Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Cried at Mile 18

(This is such a great thought-it's sometimes how I feel while I'm running)

So who knew running a marathon could be an such an emotional experience? I mean I have run a 1/2 marathon before. I teared up when I started out and saw the people running all around me, setting off in the pursuit of the same goal. But I didn't even think about it this time. I was focusing on the beautiful scenery, worrying if my hip-flexor was stretched out (I hurt it earlier in the week) talking with my good friends (Caroline, Amy and my new friend Stacy), concentrating on my pace, checking my wrist bands (for time) and much more.
(Amy, Caroline, Me - Post Race)

I had had a little glitch in my training schedule (see previous post). The longest I had run, up until that point, was 15 miles . I had been a bit worried about that fact and just about killed myself earlier in the week (see above statement about hip-flexor) trying to prove I could still run a long distance. A few miles into the race I started to relax and stopped worrying. I knew I could do it, my body remembered how. Then long about 3/4 into the race, I glanced up to see the mile marker that said 18. All of a sudden, and without warning, tears were streaming down my face. I had NEVER run that far before. I was here! I was doing it! I trained for this (well mostly). I was doing something hard! It was amazing! I WAS AMAZING!!!! It was such a fantastic feeling. I cried again at mile 19 and then just before 20. I was on track to come in under 5 hours. Then about 20 1/2 miles the outside of my left knee started hurting. I walked, it felt better, I started running again, it hurt after running about 100 yards. I kept this drill up for a mile or so. Then I couldn't even do that anymore. It got down to where I couldn't even run 20 feet without just about crumpling in pain. Walking was ok though, so I decided that I was going to have to walk the last 5 miles. I was very disappointed. But in the midst of my disappointment, an angel showed up. Her name was Alexandra. She was adorable and I noticed that she seemed to be doing the exact same thing as me, run a little (a very little) and then walk. We just kept passing each other. I finally suggested that we might have the same problem going on. She asked if it was my knee. She did have the same problem as me. We decided to (speed) walk together. She was way younger than me, she walked faster than me, she pushed me to keep a good pace even though we weren't running. We were disappointed together when the 5 hour mark passed (both of our goals). She was a great running/walking buddy. We even had the same iPod (this is super important news;). Eventually I let her go ahead, I felt like I was holding her back. My time ended up being 5 hours 33 minutes. I limped over the finish line, but I did it!! I could be happy about this, really!

Some of the other joys of the trip were:
*Sitting next to a cute UCLA law student on the way to Utah. (Really, I wish he could have been my son, even though I don't think he would have appreciated me tickling his chin on take-off. Sorry Family Joke - let's just say when you're REALLY excited about something --especially on an airplane-- you need to finds someone's chin to tickle.)
*Staying with Derek (my brother) and Marsha (his wife) and their cute family (Mark, Lauren, Ryan and Joe)
*Going onto the BYU campus (chocolate covered cinnamon bears were calling)
*Eating at JCW's (thanks Marsh) I would totally recommend the Marshmallow milkshake and Jalapeno Bacon Burger!
*Watching American Idol (I would have done this anyway but it was fun to do it with D&M)
*Going to Tai Pan (heaven, pure heaven I tell ya)
*Buying my new Spibelt (Black with pink polka-dots. I know, be jealous.)
*Amy's cousin, a massage therapist, who just happened to be there when I mentioned my hip issue. She did a number on me (it was pure torture), but my hip felt oh, so much better (I'm not even kidding, this was an answer to my prayers.)
*Seeing my awesome, mogul friend, and former business partner Dianne - and her family and her dogs.
*Staying in a 5 star hotel. Ok, it was really Dianne's house - but I would give it great reviews!
*Going to Spoon Me. The yogurt shop that the Dahlins own and operate (can you say, "original tangy/acai twist with strawberries, kiwi and pineapple"? Good, you CAN say it, now go get some, it's delish)
*FINALLY eating at the famed "Cafe Rio". I know, I know, don't say it... I've been deprived all these years. I truly have
*Laughing with Dianne about old times (sorry Caroline - we know we're weird. *Tinkle*)
*Visiting Brigham City (where Caroline's Mother in Law lives)
*Attending Church there (you'd think you'd gone back into Joseph Smith's time)
*Listening to her Sister in Law speak in church. (more on that in another post - it was inspiring and beautiful.)
*Spending a huge amount of time with one of the sweetest people on the planet (Caroline)
*Being able to switch my seat to sit by her on the way home. (She tolerated my chin tickling - see exhibit A)
(Exhibit A)
*Having my family be excited to see me when I got home. They made me a totally lame, but very sweet poster. I loved it!
*Being able to say I'm a marathon runner!
Yep! That's me! Marathon Runner!!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Akin to Sarah, Elisabeth and Sariah (almost)

So this is my mother's day post this year. It's a little out of the ordinary.

So, you might as well know. About 10 weeks ago I woke up early one Sunday morning in a panic. I left almost immediately to go to 24 hour Walmart to buy a pregnancy test (actually 3 of them). Brad was apparently in a panic as well because he called me 3 times in the 1/2 hour I was gone (make sure you get more than one, make sure you get different brands, don't get the cheapest one). As you can guess, or I probably wouldn't even remember the incident today, two out of two tests came back positive. Let me put this into a little perspective, I'm 44, Brad's 48, Kelsi just turned 18 (3 days before this particular day), Brady would be 14 by the time the baby was due. We just stood and stared at each other for 2 hours in open-mouthed shock, with Brad muttering things like, "This can't be real." or "Is there any chance it could be wrong?"

This was NOT where our life was heading.

Has something ever jerked you out of your way of thinking, your way of life your direction? It is a very odd feeling. Of course I am ever grateful that it wasn't something dreadful like terminal illness (although, I am of the mindset that child-bearing/rearing COULD lead to an early death). But holy smokes, news like this forces you into submission. Did you know we are not in control (even though we'd like to think we are)? This was something that there was NO WAY around. Without doing something immoral or illegal there was no changing our new direction. It was a very odd to feel in a small way, like those who had made mistakes in life that leave them "in a family way" without a husband. You wish you could go back, you wish there was something you could do, you wonder how you could have been so careless. But after a day of complete and utter shock we started to rally. While we still had a long way to go to wrap our minds around something like this, we started thinking of the positive, fun ideas about our situation. We told our kids... they were TOTALLY excited! That was fun. We told a couple of friends that NEEDED to know because of previous engagements that would have to be put on hold (ok, cancelled) because of the news. THEY were TOTALLY excited.

What else do you do? You think of the positive. We tried... we succeeded (a little bit).

I didn't want to tell anyone (with the exception of a few). I guess I was a bit embarrassed, "Stefani, hasn't anyone ever explained to you how these things happen?" "Stefani, don't you know you're OLD?" and when I did tell people I wanted it to be with a positive - "We couldn't be happier!" - attitude (that was going to take some time).

The title of this post suggests I possibly felt like these great women of the scriptures that were destined to bare prophets. Mostly I just felt old, really old. Brad's mortality came into focus as well, when calculated how old he would be when this kid graduated from high school (67, if you're wondering). Maybe he felt a little like Abraham, who was 100 when Isaac was born - can you imagine? Whoa!

You know, when you're young and having a baby, you're a little oblivious. You're just taking it day by day, it's sorta fun in an "ignorance is bliss"type of a way. But now I knew what it took to raise a child, all 18 years worth. YIKES! Could I do that again? I wasn't so sure.

We learned some good communication with each other and with the Lord.
We learned, first that our trust in the Lord, wasn't what we thought. Then we learned that in order to do hard things we HAD to trust in the Lord.
We learned about a lot of other families that had cabooses and were blessed because of it.
We learned better scripture study habits.
We learned that we are resilient.
We learned a better and more mature appreciation of parenthood (especially poignant that it was Mother's Day)
We learned to expectations of life aren't always what you think they're going to be.
We learned to take it down a notch (I was having trouble realizing I needed to take a nap or that I couldn't work myself into the ground).

I started a baby name list
I started making nursery plans
I started thinking about baby clothes again
I started noticing "older" pregnant moms
I started wanting to hold babies more
I started envisioning all the things I would do differently (and better) this time
I started eating/drinking healthier
I started anticipating having the oldest and the youngest (possibly) grandchild on my side of the family

I stopped running :(
I stopped thinking I was going to be at Girls Camp for Afton's last two years
I stopped thinking about serving a mission with Brad anytime soon
I stopped lifting heavy things
I stopped staying up late
(Why do I like this picture so much?)

I was really getting into the groove of things, and then tragedy struck. It started out small really. But once my body figured out what was going on, it was all over really pretty quickly. About 8 weeks into it, my body realized that there was something wrong and I miscarried. I won't gross you out with all the details, but needless to say, we have been on quite the roller coaster ride in the last couple of months. We have now been shoved back into our first mindset (hopefully with a few valuable lessons under our belts). That, in and of itself, is hard and a little bit weird. But as Brad and I have both agreed on, we are sad for the loss, we appreciate the things we learned, we are grateful for our family (no matter how big or how small it is) but we are pretty sure the scales are tipped on the side of relief that this was a test, it was only a test.

(I put Afton in charge of photo directing on Mother's Day - we got some pretty hilarious shots - here's one of my favorite)
(How typical, "Tiki Head and the 4 Monkeys" - Aaaaa! I love my family!)