Random Letters - 2011 First Edition

Dear Feet, Legs, Lungs,

Tomorrow I'm going to be a real hard ass and make you run further than you have ever run before. We're going to start out easy so we can try to make it up some hills without stopping for a walk. We're going to maintain a steady pace so you don't freak out and cramp up or stop working all together. We're going to get through this because this will be as bad as it gets...until June 11th when I make you run two miles further. But it's okay guys, we can do this. I've got electrolytes and glucose to keep us happy and we get to take a really long, hot shower when we get home. Eleven miles my friends, that's what the plan is. Plus if we get it over with we can spend the rest of the weekend being lazy and drinking alcoholic beverages. Dude we got this on lock down. I swear.


Heart and Head

Dear Cucumber Seedlings,

I am so sorry. I can only imagine how frustrated you must be right now, ready to be planted outside in the real dirt of the veggie garden. I want you to be out there with the strawberries too but by some freak of nature (literally) it still feels like February outside. It's just too darn cold for your little green leaves. If I put you out there you're going to shiver and shake and then just collapse. You deserve better than that my little green friends. The forecast says it's going to be a bit warmer next week and if that's the case I'm going to throw you a coming out party like you've never seen in your short little lives. There will be fertilizer, mulch and fresh water! You should feel special, the pumpkins didn't get any fanfare. They just got tossed into the wine barrel filled with decent soil, not the primo awesomeness you will get to spread out in. That's how much I love you little guys and the pickles you will eventually become. Hang in there you guys the sunshine has to show up some day!


A Frustrated Gardener

Dear Pumpkins,

Don't tell the cucumbers I gave you garden mulch. They are sensitive little baby plants and I have to make them feel extra special so they make it out there in the tough real world of the veggie garden. You are a strong vine, you don't need to be babied. I appreciate you and your stoic days in the dirt.


The Seed Starter

Dear Buffalo Pretzels,

You rock. You totally scrape up the inside of my mouth like Captain Crunch but just like the Captain you are so worth it. I will be back for more of you, don't you worry your orange powdery selves. I even love that you turn my fingers orange and I have to lick it off. You should sue KFC for the right to use 'finger licking good' on your advertising. Truth in advertising!


A. Snacker

The hardest part was stepping out the front door

Sunday morning I undertook my longest run to date. 9 miles. That distance sounds horrible. Sounds insurmountable even. That's a long way. As I prepped for my run I took care to make sure my shoes were tied just right, took in enough carbohydrates and enough water. I did some good stretching, jumped up and down a few times for good measure. Just as I was ready to set out I opened the door and it was pouring rain. Big fat rain. I looked out the door and thought 'this is going to be miserable and I'm going to freeze'. I even shut the door and looked at Scott pleading for him to let me off the hook. He did not. I opened the door again. It was still raining. It's ALWAYS raining here these days!

Finding something within myself I decided not to be a wimp. I took a step out and began running. Within half a mile the rain had turned to drizzle and I didn't notice it so much any more.

At mile 3 I made sure to have some of my liquid hydration. Get some electrolytes back into my system to get me though the next few miles. At 4.5 I stopped for a quick walk and had a small snack of gummi lifesavers. They gave me just the right amount of sugar to push myself back into running. And then the weirdest thing happened. About mile 7 I caught myself smiling. WTF? Smiling? After running SEVEN miles. I have arrived in crazy town. It's official. I don't know if that was a moment of runners high or if I've really trained my body to just take these distances now or if God in his divine awesomeness decided to cut me some slack and make things a little easier. What ever it was, it was amazing. I hit a nice stride, my legs were not tired, my breathing wasn't labored. Seriously amazing for a girl who just a year ago was struggling to run/walk her first 5k.

The last half mile was hard. It was the second hardest part of my run, just behind stepping out the front door. But I didn't stop and I finished. I ran NINE miles.

If someone had told me a few years ago that it was even possible for me to run this far I would have laughed so hard I would have snorted. I remember when running a full mile wasn't even a possibility. It hurt to run a block. It hurt my ankle, my legs, my lungs. It just plain hurt.

Now I might hurt after a long run, but it fades and it's the good kind of hurt. The kind where you know you're doing good things for your muscles. I haven't felt this way since I was cheering and practicing for hours a day. It's a good feeling.

I'm still pretty certain that once the half marathon is over I will reduce my running. Maybe move it back down to a not so crazy runner persons distance of 3-4 miles at a time. But I will keep running. It's easier to keep this up than to start all over. I'd rather have this achy, tired 'I did a good work out' pain than that horrible 'I think my heart is going to jump out of my chest pain'.

Seriously people, NINE miles. If you know me even just a little bit you know this is kind of insane.

This is a really volcanic ensemble you're wearing, it's really marvelous!

February: Start obsessing over dresses

March: Start obsessing over hair do's

April: Start obsessing about the make up, the car, the after party etc...

Oh and you need a date too, unless you're one of those people cool enough to pull off the prom STAG. I know a few of you.

It's prom season people!. If you're downtown anytime in the next few weekends you're bound to see girls dressed to the nines, hair all done up, high heels clicking on the sidewalks. Boys in tuxedos, trying to decide if they brought enough cash to get through dinner. The tickets were $40 each, the tux rental was $150, the corsage was another $ much can one dinner cost??? OMG she want's dessert too!

I have two proms to look back on. One was pretty great, the other not so much. To protect those who might be reading this I won't name names or tell you which was which...but lets just say, never forget to get your date a corsage. It makes for a very sad teenage girl. Also maybe don't be dating another girl and talk about her all night. I'm just saying. The teenage girl psyche is already quite fragile. These two things could ruin an entire night and possible make her think the world has also ended.

My proms were in the mid 90's. Fashion was pretty boring. Hair was pretty mellow. I was my typical Play It Safe Polly and went with very subdued dresses. They were pretty but nothing terribly memorable. As an adult I've often wished I'd had the cojones to wear something bright and splashy. Something big and sparkly. I can still remember standing in line for photos, looking at the other girls dresses and thinking my dress looked more like a flour sack than a prom dress. Erin = Total Fashion Dunce. Of course they weren't THAT bad, but they certainly could have been oh so much more!

Well this weekend I got my chance to be all sparkletastic and stuff. Yeah, it was pretty RAD. My best friend insisted (yes she had to insist because I've always been a bit anti-dance) that we attend the McMenamins 1980's Prom at The Kennedy School. She already had my dress ready to go. It was, well let's just say it had so many sequins and beads on it that I made noise when I walked. We ratted our hair, put on too much blush and eye shadow, pulled out tulle bows and lace gloves and made our entrance at the dance. It was like walking into a John Hughes movie. Totally. Rad. I even got asked to dance. He was kind of creepy and chose not to notice I had a wedding ring on so I ditched him as soon as Bon Jovi was done belting out their love rock, but I'm not gonna lie, it was nice to be asked. And yes, I did the Footloose dance. It was PROM. You have to do the dance for anyone who went to a school where dancing wasn't allowed (like my first college). For all those kids who wanted to have bad hair and huge mauve dresses but were denied.

But the best part of this prom? They had wine coolers. Benefit of an adult prom right there kiddos. Strawberry Daiquiri wine coolers.

Did I mention that it was RAD?

We are so totally going next year. More blush though I think, yes? ;)

8 Miles

8 Mile, it's that place Eminem grew up in in Detroit. It's a scary place I think, if I'm remember correctly. A hard place. Boy is that fitting.

Running my first 8 mile run last Saturday was a challenge. Even the idea of walking that far seems like a bit of a challenge. But we ran.

It started out well, until I hit mile two and had a side stitch. I was pretty upset with my body. Two miles is nothing. I'm pretty used to that. To have to take a walking break that early into the run was just a pisser. But I walked it off and just got back to running as soon as possible. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. It was a nice flat route, the sun was shining, people were out in droves along the waterfront. Portland is a beautiful place to run when the blue skies decide to shine down on you. The very last 1/4 mile was hard though. I was tired. My legs were weak. I just wanted it to be over and my breathing was pretty labored. But I finished it running, deciding it was worth it to push myself and get it over with.

I did learn on this run that I have got to find a better way to keep sugar, or electrolytes in my system. It was pretty easy to notice my energy level drop every three to four miles. As soon as I had a good swig of my Gatorade I felt good again. I'll have to spend some time in the next few weeks looking at options for glucose. I think REI has a whole section just for that. Kind of a funny observation, the Gatorade makes me burpy! I think as I run it bounces around in my little hydration belt bottles and gets air bubbles in it. I drink that in, and then suddenly I'm belching up a storm. Not the best feeling while running. Another thing to look into...

Overall I have to admit that while it's been a challenge and I am sore and tired after these long runs, it's not as bad as I'd anticipated. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for just surviving. I've been out of shape for a long time and this is a real solid attempt to get back into a healthy body. Now if I could just give up the sour cream and onion chips. Baby steps.

Next week 9 miles, but more like 1.5 + 6 + 1.5. We're running the Cinco De Mayo 10k with a little jog before and after to make up the full 9. We're into crazy people running distances. I am officially a crazy runner person I think.