Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Run Mei, Run!

Running is hard. It hurts. It beats me up and reminds me just how weak I am. I am not a fast runner, nor a graceful runner. My man does an unflattering impression of the way I run, and it's more like a scoot than a run. Think more penguin, less gazelle.

On December 26th, 2006, I suddenly decided to register and train for the SLC Half Marathon to be held in April 2007. I made a 4-month training schedule, with my long runs on Saturdays. I would map out my route, beginning and ending at my house. On the way out, I usually ran past a little golf course called Swan Lakes. As spring approached and the weather became warmer, my scheduled runs became longer, and thank goodness the club house was open because it became my emergency pit stop. There is nothing worse than finding oneself miles away from home with an anxious bowel. NOTHING! I would rather have shin splints (which I did). I would rather get a migraine (and I had many). I would rather have my foot gnawed off by the ferocious rabbit from Monty Python and have to limp home, dragging a bloody stub. (This did not happen.) Bad things happen to your body during a long run. I had moments, or entire workouts, when I felt like I was wearing lead platform shoes and my tummy was grumbly and my lungs felt like they were being held in a bear hug, and I struggled through every single step of every mile. There were times that I winced with every step due to those nasty shin splints, and there were times that I would start losing my vision during a run and know that a migraine was on its way.

So why do I put myself through the torture? Why are we psychos compelled to take off running and not stop when we get tired? Isn't that a bit contrary to natural human tendencies? Yes. The answer is yes. It is unnatural. It is masochistic and punishing and glorious.

The first time I made it past 4 miles, I cried. I was so darn proud of myself that I cried. Then later, when I told Tim how I was feeling about my 4-mile accomplishment, I cried again. And then I felt like a complete idiot because who cries for joy after running 4 miles? Crazy people, that's who. Crazy freaks who are training their bodies to run 13.1 miles. For fun!

But I continue to run. Two years ago, I ran 13.1 miles WITH a migraine. Two months after that, I ran the Wasatch Back Relay for the second time, and after my first 3 miles, I looked like this:

And two years, 15 pounds, and a baby later, I ran 3.25 miles today and rejoiced. Running is full of ups and downs.

One thing I loved about my long Saturday runs is the opportunity I had to view the rural community in which I live with new eyes; I saw things that I never would have noticed in a car. I often ran past these trees during my 5th mile, and I fell in love with them. I love that these three trees stand alone in a large field, and I love the way they look during each season. I ran by crowing roosters, red barns, and small farms selling asparagus. I've run in the crisp early morning hours when the sky is pink, the birds are chirping, and my neighbors are still sleeping. I've run under the noon sun when my sweat stung my hot cheeks. I've run alone in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains at 3:00 am, and seen glowing eyes looking at me from the tall grass on the side of the road, with a curious coyote on the road ahead. I have experienced disappointment, like when my teammate Blake had to run a mile for me during my third and last leg of my second Wasatch Back Relay because I was too wussy. Or when I began to lose my vision at the starting line of the SLC Half Marathon, signaling a quickly approaching migraine. But the triumphs have far outweighed the frustrations. Like when, with the support of my man, I decided to run the race I had worked so hard to train for, despite the migraine (with my cell phone in my sweaty hand, just in case). Or when I took over for Blake and finished my last torturous mile of the WBR on my own. Or when I ran two miles for the first time after having the baby.

Running kicks my arse. But when it's good, it's guuuuuuuuuuud.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Why is it that jowls and rubber band wrists are only attractive until a person begins kindergarten? Just looking at these pictures, I have an overwhelming urge to wake him up from his nap and squeeze his thunder thighs!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Air Puff Torture

Forget waterboarding. I propose that the way to make terrorists talk is to submit them to an eye exam. First, you rest your chin on a little plastic tray and your forehead on a metal beam. Then the examiner sits 6 inches in front of you and tells you to relax; he will now perform the air puff test. At this point, my eye balls immediately dry out and my eye lids start twitching in uncomfortable anticipation. I am frozen in a permanent wince as I wait, and wait, and wait.... and then, "Pttthhht!" The sudden unpleasant puff of air makes me jump in my chair. Although I knew it was coming, it still surprises and bothers me every time. I wonder how the doctor can keep a straight face when performing this test. He might as well just stand behind the door to the exam room and jump out, yelling, "Boo!" as you walk in. It's the same thing.

Next, you sit behind a machine housing a series of lenses, which he moves to place in front of your face. Again, he sits mere inches away as he looks into my eyes with an annoying tiny light. "Just look straight ahead." Yes, of course. This is the most natural thing in the world. I'll look straight ahead as if I don't see you. At this point during my exam today, I had the most alarming urge to laugh. I actually had to hold my breath in order to keep myself from bursting out in uncomfortable giggles.

Someone I know actually did this during a breast exam. It was at a free clinic, and there were several exam stations, each separated by only a curtain. As the nurse started feeling her up, she suppressed a small giggle. But as the nurse's fingers continued their poking and prodding (and unintentional tickling), the urge to laugh became stronger and stronger until she let out an extremely loud and involuntary, "Paaaaaaaah!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Prune Face

It seems the little dude does not like prunes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Just for fun, I thought I'd share a few moments in the life of the punk. Here, he's hanging out on the bed while I fold laundry.

And here we are, chillin' in the backyard. His pops freaked out a little when he came home to find his son in a Cubs shirt. Dad's a Cardinals fan. At least I made up for it with the BYU blanket, even though I'm a Ute. Marriage is all about compromise, you know.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mom

Here are some things I love about my mom:

When all the other moms were sitting on lawn chairs because they didn't want to be seen in a swim suit, or didn't want to get their hair wet, my mom was in the pool with us kids, having just as much fun as we were.

She introduced me to classical music, and used to help me identify the different instruments in each piece, as well as the composer.

She was my first piano teacher.

You will never hear her say anything negative about another person.

She makes better banana bread, chocolate cake, whole wheat bread, and chocolate chip cookies than your mom.

She used to cut my bangs by sticking masking tape across my forehead so she could cut in a "straight" line:

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Snot On A Train

Yesterday, the punk and I decided to take FrontRunner downtown to spend a lovely afternoon with an old friend. Even though, in my estimation, it cost more to ride the train than to drive down, and even though it took longer than driving when you include parking at the station and waiting for the train, I quite enjoyed the experience. When driving the 30 minutes downtown, I would normally have to either time our outing perfectly so it's during the punk's nap time, or resort to chattering like a monkey and hope he doesn't fall asleep. You see, in our house, it's against the rules to do anything without my permission - including taking a nap before the time I set forth.

So the little man and I were making faces at each other and smiling and holding hands and having a witty conversation that primarily consisted of the word, "Boo!," when I happened to look up and see something that has left me gagging for the past 24 hours. An old man blew his nose into his bare hand, and then slowly moved his snot-filled hand down 2 inches, and slurped it up into his mouth! My eyes bulged, my jaw dropped, and I gulped down my breakfast that was threatening to spew.

As I contemplated the wonder that is public transportation, I was reminded of my days as a bus- and Trax-riding college student. Aside from the general memories of motion sickness and people who smell like a mix of B.O. and mental illness, some specifics come to mind. One was this experience. Another is this:

While riding the bus or the train, I generally kept to myself and read either Harry Potter or math books. (Nerd alert!) So I didn't notice if the following character was on my train, but apparently, I was noticed by him, either on the train, or as we exited. I was walking across the street on my way to class, when I heard someone say,

"Beat 'em up."

I looked up and saw a black man, probably mid-30s, looking at me, but I wasn't sure if I had heard him correctly.

"Excuse me?"

"Beat 'em up!"


"Beat 'em up wit yo' fiiiiine self!"

I took that to mean he was complimenting the way I looked, and therefore blushed and smiled, and kept walking. Ahhhh, public transportation. It carries Utah's finest.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy 29th Birthday, Doris!

This week, my Great Grandma Bell celebrated her 95th birthday. (Of course, the cake said, "Happy 29th Birthday, Doris!") Toward the end of the party, I retreated to my uncle's office to feed the punk. There were a dozen of Uncle Allen's beautiful watercolors spread out on his table: red rock landscapes, wheat fields, and rain storms. I could hear my family still going strong in the other room. My man was talking animatedly with my cousin and best friend, and my mom laughed in the kitchen. As I sat, surrounded by beautiful artwork, the happy chatter of my family, and my baby in my arms, I thought:

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Happy 29th Birthday, Doris!

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