Family and Fun

We had a wonderful visit with my parents this past weekend. We live 15 hours apart, so it is not exactly easy to get together, so we enjoy every minute we have to share. They happened to be here for a track meet on Saturday, so it was really nice that they were able to see the kids run. Unfortunately, Liam has an injury, so he was not able to compete, but they got to watch the twins. They even took home souvenir sunburns!

Nathan had such a great day! He placed 2nd in the 110m hurdles and also ran the 800m leg of the 1600m medley relay where they also placed second. In fact, he did so well, that he found his name on the Varsity roster for the meet in Albuquerque today! He is so excited!

Go Nathan!!!

Catheryn ran the 800m and did really well. She was disappointed with her time, which was slower than usual, but she is just going to work harder. In the meet today, she will be running the 1600m instead of the 800m. It will be her first race at the mile distance, so we will see how she does. I can’t wait! Liam is still out with an injury, but he will go with me to watch his team run.

Catheryn in the 800m open run.

On Sunday, we went for a hike through the park and climbed up Alcove House. That was something my dad really wanted to do, so it was fun to be able to take him out there. It was really just a nice, relaxing day. In the evening we went out to watch the turkey vultures start coming in for the night. They roost here in the canyon, so there are quite a few circling up above before they land in the trees. They are neat to watch. And of course, we took family pictures.

The kids with Grammy and Grampy.

Me and Rob with my parents, Bill and Caryn.

Our crazy family

Like I said, it was a wonderful weekend. I am so glad my parents were able to drive all the way down here so we could spend some time together. They are planning on coming down for Thanksgiving, so we have another great visit to look forward to!!!

~Special Thanks to my parents for being so incredibly awesome! We love you so much!!!~

On Your Mark!

Last week was the first JV meet of the season. We have a relatively small JV team, so Varsity runners were invited to participate as well. Liam chose to run with the team, so I picked Catheryn up from school early and we drove to Santa Fe to watch the boys and the JV team run.

Nathan watching some teammates practice hurdles before the meet.

This was Nathan’s first meet ever, so he was a little nervous. He was running the 100m hurdles and the 400m, and since he had not had a whole lot of practice on the hurdles, he was most nervous about this race. He did a wonderful job, though. Afterwards, he said his whole goal was to make it without falling over a hurdle, which he did successfully. His goal now is to work on his arms.

Nathan’s first ever race in the 100m hurdles!

Such a great run. 🙂

The 400m was equally successful. He ran his best and did a great job.

Back stretch of the 400m.

Liam again ran the 400m and the 4x400m relay. His goal for the 400m is to get sub-60. He ran in 1:01, so he does not have far to go at all. They have an amazing 4×4 team that is always exciting to watch.

Back stretch of the 400m. Both of these runners are on the 4×4 relay team.

Liam also had time during this meet to participate in the high jump. This is an event he loves. At the final meet last year, he cleared 5’0″. At his first meet this year he cleared 5’6″! He was pretty excited about that and I think he is anxious to see how much he can improve over the season.

High jump buddies. These two are really evenly matched, and they love to compete!

A successful jump near the beginning of competition.

The next meet will be a Varsity/JV combined meet here at home the first weekend after spring break. It will be fun to watch all of the kids, not to mention my parents will be here, so they will get to see them as well!

Clear the Track!!

Track season is in full swing now. Yesterday was the first Varsity meet of the year and JV has their first meet next week. Liam and Catheryn are on the Varsity team, so I picked Nathan up from school early and we drove down to Rio Rancho to watch them run.

The first running event of the meet was the 800m, which is what Catheryn was running. She was nervous to be running with Varsity, but you never would have known it watching her run. She did so well and her kick was amazing! I think she was glad to be done early on since it was so cold. She joined me and Nathan up in the stands, and we huddled together while we watched the rest of the meet.

The start of the 800m. Catheryn is 5th from the left.

She’s got a great kick!

Liam runs the 200m, the 400m, the 4x400m relay, and does the high jump. The running events were started early yesterday due to cold temps and high winds, so several of the boys, Liam included, were not able to participate in the high jump. His first race was the 400m, followed shortly by the 200m, which was immediately followed by the 4x400m relay. He raced really hard and did amazing. He was not completely satisfied with his performance, but that is his competitive nature. He is always striving to be better.

The start of the 400m.

The last curve of the 400m. Liam finished 2nd.

Liam’s final stretch of the 4×4.

By the time the meet was over, we were all frozen, hungry, and tired. The ‘frozen’ and ‘hungry’ were easy to take care of: blasting heat and a super-unhealthy stop at the Taco Bell drive-thru. The ‘tired’ though, wasn’t quite as easy… we still had a two-hour drive home. We made it home just in time for the snow to start falling.

I am so proud of my kids and love watching them run. Stay tuned next week and I will let you know how Nathan does at his first meet. He is running the 400m and the 100m hurdles. I can’t wait!

Five Events for Five Decades

As you already know, Rob will be turning 50 (!!!!!) this summer. I have really been wanting to do something crazy, or at least out of the ordinary for us, so I started looking up running events. One event didn’t seem like quite enough to mark such a momentous birthday, but 50 was a few too many, so we decided on one event for each decade of Rob’s life. I found five events, all slightly different, and all close to home. Rob has been wanting to get into better shape, so he has agreed to participate in these events with me.

We are going to kick off our Five Events for Five Decades at the Albuquerque Half Marathon. Of course the title is a little misleading because while the half marathon is the main run of the day, they also have smaller runs. Since it will be our first run of the year, we decided to run the 10k together while the kids are all going to run the 5k. We will be running this event in mid-April.

Our original plan was to participate in the Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in May, but the shortest distance there is 15 miles. Rob has never run a half marathon, so this distance seemed a little too much too fast. And since we do not need any injuries or craziness, we decided to skip that run for this year and add it to the calendar next year.

Next up is the Los Alamos Triathlon in July. This is a sprint distance tri with the swimming taking place in the local pool. It is a good triathlon to start with since it is both short, and there is no open-water swimming involved. Since I already have Rob talked into participating in an Ironman 70.3 (Weee!) with me next year, this will be a good starter race to see how we like it.

Come August we are heading up to run the Red River High Mountain Half Marathon. In this event we will actually be running the half marathon while the kids are planning on doing the 5k again. Liam has expressed interest in running the half with us, but we will have to see how he feels when the time comes to register. This will be Rob’s first half marathon, and I am really excited for him! The course looks amazing, so it should be a great experience!

In September we have the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon. I have not asked the kids about this one yet, but I think they will probably be up for running another 5k. There is at least one other person from the park who will be running this one as well, perhaps more, so it will be a small group event. Should be a fun run!

To wrap up our Five Events for Five Decades, we are going to tackle the Duke City Marathon in October. I think after a year of training and running smaller events, this will be a great place for Rob’s first marathon. Plus, according to their website, it is ranked as one of the top 25 marathons in the world. Not to mention it is a Boston Qualifier, so who knows, we just may get lucky in our old age!

The only run we are currently registered for is the 10k in April, so of course everything is subject to change. This is our plan for the year, though and we will do our best to see it through. I’m thinking we will end this year in pretty good shape! Then it will be time to get ready for Boulder 70.3!!

Time to Run

Catheryn had her first cross country meet last weekend and she did amazing! I think she was a little nervous going in, but once she got running, she said the course went by really fast. There were runners from close to 10 schools, so lots of girls out on the trail! Both the girls and the boys took first place in teams! They all did amazing and it was so fun to watch!

Ready to go!

Middle school girls at the starting line (our school is on the far right.)

Catheryn on the course just before the finish

Catheryn and her friend with the team trophy

Bragging Rights

Apparently I will never get caught up on posts unless I actually sit down and… post. Who knew?

You will have to forgive me today, because I am about to brag. I know bragging is not very attractive, but perhaps after you hear what I have to brag about, you will not hold it against me. 🙂

Last month we went to West Yellowstone where we met up with Rob’s sister, Mary Beth, and her husband, Jim. I had considered changing names to protect the innocent, but I realized that bragging is absolutely no fun at all if nobody knows just who you are talking about. Sorry, guys. 🙂 So where was I? Oh yes, West Yellowstone.

Some time ago we decided that it would be fun to meet up in Yellowstone to run with Vacation Races. They put on 5k and half-marathon runs in about eight National Parks. Yellowstone worked out in easy travel distance for both parties, as well as for vacation days, so we signed up. Rob, Jim, and the twins were running the 5k together, and Mary Beth and I signed up for the half-marathon. This was to be her first!

Once we got there, Liam decided that he wanted to run as well, so we tossed him into the 5k group. The kids ran off and on through the spring, but they did not do any serious training. This was strictly for fun, though, so we were not too worried about it. They could have walked all 3.1 miles if they chose to.

Anyhoo, the 5k was on Friday night, so after seeing everyone cross the start line, Mary Beth and I walked over to the finish line. We were not sure what to expect, but we figured we would start looking for our people at about 40 minutes or so. Liam was about 10 minutes earlier than expected, followed closely by Nathan, who was followed by Rob, who was just in front of Jim and Catheryn, who came through together.

Our 5k gang!

Our 5k gang!

They all got their medals, we then took pictures and gushed over how well they all did. Just as we were getting ready to leave, we decided to stay for awards, because as Mary Beth pointed out, there were not many kids in front of Liam, so there was a chance that he placed in his age group. Awards were given to the top five finishers in each age group. Well, as it turned out, all three kids placed!

Age group medals!

Age group medals!

But the excitement did not end there. Rob rocked his age group, finishing 9th! And Jim placed in his age group as well!!! It was such an amazing night! I cannot begin to tell you how exciting it was to watch everyone run so well and have such a great time doing it. And to think, we almost left before the awards ceremony!

Way to go, Jim!!

Way to go, Jim!!

Mary Beth and I were up next, running our half-marathon on Saturday morning. Mary Beth was running her first half, and I was so honored that she invited me to run it with her. The course was a little terrifying, high elevation, steep hills, rocks galore, but we were ready.

You rock, Mary Beth!!

You rock, Mary Beth!!

It is safe to say that we did not place, or even come close, but it was such a fun time. The run was challenging, the course was beautiful, and the company was amazing. It is a run that I will never forget. Thank you, Mary Beth, for allowing me to share this experience with you!

And thank you to the race-course photographer who captured this moment that I will never forget…

11146511_10205035874079946_4416130006280970411_n

“Act like we’re running!” -Mary Beth

Just when everyone thought they were done with the running vacation, it was time for one more 5k at the Fort Union Rendezvous. (I had to work so I got out of this one!)  Once again, everyone ran a great race and all three kids, Jim, and Mary Beth placed in their age groups! Rob was 5th in his, but unfortunately this race only awarded through 3rd…

Fort Union Rendezvous

Fort Union Rendezvous

I am just so proud of everyone! I love that we were able to get out there and run together. And that is why I love running so much. It does not matter if you are tall or short, fat or thin, fast or slow. All you have to do is get out there, put one foot in front of the other, and soon you will be crossing that finish line. It is a feeling you will never forget, and one that nobody can take away from you.

Thank you, Jim and Mary Beth!!! You two are amazing! And we love you dearly. So… where are we running next?