Liebsters.

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Here is an atypical post, but one that I am quite excited about: the Liebster award. It is a little special recognition from fellow bloggers that says, ‘hey, we like your blog. Pass on the kudos.’ Most of you probably do not have a clue what this award is, so here are the rules: Once nominated you must…

  • Make a post about the Liebster Award and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you (except my nominator only chose 10.)
  • Nominate 11 fellow bloggers for the award.
  • Write 11 new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • There is no actual award, it is just a matter of recognition.

So, before we get down to business, a big giant thank you to Concentrate on Yourself. You’re wonderful, and I appreciate the nomination! Keep up the great work towards your resolutions.

Here are my questions!

  1. Name 5 things you want to accomplish before you die.
    Running a 50 mile ultra. Visiting all 7 continents. Learn to swim. Grow my photography into a successful small side business. (Check out my little Facebook page here.) Take a week long backpacking trip. Learn to play piano. Oh, wait. That was 6.
  2. What is your favourite thing to do?
    This is a rhetorical question, right? Running! And eating cupcakes. After that, I’d probably say hiking, reading, or shooting photography. None of which I get to do often enough. Thanks, school.
  3. What would your ideal day be like?
    Hmmmm…A long trail run with friends followed by amazing food. Followed by time at the beach, toes in the sand, and deep breaths of ocean air. Oh, and a glorious nap. If we could throw some swings in there at some point, that would be great.
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  4. Do you have a favourite food?
    Pineapple. I would eat pineapple until all those enzymes in it make my mouth raw.
    Honeycrisp apples with almond butter coming in for a close second.
  5. Do you have a best friend?
    Yes. His name is Monkey, and he is the best four-legged friend a girl could ask for.
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  6. What have you done that you are most proud of?
    Of these 10 questions, this was the most difficult to answer. I don’t know that there’s anything I’ve ever done that I am particularly proud of. Many goals I’ve worked to achieve, accomplishments I’ve made…
    Perhaps the most noteworthy experience is something worth mentioning. Last summer, I climbed Mt. St. Helens by the moonlight to watch the sunrise at the top. Not a huge feat, but certainly one of my most favorite memories.
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  7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
    Is everywhere too ambiguous of an answer? I went to SE Asia over 5 years ago for 3 months. That is the last time I’ve really travelled internationally, save for a couple trips to BC and Quebec. But those hardly count.
    Real answer is this: I would be willing to take the next international flight out of the country, wherever it may be headed. I’ve quelled the feelings of wanderlust for now in order to focus on school and achieving goals. But really, I want to see all the world has to offer. Each destination has something unique and amazing to offer, and I cannot wait to someday explore.
    I’m going to see all 7 continents, remember?
  8. Do you have a favourite quote?
    It changes often. Right now, it is this: “Wherever you are, be all there.”
    I’ve been so focused lately on trying to live in the moment, enjoying it for what it is worth, instead of planning what I am going to do next. Truly trying to enjoy and savor.
  9. If anything was possible, what would you invent?
    A teletransporter. End of story.
  10. What would your superpower be?
    To control time. Stop, pause, fast-forward. (Does this mean I have control issues?)
    I mean, I’ve already learned to fly. It’s a knack, really. You just learn to throw yourself at the ground and miss. (Help: here.)

My nominees:

Now a few questions for them:

1. Who is the most inspirational person in your life, and why?

2. What is your dream job?

3. What made you decide to start a blog?

4. What is your favorite song right now?

5. How would you describe your philosophy in life?

6. Where is your favorite place in the entire world?

7. Is there anything you cannot live without? Why?

8. Name your three biggest goals in life.

9. Do you have any random talents?

10. What is the best compliment you’ve received?

11. If the answer is 42, what is the question? (If you need help on this one, click here.)

With that, I keep it short and sweet. Portland is experiencing some awesomely different conditions that have rendered the entire city useless. Everything is shut down, and Portland residents this morning received an alert advising everyone to stay indoors today and not drive. A few inches of snow accumulated, turned freezing rain.

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That’s fine, I’ll stay home. And run through the streets. And make snow angels. And take running selfies. I hope everyone out there in Portlandia’s Snowmageddon/Snowpocalypse is staying safe!

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I think they call this ‘cheesin.’

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Addictions.

Hello. My name is Jessica, and I am addicted to almond butter. And gum. And running. And cupcakes.

Handling these addictions is not easy. But I manage.

I once tried to quit chewing gum cold turkey. It lasted 2 weeks. I developed other nervous habits…clenching my teeth, biting my nails, chewing my lip. It was really rather unhealthy. And besides, what reason is there to stop chewing gum? It’s not bad for you. After all, Trident contains xylitol! Xylitol helps to neutralize the pH in your mouth after you eat, preventing your mouth from becoming too acidic (read: it helps prevent cavities!) But, when I realized I consumed an entire Costco size pack of gum in 3 weeks, I knew a had a bit of a problem. 3 weeks = 21 days, Costco container of Trident Original contains 20 packs with 18 pieces in each. 20×18= 360. 360 pieces of gum in 21 days. That’s just shy of a pack a day. It’s like I’m a smoker. I’ve quelled this obsession down to a piece of gum after each meal. You have to remember, I love teeth. And that piece of gum is the fastest way to fresh breath and peace (piece? hah.) of mind.

Two weeks ago, I travelled to Seattle for my lovely Auntie’s birthday. In addition to celebrating with family, I decided to be a complete tourist and traipse around Pike Place Market with a good friend of mine.

Anyone heard of Post Alley with the delightfully disgusting gum wall?

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Isn’t it lovely? 6 feet of sugary bubble tape purchased.

4 1/2 consumed to create this splendid work of art.

Number of times I touched the wall: 37.

Ew.

My next addiction: almond butter.

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The above is hands down the best snack in the entire world. There’s just something so entirely blissful about munching down on a sweet-tart Pink Lady apple and 2 spoon fulls of crunchy, nutty, wholesome almond butter…

A really rather healthy addiction. Unless you consider the fact that each tablespoon contains 100 calories. One hundred calories of bliss. I usually purchase it at the grocery stores that offer the ‘grind it yourself’ type option. That way it’s fresh almonds and no added sweetener. That being said, I have a particular weakness for Justin’s brand Maple Almond Butter. There was this once that I consumed an entire pound in 2 days. Please don’t judge.

My third and newest addiction….running.

 

I think about it, dream about it, talk about it; it’s incessant, really. The half-marathon is less than a month away, and I cannot shut up about it. I want to run every day, but refrain. You see, my left hip was recently replaced by that of an 80-year old woman’s. I’m none too sure what’s going on. It’s encouraging the people I’ve talked to lately that are also runners. Rain or shine, they’re out there getting their run on. No such thing as bad weather they say, only soft people.

Suddenly, my thoughts are filled with the next pair of running shoes I’m going to purchase, the GPS watch/heart rate monitor I want and how much waterproof gear I really need (a lot). The Camelbak I want. All those fabulous knee high socks I saw at the running store… Now I know what is going on the Christmas wishlist.

The above are shoes I scored at the Nike Employee Store. LunarEclipse +. Retro and super comfortable. Not recommended for runs longer than 5k.

Filling my thoughts too is what half-marathon I’m going to run next. I’m not stopping at one. And there are so many options. You can go on vacation and run a race? I like this thought. Though, that Rock and Roll Half-Marathon in Las Vegas doesn’t sound too brilliant. Alcohol and athletic achievements aren’t generally synonymous.

Let’s talk about Progress:

Cross-training has been mediocre at best. I’ve been a slacker at strength training. Stretching is becoming my best friend. But, I’ve been a good runner.
I’m up to running 20 miles a week now. 20 miles. Boys and girls, I feel like a badass. I want to shout this aloud. Do a happy dance. Tell anyone who will listen and force those who won’t. Never in my life have I run this much. Sunday, I ran 7 miles without stopping. And it felt good. Who am I and when did I become a legit runner?

My biggest obstacle: my brain. The negative self-talk. ‘Oh, you’ve been running for so long, your legs must be tired.’ ‘Your lungs are hurting…stop’ I’ve just had to give my brain the middle finger (kindly, of course) and turn of whatever obnoxious tunage I have on at the time to drown out that silly little voice.

Don’t worry, I can do this. And I will. Just watch.

My shin splints are immensely better. I’m unsure whether this is due to ice, ibuprofen or incredible compression socks. Let’s just call them the Terrific Trio and leave it at that.

My hip is another story though. Sigh.

What I’ve learned: I love running in the rain. 4 degrees C for a run is absurd not bad once you start moving. Windshield wipers need to be invented for glasses as they tend to fog and obscure one’s field of vision. I hate wearing pants.

All gone.