Sunday, August 27, 2006

A visit from Mars

A few more photos. One is of Will and Linda with Bruce when they came to visit. Another picture is of Joe enjoying his bowl of Lucky Charms in the morning. The other picture is at the top of Angel's Landing: Scott, Bruce (the elder), and Mark.

My Half Marathon Debut!

And here is what we did this weekend...

I ran the CHaD Outrun the Sun Half Marathon in Etna, New Hampshire. Scott and Bruce came along, of course. The race was point-to-point, so we all took a shuttle bus to the starting line. We sat on a lawn for an hour and a half or so until the race started. Bruce kept busy by terrorizing someone's dog. He also dumped water all over himself, which prompted me to put my jersey on him and get some photos.

Overall, the race went well. There were lots of people to run with and lots of downhill. I ended up winning in 1:21:21, which is right where I want to be right now. I especially wanted to break 1:25 because with that time I can be considered an "elite" runner for the Hartford Marathon. That means they will pay for my entry fee, hotel, transportation, etc. - and I'll be eligible to win prize money. I'm not counting on any big money from the marathon, but I want to at least break even on this silly habit of mine!

Anyway, a big thanks to all who donated to the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD). After the race, I accepted my prize (a running shirt made out of New Zealand merina wool manufactured by some ritzy Woodstock company) from a cancer patient and listened to a moving story from a former patient who finished the half-marathon.

After the race and awards and such, it was pretty late. 8:30ish. So Scott, Bruce, and I went to our campground in Vermont. We'd set up our tent before the race - thank goodness - because it was totally dark out by then. Scott built a fire, while I took care of a fussy Bruce. Once the fire was going, Scott took Bruce while I went off to take a shower. When I got back, Scott and Bruce were laying in the tent and our foil dinners were next to the fire and the fire was pretty much out. So I took Bruce back and Scott got back to the fire. He got it going again, so by about 10 pm our dinners were finally on the coals. Needless to say, we were eating quite a hearty meal very late at night. While I waited, I ate some S'mores though. I know it is totally cheating on the whole cholesterol diet, but I wasn't really caring that I'd just eaten 10 mg. Maybe I'll care when my next blood test comes back.

I woke up the next morning first and listened to Scott snooze for awhile. Bruce kept rolling around and kicking me too. At one point, Bruce rolled over and squashed his face into the zipper of my sleeping bag and it looked horribly uncomfortable. So I tried to gently slide him back onto a softer surface and he woke up. He sat straight up and looked all around, then started chatting his gibberish talk. He was quite excited to be in a tent and in our sleeping bag. He's usually chipper in the mornings, but this was a new high.

We packed up and started driving. We stopped at a church ward in New Hampshire. Several members of the congregation had run the half-marathon too, so it was fun talking to everyone about the race. After church, we hopped back in the car and made it home two dirty diapers later.

Angel's Landing

I'm still wading through pictures from our vacation. Here are a few from our hike up Angel's Landing at Zion's National Park. There's one of a waterfall, a few of me hiking up these ridiculous trails that consist of a single chain anchored in the side of a mountain (Scott took all the pictures on this hike since I refused to let go of the chains long enough to grip the camera), another picture of me at the top, and a view of Zion's Canyon from the top of Angel's Landing (1,500 ft up).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Looking for a Camera?

Here's what I've been working on for the past week and a half.

Bruce makes a few special appearances, but I prefer not to have him as the poster child of our web site.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Party in the Backyard

What a week!

Scott is working on his PQE this week along with his regular schedule of experiments and meetings.

Bruce started walking this week - finally! He's been clinging to walls for months. He just got up one morning and decided to walk. And now he walks all over the place every day.

I've been running and working a ton! I'm working on a project for the next two weeks at work that has me going full-time (which is more like full-time with wicked lots of over-time). Bruce went to the babysitter's two days this week, Scott watched him for a few hours one morning, and the rest of the time it's been me trying to read him books while writing articles and posting photos and such. I can't wait for this project to be over!

I ran 90 miles this week and it didn't even feel that bad. Some of my teammates and I ran 22 miles on Saturday and covered pretty much everywhere between Boston and New Hampshire. Anyway, I'm gearing up for this Saturday's half-marathon and I'm super-excited for it. I think I can run between 1:20-23, but I need to at least run a 1:25 to qualify for "elite status" at the Hartford Marathon. Why the status? If I can run that standard, Hartford will pay my entry fee, gas money, hotel, etc. And maybe I'll actually get a massage after the race; after the Boston Marathon, I was too delirious to even walk to the massage tables ("They're a block away? That's too far.").

I hosted a birthday party for Miles, a 5-year-old from church, on Saturday. There were about 8-10 kids and plenty of adults too. We roasted hot dogs, ate the normal fare of chips and cake, decorated cupcakes, and played plenty of games. We busted a pinata, ran down the slip-and-slide, waded in the kiddie pool, threw water balloons, and otherwise wreaked havoc on the backyard. It was wonderful. Miles had a great time, although I don't think he was into the educational book I got him - especially after getting Power Rangers and Spiderman stuff from everyone else. Ohwell. His mom did get him a bike (which Scott and I assembled!) that he absolutely loved and didn't get off for about an hour.

Bruce is pictured with Helen, another girl from church. She's eating Doritos - and Bruce is looking totally jealous.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Running for a Cause

I'm gearing up for a half-marathon in two weeks. I ran 80 miles last week and will run 90 miles this week. I train early in the morning (thanks to Scott, who watches a very energetic Bruce every morning) and put in loooong runs on Saturdays. And I take a much needed break every Sunday.

Anyway, the half marathon is in New Hampshire and ends on the Dartmouth campus. It benefits the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. I've never done any fundraising before, but I thought I'd give it a shot this time. The proceeds go toward medical equipment and such for the hospital. I'll have to admit that I have quite a soft spot for children's hospitals after having Bruce in the NICU for two weeks. There are a lot of amazing people and a lot of sad stories that go through such places, and it always helps to have the right equipment and proper facilities to make things a little easier. I hope that the money raised will go to making the hospital experience slightly less stressful for families and slightly more successful for patients.

If you care to donate, here is a link to my donation page.


Here are a few photos from our trip. There's one of Scott and Bruce wading in Lake Mead. Another picture shows Bruce in the flower pots on the Leavitts' back porch. They, of course, didn't even stop him from throwing all the dirt out ("Oh, he's so cute! Just let him!"). Also on the back porch, Grandpa set up a sort of outdoor shower. There's a picture of Grandpa and Bruce trying to cool off from the 110-degree weather. There is one shot of Bruce in the car, but he did not always look this happy. Still, let's remember the good times. And there's a picture of Bruce jumping in his kiddie pool. We weren't sure how he would like the lake because he really doesn't like the ocean here. So Bruce (the elder Bruce, Scott's dad) bought a little pool to stick on the beach. Bruce loved both the pool and the lake.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Go West!

I think this is the longest stretch I've gone without updating the blog. It's because so much has happened! Scott, Bruce, and I went west for vacation. Grandma and Grandpa Leavitt had their 50th wedding anniversary, so the family got together at Lake Powell to celebrate. We arrived a few days early and spent some time with the Leavitts. We fed the ducks at Lake Mead, admired Grandpa's garden, basked in the 110-degree heat, and enjoyed watching Bruce play with Grandma and Grandpa.

We drove to Lake Powell with the Leavitts and stayed in trailers near the shore. Every morning, we went to the dock and rode Uncle Greg's motor boat out to a beach somewhere on the lake. Then we'd play in the sand and water all day. Scott and I did lots of jet skiing. Bruce wandered from digging his hands in the sand to crawling through the shallow water - all day. I slathered SPF 60 on me and Bruce every two hours or so. We escaped major sun burns. I didn't rub Scott's sunblock in very good though. Oops. Sorry Scott.

After Lake Powell, we drove to Zion's National Park and stayed for a few days in a town called Hurricane, Utah. It's not pronounced like you think though. It sounds more like "Herkin" when the natives say it. The town next door was "La Verkin." Weird. Anyway, we hiked 1,500 ft up Angel's Landing and we hiked around some waterfalls and pools and such in the canyon. It was gorgeous!

When we got home from the west, Will and Linda and family came to Boston to visit us! We visited several museums, walked part of the Freedom Trail, ate yummy food, and went to the beach. Linda even got a driving tour of Boston, Cambridge, Allston, and other surrounding towns. We were going to dinner one night and couldn't find parking. So she dropped off the kids at the restaurant and said she was going to park the car at a lot she just saw one street away. We didn't see her for an hour and a half. We were quite worried. But after quite a long time, Joe saw their Suburban blow through the intersection (we were all watching on a street corner for her) and I chased her down. She really got a taste of Boston driving!

Nevertheless, we all had a great time. This entry is really vague and somewhat boring, but we've been so busy I've hardly had time to write! On a similar note, pictures will be added later.