Monday, April 30, 2012

Rock N Roll DC Marathon

So, I ran another marathon... but this time I ran it with my family!  My dad, Whit, Ben, Jill, Hailey and I all ran it together, which makes this family marathon #2! (Click here for family marathon #1 memories!)  Most of us split up, but we were all running the race at the same time. :)  Ben and I were each by ourselves as we had goal times that we wanted to reach, then Whit and Jill stuck together and my dad and Hailey stuck together.

Since I know the suspense is killing you, I'll tell you, I didn't reach my goal time. :(  I was going for my sub-four hour time, and was on course to get it until about mile 16 when I had to stop due to something I couldn't control.  Without going into too much detail, I will say that around mile 5 or 6 I started having some 'girl troubles'.  Just imagine the worst thing you can imagine happening and that is what happened. Yeah, it wasn't pretty.  I tried really hard not to care and just keep on moving because I really wanted that time.  I would stop here and there at the water stations to try and keep things under control, but it never really made a difference, just started eating away at my time.  I made it to about mile 16 'not caring', but then I just had to stop and take care of things.  I was in the bathroom for about 5 minutes, and kept looking at my watch and seeing my average pace climb and climb and climb.  I kept thinking, 'it's ok, I can make it up, I'll just book it when I get out of here', and when I got out I was feeling so good and refreshed that I really thought I could.  But then after a little bit, I noticed that my stop didn't really do much to solve the problem. :/ About a mile later I saw a Med Station so I stopped again for some necessities- this may or may not have involved hiding behind an ambulance- which cut another few minutes off my time.  I finally got back out on the course and was feeling great- for about a mile.  This was around mile 18 and 19, and I was trying to speed up, but it just so happened that there were, not only some pretty good hills, but we were also completely out in the open, with not a cloud in the sky, and the temp was getting close to 80, which after training through the winter, was really killing me.  I was pretty much dying at this point.  I reached the top of a particularly brutal hill around mile 19 and I turned a corner and there was Nate and the boys!  He said they had just made it there minutes before and thought they had missed me.  Well, if I had been on pace, they would have. I just stopped for a few seconds to give hugs and tell them that I was "dying" and then kept on moving, but it was so wonderful to see them.  It's what kept me moving up to that point, as I knew they were going to try and come around mile 20.

Oh yeah, the other really annoying thing about this course was that they had these turn-around/out and back points, so you would be going one direction, and then on the other side of the road you would see all these runners that had already turned around, heading towards us.  I saw Whit and Jill on these things twice, after I had already turned around.  Once around mile 18, then again around mile 22 or 23 (that was a particularly bad one- you couldn't even see where it turned around it was so far away).  That's how I knew that I was too far behind to catch up.  Whit and Jill were hoping for under 4:30 I think, so since they were probably only about a mile or so behind me, things weren't looking good for me.  But I just kept going and tried to go as fast as I could, which wasn't fast- my legs were done, my left hip had been bothering me since about mile 3, and it was so so hot- I poured water on my head every chance I got (I did not look pretty!), stopped at med stations for ice or water or whatever I could get.  I was even carrying my handheld water bottle, but warm gatorade was just not cutting it.   

The other really awful thing about the race, was that there wasn't a water station after mile 24!!  We were on a highway ramp or overpass thing, so totally exposed to the sun, it was SO hot and we had NO water!  I was counting on that last water stop at mile 25, so I just kept going and going and going thinking it was going to be there any second, until I realized that it wasn't there.  By this point I figured I needed to just power through and get to the finish line as fast as I could, so I wouldn't let myself stop at all.  It never ceases to amaze me how hard and long that final half mile is.  It was so brutal, especially when you can SEE the finish line but it is still so far away and it just feels like you are never going to get there.  But get there I did, and I was simply elated.  It's like this- you cross the finish line and you think: 'wait, you mean I can actually stop?!  Like, for reals?!'  It'd be hard to find a better feeling.  Except for the ending of childbirth, as I've mentioned before.  Except at the end of childbirth you have a baby, and after a marathon, all you get is a medal! ;)

I came in at 4 hours, 23 minutes and 27 seconds.  I was pretty bummed, but seeing as how there wasn't much I could do about, like, 10 minutes of that time, I decided that I was just happy that I finished at all. I kinda don't think I would've gotten my time anyway, because the heat was just killing me, but who knows, if I was closer and thought I had a chance, maybe I could've kicked it into gear those last few miles. Oh well, we will never know, and that is just fine.  Ben was there when I crossed the finish line, and he missed his time as well because of the heat, even though he still did pretty amazing.  I think he finished in 3:42.  We waited around for Whit and Jill to finish and I think they came in around 4:39.  We all chatted and headed to find the fam.  We waited awhile for Hailey and my dad to come in, and during that time I got to go really clean up and change which felt so wonderful!!!

Hailey and my dad came in around 5:25.  Hailey was really struggling on the course and around mile 17 wanted to call it quits, but after a blessing from my dad, she hung in there like a rockstar, took it one step at a time, and made it to the finish line.  I know what it feels like to be out on the course and wonder why you are doing this to yourself, and just want to quit.  It can be such an overwhelming feeling, and I am so proud of her for pushing through!  She said that it was still so, so hard, but after the blessing, she knew she had it in her.  She is truly an inspiration to me!

After the race we headed over to Jill's to shower really fast and then we hit the road right away to head back to Williamsburg, where we were having a little family vacation.  We stopped at Taco Bell of all places on the way home.  The only Taco Bells in the city are far from us, so we never get to go there, which is sad, because I love Taco Bell!   I actually felt really great post-race, aside from my hip and legs being shot.  But my stomach didn't bother me at all like it did after NY.  So weird. 

Overall, it was quite the experience.  It's definitely not how I thought my race would go down when I woke up that morning, but it does make a pretty great story. :)   It was so great to experience it with my family.  I loved talking about the race with them and seeing how different and personal each of our experiences were.  No matter what, marathons are pretty amazing experiences.    However, I think it will be 2 or 3 years before the next one! :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Christmas in Sacramento

We had a wonderful Christmas with my family in Sacramento this year.  I headed out with Bart and Sayer about a week before Nate and Asher, which was fun, but the real party started when everyone got there!  It was so great to be with all of my family in my parents new house, eating good food, playing Wii Just Dance, watching movies (I successfully converted my family to Downton Abby!), talking and laughing about who knows what, the little cousins having a blast together, heading over to the school behind my parents house with the kids, family training runs, shopping, wrapping presents, hosting parties, bowling, outings to the zoo and fairytale town, eating out, the Railroad Museum, parks, and so much more.
Asher practicing his flamingo stance, riding the carousel.  Joelie did NOT want to ride the carousel. :)
Kids coming down on Christmas morning in their new pjs, the tree on Christmas Eve, all 6 Busath girls and mom and dad in our new pjs, the boys opening their stockings.
Cousins watching movies together.  A common sight. Hot chocolate!!
California Railroad Museum!  A boy's heaven!
My mom owns these gems!

Day trip to San Fran... Aquarium, walking the pier, playing at the arcade, and ice cream at Ghirardelli Square.

Mastering the monkey bars!
Park fun!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Picture perfect Easter picnic in Central Park

It's been a long time.  I've been missing the blogging world, so I thought it was time to get back into the swing of things.  I have a lot of things to get caught up on, but I don't want to let that stop me from blogging about what's going on now.  I will start with Easter.

We had a lovely Easter weekend with practically perfect weather in NYC.  Saturday, my friend Lesley put together an amazing Easter egg hunt/picnic.  It was picture perfect, down to the last details.  I actually did manage to get some pictures in, but she did a much better job of capturing the beautiful day.  Check it out here.

The boys had an absolute blast in the open space, running around with their friends, playing around the pond, (and in Bart's case, almost walking right in... on the opposite side of the pond from where we were located.  Not my finest mothering moment), feeding the ducks, eating yummy food, finding Easter eggs, eating yummy candy, eating cake... and on and on.  While the kids were busy running from one place to the next, the adults enjoyed the perfect weather, gorgeous surroundings in Central Park, and as always, visiting with wonderful friends.  Oh, and we enjoyed the cake too.  It was seriously so delicious!!  And beautiful.

Unfortunately, I did not take a single picture on Easter Sunday, but we did have a very nice day.  After Stake Conference, we headed over to Sheep's Meadow in Central Park for a picnic with some friends.  Again, the boys loved being able to run around in the wide open space, climb rocks and play ball.  Nate's allergies started acting up, so we didn't get to enjoy the perfect day as long as I would have liked, but that's ok.  We headed home and had a relaxing afternoon which did include watching the video of the Savior's death and resurrection and a nice Easter Family Night lesson.

I am so grateful for the birth, death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that these events happened and am so glad that we have the opportunity to celebrate them and teach our children about the amazing blessing and miracle that it is the Atonement

Happy Easter everyone!

Public Transportation woes

 **I started writing this post when Nate was out of town for 11 days back in March.  It was a particularly bad part of the week, and while they don't sound that bad individually-when you put them together, and then add on the fact that I had been by myself for a week and it was just the last straw... it was just an experience I wanted to document. :)

I have never hated NYC public transportation more than I have in the last 15 hours.  I usually don't mind taking public transit, but there have been a handful of times when it is just unnecessarily difficult.

Exhibit A:
Last night a sweet friend invited us over for dinner since Nate is out of town.  We left our apartment right on time, with a paper plate of brownies tucked safely in the cargo basket of the Maclaren and the boys on their scooters.  It was a beautiful, warm night.  We got all the way down to the subway platform which I noticed was about 10 times more packed than normal.  About a minute after we get down there I hear a message overhead stating that all 1 trains would be running express from 145th to 96th.  What?!  There are usually tons of signs and tape blocking off the subway entrance when this happens, so obviously it wasn't a planned change.  But still, I was bugged.  So back up to the street we went to catch the bus.  At this point I was already sweating and starting to get a little frazzled amidst the hundred other people that were trying to do the exact same thing that I was, except none of them had 3 kids with them.  We stood at the bus stop for a while about 3 or 4 buses passed... either the wrong ones, or ones that were turning into express buses.  Just when I was about to get a cab, our bus finally came.  I should've gotten a cab.  I had to have Asher carry the brownies so I could fold up the stroller, which means that Bart was on the loose, which is never a good idea.  We make our way to the back of the bus (as out of the way as possible) while I am juggling a crazy almost 2 year old, a stroller and 2 scooters.  The 20-block bus ride was long and crowded and hot and Asher in Sayer were so excited about going to play with their friends, so they were in rare form.  In other words, they were super loud and annoying.  The poor brownies that Asher was in charge of were almost sat on multiple times, getting moved from seat to seat, the plate was starting to bend in the middle from over-handling.  They were just one movement away from spilling onto the floor, and there was nothing I could do about it as I was holding the stroller up, keeping the scooters in place with my legs, while also trying to keep Bart from falling/getting off the seat and sprawling himself all over the lady sitting next to him.  Thankfully he does have quite a bit of charm, so she didn't seem too upset about his pokes and kicks.  I felt like everyone around me was thinking "what is this lady who has no control of her children doing?"  I was starting to get anxious about the process of getting off the bus, as it was super packed and I was going to have to be super annoying in order to try to squeeze through all those people with all of our crap.  Thankfully, most people got off at the 96th street stop where they headed down to the subway.  By the time we got off at 93rd street, there was plenty of room for us to exit.  Huge sigh of relief.  We got off the bus and my back was soaked with sweat, the kids were going c-r-a-z-y.  Thankfully Hailey's house was just down the street.  What was supposed to be a very simple and short subway ride, turned into a 40 minute ordeal from Hell.  Good thing the dinner and company were totally worth it!!  After dinner, we took a cab home.  It was not a good cab ride.  The kids were super wired and extra crazy and Bart refused to sit still.  At least it was only about 5 minutes.

Exhibit B:
I had another experience too, that happened the very next morning while taking Asher to school and then going home with the kids, but it's not as raw anymore, so I don't think I could do it justice.  But it involved a rough morning, and then a bus driver yelling at me to make Bart sit down on the seat instead of standing on the seat to look out the window, (which my kids always do- never, ever, ever, ever, have I had a bus driver tell me to do this) then said bus driver waiting (at a green light) for me to make my kicking and screaming child sit down, then me getting off one stop early because I couldn't hold Bart still and didn't want the bus driver's eyes looking back at me in the rear-view mirror thingy anymore, and then almost breaking down in tears- because why should taking your kid to school have to be so hard?!

It's times like these when you think about living in the suburbs, and how simple it would (and should) be to just hop in the car and head over to a friend's house for dinner, or drop your kid off at school.  Sigh.  Needless to say, after the bus incident, we took a little break from the bus and the subway for a few weeks, except when we were going to church. 

Visiting the North Pole

One of my absolute favorite things to do at Christmas time.  And like always, it was a blast.