Thursday, February 23, 2017

Salem Run'ucopia (11/24/16)

I know we're past Valentine's Day and heading toward spring, but today we're remembering Thanksgiving 2016!

Tradition (est. 2010) dictates a family race to kick off our Thanksgiving. This year, we chose Run'ucopia in Salem. The price was good, and it seemed like a fun, family-friendly race with several distance options.

If you remember, Thanksgiving was "a little bit wet" this year. But we're hardcore, so we dressed for rain, jumped in the borrowed minivan (thanks, Pa!) and drove to Salem early to snag a close parking spot.

Then we stood in the rain while some guy took forever to find our bibs, all while turning down offers of help from other volunteers. Strike one.

Because we parked super close, and the weather was miserable, we all hung out in the car until it was time to run.
Eventually, we forced ourselves outside to listen to the instructions. Brad and I joined some other runners huddled under a tree to ward off some of the rain.

The big group split into three, each heading to the starting line that corresponded with their race distance. But there were no actual starting lines and instructions were unclear, with different organizers saying different things. Everyone was confused and just hoping they were in the right place. Strike two.

Then, something held up the start. I don't know if the timers weren't ready or the course wasn't ready or what. But we stood wet and getting blasted by cold wind for way too long. I don't remember exactly, but I bet it was 15+ minutes. I was not the only one getting really grumpy about a delayed start in such bad weather. Strike three.

The 10K course was a double loop across the Willamette River and through Wallace Marine Park (triple loop for the 15K). Double loops aren't my favorite, but it was fine - mostly flat and straight forward. Crossing the river four times was kinda fun.

The race had a lot of faults, but I did appreciate the $.99 digital downloads from the photographer!
In the home stretch, running straight into the very strong wind:
Eryn on the bridge:
The other major problem I had with this race was there was no water on the course! There was a table with jugs near the turnaround, but no one was actually manning it = no water. I need a sip if I'm running 6 miles. Strike four.

I ran the end with Eryn (mostly because I was freezing just waiting :) )
Because of the weather, I didn't take many pics. Again, glad for the cheap downloads!

Also because of the weather, I ran pretty hard (because I wanted to be done sooner, and because I run better when it's cool), finishing in 54:44 - an 8:49 average. That's good enough for 1st place in my division and 8th place for all women! (Brad took first in his division, too!)

Side note: My tiny arch-nemesis was there! I was in the back stretch of my second loop when I passed a kid dressed in all neon. OH MY GOSH! It's that tiny runner who smoked me two years ago at the Hot Buttered Run. I passed him and felt pretty good about myself... until I saw the results. The 8-year-old actually beat me by 11 seconds. WOW.

Organizers acknowledged problems with the race, issuing on their Web site an apology and promises for a better 2017. Still, I think we'll skip this one in the future. There are a lot of other Thanksgiving options out there :)

After racing hard in the elements, it was so nice to sit down to a yummy Thanksgiving dinner with family at Eryn's house!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nos. 8 and 9

No. 8 was David Baldacci's The Escape. The audio book took me through lots of chores and miles in my running shoes:
Eryn snagged Michael Connelly's latest, The Wrong Side of Goodbye, from the library's new-release section. She read it first, then handed it off to me to read before the deadline. We never have a problem finishing a Connelly in the allotted 14-day loan!
No. 9, finished while curled up with my cat and a fire in the fireplace :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nos. 6 and 7

Overwhelmed and busy with life and politics and work and running and new kitchens and EVERYTHING, I haven't felt much like sharing my adventures. I'm tired. But I have been reading lots, and I want to make sure to count these for my yearly goal...

SO - No. 6 was Diane Mott Davidson's Chopping Spree:
Another in the culinary mystery series. Light and entertaining - just what I need while the world seems to be going mad and crumbling around me.

And No. 7 was David Baldacci's The Last Mile:
The audio book helped me through several LONG runs and lots of driving and chores. :)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nos. 4 and 5

My wonderful extended winter break gave me lots of time for reading! I finisehd No. 4, Diane Mott Davidson's Sticks and Scones, while cuddled with my cat and my Christmas quilt:
Another culinary mystery to keep me entertained.

At the same time, David Baldacci's The Forgotten kept me company while doing chores during my snowed-in days. I also listened while I ran 18 miles in the snow! It was an awesome way to distract from the miles :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day Three: I'm glad you're my neighbor

About a week before the inauguration, I heard about a group of (F)friends organizing a rally for Sunday. They didn't want it to be an anti-Trump event but rather a way of letting the Newberg community know we care.
As I said previously, Friday's protest in Portland was an expression of raw anger. Saturday's Women's March PDX was an expression of power and hope and determination. Sunday's gathering was a way to put some actions to our words.

Newberg Friends hosted the event, though it was arranged by several Newberg groups. Downstairs, we snacked on coffee and cookies while getting information on local organizations focused on peace, justice and support for the vulnerable in our community. Brad, Eryn and I were on cookie duty, keeping the snacks flowing :)

Upstairs, the sanctuary was set aside for quiet contemplation, prayer and meditation:
After a while, we all gathered briefly upstairs for prayer, then we moved to Francis Square and heard powerful words by community members:

Then we marched. About 200 people walked a loop along Highway 99W, showing support for our Newberg neighbors.
I am so thankful to be part of a faith community that strives to live Jesus's teachings of loving their neighbors.

... he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37 NIV

Day Three.

I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day Two: Women's March

Friday was absolutely amazing, but Saturday was the big day: the Women's March.

While hundreds of thousands of women (and children and men!) were descending on Washington, D.C., they were also gathering around the globe. Small towns, big cities, single demonstrators, dozens, hundreds, tens of thousands - coming together for women's rights.
My parents, aunt and cousin flew to D.C. for the big one, but after much internal debate, I decided to attend the Portland march. Part of my plan is to donate the money saved to organizations who will continue this fight in the legislature and in the courts.

We had extra room in the car, so former student, Alex, and bestie, Lindsey, joined Brad and me for the downtown gathering. Knowing crowd expectations of 50,000+, we left really early, parked on the east side and walked to the pre-rally hosted by Families for Peaceful Protest

Speakers addressed the growing crowd as we stood in the pouring rain, watching people stream across the Hawthorn Bridge and into Waterfront Park. Soon it was time for the main event, including more speakers and then the march.

The crowd became a bit restless because of the cold, heavy rain, problems with the sound system, and delays in the program. Finally, it was time to hit the streets.
It was overwhelming. Estimates put the crowd at at least 100,000! And the sea of pink Pussyhats was awesome! I even saw police officers donning the hats :)

I was also amazed at the creative signs! I didn't take a lot of photos, opting instead to live in the moment. But I had to snap this one:
And this one. Yes, that's what that looks like. And yes, Lindsey and I could not pass up the photo op :) My favorite part is the flexing biceps!
The positive energy was stunning as we walked and chanted through Portland.

Friday's protest was an expression of raw anger. Saturday's march was an expression of power and hope and determination. It was beautiful, and I will never forget the experience.

It was also a really long day, and we refueled with Mexican food at a favorite taqueria in Sellwood. (miss you, Sean!!)
Day Two.

I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.

Monday, January 23, 2017

This is what democracy looks like

"The time for empty talk is over."

Trump said that Friday in his inaugural speech, and I can't agree more.

I will not sit by and watch my country crumble under this man's rule. I will put action to my words and do whatever I can to stop his disgusting bigotry, sexism, racism, homophobia, etc., etc., from spreading to our American people and into our American law.

During Friday's inauguration, I sat in meditation and prayer at a vigil hosted by West Hills Friends. The space was calming and life-giving, and I'm so glad I chose that as my first action in the new presidency.

I LOVE this message from West Hills:
After, I worked out some nervous energy with a 10-mile run on my treadmill. Sweat and endorphins are magic.
With a peaceful, recharged heart, I put on my rain gear and drove downtown to protest.

I stood in a packed Pioneer Courthouse Square with others outraged over Trump and what he stands for. We listened to powerful speeches calling for action to protect the vulnerable, those who cannot stand up for themselves. I am proud to stand for them.
Soon, it was time to take to the streets. For hours, thousands of us peacefully marched through downtown, displaying our outrage. It was a truly awesome experience.

Brad couldn't get away from work for the day-time rally, but he surprised me later in the evening by finding me in the crowd and joining the march. I loved marching next to him! I also marched briefly with friends Rick and Mike - a true honor!
It was not a permitted march, and police were there to block access to bridges and certain routes. There were a few clashes between protesters and police, but it was mostly peaceful.
Our car (red hood above) was briefly trapped by one of the clashes, but the crowd and the police eventually moved on, and we were able to escape :)

Day One.

I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.