You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2013.

Fun in the sun!

Fun in the sun!

Ahhhh, summer. Long days, outdoor play and lots of fun. New toys make it even better!

Enjoying the good life!

Enjoying the good life!

The Amundson TR-2 is a nice board; seemingly quite comparable in performance to the Tahoe Rubicon we tested earlier. We added a Go Pro Hero 3 for fun. Silly mistake! Annie set the damn thing on rapid fire and caught the sequence of my first ever capsizing of a paddle board. Freaking technology!

Abandon ship!

Abandon ship!

Today we paddled two laps of Bennington Lake. We’re learning to relax the muscles in our feet. In other words, we’re getting relaxed in our minds. So the early dunking did not dampen my enthusiasm, despite temperatures around 70 with evening coming on. We wanted adventure!

Paddling uphill with a jet stream? Go Annie!

Paddling uphill with a jet stream? Go Annie!

We got our wish!  It was so fun to be able to paddle together. We’re plotting races against kayaks, long paddle adventures, nature photography, etc. Life just keeps getting better! I think we’ll run the Portland marathon. If my foot takes longer to heal, maybe I’ll walk it. It sounds so fun. I hope I find some time to golf, plant the garden, clean, etc. Or play more! Yay! Let’s get our fun on!

Shake it baby!

Shake it baby!

Foot too sore to run? Get your bike out!

Foot too sore to run? Get your bike out!

Flat tire. What a great opportunity! Especially the three miles of pushing my bike home; it bestowed more time to talk with Annie. Ultimately, another lesson in patience, which must be needed. I’m grateful for the opportunity to ride for an hour and walk another, after my sore foot derailed our running plans. The fresh rain kept us off the single track trails, but fun is always available!

Rainy day? No problem! Fun is around every corner!

Rainy day? No problem! Fun is around every corner!

What a great toy! This Go Pro Hero 3 will be a fun way to document some adventures. Maybe we’ll be on the water soon! Where will the weather lead us?

Bennington dike. If there's wind, you'll find it here.

Bennington dike. If there’s wind, you’ll find it here.

What a fun life! What a fun girl! Just call me Mr. Luckyman……

I almost took a nap instead. I'm so glad I rode and pushed my bike home instead!

I almost took a nap. I’m so glad I rode and pushed my bike home instead!

My First Marathon.

Go Annie!  🙂

Still standing, after 27 miles!

Still standing and smiling, after 27 miles!

I was 53 years old and had given up on running a marathon. It just seemed too far. But never say never! My mind is opening up. I notice people dying, some rather quickly. I want to live! I have to open my mind to help my life blossom. I hope it keeps opening! I am very grateful for the fun, adventurous, open, friendly, willing, funny, helpful and creative people who inspire me!

Preparing to run our first marathon, Coeur d’Alene 2013, Annie and I were just a little more particular.  Pick out the right gear.  Don’t forget anything.  Eat and drink well to start with a full tank.  Adjust the socks and laces just right.  Mistakes we get away with on shorter runs could really cost us on long runs. I must have been a bit too hyped, as I found my watch in the garbage, just in time.

We exited the porta-potties with three minutes to spare.  The race started several minutes late, so we timed it right. No time to get cold and not late for the start.  We went to the back of the pack, so we could pass some people.  We started strong, cruising through early miles like they were chocolate cake.  Thank God for tapers!

We finished the first half on target, feeling strong and ready. Eventually, like any long-ass run, our legs tired. Our feet hurt. Annie’s toe blistered. Gel was not as available as they said it would be. The flavors were lousy. The asphalt trail was WAY too cambered. We found some relief on dirt trails next to it. Annie hit THE WALL. Hard! The miles beyond twenty, where we’d never been before, were tough. One was extremely slow and others were pretty slow. With 3.2 miles to go, we rediscovered motivation. We’d have to pick up our pace to break five hours. It seemed illogical to me. Nearly 4.5 hours in, with heavy legs and sore joints, we’re trying to speed up? We returned to belief that it could be done and ran a decent mile 24. Mile 25 was for Annie, who gave me so much support in becoming a marathon man. We powered through it faster than any mile since the first half. Mile 26 was for me. We ran it on autopilot, pulling reserves from deep in our hearts. Faster yet! Glancing at watches, we wanted to be sure to beat five hours, so we went even faster. The segment after the mile 26 marker was more like .35 miles, so we were literally sprinting at the end, side by side, dashing to the finish! It was a storybook ending, with a splash of speed I never would have imagined after so many miles. Perhaps we had more left in our tanks than our minds could muster for several miles. But we finished with great courage and strength, emblazoning our memories with a wonderful story. I’m a marathon man now. Annie’s a marathon woman. No one will ever take that away from us. It feels good!

Marathon Annie! What will she think of next?

Marathon Annie! What will she think of next?

Marathon man!  What to do next?

Marathon man! These ARE the good old days!

Some days it feels like spiritual truths land on my soul. Today, I feel that I’m the sum of my choices. That seems like justice to a bean-counter, encouragement for one who has made some good choices lately.

Today I’m feeling fine, like a drive in the sun wearing musical goose bumps. I feel strength in my muscles and peace in my heart. My soul awaits adventure, in its dance of delight, curious and aroused.

I have so much to be grateful for. I am savoring the moments.  🙂

Definition:  Radically, somewhat randomly eating lots of carbohydrates.  Often associated with long-ass runs and other endurance tests.

Am I really in a danger zone? It’s taper time. Five more days until the last stage of evolution into marathon man. Apparently some people eat too much at this stage. Others eat too little. I’m eating whatever I want!

Some folks question whether they trained enough. Part of my mind joins that group, since we opted in only three months ago. Do I trust my training? Well, we did runs of 20, 18, 16, 14, 13.1, 13.1, 12, 11, 11 and 10 miles, plus many shorter runs. We ran intervals, races and hills. We ran in wind and heat. We are more ready to run long distances than at any other time of our lives. How will 26.2 miles feel?

There’s a significant chance of rain on race day. Will it rain? What to wear? How will our bodies hold up? More mysteries of life, yet to unfold!

Let's go twice as far!

Let’s go twice as far!

Where to stand-up paddle board?  I’m starting a list!

  1. Bennington Lake, Walla Walla, WA.  Done!
  2. Bateman Island, Columbia River, Richland, WA.
  3. Jubilee Lake, Oregon. Over 4,800 feet in elevation, so summer only!
  4. North & South Twin Lakes, Inchelium, WA.  Annually!
  5. Burbank Slough.
  6. Little Spokane River.
  7. Casey Pond, Columbia River.
  8. Flathead Lake, Montana.
  9. Curlew Pond, Columbia River.
  10. Lake Roosevelt, Coulee Dam, WA.
  11. Hutchinson-Shiner lakes, Othello, WA.
  12. Oahu South Shore, Hawaii.
  13. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
  14. Christina Lake, British Columbia.
  15. Aruba.
  16. Lake Tahoe.
  17. Hood River, Oregon.
  18. Florida Keys.
  19. Snake River, Clarkston, WA.

Where else should I go?

Bennington Lake

Bennington Lake on my second SUP outing.  Fun!

I love activities that blend fun people, natural beauty and enjoyable exercise together!

Little Miss Instigator! What will she think of next?

Little Miss Instigator! What will she think of next?

With my desk job, exercise is imperative for my health. Life is busy, so multi-tasking is naturally good for my soul. How else to get enough rest? The exercise gets me high and improves my chances for more time for more fun.

Mind expansion with core, balance, leg and arm work. Wellness adventure!

Mind expansion with core, balance, leg and arm work. Wellness adventure!

Mom, you were an amazing teacher of love, kindness, compassion, service and gratitude. I am lucky to have had you in my life for so many years. I hope to live your legacy and I believe that engaging in fun with my own kids is one good way to do so. I know you agree! Happy Mother’s Day! We love you!

My sweet summertime ride - 2012 Kona Hei Hei 29 Deluxe.

My sweet summertime ride – 2012 Kona Hei Hei 29 Deluxe.

I hope I feel something like that on marathon Sunday!

I left work before six, fed Nick and hopped on my quick fix machine. On it, I can get high in almost no time at all. It never fails me. It always helps me feel like a kid again. I like that!

It’s nice when it’s so warm that exercise time doubles as sun-tanning. I love soaking up glorious rays of energy while my heart pumps, my legs spin and my mind and body engage in following the single track. Two women on horses appeared as happy as me. Rabbits darted, deer pranced and bugs swarmed. The more I pedaled, the stronger my legs felt. The sun finally gave up on me after ninety-two minutes, but I was fed. I had my buzz on. I can face work with a bigger smile, after eating joyously and sleeping like a baby. All is well! Some days you’ve got it, and some days you don’t. Today I believe I could have raced up Doomsday Hill. Perhaps we’ll meet again. I hope so!

Summer in early May?  Fun!

Summer in early May? Fun!

Yay! Yippee! Hooray! Woohoo!

What’s up with you? I mean, what SUP with you?

Today I took my maiden voyage on my 2013 Tahoe Rubicon 12′ standup paddle board. It was a blast! I paddled all around Bennington Lake and its inlet, as far as I could go, until fallen trees blocked the way. I was blessed with smooth water and glorious sunshine. The shade felt great too. I even suspect that standing in my Vibram Five Finger shoes served as therapy for my foot problem. Now I’ve had two evenings in a row that were so much fun, I almost didn’t notice that I got exercise!

I saw two herons and later jumped two ducks, as I paddled up the inlet. I even outran a fishing boat! I guess I should admit that they were trolling though.

As I launched, a man asked “are those fun?” I told him I didn’t know yet. But now I do! YES! They are great fun! I had apprehension about how it might go, heavily overshadowed by excitement, as I prepared to leave work. Sandy, a native of Hawaii, suggested that surfboards are tippy, and asked whether I’d ever been on them, or skateboards, or snowboards. Nope. Like that should stop me? Heck no! No risk, no reward!

So I shoved off into a kneeling position, laid the paddle perpendicular to the board, stood where my knees were, adjusted the paddle, and off I went! It felt a little tippy at first, as I got my sea legs. After an hour of circling the lake, I loaded the board and headed home, still dry, other than sweat. I’m glad I started on calm water with a stable board. I’m grateful for such a pleasant experience. The Naish Makano Vario RDS paddle worked beautifully; it has awesome ergonomics! My Nathan hydration belt offered extremely handy access to drinks. That’s pretty cool for a rookie trying to stay dry!

Dueling Dashers

Dueling Dashers

Bladder challenges, heat training, a spitting egomaniac, sore feet, fit people, kind gestures, gray shirts, cute buns, limping, humbling and mind expansion.  Bloomsday 2013 was fast for Annie and I for the first two miles. The rest was spiritual growth opportunities! It felt brutally hot, exceptionally tiring and even painful. The low energy and pain were surprising, considering our training with good speed, effective recovery and best-yet endurance. Some days you’ve got it and some days you don’t! On the off days, we do what we can. On the days when we suffer pain, we search for reasons, solutions, rehabilitation strategies and relief. Is life tossing you some lemons? Lemonade is good! (but it’ll cost you $3 at the top of Doomsday).

Annie set a personal record for the first two miles, taking it out in 7:50 and 7:50, despite the crowded start. I was right behind her. I focused on keeping her in sight for the first mile, amid the mass of humanity, then reeling her in over the second mile. Then came obstacles: hills and heat.

Maybe karma kicked me after I belittled Doomsday Hill after the Badger Mountain Challenge. Perhaps it just wasn’t our day to go fast. After all, I’m not Ricky Bobby. I know we’ve put in a lot of training. To have my foot become sore on a short run, after faring well on longer runs, is perplexing. It certainly is confirmation that we never know what’s going to happen. How will we respond?

I managed to beat Annie to the finish line, despite a strong urge to pee for the entire race. We chose good starting positions over bathroom breaks at the start of the race; our strategy backfired! Annie was even more hydrated than me! After we got separated, I didn’t know whether she passed me or not. I only knew that for the last 5.5 miles, I had no zip, other than a short dash to the finish. I just couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen. But our 2013 challenge series just got more interesting, as we’re tied at two wins apiece. Where should we race again? What will offer a great climax?

How will we recover from our injuries? Annie has a foot issue that was compounded by new shoes. It appears that plantar fasciitis has returned to me after many years. It seemed to come on fast. I’m wondering about the cause; is it related to calf tightness, increased mileage, mechanical issues, speed work, accidentally running in old shoes or my residual ankle soreness? Should I run the marathon? Should I cross-train only until then? Taping?

Silver linings appear when we are ready to see them. Bicycling! Paddle boarding! It’s time for more passionate fun! No time is right to get discouraged. There’s too little time available! I’ll finish my marathon training on my bicycle, if I need to. I’ll do golf ball stretching, night splints, arch support, naproxen sodium, icing, etc. I’ll do all the seemingly right things, then see what happens. I’ll do my part as the mystery unfolds!

Another cool shirt!

Another cool shirt!

Big Red and Super Peach, just before Bloomsday 2012.. What will be new for 2013?

Big Red and Super Peach, just before Bloomsday 2012.. What will be new for 2013?

I get to race again on Sunday! That’s evidence of a youthful heart, is it not? I hope my legs feel young and strong! Cool, clean air and clear lungs would be great too.

It’ll be fun and revealing, however it goes. I’ll see how I am. All kidding aside. Me, my shoes and shorts and twelve kilometers of rolling asphalt. Plus over forty thousand other people, firing energy into each others souls. I’ll feel alive! Eventually I’ll be out of breath, spent and then on a natural high! Along the way, a part of my mind may try to get me to slow down. Another part may want to press on, push the envelope and go to another level of exertion. It might even come down to a sprint to the finish, side by side with Annie. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Bloomsday is a rite of spring, a tradition of exertion, a display of wellness and a challenge to our spirits. It is short enough to attract diverse people, yet long and hilly enough to challenge serious runners. It draws me back, hoping that one day I’ll zoom up the infamous Doomsday Hill.  Will this be the year? Now I’m really getting excited!


I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 317 other followers

Top Rated

%d bloggers like this: