Saturday, December 3, 2016


But maybe I’m on the edge of a break-though.

In the past few weeks a gray-haired lady in a sedan pulled up beside me near the end of 8 miles and asked if I needed help. I was limping.

I greeted a kid, passing me on a crosswalk with a cheery “hello,” and he replied, “You OK?” I was limping.

Yesterday, my neighbor told me  he’d seen me coming home but before he could finish, I said, “I know, I was limping.”

Left knee is gimpier than usual.

For the first time in my life, I’m going to the chiropractor. He’s working on knee and piriformis. 

To his credit he asked, “ How will I know if I’m helping you?”

“When I stop running 15-minute-miles and get back to 11:30’s—-even 10:30’s. AND when I stop dragging my heels and get some spring in my step.” 

Right now my knee hurts, but yesterday, I got it all back. I ran the sand from Newport Pier to Balboa Pier and back. Returning home on the sidewalk, I felt free. Looked down at my Garmin, “11:30,” then “10:30!”  

Was the sand-running might be rehabilitative? Maybe the chiropractor’s addition of work on the piriformis made the difference. He’d previously focused on the knee as I’d been diagnosed years ago with a small tear in the meniscus. 

Spoiled by years pain-free, my 73-year-old knee should be teaching me humility. Instead, I’m learning impatience. I’m ready for a solution. 

Monday, October 24, 2016


My group of retired teachers stood to leave our spring get-together at Mitzi’s. Mitzi sat, planted in a chair, leg propped. Awaiting knee replacement surgery, she grimaced in pain, but called out gamely, “We’ll have our usual teacher’s retreat at my cabin but I’ll sit. You guys do all the work.” In 2008, my family’s Green Valley Lake cabin burned to the ground but teachers continued August gatherings, crowding into Mitzi’s cabin. 

Next day Mitzi emailed,  “SORRY!!! Mountain trip’s off. Can’t manage stairs up to the cabin.”
Exiting my Saturday class, I fell into step with a lady who complimented me on a recent column, then said, “I won’t be here next week, having a knee replacement.
Running too fast to keep up with speedy Evie, a guy on a bike, pedaled up, “I’ve been watching you,” he said, “You’re limping. Are you thinking about a knee replacement?” He told me his doctor’s name.

Yowzers, is “knee replacement” the new appendectomy?

I count half dozen friends who’ve done one, or two, and no, none are runners.

Should I join the crowd?

Yep, it’s a “crowd.”’s Courtney Humphries, 2012, “Do you really need a knee replacement?” says “…knee replacement surgeries are skyrocketing…attributed to many factors: growing rates of obesity, an active population of baby boomers now facing osteoarthritis, and the continuing improvement of artificial joints.” 

Dorothy Feltz-Gray at writes that, “People younger than 65 are the fastest-growing age group opting for total knee replacement. Overall demand for the procedure is rising as well, with numbers expected to increase.” 

Both authors caution us to think long and hard before signing-up. How to decide? Here are just three considerations.

Gretchen Reynolds of NY Times well.blogs, 11/13/14, in “Think Twice Before Choosing Knee Replacement, cautions the youngsters, 45-65 for whom knee replacement surgery “soared by 205% between 2000 and 2012.” Among 65 and older, the increase was only 95 percent, yet, surgical replacements were better suited for the older group because implanted materials wear out after a couple of decades—possibly necessitating a second surgery for the 45-65’ers

Furthermore, older people who had “really bad knees,”  benefited substantially from knee replacement surgery, gaining 20 points on a scale of improved knee function, while those with slight arthritis reported more pain and physical impairment, gaining only 2 points.

What is meant by really bad knees? Reynolds quotes, Dr. Daniel Riddle, Virginia Commonwealth professor and study author who says, “If you do not have bone-on-bone arthritis, in which all of the cushioning cartilage in the knee is gone, think about consulting a physical therapist about exercise programs that could strengthen the joint, reducing pain and disability, losing weight helps, too,” Riddle says.

By “no cartilage” in Riddle’s definition I may qualify. In 2007, an orthopedist glanced at my knee X-rays, and said, “You have no cartilage in your knees.” “End of running,” I thought. “Reading my mind, the doctor, said, “Lots of runners have no cartilage, keep running.” I went on to complete six marathons. 

So, “bone on bone” doesn't necessarily mean “really bad knees.” The deciding factor is daily serious pain. I don’t have knee pain unless I run too fast. No knee problem at my new slow rate: 12 to14-minute-miles. At the gym, I’ve given up weight machines which pain my knees, in favor of exercises learned at former physical therapy sessions. In short, I’ve altered lifestyle. 

Globe’s Humphries offers the concept of “decision aid” to patients considering knee replacement. She quotes James Jacobsen who, like me is in early 70’s and had a “bone on bone” X-ray. His doctor recommended replacement, but handed him a pro/con video and brochure. He studied the materials: “I know right now that I’m not going to have a knee replaced until it’s absolutely necessary. If I didn’t have the [video and  brochure]  I wouldn’t [have known] how to make a decision.”

I’m not considering knee replacement. With lifestyle changes, my knee does not hurt with daily activities. 

Mitzi, waiting in line for hers, says, “Dr. X did my left knee. I can’t wait for the right. If it goes like the last one, I’ll be pain-free for next year’s cocktails at the cabin.”

Monday, October 10, 2016


Want to feel euphoric?

Run your guts out.

Work hard, (NEVER to the point of injury.)

Complete a challenging work-out.

Today I completed the Long Beach Half Marathon. However, for the first time in my running life I ran:

—without proper preparation due to a 17 day vacation and grandma duties

—ten days after being in serious pain due to sitting in a car for vacation-sightseeing, as well as a 15-hour return plane ride.

I sent in my $120.00 to Long Beach Marathon because I wanted a reunion with the “Saturday Runners,” a group I used to race with, completing full marathons in New York, Chicago, Portland. I’ve almost dropped out of the group due to family demands, but I’m not willing to lose contact altogether. 

Catherine, a social worker and Caroline a scientist, are the indisputable leaders. Catherine soft and wise and Caroline, tough, and exacting. 

A knock on the door at 5:20 a.m. got me out before I gobbled my favorite pre-race food--a peanut butter sandwich. But when Caroline says, “Lets go!” we move—fast!

The dark Sunday morning yielded a nearly empty 405, so we sailed into strategic marathon parking, close to the start. 

Runners routinely use extra pre-race time to head for the port-a-potties. Happily, we were early enough to make two visits. Sadly, the potties were already out of toilet paper. I remembered too late how another runner packs a roll of toilet paper for every race. 

So without the benefit of peanut butter or toilet paper, I said bye to friends whom I was sure were faster than I, and lined up for the start. 

I like to race alone, an usual state for me. I’m gregarious. Not in races. I do not want to chat, worry about friends, or high five spectators. 

My wave of runners moved up to the starting line. The horn sounded. I started my run to the mantra, “This is easy,” and it was.  My watch read 10:45 pace. 

My race rules were:

—No reading signs or shirts. (takes energy)

—No looking at other runners. (I surge ahead when I spot a senior female. Without prep, so recently injured, I did not think I could afford a surge.) I place first in races, but gave up the idea today.

—Keep visor low and eyes down. ( Not in top shape, I don't lift my feet high enough off the ground to avoid ruts in road or sidewalk. I fall DOWN.)

For weeks before the race, I put myself to sleep visualizing each step--a clear fast race. “I’m in my dream,” I told myself, running my race at a comfortable pace. 

I popped a Shot Blok (gummy electrolytes and caffeine) into my mouth and decided to pop another every second mile. Mile 2: water, shot block, and back on the course. Repeat at Mile 4.

My strategy worked until I dropped my Shot Bloks at Mile 8. So, I fished a chocolate bar out of my fanny pack. Still running without pain, I felt continuous energy but noticed my pace slowed to 11-minute-mile. By then, I left my early mantra and adopted the strategy of rhythmic counting steps between lane lines in the road. “One-two” steps on blacktop between lines and “one” on the line. 

Momentarily sneaking a look at a a senior female, I broke my rule. Left her behind. Spotted another walking and took satisfaction, running past her. However I felt I was running at my old pace—nine minute miles. I secretly hoped to regain my 2-hour-half marathon time. 

Then the 2:20 pacers holding their prominent signs breezed past me. I did not keep up with them. 

In most of life, I am reflexively self-critical but not racing. I raced my race, keeping a steady pace, never sinking into the dreaded “used up feeling.”  “I’m doin’ it,” I told myself.

At Mile 11, I began the countdown. Shoving chocolate into my mouth, remaining spry, passing runners who bonked. 

A hot morning, I had dumped cups of water over my head and when a guy on the course gave out baggies of ice, I emptied the cubes down my shirt. 

So, all wet, I came though Mile 12 and 13. Thrilled to see "The Finish," I crossed the line as my name was announced. 

Yeah, I was glad to stop, but also elated—thirteen miles under my belt and still standing. 

Found Caroline and Catherine in the complimentary beer garden sitting with our group. My stomach wouldn’t allow me to drink beer but I celebrated. I hugged the fastidious Caroline, who recoiled. “You’re WET,” she said, “Get away from me!” Gentle Catherine was more charitable, “Get in line to get us some beer,” she told me. 

My official pace was 11:14 mile. My finish time, slowest ever by almost half hour, was 2:27:19. I got an age-group first place. No speedy 70-year-old overtook me.

Later, I read that the average female pace for the half-marathon was 12:45 and that includes everyone decades younger than I. 

I could grieve over my slowing but at nearly 73, I’m a minute and a half faster than the average lady. 


None of the statistics or first place mattered upon completing the race. My happiness had to do with achievement. Smart runners advised me not to run, unprepared and recently injured. I wanted to join old friends for a good race and finish strong. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ten minutes ago, I paid $129.00 to run the Long Beach Half Marathon this Sunday, Oct 9, 2016. 

Crawling off the plane after 15 hours in the air just 12 days ago, I asked my husband, “Do you think I’ll ever be able to move again?

My back buckled, behind burned, knees knotted, quads quavered. Run? HA! I could neither sit nor walk without wailing.

I rolled with the Rumble Roller, splashed in the pool and jacuzzi, stretched, had my first-ever chiropractor visit. So, I’m back to abnormal, just a gimpy knee or two. 

Is it smart to run a race so soon after regaining a thin layer of fitness? No.

Have I been running in preparation for the race. No, nothing for weeks—been out of the country.

Did I get off the plane and do at least one thirteen as I’d planned, NO!

However in the last week, I’ve been back on the road, cutting work-outs in half. Today did six miles of hills, blistering 14-minute miles. At that pace I’ll do a 3-hour half marathon. I’m used to finishing under 2 hours or more recently, two hours plus 5 minutes.

So, lets see what happens.

NOTE: I committed to running this race months ago to support my friend’s niece who planned to run her first half marathon…she since decided not to do it. 
Now I’m running to support her aunt, I guess. 
Her aunt, my friend Catherine who will finish ahead, assures me she will be in the race’s beer garden waiting for me to cross the finish line. Our speedy friend Caroline will be there, too. HOPE not too long.

Hey, they have to drive me home. 

Wish me luck.     

Monday, September 26, 2016


Do you want health articles like I wrote for the Daily Pilot?

Can do.


Back from a 15 hour plane trip. OUCH! While my husband flew business class, I was determined to use my “miles” earned from my charge card which gave me an economy ticket. 

Did fine on the trip there but returning, I enflamed every tendon, nerve and muscle tissue from my back to my knees. 

Everything seized up so completely by the end of the flight that I unfolded my body from that cramped seat as the plane was in the last stage of taxi-ing in and exited my compartment. Determined to get out of the plane ahead of the people who were going to open the overhead compartments and fumble around with their carrry-ons, I hobbled right up to the bulkhead where the stewardess, yelled at me, “Get back to your seat!”

I did not behave myself, and held my ground. Plane hadn’t stopped yet. Stewardess was provoked but I forged ahead, desperate to be among the first to blow out of that plane.

My insurrection worked pretty well, I rendezvoused with my husband up in front business class compartment and we made it out the door rapidly. But all the achievement of breaking out was colored by the amount of pain in my legs and back. Hobbled, I limped to luggage. 

I’m unaccustomed to feeling the agony of movement. Upper legs burned, back signaled torment, calves throbbed. I refused the moving sidewalk, attempting to walk and loosen up my crushed sitting muscles…Nothing worked. I dreaded boarding the shuttle bus home.

Tried running on Friday morning, but could not lift my left leg off the road. I walked for an hour and a half. 

Desperate, I reached for the acetaminophen. Took with food but my stomach hurt. Took two doses of 2 pills.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get better,” I told my husband. Then I couldn’t sleep that night. YIKES, I’m exhausted and hurt!


Now it’s Sunday night. Every day I rolled and rolled every body part on the Rumble Roller—(the roller that looks like a tractor tire.) 

Hating hot water, I got in the jacuzzi at the gym. Actually my husband practically pushed me in. Then I got out of the jacuzzi, picked up a kick board and got in the ice water of the gym’s pool. I said some bad words at the shock of the cold but managed to spend 5 minutes kicking the pool’s length, then 5 minutes back in the jacuzzi. Repeated 3 times for two days. 

Kept on rolling and stretching. I lay down on the bed and Paul took his two powerful torturous hands and pushed on some pressure points to the accompaniment of my squeals. 

I’m almost “back to abnormal” as I always say. Going hiking with my relentlessly speedy hiking group tomorrow. Hope I can keep up.


Hiked fine! However we did not do our usual 9 miles due to heat. HERE’S THE CHALLENGE—writing, eating, and tomorrow’s art class are all accomplished sitting. MY BODY HATES SITTING.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Today’s stop-start

Met Ken at Junior High dirt track at 6:00 a.m. Walked a few revolutions with him, but then he left for home, and I faced the daunting task of accumulating 8 miles of speed-work. My whole being reverts to absolute resistance when he departs, and I look down to set my Garmin to “start” for the 8-mile speed-work,.

Dreadful! I’m at zero miles and I won’t leave the track until I’ve completed the whole grueling 8 miles. 
I could give up and go home. I want to give up and go home to EAT.

During the past few years my pace has sunk from relaxed 10:30 minute miles to 11:30’s to 12 and now to13-minute miles in weekly road work-outs. 

The only way I can pull off the six 91/2-minute-miles in a 10K race as I did in March is to DO SPEED-WORK. Under race-pressure, my body remembers how to zip along, learned and practiced during this speed-work drill.

So, I started out, barely moving, pushing myself against resisting muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments to a pitiful 14-minute-mile on the straight-away. Picking up speed on the next revolution, I spotted a creamy golden dog, ambling toward me, wearing a lab/golden black-lipped smile. Hodi!

My friend, Kim  and her much loved pooch joined me, just home from a trip. Her grandkids’ magical introduction to the family farm near Ashland, Oregon. Her grandkids, all preschoolers and all cousins chased chickens, picked apples and splashed in a real pond. These kids are growing up in suburban Southern California where ponds are as rare as chicken coops. They were captivated and the adults gratified to continue a yearly generational pilgrimage to the family fun farm.

Kim, Hodi and I mostly walked around the track for about 4 miles until they had to return home.
Back to my solo work-out at the track, I faced the same 4-miles of speed-work I started out to conquer. 

I always complete 8 miles at the track. 
4 miles of intervals where I go fast on the straightaway and slow on the turns.
Then I time myself for a mile, 3/4 mile, 1/2 mile and finally 1/4 mile.

Soon Kim will return to work and I won’t see her in the a.m., so when she joins me, I skip the longer distances. and do only the interval-speed-work. Pressing myself to “surprise my cardio” with bursts of speed is more essential to my fitness than the longer segments.

Again, I started round the track.  “I should  be well warmed up by now!” I whined to myself as I struggled up to a blistering 14-minute-mile pace. I kept up my crazy turns around in circles, checking my Garmin until I hit an 8-minute pace on the straightaway. Found an ice-cream stick in the dirt and I scratched my progress in the sand. 

Go! Go! Go! I told myself, working my arms. I marked 6:45 next to the 8:00. 

I concentrated on leg turnover. Felt strong, pictured myself running in a race with competitors at my heels—6:30.

I looked ahead at ruts on the track—a leaf, a stone and told myself to “reel it in,”—reached 6:25. 

And finally when my watch read almost eight miles and I knew I’d be leaving the track, I worked my arms, visualized rapid leg turnover and forced a rhythm of the fastest footfalls I could muster: 6:15.

I marked the 6:15 in the sand and left the track to walk home. One more time, I completed a workout I dreaded. There’s a satisfaction in that.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday Seashore Scenes

Saturday solo run from home, the morning after a full moon. When I don’t meet my fellow runners, I exit my door and follow my feet which, this time, took me to the beach——OH I remember why! I’d read a “big wave warning.” Yep, I wanted to see the crashing breakers. And the full moon pulled back the tide, so I was able to run on hard-packed sand one way out.

Planning to run thirteen miles preparing for a half marathon, I ran six  and a half miles from Newport past the Huntington Beach Pier, right along the surf. No particularly impressive swells, but I did see a group of “downward dog do-ers" taking a yoga class right by the surfline. Their yoga teacher walked among them, correcting. People of all ages took her morning class, their yoga practice enhanced by cool breezes off the water. 

Beside them were five “twenty-somethings,” athletic looking guys two in matching t-shirts. One shoveled sand into a garbage can, while others walked purposefully down to water’s edge, filling buckets with wet sand. Behind them in exacting straight-line order were dozens of buckets, arranged by size.

“What are you doing?” I stopped to ask one of the group, a tall rangy guy with beach-tousled hair. “We’re building a sandcastle,” he said and snapped right back to work. 

Still wish I’d have come back to see their creation which I’d estimate from the size of their bucket collection would grow to small-city-size.

At the Huntington/Newport border, just north of the river jetty I stopped. A big stainless steel 50,000 BTU gas grill, the freestanding kind weighing over 100 pounds, with two cupboard doors at the bottom sat in the sand under a pop-up tent.

“HOW did they get that thing out there?” I asked anybody within earshot. 

“Did you notice those three dollies by the pop-up?” a more observant beach-goer than I replied. 

Still, I marveled at their determination to give their friends a real Saturday dinner with an ocean view. 

Other days, running from Newport to Huntington, I’ve seen a paint-ball contest, surfing contests, and co-ed-football. 

On longer runs, I pass Huntington’s dog beach with it’s smiling canines showing anybody who’ll glance in their directions, what joy it is to be a dog, free of backyard fences and confining leashes. 

Look what you’re missing if you’re not out Saturday morning, ambling about the seashore. 

Oh, I didn't say that I finished thirteen miles exactly in front of my doorstep. Yeah, it took me a long time. NO, sand running is not a sprint. But, yeah, the scenery is unequaled and the salt air is magical. 

Friday, January 29, 2016


Original Article by Carolyn [Carrie] Slayback, Writer, Daily Pilot Fitness and Health Column:
Brought another first place home from the Carlsbad Marathon. That's one part of the story, I ran my slowest marathon by an hour, coming in at 5:28 (five hours and twenty eight minutes,) that's another part, but before I tell you the conclusion, here's the way it all "went down," as they say.
Our Team Evie Shirts: "Run Now, Wine Later."
Don, Evie's partner picked us up at 10:30 Saturday. Cristina, Evie's daughter-in-law, celebrating Evie's first ever marathon, made us all shirts saying "Team Evie" and "Run Now, Wine Later."
Rolling into Carlsbad, Don dedicated his day to taking us sightseeing along the marathon route. Curled up in the backseat of Evie's smooth driving Mercedes, I didn't notice the rolling nature of next day's marathon, but Don's reaction was, "Just driving this exhausts me."
Lunchtime, we found an organic taco place where we befriended a six-month-old mastiff puppy with size-eight-feet and watermelon sized head. Cristina and I cooed over his soft cuddly coat, while he focused on our fish tacos. Tantalizing organic beans came with lunch, but we couldn’t risk eating beans, day before the marathon, nor could we toss them, so we packed ‘em into our water cups. Yum, post-marathon bean snack! 
Night before the race. Our style of red carpet. 26.2 miles tomorrow!
Next, Don good-naturedly accompanied us to the EXPO where we picked up our “goodie bag” with race numbers, shirts and an unusual marathon perk—a fitted athletic jacket. Then he tagged along as we meandered through booths of energy bars, racks of running socks, sunglasses, displays of upcoming races, and sign-ups for adventure vacations.
Finally Don dropped us at the hotel, hurrying home to watch football. Instead, he watched break lights, stuck on the 405 for four hours, due to a vehicle fire.
That night’s pasta dinner, we met Cindy, a local runner whose parents, glued to the Green Bay game on the restaurant's tvs, were in town from Wisconsin to cheer her on. Cindy said, “I run this race for the jacket.” I reminded her we’d paid, between $95-$145 to participate, making a pricy workout jacket. 
Bedtime at Best Western, Evie, in silk PJs, Cristina and I in T-shirts, were determined to sleep. Alarm set at 4:00 A.M for a 6:15 marathon start. Sleep took turns with trips to the john. We’d “hydrated” at dinner. 
Spandex on, numbers pinned, breakfast downed, we set out for the start in pitch-black Carlsbad. No streetlights, Evie ignited her iPhone flashlight. A scant two miles from the motel to race, our desk clerk and a policeman we met, judged it an impossible distance to walk. For “Team Evie” two miles was a light pre-race work-out.
The morning of the race. Dark outside at 5:00am.
Arriving at the marathon line-up, we jumped into Port-O-Potties, dropped post-marathon warm clothes at “gear check” and stepped into a crowd of 1,500 runners listening to the National Anthem. Horn sounded. Evie and Cristina flew off, 26.2 miles to go. I’d see them at the finish.
I’ve seen more than one racer take a spill at the start, so my head’s down for the first half mile, dodging hundreds of running feet. With the temperature at about 60 degrees, I finally got my wish for a cool race day. I set to work to keep a pace at 11:30 which I achieved for the first 13.8 miles.
Though Evie and I had run 10 miles of the course weeks ago, racing it was “a whole new ballgame.” There’s only one real hill at Mile 19, but the course undulates, slowing runners on the many inclines. I liked the inclines because they gave my feet something new to do but uphills break my pace. Downhills require short steps—potential knee damage.
Mile 9, I got high fives from Evie and Cristina. At Mile 11, a young man joined me saying, “You move your left foot, to the rhythm of my right foot and we’ll finish this thing.” I agreed, having no idea what he was talking about, but soon, I outran him with my fastest 2 miles at 10:22. Hours later he showed up again, accusing me of “Kicking his butt.” By then, I felt like kicking myself in the head for doing this marathon.
I forced my feet on, eyes glued to the horizon searching out the next mile marker. This is a scenic course, beside the blue Pacific, but I wasted no energy gawking at whitecaps. I keep to myself on race day, but when a lanky gray haired guy passed me, I read his shirt out loud, “Leona Divide 50-mile-race!” “Yeah, he said, “and it was yesterday.” I laughed through my weariness.
A young woman thanked me for my even pace which slowed to 11:48 by Mile 18. Then I found an empty port-o-potty for a dreaded stop. Thinking I’d go lots faster post-potty, I willed a second wind but instead, slowed to 11:54.
I’d taken a hint for marathon food from the book, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. He runs 100 miles+, all night, keeping a rapid pace with handfuls of chocolate-covered-coffeebeans. Giving myself chocolate/coffee doses every five miles, I now hate them.
Approaching the end, I agreed with a guy who ran past me saying, “The ONLY thing that keeps me going is that I have to get back to my car.” I shuffled along convinced I had only one mile to go when I saw the Mile 24 sign. Drat! 2.2 miles remaining. Approaching the chute, another young man who’d been at my pace for miles, shot ahead, calling back, “SPRINT IN! You’re not tired, it’s all mental!” “Yes!, I agreed, GO!” Only my feet ignored my command to dash.
Evelyne being awarded a medal after crossing the finish line.
Recovering in the medical tent after the race. 
I crossed the finish line, Cristina greeting me, fresh untried. I hit the chain link fence with grabbing links with both hands to remain upright. An hour before, Evie and Cristina crossed the finish, holding hands. Evie headed straight for the recycling bin with dry heaves. A paramedic saved the recyclables, diverting her to the medical tent where she recovered, replenishing her electrolytes.
Don found us collapsed on folding chairs outside the medical tent. I looked like a bedraggled waif and the glamorous Evie’s skin was the color of her platinum blond hair. Watching gurneys of fellow runners wheeled out to ambulances, IV’s attached, Don commented “Isn’t this a great sport!”
We hobbled over to find our times, discovering Evie’s name was nowhere. Her time matched Cristina’s, so we knew it was 4:30. Searching out the guy with the computer, compiling race results, we asked about Evie’s time. He found it and announced, “You’ve won third place.” Team Evie celebrated, a winner in her first marathon!
Then we asked my place. “You got a first,” he said.
“How many in my age group?” I asked.
“You were the oldest women on the course,” he said, “the only one in the 70-74 age group.”
Nice to be first, even when you have no competition, but I just looked up the 65-69 age group and I would have come in 4th there. I’m signing off to eat my left-over beans for lunch.
Cristina, Evelyne and Carrie at the finish line.
Shocking news when we returned. Evie’s dad hospitalized, far from her helping reach, in Switzerland.
By Wednesday, his condition improved greatly and he spoke to Evie, feeling much better.
No sooner had Evie cleared her mind, relaxed with the good news of her father’s speedy recovery than I got two texts:
 “I’ll pick you up to run Friday.”
“We going to run Huntington Half Marathon, 2/7/16?”
I texted back, “I’m not prepared to answer.” 
View More Pre and Post-Marathon Photos Below: 
Evelyne, Cristina and Carrie in front of the Marathon "Pace Car" the day before the race.
Evelyne and Cristina, at mile 20.
Evelyne and Cristina after crossing the finish line.
A medal makes all the hard work worth it.
Cristina, Evelyne and Carrie on a 10 mile hike the Monday after the race.