Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Thanksgiving weekend

It is Sunday morning and I am sitting in the Lazy boy chair with my feet up typing on the keys of my laptop. Snow is falling just outside my window, Anne is putting lights on the Christmas tree and the kids for some unknown reason are playing quietly in another room. I will find out the reason later for quite play, I hope the clean-up will not take too long.

This weekend was great for me, when I was a child we would have very large groups at our home for Thanksgiving and I really enjoyed all the activities that we did. I was very excited for this year because Anne and I were able to host the Dinner and day at our home. In the end we had a blast and I am glad that we had such a fun time. But before I tell about the great Turkey day I need to start at the beginning, so here is my Thanksgiving weekend story.

We spent Wednesday night trying on Josh and Jackson's new skis, even Lexi felt that she would give it a try. They had fun walking around the living room and said the skis would work great and they would be ready to go on Friday.

Thanksgiving morning started for me with a run to the race site where I would meet Anne and the kids. Anne would take Jackson and go and register and the rest of us would get ready for the race to start. This was Jackson's first 5K and the first time that Anne would run the race and not hang with the kids (it was my turn). I bundled up Lexi and put her in the Burley with Josh and we headed for the start. Jackson was excited to race and so we told Mom good luck and headed to the back of the race start where most strollers were and Anne went to the Front. Jackson and Josh started running and did really well the whole race, Lexi even spent some time running with the boys. We ended up crossing the finish line with Both Josh and Jackson running in a full sprint and came in at 49:42. Anne had a great race and PR at a 23:47. She said that she gave it her all, she did not get to warm up so the first mile hurt pretty bad but she still was able to run negitive splits.

Broom Hockey came next at the church with the kids and after an hour of running we cleaned up and headed home to get ready for dinner. Three tables held the 22 people that came for dinner at our home. We had an adults table, teen table and little kids. The dinner was beyond great, the food seemed to taste the best it ever has. We had two 15lb Turkeys one cooked in the oven and one on the grill that was smoked with hickory chips. We had all the traditional items and was able to fill our plates full with just a small samples of each item.

After dinner was spent playing Wii, Lego's, watching football and just visiting. We spent some time saying what we were thankful for and typed an email to my parents who are serving a mission in Lebanon. The day seemed to fly by and our home held together very well. Anne is the best host and we had simply a wonderful time.
Friday the boys and I went skiing with all the cousins to Keystone. The snow is a little week for this time of year but with a season pass given to them from Papa and Nana for Christmas who cares. This year Jackson can go without me and after a few runs found some cousins to go with and was gone. Josh is learning this year and spent the entire day getting use to his new skis between my legs holding onto my poles. Being able to ski with a large family group is great, the kids break up not by age or sex but by ability and so it is fun to see the groups take off with a 9 year old and a 15 year old holding their own.
For us the fun kept rolling into Saturday, when Anne and I started the day with a PC Group run of 10 miles bright and early. It had snowed the night before so the trail that we ran on was covered with snow as well as the trees and everything else. We had a blast running together, Anne is such a great runner and has always been. Now that I enjoy running it is fun to go together. Hayley watched the kids, we appreciate that she would get up so early to come and babysit. We rushed home to get ready for our annual tree cutting adventure and let me tell you with 4 cars full of people it was a real adventure. The question posed for the day is, why take 4 hours to do something when you can stretch it out to 8? We were going to leave at 10:30am from Johns home. We arrived at 10:40am, I forgot the permit and headed back home. We did get off just after 11:15 and then proceeded to stop 3 time or was it 25 times for gas, food and getting lost on this simple hour and a half drive to Buffalo Creek. We arrived all together, the kids did not care because they were able to ride in different cars with cousins and had fun. We started a fire, found a sledding hill and played for 3 hours. Somewhere in that time we were able to go and cut down a Christmas tree. We arrived home in the dark and I felt that the day was WONDERFUL. Our family is crazy different but the kids (cousins) do not care about different personalities and so the theme of the day was "let it roll".

The kids and Mom have now put all the lights on the tree, the snow is still falling down only harder now. I am ready to get a glass of hot chocolate and continue enjoying this wonderful Sunday. I am taking a rest day from my workouts and will more than likely eat more than I should. I will find some reason to take a nap later, I think I feel a headache coming on fast :). I do want to say that I love my family, this weekend as hard as it was to get ready for and as fast as it went by, I would do it a hundred times over. My kids had a blast, they know that we love them and they certainly know that they have a family that loves them. My brothers and sisters treat my kids so kindly, and when everything is boiled down we simply have a blast. A huge group and we keep wanting to get together, time and time again. I missed my parents this weekend, I know that they are loving what they are able to do and I am proud of them but I still miss them. They leave such a big hole when they go that is only filled back up when they return so I am eager to have next October come when they get home.
It is REALLY snowing hard so I guess I will add snow blowing to my days activities.
Anne, you are the best. I really loved spending so much time with you this weekend and I am glad that you do not get board of me. Tell next time,

I love you Anne,


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Quick work trip to Lake Powell with the Boys

Aramark decided to add more slips for boat owners this year and so My Dad and Partners decided to upgrade the slip so the boat needed to be moved before the end of November. When my Dad and Mom are on Missions we are asked to take care of the boat and make sure it is used. John, Rob and I made plans to go down but Rob had something come up that caused him to stay home.

John came with Parker and Andrew and I took Jackson and Josh and we all jumped in Johns car and headed down. I was raised having to make quick "work trips" to Lake Powell and found the work to be little and the fun to be great. I loved going down as a kid and wanted to make sure my boys had the same experience. We took off Friday afternoon and made plans to come home when the work was done. The drive down was great and even Josh did well. He told Mom on the phone at 10:30pm that I told him he could stay up as long as he wanted. He felt that was a pretty cool thing.

We woke up to a cold November morning at Lake Powell with no one is site. It is very different at low season at the lake. We started the engines and pulled up anchor (not really, just untied the lines) and headed Summer Place 2 to its new home.

We ran the wire to keep the Crows away, ran a new water line, re-tied the anchor lines and attached the power. The boat looks great in its new home, Slot P-13. The boys were able to play in the water, play at the shoreline and make one goodies run to the store. We had a great breakfast John style (pancakes with chocolate chips, hash browns, oranges, and ham). We cleaned up and were on the road by 2pm on Saturday.

I had to do some work and so I thought I would tell you about our little trip as we were finishing it up. We are past Grand Junction and not quite to Eagle so some where in the middle. We are out of the Canyon because I am no longer feeling sick and trying to watch the turns the car is making.

The boys are all playing together with some form of Electronics and having a good time. Did you know that Gameboy DS have Bluetooth and you can play games together wireless? Go figure, when I was a kid we settled for 20 versions of "John Jacob Jinkley Hymer Schmidt".

Good times, I hope that the woman had a good time with girls only for a few days.

Love you Anne,


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A run in the park, until it was dark

Today was fun it started when I walked out the door
I decided I wanted a group run to start a 4
I made many calls, some good, some not
I even told one person to get off the pot.

Work seemed to rush by like the speed of light
I was running with friend's before it was night
Wash park was central and easy for all
I was excited we were going to have a ball.

We stared slow with Annie in Tow
5 of us made quite the show
We even had some a comment that caused us to think
"Body guards for Sonja" made us blink
I almost tripped and laughed a ton
hurry up the run was almost done

Troy was a champ, Barry and Annie too
I loved running in my new shoes
We picked it up twice and stayed together
7 minute miles seemed to last forever "NOT"

The sky was yellow, red and warm
the end was near and I was torn
I wanted to run longer and have it stay great
but I had to get home and not be TOOO late

The Run in the park was in shorts and a tee
It made me giddy and laugh Heee Heee
In November it was almost 80 degrees
More days like this I beg you please

A run in the park
Until it was dark

I hope you can come next time Anne,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Garmin Forerunner 305 at Costco for $159.99

This weekend we saw the Garmin Forerunner 305 for sale for $199.99 at Costco in Park Meadows. Anne then grabbed the coupon book and saw an additional discount for $40.00 if ordered online. Just an FYI if you are looking for a GPS unit that does really well I would go with this one. I have loved mine this season and give it two thumbs up. The website link is below, oh Ya your welcome Costco.

Thanks Anne,


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding fun in strange places

This week I had plans to spend the first half of the week in Salt Lake City for work. I have a handful of clients in and around Salt Lake and family as well so going out each quarter is the norm now. I usually look forward to going and having a good time, but it seemed like this trip was going to be so/so. I had planned on going on a really fun run on Monday afternoon after an easy client meeting for lunch. I had big plans to run on a fun single track on the ridge line of the valley. The client meeting ended up not being easy and took 2 hours longer than planned and all 4 people that I tried to get to join me for the run canceled. I was late and on my own for my workout on Monday. I thought about just blowing it off and watching tv or something lazy as I left our AFC office in SLC heading to the hotel.

I arrived and checked into the hotel at 4:30pm and had dinner plans at 6:30pm with family which allowed me to get in a good 1.5 hour run. The weather in SLC was raining and cold all day and by 4pm it was turning grey. In my room I unpacked and put my cold weather running gear on and realized that I left gloves, MP3, and a good hat at home. I my mind I had switched from questionable to dead set on some type of run, even if I left from the hotel and ran a city sidewalk route. I finished getting ready and looked at the clock, 4:47pm "not what I wanted to see". I made the decision that I was running from the hotel. As I approached the lobby I received some funny looks, the kind that fuel workouts to be better than normal.

It was cold, it was grey and I was ready to get it done. I felt excited to run on tired legs, the cold weather encouraged me focus and make it a good run. I started out slow and at the first light took a left and headed north for 3 miles. I was running on the side walk, on a busy street in the middle of Salt lake city and I know for sure most of the drivers passing me took a second look at the crazy runner. The sidewalk was covered with fallen leaves from trees that had been around for 30+ years. It was cold, wet and seeing my breath let me know it was game on. The work out was a LSD run with pick-ups on the top of each mile for 2 minutes. I felt great the first mile and when I hit the top I pick up the pace. It was fun to put some effort into my run, it was like I was at track again but the surroundings were much different. I was loving the speed and felt great and had a good time running fast again. I did the same at mile 2 and 3 and then made my turn to head west. It was getting dark now and I made the decision to head back to the hotel. State Street was the next main road and I turn left and headed south passing mile 5. The traffic was really busy and I was feeling wonderful. I relaxed and ran the last few miles back to the hotel really loving the choice of routes. I was feeling a high that was much needed and wanted to run longer but new dinner was around the corner. I slowed down and ran a cool down the last quarter mile and really relished the looks as I came into the hotel out of the dark after a great run.

Dinner turned out to be awesome and I loved just relaxing and enjoying the night. I had a twinge of excitement as I looked back and thought about how I found my fun running at such a strange time and place. I am excited to go and do it again soon.

I miss you and love you Anne,


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Striking Gold in Colorado

I know that every-so-often you hear of people striking gold and getting rich, well this weekend we did just that. It started with a birthday party for Jackson with 21 of his friends, family and neighbors. We had a great time and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. Jackson said that "This was one of the best birthday partys I ever had". Job well done Mom.

The next night was Halloween and this year we had Harry Potter, Batman, and the most beatiful Butterfly I have ever seen. Josh and Jackson came home with 7 and 9 pounds of candy respectivly. They decided that selling the candy for $1.00 per pound was more fun then eating it. I guess we will be saved from finding half eaten candy and wrappers around for the next three months.

The Colorado trail was our next challenge. Beth put together a trial run that went 3 segments and totalled 41 miles if you ran all 3. I took the first leg which was 16.5 miles and started the day with 20+ other crazy kids at 7am. Anne made plans to see us at the end with the kids and then switch and run segment 2. I felt great the first 6 miles as we ran up Waterton Canyon and did really well the first 2 miles of the Colorado trail single track. I tried to stay with the lead group as they continued to climb to the top of the mountain. I was behind 7 or 8 other runners and as they would run and then walk up steep parts and then start running again it would nearly break me trying to keep up. I finially decided that if I was to enjoy the next 8 miles I was going to have to slow it down. Barry stayed with me and we slowed it down and made our way to the top. As the trail leveled off we hit the sun and had a great 7 miles down to the end of segment one. Barry paced us really well and I finished strong and in really good spirits. We heard cheering as we were coming down and I hoped that it was our group. I was kind of emotional as I ran the last mile feeling great about what I was able to do. Jackson ran up the trail and caught us as we were on our last few turns and ran with us to the group. I loved it and want to do a repeat when time allows.

Anne, Michele, Andrea, Julie and Nicole started the second segment and looked great. Andrea, Julie and Nicole had done the first segment so they split up a few minutes into the run. This was Anne's longest run ever and to do it as a trail run was super cool. She looked great coming in and really enjoyed the 11.6 miles she ran. I was able to get a very cool shot of her and Michele running in.

The weather made the weekend perfect. It was fun to be out on Halloween and be in a light jacket. It was fun to run in shorts and tee shirts. We really did strike gold this weekend and it proves again that Colorado is really the best place to live.

Tell next time,
Love you Anne,


PS if your interested this is what the Garmin said of the Colorado trail.
Tyler: 16.26 miles - 3:32 hours - 13:05 pace - Average HR 159 - Total Ascent 3946 ft - Total Descent 3240ft
Anne: 11.4 miles - 2:47 hours - 14:40 pace - Total Ascent 3224ft - Total Descent 1588ft