Sunday, March 30, 2008


All week, I fought off a vague feeling of being sick, thinking it might be allergies. The weekend hit, and so did a nasty bug. I spent part of Saturday, and almost all of Sunday in bed. It's the sore throat, runny nose, train running through your head, entire body aching kind of sick. The kind when the sheets and blanket touching your skin hurts. I was just happy to have Steve taking care of me from the periphery of my sick induced haze. Other than that, I have absolutely nothing to say except - be well out there. The crud has struck, and hopefully it won't find you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Picture credit

Someone asked about the picture at the top of the page. I should have given credit earlier. The picture was taken by Danni during the Swan Crest 57k this past summer. There are more pictures on the right of the page. Thanks Danni!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Is this a problem?

I'm spring cleaning. During the process, I pulled out all my running shoes. Some have many miles, like my Asics Gel Eagles, which they don't make any more. Some have very few miles, like the Montrail Hardrocks, and I can't seem to throw any of them away. I've branched out this last year, trying to find the "perfect" trail running shoe. It's tough. My poor big toes, a little deformed from years of pointe shoes, demand extra room. It seems when I find a shoe with a wider toe box, there isn't enough support. So, I'm putting the question out there for the runners among us - what's your favorite shoe? And, if you have similar foot issues as me, what shoe seems to work best for you?

Mileage was good this week, despite the work and travel schedule.
Sunday - 13
Monday - Off
Tuesday - 10
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - 7.5
Friday - Off
Saturday - 15

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crazy runners

For my 10 miler this evening, I chose a route that includes a well traveled country road. Usually, people pass on by without incident. Today, I was surprised when a truck slowed down. At first, I panicked a bit, but then saw it was a couple with three children, all looking very concerned. In broken English, the man said "You ok? You need help?" I replied, "I'm fine, thank you." Then, he said, "You car problems?" and motioned in the direction from which I'd run. I remembered there was a game warden vehicle parked on the side of the road. "No car problems," I answered, "I'm just going for a run." "You are running?" The man looks at me like I'm crazy. "Yes, I am, but thanks for stopping!" I took off running. The truck passed me with the entire family staring out the windows, the man shaking his head.

I was amused, and it got me thinking. I realize that we runners, especially ones who like the trails, are often looked upon as strange. I no longer mention to non-runners that Danni is going to run 100 miles this summer, or talk about long runs or upcoming races, because it normally starts the lecture of why long distance running is bad for a person. Next, the person usually asks "You don't want to run 100 miles, right?" Of course not, I say, because I don't want the inevitable knee discussion. How many times do I really need to hear that my knees are going to give out?

At the same time, I recognize that we runners are not always so fun to be around. Without realizing it, our running chatter can be a guilty reminder. Guilt for not exercising. Guilt for eating junk food. Guilt for the extra pounds put on over the winter. Guilt for perhaps just leading an unhealthy lifestyle. I've been there. I remember (pre-running days) watching people, usually from my own car window, looking all fit and trim as I gained the double freshman fifteen -except not in college, but after a couple years of marriage. I remember using 'The Beginning Runner's Handbook' and the difficulty it took to walk/run my way to a consistent 30 minutes of jogging. I remember several starts and stops due to discouragement from side aches, breathing problems and shin splints.

I have no idea when I officially became a "runner," and my thoughts today lead me to believe it doesn't really matter. I'm just glad it happened. I also need to remember not to try and "sell" the idea to others - I doubt that it's helpful. I can only hope that others out there might find something they really enjoy that might make them a healthier and happier person too.

On a completely unrelated note, I want to congratulate Frank on completing his doctoral thesis and nabbing a job in Massachusetts. And, congratulations to Melissa, his wife, who has waited so patiently for this day. I wish I was there to celebrate with you, but I'll call soon!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lucky girl

My goal was to keep the mileage up to 35-40 this week, and it took creative planning with the work and social schedule to reach it. I ended up with 37 miles plus some hiking thrown in. Whenever I start to miss the city, a trip into Glacier park reminds me why I'm here. These are a few pictures from our Saturday hike.

This morning, I was supposed to run with the group, but when I got up and saw it was raining, I wimped out. It was a good excuse to sleep. Once Steve and I finally woke up, we decided coffee, a newspaper and real estate browsing was in order.

With Steve's encouragement, I put on the whole long run arsenal of items, and ran from our cabin to town, a little over 13 miles. Steve took the picture below of a cold me post run at the historical trail parking lot. I thought running shorts were a great idea as I left the cabin in sunshine, but as you can see from the red legs, I could have used running pants once the hailstones started. Steve was a gem, meeting me in town with warm clothes and a macchiato with whipped cream. He even let me have tuna and noodles for a post run meal (and he HATES the smell of tuna.) Aren't I a lucky girl?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Runaway me...

...right into a tree. The trails were a combination of mud and snow. As I came around a curve, the trail turned into an abrupt long downhill completely covered in ice. I tried to slow down with no luck. I tried directing myself to a less icy area, but there wasn't one. As I was sliding, I was thinking about which bone was about to break, and how I could fall "correctly" in order to do the least amount of damage. Then I saw it, a lone tree close enough to grab. And I did. In a huge bear hug kind of way. I love that tree.

After the ice and mud (see picture below) the rest of my weekend was spent on nice, dry roads. That is where I will remain until it is truly spring. I've survived the winter without major incident, and I'd like to keep it that way. The week ended with 35 miles and lots of hills. Not too bad for me.
For the social work and mental health people out there, please consider attending a conference or training with Toni Cavanagh Johnson. Intermountain Children's Home sponsored an event in which she was the main speaker. I found it to be interesting and helpful information. Plus, Dr. Johnson is really an outstanding, entertaining speaker. Obtaining CEU's is not always nearly so fun.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From the city to the mountains...

This paragraph is for the East Coasters...

Today, I attended an NASW chapter meeting; my first since returning to Montana. My memories of NASW in DC include lectures at congressional buildings, meeting with state representatives, worry about Republicans taking over Congress, etc. Usually, just getting to the meetings/conferences took time. So, I was highly amused when I learned that our meeting was a quick drive down to the "Bulldog Lounge and Casino at the Outlaw Inn." I kid you not. If that's not unique to Montana, I don't know what is.

Spring seems to be here. The snow on the trails is melting, turning everything into chutes of ice. Here's a couple of pictures from my last trip to Helena.

The running is coming along. So far this week:

Sunday: 11

Monday: 3.5

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 6.5

I'm traveling again tomorrow. We'll see what kind of mileage I can get between meetings, driving, and the conference. Hopefully, I don't have to seek out the dreadmill.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


At first I was amused, then intrigued, now disturbed. Steve and I had to make a quick stop at the mall today. In doing so, we saw that there was some type of "ministry" fair going on. One booth seemed to jump out at us both - "HuntSA." The amused part came from the huge display advertising an opportunity to combine ministry with hunting in South Africa. The intriqued part came after Steve mockingly stated "do ministry while hunting endangered gazelles." I had to do a little research in hopes that he was wrong. This is taken directly from the website:

"HuntSA offers a unique opportunity to tailor your dream safari into an unforgettable experience. You can create your itinerary by choosing from the various activities on offer.

Each and every one of us is equipped to make a difference in the lives of someone less fortunate than ourselves. At HuntSA Ministries we open up the opportunity for you to reach out. You’ll travel to the outlying rural areas where very few South Africans have ever been and poverty and AIDS are prevalent. This can be a truly life-changing experience!"

For who? Naturally, I was curious to find out whether or not people truly have the "opportunity to reach out" or if it's a "let's stand around and gawk at people less fortunate than we (and hunt)." Here it is...

"We do a six day outreach which includes showing ‘The Jesus film’, visiting hospitals and schools and encouraging the missionaries that work there full-time. We also visit the local people in their traditional homes. The six-day outreach comprises five nights of camping with one night of luxury accommodation at a cost of $180 a day. Alternatively six nights of luxury accommodation is available at extra cost. During the trip, we also pay a visit to the bible school, where people who are converted can do a six month bible course to improve their knowledge of God’s love for them. This equips them to minister to their own people."

If you look around the website, notice how much of their "ministry" is only for the already "converted." Don't even get me started.

Then, click on the price list. How many endangered animals do you see on this list? Disturbed yet?

**I'd just like to add that I'm not against regulated hunting, just hunting of endangered animals under the guise of Christian ministry, and people like this who make a mockery of true humanitarian efforts.