Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy 23rd Birthday Jillybean

Thinking of you today. 
Wondering what your life would be like now. 
Knowing you would be so proud of your baby girl.

Missing you.

A beautiful tribute that my bestie put together - a snapshot of the life we knew with her and her legacy moving forward.

Missin you and loving you Jilly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday's Wrandom Wrambling

Holy freakin cow, it's Wednesday!

I've lost track of days.  Literally, I have to LOOK at the calendar to know what day it is.  Sorta nice, sorta pathetic.

I like home projects.  Ones that I can actually help with.  Last week, I spent the week organizing, de-cluttering, cleaning.  So cathartic

This week has been a little project I like to call "make a bathroom".  We had a plumber come in (still waiting on the bid), but in the meantime, I have started taking down drywall, ripped up carpet, removed baseboards..... who knew that a hammer and a flathead screwdriver could be so much fun.

And feel so good.

So I'm talking to the dermatologist today (full body check), and she of course notices my nasty rast feet and immediately knows I run.  She has run the Marine Marathon TWICE!  I am oozing with jealousy.  She got all choked up just trying to describe it to me!  Corbin and I HAVE to do this next year!  If it's the only race I ever run next year, I WILL DO THIS!

And maybe I'll get a chance to meet my peeps in DC - hollah!

And, and she took a thingie off my arm.  Most def not melanoma, but it was bugging me, and she wanted to see what it looked like under the microscope.

I dig my doctors.

My family practice doc?  Dude is a freakin saint!  My "talking" doctor?  LOVE HER!

I got good ones.

Wedding plans are in full gear.  Making address lists.  Finalizing family shower, the DJ, the wedding luncheon.  Tagged along to visit cake lady.  Then pictures on Sunday and work on invites, flowers, decorations.  I am grateful I only have a small portion to do.  But luckily, Montana and her family let me tag along and enjoy all the fun things too.  I couldn't be happier that those two kids are getting married!  Little peas in a pod they are - and her family is so fun to be with!  I don't think I could have arranged a better one if I were a professional matchmaker!

Speaking of happy kids.  My Corbin, Karalee and Chloee!  So happy!  Such a cute family.  I think about them all the time and am so glad that they have found each other and have made such a beautiful, strong family. 

Luke is starting his own business.  Stay tuned.  I will most def be pimping him out here!

It's good to feel happy about your kids.

Splenda Daddy got a special little thingamajig for the computer that records our old VHS tapes to files on the PC.  He started one tonight, and oh my holy hannah!  How fun is it to see the boys when they were little.

It isn't fun seeing me 20 years ago.  Aye carumba!  I certainly was one to embrace the 80's.  Could my hair BE any bigger?  And Splenda's mullet?  OH EM GEE - we have giggled all night watching.

It's also been sweet to see videos of his Dad.  We miss him and all his funny quirks.  It will be fun to take these videos and make some DVD's with them.

At least I think it will be fun for Splenda.  I'm more into taking down drywall right now.

Getting muy nervous for St George this weekend.  I've had a sore tendon/calf issue and it's not really getting better.  Icing, taking it easy, antiinflammatories both topically and orally......... still not getting where I feel good about it.  Hopefully, my dear Cassandra and her magic will get it under control tomorrow.

I just realized that if I can do this in 4 hours or less, I qualify for Boston.  That means shaving 33 minutes off of  last years time.  It feels like it's just within my reach, and yet so unattainable.  I guess we'll see Saturday eh?

Halfway through SIL"s next book.  Just the draft.  Loving it!  I smell another success..... and the fact that there is a reference to Mimi in there made me smile!

Did you know that a six pack of Lynn Wilson burrito's makes the perfect ice pack?

Now you do

Peace. Out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Dirty Dash 2011 - what a bunch of Dirty Diva's

Last year, I sat this one out for fear of injuring myself for the big marathon the next weekend.  Once I heard what it was really like, I realized I could probably do it and be just fine.  Besides, it sounded and looked like so much fun - I HAD to give it a try!

Apparently this year, there were more obstacles and mud. Sahweet! Loved the fact that we jogged, walked, talked and laughed through 6 miles of ick. I'm here to tell you, there wasn't just mud in that muck. I'll consider myself lucky if I don't come down with some awful disease : )

It all starts out clean an innocent enough

And then, the fun begins!

The cold showers at the end were a necessary evil

What a great party!  The Dirty Dash puts these events on all over - so look for one iu your home state.

I had a great time with ONE.LAST.EVENT. with all my girls before Ree moves on.  I love being with them, laughing, joking, talking and a little bit of exercise.  Kind of the story of our diva relationship : )

I have to admit though, I probably won't do it again.  I spent the entire time trying to make sure I don't injure myself, evaluating the tendonitis I'm experiencing, and then at the end, missing doing the piglet plunge with Chloee.  I think that was the real fun for me last year.  Nothing like playing in the mud with a little kid!  Big kids were fun, but just not the same.

Thanks to Tiburon for being our paparazzi! 

Next up - St George Marathon......let's hope this issue with my tendon calms down and I can post a decent race!

Spiritual Sunday - Accepting, Releasing and Finding self esteeem

The journey to inner happiness comes more slowly for some of us than others.  I envy women (and men) who seem to have found "it".  The self confidence, self esteem and self worth that I find so elusive.  One can look back on their childhood, teen years, young adult adventures and even to current life situations and find a plethora of reasons to justify their personalities, quirks, or reasons of logic.  Good and bad.  We always want to seem to find a WHY for our actions and behaviors.  An explanation or even a scapegoat for our more unappealing sides.  Some of us spend more time on the WHY than on accepting and improving.  It's just easier to blame than own.

My inner circle knows what's going on in my own world right now, and I appreciate all the support, encouragement, and motivation that has come my way.  On the flip side, the negativity, finger pointing, and gossip that amazingly still continues is being tossed like chaff in the wind.  I refuse to feed the negative energy any more.  Life is too damn short.  I give up trying to figure out why someone who so dislikes me, wants to hurt  me, or continue to find fault with me, would waste their time reading my blog.  Really?  The only reason can be that they are just as pathetically insecure on the inside themselves and desperately want to feel better by finding fault with me.  I see you on my tracker.  I know you come by, what pages you enter and what pages you exit.  The IP addresses used, even the anonymous ones you attempt to hide behind.  I used to get angry, exasperated, frustrated that my own freedom of speech is impeded by people who feel the need to record and report what might be written here, regardless if the true intent was understood or not, and those words being misinterpreted, misrepresented and/or held against me.  However now, instead of frustration and hurt,  I  feel pity.  Pity because I understand how it feels to be so insecure and in need of validation. Sadly, I get it.  The beauty of understanding that fact is, that I now can let the negative go. If others feel the need for the vicious downward cycle, they can have it.  I've jumped out of that whirlpool and swimming to calmer, more peaceful waters

Splenda Daddy is amazing.  He's my rock.  A saint.  A man who deserves knighthood.  He is always keeping an eye out for articles, books, talks, anything that is motivating, uplifting and seeks to help in creating one's own happiness.

A week ago, this article hit my message box on Facebook.  I've read and re-read it a couple of times now and debated whether or not to share it on the blog.  I considered just posting the link, but if you are like me, the links don't always get hit, and I miss out on something very worthwhile.

Instead - the article, in it's entirety is provided.  Know that they are NOT my own words, rather those of a stranger who took the time to articulate them and I happened to find them insightful.

The following has been copied and pasted from here:
Learning to Love Myself By Louise Brown

*thank you Splenda Daddy for thinkinf of me and sending me the article*

** written for an audience of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, but applicable to all**

.Searching for my own assets reinforced my self-esteem and helped me identify things I wanted to change

Three years ago, I hit bottom. Our family had been plagued by health problems and financial setbacks, and I saw no reason to hope that things would improve.
I had always been active in the Church, was married in the temple, and had served in many capacities including two years as a Relief Society president. It seemed to me that I had adequate faith and was worthy of the Lord’s blessings, but I found myself experiencing real despair—without adequate personal resources to deal with it. It was the darkest hour of my life, but it also proved to be a turning point.
In this situation, I came face to face with my own self-account-ability. I realized that, except for the Lord, I was the only one who could really help me. The responsibility for my well-being was squarely on my own shoulders.
Although no one else could face the demands of reality for me, there were people who could help me, and I turned to them with determination to succeed. I met with my bishop, and he directed me to LDS Social Services for counseling, feeling that the advice I would receive there would be consistent with the gospel. Turning to professional help was far from easy, but it was one of the best things I have ever done. After only a few sessions, I began an adventure that has encompassed three years of study and hard work, sprinkled with encouragement and inspiration from my Father in Heaven. It has been a quest that I expect will last a lifetime: discovering and taking charge of myself.
Looking for the Positive

The first thing I discovered was that I had been looking for happiness and peace of mind in the wrong way. I had always thought that happiness depended on outward circumstances, but I learned that it is a product of a person’s approach to life and can exist in spite of problems. This new concept intrigued me, and I realized that I had never learned the skills necessary to be independently happy. To correct this, I dove eagerly into an intensive study of self-esteem which opened up a whole new world of me. I became quickly convinced of the necessity of knowing and liking myself—something I had neglected.

Real self-acceptance didn’t come easily. I had spent twenty-seven years thinking of myself primarily in negative terms and it wasn’t an easy habit to break. Debilitating thoughts continued to come uninvited to my mind at every opportunity, but now I recognized that negative thinking was my enemy—and I fought it with every ounce of strength I had.

First, I dismissed negative, critical thoughts, telling myself they weren’t valid. I learned to turn them off the same way I turn off the television set when something unsuitable comes on. In their place I substituted positive thoughts, reminding myself of the things I could take pride in.

At first it was difficult to find positive thoughts about myself. When I looked for my strengths, my mind would go blank! Luckily, my husband filled in the gap. He patiently pointed out to me over and over the things he saw in me that were praiseworthy—until I began to recognize and appreciate them for myself. The assurances from the Spirit that my Father in Heaven loves me also helped. Such feelings would often overwhelm me when I arose from prayer, and did much to reinforce my battered self-esteem.

Searching for my assets caused me to examine my values and priorities. As I brought these things into better focus, I was able to acknowledge the areas in which I was succeeding and identify ways I wanted to change.

Learning to think about myself in positive terms also led me to a more positive attitude toward circumstances, experiences, and other people. I began looking for the good in others and for the positive side of situations. I began to experience a greater sensitivity to other people’s feelings and needs and was slower to pass judgment. My relationships with my children improved as I began to notice and compliment them on things they did that pleased me. When problems arose, I was able to address the actions rather than attack the person’s character. I became more easygoing and more pleasant to be around.

Setting Realistic Expectations

The first time I saw the counselor at LDS Social Services, he listened to my troubled thoughts and asked me, “Why do you expect so much from yourself?” He helped me see that I had been imposing unreasonable expectations upon myself. Having adopted the notion that nothing short of perfection was acceptable, I was constantly discouraged and unable to feel satisfied with anything I did. I had literally programmed myself for failure.

Adjusting my expectations to a reasonable level was truly liberating. It dramatically changed my relationship to my Father in Heaven and to the gospel. Formerly I had pictured God as a stern, finger-shaking personage who was impossible to please. I had been taught that he loved me, but since I didn’t feel lovable I had built a barrier between us that made his love for me seem academic and meaningless. I was so overwhelmed by my distorted view of gospel “demands” and by my own lack of perfection that I could find little joy, comfort, or strength in the gospel that which should have been my greatest resource.

As I re-experienced the gospel from my new vantage point, the meaning and purpose of life unfolded to me with a clarity, unity, and beauty that I had never before imagined. For the first time in my life, that stern, fingershaking personage was gone—and God was my Friend. He had a smile on his face and had abundant approval and encouragement for me. I realized that he truly wanted me to experience the joy of learning and growing in my own way and at my own speed. Prayer became an avenue for genuine communication.

When I had thought about sin and repentance before, I had always conjured up images of a massive ledger in which angels carefully recorded my every error and shortcoming. But now I think of repentance as growth, and forsaking sin means avoiding things that limit growth. I now find myself free of the terrible burden of guilt, inadequacy, and fear of not “making it” that used to haunt me. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by my weaknesses, I feel a genuine desire to grow.

Eliminating Need for Approval

A third thing I learned as I continued to monitor my thoughts and reactions was that I depended too heavily on other people’s approval. Of course there’s nothing wrong with enjoying approval, but being too wrapped up in seeking it can be stifling. I was paying more attention to what others wanted me to do than to my own inner convictions. I came to realize that disapproval is an inevitable part of life: because each of us is different, someone will invariably disagree with almost anything we do. This frame of mind helped me focus on my own reasons for my choices and on seeking confirmation from my Father in Heaven. It helped liberate me from needing the approval of all those other people. During this process, I came to see that many circumstances have more than one acceptable alternative—and I learned to think in terms of “different,” saving the concept of “right” and “wrong” for appropriate moral situations.

Eliminating my need for approval also helped me overcome my fear of failure and criticism, which had prevented me so often from trying things I wanted to do. Since then, I have experienced the joy of trying new things—enjoying the process of doing instead of focusing only on the success or failure of the outcome.

All of these things helped me become motivated from within rather than from without. I can see now that although I had always tried to be a “good member” of the Church, my “good” behavior was more a product of my desire for approval than an indication of the person I really was inside.

As I learned to look within for direction, I came to know myself much better, and the promptings of the Holy Ghost seemed to come more clearly.

Setting Priorities

This self-discovery and self-nourishment has been very rewarding, but also somewhat time-consuming. I have had to set aside time to think, study, ponder, pray, and listen. And I have had to guard against becoming too busy. This isn’t always easy in a world that prizes productivity and encourages a rigid routine of goal-setting, schedules, and achievements. But I’ve eliminated things I once did only out of a sense of obligation, and now devote my time and energy to developing relationships with family and friends and to pursuing real interests. I’ve found that quality living cannot be measured by the quantity of interests and activities I may have. In this respect, more may be less.

This new-found attitude has extended to other aspects of life as well. It became obvious in the decor of our home. We have come to value space more than excess furniture, for instance, and as we hauled load after load of once “essential” belongings to Deseret Industries, we discovered that we can live more comfortably with less. In fact, disposing of things we rarely or never used has left us feeling unburdened. Even the kitchen cupboards are less cluttered now and easier to keep clean. Our attitude has rubbed off on the children, and they, too, have come to appreciate an absence of clutter.

Some people feel that taking time for self is selfishness, but my experience indicates otherwise. Few people would willingly let themselves starve physically, but we frequently allow spiritual malnutrition because we fear that taking time to properly nourish ourselves would cause us to neglect other, more important obligations. I’ve learned that in order to be efficient and productive, I must be spiritually and emotionally well nourished, as well as physically rested and well.

The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength.” (D&C 10:4; see also Mosiah 4:27.) This advice is good for all of us, though it is easy to ignore. I always used to feel that I was rationalizing when I invoked it. But now I know that when my energy is spent and I try to carry on as though it weren’t, I accomplish little good. I have to have strength before I can use it, and I’ve found that the more I develop within myself, the more I have to give to others; the fuller my own cup, the greater becomes my natural desire to serve and to share. Thus, this attitude is far from selfish. It makes service more possible.

Setting my priorities straight has benefited my marriage as well. For years I considered my marriage to be my first priority; and since we worked hard at maintaining it, it has been a very rewarding relationship. When I decided that keeping myself well nourished should come first, the result was a stronger marriage, not a weaker one. Because I was becoming a more substantial person, I had more to bring to our relationship—and my taking responsibility for my own well-being released my husband from the burden of trying to keep me on an even keel. As a result, our relationship is more spontaneous, more fun; it’s a source of greater joy and satisfaction than ever before.

Giving and Receiving Help

I admit that I am careful not to overextend myself these days. Other women’s capacities may be different from mine, but I have learned to compare myself only with myself. And I have learned the hard way that there is a difference between having a healthy challenge and being hopelessly overloaded. Recognizing my limitations has helped me be more creative with the energy I have. I try to get to the heart of a project; clearly define the objective, and then look for the most efficient way to help those involved. In the process, I try to eliminate anything unimportant or wasteful. I look for ways in which I am particularly well-suited to meaningfully help others.

Besides learning how to give more wisely, I have learned about receiving as well. At times we all have needs greater than our ability to fill them. I have come to recognize this as a manifestation of our humanity, rather than as a comment on our personal righteousness. When I consider the way I hope others will receive my help, I am impressed with the importance of accepting help graciously.

In addition to learning how to accept help, I’ve learned the importance of not expecting it. There have been times when my needs have seemed critical, such as a time when my husband was hospitalized, leaving me the responsibility of our four small children on top of my concern for his condition. Those I expected to come to my aid did not. From experiences such as this, I have learned an important lesson: we protect ourselves from disappointment and hurt feelings when we don’t expect from others that which they do not have to give, even if it seems that they “should.” Refusing to become upset over another’s failure to rise to my occasion, I can accept the ultimate responsibility for my own well-being and avoid the bitterness that might otherwise grow like a cancer from harboring an unforgiving attitude.

Looking back over the last three years, I am amazed at how my life has changed. As a result of the healing influence of the Spirit, my self-image is now a positive one. I am happier, more confident, more in touch with myself. I find more enjoyment in each day than I used to find in a month. The amazing thing is that we still have all the problems that seemed so overwhelming three years ago. The only thing that has changed is me.
Louise A. Brown, mother of four, serves as Relief Society Social Relations teacher in her Salt Lake City ward.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Yankee's style

Remember when Splenda made me my Yankee room for Christmas?

It seriously is my favorite room in the house.  Every time I walk down the hall, I see it and feel loved.  I think of the HOURS he spent hand painting and touching up, and making sure every picture was hung just perfect......  Makes my head spin really.  I love the LOVE that I feel in and from that room.

For quite a while now, I have had my old yellow cupboard that was mine as a child.  I think I remember my Mom and Dad giving it to me one Christmas when I was very little.  Once I grew out of it, it went to my sisters, and then eventually ended back to me.  It's been sitting in the closet since we did the Yankee room, waiting for me to finish painting it.  I had sanded off the yellow and was ready to paint it to match the room and use it as a special place to display all my Yankee memorabilia as well as my race medals.

Now, with some time on my hands and the desire to do something of value, I dug out the paint, had Home Depot spin it a bit to mix it all up and to work I went.  My final finished product:

Now I realize it doesn't look like much to someone else, but to me, it means a hella lot! 
My childhood play cupboard.
My hard work to sand and paint it.
Every last piece of Yankee memorabilia I have -including my beloved ticket stubs from the once in a lifetime experience I had at the original stadium
Yankee logo stuff that different people gave me, because they know I love them and they were thinking of me.
And, yes - ALL of my race medals.

Thankful for Splenda for creating the room in the first place.
Thankful for the opportunity to see a game at the original stadium before they demolished it.
Thankful for good friends who think of me and pick up a little something here or there with just me in mind.
Thankful for the ability I have to run.  Those medals represent a lot of hard work, pain, joy, and satisfaction.
Thankful for the time I had to put it all together today.

I'm a blessed girl!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things that are making me smile

Props to 20 something-year-old dude who not only ran the marathon, but has a braid WITH a feather weaved in it.  I should probably try it - since he considerably kicked MY trash!
 Serious self confidence - Rock it brothah!

Another example of some serious self confidence.  No breeze?  Either not, or really doesn't care - at any rate, kudos to your complete and total self assurance gal - you got it goin ON!

Mi familia (minus 4) - Love Sunday dinners, with birthday cake, ice cream and presents!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top of Utah Marathon 2011 - YESSSS!!!!

A much needed success.  That's all there is to it.  Sometimes when life sucks, you just need a day to have a little happiness.  Saturday was my day!

Remember how TOU was gonna be my first marathon ever?  And then I had that awful stress fracture and was on crutches?  Let's not even bring up the resulting CRPS.   Sucky time in my running life to be sure. 

So this year, when I saw that it was part of the Grand Slam requirements - I was excited to come tackle the one I had only imagined doing.

Friday night, Splenda and I left town and headed north.  Once we hit Logan, a quick stop at the Marriott to pick up my packet and then it was on to Smithfield and the Firehouse!  LOVE THAT PLACE!!

Back to my sisters for a little Cade loving and small talk while Splenda got our bed ready and stuff set up. 

(yes Mr Cade is so chubby that even his big toe has rolls)

(my hair is not really yellow - it's the lighting.)

I couldn't sleep.  Negative thoughts kept circling around and around.  Conversations.  People.  Situations.  Panic.  Anxiety.  Nothing even race related and I was laying there wide awake and freaking out.  I finally found a song in my head and sang myself to sleep.

Next thing I know - the alarm is going off at 4:00am.  Up, dressed, and rousing Splenda to drive me to the bus loading zone.  Apparently it had started raining sometime in the night and by all accounts didn't look like it was going to stop.  I got on the second bus, sat down next to an older lady in a rain coat - some small talk and then it was look out the window so I don't get car sick.

I think this is the worst part about a marathon is the drive up to the start line.  It feels like it takes FOOORRRREEEVVVVVEEEERRRRR.  Finally, 45 minutes later, we got dropped off in front of warming tents and off we went.  I found a quiet spot next to a heater, laid my drop bag to sit on and turned on my tunes.  There was still an hour and half to start time so I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep if I could.  I slowly stretched and warmed up my legs.

More and more buses were dropping off runners and it began to get pretty crowded in the tent.  I figured now was as good as time as any to hit the porta-potties. 

My mistake.  The lines were HUGE!  I gauged the length of each of the lines and figured they were all about the same, so jumped into the first one I could.  As I inched my way forward, an announcer kept coming by and announcing how close it was to start time.  Finally, I realized that there was no way I was gonna make it to my turn before the start, and since I wasn't in an emergency situation, I figured with the johns stationed every mile, I would hit one on the course.  I made my way back down to the start line just as it started to rain.   

I shed my leggings, secured them in my drop bag and tossed it into the bus.  Just as I started in the direction of the start, it started POURING rain.  No lie- a downpour!  We all raced for the heating tent.  Can you imagine the smell of hundreds of bodies crammed into the heat tent?  BO, morning breath, and ben-gay.  Not pretty.

Soon we heard the gun go off and knew the wheelchair and hand crank entrants had started.  I crept towards the opening of the tent and could see that it was no longer a downpour, but back to a slight drizzle.  I headed out and tried to find my way back to the pacer for 4:45 since it was my friend Chris.  I knew I wanted to see if I could be faster, but I wanted to at least say hi.  No such luck.  There were too many people, and when the gun went off, I found myself with the 4:00 pacers.

Off we went.  The sky was just getting light, the rain was drizzling and the temps were chilly, but within 5 minutes, very comfortable.  I got to mile two before using the portapotty.  Mile 3 I dropped my sweatshirt and was settling into a nice quick little pace.  The rain had stopped and it was perfection!

The scenery was spectacular!  The canyon was beautiful and here and there you could see glimpses of leaves beginning to turn. 
(one of the rare moments that we weren't getting drenched)

The crowd was perfect.  Not so many people that you were dodging bodies, but enough to keep things sociable and interesting.

The miles were flying by and I was feeling great.  Good foot turn over.  Solid, steady pace and feeling fantastic.

And then the heavens opened and the deluge of rain came.  For several miles, it poured.  And then.....ow!  What is this?  HAIL!  It was hailing on us!  There wasn't anything to do but keep moving forward.  And laugh.  Serio - what are you gonna do about?  Some lightning, thunder, more rain, more hail.  Soaked to the skin.  Water filled shoes and squishy socks.  Less than comfortable, but not completely miserable yet.

At mile 14 or 15 we come out of the canyon and begin looping through some farm country.  It's very pretty and lots of spectators are out cheering us on.  I love that.  I love that a perfect stranger will catch your eye and tell you what a great job you are doing and to keep working hard.

For the next several miles, we looped through neighborhoods.  Now spectators were increasing in their numbers and unfortunately, their ways to encourage.  For a couple of miles we had people riding their bikes along side their runners.  Nice gesture but I almost had a little girl crash into me on her princess bike and then I had to dodge a couple others while they tried to manage balancing while going so slow to stay with their runner.  Not gonna lie.  Was a bit irritated.

The course continued to loop through quiet neighborhoods, and around one turn, I came across a three some that I stayed with for a little while.  One lady and two guys who were talking her through it and encouraging her every step.  At mile 19 or 20 is when you see people start to struggle.  The legs have trouble moving, and some give in to the temptation to walk.  These guys with the lady were so much fun though!!  They would let her walk and then cheer her legs into running again. And they were not just cheering and encouraging her - but all of us around!  They were a delight to run with for awhile.  At about mile 20 I lost them.  She was walking more and more and I felt good enough to keep running.

Mile 20 is my hardest.  There is something mental at mile 20.  It's not the proverbial wall, it's just a mental thing for me.  I had already talked to Splenda.  I had talked to Tiburon.  I had texted Lisa.  But I needed some tough love.  I needed someone to YELL AT ME and tell me to quit whining in my head and kick it into gear.  I called Corbin.

Poor kid answers the phone and on the other end is his breathless mother begging him to scream and yell some motivation to her.  I think I caught him off guard.  No Mom, I'm not gonna yell at you.  Mom, it's all in your head.  You feel pain or feel tired, it's all in your head.  You decide if you are tired or not.  Mind over body.  We talked about his buddies that are now in Afghanistan.  Most the boys he did boot camp or combat training with are now over there.  One in particular has been on my mind.  I told Corbin I had been thinking of Cody Crangle and telling myself that if that young kid could be over there in that god-forsaken land running in his gear while being shot at, I could certainly run it here and not be such a whiny butt baby.  We chatted another minute and then Corb told me get off my phone and stay off it since it was wasting energy!  Love that kid!

I looked up and it was mile 21 - that last mile went fast and now I knew I was on my way to finishing, and I wanted to finish strong.  Back in the canyon, I had passed the 4:00 pacer but towards the bottom of the canyon, he passed me.  I gauged the time on my watch and while it might be close, I could possible hit around the 4:00 mark.

The miles started to drag.  We were now looping into town, and while the spectators were kind and encouraging, they didn't take the pain out of my legs.  At the next aid station, I had them put some biofreeze on my knee and tendons at my ankles.  That did the trick and I was able to find a nice foot turnover and steady pace.

We turned onto main street and I started looking for the mile 25 marker.  As I saw it nearing in the distance, I looked down at my watch to see the time and MY WATCH WAS DEAD!  What the??  I pushed buttons, I got nothing.  I cursed at it, I got nothing.  So disappointing.  Now I had no way of knowing the time I was at and trying to gauge a finish time.

Nothing to do but keep running.  Drank water, ate oranges and kept pushing.   Just before the 26 miles mark, I came up on a couple old guys that were laughing and complaining about the last .2 - how it was the toughest.  I knew that once I rounded the last corner, I would see the finish.

Sure enough - and let me tell you that is a blessed sight!  The big finish line, the clock, the stands of fans and people all lined up to cheer you into the finish.  I saw Splenda Daddy - gave him my happy dance gesture and then as per tradition - sprinted in!  I looked at the clock and saw 4:15.09!  Knowing that I was a little ways back at the start, I felt confident in posting a sub 4:15! I.was.thrilled!!

I made it through the chute, into the racers recovery area and then out to look for Splenda.  We met up, took some pictures, I stretched, grabbed my Wasatch Running company Grand Slammer swag bag, found my dropbag and sweatshirt I had left along the route and headed for the car.

A few more minutes of visiting with my sister and baby Cade and then it was time to head home. I laid a bag of ice on my knees and then spent the drive home re-living the entire 26.2 miles for Splenda.

While I love telling him my side of the event, I also enjoying hearing about his observations while he watches at the finish line.

Splenda: "We could learn a lot from marathon race fans. As the runners approach the finish line, a good portion of the spectators are cheering on people they don't even know and giving them lots of encouragement. If a runner is struggling to run or even walk the crowd gets even louder. That would be awesome if life was like that, encouraging those who need it the most."

There I am!!

What is to be learned by that?  Sometimes the world is quick to kick when one is down.  Or to revel in another's failure if that means progress for them.  We sometimes secretly like to see others fail because in some sub-conscious way, it validates us that we are better than them.  That we have value.  I think the world has that backwards.  When someone is struggling, that is the time to be the kindest, to cheer the loudest and to offer the most encouragement.  We need to conquer the selfishness that exists in each of us to some extent and instead sincerely strive to support and help others through the difficult trials of life.  It's easy to look at another's situation and even pass judgement that perhaps they created their own bed, they can lie in it.  That doesn't sit with me anymore.  Sure, I'm all for the law of natural consequences, but instead of condemnation, we need compassion a whole lot more in the world. Most especially, when we see someone struggling.

As always, I tend to have great Spiritual experiences, or gain a new level of enlightenment during a long run.  Saturday was no different.  I had told myself I was done thinking about a particular situation, but nevertheless, my mind drifted there and the hurt feelings surfaced again.  It was raining anyway so I figured it was safe to cry - no one would know any different.  And then something strange happened.  I wanted my Mom.  If you know me and you know my relationship with my Mom, this is extremely unusual.  But right there at about mile 7 or 8, I desperately wanted to get on a airplane, fly to Sweden and lay down in my Mom's lap and cry.  And then I wanted my Dad.  I wanted him back.  Just for a day, so I could lay down next to him on the couch and he could read his law books and tickle my back and I could cry.

That canyon was cathartic for me.  Very cathartic.  I came out renewed and with a sense of direction. Some earlier decisions I have made were confirmed for their rightness.  I came out with a strong mind and body despite being soaking wet, having been rained on, hailed on and slogging through the sloppy wetness of it all.  Life is like that isn't it?

Love Top of Utah Marathon - fantastic course, wonderful volunteers and well organized.  In my "will most def do again" list.    The only bummer is that my ipod is now ruined.  I wear it in a waterproof arm band, but it was just too much water.  I've had it sitting in rice, but so far, no luck.  Super SUPER bummer.  I'm gonna have to figure out a way to get a new one and get my music off the computer before St George marathon or  : )

Official results

Time:  4:14.08  with a pace of 9:42
18th out of 66 in my age group
302 out of 864 women
856 out of 1831 overall runners.

NGL - pleased.  I know that a BQ is not in my cards this season, but this was my best posted time so far for a marathon, and while they are all different courses, I will take this.  It's great for me and I couldn't be happier.

Now my body.....?  Prolly would answer that differently right now.  But it's all worth it baby.  Worth every last mile and .2!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wednesday Wrandom Wrambling - Friday edition

I know right?  Here it is already Friday.  Where does the time go?

So.......  officially on FMLA.  Until December 1st.  No deets on this public url, but if you know me,  you know why or you know how to find out why.

If you care.

It's all good.   Good choice on my part.  I think by jove I may have done something right for once!

Marathon number 4 is tomorrow.  3rd of the season.  Top of Utah.  All downhill.  It's not a steep grade so there won't be major pounding of the body, but right now it's raining and I think it's supposed to rain all weekend.

That's gonna suck.  I don't particularly care to run in the rain, and cold.  And when the high is supposed to only be 63 - yes, that means it is cold.

'sokay though, the running will feel good.  Is it weird to say that I look forward to the pain in my legs?  The stiffness in my joints and muscles that I know I will be feeling in less than 24 hours?
Does that make me weird?

On second thought, don't answer that.

We are empty nesters.  While Tuffy "technically" isn't moving until he gets married....HELLO?!  They have their own apartment, like he's gonna stick around here much?

On one hand, it's kinda cool to walk into the house and see that it's clean just like you left it.  And it STAYS clean.

On the other, it just feels......weird

I badly need a new cell phone.  My clumsy self has dropped mine once too many times.  Now I can only hear people if I put them on speaker.  Lame sauce.  Not scheduled for an upgrade until November.  Lame sauce with a side of ticked.

You know what I am gonna enjoy the most this weekend besides causing myself bodily pain and suffering?   Being in Logan.  Eating at the Firehouse and cuddly my new nephew Cade - whom I have never even met yet!  Yeah, so Taylo and Addi? BACK OFF  - AUNTI M's TURN!

Today is my Luke's 23'rd birthday.  He is such a good kid.  I've gushed about him before here.  When I asked what he wanted to do this year, well..... it involved a lot of things with friends.  *sigh*  That's how it goes.  We saw him last night for a wedding and we'll do his real celebration Sunday.  Gosh I love that kid.

My friends and family are the best.
And I think that's all I have to say about that right now.

I have lot's planned during my time off.  Sleeping.  Organizing my house.  Sleeping.  Going to visit Chloee.  Sleeping.

I can't stay caught up on my Google reader but that's another thing I hope to spend some time enjoying.  Know this, I am reading you.  I might not be commenting everytime, but

Virtual friends are awesome.  Isn't it cool how someone you've never even met can say JUST the right thing at JUST the right time to lighten your day?  Make you laugh or validate you?  Yeah I know, it's way awesome.

Did I mention that I am kinda excited to pound out 26.2 miles and FEEL it?

Yeah, I know that makes me weird.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things that make me smile

Skyping with Chloee - HELLO!  Crap she is funny!


And the unexpected rainbow that appeared in my rear view mirror as I pulled into St George Sunday evening.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Homecoming Shmomecoming - Pity Party 2011

In my church, the youth are advised to wait to start dating until they turn 16.  It was a hard and fast rule when I was growing up, it was never questioned.  But then, dating was different.  It seems like kids now don't really "date" so much as they "hang out".

At any rate, I heard some of my young women talking via FB about getting asked, who was 16 who wasn't, who would go IF they got asked....the usual excited chatter from Sophomore girls who desperately want to be asked to a dance.

I decided I'd host my own Homecoming party for the girls that either weren't old enough to go or didn't get asked.  It was gonna be our own Homecoming Pity Party except that we were gonna have so much fun that no felt bad about not going to the high school's Homecoming

We started the evening off with pizza

Some games

Did you know that girls will pretty much act like idiots if it means they win the game?  Yeah, I know!

We ended the evening with the movie "13 Going on 30"   A nice reminder to not try and grow up too fast.   No need to hurry along.  Waiting until you are 16 or even not dating after that for awhile is totally okay.  As the wise Billy Joel tells us, "Vienna waits for you".

I made all the girls pose for a traditional dance picture with smiling Jesus.  Of course we were missing two of them, but this was our group. 

And dang, we had fun!  Might need to make this one a tradition!