Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Syd's Vid

I feel the need to give a shout out. This is Sydney. I am completely in love with this little girl. She is one of my heroes. Her mom, Shamae, has put together this amazing video outlining Sydney's life with diabetes. Syd is Walking in Idaho Falls on September 12th and raising money for a cure. Even if you don't donate, it's a great eye-opener. Not to mention the Jonas Brothers providing the soundtrack - and we all know I love those baby boys :)

Mayer Love...

When I first started the old blog, I thought it appropriate to "ode" the Mayer - my life's true love. Well, today when I got home from work I was oh-so-happy that FedEx doesn't require a signature on delivery. A couple weeks ago Tiburon notified me of a killer sale at the John Mayer store. Because I didn't currently own any Mayer merch, I thought I'd stock up. I was a little wary of what sizes to order, but turns out, I guessed right - they fit perfectly. Yay! I'm like a kid on Christmas! Too bad I have a dress code at work...

I even ordered (or shall I say, was rewarded with) a pair of JM Vintage Shades which I shall give to a certain male friend of mine...or perhaps I will keep them. They look pretty damn good on yours truly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eye Candy

So...I go away to Idaho Falls for not even two days, and when I get home, I have this to greet me. Happy girl? I think so...tasty.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

13.1...Been There, Run That!

The anxiety started to set in when I first checked the forecasts. It was bleak - high of 65 with a 40% chance of rain. I kept a vigilant watch on weather.com, desperately hoping for a turnaround, but the prognosis kept getting worse and worse. I watched as the high temp dropped from 65 to 57, with the 40% chance of rain holding strong. I braced myself for a long run in a Bear Lake downpour.

Krista and I set off for Garden City around 3pm on Friday, with her 3-year-old daughter in tow. The drive was lengthy and my anxiety was deepening. All the preparation I had put into this weekend, and I felt as though I had done nothing.

We pulled into the Bear Lake KOA just before dinner time and set up our digs in cabin 18. I counted myself lucky I wouldn't be sleeping in a tent in the rain that night. Krista was the most fabulous travel agent making all the travel arrangements. She developed a stress fracture late in her training and was unable to run the race with me, but was bound and determined to come and support me (for which I was extremely grateful)! We did some carbo-loading at the Bear Lake Motor Lodge (a fancy meal of fettucini alfredo, garlic bread, and cheese sticks) and went back to our humble abode for the night. After attempting to watch He's Just Not That Into You, we realized we were far too tired and were able to turn in around 10:30.

I reported to the shuttle bright and early around 6am and hopped on, trying to mentally prepare myself for the challenge that lay ahead of me. I shoveled a banana and a vitamin water down my throat, hoping it would be enough. In my training, my longest run was only 10.25 miles, so I was a little worried about actually getting to the 13.1. I said a quick prayer and started to talk to a couple of the girls on the bus. I got to know a couple of girls from Logan, Traci and Katie, and we waited for the start of the race together.

We waited....and waited...and waited. There was no actual start time posted on the website, nor at packet pickup, but there were rumors that we would start at 7:00 am. 7 came and went, as did 7:30. It was drizzling rain, which was definitely not good for morale. I was thinking about how far I could be along the beaten path, but realized there was no good to that. The runners started to get anxious and started congregating behind the sorry excuse for a "start line" around 7:35. Fortunately the rain let up and we could see patches of sunlight on the west side of the lake. The race director gave a few instructions, letting us know that we would be sharing the road with traffic and that we should be cognizant of what is going on around us, and sent us off with a bang at about 7:40.

I was determined to maintain my pace throughout the race, only stopping to walk if I really needed to. I kept reciting to myself the mantra "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." I was not going to allow myself to suffer (at least until the end of the race). The adrenaline was pulling me through quite nicely. In fact, Traci's husband managed to snap a shot of me around mile 7 or 8 (as we were going uphill for what seemed like forever - doesn't my leg look AWESOME?!). It was also raining again at this point, but surprisingly, I wasn't bothered by it.

I was feeling my energy plummet as I got to the rest stop at the sign that read 3 miles to go. I knew I had reached the furthest I had ever run before, and decided to have a half a banana to take me to the finish line. I walked for a minute or so while I ate my banana and had a little self-talk. I mentally calculated the time it would take me to reach the end and again convinced my brain (and my legs) that I could make it. I took off again, and to my delight, John Mayer came on the Shuffle. My Stupid Mouth is not one of my favorites of John's, but I figured, if he would take the time to run with me, I would accept whatever he would give me. It was a very pleasant 4 minutes on the route.

The last 2 miles felt like 6 as my legs quit cooperating. I was sending every shred of positive energy to keep my legs moving in forward propulsion. Both of my achilles began to ache at this point, making it very difficult to maintain any kind of technique. I didn't really care, as my only "real" goal was finishing. My secondary goal was 2:30:00. As I got closer and closer to the finish, people began lining up along the route to cheer us on. It was truly appreciated (and motivating - as long as there were people watching, I couldn't stop to walk). I got to the final yards of the route and I was coached to expose my number (which I had pinned under my jacket, assuming I would have removed it by the end of the race). In a "flashing" maneuver, I lifted my jacket and showed the crowd my number, and held the position as I began my sprint to the finish. I crossed the finish line with flair and felt a huge sense of accomplishment as I slowed to a walk. Krista and Savannah were there to greet me with hugs and compliments, proving to me that I needed a "fan club" at the finish line. I'm so grateful that Krista still came to support me!

I made my way up to the pavilion where they had posted the official times and was completely overcome when I saw that I had finished in 2:15:09. I was so shocked that I had to double and triple check in case of error. That was a full 15 minutes faster than my goal - a 10m 30s per-mile pace. I was beaming. I was overcome with a sense of pride in an accomplishment I had worked so hard to achieve. Again, I have to sing Krista's praises for convincing me to run in the first place. I had a really great time, and I think that the experience was a good one - and I definitely haven't ruled out running another half. You won't be hearing me say "I want to do 26.2" anytime soon (or ever), but I'm sure there's another 13.1 in my future. I now comprehend the old adage, "The greater the pain, the sweeter the victory."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tan Lines

During the course of my 14 hour work day today, I managed to soak up some sun. Today was our Golf Marathon (and marathon, it was). I arrived at Eaglewood Golf Course at 5:30am (an ungodly hour I only see usually 4 times a year) to help set up the affair, fully anticipating a drop in temperature and heavy rains after lunch. I was unequipped - no sunscreen. The day remained beautiful from sun up until I went home around 7:15pm. I set up shack on the 4th hole - babysitting the contenders for the hole-in-one Harley Davidson prize. There was a canopy, but because the clouds kept floating over the sun and causing me to contemplate putting my jacket back on, I opted to sit in front of the canopy, attempting to develop a little color. I pulled up the legs of my pants to just above my knee and bunched up the sleeves of my shirt, exposing my shoulders (*gasp*). I made sure my eyes were covered with UV protection 400 (the max provided in sunglasses), and tried to make the best of it.

The lines are quite comical. I'll start with the mildest and work my way up.

Exhibit A
: above the knee. My legs now have two tan lines - one where my running shorts hit and one (slightly more crimson) where my pants pushed up to on the golf course.
Exhibits B & C: shoulders and neckline. I now am sporting a beautiful stripe down the inside of both arms and a tasteful red v-neck. Too bad my star necklace didn't stay place long enough to make a lasting impression.

Exhibit D: coon eyes. I mentioned putting on my sunglasses early in the day. As I felt my forehead burning, The thought of coon eyes crossed my mind, but I seriously underestimated the power of UV-A & B. Now I look somewhat akin to what I imagine Rocky Raccoon would have looked like, had the Beatles done a video (only prettier, and with blonde hair).

AND last, but not least (my favorite) Exhibit E: the Zong. Years ago, I had a few friends who lifeguarded during the summer and the season was validated once the imprint of their Chacos was left on their feet. I managed to validate my summer in just one day on the golf course.

Despite what one may think, I had a relatively good time today. And, even though I may have multi-colored extremities, I'm thinking of taking up the sport.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Just a Taste.

I'm holding out on writing the full post on the race this weekend...just until I feel like I can do it justice. Suffice it to say, I'm still alive, I finished with a perfectly "bloggable" time, and I made it to church today to play the organ and give my "spiritual thought" in New Member Meeting. The "I MADE IT" finisher picture is all you get for now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

*Shameless Marketing for Giveaway Today

So, I meandered upon this great site awhile back, and have now started visiting it as part of my morning ritual. They are a marketing site for businesses and they give stuff away. For free. No. strings. attached. I have their button on my sidebar, but it's definitely worth checking out (even if you don't win, you could find your new favorite products). You can find them at http://giveawaytoday.blogspot.com. I have YET to win anything, but I've got everything crossed that I win the 90 minute massage from Sego Lily Day Spa today...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Overwhelmed...and Grateful

It's nice to know I have a boss who cares about me as a human being first, and as an employee second. We have very rigorous fundraising standards and love to come out on top, but when it comes to the well being of her employees, she shows the utmost concern and realizes that employee morale is truly important. I am incredibly grateful that she is often more in tune with my personal needs than I am.

Last year around this time, I got really overwhelmed with the duties of my job, but determined to rise above, I worked myself to the bone and got really run down. After a particularly taxing staff meeting, I went back to my desk and looked over the list of items I needed to follow up on or complete. Feeling overwhelmed I sat down and tried to absorb it all. Laura came back to add one more thing to the list and immediately saw the emotion in my eyes. She asked me what was wrong and I felt the tears start to fall. She could tell I was overwhelmed and exhausted and told me I needed to take time off - ASAP. I looked back down at the list I had just accumulated and felt like a day or two off was a complete impossibility. She explained to me that she and Jamee could pick up some slack for a couple of days while I took the time I needed to rest up and renew myself.

Well, this morning when I got to work, I had the following message in my text inbox:

"You okay girlie? You sounded tired last night! Is it only the training? Boys? (They are all retarded!) Or work? Can you schedule a couple days off? I'm a wee worried about you. Stac - see if Alex can come in and help you guys today? If she can't see if Peg can send someone over? I need you and Jamee to not get overwhelmed. Let me know what you think!"

I already had a little 15 year old juvenile delinquent stuffing invitations for me in our spare office, so the additional help wasn't necessary, but the fact that she cared enough to offer me an "out," of sorts, was so appreciated. I have to say, I feel so blessed to have a boss who understands that employees are also people who have a life outside of work. Laura has also been a fantastic mentor to me as I have strived to learn this role. She often compliments me on a job well done, but I have to say, I am her prodigy in this game.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

National Running Day

June 3rd is National Running Day. Never in my life did I ever think I would observe this "holiday." To commemorate, I'm proud to say I logged 7.24 miles around the slums of South Salt Lake. Aren't you proud of me? It was a tough one, to say the least. My legs and my lungs were not cooperating, not to mention I couldn't get my heartrate regulated. But I persevered and finished in an hour and a half (almost on the nose).

Now, you should all mark your calendars for next year's June 3rd. I'm taking applications for a running partner.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Love Connection??

Do you ever compare your life to TV shows? I've adopted this horrible habit, and right now I would liken the events of my life to a bad episode of Love Connection. I half expect a crazed Chuck Woolery to leap out at any moment and critique. It started with Hot or Not. Eric insisted that I upload my picture, and I insisted on an alias - Candy Cane. This was, of course, in the wake of the Mike fiasco, and I had nothing to lose, so I did it. Naturally, the "double matches" started rolling in and the emails abounded. That was fun and amusing for a few weeks, but then the hysteria died down and I became your average 9.5.

Ash always has a guy up her sleeve, which is why I wasn't surprised when she begged me to go out with her friend. "Just log into my Facebook and check out his photos." Ironically, he was online and choosing to chat with "Ash" at that very moment. I decided to chat him up, and had myself a date for that weekend.

Walking the halls of church more than 5 minutes prior to the start of Sacrament Meeting isn't common for me. Planning on just making a beeline for the Bishop's office for a tithing envelope, my mission was interrupted by a guy remarking that I was "quite the runner." I'm so self conscious about the way I run and how I look that I was immediately caught off guard. He had seen me running and I begged him to just keep it a secret and not tell me. We got to chatting about running until I had to retreat to the organ for prelude. Later that night he popped up on my chat and I debated for a good 10 minutes before I hit enter to send the simple message, "Hey." The night ended with me at his house, watching the white trash guilty pleasure Talladega Nights. Glad I hit enter on that bad boy.

Going out to my car after the movie, my phone beeped loudly at me signaling a message. The voicemail was from a guy my mom has been trying to set me up with for a month. He had finally called, and chosen that night to pounce. He accused me of screening my calls (not true) and asked me to call him back. Unintentionally, his phone call still remains unreturned.

Ladies and gents, I now turn to the old adage when it rains, it pours. Love to hate it, but, boy oh boy, it's true.