Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Flirting with Spring

It’s been sort of hit & miss weather wise here in western Oregon lately. Lots of clouds, a little rain, and occasionally a great sun break, which serves to convince on that spring as arrived for real… then the sun goes back into hiding and the rain showers return. It’s Frustrating, but better than January.

We’ve been pretty busy since the last blog. The last weekend in February we spent on the coast at a friend’s cabin, in Seal Rock. It’s a great cabin in a fantastic spot, with a terrific view of the ocean, and a pathway right down to the beach. I’m a little concerned that it may fall into the sea someday, as it’s on a cliff made out of loosely packed sand. But for now it sits a 50 or so feet back from the cliff, so I figured it’d last the weekend, at least.

We had a good time relaxing, running on the beach, reading, painting, picking shells and agates off the beach, and enjoying lots of seafood. We also checked out the Sea Lion cave just north of Florence. It’s cool to see, but I wouldn’t want be a sea Lion and live there. It’s noisy, the residents are cranky, and the cave just may be the stinkiest place on earth. But it’s worth checking out, and the drive between Waldport and Florence is pretty spectacular.

This past weekend I did lots of running. Lots of training guides describe a weekend “sandwich” where you rest Friday and Monday, and put back to back long runs on Saturday and Sunday. I tried my own version of a “sandwich” where I ran long Saturday and Sunday, and in between “sandwiched” a wine and food festival, where I sampled more than my fair share of the best wines Oregon has to offer. Saturday’s run was great, though I woke up _way_ too early in order to squeeze it in before Jasmine’s painting lesson and taking Avery to her first “soccer practice” at “Little Kickers.” She got a free uniform for signing up and looked adorable, and had a great time. After lunch we all headed up to Evergreen Aviation Museum (home of the “Spruce Goose”) where they were hosting the Oregon wine and food classic. Tons of food, art, airplanes, and, of course wine. More wine vendors than you could imagine. All from Oregon, I think. Avery and I also checked out the Spruce Goose, and toured the inside of a WWII bomber, while Jasmine checked out the food and art. Avery learned you had to be less than 5’7” to be a “gunner” on a WWII bomber, so while that would rule me out, Avery was excited to know she could be one, and happily informed Jasmine: “Mommy, I can be a GUNNER!”

The next morning I got up early for my long run, minus an hour of sleep due to the time change, and minus a few brain cells from the previous evening’s wine. Note to self: avoid over-indulging on adult beverages before long runs. Extensive wine tasting will certainly not become part of my pre-race routine! I managed to down some coffee and oatmeal, and drag myself out of the house to the forest. My running partner left me a phone message cancelling for the day, so I was on my own. Probably just as well, as I wasn’t too sure how well I’d be running. I lingered in the car a few minutes at the trailhead, hoping the coffee would have more affect, but it didn’t. So I left the car, walked a minute or two, and finally started “running”, in the loosest sense of the word. After a few minutes I noted that I hadn’t dropped dead, so I picked it up a slight bit, forced down some water, and just kept moving, up and down the hills of Mac Forest. I continued this for another 24 miles or so before deciding that I’d satisfied my training needs, and paid my penance for the previous day’s indulgence. J

Sunday afternoon, Avery had a play date to which Jasmine drove, so I had a quiet afternoon at home by myself. It was warm and sunny outside, so I ended up spending all afternoon doing gardening and yard work, while Rory (our dog) lied in the sun and watched me work. Smart dog, he is.