Friday, January 31, 2014


Arts-and-crafts project at lunch yesterday:
I free handed that puppy - just me, a pen, a yard stick and two sheets of butcher paper. I'm super proud of my art skills :) That's going up Sunday at home.

And then I pulled out all the stops for today's outfit. Eryn and I have lots of matching clothes and accessories!
Mom forgot her tutu but has the beads :)

Beautiful stress-relieving run with friends

I finally snapped a pic of the elusive Connie!
Connie joined Julie and me yesterday on our after-work run. She's run with me several times before, and each time I've faithfully carried my camera. But for some reason, I always forget to get a picture after! I think it's because I'm intimidated by her awesomeness - and don't want her to know that I'm that nerd who has to take a picture after all my runs :)

But, I am that nerd! And now she knows.

Julie learned that a long time ago and now joins me in the post-run photo shoots. Drink the nerd Kool-Aid!!!

It was supposed to be rainy yesterday, but the weather ended up perfect. We ran and chatted through the park for a total of 5 miles before walking up the big hill back to THS.

Nice job, Julie, on the strong 5 miler! (no walks!!)

We're all dragging from the first week of the semester, and this beautiful run was exactly what we needed :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let's make it a good day

You know how life's like a roller coaster: up and down, up and down? I was in a period of rest. Now, stress.

The new semester started Tuesday, and I'm slammed at work. Life stuff is hitting hard. My tummy isn't feeling good. (coincidence??)

It's nothing that won't pass and settle down with time. But for now, my stress is high, and I'm feeling it.

But this morning, I decided to make it a good day. I'm rolling with the punches and looking for the positive.

I enjoyed a beautiful bike ride to work this morning. I smiled at the gray clouds and the seagulls taking flight from the field beside my classroom. I'm looking forward to running after work with Julie and Connie. I'm looking forward to an evening without many obligations.

Let's make it a good day :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another wonderful weekend

Did you have a great weekend? We did!

I kicked it off Friday afternoon with a sunny run with Connie. Unfortunately, I forgot my sunglasses at home and was forced to squint through 5 miles - and this photo:
Brad and I decided at the last minute to head to Ma and Pa's beach house for a couple days of R&R. 

We stopped on the way for some grub: $2 smoothies from Jamba Juice (coupons!!) and $5 footlongs from Subway. Oh, and we used a Jamba gift card, so dinner was $10! We love a yummy deal :)
Just two things were on the weekend agenda: reading and a long run on the Bayocean spit, which runs between the ocean and Tillamook Bay. We ran out to the bar and back, then did another short out-and-back to finish off 11 miles.
It was gorgeous - absolutely gorgeous. Running in shorts and t-shirts, we kept saying we couldn't believe it was January. Sunny, warm, no wind.

We ran a lot faster than we planned, and I finished at a 9:21 pace. Feeling good about next month's race!
I finished one book and then started another. We read and read and read - 400+ pages done! Man, that's a good weekend :)

On the way home, we stopped by Tillamook's new Pelican Pub for burger/veggie burger dinner. EXCELLENT fries!
This week marks the start of a new semester at THS. It's a stressful week. I'm so glad we got a little respite.

Oh, yes :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nos. 10 & 11

For Christmas a few years ago, Ma and Pa gave me Heart of the Trail: The Stories of Eight Wagon Train Women. Prompted by my enjoyment of the true story of life on a ranch, I decided to read this one. (I don't usually read non-fiction)
The short stories really showed the varying experiences that families had on the trail. They also highlighted the role women took in the travel.

No. 10 was a good read - and took me back to my elementary school years playing the Oregon Trail game, kneading my own bread and sewing my own pillowcase. :)

We headed to the beach this weekend for a little R&R. Brad said he wanted to laze around and read, so I snagged a teen book from the THS library.

Lucas, by Kevin Brooks, was a strange tale of a teenager living on a small island in England. It's summer break, and she gets caught up with some unsavory people. And there's a boy. There's always a boy.
I read all 400+ pages in two days - while lazing at the coast. It was a good weekend :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sun and WIND

It was bright, sunny and WINDY today as Julie and I headed out for a short post-work run.

It's finals week, so my teacher friend had time for just 2 miles. But we battled the wind and got it done - and then took this sweet pic!
My eastbound bike ride home was slow going! Headwinds suck.

Then I got home and discovered the power had gone out this afternoon, and the yard was littered with small, medium and LARGE fir branches.
Looks like we got us a real wind storm :)



Weekend wrap

Kicked off last weekend with an after-school run with Julie. Beautiful sunny afternoon!
After some mediocre fish tacos (Don't you hate it when you return to a favorite restaurant and they've gone downhill??), Eryn and I hit the Tigard vs. Tualatin girls/boys doubleheader. Tigard won both games - woohoo!
Saturday's 10-miler was for Meg, killed last week by a drunken driver. It was a gorgeous run under blue skies. And I felt strong - ready to tackle next month's half marathon!
There was also some reading. Lots of reading.

Sunday we were treated to the musical offerings of Bill Jolliff, who led Newberg Friends while pickin' away on his bango and guitar. Loved it!
I bookmarked this one awhile back and decided Sunday was the time to make it. Double Chocolate Pistachio Donuts from The Sweet Life Online. They did not disappoint!
I had the Bronco/Patriot game on while I did stuff around the house. Then it was time for Eryn to come over for the day's main event...
Seahawks on the big screen!!!
Even Brad joined us for the second half. Though he said he had to wear his pink T-shirt to offset the testosterone from all the football ;)
We were cheering for the Seahawks -- but we like both teams and also would have been happy if the Niners won.

Brad had to work Monday, but I had the day off. I honored MLK Jr. by doing a few chores, lazing around, reading and hitting the treadmill for intervals.
The weather was gorgeous so I ran with the garage doors open and the blue sky in view. My workout was 9 x 400s. I did the first five at 8:13 and then sped up one notch for each of the remaining four. With warmup and cooldown, 5.0 miles in all.
And in honor of MLK Jr. - I passed the time watching a bi-racial crime-fighting duo.

I hope your weekend was as relaxing and wonderful as mine :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No. 9

No. 9, O Little Town of Maggody by Joan Hess, was a leftover from Christmas break.

I checked it out from the THS library because of the Christmas setting but had a really hard time getting into it. The story was OK, but there were way too many characters, and I had a hard time remembering who was who and what was what.

Not my favorite Christmas mystery.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No. 7 & 8

Sue loaned me Half Broke Horses, a true-life novel by Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle. And I loved it.
The Glass Castle is Walls's autobiography. Half Broke Horses is her grandmother's story, written in first person. I love Walls's writing style - almost a compilation of short stories. And I found the peek into ranch life fascinating. Read this one!

After finishing No. 7 this weekend, I immediately dove into No. 8, Images of America: Newberg by Tom Fuller and Christy Van Heukelem.
Mom and Dad gave us this book for Christmas. It's a history of Newberg, the town in which Brad grew up, where we both went to college and now where we attend church. Many of our closest friends live in Newberg. Mom also lived in Newberg during her high school and early college years.

I enjoyed learning new things about Newberg, George Fox University and the Quaker settlers, and the pictures are great. Any of my Newberg peeps want to read it next?


Frosty run

We hit the road with Kenny for a frosty run this morning.
Sickness kept him away last week. Glad to have you back, Cuz!

The sky was lightening as we finished our 3+ miles. Gorgeous!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Meg's Miles

Yesterday's long run was for Meg.
Nearly 100,000 people have pledged on Facebook to dedicate their weekend miles to Meg, who lost her life this week to a drunk driver. She left behind a husband and three young children.

When I read her story earlier this week, I knew I would join the movement. EVERY runner, walker, cyclist is in danger every time we lace up and leave the house. That's why I've also joined Runners Against Distracted & Drunk Drivers - to raise awareness among athletes and drivers.
So while I ran 10 miles through Tigard, King City and Tualatin, my thoughts were on Meg - and others who've lost their lives. I'm always very aware, but I was extra careful, making eye contact and waving at passing drivers, checking over my shoulder at each intersection, music down low.
My run started cold and foggy, but a couple miles in, the clouds broke and I finished under clear, blue skies. An absolutely gorgeous day to be out.

Meg, those miles were for you. May you run in peace.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday workout

The THS running gang hit the pavement after work yesterday.

After about 2 miles, Nicole was limping with knee pain so we ended up walking the last 1+ miles back to the school.

It was still a good workout and lots of laughs. These gals are great!

Too bad we forgot to snap our pic before Nicole left the party. SHOOT! :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mystery foot

So Eryn has this mystery foot. 

It started hurting her two years ago. She thought it was tendonitis. Then an MRI showed this tiny, floating bone was dying. Then a CT scan showed the tiny bone had a stress fracture. Despite several different treatments, it still hurts, so the podiatrist ordered another MRI.

I accompanied her yesterday to find out the results.
Dr. Mah came in laughing, saying he couldn't believe what happened: The tiny, broken bone didn't show up on the MRI at all. Apparently, it has died completely. He said MRIs show water (ie blood), and if it no longer has blood, it wouldn't show up. Like it doesn't even exist.
He's going to take another peek at the earlier CT and then probably recommend surgically removing the broken, dead little bone. Mah says his goal is to get rid of the pain, and if he takes it out, he thinks Eryn will be back to normal (whatever THAT is!).

To celebrate the "good" news, Eryn came over later in the day to use the Wood garage gym with me.
She did some elliptical and treadmill action and I did some speedwork on the 'mill. We watched Colbert Report and laughed.

So it looks like she's going under the knife, hopefully early next month so she can get back into running shape ASAP! I need my race partner back :) :)

No. 6

Already finished my sixth book of the year!

Eryn the librarian recommended Tell No One by Harlan Coben. It was a great mystery that had me wondering all the way to the last page. It was action-packed and fast-moving - my kind of book :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wonderful weekend wrap

What a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

I had almost nothing on the calendar, so it was time to chill out and enjoy a couple days off.

I read a couple books and then hit the treadmill for a pace run (I ran at the pace I hope to run next month's half marathon).
New kicks!
Treadmill distraction:
We did do some chores. Much sadness:
Go Seahawks!
Go Niners! Who will I root for next week????

Handbells Sunday morning, then brunch with Mom at Golden Touch Restaurant - as seen Friday night on Grimm!!
We also watched a couple movies and tried a new recipe. It was a good weekend :)