When I set a goal, I follow through... I channel my OCD (thanks, Dad!) to make sure it happens. Even if that means running when it's 25* outside!
An Achilles injury kept my mileage down this year. But as 2014 was coming to an end, and my heel was feeling better, I realized that I was close to matching my mileage from 2012 (the year before I did my marathons).
There's my goal!
I was too close to quit this week, but I don't like to run two days in a row. So I added some long run/walks on the treadmill.
Despite the frigid temps, I wanted to end my year with a dawn run, so that's what I did:
I really wanted to see the sun rise over Mount Hood. Mission accomplished! It was a gorgeous morning and a gorgeous run.
And with those 3.4 miles, I passed my 2012 mileage and ended up with 682.68 for 2014:
Before Christmas, Mom, Eryn and I set out for our annual toy-shopping adventure.
We went to Bi-Mart in Beaverton where our favorite Tigard checker now works. And we loaded up cart after cart of toys to donate. We should have taken two cars! Luckily, Eryn and I didn't mind squeezing together for the first load:
We drove to the nearby Canyon TVFR fire station, but just as the firefighters were answering the door, the alarm went off and they were whisked away. They told us to just pile the toys in the lobby - so we did:
We thought it was really funny to be in the fire station all alone. (though we couldn't get past the lobby) The empty office:
We returned to Bi-Mart for the second load, and since we knew the firefighters were out, we took these to the Progress station on the way home:
Those firefighters were mid-workout and were happy to help unload. As we were leaving, one of them yelled, "SPRINTS!", and they all took off running up the road! We were so amused by the whole experience. The people at Bi-Mart were so helpful and positive, making it even more fun. We always choose Bi-Mart because that way our money does double good by staying in the local, employee-owned store. YAY! :)
Working to beat last year's record of 54 books, I've been reading some holiday books.
This one was actually Nos. 47, 48 and 49 - three books in one! Three good Christmas-themed murder mysteries:
The Life of Saint Nicholas was my first graphic novel. It depicts the legend of Saint Nicholas - very interesting stuff!
David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice is a collection of short stories. They are holiday-themed and "edgy". I think they are supposed to be satirical and high-brow. I thought they were kinda dumb and were trying too hard.
I finished No. 52 in one evening! He Sees You When You're Sleeping, by the mother-and-daughter combo of Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, was a simple story of a man waiting to get into Heaven.
He's sent back to Earth to help a girl separated from her family because of the Witness Protection Program. Surprise! It all works out in the end - the family is reunited in time for Christmas, and the dead man gets through the Pearly Gates. :)
Eryn spotted this free Ugly Sweater Run, and we immediately signed up. Then I spotted these "sweater" T-shirts on Black Friday for just $4.99! The self-timed 5K started at Road Runner Sports in Tualatin. It benefited the Ladybug CDH Foundation, a local
organization dedicated to raising awareness of the birth defect,
congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and providing assistance to
families with infants
hospitalized by CDH. We were asked to donate cash, receiving blankets or baby hats, booties for the cause. No problem! Because all three of us had to do a long run that day, we asked Mom and Dad to drop us at Road Runner and we'd run home. That idea sounded a lot better before the torrential rains came! The race was very festive and fun - lots of costumes, snacks and smiles. And it was nice and warm and dry at the start and finish (inside the store!). The route took us out a new-to-us trail along the Tualatin River. We can't wait to explore more - when it's not pouring! (I left my camera at home because it was way too wet) Brad and I BOTH won at the post-race raffle - a stocking cap and a race entry. We are on a roll with those raffles :) Then after procrastinating as long as we could, we sucked it up and went back out to finish our runs. We were all soaked to the bone when we arrived home. Brad had to do a couple more miles and opted for the treadmill instead of staying outside. I ended up with 7.22 miles on the day - perfect. And it felt great to push a little :)
that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the
Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted
for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem
in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had
to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth
to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a
manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night
watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and
God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said,
"Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is
meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's
town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look
for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over.
"Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves
what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and
Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They
told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All
who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within
herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and
praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out
exactly the way they'd been told!
Trying to decide if I should go out on a lunch walk yesterday, I asked Alex if it was raining. He said it was sprinkling but that I wouldn't even notice it. So I went. And it was glorious! I just strolled - no sweating for this one. But over an hour, I think I covered about 2.5 miles. And I saw all this beauty:
I recently concluded that I really love most kinds of weather. But one of my very favorite is high overcast on a winter day. While some find the gray gloomy, I find it invigorating and so very peaceful.
In thinking about goals for next year, I want to continue challenging myself to get out on my breaks and explore the beauty that is literally right outside my office door.
No. 46, Josephine Tey's The Franchise Affair, took a while to get through.
The mystery was good, but the book was written in the '40s in England, and it was laborious to read, taking me way too long to finish.
I was talking with a Spanish-teacher friend of mine about how reading a novel in Spanish takes so much more time because your brain has to work harder - it's not all automatic. I felt like that with this. Phrases and words were different, so my brain wasn't able to just cruise through it. Interesting. :)
My second Christmas-themed race of 2014 was Sunday's Holiday 5K in north Portland. We've done this event several years now, both the 5K and the half marathon. Because I'm still recovering from my Achilles injury (I hope to be released at my next PT appointment!!!), I wasn't up for the half. So I decided to run the 5K with Eryn this year - in matching tutus, of course! Brad's had a couple horribly stressful weeks at work and decided at the last minute to skip this race in favor of sleep. So I got up alone, long before dawn, to prepare my festive race outfit. Ready!
Fortunately, my fam was also doing the 5K, so I hitched a ride with them.
Dad's outfit kills me! (and also demonstrates where Eryn and I get our short legs!)
We passed Mom on the out and back, and she-who-is-never-without-her-iPhone snapped an action shot. What a beautiful morning!
Happy racers! Don't I have a fun family??
Dad thought he was a Christmas present:
I really wish Brad could have joined us, but sometimes taking care of the basic needs comes first. We're already looking forward to a January redemption race :)
Are you looking for something to do Christmas Eve? Join us at Newberg Friends! The candlelight, music-filled
services are casual and family friendly - and include the NFC Handbell Choir with Mom, Eryn and me :) We hold three 45-minute services to fit your busy schedule: 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. 307 South College Street, Newberg I hope to see you there :)
Last night was an early Christmas dinner with Grandpa!
The amazing staff at Friendsview put on a spread just for the Special Care residents and their families. I've said it a million times, but the food there is so, so good.
Sister and brother with their dad:
Eryn, Mom and Dave joined us, too:
My dad :)
This is the first Christmas since Grandma died. Aunt Pat asked Grandpa if it felt kinda strange, and he said it did. Sigh. They were married 70 years! And their anniversary was on Thanksgiving this year.