Tag Archive | girl power

Girlfriends

I met Taryn in college.

Taryn and Me with the bow

I used to work with Shelley at my first HR job out of graduate school (not counting internships).

I met Katie and Katy when I joined a young professionals networking group sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce round about 2008.

I met Mikaela when I started having her cut my hair. (And why do I not have a photo with her!!!?)

I met Kiera because she managed the staffing agency that I used at a previous job.  Kiera introduced me to Lelani.  We have stayed friends long after Kiera moved to Seattle, then Boise.

Bliss was my real estate agent’s wife when I bought my current house.  I also met her mother JoAnne.

Shelley, Me, Bliss, JoAnne and Katie, before the race!

I met Paula through her cousin Brandon, a long time friend.

As it turns out, many of these amazing ladies have come together to lift me up and support me over the years, and some have become friends with each other too.

Taryn met Paula on a weekend trip I took to Portland to see them both.

Katie and Katy met through the networking group too.

Waiting to start

 

Shelley met Katie and Katy when we started doing our half-marathons together.

Shelley met Mikaela when she asked me for a hairstylist recommendation.

Katie met Mikaela because they were both pregnant at the same time and in the same birthing support group.

Lelani met Katy through networking, or a mutual friend, or I don’t even know.

Bliss and JoAnne met Shelley and Katie from walks and half-marathons.

Bliss and Katy both work in the medical field.

Lelani met Paula on a long weekend trip with me.

Lelani and Paula outside an awesome shop!

There are others too – this tribe of mine.  Women I see frequently or rarely, but who I know have my back. I love that even though some of these amazing ladies live far away, and I might not see them often, when we come together it is as if we spent no time apart. I love that we do things together, and do things separately.  I love that these women are all strong and independent and give me people to look up to.  I love that we all at times feel like we have our shit together, and at other times feel like we are failing.  I love that we listen without judgment, give advice when asked, and sometimes provide that kick in the butt that is needed.  We have lost mothers and fathers, said goodbye to beloved pets, had medical scares, have found love and lost love, been challenged by children, have found and left jobs, have navigated career hardships, and have moved away from each other.  I love that we laugh so hard we cry, and at times cry so hard we laugh.  I love that we all need each other.

I am blessed to have these women in my life.

Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K 2018

On March 4, 2018, I ran my first ever Hot Chocolate 15K.  Two of my girlfriends, Katie and Katy, went with me, and we had such a fun girls weekend!

Katy and I drove down on Saturday, picked up Katie, and the three of us went down to the Seattle Center to pick up our race packets and go to the Expo.  They had a lot of great vendors, and some great freebies!  We had some hot chocolate, posed for some photos, and got our race gear!  The race had some really nice medium weight pullover fleecies; I love it and have been wearing it on my road trip when I need something more than a t-shirt, but don’t want something too warm.  Katy treated us all to 15K shoe bling too – girl power!

We stayed at Katie’s house the night before the race and got up really early to head into downtown Seattle.  The traffic at 5:45 in the morning!!!  It was sooooo cold the morning of the race!  I knew we would warm up and be fine once we were running, but waiting for the start was very chilly!

Waiting to start

The course was ok; to be honest I wish it would have been more scenic.  It winds around downtown Seattle, and they closed off the Battery Street tunnel for runners to run through – how many Seattle-ites can say they have run through the Battery Street Tunnel?!  Sadly, there are a lot of dirty, littered parts of Seattle.  It reminded me that I am more a small town girl.  The highlights are definitely running across the Aurora Bridge, and heading back in toward the finish line and seeing the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project Museum (although I think they might have changed the name of this iconic museum?) brightening up the view at the end.

The race has some really amazing volunteers – it is sponsored by Allstate Insurance, and their employees manned water stations and cheered us on.  I love when a race has a good cheering section.  Along the way, there were some really cool Seattle residents who got up early and had the music booming from their decks and yards – it really gives a boost to my motivation.

There are definitely some tough hills on this course!!!  However, the fact that it is only 9.3 miles meant that I wasn’t as fatigued as I would have been on a half-marathon with the same hills.  I felt like I still had energy at the end of the race – the 15K distance was good for me!

I ended up finishing in 2:05:45, or a 13:30 minute mile pace.  I was happy with that, considering I really hadn’t trained at all for this race (which has become all too common on my races lately!).  I knew I could do the distance with muscle memory!

After the race, we got our hot chocolate goodies.  A cup of super-rich hot chocolate, and a melted chocolate dipping sauce with a banana, pretzels and cookie to dip in it…  Sooooo good…  It was just what we needed, with a little hot chocolate sectioned cup to take home after the race.  We couldn’t linger too long though, because it was still so cold!

Post Race Hot Chocolate

We headed out from downtown Seattle, and avoided the departing traffic by stopping in Ballard for brunch at the Portage Bay Café.  A mimosa and avocado toast really hit the spot for me – this place did not disappoint!

Brunch and cocktails!

I am so blessed to have such amazing girlfriends.  They love me, they build me up, I can share both my trials and joys, and I get to feel the incredible bond of girlfriends.  I LOVE these ladies!  This was another example of the wonderful life I get to enjoy.

 

The Circus Trip: Revealed

I have said before that this blog has been my happy place for the last several years.  I love travel, history, and wine, and I love sharing my adventures with all of you.  Yet they say change is the one constant, and that holds true in my own life too.

As a result of recent life changes, I have been doing a lot of self-reflection, and a lot of way-finding.  As this directional adjustment is going to include travel, and likely quite a bit of wine, it only makes sense to me that I include you on my journey here.  It is guaranteed to be a lot bumpier and more raw than some of my other journeys, but the rest is basically unknown territory.

As is to be expected, I have felt a bit lost after my divorce.  I know a lot of people do.  My divorce wasn’t easy or amicable and I found that the man I thought I had married wasn’t at all the man I had thought he was.  I don’t want to dwell on this or relive it, but it certainly contributed to my feelings of loss recently, as have some other events.  They have damaged my ability to trust, and I am still healing.  It’s pretty amazing how a few people and their actions can make you question your self-worth so thoroughly, even when you are a confident, intelligent, capable person.

As one of my employees is fond of saying, “What fresh fuckery is this?”  I feel like I have experienced more than my fair share of fuckery lately, and I need to let it go.  There are a whole lot of circus animals out there that just aren’t mine to care about anymore…  And therein lies the title of this post…

Often though, in the face of adversity, there is opportunity.  I have decided to do something huge, just for me; I am quitting my job to travel the U.S. for a few months.  Just me and my car, whom I have named Viaje.   I need to find myself again.

I never thought that I would be a person who would just hit the road without much of an itinerary or a timeline; that world is for hippier, more free-spirited people than me.  But I think something more extreme is what I need to get out of the rut I find myself stuck in.  I need to figure out again that I am strong and capable, and that I am enough.  I need to relearn that there is purpose in this life.  I need to know that there are kind people in this world, even if I know I will run into some unkind ones too.  Hopefully the kind ones will outnumber the jerks.  I need to figure out how to make it alone.  I need to see and feel peace again.  I need to heal.

I am on a budget, unless one of you wants to be my anonymous benefactor, so I’ll be doing it with a combination of car camping and couch-surfing, with perhaps the occasional hotel night thrown in if I am really itching for a good, hot shower and some TV (I can’t let that happen too often though – darned budget).  If any friends and family, both well-known and little known, are interested in sharing some time, or inviting me for a brief stay to connect or reconnect and find some laughter and human connection, I would welcome that!

I won’t be going everywhere, but if you would like to get together, and/or are willing to put up with me for a night or two (or more, but that would be completely up to you and my itinerary), let me know here and we’ll see if I will be in your area.

The next few months of blog posts are likely to deal more with my emotional experience than I have revealed here in the past, but I decided that my process of healing needs to include that level of openness.  Maybe someone else can benefit from my trials.  Other antics may include freezing my butt off, sweating to death, not being able to get the camp stove working, singeing my hair in a campfire, spraying bug spray in my eye, turning into one giant, itchy mosquito welt (they love me) and being bitten by (hopefully not) ticks.  The trip is also bound to include some gorgeous sunsets, great hikes, fantastic historical sites, and wine consumed from either a mug or a melamine cup…  There might even be smores!

They say what doesn’t kill you…??? To that end, I will still be posting here, and as I still have a ton of previous trip stuff to catch up on (including a trip to London that I arrived home from early this morning!!!), this blog will be a combination of past and present posts.  I will likely be posting less frequently though, as I will have to find a place for the night each night…  Priorities…  You will be more likely to find current updates on Instagram or Twitter (my username on both platforms is @wineandhistory), so I hope you will follow along there as well.

I hope you will follow along on this crazy adventure of mine!

 

2017 Whidbey Island Half-Marathon

April 23, 2017

On race day it was a very cold morning, but it wasn’t raining!  I was going to be doing my ninth half-marathon!

We huddled around trying not to freeze until race time, then got on our way.  The race does a wave start, meaning that you cue up according to your anticipated finish time, and they start groups in waves, every couple of minutes, in order to keep the course from getting overrun with too many people.

L to R: Kimi, Me, Katie and Shelley, pre-race

By the way, this is totally off topic, but I love how I look like I am the tallest one in that photo!  I’m not…
 
The first several miles of the race I was feeling pretty good and making decent time.  Pretty soon after the start, there is a section that is kind of a nature trail through the marshlands, and I realized why the wave start was important.  There is one big hill near the beginning too and then the course gets more mild for a bit.  Once I moved away from the water, the temperature warmed up as well, and I was actually pretty comfortable.  I was thinking, “I can do this!”

About mile 5 (I think it was mile 5), the course starts to do this big, rolling hill thing along the water, starting with a giant downhill stretch that you know you are going to have to come back up…  Yeah…  But I was still moving along at a pretty good clip and feeling pretty good; I reached the turn-around point still feeling pretty good about my progress.

It was that giant hill on the way back that was the problem…  Mile 8… My energy was really flagging and I was starting to feel really crummy again, dizzy and hurting.  By the time I got to the top of the hill I was really lightheaded and queasy, and was seriously considering throwing in the towel.  The problem was that I was in the middle of nowhere, with no water station and no one around.  Who would I even quit to?

So I slowed down a lot and just kept walking, trying not to let the lightheadedness get the better of me, thinking as soon as I got to a water station I would quit.  I was so exhausted!  Slowing down helped though, and by the time I got to the next water station, I was feeling a bit better.  So I decided to keep going…

Pretty soon, it was all downhill from there, because the last couple miles of the course is downhill or relatively flat.  I can’t say I was fast, but I was a little faster than mile 8 and 9!  My head cleared some, and a good bit of the nausea went away.  The last mile was pretty brutal though, because it was right on the water and there was a cold wind blowing sideways!  UGH! 

In the end, it was certainly not my best race or my best time…  And absolutely NOT my favorite course…  But I did realize I can still push my body further than I think I can go and be successful.  And it just made the post-race beer while bundled up in a blanket that much better… 

Feeling sassy after some beer

In the end, my official time was 3:07:16, which was actually WAY better than I was expecting it to be…  Not a personal best at any rate, but not too terrible either!  I really, really, really earned this swag!