Impulse Shopping

I’m not a huge impulse shopper but I do have my weaknesses: books. I love books. At any given time I am reading at least 3 usually 5. I always have holds at the library. I just cannot help myself.

Chris Guillebeau announced that his new book “Born For This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do” had launched this morning. I clicked on the link and sure enough Amazon had the Kindle version for only $13.99 which isn’t a lot of money. Without thinking I began the quick steps to order it. Then I stopped. And thought about it.

My local library would definitely have this book. Why was I buying it? Yes, it’s great to support authors and their works but did I need to spend the actual money. Yeah it’s only $13.99 but it’s $13.99.

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The key for me is time. If I can stop myself from buying something and just think about what it is that I’m buying and why, then I usually talk myself out of it. It’s the little things that add for a person like me. A book here and there. An extra beer at Happy Hour. I don’t splurge and buy a new car but my purchases add up over time. And I want that money for other things. Like international travel.

I’ll read Chris’s new book. And later if I decide I NEED to own it, I’ll buy it. But not now.

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My Favorite Mural In Portland

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Daily Burn

Over the years, I’ve tried various cross training activities. So far my favorite is Daily Burn. There’s a lot to love about Daily Burn but the most important thing for me is results. I’ve been using Daily Burn since November and I’ve gotten stronger and faster.

If you don’t know what Daily Burn is then here’s the skinny: online workouts. Your first month is free. So I think everyone should at least give it a shot.When you sign up, Daily Burn asks you a few questions to help point you in the right direction. You sign up for a ‘program’ and each day you log in and have a workout suggested for you:

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This is my view when I log in.

Each program has a set number of days that it runs and it runs the workouts in an order that makes sense. Users are guided through the series building endurance, muscle, etc. I log in and hit play. I can also find out more about the workout by hitting “More Info”. This is where you find out if you need any equipment. Most workouts require little to no equipment which is great. You can also preview the workout.

There are so many programs to choose from for any level! They also have yoga, weight lifting, pilates, core work, kettlebells, and more cardio.

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If you don’t want to stick to a program or go outside of it for variety, you can!

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I really like that I can search using filters of time and difficulty. Daily Burn has a lot of short workouts which are perfect if you don’t have a lot of time or want to work on something specific. And Daily Burn offers a live workout every day at 9am EST (6am PST).

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And Daily Burn is really affordable!

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The more expensive program ($62.95) offers a 1 on 1 personal coach to help you meet your goals. I’m still using my gym membership but not nearly as much. Once it expires, I won’t renew it. I can workout in my own house (or office, hotel, or Amy’s bedroom) when it’s convenient for me with Daily Burn. If you are interested, go here: http://dailyburn.com/invite/Eb6qb. If you sign up and purchase the membership, I do get a credit.

Shamrock 15k

Last Sunday I ran my first Shamrock run. In all of the years I’ve lived in Portland, I’ve never run it! It’s the largest running event in Portland with over 30,000 participants. This year, runners could choose from a half marathon, 15k, 8k, and 5k. There were also a few walking events as well. My company pays for employee entry into the event so I thought why not!

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I’ve been working on my speed this year with great success. To be honest, my speed in recent years was so slow, any gains seem pretty amazing. After several years of non-stop training seasons, I took most of last year off. I ran only a few races and that was due to prior commitments or friends roping me in.

As mentioned, I’ve been running to work a few days a week. And it’s been a fast amazing run. Shamrock 15k course runs up a Terwilliger Blvd. which is a slow steady hill. I’ve run up the hill many times but honestly I don’t enjoy road running as much as trail running. So I went to Forest Park and used various trails including Firelane 1 to train.

I also have been using DailyBurn to do cross training. Honestly I cannot praise DailyBurn enough. But I will leave that to another post. And I’ve been doing a lot of yoga after hard workouts. I’m trying to be a lot smarter about training. But sometimes, I’m just kinda stupid.

The night before Shamrock, I stayed out WAY too late and drank too much. 🙂 I got about 4-5 hours of sleep and was dehydrated when I woke up. If the run was longer or the weather was warmer, I would have been in trouble.

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Pre-race

 

It was rainy. I mean really rainy. It wasn’t so bad at the beginning of the race but by mile 4 my jacket sleeves were dripping and my hat wasn’t helping to keep me warm. Despite over 30,000 people participating in this race, the race directors did a fantastic job at ensuring there were enough porta potties. My only criticism of the race is that there weren’t enough water stations. My boss Aubrey ran the race and also mentioned the lack of drinking water on the course.

I wanted to see how fast I could run in this race. I think I could have run a bit faster but my legs felt a little shaky coming downhill. I didn’t really train on the downhills which I should of. But my splits were great:

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Just about to finish!

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I put my hands up to say “I’m done! No more.”

I planned on walking over to OMSI to meet Andy who would pick me up. But because I ran the race so much faster than I thought, he hadn’t left the house when I texted him after finishing the race. That turned out to be okay because he was able to grab trashbags to protect the seat and towels to help dry me off.

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My pace (9:47) for the last half mile of the race was pretty amazing. Very proud.

It was so cold and rainy when I finished. I grabbed a chocolate milk and bottle of water and speedwalked across the Hawthorne Bridge. The wind really started blowing pretty hard which made my wet soggy hands so damn cold. Eventually I chucked the water in a bin because it was too cold to carry.

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Cold, wet, tired, and dehydrated but very happy with my performance.

After showering and eating, I spent the rest of the day napping and relaxing. It was  a great day and I cannot wait to run the race next year.

Running To Work

I was straightening up my bedroom when I saw a familiar face outside. It was my friend Sarah. Running down the sidewalk with a cool new backpack I’d never seen her with. After a few direct messages via Twitter, I found out that Sarah had been running home from work 4 nights a week. She said she was using the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20 to carry her work clothes and empty lunch bag home. I was intrigued.

I had biked to work many times. It was fairly easy although could be difficult after a run as my legs were a little fatigued. While on our long run this last Saturday, me and my friend Shelley discussed biking miles vs. running miles. She heard that the conversion was 6 bike miles to 1 run mile. That could be why I was unprepared for races when I relied too heavily on my bike commute miles.

I brought some clothes to work yesterday and ran into work this morning. It. Was. Awesome. Seriously. I have a backpack at home and think I can use it instead of buying a new fastpack. So rather than going out for a run, then getting ready for work and commuting it, I will just run to work and cut out some of the unnecessary time spent commuting via bus or train. Thanks Sarah!

Wife Gone Wild

Andy is in San Francisco for the weekend visiting his mom. My ‘wild’ weekend so far has consisted of going to bed at 10am on Friday night (long run on Saturday) after drinking 2 beers and watching “Wild China” on Netflix. So far Saturday has been pretty crazy with a 3 hour trail run this morning, grocery shopping, getting car washed and vacuumed, driving to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed in the car, and going back to the grocery store to pick up items I forgot earlier. And now I have my feet up watching the sunset drinking a beer.

Silver Hair Spotting

I was about 12 years old the first time I colored my hair. It was some kind of auburn wash-in/wash-out color that I managed to stain my forehead and neck with not to mention the bathroom rug and bath towels. Sorry Mom. Obviously my first dye job looked horrible. I remember one of my friends looking at me with a squint and shaking her head. But I loved the idea that I could change my identity by changing my hair.

I’ve always had what other people say is “good hair”. It has just enough wave but not curly enough to give me problems. It’s not too thick and not thin. When I was in fourth grade, the school nurse did a lice check on everyone. We had to put our heads down on the desk and closed our eyes. When she got my hair, she said to the teacher “It’s like spun gold.”  I loved hearing those words.

Most of the woman in my family (on both sides) have “good hair”. My Great Aunt Ruth (on my mom’s side) had this beautiful thick head of dark blonde hair and my paternal grandmother has lovely lighter blonde hair. I have great hair genes.

I colored my hair on a regular basis starting around 13 or 14. I tried almost every color except black because my mom said anything but black. I’ve had pink hair, red hair, brown hair and every shade of blonde imaginable. I finally settled in on a light blonde that my age and the lack of sunshine in Portland didn’t support.

Last year, I said enough. I let it grow out to its now dark blonde color. I’ve been cutting the still colored hair off the bottom and it’s finally looking more normal. I’ve always had this patch of hair near my temple that is weird. When I have bangs, the patch of hair is lighter than the rest of the hair. Not enough that a normal person would notice but hairdressers always spot the ‘weird patch’. Plus due to my Scandinavian heritage, I have a silvery hairs mixed in with the rest of the lot.

But the silvery hairs are now increasing. And it’s not due to my lox loving genes. Yep. I’m slowly going silver. And it’s cool. I see older women on the street with silver hair and they look awesome. Don’t get me wrong. I’m fighting the wrinkles like it’s World War III. But the silver hairs have amnesty. They can stay.