Sunday, June 8, 2014

Life Has Changed

My world had undergone a huge change over the last three and a half months and it's all Kate's fault. It's a great change, but change nevertheless. I've had to work on putting together a new daily routine because I'm a creature of habit and I need some continuity in my life. So Kate and I have worked really hard on her napping and eating to get her to the point where I can predict what she's going to be doing for the day and work around it. I'm not getting much done, but I feel a lot better about myself when I can say that at least I knew that I wouldn't be getting anything done because I planned it that way. And she too seems to be benefiting from the organization I've added to our lives. She now gets to sleep during my runs on the treadmill instead of getting angry that she has to sit in her bouncy chair, crying and making me stop my workout to calm her down. She now knows that we will be having an afternoon nap on the couch and seems to have a favorite position, me teetering on the edge enough that I could fall off at any moment (but of course I have to be that close to the edge so that she can stretch out her arm if need be without waking up). All in all, we're doing well learning how to adjust to this new life that we both have. I should probably mention that she's so cute that this whole schedule was thought up and approved by her without my input at all.

Boston

I realized that I never posted about running the Boston Marathon, which is kind of a huge oversight because I had been posting about it for so long. So here goes. It was an incredible weekend! I think that a lot of what made it so special was that I got to share a lot of it with my family who came along to cheer me along during the run. Chris and Kate and my parents and two sisters and brother in-law and Chris' parents were all there. My family had never been to Boston before so we took them to do all the touristy things which was so much fun. We went to Lexington and Concord and did the Freedom Trail and took them to the North Side to get cannoli from Mike's Pastry Shop and saw a game at Fenway. They also came with Mary and me when we went to the Marathon Expo to pick up our packets and numbers. It was so fun to be a part of the group of people who had all worked for the same thing I had. We walked around with our Marathon gear and noticed all the other people in the city who were doing the same thing and I felt a sense of kinship with them. The actual marathon was an experience. Mary and I got up early to catch the bus out to the Athletes Village where the runners waited until it was their turn to line up and start running. When it was our turn, we joined a huge group of people and walked for about a mile from the village to the start line, and there were already a ton of spectators lined up cheering us on, before we had even started running. The actual course was a little more challenging than the one I had used to qualify, so we ran a bit slower and Mary slowed down around mile 15 and told me to leave her, so I ran the last 11 miles by myself, but it was still great to just run along that historic course, to see all the people who came out to cheer on the runners, even if they didn't have anyone in particular to cheer on. A lot of the athletes put their name on their shirts so that strangers can cheer for them. Mary and I didn't do that, but people still found a way to cheer for us, calling us the pink ladies or calling out the last few digits of my number. And I got to see my family twice along the course. I stopped to kiss my daughter and it energized me to see them. And there was no greater feeling than crossing the finish line. I was pretty exhausted after that run, more so than many of the other marathons I had run, so it felt really good to stop, to collect my medal and go to find my family. And even after the race, I had that exhilarating feeling that I had done something great. My family wanted me to wear my medal around, which many of the runners do. I don't like to draw attention to myself that way, but I did it at the airport because they were letting people who had finished the race skip to the front of the security line and not wait and also board the plane first. That was a nice little perk. I may never run that race again, so I'm so happy that I was able to do it at least once, to have that experience.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Daughter

My daughter. These are words that give me a secret thrill every time I say them. After our long wait, there’s almost a relief, a release at being able to use them, as though all the uncertainty, misery and hopelessness we felt as we struggled with our infertility are washed away a little every time we refer to Kate. And we use them all the time. My daughter came into our lives on March 17th. My daughter is one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen. My daughter isn’t sleeping at night but the happiness at having her makes it a pleasure to feel sleep deprived. My daughter is dozing on my lap right now and I have been watching her thinking how lucky I am. Will I ever get tired of using those words, when she’s a teenager and thinks we’re idiots, rebels and causes us anxiety? When she makes mistakes? When she leaves us to start her own journey? No.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kate

Meet our daughter Kate! After a long, long wait, we’ve finally had an addition to our family. Two weeks ago Chris and I made the trip to West Point Mississippi where we adopted Kate. She’s a sweet little girl and has brought a lot of happiness to us and to our home.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Road to Boston

My quest to run the Boston marathon began in November, 2011. I ran my first marathon, the Mesquite Tri States Marathon in 3:50:02 and thought that maybe qualifying was within reach. It seems silly now, looking back that I thought that cutting 15 minutes off my time would be easy, but the Mesquite Marathon is a pretty difficult course. The first 13 miles are a lovely downhill stretch of road that isn’t too steep, but just the right decline in elevation that you don’t realize how fast you are going. The last 13 miles, however, are brutal. There are some pretty steep inclines for long stretches and then some flat areas, but very little downhill that allows one to catch one’s breath. For the first 13 miles of my first marathon, I was on pace to qualify for Boston, but the last 13 slowed me down enough that I was averaging more than a minute per mile slower than I needed to go. But I thought if I could find a nice downhill course that didn’t have any monster hills at the end, I might just be able to qualify. So the training began. I was deterred for about 6 months with some injuries, which I’ve already written about, but got back up on the horse and in April of 2013 ran my second marathon. The Salt Lake Marathon doesn’t qualify as a nice downhill course and I wanted to run with Chris the whole time, and at that point he was quite a bit slower than I, so we finished in a time of 4:00:36. It was a practice marathon and I actually felt pretty good at the end of it, even though it had rained on us for 13 miles and I was soaked and freezing when we finally hit the finish line. I planned to make the Utah Valley Marathon my first actual attempt at qualifying for Boston, but I also signed up for the Big Cottonwood Marathon as a backup just in case I didn’t make it. The Utah Valley runs down Provo canyon and ends in the heart of Provo, the course is nice and downhill until the last 5 miles when it flattens out and goes uphill just slightly. I thought it would be the race, and I felt good up until I got out of the canyon and hit the flat and slightly uphill portion and then I faded quite a bit. My time ended up being 3:35:16, just 17 seconds slower than I needed to be, less than one second per mile too slow. I finished and saw my time and wanted to cry. It’s hard to work that hard for something and then miss out on it by so little (my blog post at the time was a bit melodramatic, I only quoted a poem and let it go at that). I felt that I had done all I could do and I didn’t know if I would ever be able to run that fast again, let alone shave any amount of time off. But I was still signed up for the Big Cottonwood and I had a little more than 3 months to try to get faster. I trained, but not as hard as I should have because of other commitments, vacations, heat. I wasn’t feeling confident going into the Marathon in September. Besides that, I was going to have to cut off more than 16 seconds if I wanted to get into Boston, so many people want to run Boston in 2014 because of the bombings last year, not to mention that registration opened for the fastest runners before the Big Cottonwood marathon was even run. I was going to have to cut off quite a bit of time and if by some miracle I was able to beat the qualifying time by more than 5 minutes, I was going to have to leave the finish line and go home and register immediately. So the odds were not looking good for me. Somehow, the combination of rest between marathons, the course, which was a lovely steep downhill for the first 17 miles with flat stretches and a few uphills for the last nine, the temperature and the really nice people I met on the course who talked to me and encouraged me including Chris’ dad all combined to help me to run my fastest marathon ever, 3:28:33 which is 6 ½ minutes faster than I needed to run. I was ecstatic! I was able to go home and register right away, though I didn’t know if I was accepted for another week. So after 4 marathons, 3 years of training, some setbacks and disappointments, I am running the Boston Marathon in April. It promises to be quite an experience.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tri Man

Chris has recently been interested in doing triathlons. His mother is a great inspiration to everyone she comes in contact with and she was able to inspire Chris to work hard at more than just running. Chris has been getting up early to swim and staying out late to ride his bike and after all his training he was finally able to participate in his first Olympic triathlon. He had done a couple of sprints earlier this year, but the Olympic was his real goal. He had been planning to do the Pumpkin Man Triathlon down at Lake Mead and had been working towards that goal for a long time and that goal was put into the jeopardy when the government decided to shut down and close all the national parks. They sent out an email to everyone who had signed up saying that if the parks were still closed that they could still come down and do the run portion of the tri, but that would have been a waste of time. We didn’t want to drive 6 or 7 hours both ways so that Chris could run a 10k. Luckily, the government ended their childishness a couple of days before the race and we were able to drive down so that Chris could do the whole race. He did pretty well, his transitions could use a little work, but he looked strong throughout the whole race and his run portion was amazingly fast. Good Job Babe!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hoping to Adopt

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Chris and I would eventually have kids. Whenever I would talk about the future, it would be “when we have kids…” not “if we have kids…”. I knew when I married Chris that it would be a little while before we started, he wanted to finish law school before trying and I agreed with him for the most part. I’ve always felt that I’m a bit immature for my age and I’m never quite ready to move on to the next step in my life at the same time as my peers. I wanted to get used to being married to Chris before starting our family, I think that I needed a strong marriage and a strong relationship with my husband before involving children. In addition to that, I wanted the decision to have kids to be a mutual thing, I didn’t want to force or cajole or bully Chris into starting a family when he wasn’t ready any more than I wanted him to do the same to me. So we decided to wait. When Chris finished law school and we moved back to Salt Lake I felt like it was finally time to start our family and I began to talk about it with Chris more and more. Chris is the kind of person who needs to think things through and get used to an idea over time, so I was okay with the delay at first, but my patience did wear thin. After a while, he finally agreed that it was time to start trying. I just knew that we would be able to have kids right away, I come from a huge family and his is rather large, so clearly fertility wouldn’t be a problem for us. However, after the first couple of months, I began to wonder. I started reading articles and books about infertility and began to get worried. I tend to overanalyze things and it was something that was constantly on my mind. I was starting to drive myself crazy when Mary handed me a training schedule for a half marathon. I had been doing a little running, but never more than a 5k and the idea of running a longer race was intriguing. I decided to give it a shot and if I should get pregnant, than I would just stop the training and be happy. I started thinking about the amount of running I was doing, what type of shoes I was running in, going for a run with Mary, who is a much better runner and I didn’t want to slow her down, etc. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t started running, I would have been a miserable person. I needed something to take my mind off the fact that I wasn’t getting pregnant and running was exactly what I needed. After my first half marathon, I kept going and I made Chris go with me. We did several half marathons together, Ragnar, and we started our first marathon together (Chris couldn’t finish due to a knee problem, but we had trained for the whole thing and made it about 17 miles in together). After that first marathon, I developed shin splints and then a knee problem and couldn’t run for about 6 months. I did not handle it well, I’m afraid. I had been so concentrated on running that I didn’t have much time to think about infertility, but when I couldn’t run, our infertility came crashing down around my head compounded by the fact that my distraction was just another problem to deal with. I felt pretty useless and shed many more tears than I’d like to admit. I had to face my problem head on and it was one of the toughest times of my life. Looking back now, I know that my injuries were the catalyst that finally sent us to the infertility doctor. If I had been able to run, I would have been able to push that particular problem to the back of my mind indefinitely and we still might be biding our time. However, in facing my problem, I made an appointment with an infertility specialist and we discovered what our problem is. We tried a few different treatments, all to no avail and eventually our choices were narrowed down to adoption or invetrofertiliztion. We fasted and prayed and made lists of pros and cons and talked to family who also fasted for us and did research on both options and after a while decided that adoption was the option for us. Through all the research I had done, I thought that LDS Family Services would be the best option for us and Chris agreed, so several months ago, we met with a counselor, went through orientations, interviews, home-studies, questionnaires and eventually made it to where we are now, with a profile up on It’s About Love, hoping that someone will pick us as the right family for their child. I continue to run to keep my mind off waiting and Chris continues to be his usual calm and serene self as we play the waiting game, but I realize that we’ve been married for 8 wonderful years, and a few more months is do able. I do hope that we are chosen soon, I’m eager to have an addition to our family, to share the amazing life I’ve been able to have with one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I know we’d do a great job.