Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BYU Cross Country Reunion!

Once upon a time, I ran for a super amazing cross country team at BYU. We finished second at Division I Nationals during my freshman year, then won it my sophomore and junior years in 2001-2002, then finished second again my senior year. Before my time, we won Nationals in 1997 and 1999 as well. To say we were a dynasty during that time period is an understatement.

I was thrilled to be a part of the team: I was constantly pushed to be a better athlete, learned a few lessons along the way, and made some of my bestest lifelong friends. A decade later, my teammates are scattered across the country and we don't get to see each other often enough. Sometimes a few come to run the marathon in April or we cross paths on vacation, but we do not see each other nearly enough!

A few months ago, I received an email from BYU stating that they were going to induct the National Championship teams into the school’s Hall of Fame. I was invited to attend an induction banquet and reunion weekend with the rest of the team.Yay!

My mom flew in on Wednesday to take care of Bruce and Phoebe, and I flew out on Thursday with Oliver. Mooner picked me up from the airport and we had lunch with Tia and Anika; these girls were my roommates for two years, and I miss them so much! We have so many good memories together: sneaking into the fieldhouse with Anika, Tia setting me up on a date with Scott, and Mooner pinning me in her "double nelson" on a weekly basis

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet was on Thursday night. There was an hour-long reception before dinner, and I spent most of it sitting on a couch feeding Oliver and watching everyone trickle in. Thankfully, Oliver fell asleep after that and I got to enjoy the rest of the night. We had dinner together and then were officially inducted. The NCAA trophies were dusted off and displayed, we watched highlight videos from the season, listened to a few words from each year's captain, and got a photo together. From the four Championship teams, there were about 55 runners total. 

On Friday morning, many of us went for a run. Oliver took his maiden voyage in a jogging stroller; he liked it, so I might strap him in for a few miles more often. He shared a stroller with Nan's toddler, and we took turns pushing the kids for an hour-long run.We went out for breakfast afterward, then cleaned up for our more informal reunion that afternoon. Everyone brought their families and chatted, checked out the photo book we had made for Coach Shane, ate burritos, and caught up on the last decade of each other's lives. Sure, we keep up on Facebook and stalk each other's blogs, but it isn't the same. It was good to see that everyone was pretty much the same, but we talked about our kids instead of boys or schoolwork.
Friday night was the BYU vs. Boise State football game, and our teams were slated to be honored at halftime. Suzanna and I spent the first half of the game feeding our babies (remember, they were due on the same day?!), then filed onto the field with everyone else and waved with our team. After halftime, I headed to the friend's house where I was staying and went straight to bed; Oliver was not kind the night before and it caught up to me.
We met together for the last time on Saturday morning; most of the group went for a run, but I opted to go for a stroller-friendly power-walk with Tiffany and Suzanna around Provo. We had breakfast together afterward, then snapped pictures and said goodbyes.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Acadia in October

Last week Scott had a week-long break from work, so we had planned a family getaway to Acadia National Park in Maine. The government shut down a week before our trip, but we still went – and we were glad we did.
The visitor’s centers were closed, the parking lots barricaded, and the restrooms shuttered, but there was nothing stopping us from hiking onto a trailhead from the side of the road or from our cabin.
We stayed in a little cabin in Seal Harbor, close to the ocean and the Jordan Pond House but more importantly close to a playground. Bruce and Phoebe loved having a playground just outside our front door and loved watching the neighborhood's wild turkeys wander by in the mornings.
We revisited Grindstone Neck, a quiet rocky area on the shore that has some of the best tidal pools around. The kids collected what seemed like hundreds of snails and shells, threw rocks into the ocean, and climbed around the boulders.

Most days, Scott and I would take turns going running first thing in the morning. The trails were plentiful, the views spectacular, and the weather nearly perfect. Throughout the week I ran Mt. Day, Mt. Gorham, Mt. Penobscot, and lots of carriage trails. I rarely saw people and more often saw wildlife like a woodpecker and a porcupine. The foliage was also at its peak.
After our morning runs, Scott and Bruce usually headed out on a challenging hike while I took Oliver and Phoebe on a more leisurely hike. Scott and Bruce hiked one of the park’s most popular trails, Mt. Dorr to Mt. Cadillac, and saw only a handful of people. They also hiked the Beehive and Mt. Champlain; both were steep trails with lots of iron ladders to cling to.

Sometimes we hiked together, but we wised up after our hike on Mt. Cardigan and kept our family hikes short. One successful hike was to Hunter’s Beach Cove, home to a zillion colorful rocks and a little river. We hiked together for a few minutes, then Scott and Oliver and Phoebe stayed at the cove while Bruce and I hiked a cliff trail. Phoebe picked up sticks and leaves, chucked handfuls of pebbles into the river, and eventually (despite Scott’s admonition) got into the river herself.
We celebrated Phoebe’s fourth birthday at the cabin. I brought the ingredients to bake the cake of her choice – ginger chocolate cake with chocolate chips on top – and we baked it together that morning while Scott went running. She got to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast and then open her presents: a firetruck Lego set and a firefighter jacket and hat. She got to choose one thing she really wanted to do for her birthday: swimming.
The ocean is a bit cold, so we headed to the YMCA in Bar Harbor for family swim time. When we got there, we realized that Phoebe had two left shoes on. She said one of her shoes was still wet from jumping into the river, so that’s why she put on different shoes.

One day we took a boat to some of the smaller islands around the harbor. The boat delivered mail and acted as a ferry for construction workers and tourists and residents alike. We hiked through a really lush green bog on Great Cranberry Island. We spotted an osprey nest. We got hot cocoa at the only store on the island.

By Thursday, the park was officially opened again, so we headed for the few touristy spots that we like. First stop: Thunderhole.
Bruce and Phoebe could watch this spectacle for hours: waves crashing into the rocks and making a big thundering sound. Oliver got very excited when we were by the ocean; he seems to like the sound of the waves too.

Our second stop was Sandy Beach, but I didn’t get any pictures there. Scott and Bruce hiked the Beehive and took the camera to get some amazing pictures there, while I (unsuccessfully) tried to keep Phoebe from getting into the ocean. I didn’t bring our swimsuits since it was in the low 60s (and much colder in the water!), but that didn’t keep Phoebe from throwing herself into the waves and splashing around. Looking back, I should have known that was going to happen.

All in all, we had an amazing week and are counting on going back soon.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Busy October

This month has been busy: Scott took a week off and we headed to Maine (where i ran lots of trails, pictured above) and now I'm prepping to head to Utah tomorrow for a fun weekend.

I'm taking my computer so I can update the blog while I'm there. Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Family Photos

There has been a conspiracy against family photos in our house. Scott is a bit camera shy, I am mostly behind and not in front of the camera, Bruce makes ridiculous faces when he sees a camera, Phoebe is a little accident-prone, and Oliver just joined the family recently. It was time to call in the professionals...

Thankfully, I know a few. Back in the day, I worked for a digital camera news and reviews web site; a few years later, some of my former coworkers are still snapping photos. I called up Patrick and his photographer friend Mimi to take our picture.
 I threatened Bruce with the looming punishment of no video game time for the day if he pulled his crazy faces in every shot. Thus, he kept his best smile on.
 Phoebe, however, was a little harder to bribe. She doesn't respond to bribes. As you can see, Oliver doesn't either.
 Patrick did a lot of dancing, acting like an elephant, and pulled a few other tricks to keep Phoebe looking at the camera. She would look, but getting her to look AND smile AND keep her hands to herself is tough. 
Eventually we got it though...


Saturday, October 05, 2013

I'm running, but I'm not back...yet.

Last weekend I ran my first post-baby race: the Codfish Bowl, a 5K cross country race with a few dozen collegiate cross country teams and a handful of local club teams. I like this race because 1) it is out the back gate of Franklin Park Zoo so Scott and the kids can do fun stuff while I take my time warming up, cooling down, and cheering on the men, 2) it is on a Saturday rather than a Sunday, and 3) it is fun to run with college girls who now look like babies to me (even if they are much faster than babies and none of them have babies!).

The photo above is of my team, the Greater Boston Track Club, pumped up at the starting line. When the gun went off, everyone sprinted out except for me - I lumbered along, nearly in last place. After the excitement of the first quarter-mile, I passed a few girls. By the mile, I had passed a few more. I headed up Bear Cage Hill, which I've always thought was over-hyped but really felt this time around. The hill kept going up and up, and when the downhill came it didn't feel as good as it should (C-sections take the fun out of downhills for awhile...).

Despite the hill, no one passed me. But I was running with a slow crowd. On the third mile, I passed a girl who was breathing really hard and chanting "I can't do this!" Maybe her mom never read her "The Little Engine That Could." I chugged along and finished in 23:09, perhaps a personal worst? Getting in shape after having a baby is hard and it looks slow and ugly for awhile. I'm beginning to think that it is exponentially slower and uglier with each additional kid. I will be back, but it will take many more Tuesday night workouts chasing GBTC's masters' team (50-60+ year-old guys) and maybe even a few more personal worsts!

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