Homestead 15k 2014

Shandy, Brett, Eden and I went to Midway for a race a couple of weeks ago. It was hot but great–and such a small race that we all won in our age groups!


What fun!! I hope your summer is just as great.


Brett’s First 5k Race

Running is really becoming a family addiction.  I ran my second marathon on May 4th, and last weekend, Brett ran his first 5k race.  He has been training hard, and he cooked down the road!

Brett after race Bretts timeNext race stop for us is a half marathon, with Brett and I doing the relay (he’ll run the bottom half, and I’ll stick with him,)  and Shandy and Eden probably leaving me in the dust!  Running is such a wonderful way to clear the mind and make your body healthy.  I am glad it’s becoming a family activity.

Do you run races?  Do you run with your family?  Leave me a comment below.

Half Marathon Finishers!

Does anyone else find a 13 year old two time half marathon finisher amazing?!  I would never have considered running one mile for fun when I was a teenager, let alone train for and run a half marathon.  This last weekend, Eden ran her second half marathon — the Snow Canyon Half Marathon in St. George.  I ran this race for my first half marathon last year, and it was a blast.

This year, Shandy, Eden and I were planning to run this race together, but Shandy got to stay home and have flu instead (so much fun!)  So Eden and I ran in beautiful St. George weather.  The temperature was cold at the starting line — we waited around for about 45 minutes at 40 degrees — but beautiful for running.  The sun came over the mountain just as the race started, and we ran in the sunshine down a beautiful canyon.

Eden has been racing me in training runs and winning, so it wasn’t a big surprise when she took off around mile 11 and out distanced me.  She came in a full minute ahead of me.  I beat my PR from last year by 40 seconds, coming in at 1:56:39.

What a wonderful thing to have teenagers to run along with me!  I can’t wait until the whole family can run together.

Do you run with your children?  How do you encourage your family to more physical activity?  Please leave me a comment.


06.09.12 Utah Valley Marathon

It’s amazing that you don’t see in my face, “Wow, I just paid nearly $100 to do this to myself?”  I crossed the finish line in 4:24:something.  I didn’t win . . . but I was a winner.  I think that was the hardest thing I have ever done — nearly as hard as labor without a darling baby to show for it at the end.  I think I might like my marathons better spread out over a three day weekend . . .

Have a great weekend!

March Marathon Training — Relay Style

My training run this weekend was 19 miles.  19 Miles!  I have discovered something that really helps my long training runs fly by.  I beg/coerce/ask my family members to accompany me.  This week, Shandy, Eden, and Brett did training for  a marathon relay, and I was the baton.

Shandy started out, running 5.5 miles down the canyon with me.  We scared a herd of deer, listened to a flock of wild turkeys, and passed 6 runners running up the canyon.  Then, I ran by myself for a few miles while he and Brett went to collect the car.

Next, Eden ran 4 miles with me along our regular route.  That was a real pick-me-up, because she was fresh and full of energy and I was only halfway through.  She pushed me hard to keep going strong (and keep up with her.)

Finally, Shandy brought Brett out to my turn around point and picked Eden up to take her home.  Brett ran the last 4 miles along with me.  He was very happy, because he said finally he and I had the same energy level on a run!  The only bad thing that happened this whole run was that Shandy forgot my last fuel, so I ran the last 7 miles without any re-fuel or water.  It turned out all right, and really, I think I could have finished a marathon this weekend!  Too bad the one I am scheduled for is so far away.  Here I am at the end:  doesn’t it look like I could run or at least hobble 7 more?

Do you have running partners?  How do you beg/borrow/steal long runs?  Have a great Monday.  Stay tuned tomorrow for a great hiking weekend with kids story.

Marathon-in-a-Month Update and Spring at the Pond

We are nearly halfway through March, and the kids and I completed mile 9 today of their Marathon-in-a-month.  They will need to do some longer “runs” to be able to finish up by the end of March.  Fortunately, the weather has been beautiful the last few days, and they are enjoying their time outside.  We went to do our marathon miles today at a local pond which we haven’t visited since last fall.

It is definitely spring — the first turtle I have ever seen in Utah was sunning himself on a rock.

One of my goals as a parent and homeschooler is to teach my children to be excellent observers, especially of the natural world.  Imagine how happy I was when Lulu and Max raced ahead and then shouted back to me excitedly, “Mom, a turtle!”  We had to throw a little rock toward it in the water to make sure it was really alive.  It scrambled down into the pond, but was up sunbathing again by the time we made our second loop.

Lulu also spotted some cattails that were accessible without getting too muddy, and they had fun blowing them apart.

We also had to do a little tree climbing.

We also saw a beaver corpse.  That was really sad.  We had never seen live beavers at this pond, and we certainly didn’t want to see a dead one.  It was interesting to get a close up view of a beaver tail, however.  I took a picture — but I won’t share it with you.  It was a tiny bit gruesome.

Needless to say, our running time was slow: about 45 minutes for two and a half miles.  The goal however, is enjoyment, and we certainly reached our goal.

Hope you can get outside and enjoy spring!

Kids Running: Our Marathon-in-a-Month

I love running so much, that I have wanted to share the experience with my kids.  Running has helped me manage depression and anxiety, migraine headaches and stress.  It makes me feel good and healthy.  So far, Eden is training for a half marathon, and Brett runs with her on her runs up to 5 miles.  But I wanted the little kids to start running, too.  So we set a goal that during 2012, we would run a “Marathon – in – a – Month.”

The first time Lucy told someone she was going to run a marathon, she got a funny look.  But she is!  26.2 miles in one month.  Since the weather was beautiful, and Lucy got new running shoes last week, we decided to start today.  We went to our favorite walking path, and did 1 1/2 miles running and walking.

I was amazed at how far Max could run before starting to walk.

It was a great start to our mini marathon.  Hope you are enjoying your day!

Running Outside and Fixing Our Nature Deficit

I had a breakthrough moment this morning as I got ready for my run.  I have been reading The Nature Principle by Richard Louv, and he describes people as going out to nature for their exercise, and then dulling their senses by blocking their ears with Ipods or other media.  When I read this, I realized that I was guilty of that myself.  Instead of going on my early morning runs with ears and mind wide open, I have been building a barrier between myself and the restoration that being outside brings by listening to podcasts or a playlist while I run.

I have known for a long time that being outside is restorative for me, but since the days have been shorter and the weather colder, I have been lacking motivation when I go outside for my long runs.  I decided today to try running without any noise in my ears again, although I took along my music and earphones “just in case.”  I had a great run.  I didn’t see any wonderful wildlife, and the birds were not singing, but I was able to listen to the movement of the air, and listen to my breathing as a way to improve my running.  I also was able to concentrate my attention on some work problems that needed resolved.

I will be reviewing The Nature Principle here soon, and telling you more about my thoughts on nature deficit disorder.  In the meantime, let me share some other ideas we have used lately to get outdoors:

  • Walking when the moon is full.  We went on a moonlit walk on Monday at one of our favorite walking paths.  The kids spotted Casseopeia and Orion, and we talked about Betelgeuse and Rigel and why some stars are red and others are blue.  We also scared up a few ducks — literally, they were very scared.
  • Hiking to look at ice at some of our favorite spots.
  • Lunch at the park.  This is wonderful because the park is empty this time of year, so the kids can have the equipment to themselves if they want, or wander around playing hide and seek or other invented games.  I take along a blanket to wrap up in(along with my coat) and a book, and enjoy half an hour of winter sunbathing while the kids run around and enjoy themselves.  This is especially wonderful if you have hot soup to take for lunch.

Hope you are able to be outdoors a little this winter.  Do you have a suggestion for us?  Please leave a comment.

Along with Self Discipline: Live a Life of Exertion

I recently read this poem called “Men Untrained to Comfort” by Wendell Berry.  It made me think about how self sparing our society has become, and how important it is to instead spend oneself in work and play to live a life well.

Jane Addams described the life of ease and idleness which was the fate of most of her class of women as comparable to eating a sweet pastry before breakfast every morning.  In our society, that same life is available to people of all walks of life.   In Addams time, women of a wealthy class were condemned to spending their lives in embroidery, “visiting” and other activities which she did not view as important.  But now, people spend their leisure time, of which most of us have 5 or 6 hours per day, in front of the television, numbing our brains and watching other people live.  Just like eating that sweet pastry before breakfast, it dulls the appetite with unwholesome food and leaves a feeling of inertia and lack of energy.

What, then, would be like a wholesome breakfast that would energize us for the work at hand?  For our family, we have found that physical activity such as running or hiking, leaves us energized to work hard at other tasks.  During the time we are running, the mind “free-wheels” relaxing and brainstorming so that ideas flow freely.  Often, I come home from a run with all sorts of new creative ideas, and the energy to pursue them.  While that may seem counter-intuitive, ask almost any runner and they will tell you the same.  The run actually leaves them with more physical energy.  Hiking does the same thing to a greater extent because being out in nature is rejuvenating in itself, and compounded with the extra physical activity, leads to more energy.

Just as many people in our society do not have an appetite for a breakfast of oatmeal, but would gladly have a donut and coffee on their way to work, it requires self discipline to eat our “wholesome breakfast” of physical activity.  When the alarm rings to roll us out of bed, we have to require of ourselves to get out of bed.  But just as a wholesome breakfast is not enough to carry you through the day, continued self-exertion is at the heart of a happy life.  Of course it takes effort to choose a task and complete it, but the reward is a feeling of satisfaction that is not available in any other way.

What motivates me to self-exertion is thinking about the end of my life.  I think about whether I will be glad to think back on having watched several documentaries about summiting Everest, or if I would rather think about the time I climbed the mountain closest to my home.  Will I be happy to remember the sitcoms that I watched, or would it be better to look back on quilts that I made for my children.  I am convinced that only a life of action will leave me fulfilled at the end.  I imagine a grandchild asking me “What did you do?” and I want to have DONE something.

Are you a stay at home mom?  Lucky you!  Instead of letting the television keep you company and sap your strength and energy, why not choose some extra task you can do  with your children today?  Why not make cookies for Daddy when he comes home from work?  Take the time to play with your children at a park.  Get every room in the house cleaned.  Choose a difficult book to read for your own education, read it sitting at the table and taking notes.  Work hard!

Are you a working mom?  I know you come home tired from work.  But try out the energy building qualities of exertion.  Get started on a task that won’t take too long, and you will find when you have finished, that you have energy to go on to another task.  Set a timer and wash dishes for twenty minutes.  Iron 4 shirts.  Fold one load of laundry.

How much better to spend our time working hard at something!  Jane Addams started Hull House and devoted her life to social reform.  While this may not be an option we would desire to pursue, could we find an activity to work hard at and really give meaning to our lives?  Instead of watching others act, could we act ourselves?

First Marathon Registration

Just a quick post today — I just registered for my first marathon!!!  The Utah Valley Marathon on June 9, 2012.  I am very excited!

Shandy registered for the half marathon the same day.

Come race with us 🙂

Talk to you soon!