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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

12 weeks. 13.1 miles.

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on. Vince and I concluded that we packed a month's worth of stuff in about 1 1/2 weeks! And we're still trying to catch up on everything! But now that the kids are in school ALL DAY I'm hoping I'll have a little more time I can sneak on and post about our exciting month.

But for now, I wanted to give you my race report. Mostly because I'm so excited that I accomplished something that for a while I was afraid might not happen!

I had really planned on running throughout my pregnancy. I ran a few times at the beginning, and immediately noticed how tired (and slow) I was! Then the morning sickness hit, and I couldn't do much of anything, let alone run 15 miles a week! So I gave it up for a while. When I hit my 2nd trimester I started feeling much better. But I also got my appetite back and gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time! I knew I needed to get back into a better exercise routine. From then till about 35 weeks I ran as much as I could, but was still really cautious. I only got up to about 2 miles at a time. There were just so many unpleasant factors that kept me from running the way I wanted to! And the last month, I just walked for exercise, and decided to pick up running again as quickly as I could post-partum.

So when May came around, I had the opportunity to sign up for the Hobble Creek Half Marathon. A bunch of my running friends were doing it. It wasn't until August. I was convinced my Baby would be born early like her siblings, and told myself that recovering from a baby really isn't that hard or take that long. I thought it over for about a week. At that point I was missing running so much, and I had such fond memories of running this race last year. What really convinced me was that I actually talked Vince into running it, and then I knew I couldn't let him do it on his own! So I signed up! (I had to sign up quickly because registrations are limited, and it usually fills up within about 24-48 hours!)

And then, of course Baby was stubborn and only came 5 days early. And the woman's mind has a way of forgetting the unpleasantries of post-partum recovery! It took me longer to get back to running then I thought. And we found out my little brother was getting married the week before the race in San Diego! And with reunions and vacations and midnight feedings, I started to worry about how in the world I was going to have time and energy to train for this thing! And what the heck was I thinking? (Vince said the same thing too, by the way: "What the heck were you thinking?")

But we'd paid the money, and I really wanted to get back into my old clothes. So I took it slow (very slow) and walked a lot of my long runs, but kept plugging away at the miles. I became familiar again with how my body works, and how wonderful it is to feel the sweat and the breeze on my flushed cheeks. I certainly wasn't as fully prepared as I could or should have been, but I at least knew I could finish the race.

My goal time was under 2 hours 45 minutes (which sounds so long!) and for sure under 3 hours. I was able to meet up with my running friends in the looonnnggg potty line before the start. It was so fun to chat with them and get excited to run the next 13.1 miles. I waved them all (and kissed my Hubby) good luck at the start and headed towards the back of the pack, knowing I'd be one of the last to cross the finish line.

The first half was wonderful! It's all down Hobble Creek Canyon, and the miles really flew by! I was feeling good and confident. My friend, Leslie, got a few pictures of me from her bike as I shuffled along. (She signed up for the race, but couldn't particpate because of a nasty foot injury from a triathlon a couple of months ago. It was so good to have her as a cheerleader, though!)

Around mile 9 or so, I was feeling sore, and then we started seeing the hills. I'd forgotten how hilly the last few miles were! This was the point that was the most difficult. I stopped a lot and walked many of the hills. But at the last water station at 11.5 miles, I decided I would run to the finish--no more walking. And I'm proud to say that I finished 5 minutes under my goal time at 2:40!! It was still 36 minutes slower than last year (yikes!) but I was so proud of myself for being able to go 13.1 miles just 12 weeks after having my Baby!

Vince did an amazing job, too! I only wish I could've been there when he crossed the finish line! But he was way too speedy--1:42 in fact! Wow, is all I can say! This was his first 1/2 Marathon; he ran a full before his mission. But certainly the most distance he's done in a very long time. I asked him on the way home if he'd want to do it again next year. But we concluded that asking him just after the race is like asking a woman just after giving birth if she's ready for the next baby! We'll give him a few more weeks to let him decide! ;0)

Here are some fun pictures taken with Heidi's amazing camera! (So amazing, in fact, that you'll have to excuse the sweaty, salty face of mine! Vince looks great, since he'd already had an hour to cool down waiting for me to finish!)
Aren't we a great-looking couple? :D

And my running pals! Vince, me, Heidi, Jamie, and Leslie



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Our Trip

We always have so much fun every year at the Hogge Reunion. Great fun, great company, way too great food for my good! This year we decided to do something a little different. We usually go up to "The Lake" (won't give the name away--don't want anyone to know of our secret little spot) and camp there for several days. It's the prettiest lake I've ever seen. And not many people know about it, so it's usually not too crowded. But this year, we had two new little babies, and thought camping out wouldn't be quite as much fun for that reason. So through a family friend, we got access to a cabin on Bills Island! (I must admit, it was VERY nice to have a running toilet and shower! We're way too spoiled!) We played hard every day and even managed to get the kids to sleep at night! It's always fun to be with everyone.



After a few days, most everyone had to head home. But we had a few extra so we went back to Montana to spend with Vince's parents. I love their home, and their wonderful hospitality!



We took one day and visited the Lewis & Clark Caverns. It was a HUGE cave tour that was so amazing! I couldn't believe there was all that hidden inside a mountain. Our cave pictures aren't real great. And they do NOT do any justice to the beauty of the caves. But here they are anyway. (And sorry, I haven't had time to photo-shop out the red eyes! Spooky, huh?)




This was just outside the caves, looking over the Jefferson River.


We spent some time just relaxing at the in-laws. They have about 20 acres, and I love it there! We flew kites out in their field. (They always seem to have some wind!)

And we played croquet.

Evan is so funny. We played a game of croquet, and then went off to do something else. But Evan wanted to keep playing, so he started a game with himself. "It's me against me. I'm winning and I'm losing!"
Then we caught sight of this amazing cloud! It puffed up so huge!
After a few minutes, Vince's dad told us all to stop and listen for a minute. There was a strange sound that sounded like a waterfall coming closer. It only took us a few seconds to realize what the sound was. We had about a minute before it started to look like this:

I've actually never seen hail so big! The kids thought it was great! In fact, they decided to keep one. (Is it still in your freezer, MMM?)
One of my favorite parts of the week was, of course, the water skiing!
I was sad, though, that my body just isn't back to normal quite yet. I got tired so easily! "Next year," I kept telling myself. Next year I'll be in better shape and can hold on longer!

Rachel slept through her first boat ride. Looks comfy in there, huh?
This year was especially fun because the kids got to actually ski on their own, and LOVED it! It did take a few days to coax them out onto their own skis and back behind the boat. But once they were there, we literally couldn't get them off!!

Brooke told us that water-skiing is her new favorite sport! She even likes it better than soccer. She even likes it better than SWIMMING!
What a show-off!

But the videos are the most fun. Hope you enjoy!

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mice-ellaneous

I wish I had more time right now to post about the past few weeks, especially our fun trip to Island Park and Montana! We had a wonderful time at the Hogge Reunion this year. I'll get pictures and details up as soon as I can.

This week has been so crazy--trying to adjust to being home again. It was full of laundry and errands. And the kids had to see good ole Dr Moody to fix some cavities. And Evan lost his very first (and 2nd) teeth! (Pictures to come soon.)

Rachel went to the pediatrician for her 2 month check-up. She now weighs in at a whopping 11 lbs 4 oz! What a heifer! She really is darling. Fat looks so much better on babies than on adults! She's got the rolls under her chin and on her thighs. And she's got the dimples in her knees and hands. She lights up and coos and grins whenever we enter the room! She's just delightful.

But, sadly, the worst part of the week was coming home from our 10-day trip only to discover our home had been invaded while we were away, by a family of MICE! Ugh. I HATE mice! (And I've said that sentence at least 5 dozen times this past week.)

I stupidly left out some chocolate on the counter tops while we were gone. Somehow (I'm guessing they climbed up our broom) the mice had gotten up and eaten the chocolates. Fortunately that was the only thing we could see that they had eaten. But we found evidence (meaning poop) that they had been all over the house. We found evidence on our counter tops, next to the fridge, under the stove, behind the stove, under the burners on our stove, all over the cupboards under our sink and where I keep my pots and pans (this especially totally grossed me out!), in our laundry room, and even in the bathtub! YUCK! I am completely horrified, and am now paranoid. Every time I walk into a room, I'm always searching. Every time I hear a rustle I'm wondering. I hate not feeling safe in my own home. And especially, I worry about my baby. I can't put her down anywhere. I'm always worried about where I put ANYTHING down! (Can't put it on the floor, the mice might get it.)

The few good things are:
1. We never found evidence of the mice in any other food, even in the food storage room, which is a huge blessing. (Though, I did mourn the loss of our chocolate!)
2. We've already caught 4 of them--2 adults (I think) and 2 babies.
3. My house is now REALLY clean! (Though I do still feel like everything is dirty and contaminated. That's just my little OCD, I guess.)
4. We are so much better off than so many other people in the world.

That last part especially struck me last night. It's been such an awful week for me--harder emotionally than I've had in a long time. I broke down a few times, just feeling so overwhelmed by it all and not safe, somehow, in my own home. But during family prayers I thanked the Lord for this home we have to live in, and it struck me how much I really SHOULD be grateful for this wonderful home. There are so many people who deal with much worse than a family of mice. I just need to keep things in perspective.

(But if you don't mind, please say a little prayer that we'll catch all the little varmints!)