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.