Thursday, October 27, 2011

and . . . more running!

(a catch-up post on some races I've missed)

Recovery Days 5K

Sept 17 2011

Zac's work helps put on this Recovery Days race and he likes to drag the older kids along to run it. This year they ALL PLACED FIRST in their age groups! YAY!

Isaac - ran in 29:54 - got 1st place boys age 1-10 (49th men's overall out of 126)
Abigail - ran in 25:15 - 1st place girls 11-14 (5th women's overall out of 113)

Zac - ran in 18:14 - 1st place overall!!!

(and he won a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse and to a spa place! yahoo for fun race prizes!!!)

(some pics someone else took at the finish and gave to Zac)

BYU Triple Crown Elementary School Race

Sept 21 2011

Our school running club decided to participate in this elementary school meet at BYU. They were separated by gender and grade and then each group started 5 min apart. And I think Zac was out of town and Abigail had a church youth group activity so I was there alone with the 3 kids trying to help get them to the start and then be there to take pictures at the finish and, well, let's just say it didn't work out very well. Ugh.

I don't like crowded events much to begin with. Then the stress of getting the kids each where they needed to be, making sure they stayed there, coaxing them into participating (and not wimping out), etc etc. Hm. It wasn't much fun for me.

Here is Elisabeth at the start (#1472). The kindergartners were invited to run with the 1st graders.

So 5 min after her start, it was Samuel's turn to start. He was very anxious and nervous and almost didn't let me leave him there. But he did it!

Then I ran over to the other side of the field to see Elisabeth finish!

And I had gone up to sit in the bleachers where they told the parents to go to watch - but then when they got to the finish I realized in a panic that they were just letting the kids go off into the crowd after the finish line. AHHHH!!! So I pushed through the crowded bleachers and weaved my way over to the finish line to get her and by the time I reached it, Elisabeth was nowhere to be found. Panic. I ran around a little trying to find her, but then realized that Samuel was coming up to the finish line!!

I grabbed another familiar looking parent from our school and asked her to please grab Samuel at the finish line so that I could go find my lost daughter. Ugh!!

I ran over to the start to look and then came back again and finally saw her with her friend's mother. Phew! But of course she was in tears because she didn't know where I was. Who knows how lost she'd been before this nice mom grabbed her.

Then we went over to get Samuel, who was then also in tears because I wasn't at the finish line, even though at least I knew he was safe with another parent. But I was about in tears as well from the sheer madness and panic of it all. Not good.

Ah. But then, we had a wait until it was time for the 5th grade boys. At least I didn't have to worry about him freaking out at the start, or running off the course, or deciding to stop somewhere along the way, and I knew I would be there at the finish for him.

yay! We survived!!

Their times were:

Elisabeth 12:36 1 mile (54th out of 65)

Samuel 9:55 1 mile (45th out of 78)

Isaac 9:17 1 mile (33th out of 43)

Redhawks Run

Oct 14

As the culminating activity for the school running club they had a race during the school day and the other classes came out to watch and cheer them on. That was kind of fun. Except Samuel and Elisabeth refused to participate. Stinkers. So we all cheered Isaac on.

He did great! He ran 2 miles in 18:38, placing 3rd for the 5th grade boys. He kind of does better with the longer races because he paces himself so well. He gets in his good pace and doesn't really vary it and can maintain it well - which is great for long-distance, not so great for sprints.

Anyway - they had a little award ceremony at school the following week and he didn't think he had done that well (I'd seen the results posted online so I knew where he'd placed but didn't tell him). When they called his name for 3rd place, he even thought it must be some other kid so he didn't stand up until someone nudged him and told him to go! He was so surprised and excited!

I'm pretty proud of all my runners, big and small.:)

Abigail has also been running at her school cross-country team - but I'm not sure if they're doing any races or not. They are kind of more of a club, not an actual "team" for some reason, so I'm not sure how it works.

But anyway - there's our running update! Give them all a cheer! wohoo!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fab Four

While Zac was running his 50 mile race, the kids were out of school for fall break.

We went to the park.

I wanted to just lay on the grass and read my book.

But I mostly pushed them on the swings and took pictures.


Monday, October 24, 2011

He did it again!

Zac ran the Pony Express Trail 50 Mile race again!

(this pic is from when he first arrived home. I do believe he might actually be using the walls to support himself up) He finished this year in 9 hrs 20 min (30 min faster than last year).

I was just so relieved not to have to be his crew. You wouldn't even believe how relieved I was. He recruited a coworker/friend (boss) who does Ironman triathlons to be his support crew. And then another coworker who has done a 50-miler offered to drive all the way out there and just support and run along with Zac for the last 20 miles or so. I am so thankful to both of them for being there for my husband to do something I cannot!!

As much as I try to support him in all his endeavors . . . well I just can't be there for him for this one.

So these are pics taken by Tim:
(Zac in the red jacket and then white t-shirt with white hat)

This year he had a lot of really bad charly-horse/leg cramping - possibly related to not getting enough salt, despite his salt tablets. He tried eating some different things this time, and did more walking breaks - but he'd also had some IT-band problems in the weeks leading up to the race and actually stayed off his legs completely for 2 wks beforehand to try to heal that up (doing elliptical and crazy 4+hr spin bike sessions instead). So it's hard to know for sure what caused the problems. I guess with these really long ultra races, you just never really know what you're going to get when you run it. The weather, your food intake, salts, fluids, any number of factors could drastically affect your end result on race day. At any rate, he is happy that he did better this time. And also happy that he only dry-heaved once and didn't vomit at all this year! wohoo! Way to go Zac!!! ;)

(and he's getting really revved up about trying the 100 mile in the next year or 2! I don't even try to comprehend this mentality. Seriously. But I love him to death for it.) :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

playing in orchestra

One of the exciting things about the advent of middle school for Abigail is being able to play in a school orchestra! Her very first concert was last week.

(pictures aren't in order but I don't feel like fixing them -sorry)

It's a nice size orchestra.

They have 3 orchestra levels at their school (of just 7th and 8th graders) and she's in the middle group (intermediate). The advanced group is much smaller so I think this is good for her this year.

But I was quite impressed with all 3 and with the conductor.

It is sometimes hard to have her "following in my footsteps" so to speak, with the same hobbies I pursued (ballet and violin). Sometimes I wish we hadn't had her do that. Of course, she expressed desires to do those things and that's why we started her with them. That, and it is a million times easier to support your kids in hobbies that you have at least some experience in so you can help and encourage them (as we learned when Isaac took T-ball and Zac and I were both clueless and couldn't even help teach him). Anyway - sometimes I feel like I'm too hard on Abigail. As we head into these teenage years, I'm so afraid of screwing up. But that's not really what this post was supposed to be about, was it?

No. So nevermind.

I love my beautiful Abigail girl and am so proud of her accomplishments. I love seeing her improve and being able to share in her experiences of orchestra now. One of her friends even came just to see her play and it just warmed my mommy heart.:)


Last week we took the kids to a circus for the first time ever in their lives. It was a smaller cheaper one . . . but still pretty fun! (and I had gotten a deal through Daily Deals or something - yippee!)

Elisabeth was especially excited about the elephants. Poor deprived child has never even been to the zoo (but seriously, would you pay ~$50 to take your family to the zoo?! It's just hard for us to swallow). Anyway, she kept saying "I've never seen real elephants in my whole wide life."

They all really loved it and I was pleased to be able to finally provide this essential childhood experience for them.;) How can you go through childhood and never see a circus? Really.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Giveaway Love!

My little sister (who had the super cute wedding this year) is also super talented and is giving away one of her handmade knitted hand muffs on her blog!

Send her some love for her birthday today and enter to win to celebrate :)

autumn morning sun

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

not afraid of the dark

Something that I have been thinking about lately (or over the last few yrs) is our relationship with light and dark, as symbolic concepts mostly.

Light is good. Dark is bad. (summing it up in a nutshell)

The symbolism runs deep in our culture it seems. It is found in nearly every fairy tale or legend or myth. It is the symbolism of the Bible. And it is woven into the idioms of our everyday speech. Being "left in the dark" is to be clueless or purposefully left out. A "leap in the dark" is to take a chance with unpredictable consequences. The dark is unknown, scary, and risky. It brings up feelings of being alone, gloomy, lost, hopeless.

It even seems to be coded in our DNA, after our many thousands of years of ancestors trying to stay safe - after all what child is not afraid of the dark at some point? Afraid of what we cannot see. Afraid of the shadows that make things less certain, shifting. Afraid of being left alone in the dark to face the demons that are more felt than seen.

I have thought a lot about the idea of faith and how it relates to darkness. There is a commonly held analogy of sorts that we must be willing to take this "leap of faith", taking a step into the darkness away from the things we know for certain and putting our trust into God (or whatever higher being we choose to believe in) and having faith that the light will follow. In other words, the understanding, the answer, the peace, solace, solution, whatever it is we are seeking and needing, often comes only after we move into this dark and uncertain place of trusting.

Then we wait.

We have faith that the light will come. Sometime. Eventually.

And I have struggled with this period of waiting.

And I've struggled with wondering what to do and what the purpose is of this time of unknowing. And then with deciding still to trust, even when you seem to be all alone.

I recently read this book which shifted some of my perceptions of waiting in the dark, however. (When the Heart Waits, by Sue Monk Kidd)

She talks a lot about the idea of a chrysalis. And this seems like a rather obvious metaphor, I know. But something in the way she wrote about it finally made sense to me in a way that other things just haven't.

Sometimes we don't understand. Sometimes we are frightened by changes that don't make sense. Sometimes we may be feeling a little reluctant, resistant, or even rebellious against wanting to wrap ourselves up in a sticky cocoon and hang upside from a stupid looking branch for an indeterminate amount of time, when everything seemed to be going ok scooting along as a content fuzzy caterpillar.

Why?!And then there comes into the whole equation this absolute necessity of patience. Because we cannot rush the process. We would frustrate the entire purpose if we were to yank the changeling butterfly out prematurely.

It needs the protection of the cocoon. It needs the time. It might even need the darkness to become what it needs to become.


And so then I started to think of other incubations or gestations.

A fetus in utero.

A chick in egg.

All waiting in darkness.
Becoming what they are supposed to be.

And then I came back to myself. This darkness I seem to too often feel. Darkness which seems to overtake and overwhelm me. When my seeking seems unanswered. When I can't make sense of anything and I feel alone and afraid.

Then I try, now, to feel the darkness as my protection, surrounding and embracing me. To let myself rest in knowing, not just that the light will follow dark, but that I need this time in this pupal stage, as a creature in waiting, to change into something else that I'm supposed to be.

And so I will wait, here in the dark.
I will be patient and trust.
And I will not be afraid.
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