Sunday, July 20, 2008

Valerie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Race

If you think Xander is up to no good in this picture, you're right!
This looks like a cute picture right? Xander is hugging Mia right after he clobbered her.

The title of this blog comes from a children's book by Judith Viorst. The title of her book is "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". It's about a boy who has just had a bad day where things just don't go his way.

Well, that is how I felt about my first big race. Things just didn't go my way. I couldn't find a race during the time period that I wanted and one that wasn't held on a Sunday. I hesitated about signing up for this particular race because #1 I didn't want to do my first race by myself #2 It was a trail run and my training had not been geared towards that #3 I wanted to be able to finish the race and I didn't know how hard it was going to be compared to a regular half marathon. I waited to the last possible moment to sign up when I was feeling burnt out and needed some extra motivation.

All my biggest fears came to life, the 2,000 feet change in elevation killed me. During training, I tried to run on the gravel vs. the paved part of the trail I run on, but that did not prepare me for this race. It was basically trying to run on something you would normally call a hike. There were several parts in the race, where even the trained trail runner had to walk up.

Normally, when I run, around the 6th mile I get my second breath and actually feel better than when I started. During this race, I had no such feeling. My breaks were walking up the steep hills which left me wiped out that when the trail leveled out it made running even more exhausting.

I told Ben to come 2 hours after the race started. I thought I would be finished shortly after that. That was not the case. I barely made the 3 hour time limit! Ben was almost about to leave to take CJ to a birthday party when he saw me coming. Thank goodness! I would have been so sad to not have anyone there for me on my first race.


Will I do another trail run? Absolutely not! Will I hike on a trail? Absolutely. Will I try a another half marathon? Probably. There was a lot of good that came out of all of this. I lost 10 lbs, I feel better about myself and have welcomed back my massive muscular calves (see picture for illustration). I bet you didn't know that in highschool, my basketball team voted me "Best Legs"!

In Judith Viorst's book, after something bad happens to Alexander, he always replies, "I think I'll move to Australia." At the end of the book his mom tells him, "Everybody has bad days, even in Australia." So I guess everybody has a bad race, even in Australia.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My First Book

I just finished this book I have been working on for over a year. I wanted to compile pictures and stories about my parents childhood to present day. It has been a long project and even harder since my parents are 2,391 miles away and they don't use the internet. It was so fun to see the end project and to see it in a "real" book.

I've even ditched scrapbooking and have been working each month on the kid's books. It wasn't hard to leave the scrapbooking scene, since I really only did it for the kids. They have loved looking through their books and seeing themselves, so it was worth it. Making a hard bound book is a win-win situation; the kids still get a book, and I can have fun doing something I like too! My plan is to have a whole year in a book before I publish it.

In other events. . .

We have been moving things over each day. I haven't figured out which is better, to cram the moving in one day and getting it over with or doing a little bit each day and stretching the exhausting moments into weeks.

CJ is so dark, when you look at her, all you see is the whites of her eyes.

Mia and Ben have had bonding moments dumpster diving.

Xander loves WALL-E, even though he is the only one in the family who hasn't seen it.

We're excited to see part of Ben's family in a couple of weeks. My kids can't stop talking about them. Neither can Ben!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Something to Celebrate!

We found a new place to move into. It's a flat in a victorian house, has 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and washer and dryer hook-ups (yipee!). We had to sign the contract now, so unfortunately we have two rent payments this month because the apartment we live in now, the lease is until the end of July. The good side is that we have a month to move in and can take our time.
Click Here to see a slideshow of the inside of our new place
For those of you who don't know, our church(ward)decided to be in this years Fourth of July parade. The committee recruited Ben to help out. He ended up designing the float and also lead the construction on it. He worked so hard these past few months and we have barely seen him this past week. All of his hard work paid off when everyone saw the finished product.
The float represented Alameda with the victorian houses and one of the draw bridges and at the same time it also represented the church with the temple and our church building.
The whole theme was "Families, living, working and serving in Alameda". The theme of the parade was "Clean and Green" (there's California for you) and of course, they had to add that to our description of the float.
Our float was actually one of the only "true" floats. Most of the parade consisted of electric cars decorated or trucks with bands playing in the back. We really did stand out and received so many compliments.
Ben created a model of the Oakland Temple, which he was a pro because he had made a paper model for his parents of the same temple.
It was a great day. Xander was especially good and sat through the whole parade chowing on candy.
Because of a long drought, and zillions of fires all over California, private fireworks were pretty much outlawed. CJ was bummed that we didn't go see the fireworks either. Ben had been up since 5:30a.m. putting the final touches on the float,and I was so busy planning a BBQ later that day that we were exhausted by the end. So we gave the kids light sticks and promised fireworks at our Disneyland trip next month. Here are CJ's fireworks.