Sunday, August 30, 2009

Portland to Coast 2009

It's just before 5am and I'm pounding down a back country road. It's so dark that all I can see is the five feet in front of me lit by the beam of my head lamp. My ipod ran out of battery life about a mile into this leg and its quiet. More quiet than anytime I can remember in recent memory. Its just me, my breathing and my feet pounding on the pavement. There are stretches on this winding road where I can't see anyone ahead of me and I'm too focused on finishing to check to see if anyone is behind me. At one point I wonder if I'm still on the right track and wish I had brought that whistle with me. Just in case. Its cold and my breath creates little puffs of fog before my eyes, but I'm sweating because I'm working so hard. I've GOT TO beat my time. I pass a woman, working just as hard as I, but still, I pass her. One roadkill down. I can't wait do get back and tell my teammates. By the end of my leg, I've passed 11 other walkers and its these small little goals that help me finish my leg in (personal) record time. Finally, I crest a small hill and scan the crowd gathered at this exchange point for me teammates. The sudden brightness after miles of still darkness disorients me and its not until I hear my name called that I see Clair and pass the bracelet off to her. My teammates tell me they are surprised to see me because they didn't see the person in front of me that they had seen a few miles ago. I passed her-I think she was my 9th roadkill on this leg. I'm exhausted but I'm done and I'm so exhilarated that I want to keep walking. I DID IT! I participated in the 2009 Portland to Coast. Along with 11 other women, we walked 127 miles from downtown Portland to Seaside, OR along highways, mountain roads, gravel logging roads and forest pathways.

Before I started my first leg I was nervous although I couldn't pinpoint why. Lindsay reminded me that I had survived childbirth and I could survive this too. But this was different. Childbirth was my body powering me ahead and my brain had no choice but to follow. But this, this was my mind, my willpower, my stamina. I forced my legs to move when they wanted to stop. I forced myself to go forward-faster, harder, more. At any point I could have stopped and someone would have picked me up. But I didn't. I went on and on and on and ON and I didn't stop. It was awesome and I've never felt so good about myself. I feel powerful, like I could take on the world.

Part of the fun of the Portland to Coast is seeing all the van decorations and runner/walker costumes.

pool floaties are used

LOTS of window paint


Five members of the team Dozen Disco Divas. They did not walk in these outfits but danced as often as they could!

The Divas ride. Some pretty creepy dolls on top.

The Sweaty Betties. cute.

The start where Jenn began our journey. Then Van 2 had to go kill about 7 hours in a field in St. Helens. We had to amuse ourselves.

Taneha trying out her 'sleeping mask'.
Me trying out my sleeping mask. It smelled like lavendar!

Van 2 before we walked our first leg.

Mary, the first walker in van 2, waiting for the handoff from Kristen, the last walker in Van 1.
Kristen, finishing her first leg.

The hand off! Mary is off and walking!

Sisters. Tara (right) has finished her first leg. Lindsay is still fresh.

Clair getting some water from Kelly during her first leg.

Taneha, mid-walk

Taneha, finishing her first leg and approaching the exchange point.

Lindsay, preparing for her first leg.

Kelly handing off the bracelet to Lindsay.

The night exchange. This is about 3:30 in the morning. Kristen, as the last walker in Van 1, has finished her second and final leg. Mary will take the bracelet from her and Van 2 will begin our second legs. We'll be finished about 11:15 am Saturday morning.

Traffic is pretty crazy on these little mountain roads. Walkers and runners walking on the left side of the road and the support vans can follow along on the right side of the road. Its pretty straight forward during daylight hours but when night falls, it can get pretty tricky. Each team supplies 3 volunteers for a total of 3600 volunteers directing cars one way and walkers/runners another.
Taneha hands off the bracelet to Kelly after her final leg.

Van 2. Not as pretty as before, but still smiling!

Kelly finishes her final leg and hands off to Lindsay. Lindsay is the final walker on our team and will cross the finish line for us.

Finally! After 31 hours together, we've completed the Portland to Coast. We're tired, stinky, sweaty, hungry and cranky. It was the best weekend ever! And one final word...SHORTS!

Special thanks to those who supported me and the American Cancer Society with their generous donations. I raised over $200 for ACS. WOOT WOOT!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Latest Stats

Conor had his 18 month appointment last week. His stats are as follows:

Height - 37.5 inches - off the charts. He's a giraffe. He gets it from me.
Weight - 29 pounds - 80%. On second thought, he's a gorilla. He gets THAT from his dad.
Head Circumfrence - Actually, who keeps track of this one? I remember it was the 75th percentile.

He's meeting all the fine and gross motor skills benchmarks and blowing away all the cognitive benchmarks. He can recognize all but two of the letters on sight. As in, "what is this, Conor?" (point to J) and he says "aJ?" He can count to ten (he skips 9 but who needs 9 anyway?) and recognizes all numbers on sight (excluding that pesky 9, of course). He is saying well over 100 words and learns a new one literally every day. I can hardly keep up. It is important to note that if you spill salsa on your pants at lunch and you accidentally say a naughty word, THAT will be his new word for the day. YAY!

He is finally beginning to enjoy independent play. More and more he'll wander off during the day and I'll find him down the hall or outside just playing with trucks or reading books or just sitting in a chair. Also, I will find him standing on the dining room table. So. It's not ALL good.

He is a joy and the light of my life. And cute as a freaking button.


Hello, I am adorable even though my mom forgets to wipe my face after breakfast.

Look. At. That. Face.
We went to Seattle and saw this guy. Yeah, its a pig shaped food mobile. They serve chicken.

Pike's Place Public Market

It has people in front of it.

Same shot, more people.

Fish market!

More fish. Actually, no fish.

Us. It was freaking HOT that day!

Flower market. So many pretty flowers.


Lyn, working a mad deal on fish.
Still working it.

Um, cranes?

It was a gorgeous day in Seattle. See, it doesn't rain ALL the time.


Uh...more fruit. These pictures are getting kind of boring.

Boats and Bikes

We went on a boat and finally (FINALLY!) got a great family picture. Thanks, Keenan!

Morgan tried wake surfing but because the boat is specifically designed for right footed (as opposed to goofy footed) surfers, Morgan (being a goofy footed surfer, skater and snowboarder) had a hard time. Still he got up, which is saying something.

While this picture was taken when Conor was unsure of the water, after a while he was loving it and jumping off the back of the boat.

We bought a bike trailer off craigslist (where else? we don't buy anything new anymore--why would you?) and Conor is clearly in love with his new helmet.

Ok, so he's getting used to it. About 10 minutes in, he was sound asleep. Also about 10 minutes in, Morgan got a flat tire so we had to walk home. Oh well.