Author Archive for wiz

end of an era

caution - I got quite verbose here

It was a 14 year run but now it’s over.  Six marathons in those years have made me feel like I actually did something that could be called truly athletic.


1996 - Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon - Anchorage, AK

5:28:06 / 12:26 pace……….age  40

As an adult I hoped to do a marathon before I was 40 years old.  Almost made it; I was 40 when I did my first.  I worked with the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training for this endeavour.  I raised $XX while they led me through a training schedule.  I was flown to Anchorage and housed in a motel for a few days.

My memories include:

  • being warned “bears have the right-of-way”
  • having to walk the last 10 miles because of a blown knee
  • Popsicles along the route (one family’s tradition)
  • the dryness of the air off the glaciers
  • craving po-ta-toes the next day, which I had with reindeer sausage


1998 - Trail’s End Marathon - Warrenton, OR

4:44:12 / 10:51 pace……….age 42

This was really my stomping ground.  I helped mark out the course in Fort Stevens.  I hoped to run for no fee but that didn’t pan out.


1999 - Trail’s End Marathon - Warrenton, OR

4:15:00 / 9:44 pace……….age 43

Again, my neck of the woods which was so nice; no traveling to the event.  In fact I walked to the start and then home.  This was the last marathon locally.  There was not enough interest hence it was not a moneymaker; even running clubs have to make money.


2001 - Newport Marathon - Newport, OR

4:28:48 / 10:16 pace……….age 45

I don’t even remember how I discovered this event but I’m glad I did.  Jerry and I lived in Newport 1977-80 and loved it.   It was nice to go back after so many years and play tourist, with a little weekend run thrown in.  The big appeal to this particular event was the size limit, 600.  Small is perfect for me as I don’t do well in crowds, that’s why I never did the highly touted Portland Marathon.


2009 - Newport Marathon - Newport, OR

5:52:01 / 13:26 pace……….age 53

Life got in the way of any serious marathon training so it was eight years since the last one.  I’m not sure what prompted me to do this.  It may have been the fact that I had busted my butt for two years at school, and I wanted to do something that I wanted to do!

My training was not fun; I bummed my leg a couple months before the event but continued conservative training.  And sure enough, the leg was not up to the task.  I walked the first two miles then cautiously ran.  I did some more walking and at mile six, I felt OK.  I started a slow easy run and still felt OK.  1/4 mile later the leg seized up and there was no more run in it.  I walked the rest of the distance.  I figure I walked over 23 miles but really, I had a good pace going!

I did get a HUGE nasty blister on the bottom of my foot and I think it may have helped me stay on an even gait: blister on one side, bum leg on the other.  Swore I’d never do another marathon.  HA!


2010 - Newport Marathon - Newport, OR

4:54:18 / 11:14 pace……….age 54

The training this year was tough mentally and emotionally; the physical part was no big deal.  However, as the event neared, nerves had major ebb and flow times.  By the time we left town Friday, I was calm - que sera, sera.  I had done the prep, now to execute.

I rose at 5:00 Saturday and had my usual breakfast.  It promised to be a beautiful day so I slathered on the sunscreen for when I shed my shirt (tank top underneath).  Got to the start about five minutes before the start, just enough time to adjust my shoe laces and give Jerry a kiss bye.

I walked the first two miles.  This has been SOP for all my super long runs for years.  Running began at the 2 mile marker and continued until about the 19 or 20, except for walking through the aid stations and drinking.  I then did some walk/run stuff but felt the best while walking, so I walked.  I had no idea of the time; I do distance.  The sun was warm so I took three cups of water at each station during the last miles.

The finish line was just up and over a little hill.  My plan was to continue walking but run the final few hundred yards across the finish line.  And I did.  As soon as I crossed, I was given my goodie bag and “medal” but my legs felt quite wobbly.  I grabbed the arm of one the guys and he walked with me through the chute while another guy opened a bottle of water for me, which I chugged down gratefully.

Jerry was not allowed in the “recovery area” and I didn’t even know where he was.  I knew I needed food so headed right to the food tables.  Also got my finisher’s shirt and more water.  After chowing watermelon and chips with salsa and downing yet another bottle of water, I went looking for Jerry.  He was right there waiting for me.

My goodie bag had coupons for chowder and beer.  Knowing they both would have wheat in them, I boldly got them anyway and Jerry had lunch!  After going back again for more fruit and chips, we walked to the car.

Uh, oh.  Jerry locked the keys in the car.  He was devastated, I was calm.  I suggested he hitchhike to the motel and get my keys but he felt he could break in, with no damage.  I sat down and continued to eat while he went in search of a wire coat hanger.  He got one and went to work.  He really tried hard to get the door lock undone.  As he worked, I remembered AAA Roadside Assistance.  I called them (Jerry had his cell phone on his belt) and had just given them our membership number when Jerry gave a cry of delight - the door was open!  Hooray!!!!

So off we went to get cleaned up and assess any bodily damage.  I am pleased to state the damage was minimal; a few blisters was it and not a problem at all.

Local Ocean Seafood was the next destination.  I knew they had gluten-free items for me and darn good food to boot!  I had a beer  (yum!!!) and a fish taco.  That really hit the spot.  Then back to motel for down time before 5:30 Mass.  There were no sporting events on TV but I had brought DVDs.  LOTR was in the player quickly and we watched until it was time to leave again.

Having had a late lunch, we were not hungry for dinner.  It worked out that after watching LOTR some more, we dug into the picnic basket and cooler and had a “munchie lunchie” for dinner.  This meal consisted of apple, cheese, crackers, wine, and a chocolate for dessert.  Perfect.

Sunday morning we went to the Pig’n'Pancake.  While there we were reading the newspaper sports page and discovered the French Open was on TV right then.  We finished up and went quickly back to the motel to watch.  We were able to witness Nadal succeed in his quest for the trophy.  Well done, Rafa!!

Oh, did I mention the pouring rain Sunday??  The drive home was soggy.  We did the requisite stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory where Jerry got a big ice cream cone.  After driving more miles, the rain abated and we were able to take a dry walk to Short Sand Beach in Oswald West State Park.   This beach is very popular with surfers, and there were no less than two dozen out in the water waiting for the perfect wave to ride.

Home again, home again, jiggity jog.



I finished the lifeguarding class yesterday. Those three days were the most exhausting consecutive days I can remember. While I did get my license, it was given with the “stipulation” that I need more training in CPR, but Lori (the instructor) is confident I will succeed. She also said she hates trying to cram all the training and learning into three days; there really is not enough time to practice and become proficient in all aspects.

Monday was a freezing day on deck and in the water. Lori suggested wet suits if we had them. I don’t but did my rendition: running tights and snug cycling shirt. Even though the fabrics were wet while out on deck, they did afford some warmth. Swimming in clothes was a new feeling!

The class started with 15 students, only 14 returned Tuesday. The girl who did not return was no surprise to me, unfortunately. She had no breath and struggled to swim the opening 100 yards. During a break, she was outside smoking (!). We still had 14 on day three but two of the guys didn’t even make it to the written test. Again, no surprise; little swimming skills and no breath. (One was out smoking with the girl on Monday.) Of the remaining 12, 7 of us were licensed.

As I took off my tights yesterday, I noticed the numerous bruises on my shins and knees. I can only guess I got them from climbing out of the pool so often. My pecs are sore from doing the actual rescue drills, and my inner thighs hurt from doing whip and scissor kicks during all the rescues. And this is when I felt like I was in pretty good shape!!

The worst part of all this was having a cold. My breath was certainly diminished and the need to blow my nose often detracted from total focus. It also didn’t help just getting over being quite ill for two weeks.

This was a very tough course; far more intense and involved than what the Red Cross provides and I’m glad it’s over.


I seem to be going down the same road as my sister and one of my brothers. They have been unable to drive in the dark for some years. I have felt uncomfortable doing so a number times in the recent past but last night - scary!!

I had boy-watching duty while DD attended ballet class. (DH was at a soccer game.) With the time change, it was dark driving to her house. I didn’t like that at all. When I got there, I explained my situation. Obviously I stayed but the future will be different. She will need to find some one else to watch the boys if she wants to take her evening class.

While driving home, I really struggled to label, name, identify in some way what I was feeling. I came to the conclusion that the changes between darkness and headlights/street lights is actually painful for my eyes. I had an instant head ache behind the wheel.

I told DH about it and he said I’ll just have to drive more slowly. Ah, no, that is not going to alleviate the head ache.

So, life changes coming though they shouldn’t be too dramatic. I seldom go out at night and if I do, DH’s usually with me and driving.

Girlfriends Half-marathon

I spent some time trying to decide how to tell of this fabulous extended weekend. I shall do it in a chronological fashion. This is my perspective; I hope the other ladies write theirs. However, this is NOT a prod!!!!

I drive to Vancouver and pick up Estelina at her home. We proceed to PDX to meet Foxy, her DD Ginger (from Georgia) and Kally (from Kentucky). Pansey is there waiting also, having driven down from Seattle. The visitors arrive and there is much rejoicing!!!!!

We gather bags and head north to Vancouver. The highway is s.l.o.w. and we figure we will not make it to the packet pick-up before 5:00 so we drive some of the course. We are making excellent time so pop down to the Fitness shop, with two minutes to spare! We get packets and then off to Estelina’s for dinner and much Girlfriend-ing.

It’s Fall day!! We go to Multnomah Falls and walk to the top on a paved trail, with 11 switchbacks. When we are almost to the bottom, the skies open up and share their moisture with the Gorge. We get soaked! And laugh about it.

Now it’s to the View Point Inn for lunch. As I say, we are soaked but there are blankets to wrap in to cozy up. Quite the eclectic menu!! We eat then some folks (OK, all but me) go out in the rain for photo-ops of Twilight scenery and props.

Back to Estelina’s for dry clothes, beverages, and food. She (we!) prepare a yummy soup. We decide it will not be prudent to party-hearty the night before traversing 13.1 miles so we say good night.

Foxy and I are up early as she’s on eastern time and I am used to rising about 5:00. We drip the coffee and have breakfast. The others appear in due time. 8:00! Off to the races!!! We meet Kally, use the potty at her motel, bypass the LONG line for the “blue rooms” near the start, and go to the start area. The welcoming and announcements include an aerobic warm-up. Being how I do not do those moves, this morning is not the time to start! Not going to risk pulling something; nope, not going to do it!

There are pace signs that are generally ignored so it’s a mass start trying not to trip. We four Girlfriends will be doing our own paces and will meet at the finish. Part of the course backtracks on itself so I see Girlfriends!!!! YEA! That is nice.

I finish with a good time (as far as I’m concerned) but hurt. Concrete and I are not friends. This may be a reason not to do this event again. …sigh…

After all my Girlfriends finish, we go to Estelina’s to clean up and eat. One stage of our journey is over, another begins. We must say goodbye to Estelina [ :-(  ] and go west to the coast.

Our “early” arrival at my home surprises DH. He has just had a well attended BBQ and is madly, wildly cleaning. No worries; we find snackies and drinks and are content. The garlic shrimp is particularly good. Kally discovers marionberry jam and now has a ‘friend’ for life! Yummmmmmmy!

Early rising. I think it’s because some achy bodies want “drugs” to ease the discomfort. We are in no hurry today; eventually we go to Waikiki Beach and Cape Disappointment. We hike to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center but the trail to the lighthouse is closed because the Coast Guard are doing weapons training in that area of the woods.

The North Head Light is just a few minutes drive away and we go there. While the lighthouse itself is closed to visitors, the Coast Guard are doing some helicopter rescue training right there. We watch the “victim” hoisted up from the ocean to the chopper. Most impressive. We also chat with the one CG personnel there on-site; very nice gentleman.

Time for food! “The Pig” of Moot 3 renown is our destination. After a varied meal, we go to Chinook house but, alas, DD and Hobbitses are not home from school yet. We tour the house awaiting them but to no avail. We enjoy a bit of down time at my home until the sunset hour approaches. We find ourselves walking to the beach for more photo-ops. It’s low tide and many folks are digging clams. One gentleman has gotten his limit and is leaving. Kally asks if she may see his clams as this is a new experience for her. He chats with us and he and I explain how to ’spot’ a clam. There’s a dimple right near my feet and he hands me the shovel. I dig with the shovel then my hand and come up with a small razor clam. A seagull ultimately eats it for dinner.

Back home and DH is cooking oysters on the BBQ. Foxy joins in the feast and Ginger tries one. Not a favorite she quickly discovers but yea! she tried it. She, Kally, and I dig out the snackies and pie to round out a lite dinner.

We’re out the door by 9:00 to get to Indian Beach (La Push in Twilight) during low tide. We do the Ecola Park touring and photo-ing first. Continuing in the tourist vein, we wander some shops in Cannon Beach before driving to Seaside for the same and lunch…at The Pig!

Fort Clatsop is the next destination. As we pay the entry fee, Ginger is invited to become a Junior Ranger. She accepts and is given a workbook which she needs to do 8 of 10 activities. Also required are visiting two other Parks in the area. Being how we had done so the day before, she is golden! She successfully completes her work, receives a certificate, pin, and patch - after taking an oath; I believe it is about caring for the earth.

No one can come to Astoria without going to the Column. The stairs are new but the count is still the same, 166 steps. Up we go! Then down we come to hear and view the sea lions. After seeing the beasts, it’s home again. Time to cook dinner. Many hands make short work of it and in a bit we are enjoying a meal together again. Final packing and early to bed.

It’s airport taxi day. The driving begins at 6:30, early enough to have a good time buffer as needed. It is not needed! We have time to share second breakfast and do some shopping at PDX before saying some good-byes. Ginger and Foxy are on their way east.

Kally checks her bag and we venture out to Vancouver to lunch with Estelina. We get to see her office but KK is not there. It’s just as well….. We feast each other once again and more good-byes ensue. The taxi is making it’s final stop at PDX to drop off Kally. The last good-bye is said and we part.

It is a delight to see Kally, Foxy, and Ginger (she’s so tall!!!) after so many years. I’m thankful Estelina lives close enough to visit on a somewhat regular basis. She helps keep me grounded. As mentioned elsewhere, a couple tweaks would have made the mini-moot perfect.

Overall place - 442/1215
Age place - 36/121
Pace - 10:31
Time - 2:17:43

2009 Great Columbia Crossing

Tradition has come and gone once again for October. I speak of the Great Columbia Crossing. This is the only time foot traffic is allowed on the expansive bridge. We get bussed across the River to a highway rest area which is where the start is located. The bridge is four+ miles long with the first three very flat then an incline of .75 miles after which it winds back down to water level.

Sheri came over to do the run as well. It’s already a tradition for her and only being in country four years! Very nice to visit with her as we awaited the start.

This year’s race morning dawned cold, aided by a brisk east wind right down the river. I put foot warmers in my shoes and hand warmers in my gloves to await the start. As we were lining up to begin, I disposed of the warmers knowing I couldn’t run with the ones in my shoes and figuring my hands would warm up as I ran.

After the mass start and weaving around folks, I hit my stride. I was concerned about going out too fast so I held back. The first three or four miles (of 6.2) were run on cold-induced numb feet. It’s no fun but nothing new or surprising. I had planned to walk the incline but when I got there, I felt just fine (thank you very much!).  I started passing people immediately and continued doing so the rest of the run, even the downhill and flats.

As my training has been a bit off of late, I didn’t think I’d make my yearly goal of completing the course in under one hour. At the five mile mark, I knew I could if I kept the pace and I did. And I was not hurting or seriously overexerting myself which surprised me. Bonus: I posted my best time in eight years.

So, enough already! I hope I shall do as well next Sunday at the Girlfriends Half-marathon.

Overall place - 343/841
Age place - 8th
Pace - 9:12
Time - 57:01

to do or not to do; that is the question

The Newport Marathon has opened registration for next year’s event. After my experience last May, which really wasn’t so bad, I said I would not do another marathon. However…

If I plan to walk instead of run, I could do it. I walked about 23 miles of it in May and it was fine.

I discussed this with Jerry last night. He said it’s good to have something to look forward to and train for. Absolutely! He also said it would be a nice weekend away again. (And there’s gluten-free beer at our favorite restaurant in Newport!)

So now I am dithering. This would keep me occupied through the winter, helping me not “let it all go.” As I write this, I really think I will go ahead. I need to get my workouts up to snuff again; I’ve been slacking big time.

time for an update

I’ve been cleaning the door hardware. It had all been painted numerous times but with some guidance from This Old House I was able to restore it as best as I could. Below are the before and after face plates from one of the bedroom doors.

The play room is almost done. Jerry put in the window and did the trimming all around. Peggy will finish the trim painting and it will be ready for the carpet. I’m still waiting for her choice of light so I can install it. Here are the two most recent pics for comparison.

The bathroom tile floor turned out quite nice. Need to buy a toilet and a vanity.

The dining room was painted and the floor cleaned and varathaned. It will get a new light but that’s down the road. Again, before and after pics.

The front room area as it is now, with Nikolai enjoying one of his favorite pastimes.

anniversary tradition

It has come and gone again; the wedding anniversary.

The celebrating began around noon when Jerry got home from work with two “bugs,” the lively lobsters. Pretty convenient working for a seafood company; you know exactly who to order them from.

Into the carefully packed car and off we went. The question was whether to turn north or south on Hwy. 101. The weather report was such that the coast would be a good choice and it was. We drove amid the Friday afternoon tourist traffic to Ecola State Park. A table was procured on the bluff away from other tables and we proceeded to tote all our stuff out there.

Jerry’s first project was to light the stove and get the water heating, mine was to pop the cork out of the wine bottle. Then I found some flowers (weeds) for the vase and lit the candle. The candle has always been a problem, the wind would blow it out even with a tall holder with a short candle. This year I utilized the beacon from Moot 5 (thank you, Lisa!!) as it is an enclosed little “lantern.” It worked like a dream!

Garlic sauteed mushrooms were the first course, which Jerry cooked to perfection. The water finally boiled and the bugs met their demise; 20 minutes later the real feasting began. When the lobster and wine were gone, it was obviously time for a nap, for Jerry anyway. He lay down on the blanket while I sat in the chair and read a book, with occasional glaces at the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Time passed and it was time for coffee and carrot cake. I only make carrot cake (our wedding cake) once a year, for this event. After that feasting was done, we slowly packed up and went for a walk. The sun was so warm all afternoon with very little wind, it was amazing.

We drove into Cannon Beach for the requisite finishing ice cream cone. I passed on that but Jerry had his coffee almond fudge in a waffle cone. (I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, but the ensuing tummy ache would not have been worth it.) We wandered the streets with the rest of the tourists while Jerry ate.

We finally headed home, another anniversary gone.  However, another anniversary to look forward to next year!!

time for some blather

Went riding this morning; didn’t want to leave the house. Thanks, Aubri, for helping get my butt out the door!

I’m considering doing the Newport marathon again next year. It’s only 26.2 miles, no problem! I would plan to walk hence putting no pressure on myself. yeah, right! We’ll see how life goes and make a decision later.

I continue to battle motivation to work out. I have the most energy in the morning and if I want to accomplish anything at Chinook, morning is the time to do it. Work outs have slipped by the wayside since I’ve been at Chinook at 6:00 a.m. some days.

Speaking of Chinook…. Doing lots of painting. Time line is a mid-August move in. Jerry will be starting his 5 days a week practices and his time will be at a premium. Chinook work will basically be on hold until November.

Time for somewhat recent pics.

Playroom has been painted a soft blue. Jerry needs to add the window.

This is the current view from the back door. It used to be a toilet (yes, right inside the door) with a wall. It was originally a doorway and we have made it one once again.

Peggy’s room is all painted and awaiting the electrician to come finish installing various things. The wood floor is getting refinished. That’s Jerry’s focus right now.

Downstairs bathroom is a lilac color; tub/shower is installed. Peggy’s picking out tiles to lay down on the floor. We’ll get a cabinet/sink then the plumber can come in and do the finish work. There’s a door to be painted and rehung for the closing.

different direction

I have gone to the Chinook house the last two days to work. Yesterday I spent over eight hours cleaning grime and dust in the kitchen. The cabinet tops were greasy grimy, ick! But I got them clean; also got the custom cabinets all cleaned out. I had not done anything with them in the past. So, the kitchen is ready to move into.

Today I mopped the kitchen floor, hung a “curtain” in the doorway, then did the vacuuming of the newly plastered rooms. Those rooms are now ready to be primed. Next I washed all of Peggy’s kitchen stuff that I had brought over. It had been packed away for 2.5 years and needed a good cleaning.

After five hours I called it quits. Peggy and kids were there later and she put all the kitchen stuff away; I had left it on the counters thinking I should not put it away in the “wrong” place.

With the work at Chinook, I have wanted to get over there early when I have the most energy. I was hard at it by 7:30 both days. This has seriously hindered my workouts. I’ve done my pilates and weight lifting but that’s been all. I need to change my focus a bit.

Tomorrow I intend to walk or bike in the morning before going to Chinook. That’s the only way I know I’ll do something for the day. Actually I need to get groceries and an oil change so I may not make it over there until late, if at all.