't help but watch how others work out and be Judgie McJudgerson. So I am going to judge and be horrible. Please don't judge me for being judgie (which isn't even a word so the judging can start there).

I hate when:

1. People don't sweat at the gym. You are doing something wrong if you don't sweat. Bring some intensity to the table. Get sweaty, stinky and  ugly.

2. Women who put on their makeup, and their push up bras before hitting the gym.  Maybe I am just jealous because they manage to look so good, while I am just a total mess.

3. Men who lift with their backs. (Ok so women do this to, but its mostly men). You know the type, the guy that sidles up to the bench, puts on too much weight, and when they lift, arches their back super high. What never ceases to amaze me is that I have seen everyone from scrawny teenage boys do this to heavily muscled me who should and probably do know better.

4. Bad form in general annoys me. This is a little elitist of me because the truth is that even if someone is doing it wrong, at least they have the balls to put themselves out there and try and do it.

5. Overweight men who do nothing but sit in the steam room/ sauna. These guys usually don't workout, they just alternate. Somehow they must think they can sweat their weight off. You know the irony is that people are supposed to use those rooms to help alleviate the buildup of lactic acid, but I have read that it actually hinders the body's muscle building process. Finally, it's hard for me to sit in those rooms with those men. I don't know they make me uncomfortable, and although it may be untrue I feel as if I am being undressed.

6. People who drink pop, before, after and/or during a workout. Really? It dehydrates you, is full of sugar and defeats the purpose.

7. Middle aged suburban moms  who want to lose weight, come to the gym, plug into a TV or a magazine, and walk slowly on the treadmill. I don't know, I watch T.V when I run, but I still am running with some intensity. I feel that if you are not present in your workout you will never lose weight.

8. People who say they can't afford a gym membership, but still manage to purchase their 5 dollar cup of coffee while they are telling me this. Lame. Just be honest, just say I would rather have my mocha every morning instead of a monthly gym membership.  Its ok. Its what I and everybody else is already thinking.

(There is more but I will stop it here) Enough judging for today.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Promises Promises

It is kind of hard to believe but my husband has spent almost two years at war.  So these two weeks that I have with him before he leaves for another 4 months are precious. Still yesterday I kept my promise and hit the gym. Greg goes to sleep really early because he is still kind of on Afghanistan time. So while he slept I swam, worked the elliptical, and lifted weights. Its stupid but even leaving him while he is sleeping feels like a huge sacrifice. You know the last couple of days has made me realize that loving yourself, and putting yourself first is hard.  Still I wouldn't stop brushing my teeth, or washing my hair. No matter what you have to put yourself first. 

So today my promise to myself is to eat healthy. Greg has been pushing me to eat fatty foods, because that is what he is eating. He thinks I am beautiful and doesn't want me to deprive myself, and so he pushes me to eat insanely bad food. Still I don't feel good afterwards and honestly, the food we have eating has really felt like a burden and not a treat. So for the next to days I am going to eat raw, and eat clean so that I cleanse the crap out of my system. Its not easy to make these promises, but still I feel like I have to in order to maintain my autonomy, and keep my self respect.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Running Drugs

Ok so here is the deal. I have been on a drug. It is powerful, hardcore and has immediate gratification. My drug is more powerful than prozac, more effective than viagra, and better for you than vitamin C. And.....I am off my drug. What is this powerful medication that I am on. Its the workout drug. Hahaha cute right. No I seriously need my workout drug. I wake up every morning and I am like Greg I need to workout.  My husband wraps his arms around me and says, "oh baby how can you leave me? Is it really that important?" As I write this I have to say I am jonesing, but not in the normal way an addict like me joneses. No I feel fat, ugly, soft, and a little moody. Today when my husband looks at me and says, "Baby don't leave me," I am determined to  say, "honey I love you. Let me have this one." For the most part I am going to do it for me, but a little part me is going to do it for him because I know that I am much better to be around after a good sweat. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Greg is here!!!!

My husband is in town for just two weeks. I can't tell you how hard it is to go for a run or hit the gym while he is home. He won't go running with me and he won't go to the gym. I don't blame him. I understand.  Still last night I went to the gym and I couldn't hit my sweat, all I wanted to do was go home and crawl back in bed with him. It doesn't really help that I have been battling an injury in my left knee. I know I need to stop running and swim this week. I know I need to give it time to heal.

Anyways, I know that this journey is about patience, persistence, and continue to stay dedicated to building and rebuilding my strength. Meanwhile I am going to enjoy the short sweet amount of time I have to crawl into bed with my husband. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Light

My hair is freshly dyed, my nails are painted red, and I have 200 dollars worth of new sexy lingerie in my closet. My sheets are washed, and all of our clothes have been laundered. Candles have been bought, the fridge has been stalked and all of my friends know that I am going Awol. In a little less than 24 hours I will see my husband again for the first time in 7 months. I am not one to talk to much about my husband. I try and keep what is between him and I private. Still, and maybe it is inappropriate to say here, but I am so very nervous to see him. Something has changed inside of me. A light has come on. The life that he and I shared seems so very far away.

Sunday will mark our anniversary, and the truth is that in the almost 4 years we have been together, he will have been gone for 3 of them. It all seems so surreal.  Still I have a found a light, a happiness that I didn't know could exist inside me day in and day out.  It doesn't come from a man, school, or family. It doesn't come from what other people think about me, or my physical appearance. It is just this strength, this feeling of self worth that has unfurled and become a part of me.  Life is good!

Truthfully I am incredibly scared. I know he is going to step off that plane and I will love him. Still in 2 weeks I will lose him again, and it is the most painful experience in the world to send someone you love to war over and over agin. I don't want to go back to that pain. I don't want to start over again.

Sometimes you just have to cling to the strength that you have found, and that courage that exists in loving someone. I just hope it will all be ok. I hope that the new people that we have become can love together in deeper more wonderful ways than we ever have.

oh well off to the gym for my second run of the day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

32 miles = One Pound

Running demands a massive amount of oxygen and produces a vast amount of heat.   According to  my treadmill and online calorie counters, one mile of running burns off approximately 110 calories which is about 460 joules of energy.  One pound is 3200 calories and that means that I would have to run a little over 31 miles to burn off 1lb. Kind of mind blowing if you think about it. This is why the combination of caloric restriction and exercise is imperative to a weight loss program. I mean this is the plain science behind weight loss. Yeah it gets a lot more complicated, but here it is.  The good news is that if you modify your diet and cut out 600 calories, that is 6 miles you don’t have to run!!!! Yeah if  it were only that simple right?

My initial reaction to this research was wow 31 miles is a long way to go to burn a pound. How does anyone lose weight? The thing is that weight loss is enigmatic, and it’s not as simple as a little bit of mathematics. It would almost be nice if losing weight, putting the miles down, and cutting calories was all a nice tidy equation. Sometimes losing weight feels like believing in God.......You just have to find some faith!!!