Happy Tuesday!

Day 80

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Day 80

Today was another gorgeous day in Seattle – we are actually supposed to have a week full of gorgeous days so I’ll try not to brag too much – and I was able to take Winston on a nice long walk this morning before work. With Josh in Massachusetts and me at work, he’s having a hard time adjusting to being cooped up all day. We do have a dog walker now, but it’s not quite the same as being free to roam for most of the day like it has been for the past seven months.

Although Winston may look very relaxed here, by the time I got home he was practically bouncing off the walls. To help with the puppy craziness, I took him to the dog park tonight and let him run for a good forty-five minutes. There were three other dogs roughly his size (Ace, Amanda and Rocquefort) and they all got into a huge game of chase. At one point, it was like watching the Indy 500 – Winston was flying around corners, tearing up the grass with his little paws, legs stretched out to the max to get as much air time as possible. When he’s running that fast, he also makes himself more aerodynamic by tucking his ears back against his head (one day soon, I’ll have to post a video of him running and of him rolling/swimming in the grass.) By the time we got back to the car, Winston was ready to snuggle up in the passenger seat and nap for the fifteen minutes it takes me to get home.

Now, I’m just looking forward to reading a few chapters in my book before bed and was reminded of that quote by Groucho Marx: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Hope everyone is having a good week!

 

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Fiesta 5K!

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Day 70

We had an awesome time running with my sister and friends at Volunteer Park this morning. It was a lot more crowded than the tiny little Alki Earth Day 5k – a couple thousand more – but we were able to either outrun the slow ones or gently use our elbows to scooch between other runners.

There were also a lot of people dressed in costume – there was one guy in some kind of a donkey/sombrero combo running with a blowup beer bottle that was just bizarre (we also rode the bus there with him) and tutus were also pretty common. I even saw one lady with a piñata strapped across her front. When Amanda and I were crossing the finishing line, a guy dressed as an ear of corn was chased across the finish line by another guy dressed as a chicken.

We’ve decided that if we do another run this summer we need to go all out on the dressing up.

The park was absolutely beautiful and a little bit of sun managed to peek through, even though the sky was looking like it could dump rain at any second. To be fair, it did a few times but our luck held for the most part and it didn’t rain while we were actually running. Although it wasn’t as flat as our first run, Josh and I both think we might have stuck to around the same time. For me, that’s not too shabby because I’d taken a break from running after our last one because my foot hurt so bad (this time around, no foot pain, so that’s a plus!)

After our run, we met up with some friends for brunch and had a full day of hanging out in the U-District. At this point though, I’m absolutely exhausted and am dragging myself off to bed. I hope everyone had a great Saturday!

Reading Cures Pretty Much Everything

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Day 58

Although I really loved running the 5K, my left foot didn’t. Since Saturday night, I’ve been hobbling around our apartment like a Quasimodo minus the hunch. My (and my fam’s) best guess is that my feet just aren’t used to running outside and probably didn’t have enough arch support from my old pair of sneakers, so I’m doing my best to stay off my foot. Despite being at home a lot, this is surprisingly hard to do.

To distract myself from being mobile, I spent a good portion of the morning mapping out future blog posts and reading the book above. I read the first in the series on a cross-country train trip from Massachusetts to Seattle a couple of years ago and it was fantastic read. Although this is targeted towards older teenagers, there’s a lot on offer for adults, too – especially given how original the format is with mixing vintage, bizarre photographs within the plot.

Lucky for me, the sequel is just as good. With an afternoon of reading, I’m just about halfway through and I’ll probably finish tomorrow. Although I’m sad about my foot, it was a definite happiness boost to be able to spend a day reading, writing and snuggling with the Winston.

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We Ran the 5K!

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Day 56

WE RAN THE 5K!! We had such a fun time and would definitely do it again. In fact, we’re signing up for the Taco Truck 5K at the beginning of May with my sister and a few friends. Josh finished 5th in his age group and 17th overall – running 3.10 miles in 22 minutes flat. I wasn’t too shabby either and crossed the finish line at 32 minutes! Both times were what we ran on the treadmill and we are thrilled. Neither one of us had practiced running outside, so we were a little worried that we’d lag without the treadmill to make us keep pace but it turns out we were just as fast!

We got there super early (to make sure we could get parking) and ended up walking along the empty beach front for awhile and got some great pictures of the Olympics and of downtown Seattle.

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Although running 3 miles takes forever on a treadmill, this went super quick. The sponsors set it up so that we ran 1.5 miles-ish down Alki, turned and ran back the way we came. Because of this, I was able to get a picture of Josh about 2 miles in.

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If you look closely, you can tell that I managed (through pure luck) to snap a picture while both of his feet are in the air. I didn’t notice until I went to add it to this post tonight. Thankfully, the rain held off until we were finished and had a couple glasses of water.

We were both starving after the race (for food and, in my case, caffeine), so we grabbed brunch at Easy Street Cafe. They had some kind of an event going on – a band was there signing records and someone else was DJing while another person filmed. We had a good time watching and listening while we ate. For those of you that have been, Easy Street is normally pretty crazy on the weekend, but it was absolutely packed this afternoon. However, as always, they had delicious food and great service.

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This evening we hung out with a friend, had tasty happy hour nachos and watched a couple episodes of New Girl. Today really couldn’t get any better, even with the rain. Happy Saturday, people!

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5k is tomorrow!

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Day 55

Today was another beautiful/partly cloudy Seattle spring day. The Japanese maple tree has finally spread out all of it’s leaves and, in the past week, we’ve been enjoying slightly more sunshine than rain, which definitely adds to the happiness factor. I also gave away a bunch of the sugar cookies I made yesterday to friends in our building. Luckily, they didn’t think it was strange that I was making animal shaped sugar cookies and frosting them in ridiculous colors despite the fact that I’m twenty-six. The cookies that I didn’t give away, I spent the rest of the day alternately snacking on and reading my book (and of course, saved some cool animal cookies for Josh, too.)

And, in case you’re wondering, they were absolutely delicious. To save time, I write down most of my favorite recipes – especially if I originally get them online – that way I’ll always have them even if they disappear from the internet.

This afternoon, I finally finished reading Devil in the White City which I really enjoyed.Overall, I think the author did a great job of weaving together the different pieces of the story – from information about H.H. Holmes, to the architects behind the Fair and everything in between. I really enjoyed learning more about Frederick Olmsted, who designed the grounds for the Fair, the grounds at Smith College and, more famously, Central Park in New York (of course, I also enjoyed learning about H.H. Holmes, too!)

We also found out this afternoon that Josh won tickets to another Sounder’s soccer game! His company was throwing a fun Friday event and he entered a drawing and won! That’s twice so far this year that Josh has won tickets to things – I think maybe we’ll start entering raffles for new cars, too, haha. We’ll be heading to the game next Saturday with our scarves in tow. We’d bring Winston, too, but I don’t think the powers that be would let him in without a service dog certification.

Tomorrow morning Josh and I are getting up bright and early to head to the 5k down on Alki. It’s 3.10 miles total – with a 1.5 ish mile down the beach and then back. The fact that people will be running against me in the other direction could either be demoralizing or encouraging; I can’t decide. In any case, we’re putting on our running shoes and heading out the door by about 7:00 to make sure we have parking and can pick up our registration packets. I may also try to sneak in a little tiny sip or two of coffee in our busy morning schedule, but maybe not. I imagine running will probably wake me up just as much as the caffeine.

So wish us luck! I will report back tomorrow to let you all know how it goes!

Exercise is Tedious (But it makes you as Happy as Flossing does your Dentist)

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Day 17

Although I would love to have a more active lifestyle full of club sports, swimming, scuba diving, hiking and biking, right now it’s not super do-able for us. Between it still being winter-ish and the fact that I’m fairly uncoordinated outside of swimming, running around the neighborhood is a health risk rather than a benefit. Not an exaggeration – last year when we were living in Boston, I almost broke my ankle stepping off of a sidewalk. As a paltry replacement, I go to the gym in our apartment building and use the treadmill. Just me and a big ole’ conveyor belt. It’s kind of like replacing fruit with a vitamin; there’s no taste, you just take it with water.

To keep my brain occupied while I walk up a never-ending hill, I’ll listen to podcasts like “What You Missed in History Class” or “Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Show” – both awesome by the way. If that’s not enough to distract me, I’ll switch over to music. If that’s still not enough, I lie to myself. “Just five more minutes and then I’m done” until I’m actually done. Although the lie doesn’t really distract me, it keeps me from hitting the off button. I know that there are also super popular apps like Zombies, Run!, and I might give them a try too. After watching a few episodes of The Walking Dead, I think I’d probably find it motivating. Anyway, I try to do this at least a few times a week, if not five, cause you know, apples don’t really cut it at the doctor’s anymore.

If I wiggle out of walking on that damn hamster wheel, though, I’ve found another solid way to get exercise and help people at the same time. Last month, Josh and I volunteered with an organization called Earth Corps. A large part of their mission revolves around “[restoring] natural areas around the Puget Sound region” and we volunteered to remove invasive plants at an old boy scout camp. To me, this sounded like a solid day of weeding and I was more concerned about how I was going to tell the weeds from the plants than the muscles I was going to use. Turns out, we would be tearing out blackberry bushes so no fear of misidentification there. For about five hours, we lopped, dug out and piled long, thin spiky arms and roots in a small section of the park.

You might be suspicious when I say this, but it was a lot of fun. We were in a small group of about ten to fifteen people of all ages from all over the Puget Sound. Josh and I use parks a lot so it felt good to be able to contribute in a small way towards their upkeep. We’d do it again even though we’re still picking the mud off of our shoes a month later.

Obviously, volunteering as exercise isn’t do-able on a daily basis when I’m already having trouble dragging myself to the gym for a fifteen or twenty minute walk/run. But it is a fun reminder to get creative and that, once the weather’s nicer, the outdoor options for exercise really skyrocket.

If I’m having a bad day, if I’m bored or angry or stressed, exercise is almost always the answer. Or at least, it’s a better answer than whipping up a batch of no-egg, no-bake cookie dough – which I maybe did Saturday night while Winston serenaded us with his “No Cone” song. Side note, the Cone of Shame is also known officially as an ‘E-Collar’ because it resembles an Elizabethan ruff. This has given me almost endless entertainment because I’m starting to look at our dog like he’s a Wishbone character.

Back to exercise. As much as I detest tricking myself into it, once it’s all over I feel a million times better. Running, walking, swimming, biking – just tag on “ing” at the end and go get some. You’ll feel better, it’s science.