Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I spent my Halloween with these blonde babes
 and these blonde babes
Knocking on doors and begging for candy
 And before long we attracted a bum
 a pretty helpful one, with a great sense of humor!
Hope your Halloween was as happy as ours!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

I spent months pounding the pavement, mile after long mile, either baking under the scorching sun, or watching it rise.  Admittedly not as often as I would have liked or even as regularly as I should have, but still enough to know I would cross that finish line.  But even the best laid plans, don't always work out.

I tried, pinned, tugged, and carefully laid out my clothes while Jenny wandered the hotel halls in hers.

 I started my day with a smile almost a bright as these guys'!
I found my friends waiting in line for the potties.
No simple task, considering everyone else had the same bright idea right before setting off to run 26.2 miles!!
 I didn't want to worry about how long the run would take, but rather have fun and just enjoy the journey.   So I turned my music up loud and had my camera in hand as Rebecca and I ran across the starting line.
 The morning was hot but gorgeous with unexpected cloud coverage.  We followed the pacer, made friends with the runners around us and smiled from ear to ear!
 It is such an incredible experience to watch the sun rise while moving along with a stampede of several thousand people.  There is an energy and a thrill that I cannot adequately describe.
 We were feeling great 6 miles in, with the dreaded Veyo Hill in sight.
 We even stopped long enough to pose for a picture and catch up again with our pacer. 
My knees felt great, my hamstrings were loose, and I didn't notice my IT band once!  
  I took my little gel blocks as often as recommended and walked whenever I felt like it.  I drank Gatorade twice and water at every other aid station. I stopped twice and got a little Bengay rubbed into one of my calves.  For the most part, I was just cruising along.
By mile 16 I had cramping in my back that made it hard to breathe deeply. By mile 19 I felt like garbage!  At 21 I begged and pleaded for the bottle of Coke left for a runner at the aid station...if only Tara was with me and if she was wearing mascara, I'm sure I would have gotten a different result. 
 A little further along my vision started to get fuzzy and dark around the edges.  I stumbled over to a guard rail with the help of another runner.  After blacking out, throwing up, slurred speech and about 30 minutes sitting on the bumped of an ambulance, it was decided I wasn't in any condition to run the last  4.5 miles of the race.  I would not be finishing.
My friend Jenny finished in 3:35 and qualified for Boston. 
Reed breezed through, all smiles.

Corey was all business along the home stretch.
The cutest cheering squad ever saw them all come through.  My little nieces had practiced saying,"Go Jen Go!" while they waited for me to come down that final stretch before the finish line.  
 I never came. I was stuck in a shuttle bus waiting to be dropped of at the park.  My stomach had been a little off the day before the race and I'd had a hard time eating anything.  The calories I consumed all day were what I probably should have had at one meal.  I think I just ran out of gas out there and my body just shut down.
 I was hydrated and a little rested by the time I arrived where the race ended. I was thrilled for Jenny and her awesome run!  
I was definitely not feeling like the rock star Heather's cute poster suggested.
I was happy for Corey and Reed, Rebecca and Christine, who had all come across the finish line, but also in a bit of awe.  They all did what I could not, and I found myself respecting the distance even more than I had before.  I thought back to three years ago when I ran St George the first time.  My knee gave out not even half way in and I shlepped through to the finish.  I felt like an impostor then because I hadn't run the whole thing, and I didn't know what I was capable of doing.  Now I appreciate that finish. with my 3rd attempt behind me, I think I finally recognize what I accomplished that day. 
While my run didn't end up the way I had planned, I still had the best weekend! I reconnected with some of my favorite people. I ran in a beautiful place. I shopped, basked in the sunshine, made new friends, had great conversations, and ate yummy food. Hugs and smiles were abundant and my heart went home happy.  There are definitely more marathons in my future.  At some point I will run, healthy, strong, and fast across a marathon finish line.  Until then I will keep working on my best laid plans!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where the Magic Happens

Disneyland is where the magic happens. If you are a teenage boy, stealing away from school mid week, or a grown up escaping life's daily responsibilities...that can feel kinda magical. 
When these two boys have their dad all to themselves to race from one roller coaster to the next all day long...magic!
When you can soar up into the sky in a plastic rocket ship and still squeal with delight...magic!
Me telling Brynne I will buy her ANY hat or headband at the shops in hopes of taming the hair she insisted be just left "all straight down"...not so magical, but seeing the delight and twinkle in her eye as she surveyed the wares at each of the stores to determine which special toy she might choose to bring home at the end of the day...definitely worth every penny spent.
Grandma+Grandpa+ Cousins+ a double stroller= definitely magic
Sweet sugary kernels whipped into a cloud like substance you can eat from a stick...yeah, that's magic!
When darling larger than life mice can entice you wait in a ridiculously long line just for a hug and a picture and somehow you're still thrilled about it...must be magic!
Spending time with my brother and his darling little family sometimes takes a little magic to make it happen!

After years of not being tall enough to ride all the roller coasters with her brothers, Brynne's height finally makes the mark...definitely some magic happening there!
(She rode the Matterhorn 3 times!)
Billy and Jen sneaking in a ride on the Matterhorn while the girls rested with Grandpa...well I'm sure you can guess, that felt a little like magic too.
A trip to Disneyland is never complete without a ride through the musical Small World

Seeing Jocelyn experience it for the first time was magical
It didn't take any magic to entice Jeff and the boys to come find us  a couple of times throughout the day,  
We had all the snacks!!
Their timing couldn't have been better though.  They found us just as we were going in to meet the princesses.  The girls were all a little shy at first.  Princess Belle was pretty dang cute and tried enticing the girls to come take a picture with her. "Doesn't anybody want their picture taken with me?" Well Drew took one look at that pretty face and he was no dummy, "Heck yeah! I do!!" He sauntered right up to her wrapped his arm around her waist, and just before giving us a big cheesy grin for the picture, he looked over to Garrett and with a nod of his head says."Jealous?"  Might have been a magical moment for Drew, but the rest of us, including the workers within ear shot, were in tears of laughter!
I guess she wasn't Garrett's type cause Brynne was the only one who ended up taking a picture with her
One of my favorite rides at Disneyland has always been Space Mountain.  I love the thrill of speeding through the dark and having no idea what lies ahead.  I stole away for a ride with Jeff and the boys 
and then made it back again with my parents and little Brynne...magic!
When we finally stopped for dinner Jeff and my dad left for home and work responsibilities.  Drew's little legs were getting a bit weary and we were heading for the Little Mermaid ride...he wasn't feelin' the magic anymore!
Just then I got a call from Carter and as I was telling him all about our day at Disneyland, and how we wished he was there, the next thing I knew he grabbed me around the waist and was standing right next to me grinning as he continued talking to me on his phone!  Best surprise ever, or just another magical moment...
We were thrilled to see him and Julia!  They came as soon as they got out of classes in Santa Barbara that afternoon, and put smiles back on these boys faces... magic!
 When it's time for the cameras on any of the rides, everyone's crazy side comes out...just like magic! 
Hanging out with these two, it doesn't take magic to keep you smiling or laughing! 
 After a gorgeous fun filled day, the only thing I could wish for is a little magic wand to place me, sound asleep in my bed.