Monday, February 18, 2013

Pocatello Half Marathon

Last fall I ran my first half marathon!  The race was the "Running the Gap" Pocatello half marathon and it was on September 1.  My awesome, marathoner dad ran it with me.  And do you know what?  I finished it!  I trained pretty diligently all summer and I think my longest training run was 9 or 10 miles, so I felt confident I could cover the distance.  Loren, Sophie and I drove east to Pocatello on Friday night and met up with my parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousin for dinner.  Both my parents grew up there, hence all the family members.  My dad and I got our packets, got settled into our hotel rooms and I felt good to go.

Race day dawned with nice weather.  We made it on the bus to the starting line - not the first bus, but the last possible one, per my dad's advice.  That way you don't have to stand around at the cold starting line for longer than necessary.  There was also a full marathon going on, so the half marathon was just on the last 13.1 miles of the marathon course.  We watched the marathon runners go by, then we half-ers were off!

I felt good the first mile.  Like, really, really good.  Then I looked at my watch at the mile marker and it said 7 something and I panicked!  That was way faster than I needed to, or should have been going.  My official goal was simply to finish, since it was my first race at this distance, but my unofficial goal was to finish under 2 hours.  That works out to just over 9 minutes per mile, so it was good that I had some cushion on the time, but it ended up being too much.  I felt like after mile 5 or so I really started to fade and then it was a long, hard haul to the finish.

#1 - coming up on our family cheering section

#2 - sweet encouragement from Sophie

#3 - I love this one.  See you at the finish line!

Thankfully I had my dad and he stuck with me the whole race, even though he could have run much faster.  I'm so grateful we did it together.  I ended up learning that I was not very mentally tough, or at least not very mentally prepared for such a long distance, but he helped me keep going, mile after mile.  I felt like I walked a lot and I know I whimpered and complained a whole bunch.  Even when the finish was less than 2 miles away I still felt like I was never going to make it and it was really hard to keep going.  But you know what?  I did make it.  And do you know what my time was?  1:58:29!  I even placed third in my age group.  While I'm certainly glad I reached my goal, I wasn't too happy with the way I did it and learned some important lessons for my next half marathon.  I've been trying to be more mentally engaged while I run and I try to push myself, even when I think I can't make it.

Within sight of the finish line

We made it!  Sophie ran the kid's race

After the race we indulged ourselves at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.  My family used to go up the fair quite a bit when I was a kid, so it was fun to do it again and great to introduce it to Sophie.

The ultimate fair food- funnel cake

Stinky pigs

Loren and Sophie took a ride on the Ferris Wheel

Even though this race was months ago, I'm glad I got this post written.  Today I signed up for the Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon in April, which is supposed to be one of the toughest races in these parts.  My time may not be faster, but I will be mentally tougher, so bring it on!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

McGinnis Family Reunion

I decided the family reunion we went to in July deserved it's own post, if only so family members could relive all the exciting moments.  After this I promise to begin chronicling events that happened less than six months ago.  Our family reunion was with Loren's immediate family, minus his oldest brother (we REALLY missed you, Seth!).  We started out in West Virginia, where we met up with his mom and sister + family, then drove to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, where the reunion was officially held.

 Sophie and her youngest cousin, before we drove to MD

We all stayed in a chalet on a big piece of property that was a bit outside of town.  Of course, the house was  teeming with people (in a good way!) and had lots of fun things to do, including a hot tub, pool table and fish pond.  We kicked things off with a weenie and marshmallow roast.

A nice, manly pose from Loren

 Chowing down on her 'mallow

The next day most of us went horseback riding.  Loren and his mom opted to take some of the nephews/grandsons mini-golfing instead.  It was Sophie's first time on a horse!  She complained about the bumps a little bit and we got rained on, but it was still fun.

 She was excited!

 Molly and I

 Sophie and I got to ride together

 The back of the pack

Another day we went to Swallow Falls State Park.  We went on an easy hike, with two lengthy stops for swimming at waterfalls.

 Stop #1

 The original plan was to go on the hike, then go swimming elsewhere, but that was quickly abandoned

 Rednecks, swimming in various states of undress

By the second waterfall, which connected with a big stretch of the Youghiogheny River, we had gotten our act together and everyone was dressed in appropriate swimming attire.  We picnicked, then floated in the river, slid down rocks and suffered various minor injuries trying to climb up the very slick rocks to the small waterfall.  Sophie took a spill on the rocks and after that was pretty hesitant about the water.  Whoops!

Of course, beyond the official activities, there was a talent show (which our family was unprepared for, hence we did not participate), frisbee throwing, baseball catching, and lots of board game playing.  We had a wonderful time in our first visit to Maryland.  We love you McGinnis/Nelson clan!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Summer at Warp Speed

Last weekend we moved the computer desk from the third bedroom/playroom upstairs, to the master bedroom, which is downstairs.  I have high hopes this will encourage me to blog/work/stay on top of things more, so in that spirit, here are a few pictures from summer (yikes!).  At any rate, it's certainly not unpleasant to dream of warmer weather.

First up, a trip to Lagoon, the local, legendary theme park, in June

Hanging out at Lagoon-A-Beach

I think this was right before we went on Rattlesnake Rapids and got soaked

As I recall, Sophie handled the bumper cars pretty well, as long as her car kept moving 

Next, we went to our first big ward activity since moving to Boise.  It was a ward campout at the end of June. At that point, we still didn't really know anybody, so we opted to drive up for dinner on Friday night, but spent the night at home in our comfy beds.

There was a motorcycle for the kids, which Sophie was disconcertingly unafraid to speed around on

At the end of July, Sophie participated in a fun run at the Boise Zoo, which is actually called Zoo Boise.  Strange, I know.  The race was appropriately called, "Run Wild at Zoo Boise."  The race route wound through the zoo and had an older and younger age group.  Sophie requested that we not follow her along the course, but come on, I wasn't going to trust my 3.5 year old to simply meet me at the finish line.  She might have made it, but she also might have gotten sidetracked or frustrated and ended up stopping at some point along the course, where she could have been eaten by a zoo animal.  (Just testing to see if people are actually reading this.)  So, as a responsible parent, I tried to surreptitiously follow behind her.  Although she wasn't fooled and kept turning around to tell me to go away, she ran most of way and got a medal and some breakfast at the finish line.

Thankfully, our new ward has a playgroup, just like our old one, so that helped Sophie and I make some friends.  I think this picture is so funny in it's accuracy.  It sums up Sophie's personality quite nicely.  Yes, she is that lone child who turned around and wouldn't cooperate for the picture.  So much force of will.

Our friends, L and S, came to visit from Boston!  Alright, they didn't come just to visit us, but it was so nice to see some familiar faces.

At a Boise Hawks baseball game, an outing sponsored by Loren's employer.  Not quite sure why my hair looks so un-feminine, but don't worry, I'm now growing it out!