Sunday, April 28, 2013

A moment of silence for Boston and the National Anthem

(image via google)

You know, I started a wrandom wrambling post a few days before the Boston Marathon bombings and it's still sitting in draft form, likely never to be published.  It's not that great.

The morning of the race, I found a live feed on the webz and watched amazed at the talent of the leaders.  Sadly, they stop the feed once the men's and women's winners come in.  I marveled at their speed and ability and quite frankly covet slightly their natural body types that aid in their quickness.  I do always love to see an American in the mix!  Go Kara!

Earlier I texted my boss that I wouldn't be in to work (sick), I went to the doc, got an Rx and was sitting at the pharmacy waiting when my bff called with the horrifying news.  She was watching the news coverage and thought I would be too.  When she described what was going on, my stomach dropped.  I had friends there.  What the crap?!?!

After getting my antibiotics, I hurried home, turned on the TV and sadly it confirmed everything Tib had told me.  I started to cry.  I fired off a text to my friend Paul begging him to tell me that he and Rachel were okay.  I called Splenda and cried some more.  I watched the news, kept Facebook up where all my running friends were doing check in's and literally did not move the rest of the day except to answer the phone from worried family and friends, watch facebook and reply to emails and messages from fellow running family member or friends who weren't sure if I was there or not.   Once I got Paul's text back that he and Rach were good I breathed again, and continued watching.

For any marathon runner, Boston is IT.  The dream.  The ultimate goal of qualifying and then being able to race it.  It's certainly on my bucket list.  It's really the BIG one.  I thought of all runners who were affected but more so I thought of  those at the finish line.  Splenda Daddy has spent a fair share of his time at marathon finish lines and he can attest to the special feeling, energy, spirit, vibe that is there.  It's very difficult to explain and I can only imagine it's intensified in Boston.

As a marthoner, it hurts.  What those cowards did is hurtful.  My heart aches for those that lost their lives and for those that lost their limbs.  What an ultimate insult to blow off limbs at a running race.  It's despicable and I pray for the justice system to correctly handle the situation, we get all the information we need, there is due punishment and then increased protection from future assaults.  Will terrorism ever go away?  I sadly don't think so, but authorities can learn from this and hopefully prevent other attempts.

Nationally, the country embraced Boston, it's people, it's very city into one ginormous hug that extended beyond just the marathon.  To all it's people, the landmarks, the local sports teams.  Everywhere.  I find that a great thing!  And that's not easy coming from a Yankee's fan with such a deep seeded rivalry with the Red Sox, but I will concede that I find it nice that the entire community came together with the country behind them.  The best of humanity.

Locally, the racing community came together as well.  Every local specialized running store organized a special run complete with "Remembering Boston" (or some other similar logo) shirts to raise money to send for the victims fund.  Impressive how much money was raised here in Utah, thousands of miles away.  I'm proud of my local running family.
(image via google)

The Salt Lake Marathon was the first in the nation after the bombings so much ado was made about it's safety and of course the respect and honor given for the victims of the Boston terror.  It's always a nice touch and I enjoy participating in a show of solidarity for marathoners and their supporters.  I really do.  Please don't mistake the rest of my post for anything different.
(image via google)

Saturday at the half marathon I raced, as with every race, there is some business to be taken care of at the start line.  Almost always, there are some general instructions, some welcoming, some "get everyone energized" talk.  Hopefully (but not often enough) the National Anthem will be played, a flag flying and the opportunity to show our patriotism and respect for our country and those who fight to keep our freedoms.  However, my disappointment comes in that inevitably, the National Anthem goes ignored.  Only once have I ever been in a situation where the Anthem is played and people are silent and showing respect.  Hands over hearts and either silent or quietly singing along.  Once people.  And that was on base in Camp Pendleton where it's natural and automatic. (you'll have to dig, it's in the middle of the post) It means something there.

Back to Saturday.  The general business was discussed, the appropriate energy raised and then (as I suspect will be with every race this season) a moment of silence was given in behalf of Boston.  I kid you not, it went dead silent.  I looked around in amazement to see every single person with their mouth shut, looking forward or heads bowed.  No fiddling with ipods.  No whispering to running mates.  Just complete and utter silence.  No one even walking or moving.  It was like everyone just simply froze where they were at and gave their complete thoughts and feelings in a surge towards the Boston victims.  Touching.

And then the announcer came back on and away we went.

Compare and contrast to the respect shown when/if the National Anthem is played at a start line.  First off, very few races still do it.  Why?  Why have we lost that?  Or better, ignored such an important piece of any sporting event?  And then, IF it's played, why is there not complete and utter silence such as what I experienced when we remembered Boston?  Other than the time I related about Camp Pendleton, there is never silence.  There are people laughing, talking, stretching, adjusting ipods, plugged in already and ignoring, or even running to get to the start line.  Such complete and utter disrespect.

It hurts my heart.

In a huge way.

For without our National Anthem (what it represents), there IS no Boston.

Again, please don't get me wrong.  I'm all for recognizing the terrible actions that affected so many at such a beloved sporting event.  My heart goes out to EVERYONE that was there because it's something they will live with the rest of their lives, whether or not they were physically harmed.  I'm learning enough about PTSD to know that many folks that were simply in the city that day, or ran and crossed the line early, or was watching the race clear back at mile 20 will suffer the effects of the trauma that day.  My heart aches for them and I pray that they find peace. I mean no disrespect of any kind to anyone who was there.

My only point is, I find it terribly wrong that so much importance is given to these moments of silence and how much respect is shown for Boston and yet our National Anthem and our United States flag is sometimes blatantly ignored.  Again, without our stars and stripes, we have no Boston.

Runners are a unique brand of folk.  Especially distance runners.  There is something in our DNA almost that makes us different.  I love it.  I love that we unite in causes so dear to our hearts.  I simply wish, we would be more united in the big picture of our great nation ALL the time, and not just the events that seem to wound our hearts.

So for any race directors who may stumble upon my little ole blog, might I suggest something?  Let's play the National Anthem at the start of EVERY race.  Alongside with our flag flying.  And then perhaps if wanted, a moment of silence for Boston?

And for my running family?  When the national anthem IS played, please silence yourself.  Find the flag, face it, place your hand over your heart and either quietly sing along or shut up and be respectful.  You can fix your ipod later.  You can stretch that hamstring one more time in a minute or two. You can crack that joke to your running buddy along the course after the gun goes off, but for those moments when our old glory is flying and we are listening/singing to our National Anthem, I beg of you.  Shut.up.  And please be respectful.

To me, that would make this season of racing the absolute best!

Happy running but more importantly - God Bless America and all that she stands for!
(image via my front porch - yes it's personal)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Point 1/2 marathon 2013 - hear the moo'ing of my sore calves?

Ahhh........tis the season and I'm LOVING it baby!

Since I'm not pacing anymore, I decided that this would be a selfish season.  The race season about ME!

Granted, that didn't make me train for this one any more or.... at all. But I did manage to sign up for at least one race a month so I would have plenty of things to look forward to and to "train" for.

Today was the first of the races just for me, the Thanksgiving Point 1/2 Marathon

Splenda Daddy picked my packet up for me on his way home from work, so I really didn't have any idea where I was going in the morning but I didn't doubt I could just follow the predictable line of cars.

Alarm went off at 5:30.  I dressed, brushed my teeth, double checked I had everything and out the door I  scooted.  After a stop for gas, a monster and my traditional pre-race maple donut, I was on the road and headed south.

Sure enough, plenty of cars all lined up heading in one direction, so I jumped in the queue and followed along like a good sheep.  Several volunteers were guiding traffic, so I just did what I was told and easily parked.  It was about 20 minutes to race time and I wasn't ready to get out of the warm car just yet.  I got my spibelt packed with my phone, and lip balm.  Put on my garmin and then attempted to turn on my ipod.


Wha??  I fiddled, I flipped the switch and nope.  No music.  I must have left it on and it ran completely dry.  Huh.  Okay, so I am now facing 13.1 miles with NO TUNES!  I shrugged, stuffed my purse behind my seat, took off my long sleeve tee and locked the car up.

I quickly made my way to the porta potties and was a little worried about the long line.  Luckily it went quickly and I was able to make my way over to the start line.  I had seen a friend who is pacing and tried to find him, but couldn't.  Instead, I slid in right in between the 2:00 and the 2:05 pacers and waited for the start.  After a moment of silence (a whole 'nother blog post about THAT), we were off.

Since I was going into this race with little expectations, zero training, and only the rumors of a brutal course, I eased into my pace.  I really had no idea what to expect or where I should try and push myself so instead, I relaxed and just ran according to how comfortable I felt.    Holy smokes!  What a good feeling.  No looking at my Garmin to make sure I am on the right pace for a group, just listening to my body and doing what it felt like doing.

**Side note - Friday I was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis.  I have exercises to retrain the nerves, but I'm told it will take several months so until then, I have some motion and balance issues.  I should mention that while I had no ipod with tunes, the song that kept going through my head was Carole King's  "I feel the Earth".  Good times.

About mile 3, I came alongside a fellow runner friend Susette!  YAY!!  So fun to see a familiar face!  And since I had no tunes, I was up for a little chit chat.  We stayed together for a while, just talking until the next water stop.  I lost her there.

The course is extremely hilly with a lot of winding turns.  When someone told me it was brutal, well, they weren't kidding.  I've done more 1/2's than I can count and I don't remember anything quite like this.  I can take hills.  I can take winding turns.  What I didn't care for was the fact that the course was 90% on concrete.   If you do any kind of running, you know that concrete is NOT your friend.  Worst surface to run on.

The scenery?  GORGEOUS!  Truly beautiful.  It had been billed as an opportunity to run through the tulips, but I don't remember seeing any.  It's a beautiful golf course though and I wouldn't mind going back and driving the cart while the boys golfed.

The course was extremely well aided.  Every two miles or so, there was water, powerade, Gu, oranges, banana's.  I've learned to take advantage of every aid station, so I let myself walk through a few of them.

At about mile 10 is when my legs turned into open rebellion.  They not-so-gently reminded me that they hadn't practiced for this since January and they were not all to happy about what I was pushing them to do.  My right IT band started to ache, but more irritating was the fact that my calves were literally seized into tight little balls.  I reminded myself of the Naproxen I had taken at the start line and mentally tried to shake off the pain.

Love the feeling of the last mile.  Legs are dead tired, but you can see and often hear the announcer, the crowd and you know that you're almost there.  As I rounded the last corner for the final .2, I found enough energy to kick and sprinted in.  I was watching the race clock and noted that I came in 2:08 and some change!  YAY!!  WOW!  More than I expected for myself!

I let them cut off my timing chip and then walked to the fence to hold on to it while I stretched.  Ahhhh.......relief for the calves.  Momentarily at least.  Stretched for a good several minutes and then headed in search of water and food.  I noticed a tent outside the runner's area that had some PT guys doing some stretching.  I jumped in line and took advantage of them working my IT band, and my calves.  Felt great!

Made my phone call to Splenda Daddy, checked the results table and then headed home.  I kind of like this kind of race.  Get there, run, go home.  No dilly dally'ing around.  Just get in and get out.

Overall take away?  Could not have asked for better running weather.  Seriously!  I even got a smidgen of a tan line from my shorts and tank top.  It was the perfect temp, clear skies and simply beautiful.  Doubtful I'll do this one again simply because of the concrete.  Had the path been asphalt, this would become one of my favorite races, but me no likey the concrete and really, who am I kidding?  I'm just too old to hack it. Even the hills and winding turns were so doable!  Hard, challenging, but doable!  Vertigo?  pshaw!  Just that darned concrete.

Final stats
Time: 2:07:11
6th place (out of 33) in age group
331 place (out of 835) overall

Not too shabby.  Not my best.  But, I'll take it.

And for the record, I have re-dedicated myself to serious training.  Just you wait and see.  I'll get faster.

Thanks for a great event Thanksgiving Point - you did a stellar job!

**Coming soon, my thoughts on the moment of silence for Boston

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An open letter to my daughter-in-love's

Clearly, I'm getting old and feeling pretty squishy.  My last son to get married is tying the knot in less than two weeks.  I've been spending a lot of time just thinking.... (danger).

Anyway - just some words to the luckiest girls in the world.  The ones that married (or soon to marry) my boys.
Thus, an open letter to my daughter-in-love's

My dear sweet girls,
  Yes, I do feel like you're mine.  In a way.  See, you are now intertwined with my eternal family unit forever so yes, I guess I like to call you mine.

I am and will be forever blessed because of each one of you.  You each bring a unique and wonderful flavor to our family soup.  That extra certain spice that would ruin the whole meal if it was missing.  Thank you for being a part of us.

I know it's not easy.  My son?!  Being married to my family?!  Our silliness, irreverence, immaturity, and lack of an attention span longer than a gnat's is sure to be exasperating.  You probably figured that out the first time you were here for Sunday dinner.  But in spite of that I hope you felt how much we love each other and that includes you.  It's more than the fact that you love my son, so by default I love - it's much more than that.  I love you because you are everything I could ever want for my son and our family.  You are perfect for the man you are married to.

It's interesting being the mother of boys.  My biggest worry about them growing up and getting married is that they would no longer spend much time here.  I know with girl's it seems that they always tend to migrate more to her mother's house.  I get that.  I truly do. So whenever I would think of my son's getting married, I would try to resign myself to that picture.  Oh how each of you have proven me wrong!

Thank you for sharing your husband with me and his Dad.  Thanks for letting us stay so connected.  Thanks for thinking of and showing consideration for our feelings.  Thank you for loving my son.

Just so you know, we did try hard to teach them to not be annoying.  As each one was potty trained, they were taught: Lid/seat down, wash hands.  Lid/seat down, wash hands.  Lid/seat down, wash hands.  Over and over again.  That was just part of the "going big boy potty" routine.  If he gets lazy and leaves the seat up - call him out on it.  He was taught better.

He knows how to clean.  Saturday's were "scour the house" day.  When they were little and Splenda worked weekends, we would scour the house and then do a hike in the mountains during the summer.  He knows how to mop a floor, dust and vacuum, and clean a toilet like a professional.  If he does less than a stellar job, remind him.  Actually, remind of the time his mother lost her ever loving mind and yelled that "everyone who has a penis, get in here right now".  I promise, you won't need to repeat the cleaning reminder.

He knows how to cook.  Because they grew up with a mom who hates cooking and a dad who is good and would do it all, they clearly understand there are no "rules" about who does the cooking.  In fact, if I can share a secret:  Screw up dinner once in awhile.  But offer to clean the kitchen if he will cook.  Guaranteed, you will get yummy dinners and then won't have to go behind him and clean the kitchen again.  You'll have done it "right" the first time.  *wink wink*

He also knows how to do laundry.  Albeit, they all take short cuts, so let's be honest, unless you truly hate it - you might want this one.  Splenda Daddy ruined too many shirts of mine our first year so he is no longer allowed to go near the laundry.  It's best that way.  If worse comes to worst, my son has been taught and he can, but you should think carefully about whether you want to let him.

He can be tight with money.  Sorry.  I blame Splenda Daddy for that.  He will also think things through quite extensively when making large purchases or big decisions.  Again, you can thank Splenda for that one.  However, I think you will find that after many years, it's a huge blessing that he is so frugal with the money.  He knows how to manage it and how to take care of his responsibilities.  Again, Splenda gets the credit for that.  Any impulsivity he displays lies squarely on my shoulders.  I'm so sorry.

He makes a great Daddy.  Either now or in the future.  They had the greatest example in their own father.  Don't worry about him changing a diaper or helping with baths or feedings.  Natural's.  Very hands on and I think you'll find that refreshing.  You'll never need to "ask my husband if he can babysit".  There is no such thing as a dad babysitting his own kid.  Your husband understands this.

As for how he treats you?  Again, he had the best example possible, so expect to be treated like a queen.  Anything less, and Splenda finds out?  Well  - let's just say there might be some serious dirtbag arse kickin.  Your husband knows the value of a woman and how she should be treated.  He understands her feelings and the importance of being validated.  My only suggestion would be to let him know your treat of choice in cases of extreme hormone swings or depression so that he can be prepared at all times.  He's been taught to treat his wife as his number one priority, but he also knows not to let himself be taken advantage of.  Why do you think he picked you to marry?  He knew that you show him the same in return.  It's one of the many things I also love about you.

When you do have your inevitable differences?  Don't bring them to me or Splenda.  Or your Mom, or your friends or your coworkers.  Take them to each other and the Lord.  You will easily forgive your husband much quicker than anyone else and you don't want them thinking any less of your prince because of a simple spat between the two of you.  Keep your privacy.  Your marriage is YOURS and no one else's.  Create boundaries for yourselves with other family members and friends.  Ultimately when all is said and done, it's just you two.  Make it the best DUO you can.  Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.  The only third party referee or consultant you should have is God.

Extended family time?  I love that we can all be together and if I had my wish, we'd have one big compound with acres of property that we all loved on together.  But in reality, that is neither reasonable nor healthy.  So let's make sure we get together on a regular basis and talk often, but don't forget that YOUR family is your first priority.  Splenda Daddy and I understand.

Thank you for being such a wonderful mother to your children.  Our grandchildren.  Whether you have one now, one on the way or one in the future - you are THE link for us to our posterity.  You are a crucial piece in our eternal family and we love you for it.  We love that you are willing to share them with us and allow us to be grandparents and create memories just as we have with our own grandparents.  Isn't it such a cool thing how the whole family cycle works?  Thank you.  Thank you for being a part of ours.

And finally, I want to express again my love for you.  Each one of you.  Kar, 'Tana and Mind.  Every day I thank Heavenly Father for you being in our lives.  For your goodness and for your love of my son(s).  You are everything I could have ever dreamed and hoped for.  A mother's love for her son is a very unique thing, I hope you'll each get to experience it.  And honestly, it's a hard thing to let them go to another woman for the rest of their lives and beyond.  However, because each one of you is such an outstanding daughter of God and woman in the gospel, it has eased that for me.  I don't worry about them.  I don't fear about their feelings, if their wife is being nice, if she will let him come over to visit, if I'll get to see or babysit the baby.  You have each embraced me and welcomed me in your lives and I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

So carry on my good girls.  You are amazing.  You make my son happy.  You make me happy.  You complete him.  You complete our family.  I can never adequately express how much that means to me nor how much I love each of you.


PS - To my Jillie: You were a daughter to me.  I loved when you called me 'Mom', I loved our talks and I loved your spunky fun.  I love you and I thank you for teaching me so much on how to be a mother-in-law.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chloee's traditional birthday video

I'm a little late with this.  Like almost a whole month, but it's been taking me awhile.....

Hopefully youtube doesn't yank it, I bought the songs and appreciate the artists talents and it fits with the pictures so.........  fingers crossed!

Love you Chloee!

Mimi and Poppa

September Baaaayyyyybbbbeeee!!

GAH!  I am so wicked behind on documenting life and crap.

First things first -

Several weeks ago, Splenda Daddy and I came home from church to a most wonderful surprise!!!  We had to stay quiet about it for a little while, but now the news is public and I can start posting away!!

Another little Catmull grandbaby!!  WOOT WOOT!!

The lil peanut is due the end of September.  Right now it's still up in the air as to the gender but by May 10th we should know.

I super thankful that the kids invited me and Dana (Montana's mom) to come to the "reveal" ultrasound!  What a fun and beautiful thing to share with my good friend and our kids.

As tempted as I have been to start buying cute little baby things, I'm holding off until we find out whether I'm stocking up pink or blue......

Congrats to my kids!  Tuffy and 'Tana are gonna bee amazing parents and for the record, another grandchild does NOT make me old.  NOT.