Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 282 - This and That

Today was a fairly productive day featuring equal parts work and relaxation.  I spent some time reviewing my research for my final paper at the pool.  I made it to the gym for a 3 mile run (I thought I'd feel better at the gym because it was pretty hot outside.  WRONG!  The gym was a sauna).  I got the kitchen cleaned and some laundry done.

I did a lot of busy work, mostly to keep my mind from thinking about how lonely I am.  Living alone out here sucks.  Rather than dwell, however, I decided to channel the energy of my disdain into something proactive.  In other words, I started packing.  It was strangely therapeutic to take things down off of the walls.  One step closer to being home with my love!

Days 280 & 281 - End of an Era

I wish I had more to report for the last two days.  My new Thursday schedule has me working from 9-5.  It's nice to be able to put in a full day at the office (up until now I had been putting in 4-5 hours at a time).  I had a great call with a client whose hearing is next Tuesday.  I try to not get too emotionally attached to my clients, but I can't help it sometimes.  This is a great guy who truly got screwed and deserves to win.  The only other highlight of my day was watching the So You Think You Can Dance.  I did very little hoping that I could quickly unwind and get to bed early.  Why?  I had big plans for that night/the next morning.  Confession:

I, Katie Hilen, love Harry Potter and got up to go to the 3AM Imax 3-D showing of the final movie.  I can't believe that the series is over!  I started reading the books 13 years ago (when I was 13) and have been re-reading them for the last decade.  I don't have a wand or cape, but I would consider myself a HP fan.

The movie was fantastic, but looking back I think I probably could have waited on gotten a full night's sleep.  The next day was ROUGH.  The movie got out around 5:30AM, so I went to Starbucks to study for class instead of driving all the way home.  I found myself nodding off and thought that was pretty embarrassing, so I went and slept for 30 min in the law school parking lot.

Fortunately, class discussion was fairly lively, so I didn't struggle too badly to stay awake.  I did, however, cause a major disruption when I realized that the first summer session grades had been posted.  I was so pleased with my grade in secured transactions, that I nudged my neighbor.  I must have been less then subtle about it, because my professor stopped the class... Whoops!  Sorry BroHo!  I did even better in Criminal Procedure, but I was more proud of Secured Transactions.  I had to work REALLY damn hard to learn the material.  I have an aversion to all things contract related after my run in with Rusch 1L year, so it is a miracle I was able to overcome!

My time at the office was spent preparing for Tuesday's hearing by running through the questions I had prepared with my client and drafting a closing argument.  After that, I was done.  I knew I wasn't going to have enough energy to cook, so I didn't even bother trying.  I stopped at Papa Murphy's on the way home and enjoyed some pepperoni and an early bed time.  For those keeping track, yes that was three days in a row now without exercise...  I'm thinking of hanging bikini's around the house to remind myself just how close I am to the sandy shores of Maui.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 279 - Three Lives Saved

I ate like crap today and didn't exercise at all... But it's ok because I saved three lives.  In other words, I donated blood.  I do not like donating blood.  I think the entire process is wretched and deplorable, but it is something I feel compelled to do.  And guess what?!  I DIDN'T EVEN CRY THIS TIME!!!  Go Me!

I've really got nothing else to report from the day. So... Good night!

Day 278 - Last First Day!

Today was my very last "first day of school!!!"  YAHOO!!!!!!!!  I can't believe I am 5 weeks of classes and one externship away from finishing law school.  I'm not going to pretend that these last two years have just "flown by" or any of that nonsense.  It was a long, slow and painful process.  BUT IT'S ALMOST OVER!

I think I am really going to enjoy Advanced Criminal Procedure.  My professor is running the class more like a seminar course, which means more discussion and analysis and less lecture and boredom.

Today I also made a triumphant return to the fitness world.  I went for a walk every day last week, but that was it in terms of exercise.  Tonight I boogied my booty off in ZUMBA!  I hadn't been to Zumba in quite a while and apparently the gym hired a new instructor.  She was great!  I am still a little concerned with how much my knee is hurting, but other than that it was great to go into sweat soaked dance party mode.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Days 270-277 - Week of Rest

Best. Week. Ever.

After sleeping in on Tuesday, I met Charlie at the beach cabin for a few days of relaxation.  The sun was out, the tv had cable and there were Mike's Hard Lemonade in the fridge.  HEAVEN.  I spent hours on my back side basking in the glory of the great ball of fire in the sky and then killing my brain cells watching hour after hour of Bravo and TLC classics like the Real Housewives of New Jersey and Toddlers and Tiaras.

I got to watch even more Toddlers and Tiaras with my little sis on Friday.  We had a pretty fun sister date that consisted primarily of laziness.  When my dad got home from work, we had a few good laughs about our climbing experiences and empathized with one another about which parts of our body were still aching.  For dad, it was his heal that is a total blister, for me its my left knee (the one that hit the ice wall of the crevasse, coincidence? I think not).

Saturday, Charlie and I met up with some of our favorite friends at the Saturday Market.  On the drive there, we had to laugh at ourselves and wondered when exactly we stopped meeting our friends at bars in favor of the Saturday Market.  Gotta love getting old!

Shannon, John and baby Sarah (my ticket to the Toddlers and Tiaras stage)

Brett and Julie

Charlie finally got to meet Sarah
Later that day I joined the Hilen men on the golf course.  I STINK at golf, but had some fun walking the course and hit a few decent balls (by few I mean 2, the rest were WAY off).
The Handsome Hilen Men

Me golfing in front of the mountain I climbed


Sunday, Charlie and I drove down to Cispus (the camp where we met) to Dj a dance.  Everyone was so excited that Charlie was there and wanted to talk to him the entire time, so somehow I wound up Djing most of the dance.  Good thing I brought my A-game!

I had to drive back to Spokanistan Monday : (  Sad times.  Charlie and I went to on a Denny's date before I hit the road.  The rest of the day was spent behind the wheel and unpacking.  All in all, it was a great week at home.  I had plenty of time to relax and come back ready to hit the ground running.  1 more class!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Days 265-269 - Summit Adventure!

WE DID IT!!!!!  On July 4, 2011 around 6:30 AM, my dad and I summitted (not sure that's a word) Mt. Rainier!  It was one hell of an experience (not one I'm eager to repeat) and I am so proud that we made it!  Here's a quick day-by-day recap of the adventure:

DAY 1 - Headquarters

After a 6 hour drive across the state and one very poor decision not to make use of the last rest stop, I arrived at IMG headquarters a little on the cranky side.  The drive afforded me the opportunity to reflect (dwell) on the final exams I took the day before.  Then as I got closer to the mountain, I had plenty of time to consider how much training I did NOT do to prepare to make it up this giant slab of rock and ice.  The thing looked MASSIVE and it got bigger and bigger with each mile.

Once we got started at headquarters, it was 100% business.  We had a short powerpoint presentation about what the weekend would look like and then went through gear check.  This was the equivalent of mountaineering show-and-tell.  Our lead guide, Josh Tapp, would say "show me your sleeping bag" and we would all hold up our sleeping bags.  We did this with every piece of clothing and equipment we would take up the mountain.  Anything he didn't call out, wasn't supposed to go in our pack.  Some people had all their junk in a giant heap or spread out all over the place.  I, on the other hand, had everything folded and organized in category specific areas for easy identification and access.  To Josh, this was anal retentive.  He asked me if I was in med school and I was happy to retort that I was in law school.  Either way, he had me pegged as a type A obsessive compulsive control freak.   I could tell he and I were going to get along great...  

At the end of the check list, Josh told us to show him our food.  I planned to bring peanut butter and honey sandwiches, but hadn't had the time to make them yet.  Josh looked down at my Safeway bag, up at me, back down at the bag, shook his head, and slowly looked back up to me and said in his cute little southern drawl "you know you can't take up that jar of peanut butter, right?"  Oh Josh.  This is going to be a long trip, isn't it...  Of course I sweetly told him that I would make my sandwiches that night and leave the jar at home.

After a short period of panic (when did we all become so dependent on cell phone service?!) Charlie found the hotel I was staying at for the night and took me out to dinner.  I hadn't seen him in about 3 weeks, so it was great to have some time together before making my way up the "hill."  After he headed back to Gig Harbor, it was time for final gear check and bed.  

DAY 2:  Camp Muir

Day 2 started back at Headquarters.  After snapping a few "Look At Me and My Pack" pictures, we met the rest of our guides.  We'd be hiking with our lead guide Josh Tapp (who we were supposed to call Tapp, but that wasn't going to happen), Josh McDowell (who asked us to call him Mc-D, which also didn't take), Nick (who went nick-nameless) and Dan.  The other members of our hiking group included two of my Dad's co-workers (Doug and Jim), two manly men dudes from Wisconsin (Jeff and Brad), a cute gal from Boston who attempted to summit the year before but was turned around because she got too cold (Rebecca), and a surgeon who turned out to be one of the most awesome people I've ever met (Ingrid). 
After the brief round of introductions, we packed our stuff into a trailer, climbed in a 15 passenger van (note to self: NEVER volunteer to sit in the back row...) and made our way up to Paradise.  For those of you who aren't from WA, Paradise is the highest point on the Mountain that you can drive to.  It has a nice visitor's center and is a fun place to spend a day.  At 5,400 feet, Paradise is where we started our climb to the top.

It took approximately 15 min of climbing for me to realize that I didn't want to climb this mountain after all.  It became immediately apparent that this was going to be A LOT of work.  I have a tendency to shy away from activities that don't come naturally to me, so I have no idea how I got talked into going up this beast! 
The guides wasted no time before showing us the proper way to walk up hill.  Instead of taking a natural rolling from your heal to your toe type step, we learned to use a rest step.  This method puts most of the weight on your skeletal system instead of wearing out your muscles too quickly.   

The climb to Camp Muir took about 5 hours, with a 10 min. break about every hour.  I learned quickly, that I would not be required to think for myself during this trip.  Our guides told us when and where to sit down, drink, eat, put on a layer, take off a layer and how far we could go to use the bathroom.

After many steps and moments of doubt, we FINALLY made it to Camp Muir at 10,080 feet.  That's almost 5,000 feet climbed!!!  We had dinner together in the weather tent, had some time to wander around and take pictures and then got settled in for the night.  Most of us were in our sleeping bags by 7PM.  We were told that we would be woken up at 7 AM the next morning and would need to be ready to go by 7:30.  I knew there was no chance that I would sleep for 12 hours, but I wasn't sure what else to do at that point.  I wrote a quick blog entry.  I've chosen to include it in italics below so that you can assess my mental state at that point:

Well, we made it to Camp Muir after a long day of hiking. I feel like I can pretty confidently say that hiking/climbing/general mountaineering is pretty much my very least favorite thing. I made it, but did not enjoy it.

My body is tired, but nothing hurts too badly besides my right eye. The combo of sweat and sunscreen that poured into it throughout the day has left it stinging pretty badly and constantly tearing. I sure hope it feels better by morning when I have to put my contacts back in.

We get to sleep in a bunkhouse tonight, so I'm hoping I can get a decent nights sleep. Starting... Now. 

Fortunately, I did get a fairly decent night's sleep (despite my snoring father and friends).

Here are a few shots from around camp:
Camp Muir Building
Dad and I with view from Muir

Inside the weather tent where we ate our meals

On top the the "Verizon" table at Muir.  
*Fun Fact about the Verizon Table: I have named it this because if you are sitting on the table, you have cell service from Verizon.  If you are standing next to the table, you do not.
Privy at Muir.  The smell emanating from this monster will haunt me for the rest of my life.
*Fun fact about the Privy: underneath the toilet is a bucket sitting in open air.  The wind at Muir can blow REALLY hard.  When the wind does blow, it goes right through the bucket, up the toilet and into your rear.  Fun times.
Gambu?  Might be Gamba...  Either way, it's where we slept
Inside the Gamba
*Fun Fact about the Gamba:  I slept on the second level along with two snorers.  There was a third snorer beneath me on the first level.  It's a good thing I was physically exhausted and really needed the sleep!

View of Mt. Adams from Muir

View of Mt. St. Helens from Muir
DAY 3: High Camp
This was BY FAR my favorite day.  It started with an amazing breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon.  Shortly after that, we started snow school.  Let's just say, I got straight A's.  During snow school, we learned how to use our equipment.  We practiced walking in crampons and using our ice ax to rescue ourselves should we find ourselves sliding down the mountain.  Although it took some pretty serious thought and practice, we all eventually became masters at the technique that we hoped to never need to use.

After we graduated, we put our packs on and made our way to high camp.  To get from Muir to the Ingraham Flats, we had to cross a glacier.  This meant crampons, helmets and being tied into a rope line.  For the most part, this was a fairly easy hike.  The new equipment took some getting used to, but otherwise it was a fairly short jaunt up to 11,100 feet.

Once at high camp, we were told to get off our feet and relax.  Done and done.  Dad and I crawled in our tent and played a trivia game off of my iphone.  Eventually Jim and Doug joined in and we had a full on high camp game show complete with trash talk and heckling.  The game got cut short when we were called for dinner around 3PM.  We scarfed down a delicious meal of roast beef and mashed potatoes.  YUM!  Then, around 5PM it was time for bed.

We had been warned that the altitude may hit us at anytime in a variety of ways.  Unfortunately for me, it came after dinner in the form of a head ache.  Because they had been baking in the sun all day, our tents were sauna hot and the sun was still up so it was super bright.  Not great conditions for sleeping off a head ache.  We were told that drinking lots of water would help with the symptoms of the higher altitude.  For me, all it meant was getting to take my boots on and off many times to hike down the hill to hang my bare rear end out to tinkle over and over.  Once back in the tent, I begged myself to please, please, PLEASE fall asleep.  I knew that if I was going to have any shot at making it to the top of the mountain (let alone back down), that I would need to sleep.  Eventually, I must have dozed off because I woke up in the dark, shivering in a puddle of drool.  God bless the warmth of those sleeping bags.  I zippered mine up around me and drifted back to sleep.

Day 4
Day 4 technically started at 11:30PM on Day 3.  This is when we were woken up to begin preparing our gear for the summit bid.  This is not an easy task in the dark.  Fortunately, dad and I were smart and put our headlamps on our helmets the night before so we could quickly find them in the dark.  We were told to eat some breakfast, so we did as we were told (although none of us wanted to).  Then it was time to rope up and start making our way to the top.

During the first 10 minutes, I was completely panicked and certain I wasn't going to make it.  I had forgotten to use the "rest step" and was fatiguing myself quickly.  After being reminded of the proper technique, I was back in business and ready to go.

The route we took required us to scale the Disappointment Cleaver.  *Fun Fact about the Disappointment Cleaver: it is called the Disappointment Cleaver because the first Americans to climb the Mountain reached the cleaver in typical Washington overcast weather.  They celebrated and made camp for the night thinking they had reached the top.  When they woke in the morning to blue skys, they were disappointed to find they were still a LONG way from the top.  Hence, the Disappointment Cleaver.  The cleaver is no joke.  There is a reason that they take you up it in the dark of night, because if you could see what you were climbing NO ONE would go.  

Apparently we were not the only ones who thought it would be awesome to summit on the 4th of July.  There were a TON of independent climbing groups using the same route that morning.  One group in particular had my guides extremely concerned.  The guides made the decision to take us off the the trail with anchored guide ropes to go around those jokers.  After assessing the situation, they determined that these climbers were a danger to us and that we needed to get above them. Yet another reason I'm glad I went with IMG.  Parts of the cleaver seemed nearly straight up and others required us to climb around large exposed rocks.  SOOOOO not my cup of tea.

Once at the top of the cleaver, we took our first break.  I was completely spent.  Although I was sweating and over heating while I was climbing, it took only about 3 minutes until I was shivering and my teeth were chattering while we sat on our packs for a break.  Good thing my guide had already instructed me to put on my puffy jacket.  The next stretch of the climb was pretty amazing.  We had an UNBELIEVABLE view of the northern lights, the stars were brilliant and the sunrise was breathtaking.

Then, it just got too damn hard.  The combination of my lack of training and the altitude left me broken and ready to quit.  I had to summon the will to take each step and felt completely dejected when I would loose my footing and slip.  It got to the point that I was seriously concerned that I was going to be a danger to myself and the other 3 people tied to the rope line.

When we reached our second break at 13,000 feet, I told Josh Mc-D that I was not interested in going any further.  He told me that I had what it took to keep climbing and that I was going to make it.  I essentially told him to F-off and that I didn't care if I reached the summit.  Apparently, I just needed to get that off my chest.  I could physically get there, but mentally I was done.  After a quick rest and some food, I sucked it up and pushed forward.  My complaint, however, did earn my rope line the ability to go at a bit of a slower pace, which turned out to work to our benefit as we were all hurting.  A little after 6:30 AM, we finally reached the summit!  14,410 feet!!!
Me inside the crater at the Summit!!!

Dad inside of crater at Summit!!!
We spent a little bit of time at the top before starting our descent.  On the way out of the crater, the unthinkable happened.  I FELL IN A CREVASSE!  The crevasse was completely covered until my foot punched a hole through the layer of snow/ice hiding it.  I thankfully already had made the step over with my other foot and got my ice ax down in front of me, so I only fell as deep as my waist before I hopped back up.  But still, I fell in a damn crevasse!  My little spill was nothing in comparison to what happened to Ingrid, however.  The poor girl fell, dislocated her shoulder, popped it back in and made her way down the rest of the mountain.  Now THAT is TOUGH!

Despite waking at 11:30PM, starting to climb by 1AM and summiting at 6:30 AM, we still had to get all the way back down the mountain in one piece.  Easier said than done.  There were parts of the Disappointment Cleaver that took several minutes to go only a foot or two.  This super awesome "Katie as Mountaineer" photo was taken at the top of the cleaver.

After the cleaver, the rest of the descent was fairly smooth sailing.  We took a decent break back at Camp Muir, where dad was on the hunt for someone to carry his pack to the bottom for him and the Macho Men from Wisconsin were busy telling anyone who would listen how easy getting to the summit was and that they were so glad it wasn't "too strenuous of a hike."  Screwballs.

From Muir back to Paradise, we got the glissade.  Glissading is my FAVORITE!!!  On the way back down from Muir, there are several bobsled-like tracks where you sit on your rear and slide down the mountain.  FUN FUN FUN!!!  It was like sledding without the sled.  Plus, it meant that instead of having to physically walk down the hill, gravity was going to do the work for us.  Somehow, I got my second wind and was practically skipping from one glissade track to the next.  Before we knew it (haha, kidding.  It still took forever), we were back to the Paradise parking lot and making our way back to IMG Headquarters.

Charlie and Tucker were waiting for me at Headquarters.  At that point, it still hadn't sunk in what I had just accomplished.  It wasn't until we were nearly back to Puyallup and I saw this view from my car window that I realized just how far I climbed physically and how hard I challenged myself mentally.

Marathon: CHECK

Mountain: CHECK


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 264 - One Step Closer

Finals. Are. DONE!!!!  I'm not entirely sure that I passed Secured Transactions, but I'll keep my fingers crossed until I find out.  What a relief!!!  After 7 1/2 hours of exams, I am pooped.  I've got to get up at 5 so I can be on the road by 6.  The climb starts tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day??? - What day is it?!

Ummm.... What?!  How did these last 5 weeks go by so quickly???  I have two finals tomorrow (secured transactions and criminal procedure) and I am certain that they are just going to be really great.  I mean, who doesn't love cramming a semester's worth of information into 5 weeks of night classes and then getting to sit for 7+ hours of straight examination to regurgitate anything and everything that you can remember?  That's what everyone does for fun, right?

Yeah, so tomorrow I have a final from 1:30-4:30 and then another from 5-9.  To top it off, I then get to hurry home, tidy the house, pack my bag and get to sleep ASAP.  Why?  Because I have to leave by 6:30 the next morning for my mountain climb.  I'm not sure what I was thinking when I created this summer plan...

That's right, in less then 72 hours I will be working my way up Mt. Rainier.  Yikes!

In the mean time, I need to memorize the tests for probable cause, the order of priority for secured creditors in bankruptcy, and how to determine whether or not someone's Miranda rights have been violated.  Peace.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Days 231 - 249 - Close to Giving Up

Yeah, I am getting pretty close to giving up on the blog.   I think about it all the time.  Unfortunately, it's always while I'm in class or at work.  This is probably because I am ALWAYS at work or in class.  Seriously.  Most days I get up by 4AM (at the latest) to study, have to be at work at 7:30AM and then have class until 8:30 PM.

This. Schedule. SUCKS.

Fortunately, I only have to live this way for 2 more weeks.  Unfortunately, the damage has already been done.  My weight has been slowly creeping back up and I certainly am not getting enough exercise or sleep.  Every day I promise myself that I'll find a way to squeeze in a run.  And everyday I go to bed disappointed.  This daily disappoint (in conjunction with my general state of law school induced depression) has left me a charmingly bitter and grouchy individual.  I'm doing the best I can to "fake it till I make it," but really the only thing getting me through is the knowledge that "this too shall pass."

Because my week days suck so thoroughly, I've been working hard to make the most of my weekends.  I've gone on a few great runs (so good for reducing stress!), hit up the driving range with the hubs, taken the Tucker dog for some walks in the sun (Spokanistan has 4 seasons... Ha!) and continued training for the big mountain climb.

On a sunny Sunday, I drove down to the Spokane Falls to climb up and down the stairs for 2 hours.  I felt great during the climb.  I broke a decent sweat, but wasn't out of breath or struggling to make it.  For the next 3 days, however, I almost fell down every flight of stairs a came across.  I've done a great job training my "climbing up" muscles on the stairmaster for the last few months.  Clearly, my "climbing down" muscles need some work.  My poor legs were as wobbly as a newborn giraffe.  Here are a few pics of the stairs...


Yeah, that was a LOT of stairs.

So, life hasn't been ALL doom and gloom lately.  Here is a brief list of things that have brought me joy:

-Charlie got an awesome job in Seattle
-My advanced tap class is KILLING their routine and will probably steal the show at the recital next week
-My Spring Semester report card included 3 A's
-I am now in the top 16% of my law school class (which hopefully means I have a chance of finding a job)
-SYTYCD started up again and one of my former dance classmates made it to Vegas (Way to go Rian!)
-Maggie and Brian are going to have a BOY (I totally guessed it right)
-The Tony awards featured a song from the new musical The Book of Mormon
-The next day, Amazon sold The Book of Mormon soundtrack for $2.00!  And it is awesome.

I've got big plans to get in some awesome runs and a LONG hike this weekend.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE weather gods, be good to me and my waistline and give me some sun!!!

Only 15 more days until I start climbing the mountain!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 231 - CDA 1/2 Marathon Day!

 The weather and race conditions couldn't have been more perfect.  Although a lot of goofballs showed up at the starting line with jackets, hats, gloves, etc., the temperature was just around 50 degrees at the start and warmed up to 60+ degrees by the finish.

This being my second 1/2 marathon and having previously run 2 full marathons, I didn't experience any sort of pre-race jitters this go around.  The people near me at the starting line, however, were clearly first timers.  When I'm nervous, I have a tendency to talk, a lot.  Apparently, this is how my starting buddies cope with nerves too.  In every direction, people were spewing advice that they had heard from their sister-in-law's uncle's accountant who had run a 1/2 marathon at some point who swore by the need to tape your nipples/eat only fish the week leading up to the race/ bring four fairly large water bottles strapped to their waist despite knowing that there would be many water/aid stations along the course.  I don't mean to belittle any of their pre-race preparations or race day equipment, but some of the stuff they had done/brought was just silly.

That said, many of those newbies probably wound up beating me to the finish line.  My lack of consistent training, being crazy sick around Easter and then rolling may ankle a few times leading up to the race resulted in a less than impressive finish time, 2:25:42.  For comparisons sake, I ran the Seattle half-marathon in 2005 in 1:59:48.  That's 2 minutes slower per mile.  Thank god I made the decision not to go for the full marathon.  I'd probably still be crawling on my hands on knees to the finish line.

Oh well, I finished!  I walked a bit, but ran probably 85% of the course.  I really can't complain about my time, because it is what a deserved.  I didn't make training a priority and chose on many occasions not to go for a run when I should have.  Plus, prior to this blogging adventure, I would have struggled to finish a 5 mile run.  All things considered, I'm a healthier and happier person than I was this time last year and for that, I am proud.

 Besides taking Tucker for a quick walk later in the afternoon, I spent the majority of the rest of the day off my feet.  I soaked in the tub while I re-read the second half of Harry Potter 7 (the final movie comes out July 15th!), watched 3 episodes of 16 and Pregnant and enjoyed a movie on the couch with the hubs.  Part of my sloth was due to my legs feeling completely shot.  The other was due to not wanting to put any pressure on my right foot.  Why?  Scroll down to see.  WARNING: THOSE WITH WEAK STOMACHS SHOULD STOP READING HERE.  DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.

Sorry, but you were warned.  The top left corner of the pic shows the remnants of the blister I acquired in San Diego.  On the inside of my foot is a standard run-of-the-mill blister and an ANGRY and throbbing blood blister.  I usually develop a good enough callous that I don't wind up with blisters.  BUT, I made the mistake of getting a pedicure before going down to SD.  I thought nothing of it as they scrapped the callouses off my feet and was thrilled at how silky smooth my feet felt when they were done.  LESSON LEARNED.  As long as I continue to run, I will learn to love the callouses so I don't wind up with more nasty photos like this one.  YUCK.

I hope my feet heal quickly, as I now must turn my attention to preparing for the mountain climb (in addition to school and work).  I begin my bid for the Summit in only 34 days.  Cardio training will still be important, but I am going to be putting a greater emphasis on weight training during the next few weeks.  On to the next adventure!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Days 217 - 230 - MEGA UPDATE

Yeah, I've sucked at blogging lately.  I've also sucked at exercise and eating healthy (which is probably why I haven't been more excited to blog about my over-all suck-fest).  ANYWAY, here is a brief recap of my last two weeks.

The primary adventure of of the last two weeks revolved around my little bro's graduation from San Diego State University.  To get there, I took an overnight train to Seattle.  The train was behind schedule due to some flooding in Montana, which meant I got to spend some extra time with the drunk and homeless of Spokane in the train station at 2AM.  I don't know how the poor security guard kept his composure after being spit on by an extremely intoxicated man and then repeatedly called a racist as he asked another young man to show his ticket or leave the building.  I was VERY happy when the train finally arrived and I could get away from the madness.

The majority of the trip was in the dark, so I tried to get some sleep.  Once I woke up, I enjoyed looking at the scenery of this beautiful state.  For awhile.  The joy didn't last.  As most know, I am not exactly patient and this trip was taking WAY too long.
The train started out fun!
Then I got pretty bored...
And around the 6th hour I was pretty much over it.
Once I arrived in Seattle, I had several hours to kill before meeting my mom at the airport.  I dropped off my luggage at the law firm I worked at back in 2007 and went on a photo tour of my old city.  The weather was PERFECT.  Sunny and about 70 degrees.  I walked from the ferry docks down along the water and then up to the Space needle.  I explored all around the Space Needle and Seattle Center before following the monorail track back to Westlake Center.  I grabbed a baggle for lunch in Pike Place market and then meandered back towards the office.  Needless to say, my exercise today came in the form of a several hour walk/hike.  I then took the new light rail from downtown to the airport.  SUPER convenient.  Moo just barely made our flight, but after taking a plane, train, automobile and light rail, we finally arrived safely in San Diego.

There was never a dull moment in SD.  Here's a quick visual tour of our trip:
I FINALLY got to meet the newest addition of the Moss family and my new favorite baby boy, Isaiah!
Went for an amazing run on the beach (why did we ever move away?!)
Helped my little Cuz surf for the first time
Enjoyed a Padres game and wasn't too disappointed to see the Mariners actually win...
Made Chad Sandy Egos for graduation breakfast (Egos with cinnamon and sugar)
Took a TON of grad pics of the bro around Balboa Park
Cheered on Chad as he GRADUATED!
Not pictured, but still an awesome part of our trip were a day spent in San Clemente with some great family friends, LOTS of good food and an epic dance battle.  Chad's roommate Greg challenged me to a round of Dance Central on the Xbox.  Greg believed himself to be the ultimate champion of this game and was certain he could not be beaten.  He went so far to state that once he beat me, a former NFL cheerleader, that he would never need to play the game again.  I, always up for a fight, told him that I would beat him even though I had never played the game before, I had a sprained ankle (I re-rolled it, awesome) and recently had acquired a giant blister on the bottom of my foot (stupid flip flops).  Let's just say it wasn't even close.  Despite his best efforts, I was still able to whoop Greg's butt while he played on "easy" and I played on "hard."  Sorry Greg.  Maybe next time.

I was crazy sad to say good bye to the bro and So Cal, but I had to get back to Spokanistan to start work at the Unemployment Law Project.  I (and the other 4 interns) had orientation Mon-Wednesday and then started my regular hours on Thursday.  I think I am really going to enjoy my experience with this organization.  In addition to work, teaching tap, a few jogs and LOTS of walking, the highlight of the week was getting to see Wicked with the hubs.  

I have been in love with the Wicked soundtrack for a few years now and have been dieing to see a live performance.  Charlie heard about a way to get last minute tickets via a lottery system and went downtown to try his luck. Despite there being over 150 people vying for only 20 tickets, Charlie was the first name called and snagged us seats in the third row!

The show was unbelievably amazing.  Holy Cow, could the lead actresses could sing!  Their voices were both tear and shiver inducing.  I stole a few glances at Charlie during the show and he either had a grin from ear to ear (during a light hearted number) or was sitting on the edge of his seat fully engrossed in the performance.  We both agreed that we would need to see it again, soon!

In other exciting news, CHARLIE GOT A JOB IN SEATTLE!  He will be starting at Northwest Cable News on June 13th.  He is really excited about the work he will be doing and the people he'll be working with.  I am thrilled that our plan to return to Seattle seems to be falling into place, but am bummed about the prospect of spending 9 weeks in Spokane alone.  Expect many-o-cranky blog posts to come.

Saturday, Charlie and I walked around Couer D'Alene for a bit so I could pick up my 1/2 marathon packet.  Sounds healthy, right?  Wrong.  We found this place:
They had cupcakes in all flavors and varieties.  I was particularly intrigued by the maple and bacon cupcake and the Raspberry Cheescake Cupcake, but ultimately choose a DELICIOUS carrot cake cupcake.  Charlie went for red velvet.  There were a lot of other flavors I was eager to try.  When I'm feeling a little down this summer about being out here alone, I may choose to come back to this store and eat my feelings.  Honesty is the best policy, right?

It was long overdue, but that wraps up the recap.  Tomorrow is race day!  Kinda wishing that my training hadn't dwindled off so badly after that great 11 mile run back on Day 188.  Oh well, if I put one foot in front of the other, I'll eventually cross the finish line.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Days 210 - 216 - Getting Lazy

I have been a very lazy blogger, and for that I apologize.  Here's a quick review of the happenings in the life of me.  I slept in on Sunday after the prom and then met with Corey to review for my labor law final.  I was thoroughly disappointed by the finale of the Amazing race.  I really had hoped Gary and Mallory would win, but alas they were foiled by a shoddy cab driver.

I studied all day Monday, breaking only to take the dog for a walk, to go to yoga and to watch gossip girl.  By Monday night, my brain was fried.  I simply refused to learn anything else and went to bed.

I had my labor final on Tuesday.  The sun was finally out, so I spent the last few hours reviewing for the exam in the sun.  Although the exam was scheduled to take three hours, I finished in an hour and a half.  This allowed me to scurry off to teach my dance classes on time.  On the drive to the studio, I felt myself become a happier and more carefree person.  It was like at the end of Beauty and the Beast when you think the Beast is dead, but then light shoots out of his fingers and toes and suddenly he becomes a prince...  That is exactly what finishing your last final is like.  You are no longer an mangy haired Beast with a short temper and poor grooming habits.  As you pull out of the law school parking lot after that last final, the curse is lifted and you return the bright and joyful person you once were.

My dance classes were a pleasure to teach.  There were no rolled ankles or swear words.  SUCCESS!

I killed it at the gym on Wednesday.  Having not lifted weights in a while, I worked my way around the gym like an old pro.  After the weights and some intense time on the stair master, I was exhausted.  Since my car is still out of order, I had to walk home from the gym.  Fortunately, the sun was out and there was a nice breeze.  This inspired the rest of my activity for the day... Sitting outside in the sun reading a book.  I read some stupid chick novel called Something Blue.  It was dumb.  A total waste of time, but who cares?!  I've got nothing but time for a few days!

The highlights of Thursday included picking up my car, getting my ring inspected and cleaned, baking cookies with my hubs and going to a dance studio meeting.  Maggie and her husband Brian will be celebrating their 1 year wedding anniversary this weekend, so Charlie and I decided to make them sugar cookies.  I was certain that we had a heart shaped cookie cutter.  I was wrong.  Charlie thought we should just use the cookie cutters we have (a ghost, scary moon and two sizes of pumpkins), but I didn't think they quite fit the anniversary theme I was going for.  We tried to find a heart shaped cutter at Shopko, but were out of luck.  So, we free handed them.  They may not be perfect, but I like the way they turned out.  And in case you were wondering, no we did not hire a professional to put on the sprinkles.  That fine work is 100% a product of Charles J. Hilen.

Friday, I met Roxy and Haley for drinks to celebrate the end of finals/ beginning of summer.  I had only planned on having a glass of wine, but when my power steering went out on my drive down to CI Shenanigans, I decided a stiffer drink would be necessary.  So I had my glass of wine and a margarita.  Fortunately, I had gone for a 5 mile run earlier in the day so I didn't feel too guilty about also ordering the chicken nachos.  Unfortunately, I forgot to apply sunscreen...  Oh well, you can't have a sun burn without SUN.  And I wouldn't wish away the sun for anything! 

After an early morning drop off at the airport (you better know I love you Haley for to get my rear out of bed before 5 AM on vacation), the rest Saturday was spent running errands with the Hubs.  We quickly ate lunch at Waddel's before returning home to rest and prepare for tonight's prom.  I enjoyed a little more outdoor reading time (sun burn had already turned into a tan... I love being native!).  I'm finally getting around to reading the book 1L by Scott Turow.  I was given it as a gift after I was accepted to law school.  THANK GOD I DIDN'T READ IT THEN.  The book is about a first year student's turbulent experience at Harvard Law.  It is scary how much his experience matched mine.  Had I read this book before starting at Gonzaga, I may have been discouraged from finishing.  It is oddly therapeutic to read it now, however.  It's almost as if the frustration, anxiety and fear I experienced is being validated by a stranger who went through a similar experience nearly three decades ago.  

Around 5:30, Charlie and I set off for the convention center.  Mead High School choose to have their prom on the roof.  Sounds awesome, right?  WRONG.  An hour south of Spokane, the city of Pullman was under a tornado advisory.  The winds in Spokane were no less forgiving.  Our typical DJ set up involves light trussing and a sound system that are raised several feet in the air.  I've been in law school long enough to know that if either of those systems were to crash down on a student that we would be F'ed.  We managed to rig up a make shift wind screen, so we for the most part were protected from the wind.  The poor kids, however, were blasted the entire night.  I would have been pissed if I was one of those girls who had spent $75 on a fancy updo only to find my hair a total wind blown mess 30 minutes into prom.

The dance itself went well.  I got to DJ a bit and had a pretty good time helping out the Hubs.  After the dance, things took a turn for the worse.  I felt myself starting to feel weak and assumed I was just tired.  I hurried to get everything torn down and brought to the car as fast as a could.  While Charlie loaded the jeep, I became very aware that I wasn't just tired.  Yep, I got food poisoning.  I, like so many of the underage drinkers at the prom, got to throw up on the drive home.  JUST FREAKING GREAT.  After a shower and some water it was time for bed.