Sunday, November 16, 2008

Remembering ... My Favorite Things

WARNING: This could be a very long post. Enter at your own risk. :-) There's a reason I call myself Ramblin' Renee after all.

48 years ago today (it's hard to hide your age when you are a runner and participate in running events ... your age gets posted all over the place.), little Renee Kristin was born in Hinsdale, IL. I've not been little since. ;-) I thought I'd take time today, the time that's mine to play with, do some of my favorite things, and reminisce about my favorite running-related memories of the past year. I will capture my day and my thoughts in words and pictures, two of my favorite things. Blogging has also become one of my favorite things. Music is another favorite thing. So as I post, I'm listening to Christmas music, Jim Brickman (The Gift) presently. I just love the holidays. Sit back ... relax ... here goes ...

When I woke up this morning, I looked out the window and could see that there was a dusting of fresh snow and it was still snowing a bit. I had to go for a run. (Normally I run Wed. and Sat.) Beautiful conditions, and after all, I wanted to do my favorite things today. So at 6:15 or so I left for a 5.5 mile run before 8:00 church. It was great. Peaceful. Quiet. Still. In a perfect world, there would have been about 2" of fresh snow so the snow would make that nice crunchy sound, no tire tracks, and it would have been snowing a little harder. But it was perfect enough for today.

Then there was time for a quick breakfast. My favorite -- oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts, blueberries. Yum.
Then off to church (Redeemer Lutheran ).

Today is the 75th anniversary of our church, so a little later it was back to church at noon for a celebration lunch. (I'm doing my best with the timer on my camera. ;-) The menu? Meatballs, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, corn, red jello with bananas (ha!) and pumpkin pie. I didn't spot anything that appeared to contain Cream of Mushroom Soup. Hmmm... Typical Lutheran gathering: lots of food, fellowship, kind words and helping hands. Even some Church Basement Ladies (and at least church basement guy!). They even managed to scrounge up enough aprons for all the ladies to wear. It was a good morning.

A day of favorites wouldn't be compete without some quality time in the kitchen baking something. I decided against cake or cookies as I wouldn't eat them anyway. So bread it is! I'm trying a new recipe for a Walnut Boule from Cooking Light. No mixer for kneading today. Just me. It'll be a while before it's done, so I'll post that photo later. Nothing like kneading bread for stress relief. ;-)

So, those are some of my favorite things. Now I'll do a little remembering about my running life this past year and touch on some highlights. The one family-related running highlight I just have to post again. It just struck me so funny. My son Eric came back from a run, one of those where everything just clicks and you feel invincible, and promptly announced to me, "Mom, I'm half Kenyan." Oh, really, I said. Which half? You had to be there. It was just so funny.

Things that really stick out in my mind were the Ragnar Relay, spending about 30 straight hours with 5 running buddies, and a couple of marathons where I ran a half and then went back out on the course to run in with friends who were running through a proverbial rough patch and talking them into the finish. I was fortunate to be able to travel to the RRCA convention and Flying Pig events in May to collect the RRCA small/medium newsletter award. THANK YOU to all of you who contribute to our newsletter. I am pictured below (sans hair gel and skin the color of Elmer's glue!!) with Dick Beardsley and Henry Rono and giving my little acceptance speech.

Highlights pictured below include traveling to the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa, OK last year on my birthday with Judy Weller and being there when Tom Williamson qualified for Boston for the first time by ... 2 seconds; traveling to Boston to watch the women's Olympic marathon trials and being able to meet up with so many Rochester runners at the pasta feed; traveling to the Wild Goose Chase 30K with Betsy and Judy; and the Rails to Trails races, again being in the company of many friends.

The highlights this year were on the road, just not running on the road. It's not been a good year for running. But I've covered that pretty much all year long in this forum ...

As some of my faithful readers know, I on occasion post lyrics from songs as a way of expressing my thoughts. I could have posted something dorky like "Happy Birthday to You" but that didn't feel right. So above are the Golden Girls (old TV show) and the theme song for the show ... Thank You For Being A Friend. I just can't say enough about the wonderful friends I've made in the 10 years I've been running. I count many of you among my closest friends and I'm grateful for each and every one of you: young or more blessed in years, new friends and old, near or far. Thank you for being a part of my life, and allowing me to be a part of yours. I am blessed.

Thank you for your birthday greetings, Brian and Kay Erwin for singing happy birthday on the phone, to my friend Ann who now lives in OH who's been my friend really my whole life for the phone call, Kelly for your kind words about my influence on your running life before leaving Rochester to now do your running along the Hudson river, the mystery person at the Y who left me a dozen roses ... You're all the best. I think I better close. I'm getting emotional. Again.

It's been a challenging couple of months, at best. I'm hoping the year of being 48 is better than the year of being 47. :-)

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


Suzanne said...

Happy belated birthday Renee--sounds like you had a wonderful day! I so enjoyed reading about it.


Ramblin' Renee said...

Thank you Suzanne. It was a low-key, but good day, doing the things I enjoy.