24 May 2012

Dandelion Run

I'm a bit fuzzy on the details of how I got here, but at some point in the last few months, an extremely energetic friend of mine, ( and I say this with the UTMOST affection:) ), approached me in regards to running a race. First off, I don't run. I jog... and not consistently. People tell me that if you are moving your legs in a way that is more than walking, that is running. I beg to differ. Running to me means propelling yourself forward with great effort. I tend to shuffle along, hence the difference between jogging and running. But I digress.

When my extremely energetic friend, let's call her 'EEF' for short, has an idea, it is always a guaranteed adventure. I honestly don't know where she harnesses this energy from but I know that it could run a small city for at least a year. I say this affectionately as well!
So, 'EEF' tells me about this race called the Dandelion Run in the town of Derby, VT.  It is supposed to be very scenic and 'Oh so much fun!', and we need to do it. We were supposed to run in a relay race this year called 'Ragnar', but the team fell apart. (Don't tell 'EEF' I said this but I was happy:)
This Ragnar relay was roughly 176 miles (yikes!!), and the Dandelion Run would be a 10k (6.2 miles) so I happily agreed. My extremely energetic friend, 'EEF', set out to find a hotel room and plan out the trip. This is where she balances me out because I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, which really is a nice way of saying I'm not organized. She, on the other hand,  is very organized. I know that is the reason why she gets so many things done. She doesn't just talk about it like I do. She is extremely pro-active and detailed oriented which are only two of the many qualities I admire about her. But, again, I digress:)
EEF's husband generously donated some hotel points so we could get a hotel room in White River Junction. I don't remember if it was in Vermont or New Hampshire. We were on the boarder and I know we bounced between the two states a few times. We arrived at the Hampton Inn around 7ish, I think, dumped our bags and asked the friendly clerk where we should eat.
Jesse's was the steakhouse that came highly recommended and let's just say, for now, that it ranks as one of the most memorable girl's night out in along time:)

We had to head out early because we had til 8:30 am to check in for the race and we still had to drive about an hour and a half to get to Derby. We checked in successfully and grabbed a racer at random to take a picture of us because it was extremely important for me to have evidence that I was in reality registered AND participating in the race. You see, I had decided a few weeks ago that I would be walking. I had tried to train and ended up with very sore knees and didn't want to cause any permanent damage to my frail, aging body;) I also didn't want to ruin the experience for myself by stressing. I wanted to focus on having fun; and fun would mean walking.
                                                                             Palesa, Jenn, me and Crispy

It was an absolutely beautiful day with perfect temps in the 70's and low dew points. The drive there was very picturesque; lush and GREEN! I felt as if I had driven into one of Bob Ross' paintings with the 'fun' trees and 'happy' little clouds.
The starting/finish line was at a lake where they would be providing entertainment and lunch afterwards. As I looked around at the 100's of people, I started to get excited. It hit me all at once that I did want to participate!!!! By golly, I was going to 'run'! Without telling anyone that I had changed my mind about walking, I decided that I'd shoot for 3 miles of jogging. That would be perfect and I knew that my max in the past was 4 miles so 3 should be easy, sort of. So at the starting line I looked around, and smiled at my friends and co-runners and waited for the start. Chris and Jenn passed me within seconds. Chris is a runner so that wasn't a surprise. Jenn is strong so that wasn't a surprise either. Another lady from the Springfield ward, Palesa, had decided she was walking the whole thing because it wasn't worth it to her to hurt herself:) Smart lady.
I shocked myself and the others as I jogged  behind, at a distance, from Jenn and Chris. My legs felt a little funny; as if they weren't sure of what to do! I know they were screaming, 'Have you completely lost it?'  But I told myself that I had gone all that way and with so many other people doing it, I needed to try. The first hill caught me by surprise. I was so winded. It felt as if my heart would pop out of my chest. But I didn't give up. I knew I wouldn't come in the top 20 or even 100, but I wouldn't let myself come in last even though I joked about doing that very thing before. As the second hill loomed ahead, I realized the only way I would finish was to keep trying. With my I-pod shuffle and loving voices in my head cheering me on, I tried myself all the way to the finish line!!! I didn't even stop for water. I grabbed the cups the way the marathon runners do and got water up my nose trying to drink it, but I was determined to keep moving for fear that if I stopped for even a second, that I would not be able to go on. It is with some pride that I report to you that I finished the race at 1 hour and 15 minutes! I must say that is pretty great considering I didn't really train and I had started out with the mindset that I would be walking. Imagine what I could accomplish if I had applied myself? Hmm... phew, moment passed;)

           Jenn and Chris basking in the after glow of crossing that finish line! These girls ROCK!

When I was .2 miles from the finish, I experienced this excrutiating pain in my hip and I though I would pass out. I was SO done, but I wanted to finish; needed to finish. Look at the flamigos waiting for me! I did it!

Yes, I did pass out eventually. I love the lonely dandelion next to my head.
See my time??? I came in about10 minutes after Chris. She was moving fast, so that made me feel good. Oh and did I mention, Ms. Crispy ran Ragnar last Saturday?? Yea, show off. I'm sure she didn't feel as if she was moving fast because not only did she run Ragnar, her son and herself had been sick during the week. But she was moving fast because I watched her disappear over the hills to be seen only after I crossed the finished line.
Dang, did you see the 42:26 below?? Way too many show off's here!!!

We took a drive after lunch around the half marathon course and holy cow was it hilly!!!! The views were gorgeous, though.

I want to remind my 'EEF' that I love you just the way you are!!!! You have given me some great memories this weekend that I won't forget:)

I will never look at a Dandelion the same again.
They are so pretty aren't they?? Who decided that they were a weed??

It was beautiful out there and I came home with lots of fun pictures, beef
jerky and a t-shirt:) Oh, and two swollen knees, sore ankles and a hip that feels like it needs to be replaced;)
no joke
hey, you okay??

We were just 4 miles from the Canadian Boarder, so we took a quick drive over.

We topped off our trip with a visit to Joseph Smith's birth place. It is so pretty up there!!
 Thanks for all you do and your willingness to always serve those around you!  You make things happen and that, my friend, is wonderful!

My 'EEF' apparently is half human/half cyborg because she was talking about signing up for next year. As excited and accomplished as I felt at the moment, the experience was more like childbirth for me. I survived something hard and painful and will need time for the trauma to fade before even entertaining the idea of doing something like that again.
But, I did survive and it feels so good to say, 'I DID IT!!'

23 May 2012

Arrrr, matey!

You lucky pirate, Caleb!!!!! You can NEVER say that your mama doesn't love you:) Your pirate birthday rocked!! Eye patches, sword fights, walking the plank, root beer, gold, treasure chest, edible deserted island, very stylish bandanas, cupcakes with pirates almost as cute as you, and kid-eating octopuses. Man oh, man! Your mama didn't miss a beat.

Thank you for including us in your very special 5 birthday, Boo-Boo!

                                                                    Oh, you silly!