Travel Thursday: Exploring Oregon- Recap of Our Trip!

Happy Friday-eve! This is the second-to-last day of my official #funemployment. It’s crazy how much faster the week goes by when you’ve got a free schedule as opposed to working all week?! Not really sure why that is, but I’ve been able to get a bunch of things done this week (including almost all of my runs already)! I’ve got some quick pick-ups to do today and hoping the snow/rain will hold off before I can get my run in later this morning. I’m also still reminiscing on our trip last week to Oregon and thought it would be fun to share the trip with you! I did a bunch of research before our trip to see what was on a ‘must-see’ list for the state and the time of year that we visited.

Luckily, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival was still going on and it was on the drive to Eugene from Portland. I highly recommend stopping here if you can. We got there around 11am on a Saturday (it was a bit rainy), but honestly the lines & traffic were nowhere near where I anticipated they would be. We spent around 30 minutes here, but I could seeing spending the entire day there (and SO many cute dogs were there).

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In Eugene, we were ALL about getting some delicious food post-Eugene Marathon and eating dinner at The Beer Stein did not disappoint. They had a crazy-good selection of beers, apps, and the steak salad really hit the spot (along with that delicious pretzel)! Highly recommend going here if Brewerys are your thing.

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The best place we ate at all week was at Off the Waffle in Eugene. We went to the one in South Eugene and it had a great super relaxed vibe. The waffle was absolutely INCREDIBLE. Perfectly toasted on the outside and sweet/sugary on the inside. We also walked across the street to the used bookstore (if that’s your thing)- it was HUGE and so many incredible deals. I wish we had one of these close to us.

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We left Eugene on Monday and traveled about an hour and a half west to Florence. We visited the Sea Lion Caves and it was AMAZING. I cannot believe that there were over 200 sea lions just hanging out along the beach area. So cool to see them in their natural habitat.

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We stayed the night in Florence at a hotel overlooking the ocean. Saw the most incredible sunset. It was perfect.

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We left Florence on Tuesday and headed up the coast towards Cannon Beach. This was the longest drive we had of around 3.5 hours. It was such a scenic drive of the ocean for the majority of it and we stopped along the way to see Heceta Lighthouse. The lighthouse was beautiful, but honestly the views of the ocean landscape and the seals were the best part (ha).

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We kept going along our drive and the Tillamook Creamery was on our route so we just HAD to stop. It was a huge cafeteria/gift-shop area and the amount of ice cream options they had was incredible. I got the S’mores flavor and it was incredible. My mom got the cold brew flavor and it was also delicious. We also got a grilled cheese, which was the creamiest, richest, cheesiest grilled cheese I’ve ever had.

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We stayed the night in Seaside along the ocean again (about a 1/4 mile from the beach area) and it was a great place to run along the beach and their boardwalk. Super cute homes there as well to look at. We went to Cannon Beach the next morning and that was so beautiful.

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The drive on Wednesday back to Portland from Seaside was pretty fast - around an hour. We stopped first at Blue Star donuts at one of their downtown locations. The donuts were pretty good- heavier than other donuts I’ve had- and really interesting savory flavors. It reminded me of some really indulgent cakes, where you can’t exactly finish the slice, but the bites you are able to have are real good.

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The last stop on our travels was to Columbia River Gorge and Multonmah Falls. SO stunning and the pictures do not do it justice. Unfortunately the hike to the top of the Falls was closed when we were there, but luckily the crowds were minimal and the drive to the falls from Portland was also extremely scenic. I could see spending several days here to visit and hike through all of the vast outdoor space this area had. I definitely want to go back.

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What I'm Currently......

Happy Friday! We finally made it to the weekend and I’m kicking off a new Friday Series—> What I’m Currently….! It will encompass all things that I’m eating/ reading/ loving/ current events/ confused by/ wishing I had/ excited about etc.

So here we go!

Currently loving….

That I got into the Beach 2 Beacon 10k! My training runs. Working on my mental fitness while on the run. This podcast episode. This planner. Carbs.

Currently excited for…..

SPRING RUNS. Running a MARATHON in 44 days. Traveling to the PNW for the first time!! So many things.

Currently reading……

THIS book. So good. Go order it right now. I’ve been limiting my books purchases (by going to the library), but I will be buying this one. I can’t fall asleep after reading it because I’m so inspired.

Currently watching……

THIS documentary during yesterday morning’s treadmill run. There may be nothing more entertaining to watch while running than someone on the run (and kicking butt at their goals)!

Currently wishing…….

That it could get both lighter in the morning AND the evening rather than just one during Daylight Savings Time. I love that it’s lighter out later, but I REALLY love when it gets lighter in the morning as well. Running with a headlamp in the AM is just not appeasing to me anymore. Ready for Summer.

Currently thinking………..

I should definitely try to put my name in for the London Marathon lottery for 2020 because my race lottery streak just keeps improving (got into this one, this one, AND this one). Or maybe Berlin 2020? Or maybe NYC 2020? What do you think? Probably all three is a bit aggressive…..

Currently wondering……

If the snow will ever melt or if it will just morph from ‘Spring’ to ‘Fall’ snow without any Summer in the middle? What are the best shoes to do a 50 mile trail run in when it’s muddy (because they snow may not be melted by then at the rate we’re going!)? Is duct-taping my feet pre-50 miler the best plan?

Currently planning…….

My mom and mine’s trip post-Eugene marathon! We’re planning a trip up the coast of Oregon (I’ve heard it’s BEAUTIFUL) and need suggestions! Anyone have anything they’ve absolutely loved along the coast? Must-sees? Must-dos? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

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What are some things that are on your ‘currently’ list? Loving? Watching? Reading? Planning? Wishing?

Feature Friday: GUEST Post & Happy International Women's Day!

Happy FRIYAY! I’ve got my long run this morning (18 miles) and then 10 miles Saturday before a FULL rest day on Sunday! This week has been really busy, but I’m happy to see the finish line. I always feel as though March goes by way too fast and then it’s Spring before we know it. I’m not really sure what we’ve got going on this weekend, but hoping to make it out skiing one of the two days. I’d also really like to work on my crocheting a bit this weekend, but reading has taken over my free time (because my book is SO good).

I know I’ve already done a blog post to celebrate International Women’s Day (find it here), but thought it would be fun to share my mom’s experience with her first Triathlon (why is that word so difficult to spell)?!? She’s turned into a total bada** triathlete and I can’t wait to see her crush some more of her goals this summer!

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Guest Post from my mom on her Triathlete!

After a couple of people raved about a local Tri-for-a-Cure Triathlon (women-only) that raises money for the Maine Cancer Foundation, I thought I would put my name in the raffle and if I got drawn…I would have to figure it out. Well, guess what? My name came up and the triathlon training/education began. I read everything I found on triathlon trying to figure out what to wear, what the transition area situation was all about and how far was 1/3 of a mile in open water anyway?

Can’t see the fear on my face here but I was terrified!!!

Can’t see the fear on my face here but I was terrified!!!

Fast forward to my first event. I signed up for a couple of practice sprint triathlons in my area so I could figure things out and be prepared for the upcoming main event of the summer. Well, my first open water swim was scary! First time in a new wetsuit, never really practiced in one before. If there hadn’t been some friends that just happened to be there watching, I might have backed out. I got into the water fine and swam with the group about 20 feet and started having a mini-panic attack. I was able to side-stroke/back stroke/freestyle my way through the 1/3 swim! Onto the transition area, where I miscalculated what to wear for the bike ride and had to put my bike shorts on over my swimsuit (very hard to do since you’re still soaking wet). Onto 15 mile bike ride, I opted for the trusty road bike and running shoe combo since I was still afraid to clip-in on the bike. Oh so slow! Wow, the hills almost did me in I thought I was going to tip over I was going so slow. Finished up the event and went away feeling like I learned so much.

The big day came for my Tri-For-a-Cure event, it was going to be raining and I was so worried about biking in the rain. Before the event started, they gathered everyone together by the water to recognize the cancer survivors in the group. It was pretty emotional, I remember the tears coming partly because I was terrified and partly because I had wanted to be a part of this event so badly and here I was doing it! The waves of swimmers started shortly after that and being one of the older competitors I was near the final waves to go, just enough time to get more nervous. It was an ocean swim, so wetsuits needed, luckily they had “Wetsuit Strippers” when you came out of the water. They basically peel off your wetsuit for you so you can move on to your transition area. It was pouring buckets on the bike course and I know I was going to much slower than I was capable of going but I was worried about sliding on those skinny bike tires and wiping out. Finished back into the transition area and headed out for the 5k portion, my feet were so wet they were squishing on every step and the puddles took up the whole trail. But, the view made me forget all of the discomfort. We were running alongside the ocean and a beautiful park, I remember thinking that I was so proud of myself for completing the event that the tears started before I even got to the finish line. This was the hardest thing I had ever done! I was scared and I conquered my fear by taking one step at a time and moving onto the next step, not thinking of the whole event.  

What I learned over that summer was that I was stronger than I thought I was and I was capable of doing so much more than I gave myself credit for! Everything is now based on surviving that first open water swim. I often tell myself, if I can do that, I can do anything! I am a triathlete!

I have a few triathlon events for the upcoming summer and I was drawn to compete in the Tri-for-a-Cure again this year. Redemption time, I hope to beat last years’ time in every event. I will be clipping into a bike for the first time this year! Stay tuned, hopefully there won’t be any injury updates to report.

Happy Swim, Bike, Run---Enjoy!

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Swimming in open water completely TERRIFIES ME so I don’t think I’ll be catching the Tri-bug anytime soon, but such a fun perspective don’t you think?

Have a GREAT weekend!

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Tell me about someone STRONG in your life that’s altered your journey?!?

Three things you’re doing this weekend? —> finishing my book, baking some homemade bread, trying to convince Alex that we need to go to the movies & see the newest Avengers!

Eugene Marathon/50 Miler Training Week 9: 2/18-2/24

Happy Hump Day! I’ve felt a bit of a cold coming on, so I’ve opted to get the majority of my runs this week in the afternoon (so I can get more sleep). I was still on the fence on whether to get my 8 miles at marathon pace in the morning (on the treadmill) or try to get it in this afternoon (it could be sleeting)- so still up in the air as of last night! I WILL be getting it in regardless though. I’m also getting my haircut today! I was still trying to decide if I should get some bangs (they looked so cute on me in High School, but are also a super pain-in-the-butt!), but I’m definitely excited to get some fresh highlights (it’s been since October!) and shorter hair again. Photos to come tomorrow ; )

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Last week really tested my patience with the weather. It was in the negatives every.single.morning and a high of low 20s the entire week. I had a crazy busy work/personal life week, so mornings were the only time I could run (for the most part), so I was on the treadmill a bunch (hoping to only be on it ONCE this week!). Not ideal- but do what you can right?

Monday, 2/18: 5 miles easy on the home treadmill while catching up on the news.

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Tuesday, 2/19: 1.5 mile warm up / 8 miles at goal marathon pace (8:15) / 1.5 mile cool down. 11 miles & strength. Felt really good even after getting kicked off the treadmill for 10 minutes. Gotta love the 6AM treadmill rush that lasts 10-15 minutes. Sigh.

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Wednesday, 2/20: 6.5 miles on the ‘mill. Normally I try to break up my goal marathon paced miles & speedwork, but this week was funky and this is when I had time. SO I did the repeats mainly on an incline (same benefits as a faster pace, but less strain on your body).

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Thursday, 2/21: 13 miles in the morning on the ‘mill & then had a unexpected free afternoon, so decided to just go for the remaining 7 miles to get 20 for the day! Happy to get some afternoon miles outside : ) Plus some strength afterwards.

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Friday, 2/22: 9.37 miles in a BLIZZARD in the morning (I didn’t think it was supposed to snow?!?). I took it slow because I was TIRED and it was icy (didn’t have my spikes). I ended up cutting it short in the morning and then got in the remaining 6.63 in the afternoon on the treadmill (still super icy out), which felt MUCH better. 16 miles for the day.

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Saturday, 2/23: REST DAY! Completely lounged and it was amazing.

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Sunday, 2/24: REST DAY! Went snowshoeing, did some strength, and a bunch of stretching.

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Total Mileage: 58.5 miles!

Total Elevation: 2, 122’ up

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Also LOVING this new shirt I got from Oiselle.

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THIS cream cheese (almond milk!) tastes amazing.

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It’s finally warm enough here to wear just ONE layer on top & bottom! YAY! Does this mean Spring is coming?!?

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How’s your week going?

What’s the weather where you are?

Favorite ways to pass the time on the ‘mill?