Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Year Older

Today is my 35th birthday and a new age group.
I never know if moving into a new age group is a good thing or not. Another year older is okay, I can handle that it does not bother me. It's the age group thing. I was doing pretty good in my old age group, top of the class. Now I am at the bottom again and will have to find my way through. We'll see how it goes.

The day itself was ho hum. No one remembered at school until someone asked why I had brought cupcakes to school. "Well, It's my birthday" I said, and it is a student in my last class of the day's 18th birthday too. So I brought cupcakes to celebrate. I was everyone's favorite teacher in that class today. They even sang to us. It was fun. The student who's birthday it was brought me an apple. It was sweet.

My favorite was this morning when my 6 year old daughter gave me the card she had made for me. It essentially read, in learning-how-to-spell-6-year-old-speak- Happy Birthday mom, For your birthday I give you love. Annika. I'll keep that one forever.

I have a twin brother who lives close and our families went to dinner at Red Robin to celebrate our birthday. It was really great. Even though we live close, it seems this year anyway that we haven't gotten together as much as we usually do. I'll make it a point to do dinner together WAY more often. I miss hanging out with him and his family. Our kids are about the same ages and they love to play and be together.

My husband, Paul, gave me a weekend getaway voucher for anywhere I want to go, whenever I want to go. I am excited for this one. I 'll need some suggestions and a bit of time to think it through before cashing it in. Although I am ready for the getaway right now.

I'll send a shout out to my mom and dad on my birthday, they are cruising the Nile in Egypt. Rough, I know. But thanks mom and dad for giving me life and raising me well. I appreciate all you have done and continue to do. Happy Birthday to you too. I know it was hard work for you!

And now may you also have a great year in your age group... the best one yet. I am looking forward to many new and exciting adventures and challenges that this year will bring (I'll talk about some of those later.)

Grace and Peace to you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Autumn Leaves 50 Miler

Short and Sweet:

Awesome trip with awesome people.
Thanks Steve for driving.

Woke up early Saturday from my parents house and drove the 25 minutes to Champoeg Park and ran 6 loops or 35 Miles with Rob and most of that also with Steve and Lesa. Ran next 3 laps or 15 miles alone, contemplating life. Margaret, who had just completed her 1st 50k, came and ran my last lap, miles 45-50 with me. I was very glad because I wasn't looking forward to the long out and back section alone as there weren't many people out there anymore and I was missing the "other people" distractions. Margaret wonderfully kept me going talking to me and keeping me distracted. Once that out and back section was done though, I tried hard to pick it up as my feet hurt and I just wanted to be done and sit down! Finally I was done! 9:37 was my time. I was very happy as I thought it would take between 10-11 hours. I felt good and strong the whole day. The weather was great and the scenery beautiful. I got to run through the leaves which is my favorite thing, over and over again. Not jumping in the leaves this year as they were not in neat piles this year.

Now I feel pretty good, tight but good. I am very tired though so will go rest some more.
Grace and Peace to you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Carkeek photo Gallery

Carkeek 12 hour (8.5 hour) run with Rob ( and Margaret the last few loops). I had Margaret take photos along the loop. It really was a beatiful day. My legs are feeling better on the stairs now :) Check out Rob's account of the day too! By the way.... WHOO HOOO! I am a proud American at having witnessed and been a part of history this week. I never thought I'd cry over politics! Let's hope we can all come together and build hope and a better nation together. "Not as Red states, not as Blue states, but as The United States." Okay, photos now!

Grace and Peace to you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Carkeek 12 hour, well 8.5 anyway

I made it, along with Rob (and definitely Margaret's help the last 3 loops) for a 50k at the Carkeek 12 hour. It was a beautiful fall day and the leaves were spectacular. I'll try to post some photos I got Margaret to take for me.

I met Rob at 5:30am and I drove. Rob brought the Starbucks. We made it in just under an hour and had plenty of time to organize, check in, use the restroom and chat before the race began at 7am. We headed out for the first loop in the dark. We used headlamps and could see fairly well. The trail is fairly clear, but there are stairs I would have killed myself on with out a light. I was lucky to be with Rob because he ran this race last year and knew the course. The trail was marked with tootsie roll pops hanging from trees and leaves brushed across trails you were not supposed to go down. They said there would be rock cairns, but I never saw any. Many people went straight at one point instead of turning due to lack if marking, but we never did.

The 1.93 mile long loop with 430 feet of gain ( and loss too I am sure) starts out flat then you come to the commando hill with lots of stairs going up. This was fine for about the first 8 or 9 loops, then it was just hard I decided once you made it to the top that the rest of the loop was recovery. By the end though I would have preferred those stairs to going down the steep un- evenly placed stairs trail on the other end of the loop. It was rolling hills for quite a while through beautiful forest with giant broad leaf maple leaves in all shades from green to bright yellow to reds and browns all over the ground and in the trees. Eventually you came down to a fish hatchery for about a quarter mile. This was the flat section before going up again. This part was shorter and at first didn't seem as steep as the first hill section, but again by the end was equally difficult. The last downhill section was steep and had steps that became hard to navigate towards the end with tired quads. We found ourselves trying to go around the steps along the side to avoid them altogether. Sometimes we were successful, sometimes not.

Running with Rob kept the conversation flowing and topics ranged from family- (how was your family gathering today Rob?) to school, to the elections to other runners. It was good times. We kept each other going and reminded each other when to eat. We quickly found that loops were either difficult or easy depending on how much you ate at the aid station. The soup was the best. I felt great after eating hot noodles and broth. I tried to also eat pb and j, potatoes or candy each loop and took an S cap and gel every two loops. It seems to work, but there were still some low energy loops where it was very hard to climb up those hills.

At about noon we kept looking forward to finding Margaret waiting for us at the aid station. We were bummed when she wasn't there. Then one loop we got to the top of the last climb and started to go down and I said that I wasn't going to get my hopes up this time about Margaret being at the aid station. Rob said he had had his hope us for about the last 15 minutes. Then not 10 seconds later we found her waiting for us along the trail! It was perfect! She helped us get through the last three loops for our 50k. It was great to have her talk to us and tell us about her MBA program she just started. Just having a person fresh and full of energy gives you energy to keep going. Thanks so much Margaret for coming out with us! It made my day!

Rob teased me as I climbed the stairs again and would say "Only two more times up!" He'd say yeah but we still have three loops! Yeah, but I only have to climb this stair two more times! Then the next time it was "one more time" then finally, this is the LAST time I have to climb up these stairs!!!" It was great!

Carkeek really was a fun 50k, or 8 hours of a 12 hour. Beautiful, great aid, and great people. I had a fantastic time. I don't know if I could have made it for 4 more hours on those hills. Today my legs are pretty sore and the stairs are painful. But I got what I wanted. A tough 50k for training for the 50 miles I want to run at Autumn Leaves. I am thankful for the soreness I feel today as it leads to the strength my legs will have tomorrow.

Grace and peace to you.