Saturday, April 17, 2010

8 miles, Pikermi Taper, Ultra worries, and new songs on my playlist

Just a quickie as it's a busy day, as per.

I headed out for a short 8 miles today. As I was rolling afterwards I commented to Bert, "When did 8 miles become a short run?"

The run was fine. A jaunt along Natchez Trace. I started at the bottom of the BA hill again - because it's there, that's why. Then along the bridge and blah blah blah until the 4 mile point (only part way down the monster hill, THANK GOODNESS!) and then I turned around and ran back. I have an AWWWWEEEEESOME new playlist that I shall include at the end of this post.

Anyway, I'm in taper mode as the Pikermi hits next Saturday. I'm not so much freaked out about the race as I am about the logistical stuff. Where is the Expo? I'm freaked out about parking downtown Nashville - what if I forget where I parked my car? How will I know where to pick up my packet?

And on race day, Where do I park? Will I find the shuttles? Will I make it to the start line before the gun goes off? How will I negotiate the portapotties? What if the line is 500 miles long and I'm about to poop my pants? What if the loos are absolutely filthy? ewwww.

And during the race, what if it's really really hot? What if my shin splints go into attack mode? What if the cytomax or the gu gives me a massive bellyache? What if I look like a dork when I run? What if I look like a dork for the finish photo? What if I see other loopsters and they think "man, she looks like a dork"?

It's all very stressful.

OTOH, my head is already contemplating the training for the Ultra so I must admit I'm not totally hyper-focused on Saturday's race. I bet on the morning I'll be ready to puke with the amount of butterflies in my tummy, but right now my head is mashed up nervous about the Ultra training. I think "The Ultra training is going to kill me. I'm not going to make it. And then I'll feel like a failure. I hate feeling like a failure. It sucks."


New songs on my playlist:
The Distance - Cake
Rock N Roll Lifestyle - Cake (Hahahahahaa! I LOVE This song!)
Bruises - Chairlift (This song is so dang sweet and you'll love the video, Mum)
Fighter - Christina Aguilera
Die by the Drop - Dead Weather (FABULOUS song. You'll probably recognize Jack White from the White Stripe's voice in there - he teamed up with Alison Mosshart from The Kills who appears to be channeling Siouxie Sioux. Goth ain't dead, baby! No wonder I like this song so much, considering my interesting teenagehood)
Flat on the Floor - Nickelback

I believe I will also purchase Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot".

I also bought this song. Yes, I know it's corny n stuff...but it applies to so many areas of my life right now it's unreal. I love it. It makes my cry when the run is hard and i want to stop. It makes me feel like "Yes! It's hard! But I can do it!" This song is so me. I especially love the line "Ain't about how fast I get there" because I'm a super slow runner.




I was uber tempted to buy Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire" but it's a little too salacious and I'd have problems keeping my thoughts clean if I listened to it. =P

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ten mile run. Ho hum.

I had ten miles on the books for today (actually, it's for Wednesday, but I move my runs back a day because of my work schedule - not that I work anymore - and then I switch my Tues/Thurs runs because of Weight Watchers and.....oh never mind.)

So anyway, I had ten miles on the books for today and I was fairly nervous about it because of the 13.1 miles (yes, that .1 is very important) I ran on Saturday. I've heard from people that for a good while after their Pikermi they can barely punch out 2 miles because they're so sore.

Thus I approached my ten mile run with trepidation. Could I complete it so soon after the Mega Saturday run? I figured I'd take it uber easy and if I bombed I could always cut it short.

Funnily enough, it's only just occurred to me that I could have called Bert and asked for a ride home. That idea just makes me want to run away screaming. Be picked up in the middle of a failed run? Uuuuuuuugggghhhhhhhhhh. Surely I'd have to tattoo an L on my forehead if I did that?

Aaaaanyway, so off I went. I GUed up at the 5k point (there's a handy tree marker by the side of the road. I love it that the tree decided to grow exactly 5k from my house 50 years before my house was built. Very considerate of the tree. Thank you, tree.)

Actually, it wasn't Gu, it was chocolate hammer gel - I believe it's the only chocolate gel out there without caffeine. Because I don't do caffeine. I once drank a cherry coke. I was so buzzed I couldn't stop shaking and giggling for hours.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the hammer gel. Chocolate. Tasted ok. Unfortunately gave me incredible stomach pains and 3/4 through the run I thought I was going to have to bang on some random person's door and beg to use their loo. Thankfully I kept it together until I reached home.

Thus far on the gels:
Chocolate hammer gel - tastes meh - stomach cramps
Citrus Accel gel - tastes INCREDIBLE soooo good - stomach cramps =(
Clif Shot vanilla thingie - tastes absolutely HIDEOUS - no cramps
Gu - Lemon sublime - tastes surprisingly good, go figure - no cramps
Gu - vanilla - meh - no cramps
Gatorade - tastes ok - massive bowel explosion

What happened then? Oh yes, I walked to consume the gu and chug some water. Then off I went again. Ran all the way along Cotton Lane past the Allen's house (Hi Allens!) and the Critchlow's house (Hi Critchlows!) to Hillsboro Road. Then I turned around and came home.

The run was relatively easy considering not last Saturday but the one before was my first double digit run and now here I am bashing it out in a ho hum midweek run. I was tired. My legs were tired. I walked the last couple of uphills. I was happy to get home. Nothing exciting happened. Except for being honked at by an irate motorist, but even that was kinda "Meh, whatever".

I fantasized about running that ultra in October. I think it's pushing it. I don't think I can do it. But I sure am fantasizing about it.

When I got home not only had Ben consumed all the frosted mini wheats - my current obsession - but he'd also consumed all the milk. GAH! Thankfully my sweet husband had left me some oj so I made a delicious green smoothie.

Speaking of the husband, he gets a kick out of my hair after a run. Today he got a big smile on his face and said "Your hair is SO curly after you run! Amazing!" =) Then he kissed me and called me his salt-lick wife. =D Ha!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Scripture

Luke 22:31-32

...behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not...


Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.


This life is filled with temptation and difficult circumstances. Satan wants us to be really stinkin' miserable, and if he can tempt us to sin, he'll be delighted at the pain and anguish it causes us.

And there's, the Saviour, wanting us to be happy, always with his hand outstretched, always knocking at the door.

He will not, however, remove our freedom of choice and bust the door down to save us. We must choose to get up off the floor, walk over, and open the door to invite him in. We must choose the good for ourselves. We must choose to be obedient. He will not force us.

And that is the beauty of the plan. That is the crux of our whole existence. The more I ponder on freedom of choice, the more it seems to me a central and eternal principle. That's why it's so evil when secular governments try to restrict the freedoms of their citizens. And that's why we are so very blessed to live in a land where we can choose the right, if we wish. How thankful I am to be born at this time with the gospel on the earth, and to live in a land where I am free to follow the dictates of my own conscience. I don't know why I get to live a life of comfort when so many others do not. I have certainly done absolutely nothing to deserve it - but I am so very grateful for it.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....

We had General Conference last week and Stake Conference this week, which means three things:
1. Two weeks of spiritual high
2. By next week I'm really going to be dying to take that sacrament
3. A two week break from teaching

But....nose back to the grindstone...I need to get prepared for next week's lesson.


There are a couple of things that have happened over the past few weeks that have made me go "Hmmmmmmmm".

- Didja notice the HUGE preponderance of talks on helping youth increase their testimonies and increasing faith in families during General Conference?
- Guess what our Stake Conference was about? Yep. Increasing Spirituality in families.

Hmmmmm.....

- and right in between those two conferences, who lost her job so she could stay home....and so who therefore has more time to concentrate on her family?

Hmmmm.....

Verrrry interesting. It's almost like...I dunno...Heavenly Father's trying to tell me something. I wonder what? =P

There are a few things that I picked up during Stake Conference. Thought you might find them interesting as it's good general counsel that we've all heard before.

1. Family prayer, kneeling, morning and night
2. Companionship prayer with your spouse, kneeling, every night
3. Family scripture study daily
4. Turn off media
5. Read daily to children from the best books including scriptures
6. Be a good example for the children to follow
7. Teach children to work and serve by doing it yourself
8. Family Home Evening every week
9. Attend the Temple as often as you can


Bert and I have made a commitment to implement these in our home. We're pretty good at FHE, though we do it on Sunday rather than Monday because of Bert's work schedule. All media will be turned off except for one hour a day....I guess we'll see how deep my addiction goes when I can't turn on my computer until 7pm tomorrow night, huh? =P

The hardest one for me is #7. I'm just naturally lazy. I think I'll find I have more time to work and help others due to our new media rules though. =)

Well, we'll see how it goes. Gentle improvements. Here a little, there a little. We'll get there in the end.

There was no repetition of the counsel to avoid Facebook etc. However, as my Bish reminded me in an interview a short while ago, "Just because there's been a change in the Stake President, doesn't mean the counsel isn't still valid." Thus...I'm still staying off Facebook. I miss it though.

Hope y'all had a rejuvenating Sunday, and that love and peace abounds in your families.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My First Pikermi!!!!!

So, today's run was meant to be 10 miles. After looking at the schedule and deciding it was stupid, I thought I'd run 11 miles today - that's only an extra .5 mile added to the outward journey. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, right?

I decided to run along Natchez Trace Parkway. Because it's awesome, that's why.

I parked at the bottom of the massive huge hill leading up to Natchez Trace, just off 96. Because I'm BA, that's why.

Mile 1
Avg pace 14:14
Songs:
Flute Sonata #7 mvmt 1 (excerpt) - Bach
Suite #2 in B Minor (excerpt) - Bach
Ok, I believe you, but my tommy gun don't - Brand New
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms

I went up the BA hill. It was almost exactly 1/2 mile long...that's good to know for future reference. I turned right at the top and headed for the bridge.

Mile 2
Avg Pace: 12:26
Songs:
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
Discipline - NIN

Right at the beginning of this mile I realized I'd forgotten to lock my car. *sigh* Do I go back, or do I continue and trust that the people in TN are basically good and won't steal my car? I continued.

Mile 3
Avg Pace: 12.08
Songs:
The Perfect Drug - NIN
Control - Puddle of Mudd (don't listen to this one, Mum)
Nothing Left to Lose - Puddle of Mudd

The tape started coming off my legs. Grrr. Irritating. How come it's not sticking? Wave at the bikers. It was during this mile that the idea of running a Pikermi today came to mind. If I run just 1.1 miles past where I was going to.....I'd get a Pikermi in today. And that way I'd have an idea of how I'd do in two weeks. It's only an extra two miles. What could go wrong, right?

Mile 4
Avg Pace: 11.29
Songs:
Pain - Three Days Grace
Dirty Little Secret - All-American Rejects
Glycerine - Bush

The pace was quicker because I descended a massive hill. The thought came forcibly to mind that I'd have to run UP this hill later. The descent was so steep my quads were burning and my knees killing me. Yikes. Crossed another, smaller bridge. Wave at the bikers.

Mile 5
Avg Pace: 11.33
Songs:
Numb - U2
Percussion Gun - White Rabbits
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes

Seven Nation Army is AWESOME!! Furthermore, I may or may not have mentioned that the kids I look after (used to look after) go to the same preschool as the White Stripes' kid. Their Dad gets all geeked out about seeing them. =D I love Percussion Gun too.
Ok, if I was going to just do 11 miles, I'd do half a mile, then turn around and come back. I'd decided to continue on....and then I ran out of road. WHAT???!? Natchez Trace Parkway ended. I could either go on Highway 100....or I could turn around and run back to the car.
If I went on Highway 100 I would run past the famous Loveless cafe. However...I really didn't feel safe running down those ramps...so I turned around. Wave at the bikers.

Mile 6
Avg pace: 12:18
Songs...the Muse Miles:
Hysteria - Muse
Thoughts of a Dying Athiest - Muse
MK Ultra - Muse

I was listening to MK Ultra as that hill hit. It's an awesome song to run to...it's fast, and I think that's why my pace was fast considering what I was climbing. Hoooooooooooly cow. I remember praying "Oh please don't let there be any hills like this in the real Pikermi. Oh please oh please...." I wanted to stop. I wanted to walk. But I DIDN'T! I kept going, kept pushing...and I made it to the top. WHOOOOT! THEN I walked for a minute. It was the most glorious minute I think I've ever lived. It was at this point I believe I started re-planning. If I ran PAST the turnoff for the car for 1.1 miles I'd still get the Pikermi in. Wave at the bikers.

Mile 7
Avg pace: 12.16
Songs....the Muse Miles continue:
Uprising - Muse
Unnatural Selection - Muse

I thought that was the end of the hills, but I was wrong. There was another one. Not as bad as the &!*@# I'd just climbed, but bad enough. Unnatural Selection is AWESOME to run to. Oh my gosh it's SO fun. Except for the slow 2 minutes right in the middle. However, I must admit, I didn't even pay attention to it because my mind was elsewhere doing other things. Wave at the bikers.

Mile 8
Avg pace: 12:29
Songs...final Muse Mile. I love my life:
Resistance - Muse
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

I must admit, I really don't remember listening to those songs at all. Except for maybe the beginning of Resistance. I was just chugging along, thinking about the Pikermi and whether it was wise to do it today. Wave at the bikers. OH my GOSH!!!!!! It's another runner!!! And a good looking one at that. We wave and smile. "Looking good!" he says to me.
You betcha, hotstuff.

Mile 9
Avg pace: 11:30
Songs:
Invincible - Adelita's Way
Don't Stop me Now - Queen
Everybody Knows - Concrete Blondes

WHY do I have Invincible in my playlist? It is indeed a good song to run to, but I NEVER feel invincible when I run. I feel like I'm going to die. I feel invincible AFTERWARDS, but never during. I do, however, adore "Everybody Knows". I have no idea why I was going so fast. The music? Was I going downhill? Was it fairly flat? I have no idea. Wave at the bikers. ANOTHER RUNNER! Oh my goodness! I can't believe it. I wave and smile. He gives me the thumbs up and applauds and tells me to keep on going. I pass on the "looking good" compliment. =)

Mile 10
Avg pace: 10:51
Songs:
Testify - Rage Against the Machine
Killing in the Name of (clean) - Rage Against the Machine
Hang On To Yourself - Bowie
One More - Superchick

WHOOOOOT!!! 10:51 people!! TEN FIFTY ONE! I was on fire. I think the terrain was pretty flat and I was listening to killer songs. I love Testify. The decision turn off to the car for a solid 11 miles, or continue on and make it 13.1 was looming. I looked at the road. To the car was a beautiful downhill. Continuing on was a steep uphill. My legs were aching. I was tired. 11 miles was still more than I'd planned. "One More" started playing...how appropriate. I could turn off to the car. No-one would know I'd made this secret Pikermi plan and then caved. I could just not mention it. It's not part of my training plan anyway. I was tired. I was tired. I was starting to hurt. There was no way I was going to be able to continue on. I'd just turn off and go to the car. Wave to the bikers.


Of course, I continued.

Mile 11
Avg Pace: 13:04
Songs:
Reason to Believe - Dashboard Confessional
In the Jailhouse Now - Soggy Bottom Boys
Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus

Obviously I'm reaching the end of my playlist here. Reason to Believe is awesome, and the video to Teenage Dirtbag puts a big smile on my face, but it just wasn't helping me run at this moment in time. When I continued on I made a deal with myself: I'd do the Pikermi, but I'd walk the uphills. There was a big one right here. I vaguely remember Erhead saying something about there being a hill at mile 11 or 12 of the CM pikermi. I am soooooo walking that hill. Uuuuuuugggghhhhhhhh. Wave at the bikers. There are an awful lot of bikers on the Natchez Trace Parkway. I soooooo admire them. How they bike up those hills I have no idea. The muscles!!! Very impressive.

Mile 12
Avg pace: 13:01
Songs:
Pork and Beans - Weezer
Guilt (Hold Down) - Fingertight
Let's Get it Started - Black Eye Peas
Flute Sonata #7 Mvmt 1 - Bach

Yep, back at the beginning of the playlist again. I need a good 30-40 minutes of better songs in my MP3 player by the time the Country Music Pikermi hits. If I listen to Let's get it Started just one more time I might go homicidal. I was really starting to ache here. I was walking up hill and running down. And I was aching. Wave at the bikers.

Mile 13
Avg Pace: 11:11
Songs:
Suite #2 in B Minor for Flute - Bach
Hey jealousy - Gin Blossoms
then I brought it on home with NIN's "Perfect Drug"

Obviously I was running the whole way on this one - it was all downhill. Oh gosh my calves! I kept on running though, knowing I was going to make it. I'd actually be completing a Pikermi today. Wave at the bikers. Saw another runner!! Gorgeous blue shirt. Sleeveless. Holy cow! Nice arms!!! He was an older guy too. We smiled and waved. He said something encouraging, but I can't remember what it was. Hopefully it was something like "WOW! You are so freaking HOT! I can't believe what an amazing woman you are, running 13.1 miles! And you look so good doing it as well! Don't look like you're hurting at all - you look so fresh. Your posture is excellent and your face isn't red at all. Dang! I'm impressed!" but somehow I don't think that was it.

Mile 14
Avg Pace: 10:12
Songs:
NIN - The Perfect Drug

This was part of the steep downhill to the car. It hurt! I can't believe I actually had the temerity to run UP this hill at the beginning of the run. That thought blew me away. What a great idea of mine it was to bring it at the end of the Pikermi by listening to The Perfect Drug. My mind meditated on the awesomeness of running and how it is, indeed, the perfect drug.

I reached my car - which hadn't been stolen, thank goodness. It had, however, been parked in a disabled spot all this time. Whoops! Wish I'd noticed that when I'd parked. Thankfully, no ticket.

YES!!! I did it! I ran a Pikermi! I'm knackered! But I know I can do it. In two weeks, I might be slow, I might be hurting, but barring any accidents i will finish. Go me. =)


The weather was perfect: 43f when I started, 64f at the end.
The scenery was sublime. Any Nashvillian runners should definitely run along the Natchez Trace Parkway - it's beautiful.

When I was finished I swiped my face and was astonished to find it was gritty. I licked the grit....as one does....and it was salt. What does it mean when you have a layer of salt on your skin after running a Pikermi?

I came home. Bert asked "how was your run?"
"I went the whole way" I replied (nobody better TWSS that comment)
"WHAT? You did the whole Pikermi??!!!"
do you like how I have my entire family referring to a Pikermi as a matter of course? Yeah. The revolution is ON.
"You're AMAZING! That's AWESOME!"
and he gave me a high-five.
I love my husband.

Then I rolled. Oooooohhhhh my gosh it felt soooo gooooood. Except on my quads. I pay extra attention to them because they make me moan and groan cos it hurts. Then I used the stick. Then I stretched. Then I showered. For a long time. Then I sat with a bag of peas on one leg and a bag of carrots on the other while I typed in this uber long post sipping on a green smoothie. I figured a first Pikermi deserves an uber long post.


What a stinkin' great morning.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Memories of Melting the Microwave. And biking.

This awesome post of Cristina's at Home Spun Juggling reminds me of the time I reheated a hamburger in the microwave - not knowing that the paper it was wrapped in had foil inside which set the whole thing on fire.

I yelled for my husband. He came in, opened the microwave door, and quickly shut it again on the flames shooting out.

Then he grabbed a cup of water, opened the door, chucked the water in and quickly shut the door again.

When the flames subsided we opened the door once more and surveyed our completely melted microwave interior.

Then we looked at each other, open mouthed....
...and at the same time said "COOL!"
=D

I'm not sure we're qualified to be parents.


In other news, today was XT day and I rode the bike for an hour. I've got to work off this Easter candy and holiday food somehow.

Tomorrow I have another 10 mile run. Wish me luck. After having such a good 10 mile run last week I'm sure I'll go into this one over-confident and it'll suck and kill me dead.

My training plan has this on the books for next week:
Mon- XT
Tues - 2 miles
Weds - XT
Thurs - 10 miles
Fri - 2 miles
Sat - 11 miles

Does this seem a little much? The very next is the Pikermi....shouldn't I start tapering??? How long should tapers last anyway? I thought it was 2-3 weeks, but this plan only has a light week the week of the race.

Advice anyone?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Losing my job

I forgot to mention, on the ride home my employer called and gently and nervously explained that the renter in their house in Franklin totally destroyed it and it will take quite a bit of money to fix it. After looking through their budget the only thing they could eliminate was me. And thus, in the middle of beautiful mountains and gorgeous scenery, I lost my job.

I have mixed emotions about this. The money was ridiculously helpful. Really helpful. Plus...it was so nice to have an income I brought in because I didn't feel too guilty about stuff that I wanted. For the previous 20 years of marriage I had a really really hard time buying things for myself because I always felt like I was stealing from the family. However, with the money I earned I had np setting aside a little to fund my little running addiction.

However, as one can see from my conference post, I was thinking deeply about my job anyway. The house needs some serious attention, and so do the children. My focus needed a fundamental shift.

And so I feel very blessed. It was a wonderful opportunity to work. Very financially helpful. And now it's a wonderful opportunity to stay home. The opportunity has been provided...and the Lord is saying "Here you go...will you make that fundamental shift? Will you change what's needed in your life so that you can focus on your home and family?"

Yes, yes I will.


Song obsession of the day:
Actually, I've been listening to "Gave up" and "Somewhat Damaged", but those songs are really quite raw and not suitable for gentle ears or hearts. Thus I'm posting this song, which I find very sweet. Also, it's suitable for my mother to listen to - even though she may not like it. =)




Oh yeah, and I ran 8 miles this morning at a slow pace (about 12:00) and it was awesome. My hip hurt a little until about 5 miles, but then didn't bother me again until the end of the run. I used my nifty roller and stretched afterwards. My knees are hurting me today - that's a new one as they've been relatively pain free since my Mum got me these nifty knee support things. All in all I'm feeling somewhat prepared for the Pikermi. I'm not saying that too often though as I don't want to jinx it. I'm still pretty dang nervous.

Carrowinds

It. Was. AWESOME!!

We left late - of course - but the drive went well. Took nine or ten hours. I-40 was closed due to a rock slide so we had to take a 50 mile detour. I'm soooo glad because the detour wound us through the Appalachian mountains and ooooohhhhhhh my gosh it was my favourite part of the whole holiday. The scenery was absolutely stunning. When we were trying to figure out where to go on holiday, someone on The Loop - I think it may have been RunMonkey or Erhead, I can't remember - suggested we go there. Man, were they ever right. It's so gorgeous. Bert and I made plans to go back there someday.





Furthermore, just outside Asheville, there we were blown away to see an entire yard of VOLKSWAGENS!!!!! In the middle of a hick town in Appalacia! Oh my GOSH! We just about wet ourselves.





The flames! The smiley face! How can you go wrong?





Look at those awesome trolls. =)



We were pretty whipped when we arrived. But here was one of my favourite parts of the holiday. Ben is very teen and very rarely smiles and is always either furious or depressed. However, the hotel where we stayed (Embassy Suites in Charlotte) has a extremely impressive foyer. When we walked in Ben's chin dropped and he couldn't wipe the smile off his face. =) It was SOOOOOO fabulous!!! Especially as this was his normal expression throughout the rest of the holiday:



Let me tell ya, teen girls ain't got NUTHIN' on teen boys. I thought it was difficult with Emily. Nu uh.

Anyway, so Ben smiled and my heart got a happy and I wanted to cry. =)

The room was great; a sitting room with a pull-out bed, and two double beds in a separate bedroom. We had originally intended Ben to sleep on the pull out bed to give him some space, but then he decided to sleep with Andrew in the other double bed. Within about 2 seconds it was obvious that wasn't going to work so Andrew went to sleep on the pull-out bed...and Bert went with him to make sure he was ok. It got a little uncomfortable for Bert, as not only did he have springs in his back all night, but also Andrew tended to twist into this position:



Bert said at one point he woke up with two cute little feet on his stomach. =P

Also, the blanket on my bed had a faint smell of urine. That was fun. Other than that it was a fabulous room, very comfortable and clean. Except for the urine thing. I brought my own pillow. Because I'm a diva, that's why. =P Well, ok, it's because I get horrific headaches if I don't use that particular pillow. But with the blanket thing I was happy I did.


The next day - massive cooked breakfast provided by the hotel. Whoot! I put on about 50lbs just looking at it. =) Then off we went to the park.

Standing in line:



We split up in the park. Ben and Bert went on the scary rides. I went with Andrew to the kiddie section. The weather was really beautiful; it was about 92f. The park provided free water OH thank GOODNESS because I'm a tightwad and have a problem paying $4 for a 20oz bottle of water. I got cup after cup of the stuff, poured it on Andrew's head, sucked on the ice, and drank and drank and drank. Yum.

I would also like to state for the record that the park produces one of the most delicious pepperoni pizzas I have ever tasted. At $25 it was expensive, but yum. We managed to consume the entire pizza between the four of us.

Bert and Ben's pictures:
The Intimidator. It only just opened. They said it was the best roller coaster they've ever been on - absolutely smooth and flawless. They went on five or six times, as well as several other roller coasters. The wait was practically non-existent as the park wasn't very full. Whoot!







Andrew's pictures:
He particularly loved the airplanes. He loved pulling on the stick to go up and down. He went on them over and over and over and over again and made several little friends while on them. He also liked the boats, rocket ships, and whirlybirds. He went on the cars twice, but funnily enough wasn't nuts about them...it was the airplanes that got his attention.











After we met up at the end of the day, Bert went with Andrew on the cars:




It was a good day.

The air conditioner in the van broke as we left the park. Luckily, Bert's a genius. So while I hit the treadmill for just over an hour and the boys played in the pool, Bert fixed the van lickety split. Then we had dinner - we went to Golden Corral or whatever it's called, and Ben ate three or four steaks. =)

A semi-good sleep, then off we drove back home through the beautiful mountains. And that was that. What an awesome holiday.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Conference is over

I am so stinkin' bummed Conference is over. Watching, taking notes, being edified and uplifted really helped me.

There are one or two struggles I've been contending with in my life at the moment, and sometimes they're so overwhelming. There are many times during the day that I'm tempted to do the wrong thing - things that would cause my family pain - and at times during this weekend it's been all I can do to hold the words within my mouth and not write them or speak them aloud. I'm so thankful that watching conference has helped me get through the weekend without losing all self-control.

Hands up who found it intensely interesting that sooo many of the talks were about the youth? =) With the struggles we've had in our household lately it was so inspiring to hear wise counsel on how to help those members of our family who might need it the most. I also was inspired with ideas on how to teach Andrew.


The points that stuck out to me most:
- you can't help your children if your own life isn't where it should be. Sort yourself out.
- Read your scriptures, say your prayers, keep the commandments, go to the Temple, have the Spirit with you.
- Listen. Listen. Listen. Then listen some more.
- Get rid of the noise in your life both outwards (computer/ipod/phone/radio/tv) and inward (sin) so that you can be quiet and ponder and thereby hear the promptings of the Spirit
- Listen. Listen. Listen.
- Think seriously about my job. Is the Spirit of God in our home? Is our home a Temple? How much is my job affecting the spirit in the home? It is certainly a huge blessing....consider carefully, pray, ponder, and choose not just the good or the better, but the best.
- Listen. Listen. Listen and love.
- Be not afraid, only believe.

A poem that made me bawl:
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—
Rock me to sleep, mother – rock me to sleep!



Song of the day:
Mo Tab - Abide with me, 'tis eventide.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Conference

I love General Conference. It's a breath of fresh air. It has brought the Spirit into my heart. I feel uplifted and strengthened, that I have the ability to choose the right and do it, and that I am not lost but loved.

I loved L. Tom Perry's talk. It helped me think about teaching the children, and reminded me of my role in their lives. I've been really distracted lately and I feel the family has suffered. I need to be *here* - truly present - otherwise the home falls apart. I've had serious thoughts about me working lately. It's been truly a blessing because of the money it brings in - SO helpful with Emily being in college and my running addiction. =P On the other hand, the house has really suffered. I'm looking forward to being home over the summer and hopefully give the house a good going through.

I loved Bruce A. Carlson's talk on obedience to God's Laws bringing blessings, and David A. Bednar's talk on doing the things you need to do (read the BoM with your children, bear testimony, give them opportunities to act) so that you're able to see the early warning signals that let you know they're going off the track. Wish we'd heard that one about two years ago.

The one that really caught my attention though was Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. He's on fire, isn't he? Do you remember his talk last conference on the Book of Mormon? How can one forget, eh? That was amazing. The talk this afternoon was just as amazing. I love it that he's so dang blunt. (paraphrasing...)"if you have bad thoughts sneak into your head you don't open the doors wide, sit them down, give them tea and biscuits. You shouldn't be serving tea anyway." Hahahahahhaaa! =D

Anyway, his was my favourite talk of the day, so here are my notes from it. I hope the Spirit testifies to all those who read it of its truthfulness. I love conference. I'm soooo looking forward to tomorrow. =)


It greiveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech before many whose feelings are tender and chaste and delicate. But bold we need to be.
Why is there so much moral decay around us and why are so many individuals and families including in the church falling victim to it, being scarred by it? Most days we all find ourselves assaulted by immoral messages. Music and entertainment delves further into foul and immoral words and activity.

Chat rooms can pull in anyone; also cellphones, videogames, ipods.

Lust is the basis of all this behaviour. It is an unsavory word. It is known as the most deadly of the seven deadly sins. Why is it such a deadly sin? In addition to the spirit destroying impact it has on our souls, it also defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in humanity; the love a man and woman have for each other and the desire to bring children into that family. True love endures. Lust changes as quickly as clicking on another pornographic page. Lust is characterized by shame and stealth and is almost pathologically clandestine; the later and darker the hour the better, with a double bolted door. Love comes with open hands and open hearts. Lust comes only with an open appetite.

Prostituting the true meaning of love with another person is so very destructive. It destroys faith in those we love and shakes the pillars of trust. It takes a long time to rebuild that trust.

What to do:
1. Separate yourself from people, materials and circumstances that can harm you. The pull of proximity can be fatal. Like Joseph and Potiphar's wife - just RUN. Do not leave a forwarding address when leaving the scene of temptation. Seek help if you need it. Talk to your bishop. Ask for a priesthood blessing. Pray without ceasing. Ask for angels to help you. Put filters on computers and locks on affections - self control is the best defense.

If an improper relationship is developing, sever it. It may not at first be technically evil, but it may dull our spirituality and lead to something evil. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - so watch your step.

Immoral thoughts can sneak into our minds - but we don't need to welcome them. Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories. Picture those who love you and who would be shattered if you let them down. Make sure your thoughts are welcome in your heart by invitation only. "Let will be your reason".

Cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is. Make sure that includes your own home, dictating the kind of art, music, and literature allowed in there. Go to the Temple as often as you can. Going to the Temple gives you the help of the Lord and angels to guide you. Remember the symbols in there.

Most in trouble end up crying "What was I thinking?" whatever they were thinking, they weren't thinking of Christ. Yet during the sacrament meeting we promise to take upon us the Lord's name and to always remember him. So let's always remember him and His sacrifice for us. With his stripes we are healed. If we remember that every time we transgress we not only hurt those we love, we also hurt our Saviour who so dearly loves us.

But if we do sin, however serious that sin may be, we can be rescued by that same majestic figure. We can only be saved by Him. When our souls are harrowed up with true pain, may we all echo Alma "Oh Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me."

Brothers and sisters I love you. President Monson and the brethren love you. Far more importantly your father in heaven loves you. I've tried to speak today of true love, respect for it, the proper portrayl of it, the sanctity of it between a married man and woman and the families that love ultimately creates. I've tried to speak of the redeeming manifestation of that love which comes to us through the grace of Christ himself.

Satan will do anything he can to counterfeit, profane and desecrate true love whenever and wherever he finds it. he will destroy us if he can. When we face temptations, we must declare as Nephi did, "I will give place no more for the enemy of my soul." We can reject the evil one if we want it dearly and deeply enough. that enemy can and will be rebuked by the redeeming power of the lord Jesus Christ. I promise you that the light of his everlasting gospel can and will again shine brightly where you feared life had gone hopelessly and helplessly dark.

May the joy of our fidelity be ours as we keep our love and our marriages our society and our souls as pure as they were meant to be. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Ten miles, baby. =)

I meant to get up early so I'd have plenty of time to run. Unfortunately I got a late night last night due to modeling the swimming costumes, so I didn't crack an eyelid until nearly 8am....and then I took ages getting ready as I had to use the Stick and tape up my legs and buy "The Perfect Drug" and put it on my mp3 player and blah blah blah blah blah.

Plus, I'd decided to run along the uber gorgeous Natchez Trace Parkway - a ten minute drive from the house - instead of doing my usual long run route. I perhaps should have done the usual route as that would have got me home in time for the start of conference. But oh well, it is what it is. And that run along Natchez Trace is sooooo beautiful.



So anyway, off I went. The route is so visually stunning. I crossed the white bridge - which got me a little woozy when I looked down, so I looked *out* instead of down. The view took my breath away. I didn't listen to music for the first little while, and instead concentrated on the singing of the birds. The translucent leaves like discarded butterfly wings decorated the ground.



Following the advice of the Fleet Feet woman I ran for nine minutes, then walked for one through most of the run. It annoyed the living daylights out of me at first, but I appreciated it by the end of the run. I think I could probably run the whole thing. Ok, I *know* I could run the whole thing - but my legs weren't hurting so I was happy.

I made sure I went niiiice and slow. My hip started hurting really badly so on my second walk break I pulled my belt off my hips, adjusted it to the smallest setting, and wore it around my waist. I really really hate having things around my waist, and even on the tightest setting it was fairly loose so it bounced a bit. It was annoying, but I persevered and after a while forgot it was there. Plus, my hip stopped hurting so much so that was good. =)

The tape warmed my shins so that was awwwesome. I ran on the grassy curb which, while it made for softer impact on my legs, made for slower running too. I was ok with that until I realized that if I didn't pick up the pace I was going to miss some of conference.

At the 5 mile turn around point I realized I was definitely going to be late for conference. This made me all anxious and I didn't enjoy the run back as much. I think if I could have just taken my time and enjoyed the scenery it would have been an absolutely perfect run.

OTOH, I was so worried about the time I didn't even think about the distance. Yay! I completed my first 10 mile run and it really was no biggie. =) At the end I realized that I could do the Pikermi no problem. I might be all tired out at the end but I would finish...barring any unforseen cramps or accidents or whatever.

On a side note, the Citrus Orange Accel Gel was absolutely delicious but made my stomach feel funny. DANG! I liked the taste of that one.

I drove along my usual long run route to get home and I think it was a good sign that I was dying to park the car and run some more. =)


One wonderful thing about conference is that all other activities are suspended. Thus, when I got home, I had an hour and forty-five minutes of quiet time (I missed the first 15 mins)....time that I would usually be rushing around getting stuff done. Thus, I had an extended amount of time to pamper my body. I did this by:

- stretching for longer than usual
- rolling for at least 30 minutes on my new trigger point roller. I bought it yesterday - but I didn't pay that much for it. Wow! Anyway, ohhhh my gosh it's soooo awesome.
- Icing with a bag of peas on one leg and my nifty new ice/compression thing on the other
- Eating the food my body craved: chocolate milk, a spoonful of peanut butter, a banana, pita chips and hummus, and a green smoothie
- Using the Stick on my legs. Ohhhh my gosh.

It was 1hr 45 minutes of absolute bliss. I wish I could take that much time after every long run.

Oh yeah - I went to fleet feet today to buy a pair of Zensah compression sleeves because taping takes soooo dang long and I thought I'd try it out. I realized after I'd been in there that my skirt was tucked inside my underwear at the back. I'm not kidding. However, on a happy note, I'm wearing the compression sleeves right now and they're so silky soft. Oooohhhh it's a spa on my legs.

This post is huge so I'm going to do a separate one for Conference.

Oh yeah! Song obsession of the day! I was thinking about the run, the roller, and the stick, and in the shower I spontaneously started singing "It hurts so good" Hahaha! So that's the song for the day.


John Cougar Mellencamp - Hurts so Good


I've just listened to this song all the way for the first time in decades....and I've just realized....oh my GOSH! It's RUDE!

Friday, April 02, 2010

sushi, yoghurt, and swimsuits

Note to self: Do not try on swimming costumes on a date night after consuming sushi and frozen yoghurt. It is not conducive to the raising of one's self-esteem. I'm looking forward to my run tomorrow simply because it'll help work off the deliciousness of tonight. Thank goodness sushi is pretty low calorie stuff.

We went to Kohls to look at swimming costumes. There was *NOTHING* even remotely modest. Ok. There were TWO swimsuits that were vaguely modest. They were $78 and $87 respectively. I THINK NOT, baby puppy!!! If you get that film reference, I'll send you some cookies.

So we went next door to Walmart where I purchased three swimsuits for $60. That's total. Not each. Yeah. I may or may not keep them all depending on if they meet with Bert's approval. It's important to have the dh's approval when it comes to swimsuit choices.

Oh, I forgot

I forgot the song obsession of the day. Even though this is fairly tame for a NIN song, this one is not one you'd enjoy, Mum...so I'd avoid it. =P
Nine Inch Nails - The Perfect Drug



You can find the official video here, but the audio isn't as good, the video jumps at the end, and I think the visuals distract from the lyrics.

Hip pain and "It's ON!"

Running Bob on the Runner's World Loop has created the awesome Loop Summer Running Series. This consists of six virtual races; Two 5ks, Two 10ks, and Two Pikermis (half-marathon). This weekend marks the first 5k race and I was awake, up, taped up, stretched, and out the door by 7.30am. YAY for days off! I love having days off so I can run more than usual. =)

Of course I started way too fast. I went into my usual mantra "Slow down. Slow down. You want to run this entire distance and not die." A couple of miles into it I started scolding myself, "You didn't respect the distance. You know you need to respect the distance. You always do this to yourself in 5ks. You go out too fast and then want to die."

5ks really are the hardest distance. Because you think "Oh, it's only 3 miles..." But the first 3-4 miles are the most difficult. After that you sort of zone out until you start hurting. =P

Anyway, so about half way through I start feeling my hip. And it slowly gets worse...until by the end of the run I'm thinking a long stream of expletives in the back of my mind...because they were too naughty to think in the front of my mind. One of the words began with S. Yes, very naughty. Sorry about that.

I finished the race at 33:20. I think that may be a PR for me, but I'm not sure. I should really attempt to keep track of my race times, eh? Oh wait!! I think I did! Hold on.

Yes, here we go. In the Cupid's Chase in February (my first race ever! =)) I got a 35:22. So I PRd by 2 minutes and 2 seconds. WHOOOT!!! Go me!!!

So anyway, I straggle into the house still panting with my shins hurting because I'd pushed it and my hip hurting and just feeling so down and upset with my body. Why is it doing this to me? Why isn't it holding up so I can go longer and faster? It's so sad. How on earth am I going to be able to run long distances if I can't even run short ones? Maybe I won't ever be able to run long distances?

That thought chills my heart and makes me want to sob. Someone give me some encouragement here. I'm in dire need of it.


Anyway, so I'm feeling like crap and am cursing my body and just.....GAH!!!!!....when I walk in the door. Bert's up and we start nattering about stuff. I say I need a foam roller and some more tape because I'm nearly out of tape already. He says his shins hurt when he runs and he can feel this tightness around the outside of his knee, so he's trying only to run short distances. We talk about the hotel he's booked for Monday.

And then all of a sudden he looks at me and says, "You have a gorgeous figure, Keeley. I mean, you do in any case, but when you combine that with the fact that you're a 40 year old woman with 3 kids, you're a knockout."

WHOOOOOOT!!! I gazed at him open-mouthed. "Really???" There is nothing more wonderful than your husband finding you desirable.

I'll repeat that just incase anyone's reading that needs to see it again.

There is nothing more wonderful than your husband finding you desirable. It makes you feel like you can do anything you put your mind to, because the one you love loves you in return.


Tasks for today:
Enter time for 5k race
Wash uber stinky running clothes so they're clean and fresh for the 10 miler tomorrow
Buy tape
Buy foam roller
Buy gift for Isaac's birthday party
Take Andrew to birthday party
Purchase Easter supplies including chocolate and ham.
Put money into Emily's bank account because I forgot to send her money for Easter Sushi. I'm such a dork.
Send Happy Easter emails because I forgot to send cards. I'm such a dork.
There's something else but I forgot what it was.


Edit:
Holy cow!!!! My average pace was 10:42. My AVERAGE pace! Which means at some points I was going faster. My fastest was 8:47. EIGHT FORTY-SEVEN, people! No wonder my shins and hip hurt. I'm always trying to push it.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy Anniversary

I just suddenly realized today is April 1st.

Which means Bert and I met 21 years ago today.

WAIT!!!!! Is it 21 years? Uhhh. Hold on a mo while I calculate.
So we married in June of 1989. Which means we met in April of 1988. Which means...

22 YEARS! =) Holy cow. I've known my husband for longer than I haven't known him. I met him when I was 18 and married him when I was 19. And I love him more now than I did then. I feel like I've only just started to get to know him.

Sooo let me make some more calculations. I think we met about 8am. Which means in just over an hour 22 years ago I'll be looking at him for the first time. And immediately taking a second look. And in about 1 1/2 hours I'll be listening to him, fascinated. And in about 5 days I'll be declaring to my companion, "He's mine. He doesn't stand a chance."

I can be rather determined when I see something I want. =P

Apropos of the above assertion, I taped up my leg and ran 5 miles today. I try to keep it at about 12:00 but just lately every time I've glanced at the garmin it reads right around 10:30. And I go "Dang! Too fast!" and try to slow down but inevitably end up speeding again. Well. Speeding for me. =P

Today after trying to slow down several times I thought "Oh what the heck. It is what it is." and just let myself run how I wanted. Unfortunately on the hills that pushed my heartrate up to 180 which is maybe a *tad* fast. I really do need to make myself go slower.

I had a haircut today. Nothing fancy. I may dye it next time. Or not. I don't know. I'm kinda bored with it - but the style suits me so I don't want to change that.

I've been thinking about wax. What d'y'all know about brazilians? Do you think it's LDS church approved?

Weighed in at WW. I'd put on a pound - I was surprised it wasn't more as Aunt Flo is about to pay a visit. I was

a) glad for the extra pound because it keeps me closer to my goal and therefore free - and I'm a tightwad so free is good

b) sad because...well, honestly, I'd still like to lose a little more. There's some fine tuning needed around my waist, arms and bum.

After the hairdressers I went to Kroger and bought some sushi. And succumbed to the temptation to buy cookies. Don't think there'll be any fine tuning this week. I ate a cookie. I'm going to eat another once I've posted this. Mmmmm cookies.

I've been thinking I need to get some before and after pics up here. I'll see if I can get Bert to take one for me.


Music obsession of the day:
Die Arzte - Nie Gesagt.
This song is one of the most beautiful they've written.




This is the best I could do on the translation. I'm sorry my German isn't what it used to be:

I wake up and the bed is empty
That really doesn't bother me anymore
Also everything's just fine so far
there was only a little thing
You said I can't make it without you
I heard you told everyone
I find it absolutely ridiculous.

I never actually said that I miss you
I never actually said that I miss you
I never actually said that I miss you

I miss you

I said that I'm not interested in you anymore
Now I find it's really difficult
I have said I couldn't care less about you
Now I see your face everywhere
I said that I'm so very happy
that you are surely secretly tormented
I said so much that I need to repent of
but

I never told you that I miss you
I never told you that I miss you
I never told you that I miss you

I miss you

I wake up and you are not here
In my thoughts I'm always with you
I was too proud to admit
I can't live without you
This stays just between us
I wish you'd keep it secret
so I can continue to claim

I never told you that I miss you
I never told you that I miss you
I never actually said that I miss you

I miss you.