Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oregon Race Goals

(I started this yesterday afternoon but am currently laying in my hotel room bed in Oregon!)...

As I sit here waiting for Brenda to pick me up for our road trip to Oregon, with my suitcase, cooler, pillow and running bag piled up beside me at the door, I am reflecting on Sunday's run. I have three goals for the race.

The first one, easy enough, is to run a personal best. I would hope to do this each time I run a half marathon race, at least for another few years, when I start to hobble rather than run. My Vegas race in December was a disappointing 2:29 minutes, which I attribute somewhat to a slower pace that the altitude difference enforced upon me. In the back of my mind, I would like to see a 2:15 on the clock. I've run it in 2:20 on a couple of occasions, so a 2:15 would give me the PB that I'm looking for.

The second goal is about pacing myself. I would like to see my first half split to be a slower pace than the second half. Ideally, I should be able to conserve my energy to turn it on in the second half. I think this is part of what went wrong in Vegas. I had so much energy and adrenaline, and just felt soooo good starting out that I ran through my first 10 km with speed and ease, and then burnt out in the last half. I will be making a concerted effort tomorrow to keep it nice and slow through the first 10 km.

And, finally.... I plan on having fun, soaking up the amazing energy that is present at races like this one, and reveling in my commitment and accomplishment!

Now, it's off to the Expo we go to pick up our race kit and lots of free goodies!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

AAAAGGGHHHHH....two days til race day!

And I'm madly running around the house packing and trying not to forget anything. It's bad enough for me having to pack to go away on a regular 3-day weekend trip, but to also have to remember everything I need for pre-race preparation and the actual morning of the run (I'm bringing my freakin' blender with me, okay??!!!) is bloody overwhelming!!

I actually haven't really had time to worry so much about the race itself. I guess I'll save that for the 6-hour drive tomorrow just as I start to relax.

Another request from a local school

I've had yet another interesting farm request this week. (remember I'm going to attempt to save the placenta from our pregnant goat, Daisy, for a local college course too...if she ever decides to give birth, that is....)
This request is for a science forensics unit and they are looking for various hair/fur samples from our animals. Along with my handy scissors this morning, I gathered up the evidence from the crime scene, and bagged and labeled it.

My Running Playlist for Eugene

1234 - Feist
40 Day Dream  - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Young Blood  - The Naked and Famous
You're Too Cool - The Zolas
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb - Spoon
Winter Winds - Mumford & Sons
Wagon Wheel   - Old Crow Medicine Show
Still  - Great Lake Swimmers
The Stand - Mother Mother
St. Andrews - Bedouin Soundclash
Song Away - Hockey
The Show - Lenka
Say Hey (I Love You) - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Save Me San Francisco - Train
Roll Away Your Stone - Mumford and Sons
The Rest of My Life - Sloan
Relator - Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
Pyro    - Kings Of Leon
Pulling On A Line - Great Lake Swimmers
Nowhere With You    - Joel Plaskett
Moves - The New Pornographers
Move Along - The All American Rejects
Missed The Boat - Modest Mouse
Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
Lisztomania - Phoenix
Lay Me Down   -  Dirty Heads
Kiss With a Fist - Florence and the Machine
Jasper - Aidan Knight
I'm With You - The Stills
I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked - Ida Maria
I Feel It All - Feist
Honest Mistake - The Bravery
Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Hey, Soul Sister - Train
Hesitating Beauty - Billy Bragg
The Girl  - City And Colour
the general specific  - Band of horses
Foundations - Kate Nash
Dogs Days are Over  - Florence and the Machine
Everclear    - Santa Monica
Driver Education - Indigo Girls
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend
Candy Candy   - Guilty About Girls
Brand New Spaces   - Michael Bernard Fitzgerald
Bitter Heart - Zee Avi
Big Jet Plane - Angus and Julia Stone
Badfish - Sublime
American Boy  - (Radio Edit w/ Kanye) Estelle

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How my love for the Canucks leads me to Ativan....

So, I had to take an Ativan last night to get me through the Canucks game. I took it at the start of the 1st period, aware that my anxiety about the game had been rising over the course of the afternoon and worsening as it got closer to 7 pm. I had kinda set myself up for it, because, for the last week I'd been dreading this series going to a Game 7 and had become insistent that there was no possible way I would be able to even watch it.

Being a sportsfan isn't easy. I mean....really and truly being a fan....where your heart is involved, and your emotions are tied together to the players, the games, and the outcome.  This goes beyond an appreciation for the sport, an enjoyment in watching the games, or the ability to speculate in depth what may or may not happen and the reasons why. This is about just purely and completely LOVING a team.
What a rush.

We have the season of our lives, win the division titles by a long shot, and enter playoff season with all the analysts (and the psychics!!) saying that this is our year.
What a rush.

And then we win the first THREE GAMES OF THE SERIES...against our archrival Chicago Blackhawks.
What a rush.

And then...we shit the bed.
Not once. But twice.

And, so, on Sunday, I couldn't believe we were even going into Game 6. This series should've been wrapped up in Game 4.  We were actually going to blow a 3 game lead, and give this series away to the Blackhawks yet again. My mind went into negative angry defense mode before the game even started.
We watched it sitting underneath a tarp with a propane heater directed at us and a TV that extended itself from the outside of a motorhome in a campground in Birch Bay, Washington. It was a rollercoaster ride throughout and I realize now that in order to protect my emotional self at some point that day, I shut off. Sometime in the third period, after a few ups and downs, when the score was tied again, I got angry. In my head, I was muttering, "You Fuckers" and setting up my wall of defenses...preparing for the worst.

If I hate them, I can't love them, and if I don't love them, I won't be hurt by them. Simple.

When Chicago scored in overtime on Sunday, I screamed "NNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" through the depressive rainy campground and "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME???!!!!!!!!" and then "NNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!" again.  I was seriously wounded. I felt bitter and I hated them.

I couldn't bring myself to wear my Canucks shirt yesterday. I didn't want to talk about it. I couldn't deal with it. I admired and respected the fans that I saw who were wearing their jerseys; the fans that still had hope and were excited and positive about the big game last night. I admired them and knew that we needed them and their energy, yet I couldn't talk about the game and I certainly couldn't share in their excitement.

How could I possibly manage to watch Game 7 while still supporting the team and remaining hopeful that we would win; thereby leaving my heart and feelings wide open to be trampled all over??
Only one solution really...
Ativan, that's how.

Now, I'm not proud that I required an Ativan to help me relax. I paced around the house for the 1st period; screamed, danced and screamed some more when Burrows scored that first goal. By the time the 2nd period hit, the sedative had also hit and, with a one goal advantage, I actually felt able to sit down and enjoy the game. 
But, even the sleepy relaxed state that had settled over me wasn't enough to help me through the overtime period after Chicago tied the game up with just a minute or two to spare in the third. I got up and went back to roaming the house and folding the laundry, and pretending that I didn't give a shit.

And then celebrated my ass off when we scored!!!!!!! 
Truly invested again, I let myself feel every celebratory second of this win.  Well... as much as the Ativan would permit me to feel, that is. :o)

I'm back to wearing my Canucks shirt today; relaxed and ready for Round Two, boys! 
At least for the time being.

Monday, April 25, 2011

And so ends the 1st Annual Palm Springs Chawcation - Part Three

Aaaggghhhhgghhhhh....   movement, even the subtleness of breathing itself, is not okay.  I get up this morning, excited at the sunshine and palm trees outside the window, and in spite of my pounding headache. My eagerness is short-lived however as the clammy sweats hit and my mouth starts to water.  Four or five puking episodes later, when only the dry heaves remain, I crawl back onto my air mattress and lay my body down, unable to tolerate movement. My own or that of those friends around me.
I begin to welcome death as the only real possible option. And make myself the predictable and ridiculous promise that I'll never drink again. Although this time, I may very well mean it.
I've never felt this bad and this hungover in my life before. Ever.
As I lay there, I start to calculate my tequila shots and realize that I had downed at least 12 of them in a 2 and a half hour period on an empty stomach. That's when it starts to make more sense. As does the jumping in the pool fully clothed and steamrolling all my sleeping friends.

It takes a few hours for me to be able to stand up and move around. My Chawgirls had long left me for brunch and a swim at ChawMarcelle's parents' beautiful home. I get myself ready, choke down a dry pita and am finally able to swallow some water.  I load 2.Ho in the car with me and we head off together to meet the others.

ChawMarcelle's mom is pleasantly horrifyingly shocked as I arrive with my trusted sidekick.

We all enjoy a couple of hours of swimming and chatting. 2.Ho behaves herself for the most part. I had forgotten to put her bathing suit back on before leaving the house, erroneously thinking the tank top was long enough to cover her private parts, so she was indecently exposing herself throughout the afternoon while floating and sunbathing. We all kept our eye on her crotch in order to spare ChawMarcelle's poor parents from having to witness the pink.

As the Chaws head back to our own pad, ChawMarcelle's dad waves goodbye. What a treat it was to meet them both. (I actually think he was hoping that we'd leave 2.Ho behind.)

ChawShannon carries 2.Ho in from the car like she would a casual date. (Where ARE her fingers??)

And ChawSherri grabs her immediately upon entering the house and they both settle in for a little afternoon nap. Clearly, 2.Ho is going in for the squeeze here...

Time for a swim! The girls' attempt to get her bathing suit back on turns into an awkward, yet potentially arousing situation for everyone involved, especially 2.Ho.

While ChawMarisa and ChawShannon visit by the pool, 2.Ho floats on in undetected and ChawShannon appears unfazed by what is happening. You notice that ChawMarisa is unable to watch though, feeling forced to turn her head away.

We relax in the shade, play some guitar and sing some tunes, while ChawMarcelle dances a little jig for us all just outside the door to her childhood playhouse next to the lemon tree.

I decide that I like 2.Ho's bathing suit better than my own and steal it from her. I lend her a pair of my sexy hot purple lace panties so she's not completely naked. But, sorry, my friend! I don't have a bra that even comes close!!! I then take a moment to braid her awful one strip of hair. (really, she's a gal who definitely looks better in a hat.)
This is some serious ass girl bonding right here.

Having truly outdid ourselves the night before, we decide to spend a quieter evening tonight. After a coffee and a downtown carriage ride tour with a truly insane and theatrical driver/guide, we come back home to play guitar and sing all night long.

I have to add that ChawMarcelle's brother-in-law lent us the most beautiful guitar ever to play this weekend and I am forever changed after playing it.... an incredible (and expensive!!) Ovation that sounded like absolute gold and was just a pleasure to experience. How I can go back to my little $100 shitty shoebox with strings I'm not too sure,  but I know that I see an Ovation in my future. ChawRenee is playing this beauty in these pics....

The night ends, and the next morning begins to the sounds of 2.Ho panting in the other room and dry humping our good friend!
Poor ChawShannon...completely unaware and violated while she snores away.

It's our final morning together, we all put our new Chaw shirts on to get a good group shot. (and try to find the right hat for 2.Ho to cover that horrible hair.)

 1,2,3...CHAWBACONS!!!   You can see our traveling quilt hanging on the left of this picture. One of our ex-Chaws made this for the group - each square represents each of us and the quilt travels by mail in times of need. There is a journal that accompanies the quilt that we write in when we have the quilt and we take our picture with it. We decided on this trip that we would start randomly mailing the quilt out for no reason at all other than to surprise and brighten someone's day, when they get to wrap themselves up in the Chawlove of it all!!

A few of us set off to Indian Canyon for a hike. The palms freely grow in the wet valleys of the mountainside creating incredible oases in amongst the dry hot desert. We leave 2.Ho at home in the hopes that she'll clean and vacuum the place before we get back. (instead, she set ChawShannon off on a cleaning spree that us hikers truly appreciated!)

Something out there smells soooo good and we sniff all the leaves and blossoms we can find. I'm not sure that we actually ever figured out what it was. But, I loved the lavender the best! girls.... they make me smile....

A last minute waltz, a final kiss and hug goodbye.

And we pull the plug. ppphhhhsssssssssssssss
And give her the ultimate death squeeze.

And into the suitcase she goes,  back to BC with me!
(and, please, today is not the day to take note of or comment on the Canucks shirt...grrrrrr.)

And, so ends the 1st Annual Palm Springs Chawcation. What a time. What a group of girls. What incredible memories. I can't wait until next year already.

And what is to become of 2.Ho you might ask? Well, you certainly haven't seen the last of her. She's got some more awesome adventures and party nights with the girls ahead of her and coming your way.  In fact, if you're interested in bringing her to an upcoming girls night or just showing her your town and some of the sites, travel arrangements can be made. So, stay tuned for more Adventures of 2.Ho.

Read how 2.Ho came to be and the first two installments of this Palm Springs story.

Just received word.... 6 DAYS AWAY!!!!

Your bib number is:

It's official. My new lucky number...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

2.Ho Does the Desert.... (AKA The Chaws rip up Palm Springs Part Two)

It's probably safe to say that Palm Springs has not seen the likes of the Chaws and their sidekick, 2.Ho, before. The party continues with every step we take up the street, and 2.Ho just totally can't keep her hands to herself. More than one boob is groped and more than one ass squeezed as her unexpected victims pass us by.

Finally, we arrive at our destination (and none too soon!), Peabody's Karaoke Night!

2.Ho's glad to relax for a few minutes while the others get a drink or two...(tequila shot for me, please!!). I mean, let's face it, if I'm getting up for karaoke, I will require more tequila.'s already our turn! (and with about 11 tequila shots in me I am more than ready!!) ChawRenee and 2.Ho and myself get up to demonstrate a little of our shared love of the Indigo Girls. (and of each other.)

Belt that Galileo out, girls! I'm pretty sure I can see my friggin' tonsils here. 2.Ho would benefit from a mouth like mine. (yes, you may have already guessed that her 2nd hole is not her mouth.) Speaking of 2.Ho, all she did the entire song was make flirty eyes with some young military guys at the bar.

The men in the bar are all over 2.Ho, precipitated of course by her slutty slutty ways....
This guy serenades her in his song.... then tosses her like garbage to the floor. Note how the random girl stranger feels compelled to pick her up and even fix her hair.

And, this guy....well....this guy wants her so bad that he snaps his junk with our camera while we're up singing our grand finale number about how Earl had to die....
(And now his little Turtle is all over the internet.)

And, after a brief encounter with the trunk of the car... (yes, that's my foot...), ChawRobin gets us safely home, where 2.Ho almost instantly passes out at the table.

and, I, jump promptly into the pool, overcome with excitement at being with my Chaws and being warm in the desert, and being full to the brim of tequila....

And proceed to lay heavily, cold and wet, on ChawRenee who pretends she's horrified, but clearly from the pictures wants me to stay there forever.

After steamrolling all of the Chaws while they settle into their sleeps, I finally accept the night is done, and crawl into bed myself.

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