Monday, April 30, 2012

Gratitude - 4/30

I am grateful for a new angle to try on my battle against tummy troubles.
I am grateful for a husband who doesn't think I'm disgusting for having tummy troubles :)

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Dr. Sarah

We had the true honor of witnessing Sarah become a doctor of psychology Friday night.
We met Sarah five years ago when she moved from Maine to Newberg to begin her doctorate program at George Fox University. Since, we've made tons of super-fun memories hiking, backpacking, racing, eating, gardening, beaching, jamming.

She moved last year to do her internship in Philadelphia, and we've missed her terribly!

We were so happy to attend her hooding ceremony:


Each doctor was introduced and then given a few minutes to speak, thanking family and friends and reflecting on their time in the program:
No surprise to me, Sarah was also given the dissertation award:
Picture time:

We are proud of you, Sarah! And I am so pleased to be included in your celebration!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gratitude - 4/29

I am grateful for a day without much to do.
I am grateful for a redeeming run.
I am grateful for another weekend of beautiful spring weather.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Sometimes you feel it. Sometimes you don't. Today, I didn't.

With my quarter marathon in two weeks and my half marathon in three weeks, I decided that today would be my peak mileage. I set out this morning to do about 10 miles, depending on how I felt.

Well... it felt fairly bad, and I ended up throwing in the towel early.

I knew I was in trouble last night when my quads burned while going up a flight of stairs. Darn lactic acid! I blame Thursday evening's fast run.
I ended up going 8.72 miles in 1:30 - a 10:20 average. That includes a couple walk breaks.
I just didn't have it in me, physically or mentally.

But before I beat myself up too much, I still laid down 8.72 miles!! Perspective.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Tempo Thursday: short and sweet

Not a lot of time Thursday afternoon for my run - had to get to a party for Sarah, who's graduating this weekend from George Fox University and becoming a doctor of clinical psychology!!  

So I squeezed in a short, speedy run.
I ran 1.08 miles to Eryn's house at an 8:15 average.

I checked out her brand-new wood stove. Looks great, Eryn! Can't wait to try it out :)

Then I ran 1.00 home at a 7:43 average:
In all, 2.08 miles in 16:38 - an 8:00-minute-mile average. Short and sweet.
Last long run this weekend before my upcoming races...     :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gratitude - 4/26

I am grateful for Sarah V.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Will run hills for hot dogs

Sunday evening posed a dilemma: We had to run a few miles. But we were also invited to a BBQ at my grandparents' house. 


How about we run to their house, eat hot dogs and then run home? Perfect. Except they live at the top of a big hill.

A hill workout!
I was really, really sore from Saturday's steep hike and Sunday afternoon's yard work. So I took it slower and motored to the top of Canterbury Hill. I think I averaged a 10:01-minute mile.

We had a nice family dinner with hot dogs (veggie for me!) roasted on the fire, homemade bread-and-butter pickles and Mom's potato salad - my absolute favorite!!!! Topped it off with berry/apple crisp and berry shortcake. YUM!

We ran home before it got dark and ended up doing 4.52 miles in 44:18.
I got up Monday and could hardly walk (between the sore muscles and two gigantic heel blisters)! After hobbling around all day, I went to spin class and took it a bit easy.

I woke Tuesday and felt much better. Who knew spin could be a recovery workout?!?! :)

Elk Mountain/Elk Creek - 4/21

On the way home from our short, but very relaxing, stay at the beach, we decided to hike Elk Mountain on Highway 6 so Brad could break in his brand-new mountaineering boots.
We've hiked King's Mountain many times but have never done the other nearby peak, which is often done in combo with King's. 

I was swapping hiking/climbing/skiing stories while in the dentist's chair earlier this month when Dr. Handick talked about heading to Elk Mountain, one of his favorite hikes. That sealed the deal.

Being midday Saturday on the hottest day of the year, the trail head at milepost 28 was packed, and we ended up parking across the highway.
Because the campground is still closed for the season, we had to walk a bit extra from the road.
We took a peek at the map and decided to go up on the Elk Mountain Trail and return on the Elk Creek Trail - a little loop. We should have studied the map closer because it ended up being a LONG loop!

Elk Mountain gains about 2,000 feet in about 1.5 miles. That's STEEP! And since it was so hot, we were poring sweat. 

Brad felt that we were going slow, but we actually made the summit in about 1:15 - plenty fast!
You can't really tell in this picture, but Mount Hood is out there in all her splendor:
Lunch time:

We finished up and headed down the trail to complete our "short" loop. Two miles and lots of deep snow later, we came to the cut off. Just another .8 miles until we reach the Elk Creek Trail. Then another 4 back to the trail head. Oops. No turning back now :)
Because we were now on the north side of the mountain where the sun doesn't reach, the snow was significant. It was very deep and soft, causing us to post hole to our knees. Too bad we left our gaiters at home - that would have been really nice to have! Fortunately it was warm out, so we didn't freeze to death.

Just to add to the adventure, the sun was getting low and I'd left my glasses in the car (since we planned to just do a quick up and down). Fearing that I'd get stuck out in the dark in just my prescription sunglasses, we moved as fast as we could, which wasn't very fast, thanks to the snow.

We also didn't take time to stop and take any pictures. Bummer.

We eventually got low enough to leave the snow behind but still had several miles to go next to the creek. 

Such a beautiful trail!
We made it out of the canyon before dark... wet, tired and happy with our latest outdoor adventure.

Another great day in the woods :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gratitude - 4/25

I am grateful for my beautiful back yard.
I am grateful for a husband who likes to help me cook.
I am grateful for David B.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

No-TV Tuesday: leaves, migas & football

Yesterday was ACT testing at THS. I helped check in students first thing in the morning and then basically had a work day to get stuff done. Nice!

After work, Eryn came over to help haul away all the leaves and branches and other fall/winter debris that I've cleaned from my garden beds. It filled the back of Mom and Dad's truck! Thanks for all the help, Eryn - looks awesome!

You always have to feed the helpers, so I made Vegan Migas from The Smart Kitchen Blog for dinner.

(I stole this pic from her Web site)
  • 1 package firm tofu, drained
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 t ground cumin
  • 1-2 t chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 c sliced bell peppers
  • tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used soy)
  1. Drain tofu and press between multiple layers of paper towels. Crumble tofu into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix tofu with seasonings and set aside.
  3. In a medium frying pan, saute onion, garlic, and bell peppers until softened, adding in a pinch of salt, cumin, and chili powder.
  4. Stir in tofu mixture and cook 1-2 minutes.
  5. Crumble in tortilla chips; mix well.
  6. Pour in milk a little at a time, just until tortilla chips begin to soften.
  7. Cook 3-5 minutes, seasoning as necessary.
  8. Serve warm, with salsa and guacamole. (we topped with sour cream, tomatoes and avocados)

This was so quick and easy - and pretty tasty. Brad thought it was a little heavy on the chili powder, so I would go on the lighter side next time. I thought the toppings really made it. Yum!

Then it was time to get to work on the new THS football Web site for Coach. He wants to debut it next week, so I need to get it as updated and polished as possible.

I'm really having a good time getting back to my Internet roots! But I need to stop staying up until 10 p.m. working on it :)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gratitude - 4/24

I am grateful for a work day.
I am grateful for Eryn's help in the yard.
I am grateful for progress on my football project.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Nos. 12 & 13

You know it's a good weekend when you finish two books!

Needing some down time, we went to the beach. (Thanks, Ma & Pa, for the use of the beach house!!)

I spent nearly one whole day finishing my 600-page Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum:
I saw the movie a long time ago and had some remembrance of the plot. But the book was much more involved, and it kept me guessing.

I did think Ludlum was a bit wordy, and the dialogue seemed a bit cheesy or forced at times. Still, it was a good read.

As soon as I put down The Bourne Identity, I picked up The Drop, by Michael Connelly:
Very good. Quick read. Some twists. Murder mysteries are my fav :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gratitude - 4/23

I am grateful for a warm bike ride.
I am grateful that spin class will continue.
I am grateful for a calendar filled with fun.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Gift that keeps on giving

Remember this really awesome race on the beach last month where I almost PR'd and then got a $49 parking ticket while trying to cash in on my free race goodies?
 Well, it just keeps getting better.

I got a letter this weekend from Alamo, the rental car company. They were informing me that I'd received a "toll or citation" while driving their car. The issuing agency would be contacting me about that fee. (no problem - already paid it last week online)
BUT... here's the good part:

"In addition, we are assessing a fee as our administrative and processing charge."

Say what?

Yep - another $18 on top of my $49 ticket. Nice.

That most-expensive (free!) hot chocolate ever is now up to $67.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gratitude - 4/22

I am grateful for math in church.
I am grateful for family BBQ.
I am grateful for good exercise.
I am grateful for Advil.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gratitude - 4/19

I am grateful for a break.
I am grateful for hot showers.
I am grateful for my husband.
I am grateful for treats all week.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Tempo Thursday: spring shower

It's rained all day. And my legs are pooped from Friday's 12 miler, Saturday's ski trip and two great spin classes this week.

I didn't bring my hat to work (can't run in the rain with glasses and no hat!), so I almost bagged out on Tempo Thursday. But I rode my bike home and realized that the rain was warm and kinda refreshing. It smells like spring out there!

So I changed my clothes quickly before I changed my mind and went out to do 3ish miles. Because I'm tired, I decided to run comfortably and without watching my pace.
I finished 3.1 miles in 28:14 - a 9:06 average. I slowed down for a bit and then sped up to finish it out... another .95 miles in 8:17 - an 8:46 average.
In all, 4.05 miles in 36:32 - a 9:02 pace. Felt good!

It rained hard the whole time I was out, and I am soaked to the bone. Time for a hot shower before I freeze my baguettes off :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gratitude - 4/18

I am grateful for hugs.
I am grateful for the good customer service we received at the Verizon store.
I am grateful for an early Friday.
I am grateful that I can help honor great students at THS.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

No-TV Tuesday: just stuff

This week's No-TV Tuesday was just full of stuff - good but nothing big.

I take that back. My first stop was Al's Garden Center in Sherwood. I have a whole stack of 40%-off coupons, so buying cheap plants is always big :)
It's one per customer, so I'm taking my family there later this week to help me spend them!

Then my weekly trip to Winco for groceries:
I made a fire in the fireplace and sat down with my book to read until Brad came home. Of course, I fell asleep. He was late coming home, so I got in a nice pre-dinner snooze.

I did some chores and then got into bed early with my cat and my book. Lights out by 9:15 p.m.

When downloading my pics this morning, I saw this one Brad apparently took of his dinner the other night. He must have been proud of his Southwest "chicken" salad:
Made me smile :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gratitude - 4/17

I am grateful for the promise of the weekend.
I am grateful for Coach.
I am grateful for Cherese L.
I am grateful for a fire and a good book.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

No boobs or butts

I just announced to CE2:

"No cracks, no cleavage. Boobs stay in your shirts and butts stay in your pants."

It's spring time, and that means shrinking clothes. Just reminding our students of the THS dress code

Good times :)

Bennett Pass (4/14)

Part of the reason I did my long run Friday after work was to get it out of the way so I could go cross-country skiing Saturday.

We had such
a wonderful time last weekend and were excited to get back out. Brad checked his map and decided to stop at the Bennett Pass Sno-Park and ski to Sahalie Falls.

Clouds shrouded Mount Hood as we drove from home. But we passed through Govie and around to the east side of the mountain and saw this:

Our map was printed before the new Highway 35/Mount Hood Meadows interchange, and we drove around for a bit looking for the Sahalie Falls trail, which is on the other side of the highway from the sno-park.

We never figured out how and where to get across the road, so we decided instead to ski to Teacup Lake.
The trail to the trail was tough. Thankfully, the snow conditions were very forgiving. Otherwise, my completely exhausted legs wouldn't have made it. I felt like it was really survival skiing - not pretty but just trying to get down.

We followed great trail markers toward the lake. But when we thought we should just about be there, the markers stopped and the trail seemed to go in several directions. Considering my exhaustion level, we decided to eat some lunch and call it the turn-around spot.

I brought a different flavor of the vegan jerky
I bought earlier this month at a vegan store in Portland: This one had great flavor but was really salty. I'm happy to find these yummy protein treats and will be buying more.We turned around and ran into the first (and only!) people of the day - and it happened to be someone Brad knows. He always sees skiers he knows on the trails :)

Energized by some food, we tackled the uphill back to the car.
Another awesome day on the mountain! I love that there's a potty at the trailhead - such a luxury! I buried our chocolate milks in the snowbank before we hit the trail, so we enjoyed cold drinks before heading for home: Spring skiing is amazing. The weather's excellent and the snow is fun and forgiving. The sun comes out and most people forget about "winter" sports and switch to Little League and yard work. That just means more snow and solitude for us :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gratitude - 4/14 & 4/15

I am grateful for the week's fog to be lifting.
I am grateful for a husband to share my adventures.
I am grateful for some time in my garden.
I am grateful for encouragement to push my physical limitations.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Flattery will get you everywhere

I try to keep to my workout schedule: Monday spin, Wednesday spin, Thursday tempo/track, Saturday or Sunday long run.
I really need specific plans - otherwise, it's too easy to fall off the wagon. I thrive with that external motivation.
That being said...
I changed it up this week. While I would normally change clothes right after work Thursday and hit the pavement, I rode my bike home and took a rest day instead, including reading, a nap and dinner out!

I'm exhausted. I had one of those weeks where every time I crossed something off my list, three more things were added. Not only could I not get ahead, I couldn't even keep up. Thankfully, most weeks are not like this - otherwise I wouldn't last real long at my job.

So after my very productive workday on Friday (no school for end of the quarter), I decided to go on my long run: 11 miles.
I tried a variation on my new route and felt good, keeping it around 9:45.

Side note: Two guys, maybe late high school, drove past me in a really nice, black convertible with the top down. As they passed, they revved the engine and looked in my direction. I laughed right out load and said (under my breath), "I'm your TEACHER!" Wouldn't they be mortified if they knew?!?!

And while I'm flattered, I'm certain the revving was much more about them showing off their car than them being excited to see me ;)

I planned to reach 11 while still out and then finish with a slower jog home. I ended up just a little bit short: 10.79 miles in 1:45:10 - a 9:45 average.

I walked up a big hill and then jogged the rest of the way, completing 12.02 miles in 1:59:32 - a 9:57 average (including my hill walk).
I am so pleased with my time! I think I am right on target for my half next month. WOOHOO :)