Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend of Romance...

So, after I got home from Denver, AJ told me he had a surprise weekend planned for me. Weee! I was pretty excited, and spent all week asking him what it was. I asked casually, just in case he'd tell me casually, but he never did. When Friday came he told me we needed to leave and needed to be packed. So of course, I asked him what type of clothes I needed to pack. A formal gown? Swimsuit? Rain jacket? He told me long jeans and a swimsuit and some shirts. Well that didn't help much, but the more I asked the more he teased me. I'd say "okaaaay, I'm packing a sweatshirt" and he'd say "alright, but it will be pretty warm in the Bahamas." Or "I don't think you'll need that for scuba diving..." Or "don't forget blah blah for sky diving..." Isn't he just so silly :) The other clue was that we were going with Matt and Andrea (AJ's brother and his wife). We seemed to be running late or something and AJ said "ahh! we're not going to get there until its 8 now!" so I had another clue :) I think I had it partly figured out by then, and when we turned to go south on I-15 it was confirmed. We were headed to southern Utah, wooo!

Andrea was also in the dark about the trip, and only found out about it at the last minute. She knew something was up because their anniversary was Monday, but I think I mentioned the trip on Facebook, so that gave it away. That's when she learned AJ and I were crashing their anniversary trip, buwhaha!

We (Matt) were rushing, as fast as AJ's grandpa's Lincoln would go (long story), to get to our romantic destination in time. The guys had made reservations. We picked up a pizza in Cedar City, ate it in the car (in record speed) and headed up the canyon there to the Dixie National Forest. It was dark but I could tell we'd be staying in the mountains, and since they had reservations I could tell it would not be in a tent (am I a genius or what). We pulled into Pinewoods Resort and guess what, we each had our own suite! I don't know who gets more credit (Matt or AJ) but AJ got a big sloppy kiss for sure. He's pretty much awwwesooommme.

Hangin' out in the Lincoln...

AJ found these sweet pocket-size binoculars
View from the back seat:There was lots to do up there, but apparently we have bad timing. Every 4-wheeler was rented out, so we looked at some other options. After we scoped out how much horseback riding would be, and rented some fishing poles, we decided to go golfing. Haha. We had a lot of fun! It was nice that I wasn't the only one who wasn't a pro at golf. My ball usually went in the right direction, but very slowly. This particular course was quite unique. I've never seen so many holes in the middle of the fairway...with prairie dogs in them! Those critters were everywhere! After joking around about hitting one, guess who nailed one right in the side? ME! And no I wasn't aiming but it was pretty funny that I got one! No it didn't die, I think I just knocked the wind out of him. And then I couldn't find my ball so I wonder if it went down a hole, hmm...

Andrea got a picture of one...

The best part of the day had to be when AJ and I both got holes in one on the same hole!!! Now is that romantic or what? There must have been something special in the air for us to be THAT awesome at the SAME time. Don't believe me? Here's the picture to prove it!


Later we loaded up on nice cold beverages and snuck them into the movies (buwahaha). We saw the Proposal, which I think is hilarious. After that we headed back up to the resort to try out their little restaurant there. It wasn't bad. Then since their hot tub was broken (again, bad timing) we decided to rent a movie from their little collection.

The next morning we drove home! It was a really fun weekend, and I would definitely go back another time. Is my husband the best or what?

More golfing pictures. Check out how beautiful the course is, minus the prairie dog mess:


A.J. studying how NOT to swing. Haha, J/K Matt!

Andrea full of grace. Hehe.
Sweet action shot! Nice camera skills, Matt. Nice awkward-looking golfing skills, Hilary.

Aww we're so cute putting together.

Oh yeah, it's goin in...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My first half-marathon

I have to admit, for the 24 hours before the race, I felt so sick! And I had one of those nights where you're always somewhat conscious, so I definitely wasn't rested, which didn't help the nerves.

We waited in the cold for quite a while for our bus, and then we drove and drove and drove! Oh my...the longer you drive the longer you have to run! When the gun went off (which I don't even remember hearing) we were running around trying to drop off our jackets, but even though we weren't physically there on time, it worked out since you are timed by the thing on your shoe anyway. Hehe.

(pictures are screenshots from the photographer's site...yes I'm too cheap to purchase these little memories)
The starting line in Georgetown. (notice ALL the port-a-potties!) And the beautiful lake!

Zach (Natalie's husband) stayed with us for the first couple miles, but I don't think his longer legs could stay back with us. Pretty sure it was the legs. Otherwise we would have killed him in the race. Haha!

The course was beautiful. However, it was also quite hilly. Everyone says its all downhill (it started at 8700 ft!) but it was more rolling hills. I'd say around mile 7 we were both feeling it. Our hips were starting to ache. And our knees. And ankles. So then we'd stop every couple of miles to stretch, and I made sure to stop my watch each time. Hehehehe... The last 3 or 4 miles were pretty rough. The farthest I had run prior to the race was 10 miles, so I should have expected that, but Natalie had run 6 or 7 prior, so I was super impressed that she was still truckin' right along! We saw a couple photographers so we put on a little show for them. LOL. We held hands and looked really goofy and obviously they captured the essence of our friendship. Hehe.
Hey look! It's Natalie and me! She's way cuter. I don't think action shots are my thing :) Maybe because I felt like my hips were gonna fall off!




We slowed down mile 12 so we could finish strong. The last part was through the little town of Idaho Springs, and it was the longest mile ever! We ran together until the last 10 yards and then Natalie told me to sprint ahead, so I did! And I obviously didn't get too far ahead of her :)

13 miles!!!


After the race we went to some lake (yeah I dunno what it's called) with Zach's family and had a yummy lunch made by his mommy :) We weren't interested in moving very much, so that was pretty much it. Oh, and we took some after-the-race photos there, just because I know you all wanted to see my pasty legs again. I love how when it's just Natalie and me we look normal, and then with Zach we look like midgets.


The rest of my time spent in the Denver area was really nice. We mostly hung out with all the family that was in town (for Zach's sister's wedding), but that's my style. I love being around good people in a comfortable setting. And then running 13 miles. Geez.

Well, folks guess what? I'm running another half-marathon in 10 days! It's the Top Of Utah half, so I figured since it's in Logan, and I've already put in the hard work, I might as well sign up, right?

I almost forgot to post pictures of my new hair! Natalie is the coolest. I gots highlights! I took these for my sister, so, you understand...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My race TO Denver

Before I tell you how my race went, I have to tell you the horrendous time I had getting to Denver.

We dropped off Grizzly at a friend's house in Ogden. We stayed for too long, and then got lost up there in one huge complicated neighborhood. At this point we were afraid I'd miss my flight, but I said "if you get me there in 30 minutes I'll be fine!" So finally we get to the airport, in 30 minutes! just in time for my flight to start boarding. Quick kiss and see ya! Hurry! Run!

Well it turns out I was approx 7 minutes late for boarding (I figured I could just run to my gate). The problem was, if you aren't there 30 minutes before, not 23 minutes before, you can't check your bags onto the plane. No problem, I'll just check it at the gate. But NOOooo my bag was too big! "Guess you'll just have to catch a later flight" I was told. Oh my gosh.

So I go to the ticket counter and talk to the Delta dude. My flight leaves at 4:50pm and by this time it's about 4:35. He tells me what I was already just told by the first guy (short on time here!) so when is the next flight? 7:00. Oh, but it's completely full. And the next flight with any openings is at 6am the next day. Well can't I just jump on my flight real quick and you can send my luggage with the next plane to Denver? No, you have to travel with your luggage. So can I get a refund? No, because I was so awesome I bought my ticket a couple months early which is too early. Okay, so maybe I'll sleep in the airport and catch the flight in the morning. Oh, well Delta adds on $250 in penalty fees to bump my flight, so I might as well buy a new plane ticket. And my return ticket would also be no good, so I'd have to buy a new one to get home. So at this point I'm considering losing my $200 round trip ticket, and buying a couple new (expensive) ones (even though we had the "wow we're pretty poor" convo earlier that day). On another airline.

I tell the Delta dude I need to call my husband, but asked if he'd check if my plane was still boarding. He said they were actually delayed for some reason and stopped boarding, but I better hurry anyway.

So I called A.J....and cried.

And then he turned around, ran into the airport, threw me over his shoulder, flipped off the security guards, hijacked a plane, and flew me to Denver.

Well, no, but it was pretty close.

I told him the whole story, and he was like, "wait, you could still get on your plane if you just had a smaller bag??? Well just take out only the things you need, throw them in a bag, and I'll swing by to pick up your suitcase." "uhhh, okay I'll go ask the Delta dude! sniff."

MY HUSBAND IS A GENIUS!

The Delta dude looked at me like I was crazy, but said "uh I guess that will work. But you can't leave your suitcase here or it will get confiscated. Tell your husband to meet you at the top of the escalator in the parking garage." So then it was frenzy time and I was shouting "K i'm gonna open everything right here! What liquids can I take? Lotion? Is soap okay? Do you have a plastic bag?!?!" He brought me out a huge CLEAR Delta plastic bag. I mean, it was big, I could have fit in it. And this whole time I'm throwing clothes etc. around and hoping my plane still hasn't left.

As a side note, I had packed like a champion, and I had every little thing I needed. Well now I just had clothes and soap. And running shoes.

I zipped up my half-empty suitcase, swung the big awkward bag over my shoulder, and sprinted up the escalator where my GENIUS husband was already waiting for me! Yes! I handed off the baton/suitcase to him, and ran down to security.

I shoved my hobo (not the cool kind) bag into the bin.

Beep!

Ma'am you need to take off your belt.

Beep! AAHHH!

You need to take off your earrings.

K, so I make it through. I just grab everything, barely putting my shoes on and keep running for it. Well guess what happens when you've got a heavy plastic bag slung over your shoulder and your hands are full and you're not wearing a belt? Well if you made the poor choice of wearing shorts 2 sizes too large, then that means your pants are about to fall off. So I'm running, trying to hold up my pants with my full hands, looking like a huge idiot. Finally I stop to put my belt on. And that was the last time I saw my earrings (R.I.P.)

I finally get to my gate (if you've been on a Skywest "connection" flight you know you are in the very farthest gates) and I get there panting and sweaty holding my hobo sack, and everyone's just kinda looking at me. Well, my flight was still delayed, and my plane was still on the ground. And everyone looked annoyed that it was so late.

HOORAY!!! I MADE IT!!!

It was one of those moments where you feel tears of joy that God was looking out for you, one of those moments where you are definitely sure that He provided a huge thunderstorm to annoy hundreds of people in 2 different states, as long as it allows you to make it to your flight in time. Okay, it's a ridiculous and selfish feeling, but I was feeling pretty darn blessed!

Also, if you've been on a Skywest/Delta connection flight, you know that you will be boarding a very tiny plane. Well, this is why most people who have larger bags will check them at the gate, but seeing as I couldn't risk anything happening to my big plastic bag, I brought it on with me. And created a traffic jam since I was "that" lady, trying to squish a huge bag into the overhead compartment. Well it fit, suckas!

2 hours after I was scheduled to leave, I was finally flying to Denver. There was a nice lady next to me. She had her phone's wallpaper set to a photo of her dog, too. Instant friends. Hahaha...

Natalie had arranged for a shuttle to pick me up, and when I talked to the shuttle people, it turned out I'd have to wait another hour, and THEN hope I wasn't the last to be dropped off. Well, Natalie and Zach are awesome, so they came and picked me up. I told her the story about why I was going to look like a homeless person living at the airport, and we decided we better get a picture of it.




I'm pretty happy looking here, but that's just because my journey was over and Natalie and Zach came to save me! Now imagine me with tears in my eyes and sweat on my brow, and that's what I looked like most of the day. Hehe.

Stay tuned for the race summary :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's the Fi-nal Count-down..

Na na NAH na. Na na NAH na na. Na na NAH na. Na na NA na na NA na... (Gob Bluth magic show song)

This coming Saturday is my first HALF-MARATHON!

I'm flying to Denver tomorrow! My awesome friend/old roommate Natalie challenged me to do the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half-marathon with her a few months ago, and it's finally here. She's the one with this site, remember? I think I'm ready. I've only ran 10.6 miles on my own, but 13.1 is attainable I believe :) I was going to run 12 last week, but I did something really dumb and couldn't. I sunburned my belly so bad I didn't want to move and have since gone through a lot of aloe, lotion, and cold wash cloths, and sweat bubbles and peeling skin (gross I know). AJ has this Gold Bond medicated lotion that is sweet because it moisturizes, cools down, and relieves itching. Just thought I'd recommend it.

Anyway, so I think the race will go great. I believe it starts at 8700 ft., which I will not be prepared for, but oh well. Its downhill, it's beautiful, it will be cool, I'll be running with my buddy...it will be great.

I'll be gone 5 days, and the race will take up like 3 hours of that time, so I don't know what we're doing the other days, but it will be really fun! OH and Natalie is doing my hair which I badly badly need. Hooray!

Wish me luck :)

And now, I present a slideshow of one special night when it was late and Natalie, Noel, and I decided it was more fun to make silly faces than go to bed. Enjoy.

For added entertainment, click the sound icon to hear the Pussycat Dolls serenade you. And don't forget to look out for the paparazzi! Oh boy, too much fun with these slideshow maker things...