Sunday, April 21, 2013
Chris and I ran the Salt Lake marathon on Saturday. It was the second marathon for both of us and we trained really hard for it, so we both thought we were going to do well. The goal was to finish in under 4 hours and to finish together because we had never done that before, he couldn't finish my first marathon because his knees gave out on him and I couldn't finish his first marathon because I was injured at the time. So we prepared as best we could. We couldn't have predicted that it would rain pretty hard on us for the first 13 miles or so, but that was only a slight deterrent and we were feeling pretty good as we ran. We saw several friends along the way, both running and supporting along the sidelines. We ended up running the race in just over 4 hours, 4:00:36 to be precise, but that's so close that I don't feel like we failed in our mission. One of the better things about this race as opposed to the other marathon I did was the fact that I'm not nearly as sore as I was after finishing the other race. I could actually make it up and down the stairs afterward with minimal pain. So all in all I feel good about my second marathon and am actually looking forward to the next one.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
This past Monday was the Boston Marathon. Chris' mom qualified a while ago, so we all decided to go to Boston to cheer her on. So we made a weekend of it. We went to a Red Sox game and walked the freedom trail, and drove down the coast to Plymouth Rock, which is much smaller than it sounds by the way. Then on Monday we watched the marathon. It was one of the coolest things ever and I really, really want to run it one day. Anyway, Mary finished running the marathon in a time of 3 hours and 56 minutes which was amazing. So we walked over to the area where families wait for their runners. As we were walking over, we heard two loud booms. We didn't know what it was, so we called Chris' brothers who were at the hotel and asked them to turn on the tv to find out what was going on. They told us that two bombs had been set off at the finish line of the race. We frantically searched for Mary, wondering if she was okay. We found her and went back to our hotel, which was only a block away from where the bombs had gone off and watched the news. Since our hotel was so close to the bombs, the police had locked down our hotel and wouldn't let anyone in or out. So we sat in our hotel room and watched the news unfold, saw how many people had been hurt and saw that three people had been killed and we realized that we were really lucky to all be safe and we felt for the families who were suffering. We also watched out our window and saw tons of cops with bomb sniffing dogs go all over the streets. They called in the National Guard and the next day they let us out of the hotel, but there were soldiers outside every hotel with guns. It was actually really scary, but thankfully we were all safe. As we went through security at the airport, a cop came up to us and asked us if we had been at the marathon, if we had taken any pictures and if he could see them. We showed him our pictures and then he asked if we would email them to him because we were right across the street from where one of the bombs had gone off about 10 minutes before they exploded. It was crazy and kind of surreal. Our hearts go out to all those families who were not as lucky as us.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Chris and one of my younger brothers have been die-hard Raiders fans for as long as I can remember. I suppose you would have to be die-hard to continue to be a fan, since they haven’t been good for a really long time. Yet, fans they remain. There’s been a little bonding between the two of them over their team, which is great because misery loves company. Recently they decided that it would be fun to go see a game, so we made plans for Jason and his wife to go with me and Chris to see the Raiders play the Chiefs in one of the last games of the year. We figured that we should go to a game where the Raiders at least had a chance of winning, and the Chiefs were horrible this year as well. And since the team has been terrible, tickets were really inexpensive, so we were able to sit on row 5 on the 50 yard line with a great view. Jason and Jen had never been to San Francisco before, so we decided to make a weekend of it and visited all the touristy spots in addition to seeing the game, which the raiders won, by the way. So I suppose that being a Raiders fan does have some perks, they play near San Francisco, which is a really cool city, they were able to beat an even worse team than themselves, and they were the cause of some serious family bonding over the weekend we visited. Go Raiders!
Friday, November 16, 2012
I’ve spent a lot of time blogging about running in the past. There’s a very good reason for this that goes a lot deeper than might be expected. Over the past few years, I’ve been struggling with something that has caused me to evaluate what’s important in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time agonizing over this problem and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t always handled the stress well. In fact, I’m sure I was unbearable to be around. However, about two years ago, my sweet mother-in-law handed me a training schedule for the Salt Lake half marathon. I dived head first into the schedule and found that I was thinking more and more about running and concentrating less on my problem. My problem never went away, of course, but I was able to move it to the back of my mind while I thought about minutes per mile, lactic acid and Asics shoes. It made me a happier and more relaxed person, something I needed in order to cope with all I had been dealing with and I didn’t realize how much running had done to distract me until I got shin splints and had to stop running. I had been training pretty hard to increase my speed in order to accomplish a running goal I had set for myself and all of a sudden, I was sidelined, unable to run even a mile. All at once, I couldn’t do anything to accomplish my running goals, I had more time than ever to sit and think, and not only did my problem come crashing down around me again, it seemed to intensify because my distraction had now been added to the problem. The 6 months I was unable to run due to shin splints and then a knee problem were torturous to my mental well-being. I was forced to look my problem straight on and I’ve come to terms a bit with it, though I’m still not happy about it. And now I am slowly getting back to running and I’ve regained my equilibrium and I have some peace back in my life. And I was able to run my first big race since healing (I did run a half marathon while I was working through my knee problem, which probably wasn’t the best idea because it set me back a bit). I ran Ragnar Las Vegas with Chris, my sister, some friends and some people I’d never met but who quickly became friends. It was a relief to be back and I feel more equipped to handle things that come my way.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
When Chris and I went on our trip to the east coast to see baseball parks, we wanted to include a few other non-basebally things as well, so we asked our friends and co-workers what we should see and do. Chris’ boss suggested that we go to Walden Pond which was only a few miles outside of Boston (I should mention that Chris’ boss is a brilliant lawyer who went to Harvard and thus knew all about the area including Walden Pond). I had read the book by Henry David Thoreau in high school and knew the history of the place. Mr. Thoreau had decided that he wanted to see if he could be totally self-sufficient so he built himself a tiny cabin near the pond and thought deep thoughts for two years as he relied on no one but himself. Over all, I thought that it was somewhat pretentious and stuffy, but it was an interesting idea and you can’t help but admire him a little for giving it a shot. So when we were in Boston, we decided to rent a car and drive out there to see where the fellow had spent his solitary two years. As we neared the pond, we found that cars were backed up along the road at least a half a mile from the pond. We were really confused because, honestly, how many people really read Walden these day and out of those people, who really wants to take the time to visit the pond (I suppose Chris and I are a little silly). As we sat in traffic, we noticed that people were walking around with picnic baskets and in their bathing suits. We couldn’t figure out what was going on until we arrived at the pond. It turns out that it is no longer a place for intellectuals to sit and contemplate. The whole place is more like a beach party. We had to pay $5 to park our car in a giant parking lot, we walked past a gift shop to get to the pond, and people were swimming and playing in the pond, with proper lifeguard supervision, of course. And the only contemplating I saw going on was from me, thinking about how Thoreau would be rolling in his grave if he knew what was going on. Much as he would have hated it, Chris and I couldn’t help but laugh. And when Chris got back to his office and told his boss that we had gone there on his suggestion, he said “wasn’t it awesome! ”
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Chris and I decided to use our time off on a baseball trip this year. We've been trying to see all the ball parks in the country and have slowly been marking off one park after another, but we decided that the parks in the east are so close together that it made more sense to take a longer period of time off and knock 5 off the list all at once rather than taking 5 different trips out there. So we packed up our stuff and flew to Boston to see the Red Sox play, then took the train to New York to see the Mets, rented a car and drove to Philadelphia to see the Phillies, drove to Baltimore to see the Orioles, then drove back to New York to see the Yankees. We did some other things along the way, which I might post about later, but for now, I'll just post some pictures of the different parks.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
About six months ago, Chris got a call from our stake president's office asking the two of us to come in and see him. Immediately we both thought the worst, some stake calling that was going to keep Chris really busy. So with heavy hearts, we went in to see what it was. Instead of having a stake calling, we were asked to be a Ma and Pa on the upcoming pioneer trek. We were both so thrilled that it wasn't a stake calling for either of us that we said yes right away, thinking that we had dodged a bullet. Later, when we thought about it, we realized that it was going to be a little harder than we had anticipated. This particular trek was going up to Wyoming, at the actual sites of the original trek, Martins Cove and such where all those people died in the early winter storms. We were going to have to take 3 days off work, wear authentic pioneer garb, collect all kinds of camping supplies, and supervise 6 teenagers. Chris is not a camper, and he was sure to make that clear when he was called to be one of the young men's teachers, and I do not know how to relate or talk to teens, so between the two of us, we were in big trouble. We attended meeting after meeting about what to expect, what to do, how to behave and resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to be tested a bit in this calling. Much as we may have complained, though, it turned out really well. We ended up having a pretty fun time, and this I attribute to the kids who ended up being in our family. They were all wonderful, helpful and funny and kind to each other. Also, Chris didn't mind the camping so much, we were well fed and had great sleeping pads. So it turned out well, and though I can't say that we'd ever want to do it again, we had fun.