Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Flying Pig 5k 2009

Yesterday was one of the best days of 2009 for me. The 2008 Flying Pig 5k was the first event I ever entered and it changed my life forever. This year, I have been working to increase my walking speed and even add in some running. Have you seen my legs? Let's just say, they are pretty short so to cover the distance, I've got to really move them. In 2008 I finished the 3.2 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes. I was thrilled just to have finished. Yesterday, as I crossed the "Finish Swine" the clock read just over 58 minutes. My goal was to do it in under an hour since my two previous 5k times had been an 1 hr. 2 minutes. What a day!

I was thankful to have my training buddy/coach, Maura with me the whole way. She pushed me to run and helped me keep my walking pace fast. I must say that I surprised myself with my ability to run as far and as fast as I did--keep in mind the short legs and add to it about 60 more pounds than I would like to be carrying next year. This has been an amazing year for me. I have experienced so much personal growth and have found out some really neat things about myself along the way.

There were so many great things about yesterday. The first thing was that we had ten people representing Pink Princess Racing in this years Flying Pig. Maura, her daughter Mikayla and her sister-in-law, Rhonda, all ran the 10k event. Eric called them "The Three Ten-ers." My sister, Margaret and my step-sister, Laura walked the 5k with me and Maura. My niece, Cortney, Maura's daughters, Mikayla and Jessica and Maura's son, Tanner along with his friend, Joe, joined Rhonda in running the 5k. We all met or exceeded our personal goals for the day.

For several weeks I have been visualizing myself doing well in the race and beating my previous times. That morning I had prayed for extra angels to help me on my walk. One of the highlights of my walk came about the 1.5 mile mark. I was walking as fast as I could go and I looked down on the ground. There right in front of me was a leaf from a ginko tree. I looked up and there on the side of the road was a ginko tree just full of beautiful green fan-shaped leaves. I knew this was an answer to my prayer for angels to assist me. Years ago, I worked with a special friend, Debbie Brown, who is an angel in my life. She loves the outdoors and especially waking outdoors. She would frequently go for walks during her lunch break. In the spring she would bring me ginko leaves. "They are a symbol of good luck." she told me. I knew at that moment that my dear angel friend, Debbie was with me. This gave me an extra push to move on and finish what I had started.

Seeing Eric on the sidelines near the "Finish Swine" was another wonderful moment. Hearing him cheer me on, gave me the extra boost to run as I finished the race. His love and support has helped me as I have traveled this journey. I am thankful that I can count on him to help me and I look forward to being there for him on his first 5k.

After the race, we headed over to my Dad's house for our first annual post-race Pig Out. Bobbye had prepared homemade spaghetti sauce and we enjoyed a wonderful spaghetti dinner, complete with salad, garlic bread and ice cream for dessert. It was an awesome way to end the festivities of the day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Have You Missed Me???

Today is a happy day for Eric...when he saw that I was sitting at the computer trying to log into my blog (and having a rough time doing so) he asked, "Are you going to post? Is the drought over? Has the silence been broken?" Well, I can't say that the silence will be all over. My time these days is limited and I confess that after sitting in front of a computer all day at work, I am not exactly interested in sitting in front of one when I get home.
So....Have you missed me? I won't bore you with all the details of my life since my last post, which was before Christmas. (A fact that Eric tossed out to me last week in a feeble attempt to get me back into blogging) I will say that I have been concentrating my efforts on my walking/running goals. I am proud to say that after the holidays, I really got down to business. Even though it was cold outside, I was walking the miles on the inside. In February, I set a goal to walk 100 miles. I didn't quite make it, but with some crunching the last week of the month I did manage to eek out 90 miles.
Of course the weight loss is going slow, but I feel better. In looking at my calendars from last year, I don't know what I weighed this time last year...(I was too frustrated to even step on the scale--another story for later). I am proud to say that I am down 26 pounds from my weight in August of last year, which is when I started weighing myself again. To me that is huge, though some days I wish it were more. Then I tell myself..."Sylvia, you aren't gaining and this is a good thing."
I am thankful for the spring. The past two weeks have been amazing. I have been able to get to the park and walk outside. I have even been running--slowly--but running. Maura has been such a good trainer--she is tough, but kind--forceful, in a nice way--She makes me want to do better and as any good trainer, she pushes me to do things I think I can't. The picture above is from one of our first times running. It felt great!
As we were at the park today, I was nursing a blister on my toe, so we didn't run until the end of our 2.5 mile walk. She made me run farther than I thought I could. As I was nearing our finish line she commented on how great I will feel when I am 20 pounds lighter. Now there is a mental picture!
I am thankful for her. I am thankful that we have set our goals to do this. The Flying Pig is our first event this year. I am walking/running the 5k. My long range goal is to be able to walk/run the Thanksgiving Day 10k. I can totally do it. What a blessing it is to have a healthy, strong body! I am thankful to Heavenly Father everyday for my body. Growing up as a fat kid, I never thought I would feel that way or do anything like this. Heavenly Father really will make our weaknesses into strengths if we will humble ourselves. I know this to be true--but that is a story for another post. Thanks for reading...I'll try to be better about posting because I know you care.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

It has been 9 years since my mother passed away and this Christmas has been the most difficult that I remember in all that time. I have missed her so often during the past several months and I am not sure exactly why. I have really struggled to have the holiday spirit, however this past week I had some experiences that have made it a little easier to open my heart.
The first happened a few days ago. I was walking out of the office after a really crazy day at work. I just wanted to get to the car and go home. I passed a woman and a little girl who appeared to be about 4 years old. The little girl was singing at the top of her lungs,
“Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town!”
The next experience happened today in Sacrament Meeting. There was a special musical number performed by the Matthew and Zachary Zalar along with their mother. It was a medley of Christmas hymns and Matthew played the violin. I wasn’t prepared for the feelings that rushed into my heart. I thought of my mother and how when I was younger, we would do the same kind of things. Both Bobbye and I cried and cried.
After church, as I was putting the nursery toys away, I saw Savanna Prince walking down the hall. She had candy from the Bishop’s office in her hand as she greeted me with a huge smile. I hugged her and asked her if she was excited for Christmas. She said that she was and she was looking forward to getting presents. I agreed with her that it was fun to get presents at Christmas. As she followed me into the nursery classroom, she said, “Sylvia, Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and WE get the presents!”
It took me a few minutes to fully comprehend what she said. As I did the tears began to flow once again. I am thankful for the wisdom of a 5 year old. This Christmas I hope each and every one of you remember how blessed you are because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ gave US all the presents. May your hearts truly rejoice during this wonderful holiday season.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged...Games I don't play well...

Maura, http://www.pamperedprincessmaura.blogspot/, tagged me. I will confess right now that I don't play games like this very well. I may be amending the rules somewhat because there are just some games I stink at and this is one of them. My understanding of this game is that I must

a) link to the person that tagged me.

b)mention the rules of the game

c)tell six quirks about myself

d)tag six other people

e)comment on their blogs to let them know they have been tagged

I am hoping so far that I have accomplished the first two rules. So on to the quirks...

1. I love to do dishes. A clean kitchen makes me so happy. Cooking the meal is fine and I enjoy that too, but cleaning up the kitchen and making things organized and sparkling just really satisfies me. The rest of the house can be in total chaos, but if the kitchen is clean and organized, then I am a happy camper. I like to cook, but refuse to do so in a dirty kitchen. So in our house, that means, Eric does most of the cooking! About once a month, I get really frustrated and attack it with all my might. That cleaning lasts for a week or so and then it is trashed again. Since returning to work full time 8 years ago, I have had to learn the art of selective neglect. I selectively neglect this dirty kitchen because I have more important things that need to be done in my limited time. This habit has saved my marriage since I am married to "Messy Marvin".

2. I hate to leave home. I know this may sound odd, but I could stay home for days on end. Those of you who have been to my house, know that I have everything anyone could ever want or need so I wouldn't have to go out for a long time! I have noticed that this is an interesting paradox, because all my life, I have had to be gone from home. My secret desire is to be locked in my home for a month...oh, the things I could get done!

I have had tremendous opportunities to travel and each time I have a trip coming up, I get really nervous. I just hate to leave. This doesn't stop me from going and having a great time, but I really enjoy coming home.

3. I have really weird sleeping patterns. When I was younger, I considered myself a "night person". I functioned the best between 10pm and 2am. This didn't work well while I was in school. After I got married, I had a few years when I could still stay up late and sleep in. When I started back to work full time, I had to learn to go to bed early and get up early. Usually I am asleep before 10pm and I get up around 5am. Sometimes, I wake up even earlier. This happens frequently on the weekends. I have found that I get a lot done early on Saturday morning because everyone else is asleep.

4. I have a fear of drowning. Not so intense that it keeps me out of or away from water. In fact I love the water. It is just every now and then when I am driving across a bridge, I think about the car plummeting into the water and what I would do. Part of me thinks I would try to escape and then another part of me thinks I would just let go and surrender myself to the deep. I hope I never have to actually face that fear. When I was a little girl, we lived in eastern Pennsylvania and we would have to drive to one of my parent's friends houses a lot. She was an elderly lady named Sister Jonnsen. The road to get there was narrow and winding. On one side was a river. I would be scared every time we drove on the side of the road closest to the river especially in winter when the roads were covered with ice and snow.

5. I have a two new loves...Cruising and Florida. After having such a great time on my recent vacation, I have spent hours dreaming and planning about a return trip. I am totally in love with Florida. Now I am smart enough to know that I don't want to go there in the summer, nor do I really want to live there--way too hot! But just like Utah, a visit now and then is perfect.

6. I have two things that I have never done, but would like to do before I die. I have never been to Disneyworld (or Disneyland for that matter). I would like to go there just once. Not to ride the rides but just to experience the atmosphere of "The Happiest Place on Earth". Of course it would be fun to sleep overnight in the Princess castle! The other thing I have never done, but would love to do is to attend the Tucson Gem Show which is held every year in February. It is one of the premiere gem trade shows in the world. It is strictly for business owners so I will have to either know someone or have my own business. About ten years ago, Eric's mother got to go to the show with her Sister in Law who owns a quilt shop in Tucson. She bought me a really neat sterling silver and opal ring. She told me that there is so much to see you can't even see it all. I just want to see all the gems.

Ok. so here is where I don't play the game too well. I am going to "freeze" on tagging anyone else. Number one, I don't know how to link people. Number two, I am sure that it is so late in the game that everyone I know has already been tagged. So thanks for reading my quirks. Feel free to comment and know that you are all safe...there'll be no tags from me!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Extreme Gardner Girls Conference

As many of you know, I just returned from attending the Extreme Gardner Girls Conferece. I am hoping that this will become an annual event. Last Fall my sister, Debra decided that as sisters we needed to take a vacation together. She arranged for us to take a cruise to the Caribbean and told us to get our passports and make arrangements to get to Florida. This conference was a year in the making and well worth all the sacrifices made to attend. Debra wanted this trip to allow us to bond together in a special way. I was thankful for the chance to spend more time with Laura because she is our newest sister and though I took care of her when she was three, I didn't really know her as a grown up.
Traveling with Bobbye is always an adventure. For those of you who have not had the experience, let me just say that if you like to melt into the background, don't travel with Bobbye. Everyone knows who you are when you are with her. This trip was no exception. Margaret, Bobbye and I flew down to Florida on Saturday Oct. 25th. We were picked up from the airport by the hotel shuttle. The driver immediately played a joke on us by telling us it was his first day driving and he wasn't sure how to get back to the hotel. We found out later that Debra (who was the first to arrive) had arranged for him to play a trick on Bobbye when he picked us up. Soon we were joined by Martha, Mary and Laura who were flying in from Salt Lake. Then the laughter began...
Sunday morning we attended Sacrament Meeting at a local ward. The ward choir director was sitting in the pew in front of us. When she heard us sing, she asked if we were moving into the ward. Sorry, just visiting! That afternoon, we drove down by the beach and ate lunch at this cafe which had booths that were on gliders. It was fun to feel the breeze and listen to the ocean as we ate lunch.
Monday morning we took the shuttle to Port Everglades where we checked in and boarded our cruise ship. There were lots of people there, but it was organized really well and soon we were greeted by Royal Caribbean staff directing us to the lunch buffet on the pool deck. Our staterooms were not ready yet so we went up there and enjoyed a wonderful lunch. As we sat at our table eating, laughing and visiting, I marvelled at the fact that I was actually on a cruise ship for the first time ever!
Before too long, we were leaving the port and our cruise was underway. Tuesday morning we were in Key West. It was very windy and a little chilly however, I got some really great pictures from the top deck of the ship.
Wednesday we were in Cozumel, Mexico where we booked a shore excursion called the Deluxe beach break. They took us to this resort and we got to sit on the beach for a few hours. It was partly cloudy there so the temperature was perfect.

Thursday we were in Belize City, Belize. We took an excursion to the Mayan ruins. It was an hour by bus and then another hour and a half by boat up the Belize River. The site where the temples were was really neat, but it was definately in the jungle. There was a lot of mud, rocky terrain and bugs.
Friday was Halloween and we were cruising all day. It was fun to just hang out on the ship and visit. There were lots of activities going on and we spent the day enjoying each other's company.All too soon, we were back in Ft. Lauderdale. We spent Saturday together and we all headed for home on Sunday morning. I was so thankful to Debra for having the inspiration to plan and organize such a wonderful outing. I am thankful for my sisters and for the opportunity of spending time with them in such a unique setting. After the holidays we are going to plan our next conference. I am sure it will be another wonderful event. I also want to give a special thanks to Bobbye. Many of you knew my mother and what a special woman she was. She always made us feel important and loved. I am so thankful for Bobbye because she has the same attitude toward us. I am thankful that she loves me so much. She was a major contributor in making the Extreme Gardner Girls Conference a success.

I learned many things from attending this conference. First of all: The Gardner Girls Rock! We are all awesome, talented, funny, smart and beautiful women. Second: It is important to take time to do things with the ones you love regardless of the sacrifices you have to make. Third: Cruising is a great way to vacation. I have never felt so pampered in all my life. I am looking forward to taking Eric on a cruise someday.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The other day I took a few minutes to read some blogs. As I was reading "Through Rose-colored Glasses" I realized that it had been a really long time since I had posted. The main reason for this is because I have been focusing on my fitness goals and also some other personal goals. Sorry for my long absence...

Wednesday as I was doing my in home walking with Leslie Sansone (4 fast miles) I realized for the first time in my life, I actually set a goal in January to lose weight and have accomplished this goal. It has been a long and frustrating path. I have struggled with health issues, stress from work and periods where I just lacked commitment. Despite these and other challenges, I have managed to drop more than 20 pounds since January. Of course, my hope at the beginning of the year was to lose more than this, but the fact that I have actually accomplished part of my goal is really significant.

It was interesting for me to note that the majority of my weight loss happened after I returned home from vacation in July. I had committed to walking the Black Squirrel 5k with Maura and I knew that I needed to get conditioned for this. August was a great month. September didn't start out so wonderful because I had a sinus infection. The week leading up to the Black Squirrel was really bad because I had to work a lot of overtime due to the wind storm. When the 27th of September dawned, I was pretty exhausted.

Regardless of this fatigue, I had committed to the event and I was going to do it. I admit that I was not adequately prepared and by the time I hit heartbreak hill, which was early in the course, I was seriously questioning my sanity. I was thankful for two angels (Rhonda and Stephanie), who walked with me and helped me finish. It was hard. My pace was slow (about 21 minutes per mile). I was the last person to cross the finish line, but I finished and was proud of my accomplishment.

The best part of the event was when I was coming down the last big hill and I saw Maura, Mikayla and my niece, Cortney coming up the hill to greet me. They came to find me and walk me in. I had no idea how demanding this course would be and I was totally unprepared. As I pondered the event later that day, I realized that only the first few hundred feet and the last few hundred feet were flat. Everything else was either up or down hill. What a challenge. I told Maura, next year, we are training on those hills.

On the way home from this event, we drove through Winton Woods and discussed the possibility of doing the Run for the Nuns 5k which was the following Saturday. I was not sure I wanted to do any hills again so soon. Maura called the sponsors and found out that the course had been changed so we decided to go for it. I will save this experience for a future blog. I will say that doing the Run for the Nuns was the most fun I have had since I started this journey earlier this year.

For the past two weeks I have been very committed to my walking/jogging. I am working to build up my stamina for my upcoming cruise. The other day, Eric wanted to inspire me so he printed out my finish line pictures for all three 5k walks I have done. To my surprise, I could really see the difference in my body. I am thankful for the changes and I am looking forward to even more as I continue working toward reaching my fitness goals.

So, I am still a slow walker, but my pace is getting faster. I still want to complete the 10k at the Flying Pig in May. In January when I sat down and set my goals for this year, I never imagined where they would take me...but I am totally loving it!
This is me finishing the Flying Pig 5k on May 3rd.
This is me finishing the Black Squirrel on Sept. 27th. My nephew, Heston is cheering me on as I cross the finish line.
This is just before I crossed the finish line at the Run for the Nuns on Oct. 4th. I am celebrating beating my time from the previous week by almost 4 minutes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Didn't Know...

I realized a couple of weeks ago that it had been over a month since I had posted anything new. Although I felt guilty, my busy schedule did not permit me to remedy the situation until today. Yesterday as I was watching QVC--one of my favorite things to do--I heard a new term that I thought was blogworthy. The hostess was talking about how the recent economic challenges have made it more expensive for people to take traditional vacations. The consequence of this was that many were opting to stay home this summer and participate in recreational activities either at home or closer to home. She called this a "STAYCATION"!

Now, I don't know about you, but this concept is not new to me...I can remember as a child that our family took several staycations. In fact, most of the 21 years that Eric and I have been together, we have taken a staycation during the summer. Last year during our staycation we put the laminant floor in our computer room. It was both physically and mentally taxing for me and when it came time to return to work, I felt like I needed another week to recover. This was an especially good staycation because it came the closest to simulating how I feel when I have to return to work after a traditional vacation.

What a surprise for me to find out that all these years, I was just ahead of my time--and so were my parents! I'm guessing that there are plenty of you out there who were also ahead of your time--now we can rest easy because we know that we were veteren staycationers before it was chic!

Now of course, the best part of this new discovery would be if I could actually participate with "the crowd" in my own staycation this year. Truth be told, I would love to do this because I really enjoy being at home with Eric, my four kitties and my sweet doggie. Alas, I am sorry to say that once again, I am not going to be in vogue. I have already purchased tickets for TWO vacations this year! Oh, well.