Am I Out of Shape Because Running is Hard, or is Running Hard Because I’m Out of Shape?

Hi. <guilty smile like someone who said they’d call, never did, then bumped into you in line at the grocery store.>

Yeah, things are good here. Work’s good. Oregon’s good. Weather’s been weird though, huh?! How are you? Have you been watching Scandal??? How bout that snow on the East Coast!?

<other awkward small talk rapid fire>

Alright enough of that bullshit.

I was running the other day – yeah, that’s happening, sort of – and was feeling all janky and clunky and wind-sucking… all around pretty shitty, to be honest. I’m out of shape, an unmentionable amount of pounds heavier than I’d like to be, and delusionally believe my lungs are still acclimating to the small increase in elevation. (just under 4,000′ in Bend from 3-below sea level in Newport.)

The problem wasn’t really how bad I felt though. Feeling bad during exercise is part of it, right? Means you’re working hard!

The problem was, I was embarrassed. With how I looked – everything jiggling, gasping for air, a mix of desperation and anger on my face – and how I felt. I let myself fall stupidly out of shape, and all I wanted was a sign to wear around my neck saying “I used to a pretty o.k. runner! Swear!” so everyone wouldn’t think I was just out for a blobby jog to burn off my Thin Mints.

<Don’t think about Thin Mints… Don’t think about Thin Mints… Don’t think about Thin Mints…>


Sorry I uglied up your prettiness with that face, Shevlin. Rough times.

But then I realized, I wasn’t going to get any less blobby by not running. If my pasty, jiggly thighs weren’t out there plodding around for a few miles, how were they going to get any less jiggly? I needed to be out there. I wanted to be out there!

I don’t want to have to stop for a breather 10 minutes into a run. I don’t want to google “spanx for exercise” and mean it. And I definitely don’t want to skip group lunch runs at work anymore because I’m scared I can’t keep up.

So, I’ll keep stuffing my squish into my spandex and plodding around, knowing that each run gets me closer to my old self. As uncomfortable as it is, it doesn’t have to be embarrassing. If anyone actually cares whether I have a muffin top over my tights or I have to walk up a hill to catch my breath, they can go right on and fuck the hell off. I’m doing this so some day I won’t.

Embarrassing would be continuing to carve out this ass imprint in the couch while shoveling handfuls of chips in my mouth and washing them down with beer, and then whining about being out of shape.

So that’s how I’ve been. Good chatting, we should do it again sometime soon! Promise I’ll actually call this time.

Sarah OUaL

A Gift Guide for Everyone Shopping for Me

It’s crunch time and if you haven’t bought my Christmas present yet like I haven’t for any of the people on my list (procrastination station choo! choo!) you’re single digit days away from being in deep shit. To help you, I ditched the typical Blogger Gift Guide and made this wish list of things I’d be stoked to receive instead. DON’T SAY I NEVER DID ANYTHING NICE FOR YOU! It’s conveniently broken down by type and offers a variety of options for all levels of financial commitment or how much you love me, of which we could argue are or aren’t interchangeable but we don’t have time for such nonsense, so just go on ahead and pay the most attention to the right columns thanks. Pretty much everything is super reasonable.

You’re welcome, mom!

* Sarah OUaL’s Wish List for this Holiday or any Other Gift-Giving Occasion or Random Day When You’re Feeling Generous and Want to Buy Her Happiness With Material Things, Some of Which are Completely and Utterly Ridiculous, None of Which are Even Close to Necessary and Maybe You Should Just Get Her a Nice 6-Pack of Beer Instead *

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Picky Club (snacks+mail=smiles) $27-49/mo  |||  Why Do I Feel Like a Knock-kneed Buffalo When I Run Analysis from REP Lab $350  |||  All-Inclusive Running Vacation $2695 + air

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smiles are free :)  |||  Soleus Heart Rate Monitor $99  |||  Woodway Treadmill $11k (rain check substitute: a new car)

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GoPro Hero $130  |||  SUP Board $790  |||  Gibbs Quadski four wheeler/jetski hybrid for a measly $40k

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Brooks Vanguard $85  |||  these $580 velcros that look exactly like Fisher Price 1-2-3 skates  |||  Acton Rocket Skates – goodbye leg muscles! $700

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crew socks to keep my #inbend winter’y ankles warm $14-20  |||  Oiselle Yeti* $98  |||  D&G Wool Facemask Hat (balaclava, apparently) was $3245 now $1947!

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River Tube with cupholders $15  |||  insulated beer tote $25  |||  adorable teepee my dogs would never use (peepee-teepee joke here) $114  |||  GIANT BEAN BAG CHAIR $1150

* started this list before getting one. yeti is easily the most ridiculous and ridiculously awesome thing I own, and for that it’s staying on this composite list of ridiculousness. if you’ve got a spare hundo to toss around this is a cozy investment you won’t regret, maybe until you have to pee or accidentally go out in public in it.

** p.s.s. If you’re leaning towards Kicks please, please pick the 1-2-3’s

There you go. All the things I’d gift myself if money weren’t real and we didn’t have to buy a couch and mattress for the new place, and if Brian and I hadn’t just ordered our joint-gift KEGERATOR an hour ago. !!!

… What?? The couch and mattress can wait.

Who’s coming over for keg beer, river floating, and paddling this summer??

Spoiled OUaL

(pretty sure this post set an internet record for number of run-on sentences)



I made it. Survived the 900 mile drive, made fast friends with the local bartenders and baristas, and can get to work unaided by GPS (so what if it’s less than a mile away). Pretty much killing it at the “new kid in town” thing.

Backing up to the actual move. Brian is staying in SoCal to finish working through the year, so the original plan was for a SoCal friend to join me on the drive up the #oregontrail, then fly home. That plan faulted when Thanksgiving weekend put up a fat cock-block with $400+ one-way flights. That’s some kind of friendship I could never ask from someone because aint no way I’m coughing up four bens down the road to make even stevens.

This is where Emily comes in – just as I was accepting the idea of doing the U-haul-trailer, dogs-in-the-backseat, 14-hour drive alone, I curiously searched flights from Eugene to CA. $110 for an after-work, time-for-a-beer-when-you-arrive flight? Thank you, whoever up above or at United threw that bone my way. Sweaty OUaL Roadtrip Round Two – Game freaking ON.

lime moves to bend

The original Round Trip Road Trip of 2012 was chronicled on Tumblr – have fun reading backwards I can’t get that shit to turn around

The second fun part of the logistics’ing was when I went to go get a hitch put on my car so we could tow the trailer, and the hitch guy pretty much called it a death wish. Four cylinder, two wheel drive cars aren’t meant to pull thing, let alone up and over mountains. Well what the hell is Uhaul letting me rent one for?!

“Do you have another car you could borrow, or maybe rent a truck for the day?”

“Well my husband has an Explorer, but Uhaul said you can’t tow behind them for some lawsuit reason.”

*Sketchy backdoor plan hatching that involved picking up trailer with someone else’s car, hooking it up to the Explorer at home, and hoping not to get caught… all instigated by Mr Hitch Guy that apparently didn’t want to make any money that day.*

So I went to Uhaul to pick up boxes the next day (two days before scheduled take off,) and saw just how tiny that stupid $400 trailer was. Aint no way in freaking hell we’re gonna fit half our stuff in there, let alone make it worth our while to execute some form of highway robbery/felonious activity in doing so. I got home and immediately cancelled the reservation and booked the UBox moving pod thing I originally planned on using before I got super cheap and “we can just sell all our stuff!” At that point a few extra hundred dollars seemed well worth it.

Even if that means eating ramen and PBJ for the next month.

sweaty oual rd 2

The drive was pretty uneventful. Unlike the 12-day, helter-skelter, stop-every-time-we-see-a-running-trail-or-brewery trip last year, we just cranked it out. Trunk full of bags and backseat full of dogs, we made the 13 hour “no traffic” drive in 13.5. By the time we caught up on life, gossip, and Spotify’s Bring Back the 90s playlist, we were there. Roadtrip professionals!

A few other “by the numbers” trip tidbits:

1 – Coffees drank (each), unfortunately

1– In-n-Out stops, where I learned their “veggie burger” is just lettuce tomato and no burger

2 – Rainstorms driven through, appx two more than I have in the last five years

2 – Gas fill-ups, both in CA and I miss pumping my own already

4 – Pee breaks. Or maybe it was 5. Regardless, I’ve really chipped away at my previous average of 1 per every 2 hours

~63 – Times I squealed “LOOK AT THE LEAVES!/MOUNTAINS!/RAIN!/NICE PEOPLE!” (/anything not prevalent in SoCal)

1 – Growlers filled at Crux, immediately upon arrival, in my Yeti

0 – Number of friends I likely made doing so

 on the road oiselle yetiyeti onesie crux

Psst Yetis are 20% off this weekend at – code GETYETI – in case you want your own fleece “statement item” and don’t mind getting 90% naked to pee

Super jazzed to be up here, will be doubly-jazzed when Uhaul lets me fill our place with more than an air mattress and two duffle bags, will be infinitely-jazzed when Brian finally gets here and we can really start making Bend home.

Until then expect lots of trail exploring, beer consumption (need to figure out which of the 10+ craft breweries in town will be “our spot”), and pics anytime it snows or rains.

Really planning on milking the “new kid in town” status as long as possible…

Sarah OUaL