Thursday, September 29, 2016

Where and how to get back on the wagon

I am fast approaching my one year anniversary of living in Oregon. I feel like I have only scratched the surface of all Southern Oregon has to offer.

The past 10 months have been filled with making the adjustment for the kids as seamless as possible. They have made some wonderful new friends and have adjusted to their new community beautifully. They are doing amazing on their new swim team and have participated in basketball, parkour and running events. This month they completed their first triathlon here in Oregon. It gives me great pleasure to watch them set goals and meet them.

Now that everyone feels mostly settled it's time to start focusing on my goals. It's been a rough 18 months for me trying to diagnose an injury. Selling a home, buying a home and moving is not recommended while you trying to figure out why you are dizzy and experience headaches every day. Eventually I discovered that I was suffering from compression issues. They had gotten so bad that it caused dizziness in my normal day activities, when it had started with just swimming. I've been in physical therapy for months now trying all sorts of different things to hopefully improve the issues. While I feel better in my day to day activities, I'm really not going to know the full extent of my progress until I return to swimming, biking and running.

I've had injuries before and getting back on the wagon is always a struggle. But I've never quite had this level of starting over. I'm essentially starting from scratch, the place I started from 10 years ago. I'm not going to lie, it's brutally hard. My physical therapist asked me if I was afraid to get back in the pool, because he is wondering why I haven't. Yes, I'm scared to get back in the pool, I'm also scared to ride my bike again and scared to run again. I'm afraid I'm going to suck! I think I've reached that point where knowing I suck is scarier than actually getting out there and sucking while at least trying. It's time to put myself first and stop worrying about everyone else.

So far, I've gone for one sucky run and one sucky bike ride. But I did it. Soon I will go for one sucky swim and get it over with. The goal is to keep moving my way through the suckiness until it no longer sucks. I know it won't suck forever.

Forward is a pace.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

My first Oregon Race Report

So technically my first race in Oregon was the Love Stinks 5k, which was really fun! However, I ran with my seven year old daughter who had a huge PR, alas it was pretty far off from my best time. Which was totally fine because I've only recently started running again after the move.

The annual Pear Blossom Festival was coming up and along with that the Rogue Valley YMCA hosts the Pear Blossom Run. They were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the run and since I'm in my 40th year, it seemed appropriate for me to do this race for the first time.

With a 7 am start I arrived around 6:30 am since I already had my bib and everything I needed. I did a warm up jog from the parking lot to the start line and then did some stretching. As I walked over to the start line I was amazed that people for the most part actually followed the pace signs. As soon as they came out people started moving back to the area designated for their pace. I felt like this was amazing because that so rarely happens in California. Once the gun went off I really only had to navigate past one group of women walking, everyone else was running at a similar pace to myself.

This was really a shake out run for me. I've only been running around 2 miles at the house and lately I've been running on the treadmill at the gym while the kids are at swim practice. The dreadmill is so much harder than real life running and the gym is stuffy, so basically most of my treadmill runs have been very sucky. I had no idea if I could even cover the entire distance without walking.

I didn't look at my watch much. I wasn't going for a specific pace, I just wanted to run based on feel and hope I could find a pace I could carry out for the entire run and not have to walk. The first mile felt pretty good and when I did glance at my watch I had run a 10:07, I was pleased with that, and hoped I could maintain that for the next 2.10 miles. I didn't look at my watch again until 2.31 miles because I didn't remember feeling the vibration my watch sends after each mile. I was getting fatigued and was wondering how far away I was from the 2 mile point. I was pleased to look at my watch and see that I had already passed it! That little nugget of information kept me going. There was a definite happy dance moment going on when I saw the 3 mile sign and rounded the corner to the finish line. I managed to kick it into high gear and pass the woman in front of me for a 32.10 finish and 17/88 in my age group.

So that's a far cry from my best 5k time, but I was so pleased with that time I can't even tell you. I have not run on a regular basis in probably 9 months. Due to health issues and the sale of our home and move, running had just not been on the radar. It was depressing to not having the abilities I used to have and it was causing all sorts of self doubt about my worth as a runner. Now that life has mellowed out being able to take back this part of my life has brought me great happiness. This little 5k reminded me that I can do it, I can still do it and I will do it. It even gave me the thought that just maybe I can do that half marathon next year.
Post race reward 

This was a great fun race. I can't wait to do it next year, the course is super flat so it's a great race to work on a PR.

I'm thinking I may try a trail run in a couple of weeks. The Southern Oregon running community is such a great one that is so supportive, and the races are so inexpensive it's hard to pass up the opportunity to sign up!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Farm life

It's been a busy weekend on our "farm" and it only has highlighted how much more work we have to do!

When we were looking at homes we toured one that had a barn with horse stalls. Thankfully it wasn't a final contender because how do you explain to children that just because a home has room for horses doesn't mean you are going to get them! We did promise the kids that we would get chickens because I have always wanted them and I knew we would have enough space for them. Earlier in the week we purchased everything we would need to set up a brooder, since our local farm supply store was receiving their first order of chicks. We are very fortunate to have a large garage with a second floor full of storage. So we set the brooder up there to ensure it would stay draft free.

On Friday we picked out our chicks and brought them home! We tried to pick out some that had distinguishing marks but I'm not sure we will be able to tell them apart.

On the same day we brought home our chicks, the owl nesting box arrived. Which is super exciting, but it meant double projects this weekend. We are hoping to encourage the nesting of Barn Owl's to increase their population and to help decrease the rodent population on our land.

We are concerned that it sways too much if an owl lands on it, so we may need to change out the pole on it for a wider one.

Meanwhile Tacoma was excited to explore more areas. This was a big hike for her and she's now happily snoozing in bed.

We managed to get one post sunk this weekend for the chicken run. However, with intermittent rain and all of the other projects that is as far as we got. We are building the run next to our garden area. We will add additional smaller chicken wire along the existing fence line of the garden and will build the sides along our irrigation canal. Since we have lots of aerial predators as well as ground predators we will also cover the run with the smaller chicken wire as well.

Lots of work to do outside and we will just keep plugging away at it. It's exciting and overwhelming to have so much land to work with!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Love Stinks 5k

Now that we are feeling mostly settled in our new home it was time to start researching races for 2016. From my research it seemed like a local running club Southern Oregon Runners hosts many of the runs in the area. I stumbled upon the Love Stinks 5k and I was surprised when the entire family said they wanted in.

With a 9:15 am start and a 10 minute drive this was an ideal family race. Kylie had actually gotten a few runs in the week prior but Sydney had opted not to join us, so I don't think anyone really had any expectations other to go out and have fun. Scott and Sydney took off and Kylie and I ran together  on the out and back course. It was fun to see so many people dressed up for the run and it kept us entertained along the course. Kylie was doing a good job of managing run/walk intervals and so many people were cheering her along; which really helped because after while everything I was saying was not appreciated.

As we rounded the last corner we could hear Scott and Sydney cheering and two other women also started cheering for Kylie, it was awesome. She picked up her pace and I had to sprint just to keep up with her. It was a great finish.

As it turns out both girls placed second in their age groups! They also both recorded personal record's beating their previous times from a race in 2014. It was a great race and such a supportive community, we are looking forward to our next race together.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekly round up

It was a busy week of exploring town. I realized it was time to start finding my favorites. This involved getting a pedicure and trying lunch at Agave. It also involved taking the kids to the local tea shop after school for some amazing snacks, and now they ask to go back almost everyday.

Some photo highlights from the week:

Carnitas and Camarones Tacos at Agave

Amazing hot chocolate and shortbread at Dobra Tea

Cinnamon Pear Cider at Standing Stone Brewery

The other exciting news is that I am back for my 5th year as a Champion! I can't believe it's been 5 years and I'm so grateful to this amazing organization for supporting me all of these years. This means another year of 20% off discounts for you! As in past years I have unique codes for the discount, so if you want one, just shoot me a message and I will send you a code to use.

I'm actively searching the Southern Oregon area for races for 2016, so if you know of any great ones, be sure to let me know.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Welcome to Oregon

It's been a crazy 5 months! At the end of August we made the decision to move to Southern Oregon and by December 1st we had closed on a beautiful house in rural Ashland.

Needless to say, my blogging and race schedule took a significant hit at the end of 2015 due to an enormous work load of selling two properties and buying two others. Now that I am here and settled in I can say that all of the stress, tears and physical pain was worth it, but I never want to do it again.

The girls have settled in nicely to the community, making friends and enrolled in sports and after school activities already. They are loving the new house and even though they have awesome rooms with their own bathrooms, they take turns sleeping in each other rooms!

Now that I have an actual desk and work space set up, working from home is better than ever! I brought most of my clients with me and would love to take on one or two new clients here in the Ashland area. So if you know of anyone looking for social media help, send them my way!

I don't have a race schedule set up yet for 2016 as I'm still exploring local race opportunities and trying to get back into a schedule where I can swim, bike and run. Hopefully that will all fall into place soon.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos of our new home.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer, Swimming & Good Eats

As we entered our fourth season of summer rec swimming, I became hyper focused on healthy eating and meal prep. During pre-season I successfully found recipes I could make ahead of time and have ready when we returned home from practice at 7pm. It was a lot of work, but well worth the efforts for all of us to have a warm and healthy meal after a long day.

As we moved to summer with morning practices and Wednesday night & Saturday morning meets, I looked to continue the tradition. I remember last summer growing bored of sandwiches by mid July and looking for healthier options than cup-of-noodles and pizza that are so frequent at meets.

I started bookmarking recipes that looked yummy and portable and started purchasing reusable containers for easy travel. My hope is to share some of what I've learned over the summer!

I started with yogurt. My husband and I love yogurt parfaits and frequently buy them from the grocery store. My kids love "Gogurt" which I hate because they are filled with sugar. I normally eat plain greek yogurt but for the family I purchased some vanilla greek yogurt and to my surprise, the kids liked it! Next we worked on toppings. Every two weeks I make a batch of granola. It's so easy to make, and I feel better knowing what's inside my granola! I use the Skratch Labs recipe for my granola.

The kids pick from fresh fruit; raspberries, blueberries, strawberries etc. I also let them add mini chocolate chips, and my husband adds shaved coconut.

I found these great containers at Safeway but you can also find on Amazon.

So far we've been very successful! The family is happy and the kids are swimming well.

We'll go with her great backstroke start is a result of all the healthy food she's eating.