Pretty, pretty Portland

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So I’ve talked about my lunchtime runs enough that I figured this week I’d bring my camera along. As luck would have it, the weather was particularly cooperative. I have to give it up to Portland, when it’s pretty here, it’s ridiculously pretty here. And being this nice in February, I saw more people on my run route than I’ve seen in months. I took care not to capture them in my photos, as I find it obnoxios when people are taking pictures that I’m in, so you won’t see them here.

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This is the Hawthorne bridge, taken just after you wind down the pedestrian/bike path “off-ramp.” If you were to turn left here, you’d see OMSI. But we’re turning right, so you’ll have to do that on your own…

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This is our next major turning point – the Steel Bridge. I really love this bridge, and apparently it’s one of the only working steel drawbridges in the world. At least that’s what the locals claim. When I first moved here and did this route, I didn’t realize there was a pedestrian/bike path on the lower level and ran up to run across the top part which isn’t nearly as nice as this:

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This is what you see when you run half-way across the lower deck and stop to take a photo. The next bridge is the Burnside Bridge, followed by the Morrison and way in the distance the one that started this madness, the Hawthorne.

Coming back, there were a number of homeless folks and tourists, neither of which I felt I should be photographing, so that’s it for pictures.

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Stupid brain

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Last week, I wrote about my fabulous lunch time run here. Today, it’s a gorgeous sunny day (a real treat for Portland in February) so despite the fact that I don’t really feel like going for a run, I use the weather to motivate myself out the door.

Now, I start nearly every run wanting to quit. It usually takes me a good 10-15 minutes before I’m glad that I’m doing it, so I’m pretty used to the little voice in my brain telling me how much nicer it would be to walk/sit on the grass/go get a burger, etc. The little voice in my head is a horrible, evil thing. So, I’m not surprised that this is the case today and try to push past it. But 10-15 minutes later, the little voice has gotten even more persistent and I’m starting to cave in. One little walk break to “fix my shoelaces” (an old favorite) and it’s the beginning of the end. One walk break becomes another, and soon it’s just a run/walk-fest. I try to just maximize the running as best I can and minimize the walk breaks.

It’s so amazing that the brain is such a powerful influence on physical endeavors. Why it matters to my arms/legs/lungs what’s going on up there is a constant source of amazement to me. To this end, I’ve been trying to train my brain along with the rest of me (and not let that little voice win) and some days, like the physical training, you just can’t win.

“You go, girl!” – graffiti style

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Every now and then, I come across what I think of as “empowerment graffiti.” When I was a youngster, graffiti was so negative, it was vandalism, swear words, gang tags, etc. Even the really cool graffiti murals that would pop up along freeways would get painted over by the city (or themselves graffitied, which was sort of ironic.) But here in Portland, you’ll come across something like the following painted on the sidewalk of the Hawthorne Bridge:

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and a little while later

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Just getting that validation from a spray-paint wielding stranger really makes my day…

Just add water…

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I set out to do my favorite 3 mile loop on my lunch hour today. Just as I’m leaving the building I start feeling the slightest trace of rain, so light you almost wonder if you’ve just imagined it. Portland in February, no big surprise, right. This is my second run in my new shoes and I’m still getting used to them. (I have this weird adjustment period with new running shoes: I try them on the in the store and LOVE them. I’m all excited when I take them out for the first time, only to be bitterly disappointed by the little uncomfortable things I didn’t notice when I ran in them in the store. I contemplate returning them, but decide to give them one more try. I run in them again and love them again, then buy only that kind until they change the design. It’s been this way for quite a while now… )

So, it should be no surprise (yet somehow still is) that as I get started on my run, that my shoes are feeling soooo much better than my last run. The hint of rain has turned into a light mist as I cross the Hawthorne bridge. As I continue along the loop, the mist becomes less light and by the time I’m on the last stretch it’s become a full-fledged drizzle. But amazingly, my enjoyment of my run increases as well. I feel fantastic. Maybe it’s because I have something else to think about besides how much I generally dislike running, who knows? All I know is that I end up knocking a full minute off of the last time I ran that loop so I’m very pleased!

Boys are silly

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So today I coaxed my hubby into swimming with me and on the way to the pool he starts talking trash about beating me in a race. Now, I’m not fast by swimming standards, but I have been swimming far more often and more recently than he has and I’m generally a faster swimmer than he is. But T just REALLY likes talking trash and it doesn’t seem to bother him in the slightest if he can’t cash the checks his mouth is writing. So, at the end of our respective workouts (1200 meters for him and 2000m for me) it’s go time.

We line up and take off, T predictably going out as hard as he can. I match pace with him and wait for him to fade, which he does about half-way through the first length (we still have 2 1/2 more lengths to go.) I pull ahead of him and beat him by about 30 seconds. He’s suitably shamefaced, but after our post-swim showers and on the way to get “recovery coffees” he’s already plotting his big comeback next week.

Boys…

First post on the new blog

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Hi everyone!  This is the first step in the creation of my new site and my first venture into the “blogosphere.”  I enjoy reading friend’s blogs so much that I thought it only fair that I provide my own.  My goal is to have a little something for everyone, so I’ll categorize my posts accordingly.  (So, if you only want to read my random musings on design or are crazy enough to want to read about my triathlon training, you’ll have that option.)

The look of this site and blog will change much in the weeks to come, so please stay tuned.

M