As I'm writing my new book, I'm also working on another challenge. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest a year ago to be near my daughter Kate and her young family, I've enjoyed walking on many beautiful trails near my new home. Last fall, Kate ran in the Columbia River Gorge Half-Marathon. It's a spectacular setting—mountains, waterfalls, and sweeping views of the majestic Columbia River. I was not only blown away by the stunning scenery and Kate's persistence in reaching her goal, but I noted that the last group of participants at the starting line, after the eight, ten, and twelve-minute milers sprinted off, were walking. Sure, 13.1 miles in a mountainous terrain was way beyond what I had done so far, but the joy in the air that day, including Kate's exultant dash across the finish line, was infectious.
A couple of months ago, I partnered with another woman who also wants to participate in the race, and we are training for it. As the race nears, we're gradually adding more distance, and it's getting tougher. Some days, as we wend our way through Whipple Creek Park shown above, it's so lovely that there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. Other days, like last Saturday traipsing five miles on elevated trails in 86 degree heat, I was miserable and sore. I went home, soaked in a long, hot bath, and walked three-and-a-half miles the next morning. I've never been on a sports team, but I'm beginning to feel rather athletic.
I suppose it's similar to my late husband John and I leaving everything behind and sailing away with our seven-year-old daughter: you prepare as much as you can, and take a leap of faith. The race is October 22nd, and I'll keep you posted!
If you're interested in learning more about my three-year sailing adventure with John, Kate and our dog, Elmo, go here.