Seattle Expectations v. Reality

The idea of moving somewhere new is often accompanied by the idea of starting over. Before I moved to Seattle, I thought a lot about the why. It’s a big change and I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons and with appropriate expectations.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a complete fresh start, after all, I’m still me. I changed a lot around me, but a simple move wasn’t going to change who I was. If I wanted to do that, that would take some work. I guess the potential for new things is the whole idea of a fresh start.

Here are some ideas I had of how my life in Washington would be different and how that’s working out for me:

I would be an amazing runner. Well, no. There are certainly more opportunities to run – better weather at any time of the day and fun, new exciting routes, but I have yet to pick up a five mile a day habit.

I would write all the time. Well, since I’ve moved here, the weather has been amazing and decidedly “Arizona winter-like” so my ideas of sitting at the window watching the rain, drinking tea and writing the next great American novel have not quite happened. Yet. Everyone keeps telling me this weather will not last. I’m pretty sure I brought it with me from the desert and it’s here to stay. Also, I don’t have a table at which to write.

Also, I would read all the time. When not inspired to put pen to paper fingers to keyboard, the rain would surely inspire me to curl up and devour books in solid chunks. Yes and no. I’ve made up some ground on the lack of books I read in January, but I haven’t spent a whole day reading…again, the weather is quite uncooperative. My favorites this month: This Is Where I Leave You and Big Little Lies.

I would be so city chic. I couldn’t figure out my fashion in Arizona and I can’t figure it out here and that’s okay. Tell that to the five boxes of online shopping orders sitting on my bed.

My dog would become a city boy and come everywhere with me in this dog friendly city. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. In the city, Rigo is even more scared and neurotic and bossypants. I’m working on this.

I would be super social. My job pretty much requires it and as a social introvert, I can hang, but I’m quite aware of when I need my alone time to recharge. However, my friend Robin who once upon a time relocated to Arizona has told me I must say yes to social invites until I have three friends, so I am getting out there. I knew people before I moved here, so while I’m being social with them, I’m afraid they don’t count toward my new friend tally, so for now I’m going to say I’m 0 for 3, but still going for it. My March is full of book clubs because this girl knows how to party.

Speaking of…I would have dance parties pretty much all the time. No. I have yet to push away my coffee table and dance it out.

I would be a terrible (scared and timid) city driver. No. Well, I’m actually the terrible (zipping around and driving fast) driver in a sea of pretty nice and courteous drivers. Normal in Arizona = asshole in Washington. Got it. I also assumed I’d be scared of parallel parking as I’ve never really learned how to do it. Now, a month in, by trial and error (but no dinged bumpers), I’m really good at it and I just want to do it all the time. But not on hills.

I would live in an amazingly beautiful place. Yep. There was only one day when I was coming into Seattle from the east when the water and city came into view and I was like, meh, seen it, and I realized it was far too soon to be unimpressed by the beauty and start taking it for granted. Even growing up in Arizona and being there for the last five years, I would still look around and remember how pretty it is, in its own right. It was a “pretty” I got used to, which is why I think Seattle, being so different, is just gorgeous. I can’t wait for spring and summer when there will be even more green!

Aaaand, now I realize that many of my expectations of city life and Seattle life have come from pop culture – The Killing, SATC, 10 Things I Hate About You, Fraiser, Grey’s Anatomy, Sleepless in Seattle.

Overall, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be exactly how I pictured it in my head. The ups and downs of real life are much better!

Easy Workout: Run the Dogs

Spring in Arizona: The days are getting longer, the afternoons are getting hotter, but the mornings are just getting gorgeouser.

Longer days + my later work schedule = waking up to nature’s alarm clock. The sun starts creeping in about 6:30 and I tried to fight it for the last few weeks, but this week I decided to embrace it.

When I took my new job, I really wanted to use the morning hours I was used to being up and at work anyway. It has worked, but more often than not, it has failed miserably. Not this week – and it wasn’t even a huge commitment.

When the sun woke me up about 40 minutes before I HAVE to get up, instead of fighting it for those 40 minutes, I laced up and took the pups for runs! This is the most genius thing I have done in a while, which is why I’m so excited to tell you. It’s probably common sense to everybody else and their mom, but for me, it took a while to get there.

(Yes, pups plural. Allow me to introduce Lily-girl, she is Sean’s dog.

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She’s a beautiful mutt – he was told boxer mix, but she turned out to be a tall and skinny medium-sized girl who looks more like a lab, whippet, Great Dane, maybe pointer of some sort, but everyone always tells us how gorgeous she is – her coat is super shiny! Sean got her as a puppy just a few weeks after we started dating and now, of course, we’re all together.)

Rigo is a racer and Lily is a bit of a klutz, so they can’t go together (maybe some day!), so one at a time, we go for a mile run. Then I do a few chores around the house, wait to stop sweating, take a shower and start my day – NBD.

Rigos happy post-run face

Rigos happy post-run face

We got these in three days this week and it was amazing because:

1. They got exercise so they wouldn’t go crazypants being in all day. 

2. I got exercise so if something came up after work and I had to skip my “real” workout, at least I got something for the day.

3. exercise-gives-you-endorphins

True story. I even made Sean’s lunch one morning – out of the goodness of my endorphin-loving heart. Running + sunshine is really just an amazing way to start the day.

4. As I said, Rigo’s a sprinter, but Lily’s no lazy girl, she keeps a pretty good pace. Our runs have been faster than my normal pace, which is great tempo training for my upcoming Pat’s Run.

5. I didn’t feel guilty about staying in bed when I was awake and could have been doing something more productive.

6. It’s good preparation for the summer when morning workouts will be the only option – if even that…there will probably be some days it’s just too hot for them.

So, that’s my life/exercise hack for the day – an easy-to-commit-to workout that kills about six stones with two little miles.

Super Pup

In honor of National Puppy Day (yeah, it’s a thing), here’s a post I’ve had as a draft for too long and it’s about time I admit this to you…

Recently, I have been ousted as the fittest being in my house.

Who me?!

I’ve had Rigo the Super Pup for almost five months now and we’re finding our routine.  We do a little something different every day to expel his puppy energy – long walks, dog park, long walks to the dog park, running around like crazypants (him, not me).

In the past few months or so, the long walks turned into runs.  He’s made my Garmin display paces it hasn’t ever seen (well, maybe while riding my bike), but chasing him makes it somehow easier (similarly, the fastest I EVER saw my Girls on the Run run during practice was when the workout involved a game of chase). Luckily he still gets a little distracted and stops pretty quickly, so they’re interval runs for sure.

Mostly, we take a little 1.75 mile loop around my neighborhood. It’s a nice workout for him and a nice addition to my regular training.  I like that it’s a constant that will allow me to really track improvements, whether it’s the time it takes or how the distance we run before taking a walk break.

We’ve started taking the runs to the Scottsdale greenbelt so there are fewer lights but more people and dogs and ducks (he needs a little social immersion) and he does very well.  He’s a pretty good training buddy.

And then we get home and he does this, which is sometimes nice too:

I actually took the Super Pup to a race last weekend and am just waiting on some pics to do a recap!

If you’re thinking he looks like a totally different dog, here’s his before and after from his first big boy haircut earlier this month:

Happy Puppy Day!

About a Boy

…dog. Yes, about a boy dog.

An itty bundle of energy and feist and sweetness.

Meet Rigo.

He’s understandably vain because he’s so darn handsome! Just kidding…I wanted to see how he’d react to seeing another pup!

In all naked honesty, when I got him, I freaked out, like, who thought it was a good idea to put me in charge of this little thing? Oh, that’s right, I did. Thinking about the responsibility, reading about it, puppy-proofing and decking out the house are good places to start, but having a puppy is totally different. It’s been a week and a half and we’re pretty cool with each other now. 

He’s smart and stubborn, just like his mom.  His current goal is to get on the couch and bed even if it means face-planting into the side and making a fool of himself.  He also has no concept of pacing, also quite like his mom, and frolics for a few yards then sits.  He’s pretty much 100% puppy. 

The life of a puppy...party until you pass out.

No, this isn’t turning into a “furmom” blog, but please anticipate random pics of mini schnauzer cuteness!