Saturday, May 31, 2008

Northern Lakes Races

Our favorite runner coming in to the finish of the 30K. Northern Lakes 30K and 10 mile races are around and in the area of Bald Eagle Lake, on the north edge of the city of White Bear Lake.
Sweet Pea and I did the 10 mile around Bald Eagle Lake. Today was a bit warm for a race.. high 60's .. but a nice gusty breeze kept us going.

At about 3:30 this afternoon the weather radio came on and we are in a severe thunderstorm watch.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Earlier this week we posted a picture of Runner Dude's Mom.. who celebrated her 98th birthday this month.
We thought we should add that his Dad is still alive and active too!! The two of them are an awesome inspiration to all who know them.
Currently, they are planting their gardens and tending their yard and berry bushes. Also attending community and church activities, visiting old friends, including those in care centers.
The great-grandchild babe in the picture is Runner Dude's grand-niece.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mayo Clinic: 8 hour day

Sunrise on the way to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. An eight hour day, some of it spent waiting here on the 10th floor of the Mayo Building. The best part: gracious time with the doctor who takes time for discussing all the questions and the blood test results. Don is responding well to the experimental drug. What a powerful meaning in that word, "responder" ! Side effects are not desirable, but tolerable.
Write on your hearts that every day is the best day of the year.

You can see complete results at

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brian Kraft Memorial 5K

Around beautiful Lake Nokomis on Monday morning...
A USATF race ... 500+ runners... May has been an eventful month. Recently we helped Runner Dude's Mom celebrate her 98th birthday.

Running since the Monday race....
Tuesday: 7.3 miles on Gateway
Wednesday: 3.1 in the neighborhood

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Challenge Hearts & Minds 5K

(Picture of the precious Mother's Day planting is on our previous post.)

8am: heavy overcast, warm & humid. 2X around Como Lake, St. Paul. We 3 each ran well.
And it is blossom time in Minnesota .. every apple, plum and flowering whatever has burst into song. The Como Lake pavilion sandwich shop was open .. and makes cappuccino drinks.
See yesterday's post for our 26.8 miles on Gateway Trail in 5 days.

Challenge Races web site:

PS 7pm Sunday... a tornado did extensive damage to about two dozen houses (CNN is saying 50 homes) in Hugo MN about an hour ago. Hugo is in Washington County, about a quarter of an hour from us. We had wind, but no damage.. saw the clouds move rapidly south and then rapidly north and then east.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

26.8 miles in Five Days

On Gateway Trail... 8.6 today. We are serious, here!
Warm (68) and humid (tornado warnings in Fargo area tonight)... 18-20 mph winds.

This morning we went to the St. Paul Farmers' Market... All sorts of vendors, marvelous flowers, lots of children. (Picture shows only a small portion of the market.)

Mother's Day gift from my Sweetie: a couple of weeks after Mother's Day, when danger of frost has passed, we go shopping at Farmers' Market for flowering plants, and then, in this labor of love, "they come with planting", he says.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Faster 8.6 Miles on Gateway

Temperature around 60, only a light wind. Hey, maybe we are getting good at this??
Today every single mile of the 8 miles was 30-60 seconds faster than on Tuesday, which had really gone pretty well.

Bird songs were fantastic this morning. At one point a rose breasted grossbeak was sitting on a low branch just about 20 feet in front of us... singing. He flew up into the tree and then we could hear a couple of others call out.
"Winter is over, the rains are gone,
the flowers are blooming.
It's time for singing;
let's walk out through the valley's
and listen to the song of the dove.
The fig trees are setting fruit;
the the air is full of the smell
of grape blossoms."

....Song of Songs (Solomon)
The Inclusive Bible, First Egalitarian
Translation; (Priests for Biblical Equality)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

8.6 miles on Gateway Trail

A beautiful mostly sunny day, 60 degrees, windy 16 mph.
Sweet Pea spotted a herd of 6 deer; I nearly stepped on a 5 inch turtle in the middle of the trail; a wild turkey dashed across ahead of us; a black and white cat ran into the woods; we climbed over a couple of large trees probably downed by the gusty winds last Saturday.

If you click on the picture to enlarge, you may see the male mallard (dark head, light body) just above and to the right of the center of the picture.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Making Tracks For Celiacs

We 3 did the 5K run for Celiac in Victoria, Minnesota, this morning. When we realized it was an hour drive early on Saturday morning we wondered what we were thinking. That's why it is good to mail in the pre-registration!
When we caught sight of the tents, the registration area, the people, the kids, the tots in stollers, we knew we were in the right place.
Donations were directed to the University of Maryland Baltimore Center for Celiac Research.
The 5K registration was $15. The walk was free... And walk they did... adults and kids of all ages, including many in strollers.
Dozens of young people in green volunteer shirts were stationed along the course to cheer and to direct.
Hot dogs for celiacs? Well, yes, but on a stick, not in a white wheat bun. That's a pig roaster in the back, used today for cooking up hot dogs.
Product vendors, local stores, and celiac support groups were represented, some in the tents and many more inside the building: lots and lots of free samples of gluten-free food and snacks.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye that some people have difficulty digesting. This sets off a reaction that damages the small intestine. This can result in many conditions including malnutrition, cancer and even death.
Probably 1 in every 130 people .. or perhaps as many as 1 in 100 in the US are reactive to gluten.
There are indications that myeloma (blood cancer) is an extreme form of celiac.
Gluten-intolerance tests are not particularly accurate.

When the US government's food pyramid was invented, some say the food industry had a hand in designating bread/cereal as a food group, separate from the fruit and vegetable carbohydrates. In fact replacing some bread/cereal with fruits and vegetables can lead to more normal weight!

For information about Making Tracks races around the country:
Making Tracks for Celiacs

See also: Make It a Masterpiece

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Glorious Spring on Gateway Trail

Best day of the year!!
Gateway Trail: 8.6 miles today

Lots of polite bicycle riders sharing the trail
Runner Dude was out there meeting us coming and going... Always so energizing!
Spruce, pine, cedar
Oaks (red, white and burr oak), birch, poplar, cottonwood, hackberry, maples, ash, large & small leaf linden

Ferns, berry bushes, wildflowers I can't name...
.. AND

We were hearing at least 2 different bird songs all the way, and when we ran past ponds, the frogs.

Truly, there is no snow on Gateway.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Race and Rice

Runner Dude ran the New Prague Half Marathon (just 6 days after the Flying Pig Marathon), and Sweet Pea and I came within a couple of minutes of our PR in the 5K.
The rain held off until this afternoon, and we are sitting here dreaming of upcoming races.

If you missed the May 6 post: "Blessings of the Flying Pig Marathon" you can read about our last weekend.

Comment on my last post: request for the rice recipe.
Rice.. Well, whole grain brown or wild rice that you eat...
Not the R-I-C-E : rest, ice, compression, elevation
that runners know about for treating injury.
My suggestion: bring water to a boil, with half as much whole grain or wild rice as water... (like maybe 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of rice) cover and bake at 350 in oven or toaster oven until all the water is absorbed (30-40 minutes or so).

THIS IS NOT A RECIPE POST... just an idea post... any runner can do this!
And this is the fun/healthy part:
Top with organic canned tomatoes or tomato sauce... heated with chopped fresh organic basil leaves... maybe some cilantro leaves...

or a little canned coconut milk and some curry-type spices: 1/4 teaspoon (or maybe start with just 1/8 or 1/16 ?? so) of each of turmeric, ground cloves, cinnamon, coriander, allspice .... whatever you have, but begin with small amounts... (stop at the bulk spices at the co-op for 2-3 of those..)

Or... to serve with chicken or turkey, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil per serving and some sage, thyme, even rosemary..

Add nuts, only if you are not allergic to them; raisins and craisins are good too...
maybe chopped flat-leaf parsley or celery leaves, if you like them.

Whole grain, gluten-free, flavored with tomatoes and/or herb and spices: great healthy food!!

This sweet huge pileated woodpecker has been checking out our feeder and our trees this week.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Roasted Roots

Parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, turnips: 3 servings

Peel all but sweet potatoes. Slice. Roast in a 350 degree oven for about a half hour. Test for doneness with a fork.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil per person over vegetables and turn over slices. (Olive and/or grape seed oil)
Return the vegetables to the oven for 5-10 minutes. Serve. Maybe with left-over rice? Pecans? Mango slices? Eat.

Cooking for 1 person? Works fine in a toaster oven.
So? Wonderful healthful vegetables.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blessings of Flying Pig Marathon Week

Sweet Pea running ... overlooking the beautiful Ohio River, under a blazing Cincinnati sun.
Last Thursday we spent the day at Mayo Clinic: Don's blood numbers, on an anti-myeloma drug combination, were better than we have seen in 2-3 years! Friends can keep up on his results on his Myeloma Hope blog.

From Rochester, we drove to Cincinnati... in and out of rainstorms and Interstate truck traffic, arriving safely.

Weather could have been better for the children's events on Saturday morning, but children did come.

Saturday lunch with Precious Nephew and his Dear Sweetie who live in Cincinnati... a delight!

Picked up our Flying Pig Marathon poster (!) and really terrific short sleeved technical finisher's shirts at the expo. Ours were real "women's" shirts !!

Drove the marathon route... glad afterward that Sweet Pea and I got a chance to see the more interesting second half of the course, because later we chose to run only the (first) half.

Appreciated the chance to see the amazing hills of southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky, the azaleas, tulips, and blossoming trees.

Motel room with kitchen where we cooked our other meals, gluten-free.

Our 45th Wedding Anniversary ... on the day of the marathon ... It was the Best Day!

We made it to that 45th Anniversary, in spite of multiple myeloma: we are blessed.

Lucky Don ran the marathon.

Sweet Pea and I, because of several unexpected issues, elected to take the half marathon course, and received our half marathon finisher's medals.

There were no fatalities in the 3 house fire that delayed the start of the race by 15 minutes and necessitated altering the race course.

The person who collapsed with a heart attack while running the marathon, was rescued and saved, first by other runners, then the official paramedics (See Cincinnati newspaper). Nobody died.

Neat to know our nephew was running, too, and after the race to discover others we knew were there.

Thinking that it is better to have discovered running in my sixties than not at all!
What a great time we are having!

Safe 12 hour drive home, with brief stop for a hug at my sister-in-law and brother's in central Wisconsin.

Last year Sweet Pea and I finished 5 marathons, with official time and finisher's medals, besides surviving the Chicago marathon. We are hopeful that this Flying Pig half marathon can be a training run... for our next marathon!!!

A good trip, good myeloma news, a good anniversary, a good run, another best day of the year.