Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bagels and Memories

Spreading cream cheese on a toasted bagel. That did it. It brought back a memory of my mom. Weird how different things can bring to mind things that are buried. It happened sometime when I was in junior high or high school. I only remember that because we were living up Beaver Creek. (That place brings volumes of some of my best memories.) Must have been a Saturday when I wandered into the kitchen. Mom was surreptitiously facing the toaster. Her hands were busy, but that wasn’t unusual, her hands were always busy. It seemed she didn’t want me to see what she was doing. Of course, that made me want to know more. Peeking over her shoulder, I could see her sprinkling brown sugar over cream cheese. Hmmm, that looked good. She sighed and told me about her favorite quick treat. Toasted bagel with cream cheese and brown sugar then warmed a bit in the microwave. She let me have a bite. Wow! It was so yummy! Warm sweet, tart goodness—almost a caramel roll without the work. One more wonderful memory of my amazing mom.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Time Out

I took a time out today--a time out from my regular life.  Instead of caring for others, I spent the day with my sister getting pampered.  December of 2009, I planned to take her for a pedicure.  It never happened.  When her birthday rolled around this year, it was time to act.  Her kids are finally old enough to be left home alone for a while so we jumped at the chance.  On the agenda was a pedicure and lunch.  It was so nice to just hang out with her.  We had no one else to worry about or care for. 

I miss her. We get so busy with our lives that we don't get to see each other often.  It is sad that we do that when we grow up.  It is even harder when we live so far from the rest of the family.  With siblings in SoCal, Seattle, northern Minnesota, Seattle and South Carolina, we see each other so seldom.  I am actually thankful for Facebook.  I know more about what is happening in their and their children's lives than ever before.  I know the mundane details that they share.  There is a joy in knowing the bits and pieces of their lives like when we were children. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

As a Runner

In my dreams, I... can run for hours without tiring.

My favorite book is... my Bible—lots about running races in it!

My favorite movie is... I would like to say Chariots of Fire as Eric Liddell is my hero for running and for life, but the movie was slooooooow. So, really, Running the Sahara is my favorite.

My breakthrough was... The first time I broke an hour in a 10k. I had only started running again 5 months earlier. It was when I crossed the finish line in 59:01 that I felt like a runner!

My favorite run is... a run with purpose especially a long steady run or a hard tempo. I heart tempo runs!

My favorite season to run is... Fall—the weather cools, but the sun still shines in Oregon.

My favorite distance is... Hmmm, probably the half pikermi, but I do like the challenge of the marathon. Then, of course, I do want to do an ultra someday…

My favorite race is... the Wildwood Trail Trial. It was the first race I ever did with my sister-in-law the first time I started running. I never treat it as a race, but enjoy the trails and being outdoors.

I started running because of... fatness. Seriously, I looked like Jabba the Hut. I had lost some weight and needed to exercise to keep it off. I had run in the past and loved it. It was natural for me to try it again.

My reason to keep running is... I love it. I love the pure motion. It feels like freedom. And there is the food dessert.

I knew I was a runner for life when... I wanted to keep running after my first marathon. I was afraid that I would quit after that, but all I wanted to do was get back out there!

I am most scared of... losing the joy I feel when running.

My main goal as a runner is... run forever or at least until the day I die—probably in the middle of a run at age 99!

So, how about you? 

Hat Tip to MsRitz


Just finished making several calls and emails.  I need to find more residents.  I am bored out of my mind!  Imagine being tied to being home without being able to leave.  Yet only one person keeps you there and that person is often sleeping.  There is very little laundry or cleaning that needs done.  Paperwork is near to nothing as only one resident leaves few chart notes and such.  You cannot even take a walk with the wheelchair as the days are so wet and miserable.  Such is my current life.  I know it sounds great to many, but most could only handle it for a short time before ennui sets in.  Hopefully, soon, families will be looking for a place for mom or dad to be warm and safe!

On a running note:  I went out in the rain this afternoon!  It may not have been the smartest idea, but this cold seems to be staying in my head.  I am saddened to see how much fitness I have lost.  Between my lethargy post marathon and my illnessses, I had a hard time on a short loop today.  The last hill was tough.  Sort of like when I first finished the C25K.  Except I was able to do it without walking.  Still it was soooo slow and tough.  However, I am not complaining too much as I am running again.  Let us hope this one sticks for a while!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Away in a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,

the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes;

I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky

and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.


Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay

close by me forever, and love me, I pray;

bless all the dear children in thy tender care,

and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Races in Review

04/03/10 Vernonia Pikermi (2:06:32)
This was  a completely fun, tough and amazing race.  The plan was to run it at PMP as a tune up for the Eugene Marathon.  It rained and it snowed.  It was on asphalt, gravel and dirt trail.  The slush was slick and the puddles were ankle deep.  On top of everything, it ended on a very steep hill.  All in all, it was CRAZY FUN!  Yes, I am planning to do it again this year!
05/02/10 Eugene Marathon (PR - 4:16:02)
A glorious day for a marathon.  It was cold and sunny.  Everything was coming together until I came apart.  Wel, part of me did anyway...  Several porta-potty stops and GI distress put me off pace late in the race.  However, my splits were amazing except for those stops.  I was on my way to a 4:06ish marathon, but anything can happen on race day.  The best thing was running into Hayward field and feeling the soft track under my feet.  It was great and I hope to do this one again--maybe for that sub-4 I know I have in me!

06/05/10 Sherwood Run for the Roses 5k (PR - 26:23 - 40-49 Age Group Winner!)
The first race I have done without anyone along to watch or run.  I met NattyBumpo there through my Team Pikermi hoodie.  I was super nervous about doing a 5k.  I toed the line a couple of rows back and spent the first half mile dodging slower runners and walkers.  I had no idea I should have started closer to the front!  But it did keep me from going out too fast.  I ended up passing a lot of people and only was passed by a couple of men.  I felt like I was going to DIE the entire race!  My splits were perfect!  (8:26, 8:21, 8:18, 7:23)  And I ended up the 4th woman and first in my age group!  It was a HUGE confidence booster!

07/25/10 Bowerman 5k (26:36)
It was an evening race and it was HOT--around 80 degrees!  It was a two loop course on the Nike Worldheadquarters and lots of superfast people were participating.  I jogged one loop for a warm up then did my drills.  I really was hoping for a new PR with all the training I had been doing.  In the first half mile my ITB started feeling tight.  Then, half through the second loop, my asthma gave me fits.  My breathing was ragged and I was wheezing so much I got asked if I was okay...sigh...not a good sign.  My coach was at the corner when I turned in toward the finish.  I started to kick too soon and really died.  I did survive the race.  I learned some new things about myself and running late in the day and the heat.  Drink a lot, then drink more!  I was so disappointed, but my coach brought me back to reality that I nearly PRed in much tougher conditions.  Okay, I can live with that.

07/28/10 Mt. Tabor Doggie Challenge 8k/5k with my doggie! (44:21)
The first race ever with my dog.  I went to it planning to take it as a tempo.  Another evening race on a hot day.  Fortunately, the course was all in shade.  Unfortunately, the course was on the side of Mount Tabor... meaning hills, big hills...  My splits showed it--8:54, 8:15, 9:32, 9:30, 8:38.  Yet it was so much fun!  Indy was in heaven and had impecable dog manners.  He would slow at times to see what dog was coming behind.  We did stop at a couple of water stations and dumped water on him as he refuses to drink when we run.  I was awarded a trophy for the 3rd masters female.  But on review of the online results, I was actually about the 5th.  I am keeping the award as I ran with a dog and they did not!  To top off a great evening, I was able to spend time with my running friend, Corina!

08/27/10 Hood to Coast 2010 (Leg 6: 7.42/1:04:32, Leg 18: 4.15/41:04, Leg 30: 5.35/46:43)
Ever since my sistee-in-law ran the Hood to Coast more than 20 years ago, I have wanted to be a part of a team.  I was so excited when I was invited to join team Wii Not Fit with Corina.  A relay of 196 miles, stinky people, no sleep--what could be more fun!  And it was a BLAST!  I ran so much better than I expected.  I loved the team comraderie and encouragement.  The night was hard.  I have to admit, I began to wonder if I was going to make my second run.  I was queasy and faint.  Corina waited with me at the transition so I could sit, wrapped in a blanket, until it was time to go.  Yet once I started running, everything came together.  I said it was a once time race for me.  But writing this, months later, makes me wonder...hmmm...wonder it there is a team needing a runner next year...

10/10/10 Portland Marathon (4:34:56)
What could have been the worst marathon, turned into the most fun!  Rain, rain and more rain.  My training had not gone as planned and with the rain, I decided to relax and have some fun.  I started slow and ended up joining the 4:15 pace group.  Everything felt great and I thought maybe I could still PR.  Then the old GI issue reared it's ugly head!  It wasn't as bad as Eugene, but I lost the pace group and couldn't catch them.  I just talked to random runners.  The comraderie was great as we all commisterated about the weather.  I crossed the finish line with my slowest time, but felt awesome!  It was such a fun race.  And my husband had a bag of my dry clothes for me to change into to watch for my nephew to finish! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saved by His Grace

But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not!  Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down.
For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.  My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.  (Galations 2:17-21, NLT)

I visited my sister this week and we tend to have deep conversations while she is trimming my hair.  Strange, but true.  She was telling me about a youth group and Bible study.  The implied rules of behavior are very strict.  If those rules are not followed, the rule breaker is publicly shamed.  The shame was put in context of a joke, but the teen was hurt by the "joke." 

The idea of following rules is not new to me.  My perception of Chrisitanity was a teen was such that we were saved by grace, but I still needed to be perfect to be a "good" Christian.  At one time, I decided that if we were to tithe our monies maybe I needed to tithe everything.  So I figured out that 10% of a day was 2 hours 10 minutes.  I needed to tithe my time and so 2:10 of every day was to be spent reading the Bible and praying.  I got up at 5 am so I wouldn't run out of time.  I often found myself dozing and would blame myself for not being "good" enough to stay focused.  This only lasted a short time before the fatigue was overwhelming.  I ended it with a great deal of shame and frustration.  I felt I had failed Christ. 

It was years before I began to see that it is grace that allows me to be my imperfect self and still be Christ's child.  The grace of God offers us salvation.  The grace of God allows us to continue to be saved without needing to be sinless.  Which is a very good thing as there is no way I could remain sinless. 

God saved you by his GRACE when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Eph. 2:8, NLT)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunshine Run!

It wan't long.  It wasn't fast.  Yet it was a run.  I woke up this morning planning to get on the treadmill.  But the sun was shining.  How could I even consider the dreadmill when there was sunshine?  Off we (Indiana Jones & I) went to Summerlake Park.  The park has a path that can be made a figure 8 for 1 mile.  The thought was that I would never be too far from the car if I ran into trouble.  The goal was for up to 4 miles, but at least 2.  The first 2 went great, but about a third of the way into the 3 mile my knee hurt.  Definitely the outside leading me to think my ITB.  Stretching did not improve the situation so I decided enough was enough.  Hey, it was 2.5 miles.  I felt great.  Indy loved every minute of it.  Life was good!

I did wear a buff covering my nose and mouth.  The hope is that the warmer air will keep me from coughing too bad the rest of the day.  We shall see...

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Ran!

Wooohooo!  I did.  Really.  I headed downstairs this morning after I had things settled upstairs.  I started to head to the shower and had a thought--why not try 5 minutes on the treadmill.  I hate my treadmill.  Really.  But I know it is the only way I can get back to running right now.  Cold outdoor air would be very unfriendly to my lungs.  So, I can deal.

I put on my gear and grabbed my mp3 player.  I really need some music for the dreadmill!  I started very slow.  Slower than I have run since I started back up.  It felt pretty good.  Breathing: Good.  Coughing: None.  Sweet!  After a couple of minutes, I decided to go for 10 minutes.  I got to 10 and started for 15.  When I got to 20 minutes, I stopped.  No sense pushing too much.  I could have gone longer.  It was so encouraging.  I was so worried that I had lost so much fitness that I would need to have walk breaks.  Instead I could have kept on running.  I started pushing a little more toward the last 5 minutes to see how it would go.  I could feel a bit of wheezing, but it stopped as soon as I stopped. 

So, now I have a bit of a cough, but no more than last evening.  After more than 2 months of feeling ambivilant about running, I am now excited to go--even if it is on the treadmill for a while!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Santa came early!

When I was first married, 23 years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a couple of pieces of advice. First, if you don't want to do something forever, don't do it the first time. Case in point: Haircuts. I did it once and am still doing it. I hated cutting his hair, but now just buzz it so it isn't so bad. The second piece of advice was that men are often not very good at buying gifts. She always put something under the tree for herself from Santa. She got what she wanted and everyone was happy! I took that advice to heart and my husband has been very happy. He HATES shopping! Most of the time I don't even put it under the tree.

My gift from Santa arrived today!  I have been wanting a nice way to hang my running medals.  I meet someone on the Loop forums that had a great design and his flyers were in the goody bags at the Eugene Marathon.  I have to admit, I coveted them.  Pretty, shiny, sturdy.  It was so nice of Santa to believe I was good enough for one!  If you are interested in one they have many designs and will customize, too!  Check them out at Allied Medal Displays.

On a bright note, looking at it makes me want to add more medals.  I am so ready to run again!  I finish this round of meds tomorrow.  I am feeling good, but still have some cough.  The cough is lighter though and doesn't completely send me into spasms.  I hope to hop on my treadmill (sigh) early next week and give it a shot!  Woooohoooo!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Bronchitis = 1, Antibiotics = 0

I finished my antibiotics on Monday and was feeling much better.  At the time, I thought I would try running on the treadmill on Thursday or Friday.  By Thursday, I was feeling worse again.  Late Friday afternoon, I could barely talk without starting a coughing fit again.  It was so frustrating! 

I headed back to the doctor this morning.  In all that time there has been no change in my lungs.  No improvement and, fortunately, no worse.  Now I have round 2 of antibiotics and a course fo steriods to try to get my lungs healthy.  Another 7 days and hopefully I will be feeling better...please!

For 6 weeks after my last marathon, I didn't want to run.  Running was a job and took too much effort.  Even when I got back to it regularly, it took so much effort to make that first step.  Then I got sick.  Now I cannot run.  Now I desparately want to run.  Guess this is one way to get my groove back. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Plan

Okay, today it happened.  I finally exercised.  So it wasn't a run, not yet anyway, but still it got my heart rate up.  I decided yesterday that I had to get my exercise bike to a location.  A location where I might actually use it.  I moved a few things around, dusted, mopped.  Then my forebearing husband helped me move it upstairs.  Now I can use it during the day when things are quiet around here.  Hopefully, that will help me keep some of my fitness until I am running again.

Once my cough is gone, I will hit the treadmill until I get back to speed.  I have a plan.  This is the way to get me motivated.  I like a plan.  A plan helps me to focus and it helps me to relax.  A plan gives me something to focus on other than the things causing me stress.

On another hand, I am tired.  We have had 3 deaths in the last 5 weeks.  Even though each person was in our home only a short time, it takes a piece of me.  It isn't all about all the work and the long nights.  It is about the mental fatigue.  Trying to discern what is needed and to anticipate the need right before so I can be ready.  It is an honor to be a part of people's last moments, but I think it takes a toll on the living.  Even someone who is not emotionally envolved.  I need running.  It is cheaper than therapy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday 5

Sleeping late.

A simple afternoon with family. 

A Nap.

Dog's warm welcome home after said afternoon.

Awesome staff.

And all these really happened today!

One of These Days

Just as I was getting back into running, it happened.  The motivation is gone and when it returns, it happens.  It started with a simple headache, then came the sinus pain and the sore throat.  The worst was yet to come.  The cough.  I started my inhalers and cough syrup.  If I jump on it, I can usually keep it to a simple cold.  Unfortunately, this time was not simple.  Simple cold went to bronchitis very quickly.  Sigh.  I am feeling better thanks to antibiotics and perscription cough syrup.  Hopefully, I can get back on the roads soon!  When I cannot run, it is all I really want to do...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The last few days, I have been wondering how to put into words how grateful I am.  The way to express my gratitude for my blessings is beyond me.  I am surrounded by life and death.  It takes away the physical things and brings to light the intangible.  My heart is so full that I cannot describe the deepest emotions of gratefulness within.  Every day I am blessed beyond measure from the smallest detail to the greatest treasure.  The people around me are sent by God.  Family, friends and new aquaintances are gifts.  Each sunbreak, each snowflake and even every raindrop are gifts from God.  Each have a purpose and give a reason for appreciation.  Today, and every day, I am blessed with treasures.  It is my duty to appreciate them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

John 14:1-4

"Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I'm taking."  (The Message)

This passage bring so much hope.  I am not long in this world.  I know where I am going.  I know who will meet me.  I cannot wait for that day when I see him in the clouds and he calls my name.  There will be no hesitation.  I will follow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Always Together

Early this afternoon, I approached her and said we were going to go to her husband’s service. She looked a little surprised then said, "Oh, yes. We need to do that." I don't know if she subconsciously knew that it was coming or she did not understand exactly what I was saying. Her realization that he is gone comes and goes. Fortunately, for her, it is mostly gone. She wanted to make sure she looked okay. I told her she looked beautiful and she waved her hand at me. "You look beautiful," she replied with an emphasis on you. That may be just a saying, but I will take it where I can get it and thanked her.

Moments later, we were loaded in the Jeep and we were off to the funeral home. During the ride, we talked about her family. I told her they were all going to be there and support her. She held my hand and said, "Don't you leave me." I told her I would be close. She patted my hand and closed her eyes.

Her family was there to greet her--children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews. She was gracious and greeted many. She loves her family and her eyes sparkle. She grasps hands and gives kisses. She is the family matron and it is her due. You can see how they love her. The years of love are bright as unshed tears bring a shine to many eyes. The sadness reveals the love they have for her as they view her frailty. Many realize that she will not be far behind. Maybe she realizes it as well.

The service is full of praise for her husband of 67 years. He was a man of strength and gentleness. He loved his family above all. Memories slide by that show pieces of his life. Her head is raised and her eldest daughter describes the photos. It makes no difference if she can see them. She knows him. She sees his face every time she closes her eyes. She knows every memory. She feels him at her side as he has been for many years.

She dozes the short distance to the cemetery. Grieving is tiring. Pain is fatiguing. Yet she holds on. The next generation brings him to her. He wrapped in fragrant wood. She swaddled in blankets. They are side by side once again. A pink rosary held in her hand then shared with her husband. Tears flow around her as she is serene. The cold begins to seep through the blankets and we move to leave. Again her family surrounds her. Young voices telling her they love her. This is for them, not for her. Her family needs to say the words. They need her to know. She knows. She always will.

Now she sleeps. A deep sleep. She may dream of those memories when they were young. She may dream of dancing as they were old. It matters not. She has him with her. She always will.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday 5

1.  Cold Medicine--even though I am NOT sick! 

2.  Fleece.  Warm, cozy, comfortable. 

3.  DVRs.  Watching programs on my own schedule without commercials!

4.  Powell's Book Store.  Rows and rows of books.  'Nuff said!

5.  Fuzzy socks.  See description for fleece above.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It has been far too long since my last blog!  We returned home from Paris on Tuesday the 8th.  Life got busy so I put off any writing.  Now, here I am.  Back to writing and finally back to running!  I paid for my running hiatus.  The cold weather and lack of hard workouts have cost me some fitness.  It is going to take some time to get back at it.  Yet it feels so good to want to run again!

Paris was amazing!  I love history and old buildings.  I certainly got both!  We spent 2 days in the Loire valley visiting chateaus.  One day, we traveled to Normandy and visited Point du Hoc, Omaha beach and the American cemetary.  That was an incredibly moving time.  The other days, Jeff & I walked miles around Paris.  We visited popular sites and happened on little out of the way places.  We ate crepes from stree vendors and climbed millions of steps.  We went to bed late and got up early.

It wasn't until Sunday morning that I finally got out for a run.  The Seine was just through a park from our apartment.  I headed out before anyone else was awake.  I had to watch my step as the path was cobblestones.  It was wonderful to run with views of Notre Dame and the Louvre.  I saw a few other runners and fishermen.  I heard the word "touristique" a couple of times.  I didn't care.  I was a tourist.  It didn't matter as I was reveling in the pure enjoyment of history and running.  Two of my favorite things!

Just a few photos of our trip to share!

 Morning run along the Seine with Notre Dame in the background

 Chateau de Chambord

Waiting in line to go up the Eiffel Tower 

Presenting Notre Dame 

The bell tower of Notre Dame 

Royal Fortress in Chinon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Musing, Missing

It is nearly midnight.  The alarm sounds in just 3.5 hours.  I cannot sleep.  Excitement, yes.  But something more.  As I laid in bed, my mind started going.  The last time I traveled out of the country, it was in 2003.  I was catching an early morning flight to Minneapolis.  There my mom, sisters and I would travel to Holland.  It was my mom's dream.  For 8 days, we laughed and shopped and admired tulips.  We visited the town where my ancestors were born and raised.  It was truly amazing. 

Tomorrow, I travel again.  It is an early morning flight.  This time to Paris.  Never a dream to visit, but the opportunity arose and we grasped it with both hands.  It will be amazing.  But it will be different.  I will see it with my husband this time.  An experience we will share for the rest of our life together. 

Yet, inside, I miss my mom.  I am sentimental, sometimes overly so.  It feels strange to be doing this without her .  Not that she would go, but that she would revel in my opportunity.  She would want to hear every detail, see every photo.  She would travel through me.  I cannot share this with her.  Yet she still goes.  She travels within me.  The piece of her that is me will see every raindrop as part of a rainbow, view every brush stroke as a masterpiece, note every detail as the part of a greater plan.  That comforts me.  She is me and I am her.  And together we travel this world.  Enjoy Paris, Mom.  I know I will.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Official Race Pictures

Really I wasn't planning on purchasing the pictures from the Portland Marathon this year.  But when I looked at them, I had to get them.  The pouring rain and the smile on my face throughout made it important. 

The start.  More garbage bags were destroyed for this than in a week in all of Oregon...

The drums are just after the start.  It is the best entertainment and gets the adrenaline pumping even more!

The St John's Bridge at mile 17 is a highlight of the race.  The only unfortunate part is the hill to get to it.

My friend, Liz, saw me at mile 20 and ran about a mile with me.  It was awesome to have a runner that knew exactly what to say for encouragement!  I don't think she ever runs as slow as that mile.  She has a 3:17 marathon and is registered for Boston 2011!

Ctossing the Broadway Bri8dge is the sign that you are getting close!

Coming to the finish!

I love this shot!  Big smile, flying feet!  And when full size, my Garmin has my official time on it--04:34:56.  Not my fastest marathon, but a great one with comraderie and fun.

Portland Marathon 2010 Finisher!  It was quite an experience to run 26.2 miles in the rain!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Psalm 51

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

I had the honor of supporting a family this week while their mom left this world.  It was one of the sweetest experiences.  When I called, there was no hesitation.  Within minutes all had arrived to be with their mom.  The next few hours were filled with sharing, singing hymns and reading scripture.  This passage was one of those read.  The mom passed early in the morning with her daughters surrounding her.  They will miss her deeply, but they have hope.  The hope that she is in the arms of God.  The hope that they shall be with her again.  That is the greatest blessing in life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday 5

A warm puppy sleeping on my lap

An unexpectedly sunny day

A walk with my best friend

Dinner with family that are also friends

Hope. "While we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is getting ridiculous...

Finally, at 3 this afternoon, I got my running clothes on to head out for an easy 6.  I check in on my new resident to get her anything she needs before I leave.  We take care of things.  Then she feels queasy.  Suddenly it is more than queasy.  Oh, boy.  I kick into high gear and kick off my shoes.  It is going to be awhile before I can leave.  After putting off running all day.  After not feeling the desire to run.  Now I am desperate to get out there on a beautiful fall day.  And I can't.  Sigh.

I am struggling to get back the desire to run.  My last marathons have left me wanting more.  I wanted to get out and run immediately.  I had to make myself wait until my soreness was gone.  This time, I can hardly get myself off the sofa much less out the door.  I have a schedule on the fridge.  I have a race planned in December with a friend.  I am looking forward to running some Pikermis and getting some serious PRs.  Yet there is a huge limit to my motivation.  Sigh.  Maybe I should have some ice cream.  Double sigh.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Ran--Finally

I ran tonight.  It was the first time since the marathon.  I don't run until my soreness is gone.  And that was on Saturday, but then life got really busy.  So the planned runs over the weekend didn't materialize.  Today I had a hard time getting myself out the door.  It wasn't until after 5 that I got my rear in gear and headed out.  I just went out the door and ran.  I had no plan of where and how long.  Just run to remember how much I love it.  Running did not let me down.  My fresh legs carried me quickly down the path.  The sky was beautiful.  The colors were amazing.  So often in the PNW the rain drops leaves before we really enjoy the colors.  This year the cool, clear weather--other than for the marathon--has allowed us to revel in the golds and oranges.  An easy run became a bit of a tempo as my enthusiasm grew.  My love of running returned with each footfall. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Psalm 1

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.

2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.  Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

4 But not the wicked!  They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.

5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.  Sinners will have no place among the godly.

6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

This is one of the passages I remember most from school.  I can still quote it in the King James version.  I think about it often.  When I have trouble sleeping, I quote it.  When a run gets tough, I repeat it.  The second verse reminds me of why I do this--to delight in God's word.  It is a great word--delight.  A high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture.  Incredible!   I wish I truly delighted in God's word so I would want it to be at the forefront of my mind day and night.  Maybe someday...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday 5

Sunny, fall weather.  I love the cool sunny days of fall!

Fast move-ins.  I got a call this afternoon for an assessment and the resident moves in tomorrow morning.  Ahhhh!  I love being the one to make the decision!

No curb showers.  You may not understand, but these make my job so much easier!  I love my remodeled bathroom.  I love that I can move a wheelchair into the shower for transfers.

Wifi.  I sit on my sofa and blog.  'Nuff said!

Jeff's French Toast!  Jeff made french toast for lunch today.  Thick slices of bread with swirls of maple and powdered sugar.  And, of course, nice, crisp bacon! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am a Violet

"You have a shy personality. You tend to hesitate before trying new things or meeting new people. But once people get to know you, you open up and show the world what you are really all about."

Seven Things

I have been tagged.  I hereby agree to accept the tag and list 7 things about myself that you may or may not know. 

Here's the rules:
1. Thanks and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to other bloggers.

Thank you, ERG, for caring enough to tag me.  Tears flood my eyes as I count my blessing at the tag.  Okay, whatever, moving on...  (Sorry, sarcasm is genetic and I got a double dose.  Really I don't mind the tag...)

  1. I am a Christian.  I believe in the Trinity and that God sent his son, Jesus, to live on this earth and die in my place so that I may live with him one day.  I confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord.  I believe that, when Jesus returned to God's right hand, God sent his Holy Spirit to live within everyone who believes in him.  I believe that one day Christ will return and take those that believe to Heaven to live with him.  I believe in God's amazing grace and mercy.  I believe that anyone who believes in their heart and confesses with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord is forgiven. 
  2. I am blessed with an amazing family.  My mother was my hero.  My dad truly cared and could do anything. As the 6th of 7 children, I always had someone to tease or with whom to fight.  And I did both often.  Today, I know that I can count on my siblings for anything!
  3. I am married to my best friend for 23 years.  Most of those years have been happy.  Some were so-so and a couple were really tough.  But we said, "I do."  When we made that promise to each other, we knew that there was not another option.  Although we joke about having enough life insurance so if one of us knocks the other off we can move to someplace warm and tropical.  Such is our life of laughter!
  4. I have struggled with depression for years.  Low level depression started before I was a teenager.  It continued to get worse until I was in my late 20s.  Then I hit bottom, I no longer cared if suicide was moral or not.  I wanted an out.  I wanted it to look like an accident so no one would know.  My husband and my mom saved my life.  They found a way to help me.  I owe my husband my life for making that phone call.  There remain some ups and downs, but nothing like before.
  5. In school, I hated math.  I didn't get it.  Everytime I opened my math book, I would have a little panic attack.  Now I love stats and most numbers--except paying bills, but that is another story entirely!  I keep every running stat--every mile, every split, every route. 
  6. I love my job and love being self employed.  However, I would rather be living in a yurt on a beach in Hawaii with nothing to worry about but running, swimming and sun bathing.  Guess that isn't too much different than most people...
  7. Although most of these are serious, I am not terribly serious.  I love laughing and joking.  I love sarcasm.  I love my husband's dry humor.  I don't love the Three Stooges.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: Portland Marthon 2010


1. Volunteers are always amazing including my sister and niece on garbage patrol!
2 The spectators standing in the rain for hours!
3. Bands, especially the drums at the start!
4. The rain actually increased comraderie among runners near me! Runners love to commiserate!
5. Water stations were often and well organized. Volunteers kept the way clear.

1. Lack of signage for corrals.
2. Plastic cups at aide stations. What is up with that again this year?
3. The course change in the first 3 miles. More corners made it hard to run tangents and trying to run tangent led to more puddles.
4. Normally, I love the out and back for watching the other runners. This year it was treacherous due to the rain and slippery tracks.

I love the Portland Marathon. The organization is superb in most areas. The volunteers and spectator make up for any lack in organization. When I do another marathon, Portland will be near the top of my list. The size is great with lots of people to run, but not so many that you can't get room to move.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bragging Rights aka Portland Marathon 2010 RR

As the week wore on, the weather forecast continued to call for rain. It started with a 40% chance, then 60%, then 80%. By Saturday, the forecast was for 100% chance of rain changing to showers in the afternoon. At this point, I allowed all expectations for a specific time go. Training had not gone as well as I would have liked. The weather was not condusive to great running. It was time to relax and just enjoy running a marathon with other super crazy people.

Sunday morning dawned--kind of. It was dark and wet at 5 am. I stood outside before making the final clothing choice. It was warm and wet. I went with a singlet, but chose light weight capri tights. Wearing tights was the best decision I made all day! By 6, we were headed downtown. Jeff dropped me off near the start area and I headed to coral C. I had my throw away sweatshirt, gloves and rain poncho. I visited with a runner from New Jersy and a couple from Vancouver BC to pass the time. Everyone seemed to have a sense of humor about the diluge until the wind picked up. Unfortunately, I had already removed my sweatshirt. Brrr! and then we were off!

It was dark and the rain continued to fall. I crossed the start line and fell into a slow, easy rhythm quickly. The gray skies kept me moving slowly as I tried to avoid puddles and keep my feet dry as long as possible. I love the first bit of a marathon. The sounds and sights. The cheers of runners and spectators alike. The surge of adrenaline. The sound was different this year. There was a constant squeak and slip of ponchos and garbage bags. It felt strange to feel plastic around me as I ran. My plan was to toss it when I warmed up. I did about mile 3, but I saw many finish still wearing theirs.

With the change of course, there were many more corners in the first 3 miles. I ran horrible tangents. That and to cut corners would mean hitting more puddles. I checked my pace and was going slower than I felt. About mile 7, I saw the 4:15 pace group. They were talking and laughing. I wanted some of that encouragement and asked if I could join them. I talked with Yolanda and Jen. Both were from the Portland area. It was nice to have conversation. I was feeling good. I would have like to be moving faster, but I was having fun. Everyone was comparing how wet they were and time was flying by. There was no way to avoid puddles anymore. Shoes squished and sloshed with every step. I hung in with them until about mile 15. I had to stop. My GI was not too bad, but it was talking back at me. I could see the bright red lizard ahead when I came out, but never quite caught them.

A bit later, I saw a beautiful red Jeep to the side of the road. Last year, I was alone on this section. Spectators are not encouraged to be in this area for safety. It was long and hard. I told Jeff that this would be a wonderful place to see him. And there he was! I gave him a kiss, told him I felt great and kept going. Seeing him broke up that long straight stretch. Before I knew it, I was climbing the hill to the St John's bridge. Looking up river from the top, all I could see were dark clouds all the way to the finish. My clothing was plastered to me and it wasn't going to change any time soon!

The next best moment of the race was somewhere about mile 20. I was starting to struggle. I had a side stitch that would come and go. I was cold. And then, I heard my name in a voice I recognized. Liz! I gave her a hug and she asked if she could run with me. Like I would say no! I got a little emotional. That with the cold air started a mild asthma attack. Liz stayed with me then continued running along side. (I thought we would see Jeff, but he was unable to get there after mile 15 and the finish.) Her encouragement was so helpful. She just ran and told me I was sounding really relaxed. I cannot even express how much I appreciated her kind words and easy run. Someone I barely know was concerned about me and wanted me to succeed!

I was back on my own at the start of the downhill section. Even though it was tough, I still was passing people for a while. On the way back up at the Broadway bridge, I met a couple walking. They were cold and cramping, but laughing. They were going to walk the rest of the way, but they were going to finish. We laughed together about the absurdity of rain and wet feet.

After crossing the bridge, the finish line was getting close. But the wind picked up. At least I thought it was "wind." My wet clothing caused even the slightest breeze feel like a gale force wind. I would stop to walk for a minute and feel my lower body start to cramp. I told myself to just keep moving. I knew if I stopped, it would be so hard to start moving again. I ran more than I walked. That is always a good thing at the end of the marathon! One by one, I passed a people. I was focused. The 26 mile marker was in sight. I heard my name off to the side. Jeff was right there. I passed the 26th mile and saw more of my family. Just up the street and around one more corner to the finish line. I heard my name called as I crossed the line!

Volunteers surrounded the finishers with space blankets and medals were given. I had to ask the volunteer to put it around my neck and tie the corners of the blaket. I shuffled through the line, picking up food that I would not be able to eat. The biggest disappointment was the lack of chocolate milk. I had been looking forward to chocolate milk since mile 23. I accepted a lavender rose and smiled. I had completed a marathon in less than ideal circumstances. I can wear my finisher's shirt with pride.

I headed out to meet my family and wait for my nephew to finish. It was the first time I had watched others to finish. It was amazing! One man was running along side a woman. He pulled off to the side and she continued on toward the finish. He called out, "You can do it!" She had tears in her eyes. Another woman passed. She was running and in pain. But she finished. Then we saw my nephew. David sprained his ankle not long before the race and he struggled. But he was going to finish! Anyone who completes a marathon deserves bragging rights. But anyone who completes a marathon in pouring rain deserves some very special bragging rights!

Mile 15: Big smile when I saw Jeff!

Streams of runners in the rain

Almost to mile 26!

Wet!  Wet!  Wet!

Cori, Josiah and Jeff spent hours in the rain!

David coming to mile 26!

One of the results of running 26.2 miles in wet shoes

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rainy Marathon

It was a tough, rewarding race.  Every step was in rain with wet feet.  Yet it was exhilerating.  Full Race Report to come!

Overall: 3740 out of 7434
Women: 1585 out of 4132
F 40-44: 261 out of 651
Finish: 4:34:56 Pace: 10:30

Split Times:
10 Km: 1:02:01     Pace: 9:59
8.9 Mi: 1:26:05     Pace: 9:41
Half: 2:09:29         Pace: 9:53
17.5 Mi: 2:53:59   Pace: 9:57
20 Mi: 3:22:54      Pace: 10:09
21.1 Mi: 3:35:12   Pace: 10:12

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

I find it amazing how passages I loved become lost in my mind.  Then suddenly it pops up at the exact moment that those words are needed.  Only God knows my heart.  Only He can bring the right words to me at the moment they are needed most!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Upside to a Rainy Marathon

  1. No danger of heat related injury
  2. Extreme weight loss due to skin sloughing from chafing
  3. Slower start due to frozen muscles
  4. Quicker finish because I just want to get dry
  5. More throw away clothing to be donated to the homeless
  6. Fewer runners means more Ultima and Liquid Gold--blech, acutally not so positive
  7. Fewer runners = smaller age groups = increased chance of 4+ hour marathoner winning prize (ie me!)
  8. Fewer spectators to disturb my focus
  9. Fewer runners to take spectators attention, so I get more cheers
  10. When I finish a rainy marathon, I am truly studly!

Weather forecast for the Portland Marathon:
Showers. High near 64. West southwest wind between 9 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sometimes when I run, I

  • imagine I am running with Kara Goucher or Ryan Hall or Eric Liddell or ...
  • imagine my mom is running along side and talk to her
  • imagine I am winning a race or even just running one
  • obsess about where the next porta-potty is and it's condition when I arrive
  • pray and quote scripture
  • wish I were doing something else
  • wish I were able to keep running forever
  • count my cadence
  • dream about running in exotic places
  • cry or laugh out loud, sometimes both at the same time

Hat Tip: medievalistrunningincircles

Friday 5 with Bonus Pic!

Five great things that happened today!

Waking up with a soft puppy curled up next to me!

Being greeted with a smile and "I love you" at work by the sweetest lady ever!

Being early at a race expo before everyone else gets there!

Sitting on the floor--comfortably!

Singing along to Big Daddy Weave at the top of my lungs!

Got my bib and I am ready to run on Sunday!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


I cannot believe it!  I am tired of eating.  My stomach starts to feel a bit hungry and I sigh.  I don't want to have to eat again.  I miss the slightly hungry feeling.  I have read a lot about eating during taper.  Everything talks about not stuffing yourself, but not getting hungry.  So I continue my small meals throughout the day which is normal for me.  But I eat more often.  I try make smart choices, after all, I just had 2 cups of green beans this afternoon.  Sometimes I am tired of trying to take the time for something healthier.  And sometimes the ice cream is calling my name.  It gets lonley in the freezer next to the veggies!  So, I comfort it with some quality time. 

I forgot something on Monday.  It was not only my birthday.  It was also the second anniversary of reaching my goal weight!  I lost nearly 60 pounds.  Two years later, I am still within 3 pounds of that goal!  One of my greatest anxieties was that I would gain all the weight back in only a few months.  Now I know I can keep the weight off.  It takes vigilance, but it isn't as hard as I thought it would be!  I know that I can eat and eat and eat for a marathon.  I know that after the marathon I can change my eating habits back to normal.  I am indeed a success story. 

Before and After Photos

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Taper Positives

Time to discover the positive side of tapering.  It is a gorgeous day out and I would rather be running.  Yet here I sit watching Little House on the Prairie and blogging.  The number of blogs written during taper increases exponentially over peak marathon training weeks.  After all, I have lots more time  to write and think--and worry and eat and...

  • Menu Planning.  I have more time for planning out meals during taper.  Of course, part of that is because I think about food ALL the time--day and night.  Dinner is planned for the rest of the week with meals best for carb loading. 
  • Social Networking.  In the last two weeks, I have spent more time on Facebook and the Loop than ever before.  And that is saying something!  Just think of all the people I can encourage that way! 
  • Petting the dogs.  After all, I am spending lots of time sitting.  They love the extra attention!
  • Manicures.  With all the extra time and anxiety, my nails are getting manicured regularly.  Of course, I tend to pick at my nails when nervous so I don't know that I can really call it a "manicure."

Hmmm, I am going to have to keep thinking of positives!  I am rested and ready to run.  I am finally getting excited.  I am feeling more confident.  My plan is to have not real plan, but to relax and enjoy the run.  Stay slow and easy to start and finish strong.  Marathon minus 3 days...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I love running fartleks almost as much as I like saying the word.  Fartlek.  It feels like something you shouldn't say.  Something a 12 year old boy would love to shout.  Today's run was 5 miles with 4x 3/2/1.  My coach outlines the 3/2/1 as 3 min hard, 2 harder and 1 hardest with 1 min easy for recovery.  To be honest, I felt a bit nauseous during the second set.  I ended up doing the full 5 miles, but only 3 reps.  I can live with that.  Overall, the workout went really well.  I held myself back on each rep and felt really strong.  I recovered quickly and was able to press for the next fartlek. 

When I got home, I downed some sports drink and chocolate millk.  Then the beloved ice bath.  Although the workout went well and wasn't that long and hard, this week every run gets one.  It is marathon week after all.  I won't take chances with recovery!  Only 4 days to go!

8:23, 8:15, 7:12 (All Downhill)
8:34, 8:27, 7:33
8:37, 9:09, 8:41 (All Uphill)

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's My Birthday!

Happy birthday to me!  I cannot believe I am 43.  That always sounded old.  Apparently, it isn't, because I am not old!  I feel younger than I did in my 20s.  I am in better shape.  I am happier than ever.  If this were old, I would take it.  Moot point as I am not old.

Today has not been quite the clebration of last year when I ran 42k for my 42nd birthday.  That was pretty amazing, but today has been great in it's own way.  I was up at 7 for a massage then ran an easy 8 miles with my four pawed running partner.  Then there was lunch out with my hubby and a walk downtown.  We visited VooDoo Donuts and had a voodoo doll donut.  Mmmmm!  From there I stopped to see my running coach to talk about the marathon on Sunday--after all, it is all I think about right now... 

Now just chillin' out my boys--Monday night football on the tube, a good book next to me and my computer.  Life is truly GREAT!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Psalm 121

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

1 I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth!

3 He will not let you stumble;

the one who watches over you will not slumber.

4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel

never slumbers or sleeps.

5 The Lord himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

6 The sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon at night.

7 The Lord keeps you from all harm

and watches over your life.

8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

both now and forever.

This is what I need lately.  The stress of life can be overwhelming, but I know that He keeps me from harm.  He watches over every aspect of life. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Marathon Day -7

Why is it when the training is done, one questions EVERYTHING?  I walked into the garage this evening and a thought popped into my mind.  "I feel so out of shape."  Huh?!  Where did that come from?  Honestly, My upper body and core are not in the shape I would like.  But my shoulder has limited many of my usual exercises.  I have only missed 2 runs in the training cycle.  Aerobically, I am in great shape.  I have an extra year of running since my first marathon.  That alone increases my fitness.  Then there is the nutrition and hydration.  Eating enough, but not too much and the right stuff.  Drink lots of the "right" things.  Don't drink too much of the other stuff.  Rest, but not too much.  Run, but not too much.  Run fast, but not too fast. 

I sit back with my feet up now.  I breathe deep and try to calm my mind.  I have trained well.  I have put in the work.  Now I have to trust that work.  I need to remember that hard work pays off.  Just breath in and out for 7 days.  Nothing more than that.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday 5

My original idea of this blog was to remember the good things in life.  Lately I have been more negative than normal.  I needed the reminder that I am blessed.  Today I make a promise to myself to smile more and enjoy living.  It is Friday, so I list 5 great blessings of my life.

My husband.  He is amazing.  Patient, kind and generous.  He puts up with my idiosyncracies and actually seems to like some of them.  The last 23 years have been incredible and I cannot wait to see what the next 23 bring!

My puppies.  I may threaten trading them for goldfish, but I truly love them.  They make be crazy.  And they make me laugh.  They have such different personalities!  Indy is active and loves to be moving.  He is my four-pawed running partner.  He brightens every time I pull out my shoes.  When runs get tough, he keeps me going.  Han is the cuddler.  He would rather be held than anything else.  They each have their own piece of life to fill.

Running.  I love running!  I love the freedom I feel when I am out on the roads enjoying God's creation.  Every step releases a bit of joy within me.

My family.  They are the amazing.  God chose to put me with this group for a purpose.  There are days when I wonder why, but I love every one of them!  When I married, I was fully accepted in another family.  I am so loved and so blessed.

My greatest blessing is the love of God.  He loves me so much that he chose to give his all for me.  I cannot begin to share my gratefulness for his grace.