Monday, July 21, 2014

Who Forms a Marriage?

Abe and I picked up our marriage license a couple weeks ago. The gist of the process is: You fill out your information on an online application. Go to a DMV-like office and take a number. They pull up your application and print it on a government form. You sign it in the presence of the clerk. Your qualified officiant signs it after the ceremony. Your two witnesses print their name on it. Your officiant mails it back to the county office, and a county official signs it. 

A few initial thoughts:

1. Why do the parties getting married have to sign it at the county office? I want to fill out the license during the ceremony, but apparently that doesn't include us, the bride and groom, signing it during the ceremony.

2. The witnesses don't actually sign anything. They just print their names. Actually, it doesn't even say that the witnesses have to do it. Again, I wanted to have our sisters come up and sign the license during the ceremony - and we still will have them come up and print their names, even though apparently we or our officiant could just print their names instead.

3. I'm fairly certain that the certified copies you can get after the license has been filed is of that government form. Again, assumptions.... I always pictured the wedding license being more certificate-y, like a birth certificate or car title, kind of aesthetically pleasing. But I think it's just a copy of a very government-form-like government form.

Supporting the assumption that that last assumption is common, though, is that they also provide you with this non-official "commemorative certificate". So, I suppose that's the solution to wanting something pretty that you, your officiant, and your witnesses sign during the ceremony. But, first, that's silly because it's unofficial and doesn't actually mean anything. And second, take a closer look at its text:

In case you can't read it well in the photo, it says:
This is to certify that the undersigned a, [title of person solemnizing marriage], by authority of a license bearing the date [   ] day of [   ], 20xx, issued by the County of [     ], State of Oregon, did on this [   ] day of [    ], AD, 20xx, at [     ], join in lawful wedlock [groom] and [bride] with their mutual consent and in the presence of the witnesses undersigned below.
Um, what. I read that as the officiant stating: I, a person allegedly "ordained" by some random internet religion because the state said that counts, joined these two people in marriage - oh yeah, and fortunately they consented to it cause apparently I could do so even if they didn't.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled Oregon allows internet ordained officiants, because I wouldn't want some random government official, or religious officiant that isn't relevant to us, to be our officiant, but if you're opened it up so that virtually any citizen of any country can meet your requirement, maybe you just shouldn't have the requirement in place?

I can't sign that certificate. I don't want that statement hanging in a frame on my wall. No one is going to marry us, as in impose an action on us, with or without our consent. Fortunately the actual license doesn't have any such nonsense on it - the officiant signs to the statement: "I certify that the above named persons were married on the date listed above." This license statement is consistent with the underlying Oregon law, which merely requires that the two parties to a marriage declare, in the presence of a qualified officiant and two witnesses, that they take each other to be husband and wife* (§106.150). Basically, the officiant is just a "super-witness". 

*Obviously limiting it to "husband and wife" is a whole other outdated-government-stance issue.

Honestly, my dream wedding (which wouldn't be possible for a variety of reasons, including logistics and compromising with parental desires) would have been to fly our immediate family members to Colorado, rent a B&B for the weekend - and do a self-solemnizing ceremony. It just feels so much more right. (Sorry for the abuse of italics in this post, and this paragraph in particular.) Getting married isn't something that anyone else can do to us. It's an agreement between me and Abe. Period. Yes, we want the government to recognize it, but ultimately, what are they recognizing? A self-made agreement.

This is what we're putting in a program to explain our choice of officiant, and some of the wording that will be used during the ceremony: 

Oregon law to solemnize a marriage simply requires that the parties declare, in the presence of a clergyperson, county clerk, or judicial officer and two witnesses, that they take each other to be husband and wife (ORS §106.150).

While we want our lifelong commitment to be recognized by the government for legal purposes, we believe that no one other than the involved persons can truly solemnize the agreement and form a marriage. It is not up to a religious officiant or court official to declare that we are binding ourselves to each other.

Having our ceremony facilitated by a moderator who is legally a qualified officiant, but leading our own promises and declaring ourselves married to each other is our compromise to comply with the requirements of the law but also follow our own philosophical beliefs.

What do you think of this certificate's wording? Who did/do you feel had/has the right to marry you, and does it jive with your state's laws?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HTC Training Week 1 & Triathlon Training Week 5


Monday: Bike 10.0 miles (11.4 mph) + core work + K-Fit weeks 1/2 workout #1

Tuesday AM: Run 2.0 miles (12:46 pace)
Tuesday PM: TRI Team swim practice 1,200 yards

Wednesday: Run 4.55 miles - track workout (12:52 average pace) + K-Fit weeks 1/2 workout #2
Track workout: 
1.15 mile warm-up (to the track) - 12:49, 12:20
4 x 0.25 (goal = 9:30 - 10:00 pace) - 9:25, 9:53, 10:21, 9:52
0.25 recovery after each interval 
1.40 cool-down (back home) - 13:18, 12:07 (mostly downhill, weeee!)

Thursday: Bike 6.15 miles (11.3 mph) + swim 1,450 yards (adapted from 0 to 1650 week 3, plus 3 extra laps) - 4 x 25, 400, 200, 4 x 100, 4 x 50, 3 x 50

Friday AM: Run 4.0 miles (12:53 pace) - HTC practice run 1 of 3 + yoga class (90 minutes)
Friday PM: Run 3.0 miles (13:18 pace) - HTC practice run 2 of 3, with hills

Saturday AM: Run 3.15 miles (12:55 pace) - HTC practice run 3 of 3
Saturday PM: Bike 6.5 miles roundtrip to/from pool (9.2 mph) + swim 1,350 yards (same workout as Thursday, with just one 50 after the 4 x 50)

Sunday: Bike 20.4 miles (13.8 mph)

Total swimming: 4,000 yards
Total biking: 43.05 miles
Total running: 16.7 miles

I did my first HTC training of multiple runs in 24-ish hours... dang, my legs were tired! I actually meant to make the second and third ones closer to 4 - 5 miles, but it just wasn't going to happen. The second run was hilly, since the second leg in the race will be basically 900 feet straight up. Perhaps I need to practice/race with run/walk intervals for that kind of climbing?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 Foot Traffic Flat Half

This race... kind of sucked. It wasn't my worst ever half marathon, but it was a personal worst on this course, despite being the third year in a row of doing this race.

It was a pretty perfect day for a race, too. The temperature started in the upper 50s, and was maybe pushing 70 by the time I finished. Absolutely lovely.

I started out feeling pretty good for a few miles, but then starting having some digestive discomfort. 

Miles 1 - 5: 12:30, 12:31, 12:40, 12:50, 12:28

By mile 6, I decided I needed to a bathroom stop - unfortunately there was a bit of a line here. I was stopped for a solid 3 minutes before even getting into the porta potty. (In the graph below, you can see I always stop in this mile - but there usually wasn't as long of a line!) 

Miles 6 - 10: 17:14 (bathroom stop), 12:42, 13:41, 14:16, 14:12

After that I felt better briefly, but then just felt fatigued and weak for basically the rest of the time. After a while I started trying to speed walk, and was just as fast doing that as when I was running. 

Miles 11 - 13.1: 15:24, 15:27, 15:44, 2:15 (for 0.2, 11:01 pace)

Total: 3:03:57, 14:02 pace. At least I continue to improve my recovery time after a distance race, though? I did ride 22 miles the next day and 24.5 the day after that.

I'm not completely sure what the deal was. I'd been a bit sporadic in taking my meds and supplements for a couple weeks before hand. I take things for conditions that can have a big impact on my energy level (thyroid and other endocrine related things), so that might have been a relevant factor. Although I'd kept up my total mileage to almost where I wanted it to be for the training cycle (close to 20 miles/week), I didn't do nearly as much speed work or hill work as I should have. 

Like last year, I thought it'd be interesting to compare my mile splits, since I've done this race each year since I started doing halfs. As always, I found a little energy to kick it up a notch for the last bit. I always take a bathroom break in mile 6 (usually it's a lot shorter line than the earlier stops - not so this year). In the second half, the trend was more similar to my first year doing the race (when it was only my second half marathon), than last year (when I was in the middle of marathon training).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Triathlon Training Week 4


Monday: Core work

Tuesday AM: Run 3.0 miles (13:24 pace) - well, not completely horrid for un-fueled, un-caffeinated, first thing in the morning.
Tuesday PM: TRI Team swim practice 1,100 yards

Wednesday: TRI Team track practice 3.05 miles

Saturday: Swim 1,300 yards (0 to 1650 week 3, plus an two extra laps waiting for Abe) - 400, 200, 4 x 100, 4 x 50, 2 x 50

Sunday: Bike 27.9 miles (12.8 mph)

I thought we were going to be in the middle of a heatwave (90+ degrees = a heatwave in these parts), but apparently that got pushed out til tomorrow. Instead, there was a lovely downpour in the middle of my longest bike ride to date. Plus hills, and riding in parts of Portland I'm not familiar with, trying to keep up with the group so I wouldn't get lost. Basically the worst conditions to bike in I could possibly imagine.

And I went across a wet traintrack at the wrong angle and completely crashed. Not crashed crashed, like truly injured myself or the bike, but fell down hard enough to knock the chain off the gear. Fortunately I'm less scraped up than I would have expected - one knee took the brunt of it, with scraps and what I'm thinking will be a significant bruise by tomorrow, but nothing all that bad.

Total swimming: 2,400 yards
Total biking: 27.9 miles
Total running: 6.05 miles

I intended for this week to be a bit of a break, to recover from the half marathon and psych myself up for Hood to Coast. Also had a lot of social stuff going on, so I didn't prioritize as many bike and swim workouts as I normally do. 

At track practice on Wednesday, I was feeling my ankle a little bit - this is a recurring sorta-injury (happened the first time around the time I was doing the couch to 5k program), and has most recently been acting up for a couples. It didn't hurt terribly, though, and I didn't think I was adjusting anything for it - but once I finished the workout, the coaches immediately asked if I was injured, as I appeared to be limping during it.

They think it's tendonitis, so I need to rest, ice, epsom salt soaks, compression, etc. I can't take too much time off running - I have Hood to Coast coming up! But I nonetheless took off the rest of the week form running. I attempted a run this morning, and though I think my ankle would have felt better once I got warmed up, I turned around after 100 yards, and plan to continue to abstain from running until Tuesday.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hood to Coast Training Plan

I'm still doing lots of triathlon training for my September races, but the next focused training and scheduled race is for Hood to Coast, in late August. This is an awesome relay race, 195 miles from Mt. Hood to the Oregon coast, run by teams of 12 people in 2 vans. I've wanted to do HTC since three years ago when my employer had a team and I was just starting to get into running. But there's a limit on the number of teams, so not everyone can sign up, and we haven't gotten a slot since then - until this year! 

Each runner has 3 legs, each between 4 to 8 miles long, and of varying complexity as far as terrain and elevation changes. I'm runner 8, so my middle leg is a relatively tough climb, but not super long. In total I'll run 14.4 miles; these legs are the second to shortest mileage total, and ranked third to easiest in overall difficulty (which accounts for both distance and terrain).

Leg 8

Leg 20

Leg 32

Realistically, training to run 14+ miles over 2 days in a race requires more than 6 weeks, but I wanted to focus on last weekend's half marathon first, knowing that the weekly volume (which I got close to) and speedwork (which I didn't quite meet) planned for the half would be similar to what I'd want to do for designated HTC training. Only real difference would be single long runs versus double or triple runs in 24 to 36 hour blocks, but the total "long" mileage over a weekend would be fairly similar.

Here's my lovely color-coded (Swim, Bike, Run, Other, Race, Life) 6-week plan:

(Yep, doing a race the morning of the wedding! The race is at 8:30 and the wedding isn't until 2:00. We can't even get into the venue until 1:00 and my make-up/hair prep isn't too complex, so I think there's plenty of time in between and Abe and I running together - hopefully him pacing me to a PR - will make for a great start to a great day.)

Had to work the training plan around some important non-training events - namely my wedding and honeymoon! Fortunately half of the honeymoon is going to be on a cruise ship, which appears to have a track, pool (no idea of the pool length, though), and a fitness center which hopefully has a stationary bike and treadmill. Two of the cruise days are at-sea/not docking anywhere, so I loaded up those days with more exercise, and then also some lesser training on days where there's an earlier scheduled departure from the day's docking location (and thus presumably more free time just hanging around the ship those evenings), and left some longer docking days free for sight-seeing off ship.

On non-cruise days, we'll spending a good chunk of time at disc golf courses. I try to play with Abe on some courses, but I'm really not any good at the sport, and many of the courses are in nice parks, so I can do some running while he's playing disc golf. We also have plans to bike around Anchorage one of the pre-cruise days. Fortunately, Abe's training for a fall triathlon now, too, so balancing the vacation and training are important to us both; it's not like I'll be heavily distracting from his enjoyment of the trip by trying to fit in workouts for myself.

Besides some triple runs mimicking my three legs over 30 hours or so (including the same relative distances, and doing hills on the middle leg), anyone with HTC or other relay experience have suggestions for the best way to train?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

FT Flat Half Training Week 8 & Triathlon Training Week 3


Monday: Core work

Tuesday: TRI Team swim practice 1,250 yards

Wednesday: Run 2.45 miles (13:01 pace) + bike 4.25 miles (9.2 mph)

Thursday: Swim 1,000 yards (adapted from 0 to 1650 week 2) - 4 x 25, 200, 4 x 100, 4 x 50, 4 x 25

Friday: Foot Traffic Flat half marathon - recap post to come. The gist - it wasn't my worst half marathon time ever.

Saturday: Bike 22.0 miles (9.7 mph) + swim 1,250 yards
Bike - rode with Abe to practice a potential bike commute to work. I'm not sure I'm inclined to use it.
Swim - same as Thursday, plus 5 extra laps while waiting for Abe to finish his longer planned distance.

Sunday: Run 2 miles (13:07 pace) + TRI Team bike ride 24.5 miles (13.6 mph)

Total swimming: 3,500 yards
Total biking: 50.75 miles (!)
Total running: 17.55 miles

I know I'm improving on the bike - this week's ride was two loops of Sauvie Island. A couple weeks ago we did one loop, and I was almost 1 mph slower than I was today on twice the distance. Still not super comfortable, though, but getting there.

I think I might be done with longer distance running races (i.e., half marathons) for a while. For whatever reason I'm not focusing on training enough to get substantially faster, and running them at my current pace has stopped being fun. I'm sure I'll get back to them eventually, but for now going to focus on triathlons and improving on 5ks and 10ks.

I think Abe and I are going to do a 5k together the morning of our wedding. I got the idea from a couple (and a good chunk of their bridal party) that was running the half on Friday, with customized t-shirts and wedding accessories (the groom had a bow tie, the bride wore a mini veil). Despite not wanting to be the center of attention for a prolonged period of time around our loved ones at the wedding itself, the idea of momentarily attracting attention from strangers by wearing wedding shirts in a race on our wedding day is oddly appealing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Toastmasters: Quote of the Day

After joining Toastmasters a couple weeks ago, they set up the schedule of roles and speeches for July and August, so I'm on the hook now for real participation! Fortunately, they're easing me in, and my first meeting role was today and just to present the Quote of the Day. (Although I also got called up for a tabletalk - a brief impromptu speech based on a provided prompt.)

The QOD is supposed to tie in with the meeting's theme, if possible, which for today was the 4th of July. After some searching and not really liking or agreeing with many of the patriotic-themed results, I came across a great quote I'd seen many years ago and forgotten about:

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works. - Bill Vaughan