My Shelfari Bookshelf (These are seriously just a FEW of the hundreds of books I've read lately)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ragnar Relay 2011

Here's my amazingly awesome Ragnar Relay Del Sol team for 2011! We were called the D.C.S. Trail Burners (DCS were the initials of Amy's dad who passed away last year), and we burned some serious trails!!!! Seriously. What a great race! In van 1 there were Troy, me, my sister Dixie, my sister-in-law Lana, my brother-in-law Colby, and my fellow Triabetes captain, Dan.  In van 2 there were Leon, Amy, and Chester (bro- sis- and father-in-law), and 3 people I didn't know, Kris, Zane, and Jenny. 

 This is Sione from the Biggest Loser! He was the announcer at the beginning and end of the Ragnar. He is super cute in person! He was awesome and let us take a picture with him. :)

We started the race at 7:30 am. We probably should've started a little later because our pace times were faster than predicted, but that's OK. It made for a whole different experience, because we were in the 2nd or 3rd position through the whole race (after Troy picked off everyone in his first leg, and we all picked off more people after that - I think we had a total of like 68 road kills!), so we were basically by ourselves the whole time.  It was weird to get to a major transition and see all the vans because it felt like there was no one in the race until we saw them all there! (A little scary running completely by yourself in the middle of the night, but cool to know you're totally in front!)

 Here is Troy.  He started us off on leg #1. He seriously kicked butt! He had an 8.8 mile HARD run, and he kept an average pace of 7:15. He passed every person in our starting group! This picture cracks me up because he wasn't really dying there, but it looks like it. :) (Troy kept a sub 7 pace on his next 2 runs...AMAZING!)
 Troy passed the slappy bracelet on to Dixie. She didn't have a watch, so we're not really sure about her paces, but they were fast, and she did great! During the first leg everyone was happy and excited and felt great. Middle of the night legs were a little tougher. :)
 Dixie passed the bracelet to me and I had one of my BEST RUNS EVER!!!! I am NOT a fast runner, but I was able to keep a 7:57 pace on this 7 miles! It was downhill, so that helped a ton! I loved it. :) I was feeling great, and realizing that all this Ironman training is REALLY working and paying off. Thank gave me hope for May 7! (Although, let's face it...St. George is NOT all downhill. In fact it is relentlessly uphill much of the time. Boo on that).
Just a little proof for everyone! :)

I passed the bracelet on to my bro-in-law, Colby. We were so happy to have him in our van. He's a ton of fun! :) He is a self proclaimed athlete, but NOT a runner. He proved himself wrong, though, because he did AWESOME on all of his runs! Like me he did one Ragnar and was hooked. It is seriously crazy fun.
Colby passed the bracelet on to Dan. He's my fellow Triabetes captain from Washington. He was awesome enough to fly down just to run in the relay with us. And seriously, he was amazing! He had surgery on his toe a week and a half before, and it was still totally infected and very painful and he was able to run low 7 minute miles on all his he ran an extra 4 miles with Lana at night so she wouldn't have to run alone. Hello! :) Thanks, Dan!
Dan (being from Washington) had never seen a cattle guard before. Funny, I think! Anyway, so Dixie and Troy made sure to use the orange flags to help warn him of the cattle guard coming up. He just leaped right over it! It was funny.  (We had a lot of fun in our van).
Dan passed off to Lana. This was Lana's very first Ragnar, and she did awesome! Plus...she was so great to have in our van because she made homemade pitas and grilled chicken for one of our meals. (Dixie made spaghetti and brought a propane stove to heat up the sauce, too, so we had seriously good food on this little trip!)
And she's still smiling after leg number 1!  After our first legs we had about 6 hours to eat and rest, so we went to some high school and had our delicious spaghetti lunch and then laid on the field and TRIED to rest. Seriously, people...there is no sleeping on these things. You can try, but it just doesn't really happen much. It was still fun, though.

We began our next legs at about 6 I think. This is where you have to wear your reflective vests, head lamps and flashing red "butt lights." This is usually one of my favorite runs of the weekend. I love running in the dark! This year I had a good run, but it was definitely my hardest leg.  It was only 6.3 miles, but it was HARD because I was diverted from the road to a trail where I nearly sprained my ankle multiple times, had to pass down a seriously steep, rocky downhill section, and then finally made it back to the road section. This leg had hills on it, which I HATE! And...8 coyotes ran across the road in front of me and scared the crap out of me! I was so afraid they were going to turn and chase me, and NO ONE was around! I was by myself the entire time. My first leg I passed 4 people, and only one person passed me the entire time. No one passed me on any other leg, and I wasn't around anyone else ever to try and pass them. Crazy! But my night leg pace was 8:59. Much slower, but still under 9, so I was happy with it!!

When we finally finished our night legs it was about midnight. We were in Anthem at that point, and went to the major exchange...and WAITED and WAITED and WAITED for van 2. They were at the wrong exchange!!! Lame! They finally made it, and 20 minutes later were off and running. We were at a rec center where we ate our yummy pita sandwiches, and then tried our darndest to sleep. It was tough. Not much sleeping going on.  And the dumbest part of this Ragnar was that the legs were SO unevenly split between van 1 and van 2. Van 1 ran a total of about 110 miles, and van 2 only about 85. So, we only got to rest for 3 hours before they were done and we had to run again! :( Boo!

Because of that, I ran in the dark TWICE! Weird...that's never happened before! But, my last run turned out awesome. I ran 7.88 miles in 1:03, which gave me an 8:01 pace. I actually thought I was going faster, and thought I was under 8, but that's OK! It was great. Again...all downhill! I LOVE ME SOME DOWNHILL!

We finished our legs at 8:30 and decided to go to my mom and dad's house to have REAL showers and some rest before meeting our teammates at the finish line.  We were the 2nd or 3rd team at the exchanges the entire weekend, and it was awesome! But, by the time we finally finished some other teams had passed us.  The thing with Ragnar is, they stagger the start times depending on how fast/slow you are. Since we started to early (and ran faster than we thought we would) we were out ahead for the most part. But...the faster groups that started later took LOTS less time! :) Overall we got 78th place - out of 306 teams! I felt pretty dang good with that. And we got 26th out of 129 in our division. Our total time for 197 miles was 28 hours, 45 minutes. Not bad!
 This is all the Crandells that participated! Chester (Troy's dad), Leon (Troy's brother), Amy (Leon's wife), me, Troy, and Colby (Troy's sister's husband)
Here are Troy and I at the finish of Ragnar Del Sol 2011. This was Troy's first Ragnar ever, and our first together. We had a blast! We will DEFINITELY do this again!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Letter to the Crandells

My Dear Crandell Family,

This is a letter from your mom. Oh what? You don't remember me? I'm the tall one with the dark hair. You know, the one who gave birth to you, took care of you when you were sick, read lots of great books to you, cheered you on at each and every game you've ever played in, made you practice the piano even when you screamed bloody murder, required you to do homework before playing video games or watching TV, and tried to teach you how to be good human beings. Remember me?

I can understand if you've forgotten me lately. I seem to be gone all the time. Oh I'm there in the morning when you wake up...just long enough to yell at you to brush your teeth and pick up your messes and be good at school. Then I'm off to work. I get to see my 30 students more than I get to see my own 3 children. They get to have me for 6 whole hours a day. But you?  You pretty much get me for 20 minutes in the morning, and (if you're lucky) 20 minutes at night.

Usually, though, night time finds me at the gym while you are doing homework, eating dinner, taking showers, and saying your prayers. I'm running, or swimming, or riding a bike. I'm thinking of you LOTS and LOTS...but it's just that I'm not there to show you that I'm thinking of you. Spending 4 hours at the gym gives me LOTS of time to think. I think about you, Cooper, and I wonder how I can get you to understand that making good choices really will make you happier than making all those bad choices. I remember spending an entire year waking up early with you to read scriptures and talk about Heavenly Father and the good choices He wanted you to make...and how I would do anything to be sure you knew how much I loved you. I think about you, Carter, and wonder how it is that the boy who's supposed to only be in 5th grade (but is in 6th) can possibly be so tall and handsome. And how sad I am that next year you won't be at Zaharis with me. And I'm so impressed with how you can be friends with SO many different kids - and are so easy to get along with, that they all want to hang out with you. I get it. I want to hang out with you, too!  I think of you, Brooklyn, and wish I had more time to listen to you sing in your karaoke machine at the top of your lungs, and read stories to you, and take you shopping and out for pedicures. Those are my favorite times with you!

I wonder if the obnoxious attitudes, and the sibling rivalries, and the tensions in the house are all my fault. They might be. An absentee mother is a hard thing for a child to deal with. I know I'm missing out on time I'll never get back again. But I also know it's temporary. This Ironman thing is a one time deal. Oh I may do another one someday...when you're grown up and I don't have to leave you alone. But for now? It's a one time deal. We have 3 more months...90 more days to put up with this. After that? I'm all yours! I'll still exercise. I'll still train for races, because I need goals to reach to keep me focused. But not during the precious hours of the day I get to spend with you. It's not worth it. You guys are only going to be young once...and I don't want to miss a thing!

And I hope that even while I'm not home, I'm teaching you lessons. These are the lessons I hope you're learning:
  • You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to
  • Diabetes doesn't have to stop you from living a full life
  • Hard things require determination, dedication, and commitment
  • Hard things require work, time, and effort
  • But it's the HARD that makes it GREAT
  • When you work your buns off to accomplish something you NEVER dreamed possible, or that someone told you you couldn't do, you will feel AMAZING. And you will have EARNED that feeling.
  • Never quit. Never give up. Work until you get what you want.
  • You can inspire others to greatness
  • And...your mom loves you more than anyone else in the world. She's doing this for you as well as for herself.
  • Oh...and you have an amazing dad that has stepped up and taken over things at home so that I could teach you these lessons and achieve my dream. You're lucky. Appreciate him. I do.
So Cooper, Carter, and Brooklyn...don't forget about me while I'm gone. Remember how much I love you. Remember how hard it is for me to leave when you're home. Think about the lessons I've taught you before now, and the lessons I'm teaching you still. Then when May 7 comes and I'm crossing that finish line in St. George, be the loudest ones there cheering me on. Be there first to hug and kiss me and tell me you love me. And I promise I'll do the same for you each and every time you accomplish one of your dreams. You have it in you to do great things. Thank you for helping me to accomplish something great, too. But you know what? Even when I cross that finish line and I am "an Ironman," it won't be better than when I got to hold each one of you in my arms after you were born. You ARE the greatest accomplishments of my life. And I love you more than you'll ever know.

Remember that. 90 more days, and Mom will be home to stay.

I love you,