Friday, May 27, 2011

An Ode to the Messy Bun

My mom has this horrible nightshirt that we call "Old Drab." We always laugh when she wears it because it is like her fall-back clothing item when she is stressed or tired at the end of the day. I wish I had a picture of her in it, but even if I did, she would kill me if I posted it. Suffice it to say, it's blue, stretched out, and I think from Eddie Bauer's fall 1992 collection. I remember wearing it as a little girl when I was sick a few times...

I don't think I have an "old drab" per se, but rather an equivalent hairdo that has gotten me through the thick and thin of life. If there is ever a time that I am at my most relaxed and comfortable, you are sure to find me with it. If I am tired or woke up late, it will make an appearance. Since middle school, back when it was actually stylish for some unknown reason, I have always loved rocking a messy bun, not so much for fashion, but for convenience. So much, that I feel it may warrant a tribute poem:

Mouse, hairspray and flat-irons
can't hold their own with you
although you're not the fanciest,
you've proven tried and true

Oh messy bun, you've saved me
on many an occasion
when me, my alarm has not awoken
nor has my favorite Asian

Twenty minutes to get to school
with dirty hair, to boot
Just throw that greasy hair in a bun
(though you won't look that cute)

On days when you feel tired
matched with frumpy attire
a messy bun will be your friend
its ease you will desire

Through dance classes and tennis games
you've stood the test of motion
and although my mother hates you
I harbor no such emotion

I thank you for your service
on many a homework-y night
when stretchy pants and your knobby presence
have always felt so right.

And now, a photo tribute as well:

 MB in a walker. Makes perfect sense...

 My dear MB in the great outdoors.

MB made a big splash in Scotland (I'm clicking coconuts at the Monty Python castle, PS)

MB can most often be spotted with pajamas, and I highly recommend it for Christmas morning as well.

There you have it folks. A salute to my favorite frumpalicious hair-do. I hope you'll all take a moment to stop and say a simple "thanks" to the messy bun in your life.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Very Lazy Weekend

I made an accidental decision yesterday. 

I woke up at about 7:30, ready to get up and be super-productive. I had big plans for my Saturday: run, go to a weights class, go to the library and return books, go to the temple, grocery shop, hang up pictures, etc., etc., etc.

But then I looked over at my cute sleeping husband and decided that I could sleep for just 20 more minutes. Which consequently turned into 20 more, than 20 more, than 20 more...

...and before I knew it we had cuddled the morning away. I can't remember the last time I got out of bed after 11. Really, I usually can't sleep very well past 8. It was glorious. We talked, watched Parks and Rec, and when we finally emerged we made a breakfast (well more of a lunch, really) of waffles, smoothies, eggs and bacon. We hadn't done that for a long time, and it was tres fun. I couldn't stop hugging Dave for some reason.

Then, we cuddled on the couch some more. Then I took a nap. Which was very needed since I had woken up four hours earlier. And been out of bed for two of those hours. I pretended to already be asleep when I heard Dave tip-toe into our room and cover me up a little more and then close the door softly, just so that I could savor how sweet it was. 

When I woke up I ran to the store and got food for this week, and then we made a quick taco soup dinner before going to the temple. 

That is one thing on my original list for the day that I am very glad that we ended up doing. 

We tried to actually take a cute picture instead of our usual goofy ones, but the poor frazzled father that we asked to take it had us face into the sun and chopped off our feet. I didn't have the heart to make him re-compose us into a better shot. So here is a very squinty picture of us outside of the temple. At least we both look tall for some reason. I think because the man was squatting down:

We decided to do sealings, which is always fun because it makes me ponder when we were sealed together (which was five whole months ago Friday! It actually feels longer to me...). The sweet little man who was the sealer for our group stopped in the middle and talked to us for a while. We found out that he had lost his own wife to cancer two weeks ago to the day. Naturally, the ordinances that he was performing had such a deep and profound meaning to him now that he has to have faith that he truly will see his wife again. 

He said a lot of really cool things but one thing really touched me: he said that, with his wife's long illness, he had a lot of time to prepare for their separation. They had 54 very happy years together. Still, he said "this time now that we are going to be apart for a little while is no fun." He said that we should cherish and love each other and hopefully we will look back on our lives and have no regrets about our marriage or our time with our spouse.

I know it's cliche, but at the end of my life, I know I won't regret sleeping in just for this one day, and cuddling with the love of my life and spending the whole entire day in the same room as him. I think I might regret never having time for lazy weekends where we just love being together because I have a huge, not-so-important list of to-do's. Not that you don't need SOME discipline in life...just not so much that you don't get to savor just BEING together sometimes.

Seeing as I had been so lazy and cuddly yesterday, I felt it was only right to carry on the tradition today, as well. Except, Dave has been busy so I have been cuddling with my blanket on the couch and reading the Ensign and blogs and my favorite Mormon Messages. Why can't we get a conference pic in the Ensign??? We are cute and inter-racial, you would think they would eat that right up! In October we just need to have cute umbrella and be laughing as we run into the Conference Center. They always have one of those. That is sure to get us in. (I am kidding. I don't really care...we always joke about trying to get a picture in the conference edition though because they always have at least one young married couple...)

*footnote: after the temple we were contemplating going to a dollar movie but Dave decided to be responsible and study, so I watched "Catch Me if You Can" while he did homework. It was so good! We have this need to wikipedia movies that have a true element to the story right after they are done, so that we can see how much really happened. Even though Dave wasn't really watching (he had seen it before) the second it finished he said "ok, time to wikipedia it and find out how much is true!" and it turns out it is mostly all true! What a crazy story! I love a good "inspired by a true story" movie for some reason.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free Food and Mental Victories

First of all, I would like to thank the lovely Miss Melissa Ellen for putting these pictures up and allowing me to steal this one. Well, I didn't ask but I know that she would never deny me this beautiful pic:

Not the best picture in the world...I look like I have no hair which is the result of not properly fixing said hair in two days (make it three now...whoo! I don't even have a baby or a chronic illness or anything to blame it on), but we had a slammin' good time at work today as, in the past two days, we have gotten not one, not two, but THREE free meals at work. Yes, our job is pretty sweet. We just had to stand there and look pleasant while important people took food in between their important-looking meetings and then help shuffle some fruit trays and tubs of ice around and we get free leftover sweet rolls, quiche, and Kneader's sandwiches and cookies. Yes, I like my job very much (I would like to give Melissa a shout-out for making work a very pleasant experience everyday. I am pretty sure we were destined to be co-workers in the pre-mortal existence. At least, we are very good about sharing a workspace and most of the same responsibilities, and still liking each least I still like I think that says a lot.)

After my office binging I went to the track to run. I think that the depressing weather is messing with my mo-jo...I hadn't thought to blame the weather for my lack of motivation this week, but my friend Anne said she blames it for not wanting to do the dishes and I think it is a brilliant answer to my problems. Seriously, since my race I have been a little off when it comes to my whole health routine. I feel like I am just sore and sluggish and I am not enjoying exercise like I usually do...I even told Dave I wasn't going to work out on Monday and he was like "you know you are. You love it" and I was like "do I? do I really?" Because at that moment I hated it and I just stayed home and watched old episodes Ruby and told myself I never had to work out again until I had a problem like hers. The rain makes it so hard too because I have to run at the indoor track and it can get real boring, real fast.

Anyway, I thought I had snapped out of it on Wednesday, because I went for a run and it was really good and then I went to a class by the title of "Ripped" which made me sore for the next three days and totally sapped my desire to bend my knees to sit down, get back up again, lift anything, or bend over. So when I showed up to the track today, I had one of two options...I could just decide I was too sore from Wednesday, or I could try to run and see if my muscles loosened up a little and I felt better. I started out and I felt HORRIBLE! I could like barely move, and I looked so awkward, I am sure! I was just feeling so down on myself and thinking about how lame I was being, and the first two miles were torture.

Then, however, I made a turn-around. I decided that I am a very determined woman and that I wasn't going to quit and that the reason I like to run is because it is hard ("If running were easy everyone would do it") and so I just needed to get over myself and be positive!!! I forced myself to keep going and guess what? Being positive about my abilities made me feel SO much happier than beating myself up. Surprise, surprise. I finished 6 more miles for eight total, and even though I was a little sore directly after, when I stretched and then ate dinner after I felt wayyyy better. Running really is mind over matter, of that I am convinced.

Another thing that I realized is how grateful I am for my body. Seriously, it lets me do so many things and I am so blessed to have a body without any injuries or big problems. I have never really not been able to do anything because of my body, and that is a great blessing. I know that our bodies are a gift from Heavenly Father, and I want to show Him how grateful I am for it by taking care of it (my sugar problem...oy...). I was at Macey's today and I saw this little old man trying to get on his bike outside. It looked like he was struggling so much to get his leg over the bar but I respected him for still trying so hard to ride and be outside and I said a little prayer of gratitude that I have a body that is still young and I can ride a bike or go for a walk or swim or run or anything that I want.

If you want a tear-jerker about a person who uses their physical abilities to bless someone else...WATCH THIS. It is so sweet! What an amazing 13-year-old boy!

Dave is going to laugh when I put this on here because if he wants to incite emotion from me, all he has to do is say "Dayton's Legs." Seriously though, what a great example of someone who really uses their talents to bless someone else.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mother Martha

No, this title does not refer to a nun but my own dear mother who is the epitome of Martha Stewart! Really, the woman should have an etsy shop...and she doesn't even live in Utah so you KNOW she's gotta be talented if she is etsy-worthy. A few weeks ago I casually whined on the phone that I needed some new cute headbands and stuff, and that if she was feeling crafty she should make me something cute for summer :) Well, Monday I got a package in the mail and it contained all of this:

Two scarves, a bunch of shoe clips (who knew such things existed?) two headbands, a necklace, a cute flower pin, and my favorite part...

12 pairs of button earrings! I just love the two pairs I already owned so now I have 14 pairs and I could go two weeks straight without a repeat! (But since I wore two different pairs today I ruined my plan. Blast. Oh well, girl's gotta keep things fresh for her man I guess...and since I have stopped fixing my hair I guess changing earrings twice a day will have to do.)

Isn't my mom the best?!?!?! She is so crafty and always comes through for me when I need something cute and handmade. Like last year when she sent me like 8 hair flowers, or the time she crocheted me one of those big flower headbands that were all the rage like two years ago. I was so excited when I opened this and all week at work I have been getting compliments on my cute stuff and it's all thanks to mi madre!

This is completely unrelated but because this post actually had no pictures of me and we all know I simply can't have that, I will end with a truly horrible picture of me and Dave. Well, mostly me, in my wet hair and scary moon face: 

Please excuse the blurriness due to some oil smudges on the camera lens. Cooking and cameras is not something I have figured out yet.

And yes, I am perched on Dave's lap in this picture. Has anyone ever watched the show Ruby? As goofy as it may sound, I found that it is on Netflix Instant Play and I have been watching it all week. I forgot how much I loved that show. Anyway, she said one of her dreams was to be thin enough to sit on her boyfriend's lap. This is my tribute to her and a sign of my gratitude over my relatively normal size (though I would never reveal the embarrassingly narrow gap in me and Dave's weights...I may have to start playing a "Hansel and Gretel" witch role in making sure he eats enough to keep it safely above mine)

Here is another ugly pic for good measure. Because the internet isn't the internet without self-taken shots of you and your significant other:

From the archives. You're welcome.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review, Movie Review, Life Review

Three things I want to talk about tonight:

One, I am absolutely in love with this book: 

I am going through that depressing time when you have just finished a really good book and it's like you have nothing to come home to at night. I guess I have a husband. But I would really like a good book to come home to, too. And as I am number 679,900,5678 in line at the library for Tina Fey's autobiography (high lit at its finest), I need another good summer book to fill its place, stat. Any suggestions? Nothing by Shakespeare or Steinbeck, please, as I have had enough of them in the last four months.

I really don't know why I particularly adored this book. I mean, it was a NYTimes best-seller, and my grandma liked it, so I figured that I would follow the status quo. Also, it was heart-warming yet very real, and the varied perspectives kept me interested for 450 pages without being confusing, which can sometimes happen with that genre. It had historical elements but was fictionalized enough to have lovable characters, suspense, a villain that you absolutely despise, and an uplifting moral. Nothing super deep or insightful in my review., contrary to what you may have expected. When people hear that I want to be an English teacher they usually assume three things:

1. I am an uptight perfectionist/grammar Nazi (true of roughly 77% of my major, but not me)
2. I am a prolific poet (false)
3. I must be a book snob and only like the classics (also false). 

I don't really write poetry, much to my father-in-law's dismay (who is both an oral surgeon and a poet himself. A man of many great talents). I get good grades on things I write for school, and I enjoy the writing process, but I don't really write anything formal for fun. And, as far as lit recommendations go, I will just give you my opinion on a book's merits, and why I did or did not enjoy it. I probably will never recommend anything by Dante, Chaucer, or Milton for fun, unless you cross me and I decide to hate you. 

I echo what my visiting teacher, who is a dietitian says: she studies food because she loves it, not because she wants to tell everyone that eating a burger will lead to your swift and untimely demise. She will never tell you to give up chocolate or only eat leafy greens and whey. That would be dumb, because chocolate is awesome. So I am the same about books: I wanted to major in English because I love to read but I will never say that a book that is just enjoyable and is not necessarily great art to endure the ages is worthless because that would be just dumb coming from someone who just picked this major because she stinks and math, hates the thought of having to ever act "businessy" in life, and realized that acting silly in front of teenagers and trying to make them discover that reading is fun, while being paid a mere pittance, sounded like a sweet career choice.

Also, I was informed today that teachers coming from BYU are apparently often ill-prepared and unimpressive to school principals (well, at least the one that told me that). And no, it obviously did not freak me out or cause me to have a brief breakdown in the car afterwards. And, confession, in the previous sentence I just spelled "afterwards" which isn't even a real word. And did you see my run-on sentence in the previous paragraph. It read horribly. So I probably won't even be a teacher, I might just write book reviews for my low-traffic blog for the rest of my life.

Ok, I have spent wayyy too long on item of business number one. Bottom line: The Help was good. Don't read Milton for fun, ever.

Item number 2:

There is a cute little girl at the beginning, yeah, yeah, but the REAL action starts at 2:27 where DAVE sings. Yes, my husband has been in a Mormon Messages video. We are a really big deal. I say we, because as any good wife knows, your husband's accomplishments are really yours too ("we're in medical school..." I guess it evens it out if the guy says "we're pregnant"). I always get the story wrong, but as far as I understand, a friend of his brother and sister-in-law's was getting filmed for this down in Arizona when Dave was visiting them and they had him come and sing for them because they needed a lot of different shots. He definitely did not audition for this or anything, although his voice soars on angel wings up to the loftiest heavens in my opinion. 

This happened like a year and a half ago so we had totally forgotten about it, until it popped up on Friday. Needless to say I have watched it roughly 99 times because it just makes me laugh. I mean, he's adorable and sounds great, but it is just so funny. So, that is my movie review...sorry to get your hopes us. Two thumbs wayyy up  for the three seconds of David Mizukawa near the end.

Part three,, the life review:

I love my life. That is the simple version. Right now I am just working and Dave is going to school, so my late afternoons, evenings and weekends are very, very relaxing, seeing as he is doing homework during those times and I am doing nothing. This leaves much time for Zumba classes, trying to bake bread, and watching videos of "Extreme Couponing" whilst wishing that I knew how to coupon like those people, minus the cray-crayness and the excessive amounts of garage toothpaste hoarding.

This weekend my in-laws were in town because they sing in a choir down in St. George that was performing up in Salt Lake. They stayed with us on Friday night and it was very exciting...our first overnight guests! Let me just tell you, John and Elaine Mizukawa know how to party. We went out to dinner and dessert both nights we were with them...fancy! And, Elaine hooked us up with two giant storage ziplock sized bags of chex mix, so if the next time you see me I am waddling, was worth it. They are the greatest, I am really lucky that I enjoy my in-laws so much and that they are such nice, generous people. Even if they didn't always give us food I would still like them. And I don't think they even know about the existence of this blog so I don't even have to say that...I just wanted to.

Also this week, my sister Annie graduated from high school! I got to watch online, because our school district streams graduations for deployed military parents (and dead-beat sisters in other states). She was so cute and Dave was at a review during it, so I was home alone cheering like a dork for her. I even got a little misty...surprising, as my family kind of makes fun of getting emotional at high school graduations. I mean, is it really that hard to graduate from high school? I am pretty sure we had a trained monkey graduate with honors from my class. 

I think I was just touched that she is all grown up and my sisters and I are all old now. Anne is such a great girl and I am so excited that she is coming here in the fall. Hopefully she will want to hang out with us. She still kind of does whatever Grace tells her (my mom says they have a secret twin language which is weird because they very much are not twins) so maybe she can put in a good word:

Aren't my sisters cute? Tess looks 12...which I guess she is now...but I think that she should probably be a baby still. And Anne had deadly heels on which make her a foot taller than everyone else instead of the usual 6 inches.

There are a lot of other life things I could talk about, like how cute Dave is, but oh oops I think I already said that in this post so I guess I am done.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Tribute to Mi Madre

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I wish that I could be in Alaska to celebrate with my mom in person, but since I am far away, I will do the next best thing: an internet tribute. The internet can replace real-life interaction, right? That's what my Second Life family has taught me at least (please, please know that I kid.). This will second as a test of whether or not my mom actually reads my blog. Since she is the only one that I feel like I can count on to read this mess, it is doubly important to me that I gain this reassurance.

Anyway, I have the greatest mom in the world. I was a surprisingly bratty teenager, and, although my sisters all had their own strings of oddities, I am positive that no one was as annoying and dramatic as I was. I think I got nicer when I went to college, but then wedding planning last year set in...and it was like ninth grade all over again. The tears. The ultimatums. The Full-House storming away re-enactments. Yikes. Because I put her through those four months of horror, I think that she deserves an especially big shout-out this mother's day. So here it is:

10 Reasons That I love My Mom and Think that She is the Best!

These are in no particular order...

1. My mom is really funny. I think that she has a great sense of humor, and she taught me about many things that I still find funny today. I mean, if you know my parents you will know that both of them have a great sense of humor. My Dad's is a little more obvious (read: public, like over the pulpit in church and from the microphone at my wedding...always risky) but really my mom can be super goofy too. She once dressed up in a hot dog suit and walked through a really nice restaurant for her friend's birthday. My sister Grace is always texting me quotes from our mom and they are hilarious. Some moms I have noticed do not really get jokes...but mine definitely does. She had to to have married my Dad or she would have been in a world of hurt.

I wish I had a pic of my mom in the hot-dog suit but this one of her and my sisters dressed up for the YW tacky party will have to suffice. 

2. My mom devoted many years of her life to homeschooling me and my sisters (from 3rd-8th grade for me) . I know that homeschool is always a controversial topic, but she did an amazing job. My sisters did really well when they made it back to public school in high school. I did ok too I guess...but you never would have caught me at a Math Counts competition) Both of my sisters won awards for math...not me...oops...and we all graduated in the top 5% of our class. Both of my little sisters (that have been through high school) rocked the ACT and got really great scholarships to BYU. That doesn't just magically's because she worked really hard at teaching us. A lot of moms I know rejoice at being able to put their kids back in school at the end of the summer so that they have some time to themselves, but my mom gave up any semblance of personal time that she may have had. 

3. On that same note, my mom is really smart. Seriously, she is. She graduated in Math Education from BYU but she is good at every subject. She reads like crazy and definitely taught me to love to read. She would totally learn any subject that we needed help with, if she didn't know it already. Just the other night Dave and I were trying to figure something out on his homework--his COLLEGE homework--and I sighed and was like "I wish my mom was here. She would know how to do this." 

4. My mom is a hyper-perfectionist. This tendency has been a point of some argument between us for basically my whole life, since I could not be less this way, but she always takes what she is doing and totally goes above and beyond. Like the time she made like five hundred million rainbow jello cups for youth conference, and it took her like five days to do it layer-by-layer. Or the time she stayed up all night helping me with my poster on the Supremes for AP History, intricately weaving a feather boa across the top of my poster with some floral wire. Was that necessary? No. Did I try to tell her that? Yes. But my poster was awesome and it did land me in one of the few yearbook pictures that I got in high school, so I am thankful. And, although I always got mad at my mom for trying to make me be a perfectionist like her, I accidentally (not really) married one, so I guess it is a quality that I admire deep down.

5. My mom likes things to be tidy and not cluttered, and I am really thankful that I got this from her. I HATE when things feel cramped and there is stuff everywhere. The show "hoarders" is like our worst nightmare. While my habit of throwing things away has already landed me in trouble several times (like the time I threw away our mail key on accident and we couldn't get the mail for two weeks...) I think it is a good skill to have. Our tiny apartment is the better for it, even though maybe we only have one pan because I want everything to fit neatly in the cupboard and Dave never knows where his things are because I put them away while he is still using them. (My mom is also picky about her furniture and doesn't like stuff all over the walls. One of my favorite memories is when a Jehovah's Witness knocked on our door when I was like 12, and was like "oh, did you just move in?" and I was like "no, we have lived here for two years", and she said "oh, well there just isn't that much furniture in your house..." what can I say, my mom has specific, minimalist tastes. Her father is an architect.)

6. My mom taught us to like to travel and experience new things. One thing that always annoyed her was when kids just automatically hated something new that they have never experienced. Not that our family is that out there or anything, but my mom and dad made traveling something that was important to them and I am so grateful for that. We also ate spicy food and things that most kids are really picky about. Not that I have super exotic tastes, but I can try new things without throwing a temper tantrum about it (although my family will tell you that I can throw a mean temper tantrum. Dave can tell you that too actually. And don't ask them about my blood sausage experience, everyone is allowed a bad day). This has come in handy as I am now Japanese :) It turns out eel isn't as scary as it looks (I tried it. Didn't say I loved it). 
7. My mom always gets these big ideas and wants to implement new stuff in her life. For example, the ubiquitous chore chart that would make an appearance every January. We would all groan and roll our eyes, but my mom was all excited about trying this new idea she had to improve us. Some of her plans were a little out there, but they are my favorite memories. Like the time she decided our family needed to exercise together and she made us get up at 6 every morning and do this circuit system she had developed in our basement. Just imagine three girls (Tess was still tiny), my Dad in various stages of inappropriate workout wear, and my mom clapping to wake us up and yelling at Grace to take that blanket off while she was on the treadmill. She even made a disco tape that we worked out to, and "Staying Alive" still gives me flashbacks. It was seriously the funniest thing ever, but I think my Dad like lost weight from it and our family actually loved it. I love that she is enthusiastic about things and always wanted to improve herself.

This dance routine was perfected last summer on one of said traveling experiences.

8. My mom has a very tender heart, and as much as we tease her that she is heartless sometimes (because she can say shocking things at times...mostly about me and Anne's choice of clothing and hairstyles) she is really so kind and thoughtful. She is always helping these random wonder she was a great high school teacher. She has thrown birthday parties and going-away parties for all of these kids that me and my sisters knew. She was always offering to have missionary discussions at our house, much to my sometimes dismay (let's just say that there was one girl who, although very nice, was really into Parkour. My mom's insistence that I go with her to the park and "learn Parkour" ended terribly. Turns out I am not that great and doing flips off of stuff).  I hope I end up with as generous of a heart as my mom...I am not there yet.

9. My mom is soooo creative. It is one of her best traits and something that she is rather famous for. She and my Dad are both really creative people, and I am wondering why it didn't make it across the placenta or whatever to me...seriously. She make the cutest stuff and can master and craft or home-improvement thing she sees. She is always sending me packages with headbands or necklaces that she has made for me. When I was little she re-did our entire little house with re-upholstered furniture and hand-painted stuff she got at garage sales and it was so cute! We always had matching dresses that she had sewn for us. My mom definitely gave me the confidence to try to make things for myself  (although I don't have the skills to match. Just an over-abundance of confidence. For proof, come look at the bulletin board I made for my apartment...falling apart and hung up with thumb-tacks).

10. And finally, my mom is the best example of teaching us about priorities and making the gospel the center of our lives. I know that it is because I got to spend so much time around her growing up that my testimony is what it is today. She always taught me that I need to have faith in the Lord and that the gospel is what would bring us the most happiness in our lives, and that we shouldn't look to the world for happiness or fulfillment. She spends all of her time on our family and serving other people and in the church. She would always fast for us when we had big things in our lives, even when I went to college, so I always told her when I had big stuff coming up because I wanted her help. When I got married I remember looking and her and my dad sitting there in the sealing room with me and being so immensely grateful for both of them and the fact that they were sealed together so that our family can be together forever, and that they taught me how important being worthy to go to the temple would be. It has really brought me the most happiness that I think I can ever experience. 

So there you go! There are a million other reasons that I love my mom, so maybe I will have to do a follow-up post. I didn't even mention her amazing jigs that she does or her hilarious Diet Pepsi issues. Or, the fact that she was the strictest mom I know about language and therefore I don't let Dave say "butt." She really is the greatest and I love her very much. She also sends great packages, like the Easter one that had exploded Jelly Bellys. Ok, enough. I will stop. I love you Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My foray into the world of hardcoreness

Well folks, I did it! I actually finished the half-marathon. And I ran the whole stinkin' thing, except for the few water stations they had which I let myself kind of hobble through. It seems like all of the cool running blogs give an official race re-cap, so I want to be cool like that and do one too (as if anyone cares and would seriously read this as a recommendation of the race).

Before I go any further, though, I want to thank by SWEETEST hubsie hubs (also my only hubsie hubs) in the whole world for being so supportive and positive while I was training for this race. He seriously would offer to massage my crippled calves and feet like every day and always told me that he was proud of me and that I was fast (even though I am the slowest runner ever). I love you!

Anyway, I was pretty nervous last night because I kind of had an upset stomach and I did NOT want anything to interfere with Saturday morning. I went and picked up my packet and shirt after work on Friday, and totally tried to scope out other people who didn't look very intense so I would feel less intimidated (you think I am joking). This race had a 5k and relay too, though, so it wasn't like elite runners or anything. Obviously, if they let me in. Duh.

Dave was super cute and like forced me to go to bed early (after we watched our stories. We HAVE to watch our fav Thursday shows on Fridays, it is what makes the weekend great. We also went on a Slurpee date to the 7 Eleven by our apartment and I think that we had both forgotten how wonderful Slurpees can be. We already have plotted what flavor combos we are getting next time). I hate going to bed while Dave is still doing homework because if it is ever reversed and I have to stay up late he always waits for me but I am a horribly selfish person, what can I say, and I have on several occasions deserted him to fend for himself. He had a Chem test today so he was up kind of late studying (he did really good on his test though! Shout out!) but he still got up at 7 to come with me to the start. I have to say, having a race start like 3 blocks from your house is kind of nice. The start was pretty small and low-key, and since I already had my number and stuff we just walked around downtown for a sec so that I could warm up a little. We saw a few people we knew and I got to feel cool when they were doing the shorter races and I was doing the half. Running...isn't it all about feeling snobby and superior? (actually, runners are usually super nice people in my experience).

It was finally time to line up, and Dave got this lovely pic of me:

 Yes, yes I know I look super tired and gross. And my number is off-center (when I was picking it up this random guy goes "whoa, you got lucky. They almost gave you 666!". Weird. Like I said, runners are friendly)

My strategy was this: start at the back. Don't push yourself too hard at the beginning and don't get overexcited and then poop out at mile three. I started back behind the 2:30 pacer, with all of the ladies wearing Girl's Camp '08 t-shirts, and I felt like I would fit in back there.

We got going, and I really had to try to hold myself back and try to not want to pass everyone for the thrill and then fall behind. It was fun to run down the middle of the street, and we got lucky with the BEST weather. It was sunny and warm and just heavenly out today.

Once I hit like mile three I was feeling really good and I wanted to go a little bit faster. I was keeping about a 10:00 pace which is super slow I know but I felt like if I could keep it there for at least the first half I would be in good shape. I started feeling really good about myself when I was passing old men in short-shorts and old race tanks. They looked legit and so I felt like I was in the big leagues.

I started to get a little tired at about mile seven, and that part was also a little hard because they stopped having mile markers and stuff. We also left the road and were on a trail, which was really pretty, but when you are more alone, it gets easier to slow down. I let myself slow down a little but I still didn't really feel like I needed to stop. It was also fun to see random parts of Provo that I have never seen, after living here for four years I thought I had seen it all, but it turns out that there is a lot that I had yet to discover.

The one complaint that I have about this race was that I felt like the race support was a little lacking. I am not an expert or anything, but the website said that there would be a lot of water and even like gels and stuff, but there were only a few stations and they weren't manned very much so they kind of got swarmed and you had to stop a few times (which was a welcome excuse for me...) and there were never any gels. I have run shorter races that had way more volunteers and water stations, but I understand that this is a smaller race. Just an observation and it didn't make a huge difference for me, since I was just doing this for fun.

Also, when the mile markers stopped random spectators started telling us how far we had run, and they were WRONG! That made me really angry when I thought I was at mile 10 and it turns out 10 minutes later I passed mile 10. It sounds dumb now, but at the time, when I was at death's doorstep, that extra mile seemed insurmountable.

Luckily, at about mile 9 sweetie pops started texting me and saying encouraging things so that boosted me a little. Shout out to Melissa (who did this race last year and totally gave me confidence) for texting me right as I started my last mile too.

Around mile 12 things started getting pretty ugly but I was on a main road and so my pride kept me going! There was one big hill at the very end but I was so close that I just powered up it and then I could see the finish line. Right as I was getting close, Dave texted me "I see you" so I started looking around for him and there, right by the finish, he was! It made me so excited and I wanted to see him so bad for some reason so I finished strong. As you can see below, the red dude who photo bombed me was not so happy that I stopped to take a picture while they were cutting off my time chip. This is him barking at me and shoving me up in line for not moving fast enough.

 Dave gave me a big hug even though I was sweaty nasty, and we got some free French toast and I stretched out a little in the grass. It felt so good to be done, and I felt like it was something I would definitely do again! I don't have my official time yet, but I think it was like 2:15. I just wanted to do it in under 2:30, so I was happy with it. I don't know how people can do a full marathon, though! I was so tired after 13 miles, I cannot imagine doing that over again! Maybe someday, though.

My favorite cheerleader ever
I have pretty much spent the rest of the day napping, reading, and grocery shopping. We also went to Cafe Rio and we demolished a whole salad and burrito between us. Good thing I ran a half marathon today.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Possibility of failure=debatable

Ok so I don't know if I have actually mentioned this on the blog, especially since my blogging has been lacking lately, but I am running my first half marathon on Saturday! I am just doing the Provo City Half, since it was relatively cheap and I figured that maybe some sense of familiarity would be helpful the first time I attempt something like this. I feel kind of dumb making such a big deal out of it, since I read running blogs and they are like always running fulls and 13.1 miles is just like any other day for them, but for me, this is a big ole' dealio.

I never really understood why people talked about getting nervous for a race, especially when you have absolutely no chance of like winning anything and you just want to finish, but I am SO NERVOUS! I think I finally get it now. It is probably because running is so much of a personal thing, that if I fail or totally fall apart, I will feel like all of the blame is totally on me and I will just have myself of be disappointed in. And, having put so much work and time into training makes me really want to at least just be able to finish and feel proud of myself. I know that if I have to like walk half of it I will be really, really mad.

Here is what I am most nervous about:

1. Sometimes you just have really 'off" running days and you don't feel good or whatever for no known reason. How do I make sure that that doesn't happen on Saturday?!

2. My last long run was absolute torture and I kept asking myself why the heck I tell myself that I like running.

3. I have been training more in the afternoon so I am a little nervous about how the early morning is going to treat me...a lot of my Saturday runs have been in the morning though, so that should be fine.

4. I have never actually run 13 miles. I have done 10 several times, but that is the longest that my training plan had me do. I understand the logic behind not injuring myself or burning out before the race, but I think I would feel better if I knew that I had at least done the whole length of the race.

Whew! Enough negativity. These are the reasons that I tell myself I will do awesome:

1. I have definitely put in the time with training. It's not like I just decided to do this yesterday.

2. The weather is supposed to be awesome this weekend! I have my own little obsessive personal weather checker to thank for this update (I never look at the weather. I have made most of my appropriate footwear and jacket choices because of Dave alone).

3. Historically, I have always run faster in races that I have run than by myself. Even though I have never run a race this long, I like to think that this will hold true for a half as well.

4. If I have done 10 miles before, I can do 13 even if I have to DRAG myself across that finish line!

5. I was promised a medal for finishing and dang it, I will get that medal. And the free bagels afterwards.

6. I have my favorite little supporter coming to cheer me on!

This is not relevant in any way. He is just such a cute little camper!

So we will just have to wait and see how it all works tactic this week has been entitled (by me) "leave them wanting more". "Them"=me, as I always try to cut out of working out before it gets really super hard so that I am not sore or anything for Saturday. It is my tapering tactic. We'll see if it works.