Friday, July 17, 2009

The "F" Word

It finally happened to me. I knew it would eventually, but it seemed to come sooner than I thought. Last year around this time, I was not anxiously awaiting this to happen, but as the year came around again and I circled the sun another time, it was inevitable. I turned 40. And I can honestly say, the day exceeded my expectations. I had a great day rolling in the new year with my friends. The day started out with drinking coffee and eating pastries on the way to the trails with Owen and Struth meeting up with Jess and Van. Jess had planned out a 40k run at Cougar.
I was the Birthday Girl for the Day.

The run was fun, it was hot hot hot. But we found ways to distract ourselves and keep laughing.

The day was planned and was full, no time to stop. We finished the run, headed back to town and got ready for the appetizer party at Owen's studio, ParlorF Tattoo. When I got to his studio, there was the design for my birthday tattoo and a bunch of flowers sitting on the tattoo chair. The design was amazing. I had told Owen some of things I'd like in a tattoo...and he captured the essence of exactly what I was looking for. I am not bias when I say that Owen is a very unique and talented artist.
Well, I was pretty nervous getting my first tattoo. This is the most permanent thing I've ever done, oh how scary. I was amazed at all the funny things I thought of while it was being done. If i were to go into detail about that, I know I would bore you to tears. Suffice it to say, it was a unique experience.

People started showing up to the studio about an hour into the tattoo. At that point, the rest of the appetizer time at the studio was a bit of a blur. I didn't really talk to anyone for that long and yet there were so many people I wanted to talk to. Owen's patents showed up with a balloon and all the girls had a crush on Owen's dad, he's pretty cute. Then Owen's sister and niece showed up as well and I was overwhelmed with all the people that came to help celebrate my birthday.
After the tattoo and appetizers, the party continued. Some of us headed to my favorite Japanese restaurant Maneki for sushi and more in a tatami room. I stuffed my face, it had been a long time since I'd been to Maneki. After dinner, Sara, who is famous for making cookies, made the "40" cookie. It was delicious and perfectly baked, and also devoured.
So overall, I m not in shock that 40 has come, I think it was harder knowing it was coming. A really, age is just a number. I have health, family, great friends, a boyfriend who made the day very special for me and of course, the perfect dog. What more could I ask for?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Up and Going

I am up and going in a couple of different ways. First of all, I moved last month. I have been living in the same place for about 5 years. I love my neighborhood and being able to walk to work in about 15 minutes is something I did not want to give up. So I moved 2 doors down and then make a right and 2 doors down again. The parking where I live is hard to get most of the day and so I wound up carrying everything over either by hand or with a hand truck. That was a long process but it was best that way because it made me go through all my stuff and figure out what I was willing to carry over and what I wasn't. After 5 years, I had accumulated far more than I thought was possible. When all was said and done, I had made 4 car-loads of stuff, ( I have a wagon by the way) of things to donate to good will. I had about 4 or 5 car-loads of things that I just left out on the grass while I was moving that was taken by people just walking by. Now, I have a home that is has much less clutter and I hope to keep it that way. Fingers crossed. It's hard to change! I have my own private back porch now and so Struth is having the summer of his life, being outside, albeit on a porch, for most of the day. He still goes out on a lot of training runs with me, but with the summer heat, I do have to be conscious of what water is available for him and if I should take him. Maybe I need to get him his own camel back. I am sure that wouldn't go over well with him....

Anyway. . . I digress. I finally have access to Internet at home again, which means I get to take more photos and post them. I can also update this damn blog on some kind of regular basis.

I am also up and going with all this training for Cascade Crest Classic 100. After North Face 50 miler and Lake Youngs Ultra the following weekend, I took a bit of a hiatus from the trails. It was much needed. I did some road runs, (oh the roads...) and some cross training and some sleeping and one of my favorite things... BAKING! Once a week of that was done, I had a flame to my butt again and was ready to hit the trails again. Phew.

Mount Si repeats, that was next in the process of CCC100 training. Ah, Mount Si. A physical and mental challenge.

Last Saturday Owen and I headed out to North Bend to go up and down Mt. Si twice. We ran up the 4 miles with about 4000 ft of elevation gain in just over an hour. Owen was a few minutes faster on the up. Mt. Si is a very popular hike and I expected to see lots of people there. I was a little surprised at how many I actually did see, LOTS. I had my iPOD on the whole way with my head down in suffer-mode and didn't say much to the other people on the trail besides "hi" and "thanks" when I was passing. Then we ran down. Oh it is so fun to run down.... ! That is until someone takes a spill. Owen wiped out and somersaulted. I saw his face almost the whole time he was skidding. It's so weird to see someone fall like that and see their face. It all seemed to be in slow motion. He was looking towards the direction he was falling and seemed quite calculated in where he was headed as he slid down the trail. When he had stopped skidding, he jumped up and said, "I'm ok, let's go." Ok then....back down we went but a bit of a less aggressive pace. On the way up the first time, I was thinking, oh man! I DO NOT want to go up this thing again, I can't really, I just can't do it, it's too much. On the way down I was thinking, oh man! I hope Owen says he doesn't want to go up again. But, my hopes were diverted. As much as I didn't want to run up to the top again, even more I didn't want to say, "I can't." So, up we headed. It was a mental struggle I think more than a physical one. I had my iPOD on and I was using all my mental tricks to get me to the top. All the while thinking, what would I be doing right now if I wasn't doing this? WHY am I doing this? What is really driving me here? Then a song would come on and I would feel more energized for a few minutes and then head down again. Repeat....Next thing I know, I'm at the top again. Wow, where did the time go? Or shall I ask, where did I go? An hour went by and it was like I was in a different consciousness. I do like that, I have to admit. I can't get there in regular old life. Laundry just doesn't cut it. So a few minutes of rest and down we went. I felt more beat up than doing 12 summits and this only took me 3.5 hours. Um....

Well, for about 3 days after the Mt. Si repeat, if I touched my quad, I felt it, it hurt. I hadn't been that sore for a while. I suppose that means it was beneficial. With that rationalization, Owen and I headed up on Thursday for more Mt. Si. A much different experience. Going up the first time was not so bad. Down was awesome. Then it was time to go up again. I don't know what happened to me. I was mentally prepared this time, but apparently, I had some physical limitations. I'm not sure why but I have some ideas that I will experiment with. I could only make it up 2 miles before the problems hit, hyperventilating, my entire body sweating and shaking. As much as I was determined to get up there a second time, I had to be smarter than that and call it a day. I caught my breathe, enjoyed the trees, talked with some people on the trails and the jogged down easy. It took me a few hours to feel "normal" again, but I recovered and am ready to do it again. Next week...I'm headed back up there. Physical and mental capabilities in check.

In the meantime, I can ponder the ratio of mental to physical power and how it fluctuates from day to day. It's important to be adaptable.