Friday, August 31, 2012

The Day Before Race Day

I've never been one to get super nervous and antsy before a race.  Excited for it but not jittery.

Of course I'm always afraid I'll forget something, but I assume that stems from the fact that I always have a purse packed with enough to sustain the herd in just about any situation, and when I'm without that (and kids hanging off every limb) I feel naked.  Though I'm still lacking bandaids.  What kind of mom has 9 kids and doesn't carry a bandaid in her purse?  Oh yeah, me.  We are totally set with the 6 different lip glosses and various sizes of diapers though.  And the protein bars, fruit leathers and cheerios have saved the day on more than one occasion.

So it's kind of bugging me that I'm very jittery today.

Half marathon tomorrow morning.  I'm excited for it.  I've actually only run one official half marathon before.  It was my first double digit run.  Ever.  And it was awesome.  The next year I ran my own personal Maverick Mama half, but it was just me proving something ridiculous to myself, nothing official.  So tomorrow I will race 13.1 for only the second time, despite having run the distance-and quite a bit further-a number of times, ventured into relay, checked off marathon, and made plans to jump to ultra marathon. Not till next fall, but I'm scoping them out.  (Yes really.  Anyone who can help reassure hubby and get him on board wiht the fact that it will not in fact kill me, please let me know.)

I have the shirt ready, this gem from the fabulous SBS and Dimity at AnotherMotherRunner.
I have the shoes ready, the turquoise and lime Mizunos that make my feet sing with joy.
I'm still trying to pick which skirt, but I think I'm going purple over pink.  Ah, the difficult decisions of a Friday afternoon.
The never fail pre-race dinner is sitting here waiting to be baked.  Digiorno.  Yep, the frozen pizza.  No pasta here.  Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Everything else I could possibly need it set and ready to go.

So why the nerves?
Got me.
The distance doesn't worry me, as long weekend runs have been back in the double digits for a while.

Maybe it's that I will be away from Emily for at least 4hrs tomorrow?  The longest since she was born? Maybe it's the whole trying to figure out the optimal time to nurse before I leave and get her back to sleep so she'll be happy (and mostly sleep) while I'm gone?
Maybe it's just the fact that I have to leave by 4:45.  That's early.

I think part of it may be that I have a number I want to hit.  I didn't race a half last year (obviously) and that's when I was really running well.  I know I could have blown my one previous half finish time completely out of the water.  By at least 20 minutes, and that's huge.  I have a finish time I want to hit, but I'm not sure if I can.  I should be realistic and realize that if I beat my first finish time by even one second it will still be a PR, and pretty darn awesome for having a 3 month old baby.  I am debating leaving the Garmin at home and just running by feel, but I'm not sure if that would be better or worse.

Really I should just get out there and enjoy running in a beautiful place on what should be a beautiful morning.  Assuming the rain coming down now doesn't continue into tomorrow...
Two-ish hours of being out and soaking up the atmosphere is quite a treat, and a fitting reward for surviving the first two weeks back to school.  So that is what I will remind myself is the number one goal.  Go run, have fun.

And appreciate the fact that for a runner, my feet don't look too terribly bad.  

Sparkly toes are fast toes, right?


Monday, August 27, 2012

Let's do this!

Yours truly is up for something fun!
Macy's (that would be the big department store, not the grocery store local people), is hosting a contest for a guest blogger!  Yours truly is one of five finalists up for this little gig!

Round one voting starts NOW!
Check out the mBlog/CafeMom blogger contest link HERE, check out the videos and vote!
(preferably for me if you feel so inclined)  In addition to voting you can comment on the post there on Facebook.  All views will be counted as votes as well, so go head and watch it to your heat's content!

Also feel free to retweet from my Twitter feed and share on fb, which also count. You know, if you just can't help yourself.

Ready, set, go!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Emily's Blessing

We had Emily's blessing back in July.
I finally decided what I wanted to do with her dress, after putting it off for months.
We had almost the whole family there (we were just missing my brothers), we were on time for church, and I found something that fit me at 5wks postpartum.

(feel free to click the pics to see my kids thrilled faces more closely.  I didn't bother to edit the shadows.)
We kind of got pictures of all of the kids together.

It gets exponentially harder with each child you add to get a good picture of all of the children.

We even got a pic with all of the cousins!  This is all of the grandkids on my side of the family.

Uh, yep, that would be my kids and two others that belong to my sister.

Hey, those three pictures previous to this are all of the grandkids on Aaron's side of the family.  See?  We have to be overachievers for the grandparents' sake.

We snagged a pic with Aaron's family

And got that classic picture of baby screaming with mom and dad.

By all accounts a successful morning.

Things unfortunately took a slight turn for the worse when the fact that I had been up every 30 minutes during the night caught up with me, my parents had to leave before we got pictures of them with our family (no one even told me they left while I was back feeding baby), and a diaper explosion/changing mishap turned her beautiful white dress into a yellow nightmare.

Oh well, what are you going to do about it?

Here's what.
I have a minor breakdown in my bedroom.  (whereupon my angelic grandma comes to console me)
We take pictures with my grandparents and Emily despite the fact that she is no longer in her blessing dress.

I excuse myself and go take a nap for a while. (trust me, everyone was in favor of that)

I take soak/treat/wash the yellow nightmare repeatedly for 3 days until every yellow spot finally works its way out.  Except that tiny one in the back that will hopefully disappear with time.
I then take the dress that is finally fixed to my parents' house for Sunday dinner the next week and make them take pictures with her dressed in it.  Even though they weren't pictures from her blessing day.

Close enough.
Besides, I also realized that we didn't have any pictures of *just* Emily on her blessing day.  My brain really wasn't working that day.  We did at least manage to get these when we took pictures with my parents.

 Love that face.
And one day, I'll look back and laugh because all of the gory details that I left out of this little synopsis will be a thing so far in the past that it will be humorous.  One day it will all be a great story to tell Emily.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SLRunningCo 5k - First post baby race

I did it!
My first post baby #9 race.  It was much better than my first post baby #8 race.

Summer has kept me so fantastically busy that I haven't even made time to blog about returning to running.  It has been wonderful!  Long runs are back up to double digits, and are actually going better than the shorter runs.  Go figure.

I have been a little slower than I anticipated.  It seems like last time around I was able to pick up my speed a little sooner, though maybe I'm remembering wrong.   So while my number one goal heading into this race was to finish feeling good, my number two goal was to finish under 30 minutes.  And quite frankly, I really wanted to run my fastest 5k of the year so far.  Considering that I was pretty darn pregnant for my other 5k's this shouldn't have been too hard.  But running under 28 minutes with my current pace looked to be a bit of a challenge, so I just focused on sub-30.  Doable.

Salt Lake Running Company puts on some great events and I was excited to be on top of it enough to get the family signed up for this one.  A race done by a fun group is awesome, a free race is even better!  They just ask you to wear the shirt for the race (which in any other situation is not my thing, but for this I'm totally good with).  Event in exchange for wearing their shirt and advertising them for 3 miles is fine by me!  After the Pony Express 5k there was some entusiasm from the kids about another race, so I took advantage of it and signed the five oldest up along with Aaron and I.
It's a pretty casual event-perfect with the kids-and so much fun!
It should come as no surprise that it just warmed my little heart to have my kids running with me!

This event happened to fall on Sam's birthday-thankfully he's too young to really care that we got him out of bed super early and took him to be a spectator on his day.
That day was also the day before our anniversary (before I got sick thank goodness!), and I'm counting it as an awesome gift that Aaron and the kids ran with me.  See?  I'm totally easy to please.

Malia and Alaina had spent the night with my parents and we were headed to Bear Lake with them after the 5k, so they were there with us.

I highly suggest scheduling things this way as it gives you two adults to hang out with the littles who aren't running!  Babysitting at the race?  yes please!

Emily was asleep, Sam was in a stroller, so that left Charlotte and Lincoln to wrangle, and in an effort to make it easy peasy for my parents to wrangle the littles, I left Lincoln in charge of our little camera so he could take pictures.

We have about 100 pictures of people we don't know

Some gems like this

And a few that leave me wondering what he was trying to capture.

But hey, he got some fabulous pictures too

(Jacob finishing)
and it kept him happy and occupied!

We had a great time (well, aside from Malia who was plagued with a serious side ache the entire time), and had some great finishes too.  (thanks Dad for the pics!)

Look, she's flying!  I want to look like this when I finish races.

Jacob finished his first 5k in just over 32 minutes and totally happy, barely worn out.  When he and Dallin jetted out at the start I thought he'd done himself in.  He stayed ahead of me for the first mile (which means he was logging about an 8:30 mile!), and though he took some walk breaks in there, he kept up a decent pace when he ran!  We wondered if he had actually gone to the turn around point or if he had maybe cut around a little early, until we overheard him talking about the police at the turnaround and asking whether or not you got arrested if you didn't go all the way around the cone at the turnaround point.  Love the way little brains work sometimes!

Taylor took almost four full minutes off his last 5k, and Aaron shave a couple off of his last race as well.  He was on track to take nearly five minutes off, but he is a good dad and when he saw that Malia was hobbling along holding her side he stopped and hung back to stay with her.

I, on the other hand, was a crappy mom that morning.  Everyone had consented to that though so I could see what I could pull off and if my legs are regaining any speed.
Very happily I did run the fastest 5k of my year.
I came in at 26:34.  Still 3+ minutes behind my PR, but well under my sub30 goal and a minute and a half faster than my previous fastest 5k of the year so I was very happy with that.  There was a little left in my tank at the end, so I know I could have gone a little faster.  Not much, but a little.  With a full day of play ahead of us I didn't want to be completely spent so it worked out well.

It's so fun to see my kids running and having fun, I am so looking forward to more races with them in the years to come!

My whole herd.  Gosh I love these people.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hawks on the pole

We've been so busy trying to soak up every minute of summer that blogging has obviously taken a back seat.  Obviously that means I haven't mentioned anything about returning to running post baby 9, which is a shame, because it's been awesome!  My first run was three weeks after baby (per the promise I made to Aaron!), and was an ambitious 4 miles.  Tiring but fabulous.  I bumped my longer runs back into double digit territory three weeks ago (8 weeks post baby), and it felt amazing.  I did my first post baby race last week, but I need to get pics from my dad (my parents were there! yay!), so I'm waiting on sharing that one.

This morning though...well, it's time to talk running!

You've seen pictures, I live in the middle of nowhere.  I like it that way.  No, I love it that way.  One of the things I love the most is that there are plenty of miles to be run out here.  I can step out my front door and log my long runs without having to drive somewhere else first or wind through busy streets.

Last summer when I was marathon training I noticed something on Friday afternoons or evenings, and on Saturday mornings.  I swear it never happened any other time.  We have an awesome assortment of wildlife out here, it's not unusual to see antelope out in the fields, deer on the hills, coyotes, foxes, rabbits and all sorts of other little creatures milling about.  We also get to see a number of hawks on a regular basis.  Well last year I noticed that as I was coming home from wherever I might be on Fridays that there were always hawks perched atop the same two or three telephone poles.  Rarely did I see them any other days-running or driving, but always on Fridays.  And then again as I ran on Saturday mornings they were there.  There were only two weeks when I didn't see them at their post.  How do I know there were only two weeks?  Because those were the two weeks I had awful long runs.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure.
But it stuck with me.  Suddenly I found myself looking for those hawks on those same poles any time I was headed home on Fridays and again when I was out on Saturdays, just kind of tucking away in the back of my head that yep-they were there, I was destined to have a good long run.

This morning as I set out after sleeping through my alaram (whoops), and not feeling 100% (too much pizza last night?), and having tired legs, I was kind of in my own little world trying to remind myself that right around mile two always sucks for me no matter how far I have on the plan, and hoping that after that I'd feel better.  As I shook myself out of my mini-funk and my legs woke up, I looked up ahead to soak in the sun peeking over the mountains and lighting up my valley.

And then I noticed a bird flying just ahead of me, swooping up to land on a pole.  Not a minute later another did the same, flying up and perching atop the next pole.  My hawks were there on those same poles!  And then a third came along, perching for a minute on the wire, then taking off again and settling up another tenth of a mile or so.  
And then I knew that the rest of it would be an awesome run.

Silly?  Sure.  I think a lot of things that runners do out of habit or superstition probably are.  But hey, if it works, go with it!   If tying your shoes a specific way or starting every race with the same song works for you, then work it!

The rest of the twelve mile run I did this morning was awesome.  It wasn't all 100% smile on the face perfect, but man it feels good to be running long enough again to go through the ups and downs.  To feel my body start to get tired and dig a little deeper.  To feel my legs start to get heavy and push them a little faster.  To slip into that zone where there is no conscious thought or effort, you

I finished the run well, feeling worked but not completely spent.  My legs were tired, but not dead.  Exactly how I want to feel after a long run.
I am so grateful that my body is healthy and strong, so grateful that I get to run.   And I'm pretty happy that logging 12 miles today means that I can go indulge guilt-free in some sinfully delicious treat.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

15 Years and Indoor Plumbing

I got sick on Saturday.  It sucked.
After a completely awesome day, I started feeling not so hot.  A few hours later I was hit with probably the worst stomach flu I've ever had.  Every time I get the stomach flu I find myself exceptionally grateful for indoor plumbing.  Especially in the middle of the night.  I feel like I'm a pretty tough chick for the most part, like I would have done ok back in the Pioneer days, but boy am I crazy glad that when I feel like garbage that I can turn on a warm shower and just soak it in.  Am I the only one who has this little thought every time I get sick?
I don't like throwing up, I think I've mentioned that.  But I've trained my body to fight it for so long that now I get ridiculously painfully sick and don't puke till my body just can't take it another second.  Good times.
This particular evening I was sick enough that I was shaking and hallucinating.  Really.  It was kind of crazy.  (yes, my body quit fighting it at that point)
But sitting there in the middle of the night making sure I was ok was my sweet husband.  He was completely worn out from the day as well-a race in the morning and the rest of the day spent at the lake with the family-but he stayed there with me rubbing my back and making sure I wasn't dying.
After a few hours we finally made our way to bed.  I glanced at the clock.  3:38am.

What a way to start our anniversary.

Happy fifteenth honey!  Thanks for holding back my hair!

We always have grand plans for one day.  Usually for what seem like the milestone anniversaries; five years, ten years, fifteen, twenty...  Heck, if you missed the anniversary post in the past, you should see the fabulous things we've actually done.
I can tell you that none of our grand plans involve the stomach flu.
I can also tell you that none of them involve hanging out in bed looking like death warmed over, celebrating having kept two saltines down.
Aaron kindly told me that we would postpone celebrating this year.  Good call.

Since no post about puking and anniversaries would be complete without a little reminiscing and sappy remarks, here we go.

August 5th 15 years ago is kind of a blur.  A happy fun blur, but still kind of a blur.   I remember loving Aaron so much it hurt.  So much that I couldn't imagine a second of my life without him, and wondering how many couples actually feel that way.  I remember looking ahead and thinking "I will always love him this way!"...  I was wrong.  I had no idea what lay ahead.
I had no idea that what I felt that day was a drop in the ocean.  That loving him as much as I did on the day I became his wife would be only a small taste of what was to come.  I had no idea how much more I would love him with each passing day, with each challenge we face together, with each child we've added to our family, and with every sacrifice he has made on my behalf.
Sharing your greatest joys and your hardest defeats with your best friend is something that just can't be explained.  If you've done it you know exactly what I mean.  Knowing that no matter what life brings you will make it through because of the one who stands beside you is really the best feeling in the world.

Life isn't perfect, life isn't easy.  But it sure is fun with your best friend by your side.

And just for good measure, look how cute we were!

And now we're all grown up...

Kind of.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Two Months

Completely unbelievable that she is already two months old.
I hate to get all cliche but it seriously goes faster every time!
You're killn' me smalls!

This little girl is a gem.
She is a sweetheart.
She has every member of this family wrapped around her little fingers.  Which happens to fill both of her hands completely.  That's a lot of people.

She is well beyond where she "should" be, which after waiting a little longer than normal for Sam to hit developmental milestones is so different!
At 3 1/2 weeks we got her first smile.
At 5 weeks she started cooing at us, and within a few days she started carrying on a conversation with us.  Obviously not in words, but you know, that whole coo back and forth thing.  It's fabulous.
She also seemed pretty strong so we thought we'd try out the Bumbo seat at 5 weeks.  Yep.  Sat there.  Just hanging out soaking it all in.
And about a week after that she decided that she liked to stand up when you hold her.
Seriously baby?  At six weeks you are supposed to be all tiny and snuggly still, just a half step up from newborn!  Slow down!
Good news is that the two times she rolled over I think were a fluke, she hasn't done it since then.  But don't let that fool you, we can't leave her on the bed because she digs her heels down and scoots backward.
And to top it all off, we started getting little giggles last week.  Be still my heart!

At her two month check up our dr interacted with her for a while and was shocked at how social, reactive and talkative she is, asked about how she was doing and what she was doing...he was floored.  Looks like we may have another little overachiever on our hands!
She is up to 10lb 13oz at 9weeks old.  A steady gain of 1/2 pound per week from the time she was born.  Growing nicely!

I have been so good about taking a picture of her every single day.
I have not been so good about sharing any of them.

So let's catch up on the past two months shall we?

This picture cracks me up

Loving this little girl beyond words!  She is so fun and so full of spunk already.
And those squishably ginormous cheeks just keep on getting bigger.