30 June 2009

A Day at Lagoon

Every summer, my family head's to Lagoon for a day at the amusement park. This year, my parents, my sister-in-law Karen and her new baby Cole, my sister-in-law Brooke and my nephew John and niece Kate, Tim and I headed down to Logan.

The first ride of the day was the train. We all piled on and rode around to look at tigers and llamas and a cougar and ostriches and enjoyed the shade. John and Kate had a blast and Cole enjoyed his first ride on the train...sound asleep.

Tim and Karen and I headed off to ride Wicked and the Spider and the Colossus! The lines weren't long so we decided to take advantage of them.

Tim also decided that we needed some pictures while we were on the rides. These turned out...sort of...

We had lunch with the family and then enjoyed lots of other rides. We rode the Samurai with Karen and then Tim and I rode the Rocket. We decided to head to Rattlesnake Rapids with the family, but decided the line was WAY too long, so we got ice cream instead. Everyone else left, but Tim and I decided to stick around for awhile.

We finished off the day on the Ferris Wheel.

Sunday Drives

On Sunday afternoon, Tim and I decided to take a Sunday Drive up to Old Ephraim's Grave. Old Ephraim was an 1,100-pound beast was the last grizzly bear known to roam Utah. There is a gigantic 11-foot stone monument that marks Ephraim's 1923 gravesite so we decided to drive up there.

We came to a T in the trail and Tim was certain we needed to go right. The signs and the map said we should turn left. I decided to pull rank as navigator and made the decision to turn left.

We made it to the monument and took a few pictures, fed a chipmunk, and listened to this little bird fly around that made a really funny whirring noise with his wings.

Then we headed down the trail and ran into a cowboy herding his cows down the canyon. We successfully avoided hitting any cows and stopped for one more picture op.

It was definitely a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I'm so glad that I'm in Utah for the summer and I'm able to spend so much time in the mountains. There is a peace that comes from enjoying and admiring God's creations.

Hiking in Green Canyon

On Saturday morning, Tim and I decided we were going to hike up to the top of Green Canyon. We got everything together and headed 10 minutes from my house and we were off. The hike is a steep 2.4 mile hike up to the top that connects with a trail that goes to the Wind Cave. We hiked for about 2 hours, stopping for snacks and water break and to apply lots of mosquito repellent.

We passed by this gorgeous hillside filled with wildflowers. We made it to the top and then enjoyed some sour patch kids and goldfish. It was sunny but cool and we were able to see Logan Canyon. We actually talked about hiking the China Wall trail. Perhaps that will happen another weekend...

26 June 2009

Shootin in Newton

Sometimes on a Friday night, you find a really great guy to take you on a really fun date. Sometimes that date includes many guns and dinner at a great local restaurant. Sometimes you even get to take pictures that you never in your life expected to take. So, here's the story of my Friday evening.

When Tim came over this afternoon, we were planning on helping my brother with a landscaping job. However, Travis didn't need our help so we ended up heading over to Newton to do some shooting. I've grown up around guns, but have never really shot them, but Tim has decided that I need to be introduced to the wonderful world of shooting. A few weeks ago, I shot a .22 pistol and kept my eyes closed the entire time. In fact, I think he was actually squeezing the trigger and I was just sort of holding the gun. Last week, I shot a .40 and hit a glass bottle on the first try. Of course, Tim and I both were like NO WAY. Apparently, he decided to see if that shot was a fluke, so that was the plan for tonight.

First, we started off with a lesson on loading clips. This was fairly straightforward. I also got to put on the goofy looking ear muff protector type thingys.

Next, I got to shoot the Ruger Mark II .22 pistol. I was supposed to aim at the pink rock on the hill side. I actually hit it! I even hit some other stuff as well.

Next, I got to shoot a Colt 1903 .32 pistol. I actually struggled quite a bit with the sights on this gun so I didn't have as much fun shooting it. I did hit stuff, but not as well as with other guns.

Next, I got to shoot the Springfield XDM .40 pistol. This was my favorite gun! I actually hit a jug at 25-30 yds and was having a blast with this gun!

Next, Tim wanted me to shoot a .22 rifle, but my arms were tired and I was having a hard time sighting because my left arm was shaking too much. I don't think we took a picture of that one.

Finally, I got to shoot the Colt AR-15. Yeah...who knew that I would ever shoot this gun. I didn't even have to aim. I just squeezed the trigger fast.

Tim did get to shoot as well. Of course, he is a much better shot than I am and can even shoot with both eyes open and with one hand. Maybe someday I'll be that good.

Oh and I had to do some posing with the guns because hey, that's just fun. So, I went shootin in Newton tonight and had a blast! I can't wait to go again!

23 June 2009

Ironman Boise 70.3 Race Report

I've sort of put off writing this race report because I've been trying to process what happened in Boise. I'm not sure if I've come to any sort of closure/conclusion but I figured I need to get down the details before I forget them, so here goes...

On Friday, June 12, my mom and I headed up to Boise. We arrived at packet pickup and I discovered that I was bib number 1000. Apparently, this is a lucky number or something because lots of people commented on it. I got all of my race stuff and then went shopping. I actually surprised myself because I only bought a couple of t-shirts and an Ironman key ring.

Next we headed over to Lucky Peak Reservoir to drop off my bike at T1. It was easy to get there and when we arrived, I pumped up my tires, checked out Oscar to make sure he was ready for Saturday afternoon. We walked down to the reservoir and I checked out the water temperature. It was cold but I wasn't too worried because I knew that I've swum in colder water.

Next, we headed back to the hotel and met up with a friend for some yummy Hawaiian food. I had some sushi, a maui burger and was drinking lots of water...except something didn't agree with me and I barfed up my dinner before I even left the restaurant. Oh well... Then we headed back to the hotel for some chill out time. Before I left, Tim told me that he and the kids were volunteering for the race and so they would be up on Saturday morning which was definitely exciting. I crashed pretty early and slept all night long. I actually slept in until 8am or so.

Breakfast was a waffle with peanut butter, a couple of pieces of sausage, some milk and some fruit. I figured that would work for me. My stomach was still feeling a bit yucky from the night before, but I thought the food would settle it. I headed back to the room and started getting ready for the day. We headed downtown to catch drop off my stuff at T2 and to catch the shuttle up to Lucky Peak. I did get a bit concerned when the race staff asked the bus driver to keep in touch so she wouldn't get lost...not sure what that meant but we arrived with no incidents other then seeing a huge elk grazing in a field with some cows.

I got body marked before heading into T1 and then went over to check out Oscar. This was a clean transition race so I had to keep everything in my bag which was a bit different. I got Oscar's tires pumped up and made sure he was in an easy gear and then started applying sunscreen and went to find Tim, his kids and my mom. Sherry called and I talked to her and Madison. They wished me good luck and definitely brought a smile to my face. I wasn't nervous and felt pretty zen about the whole experience and mostly just wanted to race to start.

I spent the next 2 hours just hanging out and waiting for the race to start. Tim and his kids were volunteering and my mom actually volunteered as well. I did get to see Craig Alexander and Chris Lieto and apparently, Sam McGlone and Linsey Corbin were there as well. It was pretty cool to think that I would be racing with some of the best triathletes in the world.

Finally, it was time for transition to close so I grabbed my wetsuit and headed up to the swim start. I started to get nervous because the wind was picking up and the water was starting to get a bit choppy. I saw the professional men and women start and then it was time to get into race mode.

As it got closer and closer for my wave to start, the wind picked up more and more and the water got choppier and choppier. I got my wetsuit on and goggles and was working on staying calm and just hoping that the I wouldn't freak out. Finally, it was our turn to get into the water and boy, was it COLD. I flooded my wetsuit so that I could start to get used to the temperature and that I could get that nice insulation going on. My feet and hands were freezing, and I started treading water and hoping that it would get warmer. I still felt relatively calm and was glad to finally be starting. The gun went off and we were off!

The swim was rough. The water was choppy. My mom and Tim said that the white caps started when my wave went out and there were people being pulled out of the water and that there were lots of people struggling. I felt fine in the water, just cold, and I was feeling pretty good at the first turn. I started sighting the next buoy and once I got there, a kayaker said, "The buoy is off course, follow the yellow buoys." I was mad...why is the buoy off course? I finally got on course and then headed to the next buoy, except the buoys were messed up. I was getting frustrated and it felt like I was in the water forever. Finally, I made the turn and could see the finish. I was cold...that's really all I was thinking about, but I started kicking harder and was mentally thinking about transition and the bike.

The run up to T1 went fine and T1 was fine as well. I pulled my shoes on and buckled my helmet and ran out to the mount line. I saw my support crew and gave them a smile but was feeling ready to get out on the bike course. I hopped on the bike, started pedaling and hit a speed bump and launched a water bottle. I thought about picking it up but decided to grab one at an aid station.

The bike course started off great. We headed downhill very quickly to get down from the dam and then the torture began. This was by far the hilliest ride that I've ever ever done. I thought I was prepared for the hills, but boy was I wrong. Then, it started raining...not just raining, but pouring. Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely despise being wet from rain so this was tough. It rained so much that my shoes were squishing tons of water out every time I pushed on the pedals. I saw at least 20 people on the side of the road with flats. I made sure and ate my luna moons and was drinking, but I wasn't thirsty. Around mile 23-24, I peed on the bike and this man rode past me and whispered I saw that. I was pretty wet and miserable and my nutrition was gooey and it was windy and the rain kept coming and coming. Around mile 38, I passed an aid station and realized I had a flat. I hopped off the bike and took off my back wheel and started the changing process, but within a couple of minutes, the bike support guy was there and I was back on the bike within 10 minutes or so. I was SO SO glad he stopped because I don't know if I had the tine to mess with my tire. Anyways, I got going again and there was a huge headwind and it was raining and my rear waterbottle cage fell off. I couldn't believe it. I had nowhere to put it so I left it on the side of the road. I knew I'd been on the bike for way too long and was feeling pretty discouraged. I was also FREEZING and SOAKING and decided that if it was still raining when I got to T2, I was going to be done for the day. The last 5 miles on the bike were in a downpour but were fast and I started feeling a bit better.

T2 was rough. I was just very very happy to not be on the bike. I ran down to my spot, opened my bag and pulled on my running shoes and visor. I was so glad to take off my squishy cycling shoes and my sunglasses that were just spotty from the rain. While I was on the bike, I started thinking about my new tshirts and decided that I had to do the run because I wanted to wear them. That was my motivation for heading out on the run. I also didn't want to disappoint my support crew who had been standing out in the rain and worrying about me while I was on that miserable awful bike ride.

The run went well. I decided to run 5 minutes and walk a minute because I knew that I could run for 5 minutes. I stopped to pee around mile 3 and was drinking hot chicken broth that was so warm and yummy. I also had a couple of cokes. The first loop was fine and I passed my support crew and told them I'd probably be another 1 1/2 hours because I was getting tired. I had some pretzels and more coke and stopped for another pee and bumped into a volunteer with sour cream and onion potato chips. I seriously almost hugged him because they were SO SO yummy! I slowed down a bit on the second loop but was able to keep my 5:1 interval going. My heels started getting blisters around mile 8 and my feet were wet. It also stopped running at some point which was nice but I was still pretty wet. I knew I was heading into the homestretch and tried picking up the pace but there was nothing left in my legs. I passed my mom about 2 blocks from the finish line. She ran along side and rang the cowbell. Tim and his kids were at the finish and were yelling. I was definitely smiling but I was super way way tired and just wanted to be done.

This was definitely the hardest race that I've ever done. I wanted to quit so many times and wasn't sure if I would make it through the bike course. Riding in the rain, soaking wet, into headwinds is just not my idea of a good time. My support crew was AWESOME and definitely kept me going. I'm not sure I would have finished if they hadn't been there. I gave everyone hugs after I crossed the finish line and got my medal. Then, I just wanted to lie down, but I had to go and pick up all of my crap, load up Oscar on the car and then head to the hotel. We all got back to the room and I finally showered and got warm and was shocked at the amount of road spooge I had all over me. I was FILTHY! I thought I would sleep good, but mostly my body just hurt and every time I moved, I woke up.

I have lots of lessons that I learned during this race, but I think I'll have to save those for another post. Here are my times...definitely disappointing, but I finished and I think that's a pretty cool thing.

SWIM 49:03
T1 2:57
BIKE 3:45:17
T2 2:44
RUN 2:48:22

02 June 2009

The Mountains

A lot of people wonder why I spend my summers in Utah. Of course being with family is one of my favorite reasons, but the other one is that I get to spend some time in the mountains. I'm a mountain kind of girl. The mountains bring me joy and peace and energy and they center me!

Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to spend some time in the mountains with my new friend Tim. We've gone hiking in Green Canyon.

We spent Sunday afternoon up Smithfield canyon having a picnic with his kids.

I have big plans to spend lots more time in the mountains over the next 2 months. I'm hoping that will give me the inspiration and energy to head back to IL in August.