Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Marathon Part II

Time for the marathon post!  Friday afternoon, Adam and I picked up our running bibs and information from the convention center.  I was pretty excited to see the "Welcome Athletes" sign, although Adam joked that they probably had a separate entrance for me....  : P
 Here I am inside the convention center with all my goods:
Adam, his Dad, his brother Andrew, and me all ran the marathon as Team Baker.  We woke up bright and early at 3:30a.m. Saturday morning in order to catch the buses that were to transport us to the starting line.  The marathon was very organized and well put together.  However, I was a little unnerved to hear before the race began that "Only 80% of the runners today will complete the marathon," which consisted of 26.2 miles.  The race started at 6:45a.m. I don't have any pictures of me actually running, but the professionals took some pics that you can view HERE.  Now, before I begin my long spiel on the race itself, I must state that this is only an account of my OWN PERSONAL experience, which was not pretty.  I know that Adam, his Dad, and his brother would all give different (and probably more positive) accounts.  With that said, here was my race:


I started off feeling pretty good and excited, although I was hoping to feel a little more adrenaline to get me going.  My goal had been changed from "finishing" to "finishing in less than 5 hrs and 30 min."  I found myself running between the pacers for 5:00 and 5:30, so I was feeling pretty confident at that point.  About 4 miles later, I found myself needing to use a restroom, only to come across a line at all the port-a-johns, which I was NOT going to waste time waiting for.  It was then that I realized why men are faster runners than women (on average) - the men were all running off the road behind a bush and coming back to run in no time!  It was a pretty humorous sight.  I guess I can't really use that as an excuse though, considering I could have pulled a Paula Radcliffe: CLICK HERE.  Miles later, I was able to come across a readily available potty and wasted 3 minutes in there (TMI?  Oh well...).  At that point, I lost the 5:30 pacer, never to see her again. 


As the time went by, the sun grew higher and warmer as it beat down on me and the hard pavement, reaching into the 80s by the end of the run.  They later said it was the hottest St. George Marathon on record, or something like that.  All I know is, I hated life as I ran sunglasses-less into the bright, torturous sun.  In addition, I had the impression that since the course drops in elevation by 2600 feet at the finish, that I would be running downhill.  Who knew you could lose elevation by running UPHILL for miles and miles?  Amazing.  Okay, so obviously there were some downhill slopes, but I'm telling you, everytime I saw ANOTHER hill in the distance, I became more and more pissed. 


I hated everything.  I hated the stupid signs by the road that made absolutely no sense.  I hated the bajillion signs that cheered for some guy named "Taud."  Who spells Todd like that??!  Utahns.  No offense guys, but you spell normal names really weird, and you make up names to be "creative."  Kash.  < another weird name on a sign.  Don't ask me why these signs annoyed me so much.  It was probably a result of the warm water and warm gatorade that were supposed to quench my thirst at the Aid stations that were too far apart.  Or maybe it was the desert scenery that supposedly made this marathon one of the top 10 most scenic in the country.   


At mile 12, my legs started hurting.  Usually I don't start feeling any pain until mile 14, so I knew I was in trouble.  By mile 18, my legs hurt so bad that I could barely run (with 8 miles left to go).  I had run 20 miles a few weeks prior with very minimal pain, so I was pretty disappointed to be hurting so bad so early.  I teared up a few times, deciding early on that I was NEVER doing this EVER again.  It's hard to describe exactly how my legs felt:  maybe like rusted car parts that weighed 50 pounds each and electrocuted me everytime I bent a knee.  Thankfully, the Aid stations included people with tubes of Bengay, ready to rub your painful joints in hopes of providing some sense of relief.  I think the Bengay did more for my mental state than my physical state though, because my knees still felt like they were full of nails.


I finally made it into St. George, where Adam, who had finished 2 hours earlier, ran onto the road and kissed me.  I teared up, both from misery and relief that the finish line was in sight.  As I crossed the finish line at 5 hrs and 46 mins, I walked under some water mist showers, where my salty sweat ran into my eyes.  Of course - I had to be kicked while I was down.  I blindly hobbled around until I felt my way to a potty and ripped off some TP in order to wipe my burning eyes.  But I finished, which is more than I can say for 20% of the starters, and more than I can say for the man I saw lying on the side of the road around mile 16. 


I share my misery with you not to discourage you from running your own marathon (LOL!), but to provide some comic relief for myself, as I try to recover from this painful experience.  Adam and his family did extremely well, all meeting and exceeding their goals!  Here are their times:


Andrew - 2:48 (approx. 6-1/2 min./mile -  - 45th overall of 5,702 finishers - amazing!!!)
Adam - 3:46 (approx 8-1/2 min/mile)
Gary (Dad) - 4:57 (approx. 11 min/mile)
Mary - 5:46 (approx. 13 min/mile)


Here is Team Baker with our medals:
Husband and Wife: ATHLETES.
 I'll still run.  I think I'm definitely going to cap it off at 13 miles though.  Even though I was miserable during the run, I worked really hard to get to that marathon, which is something I never thought I could do.  I'm so proud of myself for finishing it.  GO TEAM BAKER!

The Marathon Part I

Last Saturday, Adam and I both ran all 26.2 miles of the St. George Marathon.  Since we had to travel down there anyway, we decided to make a vacation out of it!  So this Part I post will be about the vacation, and Part II will be about the marathon itself.  We left Rapid City last Tuesday, Sept. 28 and headed for Colorado Springs.  We stayed the night with our friends the Dunns and their adorable baby boy! We always have a good time with them, playing board games and eating yummy food :). 
 We left Colorado Springs Wednesday morning and headed for Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. 
 The name of the park was very appropriate:
 The sand was so hot.  We decided we'll have to go back and visit when the creek isn't all dried up.  
 Thursday morning we made our way to Mesa Verde National Park.  I'd have to say that it was my favorite of all the parks we visited this trip.
 Here we are by the cliff dwellings created by the Ancestral Pueblo who made it their home from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300.
 We were able to hike down to the actual dwelling and look around. It was sooo cool.
 Adam and I got to go down into one of the Kivas, rooms used for religious rituals.
 I couldn't resist posting Adam's Gilligan picture - he decided to wear Luke's sunhat.
 Thursday evening we made it to the Grand Canyon, where we met up with Adam's mom and dad. 
We stayed in a really fun, little cabin right outside the North Rim of the canyon.  Here is the view from our front porch and our cabin:

 Family pictures!

 Finally, we made our way on Friday through Zion National Park to reach St. George.
 Luke and I played in the pool that evening.  I couldn't resist using his new swim float that I picked up for 50 cents from a yard sale:
 I'm glad we were able to relax and have some fun before our big race!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Captain!!!

n Monday, Adam pinned on his new rank: Captain! He has also been working in a new squadron (MSG - Mission Support Group) since he got back from deployment.  His new position is the Executive Officer, which is pretty exciting because he was hand-picked for the job.  Here he is at the pin-on ceremony with his new commander, Colonel Edwards (left), and his former commander, Colonel Bellucci (right):
A lot of Adam's coworkers/friends showed up for the ceremony, despite their busy day getting ready for a base exercise.  This is about half of the people that came:
Taking the oath:
Colonel Edwards, Luke, and I pinned on Adam's new rank:
Tradition has you "pound" on the new rank:
The happy Captain!
I made a slideshow presentation that showed what has happened in Adam's life in the past 2 years also.  It was pretty sentimental...I teared up.  (It doesn't take much to make me cry though...)
Celebrating with some ice cream cake from Coldstone!
Adam and his friend/softball teammate, Richie:
I guess the whole thing wore Luke out, because this is how he fell asleep in his crib!  haha:
Adam works sooo hard for our family, and I am so proud to call him my husband.  He does the work of 2 airmen every single day and still comes home wanting to play with Luke.  I don't know anyone with a better work ethic, and I'm so thankful to be married to someone like him.  Congrats, Adam! I love you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Weekend Visit with Friends!

At the end of July, Adam and I had the opportunity to travel down to Colorado Springs and visit our old neighbors/friends the Dunns!  They had a baby boy last September, so we were pretty excited to get our little guys together.  Here they are at the Cheesecake Factory deciding what sounds the best...
 This is Becca and Matt - our generous hosts and late night board game rivals!
 Loving on my baseball baby:
 No one can make him laugh like his Daddy can!
 After the Cheesecake Factory, we went to the Denver Aquarium.  Luke loved the fish and the water!
 Our little family by the fish:
 Baby Daniel was so sweet loving on his mommy!
 Adam with his shark bait:
 My two favorite sharks - don't let their cute looks deceive you, they're vicious!
 Enjoying our evening at the Rockies vs. Cubs MLB game:
 Our favorite Cubby fan!
 I asked Adam to lay Luke down in the pack and play for a nap.  This is what I found when I got out of the shower --- So cute!!!  Luke reached his arm out to touch his Daddy :)  Melt my heart!
We had a great time with the Dunns, and Luke was an awesome little traveler.  Heidi came with us and enjoyed spending time with their pug, Sam.  We love the Dunns and hope to see them again very soon!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend of Physical Challenges

So before I get to the challenging part, I'll start off this entry with the cute part. I was taking a nap when Heidi jumped up on the bed with me and decided to burrow in the pillows. I couldn't help but laugh. She's so funny sometimes:
Here's a picture of my baby Luke at 7 months hanging out with his buddy Heidi:
His 7 month stats are:
Height: 25.5" - 5th percentile
Weight: 14lbs 2 oz - less than 5th percentile (it was off the charts)
My little baby is following his own growth curve, but the Doctor says he's not worried about it! I guess Luke's just a little guy! He can sit on his own now, his favorite foods are sweet peas and applesauce, and he rolls all over the place to get what he wants! He's very much into feeling different textures and is interested in everything around him. Instead of napping right now like he should be, I can hear him in his room clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth - his new favorite sound. haha.

Oh yes! And we had some excitement in church yesterday. We were sitting in Sacrament meeting when I noticed Luke had little bug bite looking spots on his legs. Then I saw one on his arm too. A few minutes later, I noticed a red spot near his ear. A few minutes later, the red spot was getting bigger and bigger. The spots on his legs were growing too! The redness on his face went from pea-size to a dime to a quarter within 10 minutes. I started moving his clothes around to look for more redness. As soon as I pulled his sleeve down, I realized 25% of his little baby arm was covered in a giant, red/white hive. I showed Adam, and we were both freaking out at how rapidly his hives were growing. We immediately left church and took him to the ER (I love military insurance!). They took us in right away. His hives reached their peak when they were first examining him. As we were waiting for the Doctor in our room, his hives completely vanished. Adam and I think that Luke might be allergic to a brand of dryer sheets that I just switched to (even though they're fragrance free...). I was pretty freaked out, but I'm glad he's okay now!

Okay, on to physical challenge number 1 (unless you count hives as a physical challenge. lol.) Last Friday, the base had a giant picnic, including an Ultimate Challenge event that Adam participated in with one of his buddies. This video was taken after the challenge was over, hence the lack of urgency, but this was one of the obstacles they had to do:
video
Adam and Richie:It was pretty entertaining to watch.

On to challenge number 2. For those of you who don't know, Adam and I signed up to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) with his Dad and brother. We will be running that race in St. George, UT on October 2nd. As luck would have it, I found a half-marathon in Spearfish, SD that landed on the same day as my scheduled training run of 13 miles! So last Saturday, Adam and I woke up at 4:45a.m. for the CASA Half Marathon. It was my first real race, so I was pretty excited. The great majority of the route was slightly downhill, and it twisted through beautiful Spearfish Canyon. I started feeling the heat around mile 8, but I was surprised at how good I felt while running! I pushed myself to only stop and walk for a minute at the water AID stations (there were 5 of them). This is my plan for the full marathon, and it seemed to work out well for me. Adam finished the race before me at 1 hour 37 minutes, so he drove back a few miles to take some pictures of me :).
My finishing time was 2 hours and 24 minutes. My goal time was 2 hours and 35 minutes, so I was pretty pleased. I've never liked running. In fact, I was absent on the day of the mile run in high school (on purpose). However, Adam has always been a runner and enjoyed it very much. I decided that it would be cool and fun for us to work together on a common short-term goal. Plus, it gave me something to do while he was deployed that would take my mind off things. Adam has been so awesome and encouraging. I know I never would have made it this far without his coaching. He always tells me how proud he is of me (and trust me - he KNEW how much I hated running before this...haha!)Me and my first medal:Adam doing some post-run stretches:
I've decided that I like running now. It's a sport where you're only competing against yourself (unless you're super fast and can possibly win). I think it's probably 40% physical and 60% mental - sometimes even more mental than that, depending on the circumstances. I'm looking forward to the full marathon now, and the more I run, the more I feel like I might actually finish it!