Category Archives: Life

Aiming to Beam

Oh heeeeeeey.

I think I’ve lost track of what week of training I’m on as you know…life…has been a little bit chaotic.

Chaotic in the good way, chaotic in the “I just want to take a nap” way, but chaotic in the “I know I am so blessed to have this chaotic life” way.

Rather than trying to recap the multiple weeks of training that I’ve missed posting, I thought I’d share a bit about a redefined perspective, without divulging my inner soul.

This week in Portland, the sun came out. But in a blazing, 90 degree, record-breaking fashion that makes you yearn for AC and wonder if this is the antithesis of the crazy winter and that summer only holds more hilarious plot twists for us.

Regardless of the how hot it was and how truly unusual it is for Portland to see those temps in April, I noticed a dramatic shift. I felt like someone had turned on a light switch and all of a sudden I was beaming.

This pale skin, I burn just looking at the sun, gal’s attitude went from drudging along to literally clapping as I walked into the office shouting, “LET’S DO THIS PEOPLE.”

Maybe it was the surge of vitamin D.
Maybe it was my increased intake of iron-rich goodness after finding out I’m severely deficient.
Or maybe it’s because I’m trying to shift, reprioritize and little inner thinking.

Despite the strange stares, I rode this deep happiness high and took notice of just how much the dismal days of Portland’s winter had affected me (and they say it wasn’t even that bad of a winter).

Taking notice in your true inner self may sound like a line straight out of a pre-teen self-help book, but it had gone unnoticed for so long that I didn’t see what was, and is now, staring me in the face.

As I look back over the past weeks at all of the little things that make me beam, it’s easy to see the path ahead. Savoring the little moments, focusing on positivity, cherishing the time spent with loved ones, and appreciating any moment spent in the pool, in the saddle or on the road, despite the outcome of that workout.

It’s a long road ahead but I’m willing to put in the work. Here’s to a few of the things that made me smile and I hope you’re beaming as well.

   
9 Comments | Posted in Life

With love from London

What started as, “You’ll be going for a week,” then “you’re not going,” then “we need you for almost three weeks and you’ll be living out of a hotel room the entire time,” has resulted in an eye-opening experience that I am beyond grateful for.

At the end of March, I hopped on a plane to London for work and I am now sitting in the airport now on my way home, writing my, “Hello! I’m still alive!” post.

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If you looked at my Instagram feed, one would perceive that it was full of nothing but frolicking around a city that has grown to share a special place in my heart. But the reality of it all was that I would try to get in some version of training done in the mornings, then it was non-stop work, resulting in severe sleep deprivation, but a new sense of camaraderie with my team.

Overall, the event went off successfully and the team managed to pull off some of the best work I’ve seen, but this is a triathlon blog, not a “Page’s career blog” so allow me to shift topics: training was tough.

In the beginning, I was able to explore and discover new places to swim and run, but cycling was officially put on hold and the 20 meter pools left vague distance estimates. I’m going to leave the location recommendations for another post, but it has since been confirmed: the best way to see a city is by running it’s streets, it’s parks and discovering their historic pools. And I am officially in love with all of London’s parks.

Sorry NYC, you lose.

Aside from exploring, stress was high and I could feel it everywhere. My legs felt like lead, my heart rate was off the charts and sleep was minimal at best. But when I could, I dragged myself up and out, and kept things easy and device-less. London’s expansive parks were just what I needed to melt the stress — I even had one of those “moments.”

You know, when you’re running and despite your speed or how you physically feel, all of a sudden things just become overwhelmingly emotional. You’re happy because you love what it is that you’re body is capable of doing, you love your husband, love your family —  just overwhelming love brought to you by running and recognizing how happy it truly makes you. The cheese is overwhelming, but if you’ve experienced this, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

From the usual London sights and sounds, to swimming in the official London 2012 Olympics pool and eating my way through the city, it was an experience I’ll never forget. I’m anxious to get back home, see my husband and Lola, and focus on training — I have some new possible goals and ideas on the horizon (email coming at you soon, Sonja). But I’m also a little sad to leave a city that will leave your wallets empty, but your face with a stupid smile smeared across it the entire time. Oh, and did I mention the FOOD!?!

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More to come soon…happy running!

   
9 Comments | Posted in Life

LAKE STEVENS 70.3: WEEK 3

What’s that saying?
God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.

Well, the big man upstairs (or whoever you believe in…just be a good person) is pushing the limits with two trips to the ER for my friend who was in a running accident and for my husband who was in a car accident. Details aside, I’m thankful everyone is ok from situations that could have been much worse.

A few lessons learned:

  • If you get a deep gash in your face and are rushed to ER, ask for a plastic surgeon to stitch you back up. It’s your FACE.
  • When it’s raining outside, hydroplaning is real. Fail to understand the risk involved and staples won’t just be office supplies — they’ll be in your head.
  • The best remedy is always laughter. ALWAYS.

Needless to say, training happened, then it didn’t happen and I can feel my heart literally aching with stress. Thankfully, getting out and training is the one thing that calms me back down and helps get my mind back on track.

I can’t even recall what it is that I did over the past week as all I’m focusing on is making sure that work projects are launched without a hitch and that residual concussions don’t suddenly appear.

But I will tell you this: go tell your family you love them. Go tell your friends you care for them. Go for a run and be thankful that you’re healthy and alive, because there’s nothing better than that.

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I closed out week 3 with:

10 hours training:
5,500 yards swimming
66.1 miles cycling 
~23 miles running
30 minutes core and rolling

 Happy Running.

   
16 Comments | Posted in Life, Training

Starting With Intention

I haven’t posted since early January.

It hasn’t been for a lack of adventures — far from it. Over the past two years, I trained, got injured, trained again, raced, recovered, moved, started a new job, trained, ran a marathon PR, traveled and more.

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I’ve enjoyed amazing runs with some of the best friends I’ve ever had and I explored new countries with the love of my life…with a little work mixed in.

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Oh and did I mention the food in Europe?!

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I am extremely lucky for these amazing opportunities and my husband who supports me and my nomadic tendencies (with a few hearty arguments along the way). Overall, I’ve done a decent job of keeping my mind busy  – especially since Ironman.

Yet ever since that big race, that deep, inner motivation and athletic happiness gauge that used to overflow on a daily basis was waning. I was still happy, yet that “X factor” just left me a bit nonchalant and unfulfilled with where I was — I didn’t even admit to the funk I was in until Saturday.

I decided that February would be my New Years — my fresh start.

I needed to figure out what it was that I was missing, and I also decided that I am going to reprioritize/change some personal/life things over the next year. Not just about my own athletic endeavors, but choices that will help me beyond “Page the athletes” and into the “Page the wife, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, etc.”  Redefining who I am outside of my sports and career. Let’s just leave those there.

As for the athletic side, I decided to change coaches and start a new journey toward Ironman 70.3 — Lake Stevens. My former triathlon coach was GREAT, my last running coach didn’t fit my style, and this time around, I just knew I needed something different. Someone who would be “all up in my shiz” and help me build both physical and mental confidence — enter Sonja Wieck.

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My first, weekly GoSonja Google Hangout. Sneaky screenshot style.

Saturday was my first Sonja workout and consisted of a 2 hours and 15 minutes “test ride.” In other words, “let’s see what I’m working with here.” I finally got a Cobb saddle and was equipped to do an actual workout (not just spinning because it hurt too bad to go into aero with the other saddle).

I mustered up my gear, fuel, electronics and enough entertainment to get me through the workout. Unsure of what to expect, I just hopped on and followed the cue sheet.

Over two hours later, sweat literally pooling, my legs pushed to a limit they haven’t been to in a while…I smiled. There I was, solo in my apartment, smiling ear-to-ear and I pumped my fist in the air — I kid you not. It was the first time that I can recall that the “X Factor” was back. I’m sure it was the result of an overwhelming endorphin high, but whatever it was that I was missing, it was overwhelming my entire being.

I called Chicken Face while riding my endorphin high and he was a bit confused with my inexplicable glee. I continued to ride that high the entire weekend…into the BARRE3 class (bad idea), onto the Sunday test run, and meeting me here, as I write this post.

As I try to wrap my brain around what “clicked”, I can only guess that it’s partly due to a few things: my 2014 “life reprioritization” and its associated intention.

I know and am ok with a full Ironman not being in the books for 2014. Instead my intentions will be on my family, friends and focusing on half Ironmans. My intentions are no longer to get in as many new adventures as possible, but to enjoy the now and those that I am with.

We are always seeking for more, more, more (myself included), but what about what we already have? What’s in front of you and the beauty in the daily nuances, the sweat you’re shedding at that moment and the people who want to share those moments with you. I intend to make them and those moment a priority — over everything else.

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Happy Running!

   
15 Comments | Posted in Life, Uncategorized

2013 In Review

At the end of 2012, I vowed to live adventurously. What I didn’t anticipate was just how…adventurous…2013 would be.

Contrary to its stereotype, adventure isn’t just global treks, skydiving, or a Swiss Family escapade. And adventure wouldn’t be adventure if it didn’t come with crazy highs and frustrating lows. Instead, I’ve discovered that adventure was finding patience, going outside of my comfort zone and making big, risky, and scary changes to my life and my family’s life. Some of which ended well and others did not.

But I suppose that’s part of the process, right? The process in living life, finding myself, creating a story and simply…evolving. In the end, it turns out that 2013 wasn’t so much about living adventurously, but rather, about taking chances. And it’s like they say, you only regret the chances you didn’t take.

In 2013, I traveled, I became an aunt (twice!), I learned about injury recovery and ankle rehab, I completed my first Ironman, I fell in love with triathlon, I cooked more, I moved to a different state, I started a new job, I met two of the most important friends I’ve ever had, I started trail running, I read more, I PR’d in the marathon, I became an ambassador, I registered for more races, and most importantly, I continue to learn more about what’s truly important, and love my husband, Lola and family more every day. Now that right there is what it’s all about.

Here’s to the chances and changes of 2013, and to you guys — thanks for your continued support along the entire way. Your comments and cheers mean so much to me.

 Happy New Year & Happy Running!

   
14 Comments | Posted in Life

Sandbagging

“I don’t know…

I feel like shit, I have shin splints, I have a hangover, I just traveled to Ghana and back, I had an allergic reaction to my cat, I ate gluten, I just got back from President Obama’s Dreamworks tour…

I’m just going to take it easy.”

Then they PR.
By 30 minutes.
Sandbagging SOB.

You’ve seen them. Heard of them. And perhaps, maybe much like myself, been called one. You know, those “sandbaggers” who make excuses, playing down their true strengths and abilities in preparation to have excuses for a possibly less than stellar race performance. And it’s not just runners or triathletes; according to Wikipedia, there is all different types of sandbagging depending on your sport. Regardless, it’s vicious and I’m guilty as charged.

I could make another excuse (My ankle! My training! My recovery!), but instead, I’d be back at it, sandbagging with the best of them. So instead, I’d like to issue a personal apology for any hint of sandbagging that may have come across in this training cycle or throughout the entire lifespan of this little blog. So here goes…

<PLEASE HIT PLAY TO THIS SONG WHILE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING>

Dear Gracious Reader,

Hey. It’s me, Page. If you’re new to my blog or have been reading my rambling over the past few years, hopefully you know that what you see is what you get. Cursing, typos, glorious iPhone photos, good training cycles and bad…it’s all been displayed on the blog. And if you’re still coming back, thank you!

However, it has come to my attention that at times, I may have displayed some “sandbagging” qualities. I may have played down my training cycles, dismissed the highs and focused the lows. Sad, but true.

I wanted to confide in you and tell you what’s really happening. Those qualities aren’t to secretly demolish the competition, shock and awe, or break the ribbon in any grand manner. But rather, deep down, it was to shield the shadows of doubt and fear that come along with every race experience. Or in other words, a lack of confidence.

At times, I take leaps of faith and declare my true goals (e.g. running a 3:15), but as the training cycle goes on and I start to break down, the excuses become more prevalent. It’s true, an ankle injury IS a reason to be concerned, but rather than wanting to “throw in the towel” as I so eloquently proclaimed in my last blog post, I should readjust perspective and the plan, but never the end goal. 

Perhaps it’s because blogging creates this hidden pressure among us all and I/we feel pressured to perform, or fear writing a “DNS, DNF, excuse, excuse, excuse” race recap. Why do we fear this? Because it’s a proclamation to the world that we tried and failed?

Well, I’m pretty sure that’s the meaning of life.

And if anyone is judging you because you tried and failed, well then, they’re not worth your energy. This sport isn’t about them or their opinions, but it’s about YOU. Working, trying, pushing, sucking, failing and trying again because we love it. Nothing else.

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It’s not sandbagging, it’s the secret doubt that sits within me.

I have a healthy, albeit sometimes injured, body that I should be thankful for.
I’m going to relish the places it takes me, even if it’s not on the path I had planned.
I’m going to once again try my best to keep trying, keep failing, and keep enjoying the journey along the way, regardless of what race recap I write. Why?

Because that’s life.

Happy Running,
Page

 

   
5 Comments | Posted in Life, running

Big News Monday

Where have I been?

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Here.

I’ve been running!
I’ve been registering!
I’ve been celebrating little miracles!
It’s been one of those “life is good” past couple of weeks…and boy, did I need that.

Let’s go in some order of priority here, folks… First and foremost, there’s a new little blonde babe back home and I already envy her hair. My other sister had her first baby! She’s teeny tiny (she just wanted to get to the world a bit earlier than planned), she adorable and I’m so thankful for FaceTime. Congrats Ryann and Eric, I can’t wait to meet her!

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And then I got to FaceTime with Captain Adorable himself. I mean you can’t make this stuff up, people!

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Second, I got to see Chicken Face for his birthday two weekends ago. Nothing makes me feel like myself again more than spending time with him.

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Not only was I on “I’m with my husband cloud nine” but I also managed to get in what was supposed to be 18 miles, but turned to 20. I kept looking down at my watch and thinking, “Huh. That’s strange.” But it was one of those burst through the doors, proclaiming to the world, “I F-ING LOVE RUNNING!” I was all jacked up on endorphins thanks to the 7:34 avg. pace – my legs were back!

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Last weekend was a repeat performance: 20 miles, 7:34 avg. pace, but I was ready to be done after mile 14. Perhaps it was that Barre3 class I tried for the first time two days prior…

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Regardless, I’m living in my little, “Welcome back legs, now let’s get to work!” bubble and maybe it was the endorphins. Maybe it was boredom. Nah, it’s was just because I REALLY WANT TO GO OUT THERE AND DEMOLISH IT! So I registered for this… (more to come on this soon!)

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It’s nice when life hands you those moments that just make you giddy.  Now it’s time to get down to business; race day is getting close!

Happy Running!

   
11 Comments | Posted in Life, Training

CIM: Week 7 & 8

Weeks 7 and 8 marked the jump from the base phase of training to pre-marathon training. It also marked what I what I would call the, “Oh shit. Summer is over. Here comes the rain…” phase.

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Luckily, Chicken Face and I missed Poseidon’s rising in Portland and celebrated Nicole and Mike’s nuptials in San Diego instead. I’m intentionally not posting any photos of the stunning bride and instead here’s the “I only know three people at this wedding…but whatever” face.

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But as the mornings get darker and my days of California sun are waning, I’m reevaluating my running wardrobe (enter the purchase of this new jacket and these running tights), gathering my early morning running determination, and amping up my mileage to run my first 16 miles since IMCDA.

Also of note is my mad salad stacking skills. When it’s by size and not weight, I accept the challenge of stacking the most in the smallest container so I can be cheap.

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Fall is here people. Let’s DO THIS.

Mon., 9/23: 30 min. easy run + cross train

Tues., 9/24: McMillan’s Fartlek Workout: 15 to 20 minute warm-p + Fartlek Workout: 6 to 8 times 2 minutes at 5k effort with 1 minute recovery jog + 15 to 20 minute Cool-down

Wed., 9/25: 40 min. easy run + Athletic Yoga

Thurs., 9/26: Accidental rest day

Fri., 9/27: 16 mile run to work

Sat., 9/28: Wedding dance-off

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Sun., 9/29: Post-wedding 5K (cutest idea ever)

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Mon., 9/30: 30 minute easy run + Cross Train

Tues., 10/1: Nike track workout. What this photo doesn’t show is the ridiculous hail storm we ran in.

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Wed., 10/2: Trail run with Jen (who looks just like Heidi Klum..I hate her already. KIDDING!) + Athletic Yoga

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Thurs., 10/3: 40 minute run

Fri., 10/4: Swim

Sat., 10/5: McMillan’s Progression Run: Run the first 3rd of the run easy, the middle 3rd – medium, and the last 3rd – medium to hard.

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Sun., 10/6: 3 miles sprinting trying to find Jen at the Portland marathon, missed her, then running 5 miles to the finish line to ensure I wouldn’t miss her finish. So basically, just running around the marathon course in search of Jen.

Congratulations! You read the most random post ever.
Now it’s your turn: tell me something totally random.

Happy Running!

   
10 Comments | Posted in Life, running, Training, Uncategorized

CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON (CIM): WEEKS 3 & 4

Here we are. Recapping weeks three and four.

UntitledPortland running, you are amazing.

The past two weeks have been an odd mix of highs and lows: adventures with new friends, emotional conversations about the future, my family coming to visit, having to miss a few workouts due to my hamstring and those stupid heels, and still grappling with this feeling of an extreme loss of running fitness.

As someone who relates physical wellbeing as the main indicator of overall health (I know, stupid), I tend to dismiss how emotions and this little internal dialogue regarding life’s decisions can affect all aspects of life. If it’s not bleeding, tearing and broken – you’re fine, right? Well, apparently not.

I’m not talking about sleep loss, weight gain or headaches that are clear indicators that the stress is building up, but rather the little, deep things inside that you try to brush off, but they keep building, building, building until you snap. That stuff. It’s bad man, real bad.

So here’s a brutal, and probably too open, dose of reality: life is scary, life is hard, and if you (I’m speaking to myself here) don’t find a way to handle it, it will continue to eat away at you. Today, it built up so much that I finally said, “Screw it.” I knew if I ran I’d just get more upset about the fact that my legs weren’t performing the way I’d like them to, so I marched myself over to the pool.

Not only is the pool at Nike rarely full, but it’s simply gorgeous and empowering. There’s something about gliding through the lane, by myself, with the bright window light shining in from my left that calms me. And yes, this is coming from a girl who could easily do without swimming. But boy oh boy that pool, I feel lucky even getting to look at it.

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I swam 1,900 meters, the farthest I’ve swam since Ironman, just thinking about my arms. I don’t know why and it wasn’t in regards to appearance, but just the feeling of pushing through the water, fingers pointed to the bottom, trying to flipturn, pushing off the wall, and continuing to glide. They felt powerful, yet so weak at the same time.

I got out of the pool feeling more cleared than when I went in. It wasn’t gone, but my chattering mind had turned down.

It’s not a solution, but I know this much about myself: being physically active and moving is critical to some semblance of mental and emotional balance in my life. It’s not just about racing or weight or blogging; instead, it’s my version of meditation, clarity and reflection. It’s my sanity and I am so very thankful for my healthy legs, heart, lungs and, this little life of mine.

After moving, I come out of my slump feeling thankful for the amazing opportunities given to me and that yes, it’s hard, but I can handle it.

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Mon., 8/26: McMillan Strides Workout (~5.5 mi)
Tues., 8/27: Crosstrain: Core, Upper & Yoga
Wed., 8/28: Recovery Run at the Nike track + Strength (~3.5 mi)
Thurs., 8/29: First PDX Run in the Rain (~7 mi)
Fri., 8/30: Injured! Spinning + Yoga + Rest
Sat., 8/31: Injured! Stand-Up Paddleboard + Rest

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Sun., 9/1: Easy Run (4 mi.)

Mon., 9/2: Labor Day Jaunts with Jen (5.5 mi)
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Wed., 9/3: Regular Run (6 mi)
Thurs., 9/4: Recovery Run (3.6 mi)
Fri., 9/5: Run to Work (12+ mi / Garmin you’re killin’ me)
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Sat., 9/6: Recovery Run (4 mi.)

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Sun., 9/7: Trail Steadystate Run (8 mi.)

UntitledLeif Erickson Trail in Forest Park.
I getting close to using the “L” word with Portland.

 Happy Running!

   
26 Comments | Posted in CIM, Life, running

Why Making Friends In A New City Is Like Internet Dating

Who are we kidding? I’ve never tried Internet dating. I started dating Chicken Face in college and the closest thing that people of my age were doing at that time was creeping photos of guys via MySpace or perusing the collection of questionable characters on HotorNot.com.

But, BUT, if I can leverage all of the gut-wrenching/awe-inducing stories I’ve heard from the Internet dating archives, I’m pretty sure I can make an adequate assumption (but then again, we all know what that does). Truth be told, making friends in new cities can be a seemingly daunting task.

So let’s review this Internet friend dating best-case scenario, shall we?

Step 1: Real-life friend in home state introduces you to potential new friend in new state, online. After the first introduction, the conversation either stops dead in its tracks or the lurking continues. You creep, they wink (or whatever other functionality your site may have), you both message each other enough times until you realize that they have a fully functioning brain and/or you won’t get murdered. Check.

Step 2: Exchange phone numbers. You still haven’t actually spoken in person, but default to text messaging. If they hear you talk, they might notice how completely awkward this is in your voice. Stick with text…one step at a time.

Step 3: To emoticon or not to emoticon? This is a big determining factor: are they an emoticon abuser too? If so, let the emoticons rain down in all of their emoji glory! If not, put on your big kid pants and pretend like you are a mature adult who scoffs at such child-like behavior. I’m a professional, dammit!

Step 4: Agree to meet. Ok, we’ve moved to the big leagues now, folks. What are you going to do? What are you going to wear? What if you have nothing to talk about? What if you stumble your own words and seem incapable of any form of intelligent conversation? Then you remember, “F it. This is who I am. Stupid jokes, awkward sentence structure and all.” Then let them plan what to do.

Step 5: Meet. If you’re a hugger, just go in for the hug. But after that…just try and be you. Your gut will tell you what to do.

Step 6: Evaluate. If you didn’t get the “oh we could be friends” vibe, well then this blog post is dead right here. If you did, your evaluation and over-analyzation will likely commence here. Questions will range from personality compatibility to ease of conversation. If all things are positive, you’ll get home and wonder if there will be hangout number two. Don’t laugh…remember…you know NO ONE here and could really use a gal pal.

Step 7: Confirmation. You either text immediately or await a confirmation text. BING! It’s in and you share abbreviated English and poor grammar texts about politics and religion…oh wait, no, it’s just more emoticons. You like it already. Then you plan hang out number two. Then three. Then four. Now five.

Step 8: Hope. Hope that your new friend doesn’t think you’re completely psycho for writing this blog post. See you at yoga in an hour, friend!

JP

Thank you to everyone for being so extremely nice and welcoming as I made the move to Portland. Honestly, what would we do without Internet –> IRL friends?

Anyone else have great Internet BFF or moving to a new city stories?

Happy Running!

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45 Comments | Posted in Life