Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ghost in the Graveyard (not a Halloween post)

I starting typing this in my Facebook status, and then realized how long it was getting and decided, why not blog it instead? I've had a hankering to write something anyway.  So, a0 long Facebook status, or short blog post, either way, I have a stupid little story to tell.

My running group meets at 5:00 am on Thursdays.  Yes, I said FIVE O CLOCK in the freezing your tail off crack o' dawn AM.  And I have to drive about 10-15 minutes to meet them.  That means I have to wake up about 4:30 to get dressed, and then drive.

Today, (like a lot of Thursdays lately), I hit snooze when my alarm went off.  More than once.  After the third time (sorry, hubby) I decided to just turn it off and go back to sleep.  Lazy me.  Bless (or curse) Scooter, the dog, because not 2 minutes after I turned off my alarm, he starting barking. After I got up to let him out, I figured I might as well, get dressed and go run.

It took me a few minutes to find my group.  There are a few different routes they might take, so I had to gamble.  Finally, I found them, pulled up ahead, parked and hopped out to join them.

I have a lot of people ask how can I run 6 months pregnant.  Well, honestly, it's not that different than running not pregnant, except that I have to stop 2-3 times during my run, when nature calls.  It's really not that different than any other time of day for us pregnant folk.  I've already had to take a break from writing this post and make a pit stop.  (Dear baby, my bladder is NOT a trampoline!).

So, I started running with my group about 2 miles into their run, ran the length of the course, and thought, well, I'll just make up the difference in mileage and run back to my car.  No biggie.  I'll just be a few minutes later than normal.

Another thing about me and running.  I am a social runner.  Through and through.  I NEVER run alone.  Unless I'm running interval sprints on the treadmill at the gym, and that's really only for like 15 minutes, so it doesn't count.  And running in the dark doesn't really bother me so much, but that's probably because I'm always running with someone.

After I said goodbye to my friends, and went along my merry way, back to my car, I soon realized that, um, yeah, I'm running alone.  At 6:15 in the morning.  In the dark.  I didn't really get scared, per se, but of course, I was more cautious.  I don't want to get hit by a car (it's a lot easier to see a pack of runners in the dark, than a single one).  And I didn't have my ipod.  I had my phone, but no earbuds.  The miles get kinda long and boring without music or conversation.  It gets in my head.  I could tell I slowed down, but knowing I wanted to get it overwith, I refused to walk.  As I turned the last corner on the road where I parked, and trudged up one of those stupid hills that doesn't feel like a hill when you driving it, but feels like Mt. Everest when your running it (ok I walked a little bit), I crested the top and then it hit me.

I parked at the cemetary.  Duh.  Running alone.  Darkness.  Cemetary.  Nah, that's not scary AT ALL!  I totally had a Thriller moment. Good thing I was finishing a run, and had some good endorphins going, and I was in a good mood, or it could've gotten ugly.  I just kept telling myself, if all of these people buried here decided to come back for a visit, they're not going to visit their decomposing bodies, they'll go visit their still-living loved ones.  I'm not going to see a ghost today.

That didn't stop me from sprinting to my car, and peeling out of there as fast as I could.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Running for Two: Halloween Half Marathon, a Review

Last Saturday, I dragged my pregnant rear-end out of bed well before the crack o dawn, and made the hour and a half drive to Provo to run the Halloween Half Marathon. After spending weeks of training , and literally minutes preparing my "costume," I was pumped and read to go! This was to be my second time running this race. I loved the course, the first time. Lots of sweet down hill miles!

I must mention, that I've "run" around the block a time or two. I've run 6 full marathons (one just two weeks ago in St. George) and dozens (I don't even know for sure how many) half marathons. Been there. Done that.

My first chagrin about this race was the cost. $80!!! EIGHTY BUCKS?! Yeah, I know we Utah Mormons are cheap, but come on! This is literally the most I have ever paid in my life to run a half marathon. But, I guess the jokes on me because, yeah, I did knowingly pay $80 for this race. But for that price, there's going to be some serious swag on race day, right?!


My swag bag from the race packet had my shirt ($80 is kind of a lot even for a tech shirt, which, by the way, is too small) and my bib.  And some coupons.  That’s it.

Ok first. My girlfriends from the gym (both have only run one other half marathon) and I showed up at University Mall parking lot, ready to get directed to which bus we needed to board. The bus boarding area was a giant debacle. Chaos. There were haphazard lines everywhere. We stood in line (4 times) to get on a bus, only to be told it was full, and had to go find a new line. We finally shoved some doe-eyed superheroes out of the front of the 5th line and hopped on a bus. I did not see a single volunteer helping runners find the right bus.

Eventually, we made it to the start line.  Well, almost.  The bus driver stopped about a quarter mile away, and told us all we had to get off and walk.  We had to trudge up an icy, steep hill to find the tent at the start line.  And then we waited.  And waited, and waited.  And waited some more.  I was hitting all sorts of PR’s for this race! (most money spent, most time waiting at the start line before the race).  Again at start line, I saw zero volunteers offering information about where to drop our bags (I eventually figured that out on my own ), when each wave (there were three) would start, etc.  There was no music playing, no funny MC making jokes over the loud speaker, no water or drinks to keep runners hydrated before the race (this stuff is pretty customary at a race start).  Just 2 ½ half hours of standing, sitting, FREEZING, and waiting. 

 Finally, at 9:20 am (a mere 5 hours after I left my driveway that morning), my wave of the race started.  With numb toes, and cold, tight muscles, I began my run, weaving in and out of crowds as I made my way down the canyon.  About 2 miles in, just as I was getting my rhythm, enjoying the steep slope (I love me some downhill running!), we approached the highway.  And the road flattened out.  I was taken back, remembering the last time I ran this race, I had at least 6 or 7 miles of that nice steep downhill terrain.  And then I remembered that they had changed the course at the last minutes because of snow.  Oh well, I’m sure they’ve gotten it figured out.  I kept going. 

Let me tell you one thing about running for two.  You need to hydrate.  A lot.  And you get hungry.  A lot!  Typical races, especially half and full marathons have aid stations every two miles or so.  And usually every other aid station has extra goodies, like GU, Clif bars, First aid volunteers, fresh fruit, etc in addition to water and Gatorade.  I didn’t see an aid station until mile 4.  Even though it was 30 degrees, I was parched.  I drank two glasses (filled all the way up about 1/8 of an inch) of water and one of Gatorade, thinking, next aid station, I’ll have a little snack with a drink.

At mile 6, right after a water stop (yep, nothing but water and Gatorade—luckily I had my GU chomps in my pocket and at least got the 15 calories from that), we turned up what looked to be an ugly mother of an uphill slope.  That sucks, right?  Well, yeah, I can take a little uphill.  I don’t like it but I can do it.  BUT…..add “running” uphill to watching everyone who is already however many miles ahead of you running downhill on the opposite side of the road….pure torture!  RULE #1 of race planning.  NEVER, ever, ever, ever, have your runners run down and back on the same road.  It is completely demoralizing for the runners.  I can’t tell you how many times I considered cheating, and just hopping across the street and skipping the uphill part (I actually talked to one girl who did do that), but I didn’t.  I kept going, getting more and more annoyed at being able to see all the people ahead of me.  Once I finally hit the turn around spot about a mile or so up the hill, my attitude changed a little.  It feels good to be the one ahead, but I felt bad for all the people trudging up the hill, looking pissed off.

The second half of the course wasn’t so bad.  We made our way onto the Provo River trail, which I love.  It’s beautiful.  And the fall colors made it absolutely picturesque.  About mile 9 I thought about stopping to take a pic with my phone, but I was feeling good, and again, running for two, you never know when something is going to start hurting, so I had to take advantage and keep running. 

Now, I didn’t count the aid stations, but I’m pretty sure there were only 4. Maybe 5.  With only water and Gatorade.  No extra goodies.  I’m pretty sure I was only running as fast as I did, because I was starving and sprinting to forage for food.

Finally, 2 hours and 16 minutes from the start, I crossed the finish line.  I was looking forward to some goodies to eat at the finish.  (Baby’s gotta eat!!)  I got my medal (must be plated in gold or something for $80),  a warm (yuck) water bottle, and the table at the end had boxes of oranges and bananas.  The oranges were whole, unpeeled, uncut.  After running 13.1 miles, in 30 degrees, they expected their participants to peel their own oranges with frozen fingers.  Ok, maybe I’m a little entitled, but seriously, grab some volunteers and a knife and quarter those babies!  I did not see any volunteers at the food tables at the finish.  Total volunteer tally for the race: zero.

 At the end, I was glad I ran.  It was pretty.  But I could’ve just driven myself up the canyon, thrown on my tutu, and run down by myself for free.  And, I still sit here, trying to figure out where my $80 went to.  Minimal swag, minimal support.  I was disappointed.  For future reference, dear Halloween half race directors, get some sponsors, and some volunteers, and stop being so greedy and use the money to support your runners!

The end.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Random Musings and stuff

I'm not even sure why I logged on to blogger today.  It's such a random occurence.  I rarely get on the computer, except to pay bills (and that's only because the app on my phone doesn't work the same as the website).
I was going to go to lunch with my friend, and she cancelled, so suddenly, I have some time.  So, instead of mopping the floor, tackling the 4 foot pile of ironing, or maybe getting out and doing some yard work, like I should be doing, I found my fingers typing in my blog address instead.

Ry Ry, bless her sweet little heart, is happily discussing life's mysteries with her angels, or maybe she's talking to Scooter, the dog, while she plays in the family room.  I love LOVE this one year old stage.  (Ry turned one last week--can you believe that?!) She is so happy and funny all the time.  Of course, she's curious and gets into everything, and rips and tears and destroys.  But, I don't care.  She's pure sweetness.  I'm so in love with that baby girl.

I supposed if excuses for not blogging were called for, I could blame some of it on Ry Ry.  Babies do take up a mother's time.  Even if they are perfect in every way, and sweet as could be and cute as a button, and all of that mushy gushy cliche stuff that all mothers think about their own babies.  If blame is being passed around, I might as well lump my other three children in there.  Yes, I still have them.  I didn't trade them all in when I got Ry, even though I haven't mentioned them on here in a year.  They are all growing up so fast.  And since we moved into our car.....ok, not literally, but I feel like that's where we live these days.  We eat in there, sometimes they even get dressed in the car.  It seems like we're always driving from here to there and back again.  What did I do with my time before now?  Oh yeah, I blogged.

But, as I said recently in an email to my friend, DeNae, I have diagnosed myself as creatively comatose.  I got nothing.  No tunes floating around, or stupid lyrics that don't rhyme, no inspirational epiphanes about running (I still do that religiously, by the way).

And as entertaining as reading about my status as a soccer mom with the cutest baby ever may be to each of you, I haven't felt the need, desire, or inspiration to write about it.

incidentally, there were some dark days over the Summer.  A lot of them, actually.  But because I suddenly find myself needing privacy (weird, I know) and not wanting to air my dirty laundry all over the internet, I went to the grocery store one day, spent 99 cents and I bought myself a good ole fashioned notebook.   Writing is such amazing therapy!  And I've discovered that doing it on pen and paper, in a place where no one will ever read it, is much more cleansing than blogging it. 

So, sorry, but if I even blog again, its all going to be fluff.  I might even post pictures of my kids' birthdays this year.  Who knows?  Ok, honestly, I probably won't.  Especially now with Instagram.  Maybe I will start reading blogs again.   maybe.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It is Enough

I've had all these thoughts swimming around my head for the last month, and I keep thinking, I need to write these down.  In my journal, or on my blog, or somewhere.  And now, I finally got around to sitting at the computer and I'm at a loss of words.  I need to start keeping a notebook with me to jot down thoughts (not just one-liners in the notes icon on my phone)
I've had ideas for song lyrics, inspiration for myself, my family and my children, or sometimes just random funny thoughts and I really need to write things down.  There really is minimal memory left on the hard drive of my brain.  I am at capacity.  Pretty much any new information seems to just seep back out after a period of about 5 minutes.  My husband swears he tells me things and I have ZERO recollection.  (Or maybe he forgets to tell me things--one or the other.)

The last month has been hard-ish.  I say -ish, because life is still good.  I look around me, and see so many of my close friends and family struggling with one thing or another--illness, addiction, injury.  It makes me so grateful.  We are truly blessed.  And yet, somehow, those sneaky little demons seem to find there way back up on my shoulder, whispering ugly lies in my ear.

After I recovered from my thyroid fiasco a few years ago, I felt like I was cured from my depression.  The last two years have been the most emotionally stable that I can remember.  But hormones are tricky little buggers.  Especially the ones that ride around my body like a roller coaster on the 4th of July. You know, those crazy post-partum hormones.  I think my PPD kicked in 8 months after my baby came.  I firmly believe that everything in our bodies are on a delicate balancing act.  If one little things goes off, then the whole she-bang gets out of whack.  I think that is happening to me.  This is my vain attempt at self-diagnosis.  Because it must be medical, because there is no possible way I'm really this crazy.  Right?  RIGHT?!!

For the past month or so, I have been struggling with crippling feelings of inadequacy and guilt.  What have I done to feel guilty about?  I don't know, maybe because I spend 20 hours a week ignoring my children (with my 10 year old watching the baby), so I can make a little money teaching piano or playing for other people.  Or maybe because I left my kids with Grandma, so I could go to Jamaica with my husband.  Or maybe because I spend another 10 hours a week exercising/running (trying to combat the crazy).  Or maybe its because I'm not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or smart enough or funny enough or nice enough.  Maybe it's because my house is messy and my laundry isn't ever done, or because more often than not we have dinner at Chick-fil-A, or Little Ceasars.  Maybe it's because I feel like everyone in my neighborhood has it all together, and I feel like they all judge me because my kids aren't perfectly behaved at school or church, and don't wear the nicest brands, and sometimes, I forget to comb their hair.  And my dog barks too much, and my lawn is too brown, and I have too many weeds in my yard.  And I don't read my scriptures everyday, or attend the temple weekly, and I'm not bringing meals to everyone in my ward that needs it, and I don't babysit for the girl down the street that's on bed rest, and I don't volunteer at the homeless shelter.  And I didn't graduate from college, and I don't quote scripture or Plato and........

See what I mean about those stupid little demons?

It's completely irrational, I know, and really, I am certainly not fishing for compliments.  But the reality is, I have felt guilt for all of these things and more. 

This past Sunday, I felt like I was drowning.  I was at that point when the last place I wanted to go was to church for the simple fact that I would actually have to show my face in public, paint on my fake smile and pretend it's all going grand (and I am terrible at pretending).

But, it was Father's Day.  And I forced myself to forget me long enough to get us all to church.  There has never been a day that I have felt that way, and gone to church and not felt some relief.  This day was no different.  The talks were just for me.  As I sat there in the very back of the overflow with my little family, I breathed a silent little prayer, asking for help.  Help me overcome these dark thoughts.  During the closing song (sadly, I don't even remember what the song was), the words entered my mind, "It is enough." 

Immediately a rush of relief swept through me.  And Peace.  I am doing enough.  I am a good wife and mother, and sister and friend.  And yes, I could do more and be better, but I don't need to get carried away feeling guilty, because it is enough.

We are incredibly blessed.  I have so much.  And I am grateful.

*When I logged on today, I did not intend to write what I just wrote.  I was going to post pictures of our trips and my recent races.  Stay tuned for a post with that for another day.*

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Resurrection (of my blog)

Let's's only been......9 months since my last post.  Is blogging even still the same as it was in 2011?  I have a nagging feeling that its not.  Oh well,  here I am anyway.  I still get my weekly emails from statcounter (I don't know how to turn it off) that tells me how many people are visiting my blog.  I'm still getting somewhere around 60 visits per week.  That's seems like a lot since I haven't even logged in to my google account since last August.  Thanks for the love!  So, because I feel like I need to give back the love, and because I may have used multiple three-syllable words in an email to my daughter's teacher today, I think its time that I write something.

If I had a nickle for every time I've thought of things to write about, and then never did, I'd probably be able to quit my day job.  (especially since my day job pays in hugs and kisses, it'd be like getting a raise!)  For the record, there is no way I will ever quit my day job.  If you got to spend the day with this face, would you ever quit?

I rest my case.

This seems like a nice point to segue into the catching up portion of this post.  Last time I posted, I was roughly the size of a small continent, and growing.

 First let me say that there is absolutely nothing about the last year and a half of my life that hasn't felt like a pure miracle, hasn't filled me with pure joy, and that I've had any regrets about.  My days have been filled with pure and simple motherly love and joy.  Yes, I said Joy twice.  I'll say it again.  That baby girl is absolute joy.  Better than therapy.  I LOVE HER more than anything!!

So, I'll start from the beginning.  RC, or Ry-Ry, as we like to call her, was born on the morning of Sunday, September 25th.  We only went to the hospital 3 times before that with preterm labor.  By the last time, the nurse kept asking me, "Really, this is your FOURTH pregnancy?  Shouldn't you know better by now?"  Give me a break, I had a six year gap, and I was anxious.

 Labor was perfect.  It hurt.  But this perfect little angel made every single labor pain worth it.  Again, so glad I didn't get the epidural.  She is absolutely perfect in every way.

Ok, here's a much cuter one, without all the goop on her. Those lips!! Kiss kiss!
 Look at that!  Red hair!
 All the monkeys love her!

The past 7 months have honestly been the most amazing of my life, to date.  I have been so happy. We've had to adapt to a new normal, sure, and it's been crazy busy, but Ry is seriously the perfect baby.  Honestly.  She nursed like a champ (until, sadly, my milk dried up when she was 4 months), she has slept through the night since she was 6 weeks old, and she is the happiest, sweetest, (and busiest) baby I've had.  My other kids were good babies, too, but this one, well, she's a keeper!

4 days old

2 weeks old

3 weeks old
Ry got blessed on the same day that T got baptised  in November.  It was a wonderful day

November 2011, T's baptism and Ry's blessing day
Ry about 6 weeks old

4 weeks

2 months

Our Christmas card photo
3 months old

3 months

4 months

5 months
6 months

7 months

See why I love my day job so much?  She's the perfect little companion.  The other kids are pretty great too.

There's not much else to report, other than, next week I'm running my first (actually my 5th total) marathon in 3 years.  It's my comeback year baby.

This is me on my 34th birthday.  C and I ran the Moab half marathon for St. Patrick's day.  Funnest birthday ever!

Oh, and I cut my hair.