Thursday, February 27, 2014

How's It Goin' 2014?

We are about to hit the 2 month mark for this awesome year! I wanted to just kind of write up an assessment post about how I think I've been doing with my goals, and also how my goals have changed over these 2 months.

I do not think changing my goals is the same thing as giving up or failing.

I think we should constantly be thinking about why we're doing the things we do. Is it because we feel like people expect us to do those things? Do these things make us happy? Do they make you healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally)? Do they work for you and your family?

I do think it's important to make goals and stick to them, but to an extent. One of the most important things I've learned this past year is that it's OK to change your mind about something if your situation changes or if you get new information about something.

So, back to the notorious first of the year post where I talk about leaving the LDS church.

Well, don't forget, there were some goals in there too! Here they are:
1. Ballet
I have been taking ballet classes, and had the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker with my girls last month! That was so wonderful! I've made a bunch of friends from ballet classes and from talking to other parents there, and am so grateful for that! I will continue taking ballet, and possibly take part in the spring performance as well. I haven't decided if I want to commit to that yet, or not though. :)
The thing about ballet is that I still love it, but I'm worried that it is contributing to my problems with my Achilles tendon. Last time I went to class, the instructor kept saying things like, "be really careful when you do this because it's really hard on the Achilles..." That same day I talked to a fellow triathlete/ballet girl in my class about how she got injured, thinking it was running related. She told me it was actually from all the ballet she was taking while getting ready for the Nutcracker!

After that I felt uncomfortable with the idea of going anymore, at least while my Achilles is still my weak spot and while I'm trying to build my running mileage back up. I haven't talked to my doctor about what he thinks about ballet and it contributing to my injury, but I just feel like I have so much to do right now that it's ok for me to back out of ballet for a little while. I'm thinking I'll start back up in the fall, after my tri season is done and I don't have to worry quite so much about injury. I do still hope to keep growing the relationships with the friends I have met though ballet, and luckily I am still there most days so I still get to see everyone.

2. Fitness Classes
I've decided to take advantage of all the classes at my gym that I can. I found out last night that they have spin classes 3 mornings a week so I went and tried one out today! It was fantastic! I loved it, it felt so good to be working hard with other people again! I didn't think we had good spin classes at my gym so I am super excited to start going to these ones and any other ones I can fit in. I am going to be sore tomorrow, though! It's been WAY too long!

I have been loving my spin classes! I really haven't gone as often as I wanted to, but I haven't done a terrible job either. I went on Friday and Monday and plan on going to bed early tonight so I don't miss it tomorrow! Two times a week is good for me. If they did it on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays, I would probably go three times, but I also don't mind having Wednesday as just a swimming day.

I also really love Zumba and had totally been planning on taking that back up, but I kind of feel the same way about it as I do about ballet. Sadly, I've decided to wait until I'm not worried about injury before I go back to it as well. As far as other classes are concerned, I feel like my time is taken up about as much as I want it to be with workout out so I probably won't do any other classes right now either.

3. Running Groups
I went and saw this amazing doctor just before Christmas and he gave me some Cortisone pills, which worked like magic for my poor Achilles Tendon, and told me to start planning some races!!  (Yeah, I really like him.) Luckily my Achilles Tendon was just really inflamed and we just had to get rid of that before I could start running again. And I had to get new shoes with more support. He told me I could probably do theSalt Lake City Half Marathon in April, and I had been thinking about doing that one anyway if I could, so that's the plan now! Today I had permission to try out running. He said I could walk for 5 minutes, run for 10, then walk for 5 again and tell him how it goes. I did that after spin class and felt amazing! Hopefully it will still feel amazing tomorrow morning, then I should be good to go! The Salt Lake Running Company has a training group specifically for this half marathon so I want to join that to help me get back on track and I will hopefully make some new friends and change up my long runs while I'm at it! They start training in 3 weeks, so right now my goal is to just work back up to 3 miles which will be their first long run.

I did not join that running group I was talking about! Man, it doesn't look like my goals are going that well at all, does it? :)

There were two reasons why I decided not to join the group. The first one was that I decided to do a different half marathon so this one wouldn't be specifically geared to me anymore. The second reason was that I decided I would rather be able to run with my friends whenever and wherever I wanted instead of being bound to this group's training schedule. I think this has gone really well. So far I've actually done most of my long runs with friends, and it has been really good. Running is such a great activity to do with someone, especially if you haven't seen them for a while and you have a lot of catching up to do and you plan on running for a long time. I truly have enjoyed these runs with my friends, new and old, so I think it was a good decision to hang back on the group.

As far as running goals go, I think I'm doing alright. I'm up to 7 miles on my long runs, and hope to do 8 this weekend if my ankle is ok with that. (I'm icing it right now and decided to skip running today since it's still a tiny bit sore) I have 5 weeks until the half marathon (which I still haven't signed up for!) so I think I should be ok on mileage. My speed is going up and that is making me happy! I also am planning on running this half marathon with a friend who I haven't seen in a long time so, socially, it feels like a good choice as well.

On top of these things goals, I plan to go snowboarding at least every Sunday with the kids while there's snow, and climbing when there's not. LOVE!

We have pretty much done this! Last Sunday we just ended up going for a drive because it felt too warm for snowboarding, and Pete's ankle was hurting so we didn't want to go hiking or anything either. It was still really fun and a nice day, though. The important thing for me is at least seeing the mountains and spending time with my family. We have at least done that every week!

The last goal I mentioned was writing on my blog more, and I have done pretty good with that. I haven't been writing every day, but I have been able to post at least once a week so I'm happy with that.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The World Is Just Awesome

Things have been going pretty good lately! I called my doctor last week after running a little bit of hills with my friend, Shannon, on Tuesday and told him my Achilles had been acting up again.

It had been manageable with ice and ibuprofen, but it also didn't seem to be getting better again over a week or 2 (and the hills probably didn't help) so he gave me another prescription for Prednisone, which is my new favorite magical drug! 

I started taking it Thursday morning and took that day completely off to help it out a little. Friday I just swam, then Saturday I felt good enough to go ahead and do my 7 mile long run. I chose to go with the leg warmer look again. :)

I did 2 loops, and did the first 4 miles pretty slow, then I went out for my second loop of 3 miles and just kicked it into gear. It was awesome that I was able to run fast like that at the end of my long run! I felt really good and was really happy with my time!

And I was also hot in my jacket so I took it off and finished my run in a tank top! In February. In Salt Lake. I had a little bit of mixed feelings about that because I don't feel like I got enough snowboarding in this season yet, but it did feel awfully nice!

I keep telling myself that it's not really spring though. This happens every year. We'll get more snow. I hope.

Later that day, we took the kids to the climbing gym. It was fun. I just went up one quick route before we had to leave to go get Mindy from ballet, but anything is better than nothing! Ethan and Elle both did great, and George made it about 2/3 the way up his route! I was impressed! Here he's showing off his slack lining skills.

Pete took the time to get certified for lead climbing and belaying with his friend who was there, which you have to do at The Front before you're allowed to do either of those things for safety reasons. Pete has obviously lead and belayed a ton, but has just never taken the time to get certified here. For the test, they have you take a fall, and he hurt his ankle! Luckily it was better after a few days, and his own Prednisone prescription!

Monday I made it to spin class and swimming! WIN! I also got this beautiful shot of the sunset while Elle and George were playing outside, enjoying the nice weather. I captioned it, "Another beautiful Monday comes to a close. Remember that dreams CAN come true on a Tuesday." on my Instagram. (I got this idea from that film I linked to on my last post.)

Tuesday was another nice day. I headed out with a long sleeve shirt on, but ended up tying it around my waist which is always nice! I was also happy with the time I was able to pull off! I pretty much just tried to do my middle mile fast, and the first and last mile were kind of a moderate/fun pace. I was also really excited to find my iFitness belt that has been missing for quite a while! Such perfect timing since it's just starting to get too warm to bring a jacket with pockets to put my phone in. It must be a sign from the running gods! :)

Tuesday night, I tagged along with Pete and his friend to the climbing gym where we had a great night! Look at what a stud my husband is!

I warmed up on an easy route, then tried a harder one on top rope and fell so I came down and took a break. Then I tried it again and finished it without any problems so that felt good! Then I decided I wanted to get lead certified as well so I called guy down to give me the test.

He had me go up a little past the third bolt then do kind of a surprise fall. It was not easy to make myself fall on purpose! But I did it. Unfortunately, the route had kind of gone to the left of the bolts (I think I was holding on to the black hold on that big green appendage) so when I fell I went sideways and slammed my right foot into the wall pretty hard. Of course that's the foot that's already injured and it really jolted my ankle. In a different spot though. Dang it! (I ended up about waist level with that first black hold at the bottom of this picture.) My first instinct was that I was hurt and that I should just come down. But then I was like, "No, I don't not finish my routes!" So I got back on and finished it! Wahoo! I had so much adrenaline, it felt amazing! :)

It's pretty shadowy, but here I am putting the rope into the lockers and officially passing the lead climbing portion of the test. (Actually the guy said I didn't need to finish it, I would have still passed if I'd come down after my fall, but it made it feel more final.)

Hey, what do you know, dreams do come true on a Tuesday! Am I right!? :)

I hurried and did the belay portion of the test and passed that just fine. Then it was time to head home. I was limping pretty badly so I iced it when we got home even though it was already midnight. Later I woke up at about 4am with my head and ankle just aching, and still too much adrenaline in my body to get back to sleep. I got up and ate some oatmeal so I could take my pills a little early (I just take them once a day in the mornings), then iced my ankle again before falling back to sleep. When I got up a few hours later it felt a lot better! Whew! I still wrapped it and babied it today, but I don't think it's going to be too serious.

Luckily today was just a swim day so I didn't even have to miss any workouts. I was just a little extra careful when pushing off the wall to be gentle and use both feet evenly. (I should have done that when I fell too! But what do you do but learn from these things?)

I've been doing the Intermediate/Advanced "Increase Speed Category" as my fitness goal with my Speedo Pace Club app on my phone and it's been really fun! It's good for me to have a set goal and set workouts to do. This way I know I'm going to have 3 workouts a week, and I don't ever have to wonder what I'm going to do. It goes for 8 weeks, and I did Week 3: Workout 2 today. Here's part of what my workout looked like (with just the warm up cut off), I just switched out paddles and pull buoy for the kicking just to be safe.

For those who care and are so inclined to shreak in joy with me, my fast 100s were: 1:26, 1:28 and 1:28! Not shabby, right? I did all the 100s on 2:00 so I had pretty good rests.

I went back to the pool later in the afternoon to take the kids swimming and basically just walked around in the water while George played. It felt good on my foot and I'm happy with how good it feels now. I just iced it again and I'm hopeful it will feel good enough to run on tomorrow.

It was totally worth it to take that fall, though, by the way. I am excited to start leading more which seems to kind of be an overall theme of my new life. It's a little more scary, but I love it!

Now to finish this post with more awesomeness, here is the Discovery Channel Commercial that my kids watched like 20 times in a row when we got home from swimming. And I still love it. I love the whole world!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

President's Day Weekend

This President's Day weekend was really fun! Let's start with Friday:

I went swimming and had a really hard swim, but I loved it! 

Pete and I went climbing at the gym. It was the most awesome Valentine's Day date ever!

Saturday morning I woke up with a slightly sore achillies, but I didn't want to cancel on my friend for my long run so I took some Ibprofen, soaked my foot in some warm water for 20 minutes, then put an leg warmer on to keep it warm. I don't know if any or all of those things were what did it, but my ankle felt better and I was able to run 6 miles without any problems! It wasn't even sore later!

Saturday night, Pete and I met some friends at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Ogden. This is our third year going to this, and we always love it. It's basically a bunch of short films about outdoor adventure sports. Some of the ones we watched were about: amazing mountain biking, a blind guy doing white water kayaking, some guys doing some amazing skiing, the last ice miner in Equador, a cute British girl climbing some scary stuff, a documentary about Lindsey Van (who was largely part of making women's ski jumping happen for the first time at the olympics this year) that made me cry. It was seriously an emotional, experience for me.

The last film was about a guy who did 35 climbing routes on his 35th birthday. It's called 35 and it totally made me cry. What he says about making every day of your life count is just so beautiful, I totally recommend you watch it. It's so inspiring to me. (I just watched it again and I'm sitting her practically sobbing)

When it got over, I stood up and said, "I'm so glad we're going climbing tomorrow!"

The next day was Sunday and I had to talk Pete into going through with our plan to go to St. George because he had crashed snowboarding the day before and was feeling really sore, plus our friends were going to be busy so we couldn't stay with them which turned it into much bigger of a trip money-wise. But the kids were all so excited, and I was excited, and I told him we could take the day to just relax and get a hotel with a hot tub to soak his aching muscles in. So that's what we did. We stayed at a Holliday Inn Express just off the Hurricane exit and the kids LOVED IT!

Not only were they so happy to be done with the 4 hour drive, but this was the nicest hotel they'd ever stayed in!

We got a 2 bedroom suite, and George thought the pull-out couch was so fun! (At least until we tried to get him to go to sleep on it...)

We went to the pool that was not in the sun at all so I was a little dissapointed by that, but sitting in the hot tub was nice and the kids didn't mind the cool pool. After that, we went out to dinner then got ice cream to eat in our hotel while we watched TV (What TV?!) until we got to bed way later than usual. It was a fun day and felt very much like a vacation. :)

The next day, we had breakfast at the hotel buffet which the kids also thought was the coolest thing ever, then we headed to Chuckwalla to climb.

Chuckwall was totally packed!

We kind of knew it would be since the weather was so nice AND it was a holliday. So we decided to hike about a mile down to Turtle Wall and climb there.

There is a 5.8 on that wall that was the first route I ever lead (11 years ago when Mindy was a baby! Yikes!) I decided I wanted to lead it again. We started getting our gear out and realized we forgot to bring any quck draws, but luckily a guy there let us use his so I was still abel to do it! I was suprised how scary it was! Luckily Pete and this other lady there were watching me and givng me pionters because I back clipped the first bolt so I had to fix that. I was so nervous. By the second or third bold I said, "I don't want to do this anymore!" But I finished it and everything was fine! Whew! It really felt so good to do that! I need to start leading more.

Here's Ethan taking his turn.

Mindy, waiting patiently.

George and Elle just hanging out in the desert.

Pete patiently stood there and belayed everyone.

Here's Ethan almost to the top! 

And now Mindy! They both made it and did a great job even though sandstone feels totally different to climb on than the rock in Big Cottonwood or the holds in the gym that they're more used to.

Here's George all ready to go!

He just loved swinging and we kind of taught him out to push away from the wall and bounce on his feet. SO CUTE!

After hiking back to the car, we had lunch/dinner at Pizza Factory which is kind of Pete's tradition from when he was a teenager and used to climb here all the time with his friends. No one had a problem with that. There's a fun phone booth outside so we had to go get a picture while we got the last of our wiggles out before the drive home. (Apparantly Elle's wiggles were all gone.)

So it was a quick trip to St. George, but it was totally worth it to me. The temperature was in the 70s and it was just so beautiful there! I love climbing so much, and the hike was really fun too, even though I was carrying George most of the way. I'm so glad we got to go!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Carry On

This week has been really hard for me so this may seem like a really depressing post, but I have my highs and my lows just like anyone. I'm feeling totally fine now!

Monday I slept through spin class and didn't end up doing anything else which always makes me depressed. Well, maybe not always, but I do tend to get depressed without a workout for the day.

I may have a small problem...

But anyway, Tuesday I made up for it by having 3 workouts! It actually wasn't to make up for anything, it was just all stuff I wanted to do.

The Zumba/Ripped class that I love is on Tuesdays so I went to that, then I went for a run outside after the kids got home from school. It even snowed a little for me while I ran so that was lovely. I did fartleks which was fun and made me happy with my time!

I was feeling good!

Later that evening the news came out that the president of the LDS church was being ordered to appear in a British court for fraud. WHAT!? I know, I don't want to be affiliated with this church anymore so why do I care? I don't know.

I anxiously watched facebook to see what all my Mormon friends and family would say. I thought it would be all over and that people would be outraged or at least interested in this story. Well, I was wrong. There was nothing. Silence. I don't know why this bothered me so much! I figured maybe the news just hadn't gotten to everyone yet so I just tried to brush it off.

Then I went to the climbing gym with Pete that night to get ready for our upcoming trip to Vegas! That was another good workout! We worked on endurance by doing 4 burns on the treadwall which is like a treadmill but with climbing holds on it. It's really hard! I'm so excited for our trip though!!

Wednesday morning I couldn't stand the silence anymore so I simply linked to the USA Today article about it on Facebook just because maybe people hadn't heard about it or something. Well this article isn't very fair to what the case actually is so I guess I asked for it, but I got a couple responses about how stupid this was and how this guy must be a raving lunatic. That really stung, because I feel the same way as him about the church. I tried to clarify what the case is about, and that it's not stupid. I felt very troubled all day because of this. Not just because of the comments I got, but also just feeling so sick and confused at the fact that members of the church (with a few exceptions) won't even talk about it other than to brush it off and say it's stupid. Putting my opinion out there like that and being so vulnerable just made me feel so depressed all day. (And here I am doing it again, I told you, I'm crazy!)

I did go swim, but I was really sore so I took it pretty easy, and it only seemed to deaden the pain for a little while and it was back in full force by the evening. I tried to be rational and not get so angry, but it's really hard and I was having a hard time dealing with the kids and dinner with all this going on in my mind. When Pete got home, he made mac and cheese for the kids, took me out to a really nice dinner and gave me someone to talk to which helped immensely! (I'm SO glad Mindy's old enough to babysit now!)

Then, when we got home, he got me all set up on reddit so I can now read the exmormon subreddit (instead of obsessing over Facebook) which is my new favorite thing! It really helps me not feel so alone. I'm also obsessed with the Mormon Expression Voices Podcast which is people telling their stories about their lives in the church and leaving. I listened to one today about the girl who normally is the host and her story is just so heartbreaking (but it does have a happy ending!) so I would encourage you to listen to it if you're at all interested and you get the chance.

I really hope something is done to help people like her in the church, and anyone else who doesn't fit into the mold that they give us. Maybe this whole fraud charge will help with that.

Thursday was better, but I was still pouring over any information I could get about the charges. I went for a run and had this thought that if I ran fast enough, maybe I would stop caring about it! Well, I did my fastest run since I've been back - 3 miles in 29 minutes with my middle mile being just over 9:00 pace! Woot! My worries didn't go away, but I did feel a lot better!

Today the people behind the summons came out with a statement that I thought was wonderful and really explained what it is about. I seriously felt the spirit when I read it. :) So my day started off much better right from the start.

Then I headed to the gym where I got to lead spin class!

Well, actually my music did.

After sitting there spinning in silence ("that was cutting like knives in a fist fight" haha) and waiting for the instructor for 20 minutes, I volunteered to go plug my music in. Everyone agreed and we ended up having a really good, hard workout! I don't really have any easy songs on my running play list! :) It actually worked out perfectly because some songs were fast and some were more building - perfect for hill climbing. I just sat in my normal spot so there wasn't really anyone leading, but I got several compliments on my music and I did shout out a few suggestions during some of the songs! I will make sure to always bring my music just in case this happens again in the future. (Secretly I'd actually like to try out being a spin instructor sometimes.)

We finished off with "Carry On" by Fun. I love that song so much, and I want to just put down some of my favorite parts of the lyrics:

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone.
Carry on.
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground.
Carry on.

Carry on, carry on

This line also hits me really hard:

My head is on fire but my legs are fine.
After all they are mine.

It just reminds me that for one thing, though I have a gazillion thoughts going through my head, my legs are amazing and they can do amazing things, and they are MINE! I also see it as meaning, that we own our legs and we can make them go in whatever direction we choose. No one can control what we do, except for us. I think that's an important thing to remember.

And also, just carry on.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We Can Do Hard Things!

This weekend was great but also a little stressful.

I went for my long run on Saturday morning after putting it off for a few hours because my Achilles was feeling a little tight. By the time I left, it was feeling fine, but I still decided to stick to the usual 5 miles instead of the 6 I had planned on, and to take it pretty easy. We had a light dusting of snow so that was really pretty, but also gave me a reason to be extra careful how I stepped. I love running on the Jordan River Parkway, it's like an oasis in the city!

I usually would see someone else's skid mark ahead of time to warn me of upcoming black ice, but I did slip 2 or 3 times. Luckily I didn't fall, which is amazing considering I fall even without ice! Here's one of the warning markers I involuntarily made for those who would follow me:

I had a good run, felt great, and managed to negative split the way back which made me happy!!

We had a great day hanging out with my family for the rest of the day.

On Sunday it became evident that Ethan had a book report due the next day that he hadn't even started, and in fact, he hadn't even finished the book! Pete wasn't feeling very good either so he just stayed home with the boys and I took the girls up to Snowbasin.

It was fun to go up with just the girls! We did one run on the bunny hill to warm up and they both did great!

So we decided to do a bigger run, and since I don't know this resort very well, and all I've done is go up the gondola to the very top and come down, that's what we decided to do. Yay, here we go!

I should have looked at the map first, though, because when we got to the top we saw that there are no green runs from the top, only blue. On the way up, Pete had sent me a text warning me to only take them on the green runs because the blue ones are much harder. Oops!! Well, I told them we would work our way to the green runs farther down and just take it easy on the blue ones. They were both ok with this and excited to go, so off we went.

At first it wasn't too bad. We even found some powder, which was fun For Mindy and I, but Elle was not impressed! Here she is laying in the powder with Mindy following her down. We had to do a little bit of hiking out of that soft snow, but that was ok.

Then we came to this steep section where I told the girls to go ahead and scoot down on their bottoms if they had to. I think Mindy made it down standing up, but Elle took my advice to scoot. But they made it, and it wasn't too big of a deal. It was so beautiful up there!

Elle kept falling, and she was getting cold and tired, and it was all just piling up on her. Poor girl. She finally just sat down and started crying and it took a lot of convincing for me to get her to go on. This happened 2 or 3 times, and after the first time, Mindy just went ahead of us and we didn't see her again until we got to the bottom. She had asked someone for the time so she knew that she beat us by 20 minutes.

Finally, we got to where we could see the road so I kept telling her that we were almost there! She had a lot of people helping her out there which was a good comfort to me to know that if we had really been in trouble, we could have gotten help right away. She had two guys, at separate times, give her a little pull or a push after she fell over on in a flatter area while I was out of reach. Poor Elle kept saying, "I want to go home!", "I want Mindy!" and one time, "I want Georgie!" Then we got to the bunny hill and I reminded her that she could do this, and it was no big deal. I don't think she fell at all once we got to the bunny hill! Then we were down, and there was Mindy waiting for us!  Whew! It had taken us about 2 and a half hours.

I know how it feels to be tired and cold and frustrated so I know it was not easy for her. I felt bad for bringing her up there when she wasn't ready, and for just not being a very good guide since I didn't know the resort very well. But I'm hoping she learned a good lesson: That she can do hard things, even when she thinks she can't do them. (I don't know how many times she said, "I can't do it!") The hard things in life are the things that make us stronger and they are also what make life more exciting! I hope she was able to learn that, and that she was proud of herself for making it down! I was sure proud of her!

(I also hope she wants to go snowboarding again after this.)