Sunday, December 30, 2007


Wishing us all 366 days of hopefulness.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Most Christmas Snow since 1950

Whooo? To enlarge, click on the picture.

We are running on the indoor track at the community center, often and regularly.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Blessings!

Oh joy
This is the Christmas plant, purchased last Christmas at the supermarket, which sat looking half-dead all summer.
But even the Christmas cactus knows it is Christmas.

Christmas Blessings, Everybody!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Indoor track at sunrise

Sweet Pea We 3 did the indoor track for a couple of hours this morning... each of us at our own speed!

Since Tuesday, we have had a yucky inversion thing that makes running outdoors less healthy (and this isn't even Los Angeles.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

One more indoor track

See previous post for all the other indoor runs we made this past week. This one is at the Sports and Recreation Center at Bethel University on the north side of St. Paul. Challenge Courage races today. This track is 5 laps for a K.
Our smaller track in the North St. Paul community center is 8.5 laps for a K.
The track Runner Don kicked butt.. enjoying the chance to try out his speed on some shorter races. That's him with the white visor. Go Don Always fun to see the little kids who come to races. 20 months old?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Running Indoors.... Baby it's cold outside!

On Thursday evening we ran on the upper concourse of the Twin's Metrodome in Minneapolis. A hundred runners showed up between the hours of 5 and 8:00.
Sweet Pea & Runner Don On Wednesday morning we ran in the bubble in Stillwater, where they keep the temperature at a runner-friendly 50-something.Sweet Pea running Tuesday we ran on the faithful dreadmills at the community center.
Better than outdoors when it is below zero
I got in a little mall-walking while Sweet Pea was at a lesson.
Maplewood Mall Oh joy! The NEW TRACK is installed at the community center! Sweet Pea and Runner Don examined the track surface material.. as runners went by. And we tried it out of course. The new surface runs really good!!At last: love that blue

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lights in the ice tree!!

Dazzle See the ice tree made with water from a garden hose in our previous post.... Behold! Those folks put lights on the framework before they turned on the water to make the ice.

Wednesday morning we woke up to a fairy world decorated in hoar frost.
No twig left unfrosted This weekend, when we get it organized, we will post pictures of all the places we found to run indoors in this unseasonably cold December.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Below zero and staying indoors!

Christmas in ice Some folks near here are making an icy outdoor tree. All afternoon the garden hose, rigged up on a ladder, sprayed water on a framework. And, I'll tell you folks, it is cold enough in Minnesota to make ice.

Brave MN Runner Don went running with the St. Croix runners this morning. Sweet Pea and I bravely ventured out this afternoon to run 40 minutes on dreadmills at the community center. We virtually cheered all the hearty runners who actually ran in the 8 Miles on the 8th virtual race today.

Best news: the running track from Europe arrived. Installation should start next week at the community center.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Totally Winter!

The snow is absolutely awesomely beautiful.

Single digit temperatures say "January".

Sunday, Dec 2, shoveled snow
Monday, Dec 3, 20 minutes walk/run in ice & snow in the neighborhood
Tuesday, Dec 4, 40 minutes treadmill at community center

Stillwater lift bridge on Tuesday when we went to Valley Co-op.
Bridge is down
Wednesday, Dec 4, shoveled snow (It kept snowing!)
We shopped at the Fresh and Natural (local chain) for gluten-free baking supplies and local produce.

Thursday, Dec 6, 40 minutes treadmill at community center.
Did some 4 miles an hour, some 6 miles an hour, and a few times did a couple of minutes at 9 miles an hour.

It keeps on snowing.
Piling up on the picnic table
Friday, Dec 7, day off.. but we will probably keep shoveling!

Saturday, December 8 Virtual 8 mile race on the 8th:
See Vickie at

And Nancy at

Healthy gluten-free
This week we all experimented with gluten-free whole grain millet flour bread with nuts and seeds and cinnamon in it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Winter Cometh !!

First measureable snow Still descending, blanketing the Twin Cities. Slippery for driving and runnning.

This morning we attended the myeloma information and support group meeting: 2 more newly diagnosed people. Everyone shares the results of their treatments and how they are doing. We always learn more. People asked me to share nightshade-free recipes next time. Click on MINNESOTA MYELOMA to view the new web site set up by Don and others.
snow When we drove over to St. Louis Park, the snow was beginning to fall, drifting lightly across the freeway. The drive back, on local streets, was greasy and time consuming. This is our car when we drove into the garage.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Never skip more than one day

Not sure who first said that ... one wise trainer said it ... 3 days a week, 4 days a week, 5 days a week ... but never skip more than 1 day at a time.

After running on Thanksgiving morning, we skipped last Friday and Saturday (after Thanksgiving), but we are on the wagon again. Tread mill, track, resistance machines, free weights, even running outside (Brrr!) ... something most days and at least every other day.

I'm still working on Don's request to eat mostly vegetarian. It is not something I have experienced, but I am attempting to imagine it. We have chicken or fish for a meal every other day, and bison once a week, keeping the every other day pattern. The undesirable protein in his blood is down. Good. There are scores of wonderful vegetables, plus fruit and nuts, of course. I'm trying to discover interesting ways to combine them to make satisfying meals.

We continue to choose organic fruits and vegetables for the "dirty dozen" most pesticide contaminated. I have only recently read that pesticides damage the liver
.. so much implication for the person with myeloma.

Gluten intolerance has been linked to myeloma. Wheat, barley and rye contain gluten. It is interesting and challenging to work with other grains: brown rice flour, teff, quinoa, amaranth, bean and nut flours. I'm just getting to know these
and figure out how to use them.

This week a teff banana bread, pancakes, corn bread (without wheat flour), and I'm wondering what will Christmas baking be like?

I'm eating what he eats... in support and solidarity ... because it is easier than cooking separate meals ... because it is probably good for me.

This picture was taken from up on the track at the community center on the last day before they started tearing it out in preparations for a swell new one to be installed.
Where we will be until the track comes Since we discontinued our membership at Lifetime Fitness, we have continued to subscribe to their "Experience Life" magazine. The December issue which arrived in the mail today, has an interesting article ("Chart a Course to Fitness") describing seasonal training and cycles of variation. Inspiring to think of a plan with intentional variations? I sort of blunder along, doing what I can, when I can, usually all I can. This cold weather is freezing my bones, and I know it is a harbinger of Minnesota January temperatures to come.

So I will be of good cheer, make lemonade, work out indoors and declare it the best day of the year!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Don has myeloma, a cancer of the blood for which there are treatments but no cure. Until a few weeks ago, his tumor markers had increased steadily at every blood test, despite treatments with thalidomide. Then, after five weeks on a new regimen of diet, supplements, and a common prescription medicine, one important blood marker was down 13% and another was unchanged. No markers were up. We celebrated, and remain hopeful. Next tests are in early January.

Besides being highly nutritious, the diet is intended to reduce c-reactive protein, which may encourage myeloma to grow. The diet features lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, with very little red meat (occasional bison), and only modest amounts of chicken, turkey and fish. Further, it includes almost no gluten, which in some people may also create c-reactive protein and may be linked to myeloma in other ways. Sunshine and Sweet Pea do most of the work in preparing delicious, nutritious, and healthful meals. The supplements are curcumin (lots!), resveratrol, and quercetin. The prescription drug is low-dose-naltrexone, thought to help regulate the immune system.
Don in Austin Don finished first in his age group in the Austin TX marathon this year.
Thanksgiving for all who pray, support, care and cheer!

Today we ran Don's third annual St. Croix Valley Runners Thanksgiving Day Run.

As we left the doctor's office with the amazing blood test results, I asked the doctor, "Is it Christmas?"
"Almost," the doctor answered.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


She carried 15 loads of leaves, which we had raked into the tarp.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Harbingers of Winter

This morning we went to the community club to run on the track. The sign on the door said the track was closed until further notice.
A new track is being shipped from England, due to be installed before Christmas.
Also to be installed is some sort of video exercise area.

Well, so, we spent our hour in the work-out room: half an hour on treadmills, 15 minutes on bikes, the remainder with free weights .... and then some stretches and t'ai chi chih.

At one point I glanced over to see Sweet Pea and her Dad running side-by-side on tread mills. That was cool.

I ran, I walked, I put out sweat. I did not keep track of speed, I did not pay attention to the miles, I have no idea how many weight watchers points I earned.

I have dark thoughts about the promised completion date for the new imported track.
'Nuf said about that.

All-in-all, we will find ways to be in shape... one way.. and another .. and another.

Pictured below.. a few mums along our walk in the neighborhood ... and they have, so far, survived the freezing temps. They do better below freezing than I do!
Tough flowers

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Caterpillar on Gateway Trail

Runner Don did 14 miles and Sweet Pea and I did 8 2/3 miles. We don't know how much the caterpillar did.
Sunday was a glorious day to be out, temp in the 50's. And the horses were out on the horse trail. We saw dozens of bicycles, runners, kids and dogs.
Today Sweet Pea and I did the mile out and mile back from the bottom of the driveway.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Well, I got "tagged" again... by a very nice runner friend... And the challenge is to list five things about me.

Since I am basically a poor game player who usually makes hash out of rules, I will list 5 things about me.. and then 5 more things, illustrated with pictures.

But then, if you would like to play, to be "tagged" to list 5 things about you, you could leave a comment at the end of this blog so folks know where to find you,
And feel free to list FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOU !!

You can find my friend Peter and his list of 5 things at DC Spinster.

Five things about me:
1. I grew up in Iowa.
2. When I taught in MPLS, I had 39 fourth graders in a self-contained classroom.
3. I stayed home with 3 great little kids: 2 boys and Sweet Pea; then I went to grad school and had another career.
4. I am no Polyanna, but when life is lemons, after lamenting some you might as well make lemonade.
5. I like dark chocolate, fresh ripe fruit, most kinds of nuts, and extra hot home-made skim milk lattes ... every day.

Five things in pictures:

1. Our cat Kitty 2. My camera: I take it everywhere... Early morning sunrise, running with the St. Croix Area Runners (Stillwater) on Saturdays.
Love sunrise runs 3. Each of our dozen marathon trips in the last 3 years has been a treaure. Picture: Early morning marathon in 2006 ... running toward the Clinton Library in Little Rock.
Sweet Pea My Sweetie, mouth full of Cliff Bar after a run; I cherish our exploring new things together.
Runner Don Every marathon has been my favorite. Running 5 bridges and 5 boroughs in New York City was an experience of a lifetime.
Verrazano Bridge and Sweet Pea That's Sweet Pea in orange in the foreground. We did our best marathon time that day (Nov 2006).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

After the marathon: small step recovery

Saturday ... 4K in the neighborhood
Sunday ... 4K Rocky's Run Race
Monday ... tiny bit of weight lifting
Tuesday ... 9K at Community Center track
Wednesday ... a little more weight lifting
Thursday ... Who knows?? Maybe some miles....

Warming up for the Rocky's Run on Sunday
The 5K
P.S. Loved that Grand Rapids Michigan Marathon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rocky's Run - November 4

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood for the annual scholarship fund raiser 5K and 8K on the cross country course on the U of MN golf course, named for star athlete Rochelle "Rocky" Racette. Rocky was killed in a car accident in 1981, at the age of 22. Runner Don
Well, help, all you marathoner friends!
Suggestions for a hotel (room with refrigerator) within walking distance (next May) of the Flying Pig finish line .. more reasonably priced than downtown Chicago!?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Autumn Drive to Grand Rapids

Maple, oak, birch and poplar leaves were brilliant on the weekend of October 28, and the Grand Rapids Marathon... These maples decorated the lawn along the street where the marathon started and finished.
Spectacular color
Autumn color cheered our drive on Friday across Wisconsin on HWY29. Making the drive over in 2 days, we stayed in Mackinaw City on Friday night. Saturday morning we made the rest of the 14 hour drive.

Our return trip through lower Michigan was especially enjoyable, as the sun was behind us, lighting up the leaves from Grand Rapids ....

Oh delight
... to the Mackinac Bridge.
Bridge not falling down!
Big Rock Point in the Upper Peninsula
U P shore
Northernmost point of Lake Michigan.
Look all the way to Chicago!
So we sure did get our fall color drive, and it was magnificent.
Unendingly lovely

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Oct 28: Grand Rapids (MI) Marathon ... was Grand !

What a difference 3 weeks makes! In Chicago we wore the minimum of race clothes to the starting line.
In Grand Rapids we came out of our motel to find our car covered with frost.
Hover over pictures for captions, click on pictues to enlarge them.
Scraping the windshield Instead of the usual round numbers such as 4 hours, 4 1/2 hours, etc. they organized pace teams to match famous people's actual marathon finish times, such as Oprah, Will Farrell, P. Diddy and Dubya. Here the teams are posing on the stairs inside the Y.Famous people pace teams Fresh and energizing was the weather; yes, that's frost on the tall grasses.
Running in the energizing chill Just 2 days after the time the MOON is nearest the earth in all the year. Harvest Moon
We like to drive the race course on the day before a marathon, but in Grand Rapids the course turned into tails which we couldn't drive.. as shown here. The real beauty of the course was to be discovered the next day in the running.Trail head Here, at the end of October, the colors were absolutely spectacular. Morning fog still wrapped Millenium Park as we ran.Maple color Running trails along the river were a joy to run. River flats A pleasant tunnel of over-arching trees. And all along the way, the volunteers were glorious... with water, Gatorade, Oreo cookies, bananas, gummy bears... all this ON THE RACE COURSE!Water stations even when we came by We have to say they even said,"Can we get you ANYTHING??" at water stations ... until we got to the last 2 ... and they were totally closed down ... by maybe 6 hours (?) We were grateful to see faithful Runner Don coming to meet us, having finished the marathon himself. When Sweet Pea saw this picture later, she said, isn't that on Gateway? And it does look like the trail here in Minnesota where we do a lot of our training. Oh Joy!
Oh yea! The finish! And there, as promised, we were greeted by Race Director Don, even when we finished. Finisher's medals for all