Archives for August 2009

Limping towards the finish line

Yesterday was my first big run after my unintentional three week hiatus. I took it slow this week, and decreased my normal amount of mileage by about 6 miles. I set a very modest goal of a long run of 8 miles, and ended up pushing myself to do 11 instead. I felt good about it, not winded or tired at all.

Unfortunately, I’m developing some knee pain which makes me feel as if it’s going to fold in and collapse. I know this has the ring of a hypochondriac, but my running buddy tells me that at this point in training, one’s body starts to show some wear and tear. As if the three weeks of bloody diarrhea wasn’t enough. Sheesh…I’m now walking like an arthritic octogenarian.
I can’t tell you how happy I’ll be when I conquer this thing and return to my normal life. Of course, life won’t actually be returning to normal, as I’ll be moving on to the next big life hurdle. We’re ready to shake things up here at teamcoyle. How about you? Are you shaking your life up, taking a walk on the wild side, or maybe setting some new goals this fall?

Wildlife and a bookstore

What say you to another post on Vermont? This last post contains the part of the vacation that I enjoyed the most. It was about the last half hour before we drove home. I think I need a do-over vacation. Sadly, neither time nor budget will allow for that.
While away, we held an ongoing contest to see who would be the first person to spot a bear or a moose. I was the only one who spotted both.
This was as close to nature as I planned on getting. Not being an outdoorsy kind of girl is a bit of a disadvantage in Vermont. If I had been feeling better, you would have found me exploring any one of the quaint little villages that are nestled between mountain and valley. They were filled with cafes, country stores, antique shops, and colorful architecture. I have a not so secret obsession with Gilmore Girls, and when we stopped in the little town of Chester, I felt as if I had wandered into Stars Hollow.
Can’t you just see Rory and Lorelei walking down this street?
Do you suppose they serve tea?
And my favorite stop of all…
I adore this sign. Don’t you just love the black cat? I spent the happiest thirty minutes of the week here. Don’t tell my kids. They still think I *loved* the hike at Hamilton Falls. However, I prefer reading about near death experiences instead of actually having one.
I believe that about covers it for Vermont. Next stop: Disney in December!

Hearts of courage

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon

Sophie and I had a chat about courage a few days ago. We read the story of David and Goliath, and we talked about David’s courage in his obedience to God. We talked about doing the right thing and obeying God even if it makes us scared sometimes. I prayed for my girl that night, for a heart of courage in a world of adversity. I was praying as much for myself as I was for her.

If you feel like you need more courage, whether it be courage in the face of fear, courage to make right choices, or courage to die to self, I recommend that you take a look at this new website (in)courage. The women who write there are honest and painfully transparent about their lives and experiences. They talk about courage in a way that only someone who has walked that road and made the hard choices, can. I have found it to be a profound encouragement to me in areas that I struggle with, and helped me understand women who have walked roads that I have never travelled. I hope it will do the same for you.


Vermont redux

Someone, somewhere along the way decided we should take a hike out to Hamilton Falls (also known as a nudist hangout, but that’s another story). It’s an incredibly steep, multiple pool, hewn from solid rock, collection of falls.
Note that I am clothed and smiling in this photo. Smiling because we were actually exiting the falls and returning to the safety of indoor plumbing. Clothed because, well I don’t really need to explain that! At the start of the hiking path we were greeted with this friendly warning…
Then this one…

Great. So there might be nude people, and if they were feeling adventurous that day, they may also be dead. How do I explain that one to the kids? This was the thought foremost in my mind as we followed a trail of discarded underpants and swimsuits, that is until I realized that there was a good chance that we might die as we descended a slippery wall of rock to the lower falls.

The views were breathtaking, which I was able to appreciate after our death defying descent.

I never thought I would say that I consider a vacation a success when I am able to avoid 1. dying 2. explaining a potentially dead nudist and 3. not having to use the bathroom in the woods.
What’s your idea of a successful vacation?

Yeah it’s pretty, but is there a toilet?

Hello, dear friends! I’ve been missing my blog this week. Missing my blog, the internet, cell phone reception, and civilization in general. We’ve just returned from a week’s vacation in Vermont, which was, by all accounts, a rousing success with the kids. Unfortunately, I spent much of it battling this stomach issue that will. not. go. away.
When I wasn’t in the bathroom, I was thinking about the bathroom, and when I wasn’t thinking about it, I was worried that I would be stuck in the woods without the bathroom. It was a very toilet fixated vacation, to say the least.

I could end this post here and that would be the gist of my vacation experience, but I’m sure you would like to see what hi-jinks the rest of our group got up to while away. I must tell you it was nearly impossible to narrow down the 400 photos taken. I’ll be spreading them out over a few posts, so you can live vicariously through us if you’ve never had the pleasure of travelling up North. Vermont was uncommonly beautiful, and exactly as I imagined it. Mountains covered in all manner of trees, lush and wild. It was the backdrop for every scene we took in.

We followed sun dappled paths beneath the green canopy, and continued deeper still until the sun began to fade and moss began to grow on every rock and in every crevice.

It felt as if each rock, if overturned, held magic beneath it.

As we walked, the sound of rushing water grew from a faint whisper to a mighty roar as we stumbled upon this beauty:

Some brave souls were willing to risk it all for the climb.

Braver still were those willing to risk it for the fall.
And some were too busy looking cute to bother with either.

From rock walls to rushing falls, a great time was had by all.
More to come!