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Friday, September 7, 2012

My First Marathon!

I ran my first marathon in Pocatello, Idaho last Saturday 9/1/12. I wasn't feeling well that weekend so it went quite a bit differently than I thought and hoped for; however it was still a wonderful experience as I had never completed a marathon before, or pushed myself so far under such fatigue. I am still so awed to think that I ran a marathon! I haven't really told anyone in person yet because I keep forgetting. But when I do think about it, it's almost unbelievable. Weird!! My full story is below.

In a related story, my husband and I were able to meet Chrissie Wellington, 4 time Ironman World Champion. She is a lot of fun!

I trained for the downhills. I only realized it a few weeks in advance so I sort of "crammed" and did downhill running four times in one week. It hurt! But i figured better to hurt then, then during the race. My last training run was ten miles straight downhill and ten miles flat. I felt great and was ready for the downhill monster. And it worked, I didn't feel any effects in the race although others were complaining that it shredded their quads) I used this run to base my final time prediction and figure how to pace myself. I knew I could run downhill comfortably at an 8 min. Pace for ten miles, walking every mile for thirty seconds. However my planning was in error, the actual race wasn't straight downhill, and it was a much milder grade than i had planned for, and so I had to scramble to guess a good starting pace and it threw me off. The day before I had 6-8 solid bowel movements and headache. I still don't know why. Maybe ihad a bug. At the time I was thinking it was good, I would be 2-3 pounds lighter and have a clear digestive track for the race. But it ended up being a bad thing. Either I was ill or it simply depleted me....and I didn't feel well the whole race. I didn't run the race I planned for at all, but it ended up being a wonderful experience. Here goes. Rychen and I Ran with 3:55 or 4:00 pace group for 15 or so miles. (about 9 min miles) During that time the miles passed pretty quick, even though I wasn't feeling well. The first couple miles felt okay but it was soon apparent that i would have difficulty keeping up the pace for the 3:55 group. We had planned on walking every 6 minutes but i needed more frequent breaks. Then about miles 3-7 I Was dealing with some cramping but not digestive related, or side stitches, it was under my ribs. I took it in stride knowing it would pass. Anyway my energy was low, and for several miles I told myself I always feel sluggish at the beginning of a run and I would feel good soon. But I never did. I felt bad slowing Rychen down. I could see he was wanting to go faster. At mile 10 or so, I told him just catch me up to marissa (my cousin, doing the half) then he could go on. (but we never caught marissa, and as it turned out rychen couldnt have gone ahead anyway.) I walked so much more than I do on training runs. I usually feel comfortable on training runs, running at a 8'50" pace (for flat stretches). But today even the 9'15" pace was hard to maintain, even early on! At mile 8ish my music wasn't motivating me and I needed some encouragement. So I tried to start a conversation with the pace leader. He wasn't understanding that I was looking for encouragement. The "conversation" sucked. Looking back I should have skipped my iPod ahead to my favorite songs but I just wasn't thinking straight the entire time. Once we were past the half marathon start, we were passing the slow runners and walkers. This was a good distraction to me, as I tried to have a brief conversation with everyone. The first man I talked to said he wasn't feeling it either and had moved his goal finish back ten minutes. I was happy to have some commiseration. We leapfrogged a bit. I asked him if he had any jokes. The next time, I told him the one joke I know. It was then I got my brilliant idea: this could be fun if i be friendly and upbeat to everyone I meet. During this time I was sipping my orange juice but it made me feel nauseous and I knew I needed to take in more carbs (usually I drink 16 oz. of OJ at the 1-hour mark. Here i was at more than 2 hours, fuel deprived but had no appetite). I should have started drinking power aid sooner but I didn't until after my OJ was gone. I wish i had known that poweraid would feel better in my stomach, it could have been a different race. I gradually started feeling less sick with that, although by that time my body was slowing down anyway. I tried to do my mental tricks from ChiRunning but I just had no mental energy. I couldn't even figure math. I wasn't watching the mile markers, I didn't have a watch. I just ran what felt doable. I think it was a good thing not to know how fast or where I was. The miles passed quickly until after 20. In that regard I look back thinking it wasn't so bad. But it sure was discouraging at the time! My family was waiting at the school after the huge hill. I knew they were there and that's what got me up that hill. It was mile 21. I loved seeing them and it was good to see Taylor happy. It was good for me to run that distance with them in sight. Then we passed my aunt Jolene and seeing her made me happy.. I had been making conversation with everyone we passed anyway but I was waiting and wondering when we would see Jolene (she and marissa were doing the half). I knew in advance I would NOT count down miles. Its just bad thinking. I would only count upward. So when I got to mile 20 I was thinking "super, this is nothing new." and even when I felt bad I would say "well I can do this for two more hours," or one more more hour, etc. So my mental chatter never got bad really. I just wasn't enjoying myself like I thought I would..I was disappointed but wasn't dwelling on it. I was walking more and more... Nothing hurt but i just had zero energy. I would feel nauseous every time I tried to eat. But then Some fun music came on my iPod so I started being silly. I was doing the hand motions for YMCA above my head, and I would pass people and sing to them. "You got to move it, move it!" or "if you don't wanna party then you should go home!" and at every mile marker I would stop to walk and scream out the distance with my hands in the air. It was pretty fun just being a dork. I realized competitiveness takes the fun away, and I was so happy my time goal had long since went ahead of me, I was just there to have a good time and be happy to run my first marathon! Even when Rychen tried to encourage me to run more, I would say "nah! I am in no hurry!" haha The "good time" lasted 30 mins or so, and once I got to 23 it was just awful...the last few go...soo....slow...even though I was actually walking less and was running faster, due to not feeling sick anymore. However about 24 miles on I just felt nasty and wanted to throw up. I still hadn't eaten much, but was drinking lots of power aide and some orange segments at aid stations. So I was just focused on getting there. Rychen and I both felt horrible, it helped so much to have each other. (we had been running within eyesight the whole time, catching up, walking at different times, etc.) This really felt like childbirth. The whole thing was just long and draining!...then the last part is so awful and you just have to PUSH with everything you got! (in all seriousness, I think having been through childbirth plus raising children is good preparation for this. Being a mom, every day is an endurance event. We are always in uncomfortable situations where you just have to grin and bear it. You learn patience. You learn to shrug things off and take whatever comes.) I finally I passed the finish line and I cried with my arms outstretched. I have come close to crying many times i finish races and usually choke up but you still have inhibitions...well after 26.2 miles there are really no inhibitions. I showed exactly what I felt, which was relief mostly but also the incredible accomplishment of finishing a marathon which brought me to tears. Rychen felt very worn out and slumped immediately to the ground. I was a bit concerned about him but I knew I had to stay in motion to warm down. I walked around aimlessly, still crying a bit, drinking as much water as I could. We took our time recovering. After 10-15 minutes I started to look for my family. I took my baby and sat down to stretch and call my mother in law. At this point I felt good again and had little to complain about. I remember thinking "well, NOW I could go run some comfortable miles." ironic what life throws at you sometimes. We stayed for a while, letting the kids eat our food and play in the kid areas, and visiting with everyone. I could have stayed all day, it was so fun to see all the amazing athletes and revel in our accomplishment together. In the end I was very happy with my time and amazed that it wasn't slower. I FELT like I was going very very slowly. But it still came out to less than ten minutes per mile! And I don't think my pace dropped too dramatically at the end, which was my original goal. I just wanted to be wise and pace myself so I wouldn't hit a wall and have to walk for more than a minute and a half. I don't think I ever did that but I did walk very frequently! One person made fun at me for all my stopping and going. But that's just my style! Mix it up. The rest of the day I felt so happy about it but not sure how soon I would want to do another one. The day after, I am ready to tackle another one! I will be excited to,try this same course again in the future and try again for the race I was hoping to do.

Christian Perspectives: Diet and the Second Coming

Following the principles of the gospel is exactly why I believe in DIET as treatment and prevention for our physical health. I don't believe "quick fixes" are in alignment with what Christ taught. CHRIST saves and heals us. Christ heals those who are faithful and follow the instructions he has outlined. What do we need to do to be worthy of his grace? He has asked for a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The only thing we can give him that is ours to give is our WILL. 

The word of wisdom (Latter-Day Saint/"mormon" health code) is a spiritual commandment although it regards our temporal health. It's a spiritual commandment because food is anything but temporal! Our food choices represent our lusts and addictions and what our treasure is. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Are we willing to give up the physical addictions that cause us pain and disease? Christ has asked us to step away from our addictions and lead us to life. 

If we know that a food is not good for us and we consume it anyway, this is lust and addiction. If we rationalize that a food is good [meat, or cooked food] when deep down we know death cannot possibly bring about life - we are caught in a snare of the adversary.

Christ has asked for our will - to follow his word and give up our own lusts to follow Him - in the Word of Wisdom he has asked us to eat meat only to save our lives. And to eat all manner of fruits and herbs. In the event that there is not sufficient fruit and herbs, he says grains are our staff (a staff supports you in times of weakness, i.e. if you cannot obtain sufficient calories from raw fruits and vegetables). Also in D&C 89 we know that these guidelines are for the weakest of saints meaning it is not the full story or the ideal diet but rather a starting point.

In the millenium there will be no death. Carnivorous animals will no longer hunt prey but rather they will be plant eaters. Of course humans are included in this. If Christ as King will command us to be plant eaters, why would he not be pleased if we began that practice today?

Additionally as disciples of Christ, we seek after all good things. All things wholesome and praiseworthy. I feel strongly that using a dead animal for food will only bring sadness and remorse to our energy fields rather than light and healing. I am certain that the celestial diet is a fruitarian diet for that is the only diet where there is no death to a creature or ourselves.

A raw food/fruitarian diet is difficult and requires sacrifice of all our lusts and greed. But that is exactly the path of discipleship and I know from experience that blessings await us and a host of angels stand ready to support us as we commit ourselves to a path of true discipleship.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Every Child is Homeschooled

If you consider the students a school classroom you will note two types of kids. The ones who aren't learning and the ones who are. The ones who are learning are either doing it because they are truly interested and self-motivated (in which case they would be learning regardless of being in school) or because they have been taught at home. The most successful students are the ones who have been taught at home from an early age, where formal school is usually the supplement. In this case, many children are homeschooled; just most of them attend public school as well. This was the case in my own upbringing.

To some extent or another, ALL children are homeschooled--all children learn the basics of life, society, what's expected of them, and basics about the world through their family environment. Learning takes place in the early years of life at all hours of the day, whether or not the "teachers" realize what or whom they are teaching; it's simply a matter of what is being taught. As a result, some children as experts in pop culture. Some children got an a+ in their informal "Mario brothers 101" class. Every child is an expert in SOMETHING, depending on what was presented to them and what values were important in the home they grew up in.

 As a homeschooling mother I raise my children in a scholastic environment where they are exposed to books and ideas and witness parents using our education and openly discussing concepts on a daily basis. I know I have fostered my children's interest successfully when I see my four year old teaching herself to read so she can be involved in family reading, when she picks up a workbook and does it on her own, or when my 7-year old puts on a historical audio book every night before bed because he wants to. In this light you see that I really don't have to Teach my children anything, they are fully capable of teaching themselves.      

  As we seek to educate our children, there are only 2 things we need to teach them: to take an interest in the world around them, and where to find answers to their questions. These are the vital precedents of becoming educated, and once a person obtains these, they can't help but to become educated, whether they are in a classroom, a home with a set curriculum, or on their own without any schooling at all. In this case, you can take a look at our society and see two types of people: those who are interested in the world around them and find answers to their questions (the educated members of society) and those who do not. Unfortunately, the school system has graduated and deemed "educated" far too many students who do not meet this criteria. Perhaps they were once interested in the world around them, but after having their desires and voices stifled by public institutions for 13 years, they simply gave it up. The result is the public school system produces exactly the opposite of what is was intended to do, and we have a society consisting far too greatly of numb robots who have forgotten who they were originally when life began.  Thankfully, we have many parents who are homeschooling their children....even if they do supplement with public school.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Taylor is 7 months!


Taylor is 7 months now! Here is a cute picture of him making a mess with some banana peels!

He isn't quite sitting yet, but he does well if someone is there to catch him (because he inevitably falls over). He also does a lot of scooting, recently with some speed, as well as some planks and down dogs, etc. He has no teeth yet which is late compared to my older two kids.

Also he is not interested in food either. At this age, Elisabeth was starting to try fruits and green smoothies (which were her only solid foods until after a year). It is so interesting to see babies follow their instincts. A few weeks ago I first offered him banana and he didn't even open his mouth! he had no idea idea it was even food. Then about a week later he would open his mouth and lick it. That was funny! Now he will open up and take a bite but then he doesn't know what to do with it, so after sucking it a bit, he will end up spitting it out.

Fresh fruits are the best thing for babies! You don't need to purée or anything. I avoid fruits that require chewing, like melons. You can get freeze dried fruits which dissolve easily as well, if you need a snack to keep in the diaper bag. Don't forget to offer green smoothies which are very mineral rich, and babies need fatty foods such as avocados. (okay, they don't actually NEED fatty foods or solid foods at all, to be precise. Breast milk is totally sufficient even for a couple years, if a toddler isn't interested in eating).

Post-partum fitness

I am registered for a marathon 5 weeks from today, which will be 8 months post-partum. I have been planning on the half, thinking I couldn't leave the baby that long. But it's just worked out really well. I go out on 3 hour training runs and he is just happy as a clam! I am so lucky this one isn't clingy like my others were (well, lucky as far as working out goes. But I bet I will wish he was more clingy when he doesn't want hugs anymore!) 

I did a triathlon last month which was only 1 hour 40 minutes, but it did involve daily workouts to get ready. I was signed up for another one today actually, but decided I need to focus on getting ready for the marathon. I am blessed with friends to help with child care so I can do my runs--it is tricky when we homeschool so all the kids are home, and my husband works out before work so I don't have that option either. We have a gym membership but it's kind of a ghetto gym with no A/C and the smell of sweaty overweight men playing basketball just wafts through the whole gym. Yuck. But lately I have been taking my 7 year old and 12 year old girl I watch to exercise with me. I teach them weight lifting and cardio. That's fun now that my son is old enough to workout with me!

Anyhow I have been eating 80/10/10 raw vegan and will continue until the marathon. It's so inspiring to have the daily interviews right now with Brilliant Body Summit, and I follow several LFRV athletes on Facebook and YouTube. One day that will be me and I might keep up with you all via video :) I am actually working on getting a site back up for my eBook. It takes a lot of time to do a full website, but I recently gave up my business so I do have some more time now :)

Post-partum fitness

I am registered for a marathon 5 weeks from today, which will be 8 months post-partum. I have been planning on the half, thinking I couldn't leave the baby that long. But it's just worked out really well. I go out on 3 hour training runs and he is just happy as a clam! I am so lucky this one isn't clingy like my others were (well, lucky as far as working out goes. But I bet I will wish he was more clingy when he doesn't want hugs anymore!) 

I did a triathlon last month which was only 1 hour 40 minutes, but it did involve daily workouts to get ready. I was signed up for another one today actually, but decided I need to focus on getting ready for the marathon. I am blessed with friends to help with child care so I can do my runs--it is tricky when we homeschool so all the kids are home, and my husband works out before work so I don't have that option either. We have a gym membership but it's kind of a ghetto gym with no A/C and the smell of sweaty overweight men playing basketball just wafts through the whole gym. Yuck. But lately I have been taking my 7 year old and 12 year old girl I watch to exercise with me. I teach them weight lifting and cardio. That's fun now that my son is old enough to workout with me!

Anyhow I have been eating 80/10/10 raw vegan and will continue until the marathon. It's so inspiring to have the daily interviews right now with Brilliant Body Summit, and I follow several LFRV athletes on Facebook and YouTube. One day that will be me and I might keep up with you all via video :) I am actually working on getting a site back up for my eBook. It takes a lot of time to do a full website, but I recently gave up my business so I do have some more time now :)

7 months post-partum

Taylor is 7 months now! Here is a photo of him sitting up! He isn't quite there but he does well if someone is there to catch him (because he inevitably falls over). He also does a lot of scooting, recently with some speed, as well as some planks and down dogs, etc.

He has no teeth yet which is late compared to my older two kids. Also he is not interested in food either. At this age, Elisabeth was starting to try fruits and green smoothies (which were her only solid foods until after a year). It is so interesting to see babies follow their instincts. A few weeks ago I first offered him banana and he didn't even open his mouth! he had no idea idea it was even food. Then about a week later he would open his mouth and lick it. That was funny! Now he will open up and take a bite but then he doesn't know what to do with it, so after sucking it a bit, he will end up spitting it out.

Fresh fruits are the best thing for babies! You don't need to purée or anything. I avoid fruits that require chewing, like melons. You can get freeze dried fruits which dissolve easily as well, if you need a snack to keep in the diaper bag. Don't forget to offer green smoothies which are very mineral rich, and babies need fatty foods such as avocados. (okay, they don't actually NEED fatty foods or solid foods at all, to be precise. Breast milk is totally sufficient even for a couple years, if a toddler isn't interested in eating).