Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Angel

Angel at the top of the lovely Christmas tree at the home of my brother and his wife.

Hoping your Christmas was good.

A puzzle for New Years Eve:
If you are ever blessed enough to reach the age of 70,


Wishing You....
Blessed and joyful New Year.. filled with loved ones, running and cross-training, and the healthiest food.

PS... Last run of the year: 6K at the community center indoor track

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas lights.
I was so full of Christmas spirit (not the alcoholic kind) that I didn't think of taking a picture of the decorated St. Andrew's sanctuary ... Christmas Eve family service at 4pm ... sign interpreted for the deaf.

So... imagine here ... the magnificent tree decorated with colored lights ... organ pipes across the chancel in the background ... huge multi-sided gold star hanging above ...
(Well, a picture would have been better!)

I delight in Christmas lights.

Below... a crystal bowl filled with an "ice cube" string of LED light.
The LED's are bright, cool (literally temperature cool), and a fabulous energy saver.

May you be blessed with Light.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 2008

First of all, we'd like to say we have been running... on indoor tracks. Today we were at the Challenge Courage races at Bethel University.
Winter came early!!
Below: really huge snow blower at Fleet Farm parking lot.

With early arrival of cold temps, displays of warm hats and gloves at store entances and check-outs.
A very special party at work for our Precious Sweet Pea. Many Chinese restaurant take-out entrees, plus gluten-free ginger cookie ice cream (Breyers) sandwiches (made with love!)
Dear children of our Godson; picture by Sweet Pea.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's Going On?

Making tracks on the elevated indoor track at the community center

Brought sweet potato pie to the Stillwater myeloma meeting

Mailed a Christmas box to distant family

Regularly reading some runner's blogs

Read about the new Weight Watchers Momentum plan on message boards

Shoveling snow off the deck


Regular blood check-up and meeting with Mayo Dr. for myeloma

Delighted to hold Godson & wife's baby after baptism

Staying well, eating good food, getting sleep

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Confessions of a Fat Runner"

Newsweek, December 8th issue... page 20
"Confessions of a Fat Runner".. by Jennifer Graham
of Hopkinton MA.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Running running... and getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Don may run outdoors in nearly any kind of weather.. and sometimes he goes with us to the indoor track. I sort of prefer temperatures above 25 for outdoor activity (which means I don't ski anymore).
Running in above 40 degree weather is a great thing: shoes, shorts (optional knee covers), a shirt or two (or three?) ... depending on the humidity and the wind... and just run run run!

Thanksgiving is a great holiday... family together... no gifts required ...nearly everybody celebrates it...
Hoping you can spend it with those you love.

Extra encouragement to eat turkey... from Minnesota... first in the nation in turkey production.

Gobble gobble!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great News and Well, the Weather

Be sure to check out Don's monthly myeloma report:

This November weather is getting annoying: cold, windy, cold, gray, cold, snow flurries, cold.
The unseasonably cold weather hit suddenly, you see.
And reasonable weather theology would say we didn't deserve that because the winter dragged on (last "spring") until summer finally came.

We are keeping on running... at a community center with a very nice indoor track.
Around and around and around....
But oh my, that beats cold, windy, cold ....
Happy running!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Snowfall

Monday and Tuesday were spectatular... September weather!
Also, we are celebrating some election results and hoping for restored international relations.. and other good changes.

Chickadees, nuthatches and cardinals flocked to the feeder when the snow came on Thursday.

Later this week: Freezing weather and time to sign up at indoor track center.

Summer: lots of races, 5 marathons, some half marathons, and where did it go??

Amendment... Don ran 5 marathons.. and that 10 miles that was supposed to be a marathon in St. Charles.
Sweet Pea and I did only 2 marathons (sigh), 3 half marathons, the Twin Cities 10 mile .. and many shorter races: 5K, 8K, 10K

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Don ran the marathon (32nd marathon, 19th state); Sweet Pea and I did the half.
Don's myeloma diagnosis was just after his first marathon. He has no symptoms and doctors say, whatever you are doing, keep doing it.
Both race started out together.. for the first 6 miles. Weather was just right for running: temp around 50 degrees.
Indianapolis is a city of monuments, many of them made from Indiana limestone.
Gatorade in "poison" cups.. On Halloween day.
Little trick or treat bags of chocolate candy were a fun addition to the race bags.

Marvelous fall color all weekend... Pumpkins decorated doorsteps for Halloween.... and Obama lawn signs were abounding on the historic north side of Indianapolis.
The race began and ended near the Indiana State Capitol Building.
Registration was in the rotunda of the capitol. No security screening was imposed
There was NO expo.

But the next day...
when Post-race spaghetti was offered there, too.. somebody decided to set up security screening, locked all but one entrance to the building....


Truly, during the race, police and volunteers were super.
Only a few motorists had missed the road closing warnings and honked impatiently.

A walk along the canal... You can click to enlarge the wording on the plaque.
Sunset on a beautiful day.. as we drove all the way back to St. Paul from Indianapolis.
Next morning we ran a 5K on the University of Minnesota golf/cross country course.
... final race of the local grand prix season.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Des Moines Farmers' Market

In celebration of the weekly (Saturday morning) Des Moines Farmers' Market!
We were on the way to drive the marathon race course last Saturday (see previous post), and quickly came across the extensive Farmers' Market, with many streets closed to traffic east of the Polk County Court House (in the distance in the picture below)
This was the largest most marvelous farmers' market I have seen.

In the picture above, one of the many tents offering heirloom tomatoes.

One farmer was selling his frozen emu meat, another frozen elk.
There were many vendors selling ready-to-eat food of all sorts.
Wonderful Iowa produce, of course... some of it organic.
This woman, selling homemade fudge, was taking orders for Christmas.
Attractive handmade jackets...

Crafts too...


An abundance of flowers...

And even home-sewn APRONS!
We bought an Iowa-grown seedless watermelon for our post-race supper.
It was the best of the season.
ever you are in Des Moines on a Saturday morning (spring, summer, fall) be sure to tour the Des Moines Farmers' Market.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Des Moines Marathon

We 3 ran the beautiful Des Moines yesterday.
Below... Sweet Pea, wearing a garbage bag to keep warm at the start, running toward the Iowa State Capitol. Temp was in high 40s.. but heated up to 70 by mid-afternoon.
The marathon winds through historic neighborhoods, around the Drake University Bulldogs-blue track, miles of wooded trails, and around Gray's Lake (below).
Water stops were shut down when we got past mile 11... They had promised water support for a 7 hour marathon.

Until around mile 20...
And then we found volunteers were magnificently at water stops until the last runner went by.

And all 3 of us finished. Our Fearless Leader won another age group award.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Sweet Pea and I did twenty miles on Gateway Trail last Thursday.
You can click on the map for a nice enlargement.

Wooly caterpillar... we saw about 30 of them ... and the interesting thing is that every one of them was really chugging along.

It was a lovely autumn day.

Saturday we did a 5K race for leukemia/lymphoma (in which we have personal interest!)
As you can see, we parked fairly near the start line.

Below.. a tree closer to home.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

PS for the previous post

Bless the volunteers!!!
Last year they struggled to get enough water out there ... with runners pouring cups of water over their hot heads...
This year they endured the rain pouring on their own heads...
And still they were out there. Hurrah for the faithful spectators, too.
(See yesterday's post.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Twin Cities Marathon Races

After missing the window of opportunity to register for the Twin Cities Marathon last spring, Sweet Pea and I put our names in the envelope and made it in the drawing for the Twin Cities 10 mile race.

Perhaps you heard that it rained?! Forty-eight degrees and about an hour of really pouring rain: soaking wet socks ... even shoe laces can be bothersome when they are heavy with water... feeling returned to my fingers a couple of hours after the race.
I was so cold that I couldn't think about much but keeping on keeping on running.

It was my favorite temperature for racing... minus the rain.
About 35 degrees cooler than Chicago a year ago. We had a good time.

All 3 of us finished our races.

You can click on the map for a nice detailed enlargement.

Haven't read blogs.. or posted anything new for a while. I'm fine; just a lot going on here. Thanks to friends who have wondered.

Below is a trail in one of the Washington County Parks, picture taken late on a cloudy afternoon. Actually, on a sunny day the maples are lovely this year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still Running

A 5K race last Saturday, sponsored by Orthopaedic Sports.
race course on a new section of Gateway in North St. Paul.
Below ... an egret finding breakfast as we ran by.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lewis & Clark Marathon That Wasn't

Fifteen minutes before marathon race time, I stepped out of the car into dark. 35 mile an hour wind... horizontal rain... pelted through my shirt. Less than a minute later, in a porta potty line, I was drenched to the skin... to the tips of my toes, and I said, "I can't do this."

When Hurricane Andrew hit landfall less than a hundred miles west of New Orleans, we stood on the sidewalk in front of our hotel and leaned into the strong misty wind.
That was nothing like the band of Hurricane IKE that struck St. Charles, Missouri last Sunday morning. This was too much like really being in the hurricane.

We sat in the car near the start line for over an hour before race time, watching the horizontal wind-driven rain beating on cars around us.. in the dark... by the light of the parking lot lights. Volunteers and runners scurried past, their jackets, ponchos, garbage bags whipping in the wind. Even then, I couldn't imagine how insane it would feel to be trying to run in it.

Today the race directors sent out this: (Read about the flooding of the course, the other difficulties in allowing the marathon to go on...)


Remember Chicago... last October... we ran .. and then they canceled the race??!!
Well, here we go again: lots of stories, bragging rights.. but no official marathon time.

Well, yes, I have been out in wind and rain before... I detasseled corn in Iowa in hard rain, when I was a teenager.
We Three all ran around Bald Eagle Lake (White Bear Lake, MN) .. a 10K in 40 degree rain.... But...
How can I tell you? ... This was a hurricane!

The IKE storm band dumped on our marathon before moving on to Ohio...Note the dark red over St. Louis/ St. Charles area on the radar.

But who knows... maybe we will go to the Lewis & Clark Marathon again next year.. and get Missouri... for our 50 states goal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Lot Going On

Running running running.

An occasional race.

A whole lot of family stuff.

Some home fix-up.

Eating Weight Watcher's core foods: lean protein, vegetables, fruit, breakfast oatmeal, a few nuts (no oil added), and a little chunk of dark chocolate.

Hoping for a new federal administration.

Enjoying a little cooler weather.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Race Directors Take Note! ....(Runners and Volunteers, too)


The above statement... in capital letters... is on the brochure for the
Bear Water Run ... 10 mile and 20 mile races around White Bear Lake on
September 13, 2008, 8 am.
Sponsored by the White Bear Lake Lions Club to benefit multiple charitable organizations in the community.

Hurrah for the race director.
Hurrah for the Lions Club.
Hurrah for young beginning runners who have not run that far before.
Hurrah for runners with injuries, who can't run so fast anymore.
Hurrah for runners whose cancer drugs have slowed their running.
Hurrah for runners with handicaps doing what they can.
Hurrah for 60-something folks who are slowing down.
Hurrah for the elite runners who win awards.
Hurrah for volunteers... always.
Hurrah for the wonderful sense of community fostered by a
rich variety of participants.

PS: Today Sweet Pea and I did 14 slow miles on the Trail this afternoon. Saw a couple of wild turkeys. Temp was 80 at 5:00 when we were still out there.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Myeloma results

Don has posted his report on http://myelomahope.blogspot.com/
Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Day in a Half in Rochester

Looking out at Mayo Clinic buildings, Sweet Pea and I waited with Don for his appointments.
Don should have a report up on http://myelomahope.blogspot.com/ in a day or two.

Saturday morning we 3 were up and ready for the Rochester Half Marathon.

Again within sight of Mayo Clinic we joined about 600 runners.

The out-and-back course, through residential area, eventually took us out into southern Minnesota countryside.

We were out there with the cell phone towers and the sights and smells of cows.
Part of the course was on one of Rochester's wonderful trails.
Below is the corner where someone moved 3 large orange cones to block the half marathon course.. for the benefit of the 5K race. And, because we had fallen off the back of the pack... we observed the orange cones ... and took a wrong turn... which later I jokingly said .... caused us to run all the way to Wisconsin. A race volunteer took pity on us and drove us back to the race course.
By then, of course, we were really really behind and later got lost again... missing the entrance back on to a trail from a street on the edge of town.

If Don had not come running back to meet us... and guide us in to the finish, we most probably would still be running around on the trails in Rochester.

Actually, we had a great time. The temperature didn't get up to 70 degrees. Not too humid, with a gentle breeze!

At the finish, which was completely deserted less than 4 hours after the start, we found bananas and water left for us. I'm guessing I was the oldest in the 60-69 year age group.
Someone then appeared, took our names and our Champion Chips .... and promised that we would received finisher's medals in the mail. How cool!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Minnesota State Fair starts today.

Tuesday on the Trail we saw summac turning red...

And a few leaves collecting at the edges of the Trail.

Sweet Pea is pretty reactive to wasp stings.. and it seems to be wasp stinging season... but fortunately we ran into no wasps.
Including the two miles (out and back from the house) today, Sweet Pea and I logged 27.7 miles for the week ending tomorrow.

Our current favorite race food... so delicious it is incentive to go out for a run.
Pamela's dark chocolate chocolate chunk cookies; wheat free, gluten free, non-dairy, 89% organic.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Running on the trail

One of our favorite spectators.. or maybe we are spectators of the cat? Not always lying around, this cat is the same cat we observed one day with mouse in mouth!
This is not our kitty... Ours is safe at home in the house.

Seldom a boring day: