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Monday, April 26, 2010

Running in the Rainforest

My husband got a great job making Facebook games at Playdom . So we're leaving the Sage Brush and Juniper of Central Oregon's High Desert and moving back home to the ultra-fertile Willamette Valley and Eugene, Oregon.

Eugene is home to Nike, thousands of hippies who show up for the Oregon Country Fair, the late, great Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and more giant moss-covered oak trees and ferns than you can shake a stick at.

As a 5th generation Oregonian with roots in the valley, I do feel a certain happiness well up inside me when I smell the rain forest of my youth. It's a Pavlovian reaction, I think. I can't help it.

The earthy smell reminds me of camping and fishing along the McKenzie River as a kid, picnics in the woods and searching for fairies at Hendrick's Park with my kids when they were little, and running on Pre's Trail, one of the best running trails in the Northwest.

We're looking for a place to live, so I packed the kids up and left Bend on Friday night and drove to the grandparent's house in the McKenzie Valley, about 30 minutes from home. I got up Saturday morning and took myself out for a run along Deerhorn Road.

After months of looking at winter snow on the gray-brown rocks of Bend, my eyes had to adjust to the new emerald green palette of the valley.

It was easy to talk myself into 4.5 miles since I was rewarded with a spectacular tree at every bend in the road. The running was easier, too, since I've been at a higher altitude for so long. I wasn't expecting the difference, and my lungs were as surprised as I was.

I wonder how long it will take before these trees and colors become ho-hum again, as part of my every day landscape. Never, I hope.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Play Games with your Feet!

And now, a word from two of my delightful sponsors: The FootZone and FootGaming - it's all about the feet here at Chubby Mommy Running Club!

The FootZone
Good people, good stuff.

We are thrilled to have Bend’s FootZone as the host site for our May 19 media event. If you know of anyone in the media who would like first scoop on all the great FootGaming Bejeweled news, send them to this blog! As runners flock to FootZone to collect their race bags and schwag, they can stop by next door at the Liberty Building for Footgaming fun.

Every step they take while playing the incredible Bejeweled Twist will count as one vote for a finalist ExerLearning school. Local school need the more than$5000 in grant awards for fitness and technology. We are extending the grant deadline to May 15 – so share the grant link with a local teacher.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"I'll Take 'Things I'm Good At' for 200, Alex"

I haven't watched Jeopardy in a while, but I am a list maker, and a list giver. My kids are used to lists. Alex Trebek would not phase them.

The other night, as I was frantically working through my list before bed on my computer at the dining room table, the children complained - OK, whined - about needing some attention (they're old enough to just say, hey, give me some attention!)

The 16 year old said I needed to put "hang out with children" on my list. So I did.

I sat on the couch with them and we played that game where I tell them all the things they're good at, and all the things I like about them. It's a favorite game of theirs. Who wouldn't love this game?

Then I wanted a turn, so this is their list of things I'm good at:

Things Mom is good at:
  1. You're good at giving hugs - you're warm.
  2. Domesticated animals love you.
  3. You're good at making clubs, like your Try Not Cry Club on Chubby Mommy Running Club.
  4. You're good at listening.
  5. You're good at teaching us good habits (Huh. Time to teach dish-doing and floor mopping?)
  6. You're good at creative ideas and making things grow, like how you made up movies and stuff for Francine.
  7. You're a good wife because you're mature enough to handle Dad and his jobs and negotiating things for his work.
  8. You're good at telling Dad what to do and trading things for kisses.
  9. You're good at bringing peace to the family.
I'm also good a raising nice kids, apparently, because these are the nicest things I've ever heard.

What's on your list?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chubby Mommy Running Club at the Beach

This is me and my friend Sissy. She just got a beach house. I liked her before she got the beach house, but now I'll love her forever.

Sissy has many friends who love her unconditionally. I've been on a couple of fun trips with this group in the past, including a jaunt to Cindy's Lake House last summer, which convinced me that everyone needs a house with a location noun in front of it, or at least a friend or two with extra houses.

What I didn't realize before we got to the beach, was how many of these lovely women are runners. Some of them run 3 miles at a leisurely pace, like me, and some of them are regular 10K racers. Some of them, like Sissy, do not run, but enjoy a nice walk and good conversation just the same.

Some of them did cartwheels with me.

All of them were good sports.

The best part about running on the beach with friends is the actual running on the beach. With friends.

Plus, when you're running on the beach there's always a valid excuse to stop running when you spot a beautiful rock in the sand. I stopped a lot. As usual.

The other great thing about running on the beach with friends is you earn a good excuse to enjoy a drink with a view. Also, the ocean air burns more calories, I heard. So you get to have an extra drink, if you want one.

Plus, when you run with a group, you feel like you're in a real club, even though you just made up the name Chubby Mommy Running Club on a whim, but everyone else thinks it's a real club and they want to join.

So if you work it right, you can turn this whole thing into a real club, where all Chubby and Not so Chubby mommies all over the world can meet in real life for their own real life running clubs and running weekends, and then you can write off the entire trip as a business expense, which is always an added bonus.

But mostly? Waking up to blue sky and friendly smiles on the Oregon Coast is priceless.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

@juliejulie at the Beach!

I'm at the beach, in Waldport, Oregon with my friends. Happy happy, joy, joy. More about the running tomorrow.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Running With Babies

These are not my babies. I don't even know them. I met these babies at The FootZone in Bend last week. They were there with their mother, I think. They went on our fun run with us, and they were much faster than me.

I remember running with babies. I have 3 kids, all 3 years apart (because I'm a good planner...) so I had a baby and a toddler in a double jog stroller like this for years. I remember that it was heavy and hard to push up hills. But hey, it got us out of the house.

Kudos to the babies, and the mommy who gave them cool sunglasses, and a free ride.