Total Pageviews

Saturday, October 29, 2016

St. George 2016

This year marked my 11th time running the St. George Marathon and it may have been one of my favorites.  Not because it was my fastest time - it definitely was not - but because I had a fantastic race and felt good physically and mentally from the starting line to the finish line.  After having run two good half marathons, I was anxious to repeat the experience at the full but I really tried not to put any pressure on myself.  I followed my pattern of running based on my heart rate and only checked my average time once - at the halfway mark.  When I finished I was excited to see that there was only a .1 difference between my pace at the half and at the finish, meaning I ran a very consistent race.  I really think that is what allowed me to feel so good.  It was great to run without feeling exhausted or being mentally defeated.  This was my 21st marathon and after some tough races in the past few years, I was thrilled to have rediscovered my love of running and to really feel like a "marathoner". My overall time ended up being a 4:47 which was at least a half hour faster than I had expected.  

Tim definitely went into the race with no pressure or expectations...he didn't run consistently all summer and only did a few of his planned long runs.  In fact, the week of the marathon he had not completely decided if he was going to run.  He obviously did and, of course, ended up being the fastest one in our group.  

The expo is almost as much fun as the race.
We love a good photo op.

Cutest little future runners ever!

As we drove to the bus loading, it started to rain....hard!  We all panicked a little because no one was prepared for a wet race.  Luckily it calmed down quickly and by the time we got off the buses it was clear and just a little cool.  For the last two years my dad has not been with us at the start and I had really hoped he was going to make it this time.  It doesn't feel right to run this marathon without him and I feel especially bad because I think spectating with my two kids is probably tougher than just running the entire race.  The starting line really has the best energy and is so much fun.  This year it felt like we arrived a little earlier than most years so we had plenty of time to get prepared. 

Tim took advantage of the time to nap

Jesse and I were more concerned with our hands.  "Run Happy", "Find your Strong" and "Find Your Edge"  I kind of laughed at Jesse the first time I saw her do this, but during that race I found myself looking at my hand and feeling inspired just imagining the words.  Since then we have both raced with our mantras easily visible and I have loved it.  Having the words in front of me helps me to keep my mind focused on the positive, and distracts me when the race gets tough.

I don't normally take photos during the race, and this one didn't even turn out that great, but it was a moment that I didn't want to forget.  As I got midway up one of the steepest hills, I came upon a man who was pushing a wheelchair with a teen/young man in front.  They were going quite slow and I chatted briefly with both of them as I ran along side. About the time they really seemed to lose steam, two girls came running up behind and each took a handle and started pushing.  It was clear that they didn't know each other, and they didn't say much, just smiled and stuck with them until they crested the hill.  It was a simple act of kindness, but it had a big impact on me.  It reminded me of how much good is in the world, and that sometimes the best thing you can do is just step up and lend a hand and offer a smile. 

Favorite thing post-race...
Sweaty reunion with this guy

Fun to watch Jarin come across the finish line

Best cheerleaders ever
Along with the adults that brought them all

We didn't get any post race photos with all of us
Not our style, normally we have way too many
At least I have some shots of everyone who ran

The traditional "show me how many" shot

Seemed like a great idea
21 marathons for me, 10 for Tim

After 26 miles, still Running Happy

Part of the weekend tradition now include attending the banquet for the Ten Year Club.  This year was long and we all got a little restless.  But I love seeing the diversity of the runners, and having a chance to celebrate with so many other people that get the crazy love of running.

I think this was post "cheers"

Dancing to "princess" music.

My kids love race weekend just as much as we do because it means they get to stay with the cousins and have a non stop play date.  Family time is one of the best parts of the tradition.

Family time is especially fun when it is at the pool.




On our way home we decided to detour through Cedar City Canyon to see the leaves and stop at Cedar Breaks.  It was stunning.  We were amazed (and the kids a little scared) at some of the views. The scenery is amazing at any time or season, but this fall it was especially beautiful.

It is always cold at Cedar Breaks
Luckily I found some hats and gloves in my car

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Break

Fall Break for most school kids was last weekend.  Since the babies aren't in school, it isn't quite as big of deal for us.  This year we decided to join everyone in the celebration and plan some extra activities.  I have been so busy at work and missing time with Tim and the kids so it was perfect to be able to just be together as a family.  Fall is an amazing time of year and this year the weather has been pretty magical, so being outside sounded ideal.  Bring on the Autumn activities.

For Christmas last year we all got passes to Lagoon. I was a little concerned that we wouldn't use them enough to make it worth it, but Friday was our fifth time for the year.  The kids have loved it and I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed the park.  For this trip we joined up with Jarin and the cousins which made everyone especially happy about the outing.  I haven't ever been to Lagoon during their "Frightmares" time and it was fun to see all of the Halloween decorations and special activities.  The kids loved the pumpkins and were on the constant lookout for zombies.

Story time is always better when the stories are told by witches. 

There was plenty of posing in the Frightmares coffin.  I can't believe that we didn't get a shot with Jarin and Tim.  It was tough to find space with all of the shenanigans from the kids. 

There were two different spots in the park that they had turned into an area for the kids to trick or treat.  Both had characters dressed up and were staged to make it more fun.  They gave away some candy, but also toy cars, pirate patches, post cards and other little toys.  Best thing ever!

In addition to the scary and the treats,
There was plenty of time for rides

The train is Tim's favorite

She was so happy that she got a "good horse"

If you look closely you'll see some scary potions
Luke and Gavin...

Taylor and Brycen...

So the funny part with the picture of Taylor and Brycen is that they actually went to Lagoon on Saturday.  Taylor had to work and they couldn't go with us on Friday, so Tim picked them up and took them for a boys outing to lunch, Grandma and Grandpa Whitesides, and then Lagoon.  The rest of us missed time with the big boys, but I'm glad they had one last day at the park.

While Tim was up north with the boys, the littles and I set out on an adventure at another pumpkin patch  The primary goal was to just pick put and buy pumpkins, but we got a little side tracked and spent a few hours exploring all the fun activities.  I know I say this all the time but watching my babies explore the world and seeing their excitement in small things just brings me so much joy.

The finished pumpkins!