Friday, December 23, 2011


Yesterday at my party, my husband asked our son's girlfriend's 3-yr-old daughter, "Whose birthday is it today?" She beamed and answered, "Jesus!" We all chuckled, and I told her, "Not quite yet. My birthday is 3 days before Jesus' birthday." Our son-in-law explained, "Yeah, Grandma's 3 days older than Jesus!"

 While I was biking yesterday, I rode past the house where two fast, barking, growling, snapping dogs always chase me aggressively. The Australian Cattle Dog gallops 2 inches beside me snapping at my feet while the larger dog, some kind of mutt, snaps at my front wheel 2 inches ahead of me, teamwork maybe, I'll get the bike down and you can grab her leg. Yesterday, I decided to call their bluff (hoping it was a bluff.) I slowed down and unclipped right in their driveway and asked them reproachfully, "What is your problem? What do you think you're doing?" They stopped immediately. The big one turned away and hung his head. I held my hand out to the cattle dog and I swear he shrugged his shoulders in a "What can I say?" gesture, then slowly approached with a look that was shy and friendly. Then a car passed and he started barking again, apparently unwilling to let the driver see him being non-aggressive. So I'm not going to try to outride them anymore. I'll stop, pet them, and send them home.

On to the first day of my seventh decade. No biking today. The roads are wet and the temperature has dropped 20 degrees from yesterday. I think I'll bake cookies.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


So now I'm actually 60.

I did 60 push-ups and biked 60k. Thought about running for 60 minutes as well, but then thought, nah, I've done enough, I'm 60, for petesake!

Great dinner party, put on by my husband, good deli food and an ice cream cake and adult beverages :-)  AND he gave me a big fat gift certificate to REI. Son Jon and his gf Daphne gave me this photo, matted and framed, from SavageMan 2009 (my first SM completion.)

 It was a great birthday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Yup. Me. Tomorrow.

I'm definitely not going to run 60 miles to celebrate, or 60k. Sixty minutes, well, I'm a little out of shape coming back from my ankle injury..... I could do 60 minutes if I throw in a walk every now and then. I could bike 60k, maybe. Not 60 miles, that would take me 5 hours and leave me pretty darn tired for dinner with family.

Aha!!! Sixty push-ups!! Yes, I can, if I do them in sets.

I could read Psalm 60. And the 60th chapter of any of the books in the Bible that go that far.

Or I could go to confession and get 60 Our Father's and 60 Hail Mary's. (I'm not Catholic but I used to be and the most I ever got was 3 of one or the other.)

When I turned 50, I had an epiphany. I had lived half a century and was older than a good many people, and by golly they'd better show respect. Hey, folks, I'm playing it like I mean it now.... no more tiptoeing around hoping I don't screw up. I'm all grown up and I'm putting my foot down solid you better listen to what I say.

I kept that for a couple years.

Maybe I should turn 50 again.

Sixty, well actually I'm doing can't really tell by looking at me, but I do in fact do push-ups, and I bike and I run and I do yoga and I hike. A person might not picture me riding my bike up The Wall and then continuing up Big Savage Mountain without "weaving" like some of the riders in the photos (if you clicked on the link.) I ride it straight. And they don't usually expect a 60-year-old woman to put on a 30-pound backpack and hit the Appalachian Trail.

I'll look a physical challenge right in the eye. It's the psychological ones that still throw me for a loop. And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I'm thinking about a new template for my blog. It might help motivate me.
Maybe I need a new template for my life.
I need to get my Bible out  more often. When things aren't working right, it's good to check the instruction manual. I need a tune-up.

Today the few kids (like, 4) in our church put on a really nice pageant. There aren't enough of them to have done a manger scene, which I thought was good..... everyone does that, it was good to have something different. Each one read a passage from the story we all know from the Gospel of Luke. The youngest reader was 7 and perhaps the best reader of the group. After each reading, one of the kids placed one of the figures in the table-size Nativity scene, and then there would be a song about that part of the story. After the  the angel appearing to Mary, and the placing of Mary in the creche, Savannah, who's 12,  sang "Mary, Did You Know?" a capella. She has a strong, lovely, country-bluegrassy style that I love to listen to. Adults also did some of the vocal selections, including an a capella trio of two other ladies and me.  We had agreed on one of the less-usual melodies, but the lady singing the melody got confused and sang yet a different one (we hadn't rehearsed at all), and the two of us on harmony tried to wing it and follow her, and she got confused and followed my descant so I dropped down to her melody, and it was kind of a comedy of errors but we kept on singing without letting on. After church the three of us laughed like crazy. After our unprecedented rendition, the congregation sang a couple of carols accompanied by their hesitant pianist, me, and then Savannah finished up with Silent Night, again a capella, and again I marveled at the power of this ingenuous young girl's talent. I hope, if she takes voice lessons, some opera singer doesn't get hold of her and take away that old-timey twang that makes her singing so special.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


 Actually it's my grown (?) son.

Hijacked this from his Facebook page, but I took the picture.

Friday, December 16, 2011


The temperature is just above freezing outdoors, less in the shade where there's unmelted ice. I got all bundled up in my bike clothes, factoring in sweat-wicking because uphill is hard work, and windbreaking because downhill is fast and cold after sweating uphill, and what about my feet, will I ever learn how to keep them warm, and...... with my tires all pumped up and the bike standing beside the front door, I gazed out the window and said, "Do I really want to do this?"

I have had frozen feet every single ride, can't seem to get a handle on it. And after a ride one day last week, I  felt cold the rest of the day, despite hot tea, a fleece blanket, and a heating pad under my feet. 

And I put the bike back, took off the layers of clothes, got dressed all over again, put my dog on the leash, and went running. It was SO nice to be lightly dressed and still be warm, enough that within 10 minutes I'd taken off my gloves and unzipped my jacket. And so nice to have my dog along.

So I might or might not make my impulsive goal of 1,000 miles on my new bike by the end of the year. I'm at 885 miles. If it warms up to, say, 40*F, I'll ride some more. And if I don't hit 1,000 miles in the next 2 weeks, I'll hit it next spring, and in the meantime I won't be getting salt and ice-treating road grit all over my bike, and I'll be warm. 

Monday, December 05, 2011


The new bike my mother gave me in August has 794 miles on it now. I'm wondering whether I can get in 1,000 by the end of the year. But it's December in Garrett County, MD, and although we've been enjoying unseasonably warm weather in the last month, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and mid-40'sF, and then not getting out of the 30's for at least the next 10 days. Some will be dry, though..... with proper layering, wool socks, or neoprene socks (I got some at Goodwill for $2), balaclava, knit gloves under my bike gloves, fleece jacket, and windproof jacket, maybe I can do this. Darn, I should have kept riding after the century ride I did Halloween weekend. Until yesterday I hadn't been on my bike since. I needed the break, though. I'm ready to ride again. Maybe it'll make me tough.

Friday, December 02, 2011


...considering that I am easing back in after a layoff and injury.
But I did, because I needed meditation time. I was personally upset by something someone said, and needed to work off some steam while I pondered how, or whether, to respond to the person, and how to respond within myself.

I went for 50 minutes, running 2/walking 5, total of 14 minutes of running and 36 of walking. I pondered and prayed. I was still angry and hurt when I got back, but my husband was using the computer, which I would have used to respond.

Killing time until I could get to the computer, I looked in the "Reader Helps" in my Bible, under "When Others Disagree with You," and read the passages.

In the end, I decided to let it go. This person has the right to their opinion and to freedom to express it. It probably was the result of experiences in that person's own life and was most likely not intended to have any effect on me.

My walk/run was 3.2 miles (in 50 minutes, big whoop!!), farthest I've gone in over a month, maybe 2. I restarted my pushups yesterday, too, at a lower level than previously. Yesterday's total was 36, in sets that went like this: 6, 8, 8, 6, 8. I messed up.... one of the 8's was supposed to be a 6. So I have 2 extra to my credit :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2011


After a layoff of 2 weeks following a couple months of not much running anyway, I'm returning to it.

Tuesday I did walk/run intervals: 5 minutes walking w/ my mother's dumb dog Woody and my own good dog Journey; then with just Journey I did 4 of run 5/walk 5, then run 1 more minute and walked the last 4 = 35 minutes total.

My quads were sore the next day.

Actually still a little sore today, but I went out and did the same, adding 1 minute to 3 of the runs. It went like this:
With Journey & Woody: walk 5.
Just Journey: run 6, walk 5; run 6, walk 5; run 5, walk 5; run 2, walk 3. Total 42 minutes.

We'll see how my quads do. And my ankles. I have not turned an ankle for almost a year, since I went to minimalist running shoes (Saucony Kinvara's). In these shoes, which aren't much more than an ultralight upper attached to an outsold with just a suggestion of midsole, my feet are more flexible and I can feel the surface I'm running on. If I step on something uneven, I feel it and correct my foot. In regular running shoes, by the time I realize my foot it turning, it's too late to correct it. Hiking boots are the same. In fact, my concern about my ankles now comes from having wrenched both of them a few weeks ago, backpacking in leather boots. Same thing: My foot couldn't tell where it was landing. So I'm returning my hiking boots (REI accepts returns with no time limit even if they're used) and planning to hike in my mini running shoes, or maybe even those Vibram 5-Finger "shoes." Seems like the less shoe I have, the better my feet are.