July 14, 2013

Racing Again! Sort Of...

I'm not going to make any excuses about why I haven't written anything in the last, what? 6 months? 10 months? Either way, it's been too long. But I'm back and there's so much catching up to do!

For now, I'm just going to talk about this weekend, because it was a doozy! In a good way, of course!

On Friday, Brian and I went down to Irvine to pick up our packets for the ROC Race... It's the Ridiculous Obstacle Course Race which "combines a 5K course with game show inspired obstacles to give you the craziest run ever!"

After we picked up our packets, we hung out down in the OC, had some dinner, and spent some Brian and Kristen time, sans baby.

The Race
Costumes weren't required but they were encouraged. I've never worn a costume for a race before and Brian is a goofball that usually goes along with my shenanigans, so I figured this would be a perfect time to try the costume thing.

We were Mickey and Minnie! I threw the costumes together the day before. I got some red shorts for Brian, a red tutu for me, and sewed some white dots on them. I also grabbed a yellow bow tie for Brian. and we actually had the ears- my brother's girlfriend made a bunch of them for Giuliana's 1st birthday- it was a Minnie theme... Disney has been kind of a family theme lately!

 Anyway, the race itself was a lot of fun! There were a lot of costumes and tutus and wigs... It was pretty warm outside, but you start getting wet almost right away on some of the obstacles, so it was relatively easy to keep cool.

They had water stations along the course. There was a ton of fun volunteers. It was a fun experience in general. Obviously, this wasn't a race you would take very seriously. It wasn't timed or anything like that. It was purely for fun.

I think this "race" was a good way to begin my quest to get my mind and body back to where it all should be. I cannot remember the last time I went to the gym. I've gone on some runs with my kids at school here and there. I go on walks with Brian. But I am nowhere near where I have the potential to be. Whether or not I would finish this race was never in question. What I worried about before we began was how strong I would feel during it.

Honestly, it was about what I expected. I was able to do everything. Just not as well as I would have hoped. I definitely needed to walk at times. I definitely had jello arms and legs by the end. So now I know how far I have to go. More on that to come in further posts though. I have even better things to talk about right now...

Post race!
After the race, Brian and I were starving, so we stopped at Subway. Then we headed back toward home because we had a party to get to. Our good friends Andrew and Julia are moving to New York for medical school in a couple of weeks, so Andrew's parents threw them a going away party that evening. Brian and I had brought our race shirt and clean shorts to change into post race, but the plan was to go home, take showers, and then head over to the party. Well. So Cal traffic was at its finest and we were in the car for about two and a half hours. Needless to say, the party was already over an hour deep by the time we got back in town and we didn't want to have to leave the baby at Brian's parents' house for too long, so we decided to head straight to the party.

We were literally turning onto their street when my mom texts "Are you guys close?" I wrote back to her that we didn't have the baby, so if she wanted to be the braggy show off grandma, it wasn't going to happen. Or something like that. She wrote back, "I think something special is about to happen, just hurry up!" I looked over at Brian and I said, "Well, they're already engaged. *GASP!* I bet they're getting married!"

Sure enough, this is what we saw when we walked into their backyard:
 And that's our buddy Mike officiating and my brother Jeff as the best man! My brother- who is also currently our roommate- had helped keep this whole thing a secret! We had no idea! It was the sweetest little backyard wedding ever and so much fun! These two have been together for close to 7 years and they are awesome together. I'm so very happy for them. And sadly, they're still leaving for New York at the end of the month.

Because it was a surprise for all of the guests, no one was super dressed up. But Brian and I managed to take the cake as Under Dressed, Party of 2...

Anyway, the only other picture I took last night was this one with Brian and Mike:
That's pretty typical.

The whole day was fun and unexpected! I loved it!

Today I managed to keep the streak alive (2 DAYS- whoot!) by getting Brian, Giuliana, and Kevin rounded up for an easy hike this morning.
And the weekend fun continues!!!

April 16, 2013


The last 24 hours, my thoughts have been filled with confusion, shock, anger, disgust, and sorrow.

I've been at home the last two days with a sick baby. Yesterday after I put her down for a nap in her crib, I walked out to the living room where the TV was already on. My mind couldn't process what I was seeing and hearing. The words "bombing" "Boston" and "marathon" kept swirling around. The images of blood and smoke and chaos displayed on the screen had to come out of a war zone, so why did they keep saying Boston? It didn't make sense to me.

Then I realized what they were actually saying. The finish line at the Boston Marathon had suffered a bombing.

Although the images and the words now made sense, nothing else about it did.

Who would blow up a marathon? And the most celebrated and prestigious marathons at that.

Was it a foreign terrorist attack? A disgruntled runner that couldn't quite BQ this year?

Were there more bombs? Were more venues about to be attacked?

Although everything about this story made me feel sick, I couldn't tear my eyes away from what I was witnessing.

On a personal note...
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an endurance athlete. I've run exactly one marathon, one half-marathon, one sprint triathlon, and a handful of 5Ks. Really though, if I'm being honest, I could only ever run the first 5 or 6 miles of the races and then I would alternate walking and jogging the remaining miles. Races have always been a way for me to challenge myself, but were never something I prided myself on or even really trained for. Although I would like to get back into racing eventually, for now finishing these races has become more of something that I can check off my bucket list.

So far, my goal so far has been just to finish. Finish times have not mattered, PRs have not mattered. Just finishing. Feeling that sense of accomplishment. Earning that medal. That's what has mattered.

This bombing took that, and so much more, away from so many people.

I don't want to imagine training for months to run one of the greatest races I will ever compete in, only to get a DNF at the end of the day. I don't want to imagine waiting for my dad to cross the finish line, being so happy and so proud, only to lose my brother and my own leg. I don't want to imagine cheering on my friends with bells and posters, only to be terrorized with bombs going off around me and not knowing what direction I should run for safety. I don't want to imagine being a mother at home, anxiously awaiting a phone call from my child bragging about their race, only to turn on the television and pray that my child will instead call me to tell me they are alive and in tact. I do not want to imagine the surge of accomplishment I would feel by running my hardest toward the finish line, only to have that feeling be shattered by smoke and shrapnel. I don not want to imagine being such an amazing and strong athlete, only to have one or both of my legs blown off from under me. I do not want to imagine running into a crowd to help those injured, only to find gruesome injuries and limbs scattered on the ground.

I do not want to imagine any of these things. And yet, I cannot stop thinking about them.

I don't mean to make this about me, but in a way I can't help it. It's another instance where this could have happened to any of us, and that is affecting me.  When I "ran" the LA marathon in 2010 with my then-boyfriend Brian, it was a struggle to finish. It took us a while, but we stuck together, and the best feeling in the world was turning the last corner to see the finish line up ahead through the fog.

We stopped to take this picture- maybe 100 or so feet away from the finish line- because we were so happy and proud of ourselves.

Looking at this picture now is eerie to me. We're in a very similar location in this race as the first bomb was in Boston. We were so elated at that moment. Those runners in the same spot yesterday went from such an amazing high to such a low, so quickly. It hurts my head and my heart to put myself in the shoes of those wonderful people in Boston.

Again, while I am nowhere near an elite enough level to come close to qualifying for Boston, I feel a kinship with those runners and their families. I remember being at that finish line. It is such a moment of personal satisfaction, joy, and innocence. Any kind of violence or pain- except for that pesky blister on your foot- are the furthest thing from your mind.

I don't really know how to end this post. Mostly because everything still seems so raw and my mind is still scattered with thoughts and emotions. But I do know this- my heart hurts for all of the runners, family, friends, and fans that were injured yesterday. And I am so proud of all of the people who stepped up and assisted wherever and however they could. My heart is with all of the people who were affected yesterday, both physically and emotionally.