Thursday, May 1, 2014

honey badgers on the run!

Back in November, people in my running club were talking about getting teams together for the American Odyssey Relay. It's like Ragnar, but organized locally. I had never done a relay before, but kind of had it on my running to-do list, so thought I would join in. Somehow 6 months went by, and we ran the relay this past weekend.

Let me start off by warning you that relays are a terrible idea. You will get NO sleep, it will take up your entire weekend (plus the packing and organizing beforehand), it will cost too much money, and you are running a very small portion of the actual race. I texted Beau at 4am, "This is awful in so many ways."

But actually? It was tons of fun.

There are 12 people on a team, divided into 2 vans. The vans leapfrog each other- Van 1 goes first, runners 1 - 6. Van 2 is waits at the exchange point where runner 6 finishes, and then Van 2 takes over for runners 7-12. Van 1 drives ahead to the next exchange to wait for runner 12, and then runner 1 starts the whole thing over again. Each runner runs 3 legs and the total distance is about 200 miles from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC.

the whole team at the starting line

cool shot of Van 2
Our team was kind of a hodge podge group, and I didn't know most people super well. My van consisted of me, Jaclyn (a friend from my stake growing up), Brenna (someone I met through Jaclyn who thru hiked the AT last year), Lexi (a good friend from running club), Lexi's co worker Matt, and Matt's twin brother, Josh. Um, I loved my van. I cannot think of a better group of 6 personalities to be together for 30+ hours in a small SUV operating on no sleep.

Van 1, minus Jaclyn who was running at the time

Lexi, our Runner 6 and MVP
being cozy in the Pilot
At the suggestion of Everett (my nephew), our team name was "the Honey Badgers". There is a HILARIOUS youtube video about honey badgers, but I hesitate to link to it because of the bad language. Google it if you care to watch it. :)

The other team from my running club nicknamed themselves "the Badger Catchers". I thought they were pretty clever.

I was runner 4 and absolutely loved my runs. My first was the hardest at 9 miles, and hilly. My night run was pretty short, 4 miles, and my final leg was at about 5:30am on the C&O Canal for 6.7 miles. I loved that I got to enjoy the sunrise and beautiful morning.

this is me saying "wheeee running is fun!"

Runner 4 to Runner 5!
 Once Lexi finished her night run, we all intended on sleeping a few hours before our last legs. You'd think it would be easy to fall asleep after being up for so long and running.... but no. I think I slept about an hour and then our alarms were going off to go meet Van 2 the exchange. I felt SO nauseous and SO yuck. It was the weirdest feeling to be standing along side the C&O Canal at 3:30 in the morning to cheer on our teammates. Sometimes I looked around and was like, "Why are all these full grown adults choosing to make up silly teams names, cheers, and sometimes costumes for this crazy event?" It's this interesting camaraderie mentality. Normally I do not stick my head out of car windows and yell encouragement to strangers running as I drive by. But in a relay, you do.

"Honey badger don't care. Honey badger just TAKES what it wants."
finishing my first leg
Trying to sleep at the second exchange.
our darling mascot
Once our van had finished our third run, we drove to the finish line downtown and collapsed, waiting for Van 2. It was exhausting just laying there. Beau came to meet us at the finish line after volunteering at one of the exchanges. He saved the day, like usual, by giving us the opportunity to pack up his car with our stuff so we could get home as soon as Van 2 finished up.

Jaclyn, Brenna, and I at the finish
Finally, a few hours later, our last runner came in and we all ran across the finish line together. Success!

I'm smiling because I know I'm going home soon.
All kidding aside, it really was a lot of fun. I would be hesitant to do another relay because this one fell into place so well. My van-mates were perfect, the weather (for my runs) was perfect, the mileage and course was perfect, and I don't know if another relay would be able to live up to this experience. But just like SO MANY things in my life (Marathon! Skyline Century! Thru hike!) I will probably forget every miserable thing and still want to do it again if the opportunity comes up again. But this time maybe I won't be the team captain. :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

what we've been up to in the past couple months

Why is it that when I actually do have some sort of life update to post about, I still don't blog?

So, changes for Beau and I. First of all, Beau has been working as an intern for AOL since July 2013. The position was always the kind of thing that would most likely turn into a permanent position, but as these things go, you never actually know what will happen. So ever since last fall, Beau's boss (who really liked him, duh) had been trying to get Beau hired at AOL. These things take time, you know, so naturally Beau continued to look for work elsewhere as a backup plan. AOL has a great campus (full gym? gourmet cafeteria? scooters to ride in the hallways? why not!) and is 10 minutes from our apartment. THEN, sometime in February, Beau got an interview with KPMG. And then another. And another. And the next thing he knew, both AOL and KPMG were offering Beau permanent positions in the same week. While AOL would certainly be the more convenient and fun position, we both felt that KPMG would be the better career choice and provide more opportunities. So here we are! Beau has been at KPMG for 2 weeks now and so far it's been really great.

So while all that was going on, I was getting reeeeally sick of commuting to Gainesville for not my dream job. I mean, I really don't mind the actual work and I like my coworkers, but I guess I just decided that it was time to move on. A couple of fortuitous snow days allowed me some time to email every person on the planet (or stake) to see what kind of job opportunities might be out there for me. And long story short, things fell into place just so that I felt comfortable quitting my job to pursue what I actually want to do with my life. I got connected with an ABA therapist in the area to be trained to work with autistic children, and I also wanted to get some students to teach riding lessons again. I knew I wouldn't be able to do therapy and lessons full time (not yet, anyway), so when I told Don's Johns I was resigning, I was lucky enough that they are letting me work part time (and remotely!) for as long as I am able. How great is this? So right now I have three jobs. Ha. I still go to Gainesville a couple times a week, but I have a good amount of lessons students and two days of doing ABA therapy. And lots more room for growth!

So that's that. I love how much I love our apartment (thanks, parents!) because I spend more time in it now working from home. That reminds me, I've been meaning to do a little photo tour of our place to show it off. Also because I need help. Decorating skills evade me. How sad is it that I have on my to do list to browse pinterest for ideas and my "home ideas" board is still pretty empty?

As for other things going on, Beau's school is going well, and he's almost done with his second full year. One more year to go! Not that I'm the one doing the work or anything. He goes to China in May with his class! how exciting. Maybe Beau will do a guest blog post about that.

Okay, so a blog post is no good without pictures, so here's some stuff from my/Beau's phone:

Running on a snow day with my neighbor! Incidentally, this was also the snow day I decided to get serious about job hunting.

we took Adriel to the Lego movie for her birthday!

Crazy snow. Maybe even a different day than the running picture.
This is another way I spend my snow days. Cycling and the Wii.

Beau's grandfather passed away and he and his immediate family went to Reno for the funeral

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

tuesday night portraits

A snippet from our texting conversation. Beau at school, me at home.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

random blog post on this wonderful Sunday

Can we talk about how great 9am church is? I'm home by 12:30, and the rest of the day is free for lounging, going for walks, napping..... oh and reading scriptures and general conference talks of course.

I really have no particular plan for a blog post, except for that a sufficient amount of time has passed that I feel like I should make an appearance. But, I really like the photos from our Thanksgiving hike, and posting something new will push that down from the top of the page. MY LIFE IS HARD.

So, December. Time to blog about December. We started off the month by going to my work Christmas party, which is always a fun time. My office is becoming a lot more cohesive and fun; I quite like my job in general except for the long commute. The Christmas party was especially fun because I was awarded person of the year for accounting. It sure helps that the department is small and there has been some turnover, leaving it up to process of elimination.

Nancy was out of town for the holidays, so I was happy to fill in for a few days at the barn. Beau and I fed/cleaned stalls Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. I tried to snap a picture of the ponies all their heads out of the stall, but they were just mad I was standing there instead of giving them their breakfast.

Naturally, this is the only picture I took on Christmas Day. We also made crepes, I went running, we went to the Tagg's for some feasting, etc. etc.

Random photo of me in my favorite Christmas gift- these boots from my mother in law! They are great. Also note that there are 5 containers of ice cream in the shopping basket. I regret nothing.

Oh, and our anniversary! Well, I think this was the day after. But we went to the temple on the weekend of our anniversary. It worked out nicely that when we were leaving, it was dark and all the lights were on.

I think New Year's may have been just as fun as Christmas. Beau and I and my cousin Shawney had registered for the Brambleton 10k. Beau has been joining my running club on the Thursday night track workouts. It's been a great motivator for both of us. I had hopes of running a certain pace, but I had never actually ran 6 miles at my goal pace before.  I was kind of nervous/excited, as if it were a long race or something. I ran really well and felt good the whole time, coming in under my goal of 50 minutes. I was super surprised when checking the official results to see that not only was I 15th overall for women, but there was no one above me in the 20-29 age group. I accomplished one of my life long goals of getting on the podium at a race!

Also, my running club signed up as a team, and they take the top four finishers on each team for a cumulative time. My team won first for the 10k, so I even got a medal, too!

I'm looking through my phone to see what other photos I can post, and I don't have anything! No cute pictures of Soren from when Ashley and Tim were at the hourse for a couple weeks. Nothing from the litle cabin where we stayed on a quick overnighter on the AT. No pictures of Truman really excited to get a pony ride or the girls feeding sugar cubes to the horses. Someone needs to be more quick on the trigger with their phone. I'M LOOKING AT YOU, BEAU.
(That's a total joke. Beau should start counting how many times I leave my phone in my purse or car all day or say "hey.... can you call my phone? I can't find it.")
Sorry this is a super lame blog post. It's been sitting in my drafts for 10 days now.... so happy end of 2013! Now I can move onto January.