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?
- 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.