Monday, May 9, 2011

Track date, blood-sucking ticks and other random thoughts

Friday night, Jon and I headed up for my mother's day get-away - a date at Hayward Field, home of the University of Oregon track team.

 My parents kindly watched the boys so we could go out unchaperoned. (Thanks Mom and Dad!). We got there a little late, but still caught a good portion of the meet.

I think this is from the men's 1500.

Below is the board for the women's 1500. Yep. That's 4:15.
The sign's kinda hard to read below.  One thing I like about the U of O non-conference meets is that there are some side-show races to keep things interesting (during the field events). There were a few heats of grade school and middle school races.
I was very impressed with the local middle school girls 1 mile race...
It's hard to read the sign below, but the first runner finished in 5:00.33. Eighth grade. She beat her seventh grade time on this track by 2 seconds, and her closest competition also finished in 5:00 xx.
And we got to see Ashton Eaton receive an award.
After the "show" we had dinner out (very rare for us, due to the added drive time).

Other random thoughts and events of recent:

  • I almost lost Levi in the grass this week. I actually love to mow, but my mower needs a new starter. My father-in-law rescued me by bringing out his mower ( I LOVE this man!). So after a quick tutorial on how to hot-wire start it, I got about 1 of 2 acres mowed. Then I burned up the belt because the grass was too tall. Now the Kubota will be coming out here to deck mow what I didn't get to...
  • I wonder sometimes if I should really be homeschooling my 6 year old. Yes, I can do it, but it would be so much easier if all the boys were the same age...He is doing well in math, can add and subtract well using a number line, does some small fractions (I am proud!); but, it is so hard to teach reading with the two other boys not interested. Something else has to give in my schedule....I think I know what has to go first.
  • The blood sucking tick (my first personal encounter with one): please skip past if you are squeamish!OK...I am not easily made uncomfortable, but something about the idea of ticks and leaches makes my skin crawl. Yesterday, after going out in the tall grass, I was driving and thought i saw something on my inner elbow, like a scab- and tried to brush it off. Moments later I realized it was some nasty little creature burying itself into my skin. I pulled off at the Cash Market and searched my trunk (plan was to go in if I couldn't find anything suitable) and found some neosporin. (I knew the hot match method would be bad, after my experience with our beloved cat. Yes- she's still living, but a little wary now). I had heard the idea is to smother the tick and it comes out....So I did.          And then I went inside to ask the ladies working and shopping there how long it should take for a tick to back out..gave them details. (Yes, I know them. This is a very small town). They looked at me like I was some sort of alien. Apparently neither of them had ever had a tick on them before (What?! Isn't that some prerequisite for living in the middle of the sticks???!)  Anyhoooo, neither knew.   I arrived a few minutes later at a friend's house and she saved my life. The tick was still sucking away, smothered in goo, but she said her dog gets them and proceeded to swirl her finger on it until it backed out. It was disposed of in the toilet immediately.
  • Did I mention I have a new good friend? She is a single mom and knows how to remove ticks. Bless her heart. I think we both have something to offer each other.
  • I may have developed a minor can-can injury. It's pretty small and hard to pinpoint- just behind the knee and upper calf.  I have no idea how i got it...but I only notice it when I try to can-can, or throw my leg out front, or squat all the way down.
  • Post marathon thoughts on training...I have decided to seriously, consciously, slow down my easy/recovery runs. I mean, I only seem to get hurt when I am intentionally training for something. For my best race - a 7M/M half,  all I was doing was 8:45 miles +/- and fartlek twice a week, adding to my long run and then cutting back the week before. Why should I be trying soooooo hard to increase my easy pace to 8 M/M then? I ignored the "slow pace" today and left the ipod off. It was a good move for me--I need to relearn how to do long slow distance.
  • Races are calling!  There are several I am tossing around, but I still want to feel 100% and get in a few speed sessions. I am considering something 4th of July-ish. Multiple distances and courses are on the table...

How far in advance do you schedule your races?

 Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Have a great week!


  1. I was bit by a tick as a girl. You're fortunate to have outrun ticks this long! Maybe you should just take a break from can-canning for a while, if you can bear it!

  2. What a cool date! Those kids are talented. You look so beautiful in your new Boston jacket!
    The bigger, meaning longer distance the race, the further in advance I schedule it. I seem to fill in with 5 and 10ks at a moments notice.

  3. Fun date night! Nice jacket...Looking forward to seeing your race schedule.

  4. Aww the track date is so cute :) and wow those eigth graders are nuts! I kinda have the desire to train for a 5 min mile now lol (I don't think I could run 5 min pace for 100 meters!)

  5. One of my favorite Bible verses. :)

  6. Heh, I am just now trying to "talk" my Mrs. into getting up early on a Sunday to go to a race with me and the girls...a blog on this will soon follow....tomorrow morning if not tonight. I love your idea of a date.

    Hmm, I have a dear friend, who gave up on homeschooling after their house burned down, the stress was too great. It took the kids a little time to adjust but they are all doing fine. It also reduced some of her personal stress and she is now back to running.

    I have managed to avoid ticks, but fleas and I have had a long association. Little buggers!

    JGF and I have both signed up for a race that is OVER a year out, so asking us that question is a little off...I try to get them on the calendar as soon as I can, so I have something to look forward to. I lead a dull existence with four daughters and a wife. ;-)

  7. Happy Mothers day Raina! Glad you and the hubs got some time to yourselves!

    Oh, do I know something about ticks--constantly checking Coop in the summer! Alcohol and pull that sucker off!

    The further advanced race I have ever planned is the RnR in Vegas this December...otherwise I try to get the cheapest registration rate, but I am no means a planner like some out there!

    Keep listening to your amazing running legs!

  8. That is one great date for a running couple! How fun. Oh, ticks scare me to death. Glad you found someone to help you get it out. YUCK!! In terms of planning races, I'm one of those who likes to look at the whole year and plan almost a year in advance. I usually add and subtract races during the year depending on what is going on but for the most part I need a good idea of what I"m looking at so I can set goals, prepare, and have something to look forward to. Happy Mother's Day, Raina...have a great week!

  9. So much here and I want to comment on all of it! but I'm tired so I'll just say a few things. I love the pic of you and your hubby! You both look so good and good together too. :) I agree on the slower run thing...I need to remember this too. for my first two marathons I didn't even do nearly all the things I'm trying to do now...If it is working for you...keep doing it! I wish I would have reminded myself of this! :) Can't wait to see you race some more. I forget that you homeschool...You're amazing Raina. I don't know how you do it all.

    I'm thinking it is time to suck my lip back in and stop pouting and do some cross training. I thought about you a lot today and how you were so good at keeping your fitness up despite your injury. Kara Goucher inspired me tonight too...I asked her about how long I have until I start losing what I've worked so hard for and she assured me that I have a couple weeks but she made me excited to get back in there and work hard at the elliptical or bike until I'm healed. Wish you could have come!

    Okay, I'll be back. Gee, I said I wouldn't write much.

  10. Great that you saw a track meet! Oregon to me is the center of the track and field universe in the US! I'd love to see the Oregon meet or the Olympic trials, I'm assuming that Oregon is hosting them again?

    That seriously is crazy that the winner of the middle school girls race got 5:00 mile, that is my best time from high school, lol There are some insanely fast runners in this country!

  11. I started to type that I usually don't plan far in advance, but then I realized I am hoping for a specific race next January...and the half next year. So, I suppose I do plan out a bit. Gotta get staffing set up and such...

    Sounds like a great time with the husband!

  12. P.S. Love the verse! Can't see it without thinking of my mom. It was her favorite.

  13. Ticks... ick! Glad you got that sucker out :)

    I would agree with your 'slow it down' plan for those easy ones... and stop doing the can-can if it's hurting! lol

    And I am seriously in awe of any homeschooling... let alone different ages like you are doing. Wow.

  14. Track meet and dinner sounds like a perfect date to me! Those times are impressive, that 8th grader is crazy fast!!!

  15. Cool deal to go to the meet. As for ticks - never had one either. Slow runs -- coach has me running uber slow. Seems to be paying off. HR runs are tough on the ego at times.

  16. I love the verse from Jeremiah, one of my favorites! God has such good plans for us :)

    It is so cute they you and your husband went on a date to the track meet... jealous!!

    Glad your new friend got the tick out too!!

  17. Those underdogs will get you every time...

    Sounds like an awesome date! Love the pics.

    We are infested with ticks up here in the spring. I pull them off my kids nonstop. Yep-the smothering workds. I smother them in dishsoap and then hold a cotton ball over the top for about 20 seconds and they release! Reese once had one like the size of a grape in her bellybutton. I know this is TMI...

    Good for you for figuring out what kind of training works for you!!! I'm kinda falling back into my old ways but they've worked OK for me in the past and I seem to get the most enjoyment out of running that way. Really for me, that's what it's all about right now!

    Scheduling races. I'm registered for 2 marathons and 2 half marathons through the fall. I will race day register any other races. Excited to see you race again!!

  18. What a great date!! Steve and I need to go on one desperately.

    The swirly trick with ticks is the best! That's what we do when Kiara gets them and it works like a charm.

  19. Good thing you don't live here in Africa. Ticks are very, very common. I've had tick bite fever and often get ticks on me during trail runs. I plan my big goals 3 years and more in advance. Normal races minimum one year. I can give you my full race schedule up to the end of 2013 now.

  20. Oh I am always yucked out by ticks!!! I try to plan ahead but then I see races here and there and like you said, they are calling!!!

  21. The date to the track looked like fun!! I would have loved that!!! Man that 8th grader is FAST!!!!! Wow! Sorry to hear about the tick.. I just pulled 2 off of me a couple weeks ago ICK!!!

  22. Ok, I have to address the tick thing first cuz I am with you, absolutely cannot stand anything on my body living off my blood, gross!! I would find ticks crawling up my living room walls when I lived in Alabama for a brief stretch but thankfully have not hand an encounter in the 14 years I have lived in Colorado. Maybe they don't like altitude? :) Well, not so cuz a kid at school had one the other day but he said he got it at some lake way out on the Border of Nebraska. No altitude there :). No, they are here unfortunately, I just haven't seen 'em.

    Wow, I would be in total track heaven if I went to a meet! I never even thought about how I could actually do that up at CU Boulder. I am so glad you had a nice time, and a great dinner alone after. Sounds like the perfect Mother's Day and you two are so cute :).

    As for the schooling....follow your heart! My neighbor homeschooled her 4 kids but one of them she put in the high school where I teach and it worked out great for him. Everyone is different.

    Races: I like to plan pretty far in advance only because I like to cram too many in and prices increase after certain dates. But I won't be doing any planning for a long time.

    Have a great week!!

  23. I'll register as late as possible. The best races require at registration at least a few months before the race. I'm finally feeling injury free so I am going to slowly build up my training base again, and then we'll see what races my wife lets me run! I think I can still pull off slow 50Ks and 50-milers in my current state, but would like to go faster.

    I haven't been bitten by a tick (that I know of), but its bound to happen eventually with all my trail runs. But I hope it never happens! Good luck with the calf, and your training. And I forgot to congratulate you on your inspirational Boston Race! It may not have been the race and training cycle you dream of, but it was a very touching journey, filled with messages from God. Thanks for letting us share in your journey.

  24. What a perfect date! Loved it! I am so excited to hear more about your training and your upcoming races!

    Ticks, yikes! My son has 3 friends with lice. Difference, but still a pain in the butt if they hit our home!

  25. Ticks are nasty little buggers! I have not had one, but a friend of mine lives on the outskirts of town and for a summer she just kept getting them all the time. Yikes! My dogs have had them, and I feel so bad for them. It must be the creepiest thing to just see this little critter diving into your body to suck your blood.

    I am crazy with races. I register so early. For 5 of my half marathons I registered the day it opened. But once in a while I am spontaneous and just toss one in at the last minute - like last year's EWEB. I'm pretty much addicted to registering for races! I love picking my shirt size, saying my estimated finish time and getting the confirmation. Not so fond of paying for them though.

  26. ahhhh, a tick?! I hate those. But this date night is awesome! lucky you! Well deserved though.

  27. Funny enough, my sister just told me her one son is sick at home with tick bite fever. Speak of the devil!

  28. A great date! Sorry about the tick, here they are not so common, only in the country. I try to schedule my normal races in January but everytime I have to change my plans because of injures or illness. The marathon during the summer to test myself if I can be ready for the last sunday in november (Florence marathon): I need 3 months to prepare a sub 4h marathon.


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