Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Mad Scientist Coy and his assistant!


Monday, September 19, 2011

I am a Marathoner.

I am a marathoner.

It's an easy thing to say, but not an easy road to get there.  It's something I never thought I would do, or rather someone I would become.  I didn't want to, after all, who would willingly put themselves through something that awful?  Not me.

At least not a year ago.  I attended a missionary homecoming for my friend Niccol and we went to her house after for a breakfast.  My friend Kristin's husband, Kenny, was pretty picky about what he was eating and told us that he was going to be running a marathon the next week.

We talked to him more about his running and I was especially intrigued to find out that he has not always been a runner.  I always thought you had to be a "runner" to run a marathon.  He told me that he used to not even be able to run around the block.

I thought, "that's me".  I had never run in high school, or for leisure, or exercise, and I even remember being embarrassed by how slow I was when we had races in Kindergarten - yes, I actually do remember that.

Well that very day I entertained the thought of running and said to myself, if he can do it then I can too.  Not long after that a co-worker started a Couch-to-5K training.  I thought that this would be a fun way to increment up towards a goal so I did it myself.

The holidays came and went and I had worked up to being able to run for about 10 minutes without stopping (1 mile).  Tyler and I sat down in January to make our New Year's resolutions.  I was timid about even mentioning my desire to run a marathon.  I had warmed up to the idea and thought it would be something so neat to say I've accomplished but didn't know if it was doable.

Well, I made the goal and with Tyler's support I decided I could do it.  I knew the Top of Utah Marathon was in September each year and being 9 months away it's plenty of time to train.  It can't take more than that to be ready anyway, especially considering most marathon trainings are about 18 weeks.

Well the journey was long, and very time consuming.  I set up a training schedule that would carry me from January all the way through September.  I had training laid out for everyone of those days.  Most weeks included 3 days of running in the beginning, then up to 4 with a day of cross training and of course some days of rest and strength training.

There were so many days that I didn't want to go running.  I would dread it and even cry to Tyler sometimes and tell him that I didn't want to go, but ultimately I knew I made the goal and I wanted to keep it.  I am extremely competitive and high expectations for myself so making this goal meant I had to keep it.

I stayed on track by printing my training schedule on a calendar and crossing off each day after I came home from my run.  Tyler had also bought me a watch to track my miles and time.  I was able to upload that for each run and that accountability helped me stay on track.

I came to a critical point in the middle of July.  I slacked on my training a bit when life got busy with the July holidays.  I had missed several weekly mid-length runs and several long Saturday runs.  I was at the point that I had to chose to either commit or drop out.  I had already shared my goal with so many people and I didn't want to look stupid or let myself down, so I committed.

I was more deliberate in my running after that.  It became my first priority after that.  I knew that even if my runs weren't the best that if I would go and do them and cross off every one of those days I could finish the marathon.  I missed one day after that, only because of schedule conflicts and in the end counted it as a needed rest day before running the Top of Utah Half Marathon.

That was a huge step for me in the process.  I have learned a lot along the way.  What socks to wear, what works for me to listen to, just how long a mile is (it's amazing how distant-conscience I am now), what to drink, how often to drink, how to eat GU, what to eat the morning of, and after a run (can you tell food is crucial), race logistics, and man the list goes on and on.

Most of all I learned a lot about the good nature of runners.  Runners are good people.  Plain and simple, they just are.  Runners are so supportive of each other.  They are willing to offer you help and advice, they will support you and offer to run with you, they'll even sacrifice their own chance at improving their race time to hold back and make sure that you're there with them at the end.  They want you to succeed and smile along the way.  I've learned that you can meet a complete stranger and share miles of deep conversation with them.  You'll learn about their family and their goals and why they run.  You can spend several miles running with them until different circumstances pull you apart and you continue on having been better for talking with them.

I feel like I've shared the experience of my marathon pretty well on my album and comments on Facebook.  If you haven't gone through it please do.  But as for the overall experience of running I wanted to share how amazing it is.  In this year where I've gone from being a non-runner to a marathoner, it has changed me to become a better person. For so many reasons in so many different ways.  Running alone has set my priorities straight, has made me look at people in a better light, made me more patient and tolerant, taught me that I Can Do Hard Things, and that I am in control of my life and my happiness.

If you would have asked me 13 months ago if I was ever going to run a single marathon I would tell you firmly, no!  If you would have asked me even 4 days ago if I was ever going to run another one I would still have told you no.  But now I know why people do it.  It makes you better and it makes you stronger and it makes you you.  I challenge you to run shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people who have made the goal to complete a marathon, those thousands of people who have decided to become better, and not become better yourself.

You'll find the amazing charity in people who cheer you on from the sidelines and run next to you and tell you can do it, even when you doubt yourself.  And you will find yourself in those mindless miles of training when all you have are your thoughts.  You will think a little deeper when you listen to the same podcast again for the 4th time that week.  And you will realize you have strength beyond what you knew when you push past the pain and finish, just so you can say you did it.

I did it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Steve and Kristen Came

Steve and Kristen are visiting from Ohio for a few days and we were able to see them over the weekend.  We had a lot of fun just being with them, going to dinner, going on a little mini Parade of Homes put on by Natalie, playing lots of games, and the enjoying the piano. 
 Steve and I attempted a duet.  We've had a lot of fun with the piano since my parents let us borrow it while they're away.
 We played our new Dominion expansion pack (Intrigue) and Bohnanza. 
 It was really fun to see them and be together for a bit.  We can only hope it will happen more often.  Perhaps we need to head out their way next.
We love you guys!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Top of Utah Half Marathon

Remember how I decided I'm going to run a marathon.  Well, on Saturday I got halfway there when I finished my first half marathon.  Woo hoo!  I ran the Top of Utah Half Marathon right here in Logan. 

I was really nervous for it the days and minutes leading up to the race.  I felt pretty prepared for it since I've been training for the full marathon this didn't seem as scary but there's still nerves involved in races since they're a relatively new experience for me, and especially long races with aid stations and such.

Tyler dropped me off at the finish line then I rode the bus to the starting line.  I had planned to run this on my own.  Well a few minutes before the race started as I was sitting at the starting line, my cousin Emily (third cousin really, but who's counting) and her friend Sarah came running up to me and sat right down next to me.  They took my mind off my nerves and got me really excited to run.

We lined up based on the times we thought we would finish and waited for the shotgun start.  I hadn't planned on staying with Emily and Sarah but they set a really good pace and I liked their company.  We had fun talking for the first mile or so then we really got into our running groove.  Before I knew it we were to our first aid station (mile 3) where we drank some water and we all kept going.  Aid station 2 came quickly (mile 6) which brought us to the bottom of the canyon.  Those first 6 miles were like nothing.

The next 3 miles passed quickly too since there were so many people on the side lines cheering everyone on.  I think that's my favorite part of running - just that there are so many people rooting for you and wanting you to succeed.   It's such a positive environment and runners love helping each other.

Miles 11 and 12 were tough.  They were more uphill and it very sunny and hot by then.  Sarah had broken ahead and Emily had stayed behind a bit after mile 9 so I was on my own for awhile.  Emily caught up to me around mile 11.5 and really helped my through the last little bit, keeping me going.

The finish was brutal because it's at the end of a long stretch of straight road.  I could see it for almost about half a mile but it seemed like I would never approach it.  As I got closer I sped up a bit and right before crossing the finish I saw Natalie, Luke and Dax off to the side cheering for me.  I ran towards them and gave Dax knuckles.  Then Tyler was up a little further holding the camera with one hand and cheering with the other.

I couldn't help but beam with happiness and relief and Emily and I both crossed the finish line.  I turned to her and we hugged right away knowing WE DID IT!  I finished in 2:26:58  I couldn't have done as well as I did without her and I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun.  I'm so so glad she found me at the starting line!

We took some picture and reveled in our victory.  It really was such a good experience and such good training for the full. (Click on the pictures to make them bigger)

Seeing Nat, Luke and Dax
Seeing Tyler
We did it, we really did it!
Me and Emily - love her!
Me, Emily and Sarah

That's right, I finished!  Now bring on the full marathon

Oh and just for fun here's the stats from the run:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Week Off

Tyler and I had a pretty nice week. I had the entire week off work and we sure took advantage of it. We celebrated our anniversary on Monday by staying at Little America and going shopping at the Gateway. Once again, breakfast at Little America was EPIC!

We also stopped by my parent's Bon Voyage party that some good ward members threw for them. We played one last game of Yspahan and said our goodbyes. We're excited for them and have already talked to them quite a bit and they're doing great down there.
My parents wanted me to bring this little airplane to my nephew and show him that it was from "Mima and Boca" so I took a few pictures. This one was too awesome not to post - notice Tyler in the background too.

Later in the week we flew to California and spent the weekend with Tyler's family. His brother was there this week too so it was fun to hang out with everyone.

Excuse the blurriness, this was taken on Tyler's iPod since I forgot to pack our camera.
We went to Six Flag's Magic Mountain on Friday and spent the entire day on huge roller coasters. It was a ton of fun!

Saturday we went to Long Beach. They had a sand sculture contest that was kind of neat. It was just amatures, or everyday people so a lot of them weren't too cool, but there were some neat ones.
This one of Patrick was pretty awesome

This one is for you mom and dad!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pictures of You, Pictures of Me

My very talented friend Kristin Brown asked if Tyler and I would help her out with a new kind of photo shoot she wants to start doing to capture the little everyday moments in life - great idea right! We were so willing to help and so glad to have such great pictures. I hope we were okay models. Kristin did a great job and I LOVE the beautiful shots she captured. Check out her blog and website here - you'll love her!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mini Vacation to Cali

The no money thing worked for a few days. It was pretty nice to not even think about money and just focus on other things. But I'll be honest, I kinda got bored of it and we decided to go to California (we did spend less than $200 in California - flights included, so I think that counts for something). It was fun though and interesting to try. I was happy when a co-worker shared this article with me. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only nerd who has tried this.

So yes, we went to California. Tyler's parents finally sold their house in Centerville - yeah for them, boo for us. They had to move all their things to California and Tyler took off work to help them. I was going to stay in Utah but decided last minute that hey, what the heck, I'll go too. We helped them pack up the moving van on Friday and headed out on the road that night. Once arriving in Cali we unloaded the whole van into their garage for now.

We took a few more days for fun too and really packed in quite a bit of fun. We went to a really pretty Japanese garden, ate at a lot of really good restaurants, went to the beach three different times, rode on Tyler's dad's motorcycle, went to church - where I got to see a lot of my family (Tyler's parents chose an apartment in my uncle's ward cuz they really liked the ward).

I was also really happy to drive by my childhood home and show Tyler where I lived. We got donuts from Martha's donuts, which has been a tradition every time we visit California. It's neat that Tyler's parents live only about 10 minutes away from where I grew up, it definitely makes the visits very fun.

My aunt coordinated a family party on Memorial day which was great to be able to see so much family. I really enjoyed talking with my grandma. She is getting more forgetful so I had to remind her who I was a few times but she still sure has a cute personality. We played a game called Toss Ups and she got so disappointed when she kept losing her points she had built up.
We also got to visit my grandpa's grave site. He died when I was 4 months old so I really never knew him but I know he was a neat man and I'm excited to meet him some day.
All in all we had such a great time and really enjoyed just relaxing. We were glad to spend so many days with Tyler's parents and were so grateful that they let us stay with them in their little apartment.

Oh, and I also ate possibly the best churro I've ever had. And those that know me know I love churros, so that's saying something!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Money Free Week

Do you think you could go an entire week without buying anything? Yeah, spending zero money, like no cash purchases, no debit transactions. Nothing.

I’m curious to see if I can do it, so I’m going to try. Mostly just to see if I can, like a social/economical experiment. Yes, Tyler thinks I’m weird too, but I think it will be kind of fun.

The rules are that I can’t buy anything with cash or a card. I can use gift cards if I already have them. I can’t make Tyler buy anything for me, but I don’t necessarily have to limit his purchases too if they’re for him only. So he can still go out to eat for lunch but he can’t buy lunch for me.

The week started yesterday, which was easy enough to do on a Sunday, and goes through Saturday. So, let the fun begin...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Please Be Careful

I had a really scary experience yesterday which I want to post about to make other people aware of.

I went to pick up my Young Women for our activity and after arriving at one YW's house and finding that she was not home I began backing out of her driveway to go pick up the next YW. I had seen our Bishop's youngest boys ride by on their bike minutes before so I consciencely looked for them. Not seeing them I assumed they had rounded the corner and were a safe distance away. I backed out slowly and before I got past the sidewalk I hear a crunch or some noise, knowing I had hit something.

I threw the car into park, jumped out immediately and found the youngest boy laying on the driveway crying. He was not hurt but more shaken up, and understandably so. I'm not exactly sure if I hit him directly or hit his big wheel bike. I asked him if he was okay and watched him ride off so I knew he was fine. His brother who is only a few years older saw it play out and was a bit shaken up as well.

I had to pick up my other YW and I didn't see the boys' mom so I made sure that both boys were okay and left. As soon as I got to our activity I called the boys' mom but she didn't answer. I called her again later that night knowing how frantic she must be wanting to know exactly what happened. You just can't get the full story from a 5 year old.

I didn't get ahold of the mom until today when I saw her post on Facebook about the situation and called her again. This time she answered and I explained what happened. From her point of view and through the eyes of her boys I sounded like a terrible reckless lady who basically did a hit-and-run. I realize I should have forgotten about my YW and immediately told her what happened. I explained everything to her and she was grateful that I called. Ultimately were are both so relieved and feel so blessed that we were all watched over.

All in all there were definitely guardian angels watching over this little boy and also over me. I normally would back out faster - which I will never do now - so I know I was blessed to be more cautious. I am so grateful that this didn't amount to more and I'm glad this little boy is okay.

Please be more careful when you back out and just driving in general. I can not imagine how my life and the life of this little boy's family would change forever if things would have turned out differently.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

5K number 2!

March 12th was my first 5K, and March 19th was my second. I really wanted to get another one under my belt soon to see how I could improve my time.

I worked all week to lengthen my stride and I could definitely feel the difference since I was sore in a whole new way.

To recap: here's my run from the first 5K. Too many walks and too slow

Here's my training throughout last week. Getting better....slowly.

And that leads us to my second 5K.

My friend Hayley convinced me to do the Braveheart run with her to support Baby Mason who has HLHS. It was super windy and cold! She ran a 10K, go Hayley! and I ran the 5K.
Here's a video of the 5K starting off. I didn't know that Tyler was there filming it until after I ran past him when I realized it was him cheering for me!

The race went really well for the most part. I got a few side aches and my iPod died right off the bat. But there was a gang of Air Force soldiers running behind me for half the race and I was bound and determined that they would not pass me. It kept me motivated and I made it in at 28 minutes and 43 seconds.

Still not the best, I know, but I'm getting there. And now I want to keep doing 5K's to see how much I can get my time down.