Category Archives: Ramblings

Confessions: The Not So Pretty Side of Running

Unfortunately not all of us can look half this good when running.



Let’s rewind to Thursday’s morning. I managed to get my butt up at 6:45am, get on my running clothes that I had so neatly laid out the night before, scarf down a Luna Bar and head out the door by 7:00. File all of that under Major Win.

The run started out fine, my legs were a little tired from doing yoga the day before for the first time in 10 years, but it was sunny out and I was enjoying the morning quiet. Then it happened. Right as I turned the corner on the the street that was the farthest away from my house on the run, my stomach decided that it didn’t like the Luna Bar that I ate earlier. Normally before morning runs I eat a piece of toast and peanut butter and have never had a problem. I’m not the runner you see dashing off to the Port-O-Pottie before a race and then spending 10 minutes in there. In fact, I almost never even have to pee on a run no matter how far it is. I guess that’s one upside to being a major sweater.

But there I was with my intestines vehemently objecting to everything that was inside them. This wasn’t just a ‘I have 2 miles until home, it’s going to be a close call’. No, this was a ‘I need a bathroom now. RIGHT NOW’ situation.

I slowed to walk hoping it would help. It didn’t. I tried jogging. Made it worse. I surveyed my surroundings as I shuffled/duck walked slowly down Burnside Ave, trying to decided if I had the nerves to go into the tiny donut shop and ask to use their bathroom even though I couldn’t buy anything since I only had my phone and water bottle with me. I scoped out the bush situation in case I had to resort to popping a squat. I tried to think of the closest grocery store that I knew of. The Safeway on Hawthorne? Way too far. Farther than my house. The Fred Mayer in Hollywood? Closer but still not going to make it. I didn’t know that area of Burnside well enough to know where the nearest park was, the only one I could think of was Mt. Tabor and I was certainly in no condition to climb any hills.

And then it appeared. The answer to all of my poop related prayers.


After trying 2 different doors that were closed and a frantic search of the store to locate the bathroom, disaster was averted. I’ve never been so happy to see a QFC. I wanted to hug every staff member I saw. But instead of proclaiming that this QFC had my favorite bathroom in all of Portland, I quietly continued my run with most of my pride still intact (the duck walk shuffle cost me a few points).

Just another ‘Almost Crapped My Pants’ story from a runner.

Long Time, No Rambling

Holy radio silence, Batman. Sorry about that. I have an unspoken goal of posting 1-2 times a week and I’ve definitely failed at that the last few weeks. But I have some excuses, some of which might actually be legitimate. The biggest one is finals, I had 3 finals in 24 hours and my kiddo had an appointment between the second and third finals, and you can bet your ass I was there for the whole appointment. So there was that, and dog sitting for a friend’s new puppy,

Oh Kiki, you're so adorable, except when you try to use my ankles as chew toys

and going to Seattle for spring break, and having a bunch of family in town for my grandma’s 90th birthday. Oh, and I had to defend the world from the zombie apocalypse.

Take that suckers

Turns out I’m a pretty good shot.

Anyway, here are some updates in bullet form, because bullets that are not aimed at living things are actually pretty fun.

* While it may not be getting warmer in Portland (damn you rain, I’m over you), it is getting lighter, which means we can now have track night in the sunlight.

* Kiki chewed through my computer cord in under 90 seconds.

* I ran 90 miles in March. By far an all time high and I can really feel how much my endurance has improved. My legs don’t kill me after doing my long runs like they used to. I only feel like I’ve been run over by a bicycle and not a semi.

* I ate way too much sugar, but what else is new?

* I ran in the rain, a lot.

This is a picture of me sopping wet, though I guess it's a bit hard to tell, but you get the idea

* I got to spend some quality time with one of my best friends, which really makes my world better.

J'taime mon amie, even if you spent all night coughing

* I got to watch some of my teammates kick ass at Race for the Roses. Great job everyone!

* My family celebrated my grandma’s 90th birthday.

In true Tobin fashion we played a lot of Scrabble and got in a game of mini golf, black light style.

Now it’s the first week of spring quarter and it’s back to grindstone. I’ve already started it off in true clumsy Maddy fashion by standing up into the corner of a locker door and getting a giant goose egg on top of my head. I tried to run at track night tonight but only made it through half the workout before my headache got too much to run through. Guess I need to rest the ole noggin. I hate taking unscheduled rest days.

26 days until Eugene!

Human Disaster

If you got the Parks and Rec reference, I ❤ you.

I’ve never been the most graceful person in existence. I’m quite athletic and I have great hand eye/foot coordination. I can juggle, I can ride (and actually own) a unicycle, it took me under 2 minutes to get comfortable on Chinese stilt,

but if there’s a patch of uneven sidewalk, I will trip on it. Actually, let’s just think back to the New Year when I tripped over a vacuum cord and it led to this.

This was definitely not an isolated incident. When I was 6 I tried to do a cartwheel onto a futon bed and missed, and ended up falling into our dog Suni.

I hit my ankle on her tooth and tore a ligament. So graceful.

But lately it’s been worse. If you have a beverage near you be careful, I’m likely to knock it over. Examples- 1) during my last Anatomy and Physiology test, which is a class of about 250 in a giant lecture hall with long skinny tables, I got up after finishing, put my messenger bag over my shoulder and tried to exit my row, except that some girl wouldn’t scoot her chair in and I tried to step over/around her and my bag knocked into some guy’s can of coffee (who drinks coffee out of a can?!) and it spilled all over his test and scantron. I had to drop all of my stuff and run to the bathroom to get paper towels. When I came back my teacher was standing over the mess and when he found out I caused it, he just laughed and walked away. Yes, that is the same teacher who told me I could pass as anemic in front of the whole class.

It gets better. 2) Same teacher, this time in his office. I was drinking a smoothie and somehow managed to spill it all over my skirt. He told me I had a drinking problem. He must think I’m nuts. I wonder if I should ask him for a letter of rec.

3) This one wasn’t my fault. I had a tumbler full of tea sitting under my desk with the lid not fully closed and some girl sat down in the desk next to me and proceeded to swing her bag across the floor knocking over my tea. She said sorry and then just sat there. At least when I know people’s stuff over I go get them paper towels. And new tests. And apologize about 17 times, even if it’s to the super annoying guy who always wears those ridiculous toe shoes and freaks out in open lab when there are too many people.

Luckily this ridiculousness hasn’t affected my running. In fact, this week of running has been awesome and I’ve been on a constant runner’s high. Way better than any other high I’ve ever experienced. Though if it gets any better/worse, I may have to call my 2 year old self for help.

I love old pictures and scanners.

Confessions from Leap Day

* I forgot about the leap day thing, instead, in my head, today was ‘don’t forget your calculator for the chem test, make sure to finish the lab report for chem lab, don’t forget your goggles, and find some time to google pictures of pig hearts for A&P lab’. In other words, it was just another regular ole Wednesday.

* Kiwis are 3 for a dollar at Fred Meyer, who could turn that down? I couldn’t. I also couldn’t resist eating all three of them at once. Now my tongue feels all tingly. Lesson learned, 2 kiwis=good, 3 kiwis=having a discussion with my roommate about hoping that my throat doesn’t close up. (It’s not going to, I’m fine, it’s just good to discuss these things)

* My roommate is more interested in taking me to the ER if I need to go than doing her homework. I feel the same way about doing mine.

* Kayden feels the same way about my homework as well.

Right after I took this picture he started licking the book. Now that page is all wrinkly.

* I wore my sparkly skirt to track night last night because I forgot to pack my running tights and all I had were my leggings that I was wearing under my dress. They wouldn’t have been that bad on their own but they’re a tad see through. File that as a win for the sparkly skirt.

* Passing guys on the track while wearing a butt load of sparkles feels pretty awesome.

* 60 days until Eugene! That’s not a confession but it’s pretty awesome.

* I took home a few of the balloons from the poker tournament this weekend and then left them in my car since I didn’t know what to do with them. Last night I realized that my 2 year old goddaughter would love them so I brought them to her when I went to babysit. She loved them. I’m not above bribing her for affection.

* I think I’m going to have to miss my kiddo’s next appointment and I’m quite depressed about it. I haven’t missed an appointment in over a year. Damn you finals week.

* At Freddy’s this evening I spent 15 minutes wandering around the athletic clothes section and didn’t even look towards the regular clothes section. Who am I these day?

* Quote from my teacher during our weekly visit, “no pressure, but I’m expecting you to get a 95% on the next test”. I just smiled and nodded but in my head I was screaming, “let’s back up to a month ago when I was sitting in your office crying after you graded my test in front of me? Remember how awkward that was for both of us? Do you really want to do that again?!” I think I may have a panic attack.

* I hate weeks that are so busy that I can’t make it to the gym. Maybe I’ll call this a cut back week… yeah… that sounds good. Damn you week 8 of school.

* My tongue is still tingly, maybe eating more chocolate will make it feel better. Chocolate makes everything better.

Confessions From A Girl In An Ugly Shoe

I busted my foot on Saturday. No, it wasn’t while I was running 5 miles up Terwilliger, playing soccer, or running that 5k at midnight. No, I stepped on the plug to the vacuum with my left foot, tried to step back onto my right foot and somehow jammed my big toe into the ground and then flailed around for a bit. Somewhere in there I hurt my 5th metatarsal.

That's the culprit.

It didn’t actually start to hurt until a few hours later and I didn’t think much of it, but then it started to swell and bruise, which is never a good sign. So on Monday I hobbled to the doctor and got an x-ray, fortunately it was negative for a fracture. So woot for that. I am wearing this medically helpful ugly shoe.

So fashionable.

It helps to distribute the weight evenly around my foot, which is good since when I try to wear my regular shoe it pushes up into the 5th MT and hurts like stepping on glass. So, now without further ado, confessions of a girl in an ugly shoe.

* I want to get some purple puffy paint to decorate the ugly shoe but I’m holding back because I don’t want the ugly shoe to stick around for long.

* The perfect shoe height to match the ugly shoe is my cowboys boots.

Does it match?

* I feel like an 80 year old when I walk around.

* The most annoying thing about the shoe is that sometimes rocks get stuck in the bottom and make this awful scratching noise. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

* I miss running. (I know, I’m shocked too.)

* I’m jealous of people with 2 good feet.

* It’s taking a huge amount of effort to not just keep running on it. I have to keep reminding myself about that time I broke my clavicle for the second time and didn’t go to the doctor for 2 months and then it took over a year for the pain to go away. Remember M, that wasn’t fun.

* I hate having that guilty feeling when eating chocolate when I know I can run it off later.

Can I run yet?

Goals and Resolutions

I’m not normally one to make a list of resolutions and then follow through with them at New Years, mostly because I have an incredibly short attention span, but with all the blogs I read doing it, it seems like a fun thing to do (yeah, yeah, I’m a follower). Last year my one resolution was to run a half marathon, so woot! Mission accomplished. But maybe I should be a bit more adventurous. Plus, part of the reason I started this blog was to feel more accountable to running so I guess it’s the big girl thing to do. Face your fears, right? Anyway, here goes nothing.

Running goals:

* Run more– simple and to the point.

* Learn how to have successful long runs– seems a bit silly but here’s my problem, I grew up playing soccer, which means I can kick some ass at sprint workouts but have a hard time not shooting too fast out of the gate for the first couple miles and then hitting a giant wall of fatigue during long runs. 100 meters sprints with 100m recovery in between, no problem, love it, could do them forever. 10 miles without feeling like I’m going to die at mile 6, not so good.

* Figure out why my knee sometimes hurts during long runs– hopefully this will get better when I get new shoes, which brings me to my next goal.

* Get new shoes– this will actually (hopefully) be accomplished by the end of the weekend (yay for working over winter break and tomorrow being payday!). As much as I love my current pair of shoes, they are trail shoes, which isn’t so good since I run almost exclusively on pavement or the track.

* Beat my previous half marathon timeChicago was 2:24:56. If my knee decides to cooperate this shouldn’t be too difficult.

* Run 26.2– preferably with TnT. Portland Marathon I’m coming for you.

Team in Training goals:

* Raise a ginormous amount of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society– so that whole cancer thing can be a thing of the past. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Life goals:

* Get an A in all of my classes– 2 more quarters of pre-recs, it’s crunch time.

* Kick some GRE ass– also involved in this goal: study for the GREs, find out when the best time to take them is, find out where to take them, find a study partner (Petree, I’m looking at you), become a hermit that is a GRE study machine.

* Apply to nursing– also, narrow down the list of nursing schools that I’m going to apply to so I don’t spend $1000 on application fees without narrowing it down too much and then end up not getting in anywhere.

* Figure out what to do with the year in between finishing school and (fingers crossed) starting nursing school– who wants to hire me? I”m awesome at check listing.

* Get to know the nurses in the ER better– I was doing really well at this until about a month ago when everyone changed shifts and the current nurses aren’t as social with newbies. Why did my favorite CNA have to leave?!

Figure out how to get a good night of sleep– sounds simple, but I am a champion insomniac who has a habit of waking up every hour during the night, which probably leads to my extremely short attention spaSQUIRRLE! What were you saying?
* Befriend people who have blogs– that probably means commenting more on the blogs that I read. Damn, but I’m so good at being shy and quiet.
* Eat better– I’m not the worst eater, the only fast food I eat is the once-every-few-months trip to Burgerville, I rarely drink soda, I hate coffee, and I’m pretty good about portion control, but I’ve been rocking the single life lately which means I hardly ever cook or have food in the house. It’s a bit tough on the wallet.
Hmm, 15 goals, is that too much? Not enough? Just perfect? Did I wander into a rendition of the Goldilocks? Ooh! Cookies!…


* I may be 26, but when I wear boots, especially ones with heels, I feel like a 6 year old playing dress up.

* I went to the grocery store last night for the first time in forever. I purchased a bag of Clementines, cream cheese, and a bottle of melatonin. I consider it a successful shopping trip.

* I’ve really settled into this bachelor life style. When my roommate isn’t home my general feeling towards pants is that they are optional. Sorry/you’re welcome, neighbors.

* A few years ago I bought a pair of cowboy boots as part of a Halloween costume. They then sat in my closet for a long time but lately I’ve been wearing them, a lot. They have rhinestones on them, they make me feel pretty.

* I can, and recently have, eaten a whole bag of Goldfish in one sitting.

* If I don’t have a half marathon I’m training for, my running shoes will just sit in the corner of shame and collect dust. I’d really love to be one of those people who wake up at the crack of dawn every morning and go for a run just for the heck of it, but I’m learning to accept that I’m not that girl.

* Sometimes when I’m running I start to sing along to whatever music I’m listening to (lately it’s been all Mayer Hawthorne) and then it’s super awkward when I run by people and realize I’m singing out loud and sort of dancing while running.

It was all going so well…

So, let me tell you about my weekend (yeah, I know it’s Saturday, it’s been a long week). Actually, let’s back up to a week ago Thursday, it was a very good day. Jen and I went on our first run at work.

Ready to rocket around the waterfront. Awesome photo credit to Nick. (Happy Nick?)

As you can see, we are posing next to a lovely display of homemade chocolates that are for sale.

Don't they look delicious? All proceeds to LLS

Special orders can be accommodated.

I’m pretty sure Friday was awesome as well; I just can’t for the life of me remember what I did. Maybe I’ve had one too many soccer balls to the head.

Saturday is where it really starts to get good.  Jen and I had our weekly Team in Training long run, that day meeting at Fit Right NW and having a hydration clinic before the run.

We look very serious, it probably lasted for about 10 seconds.

We talked about the importance of staying hydrated, replacing lost electrolytes, and what color your urine should be (a soft yellow). Then we headed out for a nice 4 mile loop that had us heading up a bit of a hill in the NW, then down to the Pearl and back around to Fit Right NW.  I felt pretty good while running and it was a personal distance record for Jen!

Then it was off to soccer with Sped, which goes down as a check in the win column, and I finally scored a goal after having a scoring drought for months. Double win!

After soccer it was time for our birthday/bowling fundraiser.

It was a great turn out and we raised $155! I also broke triple digits for both games, even if it was only 100 and 101, I’m counting it.

It was nothing compared to Janelle’s turkey, and Javier’s 5 strikes in a row, which we decided was called a turducken wrapped in bacon. Coincidentally, that’s what we had for Thanksgiving 2010.

After bowling we went to dinner, which was lovely and wonderful. Then WHAM!

It came out of nowhere.

It all took a very ugly turn. By the time I got home from dinner I wasn’t feeling so good, so I thought I’d lay down for a little bit. That lasted for about 10 minutes before I had to spend way more time with my face uncomfortably close to the toilet than I’m happy with. As I told my friend Gina the next day, I threw up sorority girl style, which how she described the first time I puked from alcohol while we were studying abroad in Paris. If you’re wondering what ‘throwing up sorority girl style means’, picture tears, and whining, and flailing about on the bathroom floor. In other words, it’s super cute (yes, that is my sarcastic voice I’m using). At one point I couldn’t make it from the bathroom to my bedroom, which is at most 15 feet, so I laid down in the hallway for about 5 minutes, and then had to crawl back to the bathroom. I then spent all of Sunday being dehydrated and having awful leg cramps. In fact, I felt so awful I only made it out of the bed to grab a bottle of Gatorade out of the fridge, I didn’t even ever make it to the couch.

While I was pathetically languishing in bed, Jen, Jacob, Lindsey, Megan, and Jeff went down to the Clackamas Town Center, stood on the street corner and somehow managed to raise over $500 between them. Bad ass.

I was feeling somewhat better by Monday so I went to work, though functioning on ½ of a bagel, some saltines, and Gatorade didn’t make for the most productive day. Jen and I did sort of go for a run at work, which consisted of running to the US Outdoor Store (about 7 blocks away) since we both had Groupons, then running back to the office when I realized I had left mine on my desk, running back to the store, then running over to the food carts so Jen could get lunch, then walking back to the office (can’t risk the food getting dropped when running). It came to a grand, impressive total of .76 miles. Meh, I got an adorable purple snow hat out of it, to me it was a great success.

So warm.

I’m sure you noticed the awesome I ❤ Sweat shirt because how could you not. I got it from this lovely girl Ali, who raised more than $20,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Simply amazing.  Thanks for making such great shirts Ali! I will proudly represent the sweat lovers on Portland.

Speaking of sweat, Tuesday at track night I decided to only do 4 400s instead of 6, which I think was a wise decision since I was wanting to actually be functioning on Wednesday. Look at me getting wiser in my old age; it’s kind of weird.

The rest of the week has flown by full of latkes and matzo balls (this Jew loves her some Hannukah food), old friends that are in town, and discovering Ticket to Ride on the iPad.

Double the menorahs = double the Jewish

I may be considering moving in with Sam and Anna so I can curl up on their amazingly comfortable couch with Sam’s iPad. I mean, I love you guys because you’re super cool fun… no seriously, I’m having TTR withdrawals… please come back soon…

Such a beautiful sight.

Since it’s Christmas Eve we didn’t have our usual TnT long run, instead Jen and I had planned to get some snow shoeing in on Mt. Hood. That plan was thwarted by the lack of not old and icy snow, even at Timberline Lodge. So instead we hung out in the lodge and ate a bunch, which is totally the same thing…


We’re definitely running tomorrow, otherwise I’m going to wake up on Monday 10 pounds heavier than I am today.

It just feels right to end this post with a sunset shot from the drive down Mt. Hood.

Acting Your Age is Overrated

A few years ago I was at the doctor’s office and the doc asked my how old I was. My answer: 22…I mean 23… well, soon to be 24… I swear I am who I say I am… *awkward silence*. I’m used to being on the younger side of my friends and classmates, with a late November birthday it was totally normal for me to be younger than people that were in the class below me in high school. Funny enough, as time goes on, I find myself more often than not being towards the middle or older side of things, which sometimes throws me for a loop. I think that’s mostly because I don’t *feel* like I’m in my mid 20s. I feel more like I’m still 16 and am trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life, who I am, and how to act like a proper, responsible adult. Real adults probably don’t use their Macbook’s as dining room tables while eating half a PB&J sandwich that is made from the last edible piece of bread in the house and drinking on-the-verge-of-being-spoiled milk out of a paper cup because you haven’t gone real grocery shopping in over a month.

My $1,000 kitchen table that you can find at the Apple store

Real adults also probably don’t wear their bright orange running shirt (that was worn during a workout earlier in the day) to a nice restaurant on multiple occasions and throw a scarf over it to make it look like a normal shirt.

Or use their friends as lounge chairs in restaurants. Oops, Nike swish is visible, and I’m eating a lollipop, I promise I’m not 12 years old.

There are times when I feel much older than 26, most of those occur when I’m running and my hips start hurting. Or my knee starts hurting. Or a wake up the day after running and every joint creaks when I get out of bed. Or I’m sitting at my desk the day after a run and the tendinitis in my knee starts to hurt if my chair is at a certain angle.

I’m happy that my close group of friends seem to be also be in no rush to grow up, get married, and have kids. They’re also entertained with my shenanigans, such as when I daily throw a flirty smile at the bellman of a hotel near my work or audibly boo a restaurant when driving by it because an ex-boyfriend works there or get my white girl dance on to an endless loop of Mayer Hawthorne songs . These probably don’t fall under the ‘grown up’ category.

By now you’re probably wondering what on earth my point is. The average Team in Training participant is a 32 year old women who is college educated and makes $89,300 a year. While I am a woman who is working on that being college educated thing, I’m feeling a little behind. And holy crap, what jobs do TnT participants have that they average $89,000 a year?! I’ve been feeling some internal pressure to run fast since I’m younger, and while it gets my butt moving, it’s not the most mature way to get motivated.

Or maybe I’m having a quarter life crisis.

Or maybe I’m just over thinking it because I had that 1/2 pint of cider at that fundraising meeting this evening (I’m know, I’m a wild child).

Maybe I should just go to bed.

Does this 7th layer of clothing make my butt look big?

I’ve never been much of a fashionista. As a kid I would wear leggings and then cut holes in the knees when I got bored (sorry mom, I totally wasn’t telling the truth when I said I fell and they ripped). In high school I would wear pajama pants, boxers, or I’d borrow my brother’s pants. Clearly I was the coolest kid in school. I also went through a phase a couple of years ago where I lost about 30 pounds but didn’t get new clothes, I looked like a little kid in big kid clothing. I did spend a semester abroad in Paris in college which helped me become disciplined enough to at least throw a pair of jeans on if I’m going out in public. In the last few years I’ve decided to put a tad bit of effort in to my appearance, if only to not be eternally confused for a 15 year old, but I’m not that good at taking chances with my wardrobe.

Except when it comes to running. I feel like it’s my chance to be silly and wear whatever I feel like wearing, even if technically it doesn’t match. Sadly I didn’t get a picture or it, but yesterday I wore a bright orange long sleeved shirt and purple shorts to the gym. You could spot me from a mile away. It’s also been effing cold in Portland for the last few weeks, so I’ve had to layer so items of clothing that maybe didn’t go together that well. Example A would be my outfit for my run tonight:

A purlpe shirt over an orange shirt with pink and grey shoes if totally in fashion, right?

I need to teach the cat how to take pictures.

Then there’s my Smart-Wool-socks-over-my-running-tights look:

In my defense, it keeps my calves and toes super warm.

I’ve also been known to wear shorts over my running tights, which is totally awesome, and somewhere I have a great picture of me in grey leggings, blue soccer shorts, and the brown top from the picture above but sadly I can’t find it right now. You’ll just have to trust me when I say I look ridiculously hot.

On a slightly different note, I guess I can be considered a real runner since I’m now the proud owner of this:

It's a foam roller, get your head out of the gutter.

For those who have never used a foam roller, it’s a bit like having a boyfriend who is mean to you but you’re stronger for gutting through the pain. Ok, so that’s an awful metaphor, just file a foam roller under Things That Hurt So Good.

On a final note, if eating a bag on M&M’s and a king sized Snickers bar for dessert is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Om nom nom