Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Runner Lady in Pink

That's Vickie: ..... the one in pink!
 Grand Rapids Expo
We had planned for many months to do Chicago Marathon on the first weekend in October and Grand Rapids Michigan Marathon on the last weekend in October. Driving home from Chicago we were eagerly anticipating the cooler run in Michigan.
When we arrived at home Don checked on the ferries across Lake Michigan and discovered that the ferries shut down mid-October. Much as we love ferries, the thought of late autumn storms on the Great Lakes ... remember the Edmund Fitzerald that sank to the bottom of Lake Superior? ... was sobering anyway.
But driving around Lake Michigan, either north to the Straits of Machinac or around the south end through Chicago seemed too huge.

Enter Vickie, the cheerful and welcoming Lady in Pink, with all sorts of encouragement to make the trip.

Vickie posted delightful pictures of the marathon and her city.
Vickie's marathon course pictures are available by clicking here:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

.. on her blog: Running and Tri-ing in River City

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Grand Rapids Michigan Marathon

Lovely autumn color On Sunday we 3 got our finisher's medals at the beautiful Grand Rapids Marathon. The volunteers were super, and they didn't run out of water! And of course we had a great time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hope for the Myeloma

So today when Don's cancer doctor said see you in two months, I said, "Is it Christmas?"
"Almost," he said.

Read Don's story on his Myeloma Hope blog.

Did you hear a huge cheer go up? This is absolutely a best day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Autumn on Gateway

Best day of the year Temperature in the low 50's and not humid: our kind of running weather. Today we walked/ran 8 2/3 miles... a good amount to keep ready for a race on Sunday. Tomorrow we will do just a quick one mile out and back before Sweet Pea's tutor comes.
And it was a glorious day... The autumn leaves at their finest were aglow in sunshine.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Autumn and running.....

October 22 and still no killing frost. This tenacious little flower in my favorite color keeps singing.Oh cheer! And we are running of course. This was the pre-sunrise on Saturday as we drove to Northland Tennis Court to run with the St. Croix Valley Runners.Autumn leaves Cosmos that cheered our runs in the neighborhood all summer still offer their cheer.Looks like my favorite color again

Friday, October 19, 2007

Last ride on the Minnesota Zephyr

After the train ride The dinner train will make its last run on New Year's Eve.
Then the tracks will be taken up to make room for a running trail between Gateway Trail and Stillwater.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thank you, Chicago People!

Well, we were pretty warm.. so not too sure of locations.. but maybe on Clark ... and Wells ... Boystown... many spectators sprayed us with hoses... someone handed us bottles of water... and there was the young man who came out of Starbucks with a huge tray of paper cups of water.. just as we came by.
Water stops had no signs and seemed to appear irregularly... but by one way or another we did stay relatively hydrated during that part of the race course.

Cheering by specators was ... well, cheering our spirits.
Thanks Chicago.

As we ran, it was fun to see the Red Fish restaurant where we had enjoyed jambalaya (hold the seafood to avoid too much protein) for pre-race dinner the previous evening. Proved to be a good place to eat and a good carbo load for the race.
Sweet Pea running past our pre-race dinner place

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Marathon Part Two

Marathons have the potential to be the most awesome athletic events in history: World class athletes and ordinary hopeful active people of all ages participating in the race.

Disappointments of Chicago:

Shutting down the race penalized us velocity challenged participants AGAIN.
The Chicago officials turned their marathon into a 5 ½ hour ordeal... in mid-stream.

Come-on, guys, the record hot forecast for Sunday was there all week. Order up cups of ice for every 5 miles and the option of COLD water every 2.

Shutting down the marathon at 3 ½ hours was the ultimate ageist, sexist, elitist slam.

Everything was expensive in many ways, Chicago.

The weather:
1. The heat sucked.
2. Global warming is real.
3. 87 degrees in Chicago wasn’t a surprise; it was the forecast for days.
4. My heart goes out to those who could have or did finish in spite of the heat and got turned into fun runners, after huge investments of training, time, energy and money.

I was angry.....
When, in the Bjorklund Half in Duluth, they cut off our chips at mile 7.
When, in the 2006 Twin Cities, all the water stops were shut down after mile 5.
When I discovered that all certified marathons in IA, SD, NE, KS, MN are 6 hours or less.
When I realized, having started running at the late age of 62, that I could never ever qualify for Boston
Whenever I sense sexism... because, unlike football, marathons have the potential to be egalitarian.

I imagine a marathon with water and Gatorade and gummy bears and organic jelly beans and Cliff shots, chunks of banana and sections of fresh orange ... and cups of ice & lots of water hoses when it is hot.

Spectators... as we experienced in New York City and Chicago!!

I dream of marathons where every last old woman and old man and person with handicap gets their time and age group place as long as they cross the finish line on the same day that the race started.

A marathon finish line open at least 8 hours like New York City and Portland Oregon
Perhaps an early start as in Little Rock... (and no penalties of course)
A race course with shady streets.. like New York and Fargo and Chicago and Twin Cities... and pre-Katrina New Orleans.
Plenty of snacks, medals, roses... for even slowest finishers.. As in Portland Oregon
Finisher’s shirts in the packet so everybody gets one. (A technical shirt for running)
A greeting of “We never leave anybody out there” like we got at the Avenue of the Giants when we said thanks for waiting for us.

Sweet Pea and I work hard, we train, we are slow serious runners.
I get frustrated, disappointed, angry, and sometimes I grieve. But having fun can be a decision, and I don’t want the weather, yucky logistics, or behavior of others control my feelings.
I will remember my delights.

I choose to cherish the best of our Chicago weekend.
Call me Sunshine.
For another look at our Chicago Marathon weekend, click on Chicaga Saga on Make It a Masterpiece.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Historic Marathon !

Chicago Marathon 2007: Sweet Pea and I were among the TEN THOUSAND (actually 10,900) runners who were invited to the finish to receive finisher's medals for a "fun run" after officials stoppped the race at about mile 18, 3 1/2 hours into the race. So, of course we didn't get an official time.

The predicted high of 87 degrees did become reality.

We had an awesome day ... did pretty well at avoiding overheating ... had lots of slow runners for company... spectators were plentiful.
We ran through Lincoln Park ... past the Red Fish where we had eaten our pre-race dinner ... past Nordstrom's ... Macy's on State Street.. Union Station.... on the streets of good and interesting little neighborhoods ... and all sorts of other good Chicago.

Don finished his 26th marathon, his 15th state.

I've got to quit this and finish unpacking... but for sure the bottom line is..
We had an incredible fun time!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Best wishes to you, Dear Reader, for a delightful weekend!
weekend sunrise