Friday, May 27, 2016

Adventure Thursday: DOUBLE winner!

Adventure Thursday was the monthly Discovery Run at Road Runner Sports. Dad, Brad and I ran around Tualatin, collecting raffle tickets, hoping for prizes.

This month's route was really short. There's usually a couple spots to the east near Brown's Ferry and a couple spots way to the north by Bridgeport Village. This time Brad and I ran extra just to hit the 3-mile mark! (Usually we get at least 4 miles)

Running done, tickets ready, waiting for the raffle:
I won a three-pack of Drymax socks!! WOOHOO!

AND THEN... I won a pair of Adidas shoes! Worth $160!!!!! 
That's the third pair of shoes Brad and I have won at these things :) 
Dad quote of the night: "This SUCKS!" after his 0-fer streak continued :)
Someday, Dad's number will come up! At least he still gets the free root beer float and workout :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

CE2 grads... so far

I've been lax in my graduation announcements this year! We've had nine CE2 graduates so far - with more coming in the next few weeks. Because our students do independent study, they graduate as they complete their credit requirements. So we have graduation celebrations throughout the year!

I'd like to introduce you to our grads so far...

Stay tuned for more very soon!!! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Girls on the Run 5K (5/21/16)

Saturday was the culmination of weeks and weeks of work for about 600 local girls. They spent the spring doing Girls on the Run, an amazing self-esteem program for third through fifth graders.

A portion of the program involves running (or walking or skipping!). And then each girl is paired with an adult running buddy who comes along for the Practice 5K and then the final 5K. 

My Cooper Mountain Elementary School team's Practice 5K was May 5 in the neighborhood around the school. Then the final "race" was May 21 on the University of Portland campus.

The 5K started in waves, with Cooper Mountain in the very last group. What especially touched me was watching our girls spend their extra time cheering their hearts out for teams who started before us:
Miriam had a plan to run 3-minute intervals with 1-minute walks in between. (In the practice run we did 1-minute run intervals!) When it was finally our turn to run, we walked to the start, got in line and then took off down the sidewalk. The course was a triple loop. We were asked to stay on the sidewalks, which proved very difficult, especially since we started in the back of the pack.

I have a great respect for this program! But a couple things could have been better at the 5K. If the race had been done on the streets, these girls could have really shown their stuff. Miriam was itching to go, but it was just so very crowded. Also, there was a water station we were supposed to hit three times as we ran around UP. They were almost out of water when we arrived the first time and totally out after that. I felt bad for Miriam and others who didn't have water! I'm just glad it wasn't a hot day.

Other than that, it was great! Families lined the course to cheer and snap photos. The atmosphere was amazing with everyone cheering for everyone. And Miriam did so well! Her mental game was strong, and her running was great, too! As the finish line came into view, Miriam took off, sprinting to the end! I had to really work to catch her :)

Finisher medals for everyone:
The Cooper Mountain team and coaches:
Everyone had a wonderful time and felt so accomplished! What a great experience :)

Monday, May 23, 2016

No. 20

I am zipping through the Sue Henry books Dad loaned me!

No. 20 was Deadfall:
While the last one I read focused on the trooper, this one went back to the musher as the main character. I like that better!

The mystery was on practically from page 1 and kept me guessing as Jessie hid from her stalker! I thought this was a great book :)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Adventure Thursday: Tualatin walk

Dad and I walked to Tualatin for Adventure Thursday:
The day's forecast called for showers, but none had materialized by the time Dad left home to meet me for my lunch break. He was about halfway to THS (on foot) when the skies opened up and the rain arrived. Dad arrived in my classroom a bit damp :)

I wrapped up some very important duties (we graduated FOUR CE2 students Thursday!), and we left for the park. We bundled up in rain gear, but it didn't rain again while we were out.

We walked across the bridge to Tualatin (you can barely see the river in the upper, right corner ^^^) and then returned to the school so I could finish my work day and Dad could get back to his chores at home.

This next week is the monthly Discovery Run, so I guess our adventure is already picked for us :)

Friday, May 20, 2016

No. 19

Book No. 19 was Termination Dust by Sue Henry:
Dad really likes this author and loaned me several titles. This was about a Colorado canoeist exploring Alaska. He stumbles into some trouble and ends up wrapped up in some murders. 

I enjoy Henry's writing style, and this mystery was a good one. And I really like reading about Alaska - where I get to visit next month!! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

REI Trail Run Series: Silver Falls 10K (5/15/16)

REI held a trail run series this year. The first was last month at Champoeg State Park, and the second (and last) was this weekend at Silver Falls State Park. Is it a series if there are only two??

We couldn't make the first, but since our calendar was open on May 14, and registration was only $15, we couldn't resist!

Dad came, too!
While last Friday neared 90 degrees, Saturday was cool and drizzly - so much better! In fact, it was just about perfect for me.

It was supposed to be a 5K loop, so us 10Kers just did it twice.

I knew I was in trouble when I realized we were going down, down, DOWN. That meant we'd have to go back up at some point. After going behind (!) Lower South Falls, we started chugging up some stone stairs. And they just kept going! A woman in front of me said she counted: 150.

After the never-ending stairs, the trail leveled off along the creek. It was gorgeous!

Then we came to South Falls, ran across a little bridge, and headed up a very steep dirt trail. At the top, it was a short distance to the start/finish line. Then I did it all over again!

The stairs  - Round Two:
Of course, Brad finished first. Not far behind was Dad finishing his 5K. Then me... in just under an hour.
BUT... the course was no where near a 10K. I had it a mile short - and Brad had it over a mile short. Dad's 5K was about a half-mile short. What the heck?! Good thing it was just for fun :)

We stuck around for all the food we could eat, goodie bags and a raffle (no winners in this group).
We had a good time! It was a very casual, fun race on new-to-us trails. A perfect way to spend a Saturday morning :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Happy 96th birthday, Grandpa!

May 7 wasn't just Hippie Chick day. It was also Grandpa's 96th birthday!!

So after our hot, hot, HOT race, we headed to Newberg for a party.

Grandpa's hat sings and dances! It's quite entertaining :)
Ice cream cake:
The siblings - John, Cynthia, Grandpa, Patty and Dad:
It was a really nice gathering to honor the guy responsible for it all :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hippie Chick Half Marathon (5/7/16)

We ran our sixth Hippie Chick earlier this month!

Our first was cool and gray. This one was HOT and bright... not a cloud in the sky!

It's become a Mother's Day weekend tradition for us McKee ladies:
And Lynn!!!!
Eryn and I trained for months for this one. She was returning from injury and getting her long-run legs back, and I was looking for structure. But as the day neared, and we saw predictions near 90 degrees, we threw any plans for a PR out the window.

It was already 65 degrees at the start. That's about 15-20 degrees warmer than I'd prefer.

Still, I felt fairly good for the first 8 miles or so. I kept it casual with a little push. Nothing too crazy. Then I turned around for the last 5 miles - directly into the sun. I can't tell you how quickly my energy tanked. That sun was a killer!
A couple walk breaks later, I sprinted onto the turf and across the finish line in 2:12:07 - a 10:05 average. That was good enough for 48 out of 154 in my age division and 239 out of 856 overall. I wasn't the only one hit hard by the heat!

My splits - so even until that sun zapped me:
  • Mile 1: 9:39
  • Mile 2: 9:31
  • Mile 3: 9:26
  • Mile 4: 9:30
  • Mile 5: 9:30
  • Mile 6: 9:35
  • Mile 7: 9:36
  • Mile 8: 10:04
  • Mile 9: 11:11
  • Mile 10: 11:03
  • Mile 11: 10:40
  • Mile 12: 11:00
  • Mile 13: 10:20
  • Last .09: 7:27

There was a temperature readout on the big screen, and I think it was 76 when I finished. When Eryn finished, it was 82! NOT good.

Speaking of...
These besties walked the quarter marathon:
Pancake breakfast:
Honestly, this race isn't nearly as good since Paula sold it to the Hood to Coast Race Series. But at half price (super, super early bird), it's still a fun way to spend the day celebrating moms and girl power!!

Hopefully 2017 will be cooler! :)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Anniversary run

What better way to celebrate 18 years of marriage than with a morning run with your honey?!
We got up early for 3.5 miles around the neighborhood. We both ran a really killer trail race this weekend, and our legs were shot. Fortunately we were both hurting, so we took it slow.

Here's what we looked like 18 years ago:
Yes, we were babies :)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Girls on the Run Practice 5K (5/5/16)

You know about Girls on the Run?
It's a really great self-esteem program for girls third through fifth grade. From the Web site:

We believe that every girl can embrace who she is, can define who she wants to be, can rise to any challenge, can change the world. Can.
Mission: We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Vision: We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Core Values: 
  • Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making
  • Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
  • Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions
  • Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
  • Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
  • Stand up for ourselves and others

I learned about this program years ago when my cousins participated. They pair up girls with women "running buddies" for the culmination of the program: a practice 5K and then the final 5K. I was a running buddy five years ago. Then this year I received an e-mail stating that 170 more running buddies were needed for the upcoming events! My calendar was free, so I signed up again.

I'm assigned to Cooper Mountain Elementary School, and our practice 5K was May 5. I arrived to find my team excited, positive and ready to run!

We started with some warm-up exercises and then hit the streets around the school. My girl is fifth-grader Miriam. She's a strong, natural runner who's not afraid of hills! We chatted away the time as we did the triple-loop through the neighborhood and wooded park. After it was over, she challenged me to run back to the school - up a big hill! She did great!

Times have changed since my last Girls on the Run experience, and they now ask that we not post photos of the girls on social media. So here's our official practice 5K photo:
I'll let you guess which is me and which is Miriam :)

Knowing how clique-ish school can be, I was thrilled to see how each girl was cheering on each girl - no favoritism here. And as the slowest girl came around the corner to the finish, they all gathered to usher her in. So inspiring!

Our official 5K is this Saturday, and I know Miriam is ready! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

No. 18

No. 18 was When the Fax Lady Sings by Leslie O'Kane:
It was my first by this author. I never did understand where the title came from.

The story was good but nothing special. I enjoyed the mystery but didn't fall in love with the characters. Probably won't be seeking out more by O'Kane.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Personal run photographer

Remember that 12-mile trail run I did last weekend at the coast? Brad rode his bike while I ran - exploring and working on his tricks. He also pulled out the camera a few times. I can't tell you how much I love running in the woods:
I'm smiling because it's the woods - and almost the end!

Final stretch to the parking lot:
It's kinda fun to have my own personal run photographer :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bells, pancakes, labor rally, and a mini road trip

My Sunday was PACKED this week!

Handbells at church meant after a 5 a.m. wake up.
Between services, we went to the Church of Pancakes:
The annual Newberg firefighter pancake feed is a favorite. YUMMO!

Then as soon as we finished playing for second service, we jumped in the car and drove to Salem for the May Day rally sponsored by CAUSA and OSEA.
We listened to speakers and then marched around the Capitol:
We are a proud union family!
These young dancers were so cool! But the best part was when the music suddenly stopped and a group of musicians made their way through the crowd to the front and played so they'd have music to keep dancing.
It was very touching!
Soren and Lesly from OSEA in Salem!
I'm so glad I was able to be a part of this important cause!

After, we drove out to Fishermen's Bend in Mill City to check out future camping spots:
Found one!
What a great campground! Can't wait to go back.

Stopped at Taco Time for a snack on the way home. The lady brought us someone else's order and we ended up with a bunch of free food. No complaints here :)
A very busy day full of family fun :)