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Saturday, October 25, 2014

St George Marathon

For all the talking I do about marathons, I have a really tough time writing about the actual race.  It always feels so overwhelming to try to put into words a race that was several months in the making.  I finally decided I better get something done to memorialize what was a great race.  I have struggled with getting my speed and endurance back since having Ruby.  I made it through Ogden, but it felt like I barely got through it in one piece.  My training throughout this summer didn't have me feeling much more optimistic about my running abilities.  I finally realized, though, that accepting where I am and my current abilities was not accepting defeat (since it is quite different than where I used to be).  In fact, it seemed like the best way to run a great race and enjoy the experience - my primary goal.  So, as the race got closer I realized I had done my best and that would be enough.  We left for St. George Friday morning and it was not quite a relaxing experience getting there with the two babies.  We made it in and out of the expo only slightly frazzled, and, as always, I started to get really excited about the race.  I tried my best to get some down time that afternoon, but ended up doing way too much and went to bed feeling a little stressed about my exhausted I felt.  The night's sleep was interrupted a few times by Tim who stayed up to watch the BYU/Utah State football game and I woke up feeling pretty anxious.

Loading the buses was a little chaotic, but we arrived at the top with plenty of time to stretch, hydrate, chat and of course, go to bathroom numerous times.  We ended up having a larger than normal group which was really fun: Dad, Sean, Me, Tim, Jarin, Jess, Alicia and Claire the Canadian. The race started late which was strange, but after a lot of nervous energy, we were off.  My dad and I decided that we would start and stay together as long as our paces matched.  As we began running, I started thinking of my training and all of the miles I had logged.  Last summer was the first in about 12 years that I didn't train for a marathon and even though it is time consuming, I was glad to be back. 

My training schedules are usually a little more formal than this.
Sean and I cooked this up for me and Jess one afternoon on the phone.
Before the race I went back and looked at my Ogden time, 5:12.  I decided that I wasn't that concerned with my final time, but I did hope to be able to at least improve on my Ogden time.  My dad and I stuck together for about the first 1/3 of the race and then we got separated and I knew he was going to finish faster than me.  I saw a few people I knew and ran for awhile with my first friend in Santaquin, Heather Lamb Swenson.  It may sound kind of crazy, but I really just enjoyed the whole experience.  I loved the signs, the outfits, the stories, and especially, the people.  I really worked on my mental game and was happy that at no point did I feel defeated or discouraged, even on the hill at mile 18.  As I got further into the race, I  realized that I would definitely beat my Logan time and was thrilled when I finished in 4:58.  I finished with a kick and despite being tired, I felt triumphant.

I felt great about my time, and was excited to find out how well everyone else had run.  Tim ended up with a huge PR at 3:33.  Imagine what he could do if he trained.  Jarin ran a PR and everyone else did better than they had expected.  I was super excited for Jess and Alicia, they ran barely over 4:00 which was super impressive for a first marathon.  Even better, I think they might be hooked.  Overall it was a great day.

One of the best parts of the race was at about mile 24 when I saw my mom and babies.  We are all so lucky that the kids have such a fantastic grandma who makes it possible for Tim and I to run.  As I was running I thought a lot about that and how much effort it takes.  But I'm so grateful they get to be a part of the madness.  I want them to grow up knowing that their mama sets goals and does hard things.  I want them to know how important it is to support family, no matter what activity they choose.  A marathon seems like a pretty great place to learn all of that.  

Thanks St. George for another great race, you were a good one this year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Colors

Fall in Utah is really pretty spectacular.  This year has been especially great, with practically perfect weather - warm days and cool nights.  We have had beautiful skies during the day and amazing sunrises and sunsets.  Tim's Jeep purchase has come in handy and we have spent a lot of time in the mountains.  How could you tire of these views?

Tim and the big boys headed out for a little adventure.  They said they would scope out some roads for us to make sure they were safe for the "women and children"

Sunday afternoon before Ruby's party, Tim took Erika, Clark and Brycen up to our favorite area near Squaw Peak.  They all make the scenery look especially amazing.

Last Saturday Tim and I and the babies spent a bumpy 4-5 hours on the road between Hobble Creek Canyon and Squaw Peak.  When I say bumpy, I mean jarring and bruise inducing.  Luke was frequently worried that we were going to "fall off", but Ruby didn't even seem to notice.  I would have preferred a smooth road, but the rocking and rolling was definitely worth it for the amazing views and time in the Jeep with the family.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ruby One Year - The Party

I feel a little bad for my kids because I'm really not great at throwing parties.  Our house has a good set up for parties, and I like making the food, but I'm not a very comfortable hostess and no one shows up to see my great theme and decor.  I wished I liked to do the party planning - actually, what I really wish is that someone would do the party planning for me and I could just enjoy what has been created.  So far, the babies haven't seemed to notice or complain but I'm not sure what I'm going to do when they get bigger.
Since we were in St. George on the day of her birthday, we celebrated Ruby's birthday a week later with family and dinner.  Oh, and a really great cake.  I have been using the same lady to make my cakes since Luke's first birthday, and her cakes are the shining star of the party.  Ruby seemed a little overwhelmed for most of the night - she has been so shy lately and I think she couldn't quite figure out all the commotion.  I got a little distracted/flustered and completely forgot to have her open her presents until right before everyone left.  Poor baby.
Luke had more fun than he could have at his own party.  He and all the cousin brothers had their own party going on downstairs with some serious playing.  With the encouragement of Cory and Jarin they all devised some type of jumping from tables to beanbags or something similar that I really don't want to know about.  Luke spent about a half hour crying when they all left because he wanted to keep playing.
We had a great night and really were just so grateful to have everyone with us to celebrate our girl.

The People

The Cake


The Presents

And this is how an overly tired boy looks when he finally crashes.