Inspirational Stories

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TRIALS TO MILES

No trial has a scale to measure the weight that it has on an individual. Everyone has different trials that weigh on them differently.  Come relate to individuals who may have one similar to yours! 

Share your experiences with us, we love reading about all walks of life!  (All stories will be reviewed before publishing, Submit Here!

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The Truth of Happiness

I’ve had several people comment on my social media lately. Most of the comments have been, “you are so great, look how many fun places you take your kids.”  When they say this I admittedly feel a little embarrassed and think, ‘yes, that was a great picture, but that was an awful outing with the kids.’  I’ve also had mom’s say, ‘I need to be a better mom and go and do things with my kids.’ However, I’ve seen that same mom reading to her kids and I think, “I really need to read more to my kids like she does!”

We need to stop comparing ourselves!  As much as we say we don’t do it, we all do. Why do we belittle ourselves because of someone else’s talents and neglect our own? Can I let you in on a little secret? We are not always the best moms, but we are all trying. The pictures on social media are only a small snippet of a bigger story. Let me show you…

DSC_1668 DSC_1672DSC_1663Here are a few pictures I put up on social media. Looks like loads of fun right? We took the kids up to Snowbasin to see the fall leaves and do some ‘mountain biking’. They have cute little trails for kids and a fun playground. Looking back now I think,  ‘oh that was fun’.

REALITY: It was cold so we bundled up. We got up there and the baby blew out so she is actually pantless, thus the blanket. My oldest threw a tantrum because we didn’t get to ride the gondola and my middle child had an accident (#2!) which ended the trip all together and resulted in the loss of some superhero underwear and the desecration of some pants. Do you know what my Instagram post said? “A great outing to Snowbasin to see the leaves!” 

IMG_5067Situation #2: I thought I would be a great mom and get my kids a kitten.  My kids absolutely love it.

Truth: It’s an outdoor cat only (think farm cat for all you cat lovers).  The first day we got it that kitten jumped up into the engine of my car. Um, hello cat do you have a death wish? Luckily, I saw her go up. First, I tried to poke it with a broom, which only made it hate me. Next, I tried honking the horn to make it jump out, which probably only made it go deaf. Then I thought, cat’s hate water right? So, I grabbed a hose and tried to squirt it out. This last idea made the cat jump up into a smattering of wires and tubes and create a noose for itself. So now the cat was really close to committing suicide.  I then went into a panic and jumped under the hood, reached my arm into oobers of oil, and grabbed the scratching and biting cat.  When I finally got it, it was mad and covered with oil.  Then I had to give the cat a bath to get all the oil off! HAVE YOU EVER GIVEN A CAT A BATH!?!  They despise it.  Think deep growls and A LOT of scratching.

   But you know what I posted to instagram?  This cute picture of my girl holding her little baby  (ELSA) with both of them covered in blue stamps because that ridiculous cat is her best buddy.
IMG_4589Situation #3: Swim lessons, an essential part of summer around here.
Truth: My little girl loved it! My little boy, not so much. Private swim lessons consisted of tears, my newborn being shoved off to some stranger who was watching her kids swim, and a fully clothed mom walking through the pool with her kid to ease his anxiety.  Nothing like wet undies right?!  Do you know what the Instagram post said, “My cute little swimmers!” as if this was a fun experience.

 

Now before you think I’m a Gretchen grumbler, let me tell you this.  After going through all of these experiences, I actually do look back at them and they bring me happiness!  They are all such fun memories even if they were disastrous in the moment! I may not have handled everything with ease and a smile, but we are all alive right?

When ever I come back from outings and my mom asks me how it went I tell her it was ‘Mom Fun’.  This means that it was a ton of work for me but the kids had fun. Which is the definition of how moms actually have fun.  The moral of the post is that even though some things seem like a ton of work to go do with your kids, GO AND DO IT! These experiences teach your children and give them knowledge! Don’t sit and compare yourself to other peoples wonderful lives because you have no idea what it is really like. You have the opportunity today to be the best mom YOU can be!photo 3 (4)

Lastly, here is a picture of my siblings and I who recently ran a race with my dad.  2 years ago this month he was diagnosed with cancer. It was a difficult time for him and our family. Right now he is in remission which we are thankful for. I tell you this story to remind us all that we never know what life will throw at us and sometimes it won’t be fun or easy. However, when people are gone and kids are grown all we will have are the memories we made.

 Life is for living, kids are for loving, and motherhood is for becoming. So stop worrying about what other people think and find out what happiness is all about by creating your own!

Note: If you’re looking for an adventurous blog, check out Bring The Kids it’s one of my favorite blogs! It’s about taking your kids with you through lifes adventures! Right now their cute little Colorado family is traveling through Egypt!!! Awesome!

 

 

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BIG COTTONWOOD MARATHON- RACE RUN DOWN

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I’m finally getting around to writing about our big race. I’ve been in a bit of a running coma since then thanks to sore muscles, and kids who have suddenly decided that sleeping through the night is for the birds.  A week after the race I finally tried running again and let me tell you, I was still sore…

PRE RACE/EXPO 

The night before the race my friends Kristen, Kristy and I headed down to Salt Lake to pick up our racing packets. Prior to hitting the expo we stopped by at Mimi’s café for a pre-race dinner.   As instructed from our pre-race nutrition post I had carbo loaded the Thursday before the race and the night before the race I had some salmon and potato’s. Naturally, we were all a little nervous and the fact that the restraunt was incredibly slow with their service didn’t help as we were pushing closing time for the expo. Once our food came out we ate it up and high tailed it over to the expo.

 The expo is one of my favorite pre-race rituals. I appreciate walking around with my race bib and bag in hand and seeing so many nervous runners all gathered in the same place.

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 After that we headed to our hotel to get ready for bed. In our hotel room we pinned on our numbers and talked about our race plan as we all were running to get under 3:35 (Boston Qualifying). Later on that night our other training buddy Lida showed up and added to nervous energy. 

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 Here we are rubbing out well, everything.  I woke up with a stiff neck the day before the race (and so did Lida!). So we took turns giving neck rubs. I just got thinking, then we slept in the same bed. That’s a little weird right? I assure you we both stayed on our half of the bed. :)

 As we stretched and rolled out our muscles, we talkedabout our race plans. Our race plan was tentatively as follows:

RACE PLAN 

Miles 1-8: Enjoy the race atmosphere.

Miles 8-15: at the ‘S’ curve start paying attention to our stride, pace and form.
Miles 15-22: Come out of the canyon and head to the out and back section of the race. Be prepared for the mental aspect of the race
Miles: 22-26.2: Last 3 miles down hill- just hold on!

RACE RULES

We also decided to add some race rules:

                       1: If you take a bathroom break, we are not waiting for you.
                        2: If one of us is having a bad day, it’s okay if you leave them.

In hindsight these rules look ridiculous right? However, we had all worked too hard for someone elses bowel problems to eliminate the chances on a new PR (personal record)  and a BQ (Boston qualifying time).  Yes, it still sounds like we’re jerks. Okay, how about if we run a 5k and then we will wait at the out house for you.  Yea, we might not then either. :)

RACE DAY

The morning of the race I choked down my usual steel cut oats and hopped in a mini van as we cruised over to the finish line. When we got to the buses we found an unusually long line. Come to find out they were having a bus problem and there were a lot of us waiting at the bottom. We figured this was just as well because the top of the mountain was a good 15 degrees colder than where we were at (and it was about 50 degree’s where we were at.) We finally got on the bus at 6:30 with the race a mere half hour away. We arrived at the starting line at 7:10 (the race was now delayed) and as I was sitting on the porta potty I heard, “4 minutes to race time!” I totally panicked, burst through the door and started stripping off my 4 layers of clothes.

 The gun went off as I was trying to get my watch to turn on. Thanks to our late bus ride we were at the VERY BACK of the 1800 person crowd. So as we WALKED to the starting line we made a plan to go along the edge so as to make a quick getaway from the crowd. We ended up starting the race about 2 minutes after the gun went off (thank goodness for timing chips!)

 From here on out I’ll start talking in miles:

 Miles 1-4: We were passing as many people as we could to avoid the crowds. We were ‘off-roading’ and running in a line, taking turns being the leader to navigate. Our pace at this point was between 6:35-6:50

m8

Kristen brought her phone along and snapped this at mile 2. This is when we were happy…

Miles 4-9: At mile 4 Kristen had to take a bathroom break. NOOOOOOO! Remember the rules from before? She tried to run ahead of us so we wouldn’t leave her but we caught up. Among the chaos of waiting or not waiting for Kristen I somehow lost Kristy and Lida too. By mile 7 I was all alone. BOO HOO!

 At mile 8 I saw the BIGGEST bull moose ever. It had a huge rack and was just standing off to the side watching thousands of runners run by. At first I thought, “that moose is cheering me on!” then I thought, “if that moose is not spooked by this many people, he may not live through hunting season.” I promise I don’t think of bad omens for all my cheering sections.

 I also took this time to take in the beautiful canyon I was in. The leaves were barely changing and there was a mist over the river running down it. It was gorgeous. Maintaing 6:50 (ish) pace.

Mile 9: My stomach was in fits. It was absolutely killing me. I kept praying it would subside however it took 3 more miles tell it stopped cramping.

Mile 12: I hear someone yell my name and I turn around. It was Kristen!!! She had returned in all her glory and boy was I glad. We talked a little bit about how we were feeling and how glad we were to have each other again. Kristy and Lida were not too far behind at this point.

Mile 13.1: We came across the half marathon with a time of 1:30.10. We were in good position!

Mile 15: We came out of the canyon to a cheering crowd at the start of the out and back section. Kristen and I started yelling to the crowd. “Give us a cheer!” and with a hand to my ear I yelled, “let me hear you!” and they all started cheering louder!  I love people cheering for me. We also saw our old collegiate teammate Caroline here which was awesome. She came to cheer us on which was such a lift. We all fed off the crowd and headed for the slightly inclined out and back section.marathon

Mile 18 Kristen drops a drinking glass and I ended up leaving her again. Our pace had slowed to 7:20 ish and we were both just trying to hang on to the pace. I focused on chasing down the girls in front of me. This portion to mile 26.2 was incredibly hard for me. My body kept panicking and wanted to walk. I was trying not to hyperventilate and would count myself back down to a normal breathing pattern or 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. The turn around point was right around mile 19.5 and was graced with people and JEDI characters. Why jedi?  I have no idea. I guess I should say, WHY NOT JEDI? I also saw another old teammate here who was running along the race route. I had just spit all over myself so I was slightly embarrassed, but as always I love anyone who will cheer me on!

Just before the turn around I passed the 3:10 pacer. After that my whole goal was to not let him catch me! At mile 21 I passed a former BYU competitor.  I love people who love track, however I also love beating all things that are associated with BYU (Note: I actually cheer for BYU in all other aspects, however, if it comes to running I do like to beat them. I guess it’s an old habit).  Anyway, I passed him as he stopped to take a drink from someones sprinkler. I was glad to see that he was hurting as bad as I was.

 Mile 21-22: I CAVE. Someone decided to put a 400 meter slight hill in the race at the most inopportune time. In complete exhaustion I said out loud, “oh S***”. “ At which point I tried to walk. However, my legs had been so used to the pace that it was actually more ackward to walk so I moved them back into my stride. I then thought, “ I should say a prayer to help me get up this evil hill!” Then I thought in exasperation, “I CAN’T PRAY, I JUST SWORE!!!!” Really I was a mess at this point. The wall was bigger than I thought. In the end I did say a prayer and I made it to the top…barely. I then turned the corner to finish the last 3 miles to the finish line.

 Miles 24-26: As I ran my way down a pretty steep hill I looked at my watch to see 7:35 pace. I thought, “how could you be running down a hill this steep at only 7:35 pace?”  Than I thought, “I don’t care, where is the finish line!!”

marathon2Here I am headed for the finish line. Do you see my face? It was a reflection of how I was feeling….awful.

 Mile 26-26.2: My body was in full depletion mode. I was hoping to be wiser with my nutrition but it didn’t work out that way and I was really paying for it. I saw the finish line and the last 200 meters lined with people. I seriously considered walking through the cheering crowd and across the line. Then I saw my whole family there cheering me on. I stopped for high fives, including high fives from all my kids and my 90 year old grandma. It was just enough to get me to the line and break down in tears. I had done it!

m5

 All the training of the last 6 months, all the early morning alarms, all the runs alone and with friends had finally come full circle and how sweet it was! My husband came over and gave me a hug in which I collapsed into tears. It was a feeling of deep accomplishment, exhaustion and love all wrapped into one and it was beautiful.

 Oh and did I mention that I ran a 3:08?!!!!? And I got 7th out of almost 800 women, 1st in my age group and 77th overall? Yes, I’m bragging. Yes, I’m okay with it today. Because you know what? I worked pretty hard for that!  The next day I wore my medal to my moms house for Sunday dinner. I could barely walk for 4 days and I was eating absolutely EVERYTHING that did not run away from me (I’m still nursing my 6 m baby so I was a hungry woman).

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Here is my loot from taking 1st in my age group. They are waterproof headphones. I can’t wait to use them for my next Tri!

m4

Here we are looking much better than we really felt. :)

I’ve had people tell me that running is too hard with kids, life etc. and to an extent I agree. But running for me is an outlet and an opportunity to grow.  It’s a time for me to collect my thoughts while staying in shape. Training has helped me realize my potential and what I can do. And not just in running. I’ve found that if I can be a good mom and work extra hard to be patient when I’m tired from a long run, than I can do the same things when times get tough. I’ve found that the potential of the body is only limited by the mind. We are only as strong as we think we are. There were plenty of times that I wanted to stop and quit but I knew that my past experience (training) had made me too strong to quit and I know that carries over to life. 

So when will my next marathon be you ask? maybe this will answer your question. :)
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See you in Boston!

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4th of July 5k

4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love BBQ’s, parades, 5k’s, and the summer sun.  It’s one of the only holidays that I feel like it’s totally fine to sit in a lawn chair and put your feet up.  My brother Robb lives in the next city over so we woke up early and went to the Layton city 5k.

pic robb

Here are Robb and I pre-race. Robb is one of my best friends. However, our sibling rivalry occasionally comes through as you’ll see in Wednesday’s post.

One thing that I  thought was fun about this race is that the mayor started 200 meters ahead of the starting line. The first person to catch him won a season pass to the community pool.  So when the gun went off all the men took off sprinting after the poor mayor who was waving an envelope above his head as he ran from the pack of high schoolers chasing him.

When I toed the line I scoped out my competition.  Immediately a girl wearing a sports bra caught my eye and I had a feeling she would be my competition. Once the gun went off I started out at a conservative pace around 7:15. A group of girls took off running and I remembered the words my coach used to yell at the start of a cross county race, “don’t worry they’ll come back to you!’. Meaning, they will slow down and you will catch them if you stay consistent. True to Coach Reeders advice all but one of the girls came back to me as I steadily sped up my pace. It was the girl who was speeding down the road in the sports bra. I later learned her name was Val and I actually hope to do some training with her in the future. Just before mile 2 I started reeling her in slowly. By the last mile I was running 6:45 pace. I passed her hard thinking she would drop off but she stayed right on my shoulder. With 200 meters left I was starting to feel the pace. But when I heard her breathing behind me I slowly picked it up hoping she wouldn’t hold on. Luckily for me, she didn’t. I crossed the line right around 20:50 and won the race for the Women.  I won a date night for the husband and I. VICTORY!

4TH

Here Robb and I are with my winnings envelope. The other picture is my new friend Val.

Honestly, it left me pretty wasted for the rest of the day. But like I said, all I had to do is sit in a chair for the 4th. Seriously, God bless America. I LOVE THIS LAND!

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Typical Tuesday

3 Kids, I’ve Got This!

first month

I’ve decided to make Tuesday’s my real life moment day. Meaning, instead of this website only having racing tips etc. it’s also going to have personal real life experiences. Perhaps that is not what you expected, but I assure you the stories to come will not disappoint.

The ‘pace’ of my life has been significantly more intense yet we are moving at an incredibly SLOW rate. Yes, it’s possible. I suppose that is simply the story of a new baby in the house. It’s taking me til 11:00 A.M. to  get everyone out of their pajamas and syrup wiped off of their face. So if you knock on my door before that you can expect a braless woman with mascara blackened eyes and a dirty diapered kid holding onto her leg. I’m telling you, don’t bother me til after 11, It’s not a pretty sight. 

Prior to having baby #3 everyone was so kind to give me the most encouraging advice. It included,  “oh #3 broke me” and “baby #3 is when I completely lost control”. They must have known me well enough to know that encouragement like that only makes me want to do the opposite.  Yep, I’ve been trying to be awesome. I’ve tried to act like having 3 kids under 4 is not kicking my butt. I think I need one of these Child Locators so I don’t lose one. But honestly i’m tired. Real tired.  3 am feedings, dirty diapers, loads of laundry, and new negative behaviors that came from WHO KNOWS WHERE have been doing me in.

 Sigh. Motherhood. Sigh again. I have 2 arms and 3 kids. I feel like the only way the older 2 listen is by increasing my decibel level a few notches and even then I wonder if their ears are painted on! Thus, a new rewards chart for the both of them specifically for listening. Wish me luck! Oh and let me know if you have a better idea, at this point i’m totally open to it.

So what’s with this rant? I’m trying to decide it’s purpose too. I suppose it’s to say that i’m human and so are you.  At some point in your life you can devote your time to exercise, cleaning, sewing, or whatever strikes your fancy. But sometimes the stage that you’re in slows down your pace and that’s okay! (I’m still telling myself that). So no matter if it takes us til noon to look appropriate, we are still moving forward! We simply put one foot in front of the other in hopes that we will eventually make it. And make it we will!!

Do you have any parenting advice or rewards ideas that work for you? Leave a comment and let us know! We could all be a little better!

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Boston Strong

Check out the 'lone horse' Seth Wold!

Check out the ‘lone horse’ Seth Wold!

It wouldn’t really be a running blog if I didn’t post about this years incredible Boston Marathon.  I love the stories, I feed off the talent, and I crave being as fast as those people.  I told my friend who ran it, that this year is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable years due to the terrible circumstances of last. The results did not disappoint.  My favorite stories are that of Meb, Rita, and the lone horse- Seth.

Meb Keflezighi won on the Men’s side and became the first American to win it overall since 1983. He is a San Diego native and did  volunteer work with my friend Beckys high school team. From what she says he is a really awesome guy. (She’s the one who created this website, Barney Design) Not to mention HE IS 39! WOOT WOOT! It goes to show that you are never too old to be awesome!  At the end of the race his mantra was, “Boston Strong”. I’m telling you, mantras are important in running, walking, or life in general! Need a refresher on Mantras? Click here! I’m so proud that an American won! He crossed the line and broke into tears. He was quickly greeted and held up by the 1983 winner, Greg Meyer. Nothing short of Amazing!meb

On the Womens side Rita Jepatoo of Kenya defended her Boston title from last year with a time of 2:18.57 (almost an hour faster than my PR!) Rita pulled away from the pack at mile 23 as she clocked in her 23rd mile at a measly 4:49!!!!!!  She also set a course record and ran the 5th fastest marathon by a women EVER. For sure nothing to scoff about!

But perhaps one of my favorite stories was that of Seth Wold my old teammate, fellow team captain and Altra Shoe Guru. He decided to take a chance and run up at the front of the pack with the LEADERS of the Boston Marathon. The commentators were completely caught off guard trying to figure out who this lone rider was. It was none other than Utah’s native Seth Wold. He explains his story in his blog here. Essentially, he decided to run the first 5k of the race with his racing heros before dropping off and eventually placing 927th with a smoking time of 2:49!  This story has been putting a smile on my face through most of the day. Not to mention he got to be in this awesome picture on the front page of the NY times!

Boston Seth

 He is in the blue singlet with the neon socks.  What a gutsy guy, and how awesome is that!?! If you have not checked out Altra’s line of shoes, be sure to here. I’m running a major downhill marathon (cottonwood) in September and their wide toe box is sounding tempting. I think I’ll trade out my Mizuno’s for a pair. I’ll let you know what I think when I get ’em. We have a group of 12 women now who are all training for this race in hopes of qualifying and being part of next years Boston Marathon.  I will say that WHEN we make it there, I’m not sure I will have the guts to race like that of Seth Wold. Cheers to you Seth!

 

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