friday five

1. Since it is taking the sun later to show herself in the mornings I have to begin my run in the dark. I am gradually becoming more fearless– strapping a light around my waist and one at my knuckles, praying I don’t run into raccoons. So far, so good. The benefit of starting while the stars are still out is getting the chance to watch the sun rise. This is a glimpse of Mt. Hood from the top of the southwest hills taken mid-run this week.

2. I don’t get to be creative that often in my job so when a friend asks me to help design something (and the time permits) I am all over it. Here is a peek of an invite I am designing for the hostesses in Birmingham.

3. John ordered me a new cookbook! While I cannot wait to crack the pages, I am also a tad nervous. I don’t do well out of my comfort zone and this definitely throws me across the threshold. I will take pictures and post results of my first attempts.

4. This is my new lock screen wallpaper on my phone. It has been a good reminder for me this week. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have to check my attitude at the door before going into yet another meeting or even before answering a phone call. Let’s be honest, there are some days when we need to remember to be kinder than we feel.

5. Avenue of the Giants Marathon on May 5th! I cannot wait to run through the redwoods! This is just one of the many races I have picked out for the upcoming months. Recovered and ready to run again is a good place to be.

xoxo,

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wild

After hiking many sections of the PCT recently I became more intrigued about its beginnings. Did you know it wasn’t officially designated a trail until ’68? And it wasn’t finished until ’93? While settlers began working on sections of the trail in the 1930’s, it didn’t come to fruition until almost 20 years ago.

The PCT runs 2,663 miles from Mexico to Canada and routes through 27 national forests and 7 national parks. It climbs through the Sierra Nevadas, San Juans and the Cascades. It is brutal and breathtaking from beginning to end. I recently discovered a book  called Wild : From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and I cannot put it down.

The book is about a 26 year old woman who decided to hike almost all of the Pacific Crest Trail. Alone. I am so impressed at her even toying with the thought let alone accomplishing something so monumental. Stay tuned on how I feel once I finish; however, it hasn’t disappointed yet.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The trees were tall, but I was taller, standing above them on a steep mountain slope in northern California. Moments before, I’d removed my hiking boots and the left one had fallen into those trees, first catapulting into the air when my enormous backpack toppled onto it, then skittering across the gravelly trail and flying over the edge. It bounced off  of a rocky outcropping several feet beneath me before disappearing into the forest canopy below, impossible to retrieve. I let out a stunned gasp, though I’d been in the wilderness thirty-eight days and by then I’d come to know that anything could happen and that everything would. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t shocked when it did. My boot was gone. Actually gone.

I clutched its mate to my chest like a baby, though of course it was futile. What is one boot without the other boot? It is nothing. It is useless, an orphan forevermore, and I could take no mercy on it. It was a big lug of a thing, of genuine heft, a brown leather Raichle boot with a red lace and silver metal fasts. I lifted it high, threw it with all my might and watched it fall into the lush trees and out of my life.

I was alone. I was barefoot. I was twenty-six years old and an orphan too…

…In the years before I pitched my boot over the edge of that mountain, I’d been pitching myself over the edge too. I’d ranged and roamed and railed… until at last I found myself bootless, in the summer of 1995, not so much loose in the world as bound to it… A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I’d once been.  A world that measured two feed wide and 2,663 miles long. A world called the Pacific Crest Trail.”

hope.

I woke up this morning and it was still dark, a sure fire sign fall is knocking on our door. It rained last night for the first time in months so it was pleasantly cold – perfect early morning run conditions. I didn’t go far but I did go fast – 4 miles/8 min pace and I thought I was going to die. Actually, I might have for a second. I landed back on our porch 32:02 and pancaked on the concrete.

I have been working hard and hoping everyday that I would feel stronger than before my 8 weeks off. This morning I wasn’t with a group or on the trails, just me and the road. It was tough because I chose to make it tough. Finally, that hope of recovery and return of strength has come to a reality. I laid there flat on my back in the misty rain for a few minutes. It felt good to be back.

There are so many things I hope for. I think we can all relate to that feeling. Parents hope the best for their children. Young adults hope for a future.

I hope to be a decent runner. I hope to surround myself with good people. I hope to achieve personal goals. I hope to help someone else achieve theirs. I hope to excel in my career. I hope I get enough sleep. I hope to be a better cook. I hope to learn how to play an instrument. I hope to slow down. I hope to travel more. I hope to try something new. I hope my clothes still fit in the next few years. I hope to embrace change. I hope to finish more races. Heck, I hope I get up the courage to sign up for more of them.

The bottom line is, I can hope all day long but my goal is not to admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.