Sunday, September 25, 2011

Down and Dirty... Literally

I did something today that I have never done before. I ran a race where the goal wasn't so much winning as it was getting as dirty as possible. That's right. It was a 5k course laced with all kinds of obstacles- the obstacles all involved mud. The race started up a hill that had been sprayed down with water all day long. We had to run through puddles that were up to my thighs. We had to crawl through tunnels that were buried in mud. We had to jump walls into mud and crawl under walls in mud- there was a lot of mud! It was crazy but so fun! I was with good, my amazing little sister came to be our official photographer, it was a beautiful day and I ended up with a free shirt after getting punched in the face by the race coordinator. The mark from his hit matches the cut on my eye I got during my intramural Frisbee game this week (don't worry, we won the game). Just to clear up any kind of confusion about my injury... we were lining up to take a picture in front of the Dirty Dash truck (the race was called the Dirty Dash) and, as we were grouping ourselves, the race coordinator came and jumped in our picture. I was completely ok with this because I find him very attractive and he runs ultra marathons- talk about really attractive- anyway, he jumps in our picture and goes to stick his arm in the air to strike a pose but, instead, his hand met my face, hard. He felt really badly about the whole thing so he gave us a free entry to next year's race and, after I told him that a free shirt would probably help my face feel better, he got me a shirt! The worst part about the race was having to go to work when I got home. I had a great time getting in touch with my 'pig' side today! Here are some pictures for all to enjoy!

We really were clean before we started... Here is proof.
We were not quite as clean when we ended... These are our pig faces...
This was the final obstacle before the finish line, a GIANT mud puddle!
Classic jumping picture. Unfortunately, Kelsey's old man knee was not letting her jump at this juncture.
This would be right after I got punched in the face- note the scared/hurt face.
This would be the devolution of running- Kelsey represents a human and I would be the pig.

We were clean and then we were the opposite of clean- really, really dirty! It was a blast running through the mud and wading through puddles up to my waist (they weren't up to anyone else's waist but they were there on me). Thanks for inviting me to be on your team Kels! Fun day girls, fun day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Once upon a time, ten whole years ago, I was sitting in my middle school art class and our principal came on the PA system and announced to all of us that we were being sent home early due to a national emergency. There had been rumors flying around school all morning that airplanes had crashed into buildings in New York but I did not want to believe they were true because my Mom, older sister Becca and my Dad were all flying that day. I didn't know what to think in my 12 year old mind- I was terrified. I eventually got in contact with my Dad who's plane never took off and he had simply gone back to work. That made me feel a little better and then we heard that Mom and Becca were safely on the ground in Omaha, NE.- not where they wanted to be since they were headed to Provo to take Becca to the MTC but they were safe.

Today, ten years later, I think back on this same day when I was twelve years old and I am so grateful that day went the way it did. I am also mindful of the families who did not receive good news like I did. So many lives were changed that day and I am sorry for those who's lives were changed for the worst. There is a scripture that comes to mind every time I think back on September 11, 2001 and it is Jacob 3:1. I read this scripture that day and it says that, ' He (God) will bconsole you in your cafflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down djustice upon those who seek your destruction.' This scripture comforted me then and continues to comfort me today. I am so thankful for the gospel. I know there is a plan and a reason for things that happen to us in our lives. I also know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and wants what is best for me in my life. It is this knowledge that inspires me to continue on even after tragedies like that of September 11, 2001.

Running Southern Utah

I have been looking forward to this weekend with anticipation and a little bit of dread since my friend Kris asked me to run on his Red Rock Relay team in early May. The Red Rock Relay is a running relay that goes from Cedar City to Zion National Park. We started at the top of Brian Head ski resort and ended at the gates of Zion. The race is 175 miles (or something like that) in all and we ran with a team of twelve people. The picture above is a shot of the "Snow" van. Teams were divided into two vans with the first being called the Snow van since it started at the ski resort. Not long after this picture was taken, our first runner jumped on the lift and rode to the top where the race began with a nice jaunt down the ski hill at 11,000 feet- talk about thin air!

Since it was a relay race and we all took turns running there was a good amount of time when each individual was not running. Our van was the first van so, the six of us in the van ran our legs and then we got a break while the six in the other van ran their legs. While the runners in our van were running we acted as their support car. We would stop ever mile or so to give them water and cheer them on. One of my favorite things about this race is that all the teams cheered for each other. This picture is our team and a couple of other teams making a tunnel for a runner to run through- it was so fun getting to know the other teams and cheering for them!

One definite perk of being in the support vehicle most of the time was the scenery. Southern Utah is definitely beautiful country! This was a view along on of my friend Hilary's routes- Lauren and I could not pass it up so we put on our best Asian tourist faces and took a picture!

If I told you this picture was taken at 3:30 am would you believe me? You better, because it was! After getting about 2 hours of sleep in a church parking lot it was our van's turn to run again. The worst part about this was that I was having a wonderful dream about being asleep in a nice soft bed when the other team called to say they were coming in and the realization that I was not in a nice soft bed was pretty harsh!! While I was trying to fall asleep in our van in the parking lot I thought to myself, 'why in the world would anyone sign up to do this?' The thing was, it was not just crazy college kids running around southern Utah and sleeping in the grass outside of churches, it was grown ups, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas- intelligent people who probably don't usually do crazy things. There is just something about running, and I think about this race in particular, that calls to normally sane people like myself and makes us do borderline insane things, and then tell all our friends we had a blast doing them.

Here is a quick summary of my three legs...
Leg One: I ran my first leg in a hail storm. I currently had a large number of tiny bruises on my legs from where my legs and the hail met. I do not recommend running in hail. My first leg was also almost entirely uphill. Running uphill for 5.8 miles in hail at 8,000 feet is not my idea of fun and I love running so... that is saying something! I managed to finish and pass seven people on the way. How did I do this, I have no idea.
Leg Two: My second leg was about as different from my first leg as it could have been. It was not hailing, it was all down hill and my shoes were completely dry the entire time! I ran my second leg at about 10:30 pm in a reflective vest and a head lamp, two things I have never before worn while running. During this leg I passed ten people and managed to run 5.6 miles in about 35 minutes but, like I said, it was all down hill so don't be too impressed.
Leg Three: My last leg was a breeze. It was only two miles and it was mostly flat. At this point (6 am, running on 2 hours of sleep) I was feeling incredibly grateful to only be running two miles! Before running my last leg I was tied for the most kills in
our van with one of my teammates. (Kills are what we called it when we passed someone while we were running) For those of you who don't know, I am a little on the competitive side. This competitiveness is what made me have the desire to get at least one more kill during my last run so I could be the kills leader in our van. During my last leg I got two kills and ran my two miles right around 14 minutes which was a pretty satisfying way to finish off my Red Rock experience.
The picture above this section is Hilary 'marking' me. We got to put a mark on our leg for each leg of the race we ran. That particular mark was put on my leg after my 5.6 miles that I ran down hill the whole way. The picture directly below this section is me and our van's kill count. Since I was the leader in kills, our van affectionately christened me 'The Slayer'.

The girl in the blue shorts is Kelli, she ran our last leg and just happens to be my dad's cousin's daughter so that makes her my second cousin (or something like that)- we found this out one day at work, really randomly, but we have ran with it and now call each other' cuz' and are pretty much planning the next family reunion! Kelli is a beast of a runner and ran our last leg into Zion. A couple of us started to run with her and we were all able to cross the finish line together- it was a pretty sweet experience. I really think that finishing the Red Rock is definitely on my list of times that I have felt most legit, in my entire life.

Incredibly enough, by the end of the experience, this is what our van looked like, all smiles. Ok, there was definitely some soreness and body aching situations but, other than that, everyone was pretty happy at the end! It took us just about 26 hours to finish the 175 miles and we finished somewhere in the first 40 teams. Most importantly, as cheesy as it sounds, we all had a ton of fun! Even through the hail and the rain and the hills and the lack of sleep and everything else that came our way, it really was a blast! If you are ever wondering if you should run the Red Rock, do it! It will change your life... ok, maybe not quite change your life but it will definitely be worth it!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hello Seattle

Directly after the fake graduation festivities we jumped in the car and headed to Spokane. It was a big weekend in Spokane! Addison got baptized and Maren got blessed- like I said, big weekend! It was definitely fun to be there with everyone and to celebrate those two great events.

The group was pretty large and consisted mostly of Dittos but we tried our best to represent and the Dittos aren't so bad :)

After the baptism and blessing festivities were complete, we jumped back in the car (there was a lot of time in the car) and drove over to the west side of the great state of Washington. So many good things happened on the opposite side of the state, maybe not quite as good as baptisms and blessings but I went to Panera (twice), I got to see my parents new house, I got to see grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, and I got to lounge around at the lakehouse for a solid three days doing only things I wanted to do- best vacation ever!! I also got to spend my whole time at the lake with my amazing older sisters and their adorable children and one of my very best friends, Katelin, who I dragged along! The highlights include, reading an entire book, laying in the sun (yes, it was sunny), running around the lake, playing with the kiddos, helping Laynie jump off the highdock for the first time and being the designated jumping in the water-catcher. It was a wonderful week that ended with a date with my parents and Katelin to see The Help in the cute Edmonds Theater, get frozen yogurt and walk along the beach. I think, with this vacation under my belt, I will be able to successfully survive my very last semester at BYU.
I wanted to provide photographic evidence that Laynie and I both did some serious highdock jumping!


Just as the title suggests, I did some fake graduating a couple of weeks ago. BYU does not have Commencement Ceremonies in December when I am officially graduating so, I decided to walk in August with some really good friends of mine. It was a little bit of a crazy time between trying to get finals done and working, starting my internship for the fall and having my family here but it was fun! Thanks to my Dad and his awesome photography skills we have great pictures to document the fact that all of us, minus Sam who actually graduated for real, fake graduated!