(Almost a month late)
Though we did a lot during our four-day trip, I mostly have pictures from our visit to Hugh’s grandparents in Perry and a walking tour around Tulsa. And they’re mostly of places and things, not humans.
August just went by so fast!
It all started, as most months do, on the 1st. August 1st, that is, when I started my new job (same company, new position, whole new world).
And then the month ticked away, as most months do, without me hardly knowing where the time was hurrying off to. Though I do remember pausing to make it out on the water one more time and to see two wonderful friends tie the knot. And there was an earthquake and a hurricane in there somewhere as well…
Oh yeah, and then the last weekend of the month, Hugh proposed at me.
And a few days later, we moved from two horribly unorganized apartments into one smaller one. It will forever live in my memory as the move that took forever. We drove that trailer up and down the highway, back and forth 30 or so miles, stopped at each apartment a time or two, and by the end of it we came home to our new place full of stuff we could barely stand to look at.
It started so innocently, with this little helper guy guarding my packing paper:
And this scene of chaos with furniture and bubble wrap and bridal magazines strewn about in my old place:
And then we moved for 18 hours straight, went to sleep, woke up bright and early to move some more. I of course did not take any pictures as I was busy having a mental breakdown over the sheer physics of the stuff-to-space ratio of our new place.
But eventually, things started coming along.
First and foremost, the board games got organized.
We put pictures up as we unpacked them, and I instantly fell in love with the fireplace (wood-burning!) and mantel.
And there was still stuff all over our dining room
But I had already organized the kitchen masterfully!
It has already been a wonderful place for me to cook and for Hugh to clean up and pack our lunches. It doesn’t hurt that you can see the TV from the sink.
We did end up having to shove stuff in closets this past weekend (our first normal one in the apartment) when we had a guest for two nights and hosted a game-watching for VT football Saturday.
Hugh lead the charge.
And by Saturday we had a cozy apartment for eating, beer-drinking, football-watching relaxation.
Now we just have to finish finding places for things, organize the patio we use for storage, and plan a wedding.
Meanwhile, Lily (who moved to the parents’ house to avoid the moving chaos) is living the life of luxury.
Approximately two months ago, Hugh signed us up for a 10K happening in DC on July 31st. Having never been a runner or having any interest in running, I saw the two months of preparation as a challenge that may result in any combination of injury, shame and complete failure.
I had doubts when I was running one mile every other morning in about 13 minutes and feeling the burn the rest of the day.
I still had some doubts after my first real set-back inspired my first really successful run.
I first felt truly confident when I finally passed the four mile mark with a month left before the race.
And when I finally ran over five miles just days before the race, I was still teetering between I can totally do this and Something’s definitely going to go wrong.
But Sunday morning came and I was cool as a cucumber. I got up before the sun, got dressed, pulled my hair into a tight enough ponytail, laced up my sneaks and headed to Hugh’s for pre-race breakfast.
Some water, some debate over whether to have coffee or not, and some peanut butter toast later we were driving across the Key Bridge and hunting for parking.
We were so early that we checked in, stashed our new shirts back in the car, milled around scavenging for freebies (including some vitacoco, which we were thankful for since there was pre-race water but no cups to drink it out of ) and did some light stretching mixed with a little sitting/yawning.
Whoever was working the mic had everyone corraled at the start line, did some talking about various charities, played a recording of Mariah Carey singing the national anthem, and while pretty much everyone was still disorganized and unsuspecting, he yelled GO.
So we ran. We passed some people and some people passed us. We got in our groove — rather, my groove that Hugh so graciously slows down to accommodate — and settled into a slightly-
faster-than-usual pace as we made our way along the C&O Canal Towpath. I felt great the whole time. No annoying cramps and no onset of exhaustion. My knee pain didn’t kick in until the last mile or so. We just trucked along, chatting about nonsense, mentally chanting slow and steady when someone who’d charged in front of us had to stop to walk.
And after crossing the finish line amid cheers from a group of strangers — race volunteers and other participants — we high-fived to the accomplishment of both of our 10K goals:
And we achieved both our goals within an hour and eight minutes, looking red, sweaty, and incredibly attractive.
Tired, happy and starving, we dragged our sweaty disgusting selves to Jessie & Troy’s for showers before sitting down to a massive brunch.
There was champagne involved. With a side of orange juice.
So I’ve checked ‘run a 10K’ off the life list, and it feels pretty good. Maybe I’ll run a longer race next. That’s a maybe.
I’m not running at all this week. That’s a definite.
It’s about darn time that I ran more than 4 miles in one attempt, considering our 10K is coming up this Sunday morning. Last night after scarfing down a particularly delicious dinner of gnocchi with tomato sauce, mozarella and goat cheese (inspired by this), I got a text from Hugh saying “Let’s run 6 miles tonight.”
Okay, sure. 6 miles. No big deal. The furthest I’ve run at one time is 4 miles, and that felt like such an achievement. I hadn’t run since last Wednesday thanks in part to a heat wave that’s been making it hard to even stand outside, let alone move. All things considered, I decided to change our goal from 6 miles to 5-6 miles.
Around mile two my dinner began revolting in the form of cramps and breathing problems. Two miles, Lauren? I thought to myself, two is not six. This math I am certain of.
Around mile three the recurring pain in my left knee started to throb. Thankfully the pain in my right knee (caused by an unfortunate fall on a metro escalator) has subsided so I took solace in that and continued on.
Around mile five Hugh was getting bored and my knee was growing less and less tolerable, so we decided to do a small loop or two in the parking lot and call it quits, knowing that pushing it now may jeopardize my ability to run Sunday.
So it turns out we ran 5.38 miles … at a snail’s pace. But, as usual, once I push through the initial discomforts of the run, I feel like I could keep running forever [within reason]. At least in last night’s lower temperature and less humidity. If it’s 100 degrees with 80% humidity Sunday morning, all bets are off.
The moment of truth is fast approaching…