Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Poop Story

Yesterday, I was changing the punk's diaper. I laid him on the changing table, undid the velcro tabs, and then realized there were no diapers in the cupboard. So I took one step over to his closet to grab a new package, and before I could get my hand on them, the little man had grabbed the diaper from in between his legs, and pulled it out from under himself.

Now if this had been merely a wet diaper, it wouldn't have been so scary. But of course, you know by the title of this post, it was not. As he pulled the diaper up into the air, the large nugget landed squarely on his chest. Curious, he picked it up to examine the item that had fallen. In a panic, I took it out of his hand... with my bare hand. Gag! I placed the token back in the dirty diaper and feverishly proceeded to wipe his hands and my hands with wet wipes. Then I slathered hand sanitizer all over both of us. Then, I found two smaller turds lying next to him, and gathered them. After changing his poop-smudged shirt, we both visited the bathroom sink to thoroughly clean our hands with anti-bacterial soap. Then more hand sanitizer.

And now, to clear your head of the awful story I just told, please enjoy these photos of the punk and his pal Bogey (Grandma Lynn's doggie). They share a favorite hobby: playing with "la-la" (water).

Do you feel better now?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ragnar: Part 3

We finished our second leg at about 9:00 am and headed to Mellisa's parents' house in Kamas to rest for a few hours. After a shower, a pancake, and 2 hours sleep, I was feeling much better. Some of the others, however, had misbehaving intestines, as often happens during races like this. None of us were feeling at our best, but the end was in sight; only one run to go.

My last run was scheduled as 5.5 miles down the steep mountain terrain through Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort, for a descent of over 2,000 feet. However, that morning, we received a text from the race officials stating that, "due to an unforeseen obstruction," (which turned out to be snow) my leg was to be increased by 1.5 miles, to make it 7 miles. Once again, my sweet teammates offered to help me with this addition; they would each take half a mile for me. But I knew that in order for me to feel proud of my performance, I would have to make it on my own.

Let's rewind three years. The Wasatch Back Relay was held in 2007 during a major heat wave. I ran my first leg during the afternoon when the temperature reached 104 degrees. Afterwards, I looked like this:

During the last leg of a difficult relay for everyone on my team, I gave up the ghost. I stopped to walk and couldn't make myself start running again. I only had about 2 miles to go, but those 2 miles seemed unattainable. I was physically and mentally weak, and I just gave up. Enter Blake (aka Donatello):

He stepped up and started running for me while I climbed in the van to drink some lukewarm gatorade. I was hot, tired, and miserable, but I felt ultimately defeated, not by the heat and the miles, but by my own weakness. I ended up running my last mile on my own, but never really forgave myself for allowing Blake to run for me, even after sending him a set of old school He-Man DVDs in thanks.

Fast forward back to this year. I took the baton and began my last leg: a 7 mile, "very hard" run. The first 200 yards were uphill, and then the descent began. As I began the climb up that very first hill, I almost literally ran into Blake! He was wearing a volunteer shirt.

"Hi Blake!"
"Hi Meili!"

And then I knew that I had come full circle. I was about to run 1.5 miles longer than I had anticipated, three years after Blake had run a mile for me. He was here, on leg #35, to give me his blessing. He thought he had volunteered at this time during the race because it was a convenient time of day for him, or because the location was good, or because all of the other volunteer shifts had been taken. But no. It was no coincidence. Karma, baby. The universe is now in order.

My triumphant finish:

The Duodecad at the finish line:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ragnar: Part 2

Friday evening. We had successfully finished our first leg of the relay. We were all smiles as we made our way to Taggart's, a tasty grill converted from an old gas station and bait shop hidden away in the canyon near Morgan. In the dining room, we joined many other runners and their appetites. I ordered the salmon and a cheesecake brownie to go, because at Taggart's, you can't not order dessert. The mouthwatering brownies, cheesecakes, tarts and cookies greet you in their pristine display case as you walk in the front door, so you're forced to think about them all through dinner.

After our meal, we grabbed our fresh clothes from the van and went back inside to change in the restroom. (We had considered stripping down in the parking lot, but then we noticed a couple of young boys sitting in their car with anticipation on their faces. We didn't want to be their first lady underwear experience, so we went inside.) There were only two w.c.'s in the restaurant: one for men, one for women. We six chicks stood outside the doors along with one tall, skinny guy. The woman before us exited the restroom, but because we were caught up in conversation, we didn't rush in after her. When we came to our senses a few seconds later, we noticed that the ladies' door was closed again. Tami tried the handle, but it was locked. Odd. We hadn't seen any other women hanging around the door. So she knocked. Nothing happened. She knocked again and pressed her ear against the door to see if there was an "occupied" response from within. As she was hugging the door, it suddenly opened and the tall man walked briskly out with a sheepish smirk on his face. We all burst out laughing at Tami who had almost fallen in on top of him.

Our hunger abated and our fresh clothes on, we settled into the van (still in the now dark Taggart's parking lot) to rest for an hour before we had to meet the other van at the next exchange. Despite the soothing lullaby of the breast pump being used in the front seat, we couldn't sleep. Someone had the giggles. So, despite our lack of rest, we moved on to meet the rest of the team and start our second leg. It took us a while, and a lot of turning around, to find our other van. By the time we met up with them, I was quite car sick. As soon as we parked, I got out of the van. Usually solid ground and fresh air will help soothe my upset stomach, but even after a long walk, I couldn't shake it. Finally at about 2 am, as Mellisa began her run, I took the two spots left in the back seat and laid down. As all my other teammates were running, I tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress the nausea and get some sleep. Finally at about 5:30 am, someone said, "Meili, it's time for you to get ready." I sat up and said to Mellisa, "Move. I have to get out!" I stumbled out of the van, leaned up against a rusted pipe in the makeshift parking lot in the middle of nowhere, and heaved my guts out. As I was puking, I was aware that I was standing right in front of a row of parked vans. But what was I going to do about that? Nothing. So I just kept puking. Goodbye salmon. Goodbye potatoes. Goodbye grilled vegetables. Goodbye cheesecake brownie.

I turned around to find my sympathetic teammates, shoes on and ready to run my leg for me. But, even though I had a pretty good excuse, I didn't want to let someone else do what I had come to do. So I visited the honey bucket (isn't that an awesome name for a porta-potty?), rinsed with mouthwash, sipped some water, ate 2 wheat thins, and laced up my shoes. Then I ran 5.5 miles around Rock Port Reservoir.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ragnar: Part 1

The Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back is a 188.1 mile race from Logan to Park City with a team of 12. There is a runner always plugging along on the course for (in our case) 35 hours. Each team has 2 vans, with 6 to a van. The Duodecad crossed the starting line at 8:30 am on Friday. I was in van 2, so we arrived at the first "exchange" at 3:00 pm, when runner #6 in van 1 handed off the baton (a slap bracelet) to runner #7 in van 2.

I was runner #11, so I had to wait for a few more hours before I got to hit the road. By the time we arrived at the location of my first leg, I was ready to get going.

I ran my first three miles UP Snow Basin Road. This leg of 3.7 miles was classified as "very hard" because of the terrain; it was an elevation increase of 879 feet. It was tough, but I was feeling strong. The last 0.7 mile was downhill for an elevation loss of 358 feet. THAT was fun. As the road evened out and then started going from uphill to downhill, I felt all the muscles in my body shift. It was a glorious feeling. Suddenly, I was using all different muscles so I had a completely fresh body with which to complete my run. I passed three people at top speeds on the way down. Boo-yah!

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alphabet with David

Even though the punk was reciting the alphabet perfectly at 7 months old, we've continued our work. After all, one can not perfect his talents too much. Here he is singing the alphabet song (kind of) with Uncle David, 11 months later.

My favorite part is when he giggles at silly "Da-id" at the end.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Taste of Ragnar

Ragnar was a success! (If you count vomit, intestinal problems, heartburn, nausea, sciatic pain, and exhaustion in the definition of success.) The Duodecad finished the 188 mile race across the back of the Wasatch Mountains in 35 hours 18 minutes. I am just beginning to sort through all the video footage. Here is a little taste of what Ragnar is all about.

But first, a little background. This is Terra (aka Rocky) running the most infamous leg of them all: Ragnar. This is what it looks like on the map:

That's an elevation gain of 1678 feet in 4.0 miles, on gravel. She's a rockstar. One more thing. Please don't blame my vocal teacher for this rendition of the Rocky Theme. No one can be held responsible for producing a lovely singing voice after 30-something racing hours and 2 hours of sleep.

More stories to come later. And yes, they will include vomit. You may want to reconsider visiting this blog in the future.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ready Set Run

My third Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay is in 2 days. I hereby present to you the top 10 reasons why I am ready to run!

10. Unlike my previous two Ragnar races, I will be in a women-only van! We will have tons of yummy food like homemade oatmeal blueberry macadamia nut muffins, homemade energy bars, and gourmet yogurt. This is going to be much better on the olfactory sense than taco flavored Fritos. Plus, we get to watch chick flicks in the van instead of endless reruns of oldschool He-Man episodes.

Ragnar 2006. Starting Line. Team: Superheroes For Kids.
(Sponsor of The Christmas Box House)

9. Our team name was brought to you by yours truly. Actually, it was my friend Brittany who came up with it during our trip to St. George, but I was in the room with her at the time, so I'm taking full credit. The Duodecad! (Meaning: a group of 12 things.) It's delightfully nerdy. We will each have our own t-shirt with our runner number on back. I am "Thing 11."

Ragnar 2006. Still happy.

8. I finally bought a running skirt!

Ragnar 2006. Breakfast. 2 legs down, 1 to go.

7. After each of my other two Ragnar races, I immediately got a migraine. I just had one last night, so I declare myself free and clear of all migraines for at least a month! (Migraine gods? Are you listening? Hello?...)

Ragnar 2006. Waiting to cross the finish line.

6. My lovely mom-in-law burned a copy of Glee's 3rd volume for me. Oh yes. Running tunes? Check!

Ragnar 2006. Finished!

5. I have been seeing the Ragnar logo all over the freeways and side streets of Salt Lake; it's time to get me one-a-those! I want to show my love(?) for running... on the window my car.

Ragnar 2007. Blissful beginning.

4. Besides my 11 teammates, I have 7 other friends running this thing (that I know of). It's incredible to be part of a community like this. A community of freaks!

Ragnar 2007. Still happy.

3. I bought a new sensor for my Nike+ so once again, I know my distance, pace, and time. With the help of my fabulous morning running partner, I have been running consistently under 9 minute miles for the past 2 weeks! Ever since I really started running about 4 years ago, I've been a 10 minute mile girl. So this recent increase in speed is very exciting for me.

Ragnar 2007. Kill me now!

2. A couple weeks ago, Ragnar announced that, as part of the new safety guidelines, headphones were banned from the race course. Gasp! There was such a huge backlash that, a couple days later, they reversed their decision. Headphones are back baby!

Ragnar 2007. Just keep running!

1. This is the first race I am running since the punk came into my life. My first race as a mama. If nothing else, I am just excited for a night away with the girls! (But maybe for my next night off, I'll go for a pedicure and sushi instead of a 24 hour race with a sweaty body, grumbly tummy, and little-to-no sleep.)

Ragnar 2007. Finish line!
Can I get a what what?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sitting on a Rock

Sometimes the punk likes to sit on his favorite rock and ponder upon the complexities of life.

Hey, how did that get there?

Oh look, a slug!

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