Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moving time

I have imported all my postings from this site to my new Wordpress blog. Some of the formatting is a little off but I was just glad I could import it instead of copying and pasting each blog (which would have meant not moving these posts there). I have my fitness business blog there and it's just easier to use and has some additional features I like.

Starting the next time I blog, this will be my new blog home:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wedding Part Two: Russian Style

In Russia they celebrate weddings for more like a week rather than just one day. Tony & Veronika decided to at least have two days of wedding celebrations, so Saturday we got some close friends and family together for a Russian party.

It's traditional for the groom to go through trials before he can pick up his bride for the wedding. The Russian guy (can't remember his name) was telling us about one wedding he went to where they put footsteps all over the stairs up to the apartment and he had to step on all of them to get there but they were on walls and ceilings and everywhere. His friends had to hold him as he stepped on the crazy ones.

Also they say there's never a Russian wedding without a fight. Our fight was previously arranged, but absolutely brilliant. Jake and Pete were the stars of this little drama. During dinner they started an argument about Veronika's hair color. Pete eventually threw his drink in Jake's face and the physical fight ensued. Jake, Veronika's defender, won the fight of course.

It's common for the groom to show up with a group of his friends and there will be a group of family or friends of the bride there as well to push them back. We didn't have that but they did "steal" Veronika at one point and have a series of tasks for Tony.

Task 1: Important Dates
There was a paper with important dates written on it. Tony had to tell why each date was important. He only struggled with a couple of the dates but got them all.

Task 2: Lips

Everyone kissed a paper before the party got going with lipstick on. Tony had to figure out which ones were Veronika's. He got it on the 2nd guess I think. They were the giant, weird ones in the middle. Very funny.

Task 3: Sing a song
Tony and/or his friends had to sing a song. No one could think of a song we all knew so somehow we ended up singing Jingle Bells. We were no MoTab, but they let it pass.

Task 4: Dance
Tony had to do a dance. He did this Irish jig thing that he had learned at a fireside or the institute or something. He mentioned how humiliating it was a couple of times.

Task 5: Payment

In a Russian wedding people may steal the bride away multiple times and the asks for money from his friends to buy her back. Tony had asked all of us to bring lots of ones before the party. We gave him a bunch of cash and it was approved. Then they gave the couple the money back anyhow later.

Task 6: Hands
They brought Veroinka back but blind folded Tony. All the girls stood in a line and he had to touch our hands and figure out which one was Veronika. A couple of the guys got in line too. Tony gave them very definitive "no's".

They also had a couple of other games tasks but Veronika was there for them. They tied a string to a broom, a bottle, and a baby doll. There was a blanket hiding the objects with the strings coming out the other side. Tony had to pick one and pull it out to tell what kind of husband he would be (broom/hard worker, doll/good father, bottle/drinker). Tony picked the doll so he's going to be a good father.

They also sat the couple in chairs with their backs to each other. They each got one of their own shoes and one of the other's. Everyone would ask them questions like who is going to do the dishes, or who is going to make the most money. Then they would raise the shoe of the person for their answer.

It was actually really fun and a good opportunity to not only learn more about the culture Veronika grew up with but hopefully integrate some of that into our family. She's coming from a small family that is in Europe into a big family with strong personalities. It would be easy to just ignore her past and suck her into the family, but it is much more fun to learn and change our "family culture" to accept some of what she brings to us.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Well, I can't say the wedding went off without a hitch, but I'd guess most people had no idea that there were "hitches" cause we covered pretty good. The main thing is Tony & Veronika both showed up and they did get married.

The wedding breakfast (why is it even called tha
t?) was fabulous. Lots of family and friends around. Too much food. One of the best parts was just laying in the shade on blankets in the grass being lazy after eating too much.

The reception was really lovely. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in many years. It made me very happy.

The best part of course was getting a new family member-Veronika. Her mother and step-father came from Paris for the wedding and are absolutely delightful people. Even my dog loves them and she's usually afraid of people.

However, a close second for my favorite part of the wedding is my new dress. I love it. It is possibly my new favorite article of clothing (formerly my Zoot running shoes). I want to wear it all the time. It twirls really well, looks great on me, and is made out of this soft, shimmery, light material. Love. It.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ragnar Northwest Passage Relay

I better get this down before the hazy memories start fading. It's funny how lack of sleep can affect the memory. Since this was a race I had to travel to, it was really an epic 4 day weekend.

First off, the temperature was pretty close to perfect the whole time. It varied a bit and sometimes you needed a jacket, but I loved the temperature. Second, Washington state is beautiful. Someone mentioned it about every 30 minutes the whole trip. It's so green and it's just beautiful.

We didn't have a lot of time on Thursday, but the single girls from Utah mostly walked around downtown Seattle for a few hours. Pikes Place Market was cool. I had a really, really good sandwich from an Italian shop. Possibly the best thing I ate the whole weekend. Saw a glimpse of the Pioneer Square district. I was sad we didn't have enough time to go on the Underground Tour. I love underground city tours. I'm over it though. Another trip.

It took a long time to get to Whidbey Island. We wanted to take the ferry cause that seemed the touristy thing to do. The line was pretty long so that took about an hour wait and it was only a 15 min ride. I enjoyed all 15 mins. Love boats.

The island is gorgeous. I want a summer house here. Most of our local runners were from the Oak Harbor area. We all met up at a local eatery, Flyers. Excellent burgers, and the sweet potato fries were pretty good too.

It's funny because I hadn't actually met any of the other runners in Van 1 before. We've just talked on the phone or emailed, but I have facebook blurked. As soon as I saw them it felt like I knew them though. I can't say enough about how fun and awesome and generous they all are. They totally opened their homes up to a bunch of strangers and took really good care of us. Did I mention how fun they were too?

Another highlight of the trip was spending time with a long time friend of mine back from my San Diego days. He's a big deal doctor in WA now so I invited him to join the team and he was able to get the time off. Miracle.

I was feeling pretty trashed when I got up Friday morning. I was on the tail end of a sinus infection from allergies and it kind of came back a bit. Plus I had not had enough sleep the past couple of days. The rest of the team was so excited it was contagious and I was just happy.

One of the first teams I saw when we got to the start was the Lord of the Ragnar. They were on my list of teams to look for. They were hard to miss. Full Lord of the Ring costumes (which they totally ran in). They had a bullhorn and used it. Best entrance to a start ever. I think they were a family team. Good for them.

These races are insane. Not only are 12 people going to run 190 total, but most people do it in the most ridiculous get ups. We were team #90, RagStars. Think 80's rock stars. I guess I was more of a groupie. I made my own t-shirt but I never fully got costumed out. I had pink hair and some other stuff, but by the time we finished the race, I was too tired to get into it all. So unlike me.
My first leg was awesome. It was only 2.8 miles up a hill then back down. I was flying on the down side. I glanced down at my Garmin and it said I was doing 7 min miles. I tried to slow down a bit but it was such a small distance that it was too tempting to push on.

We rested at a park thing along a river at Exchange 12 just as the sun was setting. So pretty. My second leg was at night. I also felt pretty good for that one. 7.8 miles total. It was through some city so nothing too exciting but you can't see much anyhow. I was at a pretty good speed still (thank you elevation advantage). There is a stretch for about a mile that is a boardwalk/trail thing right across the bay. You couldn't see much but it was just really cool. I passed a guy right as I got to the trail. Apparently he didn't like getting passed by a girl cause he stayed right on my tail. I'd speed up a little but couldn't shake him so we started up a conversation instead. I dropped my mp3 player about 1/4 mile from the finish so after making sure I was ok, he took off and finally broke away.

At the next major exchange I left everyone in the van and went down to find our last runner. It is really, really dark out there when you get away from the lights. When I tried to find the van I got lost which seems ridiculous now, but was very frustrating at the time. This was at about 2 AM and I hadn't had any sleep yet. The road went down but I remembered parking on a hill so I kept going in circles. My stomach was cramping up too so I was not in a good place physically or emotionally. Also I had forgotten my charger and my phone was about to die. And they people I texted didn't have coverage where they were at. I almost sat down on the side of the parking lot and cried I was so frustrated. And then I walked a little bit farther the next loop and realized the road went down and back up. Teehee. If you don't have at least one break down during the race, you didn't race hard enough.

I think I got 2 hours of sleep before we were up and going again. Sigh. I forced myself to eat a piece of bread and a gogurt. I was going to try eating ginger to settle my stomach this time, but I forgot to pack it. These things can really mess up your digestive system. Fortunately I only get stomach cramps, but still not fun. I didn't fuel really well before or during the race. It's harder when you're away from home. Once you are in deficit, there's no getting back to even. I never got a headache so I was glad for that. I think I hydrated really well at least.

Once I got running on my last leg, the stomach felt better though. My last leg was 4.8 miles but it was harder than I expected. The uphill felt harder than I thought it would be and the downhill didn't matter. I felt stiff and full of cement. I think I was close to my target pace, but it didn't feel as good as the previous 2 legs.

We finished in 28:08:25. I think that may be the fastest I've done any of the relays. It's hard to compare though because they're all different lengths, but with a 9:01 ave pace, I think it was the fastest. We placed 143rd out of 302 registered teams. We were 10th in our division (submasters, mixed). There were only 22 of those teams, but 10th sounds awesome. One advantage to aging is the competition starts dwindling.

People sometimes ask me why I do these races. Especially after hearing about some of the discomforts. Or I get strange looks like they just outright think I'm crazy. To each his own, I guess but long-distance relays have become one of my favorite races. If you are on a fun team anyhow. Here's why I like them so much:
1. The challenge of training and performing something difficult
2. I get to wear costumes and/or act ridiculous and it's ok
3. They are always along beautiful though hilly/mountainy terrain

4. Runners are some of the nicest, coolest, funnest people in the whole world
5. I've met some of my dearest friends and continue to expand my circle of running friends every time I participate (running or volunteering) (it's always fun to run into people I know at every race even when I'm out of state, it's a small world when you are a Ragnarian)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cache Valley Super Sprint Tri

My first triathlon ever was the CVSST. I think that was in 2005? I can't even remember now. I usually do one or two a year now. A couple of weeks ago my friend Candice was like, let's do it, and I was all like, ok. I start sounding like a valley girl when I get spontaneous.

Friday night we all stayed at my parent's in BC. Didn't really get a whole lot of sleep. Whenever the dog has an interuption in her schedule she has to pee at random times of the day and night. Like 2 AM. Wasn't super pleased. Wasn't super pleased at 5:42 when she started licking my face again to go out because the alarm was set for 5:45. Three minutes that early matter. But then at 5:46 when I realized the alarm didn't go off (it was set but not turned on, brils Amy), I was thinking what a good doggy.
I didn't take the address to the start with me cause I knew how to get there. Except there was road construction which took us on a detour. So after a short "lost" period, we finally found the start, get signed in, and set up our stuff.

My final time was 1:33:11. I can't remember exactly what my sprint record was before, but I know that is a PR. The swim was not so good. It was just over 17 min for 500 meters. I realized I haven't been swimming since I broke my shoulder last August, so I can't really have expected to do well, just saying I would have liked to.

My first transition was about 2 min which is pretty good. I swam in my clothes (compression shorts & tri top) so it went faster. I was able to keep my balance and put my socks and bike shoes on. A trick I learned was to fold the socks over half way. Then you just have to put your toes in and pull them on.

The bike was fun. It was only 12.5 miles. Once I adjusted to the transition to the pedaling motion, I started to pick up a little more speed. I averaged about 16.5 mph, which is ok. It was a flat course. I kind of wanted to push a little more but my plantar fascitiis started flaring up. I have suspected I developed it doing spin for 3-4 hours a week in the winter. I believe my suspicions are confirmed. It actually got quite painful at one point. I focused on activating the msucles that support the arch in the foot and it helped.

Also during the bike ride whenever I was about to pass someone I would pretend they were Alberto Contrador and I was one of my favorite cyclists like Mark Cavendash or Thor whats-his-name. It totally helped me push harder. Then if someone passed me I just pretended it was Andy or Frank Schleck and I was ok with it.

Next transition was 1 minute. It went almost perfectly. I was able to do the trick where you take your feet out of your bike shoes (must be attached to clips on the pedals of course) and then you put your feet on the shoes and finish pedaling in on them. The only hick up was when I started running after changing into my totally awesome favorite Zoot tri shoes. One of the volunteers asked me if I was planning to run with my bike helmet on. My bike was next to the fence so I just tossed it over and got running.

Of the 99 women, I finished 35th for the run portion. Not bad. It was just over 27 mins at a 8:41 min/mile pace. Very nice. I was actually surprised I was running that fast. I had stomach cramps for about the first 3/4 mile. There's always a weird transition in the legs between the bike and run. It went away just before the stomach cramps. I think it was the last shot blok I ate just before the end of the bike. I don't think I drank enough water with it. Regardless, I had a good run. I was defintely faster the 2nd lap.

Did I mention I had run about 12 miles the day before? It was my last 3x in 24 hours before I run the Ragnar Northwest Passage relay. I ran 4.5 mile Fri morning, 7.6 miles Friday evening. I needed to run 3 more miles and I did. And swam and biked. :) Well, at least I know I can run my three legs while tired (thank you Milly) and then some.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

BC Temple fever

I've been following the construction of the BC Temple pretty closely. It's been insteresting to see all the buzz due to all the social networking sites and blogs out there. For instance the day they put the East steeple up word got around and it was so packed downtown Brigham City that it cause traffice disruptions on Main Street. It's a town of about 20,000, that's about as exciting as it gets. I can only imagine the masses that will be there when they raise the Angel Moroni up (rumored to be July 15th?).

I usually walk to the site every time I'm in town to see the progress (it's 2 blocks from my mom's house). I've taken some pics.

It's located across the street from the Tabernacle. It makes for a dramatic scene with the two buildings facing each other.

The design reminds me of a cross between the Salt Lake (minus 4 spires) and the Nauvoo. I heard the granite was quarried in the same canyon as the Salt Lake's but it is white instead of gray.

I don't know about other days, but it is a very popular spot for families on Sunday evenings. We've walked the neices and nephews in the family there a couple of times. They are very excited about the progress.

I have a few ancestors that pretty much took part in the building of most of the major buildings back in the day in Brigham City. My great granpa Pett was an archetect and designed a lot of buildings and bridges and stuff around the area. I have ancestors on both sides of the family that helped build the Tabernacle. Back in the day everyone pitched in time and labor to build churches and tabernacles and stuff. Even though I've left BC, I have always felt part of the town because of that. All the building and moving stuff is hired out now, I'm hoping I can volunteer to do some last minute cleaning or maybe some planting around the grounds when it comes time for that stuff. I'd really like to carry the family tradition on and take part some how. If nothing else I'd like to volunteer during the open house.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another excellent Tour de Cure. The weather this year was fantastic. At least for the 25 miler. I was originally going to make this my first full century ride, but I'm a fair weather biker. All the rain this spring kept me indoors when I should have been ramping up my miles. It was sunny but cool.

I don't understand why I can never find a single person to ride with though. Maybe because most of my friends don't really ride bikes often. I always kind of wish I had someone to ride with though. The nice thing about the Tour de Cure is that it's a fun ride and not a race. You can go as fast or slow as you like. Since I was alone I just took off as soon as I could get around the crowd and went for speed. I can't lie, it's really fun to pass lots of people going much faster than them.

To the handsome gentleman who took my picture for me, took the time to learn my name, then cheered for me by name through the ride--thank you. Call me.....

Oh, another reason I'd like to ride with some people is so I don't act like a baby right before the race start. Seriously, every year I get all teared up and almost start crying in public. So dumb. Diabetes just really sucks and has done bad things to people I care about, so I just get all internal and think about that before the start and blubber up. So embarrassing. Showing emotions. What's that all about?

As I said I went for speed. A few miles out from the 1/2 point rest/turn around spot, I could count all the bikers ahead of me. 9, then 7, then 6, 5 for a while, then 3. Most people take their time at the rest spots cause they have food and stuff and it is a fun ride so no hurries. I put down my pb&j and some dried fruit, drank lots of water, then got back on my bike. I guess I could have fratanized with the other riders, but I decided to just get 'er done.

There were 3 riders ahead of me. Then 1. Then none. For like 15 glorious moments, I was the lead rider in the 25 mile bike ride (that started at the regular start time, some people start early and I did see some of them headed back on my way to the turnaround ahead of me). Mind you all the more serious riders who could have left me in their dust were probably riding the 65, 80, or 100 mile rides. And it's not a race so there's no first place, but for a short time I was totally first place. Then my bike chain jammed up when I shifted. Boo. Probably a dozen riders passed me while I got the chain back on. I did end up passing most of them.

For a non-competitive fun ride, I think I was about the 4th or 5th person back. There was actualy a crowd at the finish line that were cheering pretty good as we came through. I can't lie. I like me some cheering crowds.

The Tour de Cure is an excellent ride for beginners or serious riders who are looking for a nice flat course. The century has a good "hill" (Golden Pass) to go over, but it's basically flat, farm countryside. It's got some good sponsors, it's a good cause, lots of volunteers help out, and the directors of the event do a great job.

Note to self--next time I ride or run and start with a long sleeve on, remember to put the sunblock on first. Burned my back pretty good after I took my shrug off.