Preparing for all the fun things

I don’t kid myself.

I know my coworkers don’t think I’m listening to classical music while I work.

Little do they know — unless they are reading this — that I’m actually not listening to Taylor Swift.

The arrival of Halloween means one thing to me: Christmas is getting closer.

Yes, I have been listening to a lot of the Mariah Carey Pandora station. And, I mix in one hour of Disneyland Park entrance music here and there. I guess some of that is considered classical — it’s definitely all instrumental! (Search for it on YouTube and you’ll just want to listen to it on loop!)

I’m preparing myself for the holidays and my holiday.

Marissa, Phyllis and I will be heading to the happiest place on earth at the beginning of December. We just bought plane tickets last week and I booked our hotel last night.

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Not only will Disneyland be super magical because it will be decked out in Christmas decorations, there will also be 60th anniversary diamond festivities, too! (I almost can’t even handle all the magical-ness that will be occurring!)

Did I mention that exciting things are happening next year that I am also super excited for?

My college roommate, Nikki, is getting married (in Hawaii) in March! And then, Phyllis is getting married here in Seattle in April!

Throw a marathon somewhere in there (most likely early summer) and it looks like a great first half of the year!

But, I’m getting carried away.

I should focus on what’s happening this year first.

So, let me get back to my holiday music.

(And, don’t hate. Some of these tunes literally only make reference to cold weather, like snow).

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Remembering how to fun run

Getting myself to not race when I am at a race is a very difficult task.

Before Sunday’s Beat the Blerch, I had never done it.

I’m glad I did.

I was reminded of the fun, care-free aspects of running.

I chatted with my friends. We stopped and walked. We snapped photos with a Blerch. We took in the trees that were starting to get their fall colors. We ate cake and Nutella sandwiches.

OK, OK, so this may not have been your typical 10K but I could have raced it if I wanted to. Others had their serious race face on. But, Jackie, Emily and I were just all smiles. (Well, maybe Emily wasn’t smiling the entire time. I did kind of force her to do a race against her will. She was filling in last-minute for her sister who wasn’t able to do the race).

Beat the Blerch 10K

Beat the Blerch 10K

 

Let’s be real though. It did not start out as a normal race.

There were no lines at all for the portapotties. (This is a good thing but usually unheard of at any race. I’ve never experienced it before and was pleasantly surprised!)

There was Disney music at the start/finish line. (I love everything Disney and can sing the lines to nearly every Disney classic).

We situated ourselves at the back of the crowd. Yes, in the very last wave. We hadn’t even started running and I was already having fun. It may have been because we took our “I beat the blerch” photo before we had taken a single step of the race.

Taking the post-race photo pre-race!

Taking the post-race photo pre-race!

 

We alternated between running and walking throughout the 6.2 miles. The race was an out-and-back on a trail so we were able to see the other runners come by.

This included Brent who came whizzing by us, looking strong and holding a doughnut in his hand! I am confident to say that he is the only runner who won his age group while eating a doughnut. (Correct me if I’m wrong).

The volunteers were friendly and energetic. The Blerches insisted that we not “work so hard” and just “sit down and take a nap.” Although a nap sounded appealing, we continued on.

Emily with a Blerch and Sasquatch!

Emily with a Blerch and Sasquatch!

The three of us finished the race together. I may have pushed Emily (a little) to finish strong. I mean this in the verbal sense — I did not physically push her! She sat down shortly after we reunited with Brent and took a seat on the ground. She looked up at Jackie and I and asked us why we didn’t look tired.

You know, this is just part of my not-so-secret plan to turn all of my friends into runners. It’s slowly happening. Once I get them all running, I can get them to do marathons with me, too, right?

This was Emily’s first race ever. She intended to walk the whole thing but Jackie and I got us all to run about half of it. That’s pretty fantastic for someone who didn’t get a chance to train! And, best of all: She says she would do it again!

Yes, it was hard for me to hold back and not go all out race mode, like I normally would. (I can’t recall if I’ve ever walked during a race. I don’t think I have?) But, going blerch mode with my friends was just what I needed after doing 9 miles the day before … I guess I am tapering for the Portland Marathon, after all.

We ate more cake after we had finished the race. Well, I actually just piled my plate with potato chips. (Seriously, chips are the best post-race food. Ever). The sun was out. And, everyone was happy.

Sometimes I may get too caught up, too serious about my marathon training in the eyes of my family and friends.

But, times like these are here to remind me why I even started running in the first place.

The gang after all was run and eaten

The gang after all was run and eaten

 

To be with friends and to have a good time.

(Thank you for that, high school cross-country).

 

Fun things are about to happen

I’m bursting with fun things that are about to happen.

(And, the hole in my wallet will soon feel it … but, money buys happiness, right?? Err, I mean …)

 

Fun things that are on the horizon:

1. Hood to Coast is tomorrow! I’m runner #10 for team #767 so, be on the look out if you happen to find yourself somewhere between Mt. Hood and Seaside, Ore. Friday and Saturday.

2. I am visiting my dear friend, Hannah, in New Orleans in September. I just booked my tickets last night and will be in the good ‘ol South in three weeks!

This is Hannah and I in San Fran, not New Orleans (because the trip hasn't happened yet).

This is Hannah and I in San Fran, not New Orleans (because the trip hasn’t happened yet). [Photo: Stranger using Hannah’s camera]

3. Chicago Marathon is in October! Training has been going, uh, not as smoothly as I would like with the knee thing BUT I will get to see my dear Leah. She moved to DC for school but we will reunite for 26.2 miles in Chi-town!

 

Leah and I before the start of Vancouver Marathon 2012

Leah and I before the start of Vancouver Marathon 2012

 

4. Disneyland in November! As you may or may not recall, the last time I visited this magical place was on Leap Day last year when the park was open for 24 hours straight. I can’t wait to go back for one whole weekend!

The happiest place on earth

The happiest place on earth

 

One NOT fun thing that is about to happen:

1. Taking the GRE.

But, with all the above-mentioned fun things, I guess I can suck it up and take a standardized test that will suck the soul out of me.

People have asked me throughout the summer if I am going on any trips this summer. My answer has always been ‘no.’ I don’t get summer break, people! I’m not in school anymore! But, the positive aspect of being a working person with vacation time is that you can take your vacation during any time of the year!

So, fall break, I’m ready for you (and all the fun things you have in store!)

We took the leap and didn’t sleep …

I’ve been MIA.

I wasn’t online all weekend even though I’ve been back home.

I’ve been sleeping a lot, trying to rehydrate.

I’m behind on headlines and news in general.

I was at Disneyland for 24 hours, that’s why!

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Full recap to come. I haven’t even posted all my photos on Facebook —yet. Let me just leave you with the photo above and these thoughts: Star Tours is probably the most popular ride there; a “dark side” of Disneyland may exist; it is possible to make a ride stop because you and your friends are stupid; we saw actors filming my favorite TV show at the park! Disneyland remains to be the happiest place on earth.

Did I tell you I’m going to Disneyland?

[My cousin at Disneyland a few summers ago]

Doesn't that just look like she's experiencing the happiest place on earth?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am bursting with excitement. If you have had the honor to be around me the last few days weeks, I am sure you heard me “tactfully” slip in the phrase “and I’m going to Disneyland at the end of the month!”

Well, “the end of the month” is now three days away. I am sure Monday and Tuesday of work will feel like forever (especially with all the work I have to get done before I take my mini-vacation) but it will all be well worth it. I’ll be at the happiest place on earth. What more could a person ask for?

And besides Disneyland being the greatest place ever, because it is a leap year, on February 29th (the “extra” day in the year,) the theme park will be open for 24 hours straight. This has never been done in park history, so they say. You can be sure I will be there walking in at 6 a.m. when the gates open with wide (tired) eyes and stumbling out 24 hours later at 6 a.m. with very tired eyes and a content heart.

I do have a confession. I am slightly fearful that spending 24 hours at Disneyland will “ruin it” for me. Will I get tired of riding Space Mountain more than three times? Will “It’s a Small World” finally annoy the heck out of me (even though before I could happily ride it more than once without being so)? Will I not like being around happy characters? Will I run out of things to do? Will I get bored? Will I want to leave after 12 hours and never again want to return?

Highly doubtful, I try to push those thoughts away. And think back to the great times I have spent there in the past (cue cute photo of my cousin above. I rode the Dumbo ride with her and took that picture. It was the first time she had been to Disneyland when she was of-age to remember it).

Disneyland, Phyllis, Annie and I are on our way soon, will you be ready for us? I hope so.

Also, it is Phyllis’ first time at Disneyland so I will do my darn best at making sure we hit every single ride, parade, character visits and signature foods/snacks.

“When you wish upon a star” will be my life theme song playing in the back of my head while I’m at work tomorrow. Or, I’ll just secretly play the Pandora Disney station all the time.

Oh, by the way, did I tell you I’m going to Disneyland at the end of the month??

Sometimes a long run can make a good weekend even better

It was a weekend of wimping out on Frisbee because my hands were too cold. It was a weekend of Smash Putt. It was a weekend of adventuring on Camano Island. It was a weekend of lunching and catching up with a friend. It was a long weekend (thank you, Pres Day). It was a weekend of working at the library. It was a weekend of partying with friends to say farewell to another. It was a busy weekend. It was a weekend that ended with a perfect run.

I did indeed do all those above mentioned things.

Below is (sort of) picture evidence of Smash Putt …

Cprov takes a swing through the living room while Bryce plays video games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boys' band photo. Tour dates TBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But then finally Monday — that day-off— came around and I knew I had to get some work done or I would be screwed the rest of the week. I went to the library and among law students who studied (whatever it is they study — the law?) I frantically wrote news stories and did some research for others. I dressed wearing running clothes. I knew I would have to run afterward.

And, I did. It was quite an accomplishment because I ran 9.33 miles all by myself. I haven’t done that in a while — go on a long run alone. But it felt surprisingly nice, even if it was raining the entire hour and 28 minutes I was out! Marathon training has commenced. It feels oddly at home to be back at it.

My body wasn’t even sore the next day.