Dec 21, 2008

7 Things

Sorry, I'm a little slow about jumping on to the band wagon but I wanted to put some serious thought and effort into this. When Grandma asked if I was going to write a blog about 7 things people don't typically know about me Grandpa kind of laughed and said I wasn't old enough. Which leads perfectly into my list:

1.) I like challenge; being told (or thinking) I can't do something or it's too hard and then proving others or myself wrong. One of the reasons I love climbing mountains and running so much is because it's, well, hard.

2.) I like pain; There is nothing that excites me more than a hard workout and racing (my team constantly pokes fun at my smiling while racing, I can't help it!)

3.) My two biggest fears are falling and failure; I do not enjoy the sensation of falling which is why I have such a hard time with heights - I am afraid that I will never live up to the expectations I have of myself or those of my family

4.) I can't go above 15,000ft in elevation because I get High Altitude Cerebral Edema; this was discovered while climbing mountains in Mexico.

5.) Over the last couple of years I've had problems with my tonsils, next March I will undergo my first surgery with a tonsillectomy.

6.) I was late to my senior prom due to the Oregon Relays; a track event held at Hayward Field where I ran two events, my mom curled my hair while my date waited downstairs.

7.) I feel make-up is a complete waste of time; God made me beautiful and if that's not good enough for the rest of society then DEAL because I have better things to do then rub foundation into my pores.

Dec 17, 2008

A day with no running

Emily's tonsils decided to enlarge to the point where they now have their own zip-code. She's spending the night at an expensive hotel in Medford. She's making plans to be separated from those swollen pus producing pieces of lymph tissue, most likely sending them on a permanent spring break.

(that lump to the left of midline is her uvula)

No wonder she didn't go very fast on our 6 mile run yesterday.

Nov 26, 2008

Javalina Jundred

Also known as a peccary, the javalina is a pig-like mammal.  It is also the name of a 100 mile race I attempted.
This is the first race to which I've flown. I met up with my running buddy Todd Ragsdale, who took the costume contest seriously by dressing as a zombie. I've never written "eat brain" on anyone's scalp before.
It was a 25 mile drive to the start in a big park in the desert NE of Phoenix AZ. The course consisted of 7 laps on a 15.4 mile loop with a few hundred feet elevation gain each way on dirt/sand/rocky trail.
We started in the dark, and at first the pace seemed really slow. I made a point of staying behind the leaders, and even dropped back a little after the first 5 miles thinking I was saving myself. But by the time we reversed directions after the first loop I knew it was going to be a long day. At 31 miles my stubborn pre-patellar bursa was really hurting. I put a stop to that with a little self medication, and felt great for the next 9 miles then limped in to the 41 mile aid station. Todd caught up with me there, and with a little more medication I ran hapily with him for the next 5 miles in the 80 degree heat of the day. My knee got progressively worse after that, with shorter periods of comfort and longer periods of walking stiffly. I think I walked over half of my 4th loop. Perhaps from limping, the arches of my feet started to hurt a lot as well. So I called it quits a little while after sunset after completing 100k in something over 12 hrs.
Todd made it 93 miles before his knee did him in.
So now I've taken 3 weeks off with no running (other than limping 1 mile with Esther and Zachary, and some soccer with Esther.) I think the left foot instep pain was coming from my navicular bone. It is hurting less, and the knee doesn't bother me on a normal set of stairs anymore. I think a couple more weeks and I can start running again.
I went 62 miles without a blister, but 30 minutes of soccer gave me big ones on the balls of my feet. They still weren't nearly as bad as Todd's toes.

Nov 9, 2008

PROOF : I am my father's daughter

A couple of weeks ago I went on a run (surprise). I had heard about some trails on Witham Hill and was desirous to see what they were like.
So during one of breaks in between classes I found my self running down Harrison towards the bike path that would take me to the trails. There are some great trails up there. There’s not that many and they mostly loop back and forth but it’s some great scenery. During the course of the run I took a side trail that looked promising but soon found myself lost without a trail weaving through trees and hopping over brush. “This is something my dad would do” was prominent in my mind. As I was doing this I came across a homeless camp, it most terrifying. I quickly turned around and tried to find my way back. I soon found a trail and started running along it only to come to a gate, I hopped the gate and continued on my way only to discover I was running down a rather steep hill in a horse pasture and I wasn’t sure how to get out. There was a series of horse pastures and a road just beyond them which I was determined to get to. I made my way out of the horse pasture and started running along a dirt road that ran parallel to the road I wanted. Unfortunately there were several horse pastures preventing my access. I soon came to a falling down barn and a creek, with a running jump the later was soon taken care of and I found myself roughly twenty feet from the road with only a ten foot fence covered in barbed wire in my way. With some tricky climbing and “I really hope no body sees me” running through my head, I soon slipped through the fence and stood at the edge of the road. I didn’t know where I was, what road I was on, or which way to go. I did know that I came from the east, so that’s where I wanted to go. As I started running in that direction I realized there was a bike path on the other side of the road which led me to believe I was on 53rd. This hypothesis proved to be correct within a few minutes when I reached Harrison. Grandpa wasn’t so pleased when I told him the story, my dad laughed and said he was proud of me.
On my run yesterday I was able to study the anatomy of rotting deer. It stunk.

bad nursing

I've been nursing an injury along for over 2 months. Every time it starts to get a little better I test it out, and realize I've lost conditioning, so I push myself and then it hurts worse.

It's just a pain that comes from the front of my knee cap. It was numb for the St George marathon, so that was good. I've had days and even some runs where it hasn'tt hurt at all, so I thought I was on track for this coming weekend, but I ran on the bike path 3 days ago while Pam biked, and it continues to hurt. My plan now is to not run until Saturday morning, get 100 miles in, then rest it some more.

Oct 23, 2008

Weeks 3 & 4

Last week I had my first college mid-term, EVER, in Biology. The following day I broke my lap top by dropping it accidentally on its side. And something else rather sad happened but I don't recall. I also officially gave up sleeping and have moved on to do better things with my life. I ran my first 5k of the season and pr'd from last year by roughly a minute finally breaking 20min with a 19:16 time.
This week I had two more exams, and the last race of my season. For the last three weeks or so I've been dealing with some pain in my calves. The muscles are really tight and I have some nasty knots. The trainer literally had to dig her elbow into my calve in an attempt to get them out. It really hurts. But while I race for some reason I don't feel the pain, after wards it kills.
The Beaver Classic is not a spectacular event. It's open to colleges of any division and locals who wish to run. As a 6k it follows the circumference of Avery Park on the grassy section three times. I started out to fast, a rather bad habit, and broke 6 min for the first mile. The second mile didn't feel so bad but the third was hard and it hurt. I did finish with an average of 6:06 per mile and a pr of 22:54 taking roughly a minute and a half off of my last time placing 29 out of 120 girls.

Oct 12, 2008

Week Two

While walking around campus after class one day a guy rode by on a bicycle that looked almost exactly like mine. He was riding rather slowly, weaving through people, and in my shock I stopped to stare at the bike. The words, "oh no you didn't" where projected through my mind and as I was on my way to comfront him I noticed minute differences that insure (at least to myself) that the bike was indeed not mine. However, I did have to rush to where I had left my bike only an hour before to insure that it was still there.
I was asked to give a talk in church today about how General Conference influenced. Not sure what to do with such a broad topic I attended General Conference in it's entirety (for the first time EVER!) and was sure to take meticulous. With much prayer, I couple of desprite calls home and guidance from Grandma and Grandpa I finished my talk at 2:30am of the day I was to give it. I then precided to bed and arose at 7:00 to go on a team run, in my rush to get to practice on time I for went breakfast (not a wise decission). The team traveled out to this place called "The Saddle" where we ran around for a good hour. We got back to school at roughly 10:00 where I quickly got ready for church. I ended up being only 15min late (I had feared worse) but when I started looking for my talk in my back pack I soon realized (to my horror) that I had left it in the OSU Cross-Country girls' locker room. I said a quiet prayer and snuck into the chapel in time for sacrament. Grandma and Grandpa seem to believe that my talk went well, so I'll go with that. Elder Wirthlin taught that we must learn to laugh. I'm getting there.

Oct 8, 2008

St George Smith

Running has generally been good to me. But I worry I'm only as good as my last race, so I'm usually making plans for my next fix. One of my goals has been to break 2:40 after turning age 40. That would be a 3 and 1/2 minute PR, but I got greedy and hoped for several minutes faster than that. Unfortunately, between recovering from Where's Waldo, knee pain from pre-patellar bursitis, very limited time to train, and having a fool for a coach, I didn't train sufficient for that.

I picked the marathon that I thought would be optimal- St. George has 2600' elevation drop, not a lot of turns, and plenty of fast people. I consider downhill running to be my strength, and I trained by doing some downhill intervals.

I then tried to justify the extravagance of traveling 900 miles each way for a race by dragging the rest of the family (minus Emily) along, and even brought Grandma Lake with to Las Vegas. They didn't complain much because they got to spend time with the cousins, and we had a couple of hours with grandpa & grandma Ron and Dianne Reynolds. (sidenote: from their place you can almost hit the Jacob Hamblin home with a rock. This is where my Grandpa Neil & Normal Fugal served a mission in ~1983, and where my brother-in-law Chad Gubler started a fire from throwing smoke bombs from his grandpa's place just up the hill.) The kids really were good travellers. After 10+ hrs in the car they were still laughing and having a good time. That is, when they weren't asking "how much further." Fortunately, Grandma Lake's GPS navigator kept the distance remaining constantly displayed, which saved me from answering that question as often.

Morning came early, but with some directions from the police, Pam was able to get me to the packet pick-up and on to a bus before they stopped running. I met up with 3 of the 5 other people from Central Point that I knew, that were also running. We huddled at a fire pit. The rain was generally light, and the temperature not too bad, but the headwind took a toll. I hurried through my pre-race routine. I found lidocaine works wonders for my bursitis. I shed my sweats and worked my way forward as far as the 3:00 pace sign before the gun went off. It was chip timed, so I wasn't worried about being right at the front.

I don't know if it was the 5200' altitude, the headwind, or the training, but even with some gentle downhill the first mile was only 6 minutes. I expected to be going faster, so over the coming miles I went ahead and pushed some. The pace didn't drop much, and at mile 7.5 when we hit some uphill I felt quite sluggish. I drafted behind a guy for several miles, thinking I was pacing myself and conserving energy for the big downhill that was to come. I made it to the half at least on pace for sub 2:40, right about 6 min/mile pace. But about this point I started feeling more and more painful thightness in my quads. Over the next few miles they made it clear that they weren't just complaining, they were done with being useful. I tried adjusting my stride or otherwise convincing them to play nice for a few more miles, but they wouldn't have anything to do with it. I ate some banana, stopped at the aid stations to drink extra electrolyte, walked a little in a couple of places, and contemplated stopping to stretch. I got passed by about 30 people. It would have been a lot easier to quit if I hadn't traveled to far for this, and had Pam waiting at the finish line. I was also afraid that if I slowed any more I would get hypothermic. I wasn't breathing too hard, but rather was grimmacing. A number of people tried to encourage me by saying "looking good", but I didn't feel good. (the other comment I got way too many times was "nice blue shoes!") I was able to limp along, and for the last 3 miles even got my pace back down to 7 min/mile. I finished standing up. I've hurt worse after a race before, but not recently.

We then met up with the rest of the family to visit, for lunch, and to tour Brigham Young's winter home, where we learned that George Smith was called St. George, and Brigham Young named the town after him. I'm taking the week off of running, then I'll see how my knee feels. If (when) I run another marathon I'll follow a training plan for it, or else have more modest goals.

Oct 6, 2008

One down, nine more to go

I just went through the first week of the next decade (give or take) of my life.  It was interesting in a painful kind of way.  My hardest class is biology, there are over 500 kids in my class with well over 1000 taking the class.  You have to get there 5 min early just to get a seat in the downstairs area. We have an exam next Monday all about eukaryotes, procaryotes, how the earth was formed and the basic steps of evolution. I'm soo excited! 
My day consists of getting up at 6:30, getting ready for school, homework, going to class, run/homework, class, homework, institute, weights, home, homework, sleep.  My last class Friday is a lab that ends at 9:00pm.  Our assignment for this quarter is to come up with a feasible hypothesis about bread mold and come up with an experiment that can test our hypothesis.  I'm also really excited to be working with bread mold.  It's like my most favorite thing in the world.
On the plus side I have a race Oct 25th at Avery Park and the OSU cross-country team got 2nd at a huge race in Auburn, Alabama ranking them 6th in the Pac-10 conference!  :D 

P.S. Grandma, I'm sorry there's no pictures I just wasn't motivated enough to put any in.  Well, I'm off to Study Hall, Have an awesome evening everyone!! 

Oct 1, 2008

Linfield in McMinnville 9/26/08 Olsen and Cruz take 3rd and 4th

Freshman Olsen and Cruz Take Third and Fourth in First XC Meet

Courtesy: Oregon State Sports Information
Release: 09/26/2008

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Freshman Emily Olsen (Medford, Ore.) and Lorine Cruz (Grants Pass, Ore.) finished third and fourth, respectively, to lead Oregon State women’s cross country in their first ever collegiate 6,000-meter race at the Linfield Invitational on Friday.

“For their first collegiate cross country race Emily and Lorine did a tremendous job,” head coach Kelly Sullivan said. “It is just a great start for them.”

Sophomore Kambria Schumacher (Sweet Home, Ore.) finished seventh, and freshman Melissa Kauffman (Hood River, Ore.) finished eighth, making for four Oregon State athletes finishing in the top 10.

Freshman Cassandra Schumacher (Sweet Home, Ore.) finished 12th, sophomore Jackie Brown (Beaverton, Ore.) finished 14th and freshman Laurel Parks (Grants Pass, Ore.) finished 15th to round out the Beaver runners in competition.

“I was very pleased overall with the 6k we ran today. They did a fantastic job. It’s a very good start for these women,” Sullivan said.

Cross country is back in action next Saturday, Oct. 4, in Auburn, Ala., for the Auburn Invitational.

*Lorine Cruz, Emily Olsen and Laurel Parks all participated unattached at the meet

For the latest on Oregon State women’s cross country, continue to check back at

Thanks Stoddard Reynolds for the pictures

Sep 17, 2008

test entry

now Emily can contribute, edit, and delete under her own name. Soon, Emily will click on that little pencil at the bottom right, and this will all be deleted and replaced with something we'll find witty and thought provoking. Or at least with a race schedule. Or perhaps just with this link to her schedule. I think she's running at the Beaver Classic. I don't know about the one in Clackamas.

Sisters trip

Emily finished her OSU cross-country running camp, and I finished my first week in our new office. She'll be red-shirting this year, and I'll be trying to figure out how to hang pictures on the wall.

I got in quite late, and we had an enjoyable breakfast with my folks before their big day at the temple. She drove while I slept. We didn't start running/hiking until after 11am. We knew we were missing a couple of the essentials (I left my good map and all but my back-up flashlight at home.) But this was as much about having an adventure together as it was about climbing. It had been three long weeks since I had flashbacks of dropping her off at the magnet school in inner-city St. Louis for her first day of kindergarden, hoping she'd get off at her bus-stop 7 hrs later.

We ran a bit at first, but not so much when it got steeper. We had to make a course correction to get onto the correct ridge. we sang some songs to pass the time, and made good time until right under the summit in the most dangerous region.

It was harder than I remembered, and I about got stuck. Emily was starting to make mental plans for how to get back on her own should I fall and break my neck, which would be funnier if it hadn't happened to other people in that vicinity before. So about that time we realized we were in the "false bowling alley." So we rappelled, happy to have brought climbing gear (note the helmet hair- we took them off for the pictures) and back-tracked a little to the significantly easier true bowling alley.

There's so much changing in Emily's life right now. I think she's a combination of excited and apprehensive. We've got a bit of a tradition of doing father's blessings at the start of a school year at the top of a mountain, so we did that on the top of North. It's a bit remote, and an effort to get there. It's the closest thing to a temple or the home, and we had it all to ourselves.

So after shedding a couple tears, by 5pm we were picking our way back down, this time staying on the South ridge. This involved a lot of loose rock sliding down with us and in our shoes. From the saddle we made good time to the top of middle sister. The weather was excellent, and the views are great. That's Washington, 3-fingered Jack, and Jefferson above my head.

We made it down the glacier (wishing on the steepest part that we had brought our ice-axes) before we only had moonlight. I found the climbers trail, but didn't worry when we lost track of it. We knew the direction we wanted, but unfortunately for Emily's ankles that meant bushwhacking on uneven terrain. When the vegetation got thicker, we got tired of that, and cut over to the trail we had come in on. The little flashlight was just enough that we were able to jog much of the way from there out. Hopefully Emily's ankles aren't permanently damaged- I wish I had thought of that in her blessing. I had to make some phone calls to coordinate young men's meetings for the next day, so I did that from the woods in wilderness in the dark. I can't get network coverage up high, but I could at 6500' and below. I guess it is odd to use a phone in the isolated wilderness at all.

Emily has now been to each site from Hood to Shasta that is > 10,000'.

Sep 9, 2008

lessons from the trail

The local paper did a nice article on my recent Where's Waldo run. It got me thinking how ultramarathoning is similar to life in several ways.
1) If you don't take in sustenance during the event you will bonk. My favorites are Gu, Heed electrolyte drink, prayer and scripture study.
2) There are trail hazards, and we can get lost. Guides can help us avoid these or find our way back, which can be long and painful.
3) We can be off track and not know the lay of the land even if we have a written map. We can be reoriented by radio or revelation.
4) There are truths (such as the position of the sun, and the message of Jesus) that we can't change by rationalizing.
5) there is a reward for every finisher. You don't get an award if you don't finish, even if you were ahead in the middle.
6) If we are faithful to true principles, we will have a renewing of our strength and bodies, sometimes after a period of feeling down.
7) The last 20 miles may be slow and painful, but as long as we move the right direction on the right trail, there can be tears of joy, rest, healing, and a welcome committee at the end.
8) The only pain that isn't temporary is the anguish of wasted possibility

Aug 28, 2008

I don't feed, I fuel!

It was decided some time ago that I would live with Grandma and Grandpa Olsen during my time at OSU. So, last week I packed up my room into 5 apple boxes, 2 back packs and a duffle bag. My family then dropped me off Sunday night at Grandma and Grandpa’s. The weather seemed to emulate my emotions and as the sky darkened and it began to rain I began to cry.
The next day I had my first taste of Singles Ward, I even watched the movie in preparation. However, it was not all that it was cracked up to be. People formed impenetrable circles as they consumed pie and my efforts of being friendly proved fruitless. I called home that night and cried, I haven’t called home since for fear of being a strain on my family, “The grown child that had to call home every day and cry to her parents” and all that.
The next day Sheryl came over and we had a splendid time picking blackberries followed by a birthday party for one of the girls on my new cross-country team. Instead of sitting around eating pie we sat around and ate cake and had a merry old time talking about things I don’t recall. There are several other new freshman and it was all jolly becoming acquainted with them.
Wednesday was the first official day of practice. They sat everyone (about twenty girls) down in a small room and had us sign a huge stack of papers that stated that they owned our body and it was up to us (since we live in them) to maintain good condition of them. Activities outside of our sport that could cause injury are prohibited, we must maintain excellent grades and we no longer feed. Athletes don’t feed their bodies, they fuel them for maximum performance. There’s a cafeteria where we eat twice a day that is covered in slogans stating: “Don’t feed, FUEL!” The food is on a color coded system, green light food is good, yellow light food should be eaten in small portions and red light food avoided at all costs. I went home and had chocolate cake that night. :DThe did give me a big duffle back full of cool gear and I get three pairs of shoes, two for races and one for training. There’s a weight room just for athletes and we can only wear Nike gear in it and we can not, under any circumstances, wear the color green (for fear of being mistaken as a Duck fan).

Aug 17, 2008

Where's Waldo, in more detail than neccessary

Saturday I toed the starting line at 5 am for Where's Waldo--the USATF 100k trail championship. This year was different for me than last in that it had been 3 long months since my previous race instead of 3 weeks, I had done more long training runs earlier in the year, and I was determined not to make any wrong turns!

But I couldn't tell how good in shape I was for this. I hadn't done any timed intervals or road races by which to gage. My training is different than most in that I typically run every other day, and many weeks I get in less than 35 miles. I had a lot else going on. I hiked with Zachary and the scouts for a week 2 weeks ago. Just the week before I did a 20 hr 140 mile bike-paddle-mountain bike-hike-bike trip with some friends from church. My long-run enthusiasm had dipped when the Western States run was canceled, and my longest run in the previous 2 months was a 4 hr 23 mile hill run that wore me out. When Brenda called the night before from Waldo Lake to report on the beautiful sun-set as I was speeding her direction but still 3 hrs away, she asked if I was going to win the race. I lost cell coverage before I could answer which I thought was just as well. I was going to tell her it was in the realm of possibilities, but it would be a stretch.

My plan was to make it past half way expending as little energy as possible, then pick it up from there. I modified that a bit, thinking perhaps to run a little harder early before it heated up. It did get hot, and drinking enough was an issue, but there was a breeze, and it clouded up a bit, and most of the course is in the shade (although I still got sunburnt in a few places) so the heat wasn't as bad as I had feared. From the start Hal Koerner, Nate McDowel, Sean Andrish and some others went out fast. My splits through the 1st 4 aid stations were about the same as last year but I quickly fell 10 minutes behind the leaders. Other than a calf that got very sore, and some tightness in the hamstrings (in-door soccer is not a good way to taper) I felt pretty good.

Sheryl & Brenda and their families and my parents camped together at Waldo lake. They came to the Charlton lake aid station, and it was awesome having them there as my crew! I had given them a sheet with estimates of where I would be when, and I was running a few minutes ahead of schedule. But from there it's hard to have any contact with the runners again until the finish, which would be 5+ hrs away. They told me Pam had called and had cut short her CAR campout to meet me at the finish.

In a couple places the aid stations are 7.5 miles apart, and there is 1 major and and 1 huge climb in the 2nd half. On trail runs you can think you are all alone, but with limited views there can be people just in front or behind. Without warning, I got caught by Jason Bryant while I was checking my map. I stayed close enough to him to watch him catch Sean, but I couldn't match their pace on the uphill. I passed them both on a down-hill, and later got caught and almost passed by a very strong Joe Grant. Somehow they didn't pass me on the huge climb to Maiden Peak. Hiking uses a little different muscles, so even though my heart rate was high, it seemed to be a partial rest for my legs. I was still 10 minutes behind Nate, but a couple people encouragingly told me I looked fresher than he did. I didn't feel all that fresh, as I had been having trouble keeping liquids down. The only solids I had tried was some pretzels at Charlton. I kept urping them up and spitting them out for the next 2 hours. I stuck mainly to electrolyte (Gu-2O) downing about 20 oz every 45 min. After the aid station that only had water (but thankfully had ice!!) I swallowed an electrolyte pill and tried to down an extra gel pack.

At the last aid station Joe was on my tail, which usually would have concerned me, but I was thinking forward, as they told me I was now only 7 minutes behind Nate. My calf wasn't any worse, my legs weren't entirely thrashed, and they weren't cramping, so I maintained hope and tore out of the aid station moving quickly. I thought it was going to take the entire last 7.5 miles to catch him, so I was surprised that less than 3 miles later I spotted him, then quickly passed Nate. In doing this, I had burned a lot of energy, had forgotten to replenish my gel packs, and now had to avoid bonking for almost 5 more miles. I slowed a bit, thinking I just needed to cruise on in, but a mile later on a switch-back I realized Nate was still only 40 yards behind me. So I picked it back up, and ran in fear, hoping to get a cushion but never knowing how close he was. I ended up 4 minutes ahead of him. Last year I was in tears at the finish, in relief that the agony was over. This year the agony was much less intense, and mainly limited to the last part of the race. But for the 2nd time in my running career I got emotional at the end of the race, this time with happiness. I looked around for my family. About 10 minutes later they showed up. I finished earlier than the estimate I had given them. Emily offered to go on a long cool-down with me, but I opted for a much needed massage instead.

I'm not sure why the course was so fast this year, with 7 of us under the 2007 course record. I know without Nate pulling me along, Joe and others pushing, I wouldn't have chosen to go that fast on my own.

The race directors put on a fabulous event on beautiful trails. The aid station people were extremely attentive to my needs and so up-beat. At one station I asked for vasoline and before I knew it the volunteer had a container open, a glob on her fingers and, with a straight face, asked where I needed it applied. The logistics of marking the trails, communicating, having people at intersections etc. etc. were huge. And I was overwhelmed by the awards. The 1st place plaque is stained glass, made by John Ticer, and is a piece of art. The masters award is a quilt (? also made by John). These are the most meaningful awards I've ever gotten. There was a jacket and a shirt that my kids quickly laid claim to. There were USATF medals, and the $1500 was cool too. Maybe we'll be able to afford Emily's college after all.

Aug 5, 2008

Back together, for now

Emily and Esther spent what sounded like a great week at EFY in Forest Grove. Then went directly (via Bend) to Steens mountain running camp for the next week. I think that was good, but I would like to think you could do most of the same running without leaving the area here, so we may come up with a home running camp program next year.

That same week Zachary and I spent a great week in the Trinity Alps wilderness area (the same wilderness area where a helicopter crashed killing 9 fire-fighters 2 days ago). The hike in was made more eventful by one of us missing a turn. Some of the group realized he was no longer on the trail, and got word to me where I was bringing up the rear. I dropped most of my pack and went over a mile back and down a different trail. I was confused by seeing the same footprints going each direction. Zach had waited, back-tracked, turned around, and was heading out again towards a place called Bear Basin. He said a prayer and a minute or two later I caught up with him.

2 days later we all did a 20 mile hike one day, and the next day only the 1 youngest and 3 oldest members of the group were willing to leave camp to hike. I got in a great 11 mile adventure run on remote trails complete with route finding difficulties requiring map, compass, altimiter, and GPS use. I never got lost for very long, and didn't see another human the whole time.

We got home just an hour before the girls, unpacked, and washed the cars. I had a weeks worth of lab results and paperwork at work that I finally caught up on yesterday.

Jul 7, 2008

Just your average, week....

So far I've had a pretty cool summer. Been places, met people, done things... ran a lot. It's been rather uneventful at times, where for example, my week would consist of me getting up at 8 to go on a run then doing almost nothing for the rest of the day. Between these weeks where I have the opportunity, nay, the pleasure of watching the grass grow I have also had many days of adventure.

It all started 2 weeks ago. I was shipped off to Oklahoma and Missouri for a C.A.R. conference, which went pretty smooth. (except for the parts where I got home sick, and when I overslept and woke up 30 min before my plane departed) I was on my way home. I had made it as far as Portland and was becoming quite concerned for the baggage claim carousel had not spit up my bag. As it turned out I had made it home alright but my bag had decided to go to Seattle with out me. I was assured that it would soon be Fed Exed to me and would arrive with in the next day and so with that I drove home.

Upon arriving home I learned, to great disbelief and disappointment, that my dad’s 100 mile race in California had been canceled due to forest fires. Seriously though, that’s like canceling the Olympics, it’s just something you don’t do. Anyways, so we decided to climb Mt. Rainier instead and were able to rope in Zachary as well. So I rushed to put what little clothes and necessities I have in another bag for my mom to bring up later. Right as we were leaving Fed Ex arrived. On the way up, literally we were reaching Portland when we made this decision, we decided we didn’t have enough time so we hopped on over to Mt. Hood instead. It was an adventure, highlighted with me getting sick and Zac complaining about Devil’s Kitchen (a sulfuric smell omitted from rock crevices about Mt. Hood). Upon descending we went to a friend’s house in Castle Rock to go to church and chill for a day. After church we left for Portland where we went to the arboretum and rose garden before my dad dropped me off for another C.A.R. conference.

The conference was a blast, Zachary won the coveted Regional Enthusiast award and I gave a speech on my state project. Once the conference was over my mom rushed us over to our family reunion which we had been missing out. We spent roughly two days there full of fun and excitement celebrating my grandmother’s 70th birthday, rushing down the zip-line and sharing our talents.

Shortly after arriving at the family reunion I learned that my car was no more. There was to be no resurrection this time. Suzy had passed the threshold and gone on to greener pastures.
Needless to say this left my family in a bit of a pickle, we had not taken the van up and where depending on Suzy for the trip home. I don’t even know how to explain all that happened the Friday following the family reunion only to say that God must have had a hand in it for how smoothly it worked.

It was the 4th of July, after the family reunion my mom had scheduled us to march in the Hillsboro parade with the C.A.R. float and I was going to run a race right before in Wilsonville and rush over there in time for the parade. With out a car this plan did not seem feasible. Fortunately Grandma and Grandpa where willing to let us borrow their car for the morning. The race went alright, (except the part where we overslept and made it from my bed in Corvallis to the starting line in Wilsonville in 75 minutes). I feel my conditioning has slacken the past few weeks, so my time was not all that spectacular but I finished second female overall. I changed into a dress in the car on the way over, the C.A.R. float was scheduled relatively early in the parade and my mom kept calling in panic to make sure we were on our way. Zac was with me and we almost missed the float, imagine: a girl in high heels and skirt running down a side walk her sleepy brother falling behind, she jumps through a crowd of people exclaiming, “Excuse me, State President coming through!” and jumps on to the passing float with an action that can not easily be described graceful. You can stop imagining, that’s what happened. The parade was a lot of fun, we threw candy to kids, I ate some of it, and afterwards we went to a picnic.

Due to the lack of cars we decided it was best to leave Erik, Gideon and Katie Mae with my mom’s mom. We had already planned to do this due to the trek, we just left them three days earlier than planned. So my mom left with Esther to safely deliver them to my grandma’s while Dad, Zac and I went to Grandma Olsen’s house to return their car and decide what could be left behind and what was necessary for survival for the next week. By being highly selective, we had just enough room for the essentials and a huge box containing the new printer I helped my dad pick out as an anniversary gift for my mom. As it got closer to 7pm Dad started to get antsy, he had wanted to watch the Olympic Trials at the Eugene Festival and my mom had not yet shown up. She soon did though and we packed some of our luggage into the back of our car, the vast majority of our luggage still resides in Grandma and Grandpa’s garage (THANK YOU!).

So we trekked on over to the Eugene Festival and where able to see the 1500 women’s trial, Jordan Hassay is amazing, as well as the women’s 5000 and men’s 10000. After we watched Abdi, with much amusement, jump in to the Steeple Chase pit we decided it was time to go home. And home is where I’m glad to say I’ve been for the last few days; and home is where I’ll stay… at least until the Pioneer Trek tomorrow. :D

So, how’s everyone’s summer going?


Jun 23, 2008


I was looking forward with dread to this week-end.

I was about as prepared as I could have been. But wild fires within 2 miles from the course and along a couple of the access roads and poor air quality was apparently too much.

I'm thinking of going down anyways to check out the festivities and for a long run, as preparation for whatever race I come up with next.

No word yet on what this will mean for next year.

Jun 12, 2008

Equanimity, and running for Jesus

A math teacher signed my son's yearbook with a complement about his math skills and with Phil 4:13, which I thought was bold in the public school system which acts like there is some virtue in having freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion. But perhaps that kind of non-PC behavior is one of the perks of living in a hick town.

I have a favorite quote from Kipling's "If" (which grandpa Olsen decoupaged on one of his economy hardwood panels--see his blog on using these) about meeting with triumph and disaster with equanimity. Paul has a similar sentiment when he writes "I have learned, in whatsover state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound". That precedes where he says "I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me" in Phil 4:13.

After winning a "national masters championship" I was able to put together some good thoughts at a fireside at a scout campout, but actually I had better tie-ins from my next race where I struggled to finish in the back third of the pack.

I hear of some people that run to honor God. I love and respect Him. But I wonder how much He cares whether I run faster than my friends. He must care more about how I live, and that I do a good effort in exercising the talents He has given. I wouldn't rank even my greatest PR as more than an infinitesimal contribution to His enormous glory. But maybe the point is to do my little bit. I don't know whether to think of my success in running as a reward or a gift. But I think it is a blessing- I can't explain it on the basis of the relatively few training miles I do.

So I run. And I glorify God by doing all things that he sees fit to give me strength to do, running and non-running. I give credit to Him for every talent or good thing that happens, but accept disaster as a lesson and opportunity to learn and lean on Him. But I don't sign year-books.

Jun 5, 2008

Graduation w/o regrets

Crater high school graduation involved lots of pomp, and speeches, and ceremony. It's what many of these kids have long looked forward to. People started showing up 2 hours early to try to get good seats.
Emily didn't want to go.
There was a youth temple trip at the same time. It's not like there was much question whether she would graduate, and it wasn't the hardest thing she's done this past year. And it's not the greatest thing she is going to do. I think she's already looking forward to what's next. But we told her she had to go. She was a good sport and didn't seem to mind. Some of her classmates left shortly after graduation on a 2 day trip to 6-flags which I think is designed to keep them from going out drinking and driving. We rented "The Great Debaters" and stayed up late considering social justice.

Jun 2, 2008

Life in the fast lane...

So, pretty much, this last year as been insane, pretty much. Senior year of high school, getting ready for college, friends, cross-country, calculus and kayaks, track, C.A.R. and church. It doesn't sound so bad all listed out like that. Did I mention homework? That's always a plus in my life, it's kind of fun in a sick sort of way...

After having an amazing track season I've been accepted to OSU to run track and cross-country. I'm really excited! As an added bonus I get to live with my grandparents! The only sad note is OSU just recently cut back on their language program. link They're keeping Spanish (fortunately) however other languages are soon on their way out ;(

My aspiration in life is to become a gas station employee. I would work my through the oil empires eventually ending on top with an oil monopoly (I love that game). As a side note my dream job is as a waitress at Olive Garden. Sadly I will not be able to partake of either of these promising job opportunities as my parents are shipping me to Oklahoma for C.A.R. shortly after my 18th birthday (15 days, be afraid).

I have just discovered one of the many joys in life: blogging. I can see myself spending many wistless hours preparing new blogs for the discover and semi-entertainment (or woe) of others. This joy was only currently discovered, within the last ten minutes or so, as I sat at my father's computer typing away at what you have previously read. It is a common thought that when a person finds joy in an activity it would be expedient for them to divulge themselves in it, that way they might have joy. With this thought in mind I could continue blogging for the rest of my life, or I could end here, go to bed and perhaps never think of blogging again, either of which are desirable options. Oh! Woe is me, the choices at hand! Why are the young so afflicted?! Yea, that was fun, good night.


Couldn't be prouder

For my inaugural entry I want to give a brief introduction to my sometimes running partner, co-author of this blog, "her mother's world, her daddy's girl" Em.

18 months ago she asked if I thought she'd ever be fast. I'm glad I wasn't honest at the time, because she would have proved me wrong.

Her attitude towards pacing is "I don't like to run slow, that's why I run fast."

2 weeks in a row I watched her in 1500m races that were inspiring. After semi-laconic first laps, she turned up the heat more each lap, withstood late challenges, and sprinted to glory. Well, if not glory, at least 1st in district, then 3rd in state, and to a position on the OSU women's cross-country and track teams. I'll go to my grave with a smile on my face every time I think about those races.

Running isn't the only thing in our lives, or even the most important. But it is something we share and enjoy. It is a metaphor for many things. Training is often time for personal reflection, racing is an exercise of stewardship, and allows us to feel God's pleasure, challenge ourselves, improve fitness, rub shoulders with other good people, but it also sucks up much of our free time.

By the way, the title of our blog was inspired by cousin Berkely's movie quiz. It is a quote from a movie about, in part, one of our heroes Eric Liddle.