Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Personal Best

I wish I could tell you about being my personal best as a mother, wife, or friend. Unfortunately, this is not the case. But while I am working on that, let me tell you about my new personal half-marathon record.

I am definitely NOT a friend of road running races. Especially not in Utah, where they all tend to be more or less downhill. That said, I was still really excited to run in the Salt Lake 1/2 marathon for a few reasons:
  • I got a complimentary race entry from the SLRC. How could I pass up a free race?
  • My friend Carlee was racing. I love racing with friends. Friday night was like a girls' night out and Saturday was a party!
  • Flat and/or downhill = fast. And that's always fun!

  • Feeling good rather than sick
  • Being able to push myself but not too hard
  • Chatting with friend and pro triathlete Malaika
  • A new PR 1:29:53
  • My 6:51 pace
  • 17th out of 2886 women
  • Carlee's PR
  • Chocolate milk and Creamies at the finish
  • Boredom. Running on asphalt through a city is just not my kind of fun.
  • A 2-mile uphill stretch right at the end
  • Invisible mile markers
  • A 13-year-old dude running alongside me for the last 5 miles
Although I might actually consider the last one a highlight. I mean, really, this kid was great. Check it out. He does not even look like a runner. I was kind of glad though when he ran out of steam at the end. I was definitely NOT going to sprint to the finish line just so I could beat him. I think that's totally lame.

Now it is high time to get my cycling back. No more running escapades for a while. My focus is on triathlon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Roasting Marshmallows

This saturday,
we spent a wonderful evening at Canyon Glen Park.

We love to escape the city and go up in the mountains.
Even if it's not very far.
Clean air, less noise, beautiful scenery.
Plenty of space to run around and explore.
We are happy.

Yesterday we kept things simple.
Fire wood.
Marshmallows. Turkey dogs. Bread dough.
Strawberries, Watermelon. Oranges.

Noah and Eric were in marshmallow-roasting heaven.
The boys could not have cared less that they were
old, stale, and hard.
Except for the time Eric was choking one.
It was bad.
I thought he would not touch another one for the rest of his life.
First thing he says after catching his breath:
"I want another marshmallow."

Let's do this again. And again. And again.
All spring/summer/fall long.

You should come join us!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I want my life back

Tonight at dinner Karl says:

"I think we should just let Mama go to bed so she can read all night and hopefully finish her book."

That is how we all feel.

This is why I try to avoid reading books.

I can't stop.

I am reading while looking at books with Max. I am reading while we are having family dinner. I am reading while brushing my teeth. I am reading while Karl is talking to me. I am reading although I am supposed to be cleaning the kitchen floor. I am reading on my bike.

I am driving myself (and my family) crazy.

It's only been 2 days. I have 200 pages to go. I may have to return the book before I am done. I am not sure we will make it.

Why am I like this?

I am an all-or-nothing kind of person. Not in all things, but in a lot. I read 24/7 or not at all. I eat all the cookies or none. I take exercising to an extreme. I hate leaving things unfinished.

I think it has to do with one of my mom's favorite sayings:

Either you do something right
or you don't do it at all.

This book is definitely worth the sacrifice. I think. I don't care for fiction much. Definitely don't like science-fiction. Never enjoyed fairy tales. Love autobiographies. They are my favorite. Especially the ones written by athletes.

Getting to know Andre Agassi is amazing. I grew up watching him play tennis on TV at my grandma's and had no idea what life was like for him. He has an unbelievable story to tell and I can't wait to read all about it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



We drive to the library.
I feel guilty but I have already gotten soaked on the bike a few hours earlier
and want to stay dry this time.
I regret my decision after seeing all the puddles
we could've biked through.

I do it again.
I return an empty movie case. Lame.

I am (sort of) excited to run intervals on the track.
But I can't get myself to go out in the rain/hail.
I choose to do yoga instead. Always a good choice.

Our (rather new) portable DVD player breaks.
I am pissed.
This means I have to do yoga in the gear room.
Which, as you can imagine, is very crowded.
I can barely move an arm or swing a leg.

tasty braised cabbage by Karl

2 bananas with almond butter
3 tortillas with apple sauce and cinnamon

Max is very tired
because he did not take nap!

Noah says in tears:
"Being nice would be a lot easier if Max was not on this earth!"

Karl is making Caribbean Banana Bread.
The yummy smell is making its way into our bedroom.
But I think I am (finally) done eating for today.

I am starting to read Andre Agassi's autobiography Open.
I have not read a book in a while
because I either don't like it or I can't put it down.
Neither of which is good.
But I don't want to miss out on this one!

There are lots of things on my to-do list
and blogging sure ain't one of them.

Good night.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Celebration

I love my mountains!

I love Utah in the spring. Snow in the mountains, green in the valley. Everything is blooming and beautiful. Unfortunately, spring does not last long here. Soon it is going to be (unbearably) hot and dry. So Noah, Max, and I decided to have our own little Spring Celebration this morning.

We packed our bags and drove to Salem. On our way we saw, much to Max's delight, lots of farm animals and their cute little babies. Noah remembered the drive from last year and he, too, started to get excited. I had been looking forward to our adventure all morning long. Salem Pond is one of my favorite places in Utah Valley.

Can you tell how happy Max is to be wearing nothing but a diaper? Freedom for this little boy!

Noah went to 'work' the minute we got there and did not stop digging, pouring, building for more than an hour. He was in heaven! When we got home, he told me: "Mama, I had so much fun. More fun than I've had all year!" That's my boy!

The water was freezing! That, however, did not keep Max from diving into it a few times. But they were not as courageous as two teenagers who were swimming in there for at least 20 minutes. I am hoping it is going to warm up a little in the next few weeks for some nice open water swimming. I can't wait!

Max is enjoying some sand-covered raisins.

I love playing and exploring with my boys. But I also really enjoy watching them do their own thing. Today was a nice mixture of both. I really do love my 'job'!

PS: The Salem Spring Triathlon takes place right here. You get to swim in the pond, bike and run through Salem. It is very family friendly and one of my favorite races. To find out more, go here.

Friday, April 16, 2010


My first time on Antelope Island. It is really pretty!

What better way to kick off the 2010 season than the Buffalo 25k on beautiful trails with your husband and 2 great friends? I can't think of any ...

Karl was signed up to run the 50km but had been injured for a few weeks. He was going to give it a try anyway and drove up early with a friend. For me, the fun started as soon as I got in the car with Carlee and Jen. I love driving to races with friends. Carlee and Jen were very entertaining and made the drive go by really fast.

As soon as we got on Antelope Island we ran into some buffalo. Ok, not really. They were just on the side of the road. But we, especially Carlee, were a little, or much, concerned about running into them during the race. No worries, though. The race director had briefed us on how to behave in case of a close Buffalo encounter. He did not, however, warn us about all the buffalo droppings on the ground. We took this as a good omen:

I parked smack in the middle of buffalo poop

As for my race plan: Have Fun. Sure, I was curious to see where my running form is at. But remember? I am not a runner. That is why running races are pure pleasure. No pressure. I could not wait to get out there and enjoy myself, nature, the trails, the sun, the hills, the camaraderie, and the pain.

I was especially excited to race with Jen. We have been training together (and watching each others kids in order to train) for at least 4 years. But we have never really raced together. Honestly, I was a little worried about being able to keep up with Jen. She has become quite the runner! If anyone knew pre-race how much stronger and faster she has become, then it was me!

The gun goes off and I try to settle into a nice pace I am hoping to be able to sustain for more than 2 hours. Jen does the same and we plug along passing quite a few runners on the first long uphill. At about mile 2, after passing who I think is the lady in first place, I turn to Jen and

I say: "I am a little worried we are starting out too fast. I think we just passed all the other women."

She replies: "Well, yes. Except for all the really fast ones ahead of us."

I think: "Okay. I did not see any other women but she is probably right. They have to be somewhere."

That is when my stomach starts hurting and and I feel really sick. It never got better. Only worse. It was horrible and, at times, very hard to deal with. The next 13 miles are kind of a blur.

Trying to run hard downhill. Taking a potty break behind some (very far away) bushes. Slowly catching up to all 3 women that passed me. Keeping up the speed on the uphill. Trying to reel in Jen who is in the lead! Missing the (only) aid station because I am NOT about to let Jen go again. Passing Jen.

Thinking: "Jen totally deserves to win. I would be so happy for her if she did. But I am not going to make it easy for her!"

Taking another potty break. Lucky for me, Jen has to take one as well.

With about 3 miles to go and hurting, I realize that I can actually win this race! I really did not think or wish that I would be in this position, but I am also not about to pass up this opportunity. At that point my race winning mentality clicks in. That is what Jen calls it. But it is not that easy. It does not just CLICK in. I have to try really hard to stay focused on only one thing: Running as fast as I can. Which is easier said than done when your mind is also telling you to slow down because you are feeling extremely sick.

I sure hate my running form. It really needs some work.

In the end, I was able to hold on and cross the line in first place in 2:12:20. I was so glad I was done!

Jen did amazing! She ran a 2:14:36. Way to go, Jen! She was great fun to run with. We were constantly encouraging and cheering for each other. I loved it!

Carlee had a great race. She finished in 3:05:22. I am so glad she came along with us and was able to enjoy her first trail race!

Unfortunately, Karl had to drop out and take it easy on the way back. But he enjoyed hanging out and catching up with his ultra-runner friends. We really hope he will fully recover soon and get in the miles necessary to enjoy the Squaw Peak 50 miler in June.

Lesson learned from this race:

Pushing through a tough race while feeling sick from the start, is definitely not a smart idea. Especially, if it's not a priority race.

We'll see if I can put the lesson to good use at the Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon tomorrow. I am hoping for a decent pace and top 30. But most of all, I don't want to feel sick again. I have been sick during almost every run since this race and I am getting tired of it and a little concerned.

Time to do some yoga and shave my legs ...

PS: I know what you're thinking, Jamie. I am NOT pregnant. Yes, I even took a test. Negative.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mini Chubs

Finally! Mama is not hogging the computer for once! So I'd better hurry and tell you about one of my favorite trips! Along with some great pictures from Jen.

When Mama told me she was going to a Girls Reunion (she calls it the Cherry Chub Reunion) and was planning on dragging Max and me with her, I was not excited. Why would I want to be surrounded by a bunch of women? Talking each others' ears off? With no one paying attention to me? No, thanks!

But then I found out that my good buddies Eric, Rubie, Fay, Kimball, and baby Julia were all going to be there as well. And I was in! It was like a Mini Chub Reunion. We all met up in Las Vegas for a few days and here are some of the awesome things we did:

We performed Primary Songs and made scary animal noises.

Fay and me being wild cats

In the beautiful Red Rock area.
We actually went for 2 hikes in one day.
Our moms might say it was just strolling around. But for us, it was hiking!

Every good hiker needs a walking stick

How could we go hiking without exploring?
The two definitely go together!

Blowing Bubbles
Making and chasing bubbles in a big park is way more fun than at home.
Thank you, Leticia, for this great idea!

What kid wouldn't want to have a yummy picnic
with friends in the warm sunshine
surrounded by beautiful mountains?

Chips - what a treat!

Flag Tag
Courtney brought a bunch of flags.
We loved wearing them on little belts trying to snatch them from each other.
Playing tag has never been so fun!

Animal Charades
We got everyone to play our favorite game!
It was way fun with so many people.

Even I can't remember which wild cat I was

Fay being Shamu

Rubie being a doggie

We would not be Mini Chubs if we did not cherish good food.
Every meal was a party!

We made several trips to the park right by our house.
We could run around and be crazy.
The Cherry Chubs could hang out and talk.

Yep, I pretty much am always some wild cat

Melissa's house has a hot tub!
We used it as our own little swimming pool.
It was kind of crowded in there, as you can see.
But it sure was tons of fun!


I am so glad I am a Cherry Mini Chub.
Max and I miss Fay and Kimball a lot.
We can't wait for the next Reunion!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Soccer Boy

Noah has been excited to play soccer for a long time and finally his dream has come true. He is on a soccer team and loving it!

Noah has it all and is really proud of it: jersey, shorts, socks, cleats, shin guards. Just like his Papa. He is definitely ready to bust his moves. They've been practicing ...

Noah and his good buddy Nate are teammates. With Nate's dad, Jesse, and Karl as their coaches. Here they are chasing Jesse for their warm up. Their little friend in the middle, Martin, is by far the best player on the team and has some serious skills.

As for Noah's skills ... they are coming! He is running in the right direction more often ...

He is getting a better idea of which goal to shoot at/in ...

... and he is perfecting his favorite move, the throw-in.

It is so much fun to watch these little guys duking it out on the field. They get cold, tired, worn out, bored, and frustrated out on the field but they are hanging in there and getting tougher every time. Way to go, Noah!

Now we are just hoping for a little warmer weather, so Max can enjoy his cheerleading role more.

PS: Thank you, Jen, for the wonderful pictures. We are so glad you, Eric, and Rubie could come.