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Making Progress

April 24, 2013

On Monday I completed my last 10 mile run before the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon.  After 3 days rest I felt ready…It was a beautiful day in the mid 40’s.  The route is a nice one on not very busy roads, with lots of interesting houses and of course the woods, which are beginning to come alive again after the long winter!!

I am so happy to have my Garmin 405!  I know some runners feel a lack of freedom when running with a Garmin.  I often feel like why am I trying to keep track of my “plodding” at between 12 and 13 min. miles.  For some that is hardly running…for this soon to be (tomorrow) 59 year old runner it has been encouraging!!!

For example:  My 10 mile run on Monday…by mile 8 I was wondering if my hips would last another 2 miles…but when comparing the 10 miler I did in February I shaved 9 minutes off my time.  Did you read that….9 minutes!!!!!   And nearly a minute off my average pace time…Here is the proof…

My February stats:

Distance: 10.00 mi
Time: 2:19:53
Avg Pace: 13:59 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 369 ft
Calories: 990 C

My April stats:

Distance: 10.01 mi
Time: 2:10:10
Avg Pace: 13:00 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 371 ft
Calories: 1,105 C

So I guess even at 59 you can improve…

I am resting up and doing some shorter runs in the next week and a half!  Looking forward to visiting my daughter in Tacoma and seeing Vancouver again!!  Oh, and I will be wearing my Boston Strong t- shirt!

Have a great week.

Grandma Cindy



Boston My Heart and Prayers are with you!!

April 17, 2013

Marathon Monday, it is a big deal in my family, my daughter Sarah (Runfargirl) has run it with my daughter-in-law, Danielle (Endurancegal).  We have made the trip down, stood on the sidewalk at the finish line…

I watched on TV the Elite women and men cross the finish line and then headed off to do some errands.  Danielle’s brother Will was running this year, her whole family would be there to watch.

Standing in line at the grocery store my phone rang, my daughter who lives on the west coast calling.  Mom did you hear the news?  No I am in the grocery store, she told me of the blasts and then said Chris and Danielle are ok they are leaving town.  Quickly getting home and turning on the TV I saw the panic and chaos.  My prayers began in earnest!  There are no words to describe the feeling in the pit of your stomach, the emotion, the panic.  I remember so well 9-11, it felt like that all over again.

I did not realize until later how close Chris, Danielle and family were…they were in the bleachers across the street from the first blast.  Praying for them constantly as they process this whole thing, as we all process this.

We knew many people who were either running, helping, spectating, all safe, many who live in Boston helping runners and others in the confusion.  Some offering homes, beds, food and hugs.  Boston is a city of strong people…it will recover.

Please pray for those who were injured, some very gravely.  Pray for those families who lost loved ones. Pray for those who witnessed it and responded.  Pray for Boston.

“Here my cry, O God,  listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher that I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.”  Psalm 61:1-3


In His Grace,


Praying for Boston!

Grandma Cindy


Plodding On

April 11, 2013

Plodding on…only a few weeks more to the Vancouver Half Marathon.  I certainly will be glad when this race is done!!!  The air went out of my motivation to train after the cancelation of the Half at the Hamptons!!  But, I plod on as best I can.  I do feel tired and will be glad to have a change of pace.

I look forward to training for the Timberman Sprint Triathlon.  I am only signed up for this one at the moment, with getting ready to move to Dubai I think it will be all I can handle this summer.

Spring seems to be coming in fits and starts, we had lovely weather last week and then the cold came back on Saturday, just in time for my long run…  But this week the temps are back up and the wind has subsided!

Last Saturday my long run:  I ran from Dover to Durham, 8.5 miles.  Two of my daughters were running a 5K in Durham and I wanted to watch, and I wanted to get my run in before noon, so it worked out well.  It was a beautiful sunny morning, but cold and very windy, the kind of wind that might blow you over…  Overall I was pleased with my run my average pace was 13:12, not bad for the distance!  I had a good breakfast of Ezekiel bread raisin toast with peanut butter and banana about 45 min before I left.  I took two Clif mocha gel shots.  I felt tired the beginning of the run, it seems to take me so long to warm up.  Did not take the first shot until about mile 5, might have worked better to take it sooner, maybe every 4 miles.  Here are my mile splits:

View Splits
Avg Pace
Summary 1:52:13.4 8.50 13:12
1 13:17.3 1.00 13:17
2 13:08.7 1.00 13:09
3 12:42.7 1.00 12:43
4 13:49.6 1.00 13:50
5 12:40.1 1.00 12:40
6 14:10.4 1.00 14:10
7 13:02.3 1.00 13:02
8 13:04.5 1.00 13:04
9 6:17.9 0.50 12:34

Monday was a lift day, worked hard…typical warm up then: snatch grip dead lift 3 x 3 at 65#; speed bench 3×8 at 50#; goblet squats 3 x 10 at 15#, 25#, 30#; dumbbell row 3 x 10 at 25#.  Plank: front and both sides, 2 x 35 sec.

Tuesday a run day, did 3.73 miles, gave intervals a try.  Set my Garmin for .5 mile intervals with 1 min rest between.  Unfortunately my legs were gassed from the lifting yesterday and ended up walking the last few.  The first few intervals were in the 11:30 range.  Would like to be faster…perhaps when I am not trying to run so many miles and not the day after a lift session!

Wednesday I usually plan to cross train, but my car needed to go in for inspection and a noise, which turned out to be a wheel bearing…the garage is 3 miles from my house so my husband and I took it over at 6 am and ran home.  It was nice to run with my husband, we have not run together in a long time.  Run was 3.11 miles, 40:38, walked the BIG hill, legs still tired.

Today is lifting and Friday is total rest, then 6-7 miles on Saturday.  Will do my 10 mile run either Thursday next week or the following Monday.  We are going to Pennsylvania for the weekend to see my father-in-law.  Then off to Seattle on April 30 and the Half is May 5th!!

Been a bit discouraged, feeling old…but still out there!!

A few pictures from the modern part of  Dubai:


Modern beach hotel, one of many!


Atlantis Hotel at the tip of Palm Jumeriah, oh and John and I


The Burg al Arab hotel, rooms start at $2000 a night.

The Burg al Arab hotel, rooms start at $2000 a night.



The Marina district mostly residence towers! Not sure about the twisted one, looks a bit scary.


The Burg Kalifa, glinting in the setting sun.


Just one of the many beach front houses…yes one house!


Kite surfing in the setting sun. Lovely evening!


Setting sun at the Dubai Mall, waiting for the fountain show, taken by my husband after I left…

Have a fantastic weekend!

Grandma Cindy

Back into the swing

April 1, 2013

I have been back from Dubai for a week. Yesterday and today I have felt like I am coming down with something, cold? flu?. Went to bet at 9:00pm last night, took two naps today. It is possible this is a reaction from the Hep A&B vaccine I got last Thursday? Not sure??

I sure hope it is not going to turn into anything!! One month till Vancouver BMO Half Marathon!! No time to get sick! Training in Dubai was not so great…ran a few times outside, and once on the treadmill. Nothing impressive for sure. I am sure running early in the morning will be better than mid-morning, but with the time change and jet lag, we were not getting up very early.

Last weel I ran two four milers and 6.7 on Saturday. My second 4 miler was really good. My splits were: Mile one – 13:11, Mile two – 12:18, Mile three – 12:21, Mile four – 11:42. Love that last split!! I would count that as a tempo run…for me!! I do wish I could run faster, maybe when I am not training for a half marathon, I can concentrate on speed.

Saturday was a lovely day, 48 degrees, sunny and the perfect day for running. Here are my mile splits:

Avg Pace
Summary 1:29:17.6 6.73 13:16
1 12:28.4 1.00 12:28
2 12:49.7 1.00 12:50
3 13:01.8 1.00 13:02
4 13:39.5 1.00 13:39
5 13:23.2 1.00 13:23
6 12:55.9 1.00 12:56
7 10:59.1 0.73 14:58

I was trying to keep it slow, found I had to walk to keep the pace around 13 min. Maybe that means I am getting faster!

I am really hoping I don’t burn out before the Half Marathon! I do feel really tired…Trying to take it easy and not over do it…not getting any younger!!

Here are some pictures from Dubai…miss it already!!

We took a short tour of the Bastakia section of old Dubai  Love the architecture

We took a short tour of the Bastakia section of old Dubai Love the architecture


Wind towers capture the wind and ventilate the houses


Small lanes, a maze of “streets”


beautiful buildings


Wind tower


Colors in the market. not sure what these are used for, perhaps dye for fabric.


Lovely coffee shop!! Great iced coffee!

More pictures next time!!

Grandma Cindy

Dubai Food tour

March 21, 2013

Not only is Dubai THE place to shop, with malls and mega malls all over the city, but it really is a foodie dream destination.  Practically every nation is represented!  Just about every American fast food is present also from Dunkin Donuts, to Burger King, Applebee’s  and the list goes on…and the great thing is you don’t have to eat American fast food!!!!

When doing research for our trip I ran across many blogs about life in Dubai, written by expats from all over the world.  One of the blogs I found is Frying Pan Adventures.  Arva Ahmed leads  food tours in the neighborhoods of old Dubai.  We chose the Arabian Foodie Pilgrimage.  Included in the fee is a bus ride from the Mall of the Emirates, you get to experience Dubai traffic!

I was so caught up in the experience that I didn’t take notes, so this will not be super comprehensive, consider it a small taste of the tour.  If you live in Dubai or plan to visit, you really need to take this tour!  I can’t wait to get back and do more!

Our first stop was a falafel shop and restaurant. I have made falafel with chick peas, the traditional ones are made with fava beans.  Can I just say, OMG, they were so good, if we had stopped there, I would have been satisfied.  But we didn’t stop there…There were a few other dishes that we sampled, and ended with a dessert called Kunafa, a cheese base covered with semolina noodles crushed and topped with chopped pistachio, yum!




We then went to a pastry shop/bakery and tried various sweets, baclava included!

Amazing sweets

Amazing sweets

Next stop a restaurant with cuisine from Yemen.  Chicken Mandi, with spicy tomato sauce.   The front dining area is for men only, we sat in these little “tent” like rooms, we ate with our hands, from communal platters, you really should experience this!!



We stopped into a small shop that sold spices, and fruit and nuts by the pound.  Had a lesson on what is real saffron.


Then on to Breakfast to Breakfast, they serve Lebanese  Manousheh, a flatbread pizza.  We sampled a cheese and herb one and one with Sujuk a spicy Armenian sausage.  My favorite was the Sujuk, tasty!

Brick oven style

Brick oven style

A short walk away was an Iranian restaurant for Kabab and Fesenjoon a stew made with chicken and gravy made from walnuts and pomegranate molasses.  We watched them make the flat bread, cooked in ovens on a bed of small rocks.  Once out  of the oven it is hung on the wall, the rocks that get baked into the bread are removed before serving.  We finished off with tea poured over mint leaves and some more sweets.

bread hanging on the wall

bread hanging on the wall




Tea with mint

Arva is an excellent guide, she knows the food in the neighborhood,  her neighborhood!  I highly recommend the tour.  If you are visiting this is a great way to see some of Dubai that most tourists do not see.  If you live in Dubai, it is a great way to find some great new eating out possibilities!!  I really look forward to going on more tours when we go back!!

Frying Pan Adventures:

Twitter: @fryingpantours


Grandma Cindy

Away in Dubai

March 16, 2013

We arrived in Dubai on Friday morning…after 12 hours in a plane… Napped and then went to visit Gateway Creek church, where we have some friends. Great time meeting people from all over the world. Slept for 12 hours… Then went for a “run”. It was 9:30 before we got out and already fairly warm. I forgot to take water, big mistake! We did 3 mile altogether, run/walk. I will be smarter next time, take water and go earlier!

We met friends for lunch at a Lebanese place. Then drove around, seeing the city.


Everything you need…
More later!

It is snowing…again…

March 8, 2013

I really do like snow, when it doesn’t interfere with running outside.  We have had quite a bit of snow this year, and there were only a few days when I did not go out.  At the same time I will be so happy to have the weather turn warm and not have to run in the road because the snow piles are so high and the city does not plow the sidewalks near my house.  For the most part this winter I have run outside, cold, snow, wind.  To be honest, nothing new to you who read this blog, my aversion to the treadmill sends me outside in just about any weather.

Today was fun…not snowing very hard when I left for a 4.5 mile run, and not sticking to the roads.  It started snowing harder about halfway.  Oh and the wind picked up.  Big question…why is there always a headwind when running up hill…honestly, I didn’t even notice the wind till I was on the big hill coming home in my last mile.  But I guess wind and hills make me stronger.

I took most of the week after the cancelled Half Marathon off.  Good to rest these bones.  They are getting older.  next month I start my 60th year…turning 59…how can that be?????  I certainly don’t feel like I used to think someone would feel nearing 60.  I intend to keep it that way!!

We leave for our first trip to Dubai a week from today.  Still seems unreal as I look out at the snow coming down.  Temperatures are in the upper 80’s which sound wonderful at the moment.  Will see what running feels like in that heat.  We will be looking into where to live, where to shop, what does it cost????   Lots of questions to answer.  I hope to have a few posts with pictures of our trip.

Photo from CNN

Photo from CNN, fog in Dubai

My week training has looked like this.

Monday: 30 min walk, treadmill at the gym, stretched for 25 min.  Lifting: regular warm up, squats 65#, 2x8reps and one set of 3, felt a bit of a strain, working on tight IT band…  ring-rows, 3 x 10; speed bench, 6×4 reps, 15# each hand; dumbbell cleans #20, 3×5 each arm; planks 2 x 1 min each, side plank, 30 sec each side. Never done sides before…not so easy!

Tuesday: 4 mile run, 50:13, average pace 12:32

Wednesday: spin bike at the gym, 25 min, stretch, plank x 2, side x 1; 10 situps.  First time on a bike in a while, sure uses different muscles!

Thursday:  4.59 miles, 1 hour 13 sec… 13:09 pace, in the snow, up hills, into the wind…just kidding, it really was fun!

Saturday is supposed to be sunny and “warm”, in the 50’s!!!!  Planning on 6 miles.

Hope you are having a great week!

Grandma cindy