Blue Tarp
Today, we learned a two-day job was going to turn into at least three and a half due to some unforeseen discoveries. And that, my friends, is why I said “no fixer-uppers” when we were house-hunting two years ago. Every house comes with its own projects as it is. Old houses stayed in the running as long as someone else started and mostly finished. AND GOT THE PERMITS. (I was gonna start on a rant here regarding the DIY trend of recent years and what I think it will entail, but I’ll spare you.) I got enough going on, I don’t want to project manage my living space.

We lucked out with competent contractors for this project.

Two years after we move in, we got our house-hunting wishlist item: the 2nd bathroom! I keeeed, I keeed.. The roof guys arrived today and tore off the old roof. Maybe two roofs, I do not know the progress report. I believe this means tomorrow is Happy New Roof Day.

Our New Long-Wished-For Second Bathroom!

This reminds me, I’m going to have to start prioritizing my snapshotting earlier in the day, what with these earlier sunsets.

Mr. T and I get to spend a whole lot of cash money this week on a new roof. They start tomorrow. Tonight, while I was attending to other obligations, he took down all our pictures. The walls, so bare.

I realized later today that all that anxiety from the week subsided as we met up with the entourage in Portland yesterday. So glad they were there. You’ll see a lot of those Real Runners using marathons as a metaphor for life and most essential of their platitudes is to have your own cheering section. Indeed. Special shout-outs to those who came along — sprizee, her dude, Mr./Mrs. Toad, Celeste & Ian, and my Mr. T. Your presence was priceless. I cannot thank you enough.

In the weeks before, I got countless crazy looks with comments along the lines of “I have never had that urge.” Never say that to a first-timer. You’re not helping. I mostly understand as I’ve thought that once upon a time myself. What led me to such a crazy idea of 26.2 miles? Well, about 8 years ago, I lost nearly a third of my body weight, partially due to running. I’d never run a full mile, even as a child, until I was 23. A year or two in, my motivation waned. I have never considered myself an athletic person. It’s a means to an end. I noticed if I signed up for 5K races, and later half-marathons, I’d practice and the rest fell into place. I also didn’t have to go hungry nearly as much. This is essential. I see her all the time; my inner fat girl is DYING to get out and take over the eating situations. Yes, I identified with Monica on Friends.

In April, I ran my 3rd half-marathon with a gaggle of pals on Whidbey. That was a great time, but the ending felt incomplete despite that fun finish with Uncle Tom cheering me to the end like a maniac. I knew it was time to step it up, but I had an upcoming surgery. For a month, I couldn’t work out under doctor’s orders and was stunned at the anxiety issues that surfaced. When the waiting period was up, I began training for the marathon. Signing up mentally, following a prescribed plan — that gets me out the door. It’ll get me up at 6 AM to run for 5 solid hours after I pay $100 for the privilege.

This morning, I was in the lobby at a quarter to start time where Mr. and Mrs. Toad saw me off before they headed back for Seattle. It took less than five minutes to get to the starting line. I stayed remarkably calm, despite the fact that waiting gives me time to think about what’s ahead, which = anxiety. Who needs to think? I’d rather just plug into the Shuffle, sing along with Walk Like an Egyptian (thanks, Debi!!) and maybe some Livin on a Prayer, then put one foot in front of the other until the end.

I started with the 4:30 group as there was some weird crowding near the 5:00 wave. We crossed the start 10 minutes after the gun after waiting for the faster groups to move ahead. I ran with 4:30 til nearly mile 18. Impressive, considering I thought it could take as long as 6 hours to finish, given my final practice run. It also rained HARD for an hour, despite the announcer saying in 20+ years, the most rain they had was scant. He paraphrased, “Let’s hope in this case, history is prologue.”

At the expo yesterday, I’d picked up a 5:00 pacing wristband and told the guy it was overly optimistic. I was thrilled I was hitting marks with time to spare. My energy was great through mile 13 and I was buoyed by my unexpected speed through the teens. Then, mile 17 hit with its big incline to St. John’s Bridge. I ran most of it, singing along silently to ol’ Eminem, and know people were bemoaning the hill, but I couldn’t hear much over my music in the solid rain. Somewhere between 18-20, my hands started swelling up. Real bad. I twittered, “Hey dr. Google why are my hands swelling Mile 21.” Ask and ye shall receive the advice to drink more. I did and it worked. Miles 23-26 were decidedly more upbeat than 19-22. The texts during those later miles were a boost, too.

I saw my people two blocks from the finish, yay. I crossed as U2’s In God’s Country started. I love that song. I finished in a little over 5 hours. Then I wandered the finishers area dazedly, navigating that final gauntlet of medal, pin, fruit section (took a pass), Creamsicle (NomNomNom), tree sapling (this is hippie-land Left Coast, after all), Finisher shirt, then the reunion area where my people awaited. I skipped the official portrait with my sapling as the lines were long and I figured I could ask sprizee if I really wanted it later. 🙂

Celeste and Ian offered to get me a pedi-cab, but I thought the wind-down walk to the hotel would be good. I was halfheartedly wishing for it in the final block.

We lunched at Kenny and Zuke’s Deli (NomNomNom – squared). I realized I’d die if I walked much more, so we drove home. I napped til Seattle. It was delicious.

Bacon Pizza
We arrived in Portland mid-afternoon. After checking in at the Hotel Modera, we walked over to the expo, then met up with sprizee and her Dude.

For my pre-marathon dinner, we hit up Apizza Scholls on Hawthorne. The best pizza I’ve ever had, right there. This is the Bacon Bianca, with whole strips of bacon over fresh mozzarella. We also ordered a Sausage and Peppers pizza and a Margherita.

Fabulous, every moment of it. Then, we walked down the street to Jaciva’s Bakery.

Rough Beat?
On my way home (via Roadrunner Sports), I saw the popo at the 5-corner intersection near Greenlake. I wondered if they loved their bike beat situation, or hated it.

I’m planning to spend tonight a) packing and b) getting the music in order for Sunday.

Early Bird
At Target tonight, picking up odds and ends in preparation for this weekend’s marathon, I wandered to the Halloween section. Right behind it, I found all the Christmas lighting set up. It’s a little under 3 months away! Crazy.

I am in panic mode for Sunday. This too shall pass.

Wednesday Bowling
Like trivia, I made it to bowl with my team for the 2nd week in a row. Next week, probably not — so even though I wasn’t feeling the drive to the Eastside, I went ahead.

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