Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Marathon

It all started at the beginning of the year. Brandon found out that running a marathon had always been a goal of mine. He then made it his goal to get me to really do it. We bought a treadmill just after Christmas and I began running. I was enjoying the exercise and it was pretty convenient to just go downstairs and run while Alex napped. I decided I would just print off a marathon training schedule and start it. I assumed that at some point it would become too hard or I would injury myself and I would be able to quit. There were some setbacks. At first I started to get really bad shinsplints. Fortunately (or unfortunately) buying a new pair of shoes immediately solved that problem. We also went snowboarding and I wasn't able to run for a few days after from being too sore. But for the most part the running was going really well. It got a little harder as I began to do some long runs. I always did them on mornings Brandon was home and used the Nike sensor in my shoe to tell how long I was running. The hardest challenge of course was doing the 17, 18, and 20 mile runs. For part of these runs I would go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and back. I never carried water with me so on my twenty mile run I brought a dollar along to buy a drink on the way. At one point I stopped at a gas station to get my drink and to my shock they didn't have a single drink for sale for less than a dollar. Luckily the Smiths up the road did. After completing my 20 mile run and surviving I had more confidence that I could really run the marathon. Although adding another six miles on seemed extremely daunting and as the marathon approached I became more and more nervous. I probably wouldn't have registered at all but Brandon kindly did it for me. The day before the marathon I was extremely nervous. Brandon was so helpful and took care of Alex so I could nap and rest. At night I tried to go to bed early but couldn't sleep. The continuous fireworks outside my window didn't really help. I ended up getting about 45 minutes of sleep. At about 1:15 Monday morning I just decided to get up and start getting ready. Brandon got up with me and even made me toast while I sat on the couch in a nervous stupor. I had to up to Rice Eccles Stadium by 3:15 to catch the bus that would take us to the starting line.

Brandon snagged a picture of me as I got ready to go. Faking my excitement.

This is a picture up by the starting line at the top of Big Mountain. There were only about 600 people that ran the race. It was a little chilly so people were trying to cram into the tent to stay warm. The rest were in line for the porta pottys. We had to wait an hour and half until it was actually time to start the race. Once I got up there though I was no longer nervous. Just excited to get going. All of the runners were very friendly and encouraging. A few people told me I was crazy for choosing this as my first marathon. Apparently this course is known to be the toughest in Utah and one of the toughest in the country. Oops.

I was surprised to find how much I really enjoyed the race as I was running it. I started out making great time and feeling great. At mile 6 there was a huge hill for a few miles. Many runners just walked to save their strength but I kept on running. By two hours I was at mile 12 which meant I was doing about 10 minute miles which was really great for me. However it was then that I started to get pretty bad cramps. I ended up taking 4 (yes 4) bathroom breaks throughout the next 6 miles. Obviously this really hurt my time. At one bathroom stop I had to wait 8 minutes to use the bathroom. That was very frustrating. As we ran along foothill I made up a lot of time between miles 18-20. I felt rejuvenated and passed up a lot of runners. However as soon as I made the turn to head down past Rice Eccles Stadium I really hit a wall. My feet started to kill from continuously running on such steep slopes. I slowed way down and was now doing between 14 and 15 minute miles. Many of the people I had just passed were now passing me. It really felt like the mile signs were getting further and further apart. Finally I made it to mile 25. We got to run along the parade route for just a block or so but it was really fun to have people cheer me on and have little kids come give me high fives. I might not have made it otherwise. As I turned up 8th south to head to Liberty park I was really unsure if I could make it. It is crazy knowing you are so close but it feels SO far away. Close behind me was a little old man that had to be at least 80. He shuffled along the whole race. I thought at least I will beat him but as we finally neared the finish line he burst past me with crazy speed and finished before me. At that point I didn't care. I was so relieved to see the finish line and to see Brandon and Alex. It was fun that they announced my name and where I was from as I crossed. Many fellow runners were there to greet me as well.

Here I come.

So happy to see the finish line.

I finished in 5 hours and 35 minutes. I was thrilled with this. My goal was to finish before 6 hours. I was also a little frustrated though because if I hadn't had so many bathroom breaks I could have been a lot faster.

I just wanted to sit down so badly.

Mere seconds after I crossed the finish line my sisters were there to greet me. It was so great to have their support.

I wish I would have gotten a picture with Brandon at the finish line but I was too delirious to think of that at the time. I really couldn't have done this without him. He babysat Alex a lot while I trained. He also took care of me the next few days while I was barely able to move. He was so supportive throughout the whole process.

Overall I loved the experience. The last 6 miles were the hardest thing I've ever done but it was worth it in the end. I would definitely like to run another one although it might not be for a while. I might take it easy and try a half marathon next.

One Crazy Weekend

This past weekend was crazy, busy, and a lot of fun. If only we had another weekend to recover from it.

The fun started off on Thursday night. Brandon and I went to see the Decemberists at the Twilight Series downtown. The band sounded great but because it was a free concert there were tons of people there. Many people that didn't know the music and many people that just came to get high. Being smashed between pot smokers for several hours wasn't a whole lot of fun but we survived.

Because we were in California and missed Jessica's birthday celebration Brandon and I told her we would make it up to her by making a cake with her. Jessica is also very into "caking" so we had a lot of fun. Brandon showed Jessica what to do and she was a pro.

Making fondant.


Jessica is very into peace signs right now so that is how she wanted to decorate her cake. She chose all the colors and how to decorate it. It turned out so cute.

Alex also had some fun this weekend eating Oreos. Probably a little too much fun.

The highlight of the weekend for Brandon was seeing "Winnie the Pooh." It was hilarious and Alex also enjoyed it. It was only an hour so it was just the right length for him.

On Saturday we got to attend the "Culdesac of Fire" at the Everitt's house. In previous years Brandon and I have been out of town or unable to attend so we were excited to come this year. After playing games we headed outside to watch the show.

Everyone is getting started with sparklers.

To prevent him from running for the fireworks Alex spent most of the time in his stroller. He sure enjoyed the show.

Brandon and Scott lighting the fireworks.

Somehow it turned into a big dance party.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cali Trip: Day Three

Sunday was our last full day in California. We had fun visiting an Arts Festival and Brandon and I got to leave Alex and head out on the town by ourselves for the night.

Tristan and Natasha riding some of the rides.

Out to eat at Acqua Pazza. Delicious Italian.

Our ride for the night...thanks Cliff!

Alex munching on some corn on the cob.

On Monday it was time to head home. Unfortunately we were delayed a few hours. Here we are hanging out in the airport.

Luckily Alex was pretty calm in the airport this time.

We were especially amazed when he fell asleep in the airplane.

He fell asleep holding hands with Daddy.

We had such a great vacation and I was grateful Alex did so well. We were especially grateful for the Clarks and their hospitality. It was so much fun.

Cali Trip: Day Two

On Saturday we had another fun day. While we were all getting ready for the day Alex was still recovering from the day before. I was relieved that he slept great throughout the trip. Thank goodness for the pack n play.

We spent the day at the San Francisco Zoo. Alex loved seeing the animals.

Tristan and Natasha as giraffes.

Mama and baby gorilla. The baby gorilla put on quite a show for us. He would do somersaults and run up to the glass to say hello.

Some Dip n Dots and some flamingos.

Alex is super excited for the train ride.

After some delicious dinner at the Cliff House we checked out the ocean.

A beautiful end to another great day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cali Trip: Day One

Last weekend we were lucky enough to get to visit some of Brandon's family that live in California. I took way too many pictures so I am splitting up the posts into three days. This was Alex's first vacation and first time on an airplane. I was very nervous since he is not one to hold still, ever. Also, Brandon and I were not supposed to sit by each other on the plane which would make things even harder. Luckily, they moved our seats so that we were sitting together. Unfortunately this didn't help much. On the way to California Alex was hyper and a little bit crazy. Luckily there were lots of other kids on the plane. He even made friends with the people next to us and would visit them throughout the flight. We were glad it was a short flight.

All tuckered out after the flight.

Once we got to the Clark's home we had some down time to catch up with the kids. Brandon and Alex even had some time to duel.

That night the Clark's took us to a Giants game. I love baseball so I was very excited. They even got Alex some Giants gear so he would fit right in. Even though it wasn't Yankees gear he looked pretty cute.

Their dog Zoe. We loved her.

He wasn't a big fan of his hat but it was so cute.

We had great seats.

Alex actually did pretty good at the game. Because he was so tired he sat on my lap most of the time. It was an exciting game but unfortunately the Giants lost in the ninth inning.

By the end of the night Alex was one tired kid. It was so much fun though. Alex even got a certificate because it was his first Giants game.