OKC Memorial Marathon 2013

Today marked the second time I participated in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on a relay team. Last year I ran a 5k (3.1 miles) this year, I ran a 10k. This was my first 10k (6.2 miles) race, and I really enjoyed it.

To be honest, I haven't run in about 8 weeks (at all). While I know I wasn't/am not in tip-top shape, there was something nice about not having the pressure of a desired time looming over my head. I just ran to run, to be a part of something really important in my city, to be part of a team, to remember the tragedy and rebirth that happened in a city (this year for Boston as well as OKC). I loved it, and I want to be a part of this race in some form every year.

My training was thwarted when I started taking medication for anxiety earlier this year. The first few weeks were a hard adjustment on my body. I was so tired and nauseous. Things got better when I started taking a half dose, but I also started really trying to prioritize (omit anything I could to avoid feeling overwhelmed). If I didn't get to the gym, no biggie. Something like having a race in five weeks that I hadn't trained for would have made me anxious before. It was nice that there was no worry this time.

There was a malfunction with our timing chip at my relay exchange. I ran the fifth (final) leg, but our time doesn't show when the fourth runner passed off to me, so from some time calculations, I've estimated my time to be somewhere between 1:05 and 1:09. How did I do this? I used the time that the third runner finished and added the time I think I started running for that. I was standing right next to the official marathon clock that started at 6:30. The four hour marathon pace group ran by at 3:07. The 4:09 pace group also ran by, and I got my chip a minute or two after that (I think). So I started running between 9:46 and 9:50. And we finished at 10:55. After the marathon, Vaughn and Tracey came over with lunch. Tracey (Jake's mom) walked the half marathon for the second year in a row. They brought a thoughtful lunch of three different refreshing salads and yummy cookies.

Team Runnin' it and Lovin' it did awesome! We finished at 4:18:48, and we were 28/120 in our relay division. I'm almost always flirting with the idea of a half marathon, and this new no pressure approach to running might just be my ticket to sticking it out, but right now, I am completely consumed by yoga. I want to dig deeper into my practice. You should see all of the yoga books on my dresser. It has been really good for me in the last few months.

I'll leave you with some pictures from the day.

Before leaving to catch the shuttle to my relay exchange.

Runnin' it and Lovin' it [minus one (5k)]. L-R: Me (10k), Maria (5k), Annie (10k), Jessica (12k).

Part of the OKC bombing Memorial

In front of one of the memorial entrances with my medal

A quick meet up with my family right before mile 25 (my mile 5).

Cora cheering for the 1/2 marathoners that run right in front of Dot.

The Day I fell on my dog.

What I really want to start with is that today is my Grammy's 89th birthday. Every year I love her more. That's a lot of love. Happy Birthday, Betty Jane McInnes Lund Lee!

Tonight I was doing a headstand in my living room. I got a little wobbly and fell forward. (What? It happens.) Alice (our will-be-14-weeks-tomorrow standard poodle puppy) was in my fall path. She barked and ran away. When I saw her, her back right leg was drawn up to her body. I just knew it was broken. Jake came over when he heard me ask her if I broke her leg. We switched and I called her vet, and they suggested I take her to a Veterinary Hospital that keeps later hours. I took her right away. She put weight on it when I got her out of the car, and after a lengthy examination, the vet couldn't feel any breaks or displacements. He suspects a soft tissue injury. We have some pain medication and she's visiting her vet for an appointment we already had scheduled so she can get her last vaccination. When we got home, she ran around the yard for a bit. I'm such a first time dog owner, it's like being a new mom. Next time (hopefully there won't be a next time), I might wait more than 2 minutes between injury and loading her up in the car to go to the vet.

This afternoon, Cora had the follow up appointment to her well-child check. At her WCC, we found out her eardrums weren't moving because her ears were so full of fluid. We started on a steroid nasal spray, and today came back to see if there was any change. There was! There is still fluid present (she had some dairy last night, which she is allergic to, and almost instantly started snorting and getting congested), but she make peaks. At the last test, both of her ears flatlined, which meant little to no movement. What this means for now: no tubes. I'm anxious to see if she'll get an ear infection because of her excess mucus. If she does, that might change the game. We are scheduling a formal hearing test (she's passed all of the basic ones in the past) because what we really want to get to the bottom of is what's causing her speech issues.

I have decided that I am done with diapers. In a few weeks I will be. We did the 3-day potty training method with Cora and it was amazing. The trick now is finding three days where I can be completely present at home (nor errands, no carpool, etc) with Magnolia. Jake consulted his schedule, and May 13th is when it begins. If we had three days now, I would start tomorrow. Or yesterday. Or three days ago.

Jake read me this poem tonight. It's beautiful, and very fitting for me right now.

Marie Howe

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage
I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here
among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.
The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?
My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.
Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

Precious in my sight

Spring, sort of. And the Memorial Marathon.

Tonight was the fourth night I had to cover the plants in our garden because of the expected freeze. Yesterday, the high was 78, I'm not sure that it broke 40 today - the windchill was much less. As I put on my warmest coat to go outside and put buckets over my tender leafy greens, I uncovered my gardening hat, and thought that I'd much rather be wearing that. And I'm ready to put all of our winter stuff back in its space bag in the attic. Summer clothes equal a much less cramped closet.

In less than a week, I'm running a 10k as part of a marathon relay for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I ran a 5k last year. My prep for this year's race has been seriously lacking, I'm not going to lie, but I'm really excited to take it all in this year, and not worry a single bit about a time. I'm running the last leg of the 5-person relay, which is really exciting because the last part of my leg runs through my very own neighborhood before finishing downtown. If I was running the half marathon, I would run right in front of Dot, instead, I'm running three blocks south of her. I think I'll ride Josephine (my bike) down to the starting area this year before catching the shuttle to my relay exchange. Last year, I rode Scoot.

I'm thinking about my friend Jennifer who ran her first marathon at last year's Memorial Marathon. She picked up running when I lived in Chicago. I think she's running inspirational. I wish I had her stick-to-it-ness with the sport. I hope our finishes are somewhere close to each other this year. Last year she finished after my relay team, but I was watching for her the whole time we were waiting for our final runner. And in case you're keeping track: Last year my team's name was "The Smokin' Hot Mamas." This year, we are "Runnin' it & Lovin' it."

The Material Desires of My Heart

My birthday is coming up. And I actually want some things this year. Most of the time, when people ask, I really don't know what I want. Some of these things are sort of practical. Some are sort of not. Some are things I need. Some are things I want.

I've had a Vera Bradley All in One Wristlet for four years now. I love it. I would keep using it until it was no longer usable, but I got a new phone a couple of months ago, and I need to move up to the Carry it All Wristlet because my phone no longer fits in the phone slot. My current wallet is yellow (the Bali Gold print from Summer 2009), and they haven't had a new mostly yellow print since last fall with Provencal, but I believe I love Tutti Frutti the most, maybe. I like the pop of pink it has that my current wallet also has. But I also love the red and turquoise and green in Provencal. Color decisions are difficult for me.

These shoes from Boden in tan.

Either Pretty by Elizabeth Arden...

...or J'adore by Christian Dior.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl.

A guitar. I haven't figured out which one just yet, but I need one with a small neck because my hands are small-ish...my fingers are really short. We have a guitar, but it has issues. Jake can play around the buzzing. The last string doesn't play at all, but for a newbie, I need all of the strings to work.

And last but not least, probably the most: Wheel Throwing Class with Marvin Embree. I took this class with my birthday money two years ago, and it was wonderful. Not just the pottery part or the smell of wet clay part, or the members of my class part, I loved my teacher. Marvin Embree is super awesome, and kind. He's a good example of what all teachers should be (except that you know he's one of a kind). He has a studio in the Paseo, and saved a burned cd of the song 'Magnolia' for me for over a year because he thought he'd see me sooner. Unfortunately, it has almost been a year since I've seen him last. (At the Paseo Arts Festival last year.) On the portfolio page of his site, I can't stop looking at the Wayne Cabin painting. I love it, and I love that he has a Magnolia painting. I think I'm going to send him an email as soon as I publish this post. 

Some things I Love


Yes. We finally did it. And we've had her for more than three days. Meet Alice. She is a 12-week-old standard poodle. I very randomly came across her. I'd been looking for doors on craigslist, and thought, "Hey, I wonder if there are any dogs on here." She was from Texas, but just across the Oklahoma border. I always thought we would adopt, but everything went so smoothly, and this girl is so sweet. She's already a fixture in our family. We're working on housebreaking. It's going really well. She loves her crate. I was really nervous about having a puppy, but it's really neat to see a dog with its natural instincts still intact. She very much wants to be part of the pack, and the things that humans usually mess up with their furry pals haven't been messed up with her. ;) An example: she walks at heel on her leash. I'm trying to make sure that stays intact and that we set a really great foundation for her in these first few months.


I watched these clouds build just to the east of us. Sometimes clouds like these are scary in Oklahoma, but because it was to the east instead of west, I could just watch. I love the spring storms here, just not the damage they cause. It's incredible to see part of nature working in such a grand way.


On Saturday, Jake and I went to a production of Leonard Bernstein's Mass. It was breathtaking, and hard, and ugly and beautiful. It was both simple and a spectacle. OCU did it with Canterbury Choral Society at the Civic Center. (Everyone has been talking about how OCU shows could be even better if we had a theatre space on campus that could function in the way the Civic Center does. - OCU has a beautiful theatre, it's just covered under lots and lots of gray paint and old-school equipment.) It was an experience that I was glad to have. From "A Simple Song" [Sing God a simple song. Make it up as you go along. Sing like you like to sing. God loves all simple things. For God is the simplest of all...] to "Thank You," many pieces resonated with me. "Thank You" was especially touching.

People who have a gift for saying the right thing. That is all.

I do not love these

Earthquakes. Jake and I woke to one just before two this morning. There were five total. Jake felt another one as well, which is rare because he almost always sleeps through big things, and I'm just about the lightest sleeper around. I never thought that earthquakes would be part of my experience in Oklahoma, but they've been present since not long after we moved back from Chicago. When we had the biggest one, a 5.6, last year, they found a correlation between wastewater wells (old oil wells that hold wastewater that is the byproduct of fracking - the wells are pressurized during their receiving life, and the pressure is released once they are deemed full - the thought is that the pressure on large amounts of water can interrupt fault lines and lead to tremors) and the earthquake.

A Day Spent Working in the Sunshine

We finished our raised bed garden boxes this morning. I filled them with dirt. It didn't take long to realize I only had half the dirt I needed, so we made a trip back to TLC to get twenty-five more forty pound bags of top soil. Another thousand pounds that I unloaded from Olive into our backyard. In the last two days I have unloaded 2,400 pounds of soil and compost, and I lifted each forty pound bag at least twice. I like manual labor. :)

Our garden is mostly planted. I built a pea tee-pee after I got all the soil in place for our sweet peas to climb. It's cute. And I think it's brilliant. I love sweet peas straight from the vine. I can't see a sweet pea without thinking of my Uncle Ray and Aunt Teri. They had a lovely garden in Kamas Utah, and my family went to visit them every summer. The first year they grew sweet peas, I way overate my share. They were perfect.

I used this template as a guide for our garden. I switched some things up, added more of some things we eat a lot of like kale and onions, and omitted things we don't eat much like eggplant. One of the things I added was okra. I plan to pickle lots of it, eat plenty of it in gumbo and jambalaya, and finally figure out how to fry it up right. I'll draw up a template of our actual garden soon. I spent all day outside except for Cora's dance lesson and making lunch. I loved it. I LOVE being outside, and I'm glad I have an extra super great reason to get me out there. I hope our summer won't be completely brutal and that we'll have a bountiful harvest. And I'm pretty sure we need a hammock.

Our raised beds in position.

This is the point I realized we didn't have enough soil.

Soil and compost mixed. I couldn't get over how beautiful all the dirt looked.

 Positioning the plants before planting them. I also used seeds in addition to plants that were already started.

Battle wounds from carrying so many bags of soil.

 Super fantastic helpers.

I'll post pictures of everything in the ground sometime soon. When I came in a little after nine tonight, I told Jake I felt like I'd just put a third child to bed. 

PS: Since we couldn't use our stove for several days while we were refinishing our floors, we found a lot of raw recipes to make for dinner. Tonight we had zucchini "pasta" with cashew alfredo sauce. It was amazing. I'm going to keep this trend going. 

One Thousand pounds

Today I unloaded 1,400 pounds of top soil and compost from my car. Before this, I gathered 12 2x6x8 and 4 4x4x8 pieces of wood from Home Depot. When I got to my car, 2 men stopped their truck in the middle of the lot behind me and got out to help me get my load into Olive. They even used a piece of one of their own ropes to secure it. I offered them a bit of money, they declined and we all went on our way. Thank you kind workers from Moore and Macomb who were on their way to Mustang to patch a ceiling. When I got home, I made a new friend who just happened to be walking by as I pulled out the first 2x6x8. He offered his help, and I gladly accepted. He was an elderly homeless man who I shared a short but nice conversation with. When we were finished, I offered him some money as well. I wouldn't have let him refuse, even though he said, "Oh, now I just wanted to help you." I knew he had no other intentions than to help, and I was really grateful that my first two helpers had declined the only cash I had in my wallet. As he walked away with a few dollars in hand, toward the restaurant two blocks down on the corner, Magnolia (who was watching from the car) asked what his name was. I wasn't sure, so I called out to him to ask. Cecil. His name is Cecil, and I hope our paths will cross again.

The lumber and soil is for our vegetable garden. This is our year. We're going to have 2 4x8 ft. raised beds. We built the first tonight. It was more of a chore than I thought it would be. The first screws were awful and stripping out. I returned them and went back for different ones. The 4x4 posts we're attaching them to are really hard, so it's not turning out exactly as planned, but what goes in the beds is far more important. Tomorrow will be a day outside filling the beds and planting our seeds and vegetable plants. I'm looking forward to it. After we built our first bed, Jake and I came in to put the girls to bed, and then we moved our stove and fridge back into the kitchen. Wowza, I am tired, I hope I'm not sore tomorrow.

I enjoyed my random interactions with people today. I love kind hearts and willing hands, and being able to reciprocate help.

Before I end, I can't say enough about TLC Nursery. If you live in Oklahoma, this place is awesome. It's on Santa Fe and Memorial, and they have everything you can imagine and then some. I really miss Horn Seed Company not only for what it was (a local business that had been in business for 91 years, but closed last year after a fire) but also because it was so close, but the people at TLC are so helpful and have an answer for all of my questions, so it makes the sting of losing Horn hurt a little less. Good service is priceless.


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