Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just keep running...

I wish I had a picture of the park we ran in today...I'll go find one on-line here to put at the bottom. When we train as a team we meet at some truly wonderful places. Today was Seward Park. It was beautiful. I ran harder, meaning faster, than usual. My thighs hurt tonight. My calves feel fine, my outer thighs feel fine. Now it's the front of my legs that are feeling the work-out. My body is being reduced to set of muscles. It's all good.

It seems that once you start doing something, you get invited to keep doing it. I've been invited to run a 5K on St. Paddy's Day with a group of runners. Haha, like I can run. I'm going anyway. It's always nice to be invited.

Seward Park, Seattle
photo "borrowed" from

Thursday, February 25, 2010


There was a time when I took the time to write any number of random ideas here. I wrote often and lengthy and thoughtful (for me). I conversed, in a sense, in my blog entries. It's how I spent my time, and a fair amount of it too. There was a time when I read a short novel's worth of blogs and commented in return each day. It's what I did. That's how I spent my time. It's where my passion lies. Writing and reading in a vibrant, live format of blogs filled me with new ideas and let me see that any number of people are considering and worrying about the same things I am. I have not been keeping up lately. It used to be my only outlet, now it is one small part of many. I miss it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I run a 14.8 minute mile. I run slower than a lot of walkers.

This is just the beginning. I run slow, I fund-raise slow...but I'm getting there...

You can help with the fund-raising. Deadlines are looming and a little goes a long way to help in the cure for cancers. Special treats there too at Sarah Runs!

Next goal is $500 by March 1 and a straight 14 minute mile by March 9.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big Night!

Watching the Olympics
(after an evening training for a marathon)

-nice slippers, eh?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Time management

There is a gentleman here at work that has run several marathons in his time. He doesn't run them anymore. A couple weeks ago (a month or two now) when I was asking him about running marathons I asked him why he doesn't run them anymore. He answered that he doesn't have the time. "There's a lot of preparation in getting ready for a marathon. I just don't have that kind of time these days." He shared that he used to take his lunch hour and jog - he had an entire hour and access to showers at work back then. He lived close enough to that job that he was able to run to work. And the final piece that seemed to make it all work for him was that his supervisor was also a runner, therefore taking the time to achieve his goals was more available then than now.

My coach was running along side me on Saturday morning as she does for a bit of each of our group training sessions - I love that she checks in on me. As we ran I was asking questions about the run, the course, we chatted about interval training, all that good stuff. I told my coach that I appreciate that she takes the time to slow down her own run to jog along with me and that's when she let me know that the coaches on the team do not run this event that we are training for. On the event day she and the others will be jogging along offering support and assistance just like they do now during training. Then she added that she was pleased to be running slow today; she had done her hard run the day before and has another big training run coming up the next day. So, she is running a marathon, just not this one? Iasked. Yep, she'll be running the Boston Marathon...she and her husband (whom she can barely keep up with - and here I thought I was the only slow one). This is what she does. She runs.

I am finding this training does take up time. The Tuesday night and Saturday morning training sessions, even though the run itself is only 40 to 50 minutes (and growing), it is a 3 hour chunk out of my day to go do this. This is not whining, this is pride. I actually can't think of anything I would rather be doing. I look forward to the time spent doing exactly what I'm doing. And now I can see what the man in my offices is talking about. The more I put into it, like anything, the more I get back out of it.

On a side note - Fundraising has been interesting too. If you'd like to help please go to Sarah Runs and help us fund cures for cancers - something we can all help with.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Goals and Aspirations

Three goals this year - they seem like big goals from this perspective. I think by the end of the year it will all be worth celebrating, but not seem such a big deal. The same three recurrent thoughts have been invading my brain: quitting smoking, that marathon thingy (Sarah Runs) and having all my debt paid in full. So, here I am signed on for the 1/2 marathon, I have challenged myself to quit smoking for 365 consecutive days (I'm on day 62 and doing fine), and I want to get my debt reduced by half (or more) for the new year. The first two ideas I've taken action on. This third one has me stumped. I don't see any lottery winnings in my future. I keep forgetting to buy a ticket.

I have found a website I enjoy poking around - It's a great jumping off point to a lot of other blogs and random sites written by real people doing the incredible - paying off all their debt and keeping it that way (can you imagine purchasing a new car with cash? I'm rethinking my personal mindset with that one). The title certainly helps. I feel better about it already.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Washington State 101

I'm here from Wisconsin, you betcha. Now I live in Washington State, okey dokey.

Just getting a handle on the language here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Summer Team Practise

Believe it or not, I'm in this photo. Proof that I actually make it to practise.
White shirt - blue sleeves

You can help us out here: Running to Cure Cancer - Sarah Runs

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not as Easy as it Looks

I've signed on to run a marathon. Actually, I've signed on to run a half of a marathon. I am to run 13.1 miles in June. Don't forget the point one. I'm told that's important. We'll see. In the meantime, I'm finding out what training really is. Guess what? It's patience. Training is learning patience with myself; again. As if I haven't had enough challenges in my life to learn patience. Here we go again with that lesson.

I'm not a fast runner. I'm not an efficient runner. I did get fitted for some shoes specific to my running. I’m feeling very good about this. Since then though, I am finding that my calf muscles aren't as strong as I thought they would be. I am finding that these new shoes make my left leg feel all better, better than it has in years, while they make my right leg use muscles it never had to use before. I feel like I'm learning to how to run all over again.

What is it with my calves anyway? First one then the other decides to cramp up and just basically live that way for a week each in this low-grade constancy of discomfort. My calves love Tiger Balm. They soak this elixir in like oil for driftwood. They prefer pillows of Nexcare Ice Packs each evening. My calves fling themselves up over the arm of my favorite comfy chair and settle in to the dimple they create in the ice packs; exchanging their warmth and possible inflammation for the addictive non-drip of chemical coolness. I am too tired to take them to bed lately.

And so, I run so very, very slow. I am unable to stretch out these cramps so I run slow enough to keep moving, barely. I am sneaking in my training; hoping my calves can’t tell. So far, I’m getting pretty good at it. Yesterday I walked the stairs at work from the basement to the roof. Up was okay, not great, but I felt decently warmed up by the time I’d made it to the top. Coming down the stairs took twice as much time. Sneaking in a workout so your muscles aren’t sure what you are up to takes some serious time – and patience. It took my lunch hour. My calves were warmed up enough to go for training after work and they didn’t even know I’d snuck that one in. Today I walked the fifteen minutes to the bus stop rather than drive over to the bus park & ride. The walk took twenty minutes.

As I’m typing this I realize I have been brought right down to bottom. I wonder that I’ll be running any distance in any time soon. Knowing I am at this starting line, that I really have been brought to the very, very basics of “go slow”, well it nice to know there is no where to go from here but up.

Between massaging balms into my calves and pretending I’m not working out I am learning what to eat, and when and how much to drink - and that's just water. High carb foods actually make me feel better. I've never prescribed to Atkins, now is definitely not the time to start that one. I've never eaten and felt my body respond like this either, I don't think. In general, I've stayed on a relatively low carb diet. Not on purpose necessarily, just keeping a balance I suppose. Holy moly, that potato last night hit the spot. I’ve spent the morning on-line checking into dieting information for marathon trainees. There’s a plethora of it out there. I’ll never wade through it all (what a waste of time that would be). More pasta, more peanut butter, more nuts, more fruit. That’s what’s on my list. Other than more water. Drinking water helps the cramp in my calf as much as any aspirin.

Well, there’s my whiney self. I’m feeling a little defeated – better now than later. I’m feeling a little alone, I run by myself as the group is doing better right now than I. (Did I mention there are 100 people on my team?) As folks pass by me some actually use the time to slow down their own pace for a “resting” spot during the team run and chat with me before they get back to pace. I have met quite a few people. Alone is a relative term.

I’m hoping this challenge is here at the beginning and there will be a plateau of some sort here to feel good about. In the meantime, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's been a week of...

It's been a week of exhaustion - the good kind. The kind of tired that takes over when your plate is full of great things to eat. I have to admit, I get going on some things and I don't want to stop even while I know its time to stop, or too much will ruin the fun. I haven't made time to get much written here, now have I?

It started last Sunday. I am taking this marathon training seriously. The trainers have given me a schedule. I have committed to doing this. I signed on with this program because there are coaches/trainers. I started my Sunday with a short run. When my friends came over for the afternoon to kibbutz over scrapbooking, well that filled my day with the best companionship - and goodness knows we laughed almost all afternoon. I just want to remind readers how precious friends are. Make time for them. That's all they really ask of one. And it's such a pleasure. It was hard to say goodbye at the end of the afternoon. It may have been time to go, we just weren't done having a good time. I went off the church shortly after that and was made to feel absolutely welcome and part of the group. Here you may want to replay any Cheers episode when Norm walks into the bar and everyone yells the greeting, "Norm!". That's how it feels.

Tuesdays and Saturdays the Team in Training group meets to train for the marathon in June. As a new group we are all finding our running pace and introducing ourselves to the people that are near that same pace. There is a beautiful place in town, Green Lake, that has running trails around it. We ran this on Tuesday. It's more of a promenade to see and be seen. We ran this after work, after dark. Oh, I am lit up in reflective gear that makes me look like a crazy christmas tree, believe me I was seen. Afterwards a group of us went out for pizza and beer. (Norm!) I opted for root beer. (Norm?) I figured that had enough calories already. The table I sat at had two trainers, two newbies, and one regular half-marathon runner going for the big one this time(she has run 3 half-marathons in the last 18 months). These are folks I don't pace in with. There are a hundred people on this team. We are a formidable group when we go running together. As an individual, I run on Wednesday and Thursday to keep to the schedule. On those nights I run, take a shower, have dinner and go to bed - I'm pooped.

This Thursday night I stopped in with my friend in town to have dinner after my run. I didn't know I could shower so fast. It's been forever since I've had spaghetti. Especially with a spicy marinara and italian sausage. Oh, total yum. I was stuffed when I left - and wonderfully tired.

Anyone reading me for awhile knows I moved to Seattle a year ago March (we are coming up on a year). I had been crying in my pretzels and beer in Wisconsin of my lack of interaction with friends and people in general. My two best friends I would see twice a year - at best. If my phone rang it was one of my children wanting a ride, money or both.

Life is good. In a year I have friends I see often, regularly even. I am ingrained in a new group that is interesting and uplifting and finally I am up off the couch in a whole new environment doing something I have wanted to do since I was 31 years old (yes, background dreams for 18 years) and meeting an entirely new group of people.

The Team in Training thing is one answer to raising funds for cancer research. I feel good about this. If you can help ($5 is good, I wonder if the machine accepts a dollar, that'd be good too) please visit my page at Sarah Runs. It's the best way to lurk!

PS: My children call to chat these days. How cool is that?

I know pride goeth before the fall. All the above is because I made it happen. My crying in my pretzels and beer changed because I did something about it. I expect I'll be doing something about it from here until the old folks home kicks me out for installing a disco ball.

And hey! It's SuperBowlSunday!! I love football.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seattle Architecture - Somewhere

Downtown Seattle
Somewhere between 3rd and 4th Avenue
Somewhere between when I get off the first bus and get on the second one.
Somewhere around 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Pink clouds, pink skies and little bits of blue skies just to make a show - the baby shades of those two colors. That's what the sky looks like as I drive into work and as I drive home these days. The sun is just rising as I go in, and just setting as I come home. (I'll be back on the bus tomorrow. In the meantime,) The sky here is pink, a salmoney pink, the whole sky it seems. It's not unnatural, yet I don't know that I've ever seen this phenomenon for so many days anywhere else.

The sky, the sunrise, reflects on the mirrored exteriors of downtown buildings. At the right angle one can see the rising sun and Cascade Mountains and pink sky all reflected on the eastern side of the building - little boxes of mirrored moment making a canvassed building. I'm driving. It's wonderfully distracting.

And it does it again in the evening when I go home. This time the sun plays in the Olympic Mountains and bursts pink onto the skies. It's so easy to smile here.