Challenge 21

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Silver Strider Strong”

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xxxxxCHALLENGE 20 – 21

Challenge 20 was first introduced last March with an article by Judy Fisher titled “Silver Strider Strong”. We asked you to let us know what you were doing to stay safe and yet stay motivated to maintain your fitness. Your response to this challenge was overwhelming!. We received over 40 profiles!

It has been several months since we issued the first challenge. Who would have thought these hard times would have lasted this long with the end nowhere in sight? Who would have thought Virtual Races would become the norm?

We asked Judy Fisher to send us an updated profile. In her article “ADJUSTMENT AND ACCEPTANCE”, Judy shares what her life looks like now.

We want to hear from you! How has your life changed? This is the time to share your experiences. Tell us about your fitness activities, diet, health habits, goals, words of encouragement, comments, remarks and what you are doing to stay safe. This is the time for all of us to stay connected with each other…to stay Silver Strider Strong!

To thank you for sending in your updated profile, the Silver Strider will be giving free entries randomly to upcoming Grand Prix Series Virtual races.

email your profile to:

Take Challenge 20-21 – We can’t wait to hear from you!


Challenge 20–21

Charles Milliman – Fitness Activities: In November, 2019 I started to run more consistently. By January 2020 I was running 25 to 40 miles a week. I continued to keep this schedule through September.

I signed up for the virtual Run the Peninsula Series in May. The series consists of a marathon, 1/2 marathon, 10k and two 5K’s. My times for each race were Marathon 7 hours and 17 min…..Ugh! Half 3 hours and 34 minutes. 10k 1 hour and 38 minutes. The two 5K’s 40 minutes. Plus running a virtual Bloomsday 12K and the Rhody 12K. I finished the virtual Peninsula series in November, 2020. Remarks: Despite the virus I had a good year of running and for all of Silver Striders and myself, I hope the New Year is a good year. God bless,


Jeff Brown

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: Running has been a continued activity for me throughout his COVID period. As many as 6 races that I signed up for were canceled and have done many virtual races as well as two COVID safe races: The Yellowstone Park Half Marathon and the Grand Ridge Half Marathon. It was thrilling to apply my training to these races and will hopefully have more next year. I am signed up for 4 races next year, three of which are out of state. I have three training courses in my local area and run about 4 days a week with two days where I do strength training. I just added a third day to strength training. My running milage ranges from 35 to 50+ mile per week. I love heading to the mountains and special locations to do exploration happy runs.

Diet: My diet had been the same throughout COVID. I have been more or less following zone program for years, focusing on whole foods, which include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The last 2 years have been very consistent. Btw: Chocolate is my food vice and have discovered Montezuma’s 100% Pure Dark Chocolate with no sugar. It is amazing how that chocolate satisfies my chocolate and sugar urges. You can get it at Trader Joes.

Health Habits: Aside from running and strength training, I try to keep my head adjusted with gratitude and kindness. That is not easy and running helps me to do that…… I also take time to read and be with others. I always welcome a hug.

Goals: I have seriously embraced running as my single sport in the past two years. Before that, bicycling was my primary sport, which complimented running. I used to train for the Courage Classic Bicycle Event (Snoqualmie, Bluwett and Steven Pass in two days) each year, but that race no longer takes place in that form. I finished my first marathon last year in Salem, Oregon and added a second with the Seattle Marathon. A California Marathon cancelled this year so am hoping for one or two in 2021. I would love to do one world major marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. Next year I hope to qualify for those races and run as many National Park races as seems reasonable.

Safety Measures: I have embraced best reasonable practices with COVID and stay healthy with diet and exercise.

Remarks: I have not been a consistent person in the Silver Striders, but I have long been inspired by all of you with my running/biking in the past. More importantly, you have inspired me to stay ‘with it’ and do the work of living a healthy and active life, and like you, encouraging others to do the same. You all are my inspiration, and I am working to pass it on. Thank you!!


Ed Barney

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: My training has been sporadic at best. It has been hard motivating myself to get out and run longer than 30 minutes at a time once or twice a week lately.

Route options are not as exciting as races and I fear that I am losing my edge. My focus of late has been on work and trying to get my house ready to sell.

My wife and I have decided it’s time for a change. We would like to transfer to Idaho, so the first thing is to declutter and prep the house.

Diet: Trying to focus on healthy eating options, but that doesn’t always go to well. I’ve tried taking vitamin supplements on a regular basis, but I usually forget and then I get to work and find I forgot my lunch so I have to eat fast food or junk food. I could stand to lose a few pounds before the holidays.

Since covid, I’ve gained about 15 pounds. There will be family pictures around Christmas so I guess I need to look good and you know what a challenge that can be. This old canvas isn’t too pliable anymore.

Safety Measures: I try to stay out in open spaces when I’m out and about, and at work masks and gloves are now a part of the uniform. I used to enjoy shopping, but I don’t anymore with all the mandates. I’m fortunate to have a stout immune system so I’m just going with the flow.

Remarks: With all the races being postponed, canceled, or turned virtual, running is not as much fun as it once was. I’ve done some virtual runs, which is a change from working and locking myself in my basement with my computer.

There’s nothing as invigorating as face-to-face competition. That adrenaline gets pumping and the competitive monster comes out in me.

I did sign up for the 2021 Challenge. Run/walk 2021 miles in 2021. Between working and the bit of running I still do, I cover about 150 miles a month. So, I’ll need to find some encouragement to run an additional 20-25 miles each month to make it happen. Maybe I could find an ultra or two to run. That might actually be fun. You know running out in the woods or the middle of nowhere. Nothing to worry about, accept falling down or getting lost on the trail. Road Trip.

Stay safe my friends. Maybe some day, some time we’ll race again.


Steve Ramsdell

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: Since my last Challenge report, things haven’t changed much. Gretchen still throws me out of bed every morning to either run or walk. Gloriously, the other day, she thought it was raining, so we got to sleep in. Gretchen and I still do our running at the Kitsap Navy Base Bangor. I pretty much just run around the track, while Gretchen runs all over the base. That way I can use the bathroom, if I need to. For our Virtual races, we’ve been meeting Nick and Tiare Bailey in Port Townsend. Tiare has very kindly become my “coach,” warning me of any bumpy terrain and keeping track of my time and distance. Gretchen loaned me her Timex watch, but with my gloves on, it’s hard to start and stop it. Nick has been sending in our pictures and race times afterward. My race times have been improving. Gretchen is now my full time chauffer. That way, I don’t have to listen to her back seat driving.

Diet: Gretchen makes sure we eat healthy. My breakfast is a fruit salad and cereal. Lunch: Half Killer Dave sandwich with turkey or chicken and Swiss cheese, chopped carrots or yams, and Chobani fruit yogurt. Dinner: Fish 2-3 times a week. I love the salads Gretchen makes with greens, cabbage or kale plus lots of seeds and nuts. Her sister often gives us some goodies to nibble on, which Gretchen hides. However, the other night while watching our TV programs, we had caramel corn and a Swiss chocolate bar. I have a coffee in the morning and a full glass of water with every meal, no sodas, beer or wine.

Remarks: I get out in our yard during the week to mow the lawn and do lots of watering. I have lost some weight and feel better. It will be nice, when we can see everyone again. I miss the camaraderie, and look forward to all those restaurant meals.


Gretchen Ramsdell

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: Things haven’t changed all that much for me. I am still trying to keep Steve and I on track be getting us up early every morning to walk or run. Yesterday, we skipped running. I looked out the window and thought it looked like rain, but it was so yuky, I couldn’t really tell. So we went back to sleep. Wow, I couldn’t believe how out-of-sorts I was the whole day, because we got off our routine. I realize now, how keeping that schedule keeps us focused, positive, and energized the rest of the day.

Diet: I still make all our meals, no eating out or take-out. I try to make sure we are eating healthy. That has helped us reduce our A1C levels since the end of June: Steve, by .6 points; and me, by .3 points. However, we started treating ourselves in the evenings to the DREADED “Big Three:” Cookies, Chocolate, or Ice Cream. When I couldn’t get into my clothes, I knew we had to change, though it’s taking a long time. We get off, occasionally, but we’re doing better. A couple of our sweet choices have helped: Yasso mint chocolate chip Greek Yogurt Bars and Trader’s Joe’s Cold Brew Latte Dessert Bars (popsicles).

Safety Measures: We’re doing all the usual things to stay safe. I leave Steve mostly at home to do my meal shopping and errands. We wash hands frequently, sanitize and wear masks.

Remarks: I’ve spent much of my time the last part of the summer helping my sister Marilyn, who had reverse shoulder surgery. It involves quite a bit of driving between Bremerton and Shelton. Also, I’m doing all the driving for Steve and I now, too. We’ve sold our Ford Focus to our granddaughter, who moved from Virginia to Spokane, WA, where she is starting graduate school at Eastern Washington University.

The new lease on our lives has been our connection with Nick and Tiare Bailey for our Virtual races. I am not able to send our race results in with my simple phone, except to another cell phone as a text (not an email), so Nick has been kindly sending in our pictures and times to the race directors and to Jerry for our Silver Strider credit. We run with them in Port Townsend on the Larry Scott Trail. Nick ordered me a Garmin watch, so I can track my distance. Tiare runs with Steve and tracks his time and distance. Sometimes, Isabelle Noiret joins us too. Now we can eat breakfast afterward at the Bayview Restaurant near the ferry. We made a very exciting trip for 2 nights in Anacortes to run the Virtual Art Dash 5K with them. We had dinner and breakfast together in restaurants, too. It worked out great and was a nice change!

We have been enjoying some of the new TV programs again for this Fall, as well as the movies on the Turner Classic channel. We really miss everyone! We’re glad we can be in touch through our reports. I need to get zoom, so we can meet for the T and H Awards Ceremony. It will be a challenge to figure out where we might be able to run our Tortoise and Hare race. I’m concerned about that. Take special care everyone!


Tiare Bailey

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness activities: I try to run 2 times /week, one a shorter distance & one a longer distance. Now that I have been back to work full time since May 18th I have to be more disciplined in getting exercise time scheduled. I entered the 21 mile Conqueror virtual challenge where you can run, walk, swim, bicycle etc. I choose to get my trail bike out of retirement,although it was still brand new, and cover half the miles on it. Nick serviced it for me, and together we rode from Gardiner to Sequim Bay State Park and back on the trails. On the uphill finish I conquered shifting gears! I completed the final miles on foot.

Diet: I try to eat a variety of whole foods . I can’t lie, I like sweets too. I decided it was time to update my vaccinations and a physical exam so after all test results came back, my only change in diet is adding more vitamin D and calcium.

Safety measures: Staying out of large crowds is still a goal. The grocery store is where I have contact with the largest number of people. In our community, people in stores are complying with the requirement of wearing a mask, and most people try to keep a safe distance. When I run on trails, I wear a mask around my chin & pull it up to cover my mouth and nose when others are approaching. Working in a dental specialty clinic, we arrive wearing a mask, have our temperature taken immediately and recorded, complete a questionnaire, scrub up, and put on gloves to get our operatory ready for the first patient.

I work wearing a KN95 mask, with a surgical mask over that is changed after each patient, and I have a face shield over the two masks. My loupes have protective eye shields, and I have a bonnet on my head and wear a lab coat . Our patients stay in their vehicle until they are contacted to come in. They go through a similar process of temperature screening, questions asked for the second time since their appointment was confirmed, wear a mask into the office, and use hand sanitizer before going into our operatory. We focus on safety all day,

Goals: Consume a “healthy” diet, exercise, rest when possible, and stay away from large crowds.

Remarks: Stay positive,be grateful,appreciate new opportunities even when they are a challenge. A quote I like, “The one thing that I really appreciate about being a runner is the incredible friendships and camaraderie that we as runners share.” …. Jen Rhines

This is how I feel about our SS family. I can’t wait to see everyone!


Ed Heckard

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: In Challenge 20 I wrote that my wife, Gale, had been running nearly every morning for the past 8-9 months. I commented she was holding a good pace of 9 minute/miles. I jogged a few times using her ‘fancy new watch’ & was pleased that I also was running at a solid 9 minute/mile.

I found this to be so motivational I purchased a ‘fancy new watch’ just like hers. I put my beloved $24.95 Casio stopwatch in a drawer, strapped on my new timepiece & hit the jogging path with a renewed vigor.

Well you know the rest of the story. It took maybe 2 training runs to realize someone’s watch was not accurate & unfortunately, it was the faster timed watch that was off…way off! We had been in a delusional state of contentment for over 2 months. Pace was not 9, closer to 10:30. I hear you. I should have known this. I guess I wanted to believe the false readings so badly, I let my rationality take an extended vacation.

My wife took this setback quite well. She is now using her phone for timing & has cracked 10 minute/miles on several occasions. On the other hand, I am not sure I will ever recover from the fiasco.

Averaging around 25 miles while getting out 5-6 days a week. Have ventured out 10-12 miles a couple times however I am disheartened at the slow pace for these distances. Over-all I am feeling good. Running not improving as I would like but there could be worse things to be concerned about.

Diet: In Challenge 20 I commented that in late February I had been to the doctor for a wellness checkup. We don’t have a scale at home so the doctor’s office is where I discover how much I weigh. At that time, I was appalled when I stepped on the scale & the digital reading was 152.6. I told you back then I was going on a diet. Last Tuesday I again had occasion to go to the doctor. Again, I stepped on the same scale and BAM, a 132 reading. 20 Lbs. in 6 months. Impossible I know, but just like that ‘fancy new watch’, I am taking the reading as the gospel truth! We have not been starving ourselves. For the most part, I have cut out foods starting with the letter ‘C’. Cake, Cookies, Crackers, Chips, Cereal (a biggie) & Cream (Ice Cream that is). However, I can eat Celery, Carrots & Cantaloupe.

Safety Measures: My wife has been great to me during this quarantine stuff. I rarely go out & about where a mask might be required. On the jogging paths I attempt to keep a safe distance from fellow joggers & walkers.

Goals: Immediate goal is re-establishing training runs with a group of runners at Everett Memorial Stadium. They meet at the stadium Mondays & Wednesdays. Monday is a 7-mile tempo run & Wednesday is intervals on the track. I am not up to the workouts yet but feel by mid to late October I can participate again. Not looking to run a race (if there are any) until at least next Spring or Summer. Will be focusing on shorter races, leaving half & full marathon training for 2022.


Arne Hales

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: Walking 4 miles Monday thru Friday. Other than going slowly on the virtual runs, I have not been running. Our 4 Month painting job is finally complete so no significant ladder climbs. Occasional weight lifting, but not as a routine. Some minor yard work.

Diet: No changes; fruits and vegetables, fish and chicken with occasional Steak and Gluten free Pizza. Daily Gluten free brownie, and Trader Joes Chocolate baton. We have started a weekly Take-out purchase, supporting local small restaurants.

Safety Measures: Shopping weekly at Trader Joes during senior hour after early shopping at Sprouts. Our daughter’s family shops Costco for us. Face masks and social distancing.

Remarks: The virtual runs have been a mixed blessing. I forced myself to complete them ignoring the nagging injury that I have attributed to tight hamstrings. I’m finally seeing a Physical Therapist which of course results in 1-1/2 hour nightly exercises/stretches. To keep from further aggravating whatever the real problem is, I decided to WALK the Iron Horse virtual ½ Marathon. My initial plan was to walk a section of the Burke-Gilman Trail out and back from Lake Forest Park. A half mile into it I turned around and went home. After downloading several NPR episodes of Snap Judgment and This American Life, I started again, this time in my neighborhood. I timed it for low tide in order to walk a mile or so on the beach from Picnic Point Park to Meadowdale Beach Park. I have never needed additional ‘entertainment’ when running. Walking for 4 hours… is a whole different story. Goals: As I told my Physical Therapist; stay competitive in age group, complete at least one marathon each year, and to once again line up at the start line with my Silver Strider friends.


Dave Sherman

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: I have been spending my summer training for two spring marathons, Coeur d’ Alene and Boston. While that might seem backwards, it’s what happened when Coeur d’Alene got postponed from May to August and Boston from April to September.

We just got back from a quick trip to do the Coeur d’ Alene races (I ran the full, Charlea the half). The race director did a really nice job planning out how to put on a socially distant and safe live event. It was a chip timed race but was spread out over three days so was very dispersed.

We felt safe doing the race, but the town itself made us nervous. The locals seemed to be under the influence of some Cult that disdains masks but does like confederate flags.

The Boston race, being virtual, will be on a course of my choosing which I expect will have very few people on it. Diet: We’re eating the same sort of stuff as usual, adjusted for the season. Today I made a blackberry pie and we had a scramble with homegrown kale and tomatoes. We were inundated with green beans this year and are presently harvesting dry beans and the first of the sauce tomatoes. Soon we’ll have corn and several types of winter squash. I also picked a couple quarts of blueberries today and am thinking about going up in the mountains and picking huckleberries. Safety Measures: We’re well conditioned to grab our masks now whenever around others. We avoid getting close to other walkers or runners. I dropped my gym membership as the gym seems a risky place to be these days. We use a lot of hand sanitizer and wash our hands a lot. Our formerly busy calendars remain mostly empty. Goals: With marathon training done, I plan to keep on running enough to stay in reasonable half marathon shape, or about 25 miles a week. I won’t be following any sort of a plan or schedule though. Remarks: : This year has been a challenge. I try not to dwell on all the things we’ve missed or lost, but instead look at the small positive things we have been able to accomplish. And also remember, every day of pandemic drudge brings us one day closer to the good times ahead.


Charlea Sherman

Challenge 20 – Part 2

A shout out to all of my Silver Striders friends who share my August birthday month. Happy Birthday. Fitness Activities: : I have been attending an outside exercise class two days a week. We meet in a park and the instructor is good at social distancing. I like walking our new puppy, Jessie. She is a border collie mix and very smart. I exercise her with the hose, and she enjoys running full speed and jumps high. I wish I had some of that puppy energy. Diet: : In the summer and fall I feel like one of the animals in the fable, The Little Red Hen. Dave does all of the hard work in his beautiful garden and I eat and eat. From the fable I learned that I must help out and show some personal initiative if I get to enjoy all of the wonderful organic food. Safety Measures: We are social distancing, washing hands and masking up. I have a nice collection of masks. My first one was handmade and my newest one is a creation of InkNburn.

On our trip to Idaho a young woman made fun of me wearing my mask so I pulled it down and told her I just tested positive for covid. She was horrified. Hopefully, I gave her something to think about. Goal: My goal is to eat all of Dave’s wonderful pies. He promised me a huckleberry pie for my birthday. I do not have to help pick the berries or make the pie. I am thinking about the little red hen again. Anxious to see you all. Remarks: Let LOVE and JOY run your life.


Diane Martin – “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: So there I was on July 4th, excited about the Run for the Pies Virtual 5K. My daily routine had been pretty much the same. Enjoying outdoor runs 2-3 times a week, working out at home with some strength training, Pilates or Yoga. I was pleased with my race results and began to focus on the increasing my speed for the Art Dash. Life had other ideas. Diet: Lean meats, fish and lots of veggies. With more time in house, I enjoy going through cookbooks to find healthy recipes.

Safety Measures: Most of the time I’m self isolating at home. Remarks: So, on July 5th I’m experiencing a lot of tightness in my shoulders and hips. RICE for a few days, I should be good to go, except I wasn’t!

During a 3 day camping trip I found it difficult to get myself out of the tent, I had so much pain and stiffness in my shoulders and legs.

As the weeks progressed so did the pain and stiffness. After a trip to Prompt Care and a follow up with my primary doctor, blood tests revealed I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). WHAT?

No one in my family had or has RA, this can’t be happening to me! I had lots of questions and concerns over the next few weeks as I waited for information.

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease. Most patients experience periodic flare-ups that can last over long periods of time. But there are various treatments, plus good nutrition, certain exercises and mindfulness can help alleviate the pain and stiffness.

I received good wishes from Silver Strider friends and a sweet grandson who is helping me with housework.

I’m mentally working to take this on as a new life challenge and not feel sorry for myself (but sometimes I do). I recognize this could be worse; plus I now feel empathy for those who have suffered with RA at a much younger age than me.

Charlea’s article inspired me to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

My daughter’s first question to the Rheumatologist is “When can she run again?”

But for now I’m just looking forward to not walking like a duck!!


Judy Fisher at Sterino’s fruit stand

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: Still running my hilly 8-miles a day over paved and dirt roads, sidewalks and rocky trails, veering to the opposite side when nearing other walkers/runners. Some days I feel like I’m a ping pong ball, bouncing from side to side or a participant in Pong (remember that early video game?). Diet: Eating simple summer vegan meals. This means less cooking (no heavy casseroles). We enjoy corn-on-the-cob, yams and potatoes – all cooked in the microwave. Cauliflower and broccoli are roasted in the oven. Spinach and tomatoes are eaten in a salad. Yogurt (vegan), blueberries or melon for snacking. Vegan ice cream for “sinning.” We visit Sterino’s in Puyallup to restock our fresh food larder. Safety Measures: Masking up and distancing when shopping in stores come naturally. We now see our family members and we watch our granddaughter a few times a week – no masks. This certainly brings sunshine into our lives! Health Habits: I try not to worry about that which I have no control. Reading about far-off adventures takes me to another mindset. I am now reading WALKING THE GOBI BY Helen Thayer, a narrative about an elderly couple who walked 1,600 miles across the Mongolian Desert in 126-degree temperatures! My own life suddenly seems less stressful! Goals: I am constantly searching for that “sweet spot” when running – that place where everything comes together and I am rewarded with a Personal Best! Being in the flow, in the zone – capturing that feeling is why I run. Words of Encouragement: There is good in this new way of day-to-day living, such as: Now we are never late for anything since we don’t go anywhere. Striders can shop in stores before the general public. If your hands get more alcohol than your mouth, congratulate yourself. The pandemic can really be depressing but we need to keep smiling and be optimistic for our own mental well-being and for that of those we love. My new philosophy is not to just strive to survive, but to THRIVE through it all and be a better person when we feel safe to be together and to enjoy life under our own terms once again.


Larry Larsen

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: I’ve been running ultra-marathons in my dreams. Diet: Taking elderberry syrup daily for the immune system. Safety Measures: Using social distancing and hand sanitizer. When groceries are needed, entering store early in morning when shoppers are lowest.

Remarks: On July 23, I went in for knee replacement surgery because it was bone-on-bone and hurt to just walk. The opioids given for pain didn’t work on me. They put me into the hospital instead with narcotic bowel syndrome for two days.

The feeling of burning pain in my knee has kept me sleep deprived, so I’m just existing from day to day. Looking forward to that day when I’ll be able to walk pain free again.

The physical therapist says I’m making good progress. At this point the knee is still congested so range of motion is limited but with the exercises it will eventually improve. I have P. T. through the month of Sept. and hopefully by Oct. I’ll be able to go on the roads again.and work up to a 5K distance at least.


Karen Lichtenstein’s Gym

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: I am still on the same schedule of weight training on one day and running the next day. I tried going back to the local gym for weightlifting, but there were too many people without face masks. Now I am back to weightlifting in my basement gym. I find it hard to race at full speed in the virtual races because I have to slow down and adjust my mask as I pass people on the Chehalis Western Trail. I was pleased that my 10k time in the Art to Art Dash 10k was only one minute slower than my time in the Foothills Dash. Foothills Dash 10k – 1:01:43 Art to Art Dash 10k – 1:02:43 Diet: I have osteoporosis so I eat a calcium rich diet with cheese and dairy products supplemented with multivitamins and calcium with vitamin D. My Garmin watch tracks the nine glasses of water that I try to drink every day. I eat beets, salad, fresh fruit, and pasta. Safety Measures: I am still self-quarantined. I wear a mask and gloves when I go to the grocery store, and I shop early to avoid crowds. I wash my hands as soon as I return home. Remarks: I sleep at least 9 hours every night, and my Garmin watch tracks the amount of light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep I get. My watch also reports on my “body battery” recharging, but I don’t know what that means. One of my goals this year was to improve the bone density of my hips and spine, and the latest test results showed that I significantly improved the bone density in both. The medication I take plus the diet and exercise have made a real difference in strengthening my bones. I think that the Challenge 20 update is a great idea. We have had time to adjust to the “new normal,” and I look forward to reading about the strategies that other runners have developed to deal with this challenge. I miss everyone, and look forward to a time when we will be able to see each other and race together again.


Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: My exercise activities remain virtually (pun intended) the same as they were in my first profile. Recently I have added “forest bathing.” I walk with Jerry through the Grandview Forest in Gig Harbor. It is beautifully maintained, quiet and tranquil. It is very hilly and provides a rigorous workout. We seldom see anyone probably because of the hills.

Diet: Vegetarian. Monitor my salt intake. Ice cream has sneaked into my diet. It’s because of the hot weather, right?

Health Habits: I continue to do TM twice a day without fail. I love to read and do it for my health and enjoyment. I have a Kindle and load it up with free books from the library. What better way to escape the drama of the world we live in and de-stress?

Safety Measures: Jerry and I are still self-quarantined. We wear our masks for outdoor exercise. We get our groceries using curb-side pickup or home delivery.

Remarks: Get-togethers with our family and friends are still on hold. I wonder if we will every get back to normal. I chat using “Alexa” and have Zoom get-togethers with our family

Goals: My long range goal in February was to do the Victoria Half Marathon in October. It was canceled. Who knew? To be honest, I struggle with trying to maintain an optimistic attitude. Charlea’s article, “The Run From Darkness to Light” really helped me to see things from a different perspective. Someday this will be over and we will be together with our Silver Strider friends.


Roger Dean

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: My virtual runs (are) from 61% to 63% percent performance. My solo runs have turned into an experimental lab. For example, running a 5k with no warm up I ran 36:00, but with a proper 30 minute warm up 33:00. This data was taken from a single continuous run. This virtual world gives us the gift of new awareness through trial and error.

Diet: On the running scene, my weight has gone down from 142 to 136.

Remarks: On a minor scale, it seems our family unit has lived through an Odysseus epic journey. This adventure into a swirl of challenges eats away reality to the bone. Somehow we just kept paddling, but running was supplanted by higher matters. As we approach the calm seas of Ithica, this journey, still fraught with uncertainty, has led to higher awareness. Running and racing, while enjoyable, now are lessor priorities for me. It’s time to put aside my books and note books and spring into action.

“The night is full of talking that hurts, my worst held back secrets. Everything has to do with loving and not loving. This night will pass. Then we have work to do.” … Rumi


Nanci Larsen

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness Activities: My training has pretty much been put on hold this last month due to Larry’s knee surgery. My focus has been on his recovery needs not mine. His surgery went well, but post surgery threw us some curve balls we weren’t expecting including a trip to the ER and having to delay the start of his physical therapy treatments. Thank you to all the Striders that have sent Larry cards and get well wishes. They really help to get him back on the recovery road.

Diet: Trying to focus on healthy eating options. Marlene’s Deli has been a wonderful source of prepared food items which can be combined with other foods to prepare a quick healthy meal. Trader Joe’s offers a lot of organic food items in a smaller grocery store environment.

Safety Measures: Trips to the grocery store are “mask up – get in there, get what I need and get out!”.

Remarks: It’s been sad seeing all the races postpone their events, cancel their events, or take the option to offer a virtual run. It must be a very difficult job to be a race director in today’s current environment. Luckily I have been able to get in some virtual runs which is a great change of scenery from being at home. There’s a lot of opinions about virtual runs. They certainly aren’t the same as face-to-face competition, but at least they offer us an opportunity to feel connected with our running family even if we have to be distanced. I keep trying to focus on the fact that there will come a day when we can challenge our teammates at a REAL race. Keep safe Silver Strider family – you are very important to all of us!


Jerry Dietrich

Challenge 20 – Part 2

Fitness activities: HOO-WAH! I’m running again! After 3 months of walking I am able to run for brief periods. Not racing, but light jogging. I believe the weeks spent walking made my legs and heart stronger. I am now doing the mix once a week and walking on the other days. My weightlifting program has increased my leg strength. My 5k times have improved significantly. NODM = 54:30 brisk walking PIES = 46:49 speed walking MASK = 46:04 speed walking ART = 40:50 mixing jogging and speed walking. Diet: Vegetarian with immune strengthening supplements and a daily protein drink (21g).

Safety Measures: Self quarantined

Goal: To be flexible, to improvise, and adapt.

Remarks: I believe the corona virus is more harmful to older persons because our immune system gets weaker as we age.