Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Piles

Pile #1:

And a little poem for those of you with a similar stack-

Author Unknown

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well

With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
For this stack is evidence,
God's very good to us.

Pile #2 :
This particular countertop section in my kitchen provides a running portrayal of how "ont top of it" I am feeling (or not feeling) about life.

And in relation to pile #2, I share a poem from my "motherhood" collection which I am aiming to have bound and published within the next little while :)

by Julia Whitehead

Junk mail, homework, cupons, ads,
Bills that I should file.
Magazines and more are sitting
In my paper pile.

Cluttering my countertop
And looking downright scary.
I start to chip away and wonder,
Where’s my secretary?

So if it seems I’ve vanished-
Haven’t seen me for a while,
Please start to dig, I’m buried
Underneath my paper pile.

And pile #3, the winner:

So why am I sitting here blogging?

These photos were actually taken last week. Today I have spent the entire morning cleaning. So the piles are looking a little better. For now...

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Real Story

***NOTE: Make sure you read "The Thrill of ...Finishing" prior to this post. :) Thanks Linz.

After reading Julia’s entry about the big race, I feel like there needs to be some perspective put into place. Please keep in mind that this is my debut BLOG entry, so go easy on me. I also did not get the creative writing gene that Julia has, fair warning.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Lindsay, I am Julia’s YOUNGER sister who has not had the privilege of carrying, let along delivering any fine spirits into this world, and has tried to pride herself with being physically fit J. I also need to add that our even YOUNGER sister was with us as well, and she will be an intricate part of my side of the story.

When we decided we were going to Vail, I looked it up and suggested that we, as a family, participate in this 10K. I thought it would be a great goal for the family and a bonding experience. As you read, Julia was very enthusiastic about it and started successfully training. Perhaps because of my pride, I wasn’t quite as faithful in the training.

The big day came and well, you read about it. However, I must interject that while Julia was unphased by the fitness of our ‘competitors’, I was not feeling too good about the race from the beginning (a very similar, yet exponentially intensified scenerio will occur at the pearly gates I’m certain). But Kimi and I nervously signed up for the 10K…we’re young and healthy…we can do it!!

About 0.3 miles into the race, we started up this MOUNTAIN!! I really feel the need to explain the scenerio to you a little better. It had been raining all day, we were at about 9500 ft, (Oxygen supply was low), and we were expected to run on a MUDDY MOUNTAIN! Please forgive the extravagance of my metaphor, but I hope it helps illustrate just how unprepared we were (Obviously Kimi and I, but Julia to some degree) for this particular trail run. It is like a 2009 _______________(insert the sports car of your liking, of course I’m a Mustang gal) Driving on a four-wheeling/rock climbing course in Moab!) Words can’t explain how steep, narrow, and muddy this thing was.

We started up it and in no time most people were walking, our spirits were still high. We figured we could endure another 5 or so minutes of this and then it would plateau out and we’d be back in business. Oh no…it took Kimi and I 45 MINUTES to get to the top of the mountain. Attitude still positive, we asked at the first drink station how far we’d gone. The wind was knocked right out of our sails when we had only gone 1.6 MILES!! For the average runner, that is a FIFTEEN MINUTE FEAT!!!

We hung our heads in shame when a quick calculation was done and at our current pace we wouldn’t arrive at home base for another TWO HOURS and FIFTEEN MINUTES!!! Needless to say, we’d met our defeat and only finished the 5K. We did not get our times, we did not get any praise, rather a laugh from our brother who said ‘IT TOOK YOU THAT LONG TO DO a 5K!!’ Yeah, he wasn’t up the mountain, he can’t talk.

My parting words are these: Julia is SUPERWOMAN!! Any of you who were thinking that her time left something to be desired…go to Vail, do the muddy trail run, see how fast you can do it, and then come talk to us. I cannot believe she finished. Yes I’m ashamed I didn’t, but I really feel like the elements were against us on this one. And yes, I’ll attempt another 10K someday to redeem myself, but you’d better believe I’ll be checking out the conditions prior to!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The thrill of... finishing

"I am a runner. I never get tired when I run. I run in any kind of weather. Running imvigorates me. I was made to run."

This is the wording of the positive mental paragraph which was recommended I repeat over and over in my mind as I pounded each patch of hard pavement throughout this past spring and summer. Repeated recitation of this paragraph was accompanied by a myriad of other tactics such as envisioning myself as a lawn mower, or a steadfast Clydesdale
race horse.

I had read the books. I had purchased the stability shoes. I had paid the $35 registration fee. I had enlisted help from some more experienced runner neighbors of mine to push me through training runs. I was as ready as I’d ever be for the “La Sportiva Summer Solstice Twilight Trail Run.” In Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Walking toward the registration desk, my sisters and I were surrounded by super tan, lean legged people wearing all the right gear form the Nike caps on down. The Vail Rec. website said this 10K was a “series” race, and I think most of them had done the whole series- along with about a billion other races over their lifetimes.

“They love people like us,” I told my sister. “We add variety to the race. This all so old hat to them. Hard working underdogs are always inspiring.”

Honestly I was not affected at all by the other participants. I am not a real competitive person, and I was racing just to prove to myself that I could go the distance. I may not have had myself convinced of EVERY word in the above positive mental paragraph, but I did feel like I deserved to be there that day and I was ready to give it my best shot.

I don’t know if familiarization with the topography of the trail would have made me steer clear of this particular race. I figured that being in a mountainous town, the trail would not be flat. But I DID NOT anticipate the first mile and a half being straight up a darned ski slope!

Nevertheless, I made it up, and continued across the mountainside through the trampled down grass and dark, slick mud.

My favorite section of the race was across a single track trail overlooking the city. I ran alone, with only my body’s own cues to tell me the pace to keep. I had accidentally left my watch in the suburban after letting Nathan play with it during the drive over.

I will always remember the fresh beautiful solace of those moments. The quakie aspens decorated this portion of the Rockies with perfect patches of green that contrasted crisply with the baby blue sky. Rain had fallen all afternoon leaving clean scented air that begged me to deeply breathe. It WAS invigorating! And when the downhill came, I let my legs fly faster than they ever have for such an extended amount of time. I started to think, “Hey, I AM a runner!”

I ran, and I ran, and I ran. I was RU-NIN’. I listened for any sound of people gathering , and when I heard it, I kicked it into high gear. It was time for my big finish! (I guess it goes without saying that the reason I ran alone was NOT because I led the pack.)

After the race, I was curious to know my time- for history’s sake. I had never officially measured or officially timed 6.2 miles. I asked where this info could be found, and was directed to the “La Sportiva” shade tent. I glanced thorough the list and, unfortunately did not see my name. Turns out the list was printed off immediately after the bulk of the runners had come through. Myself and a few others were too late!

Now anybody with any amount of athletic pride would probably have stopped there- maybe just estimated a time or something. But I had to know. So I walked back over to the finish line and matter- of-factly explained the situation. They fiddled around on the computer, called in a few extra staff who knew the program, fiddled some more. All the while I stood there, waiting. Finally they recovered my time…

I had hit it HARD for One hour, twenty nine minutes, and fourty seconds!

And I am not ashamed.

A little bonus came when the M.C. handing out the medals ended up with some extra sponsor prizes to give away. He picked me out of the crowd, #40, and I got some awesome spray-on sunscreen! He had been the one at the finish line who gave me my much needed Gatorade. He shared a moment of overflowing emotion with the hardworking underdog, and she made him proud, she did.

So not quite the thrill of VICTORY, but yes, I AM FINISHED.

Other trip highlights:

Lindsay's wish was for us to visit the Vail Gymnastics Center. Turned out to be a blast for the kids.

People that know my brother comment often that he and Nathan look alike. How about this pic?

Lloyd women at Vail Overlook after gondola ride. The weather was PERFECT for our mountaintop lunch, horseshoe game, and sand dig, and a little yoga, I guess.

A mid morning nature Hike near the Betty Ford Park.

My sweet Grandma Ginsburg with my children and other relatives that came to visit that day.
Seeing them was the main reason for our trip. It was a beautiful visit, and a fun vacation.