Run #6 – Dallas, Texas

According to Google, Irving is a suburb of Dallas so I think I’m in the clear when I say my sixth run in a new city this year occurred in Dallas. Having now survived an absolutely brutal winter in Portland (something like 85% of days between October and April have had cloud cover and rain), I’m trying to soak up the sun anywhere I can find it. Lucky for me, Dallas was experiencing 90 degree days last week when I was traveling for work.

Although typically I’ve always favored a rainy 50 degree day to run, at this moment in time all I want to do is be overheated and sunburned. My hotel was in Las Colinas, a “upscale” area of Irving, situation on a huge man-made lake, fully paved with walking trails and canals.

Typically, my success criteria for a run in a new city includes a high level of pedestrian safety, scenic or natural views, a high density of other runners, and hopefully some type of waterway…which were all in effect right outside my hotel lobby.

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As it was 89 degrees (and incredibly windy), I made a pact with myself to simply do the best I could, walk if necessary, and not worry about speed or distance. This plan mostly worked, except when I got lost attempting to avoid a wedding photoshoot and navigate around construction. Overall, I had a good run and I won’t complain.

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Afterwards, I spent my time chilling in the hotel pool and nursing my feet (which were SO not used to running on smoking hot pavement). I was hoping to replicate a more efficient run the next day, but the weather report turned sour and instead of getting caught in a potential thunderstorm, I treated myself to laps in the pool.

If I lived in Dallas, this would be a fantastic regular running route so I hope to return in the near future and give it another go.

#23 – Sell my dad’s house. Check.

Over the years, my bucket list has primarily focused on the fun and unusual, but it’s always been sprinkled with a few responsible, laborious tasks, as well. Getting my principal’s license or teaching a college class are good examples – they certainly aren’t fun, but they move me forward in other ways.

Let’s be clear: in 2016, I didn’t say to myself, “Gee! Selling my dad’s house should land on my bucket list!” No, no. Instead it was a, “If I don’t put this on my bucket list, I might never get it done.”

I would like to thank my career as a teacher for preparing me to move my father into a retirement home while also selling his house, and holding down several jobs at the same time. I’m one hell of a project manager. In no means do I consider myself an expert in transitioning elderly parents or real estate ventures, but I did learn a lot that I can reflect on if I have to do this again (god forbid).

Top 5 Things I Learned Selling My Dad’s House

  1. Ask people for help. Find a few very trusted, reliable and handy people who are willing to move furniture, clean bathrooms, and not ask a lot of questions. I would actually say those who had no connection to my dad were the most helpful because they didn’t have any emotional attachment or context – they just saw what needed to be done.
  2. Don’t ask people for help. Once it was out there that my dad was moving, the vultures started circling. People I barely knew offered their “help” which turned out to be very complicated, and made the process worse. I quickly learned to keep the process controlled and quiet.
  3. Offer Up is the best app out there. I’m so disappointed I didn’t use this earlier. I gave away SO MANY things out of sheer desperation. EVERYTHING MUST GO! But once I started using Offer Up, it was a gamechanger. That clock I don’t know what to do with? Those bunk beds I can’t take apart? The box of dishes that are too nice to donate? Someone is willing to come buy it in the next hour. Boom!
  4. Plan a vacation. Some days, the only thing that got me through was knowing that I had a trip planned for spring break. At the same time, after spending 150+ hours on the house alone, I’m treating myself to a vacation at the end of the summer. Consider it my commission.
  5. Start thinning out your own belongings. What if you were paralyzed tomorrow? Or even died? Who is going to go through all of your stuff? Do you really want your family or children to have to put their lives on hold so that they can box up those books that you’re never going to read again? We spend our lives amassing belongings only to have someone else get rid of them. Do everyone a favor and get rid of your shit.

This year has been rough. I feel several years older, and not much wiser. At the same time, I’m lucky that I don’t have siblings who want to bicker over the tough decisions, or that I have a flexible job that allowed me to take an hour off here and there during the day. Had I have been teaching in the classroom, surely I would have set the house on fire (just kidding…).

The good news (great news!) is that it’s all done. I signed the papers last week and the new owners have taken possession. It’s DONE. Which is a good thing because my Saturday’s are immediately reserved for coaching soccer – no rest for the weary!

Now the focus returns to the fun and unusual bucket list items, and already I’m planning my time capsule, looking for crows, and working on my planks. I also added a new item (#24 – Join a social club) that I will be writing about very soon, which definitely falls under the fun & unusual category.

BTW, my dad is doing great. He is official an ambassador of his retirement home and shows the newbies around (even if he can’t remember where things are). He goes swimming weekly, has a personal trainer, and has pretty specific advice for the Blazers as they move into the playoffs.

 

Run #4 – Paris, France

My last (and only) time in Paris was a bummer because my knee was taking orders from my knee surgeon to take the summer off from running. I couldn’t get it out of my head that I never got a chance to run in Paris, and felt a redo opportunity would have to present itself at some point.

Lucky for me, that “some point” was this week. Though the first couple of days I was still shaking off some jet lag, yesterday morning I woke up and hit the road at 8:30am (a.k.a: the crack of dawn for the French). During mid-day, the sidewalks and bridges are clogged up with pedestrians and rogue bikers, but in the morning there are relatively few people out in the most touristy areas. I randomly chose to run up and down the Seine, along the paved paths rather than the uneven stone sidewalks on the street level.

Along my route, I saw many other runners (sadly none of them women), commuters, and the occasional fisherman.

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See? No people.

It was also a nice time to catch Notre Dame before it the tourist rush filled the square.

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See? Just a few people.

As I knew we would be walking the rest of the day, three miles was plenty, and just enough to get me started for a day of eating all of the things.

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Today we took the train to Barcelona so you can pretty much guess what Run #5 will be. Lord knows I need to exercise off egregious amount of food we are eating.

A lot of things are happening right now. At work, I’ve been joking that I should change my email signature to “The Fixer” as I’ve been assigned to some of our biggest crisis schools, which is seriously time consuming. (Sidenote: … Continue reading