Monday, September 26, 2011

Changes. Good ones.


I have started a new blog. I am going to leave this blog here, but all posting will now continue on the other blog, which you will find at:

it's just time for something new, you know?

I feel like I've entered a new phase in my life, for many reasons.  Some of which you will eventually be able to read about if you click on that link (up there!).

Love you all, and hope to see you in my new space soon!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm back!

Wow!  Blogger has a whole new post-writing-thingy!  I love it!  As soon as I can figure it all out I'll love it even more!

So, I'm totally ready to start this thing back up again.  I've been missing it.  I've been thinking that for quite awhile actually.  I've been very busy lately... I'm blessed with a very close group of friends and roommates and thus things are always happening (heaven forbid i miss out on any. thing.).  However another part of it is that I've had a little bit of blog confusion (I made that term up).  Feeling like I needed to choose some direction, in which I should take the writings on my blog.  I've been reading lots of themed blogs lately (running, nutrition, and various other things), and I suddenly felt like I needed some kind of theme!  Some sort of consistency!  Or something! 

But then, one of my friends recently posted a perfect insight on her blog.  She's been going through some difficult times lately, and had been posting about it, but was feeling a little guilt at subjecting the world to her struggles.  And then she said something along the lines of, "but then I realized that this blog is for writing about and recording my life, and that is just what I am doing".

And then I felt tons better.  Because that is really honestly what I want to do on my blog.  I just want to document my life, and the beauty in it.  The good and the bad, the trials and triumphs, the things that I love and hate, and everything in between.  My progress as a human being who is trying to better herself and learn to appreciate each moment in the life she is living.

So. I shall begin posting again soon.  Along with pictures and updates from my trips that I went on. In like February.  Ahem.

In the meantime, have some random pictures of some of our adventures from the last... 6 months? Or so? :)

 delicious conference breakfast

 Early spring kite flying adventures

flared nostrils.

General conference girls night (4 phases. this was serious business.)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

someday i'll write a full post. about one coherent thought.

Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip.  So delicious.

Rye bread!!  I used to hate rye bread!  And then it was on sale (and whole grain) and I'm poor so I bought it to see how I feel about it now that I'm all grown-up-like, and turns out I love it!

Health and fitness blogs.  Particularly this one.  I don't know what it is, and I don't think it's necessarily her writing.  I just like reading about her life. And she got her master's degree in public health!   

Did I mention I've finally decided that I want to study public health?

Also, I saw one of my favorite scenes from The Sound of Music today (youtube doesn't have any clips of it... but the song where she's on the bus! I Have Confidence!), and it made me realize...

I don't think it's such a bad thing to fail at something.  Even if you think you could have done better.  I think it just helps us learn about our strengths and weaknesses... you know?  Some things/situations will help bring out the best in you, and others won't bring out quite as much... best.  And by looking at what brings out your best, you can learn about yourself and your natural talents. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wasatch Front Relay.

 This is how my Saturday (March 5th) started out.

And we spent the whole day doing this:

A group of us ran 60 miles from the Provo Temple to Temple Square in Salt Lake.

I found out about this little homespun relay via facebook.  An old friend invited me (along with probably all of his other facebook friends) to the event, and as soon as I read about it, I knew I had to do it.  The difficulty sounded just about right for where I am in my training right now, plus it was free, and the start was right here, local.  Perfect way to welcome the warmer weather and accompanying running season.  So I wrote on the wall that I wanted to participate, and I was in!  I found a couple friends to run with me, and then Ryan and Madison (the race organizers) paired us up with another team of three girls.  I was really excited.  I bumped the aggressiveness in my training up a little, and figured I'd be set for the race.

note: I included a lot of detail in this post, mostly for myself, to remember. Thus, it's a little bit of a long post.  Enjoy! :)

Notes for pre-race week, for next time: eat more (and largely carbs), get more sleep.

Anyway, on to the actual race recap!

The morning started off chilly and overcast.  I woke up at 6am, ate a few bites of banana (because I wasn't sure which leg I was going to run and I didn't want to eat too close to running), threw on my running clothes and sweats and then Lindsay picked me up.  We arrived at the parking lot of the temple at 6:30 am.  Lindsay and I met our fellow teammates (Eldon, Kim, Cassie, and Bree) and together we assigned who would run which legs of the race.

Our assignments:

Runner #1: Bree
Runner #2: Lindsay
Runner #3: Austin
Runner #4: Eldon
Runner #5: Kim
Runner #6: Cassie

We discussed safety and route maps and basic guidelines, stretched a little, and then walked over to send off our first set of runners at 7am. 

  (our little runner Bree is in front of the guy with the blue top)

Runner 1, Leg 1
Moderate, 4 Miles
Bree's first leg

After we sent Bree off, we took off in two separate cars for the first exchange point (Bajio at the Riverwoods).

It was still cold when we got there, so we stayed in cars for as long as possible.  I ate a little more, but not much... it's hard to know how long you're going to have before you run, since everyone runs at a different pace!  With the hypoglycemia, it's important that I have enough fuel (as noted here), but I also have a semi-finicky stomach when it comes to eating before I run.  Makes things a little complicated.  I'm still experimenting to figure out what foods work best for me, how much of them, and how long before I run I need to eat them, etc. 

Soon Cassie came running announcing that the first runners had passed through the exchange point.  We jumped out of the car, and Lindsay got ready to take off.

While we waited, Madison, one of the organizers of the race, handed out glowstick bracelets, which were to be passed from runner to runner as we made our way to Salt Lake.


Exchange #1

Runner 2, Leg 1
Moderate, 6 Miles
Lindsay's first leg
We were still in two cars at this point, and Eldon and I drove up to the next exchange point (Arctic Circle in Lindon).   I continued eating, things that I thought would go quickly into my blood (sugary snacks, gatorade), though had I been more prepared, I wouldn't have done this (I wish I had eaten more during the week/day before, and known around what time I was running so I could have eaten breakfast). 

We waited for a bit, watched a few other teams pass through, and then it was my turn!
Exchange #2

Runner 3, Leg 1
"Easy", 5 Miles
Austin's first leg:

I put quotes around the "easy", because it was not like the other "easy" legs of the race.  The other legs that were marked easy were pretty flat, or downhill.  This leg started off fairly flat, and then rose into 1, 2, at least 3 reasonably-sized hills (if you look at the bottom of the map, above, you can see that I ultimately gained 350 feet (that really probably isn't much, but it felt... hard).  I looked at this map the day after the race, and was like "no wonder that felt so much harder than I was expecting!).  I was banking on this leg of the race being easy as they said, so I was pushing my pace, because I figured I could eat eat eat when I finished, and then be digested, re-energized, and ready for my more difficult and longer second leg.  However there were definitely hills. And the thing that made it harder was that there weren't any nice downhills in between.  I would be running up a hill, keep pushing, expecting that it would end soon, only to turn a little corner to see more hill, or to have it flatten out and see another big hill another mile or so ahead.  It was a little discouraging, but I kept running, and I pushed myself to the very end (which was, of course, at the top of a big hill).  Hard, but I felt good about my efforts after I finished.

While I was running, my team decided to go and drop one of our cars at one of the more mid-race exchange points so that we could all ride in the same car together.  I think it took them a little longer than they expected, and I got in a little sooner than expected, because when I ran into the exchange point, no one was there except for a couple volunteers!  We were all slightly confused at first (I initially ran past them, but when I saw the street sign I knew that that must be the exchange point, turned around, and the volunteers were like, "are you running the relay? where is your team?"), but we quickly put together what happened.  I walked out my burning, tired, muscles, caught my breath, chatted with the volunteers, and my team rolled up about ten minutes later. 

"How long have you been here?!"  They were all shouting as they drove up.  Eldon jumped out of the car, and we did a pseudo-exchange, for the camera :). 

Exchange #3

Runner 4, Leg 1
Moderate, 4.5 Miles
Eldon's first leg:

I was eating and chugging gatorade for most of Eldon's leg of the race, so I don't have much to document it.  Other than when he got in the car he mentioned that that first hill was killer (as you can see on the elevation chart on the bottom of the map).  And we stopped multiple times along his course to cheer him on.  Once I cooled down I put my sweats back on, and even put on my slipper socks I had brought.  That "coming-down-off-a-run" feeling is just lovely.

Exchange #4

Runner 5, Leg 1
Easy, 4.25 Miles
Kim's first leg

Kim was speedy.  It was funny, because we followed and cheered her for a bit, and then drove ahead to drop Cassie off to use the restroom at the next exchange point.  We had planned to drive back and cheer for Kim at the top of the hill that was toward the end of the course, but when we turned around and started driving back, we saw her already at the top of the hill, and less than a mile from the exchange point!  We whipped the car around, and called Cassie to tell her that she didn't have time to go to the bathroom!  We parked, jumped out of the car (to see Cassie on the ground and someone else pulling off her sweats!  I wish I'd gotten a picture of that!), and started trying to psych Cassie up.  She was about to run up that mountain.  You know. No big deal. Best quote (from one of the volunteers at the exchange point): "How did you end up drawing the short stick? You're about to gain 1100 feet."

Thank you, sir.

Exchange #5 (the text in the bottom-right picture got squished when I made the collage)

Runner 6, Leg 1
Very Hard, 4.1 Miles
Cassie's first leg

Cassie was amazing on this hill. We were all pretty nervous for her, and as a result, were super attentive.  We circled back several times, offered water, cheered, etc.  She surprised me by being totally peppy, cheering, and running solidly up the entire thing.

Yeah, Cassie!  The sad thing was, once she got to the top, she had about a quarter mile of downhill before Bree exchanged with her to run the rest of it (not even any fun downhill to look forward to!).

Exchange #6

Runner 1, Leg 2
Very Easy, 3.5 Miles
Bree's second leg

This one was mostly all downhill.  She pushed herself, and ended up passing a runner from another team!  We were pretty psyched.


Exchange #7

Runner 2, Leg 2
Hard, 4.7 Miles
Lindsay's second leg

Lindsay's second leg of the race was supposed to look like this (includes a trail run), but instead ended up looking a little more like the map above.  There was a lot of confusion with the trail run, and a bunch of runners ended up taking a wrong turn and coming out in someone's backyard (or so we heard).  Anyway, we didn't know this at the time, and cheered with Lindsay until she got to the trail run, and then moved on to the exchange point (since we couldn't follow her along the trail).

 right before she headed up the trail (to the left)

While we were waiting there, a few runners were dropped off by a nice lady who found them wandering in her neighborhood... and then we were worried.  Bree decided to drive back on the streets, just in case, and sure enough there was Lindsay.  She wouldn't get in the car, insisted on finishing up (she was, after all, within a mile of the exchange point), and so Bree turned back, told us what was going on, and I quickly removed my sweats and headed over toward the street.


Exchange #8

Runner 3, Leg 2
Moderate, 7 Miles
Austin's second leg

I was pretty nervous for this leg of my race.  I even considered trading with another runner, after my rough first leg, and knowing that I had probably not eaten enough, still.  I felt confident though, that I could definitely push through and do a reasonable job even if I wasn't at the top of my game (or so I was able to do on my training runs).  So I decided to go through with it.  Cassie lives in the area and knows the street I was going to be running, and so she prepped me well.  I was ready for lots of uphills, but also lots of downhills, and overall I felt like the whole thing went much more smoothly. I pushed myself and my pace on the uphills, and then focused on loosening up, breathing, re-energizing (as much as possible), and speed on the downhills. It worked well. This leg of the race was also really pretty.  We were up in the foothills, so there was a great view of the Salt Lake Valley the whole time.

While I was running, my team circled around multiple times to cheer me on, and it was so nice knowing they were totally aware of where I was, and concerned for how I was doing.  Having been in the car with them while other runners were out, I knew what they were doing in there ("should we go back and cheer again yet?" "let's park at the top of this hill to help her up it" "ooh, she'll like this downhill" "let's tell her to cross to the other side of the street because it's safer" "do you think she needs water?" etc. etc. etc.), and it was a nice boost every time they drove past.  As I was approaching one of my hills, they pulled up, cheering, and told me the upcoming hill was my last one, and then it was all downhill into the exchange point.  Hallelujah!

Exchange #9

Runner 4, Leg 2
Moderate, 5.2 Miles
Eldon's second leg

I was again, recovering during Eldon's leg.  BUT.  I at least got a couple cool pictures!

Eldon rocked.


Exchange #10

Runner 5, Leg 2
Easy, 5.5 Miles
Kim's second leg

The route on this one was a little confusing.  But we stuck with her (of course), gave her directions, and she sped through it like a champ. 


Exchange #11

Runner 6, Leg 2
Easy, 5 Miles
Cassie's second leg

We stayed with Cassie for about the first half of her leg, and then we drove ahead into downtown so that we could find a parking place, drop the camera off at the finish line, and then run back to Cassie so that we could run the last little bit with her.

driving in to downtown

It took us a minute to find parking, and we were a little worried we'd be too late (we kept glancing up, thinking we'd see her running past while we were waiting at one of a zillion stop lights), but we made it just in time, got the camera to the finish, and then ran back and found Cassie as she ran up to the last block before the finish. 

Finish at Temple Square in Salt Lake (around 4:45pm)

On the way home (well, to Draper, where the second car was waiting), we found ourselves reviewing the day and our favorite parts.
We talked about how starving we were, and all the things we wanted to eat.
We talked about how we had that crusty salty stuff on our cheeks and skin, leftover from all our sweating.
We talked about how we kind of had the chills because our body temperatures had been fluctuating to such highs and lows all day.
We talked about how during the day, we kept having this conversation:
*runner who just finished, gets in the car, all sweaty: "sorry guys, I probably stink"
"you don't stink, I can't smell you"
"honestly, guys, we probably all stink, and we just can't smell it anymore."

It was funny. Believe me.

The support team, following along during Bree's second leg of the race

We also calculated our time based on Kim's timer that she started at the beginning of the race, and determined that we ran an average of about 9 minute miles (I'm not sure how accurate that is, but it's good enough for me)!  We were impressed, considering all the hills, the ten minute delay when they dropped the car off and I got into the exchange point early, Lindsay getting lost, etc.

I had a lot of favorite parts, and I loved the energy, cooperation, teamwork, and love I felt from my team the whole time, but I think one of the best things was when we looked up, over to the base of the mountains where we had spent the whole day running. All we could think was "we ran along that WHOLE way!"  We just kept saying it over and over.  I know compared to some relays it isn't that far, but we were proud of ourselves.  It was a long day full of struggle and accomplishment, and you can't help but feel really content after you've done something great like that.

ps. I've got more race plans in the works.  More on that later! :)