Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cherish Walking

My daughter and I have finished ten marathons... in nine different states.

Sometimes people say, “Oh I could never do that; I just walk.”
“Walking is good,” I always quickly reply. “You go! Keep it up.”

Walking is a treasure right up there with sight and hearing and a clear mind (free of alzheimers.)

Having the ability to walk is the gift of a million choices about where to go, where to live.. And how to live.

Walking is an avenue to using up enough calories to be able to eat the nutrients I need... and an occasional little dish of ice cream!
Walking helped us two achieve our Weight Watchers goal weight.

At the age of 88, my grandmother lost walking... and immediately lost the power to live in her own little house. It didn’t kill her. She lived to the age of 92...in a wheel chair, in a nursing home. I will always wonder if physical therapy... getting her out of bed... encouraging stretching and exercising.... might have enabled her to regain the strength to walk.

In the past it was considered an embarrassment to use a cane or a walker. What a joy it is to see some older folks achieving mobility... walking... with canes or walkers.

Myeloma is a blood cancer that eats the bones out from the inside. With my Honey’s myeloma, one of the biggest terrors is that he might fracture a bone which would deter his running... well, even his walking! When he tells his cancer doctor that he has run another marathon, the doctor says, whatever you are doing, keep on doing it. Impact helps to strengthen bones.
Running is a life-giving essential of Runner Dude’s days.

I don’t have myeloma, but when I run, my heart is flying with the joy that I can run.. And I can walk. I believe the saying, “Use it or lose it” definitely applies to walking.

Walking... running... stretching....massaging....strolling....eating healthy.... getting good sleep.... getting out of the chair....putting one foot in front of the other....and walking!

I cherish this best day of the year... I cherish walking.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Austin Marathon Weekend

Yesterday afternoon we three strolled, with slight post-marathon limp, from the imposing Texas State Capitol Building, down Congress Avenue, toward the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, where we had run the marathon the previous day. We sat at a patio table, sipping lattes, celebrating victory and the warm spring day.

Runner Dude won his age group.

For us slower runners, race day got warm (with some sunburn) and hills got wearing, with few spectators cheering. We had done our training on a flat indoor track, due to a cold Minnesota January-February. Spring will be welcome!

Hills were moderately tough on my knees and my hip joints muscles are stiff and sore.
But as I ran, I kept thinking, I love running marathons!!
Race officials and volunteers encouraged us.

Sweet Runner Dude coming back to meet us... after running a full award-winning marathon!.... a dearest, most energizing and precious experience. We see him in the distance, running toward, at around mile 22. He brings fresh cold water or Gatorade (the water stops are often shut down by the time we get to that point... except in NYC and Portland OR)... and he carries our most recently shed shirts. He runs/walks with us, checks ahead for traffic where the streets have been opened up, and cheers us on.
Dear Sweetie makes every run and race and marathon a family event for us all.

Our tenth marathon and our ninth state... and for the Fast Runner, his twenty-second marathon and thirteenth state.
We three are all sporting finishers’ medals and shirts.

A hotel room near the start (and finish) and the expo, energized our weekend participation. Our Super Family Events Manager here located a room with kitchen, enabling us to have our usual eggs and oatmeal breakfasts, except on marathon morning, of course. We found some great food for other meals at the super-sized Whole Foods Market, known to some as “Whole Dollar”, but, hey, it beats the regular super markets for healthy choices.

Other highlights of the trip:
Seeing, conversation with, hugging my long-time friend, Peggy, and meeting her dear pre-school granddaughter

Visiting the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library on President’s Day...riding the free 'Dillo trolley to get there.

Last pre-marathon taper run on Town Lake Trail along the Texas Colorado River

Walking in Zilker Park to the Barton Springs Pool, where a few brave souls were swimming.

Finding a succulent fresh head of organic romaine lettuce at a little organic farmers’ market near the Children’s Museum

Pansies blooming

A gloriously tasty lunch at Pappadeaux Restaurant: Spinach and shrimp salad with blue cheese and hot bacon creole dressing for Runner Dude; sky-high grilled chicken salad for Beep;
linguine with crawfish, blackened shrimp, Andouille sausage and crimini mushrooms in a marinara cream sauce to inspire my cooking back home. A business colleague recommended the restaurant.

Saturday... pre-race pasta dinner was excellent: choice of pasta, sauce, and well, yes... Texas toast!! Plus cookies and pastry we probably should have enjoyed looking at, but resisted consuming the fat points. Lemonade. A fine time.

Safe flights (including a spectacular in-flight sunset) , glorious weather, just being in another city..... And another marathon! Yea!

Write this: the best days of the year!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day 2007

Running at the community club every morning: energizing, empowering, good to do together! She and I did 4K today, 6K yesterday and the day before.
Runner Dude always does more and faster, but it works out so well. We all run on the same track and run the same length of time.

Valentine from Runner Dude today: “My forever Valentine.... I love you more than ever.”
Plus a dozen roses... one in each of the colors roses come in.... romance, friendship, etc., a whole conversation in roses.

Walking, running, walking running every day right on through the weekend. Looking forward to it.

A phone call yesterday from the daughter of a woman I knew as church secretary back in the mid-eighties. The daughter called to say her mother had died. I remember Marilyn with such joy and gratitude.

Hopefulness: Myeloma Cancer Guy’s neurological scan showed no peripheral neuropathy in his leg. He can continue the thalidomide, for now.

Valentines Day 2007: Best Day of the Year....It was ours.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cold Cold Cold Cold


Reindeer Run in December and Valentine 5K in February are fun races around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis that come with great long-sleeved technical running shirts.
This season both races have been wind-chill bitter.

This morning at Lake Harriet we picked up our bright red Valentine shirts and a couple of our favorite Great Harvest runner buns, gave race-director Mary Anderson a hug, and headed for the community center to run. In indoor comfort, we two did a 5K. Runner Dude ran faster and more, of course. :-)
It is a good day.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Blessings & Running

On the way home from the community center, we stopped to buy some new little light bulbs for the kitchen ceiling track... all because our son brought us a “light show”!!
....... a selection of lower power flourescent bulbs for us to try and to compare.

It is delightful to learn from your children......no matter how young...or old... they are.
Cherishing the opportunity to learn from our children is a family legacy in my family.

I remember my grandmother, a wise and educated woman... But always willing to listen to the ideas of her grandchildren. She could be doing something she had done for fifty years.. And when I suggested an alternative method... She was right there with “You’re never to old to learn” as she switched gears.

“You’re never to old to learn”: an attitude... a legacy.... a response of love .... a blessing.

And so .. We have new lower-power light bulbs in the track over the kitchen counter. They even produce less heat, so the bread on the counter won’t mold as fast!

The run this morning was a nice easy 55 minutes at the CC track this morning... no particular pains... feeling good.
Life is good, says Cancer Man. It is the best day of the year.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

11K on a Snowy Day

Snowy day and a delightfully routine 11K on the indoor track.
No pain, no strain, one K after another.
Yea Beep; Yea Sunshine.

The snow seemed light, temperature outside around zero, huge multiple vehicle pile-up on I35 south of the Twin Cities. Runner Dude cleared the driveway; we enjoyed our usual eggs and oatmeal and lattes... all cozy indoors.

In the afternoon we two did another 48 minutes of laps in the house for 4 more Weight Watchers points. We are beginning a new project to keep our metabolism a little higher. We are both below WW goal weight, but not at optimum weight for the best marathon run.

Later this afternoon we had the gift of a phone call from an old friend, acknowledging that he had received our annual Epiphany letter. It was good to hear his voice and his greetings.

Best day of the year: we rejoice in it!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

February 2007 Running and Journal notes on Glucosamine & Knees

Last Tuesday Beep and I did a half marathon on the Community Club track. We were hoping for a 20 mile long run for pre-marathon training, but 14 miles or so was good.

That is more than 750 corners..... And my knees said Enough Already!

It is good to recount the progress: how far those knees have come from a cancelled surgery early last June! Late last April I injured my knee with an over-ambitious workout on exercise machines. In May the surgeon predicted I could start the Fargo Marathon but I wouldn’t finish.
Not so many corners in a marathon: Beep and I sailed over the Fargo finish line in spite of misty rain and cold winds and my fragile knees.

Some good encouragement from friends... to take lots of glucosamine and chondroitin... including an anecdotal story by the friend of a friend, who, years ago took the same glucosamine that he gave his horse for cartilage rebuilding. I took about 2500 mg for several months. Now, after being distracted for a while and taking maybe half that much, I am back.

Whatever that stuff does, with no recorded serious side effects, I have not experienced last May’s knee pain.

Not only did we finish Fargo Marathon.. but also made an unofficial time in Twin Cities Marathon and then finished the New York City Marathon..... Plus running a season of about 35 shorter races.

Yesterday 6K on the indoor track.
Today: 7K.
Beep took off running on nearly every lap, and we each ran some laps with Cancer Man.
I took it easy on the (banked) corners, did some running and some walking: Feels good!!

I long to be running outside with corners no more frequent than a city block.

Minnesota is in an Arctic blast right now, cooling the evidence for global warming, but spring will come for running. And the horrific truth of global warming may bring some governments, corporations, and the people to face the hard choices for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.....hopefully....

It is the best day: the one we have... and it is good to run.

“Write on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.” Emerson