Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two posts in as many days? What's happening here? Extreme boredom, that's what. I definitely didn't see this coming. I pride myself on my ability to vegetate and used to be totally content with being a useless sack for hours on end, but I've lost it. Also, didn't I used to have hobbies other than running and drinking? What were they? Damn you, grad school!

Take yesterday. I woke up early to renew my apartment lease, and when we got home I was ready for some serious lounging after an action-packed week. I blogged, queued up some Netflix, and... was SO. INCREDIBLY. BORED. It took all of five minutes.

I managed to kill some time by getting a haircut (first since January!) but the second I got back to my apartment I knew I needed a plan. Since it was a cloudy day, I had postponed my planned hike to the following day (so the views wouldn't be obscured) and decided to take a rest day instead. But that was before the boredom kicked in.

I don't think Spencer Butte is a particularly scenic hike (I know, grumble grumble, Jean's not impressed) but it's nearby and you don't have to pay for parking so I decided to head over and walk around for a while. And what did I happen to find but new fun trails?!



You always hear about what a running mecca Eugene is, and from what I gather a lot of trail runners live here. I was always curious about where they run, though, because between the usual suspects (Pisgah, Spencer, Baldy, etc.) there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of trail available. Enter: this place!


I don't actually know what it's called, but it absolutely beats any other trails I've seen here. I mean, it's not all trees! You can see things! It's Eugene's own little Powerline! I was insanely excited to discover this new paradise.

I continued on what I'll call mini-Powerline for a little over two miles before turning around. I think I exited the park after 1.8 or so, but the trail showed no sign of ending so I continued onward. Unfortunately, I started seeing small shacks and other signs of humans which in such a (seemingly) remote area scared the shit out of me. Determined not to end up on the next season of True Detectives, I turned around. I was probably being ridiculous, but better safe than sorry and all that. I'm going to look up more about the area (like, who are these people and how do they access their houses? Are they hill people? Will they shoot me if I run there?) before I venture that far again.

----

Today a friend and I headed over to Mary's Peak near Corvallis, which is allegedly the tallest mountain in Oregon's coastal range. I won't get into too many details because it was a perfectly ordinary hike, but I will say that we showed up expecting a 5-9 mile hike (the internet wasn't very clear on trail distance) only to find that we'd driven nearly all the way up the peak! There was only a half mile left. That was unexpected, to say the least. There were trails that started farther down the mountain, though, so we were able to get in six miles or so.

The view was largely obscured by clouds on the way up, but they cleared long enough to take in some nice scenery at the top.





I wish my camera could have captured just how green the moss/grass was.

tl;dr : boredom is a real issue in my life right now. Whine, whine, whine. I guess I'm just confused by it since I've always been such a lounger. I'm sure I'll get over it and return to my slothenly (if that's not a word, it should be) ways soon enough. In the meantime, however, I'm off to Bend for the weekend!

"Like Something Out Of True Detectives" - New Trails!

Two posts in as many days? What's happening here? Extreme boredom, that's what. I definitely didn't see this coming. I pride myself on my ability to vegetate and used to be totally content with being a useless sack for hours on end, but I've lost it. Also, didn't I used to have hobbies other than running and drinking? What were they? Damn you, grad school!

Take yesterday. I woke up early to renew my apartment lease, and when we got home I was ready for some serious lounging after an action-packed week. I blogged, queued up some Netflix, and... was SO. INCREDIBLY. BORED. It took all of five minutes.

I managed to kill some time by getting a haircut (first since January!) but the second I got back to my apartment I knew I needed a plan. Since it was a cloudy day, I had postponed my planned hike to the following day (so the views wouldn't be obscured) and decided to take a rest day instead. But that was before the boredom kicked in.

I don't think Spencer Butte is a particularly scenic hike (I know, grumble grumble, Jean's not impressed) but it's nearby and you don't have to pay for parking so I decided to head over and walk around for a while. And what did I happen to find but new fun trails?!



You always hear about what a running mecca Eugene is, and from what I gather a lot of trail runners live here. I was always curious about where they run, though, because between the usual suspects (Pisgah, Spencer, Baldy, etc.) there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of trail available. Enter: this place!


I don't actually know what it's called, but it absolutely beats any other trails I've seen here. I mean, it's not all trees! You can see things! It's Eugene's own little Powerline! I was insanely excited to discover this new paradise.

I continued on what I'll call mini-Powerline for a little over two miles before turning around. I think I exited the park after 1.8 or so, but the trail showed no sign of ending so I continued onward. Unfortunately, I started seeing small shacks and other signs of humans which in such a (seemingly) remote area scared the shit out of me. Determined not to end up on the next season of True Detectives, I turned around. I was probably being ridiculous, but better safe than sorry and all that. I'm going to look up more about the area (like, who are these people and how do they access their houses? Are they hill people? Will they shoot me if I run there?) before I venture that far again.

----

Today a friend and I headed over to Mary's Peak near Corvallis, which is allegedly the tallest mountain in Oregon's coastal range. I won't get into too many details because it was a perfectly ordinary hike, but I will say that we showed up expecting a 5-9 mile hike (the internet wasn't very clear on trail distance) only to find that we'd driven nearly all the way up the peak! There was only a half mile left. That was unexpected, to say the least. There were trails that started farther down the mountain, though, so we were able to get in six miles or so.

The view was largely obscured by clouds on the way up, but they cleared long enough to take in some nice scenery at the top.





I wish my camera could have captured just how green the moss/grass was.

tl;dr : boredom is a real issue in my life right now. Whine, whine, whine. I guess I'm just confused by it since I've always been such a lounger. I'm sure I'll get over it and return to my slothenly (if that's not a word, it should be) ways soon enough. In the meantime, however, I'm off to Bend for the weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I've been cooped up in an office for the past six weeks (for the last ten months, really...), so when I finally finished school stuff last week I was dying for some adventure. Between now and September, I'm trying to spend as much time outside as possible. So far, so good!

I spent the weekend at a cabin near the coast.


I also discovered that I'm completely obsessed with tubing. It's the perfect mix of terror and relaxation.

I can't get over this picture. Neither of those people are me but I definitely looked like that more than once.

A couple of days ago, I hiked something called Browder Ridge, which is in the Central Cascades two hours from Eugene. 

I'm going to climb the peak on the right this weekend.

I don't know what these are but they're famous - Jefferson and Hood, maybe? Let's go with that.


Wearing my Butte to Butte shirt.

Funny story about that last photo - it was taken just after I found out I passed my exams! I knew we were supposed to hear sometime that day so had purposefully turned my email off on my phone. I wasn't planning to check it until I was home and could curl up in a ball and die without any witnesses present, but then I started getting texts that the results were out and after some prodding, was convinced to check it.

So it looks like I might just do this PhD thing! I've been somewhat hesitant to discuss school with anyone not in the program, knowing that I could well be thrown out on my ass after the first year (this is typical with economics PhDs - give 'em hell the first year and if they survive, start actually training them to be economists), but now my position (and future) is much more certain. What a relief!

And, of course, the best part about all of this (besides, like, pursuing my dreams) is that I have the rest of the summer to do whatever I want! I am ridiculously privileged.

Anyway, I stayed up into the wee hours celebrating that night so woke up too late the following day for an all-day hike. I settled instead for a trail run on the McKenzie River Trail, which is a little over an hour from Eugene.

Clear Lake, or something.

To be honest, the McKenzie River Trail is boring. I mean, it's nice for what it is, but you spend a lot of the time plodding through the woods which, given my distaste for trees, is less than ideal. This section was more scenic than where I ran last fall, but there was so much volcanic rock that I had to take frequent walking breaks. After 3 miles I was sufficiently pissed off that I decided it was time to turn around.

 Such volcanic rock.

I had planned to run to Sahalie Falls but since I didn't make it that far I decided I might as well drive over since I was already in the area.


----

It's rainy today (THANK GOD - multiple months of sun, sun, sun were starting to wear on me) so I decided to take it easy and do some adult stuff. Tomorrow I'm planning to hike a coastal mountain and on Friday I'm heading to Bend for the weekend! It should be a fun time. My roommate also has extra tickets to the track shenanigans happening at Hayward right now so I might try to check that out. Happy mid-week to y'all!

Questions:
  • Are you doing anything crazy exciting this weekend?
  • What's your favorite track even to watch?

Adventures in Oregon

I've been cooped up in an office for the past six weeks (for the last ten months, really...), so when I finally finished school stuff last week I was dying for some adventure. Between now and September, I'm trying to spend as much time outside as possible. So far, so good!

I spent the weekend at a cabin near the coast.


I also discovered that I'm completely obsessed with tubing. It's the perfect mix of terror and relaxation.

I can't get over this picture. Neither of those people are me but I definitely looked like that more than once.

A couple of days ago, I hiked something called Browder Ridge, which is in the Central Cascades two hours from Eugene. 

I'm going to climb the peak on the right this weekend.

I don't know what these are but they're famous - Jefferson and Hood, maybe? Let's go with that.


Wearing my Butte to Butte shirt.

Funny story about that last photo - it was taken just after I found out I passed my exams! I knew we were supposed to hear sometime that day so had purposefully turned my email off on my phone. I wasn't planning to check it until I was home and could curl up in a ball and die without any witnesses present, but then I started getting texts that the results were out and after some prodding, was convinced to check it.

So it looks like I might just do this PhD thing! I've been somewhat hesitant to discuss school with anyone not in the program, knowing that I could well be thrown out on my ass after the first year (this is typical with economics PhDs - give 'em hell the first year and if they survive, start actually training them to be economists), but now my position (and future) is much more certain. What a relief!

And, of course, the best part about all of this (besides, like, pursuing my dreams) is that I have the rest of the summer to do whatever I want! I am ridiculously privileged.

Anyway, I stayed up into the wee hours celebrating that night so woke up too late the following day for an all-day hike. I settled instead for a trail run on the McKenzie River Trail, which is a little over an hour from Eugene.

Clear Lake, or something.

To be honest, the McKenzie River Trail is boring. I mean, it's nice for what it is, but you spend a lot of the time plodding through the woods which, given my distaste for trees, is less than ideal. This section was more scenic than where I ran last fall, but there was so much volcanic rock that I had to take frequent walking breaks. After 3 miles I was sufficiently pissed off that I decided it was time to turn around.

 Such volcanic rock.

I had planned to run to Sahalie Falls but since I didn't make it that far I decided I might as well drive over since I was already in the area.


----

It's rainy today (THANK GOD - multiple months of sun, sun, sun were starting to wear on me) so I decided to take it easy and do some adult stuff. Tomorrow I'm planning to hike a coastal mountain and on Friday I'm heading to Bend for the weekend! It should be a fun time. My roommate also has extra tickets to the track shenanigans happening at Hayward right now so I might try to check that out. Happy mid-week to y'all!

Questions:
  • Are you doing anything crazy exciting this weekend?
  • What's your favorite track even to watch?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

 FREEEEEEEEEEDOM!!!

This is me, ecstatic.

You know what I did this morning? And what I'm doing right now? I'm lounging. In my room. On a Thursday. At noon. You know what I did yesterday? I went swimming. Because I can. Because my school year's finally over!

Thus far, freedom has meant a lot of sunsets.



My calendar's wide open for the next 2-8 weeks, depending on school stuff. I can't fathom having so much free time. The last time I had a break this long was in high school. What do people do when they have nothing to do? Plenty of running and hiking, certainly. And camping. And the beach! Waterskiing! Road trips! The possibilities are endless, and slightly overwhelming. I've got some fun things planned for the next week, though, so I'll leave planning the rest of my summer for another day.

So what does this mean for the blog? I'm back, baby! For now, at least.

----

Since it's what brought me out of blogger isolation, I guess we should talk about that race, huh? This far out, there's not much to be said about it, other than "unless it's in Alaska, mid-summer races are dumb."*

The race was sold to me as a tough one, particularly the first mile, but it really wasn't that bad. The race starts in a nondescript neighborhood near Spencer Butte, which surprised me as I thought the "really steep part" was on the road that passes a lot of the Spencer trailheads. I don't really know where we were, but the first eight- or nine-tenths of a mile were very reasonably inclined. The last bit, not so much, but it was still runnable.

Unsurprisingly (to me, at least), the next couple of downhill miles were the toughest. I really dislike downhill running, and this descent was unrelenting. I went with it, though, and soon found myself on familiar roads in town. At that point, the sun was getting to me, but the temperatures were still semi-reasonable.

I haven't done any speedwork since last year and run the vast majority of my runs at a moseying 10:30 - ish pace, so I took it easy the first half of the race. My pace sped up naturally on the downhill, however, so I decided to keep the momentum going the second half of the race. By which I mean I ran 9:30's or so. Not blazing fast, but decent for my current fitness level. 

Garmin splits?! Haven't seen those in a while.

I finished in just under an hour, which was what I had unofficially declared as my goal for the race. At that point, I was a hot, sticky mess so we didn't hang around for long. I'm obviously a jaded curmudgeon, but I think race finishes are a pain in the ass. Usually I'm kind of miserable and just want a cold shower. Which I got, and which was glorious.

Here's a crappy photo of me from the race. Post-race, might I add. When my friend sent it to me I was like, "Seriously? I'm so slow these days that running and walking are indistinguishable?" I don't know why Forrest Gump on the right there is still running.


Here's to summer!

*[This is where I need to somewhat irrelevantly vent my frustration with the Eugene Marathon's decision to move the race to the end of July. I know, this is old news and it doesn't affect me in any way because I'm not even running it this year, but whyyyy?! Why take a race that happens during one of the most lovely (and cool!) springs I've ever experienced and throw it into the hellish hell that is July? Do you really think marathoners are going to be able to feel any sort of kinship with their track brethren when they're being carted off to the hospital? Oh, wait, sorry, the race starts at 6:00 a.m. to "beat the heat." Even worse.

In case you're wondering, I will not be spectating the race. Not out of protest or anything, but because it's too damn hot out. And because I should be hiking South Sister.]



FREEDOM

 FREEEEEEEEEEDOM!!!

This is me, ecstatic.

You know what I did this morning? And what I'm doing right now? I'm lounging. In my room. On a Thursday. At noon. You know what I did yesterday? I went swimming. Because I can. Because my school year's finally over!

Thus far, freedom has meant a lot of sunsets.



My calendar's wide open for the next 2-8 weeks, depending on school stuff. I can't fathom having so much free time. The last time I had a break this long was in high school. What do people do when they have nothing to do? Plenty of running and hiking, certainly. And camping. And the beach! Waterskiing! Road trips! The possibilities are endless, and slightly overwhelming. I've got some fun things planned for the next week, though, so I'll leave planning the rest of my summer for another day.

So what does this mean for the blog? I'm back, baby! For now, at least.

----

Since it's what brought me out of blogger isolation, I guess we should talk about that race, huh? This far out, there's not much to be said about it, other than "unless it's in Alaska, mid-summer races are dumb."*

The race was sold to me as a tough one, particularly the first mile, but it really wasn't that bad. The race starts in a nondescript neighborhood near Spencer Butte, which surprised me as I thought the "really steep part" was on the road that passes a lot of the Spencer trailheads. I don't really know where we were, but the first eight- or nine-tenths of a mile were very reasonably inclined. The last bit, not so much, but it was still runnable.

Unsurprisingly (to me, at least), the next couple of downhill miles were the toughest. I really dislike downhill running, and this descent was unrelenting. I went with it, though, and soon found myself on familiar roads in town. At that point, the sun was getting to me, but the temperatures were still semi-reasonable.

I haven't done any speedwork since last year and run the vast majority of my runs at a moseying 10:30 - ish pace, so I took it easy the first half of the race. My pace sped up naturally on the downhill, however, so I decided to keep the momentum going the second half of the race. By which I mean I ran 9:30's or so. Not blazing fast, but decent for my current fitness level. 

Garmin splits?! Haven't seen those in a while.

I finished in just under an hour, which was what I had unofficially declared as my goal for the race. At that point, I was a hot, sticky mess so we didn't hang around for long. I'm obviously a jaded curmudgeon, but I think race finishes are a pain in the ass. Usually I'm kind of miserable and just want a cold shower. Which I got, and which was glorious.

Here's a crappy photo of me from the race. Post-race, might I add. When my friend sent it to me I was like, "Seriously? I'm so slow these days that running and walking are indistinguishable?" I don't know why Forrest Gump on the right there is still running.


Here's to summer!

*[This is where I need to somewhat irrelevantly vent my frustration with the Eugene Marathon's decision to move the race to the end of July. I know, this is old news and it doesn't affect me in any way because I'm not even running it this year, but whyyyy?! Why take a race that happens during one of the most lovely (and cool!) springs I've ever experienced and throw it into the hellish hell that is July? Do you really think marathoners are going to be able to feel any sort of kinship with their track brethren when they're being carted off to the hospital? Oh, wait, sorry, the race starts at 6:00 a.m. to "beat the heat." Even worse.

In case you're wondering, I will not be spectating the race. Not out of protest or anything, but because it's too damn hot out. And because I should be hiking South Sister.]



Thursday, July 3, 2014

GUYS. I KNOW. I do. I've been gone a long time. Far too long. Your defunct 2003 Xanga journal sees more action than this blog. Frankly, I was dismayed to realize how long it's been. So dismayed, in fact, that I considered filing a complaint with my department. They obviously missed the "afternoon Phd" box I drew and checked on my application. I was brought here under false pretenses!

Fortunately, the madness is almost over. Almost. Unless, of course, I failed everything, in which case I'll spend the rest of the summer doing it all over again BECAUSE I LOVE SCHOOL SO MUCH. However, let's hope it doesn't come to that.

So why, you might be asking, am I taking a break from the 6:30 - 10:00 grind that is my life right now to check in? "Jeano, you don't have time for this shit!" I hear you. But then I couldn't tell you about my race tomorrow!

That's right: I'm finally doing another race. The last time I donned my Pace Gloves for anything other than a casual jog was for my marathon last June, so this is big news (or, at least, a statement of fact).

Tomorrow, I'm running the local Butt to Butt Butte to Butte 10k (yes, I'm five years old, but I also hadn't ever encountered a butte until I moved here so have to make up for all the butt jokes I couldn't tell when I was a kid). I don't think I've ever raced anything shorter than a half marathon so it should be an experience.

Honestly, I don't really like racing. Why? Why not?! Races mean stress!  An early wake-up! Pain! A non-zero probability of Julia Moss-ing! Why would I pay money for that? Unless it's a carefully-chosen race I've dedicated time to train for, I'm not really interested. However, this race is free (for me - so connected).

Also, how could I pass up what may be the most racist race t-shirt of all time?

I know, I know, it's just a hippie but to me it screams "Get out of my country!" Also, why is this gentleman incapable of running properly?

I think you know better than to expect a race report from me, but maybe I'll talk about it the next time I drop by. For now, I'll leave you with some photographic evidence that I (occasionally) get out of the office.

Bohemia Mountain - a stupid short hike but a pretty decent view for this area.

Chilling in California, where I spent an all-too-brief weekend with some family folk.

This is near Pre's rock. NO, I DID NOT TAKE A PICTURE OF THE ROCK. IT IS A ROCK. Overlooks within running distance (for me) are few and far between but this is swell. And incredibly dangerous - I took this through a fence on a windy road without a sidewalk/shoulder. Such a rebel!

I'm going to have to pawn my firstborn if I have to retake either of my tests. Bars near places of stress are dangerous.

Crater Lake! Which, by the way, is such a bizarre place - beautiful but so very tame and accessible. Which is nice and all, but so many people. Everywhere.

My Pace Gloves really tried my patience on this hike. In my defense, the park ranger I spoke to the previous day lied and told me all the peaks were closed so I didn't envision us encountering snow. Closed my ass!

My other blog, "Water Skiing Jeano," will be up and running soon. I did actually manage to stand up using the rope but no one thought to take a picture of that.

COME ON. I've wanted to see a mini in the flesh for YEARS, and it finally came true.

It had never occurred to me to run up Skinner Butte until last week. It's five miles door-to-door, which is perfect for the limited amount of time I've had to run these past few weeks.

This was fun. We should do it again sometime!

Questions for you!
  • What's the funniest race shirt you've seen?
  • Are you doing a 4th of July run?
  • Does anyone even bother with this blog anymore?

Fourth of July Butt to Butt

GUYS. I KNOW. I do. I've been gone a long time. Far too long. Your defunct 2003 Xanga journal sees more action than this blog. Frankly, I was dismayed to realize how long it's been. So dismayed, in fact, that I considered filing a complaint with my department. They obviously missed the "afternoon Phd" box I drew and checked on my application. I was brought here under false pretenses!

Fortunately, the madness is almost over. Almost. Unless, of course, I failed everything, in which case I'll spend the rest of the summer doing it all over again BECAUSE I LOVE SCHOOL SO MUCH. However, let's hope it doesn't come to that.

So why, you might be asking, am I taking a break from the 6:30 - 10:00 grind that is my life right now to check in? "Jeano, you don't have time for this shit!" I hear you. But then I couldn't tell you about my race tomorrow!

That's right: I'm finally doing another race. The last time I donned my Pace Gloves for anything other than a casual jog was for my marathon last June, so this is big news (or, at least, a statement of fact).

Tomorrow, I'm running the local Butt to Butt Butte to Butte 10k (yes, I'm five years old, but I also hadn't ever encountered a butte until I moved here so have to make up for all the butt jokes I couldn't tell when I was a kid). I don't think I've ever raced anything shorter than a half marathon so it should be an experience.

Honestly, I don't really like racing. Why? Why not?! Races mean stress!  An early wake-up! Pain! A non-zero probability of Julia Moss-ing! Why would I pay money for that? Unless it's a carefully-chosen race I've dedicated time to train for, I'm not really interested. However, this race is free (for me - so connected).

Also, how could I pass up what may be the most racist race t-shirt of all time?

I know, I know, it's just a hippie but to me it screams "Get out of my country!" Also, why is this gentleman incapable of running properly?

I think you know better than to expect a race report from me, but maybe I'll talk about it the next time I drop by. For now, I'll leave you with some photographic evidence that I (occasionally) get out of the office.

Bohemia Mountain - a stupid short hike but a pretty decent view for this area.

Chilling in California, where I spent an all-too-brief weekend with some family folk.

This is near Pre's rock. NO, I DID NOT TAKE A PICTURE OF THE ROCK. IT IS A ROCK. Overlooks within running distance (for me) are few and far between but this is swell. And incredibly dangerous - I took this through a fence on a windy road without a sidewalk/shoulder. Such a rebel!

I'm going to have to pawn my firstborn if I have to retake either of my tests. Bars near places of stress are dangerous.

Crater Lake! Which, by the way, is such a bizarre place - beautiful but so very tame and accessible. Which is nice and all, but so many people. Everywhere.

My Pace Gloves really tried my patience on this hike. In my defense, the park ranger I spoke to the previous day lied and told me all the peaks were closed so I didn't envision us encountering snow. Closed my ass!

My other blog, "Water Skiing Jeano," will be up and running soon. I did actually manage to stand up using the rope but no one thought to take a picture of that.

COME ON. I've wanted to see a mini in the flesh for YEARS, and it finally came true.

It had never occurred to me to run up Skinner Butte until last week. It's five miles door-to-door, which is perfect for the limited amount of time I've had to run these past few weeks.

This was fun. We should do it again sometime!

Questions for you!
  • What's the funniest race shirt you've seen?
  • Are you doing a 4th of July run?
  • Does anyone even bother with this blog anymore?

Friday, March 28, 2014

How do you reenter the interblogs after a 3-month absence? Make an awkward joke about it? GET REALLY EXCITED AND TALK IN CAPITAL LETTERS?!?!?! Or just act like you've been here the whole time?

Let's see:

  • The perma-stench resulting from not showering created a film that covered my eyes so I lost the ability to see my computer screen. That's funny, see, because I live in Oregon now.
  • GUYS, I'VE MISSED YOU SOOOOO MUCH, THERE'S SOOOOO MUCH TO CATCH YOU UP ON WHERE DO I START!!!!!!!
  • Today's run was just what I needed.

Because we like to appeal to the masses here at JJ-o, we're going to approach this in a "choose your own adventure" kind of way and let you decide which opening you prefer. Unfortunately, "interesting and appropriate" opening is unavailable. Deal with it.

----

So I find myself near the end of my Spring Break, which means another quarter of grad school has come and gone! You'll be happy to know that my soul has not yet been crushed, and I'm trucking on as merrily as ever. I mean, don't get me wrong - grad school is f-cking hard. By far the hardest thing I've ever done. But I'm loving much of what I'm studying and going through it with an awesome group of people. Also, my hard work is paying off - I'm going to teach this coming quarter! I'm pretty excited (terrified?) about that one.

I even sort of found a balance between school and working out, something that completely eluded me last quarter. I realized that my expectations for myself were much too high - Hanson-style mileage or bust. That was a recipe for disaster. This past quarter, I took a more moderate approach and was able to do some sort of workout 5-6 days a week. It helped that my earliest class was at 10:00 a.m. because waking up before 7:00 is a non-starter for me.

I've mostly been running, hiking, erging - which is surprisingly tolerable these days - and doing THE CORE. I even hopped in the pool yesterday. That was... something that I did. My form's the worst but I push myself pretty hard. Unfortunately, I still wake up the next day wondering whether I even worked out. Then again, that's my reaction to pretty much anything that isn't running. I don't have any races on the horizon but that should change if/once I pass my exams in July.

----

Well, I'm glad we got that out of the way relatively painlessly. Let's talk about Spring Break!

Spring Break got off to an... unhealthy start. Eventually, though, most of my friends left town, which gave me an opportunity to get out by myself and do some exploring. I'm usually able to convince a friend or two to come hiking with me, but there's a wide range of abilities and a general lack of time/willingness to do anything longer than a few gentle miles, which meant I hadn't done any real hiking in ages. It was time.

So this past Monday I hopped in my car, headed north-ish, and didn't stop until I hit the Deschutes River.

100 or so miles east of Portland.

My only requirement was "no f-cking trees, please" (I know, I know, trees are life! oxygen! science!, but they also block EVERY nice view in Oregon) and man, did this place deliver. Nary a tree to be found! It was also dry, which was a plus.

It was pretty tame hiking but with plenty to look at, I didn't really care. In fact, both days I hiked out and ran back, which worked out perfectly. This would be a great place for a race.

Tame hiking, easy running.


The good AND bad thing about being from Alaska: very little exposure to snakes = very little fear of snakes. I wasn't actually nearly as close as this picture suggests, but I also wasn't screaming my head off. This guy was huge.

Since it took so long to get there, I decided to camp for the night. I had never actually camped by myself so was eager to see what it was like.

View from the campground.

Well, initially I was all, "So woman, much brave, will definitely sleep in my tent tonight..." *

Which lasted all of two hours. I dozed off briefly before waking with a start, convinced I was about to be murdered, and hightailing it to my car, where I spent the rest of the night. I think I would have been a lot more comfortable had I not been surrounded by people. As it was, I created a murderous backstory for every single person I encountered ("That 6-year-old lulls people into a false sense of security before going Damien on their ass") and couldn't chill out. Ah well, baby steps. 

After a semi-sleepless night, I got another hike in before hitting the road back to Eugene. Because I had time, I made a couple of side trips to check out the scenery. The Columbia River Gorge is pretty.

Multnomah Falls. Blah blah cut off a lot of the waterfall blah blah deal with it.





This is from another hike I did over break. My intended destination was something called "Bohemia Mountain," but the road was steep, windy, desolate, and covered in snow, which I didn't want to deal with. I had to settle for trees.

This wasn't an intentional footprint but, you know, minimalism dictated that I take a picture of it.

----

So that's all I've got in the way of life updates. My phone died a while back and I failed to replace it in a timely manner (yes, actually, it was a really hard and emotional time), so consequently there's a pretty lengthy period of time for which I have no pictures.  By which I mean it didn't happen (because, you know, pics or shens). Suffice it to say, I did some things and saw some places.

Have a good one! I'll try to check in every once in a while but no promises.

* is that an appropriate use of that joke? Because it's one of my favorites and I'm determined to use it as much as possible.

So Woman, Much Brave

How do you reenter the interblogs after a 3-month absence? Make an awkward joke about it? GET REALLY EXCITED AND TALK IN CAPITAL LETTERS?!?!?! Or just act like you've been here the whole time?

Let's see:

  • The perma-stench resulting from not showering created a film that covered my eyes so I lost the ability to see my computer screen. That's funny, see, because I live in Oregon now.
  • GUYS, I'VE MISSED YOU SOOOOO MUCH, THERE'S SOOOOO MUCH TO CATCH YOU UP ON WHERE DO I START!!!!!!!
  • Today's run was just what I needed.

Because we like to appeal to the masses here at JJ-o, we're going to approach this in a "choose your own adventure" kind of way and let you decide which opening you prefer. Unfortunately, "interesting and appropriate" opening is unavailable. Deal with it.

----

So I find myself near the end of my Spring Break, which means another quarter of grad school has come and gone! You'll be happy to know that my soul has not yet been crushed, and I'm trucking on as merrily as ever. I mean, don't get me wrong - grad school is f-cking hard. By far the hardest thing I've ever done. But I'm loving much of what I'm studying and going through it with an awesome group of people. Also, my hard work is paying off - I'm going to teach this coming quarter! I'm pretty excited (terrified?) about that one.

I even sort of found a balance between school and working out, something that completely eluded me last quarter. I realized that my expectations for myself were much too high - Hanson-style mileage or bust. That was a recipe for disaster. This past quarter, I took a more moderate approach and was able to do some sort of workout 5-6 days a week. It helped that my earliest class was at 10:00 a.m. because waking up before 7:00 is a non-starter for me.

I've mostly been running, hiking, erging - which is surprisingly tolerable these days - and doing THE CORE. I even hopped in the pool yesterday. That was... something that I did. My form's the worst but I push myself pretty hard. Unfortunately, I still wake up the next day wondering whether I even worked out. Then again, that's my reaction to pretty much anything that isn't running. I don't have any races on the horizon but that should change if/once I pass my exams in July.

----

Well, I'm glad we got that out of the way relatively painlessly. Let's talk about Spring Break!

Spring Break got off to an... unhealthy start. Eventually, though, most of my friends left town, which gave me an opportunity to get out by myself and do some exploring. I'm usually able to convince a friend or two to come hiking with me, but there's a wide range of abilities and a general lack of time/willingness to do anything longer than a few gentle miles, which meant I hadn't done any real hiking in ages. It was time.

So this past Monday I hopped in my car, headed north-ish, and didn't stop until I hit the Deschutes River.

100 or so miles east of Portland.

My only requirement was "no f-cking trees, please" (I know, I know, trees are life! oxygen! science!, but they also block EVERY nice view in Oregon) and man, did this place deliver. Nary a tree to be found! It was also dry, which was a plus.

It was pretty tame hiking but with plenty to look at, I didn't really care. In fact, both days I hiked out and ran back, which worked out perfectly. This would be a great place for a race.

Tame hiking, easy running.


The good AND bad thing about being from Alaska: very little exposure to snakes = very little fear of snakes. I wasn't actually nearly as close as this picture suggests, but I also wasn't screaming my head off. This guy was huge.

Since it took so long to get there, I decided to camp for the night. I had never actually camped by myself so was eager to see what it was like.

View from the campground.

Well, initially I was all, "So woman, much brave, will definitely sleep in my tent tonight..." *

Which lasted all of two hours. I dozed off briefly before waking with a start, convinced I was about to be murdered, and hightailing it to my car, where I spent the rest of the night. I think I would have been a lot more comfortable had I not been surrounded by people. As it was, I created a murderous backstory for every single person I encountered ("That 6-year-old lulls people into a false sense of security before going Damien on their ass") and couldn't chill out. Ah well, baby steps. 

After a semi-sleepless night, I got another hike in before hitting the road back to Eugene. Because I had time, I made a couple of side trips to check out the scenery. The Columbia River Gorge is pretty.

Multnomah Falls. Blah blah cut off a lot of the waterfall blah blah deal with it.





This is from another hike I did over break. My intended destination was something called "Bohemia Mountain," but the road was steep, windy, desolate, and covered in snow, which I didn't want to deal with. I had to settle for trees.

This wasn't an intentional footprint but, you know, minimalism dictated that I take a picture of it.

----

So that's all I've got in the way of life updates. My phone died a while back and I failed to replace it in a timely manner (yes, actually, it was a really hard and emotional time), so consequently there's a pretty lengthy period of time for which I have no pictures.  By which I mean it didn't happen (because, you know, pics or shens). Suffice it to say, I did some things and saw some places.

Have a good one! I'll try to check in every once in a while but no promises.

* is that an appropriate use of that joke? Because it's one of my favorites and I'm determined to use it as much as possible.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I’m sitting in the Portland airport right now trying to pass 4 ½ hours until my shuttle comes. Isn’t it a wonderful thing, taking a red-eye out of Anchorage, arriving in under three hours thanks to a strong tail wind, and then… realizing you can’t just, like, show up and have a ride to Eugene waiting for you at 6:30 a.m.?

This was my realization approximately twenty minutes ago. It seems you actually have to plan these things for them to happen, and it also seems people here don’t do things before 11:00 a.m. At least, that’s my conclusion based on available buses/shuttles to Eugene. That there’s sound science.

In case it’s not obvious, I’m delirious. I have some “airplane anxiety” (code words for “I’m that batshit flyer no one wants to sit next to”), so I played Sudoku for the duration of the flight (yes, I am that smart, interesting, and handsome in real life), which means I’m going to spend the next few hours figuring out how to tape my eyes open using only the internet and common sense.

----

So, guys, you know the drill: new year, new us!! Let’s start with a little recap, and then we’ll recap that recap. When we’re done with that, we’ll talk resolutions, weight loss, and starting the year off right!

Said a bunch of boring people.

Actually, recaps are fine. I’m recapped out, to be honest, but given that I did my own recap, I can’t very well knock others for doing the same. OR CAN I?

Honestly, unless you’re getting married (side note: Professor Amy’s wedding was the chillest blog event ever, right? Loved it) or have a hilarious holiday story that ends with someone in prison (AS ANY GOOD STORY SHOULD), I’m probably not interested anymore. 2013 was sooo last year.

So my little Alaskan adventure has come to an end. Once I finish my precious last piece of Moose’s Tooth pizza (UP YOUR PIZZA GAME, EUGENE), it’s time to ditch the bra, don my flannel hemp trousers, and grease up the dreads because I’m back in Oregon, baby! That, I believe, is an accurate description of Oregonian women according to nobody.

It was an awesome escape. I was able to do whatever I felt like without a care in the world. Okay, that’s a lie; I had many cares. For example: “Do I go hiking, skiing, or sledding?”


 


Or all three. This is a terrible photo of a remarkable sledding hill.


AHAHAHAHAHA. But seriously, that poor dog. We ended up cutting those off of her.

Or, “Do I want two pieces of Moose’s Tooth or six?” (THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS SIX)

Even more distressing: “Do I want to sleep for sixteen hours or only twelve so I can wake up at the butt crack of 10:00 a.m. to watch the sun rise?”

 
We woke up early to watch the sun rise… on the wrong side of the mountain.



There's that rascal sun.

Steeeeeeep.

It was a trying time.

----

Did I just recap? I think I recapped. I give up.

----

Anyway, it's been fun to get back into blogging. Same time next year?

Would You Like Some Recap With That Recap?

I’m sitting in the Portland airport right now trying to pass 4 ½ hours until my shuttle comes. Isn’t it a wonderful thing, taking a red-eye out of Anchorage, arriving in under three hours thanks to a strong tail wind, and then… realizing you can’t just, like, show up and have a ride to Eugene waiting for you at 6:30 a.m.?

This was my realization approximately twenty minutes ago. It seems you actually have to plan these things for them to happen, and it also seems people here don’t do things before 11:00 a.m. At least, that’s my conclusion based on available buses/shuttles to Eugene. That there’s sound science.

In case it’s not obvious, I’m delirious. I have some “airplane anxiety” (code words for “I’m that batshit flyer no one wants to sit next to”), so I played Sudoku for the duration of the flight (yes, I am that smart, interesting, and handsome in real life), which means I’m going to spend the next few hours figuring out how to tape my eyes open using only the internet and common sense.

----

So, guys, you know the drill: new year, new us!! Let’s start with a little recap, and then we’ll recap that recap. When we’re done with that, we’ll talk resolutions, weight loss, and starting the year off right!

Said a bunch of boring people.

Actually, recaps are fine. I’m recapped out, to be honest, but given that I did my own recap, I can’t very well knock others for doing the same. OR CAN I?

Honestly, unless you’re getting married (side note: Professor Amy’s wedding was the chillest blog event ever, right? Loved it) or have a hilarious holiday story that ends with someone in prison (AS ANY GOOD STORY SHOULD), I’m probably not interested anymore. 2013 was sooo last year.

So my little Alaskan adventure has come to an end. Once I finish my precious last piece of Moose’s Tooth pizza (UP YOUR PIZZA GAME, EUGENE), it’s time to ditch the bra, don my flannel hemp trousers, and grease up the dreads because I’m back in Oregon, baby! That, I believe, is an accurate description of Oregonian women according to nobody.

It was an awesome escape. I was able to do whatever I felt like without a care in the world. Okay, that’s a lie; I had many cares. For example: “Do I go hiking, skiing, or sledding?”


 


Or all three. This is a terrible photo of a remarkable sledding hill.


AHAHAHAHAHA. But seriously, that poor dog. We ended up cutting those off of her.

Or, “Do I want two pieces of Moose’s Tooth or six?” (THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS SIX)

Even more distressing: “Do I want to sleep for sixteen hours or only twelve so I can wake up at the butt crack of 10:00 a.m. to watch the sun rise?”

 
We woke up early to watch the sun rise… on the wrong side of the mountain.



There's that rascal sun.

Steeeeeeep.

It was a trying time.

----

Did I just recap? I think I recapped. I give up.

----

Anyway, it's been fun to get back into blogging. Same time next year?