Feeling Minnesota

I may or may not post a bunch of inspirational quotes in this post. Sorry in advance.

When life decides to throw you some lemons, you make lemonade, right? Not like Cave Johnson, though – I’m not going to invent combustible lemons.

What I mean is that when things get difficult, you need to keep yourself open to possibilities, no matter how scary they seem to be.

reason

We’ve been in Oregon for almost two years now. But the time here hasn’t always been great. We’ve made some awesome friends here and the scenery and weather is divine, but we’ve struggled with other things. Missing family. The job market.

Speaking of jobs, Tim had been struggling to get a job in his field pretty much since we’ve moved here. He had been working remotely for the company he worked for when we lived in Minnesota, but that position eventually ended and finding something comparable here turned out to be impossible.

Combine that with some new developments in my dad’s health, we looked at the struggles we’ve been having here and we came to the obvious solution to those problems.

Move back to Minnesota.

Once we made that decision – which was not an easy one to make – Tim reached out to his network in MN and literally had a job offer in less than two weeks.

Thus begins our next adventure.

adventure

Since Tim found a job so quickly – and they wanted him to start right away – he had to move back to MN before me. He’s staying with friends until the house we’re renting (that we literally got today) is available to move in. Then, I’ll be out in April with all of our stuff and the kitties.

It’s weird having to live apart for almost two months, but I think we’ll be busy enough planning the move and getting things organized that the time will go fast.

Am I sad to be leaving Oregon? Of course I am. But when it comes down to it, we need to do what’s best for us and our family. The benefits of moving back far outweigh the downsides.

Even though winter. shudder

regret

Besides, we said before we moved here that “if after two years we decide it’s not working out, we’ll move back.” Well, it didn’t work out the way we wanted and I don’t have any regrets. I’m glad we took the risk and had a couple of years of something new.

The good thing about living here is that we want to come back to visit often and our good friends will (hopefully) put up with us when we do. There’s so much more of Oregon that I want to explore!

But for now, we’re just going to move forward and start the next chapter in our lives.

Now, to pack up this damn house…

Polar Dash 2014 Recap

I finished the 2014 Polar Dash! I even got the medal to prove it:

The temperature on race day was a “balmy” -7F with a wind. I read up on Runners World how to adequately layer for the conditions and had prepared to wear for the race three layers top and bottom, two pairs of Smartwool socks (one ultralight running and one light ski sock), my Buff to use as a neck gaiter, and my Smartwool headband. The two top layers on top had built-in hoods, so I used those and the headband to keep my head warm, but allow me to regulate my body temperature so I didn’t get too hot (and too sweaty). I also utilized some of those chemical toe warmers in my duct-taped1 shoes to further keep my tootsies warm.

My husband went with me, because the race said that there would be a “warming tent” and would give him a warm place to wait for me (while holding all my crap so I didn’t have to do a bag check) while I run my insanity off outside. Also would give me a place to not freeze prior to the race.

Apparently “warming tent” was secret code for “parking ramp with kerosene heaters” and by “warm” it was “barely skirting zero.” Not only that, the race started a half hour AFTER the posted start time. That meant I stood around way longer than planned before the race – I think I was turning into a popsicle! Here I am huddled around one of the kerosene heaters – which was being blocked approximately 95% by some jerk who was hogging all the heat:

Do I look cold? Because I am cold!

Do I look cold? Because I am cold!

Finally, we started the race. The course was an out-and-back that was slightly uphill out and slightly downhill back. I finished in 34:00 on the nose (10:56/mi pace) and by the end of the race, I very much looked like this:

polardash

No, really! I could see the icicles on eyelashes and my Buff was frozen solid from breathing through it. I also was starting to freeze solid once I stopped running.

I hightailed it to grab my finisher medal, skipped the after race food, and made a beeline to find my husband and the rest of the clothes I was wearing prior to the race.

The rest of the day I was wiped out. A hot shower and relaxing on the couch was my remedy for the brutal morning. The weirdest thing was the next morning my muscles were so sore from the race! It’s not like an 11 min/mi is fast – it’s actually right around my non-race running pace (I tend to go faster in a group). I wonder if the fact that it was so cold taxed my muscles more than if I was working out in normal, humane temperatures? Last time I was this sore was when I had my PR for the 10k two years ago (a sub-10 min/mi) and that was an effort!

Needless to say, I will not be running this race again – unless it’s above 20F. 🙂

____
1 – Seriously! One of the recommendations is to put duct tape over the vents in your running shoes. The mesh at the front of your shoe is there to release heat during normal runs. But in the winter, you want to keep that heat in, so duct taping over the vents will keep heat from escaping and prevent the winter chill from getting in. It worked amazingly well!

Frigid? You Ain’t Kidding!

Ok, so the Polar Dash is on Wednesday.

Remember how I was hoping for temps to be above zero?

I should’ve kept my big, fat, frat boy mouth shut. A tweet from earlier today:

O_o;

Also, WUT?!?

The forecast is saying it’s not going to be much warmer all week. Thus, today was spent researching how to properly attire oneself for running in below OMFGITISCOLDOMG!!!!11!!11!one!!! temperatures.

“Why don’t you just skip the race? Those temps are fucking insane!” you might say.

Well, the bitch is for this race series is that there’s a finisher’s stained glass medal for each race – if you don’t finish five of the six races in the series, you don’t get to complete the trophy for doing the series.

I know, it’s a dumb fucking reason to do it. But it’s 3.1 miles and if I end up wearing my snow boots, skiing outerwear, and walking the damn thing, I’ll do it. I need to save my mulligan for the half marathon in June.

If I turn into a popsicle, you’ll know why. 😀