How well do people know me?

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Here’s what my friend M brought back after a visit to Poulsbo:

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Okay, baked goods… excellent start. And what’s inside?

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Words cannot describe how rad these cookies are. Thank you M for “getting me” 😉

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Challenge Update

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Back in mid-December, I posted about a training challenge I was taking on (in this post, for those who don’t memorize my blog… ) Today marked the 70th run, leaving me 9 days to hit my 80 run goal. This means that I’ll have to double up and two runs on one of the days and then run for at least 30 minutes on each of the other days. I’ve done enough doubles now that I’m pretty confident I can do it, but I’m not counting my chickens until March 24th.

Today’s run was a tough one. The weather looked sunny when I left my house, but just as I started my run, freezing cold rain was pouring down, accompanied by gusts of wind. Then the rain gave way to sun again, but the wind picked up to the point where I was running into a pretty crazy headwind. At some points it felt like an invisible person pushing against me, but I tried to relax and not stress about it. As I ran along, I thought about the challenge and how much it has changed my running. My mileage per week is higher than it’s ever been – around 25 miles per week and am faster and more efficient.

Looking back at the beginning of the challenge, with December snowstorms and January chest cold making it look very improbable that I could get 80 runs in over 100 days. I started out with only 8 runs in December and 19 in January, putting me at 27 runs 45 days into the challenge. But February went really well and I was able to do quite a few double run days and was back on track. I can definitely say that the challenge has gotten me to run on days where I wouldn’t have otherwise and it’s taught me that I can handle the mileage.

Once the challenge ends, it will be time to start adding distance into the mix (and try not to slow down too much… ) All I can say is that I hope that all of this running pays off in August…

Happy Birthday M!

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Maybe birthdays just bring out my reflective side. It’s not often that you look back to exactly one year ago, even though if you blog you can do so fairly often. Last year for M’s birthday, we made a trip up from Portland, documented in this post and this post. It was such a fun trip and I remember on the drive home wanting  so badly to move up to Seattle and not knowing when or if that was gong to happen. Now, one year later there have been huge adjustments in everyone’s lives. New jobs, new locations and the usual shifts those bring, but also far larger ones – M lost her dad this past fall and Ms. Cyclone is now expecting a baby.

Because odd numbers don’t generate the hoopla that even ones do, M’s birthday celebration was a little quieter this year: an evening at our place with RockBand and Indian Food. She and I warmed up with a shopping trip to Target, sans the boys (allowing us time to peruse the store in peace, without the inevitable references to “is that on the list?” and “do we really need to look at every aisle in the store?”) I did a quick run between shopping trip and the evenings festivities and then it was time to get down to business. But first, a little birthday gift-action:

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I was particularly proud of the card which read “Happy Birthday, see you in Hell” and then on the inside “You heard me.” It made me laugh out loud in the card store, which is always a good sign, and then made Todd laugh out loud when I called him on my phone and read it aloud to him – another good sign. The actual gift was a t-shirt from a local shop in our neighborhood with a really cute monster on it.

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Isn’t that adorable? I had to buy myself one as well, in blue with a different monster. The proprietress of the shop told me the artist had a print with those two particular monsters on it, called “Reunited” and thought it was nice that I was buying one for me and one for a friend. So, now M & I are “t-shirt buddies” or something. George got the honor of being decorated with the ribbon from M’s gift and entertaining us for a while:

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Naturally, Wally had to get involved…

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The rest of the evening was very low-key and enjoyable. Here’s hoping that all of the changes between now and next year are good ones!

Year of the baby

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This year, I’ve gone from not knowing anyone with kids or expecting to having a number of good friends who are pregnant. M has even more people that she knows who are expecting, so we’ve been making uneasy jokes about tripling up on birth control and declaring it the year of the baby. One of our mutual friends Sarah had her faux-birthday this weekend (she’s a leapyear baby) and one of the main activities seemed to be feeling for baby kicks. This photo was so adorable, I had to take a picture:

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From bottom-left: M (with back to camera) Graham (the dad-to-be), Sarah (duh) and Emily (Graham’s sister/aunt-to-be) It’s pretty exciting to have all these new lives on the way. I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy them for a little while and then leave them with their parents. 😉