Turning Pages

It's no secret I love to read. If there were a way to make money by sitting on my couch with a good book and a large cup of coffee I would be doing it. Until that opportunity presents itself I'll keep reading when I'm not busy at my day job. *sigh*

If you enjoy a good read like I do, I'd highly recommend using to mark your reads and looks up scores of other books people are enjoying. I love to see what friends have tried and I often find amazing books just by browsing reviews on their site.

A book I just added to my list there was called The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. I've read many of her books and I'm never disappointed by the magic in her characters. This book was no different. Small town gossip and legend coupled with the difficulties and rewards of true friendship make you want to move into town and befriend the list of characters. The romance and mystery don't hurt either. If you're looking for a fun, light but thoughtful read this book is a good pick. All of her books are.

The other book I just finished reading came to me via the mail (oh the joy of a package waiting for me on my doorstep and even better when it's a book!). I think under normal bookstore browsing circumstances I wouldn't have picked this one up because the title is a bit different. Impatient With Desire by Gabrielle Burton is the novel based on the idea of Tamsen Donner's journal. The Donner's being the famous Donner Party. Some made it, others did not. I won't give away the ending of this book but I will tell you that I really appreciated the detail and description that went into it. It is a work of fiction but it's clear that it's taken from a very carefully researched love of the Donner story. What's even better for me is that it's from a woman's perspective. As a history buff I was intrigued even though I already know the whole story ( I grew up in San Jose where the surviving members lived and prospered). Again, the title is a bit odd for me. I get the sentiment but if I'd just been looking at titles in a store - like I often do - I would have missed this fantastic book! Another reminder to me that you can't judge a book by it's cover ;)

Happy reading!

On your mark!

Portland Fit started this past Saturday. For those of you not familiar with the torture training program, it's basically a group started by runners to help other runners complete their goal of completing a marathon. We run a certain amount of minutes on weekdays and a certain amount of mileage on Saturday. It's spread out over a few months time in a tried and true method. Now before I get too far ahead of myself let me assure you, I WILL NOT BE RUNNING A MARATHON. While I really appreciate all the time, effort, pain, suffering and general craziness that entails, that's just not me. My goal will be to complete a half marathon as outlined in my List of Good Intentions.

I've only completed one run with the group so I am by no means an expert but there is something about standing with a group, huddled in the foggy rain that so often greets a Portlander on a Spring morning and getting motivated to get out and get it done. They don't advocate running as fast as you possibly can. They advocate moving. At any speed. Walkers welcome. Run/Walkers welcome. Runners welcome. Super speed demons welcome. It's a pretty great group.

We ran three miles to start the season out. This is a distance I'm fairly used to so I knew I would survive. The following weeks will be the real challenge. Adding in a mile each week until June when we run the half.

Saturday's run was interesting for a few reason: 1) A new locale - that can make all the difference when you're tired of running. New things to look at make the world a better place to pass by. 2) We ran past my orthopedist's office twice. It was not lost on me that twice I passed a place where just two years ago I was leaving in a wheelchair with a giant cast. Great strides. Literally. 3) I am not alone in the slow runner world. There were lots of people just like me! Feels so good to see that in action. People tell me all the time they exist but I had yet to see the rare species in action and I am happy to know I am not the only one of my kind.

I think it's going to be a good program for me. I will certainly do my fair share of bitching (I've been informed it's not really allowed until we're at 9 miles but I beg to differ), but I'm also going to try and acknowledge the good things it's doing for me to. I'm a lady runner now!

Proud Red Team Member,


Tools of the trade

This is a compound miter saw. Just in case you ever wanted to know. This is the reason I'm not allowed to use power tools. So many moving parts, such a sharp blade, it's trouble waiting to attack pretty pieces of wood. Trouble with a capital t. Husbands are for sawing things in half or in quarters or what ever specific measurement it might be, but you measure twice and cut once. That's the rule.

For projects I will continue to use my tool of choice, the Glue Gun. You can stick anything on anything with a glue gun. They even make glue sticks with glitter in it now. GLITTER! God's little gift to crafters, glitter and glue guns. Like peas and carrots, chocolate and peanut butter, bagels and cream cheese... (I'm hungry)

Speaking of crafts, I'll be doing this one this weekend.

Blooming Buttons

Seriously adorable and easy craft for spring. Get colorful flowers in your house without having to grow them! Plus who doesn't love a good button? I'll be raiding my drawer o'buttons tonight looking for the perfect combos.

No luck for the Irish

Imagine if you will 30,000 people wearing as much green as possible. Many in tutus and knee high socks (like me) some dressed as leprechauns, lots of them with green hair, a few green capes and even one rainbow and one pot of gold. It was complete chaos covered in green.

The chaos was the fun kind. People in good spirits despite the rain. People eager to get their run on. Certainly a jovial crowd of runners. I wouldn't expect any less for a St. Patrick's Day themed event with the reward of beer when it's done. Gotta love the Irish!

It was my first race of the season so I'd hoped to do really well and set the right tone for the season. I'd been training but probably not as much as I should have. I have been making really good progress on my distances though so I thought that might make this race a bit easier. Not so much.

Sadly I finished this race at a pace three seconds slower than my first ever 5k last year. Sad. Pathetic really. I take some small comfort in knowing that the Shamrock Run had a one mile hill that I wasn't exactly expecting and I also had to constantly dodge people who would just STOP right in front of people. The weaving back and forth between people for the full three miles was certainly a drag on time. The streets were just so packed with people it was hard to get around them. I think in races like this there should be an walking side. If you're going to walk the whole thing or even part of it, move over to that side - just while you're walking - to make room for those who are trying to run. I walk sometimes but I always try to get as far to the side of the road as possible so I'm not in someones way. I was also stopped by a MAX light rail train so that took me an extra 15-20 seconds. Doesn't sound like much but that's 5-7 seconds per mile. Overall I'm guessing I lost 30-45 seconds total in weaving and stopping. Doesn't really matter though, the timing chip says what the timing chip says. A bit frustrating. Scott had the same problem but did manage to finish at what I consider a really good pace even if he was a little frustrated too.

So I signed up for a much smaller race in May, the same one I did last year as my first attempt. That should be a better judge of how I've progressed in a years time.

I will say that before I knew what my official time was I was feeling pretty good. So the fun factor of the race was definitely there. I did run in an awesome tutu after all!

Kristy and Erin enjoying a cold beer after the race!

Note to self: You've become more competitive about time than previously imagined. This means you have to train more and run better if you intend to be happy with your race times. Kapeesh!?!

Green Crafts

You thought I meant environmentally aware crafting didn't you? Not so much this time.

Here we see the supplies necessary to the construction of a very special St. Patrick's Day tutu.

It will be fluffy. It will be green. It will go on a 5k run with me weekend after next.

That's right ladies and gents, it's Shamrock Run time!

30,000 people will gear up, and green up then run around the streets of Portland.

Then we get salmon chowder and a beer.

It's awesome.

Go green! Go run!

Erin Go Braugh!

p.s. This is the first race of 2011 and I am extremely ill prepared. Thank goodness it's a fun run where we dress up and basically skip around the city in anything and everything green. P-Fit starts in three weeks and I'm afraid I'm going to die on orientation day.