S’mores Summer

Had a day out with Gandalf 🙂 Took him to get pampered by a bunch of different friends and he loved all the extra attention. If you have a parrot you know how incredibly needy they are; I love it but most people aren’t prepared. Do your research and take the time to properly socialize them! Checked out more land as well… Didn’t quite find the right place yet. Still looking. I think my agent was a bit surprised to have a parrot look at land, but he won her over with some well placed whistles.

Go play outside! (And treat yourself to a smores coffee… But only one, they’re full of sugar)

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Wy’east Howl 1/2 Marathon

Number 33 in the books! Also means I officially knocked another one of my summer goals out. Stoked 🙂

I took a ton of pictures but none of them really did justice to how beautiful the course was. Wildflowers were EVERYwhere. Also, since the elevation was so high the temperature stayed about 60 the whole time- my favorite for running long distance. No issues with my foot, but my knees were pretty shot by the end. Just a ton of steep ups and downs (first and final few miles were straight up and down the ski lift route).

Happy ending

Some random stud on the trail…

Wildflowers everywhere

Race followed trails around the Meadows ski resort

Umbrella Falls

More wildflowers

Felt like I was in the Sound of Music

I dunno why we couldn’t just take the dang lift up and start at the top

So so so pretty

Taking all these pics was a great excuse to take a rest break

Multiple stream crossings

Trail routes

Overall, a fun group of people to run with, amazing food at the finish, and the 3rd toughest race I’ve done to date.

Go play outside!

My First Bass

I have had a fishing bet going for a while now with one of my co-workers and I’m happy to say I won today! The bet was to see who could pull a bass out of the Tualatin River behind our work first (bank fishing, no kayaking or boat). Loser has to buy the winner dinner.

So I went fishing on my lunch break today and I caught my first ever bass! Tiny little guy, but still a small mouth bass and still a win. Let the little feller go to grow bigger. Learned how to do a Texas rig too. Getting better at this fishing thing!

Go play outside! And enjoy a victory dinner!

Easy 4

Still having issues with my foot. Ran an easy four this morning and felt good but not quite where I was a month ago. Frustrated at my low mileage. I need a solid day out on the trails.

Usually this Creek is filled with running water but it’s been pretty dry lately

Great fishing spot near here if you’re willing to go off trail a bit

So glad the pups don’t chase cows cus we ran right into these ladies when we turned a corner. I dunno who was more surprised.

3 wet happy dogs

Atleast the dogs enjoyed themselves. Go play outside… And try to not get frustrated by a nagging pain in your foot…

Run at Jetty Lagoon

Enjoyed a nice 3 mile run today at Fort Stevens State Park. The last few times I went out to this area, I explored just the bunker area, but this time I actually drove out along the jetty. There’s a ton of trails out there that I checked out just a bit (about a mile down a few), but settled on exploring the lagoon area before the tide came in. Adding it all together, it was about 4.5-5 miles of running (barefoot…felt so good).

View from the top of one of the side trails

Ended up seeing a ton of pelicans in formation, which I’ve never seen before, but non of the pics turned out…super cool though

Weirdest little spot you’d expect to find a cool lagoon at

The tide was completely out when I got there; that marker is usually surrounded by water

Beautiful

Weird little bugs like this were everywhere…Zev loved it

Again, this tuft of sea grass type stuff is normally covered with water. Now it just looks like a giant caterpillar

The water out there was actually super warm. If it weren’t for the cold wind I would’ve swam more.

 

Cape Lookout State Park

Four mile hike at this place. Honestly, the hike itself didn’t have a whole lot of great viewing opportunities, but when there was a break in the tree line, the coast looked amazing. I almost liked the camping area more than the hike itself.

Check out his eye pin

One of the best views from up top

Campground area

Gandalf on things

Love that bird

So so so pretty

Pups liked playing here

Baxter’s throne

Cool tree arch

Even the trees were cool looking

Finally chilled out

View from halfway up

Gandalf still on stuff

Separate side trail

Looks like a wooded hallway

Go play outside!!!

How I Set My Personal Goals

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I’ve been on a big goal kick lately (hence the 3+ posts), and I wanted to add my own personal system just to give another perspective on how to knock stuff out in life.  Though my whole degree is fitness oriented, I am an equal believer in balance; you need a balance in all areas to lead a healthy, well-functioning existence.  You need to work hard, but play hard; you need to exercise and eat well; you need to be active and rest; you need to strengthen your mind and your muscles.

The following is more of a step-by-step breakdown for how I create my personal goals.  I use the main idea presented here to help set up goals for my clients, which I have seen success with.  It works for me, so hopefully it works for you.  Again, it’s my own personal method, so use it as a roadmap and tweak it for your own needs.  Feel free to shoot me any questions, I’m more than happy to help!

To start, I base all my goals off of a 90-ish day cycle based off the season.  Therefore my goal dates look like this:

Spring:  March 1st-May 31st

Summer:  June 1st- August 31st

Fall:  September 1st-November 30th

Winter:  December 1st-February 28th

Why do I use 90 days?  Well, to start with, it works for me.  There’s no point doing something if it doesn’t work.  Second, I have a horrendous case of ADHD.  I’ve learned to manage it over the years, but 90 days seems to be my limit for focused, in-depth attention to a specific set of goals before I find the need to move on.  Finally, 90 days is enough time to see a major improvement in a set goal, yet isn’t an overwhelmingly long time to wait.  For example, one of my goals a few years ago was to learn how to play the violin.  Obviously, to master a skill, it will take way longer than 3 months.  If you want to learn more about mastery, I highly recommend the book Outliers which mentions the concept that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill.  However, if you want to see a positive change, you really can make quite a bit happen within that smaller time-frame.

With that violin goal, I didn’t become a concert violinist within 3 months, but I was able to play multiple songs and perform various techniques within that time-frame and even performed a song in front of a group of people at the end of that time without embarrassment.  Also, when condensing time to attain a goal, there is a heightened sense of “rush” if that goal’s deadline is shorter.  If I gave myself a year, I, personally, would not have had the drive to push quite as hard; I would have made the same amount of work take up the span of a year versus 90 days.  I also try to tell as many people as possible about my goals and include updates to help hold myself accountable, which is another key to success and why I list all my goals on this blog.

I have long term goals too, but always break them into 3 month chunks.  At some point, I would love to run a 100 mile race.  Training for that will likely take a solid year of hard work.  So what’s my 3 month goal?  Run 2 1/2 marathons.  My next set of goals with include completing one full marathon.  So Summer is setting a base, while my fall goal will build upon what I did during the summer by increasing the distance and challenge.  At some point next year, I’m sure “complete my first 50 mile race” will be on the list.

So, the next step I use, is to look at exactly what your goals are.  People usually know, broadly what they want, but not quite how to get there.  Reverse engineering is a useful tool if this is the case.

How to reverse engineer:

Example A:  I want to complete a 5K

To complete a 5k you need to run 3 miles continuously, so steps could be worked backwards like this:

Complete 5K

Run 3 miles with walk break after every mile

Run 2 miles without stopping

Run 1.5 miles without stopping

Run 1 mile without stopping

Learn proper running form

Invest in a decent pair of running shoes

Sign up for a 5K

Or something of that nature.

Another tool that’s useful is my description method.  If someone were to describe you to someone else, what would they say?  What do you want them to say?  An athlete?  A polyglot?  Kindhearted?  Endless energy?  Dang they can play the ukulele well?  Really, it’s up to you and aim for the stars on this one; don’t limit yourself- knock it out.

After you determine your own set of descriptors, break down what exactly those mean.  I’ll take one of mine for an example.

I want to be known as someone who is a survivor.

So I defined what this meant first because I couldn’t reverse engineer without knowing exactly what a “survivor” was.  My thoughts went something like this:

Someone who could survive would be in good shape.  They would have the knowledge of how to perform various outdoor skills, and be comfortable performing a few essential ones despite the weather conditions.  A survivor is also strong mentally and has some grit; they persevere through tough times.  They are someone you’d want to be with when shit hits the fan.

There was my definition, so here are some goals that follow that example:

Learn how to start a fire using 5 different methods

Practice building a survival shelter in different landscapes

Practice knots, making fire, and other skills in cold and wet conditions

Do things that build grit at least once a day (aka things that just suck)

Learn how to forage in the PNW

Keep within my healthy body fat percentage

Learn emergency first aid

Just to name a few…

Finally, after all this is established, I pick 6 of my descriptors (there’s no particular reason why 6 except that’s my favorite number); 3 are physical skills and 3 are mental skills.  Again, I like balance, and I like to keep physically fit as much as I like to keep mentally fit.  Tying it in with ADHD and avoiding negative habits, having 6 things to aim for keeps me busy non-stop with no time for bad habits (drinking, video games, TV, etc.).  I also like my goals to be extremely challenging to the point where they seem almost unattainable because that makes conquering them feel absolutely amazing.

Once you have your set number of challenges picked out, take some time to outline them using the SMART principle.  Smart stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

5K goal example:

S:  I want to complete the Turkey Trot 5K in under 30 minutes

M:  Earning the medal race day with the time chip under 30 minutes measures it

A:  I can run 1 mile now, so 3 is doable

R:  The race is 3 months out, so that’s enough time to train up to that distance without injury

T:  I will complete this by the race date

That’s about it.  This is the main way in which I set up my own challenges and it’s worked really well for me.  The only other final step is, as I mentioned earlier, telling people about them, giving updates, and trying to set some sort of final “test” (race, performance, etc.).  Giving yourself a reward upon success is also a good option.  I recently treated myself to a girls trip to the beach if I stayed on the Dean’s list for my last semester of school, and it was extremely motivating for those days I needed to stay inside and study versus hit the bar with buddies.  That trip felt really good.

If you’d like to see what challenges I’m currently working on, check out this page here.

If you have any questions or help, feel free to ask and most importantly, go play outside!