today we spent the afternoon playing at the beach. i don’t know if i could ever live very happily long term if i wasn’t by the ocean.
it takes us a while to get to the beach. we walk to the bus stop and get on a bus, then we have to get on another bus and then we have to walk down the biggest hill imaginable. to get home we have to walk UP the biggest hill imaginable and try to catch two busses at the perfect time so we aren’t stuck waiting around the streets in the dark.
(it makes it much easier to climb to stairs back up the hill when the little monkey on my back is saying ‘bravo mama!’)
when we time it perfectly with the busses and bring a picnic for dinner (like we did today) it is the most magical way to spend the afternoon/evening. we made it home just in time to rinse off in the tub before reading books and going to bed.
on friday we went to bainbridge island with friends and on the weekend we drove to vancouver to stay with some friends and so the last three days have consisted of hot hot sun, late nights and very early mornings, boats trips and road trips, lots of playgrounds, lots of sand, busy markets, cheap sushi, seawall runs, big brunches at little nest, meeting new babies and not-so-new babies, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, eating too many blueberries and strawberries and watching our white winter skin turn brown.
lots of photos:
there’s something beautiful about being in a city long enough to see it in every season. the sunshine and the warm, the falling leaves and the rain. i love watching the same tree outside our house as it goes from bright and beautiful green, to vibrant orange and red, to bare and naked and cold. my relationship with seattle has definitely had its ups and downs, but i feel like the longer i’m here the more accepting i am and the more we can start to understand each other. if i was to live here longer i’m sure i could develop a wonderful relationship with this city. i want to say ‘thank you’ for never being too cold to run, for all the glorious playgrounds, for such great coffee, for the best yoga studio i’ve ever been to, for all the indoor playgyms and for all the free outdoor paddling pools, for the very long and hot and beautiful fall, for better mexican food than mexico, for having beaches nearby, for the friendly parents of young kids and for having a pretty AOK bus system.
anyway. i want to try and hold onto what this feels like.
i found some photos from our time here, in no particular order, just pictures that bring back nice memories for me so i thought i would share.
the house we stayed in for the first couple months.
so…the pictures are mostly just of mika…
learning how to walk (!!)
our local farmer’s market in the summertime
eating sweet corn almost every single day
first trip to the zoo (it rained)
breakfasts when she had a highchair
that time it was warm enough to play in water outside
before we had a dining table
before she loved the swings
how we eat when the sun is shining
sunny skies and tiny mika.
I’d eaten both the avocados. I didn’t even know we had two, but Ivan must have bought another one and so in lieu of anything more nutritious I decided to just eat them both. I actually saved half of one for Mika and then I craved something else but there was nothing else to eat. The downside of having no processed foods in the house I suppose.
So when Mika woke up I gave her half the avocado and fist pumped the air because she has started gobbling avocados. We were out of diapers so I needed to go to the supermarket and I looked outside and the rain was pouring and it was dark and I looked at the clock and it was only 4:15pm. Mika got in the stroller without too much fuss and we made it out the door, raincoat on, hood zipped up, rain-cover on the stroller and boots on my feet. It was a depressing 2 miles. Not even slightly enjoyable as I walked through near shin-deep puddles pushing a screaming fussy toddler.
Trader Joe’s always brightens my spirit. I turn a blind-eye to the extreme styrofoam and plastic packaging on their vegetables because dammit I love their bright colors and happy hand-written fonts and questionably low prices. I love their free coffee with soy creamer and sometimes vegan-friendly snacks. I love the staff and the happy stickers they give Mika at the checkout. And when I forget my ID I love that they never ID me. But then it makes me mad also. Don’t I look 19 anymore? ID me dammit.
My spirit was brightened, but quickly dampened the second I finished checking out. Raincoat back on. Rain cover zipped up. Wet pants. Wet feet. Wet hair. Sweaty.
I thought about winter in Seattle and I thought about winter in Vancouver and Auckland and wondered how I managed. And I remembered that in Auckland I had a car and I had a job and things to do and I never really was affected too much by the rain and the early nightfall. And in Vancovuer I didn’t have a car but I had school and I lived with 2 of my best friends and the earlier nightfall came the sooner we could party so it didn’t really matter much at all.
But now it’s just me and Mika and no car. And the mornings are OK, but she naps from 1:30-3:30 and by 4pm it’s dark and probably raining and we still have 2-3 hours before Ivan gets home and then another hour or so before her bed time and it is tough. We don’t have a big house or plenty of toys or a television or close friends nearby.
And so I think about buying a car even though I don’t want to. And I think about moving somewhere where it’s always sunny even though that’s really not an option right now. And I think about how.the.fuck I’m going to make it through the entire winter.
And that’s my story for today.
The national anthem started and I had tears in my eyes. Was it my national anthem? I don’t even really know what that means anymore, so sure. I’m in America now and I got tears in my eyes during the national anthem.
I have no idea why I got tears in my eyes. Maybe the tears were for the fact that right after Mika was born I couldn’t imagine ever running again, let alone racing half a marathon. Or maybe they were for the fact that late that night before the race, Ivan had cycled to Walgreens to get my watch fixed which I’d only just discovered had stopped working, even though he has so much work to do, just so I could get to bed early. Or maybe I was crying because of all the 5am starts and cold rainy runs that I’d done, knowing that I was working towards this. Or maybe it was out of love and respect for my body – my body that had been feeling achy and ill all week leading up to the race – that was somehow able to pull this off. Or maybe it’s because for the first day in more than a week, there was no rain, and later the sun would come out.
I didn’t cry. Just so you know. But then the starting bell went and as we passed our first group of supporters, cheering and yelling, I welled up again. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I laughed to nobody at how ridiculously happy I felt and how surprisingly good I felt as I followed the feet of the pacer infront of me.
Running 13.1 miles is much easier than running 21.1 kilometres. For one, writing 12 splits on my hand is much easier than writing 20. And mentally I found this race possibly the easiest I’ve ever run. This is how I broke it down:
- Run 5 miles at target pace. Assess how I feel at 5 miles. I was following the 1:45 pacer for the first 5 miles and I felt super.
- Feeling good? Bump it up slightly and run another 5 miles. So I dropped the pacer and bumped up my pace until I was coming through 2 minutes under my goal splits for the next 5 miles.
- Now I’m at the 10 mile mark. Only a 5k to go. Run that 5k as hard as I can. I was hoping I would pick up the pace even more. But my thighs were cramping up and I wasn’t even sure if I was running anymore. I kept up my pace, maybe increasing it a fraction, and wasn’t sure if I’d make it over the line in one piece.
- Boom. Done. I made it. In one piece.
My PB for a half marathon is 1:30:00. There’s no way I’m training at that level now, but considering my training I’m extremely happy with my time of 1:42:48 for this Seattle half marathon. Only 10 minutes slower than my best!
Waiting for the bus to brunch, check out that amazing christmas train set!! Mika couldn’t take her eyes off it.
Ivan and Mika were at the finish line to see me cross and although my body was like ‘whaat?’ seeing them there in the super cold at 9am was possibly the best thing in the world (brunch at Chaco Canyon an hour later was a close second).
Alright, I’ve run my post-baby half marathon, we can have another baby now.