Joie's latest thing is wanting to wear hats. She picks them up and puts them on her head by herself, and it's almost always to the side.

I am absolutely smitten with this child.

Happy Birthday!

This past weekend we celebrated my mom and brother's (Kalen) birthdays. A fun and alcoholic time was had by all :)

Lesson Learned.

To begin with, I never want to feel or look like this after running ever again.


This past Saturday was the worst I have felt before, during and after a run.
It was my first chance to run with my team (since I work on Saturdays I've been running with Danielle on Sundays instead of with my team) and I was looking forward to meeting everyone and finally feeling part of a team.  Well, I guess I didn't take into account that they have all been running together for 3+ months now, and I was the outsider.
I showed up bright and early and felt like I was in middle school again.

No one talked to me.
No one looked at me.
No one ran with me.

I was all alone on the road (waaaaay behind them all) and missing my running partner like crazy.  I turned on my iPod and tried to listen to the music and just enjoy my run and the view, but I mentally in a bad place.  I was feeling sorry for myself, and hurt that my team left me behind without a second thought.

Around mile 6 my shins started to hurt.  It wasn't bad enough that I felt the need to stop, but it was uncomfortable.  I started eating my GU (running fuel) and drinking more water, hoping to gain some energy and flush the pain out.  I did ok for the next couple of miles, but around mile 9 I started experiencing bad calf cramps.  Knowing that I was only half-way through my run, in pain, and waaaay behind my team (I was going much slower than usual because of my mental state) I was faced with the decision to suck it up and finish strong, or give up.

Unfortunately I chose to give up.  I was pissed off at myself, but I could not muster the strength to pull through.  I finished another 2 miles, got in my car, and headed home.

As I drove home I began to cry.  I was so depressed and upset with myself, and knew that I was the only one that could change all this, but I didn't care.  I was so hurt by my "team" and chose to blame them for my poor run.  I was so upset I even considered calling the TnT training office and telling them that I was only going to complete the half marathon (a distance I know I can accomplish) and to take me off the roster.  Luckily I made myself wait until the next day to see how I felt about it then.

When I got home I walked in the door and realization hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had been feeling low for the past few days and in a really bad mental state and it finally made sense why.  I had not been home much the past week, and things had gotten out of control.  I can usually gauge how I feel and how "in control" I am by the way both my car and my home look.  When I start to feel out of control I stop taking care of things.  Every single dish in my house was dirty (with disgusting food dried on) and clothes were everywhere! 

This mental state was obviously not the result of just my run that morning.  It had been building for quite some time, and needed to be taken care of immediately.

I drove home to Twin Falls to celebrate my mom and brother's birthdays with the family (post to come) and had a great rest of my weekend.  When I first arrived I was still in a foul mood, but the support from my family quickly turned my attitude around and I was able to put things in a better perspective.

I will leave you with two thoughts that were shared with me that really helped:

1.  My brother Jed's exact words were, "I will tell you the same thing I would tell any athlete I was to train.  You can look at everything as a positive or a negative. This is the only way in which to view life.  You are choosing to see the negative.  You say to me, I was supposed to run 18 miles today, but only ran 11.  look at this way, you ran 11 miles today.  Could you have done that 4 months ago?"

2. My mom and dad's neighbor (Louise) joined us for the celebration.  Without knowing how my training had gone that morning, she sat down to tell me a little story.  She and her husband had given me $25 for my fundraising efforts and put down the name of a woman they knew who is fighting cancer and asked me to run in honor of her.  Louise told me that this lady was back in the hospital as of last week needing to receive chemo treatments again.  When Louise went to visit her, she told her about what I was doing and that I was running in honor of her.  Her reaction was mixed emotions of both surprise and appreciation.  She teared up and told Louise that it was amazing to her that I would run in honor of her when I didn't know her, and that I was raising money to help with people's treatment and support.  She wanted Louise to thank me for her.

I felt like God had slapped me upside the head and reminded me that this training and marathon is not about me.  It's not about what I can or can not do.  It's not about bragging about how many miles I've ran, or successful I've been in raising money.  It's about the patients and their families.  It's about helping a cause that's bigger than me, and being a vessel to bring awareness to a horrible disease and get families help.
And most of all, it's about God, and continuing to give Him praise for all that is happening in, of, and around me.

Lesson learned.


Dusting Off His Halo

I met my Guardian Angel last week. It was a brief encounter, but one the same. He wears black running shorts and a fitted white tee.

You think I'm joking don't you?

Danielle and I experienced nature to the fullest last weekend during our run. We saw a pack (herd?) of deer. 10 to be exact. A coyote, many dogs, a few bunnies, a bat, {too many} ducks and geese, a nest of baby swans, and the father protecting them.

Let me restate the last one there. A father swan. Hell bent on protecting his wife and his babies.

Danielle and I were just about finished with our run when we rounded a corner to see a puffed up swan blocking our path. To the right we noticed a beautiful nest in the middle of the river with a proud mother sitting atop it. And straight ahead, the beauty that wanted to kill us. Oblivious to the danger ahead, a young man ran past us, and nearly lost his leg as the swan dove and snapped at him.

There was
we were going to tempt this thing.

Trying to figure out our options (turning around and running an extra 4 miles to avoid him or tempting fate) he emerged. Fresh from shining his halo. His black shorts bouncing with each step, and tee fitting his sculpted torso just right to show his angelic abs he glided effortlessly past the ferocious feathery fiend (alliteration too much?).

"Run with me ladies." he spoke.

What happened next was a blur of events that are nothing short of amazing. We ran beside him and past the swan

He bounded off down the path with a simple wave and a wish for a great rest of our run.

I hope for the chance to see him again soon, and give him a proper thank you.


Family Pics

My mom's birthday is this weekend (4/24) and Danielle and I decided that she needed some photos of all us kids together. The three kids (Jed, Kalen and myself) haven't had a picture of just us since I was in high school (over 8 years ago... *gasp*!) so it was definitely over due. It was fun to get one with all of mom and dad's kids together (me, Jed, Danielle, Joie and Kalen). This will be a fun tradition as our family adds new members. Hopefully I can talk mom and dad into taking one with us sometime soon. They tend to be camera-shy, but I would love to get a full family picture!

On to the pictures...

Joie decided that eating the flowers was better than just posing with them.

And poking the flowers is always fun too...

Probably my favorite picture thus far. She was laughing so hard each time Danielle would flip her upside down :)

Joie checking out her Momma's necklace

Momma and baby

One that Danielle snapped of Daddy and baby

The cutest family ever :)

Another fun upside-down shot

Aren't my brothers so handsome?!?

All the kids



I talked to my brother Jed about a strength training program due to my power-less legs. When running, I feel like my endurance is okay, and I could keep running, except that my legs get soooo tired. They feel like bricks, and I stop to take {way too many} walk breaks.

When I told him this, he grinned and said, "this is where I come in."

He has me doing 30 minutes (for now) leg conditioning with the stairmaster and elliptical. Then squats on the BOSU and core/abs on the stability ball. I've only done 2 days, and I'm so sore! It hurts to laugh or cough... YAY for muscles being worked!

I can tell that it's helping already. My energy has skyrocketed, and I'm so antsy!

I'm really hoping that I see a difference in my runs soon!


Another Exciting Announcement!

On Sunday, during our training Danielle and I decided to sign up for another race! This time it will involve more than just running...

The XTERRA Wild Ride Off-Road Triathlon in beautiful McCall, Idaho!
August 22, 2010 we will participate in a Sprint Triathlon (Swim ¾ mile, Mountain Bike 20 miles, Trail Run 6 mile)

It's going to be so much fun!

While continuing my training for May's half-marathon and June's marathon, we will start incorporating both swimming and cycling. I'll need to get a mountain bike (since it's a trail ride) and get a decent swim suit (hello uncomfortable dressing room horror!) and learn the proper swim technique.
This training/event should be a fun challenge. I'm really looking forward to it!

One Sick Week Makes One Weak


I have been sick with a head and chest cold for the past week and a half. I'm feeling much better now, but last week was a tough one!

Having to back off from training in order to get better was both mentally and physically hard. I was having mini-panic attacks all week long because I was freaking out about falling behind on my training. I love that people are so supportive of my training goals, but it was tough coming to work everyday and having my coworkers ask how my training went the night before. Having to tell them that I sat on my couch drinking tea and watching "The King of Queens" made me feel like a Grade-A loser. Luckily though, I have just as many people supporting me in taking the time to get better. Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point (a health/fitness blog I am obsessed with!) wrote me a greatly supportive e-mail about resting in order to be stronger in the end...

I PROMISE you'll be OK. It's better for you to just rest up and feel better than to try to push yourself thru your long run. Also, I have read that two back to back longish runs can replace a long long run. so maybe if you feel 100% next wednesday, do an 8 miler and on thursday, do another 8 miles. (just an example) and also all training plans "build in" mistakes or illness and assume you'll miss at least one long run. so even if you don't feel good enough to make it up this week, just do your next long run when you feel better.

You are amazing for doing TNT!!! Thank you for support the L&L Society!

Hearing this from someone who has ran in 20-something races (including a marathon) made me much more at ease about taking the time to rest.

On Sunday Danielle and I set out to do 8 miles, and ended up completing 9! I was feeling MUCH better, and was excited to get out and do something! I am really working on trusting myself and pushing my run intervals longer. I know I can handle it, but once I hit my marker because I "can" stop and walk, I do. Hopefully I'll be posting about my longer run intervals soon!


Easter Fun!

Easter was a combined effort this year since all the family is now in Idaho (YAY!). Mom, Dad and Kalen all came to Boise and we got together at Danielle's parent's house with her brother and sister and their families. There were a lot of us! My brothers and I were fortunate enough to grow up very close with our cousins and extended family around at every holiday, and it's so nice to know that Joie will have the same blessings.

...even if her cousins "gang" up on her ;)

Joie had a great time finding Easter eggs and eating the contents. Many were filled with colored goldfish (you know, the baked but not fried snack) and others were filled with M&Ms. Since she's not allowed to have sugary treats (because really, does a toddler need sugar? Not so much!) her daddy got to eat those ones.
It was a bit too cold outside to have an Easter egg hunt out there, so we brought the fun indoors!

After a yummy Easter lunch Joie decided to do her part and "help" Grandma with the dishes. She loves playing in bubbles!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday!!!

I leave you with this adorable face...


Too Legit to Quit

Oh yeah, I'm legit now!

I signed my re-commitment papers with Team in Training, officially signed up for the race in San Diego, and confirmed by hotel and flight reservations. Woo Hoo!

I was also given this snazzy windbreaker for re-committing :D