Tuesday, September 01, 2015

September? WTF!

I am still stuck in July 2013!!  Whatever happened to that month??

Waaay back in like October I was super excited to get tickets to see One Direction.  The show wasn't until July, but I was super excited!  I was planning it as a surprise for Seamus.  But, while Janet's daughter cried and said she was the best mom ever, my daughter cringed in horror when I told her I bought the tickets.  I hadn't even asked her to join me!  I thot she might change her mind if I told her her BFF was coming too, but still no.
I asked Sirus and he said ok, but then he said he didn't actually want to go, but only said yes because I asked,  so Eric went with me!
One morning we woke up and Eric pointed to the brick chimney and asked me what that dark spot was.  It was this tiny bat friend!  It was asleep upside down!  Eric opened up all of the windows in the house, we closed the doors to the rooms and put the cats in the bathroom, then he put on those gloves and grabbed a pillow case.  He went right up to that bat and it fell in.  Then he reached in for a quick photo opp then the little guy flew away and stuck to the side of the house for a few hours.
Sirus and I went down to San Diego for the 3rd annual craniopharyngioma picnic.  When we arrived in SD we went straight to the USS Midway.
It was SO cool! While parts were roped off, it seemed like a ton of the ship was available to explore on our own.  Up and down the different levels, careful not to trip or bump our heads.  We went way down below the water line and up onto the flight deck!
We also got in the flight simulator,  Sirus was the gunner and I was the pilot.  Oh I was terrible.  And I got SO sick! They had a go pro in the pod so they could watch, and by the end of our flight, when the attendant came to let us out, I know he could tell I was going to barf!  
But the ship was amazing and I am so happy we went- well worth the trip!
The next day we went to Legoland. It was fun.  Sirus really liked it and none of the rides were so extreme as to make me sick.  We did go on two where we got completely drenched.  Soaking wet, dripping.  Nothing was dry.  Luckily it was so hot out because we dried off pretty quickly.  And one ride broke down on it and we got stuck!
We went into the aquarium for a quick visit and saw this guy:
We stayed at Jen's like last year only this time brian and their kids were there.  Sirus had a ton of fun with them.  They are 5 & 3, which was fun for Sirus because he is usually the little guy,  AND since it was at a residence inn, Sirus got to have Belgian waffles every morning!!
Saturday was the picnic in Redondo Beach.  It was fun to see everyone!  So many friends from last year and so many new faces too.  I let Sirus go to the arcade with the other kids and I hung out with the grown ups and Jen and her kids.
On Sunday it was time to head home.  We stopped at In-and-Out, but since we had just eaten lunch, Sirus got a milk shake and gave me a sip.  He put that hat on and kept it on the entire flight, all the way until we got home and he was getting ready for bed.  The TSA guys at the airport were asking him all about it and let him keep it on while going through security.
Later in the summer Allie came to visit.  She was headed to Oiselle Bird Camp in Leavenworth.  I wasn't able to go, but it was fun that she was able to visit.  Ellen and Dr Carolyn came too!
We went on a hike up to Crystal Mountain.  At the top the chipmunks were super friendly, climbing on our laps, hoping for treats.
Seamus will be taller than Allie the next time we see her, no doubt!
Sirus spent a lot of the summer racing at the Wednesday Night World Championships once he got his new bike.  He did great and was 2nd in the series!
I hung out with the police.  As I do sometimes.
There have been a TON of fires in eastern Washington this year.  They have been devastating.  So many homes lost, land destroyed and animals displaced.  The smoke has been so thick that the view from Poopoo point was so sad.

The General eating Sirus's toast because Sirus was too busy having the 24hr flu, barfing like a mad man.

Now that mtn biking is done, Sirus has moved to cyclocross!  That bike is really big and heavy to be carrying up that hill!

Sarah and I headed up to Bandera Mountain.  Neither of us had gone before so we didn't know what to expect.  Western washington was prepping for he storm of the century so it wasn't the very smartest thing to do, but at least it wasn't crowded!  Id like to go back on a nicer day!
Darth Vader took a nap.

So then on Monday I went and visited The Oatmeal.  He was at PAX and PAC was happening right by my work.  So I walked over there fully anticipating standing in a 282615738 hour line like at Beat the Blerch last year, but really it was only a few people long!  I talked to him about the Rattle Snake Ridge 50k because he did the 1/2 marathon that day.  And we talked about the Blerch and stuff.  So he drew this amazingly accurate picture of me running!!  I loves me The Oatmeal! Oatmeal, if you ever read this, come over to our house and visit with our cats!!

An lastly some coworkers and I made these clever disguises so we could nap at our desks and no one would be able to tell.  Amazing, right?  You can't even tell that our eyes are actually closed!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

That's a lot of Ks

My company does a thing similar to habitat for humanity but it's called rebuild together.  I signed up to help!  I don't like to paint so I did yard work. Nevermind that I borrowed a pair of Eric's pants and he was all like, you are going to need a belt for those pants and then I didn't because they for fine, but I spent the day raking, pulling weeds, clearing brush, all kinds of stuff.  It was quite fun and I felt very productive.  I was beat when I came home and all I could think was, yeah, prolly not the best choice in activities for like 2 days before my first 50k..

I had registered for this 50k because my exercise coordinator thought I should have a goal.  I felt like I wAs being foolish but whatever.  I was able to break the race into three legs, the first 10 miles from the start to the turn around, where Eric and the kids would meet me. I knew I could manage this.
Once at that turn around I could access how I was feeling and decide if I wanted to do the return 10 miles.  A week or so earlier we had gone out to hike the first few miles of this return trip, so like miles 11-14 or so.  On that hike I started to feel good so Eric suggested that I just do the whole 10 miles and they would pick me up at the other end.  This turned out to be a great idea.  So when I got to that turn around on race day I totally knew what to expect for those middle 10 miles.
The race was at a very popular hiking trail, but really only about miles 18-20 are the high traffic areas.  I was able to navigate around the crowds pretty easily.
When I got to the bottom I saw Janet!  She agreed to come out to run the last 7 miles with me.  The joke was on her though because it was actually like 10 miles.  It was a "flat" out and back on a gravel trail.  I say "flat" because it was actually a slight downgrade on the way out but then uphill on the way back.  We started with 10 min running 5 min walking but that quickly changed to 5 and 5 and then sun and shade.  
I was pretty excited to cross the finish line and even more excited since it was like 90 minutes earlier than I expected!
I felt so good that I was able to drive myself home and even tho I laid in bed when I got home I wasn't able to fall asleep.  That I assume had more to do with the fact that I had like 7 clif shots, most with caffiene.  I was hopped up!
The next day I felt so good that Seamus and I went on a bike ride!!

Eric is a good guy!  Someone posted on the community Facebook page that their cat had crawled through a hole in their bathroom and into the crawl space under their house.  Eric, not knowing the cat or the people, volunteered, despite it being 90 degrees, to get under the house and try to get the cat out!!

Every year since we have moved out here we have gone to the 4th of July fireworks.  I think only once was their rain.  This year neither Eric nor I were very interested on going.  The 4 mile round trip walk, the crowds, the whining kids...  So we kind of did it half assed.  We stayed up on the busy road, but it was still a great show and I'm glad we went!

Matt came to visit!  Rememebr Matt from when we went to Ogden when Eric raced at nationals with my boyfriend dan Hugo and Lance Armstrong raced too?
Well, Matt met me for lunch downtown.  While we were hanging out waiting for Shorty's to open, a bird flew by and took a giant shit which resulted in two plops right before me, one giant plop in my hair and then another one right after.  Matt grabbed a twig and flicked it out of my hair. We then enjoyed Chicago style hotdogs at Shortys and I went back to work with bird shit remnants in my hair.  Awesome.  Waiting for the alleged good luck to make itself known.

Way back in like October I bought tickets to see One Direction.  Janet and I were planning to take our daughters.  When Janet told her daughter, she cried and said how Janet was the best mom ever.  When I told my daughter she shrunk down under the covers of her bed, cowering in fear.  She didn't want to do, even tho one of her BFFs was going to be there too.  So I asked Sirus if he wanted to go.  He hadn't ever been to a concert so I thot he might like to.  He half heatedly said yes, he would go, but when I asked if he actually wanted to go, he said no, he just agreed because I asked him.  So i asked Eric and he agreed to go with me!!
Then there was this one day when it was like Saturday and at dinner I asked Seamus if she wanted to run a 1/2 marathon with me the next morning and she said yes.  I asked her to do things with me all the time and sometimes she will do them but lately she has said no.  I try not to cry about it, but wow, I was super surprised she agreed.  But also a little scared because it was 13 miles on the trail and all.  But we woke up early and headed out to the race site. Got there about an hour early and got her all registered.  They were all whoa! When I put her in for the 1/2! 
The race started up hill.  I think she was trying to act tough at first because she was just breathing out of her nose, I was like, girl you are going to pass out- breathe through your mouth!! But once we got to the top of the giant hill, it was great.  We came up with a plan to run for 5 minutes and then walk for one.  Sometimes we ran for longer intervals and we walked the uphills of they were long or too steep.  Only twice did she ask to stop to walk other than our scheduled breaks and I am pretty sure her favorite part was finding the gummy bears at the aide stations.  She did a great job staying hydrated and she stayed well fueled.  At about mile 10, we were just running along with her behind me and all of a sudden I heard her declare "I am awesome!"  My heart melted and I was so happy to hear her say that about herself! She is awesome!  She also told me her plan for after the race when we got home: lunch, shower, video games.  I don't think she has ever volunteered to take a shower!
When we got close to the finish and we could see the finish line I was so excited for her!  She went straight for the pie, super happy to see they had pumpkin, her favorite and downed two pieces and a ton of water right away.  Later, I layed in bed for 4 hours, but she showered, played games, ran errands with Eric and played with Sirus.  Her quads were a little sore the next two days but then was as good as knew, even saying she'd like to do more with me!
Oh look!  Tiny blister on my toe!!

Monday, August 03, 2015

I see London, I see France

Back in April I had the fabulous opportunity to go to London for work.  I invited my mom to come with me since she had never been.  When my sister and I originally planned to take her to Poland we had changed to taking her to England but then settled on Iceland instead, so when this opportunity came up, I was happy to invite her.  I told her she would be mostly on her own since I had to work, but she is quite good at managing public transportation here and seeing than they speak the English on London, I figured she would do pretty well.
The morning after I did the Yakima 25k race, we headed to the airport and off we went.  We had a layover in Iceland, because it's is my favorite place in the world!
And then made our way to Heathrow.  

We jumped on the Heathrow Express and landed ourselves at Paddington Station.
We walked from there to our hotel, which seemed to be in a somewhat swanky neighborhood seeing as the streets were lined with Porches, Mercedes, Feraris and Bentleys.
Once we settled in we headed back out and found a super cute pub and knoshed on some bangers and mash.  I did not have them when I last came to London in 2000 and boy did I miss out!!!
We tried to to stay up until 8 but made it until 6:30.  But were woken up at 8 anyway by someone entering our room!  I was so disoriented an panicked that I called the front desk in a total haze only to be informed that they had come info for turn down service.  
In the morning I headed out and had a hot pot for breakfast which was an unexpected combo of BBQ baked beans, ham and an egg.
I got on the tube and headed out to my first meeting.  When I came out of the tube station I was surprised to see Big Ben right infront of me!  It was RIGHT THERE!!!

I then walked across the street and met up with these pleasant guys:

My meeting took place in the basement vault of an old bank which was surreal and a little scary. 
Later that evening I went to an industry event at the Ham Yard Hotel at 1 Ham Yard.  I laughed and laughed at that.
When I walked in I saw that there was another event going on too, for Every Mother Counts and Citizens of Humanity.  This was a super surprise becauSe my Oiselle running team is very involved with Every Mother Counts, an amazing organization founded and run by super model extraordinaire, Christy Turlington, that strives to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women all over the world.  Turns out I ran into Ms Turlington on my way out of my event later that evening and she was absolutely lovely to meet and speak with.  
We talked about Oiselle and running, she was planning on running the London marathon that weeekend which she did and scored a BQ qualifier I want to say in the sub 3:45 range.  It was a super fun ending to an already eventful evening!  Plus I was super excited to get back to the hotel and find that my mom had a wonderful day exploring all around!  

Next morning I woke up to go meet with some other folks.  They took me to an amazing lunch at a place called Sketch.  We are the the Lecture Room & Library.  Wow!  I have never been anywhere so fancy!  I'll let the photos do the talking!!

After Thursdays meetings and amazing lunch!!!!  I was done with work.
I headed back to the hotel and met up with my mom.  We headed out again and  did some exploring.

When we got back to the hotel, I brought up an idea that some of the people I met with gave me - what if we went to Paris for the day?  Paris?  What?  Of course!  Why wouldn't we!!
So we booked our train tickets, tried to get a good night sleep and then woke up early to head to Paris for the day!

So the train was fun, but I must admit that there was no dramatic swoosh into a big hole in the English Channel.  I don't know what I was thinkng but for some reason I figured we would see the water and then go down in it.  Yeah.  None of that.

Our trip was so last minute that when we got to Paris we had no idea what we were to do next.  

So I tired to get some euros out of the atm only to have my credit card denied... I had told them I was going to be in Iceland and England but not France so when I wound up in France - DENIED.

Luckily mom's still worked!  

But I took this photo of the train station sign so worst case scenario, if we were lost in France, I could show someone this photo and hopefully they could get us back.

We hopped on a bus and headed to the Eiffel Tower!!  I had no idea it was so huge!!!!  The line to go up it was long so I tried to convince mom to just walk up the stairs.  Thank goodness she didn't take me up on that, becauSe we walked down it from the second observation deck and it was a long long way!!!!

At the bottom we had lunch.  Hotdogs in Paris are weird.  I still don't know how they got those in that baguette without cutting it open.

Then we walked around a ton.

We came across the petite palace and found this inside:

An we smacked on this tasty espresso and these macarons.
And I stood in the middle of the road to get this photo:
And taking the bus was an excellent idea because we saw a ton of stuff!  No idea what any of it was, but it was all amazing!!
Made it back to the train station, then back to London, back to our hotel...
And then we took a taxi to our new hotel!
The next day, we went back to Kings Cross station for a photo op at the totally staged platform 9 3/4
And then headed to the British Library which was super cool.  I didn't really want to go, but mom did and I am so happy we went!  It was amazing to see some of those books that the monks had written and drawn from so many years ago!!
Then we went to my favorite museum of all time, the Brittish Museum!  I had gone on my last visit, but I was excited to take my mom!  We saw the Rosetta Stone!
And penises!  Or lack there of...

Why were all the penises missing?
I don't always sit around naked, but when I do, I rest my frank and beans on my foot.
We saw tye other side go Big Ben, parliament and the London eye.
And west minster abbey.
And celebrated with some fish and chips, beers and martins!
After 40+ miles of walking, seeing so many amazing sites, talking to many people (and not being able to understand most of them), it was time to go home.
But not without first having another layover in Iceland.

Hours later, it was home sweet home.

Can't wait to go back, hoping to take Eric next time!