Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

Life on the Wild Side

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update about the goings-on where I work.  For those who are new to my blog and are not aware, I work at a wildlife rescue and rehab center where we take care of orphaned and injured wildlife, with the hopes of ultimately releasing the animals back into the wild.

It has been a crazy year.  We are close to hitting 2000 admits already, and we still have 2 more months to go.  Of course, a thousand of those admits were squirrels in September… okay, kidding. I’m just kidding!  We only had a couple hundred squirrels come to us this year, not a thousand.  (I tried to keep a running count on squirrel admits last year during squirrel apocalypse, otherwise known as September, and eventually had to give up as I started to lose track).  September is just a really bad month for squirrels.

Me with a baby squirrel

There are some physical changes happening at the center.  We have been working with a new nonprofit who rescues marine mammals. They needed a site to build pools for rehabilitation, so we’re in the midst of clearing land on the center’s property to make room for the pools in the hopes that their rescue will take off.  Living near the Puget Sound, we are in desperate need of marine mammal rescues.  Too many seals are left to die on the beach.

And of course, I still get my share of assholes who call (sorry… there is no other way to describe them).  Just yesterday I was yelled at by a man who couldn’t get a hummingbird out of his garage.  I informed him I wasn’t a government agency nor associated with the police (who, rightly so, couldn’t help him), so there was no reason for him to yell at me.  I suggested he go buy a net if all other efforts of directing the hummingbird outside failed.  He said, “Why the f—- would I go buy a f—ing net when I’m never going to use the f—ing thing again!  I’ll just let the bird die right here in my garage!”  See… asshole.  He was trying to emotionally manipulate me, which I do not tolerate.  Long story short, 20 minutes later he did manage to get the hummingbird out of his garage without having to buy a net.  For the animals, my friends… I do it for the animals.

Me with an injured red-tailed hawk

We have our holiday merchandise in and I plan to do another giveaway this year. The patient of the year (hence, the holiday ornament) is an adorable little porcupine who had to stay with us last year over winter when he was separated from his mother after a dog attack.  Stay tuned right here for details coming soon.

“If you talk to the animals, they will talk to you, and you will know each other.

If you do not talk to them, you will not know them.  And what you do not know, you will fear.

What one fears, one destroys.” — Chief Dan George

Now I’m Here

Focus in life has taken a slight shift as of late.  Here… let me break it on down for you.

Just a refresher… in early September, it was discovered that James had a herniated disk.  Because of this, most of our long-distance travel plans and races were cancelled, as well as some local.  In the meantime, the most important thing going on right now is James healing.

Have you ever lived with a runner/active person who is completely incapacitated?  Not only is there the physical pain to deal with, there’s the depression associated with not being able to be active.  He can’t bend, twist, push, pull, lift anything more than 5 pounds, stand for long periods, or even walk without pain.  And he is not a happy camper.

It’s not been an easy road, especially for James.  His new “normal” is horrible pain if he’s not in a neutral spine position.  He underwent an MRI so that he could get an epidural injection for pain relief and had the injection about 10 days ago.  The injection was supposed to help him start more aggressive physical therapy so that he could begin his healing journey.  The verdict is still out on whether or not it has helped.  We don’t know if James is going to need surgery or not, but we do know if the pain doesn’t ease up soon, the option of a diskectomy at the new year will be discussed.

Hence, I’ve joined a gym to get me the hell out of the house (#kiddingnotkidding).

Actually, as Fall has arrived, and with it rain and 35-degree (F) temps in the morning, I’m enjoying having a change of scenery with the gym and a change-up in routine.  And they have the nicest treadmills on which to run.  As an experiment, I got on the elliptical and realized just how out of shape my non-running muscles truly are, so I believe I got back into the gym just in the nick of time.

Which brings me to why I haven’t been as active on WordPress or social media as I am normally.  I’m in the process of finding the proper balance of a new routine, so forgive me if I’ve been lame and neglectful.

But wait!  There’s more!

I’m also in the process of testing some Oofos recovery sandals and it just so happens I have a brand new pair to give away.  Are you female and wear a size 9? Do you like flip flops? Do you like the color black? Do you like walking on clouds? Contact me at neveradullbling@gmail.com.  You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy these!

By the way, Marine Corps Marathon is this weekend… heavy sigh from both of us.  But definitely something to look forward to next year…

Happy training, my friends!

NOTE:  As of 8 a.m. Pacific, the Oofos have been snatched up.  Yayyyy Donna!  Thank you for contacting me and being such a great supporter and friend!

North County Wine Run Half Marathon Race Recap

As you may remember, I ran the North County Wine Run Half Marathon last weekend in Battle Ground, WA.  Battle Ground is a sweet little town in the midst of Clark County situated near the Washington-Oregon border.  It boasts 3 wineries and, yes, I ran through every single one of them.  We’re big geography geeks, so for those of you who are also GG, here’s a visual:

While this was my first official “BibRave Pro” race, I did pay for my entry.

I was extremely nervous about this race for some reason.  Maybe because it was an “open course” (meaning running in the midst of traffic), maybe it was because there were less than 200 people signed up.  Because of the nerves, I was unable to eat anything before the race.  I couldn’t even force down a couple of Belvita biscuits which is my normal pre-race breakfast.  Bad, huge, terrible mistake.

The horn blew and we were off, starting with a nice uphill climb.  No worries.  I got this.  What goes up, must come down.  I was still going along nicely amongst the farm land when we hit the first aid station at about 2.5 or 3 miles.  I took a shot of Gatorade as I hadn’t eaten anything and thought it would help me.  Mistake #2.  I’ve discovered I can’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it while I’m running unless it’s a quick-dissolve glucose tablet, which I actually had with me.  I did eventually end up with a tummyache.  *facepalm

Still going along nicely until about mile 7.  Miles 5 to 7 were all uphill, and by the time I reached the top of the hill, I was out of gas.  Normal story for me… no hill training which, on top of no fuel, equals the biggest breakdown I’ve ever had with tears and a near full-blown asthma attack.  I recovered my breath after about a mile.  Thankfully a fellow Half Fanatic was behind me who eventually caught up to me at mile 11 and she pulled me across the finish line.  Yay!  I finished!  I was so very grateful to see James there and thankful for all the wonderful support he provided me.  I know it was hard for him to have to sit this one out.

Let me break down the details of the event for you…

PACKET PICKUP:  Short and sweet and organized.  It took all of 5 minutes.

PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION:  We parked at a school and shuttle buses took us to the race start line which was at a winery.  There was no parking at the winery, but the buses were on point.

THE COURSE:  It was open and you ran facing traffic on busy rural roads.  This was the one downfall with the race.  Drivers could care less about your safety as they showed time and time again.  Cones had been knocked down that were marking the course, and there were zero policemen around to keep things in line.  Extremely unnerving.  Following is another visual.  The course was the white line to the cone.  For 13.1 miles.  The side of the road was a ditch.

And it was extremely hilly.  You’d think I would have learned from the Olympic Discovery Half to integrate some hills into my plan, but no.  It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  Here’s the elevation profile for NCWR.

PEOPLE:  Super friendly and helpful.  Everyone was extremely nice at this race, great aura.

AID STATIONS:  There were 3, two of which were running through different wineries where they offered water, Gatorade, and shots of wine for those who wished to partake.  I chose not to and stuck with water.

POST-RACE PARTY:  Great pasta and bread to be coupled with some wine tasting.  When I was through with the race, I was so sick and nauseous I couldn’t even think about eating.  After about 30 minutes, I forced myself to have about 5 bites of the pasta, the first food I’d had all day.

THE BLING:  Lovely.  A fully-weighted bottle stop.  I could actually cut the ribbon off and use this.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Other than the course being amongst tons of crazy traffic, this race was well run, well organized, and well directed.  If they ever closed the course, I would consider going back to run this race again for the challenge alone, to redeem myself and to have a better race.

By the way… after my shower and nap, I was feeling my normal self again, well enough for mine and James’s traditional post-race celebration.  For the first time ever, I had fried Brussels sprouts topped with bacon… I highly suggest you try them.  They were da bomb!

Cheers!

 

North County Wine Run

Tonight I’m in Battle Ground, Washington, preparing to run, I believe, my 13th half-marathon Saturday morning.  Battle Ground is about 200 miles south of where we live and about 20 miles north of Portland, Oregon.

One of the reasons James and I race is to explore new areas.  We’d never heard of nor been near Battle Ground before, and as this event is in our home state, we needed to check this race and area out.

Unfortunately, on September 2nd and about 40 miles south from here, some careless teenagers were lighting off fireworks during a burn ban, which ultimately started the now infamous Eagle Creek Fire, a fire that has burned so massively we have got smoke and ash all the way up where I live.

As of September 20th, the fire has consumed over 48,000 acres and still is only about 50% contained.

The proceeds from the North County Wine Run will go to the Eagle Creek Fire Relief.

Thankfully, the air cleared enough this past week to where we could still run.

This is the first race I’ll be running representing BibRave as a BibRave Pro, but I did pay for my entry.  I will be running through a winery, with wine offered at the aid stations and a wine truck coming up along the course… you know… just in case.

Really looking forward to it!  Cheers!

 

Fun At Work… and Other Stuff

Sometimes my boss and I have to find creative ways to entertain ourselves at work in order to survive the madness of dealing with the general public.  She’s only 2 months older than I, so we completely understand each other and think along the same lines.

On Instagram, a fake male profile followed me and then promptly sent me a private message.  I knew it was a fake… I’m not gullible nor an idiot… so I told my boss that I wanted to mess with him.  My boss wanted in on the fun… so she told me what to write back.  The following conversation ensued:

 

Nigeria.  Wow.  I cannot believe people still use that scam.  Even my child was smarter than that. Of course, my side of the conversation is the one in blue.  Continuing on…

If you are American and not 12 years old, you would understand the reference of ruby slippers. And so endeth our conversation.  He didn’t like my response that Glenda could help him. Maybe the scammers have a “no-contact list” and I’ve made it.  But if it happens again, we’re going for gold.  I will help the scammer… at least they will think I’m helping from the replies I send.

Oh… BTW… if you get a follow from “whitlockchristopher95” on IG, it’s a total scam.  Hopefully he won’t be around for too much longer… I’ve reported him.

Moving on…

I’ve given up on my training “weekly recaps,” sorry.  Those posts don’t work for me, way too much negative. You’ll just have to wait and see if I finish the marathon on October 22nd… your guess is as good as mine.  If I don’t finish, it certainly won’t be from lack of training.  It’ll be because my spirit animal is the “turtle.” #truth  (but I did run 12 miles today, even though the heat sucked the life out of me)

However, on that note, next weekend I have a half-marathon race… the Seattle Craft Classic. The following weekend, we’ve signed up for the Sounders Rave Green Run (purely for the bling as this past year our soccer team won the MLS championship and we’ll get the championship medal), and the weekend after that, I have the North County Wine Run Half-Marathon. September is an extremely busy month, but the race experience will do me good in getting rid of the nerves I’ll experience on the day of the marathon.  I hope.

As well…

My 12-year-old son is now taller than me.  He has it in writing from the doctor and everything. He’s officially 5 feet 8 inches.  At 12.  99th percentile.  I’m thrilled that he’s so tall, and he loves rubbing it in.  He will bypass his father by this time next year.  He also starts 7th grade on Wednesday.

And finally…

Last Friday we lost a very special blogger friend.  Terry from Spearfruit passed on.  Terry had bladder cancer, for which there is no cure.  I started following him back in 2015 after my brother passed away from cancer, hoping for answers.  Funny enough, I did get my answers about a month ago. Terry was always upbeat, positive, accepted his diagnosis, knew he was dying, but never failed to tell his friends “have a happy day.”

Back when Terry was healthier, he would do a “boogie” type of video to the best 70’s music.  It was just silly fun.  He enjoyed doing it.  He enjoyed making his friends smile.  And we all enjoyed it in return.  To Terry, I hope you’re boogieing all night long now.

The following is one of his last happy boogies.  Even his husband Gary danced in it.  They took a cruise at the end of last year and had a bang-up time as they knew full well it would be Terry’s last.

Enjoy this with the fun spirit intended… and never forget to tell your loved ones how you feel today… as tomorrow may be too late.

Week 7 of 16 Recap — August 14 through August 19

This weekend in Whistler, BC, has been so cram-packed with activity I hardly remember last week even existed.  And yet, it did… so, I’ma gonna write about it.

Monday:  Nada.  I do not remember for the life of me why I didn’t do any training of any type, but I didn’t.

Tuesday:  4 miles, with hill training.

Wednesday:  Zero, zip, nothing.  We were leaving the next day to go to Whistler… laundry, packing, and prepping the house for vacation were my main goals.

Thursday: 2 miles, intervals, really crunched for time.  I missed Wednesday, so I had to get up early and do some interval training on Thursday morning on the treadmill, go to work, and then after I got home we headed off for our lovely 4-day weekend.

Friday:  16 miles.  I wrote a post about this run so no surprise here.  However… come to find out, I earned the title of BAMF.  The following picture is what my first 5 miles looked like:

It is also what my last 5 miles looked like (I did the above particular 5-mile loop twice).  The 6 miles in between were a separate loop in and around Whistler Village and a golf course or two, which looked something like this:

And yet:

Saturday:  7.5-mile walk and 2-hour bike ride.  Yes, it’s true.  The day after my first 16-mile run.  I don’t even know what to say about this.  Oh wait, yes I do!  Active recovery and time on my already-sore feet!  Or… don’t ever come to Whistler if you want to relax; it’s not that kind of holiday.  I’ll count today as a full-on cross training day with the walking and the cycling.

Sunday:  1.5-mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk, and afternoon horseback riding with my son.  Today my quads are shredded after hills, cycling, and horsing around.  My a$$ doesn’t feel all that great either.  I’m taking a rest day Monday as we’re headed back home to some semblance of normalcy.  I am looking forward to taking a nap sometime this coming week.  And my own bed. And my cats.  And did I mention a nap?

It’s been a great getaway, and I’ve totally enjoyed myself.  I was happy to get the long run out of the way first thing so as to have the time freed up to do some other really fun things, even if I did do them in slow motion.  I’ll write more on Whistler later, but for now, I’m done.  My pillow is calling me.

Weekly Total:  22 miles/35.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  153 miles/246.2 km

While the total mileage for the way I count my week doesn’t look that significant, my running days actually look like this:  Sun:  7; Tues:  4; Thurs:  2; Friday:  16.  We’ll see what I can accomplish this coming week… after a nap, of course.

  • 21 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 33 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 63 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 105 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. 
  • 126 days until Christmas.

Best cookies ever!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great week!

Week 6 of 16 Recap — August 7 through August 13

Ohhh, I’m so late with this.  I thought about foregoing this past week’s update, but I’m keeping track for myself, for future reference… you know, 1st marathon vs 5th marathon kind of thing… hahaha, yeah right.  In brief, this inadvertently became a step-back week for me.  I was tired and needed some rest, so I cut the mileage down.

Monday:  Nada.

Tuesday:  3 miles PLUS swimming!  Yeah baby, you read that right.  A morning and evening workout.  It has been years since I swam laps… amazing workout for the heart and lungs.  It’ll be interesting to see if my upper body gets some tone from it; however, I know for a fact I got a helluva workout.  This is a competition pool, so it’s kept cooler than others, and I was hot when I got out; it probably took me an hour to cool down completely.  Hence, bloody good workout.

Wednesday:  4 miles.

Thursday: Cross train with more swimming.  I’m starting to appreciate my Garmin Vivoactive a bit more… it measures the distance I swim.  New stats to analyze.  Fun stuff for this numbers geek.

Friday:  3 miles.

I’m thinking these poor leaves died from thirst, NOT signs of an early fall.

Saturday:  Rest day.  Nailed it.

Sunday:  7 miles.  Back to Green Lake in Seattle we went.  It was misty/sprinkly/rainy while we were going round and round, but oh how I welcomed feeling the rain on my face.  It had been 55 days of no rain, and we desperately needed it.

The 7 miles was so far my longest run in my new Hoka’s.  Can’t begin to tell you how much I just adore those shoes.  I love them so much that I ordered another pair so I can run in them for both my long and short runs.  You fly, I tell ya, just fly!

Weekly Total:  17 miles/27.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  131 miles/210.8 km

  • 25 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 37 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 67 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 109 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Do you see that?  Texas!!  I’ll soon get a big color block on my 50-state map!
  • 131 days until Christmas.

Coming Up

We are headed to Whistler, BC, this weekend for a nice little getaway before school starts up again for AJ.  We have all sorts of fun stuff planned… hiking, bear watching, swimming, biking, horseback riding for me and AJ, gondola flying… but first thing’s first… a 17-mile run when I wake up there on Friday morning.  Nope, I’m not even going to think about it…

Have a great rest of the week!