Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Day I Crashed The Marathon

And lived to tell about it!
Confession Time: I didn't train for the marathon I ran today. Well not really anyway.
You see up until 11 weeks ago I'd only been planning on running the half marathon at Mesa Falls. But on June 12th, after my sisters and I ran the Dam Marathon, I watched all of the other runners coming in and thought, "If they can do a full marathon, I can too." So instead of signing up for the half marathon I registered for the full 26.2. Then I got online and downloaded a training program that would take 16 weeks (the minimum amount of time you're supposed to prepare for a marathon) and tweaked it to fit my schedule.
The only problem was that in the last month our schedule has been so crazy, I didn't even stick to the ammended training plan. Sure I ran that half marathon 3 weeks ago. And up to that point I was doing okay. But in the last month with the home study, adoption paperwork and getting Travis ready to leave I just couldn't seem to find the time to run hardly at all. In fact, during the last 14 days I've run exactly 3 times, the longest of which was a measly six miles.
Add this all up and you'll realize that before today I've never run more than almost 14 miles in a single stretch. But I figured it would either kill me or not, so there was nothing to do but just go run. And that's exactly what I did.

I spent the night at mom & daddy's last night because I had to be up early to catch the bus in Ashton that would take me to the starting line. And they were going to keep Gideon for me. At 3:45 this morning when the alarm went off I felt rested and very excited and only slightly nervous.

Can I be honest this is the only race I've ever been to where they put your goody bag in a potato sack. I thought it was funny.
The pre-race breakfast at Ashton Elementary at 4:30 this morning was awesome. Bagels, fruit, yogurt, cereals, muffins and every kind of drink you could possibly want. I got there about 4:50 and had time to eat a half a bagel, some watermelon & a few orange slices before loading the busses for the starting line.

After a bumpy ride in the dark we started at 6:30 this morning at a balmy temperature of 43 degrees. The first 10 miles just flew by. I don't think my brain was really awake so my body just went on auto-pilot & did it's thing. I felt awesome. And the scenery was spectacular. We ran right over the lookout point for lower Mesa Falls, and then cruised along the river. It was breathtaking. I got to the halfway point a full ten minutes faster than the half marathon I did three weeks ago. I was on target to be half an hour faster than my goal of 5 hours 30 minutes.

At mile 17 I hit the wall. For the next three miles I alternated walking and running. Every part of me ached. I just wanted to sit down and cry. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that if I quit moving I'd never get going again. About mile twenty I got my second wind. I was much slower than the first half of the race, but I wasn't in breakdown mode anymore. I just had to keep telling my body to tough it out. My parents showed up with Gideon at about mile 23 so I got to have a little cheering section which was a fun surprise.

By mile 24 my feet had really started to hurt. I felt two blisters forming and was pretty certain that I was going to lose a toenail. From that point it was all guts and adrenaline. I had nothing left in the tank.

A sweet lady from Florida running in her 25th marathon caught up to me in the last mile and thanks to her conversation and encouragment, she kept me going to the end. Really I don't know how I'd have done it without her.

Official times haven't been posted yet, but according to my wath I crossed the finish line at 5:31.12 So I was pretty darn close to hitting my goal and I can't complain about that. By the end I ached everywhere, but no major injuries (unlike Myrtle Beach I can actually walk!) Unless you count my pour blistered feet. I have blisters on the pads of my feet and as you can see from the photo below, blood blisters on two toes. They hurt like the dickens I guess I'll have to get a sterile needle and puncture them so they can drain, then they won't hurt as bad.

After the race mom & daddy took me to Broulim's deli for a celebratory lunch. (MMMM barbecued ribs with mac & cheese!) When Gideon and I got home this afternoon we didn't have time to rest. Just a quick shower and get dressed because we had a wedding to go to.

Trav's cousin Chad (or actually his cousin Vicki's son, Chad) got married today in a small ceremony. But it was nice and the food at the reception was excellent! One of Chad's sisters makes amazing Mexican food so we had home made tamales, pazole, rice & beans. It was great!

Gideon made friends with the flower girls, four year olds Alexis & Makayla. What a charmer!

That's Chad & his bride Stephanie at the head table. On the right toward the front of the picture is Chad's mom (Trav's first cousin) Vicki.

And so now that we're finally home for the day I'm going to put ice packs on my aching knees And pretty quickly here call it a night! I'm totally beat! I don't think I've ever felt so exhausted and yet so exhilarated at the same time. I can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Days....

...Are just made for playing in the hose!

Oh! And Mud Pies of course!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

5 Weeks

It may seem lately, that because of all my whining & complaining & nervous breakdowns that I've forgotten what a wonderful miracle adoption really is. I would hate to think that anyone would be misled into thinking that my frustrations with the systems and process are in anyway indicative of my feelings for adoption. In fact, it's safe to say that now that we've made it through the home study & the paperwork is done, I feel much calmer even about the process.

If you haven't clicked on some of the adoption stories linked to this blog, maybe you ought to sometime. When you have a few minutes to spare and don't mind shedding a few tears. Because I'm warning you right now, you'll probably cry.

5 weeks to the day before Gideon was born, we recieved a letter from his birth mother, telling us that she'd chosen us to be his family. (Remember that post from February 08? Me sucking in my flat stomach & announcing to the world I was 8 months "pregnant"? That was fun.) And here we are, just five weeks removed from another miracle.

And I just want everyone to know how blessed I feel to be able to take part in another adoption. That Heavenly Father in His Wisdom has granted us the opportunity to be a part of something so special and sacred. Even on the days when he's testing my patience & I feel like I'm failing as a mother, I can look at my precious two year old and know that God sent him to me for a purpose. Of all the thousands of wonderful couples and families praying for children, Heavenly Father knew that this was the boy for us.

To me that's the true beauty of adoption. That children get to the families they belong with regardless of where they're born or who they're born to. It makes you realize that Heavenly Father really does have a plan for each and every individual on earth. It's no different with Parker. I've felt from nearly the first moment that we found out about her that this was our baby girl. That she was all we were lacking to make our family complete.

One more thing and I'll let you all return to more interesting pursuits, I want you to know how much I love my kids' birth mom. She is the angel who brought my children to earth. Whatever I do or say to try and express my love and appreciation is never quite adequate based on what she's given me. Her selfless sacrifices have made us a family. And that's the most important thing in the world.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yep you me heard right, A Tuesday Wedding

You know it doesn't seem weird to me to have a wedding on a Tuesday. After all, Travis & I got married on a Tuesday morning. After a small & private ceremony in the Idaho Falls Temple, we had a family only luncheon. Then on the following Saturday we had the big blow out dinner & reception with everyone we knew.

So when Trav's cousin Jared, announced he was getting married on a Tuesday, it didn't phase me at all. It's everyone else who seems to think it's weird. But both Jared & Michaela are still in school and Idaho State's fall semester will start again soon. And Jared works for the Chukars baseball team, so they had to pick a date that would work around the team's schedule and travel obligations, so today was the day.

It was a lovely ceremony and here they are outside the temple, Mr. & Mrs. Jared Troescher.

Okay so her wedding gown was almost exactly like mine. It was a little unnerving when I first saw her. But I thought it was a gorgeous style 8 years ago and I still think so now!

The reception was at this old school house that I'd never even heard of before. Anyway, it's been converted into a reception center called the New Sweden Hall and it has a lot of antique charm.
The cake was made by another cousin, Megan. I think it turned out beautifully (although Gideon did steal one of the lily's off of it and Megan came after him pretty quickly.)

The most important thing is that Jared and Michaela are happy together. And now they get to spend the rest of eternity enjoying it. And in the end that's all that matters.

You don't have to be super mom....

...To turn a nursery into a bedroom that any two year old boy would love. Just start with this:

...And this:
Put in a lot of time and effort & you too can go from this:

...To This:

Okay it's a lot cuter in person, but you get the idea right? Parker's room is still a work in progress. Pictures forthcoming.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh What a Difference A Mattress Makes!

How's that for a super cool bed! The man who has to sleep in it seems to approve!
On another note, as we're getting set up for Parker's arrival, Gideon was climbing in the crib and playing around it, so I told him that's where the baby sleeps. He promptly got his baby doll (the one I bought a couple of months ago hoping to help him learn gentleness & prepare him for his coming baby sister) and after relieving her of the burden of her hat and blanket, put her in the crib, turned off the light and proceeded to "shh" me while climbing in the crib with her and pretending to go to sleep. It was very, very sweet!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Any More Ridiculous!

Well it happened. Last night I had my official pre-baby nervous breakdown. The frustration, the anger, the insomnia, the crazy toddler, the nerves, the irritation, the expectations and my ever growing to-do list finally got the best of me. And when Gideon pulled down the entire of shelf of DVD's (& trust me, our collection is extensive) I'd finally had it. I grabbed the keys and told Trav I was taking a little drive.

So I drove around the west side of Idaho Falls, venturing out a little further from town each time. Literally sobbing into my phone while my mom, dad & sister Skye each took turns listening to me and then doing their best to calm me and make me feel better. (And they helped a lot, they really did.)

When I pulled up an hour later, I felt emotionally drained and still had a lot to deal with, but the sense of despair was starting to lift a little. Until I noticed the garage door open, light on and pieces of sheetrock missing from the bottom part of the wall.

Let me back up a moment. Last week I noticed a puddle of water on the garage floor that looked like it was seeping from the wall. I mentioned it to Trav who said he'd check it out. Turns out we had a massive leak under our laundry room and the corner crawl space at the back of Trav's basement "mancave" was completely underwater. (That would also explain the "sour" stench I kept smelling in the basement last week.) While I'd been gone Trav and his dad had crawled in and shut off the water and arranged to have my dad come over today on his lunch hour and look at it.

I guess there are some blessings to having to redo all of the adoption red tape. Travis had already arranged to have today off so that we could go this morning and get our fingerprints and FBI background checks done. At least that way he'd be home to deal with it the rest of the day.

So way after his bedtime (like almost 10) I took Gideon down to the in-laws where he got a bath and I was able to at least wash my face & brush my teeth. Once home, Gideon got put to bed & Travis and I tried to figure out what to do next. After cleaning up what we could, we went to bed (and I won't tell you what we did next because this is a PG rated blog.)

We went back to the in-laws at 7:00 this morning so that we would both have time to shower and get ready before our 8:20 fingerprinting appointments. Afterward we dropped off the very last (we think) of the paperwork at the agency and hit the D.I. thrift store where we bought a used dresser for Gideon's room that I'm going to paint later this week. Then we came home to tackle the lake in our basement. Actually I didn't really do much of the work, I have to give Trav the credit. By 2:00pm he had the crawl space vaccuumed out, a fan blowing in it to dry it out, the leak repaired & the water back on. Gideon and I spent most of the day with Trav's mom, because she has water. Fortunately it wasn't a worse crisis. We only lost one day and a very small amount of money. Still it set us back a day in the overhaul of the house we're trying to do before Saturday.

After dinner we came home and outside of bathing my munchkin and doing a little yard work, I haven't really accomplished much. So my to do list for tomorrow looks like this: sweep, mop, dust, clean windows & rugs of downstairs bedrooms, clean and scour downstairs bathroom, wash bathmats and towels, do a load of dishes, move vanity & bedframe into storage, run 6 miles and organize desk. That's just tomorrow. The rest of the week has a similar agenda. Anyone willing to come and help?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy....

My nerves were a little tight as I sat in the jeep with the heater running at 6:15 this morning. After an exceptionally bad night thanks to a toddler who was having nightmares, or not feeling well, I not sure if I had it in my to run a half marathon. All told I probably got roughly 3 hours of sleep. This following the previous evening when my insomnia flared up and I just couldn't sleep. But I digress.

I was nervous because it was my 4th attempt at my first half marathon. The first was six months ago in Myrtle Beach, I trained and sweated and froze my rear end off in the brutal Idaho winter only to arrive in Myrtle to find the race had been cancelled due to a light dusting of snow. Not to be deterred I did what thousands of other frustrated runners did that morning: took to the streets and ran anyway. Somewhere in the last mile I noticed the cramp in my knee that wouldn't go away. By the time we got back to the hotel, I couldn't even walk.

The diagnosis was devastating: stress fractures and tendonitis. The treatment even worse, shots in the knee and no running for 9 weeks at least. This meant that I had to sit on the sidelines and watch while others ran the Disney Princess Half and the Salt Lake Half Marathon. Both of which I'd registered for months in advance.

When I started running again in May, I took the Doctor's advice and cut down my running from 5 days a week, to 2-3. I supplemented my off days with long walks and yoga or pilates DVDs.

It must be working because I haven't felt so much as a twinge in that knee since. I've run miles and miles since the injury and even done long runs well past 13 miles. But I was still nervous this morning because there was just this slightly ominous feeling that something could go wrong. That perhaps I wasn't ever meant to run a 13.1. And truthfully after the terrible night, I had started to think maybe there was some truth to that.

But when the gun went off, I felt good. The first 2 or 3 miles are always my warm-up. They're usually the hardest for me to get through because my body is protesting in every way it can and my mind is telling me I should have stayed in bed. After that though, things really get clicking. Miles 4-9 flew by. I felt good and poweful and strong. One at a time I'd zero in on someone in front of me and make it my goal to catch them. Then I'd keep the pace by telling myself to make sure all they saw was my back for the rest of the race. It took me 12.6 miles to take down a girl in a yellow tank top I'd been chasing all morning, but in the end, I'd saved a little in the tank so I could push hard the last couple miles, and it was easy to see she was fading. And truthfully my last 2 miles were two of my fastest! And I still felt great when it was all over & I triumphantly crossed the finish line. It was a great course with a lot of rolling hills that made it challenging. I was disappointed that I was about 45 seconds off the mile pace I had set as my goal. Still it was a full 16 minutes faster than my previous attempt and given the level of fatigue my body was feeling, we'll call it a success.

The day wasn't without it's disappointments, however, first there was no one there when I came across the finish line. No one giving out medals or cheering on the finishers. They'd already started the awards so it was like those of us at the back of the pack had been forgotten. It was almost completely demoralizing. Just an empty chute. No one even handing out water saying, "Great job, you made it!" Even my husband and son were across the park and didn't see me until I was across the line. And then Trav's camera went on the fritz so no pictures.

Myself and those who finished near my time asked at the timer's table if we were going to get our medals and were told, "Well, I'm not really in charge of that, I don't know where they went." We asked another volunteer who was equally unhelpful, "I didn't have anything to do with that" was her answer. Finally the 3rd guy we talked to went off to find them for us and brought them back, "here you go," he said and he shoved a half dozen medals toward me, expecting me to just hand them out. (For those non-racers reading this, part of the joy of running races is all the volunteers and spectators who make you feel like a rock star at the end of a race. This was just sad.)

After I claimed my medal, I saw the water & sandwich table for the finishers across the park, so I headed that way only to find the water coolers completely empty and no volunteers manning the table (which turned out not to have sandwiches, but just various flavors of bread. That's it. No butter, honey, or anything. Just bread.) When I found another volunteer to inform them that the jugs were empty I was told, "Oh yeah, we're out of water." When I asked if someone was going to fill them I got a deer in the headlights look and a "Well, I'm not really in charge of that" Now how on earth do you tell someone who just ran 13 miles that you're out of water and that you're not getting more? How hard is it to pick up a cooler and head to the nearest spigot?

Anyway it was frustrating and the race director (who is actually a neighbor) got a lenghty email from me on the subject.

There was no time for naps or resting though. After a shower and lunch we were off to get Gideon a new big boy bed.

And boy did we get one! We bought this off one of Trav's cousins and as you can plainly see the munchkin is super excited.

We bought a twin mattress set today as well, but it doesn't come in until next week, so for now we just put the crib mattress in it and packed it with whatever spare bedding we could round up. I'll take more pictures when we have it all together. Either way Gideon's pretty stoked about it.

After getting that set up, we moved the spare bed up to the office so that will now be the guest bedroom/office and we set up the crib in what will now be Parker's room. But I'm not going to post pictures of that until we're closer to being done.
Anyway it's been an extremely busy day and I'm very exhausted, so I think I'll sign off for now and head to bed myseld.