Sunday, April 01, 2012

Thanks Dad!

So I ran a 10k on Saturday. I ran the same race two years ago and averaged a 11:23 minute mile. At that point in my running career just running 6 miles was kind of a big deal. So fast forward 2 years, and my goal for Saturday was to run a 10:30 minute mile. Imagine my surprise when I got my time and found out my average was actually 10:09. I was so proud of myself. I am 43 years old and probably the most fit I've ever been in my life. Not the skinniest, mind you, but definitely the most fit I've ever been.
When I was running on Saturday I couldn't help thinking about my dad. He was a big runner in high school and college and on some level has inspired me. By the time my dad was 43, however, he had suffered from colitis for years, had his knee wiped out from a horse kick. I don't know the exact timing, but he wasn't too much older when he had part of his colon removed and replaced with a colostomy bag. He died at 46 from liver cancer.
When I go out and run 5-6 miles, whether or not it's for a race, I feel so strong, so alive and so thankful for my health. I like to think my dad is watching me from somewhere and rooting for me. I know thinking about it certainly gives me encouragement and helps me push myself.
I think it was my brother Pete that said it's like our dad is my wingman. And although it's a bit corny, it really is true. Thanks dad!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Worst Candy Evah!

So we are driving to Kohls tonight and my daughter mentions that someone was visiting the US from another country and wanted to take some American candy back home to their kids. What did they take home? Twizzlers!! Emilie mentioned how horrible Twizzlers are; that eating them is akin to chewing on plastic. She also mentioned they are not hollow in them middle like real licorice, but I think the main issue with Twizzlers is that eating them is AKIN TO CHEWING ON PLASTIC!!! Anyways, we were sad that these kids now probably think American candy is terrible. As Emilie said, if there is one thing Americans know, it's junk food.
So we got to thinking about horrible candy and started on a list. Here is a list of what we think is some of the worst candy in the United States:

1) Twizzlers - have to list it
2) Necco Wafers - I'd rather eat Pepto Bismol tablets
3) Pez - collectible dispensers...crappy candy
4) Peeps - they're cute but taste horrible!

What about you? What do you think is the worst candy?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Exercise and Cancer

David Haas, a cancer patient advocate, saw many of my posts about my mom's battle with cancer, and asked if I would consider posting something for him about cancer and exercise. I thought it was a great idea. I am a big fan of exercise and having lost two parents to cancer, consider it an important part of my life and staying healthy. Enjoy this article from David.

Enjoying Exercise Benefits Cancer Patients
Whether you are a concern survivor or currently undergoing treatments, you have probably heard that exercise is one of the best ways to prevent cancer. Instead of thinking it is too late and allowing the fatigue caused by cancer and treatments to take over, follow the exercise advice of numerous cancer experts and organizations. Sitting it out and taking it easy are the wrong approaches, as medical research has revealed that physical activity offers better chances at beating some forms of cancer and preventing recurrence of many types.

Exercise can also prevent or reduce some of the major symptoms of cancer and improve the quality of life in all patients. As an example, consider one of the pitfalls of treating hormone-based cancers. Breast cancer is often treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy, both of which can result in loss of bone mineral density. Prostate cancer alone increases the risk of osteoporosis in men greatly. Aside from screening and supplementation, the expert consensus recommends weight-bearing exercise for maintaining bone density and preventing fractures.

What Other Benefits can Exercise Offer?

Improving quality of life is medical short-hand for managing the many symptoms of cancer and treatments. Besides maintaining the metabolism and reducing fatigue, the ways exercise is helping patients and survivors include:

~ aiding digestion and preventing constipation;
~ promoting natural and more refreshing sleep;
~ regulating appetite and weight;
~ increasing joint flexibility and cardiopulmonary function;
~ and stimulating the production of natural, pain-killing hormones.

Are Certain Types of Exercise Better Than Others?

No matter the type of cancer or prognosis of the patient, from mesothelioma to bone cancers, there are suitable forms of exercise available. Researchers have not identified a preferred form of exercise beyond the recommended weight-training for hormone-based cancers, though most studies have focused on aerobic routines. A physical therapist consulting with the lead doctor is in the best position to help establish an exercise regimen, though it is up to the patient to put the plan into action. Practically, this means that the patient needs to enjoy whatever form(s) of exercise are chosen.

And there are many to choose from. Bed-ridden and post-op patients will gain benefits from range-of-motion routines designed to maintain joint flexibility, and more mobile patients will enjoy benefits from walking or no-impact exercises, like water aerobics and Tai Chi. Even a passion for dancing or strength training need not necessarily be stifled by a diagnosis of cancer.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Where did the year go?

It's mid-December and I am scrambling to finish my Christmas shopping, contemplating whether to send Christmas cards, and talking with friends and family to arrange all the traditions that have come to make up this time of year for us. I can't believe that 2011 is almost over.
I feel sad I don't post much anymore, but my life is so busy I don't really have the time. Instead of blogging I publish tiny snippets of my thoughts and pictures of my life via Facebook.
Lately I am busy with work and volunteer stuff, plus I try to keep up on my running. It's almost an obsession these days. I don't know of anything more relaxing than a long run on the Sammamish River Trail. I listen to music and let my thoughts wander.
As 2011 wraps up I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Who knows; maybe 2012 will be the year I get back into blogging. ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My watch

My watch battery died today. At first I thought it was so strange; it seemed like I just replaced the battery the other day. Then I realized it was two years ago that it died. Right about this time of year. I blogged about it here. My mom was diagnosed with cancer and I was going from work to the hospital and home for a bit and then back to the hospital or work, depending on what the day demanded of me. I remember carrying my watch around in my purse for weeks because I kept thinking I would have time to get the battery replaced but never did. Well, obviously I replaced it at some point, because the battery has died again. It's funny how time marches on and such a small thing can bring back such a flood of memories. I reread this post, and I cried a bit. I was right. I do look back at that time with fond memories. It was a bittersweet time. One I'll never forget.
The picture is of Trafalgar Square, from my trip to London this past fall. I sat on a bench and watched the pigeons and thought about my mom and our trip there many years ago. I am so glad my mom and I had so many good times together. Right up until the very end.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Windows Phone

Well, I do not have a Windows Phone yet, but after months of a bit of work here and there...I FINALLY submitted my Windows phone application for certification today. I fully expect it to be rejected the first time around, but you never know. My application is a wine-food pairing application. Once you select a wine, you can search for wines on and view more wine details on their website. That's a screenshot of my app on the left.
After doing a bunch of research for the application, I am more in to wine than ever.
Right now I am enjoying a newly released Oregon Pinot Noir, a 2009 Christopher Michael. It's quite good. Good enough I would like to run down and buy a case of it. Maybe I will, but not tonight. I think I'll just stay home and have another glass.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Where does the time go?

Here it is March of 2011. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer just about 2 years ago. It seems like a lifetime ago and yet at the same time it seems like the other day.
My blog has been superseded by Facebook and just plain busyness I guess. It seems like my life is flying by even faster than ever. Emily turned 12 this year, which means Tim and I have been parents for a dozen years. Cate is eight and Sam starts school in the fall. Sam still can't get enough of his momma and I wonder how long that will last. I see Emily asserting her independence and I realize that one day I will actually have an empty house. Not for a while though.
I am staying quite busy with work and my volunteer activities. This year I am co-leading Cate's girl scout troop, volunteering as an art docent in her class, teaching Sunday school and working (a bit) on our church Website. In addition, I am still quite obsessed with running and really hope to finish a half-marathon before 2011 is finished. I'll keep you posted (hopefully) on my progress.
Unfortunately I've done no painting and no piano for awhile. Just no time I guess. I did start studying French with RosettaStone in hopes of making it to Paris this fall. We just returned from a family vacation to Cancun, where we had a great time. Really nice and relaxing. I almost hate to admit it, but Emily and I even enjoyed watching some TV together. For me, taking time to watch TV is vacation. Don't worry, we had plenty of fun in the sun too.
Well, here's to 2011. May it hold good things for me and you!