Saturday, October 30, 2010

A day at the zoo

Friday came clear and sunny and I headed off to the zoo.  I had planned to get up early enough to go see the Annual Squishing of the Squash but I slept in late and missed it.  I did get to see the carnage left afterwards; looks like a good time was had by all.  Except for maybe the pumpkin.

I took the big fancy digital SLR with me.  I favor the big zoom lens, making it heavy and bulky, so I don't often take it out unless my main object is taking pictures.  The zoo is one of my favorite places to do this.

These are all straight out of the camera shots and I was shooting on auto so some are a bit overexposed. 

I pretty much know the zoo layout by heart.  I usually go towards the steller cove exhibit to start, but this time I decided to start with the northwest exhibits.  Bears, elk, cougar, eagles, salmon, wolves.

This was my favorite part of the whole day, and my favorite shot.  Across from the wolf and elk enclosure -- which makes me laugh that they are next to each other, separated only by a chain link fence -- there is some construction going on with big heavy earth moving equipment.  The wolf didn't seem to like the noise; you could hear him singing from a ways away.  I expressed my sympathies, he let me take a few shots and then he let me sing with him.

What makes me laugh more than the elk and wolf enclosures being separated by a chain link fence is that in the middle of the northwest exhibit -- you know, with the wolves, cougar, and bears -- is the petting zoo.

Don't you think he looks a little nervous?

The penguins were just relocated on Wednesday to the polar bears' winter pool.  No, the polar bears weren't also there.  Bummer.  You know, for taking pictures of them.

One cool thing about being there on a fall Friday afternoon -- other than how few people were there -- was that you got a different look at many of the animals.  The penguins were sunning themselves.  Several keepers were out doing various things; one guy was inputting data on his laptop on the chimpanzees and telling us which ones were which, their histories, and so on.  The lorikeet attendant pointed out a couple of babies and then she was holding one on its back in her arms and playing with it like it were a kitten.  (Sadly, there were almost no lorikeets out, one of my favorite exhibits -- I didn't realize the zoo closed at 4:00 and they all headed inside around 3:45 for their dinner.)

The Malaysian sun bear was begging for his dinner.  You can't tell from this picture, but they have a leopard patterned ruff on their chests and really long claws.  I call them the Zsa Zsa Gabor bears.

Not bad for being taken through thick plexiglass.

The elephants were all ready for their dinner too.

Except for baby Samudra, who still wanted to play and kept biting the other elephants in the butt.

One thing I most wanted to see on this trip to the zoo was the new Savannah exhibit.  The last time I was at the zoo was for the Turkey Trot, and the exhibit hadn't opened yet. 

All of the shots in the Savannah exhibit are taken through plexiglass.  I got this second shot when she spotted me.  Through the glass.  I wonder how long it took her to stop thinking "snack!" when she saw people on the observation deck. 

If she's stopped thinking it.

Sadly, the sun was shining through the plexiglass in front of where the male was sleeping on top of a big rock so none of those shots turned out the way I would have liked.  Although it does give it a certain dreamy quality, no?  Where he's indulging in all the snacks on the other side of the glass.  And I'm not entirely certain he couldn't have jumped from his rock over that plexiglass if he really wanted to. 

I got this one when she spotted me through the glass too.  I too was thinking "snack!" when she turned and came right for me. 

This was right after a man with kids referred to me as "the photographer." 

I always get that when I'm shooting with this camera.

It really was a beautiful day.  By closing time, everyone was snoozing in the sun.

Regardless of whether it was artificial or not.

One of the Stevie Wonder sea lions.  (Both the zoo's sea lions are blind.)

And then it was time to say "good bye!"

Remember to support your local zoo!

the CilleyGirl

P.S.  Hi Geralynne!!  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekly recap and Run Like Hell Portland

The plague!!!  The plague has me!!

I didn't get much running done again this week.  Booooo :(  The past week is an odd blur so I don't remember precisely what was up each day but I know I was definitely not feeling well.  I did my 10K race on Sunday and that was it.  I didn't even really want to do that -- it was cold and rainy and I felt yucky -- but I also didn't want to waste the money.

So, the Run Like Hell Portland.  The race has a 5K, 10K, and half options.  Last year I did the 5K, this year I needed a 10K to complete my 2010 racing goals and the Run Like Hell was it.  The theme this year was Alice in Wonderland.  I was going to do the easy bunny ear thing, but I knew it would be raining and therefore I'd be wearing a hat and have you ever tried to put bunny ears on a ball cap?  My luck they would turn out to have some sort of weird dye in them and once they got wet they'd permanently stain me fuchsia or something. 

It was definitely raining Sunday morning so my mom (down for a visit this past weekend) opted not to come spectate.  Wuss.  Sunday is kind of a blur too -- too many cold meds lately, I guess -- but I think I was wearing a long-short sleeved tech tee and running capris for the race.  The temp was in the mid 50s so since I nearly always have the sleeves on a long sleeve shirt pushed up to my elbows, I figured I'd be just as warm (or cold) in that particular tech tee which has short sleeves that end at my elbows -- hence the long-short sleeved designation.  It stopped raining about 20 minutes into the race, enough to get us wet and soak your shoes pretty good with all the puddles.  Then the sun came out for a while, nice with the warmth and the no rain, not so nice with the blinding glare off the wet streets.  Because who wears sunglasses when it's been raining? 

I ended up being at a good temp during the race, only chilly when we were running by the river with the wind that comes off it.  It wasn't my best race, but I ran at a consistent pace and didn't walk much.  1,141 people finished the 10K race; 780 of those were female, which seems to me a weird skewing.  I finished 1,061st.  My official time was 1:31:39, but that included a three minute wait for a train to go by.  I didn't bother to e-mail the race folks to get my time adjusted.  (My Garmin had 1:28, since I stopped it for the train.)  At the peak of my marathon training, I could do a 10K in 1:15.  Since I've been sick for five weeks now and ran only a dozen times since May I was realistic about how I'd do in this race.  I wanted to finish in 1:30, so I was happy with meeting that goal. 

I haven't set any real running goals for this week yet.  I turn 40 tomorrow, and I'm thinking of running after I get up.  Or not.  I'm very much a "do whatever the hell you want to do on your birthday" kind of person.  So I might blog tomorrow.  Or not.  It will be my birthday, after all :)

the CilleyGirl

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly recap and this week's goals

After sleeping roughly 24 hours between Friday and Saturday nights, I took my Cute But Stupid dog out for another run at the Springwater Corridor Trail.  I was aiming for somewhere between three and six miles, depending on how I felt.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. 

While I was struggling to breath for the first two miles or so, CBS did really, really well.  She stayed closer to my side or else went out in front of me, which was a Very Good Thing because during the whole time we were out there, only ONE bicyclist gave warning that he was passing.  ONE.  Everybody else just sped on by, and some cut it really close.

One kid had to skid to a stop to avoid crashing into me, the dog, and a woman coming in the opposite direction.  Idiot.

It was bright and sunny but not incredibly hot.  I got a good sweat going and CBS was a happy dog.

We ran out to what I call the beehives, these cool sculptures on the side of the trail.

It was just a great day to be out.  See how great CBS looks?

You'd just never guess that 30 minutes later, just past mile five, she collapsed on the side of the trail.

Dramatic re-enactment.

We were about a half mile from the car when she stopped.  I thought she was stopping to sniff at something, and when I turned around to look her back legs were crossed over each other funny.  I thought had just lost her balance or something, and then down she went.  For a second she was laying down but still with her head up and I wondered if she had something in her paw.  Then she really went down.  She got stiff all over first, then her head arched back and she made this straining sound.  I thought, leg cramp?  I started rubbing down her back and her legs, checking for swelling or hard spots but nothing.  I tried to give her water but she wouldn't take any.  For a good three minutes, it was as if she wasn't in there anymore.  I checked her heart but it wasn't fast (I realized a minute later that it should have been, after the exercise) and she wasn't panting either.  I kept stroking her and finally she started to pant a little bit and then she started to drink the water.  She sucked nearly 10 oz out of my Nathan bottle.  She got her head up a bit and coughed, then lay back down again.  I gave her the other bottle and she drank nearly all of that too.  She started to pant more and finally I was able to get her sitting and then standing.  Then it was as if none of it had happened.  She wanted to trot again and then run -- I wouldn't let her after all of that.  We walked slowly back to the car, where she drank a little more water and then she was ready to poke her head out the car window and go for a ride.

Scary!!!  There were long moments where I thought for sure I'd be carrying my dead dog back to my car.  Stroke?  Heart attack?  I'm pretty sure she just got overheated and more or less passed out from it.   I always stop for water breaks when I have my dogs with me but she wouldn't take more than a couple of drops if that.  It wasn't all that hot, but we were on asphalt.   We'd slept in late that day and left about a half hour after getting up, so she probably was a bit dehydrated to start.  She drank even more water when we got home, plus I fed her a bunch of biscuits to get her doggy blood sugar up.  But within an hour after it happened, you never would have known it.  She was completely back to normal, begging for bites of my lunch.

So, no more runs with the pup.  We were just starting to get the hang of it too.  Oh well, I'd rather have a live dog than a dead running partner.

Recapping last week:

Monday - rest.  Done!
Tuesday - 3 miles.  Done!  3.01, actually.
Wednesday - rest.  Done!
Thursday - 3 miles.  Not done!  The ick flared up and I didn't want to get sicker.
Friday - 3 miles or cross train.  Not done!  Still felt like crap, nearly fell asleep on the drive home. 
Saturday - rest.  Done!  I did nothing but rest on Saturday.
Sunday - 3 miles.  Done!  5.76 miles, actually.  I felt lousy the first half of the run, but a lot better the second half.  Until the dog passed out.

Total miles:  8.77 miles.

This week's goals:

Monday - rest.
Tuesday - 3.5 miles.
Wednesday - rest.
Thursday - 3 miles.
Friday - 3 miles or cross train.
Saturday - rest.
Sunday - Run Like Hell 10K. 

Remember:  Whether your running buddy has two legs or four, make sure they stay hydrated!!

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Braaaains..... braaaains.......

Full on sick ick is back :(  I had high hopes that I would only need to skip Thursday's run and that I could do 4 miles on Friday and 5 miles on Sunday and still end the week with my mileage on plan.  But no.  Well, I haven't completely given up on a long run for tomorrow but I'm little more than a lump on the sofa today. 

So instead I will take the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful award I received from One Crazy Penguin

Thank you!!!!  My cilley readers know I'm all about supporting the slower runners among us, those who understand what it means just to cross the finish line, and she does an awesome job of this so please give her a read :)

The rules on the award:  (1) Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award, (2) share seven things about yourself, and (3) pass the award on to other bloggers you know are fabulous.   Here goes...

1.  I love college football, although given that I am the type of person to pick up a new book and read the ending first, I only watch my own college team (Go Cougs!!) because I can't stand the suspense otherwise.

2.  I have a thing about time.  I love clocks and calendars.  I have something like eight clocks throughout my home and get at least five calendars every new year.  Something about the reliable passage of time comforts me -- that no matter what is going on, a minute is always 60 seconds, and so forth.  It may feel like it takes forever but it is always the same for everyone.  Time:  the great leveler.

3.  I like having pedicures and manicures but I hate the actual process of getting them.  I grit my teeth as they file my nails.  I flinch as they pumice the soles of my feet.  I wince as they trim my cuticles.  It's getting to the point where I start to have an anxiety attack when I go in to get one.  But I love the end result.

4.  My favorite color is twilight, that bluish/lavender color of a summer sky after the sun has gone down but before the moon has risen.  I want to paint my bedroom that color but I still haven't found precisely the right shade. 

5.  I alphabetize all of my books, CDs, and movies, and then I put them in chronological order if applicable (like with a movie trilogy).  How else can you find what you are looking for?  I love that my DVR does this for me.

6.  My first car when I turned 16 was a 1977 MGB, just like the one in the poster below.  My dad and I did a lot of work on it over the years.  Eventually I had to sell it because I didn't have the money to fully restore it and I couldn't drive it when it wasn't 100% reliable. 

Some day I want to restore another MG or maybe something like a Morgan below.  The MG is probably more practical; either way, it would be fun.

7.  I can't play those video games where you're driving a car or things like that.  I have vertigo and being in that first-person position makes me nauseous and dizzy.  I have to constantly fight to keep a fixed point of reference or it will overwhelm me.  And the ones where it's a stand up video game with the gas pedal and the actual wheel and stuff?  Forget about it.  On the other hand, if they gave points for running off the road and wiping everything out that isn't on the game course, I'd be high scorer every time.

Now, on to passing along the award!  I hereby bestow this Versatile Blogger Award on....

The Devil's Starchy Fingers -- who's getting married!!

Running on Purpose -- who finally got to complete the Portland marathon!!

Mama's (soon to be) Fit Life -- who's having a baby!!
Life in Production -- who keeps doing it day after day !!

Baby Weight My Fat Ass -- who just pulled off an amazing marathon finish in Chicago!!
I'm off to hold down the couch some more, maybe I'll even get really crazy and shower.  Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Thursday Drive-By

Hello all you cilley folks!  I've got a nifty little blog post planned but just can not find the time or the energy to put it all together.  So I thought I'd drop in real quick to let you know that I am still alive and that there are good things to come.  Work is crazy and I still have the ick, which is now doing its best to drown me in my own nasal lubricant (a much better term than "snot", yes?). 

I did go run three miles on Tuesday as per the training schedule and plan to go after work tonight as well.  I'm supposed to go in the mornings before work -- I hate having to shower multiple times in a day -- but with the ick I'm not sleeping well and it's nearly impossible to overcome my early-morning zombie-like state right now.  I did think about getting up at 6:00 a.m. this morning.  Actually at 6:00 a.m. I thought about this.  But I did not.  Because I have the ick.

Which reminds me.  Last November I joined a gym with an indoor track.  It used to be a YMCA and it is being renovated into an Allstar Fitness.  The renovations are desperately needed.  I was there a lot between January and April and the renovations were slow but moving along.  I last went to said gym in April.  In the six months since, know what they've done?  Put the mirrors back up and the hair dryers back out in the ladies' locker room.  That is IT.  I'm getting a little cranky given I pay somewhat higher gym dues in anticipation of it being a fancy-schmancy gym.  I would like very much if they would get their shit together and FINISH THE REMODEL so that I can get what I pay for. 

I am off to sush.  Because I have the ick.  If I do make it to the gym after work tonight, there will probably be Burger King involved after that.  Because I have the ick.

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wrapping up a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Portland

Hello to all the new followers -- thanks for reading :)

Although my training plan for the past week had to go by the wayside thanks to a particularly persistent case of the ick that is still lingering, I did get out today for a five mile run with the CBS dog.

This was her second only run, but she did really well.  She only tried to kill herself once, and me once.  My shoulder is tired from muscling her in to me close enough so that she wouldn't dodge suddenly in front of bicyclists (her suicide attempts).  She had a LOT of energy -- pretty good for a 15 year old dog.  On the way back, she was running in a better position so that no one would trip over her, but then she was more easily distracted by sights and smells.  She spotted kayakers on the river and that's when she nearly killed me.  It's not so bad for her to cut across me, except that she doesn't do it with a forward momentum.  Instead, she stops and then cuts back to our right.  I nearly fell over her and my momentum nearly punted her off the path into the river. 

It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon in Portland.  Unfortunately for the marathoners, it was POURING for the race this morning.  But by 1:00 the sun was out and it was temperate and dry.  CBS and I did a nice easy run and then she cooled her feet in the river.

I was tempted to join her -- curse my pasty white complexion!

By the time we got back to the car, I was worried I'd broken the dog, but after a few licks to her feet she was ready for our next adventure.

The training for this week:

Monday:  Rest.

Tuesday:  Three miles.
Wednesday:  Rest.
Thursday:  Three miles.
Friday:  Three miles or cross train.
Saturday:  Rest.
Sunday:  Three miles.

Boy, am I happy about that rest day tomorrow!

the CilleyGirl