Dec 24, 2009

dear running, i miss you

It's been a few weeks since I've been out for a run and I have to be honest with you: I'm going a little crazy. I got my gait analyzed [by Nike, going for a second opinion to an independent running store] and was told that my shoes aren't providing proper support. Maybe this is why my knee's been bothering me. Maybe this is why I don't like my newest pair of running shoes.

Whatever. All I know is that I miss running. A lot. And when I miss something I immerse myself in all things related to whatever it is I am missing. My good friends at RTR have kept me going during my running hiatus, and yesterday they posted a video that scratched not just my running itch, but my Christmas itch as well.

Please to enjoy...



Dec 3, 2009

sickie-gnar-gnar-pow-pow

DUDE.

DOOOOOD.

Do you even know what time of year it is? It is the time of year when my love of proper grammar and a diverse vocabulary goes out the window. It is the time of year I gaze longingly into the distance, hoping for the smallest glimpse of anything resembling a mountain peak. It is the time of year when I squirrel away my hard earned dollars, only to blow them on a few short hours spent flying down snow covered mountains.

IT IS SKI / SNOWBOARD SEASON B*TCHES.

Tell me this doesn't make your heart beat faster.

Tell me this doesn't make you want to blow off any and all plans you may have ahead of you.


Oh wait...*cough* I think I'm getting sick. *cough, cough*

Gonna have to blow off work to wax my board and get in some sick lines leave work early so I can get some extra rest and kick this cold.

Dec 2, 2009

sunsets and silhouettes

Sunsets and silhouettes fill up the window
No room for distraction
Nothing but indigo fading
into violet
into lavender
into a creamcicle
that, if it weren’t so cold, would sound perfectly inviting
Music twinkles along the back wall of my mind
As I sit,
Filling up my evening with color
Memory
Dreams
Absent from this sunset
where is your silhouette
It’s just me and these trees
And colors
Less creamcicle
More indigo
Until the sky is a sailor’s navy blue
And the twinkling music litters the sky

Dec 1, 2009

beat up

This running thing I'm doing, I love it. I love it so much. It feels good. It is challenging. It pushes me. It makes me stronger. But it is not without its sacrifices. Of all the sacrifices I have made for running the hardest one for me is the toenails.

**WARNING: Erica, below is a picture of my feet. You may not want to look.**

Nov 16, 2009

be reconciled

I have fought it for years, claiming impossibility, fear, and self-protection. Calling them reasons when in reality they were excuses—a protective barricade putting as much distance between the truth and myself as possible.

We are called to reconcile. I am called to reconcile, to BE RECONCILED. Not just for little things. Not just with people who are easy. I am called to reconcile with him. Claiming for years that this was my desire, but he made it impossible. ALL things are possible with Christ who strengthens me.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” She who has been forgiven much loves much. I have been forgiven of much and I do love much. No longer hidden behind walls built from shoddy excuses, I venture forth to this unknown place of not just forgiveness but of reconciliation.

I am tired of this fortress I have built. I am tired of trying to hold it together with fear and excuses. Give me a trumpet and I will march around these walls faithfully. And when the seventh day arrives I will blow my trumpet and shout for joy as these walls come tumbling down.

Nov 4, 2009

video song

I'm kind of obsessed with this video song. And I'm kind of obsessed with Pomplamoose.

"What's a video song?" you ask.

Well, my dear friend, a video song is defined by Pomplamoose by two rules:
1. What you see is what you hear. (No lip-synching for instruments or voice)
2. If you see it, at some point you hear it. (No hidden sounds)

They've got some awesome originals. On top of that, they covered "Single Ladies."



Happy Wednesday.

Love, Haley

Oct 30, 2009

go big or go home

Well...I'm going to do it.

many parts, one purpose

I thought I knew what I was. I thought I'd figured out the part of the Body for which I was created. Yet suddenly this part of the body is foreign, like a transplanted organ, I am rejected. Believing myself cast out, I prepare myself for removal and disposal. The Surgeon lifts me up and examines me. "There is nothing wrong with you," He says. "You just tried to be an organ you are not. Placed correctly in this Body you will feel the Blood of Life course through you, and you will see the Body respond as you perform the function you were created to do. For a body cannot function properly without each of its organs. It begins to compensate for what is missing, working harder than it is meant to, but unable to rest."

Oct 23, 2009

TOMS + twilight

I love TOMS and I love Twilight. So when I was checking up on the filming of Eclipse I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Anna Kendrick [Jessica Stanley] returned to Vancouver BC for filming wearing a pair of TOMS.



I know, right?*



Yeah, that's a quote from of hers from Twilight.

Oct 12, 2009

heat rae [belated]

COULD I have made it through my teaching adventures in the Santa Cruz mountains without a like-minded friend?

Yes.

COULD I have made it through the craziness of that spring without someone who totally got it and told me I owed them $20 every time I MySpied the source of that hurt?

Yes.

WOULD I have wanted to go through those things [and more] without her?

NO.

Heather, my sweet friend, I am so thankful for your presence on this earth. And more specifically I am thankful for your presence in my life, and for the gift of your friendship. You are insightful and compassionate and honest. You aren't afraid of hard questions and you don't shy away from the crap life throws at you. "Because I know you, I have been changed for good."





PS. We sang "Beautiful, Scandalous Night" at church yesterday. I thought of you.

Sep 24, 2009

guest blogger

The lovely Kathy Simpson asked me to be a guest blogger on her site Kathy Runs. It took a little while a few months, but it's up. Check it out.

Sep 11, 2009

motivate me

When I run there are a few things that are guaranteed to motivate and inspire me. The ones that live out side my brain are:
1. Kathy Simpson
2. Kara Goucher
3. Kara Goucher's Endurance Mix that Kathy Simpson sent me
4. The weather
5. The person in front of me

Okay, so Kath and Kara, big inspirations, right? RIGHT. And Kath happens to be an avid Kara fan as well [remember Worlds?]. Imagine my elation [and small pang of jealousy] when Kathy sent me this:



AWWWW YEAH!

Sep 9, 2009

the retrieval project

I love art. I love tattoos. As such, tattooing is one of my favorite forms of art. I love discovering new tattoo artists and enjoying their work, whether it be by having it permanently displayed on my body or simply by looking at their portfolios.

Today I [sort of] discovered a new tattoo artist AND purchased a print of his AND got to support an amazing cause. I say sort of discovered because I have actually semi-knowingly enjoyed his art for quite some time. He is the brother of a friend of mine and has done several of her tattoos and some of her husband's tattoos, and I have long admired his work on them.

He and his family, due to various circumstances, had to move half way across the country TWICE in six months. As a result the majority of their belongings are still living in Minnesota while they reside in California. Because money is tight and moving is expensive, they decided to get creative about the retrieval of their belongings. They started The Retrieval Project. It is a collection of their artwork, available for sale, and all of the money goes to fund their moving expenses.

As someone who has longed for home, who has lived with most of her personal belongings boxed away in another state, I can empathize with the loneliness that this situation creates. So today I bought one of the art pieces from The Retrieval Project:



It will tie in quite nicely with my Avett Brothers concert poster Dan gave me, and the red will compliment the Nikki McClure print Rebs gave me for my birthday last year. AND even more than all of that, it will help a family in need of home.

To oooh and ahhh at the artwork of The Retrieval Project, check out:
The Retrieval Project

To purchase artwork that supports The Retrieval Project, check out:
Joe's Etsy Shop
Jenny's Etsy Shop

Sep 4, 2009

sunrise

I stumbled out of bed this morning, fumbled my way through a shower, and managed to find my way into some clothes. Upon opening the blinds I was A S T O U N D E D. I don't know that I have ever seen a sunrise quite like this. I wish I had some amazing picture I'd taken on my Nikon 365009824D, but I don't have that camera. Or any camera for that matter. What I did have at my disposal was the camera built into my laptop, and knowing the picture would be nothing close to the original, I took one anyway.

What a beautiful way to start the day...

Sep 3, 2009

sometimes life is a song...

Sometimes it isn't.

I am not particularly concerned about what anyone might think when I'm in my swimming trunks with them.

I did not get raging drunk with anyone [or by myself] last night.

Even still, this song* DOES feel fitting for a Thursday afternoon that finds itself at almost the end of a VERY FULL week.



*Duh, of course it's The Avetts.

Sep 2, 2009

derek & don

Derek Webb and Don Miller are men who, when God puts something on their hearts, they share it. They get it out. They put it out there. Even when it's not pretty. Even when it causes a ruckus.

Derek Webb's new album, Stockholm Syndrome, was released yesterday. I went for Tier 1 Physical + Digital myself and am listening to it on my iPod while I await the arrival of my CDs. Let me just say that I thought Derek Webb laid it all out there before. And he did. But this is a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

And then there is Don Miller. Blue Like Jazz. Searching for God Knows What. Wow. I mean, he has more books, but those are the ones I've read. I never cease to be moved to laughter and awe at his way of opening my eyes up to new levels of understanding things I thought I already understood. His new book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, comes out on September 29. BUT you can read the first 30 pages now. And you can even read them HERE. Not because I'm anyone special, but because he posted the code for it on his website.

Aug 23, 2009

worlds

I am awake. Right now. At 2:45AM. Why? Because Kara Goucher is running the marathon at IAAF World's.

And I'm not alone. I am watching it online with Kath, via Skype. I LOVE the internet.

Aug 21, 2009

life

Maybe it's just today.

Maybe it's listening to the Swell Season's new single.

Maybe it is Baby Stubblefield's hiccoughs.

Whatever it is I am overwhelmed by the beauty of life. Don't get me wrong, I know there is ugliness and pain and hurt alive and rampant in this world.

But today, TODAY I am overwhelmed by the beauty of life. Of creating life. Of new life. Of journeying through life.

Aug 5, 2009

listen

So I’m at work listening to recently uploaded Daytrotter sessions and I find myself wondering what people think when they hear the music I listen to. Do they think I have horrid taste in music? Then I wonder, “do I have horrid taste in music!?” To which I quickly respond, “NO. I have fabulous taste in music.” Then I start to think that perhaps the generic-almost-anyone-even-William-Hung-can-get-a-record-deal-these-days music culture / sound is ruining the eardrums of the masses.

Aug 4, 2009

benby

LIZZY AND DAVE ARE HAVING A BABY.

My dear, sweet cousinsisterbestfriend and her loving, wonderful husband are having a BABY.

I am BEYOND ecstatic, and my heart gets all full and my eyes fill with tears if I think about this wonderful life they are bringing into this world for much longer than five seconds.

I burst into tears when she told me. And then I shrieked and squealed and screamed for another few minutes.

Because when I think about this baby I don't just think about the wonderful blessing s/he will be to her/his parents or the blessing they will be to her/him. I think about the history Lizzy and I have. I think about what it means to have her as my cousinsisterbestfriend and to have her present for all but one year five months and nine days of my life. I think of our history, our family history and the strong bonds that we all share. And I am moved to tears and laughter because this is where we get to pass it on.

Sweet Benby [the nickname given to Baby Canales as they don't yet know if it is a boy or a girl, so it is a combo of the names they've chosen] and little Jonah get to be the first of this next generation to share these bonds we've been dreaming of passing on for so long.

Jul 24, 2009

coming soon

I can't tell you what.

And I can't tell you when.

But here is a sneak preview of something amazing....



Sorry about the size, click to enlarge.

Jul 22, 2009

sweet

While perusing my dear friend's lovely and creative style blog, I read about her adoration of the le love blog.

Which led me to do a bit of creepin.

Whereupon I discovered this video.

And it is just so very, very sweet.

Jul 8, 2009

ready

You know those tops that have dots or lines on top of them, and they make a geometric design as they spin round and round? That is my life right now. I'll be really honest: I LOVE IT. Life is moving forward at what feels like a breakneck pace. And instead of being terrified of the speed I am LOVING it. Each and every day as I sprint forward, hand in hand with my Guide, I find myself grinning from ear to ear, even as my heart is breaking and tears stream down my cheeks.

The strange thing is that I'm not surprised to find myself here. Perhaps it's because I didn't realize life was flying forward so quickly until we'd been moving like that for a bit. Perhaps it's because somewhere deep inside I knew my life was building to this point. I had a beautiful and rich three years in California, living close to the ocean, soaking up sweet, sweet time with framily. Just enjoying the lazy pace at which life [mostly] seemed to meander. And even as I meandered back to the Pacific NW it seemed that life would continue at a nice leisurely pace.

Little did I know that, just as I thought I was going to settle down into a nice comfy space, that was when I unknowingly slammed my foot on the gas. Somehow I managed to accelerate in a way that didn't shock or startle me at all, it didn't even mess up my hair. And yet here I am careening forward at this breakneck pace, smiling wide, tears streaming down my face, sometimes from the speed at which I am moving, other times because the things I am processing are painful and full of healing I have been longing for for longer than I could have imagined.

I don't know what is around the next corner, but I am ready. I have rested and learned all the things necessary for what is ahead. And I am ready.

Jul 3, 2009

getting ready

I go back and forth between thinking what I am going to do is HUGE and thinking it is no big deal. Regardless of my current mood, tomorrow I will be running my very first EVER half-marathon. I am excited and nervous. My clothes are laid out and I am about to pin my bib on the tank top I'll be wearing tomorrow. Who knew I'd love running this much...not THIS girl, that's for sure!

Jun 24, 2009

jonah michael

I cannot believe it. Somehow in the midst of everyday life my sister Val became a mother and I in turn became an aunt. I'm not quite sure how it happened. Not the baby making part, the mystery and wonder and semi-freakiness of bringing a new life into the world.

There we all were at the hospital for 32 hours [yes, THIRTY-TWO HOURS]. Waiting for an update, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Doing something almost constantly, cards, speed scrabble, bad TV, reading, eating, talking, just to keep busy, to fill the space as we waited.

And then he arrived.

And everything stopped.

We hovered outside the delivery room waiting for the telltale wail, and as we heard it we heard my beautiful sister Val cry, "My baby! My sweetheart."



Jonah Michael
7lbs 11ozs
19in
3:24P 20 June 2009

present

I am a BIG fan of The Avett Brothers.

DUH.

Maybe you haven't taken time to watch those videos I posted. Maybe you think I'm weird for getting all crazy about a band. Maybe you're just busy.

Make space. Make time. Find five minutes and listen to the first single from their new album, both called I and Love and You. You can download it for free, so do it.

flattered

I don't know about you, but I have bloggers that I LOVE reading. I love the ways their minds work. Sometimes because they are so different from mine that I sit puzzling over what it is they've just said. Sometimes because they express themselves in ways I GET instantaneously. They are thought provoking, irreverent, beautiful, and a multitude of other adjectives. So when one of these bloggers decides to respond to a comment I've made on their blog [like Glenna C. did about the Viper Pilot socks] I get a little giddy. And when Pacing The Panic Room [a.k.a. Ryan, do yourself a favor and READ him] decides to mosey over my way and check out my ramblings, even comment on a few of them, I get all happy.

Because mostly I just write because I love to write and because I love words and expressing myself with them. And I write because I have loved ones who don't live a close as my heart wishes they would. So it's like bonus points when people I read decide to read me.

Jun 18, 2009

possibly?

It is possible that I am going to be an auntie VERY soon. Valerie and Jeremy are at the hospital right now to check out some "leaking" that's been going on since yesterday. This is perhaps, the much less dramatized version often depicted by Hollywood, her water breaking.

There are no contractions, so it is also possible that they will send her home and tell her to sit on a towel.

I'll be honest, I'm crossing my fingers for contractions.

Jun 11, 2009

home

I have this new home, a new house, a place into which I have recently moved.

There are still boxes to be unpacked, nooks, crannies, corners and closets to be organised.

But I have a place to lay my head, an address that doesn't include a PO Box.

I am finding all these things I love about simply coming home, merely spending time in that place.

Having a place to call home is effecting every area of my life in surprising and wonderful ways.

Welcome home.

Jun 5, 2009

recognition

You know when everything just sort of fits together, even if just for a few moments? You look up and notice how everything has settled in just the right arrangement.. All the background noises, sights and sounds compliment each other and you, and this contentment washes over you. It happens at the most random of times. Today, with my office an unbelievable mess of cups, dishes, binders and paper, and a sky full of clouds, I breathed in and as I exhaled I felt that contentment settle in.

It is not about how long the contentment stays, it is about recognizing it while it is here.

Jun 1, 2009

i won

With every additional mile I am surprised by the excuses I seem to come up with for stopping.

With every additional mile I am encouraged by my ability to discount those excuses.

With every additional mile I am amazed by my body's ability to keep going.

With every additional mile I am delighted that my legs keep going, even though they've not yet covered this distance in a single run.

On Saturday another battle of wills took place. I challenged my stack of excuses to a nine mile run.

I won.

May 29, 2009

wod.fam.choc.sod.

My cousin Lizzy is...


amazing.


She is my cousin. She is my sister. She is my best friend.

She makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. She inspires me in more ways than I can express. She reminds me of the Truth when I struggle to see through the lies.

Liz, you have been there for EVERYTHING. For smiling belly buttons and deadly Now & Laters. For Rice Chex with whipped cream and moving away from my dad. For Team Mega Death [we're hardcore] road trips up the PCH to all the happy and sad tears shed over the last 18 months, and all the other ones for that matter.

Thank you for being there for EVERYTHING.

Thank you for being my cousinsisterbestfriend.

Thank you for your tenacious, wise spirit.

Thank you for telling the truth even when it is hard.

Thank you for every single bit of who you are.

I love you and I am so glad you were born 26 years ago today.

the avetts are here to stay

If you've been around me this past week here is what you know:

I AM [even more] OBSESSED WITH THE AVETT BROTHERS.

I have, with the exception of time spent running*, listened almost solely to their albums since last Friday. And I wish I could concisely explain why this obsession has taken root so deeply. Since I doubt my ability to do that I will simply share these:

Cigarettes & Whiskey**


The Ballad of Love and Hate


Murder in the City


Gimmeakiss***


*I am in the process of compiling an Avett Brothers running mix.
**Cover
***I wasn't there for Gimmeakiss, but there aren't any good videos of their faster stuff from the first night.

May 22, 2009

loving fiercely

I am realizing something about myself. It's not new, but the way I understand it is.

What I know about myself is that I love fiercely.

For awhile I thought I should tone it down, not love so fiercely. Someone, me, was going to get hurt.

And recently, a deeper understanding of this fierce way I love has become mine. I do not need to tone down the way I love. I must simply be discerning about who I choose to love with this fierce love of mine.

This does not imply that I will now be treating love as a commodity. It does mean that trust must be built, must be earned, before the floodgates that hold back this fierce love can be opened.

the avetts are coming!

THE AVETTS ARE COMING!

THE AVETTS ARE COMING!

THE AVETTS ARE COMING!


The first time I had a favorite band it was New Kids on the Block. But that love ended quickly, mostly because I was in fourth grade and my mother wouldn't let me listen to Z100.

Then, in high school it was Blink 182, mostly the early stuff and especially Dude Ranch.

I went through the totally valid, but still cliche, Dave Matthews Band phase in college, thankfully skipping Phish altogether, and dabbled a bit in early John Mayer.

But it wasn't until I sat in Dan's chair at Samuel O'Reilly's getting the outline work done on my arm that I really found, and fell for, a band: The Avett Brothers

The lyrics, the music, the instruments, the ridiculous amazingness that is their live shows...it is all SO GOOD. I don't know that any other band could have compelled me to sit through three hours of pouring rain just to listen to them play their music like the Avetts did last August at the Washington Park Zoo.

And now, TONIGHT, they are going to be in Portland. Not just in Portland, but in Portland playing at The Crystal Ballroom.

I am giddy as I anticipate this evening's concert.

May 18, 2009

the thing about the library

The thing about the library is that it makes me think about time.

I went in to pick up a book I had on hold [Thursday Next: First Among Sequels], and as I left, book in hand, thinking about the time this book and I would get to spend together, I glanced down at my check out slip. At the bottom it read, "DUE DATE: 06-08-09".

By the time this book is due it was already be June.

By the time this book is due I will have moved away from Santa Cruz OVER a year ago.

By the time this book is due Heather could have had Collin.

Time certainly does fly....

May 6, 2009

mojito thunder

I LOVE ULTIMATE FRISBEE. Just the name conjures up images of greatness: a defender chasing down her mark as she gets ho for the huck to the endzone, a trio of handlers breaking the zone to advance the disc upfield, the feeling of satisfaction as your hand slaps the disc to the ground inches before it reaches your mark's eager hands. It is ULTIMATE. It is FRISBEE. And it KICKS ASS.

My spring league team is Mojito Thunder, and in case you're wondering, yes we do drink celebratory mojitos, win or lose, after our games. Back to back games against Get Hucked and Vanilla Gorilla. We tied with Get Hucked who played a stellar game and even scored a Callahan [caught the disc in their endzone while they were on D...I'll be honest I've got a J in my heart about that point]. Vanilla Gorilla, our second game, was tons of fun. I got to D a chick who plays for Schwa [Portland's AWESOME Women's Ultimate team...if you know women's ulti, you've heard of Schwa] and while she COULD have run me around the field [more than she did], she kept it chilly. There were awesome grabs, long points, a few great layouts, and the rain was nice enough to stay away for most of the evening.

Have I mentioned I love this game?

May 5, 2009

encouragement

I love to encourage others. LOVE it. When I was an intern at Twin Lakes we took the spiritual gifts test and one of my top gifts was exhortation. I know, it sort of sounds like a sneeze when you say it. But it means "the act of inciting to laudable deeds; incitement to that which is good or commendable; language intended to incite and encourage; advice; counsel; admonition." Prior to taking that test I'd never really thought about my love of encouraging others very specifically. I just figured I was really verbal. That shift in understanding my love for encouragement has been huge. It has helped me understand the power of words, the importance of lifting others up, and the fact that most of us, myself included, have a pretty difficult time being encouraged. It also opened my eyes to the fact that I LOVE to be encouraged. I might have a hard time hearing the compliments, but I love to hear kind words from someone who cares for me.

So. Yesterday I arrived home [to my NEW home...expect a post on that in the near future] completely DRENCHED from a run in the torrential downpour weather forecasters like to call rain to find a package waiting for me on the counter. My FIRST piece of mail at my new house. It was from Kathy. She'd told me she was putting together a little something to help me train for the half marathon I'm running in July. But it was SO much more than just a little something. I opened it to find a poster full of encouragement, inspiring women marathoners, and a picture of a gun firing peanuts [inside joke]. There was also a water running training schedule [great for off days and rehabbing bum knees]. AND. There were NINE CDs:
For the Love of my Life Volumes 1 & 2 [nice, chill, relaxing tunes]
Not Just Arm Candy Volumes 1-6 [running mixes]
Kara Goucher Endurance Mix [LOVE her, also a running mix]

Kath, you're the best. Thank you for ALL the encouragement, advice and love.

BEYOND excited

There are not enough words to describe JUST how:
overjoyed I am.
excited I am.
full of love I am.
on the verge of happy tears I am.
much I want to dance and shout.
often I am tempted to share the news with strangers.
loud it makes me squeal when I think about it.

Why?

BECAUSE ERICA AND CRAIG ARE PREGNANT.Well, technically Erica is the one who's prego. And Craig is the loving, supportive, amazing husband and daddy-to-be.

I love these two SO much and the thought of them bringing a new, precious little life into this world moves me to tears. LBS [Little Baby Stubblefield] is one lucky, blessed, and very loved baby.

May 1, 2009

day 30: finish strong

When given the challenge to finish strong I thought, "yeah, yeah, sure." I was skeptical that I would actually rise up and meet that challenge. After a long month full of exercise whose end seemed defined by injury I wondered what I could possibly do to challenge myself.

My answer to that question: Interval training.

I recently signed up for a half-marathon and Kathy, and kick-ass marathoner, in SF put together a customized training plan within 10 minutes of me telling her about my plans to run. Yesterday's prescribed training was five miles followed by five sets of two minute intervals run at race pace [9:30 / mile]. I did an unprescribed five mile run on Wednesday, and with my knee griping a bit I lowered the initial mileage to four miles at a very easy 10:47 / mile pace. After that I kicked it into gear, Girl Talk urging me on as I ran my five intervals.

I left the gym feeling like such a bad ass. And when I extracted my phone from my overly full gym bag [seriously, how did all this crap make it in to my bag?] I saw that right about the time I'd hopped off the treadmill she'd called and left a message wondering how my first set of intervals went. I called her back and we encouraged each other [she'd just finished running sets of four minute intervals at a 6:30 pace and running at an 8:00 pace in between...SUCH a bad ass] and talked about the importance of Vaseline and Body Glide.

So I pulled it out in the end. I finished strong. I love it when I surprise myself.

Apr 30, 2009

addicted

I may have signed up for another month long fitness challenge.

Okay...not just may have. ACTUALLY have.

Here is the good news:
1. I will not be blogging about it here.
2. If for some strange reason you desperately WANT to know what I'm doing each day for exercise you can read about it here.
3. It will keep me accountable and help me stick to my half-marathon training plan.
4. I'm LOVING this whole exercising on a really regular basis thing.

So that's what I know. Well, not ALL of what I know. But it's some of it.

day 29: come on legs!

Yesterday was run club day. We did the Springwater Loop and chose to do five miles instead of the three. My running buddy and coworker agreed that she'd run the five with me if I promised we'd take it easy and I wouldn't go crazy and try for sub-10:00 mile averages. I agreed, somewhat reluctantly, seeing the merit in her request as I remembered that I am still sort of recovering from my injury.

It was a beautiful spring day in Portland, sunny to the north, dark and ominous to the south. It was perfect running weather, so perfect in fact that I didn't even notice how fast our pace was until we hit the 2.5 mile marker at 23:45...oops. I apologized profusely to my running buddy for going faster than I'd promised. She told me not to worry, and we turned around and headed back for our second half.

I didn't negative split this five mile loop, but K.ben was right. I did find my sub-10:00 mile time again. I finished at 48:13, faster than my previous five mile time that was pre-injury. Granted, my legs complained more this time and my knee was asking for ice louder than it had, but I still felt good.

Bonus Workout[?]: Lugging the LAST of my boxes up the stairs and into my new place. Now there's just the furniture to unload this weekend....

Apr 29, 2009

day 28: it's called circle swim

You know how we have these rules for which side of the road you drive on? Have you ever thought about how efficient that concept is [ignoring, of course, the inefficiencies of fossil fuel]? Wanna know something cool? Swimmers have a similar system. It's what allows swim teams to have 50+ people swimming in the pool at a time. We like to call it "Circle Swim" because you swim in a circle. Well, it's really more of an ellipse. And just like driving in the U.S. you swim on the right side of the lane at all times. It's SO convenient. And NO ONE in the pool at my gym ever does it. The space planning for the pool was really poorly designed, it's only two lanes wide but could EASILY be made into four. So you have four people in the pool and all of a sudden people wanting to swim think they have to wait for a someone else to leave because apparently there is only room for four people. Whatever. CIRCLE SWIM AND WE CAN HAVE A POST SWIM PARTY WITH ALL THE PEOPLE WE'LL FIT IN THE POOL.

Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, I went swimming yesterday. Eighteen hundred yards of non-circle swimming ridiculousness.

Bonus Workout[?]: More packing and going up and down stairs with boxes. UGH.

Apr 28, 2009

day 27: a real run

I did it. I went for a REAL run yesterday! Two friends from the office and I walked to Niketown for their Monday run club and as we headed down Salmon I found myself RUNNING.

Not shuffling.

Not jogging.

Not wincing.

RUNNING.

It was so hard not to break into a sprint, jump up and down, or leapfrog over the lights on the sidewalk [waist high ones, not lamp posts]. And yes, my legs were sore. And yes I had to ice my knee. And yes I almost died when I rolled around on the foam roller. BUT I RAN. Mile times weren't quite back at what they were pre-injury BUT they were 10:12s, which is better than I was expecting. Maybe Wednesday will see me under 10 again.

[Insert image of me gazing longingly off in the distance here.]

As an added bonus it POURED yesterday. It started just about the time I was headed back up to Niketown and by the time I was walking for to my bus stop it was torrential. I got on the bus looking like I'd just stepped out of the ocean. I love running in the spring in Portland.

Bonus Workout[?]: Moving LOTS of boxes down and up several flights of stairs in the rain AND staying up until 1AM packing more boxes for this evening's phase of the move.

Apr 27, 2009

day 26: a day of rest

I did not intend on taking yesterday off. I had my suit, cap and goggles in the car awaiting my free evening after a day of airports, church, cleaning, unpacking, and Ikea. Silly me. I should have realized that Ikea trumps EVERYTHING. Even exercise. Good thing I'd been hoarding all those extra days off.

I may not have worked out yesterday, but at 9:30 last night as my friend and new housemate sat down to dinner [courtesy of Burgerville, it's local so that means it's good for you, right?] I felt like I'd just finished the longest most arduous workout.

Only four more days to go in April and I intend on making each and every one of them count.

Bonus Workout[?]: Exercising self-restraint at Ikea, purchasing [mostly] only the immediately necessary items.

day 25: peaceful persistance

Went to the pool on Saturday morning and had it almost entirely to myself. It was heaven. I felt all wrapped up and cozy as I moved through the water, pushing my muscles for the first time in a week. The cold air on my heels as they broke through the surface of the water, hearing the water splash, loving the burning feeling in my lungs as they insisted on more air, and finally arriving at the end of the pool out of breath for the first time in seven days.

I did a little more than a mile and then spent some time stretching in the water which was such a treat as my legs have been too sore to support my body weight on land. I think I stretched for almost 20 minutes. I left the pool refreshed and encouraged. Maybe all this recovery will be worth it.

Bonus Workout[?]: Excited [and admittedly girlish] giggling and freaking out as a friend and I [who is on SocialWorkout but will remain nameless to protect her innocence] enjoyed popcorn with sweet pimenton and kosher salt and watched "Twilight" [again].

Apr 23, 2009

days 20, 21, and 22: playing catch up

I have been slacking at updating this blog with my blogs from the Social Workout site. My apologies dear reader, I have been...ANNOYED. Not with blogging. With myself. I AM ANNOYED[not have been, that implies that the annoyance has ended] with the injury I sustained as a result of going too hard at the Ultimate clinic on Saturday. I felt like, if I didn't write about taking it easy, then I wouldn't really be taking it easy. Alas, I have been taking it easy. For reals. So here's what you've been missing...

day 20: shuffling along
As I may have mentioned I have, as a result of this challenge, been running faster, longer and harder. I may also have mentioned that I LOVE that I've been running faster, longer and harder. And I may also have mentioned that I totally effed up my legs on Saturday. So yesterday when I, determined to get in my mileage on my very first day of half-marathon training, left the house for the first half of a four mile run [I split it up, two in the morning, two in the afternoon...poor legs], I shuffled just as fast as my stiff, sore legs would allow. And then after work I did the same thing.

What I have NOT mentioned is the swelling pride that has developed as a result of faster, longer and harder runs. And how difficult it was NOT being remotely able to run fast, long or hard yesterday. I'm sure there's a great life lesson in here somewhere. Whatever. I'm just glad that after four miles of shuffling along [we're talking 12+ minute miles here], an ice bath, a warm bath with epsom salt, AND Tiger Balm my legs are feeling a bit looser.

day 21: worth the effort:
I am a morning person. I mean REALLY a morning person. I consider sleeping in anything past 7:30AM. But this morning when the alarm went off at 5:30, like it almost always does, it was hard to drag my heavy, sore muscles out of bed. I stumbled into my swimsuit, pulled on some shorts and a hoodie, grabbed my gym bag [packed the night before] and headed for the bus. An hour later I was in the water. Weightless. If they could have I think my legs would have kissed me. They kept begging me for a break yesterday. "Please Haley, let someone else walk for us." And, "Please Haley, don't go down the stairs again." And, "Please Haley, don't sit down because we will eventually have to get back up." Poor legs.

I didn't push it too hard in the pool. I just really tried to stretch, get my muscles moving. I like this whole getting better, sore muscles recovering thing, and was extra careful not to mess it up by doing anything too intense.

day 22: jog a little, walk a little
I hate this. I am not a "take it easy, let's just go slow" person. Or at least not very often. So this whole INJURY thing is really getting on my nerves because the prescription for getting better is taking it easy and going slow. BARF. NO THANK YOU. I miss my gazelle-ish self, racing through the streets and along the waterfront of Portland at a sub-10:00 minute mile pace. Part of it is pride, and part of it is just ME wanting to be ME when I excercise. [Cue "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk]

Instead of harder, better, faster, stronger I went slower yesterday. I went with the Nike Run Club and was the last person to return from the three mile loop. I was even passed by several of the five milers. Awesome. BUT, despite my hollerings hamstrings and griping glutes, I completed the three miles. No major accomplishment when I look at the rest of the month, but for someone who could barely make it up the stairs on Sunday I think I might as well suck it up and allow myself a pat on the back.

Bonus Workout[?]: Any movements that took me from floor to chair height. That's still pretty painful.

Apr 20, 2009

day 19: lsd

No. Not the drug. Long Slow Distance [LSD]. That is exactly what I did in the pool yesterday. I gingerly lowered my sore legs into the cool water and pushed, gently, off the wall. I didn't count laps. I didn't count minutes. I just swam. I stretched my arms as far ahead of me as they would go. I took my flip turns nice and slow, making sure to stretch my hamstrings as I went. I kept my body position as long as possible. And for the time that my body was weightless, for the time that I didn't have to support myself with my very overworked legs, I felt so good. The only disappointment was that I couldn't stay in the water forever.

Bonus Workout[?]: Any time I sat, stood, climbed or descended stairs. Wow.

day 18: not as young as i used to be

Wow. Saturday was wonderful and painful. PUFF [Portland Ultimate Frisbee Federation] hosted an ultimate frisbee clinic for women on Saturday. Tons of fun, tons of women, tons of running, cutting, drills, catching, throwing.

And TONS of sore muscles. Almost everything above my knees and below my abs hurts. I am hobbling around like an arthritic 70-year-old. BUT my commitment to the BOWC, to Ultimate, and to the half marathon I signed up for on Friday [Sauvie Island Foot Traffic Flat, July 4 2009] has stayed strong. I am on a strict regimen of RICE. I have purchased both Tiger Balm [feel the burn!] and Traumeel [another homeopathic, less fragrant than Tiger Balm] and am applying them at regular intervals.

Bonus Workout[?]: Any and all walking I did after the clinic ended.

Apr 17, 2009

day 17: becoming a standard

Fridays are starting to be the "take a 40 minute walk with friend in the office" day. I think I like it. Although with all this running sometimes I just want to break into a run and arrive at the office sweaty, and in under 25 minutes. I think the rest is good for me though. Sometimes it is important to have an activity that forces you to go slow.

Bonus Workout[?]: All the walking I'll do tonight from my house to the movie theater, movie theater to dessert place, dessert place to home.

rmsbf

She is my RMSBF.

I cannot imagine my life without her.

One time, after a huge oh-my-gosh-we-haven't-seen-each-other-for-months hug, a lady asked us if we would hug again so she could take our picture because it was so full of love.

There aren't enough words to describe how much Clare Elizabeth Pierson means to me. And we have almost that many inside jokes.

My dear RMSBF I am SO GLAD you were born 27 years ago today.

PS. Jump, jump, cling!

PPS. How'm I supposed to breathe with no Clare?

PPPS. How do I NOT have any pictures of just the two of us to put with this post?

day 16: metaphor free

I'm too distracted by everything going on right now to do much more than a list of yesterday's workout:

Elliptical warm up [10 minutes]
Stretching [10 minutes]
Knee strengthening exercises [courtesy of runnersworld. com]
Shoulder warm up / strengthening exercises [courtesy of the trainers at PLU]
Mile swim

Bonus workout[?]: Jumping up and down and freaking out with my good friend and soon to be flatmate about what is soon to be our apartment.

13.1

I did it. I just signed up for my first half marathon.

AND I AM SO EFFING EXCITED!!!

I've been wanting to do one for quite some time. For a while I just wanted to do one for bragging rights. You know just so I could say, "I ran a half marathon."

Then I for a while I thought, "That is crazy. Like I could ever do that. My body isn't made to do that."

Now I think, "I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT TO ACTUALLY RUN A HALF MARATHON."

It's the Sauvie Island Foot Traffic Flat. It is on July 4, 2009. And have I mentioned how excited I am to be doing this yet? Oh, okay. WELL I AM.

I have to say that I am incredibly lucky to have Kathy Simpson as a best friend. She is a KICKASS runner and an even KICKASSIER best friend. As soon as I told her I was doing this she went to work on a customized training plan that factors in the fact that I like having Sunday off, Run Club is Monday and Wednesday, and until mid-June I have ultimate on Tuesdays and Fridays. She also said, "You know I'm going to act like your running coach, right?"

Man...she is the best.

AND I AM SO EFFING EXCITED!!!

Apr 16, 2009

day 15: just like that

Okay.

Okay.

I get it. I mean, I get how it's supposed to work. You exercise. You push yourself. You exercise and push yourself on a regular basis, and your physical fitness improves.

BUT. For whatever reason, even though I'm doing this challenge, working out more than I have, more regularly than I have in years, I didn't expect it to happen to me. Not because I'm pessimistic. I just figured I was the exception.

And all of a sudden I'M A GAZELLE. I'm running sub-10:00 miles, something that's always a pain in the ass to do on a treadmill. I always assumed that running outside without some sort of mile marker right in front of me, I would just run slower. Never faster. NEVER faster. But I AM going faster.

Yesterday's run, five miles [I can't remember the last time I ran five miles], I came in at 48:30, a 9:42 / mile pace. I checked at the 1.5 mile marker and was on track for 10:00+ miles. Not having any of that I thought, "I'd like to run faster. I'd like to negative split my run." AND I negative split my run. Just like that.

Bonus Workout[?]: Lugging gargantuan bag of groceries home to make lunch for the office. Shrimp curry. So delicious.

Apr 15, 2009

i'm sensitive and i'd like to stay that way

Do you ever get sensitive? I get sensitive. It comes out of nowhere. Hits me like a truck. One minute I'm normal and the next minute I'm a Jenga tower on it's last legs [blocks?]. Someone says something and it's all I can do not to:
a. Burst into tears.
b. Throw up a huge wall of self-protection [a.k.a. bitchiest most sarcastic remarks ever].

It happened this afternoon. I'm just sitting at my desk opening the mail with a co-worker and BAM. Jenga tower. She makes some remark that's been dipped in a morning full of meetings followed by afternoon's worth of too much to complete today and I just about lost it. All my Jenga blocks all over the floor. But I held it together. I kept my cool. I let my sensitive self retreat as far inward as possible. I wrapped her up in cozy down blanket like prayers and sang softly to her.

I'm not sure what it is. I'd like to chalk it up to PMS, but that's the easy way out, and besides, that was last week. Maybe it's thinking about the past, [finally?] getting over the past. I think it should just be called Big Life Processing Stuff. I am in the midst of that. BIG TIME. And it is good. And it is a precarious Jenga tower. And it is broken and beautiful and scary and exhilarating.

day 14: like coming home

The smell, warm and pungent, is almost overpowering. I breathe it in, deep, and as the oxygen winds through my veins, my pulse quickens and I remember. I remember anticipation and adrenaline. I remember focus and determination. I remember late nights and early mornings. I remember victory and loss. I remember joy and pain. I remember and I jump.

It has been several years since I have turned to the pool seeking exercise rather than relaxation. But yesterday I returned, excited and nervous, to the first form of exercise I willingly pursued. Though time has passed it is all so familiar. The smell. The sounds. The goggles and cap in my hand. The wet tiles and concrete under my feet. My once piece is my cape, and in this water I can accomplish anything.

Workout: 1800 yards.

Bonus Workout[?]: Lugging my big-ass bag around all day. Seriously, how do clothes weigh that much?!

Apr 14, 2009

blog dreams

I feel like I should apologize. Like you, my faithful readers [ha. ha.] want to hear about what I'm doing for exercise.

I have dreams for this blog you see. They may never be realized, but I dream them nonetheless. I dream of posting bits of a novel I'm in the midst of writing. I dream of chronicling my knitting projects from start to finish. I dream of composing beautiful prose designed to bring glory only to my Maker [though, in all honesty I also dream that people will find my humility in that venture inspiring which probably means I'm actually prideful].

All these dreams and nowhere to put them. Because this blog remains a mishmash of whatever is going on inside this brain that doesn't sit still.

Maybe I should dream of a day when there is just a bit more time to sit, write, knit, think, create. Maybe then these dreams will come to fruition.

day 13: how did that happen?

Somehow, with sore legs, tight calves, and sluggish gate, I managed to complete my three mile run in 26:38. How on EARTH did that happen!? You got me, but I felt like a rockstar when I checked my watch as I ran up to the entrance of Portland's Niketown. Rather than complain or over-analyze I will simply enjoy the fact that I somehow managed to run three miles that quickly.

I finished my run so quickly in fact that I didn't even HAVE to sprint for the bus. I got to stretch while I waited for the bus to make its way to me. So wonderful.

Bonus Workout[?]: Lifting delicious popcorn covered in sweet pimenton and kosher salt up to my mouth as I [re]watched the end of Alias Season II.

day 12: a day of rest

My first day of rest since the challenge began April 1 was Sunday. It was a lovely, lovely Easter Sunday in Portland. True to form it poured down rain all afternoon long.

Apr 12, 2009

day 11: the perfect day

Got up yesterday and met my friend Erin for a run into the Portland Farmer's Market. We ran across the Hawthorne Bridge...one of my favorites, and were treated to pretty clouds, patches of sunshine, and dragonboat teams on the Willamette River below. Once at the market we sipped hot tea, perused the fresh veggies [I bought leaks, potatoes, kale, onions, and carrots for soups later this week], and ran into friends. We hugged goodbye and I hopped on the bus to shower, eat, and head out for time with friends from California.

It may also have been the perfect day because it was the day before my very first day off from the BOWC.

Bonus Workout[?]: Walking around Portland with my friend Rebekkah, showing her all the things I love about the place I call home.

Apr 10, 2009

day 10: brief, tired

My legs are tired. I need to take a break from doing exercises that involve my legs. Maybe next week...because today I already walked [40 minutes, around downtown Portland with a friend from the office]. And tomorrow I'm running to the Farmer's Market with a friend. So next week. Next week I will do things that do not always involve my legs.

Bonus Workout[?]: Sitting through Friday rush hour traffic...oh wait, sitting doesn't count as exercise, does it?

day 9: i like real bikes

The two reasons I ride the bike at the gym are:
1. I don't feel like working out.
2. I'm reading a really good book. [Right Erica?]

Yesterday was kind of a combination of the two. And I'd just run the day before. And I'd done the elliptical the day before that. And I can't use the erg machine and read at the same time. Stairclimber? Forget it. I can barely stand up straight on that thing!

Mid-workout yesterday I realized that I don't really like riding the bike* at the gym. Even with a good book it's boring. It makes me wish I was outside. It makes me wish I had something other than sub-par raquetball to watch. It makes me mad that they haven't figured out a way to simulate the feeling of tearing down a windey hill after a long uphill climb, the wind whooshing through the vents in your helmet, the tears streaming down your cheeks. That is what I like about riding a bike.

But I rode anyway. And stretched. And did some legs, shoulders and abs. And then I ate a LOT of fettuccine with salmon, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil courtesy of soon to be roommate Jessie Tillson.

Bonus workout[?]: Sprinting after the streetcar for two blocks after watching it pull away as the door button was inches from my fingertips.

*Exercise bikes and spinning classes are two different things. I ADORE spin class. Especially at the Ranch with Sisterface.

Apr 9, 2009

day 8: shiney new things

Went over to Adidas yesterday after work to pick up new cleats [Adidas Predator Absolution] for the impending--I mean upcoming Spring Ultimate Season. [Gulp] My running shoes have been on the outs for a while as well [realized I've had them since February...2008] so I picked up new adiSTAR Rides, a pair of soccer shorts [don't want to ruin my running shorts laying out for some disc about to land in the middle of a mud puddle] , and a new pair of socks. All in all a very successful trip.

With new shorts, socks and running shoes on, and new cleats in my bag, I headed to the gym. Having missed the Nike Running Club meeting time I hopped on the treadmill to run the same three miles I would have run with the Nike folks. During my run I learned several things:
1. I hate running on treadmills without my headphones.
2. I like talking to someone when I run.
3. I do not appreciate it when smokers run next to me.

I was surprised by how much I disliked running on the treadmill. For quite some time that's been where I run. I love running outside, but lack of a running partner keeps me on the treadmill. In the few short weeks I've been running with the running club I've been spoiled. Good news, even with the nasty smoker stench, lack of music and lack of running buddy [by the way, running buddy I missed you], my attitude was VAST improvement over Tuesday's. I even made it upstairs and did some abs and arms.

Bonus Workout[?]: Shivering in my new shorts while I waited for the bus.

Apr 8, 2009

you are GREAT



day 7: i got cocky

I got cocky yesterday morning as I packed for the gym. After my sub 10:00 minute miles and the 70+ degree weather on Monday, I got cocky. I strutted over the the shelves where I keep my workout clothes and grabbed some capris and a short sleeved t-shirt. On the way to my gym bag I paused in front of my ever growing hooded sweatshirt collection and said, out loud, "Nah..." And packed nothing to keep my cocky self warm after last night's workout.

Which was too bad. Because, though it was wasn't particularly cold or rainy, it was ridiculously windy. And after 25 minutes of cardio and 1o minutes of stretching, and 30 minutes of lifting my formerly cocky, sweaty self was pretty cold each time that wind started to blow.

Yesterday was also the first "bad" workout. Bad meaning I was in a bad mood and had a bad attitude. I'd been counting on the endorphin rush of my workout giving me a bit of a pick-me-up, but the crazy guy who pretended to fake puke on me as I walked to the gym canceled that out. Thanks crazy guy.

Bonus Workout[?]: Walking to the gym instead of taking the Streetcar [but only because Mr. Fake Puker held me up enough that I missed it].

Apr 7, 2009

backlog

I did a few more posts over the weekend, but didn't put them up here because I was up at the cabin and didn't feel like wasting any more time on the interwebz than was actually necessary. Here's what you missed while I was playing outside...

day 4: a walk in the woods
Up at my folks' cabin at the foot of Mt. Adams for the weekend. My folks, my sister, her boyfriend, their good friends, my friend Jessie, myself, plus four dogs all enjoyed a beautiful day out in the middle of [almost] nowhere. Jessie, my mom and I went for a nice long walk into town, back out of town, and through the surrounding wildlife refuge. Nothing like getting your heart rate up when there are no cars around to fill your lungs with carbon monoxide, and a beautiful blue sky and glaciated peak to inspire you. All in all a very good day.

day 5: heavy lifting
I don't know that I actually consider yesterday's activities as qualifying for the BOWC. A friend and I loaded the majority of what I own [that has been in storage, in boxes for the past five years] into the back of my parents' Yukon. We then unloaded it all, carrying it up two flights of stairs in the process.

I didn't realize I owned so many books.

day 6: i thought the exercise would be the hard part

So one of the reasons I signed up for this challenge was because I figured writing about exercise would push me as a writer. Good news, I was correct. I've thought about writing this blog since I finished my three mile run along the Portland waterfront in the beautiful 70+ degree weather yesterday in 28:34. I remember being sporadically inspired with fluid phrases and witty anecdotes, but I guess Anne Lamott was right when she said, "Just because something is important doesn't mean you'll remember it. "

Here is the good news about all of this:
I am writing anyway.
My run yesterday was BEAUTIFUL and ENCOURAGING.

Up until taking my watch along with me for my run, something I imagined I would ALWAYS do when I first purchased the watch but that rarely actually happens, I always figured I ran faster on the treadmill [on which I've lately kept a fairly steady 10 minute mile pace]. Much to my surprise I discovered ACTUALLY run faster outside. Okay, okay. This was only one day with my watch and exact mileage versus I don't even know how many days without my watch and exact mileage. But still. I felt pretty awesome. Even if it's only under 10:00 by 16 seconds, I'm still happy.

Bonus Workout: Sprinted for the bus AGAIN. Realized, while sprinting for the bus, that I am not stretching enough.

Apr 6, 2009

breeze

The spring breeze blowing in through my office window is sweet enough to make me want to cry happy, cherry blossom scented tears. Yes, I may be trapped in said office, but that doesn't stop me from mentally floating away on the aforementioned sweet breeze to a happy place with quilted picnic blankets, bare feet swimming in verdant grass, and sunshine warming bare arms and legs.

it's cloyd

Apparently my last name is REALLY difficult to pronounce.

I say, "Cloyd." You say, "Tolith."

I say, "Cloyd." You say, "Tloyt."

I say, "C-L-O-Y-D, as in David." You say, "Cloyt."

I say, "No, C-L-O-Y-D. D, as in David." You say, "Oh?"

Apr 3, 2009

day 3.5: a little preplanning

Friday is always the day that it is easiest to listen to the excuses:
"You stayed up so late last night, you deserve to take today off."
"It's Friday, who works out on Friday?"
"You have plans after work, there's just no time."
...ad infinitum.

This week I chose to be proactive. On March 31 I asked a friend from the office [who is also participating in the BOWC] if she wanted to walk at lunch on Friday. Take that Friday excuses! I've got a plan, I've scheduled it in. You got...NOTHIN'!

We took brisk walk up and down Portland's beautiful park blocks for 41 minutes and 35 seconds. It was, perhaps, the perfect Friday workout. It gave us a chance to wake ourselves up, shake off Thursday night's exhaustion [why does all the best TV / book reading / knitting happen on Thursday, why!?], and return refreshed and ready to power through to the awaiting weekend.

Bonus workout[?]: Lugged four bags with me to work, but refused to run as overactive imagination produced images of broken handles and bags being dragged the remaining blocks to the office.

day 3: all over the place

Went to the gym last night after work. I find that if I change into my workout clothes BEFORE I get to the gym I'm more ready to hit it when I walk through the doors, and I actually believe it when the despondent gym employee tells me to "have a great work out."

My plans for exercise were modified when I walked in and saw a good friend on the treadmill. I'd been planning on a good hard 2o minutes on the rowing machine [intervals] and then some strength training that included Runner's World's preventative knee injury exercises. Instead I opted for a 40 minute power walk with an incline [made slightly MORE challenging by the steady stream of chatter coming out of my mouth], and then my friend and I did abs and a bit of arms.

Bonus workouts [?]: Sprinting to catch the bus yesterday morning on my way to work while carrying my gym bag; Sprinting to catch the streetcar on my way to the gym while carrying my gym bag.

Apr 2, 2009

day 2: glad i have a gym membership

I've always wanted to be one of those people who just exercises without thinking about it. I listen to how they went backpacking all weekend, and then biked to and from work, and instead of meeting with a client at a coffee shop or restaurant they went running as they discussed the upcoming quarter. I am NOT that person.

That said, I do LOVE to be active, love to exercise. I played this game called "Imagine if..." at my last job. The game cards ask the players to imagine if a selected player were in a given scenario and then choose how that selected player would behave. I was the selected player and my co-workers were asked to "Imagine if Haley could only do one thing in the morning, she would..."
a. Drink a large cup of coffee.
b. Sleep until the last moment possible.
c. Work out.
d. Eat a big breakfast.
e. I don't actually remember what e. was, but you get the idea.
Almost everyone chose c. and it is a fairly accurate assessment. Surprisingly enough, I do choose exercise over coffee and breakfast...but only because I know both await shortly after the exercise ends.

Okay, by now you're wondering what on earth this has to do with the BOWC...me too. Here is the point, I have to consciously fit exercise into my daily routine. It does not just happen for me the way it seems to for others; therefore, I am thankful for my gym membership and said gym's close proximity to my office. At 5:30PM* today that is where you will find me.


*Yes, I know the question dealt with my morning routine, but my current job requires I get to the office earlier than my last one did.

Apr 1, 2009

day 1: post script--a perfect excuse

Since this morning's post Erin canceled. Does this mean more excuses? NO. It means I run with the Nike Running Club and my friend from work, Alison [assuming she finishes her reports in time, ahem], instead.

Also, I have convinced all the women in my office to give the BOWC a try. They've all set up accounts, but [unlike me] prefer a bit of anonymity, so I will refrain from giving out their usernames.

Am counting down the minutes till it is time to change into rainy day appropriate running gear and can almost hear the sound of my shoes as they pound the rain soaked pavement....

day 1: a perfect excuse

I awoke this morning to the sound of rain on my window. "Cold," I thought. "Wet," I thought. "Maybe Erin won't want to go running because it's raining," I thought.

"NO." The voice of reason broke through the excuses. "You are FROM Portland. You LOVE working out in the rain. Don't you remember bragging to all your friends in California how rain always made you feel like going for a nice long run? Today is your day to PROVE IT."

"Well," I thought, "when you put it that way, IT IS ON."

As I got ready for work this morning I packed my bag with all my favorite gear for running in the rain. I smiled as I walked out the door, dressed for work, with my gym bag over my shoulder, knowing that at the end of the day, after polite phone conversations and long task lists were completed, I would get to be muddy, wet and tough.

And that is the perfect excuse for a run in the rain.

brief introduction

Randomly surfing the interweb a week or so ago I came upon the website Social Workout. They had an interesting post up about the April Body of Work Challenge in which those participating agree to work out for 26 of the 30 days of April, and then blog about it.

I had three thoughts almost simultaneously:
1. I've been wanting an extra push to get in shape for Ultimate.
2. I've been wanting to challenge myself when I write.
3. Twenty-six days is A LOT of days.

But I signed up anyway.

Today is April first and I have my gym bag sitting in the corner of my office awaiting my 5:30 workout date.

The site has it's own blogging forum, so I will be posting there. But I will be reposting my blogs here as well.

Mar 31, 2009

peas in a pod



I love these two. Clare. Lizzy. They are amazing. The best. Two of my best and closest friends. We are all related in some way or another, but really I'm pretty sure God made us triplets and then gave us to different mothers because He knew that finding our way back into each others lives was part of what would make us so close.

At a time when my life feels BEYOND crazy, these two ground me and understand me when I feel like I'm floating off into space speaking anything but coherently. Even though we live in different states, have different jobs, different relationship statuses, somehow our lives overlap just enough that we totally get it. Lizzy can call me upside down and empty and I get it. I can email Clare devastated and lonely and she gets it. Clare calls just needing to hear the voice of someone who loves her and we get it.

It is SO GOOD to get and to be gotten.

Mar 30, 2009

life plans

A texting conversation with Lizzy:

Me: What on earth am I doing with my life?

Lizzy: Waiting

Me: Today I am discouraged by all the waiting.

Lizzy: Understandable

Me: Can you fix it?

Lizzy: What can you change this week?

Me: Actively praying about my next step, not just when I'm overwhelmed.*

Lizzy: What can you physically do that would make you feel better? Spend an evening at a restaurant with friends, go to Powell's and dream, etc?

Me: Go to the gym. Dreaming I think is a good idea as well. It's weird to think about something was so assuredly going to happen...and then it doesn't.

Lizzy: I thought I was going to marry Jason for sure. So so so glad I was wrong.

Me: Very good point. So much good has come from things I wanted not happening. Maybe this is another one of those times.

Me: Also, I am going to blog our conversation. Is it okay if I include what you said about Jason?

Lizzy: Absolutely. I don't think he reads your blog. :)

Me: Ha. Good point. Some days it's so easy to see that this is part of the plan. Today doesn't feel like one of those days.

Lizzy: I'm exhausted too. Mentally and emotionally

Me: See, you're really who I want to meet up with and have time with this week.


*While I will be actively praying about all of this, prayer being my answer to her question was a total cop-out/BS answer, and Lizzy knew it. Man, I love her.

Mar 27, 2009

robert frost

Two roads converged in a wood and I,
I took the one less traveled by...

And that has made all the difference.


I find myself not so much feeling lost as floating, drifting.

On the phone today my mom told me she would love to hear my timeline for future school plans whenever I was ready to share them. I told her, without trying to hide any of the exhaustion [emotional, physical and spiritual] that has enveloped me today like a blanket, that I did not currently have a timeline.

I recognize that at this point in my life I am at a crossroads. I have the option of putting one foot in front of the other and continuing on in the day-to-day things that routinely present themselves [get up, make my bed, make breakfast, shower, do my dishes, go to work, go to the gym, come home, make dinner, do my dishes, go to bed, repeat]. And I have the option of looking up, looking around, and finding the scenery that calls to me, that invites me in, that suits me most, suits me best.

It is easier to, when so plagued by exhaustion, look down and put one foot in front of the other and continue with my daily routine. It is easy to rest in the comfort of my daily routine, even when it is not what I genuinely desire to do now or in the future. My displeasure in the day to day takes its tole, yes, but it is slow, and seemingly painless [at least at first, like a small internal wound that slowly leaches blood into your cranial cavity, the sort of unattended bleeding that leads to strokes and aneurysm].

The effort of searching for that path in the wood that is best suited to who I am is taxing almost instantly [like the sudden blood loss that results from a flesh wound, messy and difficult to control at first, but easily healed with proper attention]. It takes its tole blatantly, unapologetically draining my energy. But not my strength.

Mar 19, 2009

proof

I am a nerd. I am. And I have decided it is time to stop hiding my nerdiness from you. For some of you, as you read this you're thinking, "Yeah, cause you really had me fooled. How many times did you see/read Twilight again?" Others of you are thinking, "Really?"

REALLY.

Area you ready for proof? You may want to sit down.

I LOVE Battlestar Galactica [heretofore referred to as BSG].

I will pause as you commence with as many Jim ridiculing Dwight for his love of BSG quotes fromThe Office as you can possibly come up with. Ready? Go...

...

...

Okay. Now, I know you think that was it. You think I'm done. You're saying to yourself, "Wow. That's pretty nerdy." But it gets nerdier my friends. Are you ready? If you've already sat down, maybe just recline a bit. Or perhaps get yourself a glass of water or some smelling salts. Because...

I am knitting myself Viper Pilot Socks. Socks inspired by the end of Season Three of BSG. Now if I had discovered this pattern and BSG sooner, I would most likely be attempting to make them for this Friday's BSG two hour series finale, just like my current favorite knitting blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Unfortunately that did not happen. The good news is that I have all of BSG: Razor, BSG Seasons 4.0 and 4.2.

Maybe you're asking yourself why on earth this could possibly be good news. Why is this further immersion into nerd-dom a good idea? Well, firstly because it's important to be who you are. [HA! Didn't know I was going to go all big-life-lesson on you, did you?] And secondly it will give me plenty of time to frack up and still be able to wear them when I have my own little BSG series finale party.

Mar 17, 2009

...or today

"Thank you for your application to graduate studies in the Department of Psychology at Portland State University. This past year the Department received a very large and well-qualified pool of applicants for its Masters and Doctorate programs in Psychology. Due to funding limitations, it was only possible to accept a small portion of these applicants into our program. Unfortunately, despite your strengths, we are not able to accept you into the program at this time."

Well...there you have it.

Yes, of course I've cried. Just shortly after writing to my dear friend Sarah that I hadn't cried yet, I closed my office door and let a few out. I'm sure there will be more later.

But here is what I know. I KNOW that being rejected by the University of Oregon and Portland State University is no accident. I KNOW that there is purpose behind all of this. There are things laid out before me to do that I would not have done if I were enrolled in either of those programs. I am equally and simultaneously overwhelmed by disappointment and peace.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, excellent editing skills, encouragement, and love. While I may have threatened relocation to foreign countries, fear not. It is not [yet] time for that particular adventure.

And so I leave you with the words that were the first I sought and clung to after reading Portland State's letter:

Psalm 13--For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

Mar 16, 2009

within the week

I just called Portland State.

I will know whether or not I have been accepted to grad school within the week.

I will now go hyperventilate.

community

I have been longing for community. Close-knit, like a warm sweater made from Malabrigo's kettle dyed merinos. Inviting and familiar, like a favorite coffee shop on Saturday morning, or a favorite book with bent page corners and a creased spine. Safe and warm, like a bed with cozy sheets and a thick down comforter. And authentic, like something so genuine it is without simile.

I am, after moving away from just such a community 290 days ago [has it really been that long dear friends?], finally starting to find, create and build that here, in my old / new hometown. And it is GOOD. Good in an "and it was good" God creating the universe sort of way. I mean, I am most certainly NOT God, but this community, these people are surely gifts from Him. These people, though not many, are incredible. Some are new friends, recently discovered. Others are old, and we are slowly learning how we fit into each others lives again.

The process is beautiful, painful, breathtaking, and arduous. But most of all it is worth it. Because I do not just believe we were created for community, I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were created to be in community with one another from our first breath to our last. And, as someone who loves her community fiercely, passionately, loyally, it is GOOD to be part of one again.

Mar 11, 2009

pop secret

I love popcorn. Seriously. I love it. Not crappy movie popcorn. Not those ridiculously large tins of popcorn that ALWAYS, no matter what they look like on the outside, contain cheesey popcorn, buttered popcorn, and caramel popcorn. Plain microwave popcorn will do in a pinch. BUT really what I love is popping corn in a thick bottomed pan with plenty of vegetable oil.

A few weeks ago I was headed out to meet some friends to see a movie [cough "Twilight" for the fourth time cough, cough]. Knowing I did NOT want movie popcorn* I considered making and bringing my own, but was dissuaded not by ethics but difficulty of transport. What that trip to the movies did do [along with further cementing my obsession with Twilight...cause I needed help] was give me the following gem of an idea: vegetable oil infused with cumin.

It wasn't until last night that I actually tried the idea. And you know what? It was even better than I expected.



*Did you know a small bag of movie popcorn WITHOUT butter has more calories AND fat than a BIG MAC? And in case you have an extra $17.50 to spring for the large popcorn, you just ate more calories than if you'd chowed down on ONE DOZEN Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts. Just thought you should know.

Mar 4, 2009

cloud

I feel sorry for the Pitney Bowes employee I spoke with yesterday. Not because I was rude, or difficult. I was never, nor am I ever [wink] either of those things when dealing with customer service [wink, wink] representatives. I feel sorry for her because she had no idea the can of worms she opened when she said, "I bet you can't wait to get married so you can change your last name to your husband's."

Poor girl.

She didn't, of course, say it unprompted. The conversation went something like this:

PB Rep: Thank you for calling Pitney Bowes, please tell me your name and how I can assist you."

HKC: My name is Haley Cloyd, and I'm calling about our account.

PB Rep: Alright, and can you spell that for me Haley?

HKC: Sure. It's H-A-L-E-Y C-L-O-Y-D.

PB Rep: Alright Ms. Cloud, how can I help you today?

HKC: Oh, actually it's pronounced Cloyd, you know, rhymes with Lloyd.

PB Rep: Oh, sorry.

HKC: No worries. It's happened my whole life.

PB Rep: I bet you can't wait to get married so you can change your last name to your husband's.

Long pause...

HKC: Oh, well actually I plan on hyphenating, ideally both of us would hyphenate.

Longer pause...

PB Rep: Oh...well...um...yeah. I guess people are doing that these days...

Us crazy girls and our new fangled ideas these days. An additional note on this topic, Sarah Swanson-Dexel [yes, she AND her lovely husband, AND their darling daughters all have hyphenated last names] said to me in one of our first conversations, "not every guy will. But the right ones will." Love her. Love them. Love these new fangled ideas floating around inside my head.

Mar 3, 2009

ready

I never thought I would say this, but...

I AM READY FOR SPRING.

Me. Haley Kristine Cloyd. Who LOVES the rainy, cold, wet weather of the Pacific Northwest. Who loves sweaters, and blankets, and wool socks, and skirts with boots and tights [obsessed with that combo actually].

Or maybe it is that I am simply dissatisfied with the warm clothing options available to me on a regular basis. I only have a few skirts. There are only a small number of really warm sweaters [that I like] on my shelves. Perhaps if I had one or two more skirts, and another wool [or cashmere] sweater [or six]...perhaps this would nip this longing for spring in the bud.

Or perhaps California has ruined me. Or maybe not so much me as my wardrobe. There were plenty of adorable sweaters and wool skirts for sale there, but much less reason to purchase and wear them. It could also be that Vogue and Elle and all my favorite fashion blogs are highlighting the spring and summer trends [trends: there is no trend.].

Whatever the culprit, I want short sleeves, gauzy jersey cotton dresses, leather sandals, and cuffed jeans that show off painted toes just visible through peep-toe slingbacks. But alas, I will don my wool trench over my two long sleeved shirts, my sweater, my skirt, my tights, and my boots [inside which you will find warm socks tucked away for extra warmth]. I will make sure I have both gloves and hat waiting inside my purse, just in case. And I will hope and pray that it doesn't rain because wet and cold or not, I still CANNOT bring myself to purchase an umbrella.

Mar 1, 2009

sublet

I think that by now most of you who read my ramblings already know this, but in case you don't, I moved. FINALLY. I moved to Portland. Not just the Portland area which really meant living in Vancouver with my parents. But really moved to Portland.

I am living in a house, subletting a room while the home's owner and room's occupant is in Guatemala with his girlfriend enjoying The WWOOF program and the rest of the wonderful things Guatemala has to offer.

I have two roommates and a cat. I see the cat more than I see my roommates, and I clean the house more than I see my roommates.

The house is in a great location. My roommates, though not as clean as I might like, are very nice. The cat, named Bunny, is crazy and sleeps on my bed every night. The entire experience has instilled in me an enormous desire to find my own place and fill it with roommates I love, art we all enjoy, and clean every Saturday.

The house also has a mailbox. If you would like something from you to arrive in said mailbox here is my address:
Haley Cloyd
3630 SE 37th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

I [almost] always write back.

fafsa

Guess what.

Today I finished filling out and submitted my FAFSA. To me it feels like a really big deal. Now I feel like I can call Portland State and say, "Dude. When do I get to know?"

Okay, I probably won't say it quite like that. But I feel like I have ALL of my ducks, not just my application ducks, in a row. I have done everything on my end to prepare for acceptance into their program.

An incomplete and unsubmitted FAFSA has also been my excuse for NOT calling to ask Portland Sate, "Dude. When do I get to know?" I guess that means I no longer have any excuses.

Okay. That's not entirely true. I could make the excuse that I want to wait for Tom to check the post office box in case they sent it between now and the last time he checked it.

Maybe you're wondering why on earth I would sit here and make excuses. Maybe you think it's silly. Maybe you would have called them ages ago. Guess what? You're not me. And if you WERE me I were you I would probably tell you the same thing. But it's different when you're the one--when I'm the one sitting here quaking in my boots that today are actually laceless Chuck Taylors embellished with men's ties.

Will report on aforementioned quaking, possible excuses, and "Dude. When do I get to know?" soon.

Feb 19, 2009

lentil soup

It is Lent. And, other than knowing people sometimes give stuff up for Lent, I've never really looked into what the season of Lent is all about. A few weeks ago a fleeting thought brought the upcoming Lenten season to mind. My next thought was, "what should I give up?" My thought after that was, "should I really give something up if I don't really understand the reason for the practice?"

I'm a fairly intelligent person. It was easy enough to deduce the basic idea behind Lent. It lasts 40 days. Jesus went to the desert and was tempted and fasted for 40 days. Ta da. But I wanted to REALLY get what I was participating in. It is too easy to blindly participate in just about everything, including religious tradition. I am tired of blindly participating. If I am part of something I want to know why.

We took a break from the current series at church last week and I learned enough about the Lenten season to feel like I could participate and tell someone why I was participating in this season of fasting. I even went to the Ash Wednesday service last week, something I'd never done. It was something I didn't understand and had never participated in. Having had my questions about Lent answered I figured I would go and find out more about why everyone left the services with black crosses smudged onto their foreheads.

Here is what I know thus far: I do not often sit and consider my sinful nature. I do not often think about just how far from God I am without the grace and sacrifice of Jesus to reconcile me to God. But I have decided that it is a very good thing to be told, "remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." Just as it is good to be told, "go forth and be faithful unto Christ."

Feb 16, 2009

erica sue





About two months before I finished working at Mount Hermon, right around the time I realized that almost all the people I knew in Santa Cruz were leaving, I went to Starbucks. I went to Starbucks to meet this girl, Erica, who would be one of my bosses for the Summer Intern Program at Twin Lakes Church. I was sure she was quiet, conservative both politically and socially, and that I would just have to make the best of the summer I spent working under her. Approximately two minutes into our first, of many coffee date I realized I was completely wrong.

It is almost three years later and I still marvel at the gift her friendship is, THE GIFT ERICA IS. I am not going to try to put into words why I love her, why I'm so happy she was born 26 years ago TODAY. Not because I don't want to. I just can't. I've been sitting here trying to, and all the words I put together into these things we call sentences fall short of the mark.

Here is what I know:
Erica is so amazing at loving people, including the people who are hard for her to love. It is inspiring to experience.

Erica is an incredible photographer. It's not just that her pictures are beautiful, it's that she captures the essence of a relationship in her photographs.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one of Erica's favorite books.

Erica loves to listen to the same song over and over and over [and over and over].

Erica came into my life at the perfect time. I didn't think I had room for another close friend, and then we met for coffee. I realized that I had this place in my life, in my heart just waiting patiently for her to arrive.

My dear sweet friend, Erica Sue, I adore you. I cannot imagine my life without you, without your friendship. A very, very happy birthday to you BFF.

Feb 10, 2009

forget the scrubbing bubbles

We repainted and rearranged the office last week. Doing so meant we got to clean under, on top of, and around much that rarely sees a vacuum or dusting cloth. I loved it. Because I love cleaning. Especially when I am cleaning something other than my room / house. This major cleaning project brought to my attention my two new favorite cleaning products:
WHITE VINEGAR:
White vinegar cleans surfaces, floors, windows [oh my goodness, they sparkle!]. You need an empty spray bottle, white vinegar and water. Fill the bottle with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water [that means half vinegar and half water]. Spray on your dirtiest surfaces and enjoy the fact that you don't to wear gloves because it's just vinegar and water. You can also use it in your laundry! Add it to the rinse cycle [or be lazy and just add it at the beginning and you'll be fine]. It acts as a fabric softener and reduces static cling! It can also be used to pre-treat stains. Bonus: Enjoy the fact that vinegar is approximately $4.00 / gallon.

BAKING SODA:
Baking soda is an abrasive. It cleans things you would normally clean with Ajax or Comet [except maybe toilets*]. It is also incredibly satisfying to use in white sinks or tubs because it becomes this really grimy color as whatever you are cleaning gets brighter and whiter. It's also fantastic at making stainless steel pans gleam. Bonus: It's a deodorizer so instead of a kitchen or bathroom that smells like bleach, it just smells so fresh and so clean, clean.

Seriously. These two products are incredible. Buy them.

Use them.

Love them.




*Method makes wonderful toilet cleaner and soap scum spray. They're natural and don't hurt the groundwater. With all the money you'll save buying baking soda and white vinegar you can splurge a bit on the Method products.