Bambi 2011

I asked all my regular running buddies to join me for last Saturday's 7.5K. Everyone was busy except M.K. who took me up on it. She is a competitive swimmer, but this was her first competitive run. We drove up to Chalet-à-Gobet, paid our sign-up fee, got our race numbers, talked with some friends, then moseyed over to the starting line. It was nice to mingle there with several runners I hadn't seen since last November's 12K held at this same location (both races are part of the Trophée Lausannois series; my friends had missed the last race of 2010, and I missed this year's first two races). With the staggered starts, I jumped all five times the pistol went off for the older runner, then finally the shot was fired for my age group and we were off. I felt great on the first half of the course which was slightly downhill and thought I would pay for the fast pace on the second half, but I held my own even on the uphill. Maybe all the cake I've been eating lately made the difference. M.K. finished strong and said this won't be her last race!

Gotta run...



Twenty-three hours after returning home from the U.S., we loaded up our van for a trip to France where I spent the weekend cooking for 30 young adults. Being on my feet all day was probably the best remedy for jet lag. So instead of resting Saturday afternoon while my pizza dough was rising, I went for a run. No locals were around to point me in the right direction, but I stumbled on a decent route. After taking the overpass to the other side of the freeway, I found a quiet country lane that led up to a neighboring village. I retraced my steps and was back in plenty of time to get the pizzas ready for dinner. Now I have a nice 8 kilometer run mapped out for the next time I'm asked to cook at a retreat in Saint Albain.

Gotta run...



Michigan was the last stop on my 2-week trip. After summery weather in Florida, springlike weather in Arkansas, autumnal weather in Kentucky, it was back to winter! Sister even said ice-fishermen were still out on the small area lakes. I bundled up and headed down the dirt road that runs in front of Sister's house. All the mud, ice and potholes reminded me of last winter's trip to Ukraine; the main difference being that this time I was out in the boonies, not in town. Traffic was minimal, so I never got sprayed with mud. The scary dogs were fenced in, so I wasn't chased down the road. I turned around after a couple of miles where the road dead-ended and headed back. I was glad to have been able to fit in a short run the day before a 3-flight, 16-hour trip home.

Gotta run...



My third stop was Paducah, Kentucky, where Son 2, his girlfriend and I pulled off our surprise visit to Brother. Between rain on Saturday morning and all the weekend festivities, there was only one opportunity for a short run before church Sunday. I couldn't get anyone else motivated to join me, but I enjoyed the solo run down Jefferson in the crisp morning air while counting my blessings.

Gotta run...



On the second stop of my U.S. trip, I visited Son 2 at college. I stayed a few miles from campus at uncle J.'s. While there, I put in a couple of long runs by running to the school, meeting up with Son 2 and his girlfriend for a lap around the campus together, then heading back to the house. I'm looking forward to regular runs with those two when they come spend the summer with us!

Gotta run...



I'm currently in the States to surprise Brother for his 50th birthday. I've been keeping a low profile to avoid arousing suspicion.

My first stop was Jacksonville, Florida, where I visited my college roommate. This was my first winter visit, at least it was winter when I left home. One day I was running dressed in several layers and wearing gloves; two days later I was in shorts and a t-shirt at 8 a.m. and suffering from the heat and humidity! The first morning, K. pointed me in the right direction and said keep turning left and you will have done a 3-mile loop. Even I couldn't get lost. I put in 18 miles in that nice neighborhood running past palm trees and blossoming crape myrtles. I could get used to this!

Gotta run...