About Me

My brother\'s wedding

My Not-So-Secret Obsessions: Running, Writing (and food)

This blog is mostly about running. It’s also about my specific experiences with running in the Pacific Northwest, an area that seems specifically designed for coffee-addicted runner-foodies like me.

Other things worth knowing:

I graduated from the University of Oregon – I studied hard, books were read and papers handed in. I graduated. I could speak French  and talk about advertising and communication theories. I was also a chronic couch potato. Running in the woods did not fall under any definition of fun I had.

Post-college I landed a job in Paris where I was paid poorly to teach English in French schools. I wandered the streets of Paris on a shoestring budget. The thought of becoming chubby off of French pastries frightened me into finding a physical goal into which I could sink my teeth. Somehow, training for the Paris 2007 Marathon became the goal. In a few months, I was smitten with free museum days, Parisians and red wine from the Cote du Rhone region. I was also running, albeit slowly. Training for the marathon gave me structure and a goal at a time in my life when I had little of both.

When I did run the Paris Marathon, I hated it. Intensely. Somewhere around mile 16 I decided that marathons were for stupid people. I finished the race in intense pain, sobbed at the finish line and concluded I’d never do anything like that again. That was that.

Except that it wasn’t.

About an hour following the race I thought about all the things I could have done differently. . . Maybe, just maybe, I’d try a second marathon, you know, in a few years.

That was back in 2007.

Since then I’ve moved back to the states where I currently live in Portland. When not working, I run far and often and as much as I can. Then I write about it. Some people call me a passionate runner. A few might call me fast. I’m a member of Portland’s Red Lizard Team and Trail Factor, both excellent run clubs that I highly recommend.

Current challenges I am facing include:

Keeping my house plant alive

Sleeping more

Keeping my addiction to Coconut Bliss ice cream firmly in check


35 Responses to About Me

  1. nicoleneff says:

    I came across your site when looking for running blogs. I think we’re a lot alike…I also have a journalism degree, love running, and also travel whenever possible. And of course, I love chocolate…who doesn’t? I’m new to the blog thing, but I’m hoping to gain inspiration from other people’s running blogs, so I hope you don’t mind if I check in from time to time.

  2. Clover says:

    Bonjour Heather! I just started my blog today and ran into you.. I invite you to read mine.. it seems so strange! Quelle coincidence!

  3. bibomedia says:


  4. Andrea Hill says:

    ” Needless to say, I graduated from the UO being able to write and think, but broke and without a good clue about what to do with my life.”

    I say the same thing.. my first undergrad degree was in French and Spanish, with a minor in Linguistics. I used to say the only thing it qualified me for was traveling. (I then took another degree in Digital Communication and became a web developer).

  5. Marvin says:

    Hey Heather, this is Marvin from LA! We met at Legal Seafoods after the Boston Marathon. Great job on this blog, I look forward to reading more of it. Radell and I and maybe one more person are planning on running CIM this year. Hope to see you there. I’ll let the guys know you have a blog setup…

  6. brian bellairs says:


    I am a 48 year old male who ran the Summer Solstice and evidently ran a similar time to yours. After reading your blog, I am very concerned as to how you might have categorized me: heart attack waiting to happen, decent athlete when Carter was President or simply clueless. All are pretty accurate.

    Fyi, the Summer Solstice was pure hell for me even though my time was not bad for me. I don’t know what makes it so tough, but perhaps it is the myriad of surface changes or the time of day. The skinny grass path near the very start and at the turn also messes with me.

    Your thoughts as to what makes this race tough?

    Brian Bellairs

  7. Aileen says:

    Nearly the same thing here! I majored in acting, and then decided to hedge my bets and add on a double major in French. Needless to say, I am making lots of money. But hey, at least we’re running!

  8. flydi007 says:

    It’s always awesome to meet new Portland runners. Did you by chance do the Run Like a Girl race a couple weeks ago? Also-you work for an ad agency? Are you downtown? If so, I bet you work just a few blocks away from me!

  9. Peter Hatton says:


    Nice Blog, I have not had a chance to review the many blogs that are out there. Are you running the Haulin Aspen Marathon or Half this year (2008 version)? I am from Bend, and just completed the Cascade Lakes Relay from Diamond Lake to Bend this past weekend, it was a blast and a lot less crowded than the Hood to Coast. I will look for you this Sunday if you are running. Peter

  10. Kavitha says:

    Hi, I came across your running blog through Runners Lounge. Love your writing and your pics…am jealous of the lovely trails you run on!

    I’ve always been fascinated by Oregon and would love to visit some day.

  11. Jen says:

    Hello Heather,

    Really enjoyed reading your paleo food posts; you have a sense of humor, yay!
    I was wondering how you deal with cravings if you do get them sometimes. I am a serious food lover who no doubt feels better eating paleo, but am kind of struggling with the call of the oreo.

    Keep up the good work,


  12. ChrisK says:

    Hello Heather I stumbled upon your blog when googling info on the piriformis. I too suffer from the same thing. I’ve been seeing my PT, but was wondering if you could share any insight on how you tackled your problem.

  13. highaltitude says:

    Hi Heather, please keep on posting, i love to read it.

  14. puisan says:

    hi heather!
    I LOVE your blog….really enjoyed reading each posting. you have a knack of making running and the unfortunate sufferings that may come by FROM running, very humorous.
    i only wish one day i’d achieve your kinda mileage!!!
    keep on blogging and logging those miles!!!


  15. run4change says:

    Man I wish I could run fast like you. HAHAHA I just finished my 9th marathon with a PR of 3:58. I lost 130 lbs and have run 9 mar’s and 4 ultras. I am from your neck of the woods too. Cool blog by the way. Keep on keeping on runner

  16. Hmmm…this seems to me a great template for an About page, something I’ve been puzzling over for some time now. Thanks!

  17. Too Fat says:

    Fantastic. Really really well written. I found it by accident but have really enjoyed it so far. I agree that your about page is really well done and something worthy of stealing. I look forward to checking in from time to time.

  18. polynesian69 says:

    I like your blog 🙂

  19. runshorts says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve left a comment yet, but wanted to take a moment let you know that I enjoy reading your writings about your not-so-secret obsessions.

  20. Hey! I just started reading your blog. Good stuff. And very nice PR. I will be reading more.

    Are you planning on any marathons in 2010?

    I am running NYC this year, trying to qualify for Boston. I need to be sub 3:15, I was 3:25 last year in my 1st marathon ever.


    PS my blog is


  21. Magic Fan 77 says:

    I came across this site because I was looking for the word grapefruit LOL and saw the pic of your cat? It is giving me some mean ideas to do something like that to my cat, Faust.

    Anyways, great blog! I used to have a blog about my mountain biking and road biking adventures but… after moving around I kind of left it… I might go back to write!

    Keep on running =)

  22. Rachelle says:

    Hi Heather,
    I came across your blog while doing some reading on the recent studies regarding barefoot and semi-barefoot running, specifically the recent study from Dr. Kerrigan. I’m co-founder of an emerging minimalist footwear line called kigo footwear. We have a flexible outsole and road feel similar to the Vibram Five Fingers. But we are a ‘one finger’ shoe that comes in a full vamp slip on style and a mary jane style, so they’re really nice for everyday wear as well as for athletic wear. I’d love to have you try our shoes. If you’re interested, shoot me a note at rachelle@kigofootwear.com. Have a good one! Hope that foot is feeling better.

  23. Ironvan says:

    Greetings! I came across your blog from another runners site. Im a fellow northwest runner hailing from Montana. Most of my running is attached to triathlons, but Im hoping to put in a good full-mary effort this year.

    Strong work with your PR. Smoking fast. Drop by my blog sometime!


  24. Dan says:

    Soooo your blog is the first one that came up when I googled ‘Paelo and distance running’ . Do you find it hard to do both, I used to think carb loading was almost requided for running..

  25. Jerry Mark says:

    Hi Heather,

    I was searching for yesterday’s TM results (results are not yet posted on Rogue Multi-Sport…what’s up with that, they’re a timing chip company). This is when I came across your blog in the processes – very nice! Good work and congrats on 2nd female finisher yesterday and your Eugene PR (you have quick legs, our finish times are very close). We seem to run in the same events.

    I suspect we share many of the same (Red Lizards, etc.) friends and run in many of the same events (what’s next for you?). With that said, I was wondering if you and any of your friends would consider volunteering for the PCT-50 Miler, July 24.

    PCT-50M starts and finishes in the same place as (TM) yesterday’s event. Besides parking and aid station volunteers, I really need competent course sweepers (I need six; three South and three North) for the course. I sweep in 2007, when the course went to Timberline Lodge – it is a wonderful experience. I made two lasting friendships.

    If you are interested or know of others that might be, please contact me either through Mt. Hood PCT 50 mile website (pct50@orrc.net) or my personal email I submitted to you. The volunteers receive monogrammed event arm warmers an event t-shirt, and my never ending admiration for the support.

    Thank you so much,

  26. amy says:

    Hi Heather,
    I found your blog when I was looking for some reports on SOB. I moved to Portland about 6 months ago, and am always looking for new running partners (especially anyone that might want to meet in the mornings, as it’s the only way I can drag myself out of bed in the mornings….). It looks like we might run a similar pace. Let me know if you’re ever interested in meeting up for a run.


  27. Rudiyanto says:

    Hi Heather,

    Great blog about running you have. Very inspiring and open my mind about running sports. As I like cycling, I would like to try to run in the morning sometimes. Thanks for your blog that motivating me to try running.

    If you like a shoe for running, you could see the info in http://www.brooks-runningshoes.com. Thank you for your attention.


  28. Joe Clark says:

    No blogs since you got your dog? I hope it means that you are too busy to write, rather than too busy to run. Hope you’re okay, I enjoy your blogs – I just don’t comment much.

  29. Hello,

    Really nice data, thanks for sharing.
    I personally would like to put your text on my site, if it is allowed?
    Hope you’ll have great articles like this again.



  30. Denise says:

    Heather! OMG, after much resistance, I have discovered the joys (and time wasting) of Facebook. I miss you! And am so glad to have discovered your web site. Please be my friend again!

  31. Julia Fullmer says:

    I came across your blog recently, and was wondering if you would be interested in learning more about the 5K Foam Fest.
    If you are interested in the race, I can give you a free race entry plus some to give out on your Facebook page or blog.

    Here are some details about it: Ever dreamed of running through mud? What about running through a giant car wash? Well, your dreams are about to come true. The 5k Foam Fest is unlike any other 5k on the planet. As soon as you get out of your car you’ll notice why.It’s not the killer music or the fact that almost everyone is dressed in costumes. The difference is that everyone is smiling. That’s right. Everyone is smiling at a 5k race. Smiling and racing don’t usually go hand in hand, but the 5k Foam Fest is an amazing mix of pre-race activities and race obstacles that reminds you that fitness can be fun. The race features mud, inflatable obstacles, slip ‘n slides, foam, springy obstacles, climbing obstacles and a few more shocking obstacle scattered across the 5k race course. Participating in the race you may be a little sweaty, foamy or even muddy, but you’ll have just had a great work out and will have been smiling all the way. We have races in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona and Texas.

    With an obstacle course built into the race route, all participants will run through a giant human car wash, swing across a monkey rope, and crawl through mud just to name a few of the mind-blowing aspects of the run.The race is open to those age 12 years and older. There is a Rugrat Race for children ages 6-11. The Rugrat Race is one half to one mile long and is complete with most of the same obstacles in the 5k race. Please visit http://www.5kfoamfest to register and for race details and updates.

    Julia Fullmer
    Public Relations Director
    Round House Racing
    Work: 801-798-5451

  32. Katherine Wills says:

    Hi Heather
    I am writing a book on outdoor first aid here in the UK and i noticed you have an amazing photograph of your broken hand on you ‘Broken Bones’ page. I was wondering if you would be willing to allow me to use the photograph in my book?
    Kind regards
    Katherine Wills
    Email: katherinewills@btinternet.com

  33. Hi There,
    My name is Kelly Oprendek. I am the owner of Lunatik Athletiks. We specialize in funky, high quality compression socks. We are hoping you would consider doing a product review for us!!! Please check us out at http://www.lntk.com.
    We hope you will consider.
    Thank you for your time.

  34. Marina says:

    my name is Marina, I m a representative of a http://www.airiarunning.com , which designs the Airia One shoes – the new running shoes that can help you run faster. Rigorous testing shows that 8 out of 10 run faster in Airia One running shoes.

    We want to suggest you to post an article about running ( we will provide the content) on your blog. How much money could it possible cost and what are the requirements for the content?

    We can suggest another option- we send you Airia One shoes, you try them, write a review and post it on your blog. Afterwards you can leave shoes to yourself!
    Be first to try these innovative shoes!

    We hope for the soon cooperation!

    Best regards,
    Gorodishcheva Marina
    Analyst at International Department
    Promodo Company

  35. Hello, I’m the founder and Owner of Workoutbunnies.com/Workout Bunnies LLC based in Beaverton Oregon.
    I’ve created a site for people to find a workout/fitness partner in your area for free! There’s an app for android that is free and I’ve sponsored local events as well.
    Workout Bunnies also has apparel so people wearing the apparel will be an icebreaker to other in fitness depending on what exercise they’re into. (EIN 47-1020703
    I think putting me/us on the blog would be Great Avenue for people to connect outside of work for hiking and volunteer work!
    Being a local veteran who’s been deployed to Afghanistan(2006) and Iraq(20090 and was in the news from being hit by a drunk driver a couple years ago would be a good back story on how no matter how many times you get knocked down you builds to help your community.

    (503) 984- 1580

    Samuel Brackeen IV
    Workout Bunnies LLC Founder



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