Monday, April 28, 2014

Ahhh, Rest Week

Last week I was really relaxed with my training. I was totally ok with that since I was recovering from the SLC Half. Plus I think we managed to go to a park almost every day!

I usually try to go swimming the Monday after a race to help loosen up my sore muscles, but I did something weird to my neck/shoulder just as I was laying down to bed Sunday night. It was really sore on Monday so I took the day completely off.

I did go swimming on Wednesday and Friday, but both were really short workouts - Wednesday because my shoulder was still pretty sore and I didn't want to make it worse (I did a lot of kicking), and Friday because I didn't get to the gym until 35 minutes before the daycare closed. Totally my fault, but a short swim is better than no swim!

Thursday I ran intervals around the park while the kids played. This is actually kind of fun to do, and the loop around the park is just a little more than a quarter mile so it's a good distance for that. I also did a couple Nike Training Club workouts - Marathon Prep and Core Crunch. Both are 15 minutes, but they are hard workouts so it adds up to a really good half hour!

Friday, after swimming and picking the kids up from school, I went and gave blood. I was so worried that they would turn me away for being low on iron because that's happened before, and I was feeling really tired and sick after my workouts on Thursday. I've also almost been turned away because I was too cold once! So I'm always worried that something's going to happen, but everything was fine this time and it went pretty smoothly! Yay! I love the Red Cross and I love giving blood because it's something you can do that you know will affect someone and maybe save a life or THREE!

I decided to take Saturday completely off because last time I gave blood I had a terrible time on my run the next day. I hate lazy Saturday's, though. I always get depressed when I'm just sitting around. Arg.

Anyway, I actually felt really good on Saturday and slept well, which is unusual, so I decided to do a nice long run Sunday morning. I headed out with the plan of doing 8 miles, up to the mouth of City Creek and back, and it was a perfect day for a run!

When I got close to the train tracks, I saw there was a freight train stopped on the tracks, so I turned and went to North Temple where I could go over the bridge. That hill was hard, and I ended up walking the top part. I was having a really hard time, but the first mile or 2 is always hard, and I also blamed it on that hill. I kept running, and started noticing more and more people on the sidewalk, dressed in their Sunday best, toting their little kids along. I realized that, dang it, something was going on at the Conference Center and as I got closer I had to start running in the grass to get around people. Luckily it was only like this for a couple blocks, but I was still having a hard time running, and all this time it's still uphill. I got past all the congestion, then crossed State Street and found that the drinking fountain there was turned on! Hallelujah!

I got a drink and just sat down on the bench there. I texted Pete this progress report and told him I was having a hard time and he reminded me to listen to my body and that I just gave blood for crying out loud. I need my blood! I've discovered that it's really a lot harder to get oxygen to your lungs when you have 2 cups less blood in your body!

So I decided to sit there for 10 minutes until after 10:00, which was my guess to when the meeting would start and all the people would be off the streets. It was nice to just sit there, then it was fun running back down that street. That is one of my favorite places to run because it doesn't really seem like it's much of a hill so it makes me feel really fast running past all the people that are out, and luckily there were only a few people left this time.

So here's to giving blood, and running in the city where there are drinking fountains!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Super Awesome Easter Hike

This Easter we went on a fun family hike up to Lisa Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was a really fun, pretty easy hike. Mindy and Ethan beat us to the waterfall.

My mountain man.

Mindy, contemplating the stream.

George spent a lot of the time doing his favorite thing: throwing rocks!

The waterfall was bigger than we've seen it before with the spring runoff so that was fun!

Beautiful girl, beautiful mountain.

Another shot of the falls. It was such a beautiful day!

Of course the kids had to end up in the water. It was really, really cold, but they didn't care. George actually fell in at one point and got his shoes and shorts wet, but he was fine.

Elle gave my feet a nice mud bath. It actually felt really good! The water was so cold, I could only keep my feet in for a second.

George had to walk on every cool rock he saw.

Later, we went home and had a fun little egg hunt with the cousins!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter as well!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Salt Lake City Half Marathon Race Report

This Saturday I had the opportunity to run The Sale Lake City Half Marathon. I really had not planned on spending the money on it because I put off registering for too long and it got too expensive, but a friend got me in for free so I was happy to give it a try! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get ahold of that friend the whole day so I was kind of a loner, but that's ok. The ownership and course for this race were new for this year so if you've done it in the past, it's a little different now.

I wasn't able to sleep very well the night before(DANG RACE NERVES!), but at least I made myself a new play list using songs I found in the 170 bpm tempo range that I found on I highly recommend this!

The finish line was about 4 miles from my house so it was really nice going to a race so close to home! I left home at 6am, parked at the finish line by 6:15 then walked over to the Trax station, about 2 blocks away, to ride up to the start line. I just missed one train as I was walking over, but there were a ton of runners waiting for the next train so I wasn't worried.

I had rigged my Garmin with twisty ties so I could still wear it even though the band broke. It worked pretty well! It did bother me sometimes, but at least it stayed on.

Finally the train came and we had a nice ride up to the University of Utah. When we got there, we could hear the announcer saying that we'd be starting in 3 minutes, so we all started running down to the start. I ran to the bathrooms first, and found one without a line so that was nice! I hurried over to the start line just in time to hear the National Anthem which was just such perfect timing!

6,500 people getting ready to run the streets of Salt Lake City. So Rad.

The gun goes off! And we slowly start moving towards the start line. I was pretty close to the back of the pack so I crossed the start line about 10 minutes after the gun went off. Pretty crazy!

We finally crossed the start line and started running a little bit, but we were soon slowed way back down by a narrow uphill bottleneck. We slowed down so much that I hurried and pulled my phone out for a picture of the U on the mountain that we were running towards. It was a pretty steep uphill and I was kind of happy to walk it a little bit. But after a minute, we were able to run again.

Even with this hill that slowed us down a bit, my first mile was exactly 9:30 which is the pace I was hoping to average for this race.

Before I knew it, we were at an aid station, and we hadn't even hit mile 2! I actually didn't even notice it until we were almost past it since there were so many people, and I decided it was fine if I skipped it anyway. They had aid stations pretty much every mile which was nice, but it kind of threw me off since I'm used to stopping at every aid station when they're every 2-3 miles. I didn't want to stop every mile so I had to keep track of when to stop more than usual. I tried to stop at every other one, and I had to watch for the aid stations carefully - they would sneak up on me because the road was just full of people all the time.

Mile 2 was a lot of uphill so it ended up being slower (10:08), but then the next 3 were beautiful, fun downhills - 11th Avenue, Bonneville Boulevard and Memory Grove (8:34, 8:48, 8:30). Some of my favorite places to run! I love my city, it is so beautiful!

But then we had to turn and run up South Temple for mile 6. It looks pretty flat, but it's a pretty good uphill and I had to really focus on keeping my pace up. I still managed 9:49 here. Not bad. I felt like I pushed through it really well!

Next we got to turn south and go slightly downhill for the next mile (9:17). I was feeling really good and happy on this mile!

I think it was around here that Raise Your Glass by Pink came on. In it she says:
So raise your glass if you are wrong
In all the right ways, all my underdogs
We will never be, never be anything but loud
And nitty, gritty, dirty, little freaks
I just thought about how I never used to fit into that category, and now I do (not really in the way she's talking about, though! haha), but I'm so glad! I'm glad that I'm "wrong" in all the right ways. I'm so grateful for that. I also thought about how dirty, sweaty and nitty gritty I and all the runners around me probably were and how there are a lot of people who look at runners as "freaks." But again, I was so happy to be where I was and to be who I am!!

So I started to get emotional, and then I started to have a hard time breathing for just a few minutes. It was really weird! A lot like what happened to me at the finish line of my last marathon, but not as bad. I took some deep breaths and made myself calm down so it wasn't a big deal, but I think I was a little more nervous to push myself too hard after that weird few minutes. I really don't know what happened, but it did make me a little nervous.

I was still happy though, I just had so much fun this whole race!

At mile 8, we had to turn east again for the hardest hill on the course. Or so it felt. We weren't as fresh as for the first few hills so it was hard! They actually had an aid station on this hill so I stopped to walk while I drank, and ended up walking a lot longer than I usually let myself at aid stations. My knees were starting to hurt and I just didn't feel like it was worth it running up that big hill. I did start running again before we hit the top, though, and finished that mile in 10:17. Not too bad, and boy was I happy to turn right and head downhill again! Wahoo!

My next 4 miles were pretty close to on pace! (9:29, 9:36, 9:28, 9:32) I was feeling really good, and happy and my music was really helping to push me! I saw a friend out on her bike spectating so that was really nice! She was the only person I saw who I knew the whole race so it was really good to see her.

We ran through Liberty Park, and I realized it isn't as flat as I thought it was. The section we ran was definitely a little uphill. There was a big cheering group with funny signs right as we entered the park, and as we make the first turn there was a group of people with signs saying "This is the Place...for beer!" and "Temptation Station." They were handing out vodka shots! I don't know how they were allowed to do this! We had 2 miles to go and I needed to push it and keep my energy up so I certainly wasn't going to take one, but the guy next to me grabbed one and it made me laugh. (MarathonFoto actually got a good shot of me here, and I would totally buy it if it wasn't 25 bucks! Look for the one with me next to a lady in purple, both of us looking to our right.) There were several funny diversions like this throughout the course. Just a fun day.

The fatigue suddenly hit me in the last mile! I also realized that I wasn't going to be able to make a PR so I decided to stop for a potty break at the last aid station. I just thought it would be nice to not worry about peeing my pants for the last mile! The music was so loud at that station that I felt like the port-o-potty was on a truck or something! I don't feel like I stopped for too long, but this was by far my slowest mile at 11:13.

As I neared the finish line, Vaseline by Stone Temple Pilots came on and I thought it was so fitting because I did feel like a fly in the Vaseline, so sluggish and just struggling to keep my legs moving! Just before I crossed the finish line, the guy next to me fell down to his knees, but it looked like he was doing it on purpose, maybe to have a dramatic finish or something, so I just smiled and I didn't stop. I kind of feel bad now, but it happened so fast. Hopefully he was ok!

My official time was 2:07:56 (126 out of 352 in my age group!). It was my 3rd fastest half marathon, and 10 minutes faster than my last one so I was totally happy with it! Especially because I've been injured and this was a pretty hard course. It reminded me of a line from George's favorite book, Dino Racing, "This is not an easy race!"

It was a really fun race and it was really well put together and supported! It was fun running such familiar streets and running with so many people! This is the biggest race I've done since the St. George Marathon in 2008. I would recommend signing up early if you want to do it, though, because the price increases a lot!

They had a bunch of goodies at the end, including Creamies which are always so delicious after a hard run! Also note what a beautiful day it was!

I hurried home and took a quick shower, then Pete and I went out to breakfast with a friend for her birthday! It was so good, and so much food. I did NOT eat it all! I actually felt kind of sick, but I went into that race wanting to push myself hard and that's what I did! Feeling sick for a while afterwards is one of the consequences of doing that.

When we got home, I actually was able to sleep for a few hours. Usually I have too much adrenaline after a race to take a nap, but I think not sleeping well the night before really helped with that! It's been 2 days now and my achillies is feeling really good! It felt good during the race, but was a little sore after so I'm glad it's feeling better now!

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Wanna Be a Cowgirl Baby!

This weekend was a lot of fun!

Friday I ran 3 miles. It was 73 degrees and just gorgeous outside! I wish that was conducive of a good run for me. I mean, I did enjoy it, but it was hard! I was slow, breathing hard, sweating like crazy and I felt like I was going to die when I got home. I guess I'm turning into quite a baby when it comes to running in the heat! 73 degrees should not be too hot! So, I'm going to try and let this be a lesson to myself to GET UP when my alarm goes off at 5:30am. It's time to start early morning running!

(These could also be after effects from running a half marathon last weekend... But I'm going to use it as a way to talk myself into getting up earlier and getting it done!)

Saturday was a crazy day because I was working on Ethan's birthday cake for his party that afternoon, trying to get that finished, and still stressing about how I would a run in. Well, the run didn't happen, but his cake turned out pretty cool, if a little morbid.

It's a skull sitting on soul sand from Mine Craft. Ask your 10 year old if you want to know what that is. As I was painting the moaning faces,  Mindy says, "You know, Mom, that summons The Whither." Uh oh, watch out!

Not my favorite cake, but it was fun, and I do what is requested of me!  Happy birthday Ethan!

We also went to the Muppet's Most Wanted which was pretty funny.

After that party, I had to hurry and make dinner then quickly frost another cake to take over to my friend from ballet's birthday party.

Yes it was a two cake day!

We had a great time! After hanging out for a while, we went to The Westerner to do some country line dancing! There was a huge dance floor in the middle surrounded by a bunch of bars, a mechanical bull and a separate karaoke room. The place was packed too!

I grew up in a small town where the rodeo and county fair were the biggest events of the year, and where I was surrounded by horses and cows and country music. It kind of rubbed off on me,  and I always loved country dancing, but I hadn't really done it since college. so it was great to have an excuse to do it again!

I had such a blast dancing with these girls until 1am when we decided the live band (which was awesome and they played some fun songs like Footloose!) probably wasn't going to play The Electric Slide (which we missed dancing to because it was playing as we got there) and decided to head home. But we did get to dance to The Boot Scoot Boogie which was just as fun as always, and the moves came right back to me. There were a buch of other songs where we tried to follow along, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much, or just made up our own moves. We all came away from it sweating like we'd just ran a marathon! It was so much fun though, I may have to take up country line dancing again!

We even rode the mechanical bull! Yeeha! It was pretty hard, but not nearly as hard as riding a real bull! (Not that I would know, but those guys get thrown off immediately! And they train for it like crazy!)

Yeah, it was pretty much the most awesome night in a long time! And they may have talked me into going back to ballet. My achillies is feeling pretty darn good...

Despite staying up later than I'm used to, I woke up bright and early on Sunday and GOT OUT ON MY RUN! It was so beautiful, and much cooler so I felt better this time!

I ran up to Memory Grove which was just breathtaking from the early morning light, the different colors of the trees down to the petals covering the sidewalk. It was simply perfect. It's moments like these, and weekends like this one, that just really make me so happy and grateful to be alive and to be part of this wonderful world!

Don't be afraid to take these moments in. Really feel them and taste them and let them fill you up. Life is so amazing. There really are things to be excited about all around us. Don't let the "mundane" day to day things make you forget that.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I have decided that I really need to get myself back to being obsessed with my training. Like in the good old days!

Lately, and on and off for over a year, I have been pretty much obsessed with reading everything I can find about the LDS church, and frankly, it is no longer doing me any good. It just makes me depressed and stressed out whenever I think about it. That means I'm feeling stressed a LOT lately since this last weekend was General Conference. Not only do I live 2 miles from the conference center, it is also all over the place on Facebook and the ex-mormon community.

So I just need to distance myself from those two places for a while again. I did that maybe a month ago and it really did help, but I have slowly drifted back in and am now checking both several times a day again. Arg, why can't I just live my life?! It's crazy how much of an addiction social media is.

I feel like I have to be obsessed with something at all times. Is anyone else like that? I'm going to try and be obsessed with something healthy again - working out. I'm going to log all my workouts on again, especially to keep track of how many miles I'm putting on my shoes. I've been really good about it in the past, but I've kind of stopped doing it in the last few months. I haven't been super into working out lately, so that's probably why. I just got all caught up logging my workouts for April so now I'm going to try and keep that up. I think it will also help me to get on here and log what I've been doing more too, which was my goal at the beginning of the year anyway so I need to get back on it!

A crazy thing happened yesterday. I was clearing the table, trying to be tricky carrying 5 or 6 mugs at the same time. Of course I dropped one onto the table. The handle broke off and flew right at George, cutting him on the eyebrow! It was just so crazy, what are the chances of that happening!? So that was kind of traumatic for a few minutes while I got it to stop bleeding before I could really asses it and see how bad it was. Luckily it stopped bleeding pretty quickly so there was no need for stitches. He just had a big bandaid above his eye for 2 days. Poor little guy, I felt so bad! But I gave him a bath tonight and took the bandaid off and it looks really good.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Strider's Half Marathon Race Report

The night before the race I did not sleep very well, but I made myself stay in bed until 5 when I finally got up and got ready. I had taken 2 Predensone the night before, and I took 3 more in the morning along with my oatmeal to really ward off that dang inflammation. My achillies was feeling pretty good, but I rubbed some warming cream on it and put my leg warmer on top just to help it out a little more.

My friend, Chris, picked me up at 5:45 along with her friend Melissa. It was an hour drive to the race location, but it was actually really fun talking to them and getting to know them so the time went by quickly! 

We picked up our packets, waited in line for the bathrooms, then got on the very last bus before they all pulled out and headed up to the start. It was pretty cold at the start, which was one of the reasons we got on the last bus. But it wasn't too freezing cold and they did have a bag drop so we were able to keep our jackets and blankets on until just before the start. I ended up forgetting to take the leg warmer off my ankle, though, so I was sporting that the whole time. Who knows, maybe it helped though. 

Me, Melissa and Chris just after we got off the bus. It was beautiful up there!

We had to walk a little ways up the road to the start line, and just went to the back of the group. We decided we'd stop at the port-o-potties after the race started since they were down a ways from the start line, and none of us were in a hurry. 

View from the start line.

Just after the gun went off and the crowd started moving. I love all the colors!

After the potty break, I waved goodbye to my friends and went ahead and just ran my own race. This is the first race I've done where I had no idea what my pace was or even what time I was at. I just took it easy and plodded along. Slowly and steadily, I kept passing people pretty much the whole way, but I tried not to try and pass anyone. I tried to just stay at my comfortable pace. I also tried really hard not to care at all when people passed me. I would just let them go and stick to my pace.

At what I thought was probably half way, I had to stop to take a picture of just how beautiful it was up there! You can see it snowing up at Snowbasin, but the weather ended up being pretty perfect for us. I kept my long sleeve shirt on the whole time, but I wasn't really too hot or too cold.

I hurried and took this screen shot of my runkeeper so I could look at it later, but I didn't even really look at it at the time. That's how much I just didn't care about my time. It was my goal for this race to take it easy, treat it like a training run and not worry about my time at all. I am pretty happy with my pace here at what turned out to be a little more than half way.

While I was stopped, taking that picture, these horses came running up to me. Poor things probably thought I had a treat for them! Maybe next time I'll try to carry an apple with me...

Isn't this just so picturesque, though!? You can see the runners on the path to the right. The whole run was so beautiful, but I didn't stop to take any more pictures. This was the only time I stopped, other than to walk for a few seconds and drink my water at each aid station which they had about every 3 miles. I carried Honey Stinger Chews with me and ate 3 each time I saw an aid station coming.

Just before the 9 mile mark, I caught up to a guy who I had passed before and given encouragement to. He must have passed me when I stopped to take pictures. He asked if anyone had the time and a girl behind us told us we were at 1:30 which we were both Ok with. I stuck with him and we chatted for about a mile. I feel like maybe he was getting bored and needed someone to talk to, he was one of the few people I noticed with no ear buds. He also kind of helped me reign it in and keep my slow and steady motto at a point where I might have normally tried to speed up. Talking to him also helped me pass the time and tune out the running for a little bit before the last little push.

Since I was so careful to take it easy the whole time, this is the first half marathon I've done where I didn't have a really tough mental place to get through. Usually the last 3 miles are really hard for me and I have to really dig in and make myself keep going, but I felt really steady this whole race and the time just flew by as I chugged along. I did start to think that I wanted to walk when I had less than a mile left, but it still never got to that really painful place, physically or mentally.

This race is also really gentle. There are not really any steep uphills or downhills. Most of it felt pretty flat or just a slight grade. There were a few hills, but nothing crazy. I really liked it and I think it ended up being a perfect race for me to come back with and to test out my achillies. My legs were sore at the end, don't get me wrong, but everything hurt in a good way - in a way that I would expect and not be worried about.

Here's what my runkeeper app said after I crossed the finish line, but I guess I was a few minutes late starting my time because I just checked my official chip time and it is 2:18:31. Here I've been telling everyone I finished in 2:16. Oops!! I came in as number 43 out of 65 in my age group. Not bad for a training run, though, right? I was just happy not to be limping!

I got a drink and a parfait and went and sat in the grass to stretch for a few minutes before I went to watch for Chris and Melissa to come in.

It started to rain and the temperature seemed to drop as we were walking to the car so the timing on that couldn't have been more perfect! The drive home was really fun talking to them again. I'm really going to have to start hanging out with them more often!

 I forgot to take a finish picture until I got home (Notice Ethan doing pull ups in the background, haha!). I got a cute medal, a nice half-zip long sleeve tech shirt, and a happy face! 

It's now been 2 days since the race, and I CAN NOT believe how good my achillies feels! It seriously feels almost as good as new, and way better then it did in the 2 weeks leading up to the race. Who knew running a half marathon would actually help it?! ;) I'm not going to get too crazy, but I'm going to start planning on doing my next half (in 2 weeks) faster!

I went and swam today so that felt good on my sore muscles, but I don't feel any more sore then I should. Overall I feel really good about this race and I'm so glad I did it!

Friday, April 4, 2014


Half Marathon tomorrow! Wahoo!!

I have not been this nervous about a half marathon in a long time!

It's not really that I'm nervous I won't be able to do it. I know I can do it, but I'm worried that I will push myself too hard and hurt myself more.

This week has been spring break for my kids so I've been pretty relaxed with working out, and we've just been doing some fun things. Monday we went to the new aquarium that just opened this month. It was REALLY crowded, but it was also really cool, especially this tunnel where you get to walk under the sharks, sting rays and fish. It really felt like we were under water!

Tuesday we went to the Tracy Aviary in Liberty Park with some friends which was really fun especially because it was kind of gloomy so we pretty much had the place to ourselves! It started snowing after we got home, but it wasn't too bad for most of the time we were there. Our timing was pretty perfect!

I stopped taking the prednisone on Tuesday and when I talked to my doctor's office, they told me to run 3-4 miles and let them know how it felt afterwards. I was actually heading out the door to take Elle to ballet when they called, so I hurried and grabbed my running things and changed at the studio. I drove back to Liberty Park and ran a little more than 2 laps around it, which ended up being just about 3.5 miles. It's a nice place to run, and I like how one loop is more than a mile! My achillies felt a little stiff when I started, but it warmed up after half a mile or so, then it felt great! It was awesome to be out running again, and each mile got a little faster, even though I told myself this was just going to be an easy run.

When I got home, it was sore to the touch and the next morning it was a little more stiff then it had been the morning before, but it didn't hurt too bad. I called the doctor again and told the receptionist about it, but she hasn't called me back... She told me before that if it was sore they would have me keep taking the prednisone, but if not to just take 2 Friday night and 3 Saturday morning. So that's what I'm planning on doing.

Wednesday I went swimming which was really good, then cleaned the house, then took everyone to the dentist. Fun, fun! George was the only one with cavities which will be really sad when I bring him back to get them fill, but I'm glad no one else had any! When we got home I went back to the pool with the kids and we met some friends there so that was fun.

Thursday was a really lazy day for me, but I think that was good because it gave my achillies some more good rest. I did have two of my friends call me to make sure I was ok in the morning because, sadly, someone drowned in the pool I go to! It is such a tragedy, and also kind of a strange mystery because he had broken into the building before it opened so it happened while no one was there. I just don't understand why or how this happened, and I don't know if anyone knows yet. This is all they say about it in the news. I feel so bad for the life guards who found him. How awful! I might have gone swimming that day or today, but I'm still feeling too freaked out about it to go back to the pool yet.

Even after all the swimming on Wednesday and the relaxed day Thursday, my calves are really sore! Especially my left one, which isn't the one with the sore achillies. I rolled them out last night and they do feel better today, but it still feels like I have a big rock in my calf! Ouch! It just makes me nervous because if I'm this sore after running 3.5 flat, easy miles, how sore am I going to be after 13.1?? I am also worried it will still be sore tomorrow so I'm icing right now and plan to wear my compression socks for at least the rest of the day and through the night. I haven't decided if I want to run in them yet, though. I always have problems with blisters on the bottoms of my feet and I they might make that worse.

My achllies is feeling pretty good right now. I thought about running a couple miles today to try and loosen my legs up, and also to test out my achillies, but I decided I didn't want to risk making it sore again right before the race. I did walk around with the kids at the zoo this morning though!

So I really have only ran 3.5 miles in the last 2 weeks, but I should still be ok right?!

Yeah, I'm super nervous!

My goal for this race is to take AT LEAST 2 hours. If I get a PR on this race, I will be mad at myself! I just want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the company of the other racers, and just have fun. I am signed up for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in 2 weeks as well so my hope is to have this half be more of a training run for that, and maybe I'll be able to push myself a little more on it. We'll see.

Also it might snow on us. No biggie.