Friday, May 30, 2008
So, this was the reason we stayed in Boulder. We wanted to run the BolderBoulder 10K race - that is 6.2 miles for those who don't think in the metric system. I had seen it mentioned in a magazine in November or so, and thought, "We are here. Why not do it?" Ummm, maybe because I don't really enjoy running any sort of distance. Some other people in the house got on board, and we thought, "We have plenty of time to train." That was true; however, this training didn't really happen. I had started running some, and was up to two miles when I twisted my ankle during volleyball. I continued conditioning by riding the stationary bike, but that's just not the same. Needless to say, Jeremy, Claire, and I were not really prepared - as in none of us had run more than 3 miles (and that was only Jeremy) during our training. Kendra did run more than us and is a cross country runner, so she doesn't really cound as one of the unconditioned.
Our start time was 8:29:10. We were there in plenty of time. There were over 54,000 registered runners - about 48,000 showed up on race day. Kendra took off with the gun start; she was aiming for about 7 minute miles. Jeremy and Andrea took off next. Claire and I brought up the rear; we were aiming to complete it in under 90 minutes. It is a lot of running. It was a pretty area to run in, and there weren't as many hills as I suspected. We took a fast paced walking break at mile 2 just to pace ourselves. Then, we had a bathroom stop at mile 4. We ran the rest of the time. It is a long ways! Kendra made it - even with the crowd - with about a 7:30 min mile. Jeremy and Andrea made it at about a 9:50 min pace (about 61 minutes total). Claire and I made it (with walks included) at about a 11:50 min pace (about 73 minutes total). We all did better than expected. I don't have a huge desire to run in the near future. Nor do I feel a deep need to run another 10K, but I am glad I finished it. (Claire has a picture of us, but I will have to get it from her before posting it. Stay tuned.)
We showered quickly at the Boulder unit's house. Then, hopped in the car for the 5-1/2 hour ride home. That is a long time to be sitting in the car after running. We still had a little bit of an evening before heading to bed and back to work. That is the end of the catching up blogs. I will start blogging in "real time" from now on (or pretty close to it).
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
He and I left on Saturday morning about 7am with a car full of wood, tents, luggage, and therma-rests. We made it to Albuquerque to pick up Mike from the airport by about 10:30am. It was great to see Mike again. We ate at Chile Wind (or something like that) in a very small town between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We met an interesting woman at the table next to us. She was in one of the "cowboy pictures" on the wall. She told us all about Sass Ranch - a place where you dress up like the old west, ride a horse, and work to shoot at targets with a muzzle loader shotgun. I don't know about it, but it was interesting to hear about. She would randomly jump into our conversations... it was like having a fourth person at the table :) We went to Mellow Velo to pick up the road bike that Mike rented for the century. From there we went to the Plaza in Santa Fe where it was Community Services Day. This meant that there was free parking, live music, lots of people, and many non-profits with booths. The Plaza has good character, but expensive shops that weren't worth shopping in for me. They also have a hotel named La Fonda. (That may make some of you Napoleon Dynamite fans chuckle.) We met up with the rest of the group, who left about 1pm, at the campsite in Hyde Memorial State Park. We set up camp in a short time, stood under a shelter for a brief rain shower, and then climbed in the car to return to Santa Fe. We walked around the Plaza one more time before heading to the Olive Garden to "carb load" before the big ride - yes, even Claire and I, the non-riders, carb loaded! The Olive Garden is delicious and a somewhat expensive treat. We returned to camp in time to build a fire and roast some marshmallows before turning in for the night. Campsite featured below right. Just a note: It is still cold at night. My sleeping bag kept me pretty warm, but the lack of a mattress, or much of a cushion, from the concrete we were sleeping on, made the night a little longer than necessary.
Sunday... The riders awoke early - don't ask me how early because I didn't awake. They packed up their stuff and took off for their pancake breakfast. They said they started the ride later than planned at about 8:30am. Claire and I were up and headed out of the campsite at about the same time. While they worked on biking 100 miles in the blue, blue sky, Claire and I started hiking the Hyde Circle Trail. This trail boosts amazing 360 views of mountain ranges and valleys. At the trailhead there is a sign that says please stay on trail. So, we walked right past it and "stayed on the trail" until I said, "Man, this is really steep. It reminds me of where the water would come down the mountain. Do you think this is the trail?" Claire said, "Yeah. I don't know. Maybe that sign meant 'don't go here, stay on the trail'" So, we hiked back down (about 10 minutes or so) to check it out. Sure enough, we were supposed to head to the left and not straight up the mountain side! (See pic of the confusion at the upper left.) It was about 1000 foot climb to the top (8400 feet at the trailhead, 9400 at the top). It was pretty tough; I was breathing pretty hard; my hamstrings and butt muscles were definitely working! The view from the top was blocked by the evergreen trees on the mountain because we weren't above tree line. (See me at the top on the left with the amazing view.) Oh well, still okay and good exercise. We continued the circle around and took about a 1/4 mile trail off to the left to see a waterfall (gushing falls to the right) before heading back to the car. The hike was about 4 miles and took about 2 hours. The sky was still gorgeous, but the wind had started to pick up - not a big deal to us, but I felt bad for the bikers who were going to have to fight it on their ride. We then headed to Santa Fe to lounge in the park by the large Catholic church and wait for the call that the bikers were done. So, we read, napped, snacked and did nothing from about 12:30 - 3:15 when the call came... "Hey, we are at the last restaurant stop and still have about 20 miles to go. It will be at least 5 or so." Uhhhh, we do we do? We debated for about 30 minutes about our options (laying around was getting a bit boring) and decided to fill the van up with gas and then find the finish line. It took forever for us to find the finish line! Santa Fe is a very confusing city. As we waited for the bikers to arrive, we cheered for the other participants coming in. It was a beautiful day and a pretty fun wait. They made it in around 5:30ish, I think. They all completed all 100 miles of the ride - I am very proud of them! See finishers to the left! We loaded the car (Claire, Jeff, Kendra, and I) and headed home. Mike and Jeremy went to a hotel to hang out before Mike had to go the airport on Monday. Our car, with me driving, somehow managed to get on the wrong road at some point and take the longer, more scenic route home. So, we didn't get home until 10pm! We did see a beautiful sunset over the mountains and the mighty Rio Grande.
So, that's it. Hopefully, Jeremy will blog about the actual bike ride because I know nothing. I will post pictures of our trip as soon as I get a chance, so please revisit this entry. We leave tomorrow around 1pm for Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp where we are going to the MVS National Retreat through Friday. Then, we go to Boulder through Monday where we will work to run the BolderBoulder 10K on Memorial Day. So, this may be my last blog until at least the beginning to mid next week. Hope everyone has a great week.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Otherwise, Jeremy is gearing up for the big ride this weekend. I think he is just excited about seeing his friend Mike as he is about riding. Hopefully, the riders can find their groove and complete all 100 miles. It is supposed to be a beautiful day. I think Claire and I are going to go hiking while they bike; I have no idea where at though.
I helped with commodities yesterday. Commodities are like the government's food bank that they pass along to us to distribute. There was a volunteer group (7th graders) that came and helped put 450 boxes together with lots of food - 3 cans of juice, 2 boxes of cereal, 2 pkgs noodles, diced tomatoes, granola bars, tuna, and more. Ben and I estimated it to cost a minimum of $30 at the store. People can come and pick up a box for free if they make under a certain amount of money. We are supposed to do this once every six weeks. It has been seven months since the last time because of the transition of directors in the food bank. We didn't have a very big turn-out yesterday. We passed out about 175 boxes. As we get back in the rhythm of commodities, I think more people will come. It may help cut down on the food bank clients as well. I will try to add pictures some time from this event. Ben took pictures, and I have to get them from him.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Cool night, but thankfully, the wind had died down. We had on our new uniforms - heather blue shirts with a volkswagon station wagon emblazoned on the front with a splash of orange. (I will take pictures sometime!) Jeremy started as our pitcher. It is a rough job, pitching, especially when you have had no practice time. During the two innings he pitched, there were a number of walks, but he was trying to find his rhythm. There were also some good hits from the other team that went between in-field and outfield, which we never compensated for by moving up. I just don't think we were very "on" in the field. At bat, we did pretty well. I hit over the in-field for a single and was pushed to third with the next batter. We had three outs before I made it home. Jeremy had a great hit to the outfield - a tie-goes-to-the-runner triple where Jeremy hung on to the base with his toe. Others had some good hits as well; we just couldn't find our groove. It was late (10pm) by the time we left the field. Then, 11pm by the time I wound down enough to crawl in bed. This morning we went to the gym to lift weights, and I am definitely feeling the late night. (Yes, I do realize that to some this was not a late night, but my body has been accostumed to a 10pm sleep time for about 7 years now.)
In other news, I have a job back at Reynoldsburg when we return in August. I knew I did, I just didn't know which school in the district. I will be at the high school, still teaching special education in some capacity... waiting to hear about my exact role. Jeremy has a possible job back at his old place of employment, but is looking into some other possibities as well. We are still enjoying our time here, but I am thinking about what all needs to be done before I start back to school. (Jeremy is much more laid back about it all, and this balances me out.)
Monday, May 12, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Characters: our competition... sharp, uniform baseball shirts, some teams with the classic striped baseball pants; our team... pants of any shade and type, various white colored shirts with giant numbers being marked on the back with permanent black marker, no uniformity in outfit
Set the mood: team is filled with nervous energy - how will we do? do we know what we are doing? man, I really hafta go the bathroom. I am shaking just a bit. where am I playing at, coach/teammate?
Game 1: our team did better than I anticipated. We managed to keep the opposition at bay for a few innings. We improved by the inning, getting more people on each base every time at bat. Our fill in pitcher, Will, did a great job directing the ball over the plate in the strike zone. Jeremy and I were not in the outfield, just extra hitters. I got two base hits; Jeremy had one questionable strike-out and one pop fly. In the sixth (and final) inning, the other team plowed past us because of a few walked runners. So, we lost, but we looked pretty good doing it. (I don't really remember the score.)
Game 2: (Same set-up as game 1... players' jitters down a bit, but excitement is still in the air) This time I am at third base; Jeremy is playing left field. The team we play is good - consistent hitters, a pitcher that can pitch tricky balls, and we struggle to connect with the ball. Our outfield is doing pretty good, catching some fly balls, throwing balls to get runners out on base, and connecting. Jeremy caught a few long hit balls (but... underestimated a ball hit by a girl that went over his head... oops). I caught a beautiful throw by David from outfield to third to get a runner out. I also attempted to catch one line driver with my left forearm - who needs a glove?? It hurt really bad, but I think I may just have a welt and no bruise; we'll see. I had two pop fly outs at bat, and one TRIPLE (due to one overthrown ball). Jeremy had a base hit and a pop fly. Our team came back from a 8-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to lose only 8-5. I managed to tweak my bad (trying to heal) ankle during my sprint to third base. When I got home I iced it, hopefully, it didn't too much damage.
So, that's the play-by-play. If you have a chance to visit on a Monday or Wednesday night, you could see our team in action! Think about it :)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Jeremy and the guys trekked to Colorado Springs, stopped at REI for the anniversary sale, and indulged in Chipotle before arriving at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp (RMMC).
Emmy and I, on the other hand, just chilled at home. We watched 27 Dresses, a pretty good, and not completely predictible, chick flick. We also put in Uptown Girls so we could say we had a movie-a-thon. Emmy painted her toenails; I did not.
Jeremy and the guys rose and shone to drywall - or so they thought! Actually, the camp had to have some inspections done before the drywalling could begin. So, the men worked to tear apart a porch. Jeremy was given the job of running a 90-lb jackhammer for most of the day, while David and Jeff worked on tearing down wooden support structures and removing the debris. They had a cinnamon roll break mid-morning; I only mention this because the woman at camp makes wonderful cinnamon rolls! Jeremy went down to tiny pond at camp to test out his fly rod. Corbin (the camp director) told Jeremy they had just put some trout in the pond. Big news: Jeremy caught a fish!!!! I will post a picture when I can. It is not huge fish, but I think it is still worth noting and is exciting.
The ladies (Emmy, Claire, Kendra, Alice, and I) climbed into the minivan at 7am and headed to La Junta for a Mennonite Women's Conference. It is about a three hour drive; I was nominated to drive and enjoyed the way it made the trip go quickly. There were maybe 50 or so women there, mostly older ladies. The speaker talked about the early Anabaptists, the Russian Mennonites, and one church in Ethiopia, and the adversity they each faced. Then we talked about our own sufferings and how these things related. She was a good speaker. We ate good food - homemade salads and marianated chicken breasts. We headed home around 4pm after visiting the Ten Thousand Villages in La Junta. We stopped in Walsenburg at a great yarn shop - well, it looked like a great yarn shop if I knitted. Emmy, Claire, and Kendra all bought yarn. We arrived home around 7:30pm and relaxed the night away.
Jeremy and the guys woke up, ate some breakfast, and headed out to hike. They hiked Raspberry Mountain, which I have never done before. Jeremy said there is a great 360 view from the top. (I'm not sure if he has pics, but I will post them if he does.) They headed home and arrived about 5pm or so to the house.
I woke up, watched Patch Adams, went on a 2 mile prayer walk around town (just walked and prayed - my church for the day), and came home to lay in the sun for a few minutes. It was a gorgeous day.
We had a house meeting that night after supper. We will not miss house meetings when we move home; Jeremy and I both agree on that! :)
Monday - Tuesday...
(Are you bored with the reading of minute details yet?) Work has been work for me this week. Hunt Ave Boutique had a steady flow of customers, but not a lot of buying customers. That's okay, I guess. I enjoyed trying to communicate with some ladies who only spoke Spanish at the end of the day. They bought a watch, but needed to get a battery. They were asking if they could return it if the battery didn't make it work. I said, yes, but they needed the reciept. Then I said, "But you won't get money, you will get money just for this store." I meant they would get store credit, but I had no idea how to say that in Spanish. They understood and were laughing with me as we talked. At PALS yesterday, we started studying the culture of the Native Americans by making Dream Weavers. It was a good day with most kids on task. Jeremy is working on grant stuff and staying busy in that way at work.
Tonight (Wednesday) we have our first softball games. There is one at 6:30 and a second one at 8:30. I have no idea how we'll do, but it will be fun. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Otherwise, we made chicken pot pie and corn on the cob last night for supper. The corn was delicious. The pot pie was pretty good, too. (A little runny. I can't get things to thicken very well at this altitude.) Jeremy is leaving for Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp today with Jeff and David. On Saturday, they are going to help dry wall what we demolished this fall. Then, Sunday they will hike somewhere in that area before returning home. We women from the house are going to attend a small women's conference in La Junta on Saturday, which is why we are not going with the men. Hopefully, Jeremy will take some pictures of their work to post. Tonight with no men around, Emmy and I are renting the movie 27 dresses and will maybe even paint our toenails. Hope you all have a great weekend.
(I know, this post was really exciting, but at least it was worth looking your time to look at the blog today!)