2011 in 12 Sentences

Life

Big waves at Cape Disappointment Light
I have to look back at my blog because I, seriously, can’t remember what happened this past year. It’s all been a blur…

January: I bought Vibrams and joined Barefoot running/minimalist shoe revolution!

February: More running. Lots of it! yay running!

March: Ukulele Festival was great! Visiting Spokane and seeing my Flickr friends was fabulous! My mom almost dying of pneumonia? not so much.

April: I discovered Live Wire, where I met Scott Poole and took the author photo for his book of poetry. Also, my barefoot running days are over :(.

May: Bloomsday! I actually ran the entire thing (with the exception of Doomsday Hill) and I hiked Dog Mountain!

June: I bought a Chromebook and I visited the Chinese Gardens in Portland and had a fabulous time.

July: Google+ made me happy for awhile, my mom finally visits, I finally find an old graveyard where I have cousins buried, and I had to stop running because of an injury (story of my life).

August: I visited Mt. St. Helens for the first time!

September: Another Spokane visit! this time everyone was healthy.

October: I visited a Zen Center for my first time.

November: Depression, but had a really good Thanksgiving, regardless.

December: Fabulous Christmas at the beach.

Powered by Plinky

The window seat

Life, Thoughts and Opinions

I was boarding the plane from Spokane to Portland on Monday morning and in a bad mood. The news about Osama Bin-Laden broke the night before and the partying-in-the-streets reaction to it had me feeling bummed out. Not to mention, I was tired from not getting any sleep at my mom’s house and sore from running Bloomsday. However, these are no excuses for what I did.

I was flying Southwest Airlines and was in the C boarding group which means I had crap choices for seats. As I was walking down the aisle I noticed that there was a window seat open toward the end. When I finally made my way to the back I asked the woman sitting in the row if I could sit there. She replied, “I’m actually saving the seat, but you can sit in the aisle seat, that’s open.” So I plopped myself down in the aisle seat. I was annoyed. And as I thought about it I kind of got mad. I thought, “well. that’s not fair, saving seats for people. I could’ve had someone in an earlier boarding group save ME a window seat!”

That’s the thought I stewed on for the next few seconds until a gentleman politely asked if the window seat was taken. The woman said, “Yes it is.” and I added “she’s saving it for someone.”

Of course the woman got angry at me for my surly response. Of course. I would get angry with me. But did I care? no I did not. The whole thing wasn’t fair. And I told her. I said, “I didn’t think you could save seats for people on this airline.” (now, to my credit, I don’t think you can. But, honestly, that’s beside the point and really doesn’t matter.)

Now this back and forth was done in a very passive aggressive, polite way. If that makes sense. Neither of us were yelling at each other or anything like that. We were just being kind of bitchy with each other. In a polite way.

After a few moments of quiet she offered, “you know what? Do you want the window seat? I would be glad to offer it to  you.”

“wow,” I thought. “What a nice gesture.” So I took her up on her offer and changed seats with her.

That was a very. bad. idea.

Her husband returned (the one she was saving the seat for) and sat down. As soon as he sat down she started talking to him about me, about how horrible I was. Really loudly and not discreetly at all. I kind of couldn’t believe it. I looked at her and thanked her for offering me the seat and I told her that I appreciated it, very much.

But she kept at it. Just kept right on talking about what an awful person I was. I finally had to tell her to stop.  I really didn’t want to hear about how awful I was all the way back to Portland.

Honestly, I’m not sure if she did because as soon as the plane took off and we were in the air the engine drowned out all other noise and I coudn’t hear their conversation.

But as I sat there I really thought about the situation and what  happened. Frankly, I was miserable. I had gotten what I desired and I was fucking miserable. I was stuck in the window seat. Unable to  move at all. And I had these very hostile people sitting right next to me.

I was tempted to just be pissed off at this woman. I mean she offered me the fucking seat! And then she decides she is going to complain and bitch about it the whole way? But, instead, I decided to step back and see what kind of lesson I could learn from the situation.

In the end, I think this is a good lesson in the whole idea of desire and how it can lead to problems. I wanted that window seat (dammit) and because of it I got angry when I couldn’t have it. And when I got angry I acted on it and look what happened. cause and effect. Karma. I totally deserved what I got.

The photo for today’s Photography Friday was taken this past weekend at Arbor Crest Winery. I hung out with some of my photographer friends and we took pictures for about an hour, and then we got rained out. It was fun, though! 

Bloomsday

Health and Fitness
Cups

Taken when I walked Bloomsday in 2007

So. Bloomsday. Honestly? I kind of dreaded it. I was going to be by myself. I hadn’t been able to run more than a mile in a month. My heel had still been hurting me. I was really not sure I should even try it. But I hate wasting money and I had already paid for the registration. Yes, that was my motivation.

The morning of the race I got up and turned on the news to check the weather conditions. It was 34 degrees outside. Ugh. I would have to wait for an hour for the race to start in freezing cold weather. Not good. But I was prepared. I wore my cold weather running gear and headed out.

The wait ended up not being too bad. I stood around and people watched. I avoided the stupid ball throwing thing that they do at the start of the race every year. Then, just before my starting group (lilac) started walking to the starting line a woman next to me struck up a conversation. Apparently I “looked good (as opposed to evil) and she could sense that I would be a nice person to talk to.” And we had kind of an interesting conversation. She pretty much told me her life story (she had an ear defect when she was born and that’s why she wears hats all the time. She was married for 35  years to an abusive man). Then she started talking to me about Jesus and that’s when I decided that I would just break out in a run at the starting line  (I had originally planned on walking the first mile). So I politely said goodbye and good luck to the nice lady and started jogging, weaving in and out of the hundreds and hundreds of walkers around me (I started in the second to last group with all of the walkers).

It was sometimes difficult to get through the throng and I had to be very creative at times. I ran on the sidewalk a lot of the race, annoying the neighbors who were perched there to watch the show.

I let the momentum of the crowd keep me going. I felt pretty good. My foot didn’t hurt at all (I bought really good arch supports the day before) so I kept jogging. I ran slowly. Much slower than I’m used to. But I kept going. At first my goal was to just get past all of the walkers. Then I narrowed my goal down to running until I made it into the next color group. I kept looking around me for people with blue numbers. When I made it to Doomsday Hill I walked up the hill. Then, when I reached the top, I decided to continue jogging. I felt good, so why not? If nothing else I would get done faster by jogging.

At this point I was getting hot (the sun came out and the temperature climbed to at least the 70s). We were now in a neighborhood, my favorite part of the race. This was the part when the neighbors cheered the racers on and it is a huge motivation boost. There were some partiers spraying water at the crowd and I ran to the water, eager to be cooled off. The drunk sprayer happily complied, aiming for the front of my shirt. nice guy!

Not long after that I looked up and I saw that I was on mile 6! I thought “Holy shit! I just ran 6 miles!” and since I only had about a mile and a half left I pushed through. That last mile was rough. My feet and legs started hurting but I kept going and, finally I made it to the end.

I made pretty good time, too. 1:42. Not too bad for someone who didn’t have very high hopes to begin with. I supposed I have that lady from the starting line to thank, since she was what spurred me to start running in the first place. And once I started the momentum kept me going.

Here is my results page. I’m a little embarrassed about the picture of myself crossing the finish line but oh well, 🙂

Hurdles

Health and Fitness

Hurdles
Bloomsday is this Sunday. I’m signed up for it and will be there. Will i run it? The whole thing? Probably not. I’m going to try my best but I won’t be able to run the entire race. This is such a disappointment. I was so excited with my running a month ago. The last time I was in Spokane I was up to 4.5 miles, the farthest I had run in a long time. I ran the Centennial Trail downtown in my Vibrams. I felt pretty good until I finished my run and I had to limp back to the car. The rest of the weekend I could barely put weight on my foot. I almost made a trip to urgent care.

After doing a bit of research I realized it was/is plantar fasciitis. So this past month I’ve been taking it easy. I haven’t really run in the past month. Not significantly. I’ve been running a mile here and there to see how it feels but it is still hurting when I run and I don’t want to aggravate it.

I relented and bought myself a pair of old-school running shoes last weekend. Saucony, my old stand-by. I’m not sure the Vibrams are for me. I’ve read elsewhere on the web that others have developed plantar fasciitis after running in Vibrams, so it’s not just me. I have abnormally high arches, so maybe this has something to do with it? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m back to running shoes. It’s disappointing. I wanted this minimalist shoe thing to work for me. I do enjoy the experience very much.

My running adventures

Health and Fitness
Barefoot Running

About a month ago I bought a pair of Vibram KSOs. Apparently they can’t make these fast enough so many stores are out of a lot of the sizes. I had to buy the men’s version and they are wide so I’ve been getting blisters. It’s not terribly bad though.

I had been easing myself into barefoot running on the treadmill, running barefoot for a portion of my run. I loved it. It gave me lots of energy, for some reason. But as I’ve been reading up on it, I’ve learned that you don’t want to rush into it too fast. Then I bought the Vibrams and I just started running the entire treadmill run with them on and, while it doesn’t feel as fantastic as running barefoot (all of those nerves on the bottom of the foot) it’s still better than running with shoes, I think.

Around the time I bought the Vibrams our treadmill died. We decided to buy a new one and we found one locally that looked good and was on sale for a great price. We got it home and put it together. We discovered that we had bought an incline treadmill. I hadn’t known such a thing existed. When I saw the word “incline” on the ad I just assumed it meant that you could make it incline, like all treadmills do. Well this is inclined all the time. You can choose between a 10% incline or a 20% incline. In short: it is a fucking gnarly workout. And when I say gnarly I mean I am dizzy when I get off the thing.

I had worked up to running 5k but when I tried to run 5k on this thing it was just too difficult. So my new goal was to just be able to run for 30 minutes on it. Today I accomplished this goal! I only ran 2 miles but I did it.

I’ve added a fourth run to my week on Sundays. I want to run outside at least one day a week. (when it’s light at 5am I’ll run outside in the mornings but until then, it’s the treadmill.) I’ve been running on the high school track to get my feet and legs used to running with the Vibrams on outside on harder pavement. The first week was excruciating. I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. I hobbled around for days; my calves were so. sore. The second week was a little bit better. I got that same blister on my left big toe and my calves still hurt but the recovery time was much shorter. I was in pretty good shape the next day. The third time was this past Sunday and it felt awesome. Like the other times, I ran three miles. But my pace increased and I ran a 10 minute mile which is very good for me.

I’ve been thinking about running Bloomsday for few months. It’s a good excuse to got to Spokane to visit the family AND it gives me something to work toward. I asked for the time off at work and if I can get it off I’ll sign up. I need the motivation. It’s 12k. Which is considerably more than 5k. But at least it will be a healthy challenge. I found this really cool training tool on the Runner’s World website called Smartcoach. Unfortunately you have to sign up for an account to see the page which is a huge pain in the ass, but It’s kind of worth it if you want to train for something. There is also an iPod app, as well. Anyway, you fill in the form, entering details about the race you want to train for, and it gives you a training schedule. So I’m going to use it to train for Bloomsday.

This post was a little chatty so I’ll stop there. Next time I’ll write about my husband’s homemade running huaraches.