I just wanted to show up here to say: I ran my first confirmed 4-miler today. I suspect I may have run at least one, and possibly two, 4-milers while in Portland, but I'm not sure. The Nike running trail is 1.96 miles long, and I ran two laps plus a little bit, both times I used it. BUT...it is also confusing because there is more to the Nike trail than just the big loop: there are crosslinks, little side trails that seem to cut across something approximating the middle. I can't say for sure because there are no signs and no maps. Also, I wasn't wearing a watch. So maybe I ran 3 miles, maybe 4. I'm not sure. But today it was definitely at least 4 miles, and maybe more like 4.1 miles. More importantly, it was an awesome run. Perfect day for it: cool, overcast, and a little bit misty but not full-on rain.

I've been meaning to post about the urban hike/epic walk I took on Saturday. I left home at around lunchtime, maybe 1pm, and stopped at the PCC for some lunchy foodz. I hiked to upper Queen Anne via this super steep hill directly across from the Fremont Bridge. While up there, I bought buttons at Nancy's Sewing Basket, and poked around a couple of sidewalk sale tables. I hooked over to the beautiful park that overlooks the city and enjoyed my lunch while sitting on the steps, admiring the view, and mildly admonishing myself for having forgotten my camera. Then I walked down the steps and zig-zagged my way into and through lower Queen Anne, crossed Denny onto 1st Ave, and walked through Belltown. Eventually I went down to Western to see if I could locate So Much Yarn, a yarn shop that recently moved to that area from its former location on 1st Ave. Turns out it's in a secure office complex upstairs from Cost Plus. I bought more buttons, fondled many beautiful skeins of yarn, played with the two French bulldogs who belong to the store owner (I'm assuming), and shot the breeze with her and the other salesperson. From there I headed into the Pike Place Market and poked around a few stalls before becoming overwhelmed by the crush of dazed tourist bodies and finally realizing that that wasn't the right place for me to be on a Saturday. LOL. So I went up into the shopping district and meandered around for a bit; tried on some shoes (didn't buy any). Next I walked up Pike into Capitol Hill. By the time I crossed the 5 and Boren Ave. I was pretty thirsty, so I stopped into the new Victrola and got a nice blackberry Italian soda. I sat on their couch and enjoyed that for a bit while playing around with some knitting. Then I headed up to Broadway, bought some band-aids for the big blister I could feel forming on the top of my big toe (I was wearing sandals). By then I was starving, so I walked north on Broadway and got some Ethiopian food for dinner. After completely gorging myself on a vege combo, I headed north again, up Broadway, down 10th Ave. to Roanoke, through the little park, along side streets until I had to join up with Harvard Ave, across the University Bridge, up the Burke-Gilman for a little bit, then up to 40th St., over to the Aurora Ave. footbridge at 41st St., and home. I got home at about 9:30pm, and I was completely spent. I showered and went straight to bed, where I read myself to sleep.

Both of these "exercise experiences" contributed to a growing thing within me: a connection to myself, my own voice, and my place in the world that has eluded me for a few years. I hadn't exactly lost touch with this thing (to me, the list of 3 things are all aspects of the same thing, rather than separate things), it was more that...I didn't like the self I had become. I felt lost and aimless and stuck, along with a sense of despair about ever being able to "move" myself or accomplish anything in the world again. I believed that "my time" (whatever that means) had come and gone, and that the best I could hope for anymore was simply to make do, get by. It sounds pretty pathetic--and it's important to point out that these weren't the only things I felt; they were mixed with happiness and appreciation for various good things in my life. The point is that I hadn't completely lost touch with myself and my feelings, it's just that I didn't like myself, and I was feeling negative things. So being in touch with that was not affirming or energizing; it was depressing, even though it was honest. That is what I was feeling, how I saw myself and my prospects, and I think it was important to be in touch with that even though it was also depressing and discouraging. I'm just glad that I'm shifting away from that now, and that I have gotten to the point where...it no longer predominates. I feel good. Happy. Strong. Capable. Interested in things. Thankful for my life and my loved ones.


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July 2014

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