Now that it is crunch time for costumes (with the Ward Halloween party this Friday), I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to make any costumes this year. All pipe dreams of Madelines and Cupcakes have been laid aside. Rather than mess with hunting down hats or felt or polka-dot tights, I took the easy way out and bought her this:
It's a fairy of some sort or another. She seems rather crushed - evidenced by her huge smile and unwillingness to take her costume off.
This also gives the chance to show off her new 'do.
1. Obviously: blurry because we are that fast. 2. Proof of how hard I was working. At mile 7, barely half way. 3. My ponytail swinging. (People tell me all the time I'm easy to identify on my runs because of my ponytail.)
(Pardon the super lengthy post, but you know, if you run a Half Marathon, you might feel the need for a Marathon post.)
You want to know what kind of friends I have? When I tell them, "I had such a great time running 13.1 miles. You should try it too." They say, "Sign me up."
So this year, 6 of my nearest and dearest ran the race with me. Cheri - the original instigator - ran again. Heidi had already ran a Half this year but decided to join us and make it two. But the rest of the group? All new to the Half Marathon experience.
The night before the race, we gathered the crew for a Carb-Loading potluck dinner. I give you, the racers:
I served my guests some Acai (pronounced Ah-sigh-ee) shots. All perfectly legal, even in the Mormon community. It's an antioxidant loaded berry drink. That can't get you loaded.
Bruce finished us off.
Jenny made sure we were properly carb loaded with this gorgeous chocolate cake. With berries. And whipped cream.
It was a great night. We all parted ways, hoping for a good night's rest.
And met up early the next morning. We rode together so as not to inconvenience any of our spouses and children. Here we are all right before the race. This picture reminds me of the last line in Hoosiers. (I love these guys.)
On to the race itself. It was cold - 40s and windy. I ran in long sleeve tee, cold compression half-zip, running tights, running skirt, and a head band. It was harder than last year*. A lot harder. After the first 5 miles I thought I was done for. Thankfully, Heidi ran with me and helped me stick with it. Mercifully, at about the 8 mile mark I got my second wind. By the last mile my second wind was long gone, but I still managed to finish under 2 hours. 1:56:33. I might have mentioned that before. The Kansas City Half is such a gorgeous run. We ran through some beautiful parts of the city.
Mark and the kids came to see my finish. You might wonder why I am not in this finish line picture. Unfortunately, the camera was on timer and my husband, not the designated camera handler of the family, thought the beeping meant it was out of batteries. Instead of pics of me, we had a series of random shots of strangers.
And this one awkward picture of me.
Once I figured out the timer-setting issue, I posed for this fake picture. Rumor has it some friends got pictures of me running, in the actual race. Rest assured, I will post these as soon as I get my grubby mits on them.
And how did my team do?
Jason beat me by a solid 5 minutes. Without really training.
Heidi rocked the race by finishing just under 2 hours, thereby earning her PR. She's awesome.
Bruce, who also barely trained, ran the race in a very respectable 2:30. He was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day and weekend according to his wife.
Jamey and Tiffany beat their goal time by 15 minutes. 15 minutes! And had a great time doing it. They were hardly winded.
Cheri beat last year's time by a mile, and also ran injury free. Turns out running without a stress fracture is a breeze.
The only husband and wife team this year. Mark has informed me that this may not be the case next year, as he is thinking about throwing his hat into the ring.
The thrill of victory:
My cheering section.
Final picture of the day (Heidi was absent from the pic, but not from our hearts.)
We all agreed: Can't wait for next year!
*I failed to mention earlier, that the day before the race I came down with a sore throat. And then after the race, I was in bed with a nasty head cold for a solid day and a half. I say this to because when the race is way hard than it should be, it is important to come up with solid excuses beyond your control as to why this is so.
Today I am ending my 5+ year ban on Oprah. At 3pm (I had to look it up - I had no idea when she was on) I will be tuning in.
This is a one time offer, good today only.
The ban began about 5-1/2 years ago when I came home from the hospital after having my last child. You know how the first week after childbirth goes: lots of laying around, sleeping, recuperating, sitting in solitary positions for long stretches of time. Hence, I was spent a lot of time reading or watching tv (there is not much else to be done while nursing a newborn who is taking her own sweet time.) I think I watched Oprah every day that week. In the course of this Oprah-fest, she had 3 different Hollywood actresses on her show. EVERY one of them belittled the importance of marriage - cheered on of course, by Oprah. Oh yes, I am naming names: Sharon Stone, Cameron Diaz, and Halle Berry. ("I will never marry again but will definitely have kids" one said. "How can I know who I will love in 5 years?" another said. "Traditional families are not as important these days.")
Here I was in my little family love cocoon, welcoming our latest edition, truly reveling in my greatest treasure on earth my family. Then to be watching this show which had the complete opposite agenda. It just didn't work for me.
First, my personal belief is that marriages and families are a gift from God. Families are his creation, not ours to diminish or change to suit our whims. Our greatest joys in life will come from the relationships we form within our family.
Second, I found it terribly irresponsible for these women with their millions of dollars and access to nannys and elite preschools to try to promote life as a single parent. Every statistic shows that children do better in a 2 parent home. And any single parent will tell you it is the hardest thing they have ever done.
Not that Oprah is evil. I think she is amazing in many ways and has done great, charitable things. But, it was time to part ways. I had better things to do with my time. So, I wrote her a letter explaining my thoughts. I thought she'd want to know.
I think it is abundantly clear the effect my boycott has had on Oprah's empire. (None.)
But today, Oprah is havingStephanie on her show from the Nie-Nie Dialogues. Stephanie, the blogger who wrote adorably about her family. Her joys of motherhood. Her sweet relationship with her husband. Then had the terrible accident, to come back only more dedicated to her role as mother and wife.
I think it is appropriate that I break my ban for Stephanie.
So, yeah, I am watching Oprah today. (But not tomorrow.)