7 Quick Takes, the What I Haven’t Told You Because I Haven’t Blogged In Months Edition

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–1–

Long time no see, and Merry Christmas!  I’m so out of it that I didn’t even know that “7 Quick Takes” has a brand-new hostess, Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.  I guess it was time for Jenn Fulwiler to pass the baton now that she’s a radio talk show host and a famous author and all (I’m reading her book Something Other Than God now, as a matter of fact).  But she still has a fabulous blog.  And I’m looking forward to delving into Kelly’s blog too, and getting to know her a little better.  (Of course, she’s taking this week off for Christmas, so I have no place to link this up until New Years.  Oh well, it will be a miracle if I get another blog post written by then, anyway.)

–2–

August 21.

That was the last time I posted anything here.  That day, I told you about how my friends and I were planning to run the Hokie Half Marathon in October in memory of our friend, Mary.

Well, we did.  To be specific, two of us ran the half marathon, and another friend ran the 5K with her daughter.  It was truly an amazing weekend, and even though the weather was cold and rainy, it was wonderful to run 13 miles along roads and trails I had grown up exploring, through the neighborhood where Mary and I both lived.  We hope to make it an annual event!

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–3–

Back in May (in yet another post that was my first in several months), I told you I had run my first half marathon.  Every year our city hosts the annual Marine Corps Historic Half, and every year I’ve wondered who on earth would be crazy enough to run a thirteen-mile race.  And people come from all over the place to do it, too.  Now I get it.

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(some prerace silliness)

–4–

The Hokie Half was actually my third half marathon; my second was the Air Force Half in September.

Shortly after I started running and had decided I wanted to try to stick with it, I learned about the Life Runners, an organization dedicated to running for the unborn.  Last year I told you about a 5K I ran with a group from the local chapter I had joined.  Every year the Life Runners hosts several events: a relay across America during Lent, a 5K on the morning of the March for Life, and participates in a national race.  Last fall, over 200 members ran in the Air Force Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K.  Back in January I signed up for the half (which was before registration even opened for the Historic Half.  Needless to say I was a little nervous about registering for my second half marathon before I’d even registered for my first).  Fast forward to September, when I left work early one Thursday and made the eight-hour drive to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  Friday morning I headed to the expo to pick up my packet (and I arrived early enough to hunt for some geocaches nearby), meet up with my friend Marilyn and her husband Chris, take a yoga class, and to purchase a few fun bits of running gear. We made a quick visit to the Air Force museum, and Friday night was the Life Runners pre-race dinner, where I got to meet a lot of fellow Life Runners from all over the country.

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(On the left is Dr. Pat Castle, the president and co-founder of Life Runners.  On the right is the Life Runners banner that the team carries to every event, made by the fabulous Beaner family of South Dakota.)

Race day was amazing; I loved the run (I’m starting to actually like running half marathons!!)  My finish time was 2:19:12, which was 16 minutes and 4 seconds quicker than my Historic Half time.  (Granted, I didn’t have to wait in a 5-minute portapotty line this time, which definitely helped.)  After a shower and a nap at the hotel, I met up with some of the Life Runners for a tour of Elizabeth’s New Life Center, a pregnancy help center right across the street from Dr. Martin Haskell’s late-term abortion clinic.  (He’s the one who invented partial-birth abortion.)  Afterward we headed over to St. Helen’s in Riverside, Ohio for the Saturday vigil Mass (and a group photo), and one final dinner together at the Golden Corral before we all headed our separate ways on Sunday.

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(Marilyn and I after finishing the race.  I want you to know that I’ve ditched that ugly fanny pack for a real running belt–in fact, I think I ran with my new belt that day and switched them out afterward.)

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 What a fantastic weekend, and I hope to reconnect with some of my fellow Life Runners at the March for Life Jan. 22!

–5–

When I visit new churches, I like to take photos of them in hopes of posting some of them here.  For me it’s kind of like a pilgrimage to attend Mass while I’m traveling.  So here are my photos of St. Helen’s,

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St. Luke’s in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania (Fourth of July weekend, when we went to the Indy Car race at Pocono Speedway),

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and St. Stephen’s in Boston, on the last evening of our trip to New England. (Happy Feast of St. Stephen, by the way!)

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–6–

Over the summer I had planned on posting more vacation photos and blogging more about our adventures last June in New England. (If you want you can check out what we did in Vermont here and here.)   In Maine, we rented a house on Moosehead Lake, where it poured for the first two days.  We went on a hike in the pouring rain–and I’m pretty sure Joe sent me the photos he took that day on his phone but for the life of me I can’t find them on my computer.  The rain did let up enough that we could paddle around a little bit in the canoe we had rented.

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Once the sun finally came out we took a pleasant pontoon boat ride to look for moose–we didn’t see any, but it was a LOVELY ride nonetheless!

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We then headed for Boston with a quick stopover in Portland.  We took a tour of Fenway Park, walked all over Boston on the Freedom Trail, went to Mass at St. Stephen’s, and the next morning we headed home.  Where will our next annual summer adventure take us?  Hmmm…..

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(at the Portland Observatory, above)

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–7–

My blogging came to a screeching halt once school started, and I can’t guarantee that won’t happen again.  I’m hoping to carve out some time during the second half of the school year for a little bit of blogging, though; wish me luck!  We’ll be preparing for Moe’s confirmation and Larry’s high school graduation (right now is crunch time for him getting his college applications in–another reason I haven’t blogged much I suppose; he’s constantly hogging the computer.  A small price to pay.).  All three boys are involved in their schools’ musical productions (Larry and Curly have small parts in Shrek, and Moe landed the LEAD in Aladdin!), and I’ll be immersed in my teaching job.  I’ll be training for more races, too;  I hope to run at least one half marathon this spring (maybe two), AND…MAYBE…a full marathon in June.  I’ll keep you posted.  Regardless, I’m going to have to learn to tackle hills–I mean REAL hills.  Like, mountains. (People complain about the Historic Half being hilly, but it’s nothing compared to the races I’m contemplating.  It’s not the Pike’s Peak Ascent or the Mount Washington road race or anything like that, but let’s just say they would probably be good training races for those.)  Wish me luck and pray that my legs don’t fall off–and that I can train properly so as to not get injured.  And that I’ll actually be brave enough to sign up for them.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!  (For now I’ll link you to Kelly’s post from last week; hopefully next Friday she’ll have a new one up.  Starting Monday I’ll be concentrating on preparing for the second half of the school year and getting the house cleaned, so I most likely won’t…)

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About momn3boys

I'm a 40-something mom of three sons. I'm a teacher, lover of the outdoors, and a convert to the Catholic faith. My recent love of running and geocaching inspired me to start my blog, Ramblings of a Runner Cacher. Even though my family doesn't share my love for either of those things, we have A LOT of other things we enjoy together: movies, the beach, skiing, and Indy Car racing to name a few.
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