30 April 2010


Last night, my students and colleagues planned a surprise going away party for me! I was very surprised and very touched at all of the people (not all pictured) who showed up for fried chicken and cake. It is definitely going to be VERY hard for me to leave ISU and all of these fantastic people.

26 April 2010

A Great Way to Start Off a Monday

This may be one of the cutest videos I've seen in awhile! Just thought I would share. Enjoy!

Baby Moose

Baby Elephant

Nauvoo with Tim

So, Tim was in town April 16-22 and we had great intentions of taking some spring time pictures...however, this is what we ended up with...

Tim kept saying the sun was too bright.

The nice lady who offered to take these obviously wanted her finger in all of the pictures...

See, she actually did get her finger in every picture she took.

Of course, because I LOVE red tulips, Tim had to take this picture.

If you're interested in learning more about Nauvoo, IL and what a great place it is to visit, click here.

14 April 2010

Good News

The Logan Utah Temple

This is where Tim and I are getting married on June 5. I can't wait! Here's a link to some history behind this building if you're interested.

12 April 2010

Mt. Pleasant 1/2 Marathon

I'm not sure what took me so long to get this race report written, but it's finally done. Of course, I forgot the cord to upload some of my pics, so I guess I'll roll with what I have.

Last fall, Julie and I were talking about racing and decided that we were going to do a spring race before I head to Utah. She picked the Mt. Pleasant 1/2 Marathon in Racine or Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin. I booked a hotel room and then put the weekend thoughts away for awhile, since we had months before the actual race. Fastforward to April 1...

Julie and I have been walking together this winter. I've felt more like walking than running and I always enjoy Julie's company. Neither of us were really "training" but I wasn't worried at all about the race. I figured that it would be a fun 13.1 mile walk with a good friend. Julie got around to registering for the race and I got around to printing out directions and making plans and then it was race weekend.

Julie and I drove up to Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin on a Friday afternoon. We sort of managed to miss the Chicago traffic (thank goodness) and used all of Julie's change to pay all of the blasted tolls. We had a discussion about these tolls and whether or not they actually truly do improve the roads in Illinois. We arrived at packet pickup and Julie promptly drove us off of a small cliff in the parking lot. I think we both thought that she had ripped the undercarriage out of her cute car. We grabbed our packets and then headed to the hotel. We checked in and Julie noticed a sign in the lobby that I was the guest of the day.

This was very amusing...especially after finding out that the hotel was doing renovations and we would get to hear them during our stay on the 3rd floor, where all of the renovations were occurring. I did get some cookies though and a couple of VIP bottles of water, so I guess being the guest of the day at the Fairfield Inn does have some perks.

Julie and I headed to downtown Racine, which is actually a pretty cute town. I would consider going there for a weekend vacation. We had dinner at Salute, which is a family owned Italian restaurant, and it was fantastic! I had a log of lasagna that was probably the best lasagna I've had in a restaurant since I was in Italy. My dad makes a really mean lasagna, but this one was a close second.

After dinner, it was back to the hotel to get ready for a good nights sleep. Thankfully, the contractors were gone and it was quiet. I actually slept pretty good and woke up all ready to walk a 1/2 marathon. The race didn't start until 8am and we were literally less than 5 minutes from the start, so Julie and I got to sleep in and have breakfast at the hotel. I ate a waffle with peanut butter and I even got to make a deposit in a real bathroom at the hotel before we headed to the start.

It was a perfect race day temperature-wise, but it was SUPER WINDY. Cool at the start (around 40 F) and warming up. Julie and I headed to the back of the pack and discovered there were other walkers. That was a pleasant surprise. I think someone said "GO" and we were off. We started off by walking up and down some rollers. I was a little surprised that there were hills, but no was the beginning of the race. Oh...I should probably mention that I accidentally lied to Julie about there being food on the course. I could have sworn that I read there would be food at the aid stations. There was not. Anyways, we cruised along at about 15-16 min/mile pace and there were people behind us. We made our first turn and caught a good tailwind. I was feeling great. I was dressed perfectly and the sun was out and I was enjoying the Wisconsin country side.

We made our next turn and hit the crosswind again, along with a very foul garbage/farm smell. It was disgusting... At this point, Julie was starting to get hungry. She's a very diligent good nutrition taker when she races, unlike me, so she was feeling the lack of calories. We made another turn and it was into the headwind and uphill. This part of the race sucked. It's hard to walk uphill in a headwind. I was kinda glad that I wasn't running. Julie was super hungry at this point so I asked one of the police officers if he had snacks in his car. He said "negative." We made a turn out of the wind which was helpful and by mile 11 I was tired and ready to be done. I was done with the wind.

At the finish line, the wind was blowing so hard it was impossible to see the sign. They were out of medals and did not take pictures of us. The food was also mostly gone. Not a great finish party, but Julie and I finished in 3:33 or so. It was a fun race, but I was definitely glad it was done. I did like the course, but really wasn't digging the wind.

After the race, we headed back to the hotel to listen to painters and hammering and get ready for an afternoon in Racine. We enjoyed a delicious cheeseburger at a pub in downtown Racine and then it was determined that naptime was necessary. Julie crashed, but I got sucked into "The Lost Code" by Dan Brown. I was starving the entire weekend...and noshed on my guest of the day cookies. We had dinner at Jose's Blue Sombrero where they serve meatball tacos, and polish sausage tacos...mmm mmm mmm. I actually had a great meal and would eat there again.

Sunday morning was Julie's birthday breakfast, along with a stop for kringles and cheese. I had a blast and am totally looking forward to our next race weekend. We haven't decided where we'll meet up, but it will definitely be a fun girls weekend out!

Weekly Workouts

April 12, 2010 ~ Run + Walk
Ran 23:45...burned 279 calories
Walked 6 miles and worked on wedding planning

April 13, 2010 ~ Walk

April 14, 2010 ~ Run
Ran 51:15...burned 640 calories

05 April 2010

The Joys of Running

Last summer, after the Boise Ironman 70.3, I was burned out with training. I did a few more races, but just didn't feel much like really doing any structured workouts. This continued right on up through the St. George Marathon and then went right on through now. I haven't been following a training program for awhile and it has been nice. I've been working out and doing alot of walking and just enjoying being active without training. This has sorta been weird for me because I always like to be training for something...however, with the wedding planning and the job stuff and everything else that is going on in life, it has been really nice not to have the pressure of fitting in training sessions.

On March 1, I signed up for the Top of Utah Marathon. I knew that I wouldn't have to start training until May which sounded pretty good to me. I also knew that I would have some training partners, namely Tim and my mom. I should probably make it clear that Tim is not doing the full marathon, but he did sign up for the Top of Utah 1/2 Marathon that occurs in August. Anyways, I signed up and then didn't think any more about it.

All last week, we had gorgeous weather here...sunshine, wind, and the temps were in the 70s. I kept saying to myself that I would go for a run after work. However, other things came up and I ended up going for walks instead. Saturday morning, I woke up and went for a 2 hour walk with my friend Julie and enjoyed the rain and the social actually made me want to run.

Sunday morning, I woke up and laid in bed for about 15 minutes and decided that today was the day I was going to start running again. I got out of bed, pulled on some running clothes, grabbed my running shoes and headed out the door. I only ran for 30 minutes or so, but I ran and it felt so good! I had a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I had to mentally remind myself not to go too far because I don't want to be injured. It was a fantastic way to start off Easter Sunday.

I ran again this morning. It wasn't as joyful. My legs felt heavy, and it was humid, but I was running. As I was running I couldn't help but think that running is the perfect way to start off the day. My mind was clear. I was completely in sync with my body. I enjoyed the beauty of a hazy sunrise. I saw happy dogs going for their morning walk. I saw tulips starting to open. I felt great!

I guess this means that I'm a runner again...yay!

Weekly Workouts

April 5, 2010 ~ Run
Worked out for 33:52... burned 405 calories

April 6, 2010 ~ Walk

April 7, 2010 ~ Rest and Laundry

April 8, 2010 ~ Walk

Weigh in... +0.6lbs

April 9, 2010 ~ Rest

April 10, 2010 ~ Mt. Pleasant 1/2 Marathon

April 11, 2010 ~ Walk