jingle jam

The original plan for today called for me to meet Wendy at Pizzeria 712 in Orem. When we talked last night she told me, “I know there’s something going on but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. It must not be that important otherwise I’d totally remember it.” She completely forgot it was the Jingle Jam at her kid’s elementary school. Oops! Just blame it on chemo brain.

So, instead of an uneventful lunch at Pizzeria 712. We grabbed lunch from Flour Girls & Dough Boys and headed over to her kid’s elementary school. We met up with her sisters, who also have kids attending the same elementary school and prepared ourselves for some mind blowing entertainment.

Here are the highlights (er, low lights) of the event:

  • I was accosted! OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, the woman sitting behind me had about 15 different cameras and recording devices. Once her child had completed their performance, she decided it was time for her to leave. She loaded up her camera bag that weighed about  37 pounds, turned to leave and bonked me in the head with it. Who knew a kids concert would be such a dangerous place.
  • It was interesting to note the different ways parents recorded the performance. One parent on the video camera, one on their phone, snapping still shots with a phone, DSLR, point & shoot or anything else they could get their hands on. There were even people with tripods set up. I had no idea that a kids concert elicited such professional documentation.
  • I was sitting with the cool kids. Seriously, Wendy & her gang are pretty rad! We laughed, we joked, we had a great time. We were completely entertained by their kids and the antics of all the other kids in the school.
  • I ran into a former neighbor who I hadn’t seen in about 6 or 7 years. It was so nice to chat and catch-up. And to learn that her oldest son has turned in his mission papers. I’m always amazed at how these youngsters grow up—especially since I don’t seem to age a day.

I forgot how much fun a kids Christmas program could be. I’m so glad that our lunch turned into “lunch and a show.” I always have a great time with Wendy, but this event definitely took the cake! Even if (very briefly) I did feel like I was being held hostage.

i choose to believe

I have a 9 year old niece who still believes in the wonder of Santa Claus. Not having children, I don’t know at what age they quit believing and start to question. However, I think there is something special about this child. She is the most logical and rational kid you’ll ever meet. Seriously! She once convinced her mom to let her have cookies for breakfast (true story!) She was 6 at the time and she wanted cookies for breakfast. Her mom informed her that cookies were not a breakfast food, but rather a dessert. She immediately shot back that they have donuts for breakfast sometimes and they also have donuts for dessert sometimes. How were cookies any different than donuts? She got cookies for breakfast that day. So, it is shocking that this brilliant, rational child still believes that a fat man in a red suit travels the world on Christmas Eve and delivers presents to all the children of the world. On some level, I think she knows it isn’t possible. But ultimately, I think she wants to believe; because there is something magical about believing.

Believing isn’t always easy. There is lots in this world that makes me not want to believe. There is so much hurt, pain, heartache and sadness in this world. I’ve definitely seen my share. It sometimes seems that there are only those awful events and experiences to be had in life. Life can be hard! Some days it just seems easier to give up, to quit believing and just accept a miserable rotten life. I’ve definitely felt this way in my life and certainly over the past few weeks. But even amongst all the sadness and heartache I still believe!

I realize as a grown woman it my be corny to still believe, but trust me I do. I believe in the goodness of people. I believe that I can make the US Olympic team (even though I’m not an expert at any sport). I believe that someday I will grow 2 more inches (because I’ve always dreamed of being 5’10”). I believe that someday I will make perfect cupcakes (because I already make perfect cookies!) I believe that someday I will find my soul-mate, my perfect match,
my dream guy and I’ll marry him. I believe (even as a woman of my
age) that I will be blessed with a child of my own. I believe in magic and fairy tales and pixie dust and unicorns and the happy ending.

While the notion defies all logic and rationale, much like my niece, I believe in Santa Claus. Maybe not the literal being, but all that he represents. You see, I’d rather believe in happiness, hope, kindness, love and even a little magic. And so, everyday I choose to believe!

my first published work

I know, I’ve been terrible about posting to this blog, but I have a good reason; I swear! About a month ago I was approached by a friend who is working with an online triathlete resource. They post articles, product reviews, race reviews–everything a triathlete needs to race better & faster in one location. They asked if I’d be willing to write an article about my experience with trail running.

Well, that article got published! I know that technically, I am already “published” every time I post to this here blog. However, to have someone else ask me to write and then to actually use what I wrote is the best. I’m so thrilled and hope to do more writing for them in the future (do you hear that @triathletesedge?)

Here you go: read all about how I take it to the trails!

my 3 days as a chip checker

Trust me, the job wasn’t as glamorous as you’re thinking. I know–chip checker, you’re thinking I got to taste test chips and see if they were edible for human consupmtion and determine their quality. This job was so far removed from that. I did however, get all the free Frito Lays products I could consume in my 10 minute break.
This story is going to take a while to develop, but stick with me, I promise it will be worth it. The whole reason I even thought of my days as a chip checker are actually related to my current job. As part of my training, I have to spend an evening sorting mail at the facility–not really what I was expecting. Because, in reality, it’s not “part of my training.” This is their way of making all employees feel like equals. I’m not exactly sure how my spending 3 hours in the warehouse makes me “part of the team.” You see, tomorrow morning, I’ll put my college education to good use, get dressed in cute clothes and continue to call on customers. I have no problem doing manual labor. I have no problem spending some time in the operations side of things. I just don’t like the reasons why I’ve been told by management. I don’t like that I have to do it so that those working in the warehouse think I “feel their pain” and “understand their job” and other such nonsense. Because, let’s be honest, it’s not like I’m going to spend a day with the executives of the company learning their jobs! So, because of my attitude toward spening 3 hours sorting mail, I was called “entitled.” I actually think “elitest” would be a better term, but I’m not here to make qualifications on my entitled elitism.
Well, I was actually quite bothered about being called entitled; and not because I disagree, I can totally admit to feeling entitled. I have a college education and because of that education doors have been opened to me in the realm of employment. So, yes, I do feel entitled to the jobs I apply for, the jobs I am offered, the jobs I work. I paid my dues in the form of 4 years at a university. And, even with all that, if I needed to work to support my family and the only job available was in a warehouse, I guarantee I’d work every day (without complaint) to care for my family. That’s just who I am. What I realized is this: many people don’t know my background, the jobs I’ve had in the past and the things I’ve done (no, nothing illegal, or unethical or immoral) to pay the bills.

This all brings up back to the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college. I was back in Texas (oh, how I love Texas!) I’d applied for several jobs, talk to temp agencies about summer work and even applied for a paid internship at GTE (General Telephone Exchange—which I’m pretty sure no longer exists!) Well, I hadn’t heard back from GTE (my first choice of a summer job) or from any of the other places I’d applied. So, there I was with Jessica (my dear and funny friend) and Justin (my brother) sitting in the office of an employment agency after being home for almost 2 weeks. The woman across from us had a job to offer. It was only temporary and certainly wasn’t a job we were looking for (we did want to build our resumes and skills for post-college employment) but it was a paying job. So, all three of us agreed that together it wouldn’t be so bad and we’d take the work!

Thus began my 3 days as a chip checker for Frito Lay. (I don’t know that “chip checker” was our official title, but its the title we gave ourselves.) The next morning we awoke at the unearthly hour of 3am (ok, it was probably closer to 5am, but I was a college student it felt like 3am). My brother and I left our house to pick up Jessica and then headed on out to the Frito Lay plant in Plano, Texas. We arrived at 7am with our brown sack lunches and bleary eyed from the early hour. (In fact, I’m pretty sure that Jessica and I made my brother drive and slept in the back seat) It was then that we met Carlos (I remember because he had a gold chain necklace with his name in beautiful gold cursive that he wore each day) and “supervisor guy” (I really wish I could remember his name, but I can’t) It was also here that we learned exactly what our duties would be as “chip checkers.” You see, they’d shipped a batch of original Lay’s potato chips over the rockies and back. Apparently, this is not how transports are to take place. Because when bags of chips go over and back the air pressure does something to the bags (some get over full of air, some bags explode, some have no air left in them and others are still intact and acceptable to be displayed on the grocery store shelves). So, the 4 of us were tasked with checking the air volume of each bag of chips and sorting them–garbage or back into a box for shipment to a retailer.

As you can imagine, after about 20 minutes, this job became quite tedious. The clock moved very slowly until it was time for our break. At the deisgnated time, a whistle would blow (ok it was really more of a signal sounding) indicating that everyone on the warehouse flor could take a break. Everyone’s work day started at the same time, breaks were at the same time, lunch was at the same time and we all ended our day together. So, when the whistle blew, we took our break. The best part of the break—because we were in a Frito Lay plant, there were all sorts of Frito Lay treats free for the taking. Suddenly this job was looking up!

And so it continued for 3 days. Wakig up early, heading to the plant, taking our breaks and lunches at the designated hour. “Supervisor guy” was very funny and entertaining. He gave us all nicknames–I was “senator” because I was majoring in Political Science. He drove his fork lift over to check on us; brought us new palets of chips to sort though and in general looked out for us crazy college students doing this job.

Needless to say, with all the boredome, we had to come up with some way to entertain ourselves! So, by 10am on day 2 found the solution. When a bag of chips is so full of air it’s about to explode, it’s very easy to pop the bag and spary chips all over the person at who it’s aimed. Well, that’s excatly what began. And by the end of the day the three of us were covered in chip crumbs and the stentch of deep fried potatoes. We made a complete mess of the corner of the warehouse where they had stashed us, but had so much fun working those 3 days.

So, I worked my 3 hours at the facility the other day. I learned mail is dirty! I learned the process of how things arrive, are checked in, scanned and sent on their way. I even spent 3 hours scanning, sorting and tagging a bin of mail. I learned the process that they wanted me to learn to help me with my job. However, this second go round of working in a warehouse I learned so much more. Back in college, I was far to young, naive and entitled to learn the lessons that I learned this past week.

First, I was put to shame by the women I was working with. They were far faster and more efficient than I was at the task at hand.

Second, these women are hard workers! There was no chit-chat, no goofing off, nothing but hard work. They got to work immediately and didn’t quit unti lthe job was done.

Third, and most important in my opinion, I learned why many of these women were there working from 5pm to midnight. Yes, this is not an educated group of people, but this is a good job that pays well. But, the real reason they work this shift–it allows them to be home with their kids. These women are dedicated to creating a better life for their families and are willing to do what they must to make that happen.

I’m sure back in college when I worked in a plant/factory/warehouse many of the people working at Frito Lay were in the same situation. But, at the time I was too entitled to realize that. But now, I’m not the same person. I recongize and appreciate the work others do; work that I am grateful I don’t have to do. I am grateful for the doors that are opened to me because I had the opportunity to continue my education post high school. But, more than anything I’m grateful that I was given a second opportunity to learn the lessons that I should have learned back when I was a chip checker.

it’s been a while my friend…..

I swear I’m back. Back from my vacation; back from my illness; back from the blahs of not wanting to post. I promise you at least one real post this week (maybe even 2 if I’m feeling crazy!) In fact I’m working on a good one right now—all about my funniest summer job (and yes, it was a real, live, paying job!) I only hope its worth the wait…..

and……..i’m off

Not that I’ve been a very good blogger lately, but at least this next week I’ll have an excuse. I’m off for a week in Grenada. I’ll be completely unplugged–no phone, no computer, no email (unless I can convince my gf to let me borrow hers), no twitter, nothing! (And, I’m so looking forward to it!) I promise to come back with stories and maybe even some pictures (if I can remember to get my camera out!)

Miss me!

park city mini-trail series, 5k edition (& a giveaway)

Saturday was the first in a 3 race series for the Park City Mini-Trail Race. The entire series is dedicated to getting people off the roads and onto the trails. If you’ve never tried trail running, it’s definitely something you should. Utah has some of the best trails and the views are ridiculous!

Saturday was the 5K. This was a great event! Most of the trail races I’ve done in the past have been over 10 miles and on crazy courses! The Park City Mini-Trail Series is a completely different event. The course was fantastic–nothing too difficult to climb, but still challenging enough to make you feel like a “tough chick” when you cross the finish line. And, you couldn’t have asked for my perfect weather for a trail run.

The best part about this race: the race director is herself a trail runner. I’ve learned in all my years of racing that the best races are put on by athletes–they just know what people are looking for in a good race. The course was clearly marked. There were plenty of volunteers on the course to direct you if there were any questions. The pre-race emails were informative and helpful. And, there was no race shirt–ok, I know what some of you are thinking, No shirt?!? Well, as someone who has done a number of races over the years, I need another cheap, ill-fitting race shirt like I need a whole in my head. Instead of a shirt we got a very cool draw sting bag that’s perfect for the gym! And, I happen to know that the items at future races are just as great.

I’ve been very lucky to personally know the race director for the Park City Mini-Trial Series. In fact, Rhielle is the person who got me into trail running. It’s her passion for trail running that led her to organize this trial series. She was even on Good Things Utah to discuss trail running and it’s benefits (and, you’ll find out just how easy and fun trail running can be!)

In an effort to continue spreading the passion for trail running, I’m giving away one entry into the Park City Mini-Trail Series 10K on July 10th. Even if you’ve never done a trail run and have merely thought it might be fun, this is the perfect race to get started!

To enter, leave a comment telling my what motivates you to get out and run, walk, hike, bike, hit the gym, swim, do yoga or whatever it is you’re passionate about.

**Entries will be accepted until Friday, July 2nd at 8pm Mountain Time. The winner will be randomly selected and emailed with instructions on how to register for the race. Please be sure to include your email so I can contact you.

***This is not a sponsored giveaway. Yes, the Park City Mini-Trail Series race director is a friend of mine, but she is not sponsoring this giveaway.

i’m just disappointed

Recently I started a new job. This is a job that I absolutely love–I work with great people, for a great company and I’m finally back doing outside sales (something I truly love and am very good at) With this new job comes some travel. Because of the company that I work for, I am required to fly Southwest (not because of cost but because of a partnership they have) For years I’ve heard how amazing Southwest Airlines is–great customer service, always on-time, such a fun airline, and on and on. Well, my experience has been none of those things. In fact, its been the polar opposite.

Last week, I flew to Southern California. Because of reasons I don’t understand, I can’t get a direct flight from SLC to California. Not really a big deal. However, on this initial leg of my trip, both flights were delayed. Now, remember what everyone has been telling me? Well, that didn’t hold true. Not really a huge deal, but a little frustrating and I got to spend a good chunk of time in the Phoenix airport. With an over 2 hour layover, you’d think they would manage to get my baggage onto my next flight. Well, some how my “bags fly free” piece of checked luggage didn’t make it to the Orange County airport on my flight. And, I wasn’t the only person with this problem.

After deplaning, I headed to baggage claim to get my luggage. After about 15 minutes, you begin to realize that its all the same luggage you see ridding around the baggage carousel and as much as you keep believing your luggage will magically appear, it just doesn’t! So, me and about a dozen of my fellow passengers head over to the Southwest baggage office. You’d think that with that number of people involved in a “lost luggage” situation, they could at least offer an apology. Not even close! All I was told was that my luggage was still in Phoenix and they hoped it would show up on the next flight and I could come pick it up then. Well, on this particular trip, I wasn’t getting a rental car so no, I couldn’t come pick up my luggage in a few hours. The lady agreed to have it delivered to my hotel. She also promised a phone call when the next flight arrived, around 8:20, to let me know if my luggage had indeed made the trip and would soon be delivered to my hotel. Well, finally around 10pm when I hadn’t heard from Southwest, I called the baggage office. I was informed that yes, my luggage had arrived and would “be on the 10pm delivery.” When I inquired what that meant, the woman rudely informed me it meant my luggage would be delivered to me. Obviously, I knew it would be delivered but I didn’t understand the “10pm delivery.” As far I was concerned, that meant at 10pm my luggage would be arriving at the hotel. Again, not even close! The woman on the phone treated me as if I were an idiot and rudely explained to me what the “10pm delivery” actually meant. Apparently, Southwest luggage delivery is akin to the cable company–my luggage would arrive at my hotel sometime between 10pm and 2am.

Now, I will take some responsibility for my errors when packing. However, I’ve never had my luggage lost before (and I’ve traveled a fair amount). I made the mistake of packing my medications in my checked bag and now, at 10pm I was experiencing great anxiety. It was imperative that I have my luggage in the morning so I could take my medication. I realized at about 11pm there was nothing I could do but go to sleep and hope my luggage was at the hotel in the morning. Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep very well (remember that anxiety) and at 3am woke up, called the front desk and headed down to retrieve my luggage.

The next couple of days spent in California were great. I enjoyed working with some of my co-workers, dinner on the beach and a general a nice, uneventful business trip. I figured my return trip would not be anything like my journey to California and certainly, I would experience some of this greatness that is flying Southwest Airlines. The reality of my trip could not have been further from this thought.

My return trip was out of the Ontario airport. And again, my flight was delayed. I’m beginning to believe that an on time Southwest flights is like a unicorn–I’ve heard rumors of their existence, but it’s just a bunch of lies. Well, we did finally leave the Ontario airport headed to Las Vegas and this is where the trip becomes increasingly interesting; and by interesting I mean the most frustrating flying experience I’ve ever had!

Upon arriving in Las Vegas, I notice that my flight is delayed by 30 minutes. Not a big deal at this point, it’s just par for the course. However, at about 30 minute intervals, the flight is continually delayed by 30 minutes. So, my fight that was scheduled for a 6:55pm departure keeps getting later and later. And, come to find out, it’s not just my flight–EVERY Southwest flight departing out of Las Vegas is delayed (no other airline is experiencing this problem). Around 8pm, our gate agent gets on the intercom and informs us that our flight is still delayed and it has something to do with Air Traffic Control and the number of flights and some nonsense. Well, I’m not a genius, but I’m pretty sure that ATC deals with the issues of getting flights into and out of airports everyday. And, I’m also pretty certain that the number of flights on any given day is pretty consistent. So, this whole story is not making any sense. And, why is Southwest the only airline that is dealing with ATC issues?

Needless to say, the passengers waiting around the terminal are getting more and more frustrated with the passing time. We’re getting no answers and only a delayed flight time. We finally learn that our plane is coming from San Francisco and it hasn’t left the airport yet. Once it leaves, it will arrive in Las Vegas in about an hour at which point in time we can board and head to Salt Lake. In the meantime, there is an 8:40 flight to Salt Lake (which of course is also delayed). Well, not only does that flight leave before ours, it actually lands in Salt Lake City before our plane even takes-off. Yes, there were some very upset passengers in the terminal waiting for my flight.

When we finally did board our plane at around 10:45pm (almost 4 hours late), the entire crew on that plane was just unpleasant. I get that they were tired; however, so were all the passengers boarding that flight. And, we weren’t paid to be there. We were inconvenienced by the inability of Southwest Airlines to manage their flight schedule. We did finally arrive in Salt Lake at close to 1am. And, the silver lining, at least when I arrived at baggage claim, my luggage was there and not stranded in Las Vegas or some other random part of the country.

As I said, I’m mostly disappointed in Southwest Airlines (it does me no good to be mad at them). Here’s why I’m disappointed and what I think they could have done to better meet the needs of their clients:

  1. All of my experiences speaking with employees of Southwest Airlines were awful. I was treated like an idiot because I didn’t understand the Southwest lingo or way of doing things. First and foremost, I’m your client! Apologize for my inconvenience and then explain to me what you’re going to do–and explain it as if I’m unfamiliar with your procedures (because I am)
  2. Southwest is on Twitter. If you’re going to have a Twitter account as a business, you should actually use it. During the entire ordeal, I was tweeting about how awful things were, my disappointment with Southwest and the need for an explanation (and I wasn’t the only one). I did not once receive a response from Southwest via Twitter. I pulled their account, they do reply to some people on there, but it seems they only reply to the people who are happy with their service. Well, note to the powers that be–you should really be replying to the people who are frustrated with your service. People will tell 15 people about a bad experience and only 1 person about a good experience. 
  3. When a flight is delayed for 4 hours, do something for the passengers that are stranded! A sincere apology always goes a long way. But even a small gesture would have been nice–several passengers just wanted something from Southwest. Offer a free drink coupon for this or a future flight, meet us at the gate in Salt Lake with a tram so all the weary travelers don’t have to walk a mile to baggage claim, have your flight crew at least acknowledge us as we exit the plane (yes, they were standing at the exit, but even when addressed they didn’t respond to a single passenger that I saw!)

I really hope that this experience was completely removed from the normal situation at Southwest Airlines. Because, unfortunately, I will be flying Southwest in the future. And, if all my experiences are like this I just might lose it!

charity cake monday

Apparently, Monday is charity cake day. I learned this from the incomparable Jay! On Monday, I left one job to start a new one the next day. Of course, Jay and I had to spend my last day of freedom enjoying lunch on the Trio patio and delivering cakes for Charity Cake Monday!

Who’s Jay? you may be asking yourself. Well, I could go on for hours about the fun thing I attend with Jay–Oscar parties, HRC Galas, Utah Arts Council events and more. But, all you really need to know is this: American Express, eBay, Jay Shaffer!

Yes, he comes in third to these other large organizations and he’s okay with that!

But, back to Charity Cake Monday. You see, Jay loves Betty Crocker (yes, the maker of the all the mixes and tubs of frosting) and he loves a coupon. As such, he has hundreds of boxed cake mixes and tubs of frosting just waiting to be used. It wasn’t unusual to have a couple of cakes or a few dozen cupcakes sitting int he break room on Monday morning (this was back when I worked with Jay and got to see him everyday!) Now that Jay has been in Salt Lake for 18 months, he has his own consulting firm and is heavily involved in several charities (he’s a giver!) The cakes are no longer for the staff but are now designated for all his various charities (or the occasional to the doggie day care where LJ–the cutest three-legged chihuahua you’ve ever seen–spends his time). Hence, he’s adopted Charity Cake Monday as one of his new “causes”! And of course, Charity Cake day falls on Monday; Sunday is the perfect day to bake.

So, this past Monday, my last day of freedom before starting this new job (more to come about this later, I promise), I had the privilege of being a participant in Charity Cake Monday. After tying up a few loose ends, I met Jay for lunch (one of our favorite dining experiences–a gorgeous Monday on the Cafe Trio patio; we’re “ladies who lunch”!) Upon meeting him, I learned we had a few cakes to deliver before and after lunch. So, before heading into Trio we stopped at Planned Parenthood. For anyone who has never had the opportunity, witnessing Jay in action is a treat! We run into the building; a cake is dropped on to a desk; Jay says “tell them Jay Shaffer stopped by” and we’re out! No fan-fare; because of course everyone knows Jay Shaffer!

The next cake is delivered after lunch to the Utah Museum of Natural History. Again, we run in with a cake with the intention of running out quickly. I guess Jay is far more popular at the museum as we were there for a total of 3 minutes (as opposed to the 30 seconds at Planned Parenthood). The few people we saw at the museum were so thrilled and grateful to have received a cake! The funniest thing Jay said upon leaving the museum, “Why give $10 to the homeless shelter when for a $1.75 you can win the love of an entire museum!” (and, for those who don’t know Jay–he is the most kind, generous and giving person I know! so, if you’re offended by this statement, you obviously don’t know Jay!)

I can’t wait until I get to participate in Charity Cake Monday again. And, maybe someday I’ll start my own version of Charity Cake Monday (which will most definitely include cupcakes! and probably cookies) Now, I just need to find some charities that are deserving of my amazing baking. Any suggestions?

just a small town race

 *me nearing the finish line in my “cute shoes”

I recently completed the Teton Dam Half Marathon; an event that takes place in Rexburg, Idaho–the epitome of a small town. You may be asking yourself–why would I run a race in Rexburg? Simply put, Meggie & her new husband live there and invited me to stay with them and run the race.

This was my first visit to the little town of Rexburg, Idaho and I guess my sister wanted to show me a good time! Upon arriving, we decided to head tot he local farmer’s market. I’m not joking when I say there were about a dozen vendors. We were able to get a scone (the size of Texas! with raspberry butter & honey butter, delish!!) and some corn on the cob (also pretty amazing) to enjoy while we perused the offerings (about 12 times before we finished eating our treats) We decided to get some rhubarb and a watermelon. The rhubarb was no big deal to get home. However, we should have done a bit more planning if we were going to get a watermelon. Did I mention we rode bikes to the farmer’s market? And, did I mention we had no means by which to carry a watermelon home? (The wise thing would have been to bring a backpack, but we definitely weren’t wise that afternoon) Let’s just say, Rexburg was very entertained watching us get that watermelon home (and I have the bruised arm to prove it!)

Later that evening, we headed to packet pick-up and the pre-race potato dinner (hello, this is Idaho! of course it was potatoes!) Packet pick-up was relatively fast and easy. They didn’t even check photo ID–I’m guessing they knew 90% of the registrants. Then on to our potato dinner. The dinner was a bit disappointing—so few toppings for my potato! At least there was lots of cheese, but no bacon! No chives! Luckily, there were some delicious brownies (the prefect pre-race carbohydrate!) There was also a “pre-race briefing” of which I couldn’t hear a word! Who uses a megaphone in a school cafeteria?!? My expectations for the next days race were dramatically lowered.

Race morning! The race started at 7:30am. Silly me thought I should be there around 7am. And so, my brother-in-law dutifully dropped me off at Smith Park at 7am; I was about 25 minutes too early! Being used to much larger races and races where I needed to catch a bus or train to the start, I significantly over-estimated my arrival time. And, I apparently didn’t pay attention to the fact that only 400 people were allowed to run the half marathon. Before starting, the race director did a great job of laying out the course, markings, signs, mile markers, volunteers, etc. to help us all get through the race. And then we were off!

Here are the race highlights:

  1. wind
  2. wind
  3. TONS of volunteers (I heard there was 1 volunteer to every 4 racers–an unheard of number; must be the “Dam Volunteer” shirt they all receive)
  4. wind
  5. being caught by the kid (later learned he was 22) I was using to draft and block the wind
  6. said kid thinking I thought he smelled good being the reason I was sticking so close to him
  7. more wind
  8. hills from mile 4 to mile 9+
  9. learning that all Rexburg has is the university (BYU-Idaho) and WalMart
  10. the fact that having a WalMart is something to brag about
  11. did I mention the wind? because it was relentless
  12. hearing 2 girls discuss my “cute shoes” after running through an aid station
  13. having a girl tell me, “I love your shoes, they’re so cute!” at the next aid station
  14. seeing my sister & brother-in-law at the finish line
  15. beating that 22 year old kid after telling him at mile 6 “it’s going to be embarrassing for you when you get beat by an almost 40 year old woman!”

All in all the Teton Dam Half Marathon was a great race. After my lowered expectation from the previous night, I was blown away at how well this race was organized! I absolutely loved the race in spite of the wind and all the hills. And, it was a great weekend with family.

**And, if you’re looking for a fun race, don’t forget there is an awesome 5k trail run in Park City on June 26th. Use the promo code: blog5k and you’ll get 50% off your race entry!