Friday, July 23, 2010


It’s amazing how dynamic life is. A lot has been going on this week, and it truly spans the spectrum. In in the past several days, I have had some really fun times with wonderful friends, I’ve prayed and worried over loved ones. I’ve seen my friends celebrate significant milestones and I’ve seen my friends in some pretty dark times. I’ve ran and rode faster than I have in a long time, I’ve sat in silent meditation. Through all of this I have tried to keep a level head. I have done a pretty good job, I think. Life generally will never ease up, and I have to be able to find peace in the midst of it. Or else it will get the best of me. I have to believe that there is a joy that runs like a thread through life. I have to hold onto it like a guide line every moment.

I obviously am not going to go into every single event that happened, but I want to share some of it. The balance-seeking part of me wants to acknowledge that even the tougher moments have some redeeming factors… that nothing is really just Good or Bad.

For instance, my friend’s mom was in the hospital this week for a major surgery. We were all very worried and anxious about it but she is just fine and we’re very thankful. She was in surgery to donate a kidney to a woman in her community, a person she doesn’t even know all that well. She is a deeply religious person, and felt strongly that she had to do this. It’s such a crazy selfless act it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I have know this woman my entire life and she is truly a saint.

My mom went into the neurologist this week to adjust her medication for the Parkinson’s, and she has started on something new that is supposed to help the symptoms. They will constantly have to assess and revise her meds to control the symptoms and this is just the start. I know it is tough for her to accept this and I think it’s going to take a long time to really make peace with it. The good news here is that they have made a lot of progress in this area and they are constantly improving the treatment options. We are very lucky! And we hopeful that they will even find a cure in our lifetimes. She is such a tough cookie and has kept a good attitude and a sense of humor through all of this. She is a saint in her own right. :)

Moving on to some of the exciting milestone stuff… it’s a boy! That’s right, a baby boy was born yesterday in my family. It’s a baby alpaca. My aunt and uncle have an alpaca farm outside of Reno and they are very into it.  My mom forwarded me this email yesterday and I thought it was hilarious and disturbing. Alpacas are so weird. Right?


Ok, just wanted to lighten the mood a bit! :D But seriously, that thing is scary.

A serious exciting milestone is that my wonderful friend Alisa just bought a new house!! It’s beautiful and I’m so excited for her. Zach and I want to buy a house soon and I hope we end up in something as cool as that house! Congratulations guys! ♥

Lots of fun social stuff this week that I want to mention- Alisa’s birthday was today and we all got together for lunch to celebrate- Emily, Amy, Sarah, and Lisa. I love those girls!! I have found such a great group of friends here. I also went to the Brewfest down on the waterfront with Deana and Dana and a couple other friends last night. Pretty great. Going back a ways, we had a great time with Zach’s parents last weekend. We went wine tasting, spent the day at the lake, ate delicious food cooked by my chef husband and his chef dad- wow I lucked out with this family!!! I love spending time with Melanie too, she is such a great friend to me.

What else, what else… I feel like I’m rambling here! Let’s move on to some running and cycling and yoga stuff, shall we?

I got in a few good runs and lots of yoga and one solid bike ride. I’ll pick the best ones to talk about here.

Run: I had a super sweet run with Zach in Forest Park on Monday this week. I have been doing a lot of pretty easy mileage lately and felt like doing something to test my speed. We did a 5 miler up on my favorite trail and we were haulin. I started off really easy with a 9:00 mile but ran the next four at a 7:29 average pace. Weeeee!!! I clearly haven’t lost my zip.

Yoga: I went to three restorative/meditative classes this week and am feeling very zen. It’s pretty cool how much silence and stillness can change your perspective. It’s become an essential part of my life.

Bike: This was a super highlight of the week. Zach, Alisa, and I drove out to Sauvie Island Tuesday after work for a 30-ish mile ride. Alisa is doing her first half-ironman next weekend and so this was one of her last long-ish rides. I’ve really loved training with her and I know she’s going to do great! Especially after seeing her haul serious ass on this ride. Just like the aforementioned run, I kind of wanted to test my speed on the bike. I’ve been doing some pretty long rides but nothing at a very fast speed, so I was curious if I could go fast on a flat ride. Last year when I was training for the Ironman, I did a few rides up there and would usually average over 16 MPH, which is fast for me! Well we PUSHED this whole ride and were in a draft line for most of it (granted, Zach did most of the pulling, but still). We ended up averaging 16.8 MPH for 32 miles. Weeeeeee!!!!! Once again, zip is clearly intact.

Well I guess I can wrap this up. This was kind of a rambling post. Oooh I have pictures! These are of the Sauvie ride.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back with a sweet picture post next week- we are going on an awesome backpacking trip up near Mt. St. Helens this weekend. I am so excited!!! Have a great weekend gang.

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Ewen said...

Nice post Jen. You're doing well with finding that balance. One good thing we all know is that medical research is streaking ahead. I'm sure there'll be cures for all sorts of diseases within our lifetimes.

Well done on the zippy exercise front. Glad Zach didn't complain about leading the peloton ;)

Alisa said...

Yay for all the fun things that happened this weekend. Scary about the other stuff. Glad to hear that your friend's mom that donated the kidney is okay! That is such a selfless thing to do for someone else-wow.

Awesome job on your speedy run I knew you still had your speed! Yay! And Yay for us on Sauvie--damn!

Can't wait for you guys to come over tomorrow to see the HOUSE. It's in a bit of a chaotic state but whatever it's ours =).

Hope backpacking was awesome!

Amy said...

Sounds like you are doing a great job at finding balance and taking the good with the bad. I could use a lesson from you. :) Super fun plans and pictures. And is it wrong that I think that little alpaca is cute?

Marya said...

Looks like a great week, with so much going on! Glad you found your speed again, but are also enjoying those moments of stillness! Keep enjoying the summer!

Anonymous said...

Glenn and Carolyn named the newest alpaca coco bolo.(its a type of expensive wood) Since the name of the farm is Sawdust Alpacas.Mom and Dad in Montana