Channeling My Funky for Portland

Tomorrow I’m jet bound to Portland, Oregon! I’m running the Eugene Half-Marathon on Sunday, but the best part is that my daughter and her fiance live in Portland, so I’m making a week of it.

My bags are packed, training is under my belt, and I’m ready to go.

I’ve only been to Portland twice, both times very briefly. Once was en route to Seaside and Astoria to meet some runners at the end of the Hood to Coast Relay, and another time for a wedding.

As I told someone when I was there, “These are my people.” I feel at home in Oregon. My mom even told me afterwards that I was probably conceived there, so I guess it is a true homecoming when I visit.

I’m having to live some of my unrealized dreams through my daughter, who’s worked as a park ranger in Yellowstone, a geologist in Jackson Hole, and now lives in Portland. I guess all those summer road trips out west to the national parks influenced my daughter more than I thought they would.

Dallas should reach a high of 90 degrees today, so it’s a good time to head north. When I called Dominique to ask what kind of clothes to pack, I was told to “bring a little of everything” and to dress “funky.”

Just what I wanted to hear. I’m the type who packs everything but the kitchen sink, but funky? I’m anything but.

Are Converse sneakers considered funky? Maybe they are if you’re my age.

For a race, it’s pretty easy to pack. All the sacred running items go in the carry-on, to avoid having to scramble for race gear at the last minute if the checked bag gets lost.

Now that I have a Kindle I’m traveling much lighter. I usually pack three or four books, and buy three or four more when I get to wherever I’m going–and keep my fingers crossed when they weigh my luggage.

But I rarely have (or make) time to do much reading anyway when I travel. Too much to see! Too much to do! Too many adventures to be had!

About thirty of my running friends and acquaintances are traveling to Eugene to run the race, though most are running the marathon. I would be running it as well if I hadn’t lost a full month of training back in February after a trip to the ER, then a pulled calf muscle, and then a stomach virus.

Sometimes you have to be realistic and scale back. I’m looking forward to running “just” the half marathon.

And if you’re a runner, or you saw the movie (actually, there were two), then you know about Steve Prefontaine. Eugene is where he lived, trained, and was killed in a car accident. The race finishes on Hayward Field where he trained.

After running with Dean Karnazes last Friday, it’s kind of like meeting two running heroes in one week.

So here’s to sunny skies in Oregon, a smooth, uneventful flight, fleet feet and lots of laughs with friends, precious time with my lovely daughter–and most of all, to running. Funky or not, here I come.


  1. averageinsuburbia

    I would love to go to Portland. I like the whole bike thing they have going on there. My community is very bike un-friendly. There are very few bike paths, people don’t want to share the road and when you get to where you are going there are no bike racks. Grrrr…Good luck in the race!

    • Mind Margins

      Thanks! Our city is very pedestrian/running/bike unfriendly. Cars rule here. We get yelled at a lot for running in the road, even when there are no sidewalks.

  2. beechcreekproject

    Last pair of Converses I owned was when I was about 13 and that was a couple years back. 😀 They are my oldest daughters favorite shoes and she’s always designing her own online. Good luck in the race. Should be cooler than 90.

    • Mind Margins

      Thanks, it’s going to be perfect running weather: upper 40’s at the start and overcast. We’re all very excited about that! I need to check out how to design my next pair of Converses online. Thanks for the tip!

  3. westerner54

    Good luck…I’m always so impressed by runners, especially those of you who can run more than 3 miles at a shot. And Eugene is even more funky than Portland, you know!

    • Mind Margins

      Thank you. Running is an addiction, as is running marathons, so don’t be too impressed. It’s a drug. I’ve heard that Eugene is even funkier than Portland. I can’t wait!

  4. skippingstones

    Well good luck, good journey! I hope you have a fabulous time with your daughter and enjoy the half marathon, too. I’m proud to have a friend who can do that!

    • Mind Margins

      Thanks so much! The weather is fantastically cool here in Eugene. I can’t believe there are places this cool at the end of April. What am I doing in Texas???

      • skippingstones

        It’s been weird around here, weather-wise. It was so warm that all of the spring flowers had bloomed in March, trees and everything too. Now in April, it turned cold again. I had to wear my jacket all last week.

      • Mind Margins

        I am so not used to weather that changes every five minutes like it does here in Portland. I would wear about five layers and be dressing/undressing all day if I lived here. Yesterday was warm and sunny and today is low 50’s and rainy. It’s like winter for me. But I’m not complaining because in three days I’ll be back in the 90’s in Dallas!

      • Mind Margins

        This is the first day I’ve had to myself since Thursday. I’m too sore to walk much anyway after the race, so rhe cold rainy wearher is perfect. I’m having a blast seeing my daughter again, too!

  5. Melissa

    Welcome to Eug, have a blast with the race. We’re really into races down here, tons of people come out. And we have some really great places to eat afterwards! Let me know if you need any suggestions.

    • Mind Margins

      Thanks, Melissa, I LOVED Eugene! The course was great and it was incredible finishing in Hayward Field. We had an incredible breakfast at Studio 19, too. Back in Portland now, freezing my tail off!

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