Times of joy and times of sorrow.

As soon as Yom Kippur was over, we entered what is known as “our time of joy”, – and joyful it is! Building sukkot, decorating them, inviting friends and family to come join us in them, and then as the holiday of Sukkot starts, we enter into out Sukkah to live there for a week!

Waving the Lulav after waking up the Sukkah every morning. :-)

Waving the Lulav after waking up the Sukkah every morning. :-)

We have my two brothers from Norway visiting with their families, and that certainly adds to the joy around here, both for the younger ones and the older ones! :-) Also, when you have family who are on vacation here, you end up vacationing with them, and we enjoy Israel and Jerusalem from that side too!


A special highlight during Sukkot this year, was being part of the Hakel, which takes place only once every 7 years. In Deuteronomy 31, 9-13, we can read about how after a Shmita, the Sabbatical year, we are to gather together the whole people, and hear the Torah read to us. It was such a unique experience! Tens of thousands of people had gathered together, and what stood out to me was how PEACEFUL it all was! The whole area of the Kotel (Western Wall) was very crowded, but there was absolutely NO pushing or anything as people were coming in and going out from the narrow exits and entrances.


It certainly was special to stand there together and hear a portion of the Torah read out loud. In addition there were blessings and prayers said by many important people both among the more Hassidic group and the ones more connected to the State of Israel, such as the president. I LOVED the strong feeling of UNITY that could be felt very tangibly throughout the program.

When you start thinking about it, – it is so exciting to just take in that this i happening in our days! What was written about thousands of years ago, what was commanded us as a people, we are able to put into practice today, if not at the Temple, so at the place closest to that! I was filled with excitement for what God is doing, and with a strong feeling of thankfulness for getting to be a part of this!


Another highlight, was our Sukkah party when our community gathers in our Sukkah and we have a big barbecue together, the children play and do crafts and the adults get to sit around and enjoy good conversation over another glas of wine. And the best part was when someone brought out a guitar and we sat there and sang joyful songs of prayer together. It doesn’t get much better than that, -sitting there singing with dear friends, looking around at our decorated Sukkah! Times of great joy!

We had many wonderful people at our Sukkah-party, but here is one of my favorite ones! ;-)

We had many wonderful people at our Sukkah-party, but here is one of my favorite ones! ;-)

Then later that same evening we received the tragic news that another family that were on their way home from another Sukkah-party, were attacked by terrorists shooting the parents in the front of the car and leaving the four young children in the back seat to watch their parents die in front of their eyes… In a sense my heart has not stopped crying ever since I heard about this. It is so horrible, we are not even able to fathom it. It is so sickening, we don’t have words to quite describe it.

And yet, we are still in the midst of our time of joy. As a matter of fact, I am sitting in our joyfully decorated Sukkah as I am writing this. And we ask ourselves, – how can we continue celebrating when our hearts are overwhelmed with sadness?! The smells of food-preparations are most definitely filling the air here in Jerusalem. Tonight is Shabbat. Guests are invited. How can we smile and laugh and celebrate together when such evil just hit our people??

This Shabbat we will read through the book of Ecclesiastes, and how fitting it is! To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven… – … A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… 


My new favorite tea-towel, given to me as a gift at the party last night.

And the truth is, so often in life those times get mixed together, just like they do now. We are rejoicing over God’s faithfulness to us, for what He has brought us through, for what He has done and continues to do. And at the same time we are weeping together with the new orphans in our people, with the family that will feel this loss for ages to come, with the community that lost their dear ones, with our whole people who is being attacked just for being Jews in a Jewish Land.

Shabbat shalom and Chag Sameach to you all from Jerusalem!

Encouraging Days of Awe

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called hayamim hanoraim, – the days of awe. They are days of repentance, reflection and making things right with God and fellow man. I already wrote about the slichot going on in our city, and in addition there are various other special events during this time. Yesterday evening we were at a concert called “Singing prayers”, with a strong theme of repentance. 

From the concert with Yitzchak Meir last night.

From the concert with Yitzchak Meir last night.

As I feel this special air and atmosphere in Jerusalem these days, I am very encouraged. While people around the world only hear about violence and terror in Jerusalem, there is also this living and thriving people building something great here!

There are Jews who say that they will come on Aliyah to Israel only after the Messiah comes and makes everything right, – well, I am telling you, it is happening, and those of us who are here get to be a part of it!

A photo from the Slichot-tour. One of those timeless photos.

From the Slichot-tour. One of those timeless photos.

Yes, Israel is a secular state, and there are things we would have liked to see different, but if we just open our eyes to the wonderful processes going on here, we have great reason to be encouraged! Where else does the news-person on the radio greet everyone with “May you have your name written in the book of life”? And where else is one invited to prayer at the supermarket (or at IKEA!)? Where else do tens of thousands come out for prayer in the middle of the night?!

Tomorrow night we start Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the whole year, the Day of Atonement. We fast from both food and drink and Israel takes a 25 hour break from regular daily activities. No radio or TV broadcast. The streets that are normally packed with cars are empty, with the exception of people out walking (of children biking) in the middle of the street. There are long prayer services happening from the beginning of Yom Kippur and basically until it’s end, – and they are very well attended!

Even in anticipation of this holy day, I am filled with awe over the sanctification of this time that God has set apart. And to get to be here in the holy city of Jerusalem and pray at that time… What a privilege!

With this I am wishing all of us an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur!

Slichot in Jerusalem

And to think that this is at 1.30 in the morning! #onlyinjerusalem

Last night we had one of those only-in-jerusalem-experiences. We joined with the slichot-prayers, which are prayers for forgiveness leading up to Yom Kippur. And what impressed me the most was the masses of people coming out to this!! We were there from 11 in the evening until 2 in the morning, and our city was absolutely packed with people! There were 400 busloads full of people coming from around the country to take part in this, in addition to all those who were able to come by their own car or public transportation. And this is going on for a month!

Can you see all the buses?

Can you see all the buses?

It was just amazing to see the rivers of people making their way to the Western Wall. And then to see the completely packed plaza at the Western Wall and hear the prayers loud and clear in the middle of the night!

And to think that this is at 1.30 in the morning! #onlyinjerusalem

And to think that this is at 1.30 in the morning! #onlyinjerusalem

We were there together with our son’s class, and as a guide we actually had my husband’s former principal. We walked around and saw beautiful sights of Jerusalem and learnt new things about old places.


One of the highlights was when we sat on a rooftop in the Old City and sang and prayed slichot-prayers ourselves. – Lord of Forgiveness! We have sinned against You. Have mercy on us! 

New year, new beginnings.

We have just celebrated Rosh Hashanah, which many people call the Jewish New Year. But really, we are celebrating the creation of Adam, not of Avraham, so in a sense it is a New Year for all of humanity!

Pomegranats from our own garden.

Pomegranats from our own garden for Rosh Hashanah.

Either way, it is a great time for new beginnings, so I thought maybe I would take the opportunity to start blogging again. I have missed it, and have written many a blog post in my head, that just never made it to the blog… So here is to hoping for a new start! :-)

Our Rosh Hashanah table.

Our Rosh Hashanah table.

We had a very good Rosh Hashanah celebration. Of course I really enjoyed the preparations too, – there are so many good times involved! Expectation and preparation, cooking and baking, planning and decorating!

Making Challah napkin rings.

Making Challah napkin rings. The round challot symbolize the cycle of the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

I very much enjoyed doing a several of these things together with my nine year old daughter this year. She really took ownership and wanted to be involved!

Preparing lots and lots of challot together.

Preparing lots and lots of challot together.

And then as we sit around the decorated table, going through all the traditional blessings and prayers, I try to totally LIVE and be present in the moment. To really taste the apple dipped in honey, and to say each blessing for the new year with intent. I take in the smells and the tastes, looking at the sights of the dear ones around me, friends and family, people so dear to my heart. And you know, to keep it real, it is never all perfect, – however much you prepare, you cannot totally plan how people are going to behave and react. Again a reminder of what LIFE is really all about, – a complex mixture of everything, and our goal is to be able to navigate our own ship with wisdom and love along with the ones who we are to travel together with.


As I look back on this two-day holiday, I have a lot to be thankful for. So many good memories added to the already abundant collection! Good times and conversations with dear friends, along with yummy cups of coffee or glasses of wine. Time to sit back and play with my children. Good food, and plenty of food. As the host I always seem to have a little worry that there is not going to be enough food, especially when there are two-day holidays like this one. My husband reminds me that we always have way too much, but each time anew I have this little thought that maybe this time will be the first time when we will actually run out of food… But again, – we had so much that we had to start giving away leftovers!


One of the highlights was being at the synagogue and hearing the Shofar-blasts. On the first day we went somewhere where they invite the children to come to the front and blow their shofars. Ours had been practicing a bit during the month of Elul, and it was a joy to see and hear them taking an active part in the holiday in this way. The biblical name of this holiday is really “The Feast of the Trumpets” (shofars), so no wonder they are central! The shofar blast is meant to be a wake-up-call to repentance and a reminder to make things right with God and fellow man at this time, leading up to Yom Kippur.


Another special moment was doing Tashlich, which we did on the first afternoon of the holiday. We are blessed to live in Jerusalem, and therefore have the opportunity to go the the Shiloah pool, the ancient water source in the City of David. There we pray the traditional prayers and let go of little rocks into the water, symbolizing a new and fresh beginning. Taking part in these kinds of traditions in such special places at such special times are quite unique experiences, which I feel privileged to be able to have together with my family.

So, with this, I wish all of us a really good new year, full of peace and joy, meaningful learning, health and blessing!

My Jerusalem Marathon 2015

This is one of my favorite photos from the marathon. Impressed by the photographer who managed to get a photo of me sort of "in the air" in spite of my snail pace.

We made it, – my dear husband and I have now finished the three marathons we signed up for this season. I am thankful for health and strength to be able to do this, and for the joy and positive energy we have been blessed with in this process.

marathon maniacs

During my previous two marathons, in Tiberias and Tel Aviv, I had to tell myself to not even think about how difficult it would be on the hills of Jerusalem. In addition, two days before the Jerusalem marathon, I felt a cough coming on, and the day before I became really congested. So, – to run or not to run? I decided my symptoms were OK, so I would run, but not push myself too much, if at all possible in the combination with completing over 42 kilometers of running… This became my overall goal for the marathon, – to take it easy, in order to not knock myself out, so that I would stay healthy also after completing the marathon.

I studied the route in the days leading up to the marathon, – none of these terrible hills were going to take me by surprise this time!

Jerusalem marathon route

The marathon started at 7 in the morning, and the weather was absolutely perfect! Yeay!!! Here we have had a super cold marathon and a super hot marathon, – finally an ideal weather day for a marathon!

I started out running with the 4:15 pacer, with the knowledge that I would eventually fall behind them. I had a thought in the back of my mind of being happy if I would finish in less than four and a half hours, but really, my main goal was to keep running and finish strong and healthy. The first few kilometers we did a loop around the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University. Kind of a boring part of the run, but anyway, you are just getting started and trying to find a workable pace to go at. After passing the 4 kilometer mark and someone mentioned that now we have done 10 %, I noticed that I was feeling somewhat exhausted already. Not a good sign! Way to early to start feeling somewhat out of breath! I focused on taking it easy and pay more attention to my pulse than to my pace. This actually became key to this marathon for me, – to just run comfortably, rather than to try to keep a certain speed focused on trying to reach a certain time goal.

I fell behind the pace group that I started with, but all of a sudden noticed that there was another 4:15 pace group too, and ran with them for a while. Their pacer was a very supportive one who gave encouraging words about taking in the sights of Jerusalem and to feel its energy and spirit as we ran through it!

Even though I have trained in Jerusalem, I must admit that I have not quite conquered running up the hills. I mean, I keep running, I don’t stop or walk or anything, – but I run at a snail pace. So, I would loose people as we were going uphill. But somehow in my training, I must have learnt to take advantage of the downhills, because for almost the whole first half of the marathon I would catch up with both of these pace groups as we were going down the hills, – and then loose them again on the uphills. I just decided to not put on any breaks but just let myself go forward down the hills. This was great, for everything but my poor toes which received this constant banging toward the front of the shoe. Oh well, – that is part of the experience, I guess!

As we were running down Jabotinsky, which I think must be one of the steeper hills of the marathon, the half marathoners were actually coming up the same hill, and I poured out encouragement for how great they were doing up such a terrible hill. We were in our 9th kilometer going down, and someone next to me asked if we were not going to have to go up that hill, and I had to tell him the difficult truth that we were going to climb that hill in our 25th and 26th kilometer. 

I enjoyed the fact that during this marathon we many times met other runners running the other direction, sometimes those running different routes, and sometimes full marathoners before or after a turn. I would often try to encourage those I met, especially if I was going downhill, as that left me some breath to cheer with…

During the tenth kilometer we passed a music stage where the singer was performing a song with the lyrics “I will keep on running” to a very catchy melody as we ran by, and I felt very encouraged and motivated to keep it up! :-)

Climbing up the hills to Mount Scopus is considered one of the harder parts of the marathon, and as I got to the top and was at the 17th kilometer mark, I was very happy to realize that I did not feel any more exhausted than I had at the 4 kilometer mark! Yeay! Taking it easy was working!! Also, just before making it all the way to the top, I met my sporty husband on his way down after having done his loop around the Mount Scopus part of the Hebrew University.

Coming down from Mount Scopus, at around the 20th kilometer mark, was the first time my phone rang. I use a run keeper-app on my iPhone, and ran with earplugs to receive updates every five minutes on time, distance and average pace. Somehow, this phone call turned off those notifications, so for the last half of my marathon I received no notifications about how I was doing with time and pace. And you know, – that made this part even more enjoyable than the first half! I was just running along, having a good time, making sure to keep a comfortable pace. At times I felt like I was dancing through the streets of Jerusalem to the music that poured out from the great live music stations that there were quite many of along the route.

This is one of my favorite photos from the marathon. Impressed by the photographer who managed to get a photo of me sort of "in the air" in spite of my snail pace.

This is one of my favorite photos from the marathon. Impressed by the photographer who managed to get a photo of me sort of “in the air” in spite of my snail pace.

And now, having ran marathons in Tiberias and Tel Aviv recently, I must say, – nothing beats Jerusalem as far as throwing a good party! There were people cheering along almost the whole route! And if people had not made it out, they were yelling their encouragement out windows or off of balconies! I loved it!

As we started the second part of the marathon, we ran through a tunnel outside the Old City. This was a change since last year, and in my opinion, not for the better, but what can you do, you have to stick to the route. In addition to the dark and closed tunnel, I was surprised to notice at this point that I was actually feeling really hungry! (This was new to me as in former marathons I have felt more trouble keeping food inside my body than having any urge to put more in.) So, I started making plans for getting our favorite pizza after finishing the race. We would get some cold Coke to go with it too. I was already thinking about the Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream in our freezer, when I started to hope for some real food before finishing the marathon. This is when I exited the tunnel, and saw there right in front of me a food station serving real food!! How perfect!! I grabbed some bananas which I ate on the run, and felt great!

Running through a small part of the Old City is one of my favorite parts of the Jerusalem Marathon route. How special to run between these ancient walls build on top of so much history!! It was during this section that my phone rang again, this time twice in a row, making me think it might be some type of emergency, so I made the effort to pick it out of my belt and answer the call from my daughter. She was waiting somewhere in the 38th kilometer and was wondering where I was… Oh well.

Running through the old city

After having climbed up to Mt.Zion hotel we made a turn so that we could make a loop that would include some more hills, among them Jabotinsky. (Don’t you just love those who put together this route?!) As I am climbing Jabotinsky in my usual crawl-pace, focusing all my energy on keeping a positive attitude and making it up this hill, one of the medical personnel stationed in the middle of the hill approached me, asking if I was feeling well… (Hm, how am I to interpret that??) “I guess I am feeling as well as you could expect climbing this hill”, I answered. She gave me an encouraging comment and moved on.

Running down Emek Refaim I called my daughter, who by the way had called me numerous times wondering where I was, asking me to let her know when I would get closer to her. I was not totally sure where she was standing, and though maybe she would be at the bike path we were going to run up after Emek Refaim. Now when I think about all the phone calls I had during this marathon, it tells me something about how relaxed this marathon was for me! Who makes phone calls while running a marathon??

In my studies of the route ahead of this marathon, I had paid special attention to where the bathrooms were located, and I really looked for them too, – but somehow kept on missing them! So much so that I started looking for bushes. I found one and went off the route to make use of it, only to notice that I could miss being registered at the 30 kilometer mark, so I ran back to the road, passed this sensor and found another bush a little further on. This was my first real stop during the marathon, but well worth while.

Next we started climbing up towards the Jerusalem promenade and I was close to home, and looked for familiar faces among the spectators. I started feeling hungry again, and again wanted more than the GU-chomps I had brought with me in my belt. I also had some salty pretzels but they were kind of dry and hard to eat on the run. I noticed a food station that would come after I had made the turn a little after the 32 K mark, and decided I would make a real stop there and enjoy some food. That was so nice! I stood there and ate a lot of orange slices and several handfuls of salty pretzels. It hit the spot perfectly! I felt almost as though I had finished and enjoyed the good stuff they give you at that point. But after this little break, I grabbed some banana pieces for the way and was ready to keep going.

I had started the last 10 K of the Jerusalem marathon. And as you may know, that is when the real marathon starts! When I ran the Jerusalem marathon last year, I had a hard time running the last 10 K, and remember thinking that I would like to at some point get a new chance to tackle that part better. So this was it, – my second chance! And I was feeling so much better than last year! Yes, the pace was slower, and yes, I did feel that familiar heaviness in my feet after over three hours of running, but other than that I felt great! I took it as a really good sign when the marking of 34 K came surprisingly early to me! Good stuff!

Around this time I turned on the music on my phone for the first time, and enjoyed listening to some upbeat music during a relatively boring part along Hebron road.

At around the 37 kilometer mark I was very happy to see a good friend and her baby among the cheerers, and stopped and spoke with her for a little bit. I figured I would have my slowest marathon ever anyway, so why not?? A little later I finally made it to my daughter and her friend who were jumping up and down cheering with everything they had. Of course I stopped and chatted with them for a little bit too, promising pizza and celebrations for everyone afterwards. :-)

Next up was Kovshei Katamon, a hated part of the marathon route, as it is a killer hill during the 39th kilometer. Approaching it I was having this conversation in my head with the hill. – Listen, Kovshei Katamon, we have been through this before! You and me go waayyy back! We can do this! Let us show them that we can do this! And as I was making my way up the hill, the good, old song by Shania Twain toned through my earphones with these words: – Looks like we made it… They said “they’ll never make it”… but just look at us going strong!! I found this so funny thinking about the “conversation” I had just had with the hill, that I was grinning real big running up this hill!

Having made it to the top, and passed the 39 K mark, someone among the spectators pointed out the fact that from here on it would be down hill to the end. I knew that that was not quite true, as there is a slight uphill towards the very end, but held on to the encouragement that there would be mostly downhill. It was really nice nearing the end, and not feeling totally knocked out! As I ran past the 40 K sign, I thought to myself that this is the way to run a marathon! Just having a party all throughout! Why not?? What is the deal with having to do it so fast that you end up torturing yourself?!

At this point many people around me were walking, but I kept running my slow and comfortable pace. A couple were following what seemed like a 30 second walk 30 second run strategy, and we kept on passing each other. They passed me at the 42 K mark, and the woman told me we were basically done, I should join them and finish strong. We came through a little tunnel just after that, and then we saw the finishing gate in front of us! Someone handed me an Israeli flag, and I ran the last tens of meters beaming and smiling, holding the flag high in the air!

finishing the Jerusalem marathon

And then I was done! I received my medal, kept smiling to the cameras, and found my husband and son waiting for me there. They had both done well, my husband finishing his marathon about an hour ahead of me, and our son beating his own course record for the 10 K.

Jerusalem marathon

We did it!!!

My final result turned out to be 4 hours and 43 minutes, and my run keeper showed that somehow I had managed to run over 43 kilometers, making this my longest run ever. Really slow, but also a real celebration, which was a fitting finishing of our triple marathon this winter. And now, the day after, I am still feeling great, strong and healthy! So, yes, I reached my goal! ;-)

My Tel Aviv marathon experience


During a marathon one has so many thoughts and impressions, and if one does not write them down relatively immediately, they tend to fade away. So maybe I am writing this mainly for me to have for later, but if any of you are interested, it might be entertaining for you too (it gets more so towards the end, I think).

Spontaneously my dear husband and I on our way to the marathon decided to run this marathon together from start to finish. We have ran in three marathons together in the past, but always with quite different finishing times. He is way faster than me. But today we decided to take in the sights of Tel Aviv together and to try to enjoy the whole experience.

The weather forecast said it we would have a big increase in temperatures, so they made the starting time earlier than planned, and the full marathon started at 05.45, meaning we got up in Jerusalem at 4 a.m! When I threw out an imagined finishing time I said 4 hours and 19 minutes, two minutes faster than my last marathon in Tiberias in January (where it was freezing cold! What is it with marathons and extreme weather?!). So my plan was to start running with the 4.15 pace group, and see how long I could keep it up, leaving myself some flexibility to slack off a bit whenever needed. And now my husband joined my plan, – I could not very well join his…

We ran the first little bit with the 4.15-ers, but did not stay with them for very long, because it became very crowded and hard to run like that. We actually ended up going a bit ahead of them. I kept on thinking “This fast, but not faster”. We had a great time, and I knew it was a good sign when I was wondering if we had passed the 8 km mark, when all of a sudden I spotted the 9 km mark. Things were going well!


One of the conveniences of running with my husband, was that he would bring me drinks from the drink stations and I would try to stay away from the chaos that easily ends up around those stations, when so many people are running and receiving open water bottles at the same time. Then at the water station by the 10 km mark, the ones giving out the water spread themselves all the way across the road, so there was no way to really avoid them, and sure enough someone dropped a bottle that splashed right on my foot… I was trying to ignore this, but it became increasingly challenging as a blister was developing because of the wetness.

At around the 13th km we hit upon the Tel Aviv Port, a central place in my last marathon experience in Tel Aviv, which was not entirely a positive experience. I felt the negative thoughts influencing my current experience even after leaving the port, and was busy fighting this when all of a sudden I noticed that we were running with the 4 hour pace group. Now, – that was encouraging!! We kept on running with them, but I did feel that the pace was slightly too fast for me, and decided to stick with them until the halfway point, and at that time decide what to do after that.

We ran along the side of the Mediterranean and the view was just stunning. The waves pouring in in the morning light. I loved it.

We made it to the 21.1 half marathon mark in just under two hours, which is a fast half marathon time for me. Nice! But I really felt it, I did not like that I was that exhausted when I still had a half marathon distance to go! So, I decided to devote the next chunk of kilometers to regaining my strength, and then as I hit the 32 km mark to see if I had enough left in the tank to speed up a bit. It worked for a while, as the pace slowed, I felt my puls calming down and enjoyed running through the streets of Tel Aviv. My husband pointed out buildings of interest and such, trying to help take my mind a bit off of the actual running.

Around km 30 the blister which had developed on one of my wet toes, burst. Not fun. We hit the 32 km mark, the average pace considerately slowed down, but I did not feel I could really speed up either, so I just kept going like I had.

During km 33 I started thinking about the ice aroma I was going to enjoy after finishing this thing.
By the 36th km I considered getting two ice aromas. As I was thinking about this, I saw a poor woman take a really bad fall, and gained some perspective. Thought I should get her some ice aromas too.
I did not notice the sign of passing km 37, and was happy and relieved when the mark for 38 came into sight! At this time I was trying to encourage myself with thoughts of the medal being given me as I would finish the race.
Around km 39 the focus became more and more on the fact that I hoped Aroma had a good bathroom…
By km 40 I considered finding a bush to use as a temporary bathroom. Oh, don’t men have it simple! They were practically lining the sides taking care of business as easy as that!

I looked for a long time for km mark 41, and was secretly hoping that we had passed it and that i had just missed it. (Remember this is a secret, so don’t tell anyone!)
Then I was disappointed to see that the next km mark was in fact 41.

For the last few kilometers I reminded myself that giving birth is even harder than this. But there is a difference, – when you are giving birth, there is no option of quitting! You simply have to carry through with it! Not so with marathoning. There were plenty of people who started to walk, some even took their shoes off and walked barefoot. In one way it looked very tempting, in another way I felt sorry for them. I wanted to keep running till the end. Just getting it done and over with was much more important to me than what would be my finishing time.
I had seen a t-shirt a few days ago with the text “I can. I will.”, and it inspired me, so I thought I would take it with me as a mantra for the marathon. Towards the end it was what I was telling myself. I can keep running. I will keep running. But I was not entirely sure that I would in fact be able to keep it up until almost 43 km.
For the last km or so, there were encouragers positioned along the route to I guess, put a smile on our faces. One was dressed as an angel. Just before I reached his spot, he must have noticed a runner next to me who needed special attention, so he stepped into the path to get to him, but in the process blocking the way for me. – Don’t block my way!! I said rather irritated. At about 4 hours and 10 minutes of running I did not have any extra energy to spare to go around him, – even if he was dressed like an angel!
Finally the km mark of 42 came into sight, – of course my runkeeper-app had already measured more than 42.5 by that time, and it was such a relief to pass through the finishing gate! We were done!!! The time official time from my chip was 4:13:34, and even though I ran the second half way slower than the first half, I am very happy with my time, – it is six minutes faster than what I imagined, eight minutes faster than my last marathon.

And anyway, for me the main thing is not the finishing time, but having a good time running, and most of the time I had a good time, just maybe not for the last eight kilometers…

It was absolutely lovely to be done, and I don’t think I could have done it any faster in the shape I am in now. (Last year I ran the Tiberias marathon in 4 hours and 10 minutes, but I had followed a more focused training plan then.) There were plenty of food and drinks for us to enjoy after finishing. I particularly liked the yogurts and the potato chips, and of course I did get my Ice Aroma too! Yum!

In the car on the way home I caught myself thinking “My feet are so exhausted, I want to sit down…”, only to realize that of course I was sitting down already. ;-)

Living my dream

Do you remember what you imagined your adult life would be like when you were a child? Call it dreams, thoughts, imaginations, – I think we all had some sort of thoughts or expectations.

For me, if I were to think about it in a black and white type of way, I guess I would have to say that a lot turned out very different than I expected. But then again, – today there were so many moments when I just had to stop myself and think about it, – I am living my dream! What a blessing!

flowers and candles

Like so often, – I am reminded that it is the small things that matter. They make up life, really. Today was a beautiful day. Spring weather with sun from a clear Jerusalem sky. In the morning I got efficient work done for several of the different jobs I have, and still had time for a nice walk (and talk!) with a dear friend.

And it was especially in the afternoon that I was reminded of how this matches my childhood dreams for my adult life. The children both had friends over. The door was open, and they were playing inside and outside, everyone was getting along and there was plenty of creativity and positive energy going around. Two neighbor girls noticed all the fun going on in our yard, and it was decided that they would come and join as well. Meanwhile I was having tea and cookies with one of the moms.

It was one of those days. The kids ate well at the meals. No one got into a fight. Everyone played well and cooperated well. (I guess the fact that I notice these things, tells you that it is not always like that, but that is also part of life, right?)

And so it hit me, that even if the setting (country, language, culture etc.) is not the same as I imagined as a child, the content is still the same. I dreamed of being a mom, my children having friends over, me hearing them playing outside, opening the window to call them in for home cooked meals… Life. My dream came true!!

Even if not every day is like a dream, it is all part of life, and we will take what we get served. Enjoy the good days and grow on the more challenging ones.

And even the parts of my life that are different than I dreamed, – really, I could not possibly have dreamed of the turn my life was to take! It was too much, too good to be imagined!

I feel very blessed, and have so much to be thankful for.