Sunday, September 26, 2010


 Many know that I've been training for a marathon for quite some time...and the big day was September 19, 2010 in Valmiera, Latvia.  The forecast for the day "possible thunder storms"...Great!  Two weeks ago I ran my "long run" of 29 km (or 18 miles) in the rain.  At the end of the rain, I had a blister on my toe (I could barely walk on it) and I had patches of eczema all over...and it took me the two weeks to finally get that eczema breakout under control.  So needless to say I was a little worried.
 I rode a bus to Valmiera with fellow runners and while it was cloudy, it didn't rain.  So my hopes were higher that I'd get to run the marathon.  After arriving in Valmiera at 10 and getting registered, I walked around taking pictures because I didn't know if I'd see anyone I knew who'd be able to take my picture. 

The marathon was four loops of about 10.6 km (6.6 miles) around the town.  Much of Latvia is flat but the Valmiera marathon actually had quite a few hills dotting the marathon trail.  Along with 160 other marathon runners and 600 half marathon runners, I congregated near the start in preparation of running.  Minutes before the race started, as we are all standing there at the start, the sky opened and it started sprinkling.  You could see the sun and that the sky wasn't blanketed in clouds, so I was hopeful that it would stop raining. 

At this point I had to make a decision, run or not run?  How could I come all that way, through the training and everything, and NOT run?!?!  Well, the answer was: "I couldn't".  So I braved the elements and started off running.  My pace was good, I felt great!  Even up through the hills and everything...then it started to rain harder about 1/2 way through the first lap.  But I had started, I couldn't stop! 

It was an interesting run, here and there the sky would open and I'd get rained on, but I kept running.  Then the sun would come out and I'd get dry.  So I was thinking, "Yeah!  I'm going to be able to do this!"  Lap one, my split was 1:04!  Better than I was expecting and I felt great!

On to lap two, which I was able to run in almost no rain!  My time was 2:12, perfectly placed in my timing!  Better than my half-marathon in Kuldiga in August, so improvement! :)  And I still felt great!

Here comes the third lap, I started into with great enthusiasm, feeling great, my pace is perfect...AND THEN...THE SKIES OPENED UP AND POURED DOWN RAIN!  That lasted the whole entire third lap.  By the time I got to the half-way point, I was SOAKED!  I couldn't have been more wet if I were in the ocean!  This meant that by the end of the third lap I had a blister on three of my toes of my right foot, making it SO bad I could barely run!  I tried everything, running on only my heels, running with my toes up, running with my foot pointed in, pointed out...nothing worked!  As I neared the end of the third lap, I knew that there was no way I could run with these blisters on my foot....If I could've changed my shoes, physically, I would've been able to run the entire thing...sigh...

I guess I'm just not meant to complete a marathon in Latvia.  So the goal is to perhaps run the PF Chang's marathon in Arizona in January.  If not, then one down the road.  I'll still run because it makes me feel good and it helps me look great!

Sometimes we don't actually succeed at our goals, but these are the times that we just have to keep working at it...and eventually we will finish the race. ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Saturday was September 11, nine years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  It is amazing how quickly time flies!  There were a lot of memorial to remember those who lost their lives as a result, and I'm not only talking about those that died that day.
I had the opportunity to speak to Latvian youth about the events on September 11.  It was very interesting.  We told our story of what happened on that day.  The three of us all had different stories but similar underlying things.  It was interesting to hear their questions.  These Latvian youths were only 7 or 8 when it happened.  It was interesting to see that they were a good sample of the entire world in their feelings about what happened that day and the resulting war and issues.  The main thing is that no one has ever waged a war on an idea.  And that is what we are facing.  Terrorism impacts the world.  It has been around since the beginning of time.  Satan gets a grasp on the hearts of men to do ill to their fellow men, taking away choices.  My question is: Are we going to stand up and fight?  Or allow this to happen.  Hopefully we can find a better way than fighting that doesn't result in the loss of so many lives.  Unfortunately, I don't think that this will happen until the Savior comes, but we don't have to live in fear.  If we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and do the best we can, then we can look forward to the future with hope, not despair.
May God bless you where ever you are.  May God continue to bless the USA.  Don't take for granted the rights and privileges that you as an American has and stand up for those rights.
Love you all!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Slow down? NEVER! ;)

Someone told me recently that I should slow down.  They said this to me after asking what I had done over the weekend.  Apparently just listening to what I had done exhausted them.  That's just crazy.  I actually really enjoy being as busy as I am.  As many of you know, I'm training for a marathon, which is THIS weekend! (Oh, my!)  So my weekends consist of a long run (the longest being 29 km) then home to shower, followed by walking around the town shopping, then home to clean the house, usually followed by dinner out with friends or sometimes going out dancing for 3-4 hours, followed by church on Sunday and making food for the week, or working on Christmas projects.  I figured that the weekend that I ran 29 km, I burned about 2500 calories just on Saturday!  It's funny, I don't even think I'm all that busy.  Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more...But what can I add to my schedule?  Any suggestions? ;)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Winter already?!?!

Sad to say that the other day it felt like winter has arrived in Latvia :( sigh... Oh well...such is life.  I just keep telling myself that I only have 3 months left...I CAN make it! LOL. Many tell me that I should enjoy the cool weather because where I'm going next is VERY warm. But honestly, I'll thrive in that weather. It's so close to what I am more used to. It's crazy but the countdown has begun. I feel like I have so much to do before I leave that I'll be kept really busy until I leave, which will mean that the time will fly even faster! But I'm packing in as much as I can. I took pictures again over the weekend but the battery died before I could get them uploaded, so that'll be on the next blog...Until then! <3