Thursday, April 28, 2011


So Eugene is this weekend.  Yes, I am still going even though I had to give the marathon up awhile ago.  I thought I would drop down to just do the half.  Also, I made a promise to a friend that I would be there so there I will be. 

However, the last time I did a run of any distance was the 12 miler I did back in February a few days before the calf strain and sciatica diagnosis.  I did four on Saturday with almost no pain and then three on Monday with some minimal pain and tightness.  The question is do I do the half-marathon as a run/walk fully accepting it will probably be a personal worst (I don't care about that) and just go out for the fun and because it was supposed to be a 40th birthday present for myself and to see what I can do?  Or do I not risk aggravating what is clearly a healing injury and just stay on the sidelines cheering my friend Todd on to half-marathon glory and just soak in the good energy and fun of a race day morning? 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

If I Took My Camera With Me When I Ran... would have a picture of a sign asking people to be on the look-out for a lost wallaby.  Yes, you read that right. 

Oh, and the run went well.  Four miles with just some stiffness and no real pain. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maybe Not So Snart

So what is the best thing to do when you can't even run one mile pain free?  Why you register for the Portland Marathon of course!  I have 25 weeks to get my issue resolved and start training again.  I can't really afford the entry fee at this time but I can't really afford not to have a race to work towards either.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Jinxed It

I think I spoke too soon about pain-free running....Sunday I went for a run in the (sort of) sun, felt great and then got to 8/10 of a mile and started to get the radiating leg pain.  I pulled up and just dejectedly walked home.  When will this stop so I can run again?  Aaaaarrrggggghhhh!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


There have been some components of this wedding that have seemed impossible to make decisions on:  the centerpieces, a necklace, transportation to and from the wedding for us and bridal party (still not figured out by the way) and the honeymoon.

The honeymoon should really take priority over the whole shindig but we found it difficult to find, and stick with, a plan.  Our starting criteria was that it should be someplace special, exotic, a once in a lifetime experience.  So we went with this:
an African photo safari to Tanzania and Kenya.  My dream trip as long as I can remember. Since Kevin had already done this when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro he wanted to add something that was new for him and one of his dream trips.  Since we were already going to be over Africa way we decided to add this:
Also, because we decided to do this trip later in the year we decided to go on a mini-moon to the Oregon Coast.  We wanted some sort of vacation right after the wedding to unwind and relax and we know a beautiful romantic spot right on the beach that fit the bill.  Perfect!  All settled!  But then Egypt had to go and get all revolution-y and even though things have kind of settled down, until they get an actual government in place it doesn't seem like a great bet for all of your vacation dollars.  On to Plan B.

Where else have we both always dreamed of going?  How about here?
Greece!!  Great!  Done!  Settled!  That is our big Autumn trip.  Except......the more we thought about it the more we realized that as much as we call our little post-wedding trip a mini-moon it is still really our honeymoon.  Neither of us wanted our honeymoon to be the Oregon Coast.  It is lovely but did it fit the "special and exotic" criteria?  No.  So the plan became a mini-moon here: 
the beautiful island of Maui.  We could relax, unwind, not feel like we had to go exploring and do much since we had both been here before.  The further we got into this wedding business the more a relaxing spot seemed desirable to us. It is a gorgeous place and we both really like Hawaii.  So it was settled:  mini-moon on Maui and then Greece in the fall.  Except........neither of us were really excited about it.  We knew we would like Hawaii but it didn't feel special.  I thought of Hawaii as a honeymoon cliche, which I know makes me sound like a world class tool.  But really, it isn't that I find it so much of a cliche as it didn't feel right for us because of the aforementioned need for something exotic, once in a lifetime, truly special but where we didn't have to spend all our time running around being tourists and could just sit and relax.  Since we have both been to Hawaii and plan on going back a few times it didn't really fit the "specialness" part of the equation. You only get one honeymoon and you want to do it right.  We would have had a lovely time and been very happy but we jokingly started looking at some other options and then, quite by accident, found the perfect place.   So where is this magical place that will fit the bill?  Why it is right here....
Bora Bora and Tahiti!!!  We are staying a few nights in Tahiti and then a few more in Bora Bora in an over water bungalow that looks just like this....
...complete with "glass" floor to watch fish through.  The place we are staying is also a turtle sanctuary so we get to swim with these guys too!

We are both super excited about this which we weren't really about any of the other options. Nothing else really seemed to fit for us right now.  Yes, it Bora Bora and Tahiti are total honeymoon cliches but it doesn't matter because it fits perfectly with the criteria we had decided need to be included in our honeymoon:
  • A trip right after the wedding so that it feels like a real honeymoon and not some regular, albeit very nice, vacation?  Check!
  • Exotic, special and once in a lifetime?  Check!
  • Time to really relax and spend time together because there isn't a ton of stuff to run around and see and do?  Check!
  • But still has some interesting things to do like swim with sharks and rays and see the Gauguin museum and hike a little?  Check!
  • Warm? Check

    South Pacific here we come!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Getting Better All The Time

I had three (relatively) pain-free miles at the lake on Wednesday.  There was some pain deep in the right glute but no radiating pain at all while I ran.  Woo-hoo!  I did get some radiating pain on the drive home and it bothered me some the next day but overall it seems to be getting better.  There is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Details Coming Together

We had a wonderful, busy productive weekend in Portland.  We had scheduled a whole slew of final wedding details around McMenamin's Celebration of Syrah that took place last weekend. 

In addition to much, much syrah tasting on Saturday we managed to:  pick up our marriage license, finalize almost all the food and arrangements for the reception (still waiting on input from some stragglers before we finalize beer), do a hair and make-up run through with the people who will be taking care of it on the wedding day and created our ceremony with our officiant. 

It all went better than I thought it would.  No lines for the license.  They nailed my make-up and (almost) nailed my hair, which I was worried about.  You never know what kind of person you will get and if their vision and talents will gel with what you want and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw the results.  We picked tasty appetizers and main courses for our guests and figured out how all of the little details of the reception will work. 

The biggest and best part though was crafting the ceremony.  We LOVE our officiant and she has come up with a ceremony that really feels like us.  She spent over two hours with us going over everything and listening to our stories and getting our feedback on what words we did and didn't want to include.  She also sprung a few surprises on us like having us spontaneously say what we loved about the other person and saying practice vows.  It sounds so simple but it put us on the spot in a good way and made us really respond naturally.  It was very emotional; many happy tears were shed hearing some of the beautiful words she will be saying.  We did decide that we need to write our own vows even though it will be difficult for us to get through them without crying.  Unless we can find pre-written vows that sound like our voices we need to do it ourselves so it feels real to us.  We also figured out our ring warming and who will be involved in that and who will be doing our reading (Hi, Kath!).  It is finally all coming together.

Oh, and stay tuned for the big news......we FINALLY decided on a honeymoon location.  No, really we did this time.  We paid for it and everything so there will be no changing of the mind now.  It is a post that deserves some pictures so I will write that later. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is the Room Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Well, something new to obsess over:  not enough people at our wedding shindig.   So many couples have an issue with paring down the guest list but our problem is the opposite.  We are worried there won't be enough people there to make it feel festive and fun.  Scratch the "we" on that, I am the only one worried about that. Kevin thinks it will be fine.

So far we have had a few unexpected "no" RSVPs and last night discovered that the only relative from one side of Kevin's family that will be attending will be his 88 year-old grandmother.  That is unless one of the aunt's stops her from attending because she is old and it is a long flight from Baltimore.  She is already trying to do that.  We thought we might get a few relatives from that side but it looks like a big "zero" instead. 

We intentionally didn't pad our guest list and only invited people we really wanted to be there.  On one hand this is good; we get a room full of people we really care about.  On the other hand this is bad; we just don't have many friends and family and the room isn't full at all.  I know being a "destination" wedding (yes, I guess technically it is) means you will get a smaller turn-out but I still can't help feeling disappointed.  It just taps into personal issue #3 (a post for another day) that wedding planning has uncovered. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's New

Good Gravy!  It's April already and the wedding is five weeks away and the Eugene half-marathon I am still slated to run is only three weeks away.  I have been up to a lot of things lately but running hasn't been one of them.  Last Monday I went for a run and decided I would just go until I felt pain radiating from my buttock down my leg.  I got .75 of a mile before it started and I immediately pulled up and walked home.  On Sunday I ran to the gym and got 1.25 miles before pain set in (although I could feel some tightness in the leg) so once again I walked, worked out and then walked home.  I don't like it but I am trying to use my noodle about this whole situation and not exacerbate the injury.  Of course I am still thinking about run/walking 13.1 miles in three weeks so maybe the smart hasn't really taken.

That is my running plan right now:  run until it hurts and then walk.  I am going out tomorrow night for a run and, cross fingers, I'll maybe get a little further than 1.25 miles before the pain kicks in.  Ugh, I really miss running and I want it back.

Even without running my days have been chock full o' activity.  In a little over a week there has been: three ballroom dance lessons  (was on Sunday and now on Tuesday), two dinners out with friends, my annual fantasy baseball draft (currently in third place thank you very much), two visits with Mom including a lunch with a mutual friend, an IKEA trip for the rest of the centerpiece glasses for the wedding (I HATE that place and would be perfectly happy to never set foot in it again), saw "Of Mice and Men" at the Seattle Rep, picked up my wedding ring from the jeweler, picked up my dress from the alterations lady, decided on, and then shelved, and then back to square one again on our honeymoon plans, and mucho, mucho little wedding decisions and discussions every single night.  The wedding has consumed our existence at this point.

I really enjoyed all of the above activities (minus IKEA) but I am really ready to get back to normal life.  Work, run and the occasional social activity.  I feel over scheduled on every front and am ready for a little down time.  Maybe on the honeymoon we may or may never get around to planning.  Five weeks and we are there!