Posts Tagged With: Running


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Yesterday, my daughter and I picked up my sister and took her out to lunch. She is showing pink spots on her scalp where her hair is falling out. She is feeling some loss of energy and tires more easily.  She is in her third week of radiation. Four more days to go.DSC01545 (Copy)

She nor I are very practiced at chopsticks, so I told her this was a test. She’d better be able to pick up the ginger or we wouldn’t let her eat the rest of her meal. She passed the test.

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It was a beautiful day, and she managed to walk quite a bit around the mall. I was impressed and pleased. She has been through a lot and has a walker, but she strives not to use it. I told her I won’t hold your arm and treat you like an old lady. She said, “But, I am an old lady.”  I told her I’d walk close enough so that she could grab me if she felt unsteady.

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We went for gellato after our Japanese lunch, and got into story telling on our parents who aren’t here to defend themselves. “Remember at Uncle George’s wedding, when dad got soused and blitz danced everyone around the house?” I brought her a manuscript I had typed up after my visit to the Upper Peninsula and collaborated with Dawn and my oldest brother about the many places we had lived. Too many. Dawn attended 13 different schools while growing up.

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When we returned to my daughter’s house, Theo was arranging his food bank stuff. The boys are doing a community service project which is required of them for their upcoming test to reach Black Belt in Karate. Theo prepared a brochure, and canvassed one section of his street for donations. He practiced his spiel on his mom who would come to the door like an angry witch or a grumpy old man, until they giggled too much to continue. Now when he asks for a donation he has to concentrate on being serious. I guess it worked. He still has more territory to cover.

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Owen chose to pick up garbage along a section of creek where the city hosts a day camp. His first sweep netted two full garbage bags of junk. He has the opposite bank to clean before he is done with his project.

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The spirit of volunteering,  community service and physical fitness is an important thing to teach children, my oldest daughter believes. She and Austin volunteered at the Iron World Championships in Las Vegas. He worked the bike booth and handed out water, Gatorade, gelatin cups, and so on. The Triathlon is a swimming event, a run and a bicycle ride.

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Then Austin participated in the IronKids event, which is a 4K run. Pretty nifty.

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Yesterday, we concentrated on the barns at Keeneland Race Track, the workers washing, walking and prepping their animals. We met owner/trainer Greg Burchell and the type of affection and dedication you see among horses and their humans. Above a beautiful, graceful animal with two hundred years of breeding and pedigree enters the track. Follow along with us and watch through our lens.

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Notice two different types of saddles. The trainer has a conventional saddle, the exerciser behind him, has a light weight, practically bareback saddle. Trainers often ride a different breed of horse while training. They amble onto the track and discuss what expensive, precious horse needs to focus on.

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The exercisers cantor and post around the track until the horse is warmed up.

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The position of the feet is high on the saddle. The rider is positioned as though sitting in a chair.

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Then they get moving.

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Then they get moving a bit faster.

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There is a good bit of camaraderie among the exercisers, but for the most part, it is a solitary task between horse and human.

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Grace on the move. This rider carries a short whip and may be training her charge to the whip, though we watched and didn’t see her use it.

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At times the exercisers work together, imitating a race.

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Of course, what we like to see is those special moments when the horses are hell-bent for leather, but our cameras and our skills at photographing fast moving objects are somewhat limited but I got a few credible moments.

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The trouble is, if you catch the horse just gathering for the next lengthening of those legs, it looks like he is going to land on his bent ankles or toss his rider in some other pictures I took.

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They’re flying.

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We walked and took pictures the length of the track. This is right in front of the grandstand. It was hard to leave, so fun and so beautiful.

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We did though. We ran into Jim Cornes, an animal physical therapist. A much-needed guy on a race track. I asked him how he got interested in healing horses and he said his mother took him to Saratoga Race Track to watch the races. He was young and small and thought he’d like to be a jockey. His mother read all the horror stories about jockey injuries and kept discouraging any thought of it until she began to realize how much money they make. But, then he grew about two feet and the point was moot. He is addicted to the race track atmosphere, the horses the excitement. Can’t beat that if you love your job.

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There is always an equine ambulance near the track, even during everyday exercises and training. It lowers at the back like a moving van.

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Jim and I wandered into the grandstand and looked around. No racing now, so everything is empty.

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A one minute lesson on how it is done.

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People come here to bet the races from all over the country when and watch from these television screens. This is called simulcasting. It is very popular and it would have been nice to mingle with the crowds. Maybe another track someday.

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A beautiful building.

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Like an ivy covered college.

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Two-hundred pound cement jockies carry the colors for the racers for that day so a bettor can identify his horse from the color of his “silks” from the worst, and highest seat in the grandstand.

We had a wonderful time at the track. Very cool!

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From Mary’s desk:

It was a chowder kind of day. The cold, rain and then a blast of hail covering the plants on the deck. It melted quickly into this slush.
Out of the blue, A guy, or a gal by the name of Chris zapped me a great recipe for razor clams, how to prepare them and how to add them into a chowder. You cut them finely while frozen and add them at the end of the chowder. Do-Not-Boil! Chris was giving me a hand because I failed razor clam cooking 101 last year while in Washington. Thanks, Chris. whoever you are.  I just opened the can today but I’m game to try your method when I return to Washington.

Earlier in the day, I met an old friend who spent at least 40 years running. Mel, and his wife Victoria, have led this enviable, fascinating life, literally running thousands of miles across the United States, New Zealand, Austraila, England and Hawaii. Mel, (I believe he told me he is closing in on 90) doesn’t have a bend in his back.  He doesn’t show his age, but he does spend part of his day running around on a “portable roadster” he jokes. He and Victoria are writing their memoirs. Victoria won many races in the over 60 category, “simply because not many women over 60 run,” she claims.
I remember from former conversations the astonishment with which people greeted them, simply because they were walking the long strip of asphalt more suited to trucks. People were warm and supportive where ever they stopped. Walking or running as a method of travel is rare.  In England, they happened by Queen Elizabeth’s stables and visited her horses, quite by accident. In Coos Bay, they bumped into a guy who had traveled 25,000 miles in a canoe.

“O’, the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen!”  I know that’s a line from a poem.
Victoria says its like living those marvelous times all over again to go through the journals and put pen to paper, that is,  fingers to keyboard.

I’ll keep you posted. Mel and Victoria live in Murphys and ran with the Arnold Running Club for many years. They quit running at ages 80 and 83.

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