Sunday, December 26, 2010

Silence Of The Cows

Monday, December 20th 2010: 6 miles @ 10:37 per mile pace. Wet and cold.

Tuesday, December 21st 2010: 4 miles @ 9:57 per mile pace. Another soggy run. We had a five-day storm during which we received almost DOUBLE the amount of rain as our area averages in a whole YEAR.

I read an article in Runner’s World which mentioned a doctor makes a point of running during a “weather event” because it makes him “feel acutely alive”. I thought about that article while I was running this week. This was certainly a “weather event”.

Wednesday, December 22nd 2010: 16 miles @ 10:48 per mile pace. A spectacular thing happened Wednesday: it stopped raining for a few hours during the first part of my run. I was so thankful. But it was very windy. It made me laugh when I’d look up and see birds flying into the wind and flapping their wings like crazy but not moving anywhere. But then when the wind picked up even more, I felt like one of those birds too: hard effort but still running in place.

Afterward I was feeling pretty worn out and sore. I had about 17 seconds where I thought to myself “What in the world have I done signing up to run a 50 miler?!?!?”

Thursday, December 23rd 2010: 4 miles @ 11:20 per mile pace. This was the first time I had run with Mel in quite a while. We went later at night but probably still too soon after dinner. Ugh. That potato soup was begging to come back up.

Friday, December 24th 2010: 11 miles @ 10:55 per mile pace. 11 miles seemed so much easier than 16 a few days prior. I did the first half of the run with Mel on the Arizona Strip dirt road. This was her first time here and she was slightly freaked out by all the cows. It could have been the making of a horror movie. You are happily running down a dirt road when suddenly you are surrounded by a herd of snorting, scowling cows who seem royally ticked off that so many of their family members have become Big Macs. Who needs Silence of the Lambs when you are surrounded by a group of cattle?

I like those close-up pictures of other people that show all their little imperfections. I didn’t realize the camera was zoomed in so closely, so I got one of those imperfection pictures of myself:

When I reached the half-way point to turn around and head back to the car I realized how far I had run. I saw the crease of the mountain where my car was parked:

Then I zoomed as far as my camera would go. Here is the zoomed picture of where I needed to run back to:

Saturday, December 25th 2010: Rest – Merry Christmas! I guarantee my 41 miles this week are still not enough to justify all the junk food I have eaten. My self-control with sugar has definite room for improvement.

"Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." ~ Neil Kendall

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Reese family! I find it difficult to summarize our awesome year into a few pages. I could be brief and say that we ate lots of snow cones from SnoKaps, and that I recently discovered the heavenly attributes of carne asada French fries from our local Mexican restaurant. But alas, much more has happened.

The kids all have excellent teachers and love school. Our children have even managed to enjoy chicken drumsticks when they have hot lunch, whereas for the average adult, just the sight of these drumsticks would cause dry heaves. They all enjoyed swimming lessons during the summer and have gone positively NUTS with the piano. The girls had fun taking gymnastics lessons this year and Jackson stays busy with scouts.

One highlight of the year was a trip to California to visit Sea World and Lego Land. The worst part of the trip was the flock of birds that lived outside of the windows. They had no concept of “bedtime” and enjoyed chirping at ear-piercing decibels all night long. Mel and I also went to Hawaii in March with two other couples and had a blast. I ate so much pineapple that my blood started to turn yellow.

Mel and I continue to work in the primary at church. Spending time with the kids is great. But I do have one beef with the primary room: the temperature always hovers around 638 degrees. I swear you could put some cake batter in there and have a beautifully cooked cake 30 minutes later.

Mel works a night a week at the hospital and also helps out a little bit at an assisted living facility. She is still very beautiful. She ran her first marathon this year – the Park City Marathon. Then ran a second – the St. George Marathon! At the expo before the race, we sat next to a guy who was 80 years old and running the marathon. I asked him what time he was shooting for and he said around 6 hours and 15 minutes. Mel said “Cool, give me props!” and she held out her fist for props. He just sat there and looked at her. I nudged her to put her hand down NOW! An 80 year old IS NOT going to know what it means to “give you props”.

And then, right before the St. George Marathon started, Mel stepped in a pile of human poop. It sloshed out the holes of her shoe. I believe I earned some Husband Bonus Points for running next to her for the next 26 miles while I smelled her foot.

I continue to my career as a social worker which keeps me busy. I managed to run 5 half marathons and 5 full marathons this year and am looking forward to a race I organized coming up next week: the Hostess Half Marathon. Runners must eat a Hostess product every two miles of the race. Registration filled up quickly and I’m certain there will be some barfing along the way. I signed up to run my first ultra-marathon (50 miles) coming up in March.

Here are a few other highlights from the journal:

January 4, 2010: So a few minutes after I tucked the girls into bed, Danica came down sobbing. She was crying hysterically. You’d have thought someone died. I asked her what was wrong and she said that her tooth got lost in the carpet and she couldn’t find it. I asked how that happened. She explained that her and Kylee thought it would be fun to play catch with her tooth. Two throws later, the tooth was lost in the carpet. With our carpet, finding a tooth is like looking for a needle in a haystack. We looked and looked. She continued to sob the whole time. I heard her whimper “Are you serious?” as she searched the carpet in dismay. We never did find the tooth. Thankfully the Tooth Fairy accepted a note for this tooth also. At least she didn’t eat it, like the first tooth she lost.

January 26, 2010: The Alzheimer’s conference I attended yesterday was at the Senior Citizen Center. Unfortunately lunch was provided by the Senior Center. I was doing my best to enjoy the broccoli cheddar soup when I came across a stringy black hair. Suddenly I didn’t want anymore soup. So I started eating the turkey wrap. With the first bite, I bit into a long brown hair woven between the slices of turkey. Note to self: never eat lunch again at the Senior Center.

April 5, 2010: The hike back was a little more challenging because it was so crazy windy. Kylee had a little stretch where she struggled and said “Dad, both of my legs are really tired.” She was able to keep trucking though. Kylee and I walked together during the hike and pulled up the rear. We had fun talking. She said that she wanted to have lots of animals when she gets bigger. Then she clarified “But I don’t want to be a cowgirl.”

April 26, 2010: We decided to take the kids to the Earth Day celebration in Springdale. On our way up, the kids asked if we could stop and see the ostriches. We agreed to buy a little bag of food for them to feed the ostriches and they were thrilled. Well, somehow Danica managed to grab the fence for a second. And a moment later she was running toward the car crying and screaming. I followed her to the car and she was bawling because she got bit. The guy who owns the ostriches happened to be out there and saw what happened so he brought the kids each a big ostrich feather. That got the tears to stop. Later she said that it scared her more than it hurt. I learned that it’s hard to show sympathy when you are laughing.

May 21, 2010: Apparently at school Dani’s class was supposed to be walking around the track for some reason. According to Dani, her friend Kelsey called over to her to come and look at some lady bugs. So Dani went. And then they got in trouble from Mrs. McCombs for not walking around the track. She put Dani’s name on the chalk board to lose recess the next day.
Danica came home from school distraught. I don’t think she gets into trouble too often so she was worried. She came home and wrote Mrs. McCombs a letter. It said something like “Dear Mrs. McCombs, I’m sorry I was looking at lady bugs. Do you forgive me? Yes or no?” She put it in an envelope and included a pack of Smarties. I asked her the next day what Mrs. McCombs said. She said that Mrs. McCombs forgave her and let her go to recess.

June 1, 2010: On our drive home from San Diego…. One funny thing about the drive home happened when we stopped for lunch at Arby’s. Kylee looked out the window and said “Look at that mof!” We said “What?” She said “Look at that mof!” We asked her again and she said “Mof!” a few more times. We thought it was really cute. Danica was polite in enunciating “mothhhh” instead of “mof”.

August 17, 2010: Jackson ran the Washington County Fair Mile Race. I was standing at the finish line talking to Shelly Thomas and we looked down the road and saw some runners coming. It was too far away so we couldn’t see any details, but Shelly said “It looks like the person in first place is wearing a black shirt. Maybe it’s Jackson!” I vividly remember the image of looking down the road seeing that black shirt and feeling unsure but hopeful. I remember the image so clearly because I thought to myself “That guy is going fast!” As the runners got closer I saw that it was Jackson – and he was in first place! It was really exciting. He ended up winning the mile race with a time of 8 minutes and 55 seconds! That is incredible. That is really fast! He won a ceramic plate and a $20 gift certificate from Classic Sports. I felt very proud of him for all his hard work.

September 21, 2010: I decided to take the kids to SnoKaps Wednesday night which they were excited for. Jackson said “I really hope there aren’t other people there because I want to order Care Bear flavor (cotton candy & wedding cake) but I don’t want other people to hear me order Care Bear.” When we got there, he was relieved that there weren’t other people around. He placed his order: “Can I get a small cotton candy mixed with wedding cake?” A few minutes later the guy opened the window with his snow cone in hand and said “Here’s your Care Bear”. Jackson was mortified. And we all howled with laughter. For the rest of the night, any time the girls saw somebody they said “Jackson likes Care Bears!” We all got a good laugh.

October 11, 2010: At some point during the week Kylee lost her first tooth. It was one of the small ones on the bottom. It was pretty loose so Mel suggested that she tie some floss onto the tooth to pull it out. Plans didn’t work out as well as expected. She kept tugging on it but it wouldn’t come out and Kylee started crying. Unfortunately the floss was tied on really tight and there was no way to get it off, so she either needed to pull it out that night, or go to school the next day with a big piece of floss coming out of her mouth. I took some turns wiggling it, and Kylee took some turns wiggling it, and FINALLY it came out. Thank goodness.

November 12, 2010: Mel made quesadillas for dinner and Kylee must have been pretty tired because she threw a huge fit when the rice was put on the side of the plate instead of inside the quesadilla. She was crying for a while and finally I told her she needed to go to timeout. Then she yelled “You guys aren’t the boss of me! Jesus is!” Mel and I both grinned at each other and bit our lips so we wouldn’t laugh.

November 18, 2010: Mel and the kids raked leaves at Marie’s house. I guess Jackson didn’t realize that there were still tons of leaves on the trees and he said “Mom, this seems a lot easier than last year. Does that mean I’m a man?”

Our family is so blessed. I couldn’t have asked for a better year. (Unless you could erase that little food poisoning incident I experienced in May.) Happy holidays from our family to yours. Wishing you a happy New Year with no hairs in your broccoli cheddar soup! Love, the Reese Gang

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hostess Half Marathon 2010

Run 13.1 miles.
Eat a Hostess product at each aid station spaced 2 miles apart.
Use every ounce of will power available to not vomit Twinkies at mile 11.
That, my friends, is the Hostess Half Marathon.

As you can imagine, a race of this magnitude requires large quantities of Hostess. You have no idea the amount of suffering and turmoil I experienced having this much Hostess in my house and not eating ANY.

In order to make the "race" (term used very loosely) as ridiculous as possible we made some posters to put along the course:

It is reasonable to estimate that this group of people consumed enough calories over the next 13 miles to feed a third-world country for a week:

As if the race wasn't challenging enough already, it rained all day. Fortunately rain isn't much of a concern when your primary focus is to not barf cupcakes. I am thankful the barf sensation didn't hit me until the last aid station. A few stalwart volunteers manned the soggy aid stations and for that they deserve at least seven boondoggle key chains.

To tell you the truth, I loved eating Twinkies and donuts while running. But by far, my favorite running fuel was the mouth-watering Zinger. On the seventh day, God created the Zinger.

I wish I had a nickle for every motorist who drove by and gave us a look of "What in the world are you crazy psychopaths doing?"

Mr. Thomas Dansie summarized the race in a haiku:
Cold rainy gray day
Warmed by sucrose overload
Glad for no vomit
And, in fact, Mr. Thomas Dansie won the race in a stunning 1 hour 37 minutes followed closely by top female finisher Ty Clark. They were moving so fast as they passed me that they were only a blur:

Obscene amounts of highly refined high fructose corn syrup do crazy things to people. Exhibit A - Cherie:

Here is a photo of me and the Mels (my wife Mel and my neighbor Mel):

I had a blast during the race and met lots of new people. There were probably half the runners I had never met before. I thought maybe eating lots of Twinkies, etc. while running would make me sick enough to cure my addiction to Hostess. But, alas, it has not. If anything, I love it even more.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Race Results

Official race results from the 2010 Hostess Half Marathon (pictures coming soon)

(Click to enlarge because blogspot is being lame)

Congrats to everyone for winning their age division (in months)!

Extra special thanks to our spectacular race timers, Darin & Amber Larson who braved the cold and rain for three hours! We couldn't have been at the verge of vomit without you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Running With A Camelbak

Important Note: The Ironman World Championship in Hawaii will be televised this coming Saturday, December 18th on CBS from 2-4pm Utah time. Even if triathlons aren't your thing, this is something you don't want to miss. CBS does an incredible job putting it together with personal stories of what people have overcome.

Monday, December 6th 2010: 4 miles @ 9:58 per mile pace. I did the usual hill route early in the morning. It was a little rainy and cold but nothing to whine about. I continued my training for the Hostess Half Marathon by eating a 6-pack of donuts.

Tuesday, December 7th 2010: 4 miles @ 9:27 per mile pace. Same as yesterday. I've been using a head lamp lately when I run which I like although it takes a little getting used to before you stop feeling like you're running in a tunnel.

Wednesday, December 8th 2010: 10 miles @ 9:53 per mile pace. Yet another flashlight-free long run! For you locals, I drove to the dirt road which leads to Diamond Ranch Academy. The weather was perfect. The scenery was perfect. The only thing that wasn't perfect was my choice of hydration: a Camelbak.

Since I'll be running more miles in the coming months I figured I should try some different options for packing water. I don't mind hand-held water bottles. I despise water belts. So the next possibility was a Camelbak (similar to carrying a 2 liter bottle in a backpack). It seemed like a promising alternative. Until I actually started running with it.

Then the dumb thing started bouncing all over the place. My neck and under my arms started to get some hard core chaffing going on. It was miserable. And I called myself bad names for my foolish decision. Here is my attempt to photograph Me + Camelbak:

The scenery along the run was absolutely incredible. I kept thinking over and over again how lucky I was to be running in a place so beautiful which is only a few minutes away from home.

My Costco-special Camelbak had been sitting underneath my bed since approximately the time that Michael Bolton was cool. As a result, the water I put inside it tasted like it had been taken from a bathtub after just giving the dog a bath. But then.....I ate a Montana Huckleberry gel. The combination of swamp water and Montana Huckleberry tasted like a Duracell battery.

Thursday, December 9th 2010: 4 miles @ 10:33 per mile pace. I felt a little tired from yesterday's run so I did the hill route but kept a slower pace and didn't overexert myself.

Friday, December 10th 2010: Rest. I realized this week how valuable rest days will be as I build mileage. I was thankful for a day off.

Saturday, December 11th 2010: 13 miles @ 10:16 per mile pace. I just wasn't feeling it on this run. I felt sluggish the whole time and couldn't really get myself going. I've also had this little issue on the top of my right foot for a few weeks. I wouldn't call it an injury, but just an inconvenience. I'd say the official diagnosis is STT (Slightly Tweaked Tendon). Diagnosis courtesty of Dr. Reese, MD.

It was bitter cold outside. I even saw icicles hanging from some barbed wire.

Stay tuned for next week's complete review and pictures from the Hostess Half Marathon!

"During 13 years of professional running, I never got it fully right. It's like golf. You'll never be perfect; you try to get a little better at every opportunity. That's the beauty of distance running, I think. It's a never-ending journey of trying to find out how good you can be, what I can improve on, even with my limitations. I'll never know the answer, but I'll keep looking for it."
~ Bob Kennedy, American distance runner

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

And the winner of an incredible pair of arm warmers is.........................

The youngster closed her eyes and picked a name out of the bowl. Congrats - may your arms always be warm and sweaty!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ultramarathon Training Begins

Monday, November 29th 2010: 529 miles on treadmill. Okay, it was only 3 miles. But it DEFINITELY felt like 529 miles. I detest the treadmill and haven't run on one for months but it was bitter cold outside and the wind was blowing like crazy. I regretted my decision to stay inside and be warm.

I ran another 4 miles that night @ 10:19 per mile pace. Outside. It was freezing cold but the wind stopped so I was fine.

Tuesday, November 30th 2010: I stayed up until midnight when registration opened for the Utah Grand Slam (run 4 Utah marathons over the course of a few months). I am excited to report that I got in! Now I won't have to do my Almost-Grand-Slam.

Wednesday, December 1st 2010:
10 miles @ 10:18 per mile pace. I was ecstatic because I was going to be able to do a run without a flashlight! Except for a few races, I haven't run without a flashlight for two months. With work and family, I need to run either really early or really late. But this day was a glorious exception.

I wanted to go somewhere new, so I went to a dirt road past the Hurricane airport. I didn't know what to expect so I brought two hand-held water bottles which worked out okay. I really loved being out in the opened all by myself enjoying the scenery.

I happened to come across a few cows who seemed a bit distraught with me disturbing them. But only one cow snorted at me. It wasn't nearly as scary as my last angry cow encounter.

I set up my camera on the two water bottles to take this picture. You can see my neon shirt from the Top of Utah Marathon. (It serves the dual purpose of also acting like a night light.)

Thursday, December 2nd 2010: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Friday, December 3rd 2010:
I took the leap of faith. I pulled out my credit card and registered for the Buffalo Run 50 mile race on March 26th!!! I am SO excited to run my first ultra-marathon! I got butterflies in my stomach when I clicked the PAY button. No backing out now! The real training begins.

Saturday, December 4th 2010: 11 miles @ 9:44 per mile pace. (Pace not completely accurate since it doesn't take into account my picture stops.) I went back to the same dirt road which was a blast, except that I had finished half the run before the sun even came up so it was pretty nippy outside. Speaking of nippy, Mel bought a new box of Western Family band-aids which I applied to the nip region as a long-run precaution. Whoa, mama. Those puppies are strong. When I removed them, I think 6 layers of skin came off with the band-aid. I believe I saw my lung.

I wanted to get a unique picture of the run and came up with an idea, courtesy of the self-timer:

This is why I can't run with a running buddy. When running starts to hurt, I find a distraction. What I'm doing when I should be running:

I felt surprisingly good the last five miles. Granted, I was getting tired and sore, but I still had some kick in me. That often isn't the case. It felt good. I will now sign off so I can perform first aid for my band-aid induced wounds.

"The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life."
~ George Sheehan