"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kokopelli

I looked forward to this race for a long time. As this year went on, and especially after the Ironman, I realized that I really like triathlons and I couldn't wait to do another one. I tried to do a few others, but the timing was never right with Zach's travels this year. I had signed up for this one early on, so I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I decided I wanted to place top 5 overall and hopefully win my age group.

As time went on, I focused a lot on training for the Huntsville marathon because I had set the goal to qualify for Boston. As running workouts became my focus, I neglected my swim and bike. So, going into the race, I mentally prepared myself and thought about how I had not trained correctly to expect to be as good as I originally planned. However, I still was hopeful that I could perform well and thought my mentality could play a big part in the race.

The water was pretty warm and I did not think that wetsuits would be allowed. I raced without one, only to find out it had dropped a small amount the morning of. This affected my overall swim, so in addition to not having practiced much and not wearing a wetsuit, my swim time wasn't awesome. But, my plan had been to swim hard and the get out on the bike and push it as hard as I could. I had done so much run training that I figure I could handle that ok on tired legs. So, I pushed. I was flying past a lot of men early on, and never saw any women until about nine miles in. So I started to count because the turn around was just up ahead. I thought I counted five or six, so I was pretty excited to continue pushing and see if I could pass some on the run.

I passed a few women and then after the turnaround a lady caught up to me. We went back and forth until I just let her stay ahead for a bit. My legs were starting to feel the effort I was exerting, but I wanted to hang on to her. I didn't let the space between us get too big. We were heading up the backside of the hill by the lake when I caught her again. At this time, another lady passed us like we weren't even going fast! I thought "if she is that fast, where has she been?!" The first lady and I were pretty close together til the end when I passed her and didn't look back. (She gave me a disclaimer as we were riding: she had raced in the 70.3 World Championships that Sunday, so she was still tired. :))

I figured there were only a few women in front of me, and I was determined to catch the only one who had passed me. I was feeling the jello legs a little bit, but knew that I had a strong run in me. I kept a steady pace the whole way, and passed the speedy bike woman about a mile in...she was 50 and told me that the bike was her strongest part. I kept going, passing men like crazy. I don't think much feels better than that in a race to me because I have always acknowledged that men are, on average, better athletes than women. So when you put two fit people, and man and a woman, and the woman comes out ahead, I think that is a pretty impressive feat. I had a few guys who were already heading back in cheer me on, I think because I was the only girl around. But, I knew there were a few ahead of me. I finally saw them right before the turnaround, they had already passed it! I cheered them on as I counted each one. Still, I wasn't sure if it was five or six...My mind wasn't totally on counting. My legs were feeling pretty tired at this point, but I knew for the sake of the race and the sake of my marathon training, I had to suck it up and push through. I never caught any of the other ladies, but I fought pretty hard at the end of the race and felt proud of my effort.

As we waiting for initial results to come through, I was able to chat with the girl who I assumed took first (I had seen her in the lead) and the lady the passed me on the bike and I passed her on the run. They were extremely humble and down to earth people that I enjoyed talking to.

Initial results had me in 5th! 1st place age group! I was elated. Even without correct training I had achieved my goal! I couldn't stop smiling. I went to get some of my stuff and realized that I didn't even notice my time. So I headed back to check it and I had moved down to 6th. The 50 year old lady had ended up twenty seconds ahead of me, since her wave started after mine! A little bit of a let down, but I was still extremely pleased. As I looked at the results, 5th was 20 seconds behind me, 4th 3rd and 2nd were all about a minute and twenty seconds behind me, and first was I think seven. I was excited it was so close, but then it became a bit of a bummer because if I had worn my wetsuit I was pretty sure I would have saved a few minutes on the swim and could have possibly taken 2nd! Wouldn't that have been awesome?!

I still walked away from that race very happy with the result. Not only had I performed as best as I felt I could have, I just about met all the goals I had for the race. The thoughts about "what-ifs" came after, but all that really does is add fuel to my desire to train harder and perform better next time!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spectacles

Before I got pregnant I noticed my vision was getting worse. What made me really know was one day in church I could no longer see the hymn numbers! But, with pregnancy they advise against getting a new prescription since it can change while pregnant then return to normal. I kept going it would return to normal, but it didn't. My first appointment they didn't mention a stigmatism, but the second time a year layer they said I had one. It took a long time for me to pick glasses, but after a few road trips where I got headaches from trying to read all the signs, I finally got some! I love finally seeing better and I like having a cute accessory for my face, but I think I would still prefer my perfect vision!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

D.C.and Delaware

This was the best end of summer trip! We were able to tag along with Uncle Dave, Uncle Burt, Aunt Bop, and Cheryl to a beach trip at Rehoboth. Ever since Jenny and I got to go with Dave and Burt five years ago, I have wanted to go again. The place is beautiful and I loved being in a different atmosphere.
As we were planning the trip, I thought it would be fun to spend a few days in D.C. before we headed over to Rehoboth. Zach was game, so we booked a hotel for a few nights. It was great to see the sights again. The first day was a little hard because we did a tad bit too much walking for Terran, but we got to see many of the memorials and went to the Museum of Natural History. The second day was hot and humid, but we hit up the White House and Lincoln Memorial, my favorite. We tried to see the Air and Space Museum, but parking was terrible and the line was like half a mile long, so we decided to head to the beach. We were ready for some relaxation!
We drove to the cute little beach house Uncle Dave rented for us (he seriously was so nice to do that!!). It was perfect for the three of us and had the beachy feel. We headed over to the other house to see it and spend some time hanging out with everyone. I can't even describe how great it is to see them all more than once a year. Terran remembered them and wasted no time getting comfortable.
I wish I could record every detail of our wonderful trip, but I am going to have to settle for some highlights right now:
*The first morning, Terran and I met Aunt Bop at the beach. It was freshly raked and Terran ran and ran and ran. It was beautiful. We were able to do it a few more times during the trip. I loved getting to spend that time talking with Aunt Bop and catching up while watching Terran experience pure joy.
*Zach and Uncle Dave went on a deep sea fishing trip and brought back a whole bunch of Tuna. Zach said it was one of his favorite parts of the trip, and Uncle Dave was just so happy that Zach would go with him.
*We rented bikes and rode through town and the state park where we spent a lot of time during our last trip. It was great to have physical reminders of that great time. Terran did great in the bike seat (it was his first time on a bike!).
*We had some Grotto's Pizza. Yum.
*Cotton candy, Thrasher's fries, the Boardwalk, the arcades. The atmosphere of Rehoboth is everything you read about or see in movies. If I was a millionaire, I would love to have one of those beach houses and spend the summers soaking it all in.
*We were able to have dinner with Burt's brother Ralph and his family a few times.
*Funland!!! Uncle Dave got teased the whole time that he was more excited for Funland than Terran. Once Terran got there though, I'm not so sure. I was very curious how he would like it, and he loved it! He was visibly excited for the rides and was able to point to ones he wanted. He would start to protest and scream the minute the ride would slow down because he knew that meant it was over. We all had to laugh a few times because here was five adults cheering on and watching one child! I find as time goes on, sometimes the best thing about being a parent is being able to watch your child love life, and that makes me love life too.
*Lots of beach time! Terran loved it so much, one day we went FOUR times! Zach loved being able to see him have such a blast. We got to spend time chatting in the shade or meeting new people (thanks to Terran's social nature!) Uncle Dave buried Terran in the sand, and Zach took a turn at that too. Wave chasing and wipeouts! Nakey baby buns. Seagull chasing. Sand castle building (then crushing), volleyball watching. There is just something so special about relaxing at the beach with family. It is such a peaceful and happy feeling, so I am glad we were able to do it with people we love.

This was a trip that I am going to forever remember and be grateful we could go to. Those moments walking along talking with Burt, Dave, and Bop don't come along as often as we would like and they are so very cherished. We talked a few times how it is Aunt Bop and Uncle Dave's second round of being Aunt and Uncle, and I couldn't be more excited for Terran and our other future kids to have Dave and Bop in their life. My childhood is rich with memories of them and their love and laughter so I am glad my children will get to have them in their life as well.

*There are way too many pictures that I love so I am going to have to make a photo book for this one!










Back together

After a whole summer of work trips, races, and a few vacations thrown in, we are finally home as a family with not a lot planned for a few months. This year Zach has traveled more than ever and the separation has been pretty tough. We really enjoy the days we can be home together now!

Haircut time!

The time finally came to cut Terran's hair. Zach and I went back and forth a few times before and always decided not to. It was just so beautiful! But with a beach trip looming and increased whining when washing his hair, we decided to finally do it. I took him to a children's hair cutting shop and am glad I did because he did not like it but she was fast and great with him. He freaked at the end when she was doing around his ears. He cried harder than ever and it shook me up! But, he looked awesome and got three suckers and two balloons out of it! I was so glad we cut it time and time again when he was getting sand in his hair and we were hot and humid. I loved seeing his eyebrow expressions and more of Zach in his face. Our little guy is such a stud!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cedar Express Relay

Kristen brought up the Cedar Relay one day when we went out to dinner for Cam's birthday, and Nate and I both were interested. She pulled it all together and we ended up racing with us three, Tanner, and Julie - Kristen's sister. It was my first relay and I was really excited because I have been wanting to do a relay for a while. I have been so focused on personal goals that I thought it would be fun to focus on having fun with a team instead. It was! We cheered each other on and encouraged each other along the way. We ended up taking 2nd Coed and 5th Overall!