Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hot Evening Runs

Lot's Wife, in the First (Old) Testament, looked back at an evil city and turned into a pillar of salt.
Or maybe she ran in the late afternoon of a hot June day in Minnesota, sweat much, and turned into a pillar of salt.

We are appreciating all the kind an encouraging words regarding our "half marathon".

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DNF . . . Part 2

The day was warmer than we hoped for... but much cooler than it has been for 3 of the last 4 years for Grandma's Marathon.
There was a pleasant, almost too strong fresh breeze ... but a head wind instead of wind off the Lake.

My knee injury from the spring of last year was finally a thing of the past.
Three weeks before we had finished a half marathon in Idaho.
This was going to be my chance to do a marathon in my seventies.

The National Anthem, the playing of "Chariots of Fire" (I love that), and the pair of deafening fighter jets flying right over the runners and the start line....

As we approached the 13.1 point, Sweet Pea declared, "I'm tired.
We had slowed down in the last few miles and I knew that neither of us could finish anytime ... before nightfall??

But WHY?

I discount the fact that I am just plain old. That would not explain why Sweet Pea was as wiped out as I was.

**Maybe it was that half marathon 3 weeks before... that should have been our usual 22 mile long run.

**Maybe it was not getting our usual good night's sleep in a totally dark room the night before the race.

**Maybe it was those 2 (stupid??) training runs we did in the few days before the marathon... which should have been taper time.

**Maybe it was because, although we are below Weight Watcher's goal weight, we are too heavy for best performance in running.

**Maybe that stiff wind, while exhilarating, had contributed to our being worn out.

It sure did happen to both of us: that being too wiped out to continue.

It was after we decided that we couldn't go on that we saw the dog... but yes, you could say, we stopped to play with a dog, lard out in a yard, and eat our gluten-free pretzels and ginger cookies while sitting in cushy lawn chairs instead of on foot finishing the marathon.

We appreciated the rest there, waiting for Don to come in the car to pick us up after he finished the marathon with a good time.

"MAKING LEMONADE" out of the lemons I find myself buried in,
THINKING UP PLANS FOR BETTER TRAINING...(better resistance training for strength, more long runs), plus finally getting back to some Tai Chi,

Hope springs eternal. It is the best day of the year.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Grandma's Marathon

Dog at the half-way point (13.1 miles): more fun than running the second half of the marathon?!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Leaving Chicago June 6

Union Station and the roar of the AMTRAK engines

After a informative time at ASCO and some good run and walk in Chicago...
A last glimpse from the train: good by Chicago; see you next time.

Rain as we crossed southern Wisconsin.
That's a RAINBOW at the end of the track (though the back window).

This is the second time in a week that we have been treated to rainbows on the trip back home.

Dinner in the dining car, looking out over the Mississippi River between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Sunset reflected on the river. The end of a perfect trip and a perfect day. Every day is the best day of the year.

Yes, we are running!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Dust! That's what the Geek Squad Guy at Best Buy called those spots inside my camera.
Besides dust spots in the picture above, those are sailboats on Lake Michigan last Sunday.

So... This is my new camera. 2 1/2 X 3 3/4 X 7/8 inches: a tiny bit thicker than the last one, but this one is "dust proof" (Who knew that was important??)

This heron across a pond in the park would not have been such a good shot with the old camera.

How about this gluten-free teff/brown rice flour/sorghum flour "rye flavored" bread... With no dust spots!

Friday, June 11, 2010

ASCO (Part Three) Getting the Word Out

Thousands of poster presentations during the conference last weekend.

A whole wall of internet connection opportunity

International Myeloma Foundation sponsored Don's trip, giving him the opportunity to attend sessions, view posters, and then blog for those interested in multiple myeloma.

Our reservations were made for us at the Hard Rock Hotel. Turned out to be a great choice. It was the last stop for bus number one on the way to McCormick Place and the first stop on the return trip. It was a super location to go running and walking.
Note the cute pillow case (below).

Better pictures than we took of the art on the mirrors on the hotel walls are here:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Running Walking in Chicago (ASCO Part 2)

ASCO attendees hustled along... 30,000 of them.

Weather was perfect for running/walking in Millenium Park.

As we revisited Millenium Park, we remembered the hot hot Chicago Marathon in Chicago several years ago now.
From the walks in Millenium Park we found our way to the Lake Michigan waterfront.

Everywhere, people were moving on foot... or on bicycles.

Park and trails provided great running/walking along the Chicago River.

An art fair was nearby.. maybe not for running, but some interesting walking.

Navy Pier, also interesting walking on the weekend, was wind-swept clean of blowing snow the last time we were in Chicago.

Sweet Pea loves kitty pictures, and you never know what you'll find just walking on the city streets.

North of the Chicago River, we were reminded of the great community support there for runners in the Chicago Marathon, even though the official support was pretty sparse and dry! Some folks came out with their own personal garden hoses to provide spray, promised and not delivered until the final mile of the race by the marathon organization.

We were delighted to discover both Trader Joes and Whole Foods on the near north side of the river, where we stocked up on organic fruit for the weekend. Walking...

Anniversary of Ordination

Yesterday, June 9, was the 25th ANNIVERSARY of my ORDINATION.
I loved the people in congregations and doing interim pastoral ministry.
Opportunities dried up sooner than I expected. I had a wonderful time while it lasted. Retirement is good; life is good.

Next post: Running, Walking in Chicago

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ASCO in Chicago (Part One)

ASCO is the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which held its annual meeting last week at McCormick Place in Chicago, 30,000 strong. Don was there as a guest of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), to observe the information presented by the many speakers, and to blog about it from the perspective of an ordinary patient. Yay for the IMF! And thank you.

Don's reports on ASCO:

At the conference exhibits, Don pointed to the lighted graph which showed Pomalidomide patients in a drug trial.
"This is me, right here," he said.

Now my super little Canon camera is taking blurry pictures like I was storing it in a bucket of water. Sigh. . . .
Non-blurry pictures may have been taken by Sweet Pea, or by Don or even by Don with his phone camera.

McCormick Convention Center is enormous and awesome.
There is a two lane bus route from downtown to the Center, no passing, no exits or entrances, just straight out to where you want to be: expediently.

30,000 folks is a CITY! Twelve bus routes, with 15 buses on each, picking up and dropping people off, back and forth all day and evening.
Below is the list of hotel stops for just one of the routes.

After reading Cancer Girl's blog for some time we appreciated the opportunity to meet Karen and her husband Jay.
We recommend her delightful ASCO reports:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Coeur d'Alene Part 3: Coming home

Pilgrim's Market (food store) in Coeur d'Alene provided great fruit, including the first organic red grapes of the season, for the drive home.
Sunday, May 30, we ran the races in the morning, crashed in the hotel, shopped at Pilgrim's and hit the road for Butte, Montana.

Also real organic Idaho potatoes and Montana Huckleberry jam.

We saw spectacular snow on mountains all the way to Billings, Montana.

Like I said... all the way... snow on mountains.....

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in Western North Dakota, besides being vast and marvelous "badlands", is a tribute to the conservationist President.

Can't miss the prairie dogs.
Also, magpies flew from trees near us. (Too fast for my camera)

Scoria is that red stuff, which makes great gravel roads, besides being awesome.

A family friend, working in the charming little town of Medora for the summer, was our gracious host.

The Painted Canyon... have to use the word "spectacular" again....

Don drove 1100 miles... the day after running the marathon... to get us from Butte, Montana to home in Minnesota.

In Eastern North Dakota we saw the first complete double rainbows we had seen in years (city folks, you know).
In Minnesota we were treated to lightning "fireworks" in the clouds ahead of us for more than an hour.
All the way, the trip was interesting.

The annoying gray spot especially on that last picture, is permanent inside the sweet little new Canon camera I bought last November. Hmmmm.
Some of the pictures posted on this blog are by Sweet Pea... with her camera with the clean lens.

COMING SOON: the AMTRAK trip to Chicago.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our drive to the Coeur d'Alene Marathon Races

Our drive through the South Dakota Badlands was even more spectacular when we turned
around at a detour and drove the other way with the sun at our backs.

Taking a running stretch at a parking lot...
And a couple of guys played catch on the lawn beyond the road to get a stretch.

From Billings, Montana to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, we didn't have much of an idea of the mountains we were missing on the way out. It was like a taste of the autumn storms and snow coming in, except, no, we didn't see falling snow.

Coming here soon: the post about our return drive from Idaho.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Coeur d'Alene Marathon/Half

Finisher's medals for Sweet Pea and Sunshine and a
AGE GROUP AWARD medal for Sunshine in the half marathon
Long sleeved technical shirts for participants of both races

The Montana Big Sky hung low on our drive out. We saw fog and rain, but no mountains. Saturday afternoon was rainy in Coeur d'Alene. Showers for the Sunday morning marathon had been forecast for 2 weeks.

The tour of the race course was highly oversubscibed at both 1 and 2:00. Caravans of cars followed the small trolley crowded with lucky runners who were first in line to ride.

Saturday night forecast looked better!

Just enough sun at the start for cheer, but somewhat overcast throughout the race, temperatures were in the fabulous fifties, for a marvelous race.

Maps provided were difficult to interpret, but the course was well-staffed with volunteers. My doubts about experiencing an interesting half marathon were blown away with runs along Fort Sherman Park, a variety of neighborhoods.... AND

A major stretch along the Coeur d'Alene River and Lake Coeur d'Alene both out and back. The wind was stiff and chilling.. but easily excused for the thrill of the scenery.

More details tomorrow.......