How annoying isn’t to get advice you don’t want. Some people feel the urge to drown you with good sayings and advice you are forced to listen to. Everything from parenting, food and driving. I know, I do it too. I think I know so much better than some people, sometimes. And usually you give advice just because you mean well. When you watch a game you always know so much better than the coach and you always have some good advice for him. When you meet new parents… you really have to restrain yourself to be quiet. And all the advice you give your kids… it is really difficult to keep quiet and let them do the mistakes themselves.

Don’t listen to any advice I give, I am clearly not qualified to give advice, especially when it comes to training. But, as usual I’ve been thinking a lot. I somehow got a very stiff hip/back and that makes me go back in my training log and evaluate my behavior the last couple of weeks. When your body aches it is probably because you’ve done too much or not enough. (And I am not talking about the good ache, nice soreness.) I believe sitting causes just as much problems as overuse. So, what is my problem this time? Easy! I just got back into my old habits and plans and didn’t realize that I’ve been off for almost 6 weeks. I broke my tailbone and had a cold for a few weeks, my training decreased drastically. And when I got back to regular classes and runs I just jumped right into it. From 8 miles running one week to 35 the next. Nr 1 basic mistake. And my hip screams. I clearly didn’t listen to any advice I got.

Quality vs quantity, from high to low and back to high. Build up with quality before quantity. When think of it I guess intensity is what matters in all kinds of training. If you want to improve you need to train and you need to put a lot of power and high intensity into your training. But, if you go from 0 – 100 in a few weeks your body doesn’t adapt to the intensity, you don’t give it a chance to handle time and volume. Once you have a solid base than it is time for quality and once you have quality it is time for volume. It is like gambling, you take risks if you add on lots of time. You can win big but you can also loose it all. Make good choices every day.

But, enough random thoughts and ideas. Let me give you some real advice.

If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, don’t do it. Get another job, find a new hobby or start collecting stamps. Heard on the news this morning that most people don’t enjoy what they are doing. And of course I know that a lot of people are trapped and can’t change that because they need their paycheck every month. But, change one thing at the time, do more fun things. 

If you are scared or nervous turn the feeling around and act like you’re the boss. You are in control, act confident, like a pirate. Arrrrrrgg

Grow up, be a man/woman. Suck it up. We all have bad days. Move on. 

Slow down and dance a little. Enjoy life, don’t take everything so serious. Take a break.

Believe in yourself. If you have done the work, enjoy it. If you know you are well prepared, don’t sweat it. You know you can do it.

Therapy is expensive, bubble wrap is cheap.

“Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath” Arnold H. Glasow. Choose your battles.

Go and find your smile. I think my smile is probably about 10 miles away, east of here. I plan to go and get it later today.


It’s been a while since I actually wrote something. My time shrinks from hours to minutes to moments, and those short moments pass by so fast. You know, I actually do stuff. Other things than running. But wouldn’t it be awesome to be a full time runner. Running trails out in the wilderness, with no concern about time and day. Some people seem to think that this is my life, running trails and sidewalks on the eastside of Seattle. I only share some tidbits of the rest of my life, a few glimpses. I keep the rest to myself. I have a family that is awesome. Three teenaged daughters, a husband and a part time job as a principal and teacher. Before we moved here I identified myself as a full time teacher, assistant principal, and college teacher and of course mom. I really have to think twice before I label myself now. I am a European living in the US, feeling more and more at home but missing my family every day. Kind of an identity crisis but in a good way. A world member. Kind of cool actually. It is good to see yourself in a different perspective, learn new things and meet new people. And of course I have my bad days and good days, as all of us. I ran with a friend (thank you Monica) this morning. A nice 45 minutes run along the Sammamish river trail, damp weather but beautiful colors. Actually gorgeous colors and perfect fall weather. We talked about life and how different you see things. Our common understanding was that if you live with an attitude that positive things happen, that everyone actually wants well and that people are basically good, it will make your life better. Life is good. And it’s your responsibility to make it a good one. Your responsibility. You are in charge of our own life. Easy! Make it a good one.

I ran today and yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that too. When I think about it, I’ve been running every day this week. I’ve been trying to find the happy running moment, you know that feeling… Yeah I love running, it’s king of the world kind of feeling. It’s gone. But I know it’s usually around the corner and one day I’ll find it again, probably sitting on a rock looking up trying to see the blue sky in the forest or taking a break on the docks looking out over Lake Sammamish. After the tailbone break and a huge cold I kind of lost my ability to think positive thoughts. My body feels heavy and old, my steps are far from light. But life still has its interesting parts. I had a really fun moment Monday. I ran to the gym, took a class, ran to the other gym and swam. That took me 3-4 hours and after getting my kind of sweaty clothes on again I ran back home. On the way home I must have had my mouth open singing, talking to myself or maybe just exhausted from the long morning so an insect flew into my mouth and I swallowed it. The poor fly, bee, wasp… was buzzing and moved around and I could actually feel a sting. I panicked, mostly in my head. I swallowed a freaking bee and it stung me. Am I going to puff up from the inside? I started to count minutes and miles in my head. 4 miles back home, EpiPen in the kitchen drawer, I really have to step on it. But I realized that if I am going to swell up I might just eat something first, feed the bee kind of. I realized that I would never make it home if I would puff up. So I looked through my pack and found a ziplock with raisins and cashews and a few pieces of Dextrosol (Swedish sugar, very yummy). I ate it all and started coughing, jumping around and talked a little to the bee. It must have worked really well, I didn’t puff up. I made it home but it felt like I could feel the little bee the rest of the day. That was an easy way to get the post run protein without even chewing.

I decided to try to be safer so I ran at the club, on a treadmill the day after. And I had to do some speed-intervals. The night before I even found an interval workout that was supposed to simulate a trail run so I thought I’d give it a try. Wow, how do you do it indoor peeps? I did it but I can’t say that I felt happier after. The only fun part with indoor running would be the people watching. It is interesting. And I met a few friends and that’s always nice. And the sauna, probably the best part of the indoor run.

Getting closer to the sky tomorrow, running a mountain. Need to change batteries is my headlight… it supposed to be dark and foggy tomorrow morning.

Until next time.

Fredag i förorten

En lång dag och en ledig dag från skolan. Sovmorgon för några, speciellt de omyndiga. Det har varit en lång dag. Klättringsträning, inhandling av accessoarer till homecoming som är imorgon, kompisbesök och en visit hos en fotdoktor. Det har inhandlats klänningar och idag köptes det skor med höga klackar. Förra årets skor passade ju såklart men hade fel färg. Så kan det ju vara med skor. Jag slog till på ett par röda snygga när jag ändå var med.

Det äldsta barnet blev miniopererat hos fotdoktorn. Två sprutor och så fram med skalpellen. Det verkar lyckat, foten är fortfarande bedövad efter 9 timmar. Vi hoppas på att den fortfarande känns lite dommen när de höga klackarna ska på imorgon kväll.


Pappa blev väldigt kort när klackarna åkte på.


Kvällen tillbringades på Lake Washington High Schools läktare, isande kyla men bra uderhållning. Det var Homecoming match och vi fick lov att vara där om vi höll oss på kanten. De två äldre stod med sina kompisar på läktaren där deras årskurser stod, den yngre förmågan fladdrade runt med sina middleschool kompisar och käkade popcorn. Vi något äldre försökte hålla värmen med dåligt kaffe, huttrande i dunjackor och sommarskor. Och fick chansen att prata lite med våra favorit amerikanska mormor-morfar som vi inte ser så ofta nu när barnen blivit äldre. I halvtid var det underhållning med drill-dance team och parad med homecoming king och queen. Lite kyligt i aftonklänning sittande I en cab men snyggt var det. Imorgon är det homecoming dance. Nästan lika spännande varje år.


Det verkar som om att jag dras till vatten. Jag som inte gillar vatten något vidare. Varje löprunda drar sig mot trailen mot vattnet. Fåglarna flyger i plogar och örnen vaktar i det stora trädet där vägen går i en böj. Vackert är det när hösten kommit och trädkronorna gulnar sakta när det är soliga dagar. Fingrarna blir allt mer röda ju längre bort man springer och öronen dunkar av kylan. Mösspåtagning.

photo 5

photo 4

Idag hade jag turen att få hänga med ut på sjön i lånad blå strömlinjeformad havskajak. Jag for raskt iväg och skaffade en egen flytväst.

photo 3

Det bar av när solen tittade fram från dimman. Vi gled fint förbi sjöplan, motorbåtar och tomma bryggor. Tyst och fint gled kajakerna förbi strandtomter och vrålåk. Vädret var vackert, himlen blå och luften krispig. Vilken härlig dag!

Efter mer än fyra timmar och 25 km hittade vi tillbaka till stranden där vi hade börjat vår tur. Finfint!

photo 1

Helighet och gröna träd

Idag tassade jag runt ensam i skogen. Inte ens ett litet rådjur eller tvättbjörn. Jag stötte visserligen på en liten, liten ekorre men den var så minimal att den nästan inte räknas. Jag knatade på med små steg och med riktigt fin svansföring. Stigarna var lagom leriga och det kändes nästan som om jag var den första som varit där på flera år. Inte ett litet steg eller avtryck, inga hästskor, inga spår av varken människor eller djur. Solen tittade fram mellan träden och det var grönare än grönt på träden. Det var kallt, fint och äntligen höst. Härligt!




Och sedan bar det av på badmintonturnering. Och vad hittade vi där om inte en fastspänd Jungfru Maria sittande i ett baksäte. Varför? För att vara en extra person så att det är lagligt att köra i carpool filen, för att få lite sällskap I bilen, för att… ja, jag har inte en aning. Jag passade på att få lite helighet genom fönstret.  


Jag tror att det är spindelns år. Vi har spindlar och spindelnät över allt, inne och ute. Den här rackaren äter mer kött än vad vi gör. Han fångar fjärilar, insekter och en vacker dag är jag rädd att jag kommer att hitta en liten fågel i nätet. Men jag har inte hjärta att städa bort det.


Welcome Wednesday

6.30am Mornings at our house is quite eventless. We eat, watch the news and sit quiet. I heat or cook something for the lunch bags, pack them up and drink a lot of coffee. The kids eat, they all eat good breakfasts. And I don’t even have to nag. They all make their own breakfasts and they all eat different things. Brjann glides down the stairs after a while and reads emails, taking care of the first 30 minutes of work before work. After eating, all three kids crawl up in different corners of the sofas with a blanket and close their eyes listening to the news. I usually try to make conversation and asks about homework and what’s going to happen during the day and I usually get a long look or a –seriously, why do you think I stayed up until 12… to not finish my homework. So, we watch the news and try to keep the conversation to the minimum.

7.25am I get my third cup of coffee, Brjann opens his computer. All three kids jump up and runs up the stairs. Is it 7.25 already! We hear that they are all moving around upstairs, changing clothes, straightening hair, brushing teeth, changing clothes… And actually talking to each other.

7.37am Three backpacks, three gym bags, three lunch bags, three water bottles, three netbooks, three phones, one guitar, one racket, kneepads, shoes… needs to be located. Even if everything was packed or at least in the right area of the house 10 minutes ago we are now missing at least 1 pair of spandex, 1 jersey, 3 phones and 2 pairs of kneepads. And shoot, away game… need more snacks, more clothes, more… And purple game jersey, no, it’s a white day. And in 30 seconds the house is turned upside down and the whole world depends on those special pair of spandex that is still in the washing machine.  

Taking deep breaths and remembering the struggles 10 years ago. Three kids, three different schools/preschools, two working parents, very cold winters, -4F/-20C, clothes, lots of clothes, skates, helmets, three kids on one bike, ice, snow…

7.38am Why can I still see netbook cords on the floor? Who forgot something? And yes, you need a water bottle. Not drinking for 9 hours will not be an option.

7.39am Two parents in a car each and often two kids but where is the third… Changing clothes? Looking for the perfect pair of boots to the perfect yoga pant? Looking for a phone?…?

7.40am We are all in the car and rolling out from the driveway.

Traffic! Where is everybody going?

Some days I drop off at both schools but it depends on Brjann’s work schedule. If he is home we usually get one school each. If I drop at both schools it’s about 40 min in the car on a good day. I dropped off at high school today, really close, maybe 3 miles away, 112 red lights, 15 left turns and most of the day’s traffic.

7.50ish am If you want some excitement in your life, drive to a school 10 minutes before the bell rings. Parents are stressed, kids are stressed and the cars can’t move fast enough. Drop off lines fills up fast, a few drivers apparently missed drivers ed and somehow you always have the sun in your eyes. It’s an ant farm. I drive up, stop the car and say something perky. Can’t help myself, cute and very uncool words pop out. –Mom, turn down the music. Everybody doesn’t have to hear that you’re listening to Justin Timberlake and JAY-Z. Empty Perrier bottles falls out as they open the doors. Embarrassing! And I take a last look at the two high schoolers walking up to the doors, disappearing in. Lovely kids! I don’t know why it chokes me up. I get the same feeling every day, when did this growing up thing happen? And the day goes on. 

Random thoughts…

…on Friday in October, Cinnamon Bun Day. Yes, the cinnamon bun has its own day in Sweden. October 4th! Same day as national vodka day and teacher day. I’ll skip the vodka but will drink to all other teachers later tonight.

How many cinnamon buns per day will be too many? A day like this doesn’t count but on a regular day? At least 2. Förmiddagskaffe and eftermiddagskaffe.

Overheard two people beside the barbequed chicken at Safeway earlier today. “I’m not fat, not by South Carolina standards. I’m just fat here in Washington. When I go home to my parents I look very thin and bony. It’s pretty much the only reason I visit my parents.” Yeah, right. By European standards I am enormous at the moment. Maybe it’s because of the cinnamon buns? And yes I was eavesdropping, it was the funniest conversation I’ve heard in a long time.

Sun is shining but it’s really cold. I finally get to wear a hat when I run! I went to the gym the other day to swim. When I walked into the shower area I saw a woman spend a lot of time getting her hair done. It was hairdryer, straightener and multiple bottles involved. I showered and got dressed and then when I walked out to get my car I saw her run outside. I think I have something to learn here. Getting ready before a run. That’s probably my ugliest moment. I really recommend a hat! Saves you about an hour or two a day! If it gets really cold you can keep the hat on all day.

I wrote about running the other day. Yeah, I know, every day. But I was talking about when you can call yourself a runner. I know now… When you have more laundry than you can take care of. I usually have loads that are mine every day and now… almost nothing. Bad sign.

I ran to my favorite hill today and found big signs that my little hill was closed. A lot of trees were gone and there were some kind of green stuff on the ground. I wonder what’s happening to my perfect hill. I don’t like when things change. But it’s probably good that something is happening. I’ve met a lot of strange people there lately, one guy that likes to show off his… violin and a homeless guy that I’ve given my granolabars and powerberries on longruns. They are both gone now. But there were a few guys with hardhats there today calling me little lady and telling me that the area was closed when I tried to sneak by.  Little lady?? I had my coolest sunglases on! Little lady!

We have an other home game tonight. We don’t have to worry about what to do 2-3 nights per week. Our social life is shrinking to the minimum.

From me to you, tight pants w Jimmy F