Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ogden Marathon

I ran the Odgen Marathon on Saturday. I tried to do everything right . . . I stopped exercising on Tuesday of that week to let me legs rest, I carbo loaded on both Thurday and Friday night, I left the kids at home with Mom on Friday night so I could get plenty of sleep at the hotel, I remembered to pack my running shoes, Josh hooked me up with plenty of nasty hip hop music on my IPod to keep me going during the 4 hours I'd spend running, and I wore my lucky red hat (okay, it's not lucky, but it keeps the sun out of my eyes!).

Well, Aaron and I got to the Holiday Inn Express in plenty of time to pick up my running packet from the Expo, and have a fabulous meal at Jasoh's in Ogden. We had sweet potato fries for an appetizer. If you haven't ever tried sweet potato fries, you haven't lived! It is now my new favorite food group!! I ordered pasta for my main dish. I ate every bite. The only problem is, when I got to the bottom of my pasta dish, I found a whole cube of melted butter in my bowl. I just kept praying my bowels were going to cooperate!

We went to bed at 9. I knew I needed plenty of rest. I set 2 alarms for 3:30 a.m. as we had to leave at 4:20 a.m. to get to the busses on time. I practiced to make sure both alarms worked and snuggled down for a good night sleep. I don't know if it was the whir of the hotel air conditioner, the butter packed pasta, my concern over the 2 "maybe won't work" alarm clocks, or just the stress of the impending run, but I didn't fall asleep until 2:30 a.m.!! I kept tossing and turning and sweating. It really was the grossest thing. I feel sorry for whoever sleeps in that bed next. I got up and took a cold shower at 2 a.m. and then finally fell asleep for a 1/2 hour. Not a good start!

Aaron, who loves his morning sleep, was kind enough to drag his booty out of bed and deliver me to the bus at 4:30 in the morning. What a trooper. As I got out of the car, I said, "See you in 6 hours. Enjoy your nap!" It didn't quite seem fair.

I sat by a Man Stranger from Ogden on the way up to the starting line. He was very nice and told me about all the beautiful scenery I would see along the running route. The course sounded beautiful: we would pass the Ogden river, see a lake, horse properties and rustic barns, ski resorts, a waterfall . . . it couldn't be better!

When we arrived at the top, I ate a GU (yuck!) and used a nice clean porta potty (there was an annoying man in the one next to me that kept talking about how his porta potty had a flat screen and shower inside). I then stood by a fire to keep warm and shook violently from nerves. I decided to use the porta potty again. This time, while standing in line, I saw a fellow runner lighting up a cigarette. How can you be a smoker and run marathons? He sure seemed to enjoy that cigarette. He looked so calm and happy. I wasn't feeling calm or happy. Maybe the Surgeon General has been wrong all these years and I've been missing out!!

The gun went off promptly at 7 a.m. I took off down the first hill with my eyes on 2 men in front of me. One of them was dressed as the Statue of Liberty and the other as Bob Marley. They seemed to be going at a good pace and they were easy to keep track of visually, so I tried to stay with them. Unfortunately, they were much faster than me. They would stop at each water station, take a break, chit chat, and then run past me again. Why is running so easy for some people? How can people wear a costume and run a marathon? It just isn't fair!

The miles ticked by very slowly. The hills did a number on my legs and I felt like I was running on 2 Pirate Stumps. I couldn't believe it when I came to the 1/2 way mark. It was so depressing to know that I still had 13.1 miles left to go!!

I did finish the marathon, but not with Bob Marley and Mr. Statue of Liberty. Unfortuately, my Pirate Stumps wouldn't keep up. I also did not really enjoy the beautiful views talked about by the Man Stranger on the bus. I wasn't able to look around much to check out the scenery, as I was focused mainly on my aching legs. Why do people do marathons?!

I was so happy to see Aaron at the finish line looking so fresh and rested! Unfortunately, he didn't get any good action sequences of me crossing the line, as he was busy videotaping all the "funny" people that came across the line ahead of me (we will be posting a video soon of Marathon Bloopers).

I ended up crossing the line at 3:43 and some seconds that I can't remember. Because I am a girl and becoming elderly, I qualified for Boston! I am now taking donations for a sightseeing trip to Boston in April 2010. Aaron would like to go along as well (he enjoys the vacationing without the running) so make sure your donation is big enough to help both of us get there. (P.S. If you don't get my sense of humor, I am just joking. Keep your money. I'm staying right here in good ol' Spanish Fork! I don't think they let people with 2 Pirate Stumps run in Boston anyway!!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Heber Garden Plot

Everyone has different strengths. I've finally decided to accept the fact that gardening is never going to be one of mine. Two weeks ago, I announced to the kids that we were going to plant our garden. They were a little confused when they saw the small green containers. Who knows? I keep telling them we may end up lucky and get a zucchini or two!!

Carson Cuties

When we pulled up to our house on Sunday after church, Carson saw Grandpa Markie's car parked out front and said in his sweetest voice, "What a nice surprise. Grandpa Markie's here!" He sounded so mature!

Then today, Carson grew up even more. He learned to tie his shoes! Yeah!! I think he really is going to kindergarten in the fall!

Ian Moments

Ian walked home from church on Sunday with his friend, Charles. I got home before them and did a double take when I saw them walking towards our house. Ian had walked home with his white Sunday shirt completely unbuttoned and his tie flapping in the wind. His explanation was, "Well, I was hot!" Charles, of course, had survived the heat and was dressed appropriately.

Ian also finally lost his 2nd front tooth on Friday at school. I think that when he turns 12 and can pass the sacrament at church, he will still be walking around with missing teeth and his shirt hanging wide open. I think we are going to have to have a FHE about this one.

Spring Soccer is FINALLY over!

We had 3 playing spring soccer this year. What kind of insane parents are we? Aaron coached Cali and Ian’s teams which added to the insanity. We ate lots of toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner, as there wasn’t time for much else.

Nyah won the Mommy Award this year for “Most Improved.” At the beginning of the season, she looked very nervous every time the ball came anywhere near her. By the last game though, she ran the entire game and went after the ball aggressively! We practiced with her one night playing against Cali. We told Nyah to shove Cali around a bit. I think Nyah liked pushing her big sister around, because her aggression came out in the games after that!

Ian wins “The Wall” award. Playing mid-fielder, he doesn’t let anything get past him. He doesn’t have to run a lot (big plus), but when a ball comes towards him, he whacks it. What a champ! Their team actually won the championship for 3rd/4th grade boys. Aaron says it was because they had such an awesome coach! Ha! Ha!

Cali improved by leaps and bounds this season. She played forward all season which she loved! At first, she was too “nice”, but by mid-season she really got in there and took some shots. My favorite play was when she went for a goal, kicked the ball towards the net, got tripped by someone from the other team, flew through the air like Superman, and watched from the air as her ball went in for a score! Very cool!

"May" Fools Joke

We really need some more shade in our scorching hot backyard. Our neighbors knew of our predicament, and gave us a really good sized tree to transplant into our backyard last spring. The tree never sprouted any leaves, but I thought it might need a year to adjust to our sandy, clay-like soil. I had high hopes this spring. As the rest of our trees began to flower and then grow leaves, I watched our tall stick to see if any green might emerge. Unfortunately, it remained just a stick.

Sunday, I decided to play a joke on the rest of the family. I grabbed a pair of scissors and some tape and headed out to the backyard. This picture was the result of my masterminded scheme! I heard hysterical laughter coming from the kitchen window a second later. Aaron and Cali had seen me head out to the yard with scissors and tape and thought it was very suspicious. They watched me cut off the leaves from one tree and tape them onto our stick. Chalk another one up on the list of "Vanessa's Great Ideas that Don't Quite Pan Out!"

Sleeping In!

Sunday morning I stayed in bed as long as I could stand it -- till 9 a.m. Now you have to realize that I usually get up at 4 a.m., so I was going stir crazy by then. I hadn't seen a breakfast tray or heard any calls to come up for breakfast, so I thought Mother's Day may have been forgotten.

"Mom, go back downstairs!" the kids shouted.

"No. You can stay up here (please!)," Aaron called. He apologized for the lateness of breakfast, only saying that they'd had a few setbacks. I never found out what the setbacks were!

I had a delicious breakfast: omelets, blueberry muffins, and cinnamon streusel muffins. Yum!! I didn't find any setbacks in my omelet or my muffins.

Cali made me a beautiful blown glass flower at Thanksgiving Point. The other kids made me some cards that contained the most wonderful sentiments.

Ian's card said: "My mom is a teacher. She taught me how to talk!" (Woo! Hoo!) It went on to say, "My mom is a sanitation worker. When she sees my room, she says, "Clean your room!" I sound like an angry mom, don't I?

Nyah's card said: "The best things my mom cooks are inchalatas and muffines." (I love her spelling!)

When we got home from church my dad was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. He made: fried rice, green beans with onions, french bread, "fresh" fruit salad, and he even provided strawberry ice cream for dessert. Aaron barbecued the meat and we were ready to go. I was so impressed with Dad. He cleaned as he cooked. There were literally no dishes for me to do after the fabulous meal!

The funny thing about today is that I got way more sleep than usual, didn't have to cook, got a massage (thanks, Aaron!), but I was still absolutely exhausted. Being treated like a queen sure takes it out of you!

The Hershey Track Meet

The Hershey Track Meet is held every year for the elementary school kids in our district. It is a chance for the kids to compete in physical challenges against the rest of the kids in the district that are their age.

Tuesday was dedicated to the 3rd graders this year. I got to go down to the high school track and cheer on Nyah as she competed in the softball throw (she doesn't play softball), the standing long jump (she's never done a long jump in her entire life until this past week when she was practicing in the kitchen), and finally, the 50 yard dash. If your child comes in first in the running events he/she has to stick around the rest of the day to compete against all the winners of the other heats for that race. When the gun went off, I secretly prayed she wouldn't win so we could go home and enjoy a relaxing day. It turns out I should've prayed a little less fervently. "Mom, I came in last. 7th out of 7!"

"Well, Nyah. I couldn't really tell who crossed the line when. I'm not positive you came in last. And guess what? Because I didn't video tape it, we'll never know for sure! Did you do your best?"


"Well, that's all that matters. Let's go get an ice cream cone."

Ice cream always soothes the soul.

Well, lucky me. Thursday was the 4th grade Hershey Track Meet that Ian was going to compete in. I couldn't support one child and not the other, so off I went again. Ian was also competing in the softball throw (he does play baseball) and running the 50 yard dash and the 100 yard dash. Now, Ian has never been known for his quickness. He is more of a walker. But . . .

Ian finished the 50 yard dash taking 3rd in his heat. "That's what I do ever year, Mom. 3rd."

That was great! Good for the self-esteem, but we didn't have to stick around for the winner's race.

Then came the 100. I watched as Ian charged down the track in last place. As he crossed the finish line in last place, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "All those other guys that were in my race had really long legs. Let's go home!" A man after my own heart!!

Where was the Windex?

Have you ever seen the commercial for Windex, where the poor birds fly into the window at the back of the house, because the windows are so clean? Well . . .

Saturday night I leaned out the car window to tell one of my neighbors something, but the window wasn't rolled down. Bam! My head slammed straight into the glass. Aaron and the kids were all in the car at the time, so it was even more embarrassing! Aaron just quietly shook his head. "Are you okay?"

What my husband was really asking was, "Vanessa, did you seriously just do that? I'm a little concerned about the welfare of our children being raised by such a dingbat!" The worst part was, the windows were filthy dirty. I can't blame Windex for this one!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

An Uncomfortable Situation

You've been running for 2 hours in the pouring rain. Your muscles are screaming at you to stop. You are suddenly hit with fierce abdominal pains which could mean only one thing -- the Runner's Runs (a fancy name for diahrrea). What would you do?

A. Peel off your soaking wet skin tight pants in the middle of the road to relieve yourself.

B. Try to hold it, knowing full well, you can't make it home without going to the restroom.

C. Go potty in your pants and feel squishy and nasty the rest of the way home.

D. Run onto the golf course and squat behind a large pine tree and use your sopping wet gloves to wipe yourself.

I'm never going to admit that this happened to me, or tell you which of the above options I would choose in a similar situation, but . . . if this ever DID happen to someone like me, on a day like today, I bet I would've chosen option D. I pity the poor golfer that accidentally hits a ball off the fairway and into the pine trees though. What a surprise he will get!