Archive | May, 2012

just do it, rock ‘n’ roll style

20 May

Ten weeks ago (literally to the day), completing a half marathon (without walking…in under 2 hours…) was absolutely out of the question. Two miles was a “productive” run, but it was a looming Bucket List item I knew I wanted to complete eventually.

Enter: Competitor Group. I had been thinking (just thinking, certainly not acting) about running more, and all of the sudden the opportunity to run Portland’s inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon presented itself. Some stroke of craziness came over me and I committed myself to the race. I was locked in, and started training the next day. I waved goodbye the usual elliptical/stair master gym routine and met my new best friend/nemesis, el treadmill.

I found the following program on running.about.com (real fancy) and followed it almost to a tee:

1. Rest, 2.5 mi, CT, 3 mi, Rest, 5 mi, 20-30 min EZ run or cross-train

2. Rest, 3 mi, CT, 4 mi, Rest, 6 mi, 20-30 min EZ run or cross-train

3. Rest, 3 mi, CT, 3 mi, Rest, 7 mi, 30 min EZ run or cross-train

4. Rest, 4 mi, CT, 4 mi, Rest, 8 mi, 30 min EZ run or cross-train

5. Rest, 4 mi, Rest, 4 mi, CT, 9 mi, 30 min EZ run or cross-train

6. Rest, 4 mi, CT, 3 mi, Rest, 10 mi, 30 min EZ run or cross-train

7. Rest, 5 mi, CT, 4 mi, Rest, 11 mi, Rest

8. 30 min EZ run or cross-train, 4 mi, Rest, 3 mi, CT, 12 mi, 30 min EZ run or cross-train

9. Rest, CT, Rest, 3 mi, CT, 5 mi, 30 min EZ run or cross-train

10. Rest, 2 mi, 20 minutes, Rest, 20 minutes, Race Day!, Rest Day!

I obviously didn’t complete those in red. During week 7 I went on vacation and there was just no way you were going to drag me away from the pool to go on a run…yeah right. Some things are more important, and enjoying vacation is definitely one of those things. Week 8 I was just too lazy to do the long run. Oh well, shit happens.

The race was this morning, and I met my personal goals of a) finishing the race without walking and b) finishing in under 2 hours. It feels damn good, and completing (even with a few snafus) a training program and following through with the race, especially having not been a runner, is a huge accomplishment. Bucket list item officially checked off.

What’s next? Trying to convince myself to actually wear my yoga pants to a yoga class. Oh, and eating some cookies (doi). Treat yo’self.

post-race. thanks for coming, amy!

PS: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half was awesome. Really fun, and I enjoyed both the chosen route and bands along the way. They even had Chris Rene from The Voice perform at the end. An added bonus, of course.

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Portland Bucket List 2012

9 May

Don’t get me wrong, I love my city. I love it so much that after 23 years I am still here. That said, it isn’t very big and I often find myself returning to my tried and true favorite places (particularly for food) because, well, I like them.

Enter: Portland Bucket List 2012.

I’ve compiled a list of places I’m going to try throughout the remainder of 2012. It’s still a work in progress, so expect plenty of additions.

1. Pambiche

This Cuban food favorite  seems to make it to a ton of people’s “must eat in Portland” lists, so I’m pretty disappointed I haven’t made it yet. They offer breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner, so I really have no excuse.

Looks delicious- my only problem will be figuring out what to order. Between the Plato Cubano, Lengua en Salsa, Arroz con Pollo Plato….Mmmm.

2. Apizza Schools

Often regarded as one of (if not the) best pizza place in Portland. Being lactose intolerant makes this one a bit trickier, but there are always cheese-free options and lifesaving Lactaid (gross sounding, I know.)

3. Toro Bravo

Same owners as Tasty’N’Sons, my absolute favorite for brunch in Portland (more on that in another post. I could eat there everyday.) This tapas style restaurant is near the top of my list. I love pimientos de padron:

4. Salt and Straw

I don’t always make it over to Alberta St., so when I heard Salt and Straw, who essentially makes farm-to-cone ice cream, opened up their NW 23rd location I knew it was a must do. Lemon Basil sorbet anyone? Summer is just around the corner, and Salt and Straw will definitely be part of my fun.

5. Sip Juice Cart

I couldn’t have a “must do Portland” list and not include a food cart or two. This smoothie cart in SE Portland offers a variety of concoctions, and I’m beyond thrilled they can blend them with almond milk (since, in Palm Springs, I became obsessed with a banana blueberry almond milk smoothie I had.)

6. East Side Deli

Lunch can be kind of a tough meal, and this sandwich place gets rave reviews (located on SE Hawthorne across from Por Que No, another great place.)

7. Podnah’s Pit BBQ

Consistently rated one of the best in Portland’s BBQ. ‘Nuff said.

8. Screen Door

Brunch. Bananas foster french toast. Fried chicken and waffles. Cajun scramble. Always has an absurd line, so it must be good.

9. The Big Egg

Breakfast food cart located on Mississippi. I love breakfast and food carts- this is a natural pairing.

10. Jade’s Teahouse and Patisserie 

French pastries served at an Asian restaurant? Yum. Rumor has it they make an awesome salad roll, too.

These are my top 10 for places I have yet to try, and the list ever-expanding.

*All images taken from Yelp and linked back to their original source.

A Weekend in the Desert

2 May

A good getaway is always welcome, especially when said getaway includes lots and lots of sun, fresh avocados and grapefruits galore. My grandfather lives in Palm Desert, California for half the year, so a few weeks ago I booked an impromptu visit and left Oregon’s clouds behind for a long weekend.

Holy moly. It’s easy to forget other places see sun EVERY DAY. Sun works wonders on the spirit and I’m already missing its existence in my life (no, clouds, I’m not appreciating your May presence in the least.) All other wondrous parts of the trip aside, I also got to see my cousin (other side of the family) who was randomly in town. Serendipity is f*ing awesome that way.

A few highlights:

  • The Trina Turk store in Palm Springs. The design-lover in me adores Trina Turk (particularly for the home!), so going here was a must-do. This place is made for the desert. Budgets allowing, I could have had some serious fun at this place.

  • The Palm Greens Cafe in Palm Springs. I stalked Yelp for top places to eat and this healthy outpost had rave reviews. I had seen enough cottage cheese on menus across the desert that I was excited for some fresh fare. I ordered a salmon wrap and a blueberry banana almond milk smoothie – I’d absolutely be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous/skeptical to try it but OH MY GOSH! It was it was foodie-life-changing. It tasted exactly like a not-too-sweet milkshake. Summer is begging for me to make chocolate almond milk-banana creations. Unfortunately, I never made it back to try the vegan blueberry pancakes, but rest assured I’ll be doing that on my next trip (next year’s Coachella, anyone?!).
  • Escalade golf carts. Hilarious, awesome and awful all at the same time.

  • Grapefruits fresh from the tree. ‘Nuff said. I’m a fruit fiend (no seriously, guarantee I eat unhealthy amounts of sugar via fruit) and this is obviously the most amazing way to eat it.

  • Seeing family both planned and unexpected. Life has a tendency to move very quickly, and before you know it you’ve gone years without seeing some important family members. I’m vowing not to let so much time pass this go around, and plan some trips to see some others I’ve been missing. My cousin and I went to brunch at an adorable place called The Homestead in La Quinta – definitely recommend, particularly for its enormous outdoor seating area.

  • Did I mention I enjoyed lounging in the sun? Sometimes all you need is a good book , a pool and cooperative weather.

See you next year, Coachella Valley, as I’ll be stalking the Coachella Music Festival website for tickets the second they’re on sale.