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Archive for the ‘memorable events’ Category

Somehow, 2009 has been a bit less productive when it came to blogging.

At the close end of 2009, I discovered Face Book! And so, the beginning of a bad addiction started.

Let me assure you, with a built-in guilt from years of being Catholic, I’d never stray too far from a project such as my blog, or my knitting, or anything that is dear to my heart. I’m still productive, but a bit spread-out-thin at the moment.

So to compensate, let me give you a treat for the eyes. Just click here. Trust me, it has something close and related to yarn, providers of yarn at least.

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Oh boy! I totally forgot about sending the next write-up on the Hood River Scenic Drive. So here’s Part 2.

       

The surprise stop in the fruit loop was the alpaca farm called Foothills Yarn & Fiber. A stop there meant yarns had to be bought, of course.

But the alpacas were deliciously cute and cuddly. In residence were a cat and a dog. And here they are:

  

Yes, this gentle giant, I found out, was quite heavy. He stepped on me when the cat crossed his path where my foot was. And he was the mystery nose I blogged earlier.

Back in the town of Hood River are quaint little stores that can all be visited by foot. Great restaurants and great views, I tell ‘ya. But what my hubby and I discovered was the trip up 2nd Street and Montello Avenue on a stairway beside the Big Horse Brew Pub. As you go up those steps is Winans Park on the right side. Keep going as the end of the steep stairway stops at Montello. On Montello, look down towards how beautiful the town of Hood River and Columbia River are, and you will be amazed that you have climbed up over 250 feet of over a steep 45° angle in no time. That was the best workout we had while there! Mind you, even with marathon training, I had to stop a few times to take my breath, while the hubby kept going.

                            

                    

We had a great time and will take My Precious next summer or fall. He was not too happy we left him out.

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Blueberry Cake from Market of Choice

My Precious had just had a birthday Monday. As always, he wanted a quiet celebration. So unlike his younger days,  when 10 or more little terror guests, mostly boys, were invited. Now, it’s only a family affair.

Last Saturday, part of his gifts was to drive him anywhere he wanted. There was a limit to distance, of course. He wanted to hike Mt. Hood hiking trails. But that’s out of the choices. Explained to him that if it’s raining locally, it would be snowing up Mt. Hood. He opted to go to this place:

Uwajimaya Beaverton

Uwajimaya: only 3 stores, 1 in Oregon and 2 in Washington. Visited all the store aisles; bought dessert goodies. We had a very Japanese lunch. The restaurant within the store looked all Japanese except for the background music. It was playing Hawaiian songs. Sushi is always part of the dishes that we order when we go Japanese.

Then off to downtown Portland, about 20 minutes west of Uwajimaya. Walked around and window-shopped. All in 1 hour of getting there. Then, the birthday boy got bored. So we went home. I couldn’t complain. It was his birthday after all.

What he got for his birthday:

  • The much-anticipated Lizard Ridge Afghan:  He was quite surprise with this unusual present. And he loved it. My Precious is a blanket person. Never a sweater person, so I cannot make him sweaters. He stopped wearing sweaters once he reached grade school. ‘Tis sad!

Folded Lizard Ridge

  • A tire gauge: very practical. Dad only gives him practical gifts.
  • A Border’s gift card: bookstore gifts are always handy. There’s always a bookstore gift card in any present we get/give.
  • A clock sticker: his car’s clock somehow breaks every now & then. Must be a loose wiring somewhere. Everyone is lazy to have it fixed. So Dad just got him this.
  • Lots of chocolate: Euphoria chocolate, a local chocolate maker.
  • And lastly, he got 2 days off from work. This child who’s never taken days off just because. He’s learning. haha!

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Portlandia, Official Icon for Portland Oregon

Yay! All done! Finally, all those months (9 to be exact) of training have finally come to an end by (I wish I could say, with a bang!) completing the 26.2 mile marathon in Portland, October 4th, Sunday.

Such A Pig Bib, Medal & 26.2 Magnet

My Official Shirt & My Good-Luck Charms

Target time of 6.5 hours just didn’t quite happen. I had problems early on, at mile 3. The toes to my right foot started to scream at me, with intense burning sensation. I can only think, ‘Oh boy, there are 23 more miles to go. How am I gonna finish this?!’ I was totally miserable as I reached mile 14, where I had a complete exhausted feeling and racking my brain for new strategy. Mile 17, which is the highest peak of the race literally on the St. John’s Bridge, was supposed to be the WALL. My wall started at mile 14.

But I had weapons of distraction on the ready by then. I puffed the last puff of my asthma inhaler, put on my mp3 player and swallowed (yuck!) 2 of the 2x caffeine gel for a boost. That changed everything. I was able to pass about 20 racers (some of which were seniors and some who were shorter than me. hahahahaha!). Also, I noticed that the burning sensation on my toes had ceased; with the conclusion that my feet were swollen enough to elevate the toes from touching the bottom of my shoes.

I even cheered on racers who were dragging their limping legs, as I passed them by. I would say, ‘xxxx more miles to go. Pick up, pick up!’ But deep down, I’d say, ‘Darn, xxx more loooooong miles to go.’ Even the last mile seemed like forever to reach.

Finally, I see the finish line. Hardly anyone on the sidelines were cheering. But surprise, surprise, my training coach was there and was happy to see me. I was just going to wave to her, but she came and hugged me. It was really a nice gesture, but all I could think then was, ‘Hey, you’re delaying my finish time.’

So, what was my finish time? Let’s just put it this way………I beat the 8 hour clock! Because after 8 hours, the organizers were supposed to clear away the area. Unluckily for my race partner, who always beats me in the dust at other races, finished at a dismal 9 some hours. Others were still there till 10 hours. So, really, I shouldn’t be whining, right?

It’s just my first full marathon. One learns alot at any first time events, right? First time marathon….lots of lessons learned. I mean A LOT! During the race, all I could think of was WHY? WHY WERE YOU CRAZY ENOUGH TO THINK YOU CAN DO THIS?!

After the race, the mind set is in a different state. In a state of euphoria for:

  1. overcoming one’s self-doubt;
  2. not giving up; not even the thought of giving up;
  3. not succumbing to the mental circus of thoughts going on during the race;
  4. and lastly, for actually reaching the finish line.

There’s a wish (death wish?) that there would be more marathons to accomplish even if it meant ‘just walking them’. This is very addicting! In a positive way!

Notes of Importance from This Race:

  • The weather that started with rain overnight before the race, turned out really wonderful with overcast skies (hate sunshine!) and about high 30’s into 40’s, I think. So, no overheating feeling there.
  • I didn’t overdress, one lesson I learned from the Eugene Half Marathon.
  • I didn’t overload on crappy useless stuffs in my backpack.
  • From watching other racers, I saw a couple with Cyclist’s Vests on. They seemed happy without any burden to carry. Next time I will invest in one and put all my necessities in the back pocket.
  • And depending on the amenities of the race, I will minimize carrying my own water. Portland Marathon was great giving out water and electrolytes and gummy bears. For this race, I loaded up with my own electrolyte thinking I’ll just drink their water. After so many miles, I was getting sick of and bored with drinking & eating SWEET stuffs like such electrolytes (which by the way is an absolute necessity) and power bars. To this day, I don’t even want to mention power bars. AND GELS!
  • As for food, variety is the keyBeef Jerky, dried fruits, pretzels, cheese stix, and trail mix would give one a no humdrum feeling.
  • And last lesson learned: it’s not only the physical that we train to accomplish feats of impossibility, one has to tackle and train THE MIND. Long races play tricks on the mind. It can drive you insane (well, not literally).

So, onto other races. In the meantime, I would like to tackle running, I mean RUNNING (not walking) a 5K.

Until the next marathon…….I remain optimistic and positive. On to a healthier lifestyle! Remember, walking is a way of life, use it!

Behind the Start Line at the Fountain, Early Morning Prior to Race, Hardly Awake

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Yaaaaaay! What exhilaration! What accomplishment! The 3rd Annual Eugene Marathon is over!

The goal: to walk a half marathon (13.1 miles)

Target completion time: 4.5 hours

Accomplishment: Completed a half marathon in 3.5 hours!!!!!!!

Awards:

  • The medal (not a chocolate medal as I wished; and everyone got one);
  • A quarter-sized diameter of a blister on bottom of right foot;
  • A dead nail on one of the little toes of same right foot.

Medal for the Half Marathon

Post Race Notes

That’s my walking partner’s legs on the left and mine on the right. Check out how my right foot is stepping funny. That’s because the blister was intensely painful, like a blister on top of a blister.

That's me on the right!

I started limping at mile 4. The rain was steady at the start of the race and my socks and shoes were soaked. Decided not to change socks knowing if I did, the blister which I could feel had already adhered to the sock will rip open. Miserably, I limped till the end.

My walking partner got pulled along with the runners and had to run along with them. She finished 20 minutes ahead of me.

All along the course, I was tempted to check my time but held off till the end. The best and sweetest surprise was at the finish line when I could hardly believe my eyes. I shaved AN HOUR from my goal time. If only I could jump up and down at the finish line! But pain and fatigue prevented me from doing anything crazy like jumping or bending or anything. But sweet success, I did it!

And you’d think that after the race you are soooo hungry you could eat a horse or a cow, all  I just wanted to do was NOT TO PUKE. So I didn’t partake on the free pancakes. A banana, 2 bags of chips (for the salt intake), 3 bites of turkey subway sandwich were all I could stomach. Then it was off to a long, deep, relaxing massage. I actually napped till it was over.

We stayed till the end of the race. Although I forgot to take a photo at the start of the race (how could I when the area was jam-packed with people), I made sure to take a photo of the sixth-hour time.

Check out the time!

This week is a no-training week, a goof-off week. Then, on to a more rigorous training for the Portland Full Marathon (26.2 miles of hills and bridges) in October. My goal is to finish it at 6.5 to 7.5 hours considering the uphill battles. Mind you, during the race yesterday, I was actually asking/telling myself, “why, why, why am I here when this race is such a painful ordeal; why, why, why, oh why? I’ll never do this again!” After a day (today) of rest, I’m hooked. This is a new addiction! I can’t wait for the next training.

But before Portland Marathon, there’s the Butte-to-Butte 4.5 mile fitness walk. Butte-to-Butte has no 10k walking race, unfortunately.  Butte-to-Butte’s 10k run is brutal as the history indicates, with almost a vertical climb at the beginning of the race.

I might enter 1 or 2 more half marathons somewhere. We will see. It’s more like my knees will tell me.

Overall, I’m really, really glad I didn’t back out of this crazy idea to enter a marathon.

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I just have to blog this.

If the above video does not work, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

It goes to show, just because the media and everyone else has this cookie-cutter image of what is a talent, this would put us all to shame! Image is NOT all that matters.

Darn! I feel like crying. For Joy!

Enjoy! And be awestruck!

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When my family and I were in O’ahu a few weeks ago, the top on the list of places to visit was Hanauma Bay. It’s home to so many kinds of tropical fish. When we were in O’ahu fifteen years ago, we discovered how wonderful this place was for snorkeling. The fact that snorkeling was easy to do even for a small child (a child that can swim, of course) made this place family-friendly. Unfortunately when we went for vacation 15 years ago, My Precious wasn’t with us. I always felt sad and guilty for not having him with us then. (Considering that the couple we went with, dominated and dictated where my husband and I should go. And that did not sit well with me. That as much as I enjoyed that trip, it was marred by people who shouldn’t have come with us.)  

Oops! Got sidetracked there for a second. Back to the subject of snorkeling. So, this time around, we made sure that My Precious was with us. We had described to him that the bay held wondrous fish of every exotic kind; that he would love it, etc., etc. We even showed him photos of a Hanauma Bay Book we bought prior to the trip. His only answer was: I’m done with swimming.

Oh, that’s a sad remark. You see, all his young life, My Precious had been swimming competitively. So, he’s had it with water and swimming and chlorine and all. I was much concerned he would not go in and enjoy looking at these fish. But we pushed him.

Going to Hanauma Bay is best if you take the bus. We heard that it gets crowded and parking can be a nightmare. And don’t go on the weekend since even the locals go there on those days. So, on a Friday we got up early; had breakfast; gathered up our towels and extra clothes and took the bus. When we got there, even at an early time there already was a line to enter the preserve for a nominal fee; another line to see a required video-showing of what the Bay is all about: preservation of the reef, fish, environment, etc.

Finally, we walked down the hill; staked out our spot; rented the snorkel gear; and went in the water. I always thought that Hawaiian water is much warmer than, say Oregon Coast’s brrrr 64° water. Well, surprise, surprise! It was cooooold for a brief moment.

Once in the water, My Precious disappeared happily swimming away and checking out the fish. He was gone more than 3 hours, while I would come back ashore every now and then for swallowing I would guess a gallon of sea water. I couldn’t get used to the fins (I was tripping all over the place), which I ditched and replaced with my water sandals.

Anyway, My Precious would have not come back had the lifeguard not announced that the waves were getting too high and the wind had started to whip up. He wanted everyone out. This man-child came out of that water beaming with smile. Remember, this young man always makes sure his precious smile is not to be dispensed unnecessarily. Well…….HE WAS ACTUALLY HAPPY! And as guarded as he is with conversation, he started talking about the fish, the rocks, the reef, the lone turtle that he had encountered. He swam further and deeper from the shore and found even more exotic fish than the ones I did.

Here are the ones I encountered. Please note that the camera I used was a disposable water-proof camera. Wasn’t sure what kind of photos would come out of it. But I was pleasantly surprised. The photos may look murky, but I assure you, IT’S AMAZING down there in the water.

 006_20a3      022_4a2      017_9a1

007_19a2      008_18a2      003_23a1

One other note about the disposable camera, it went through the x-ray conveyor at the airport accidentally. I was afraid the x-ray machine had erased the negatives. How sweet it didn’t!

Ain't That Gorgeous!

And above it all, no sand shark was ever encountered on that trip.

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