Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bolder Boulder

The race that offers bacon at mile two and cupcakes at mile four! And I ate them both!
I still hate every single step I take on the treadmill, but I can't seem to find a better way to burn calories and strengthen muscle tone.  So I continue to trudge my way through a few miles three times a week on the treadmill.  Knowing that I had been running (and doing some running himself) Diamond suggested that we run the Bolder Boulder this year.  It's a 10K with a reputation of being one of the most fun races in the US.  If you run and you live in Colorado, ya kinda have to run the Bolder Boulder- at least once. 
 I was hesitant.  I was running three miles regularly, but six?  That seemed pretty daunting.  Plus I run in the gym, not outside.  I started trying to lengthen my runs at the gym adding five minutes, then another five minutes, etc.  I eventually did get up to running six miles (although I was still stopping to walk just a little bit).  I tried running outside and couldn't seem to pace myself at all, so I gave up with outdoor running and went back to the treadmill.  I was really nervous about how I would do a 10K.
 The first two miles were great - I felt good and since I was running with Diamond, he was able to keep me at a decent pace.  But then we hit the first hill, I slowed to a walk and realized that I would probably not have the best time.  I told Diamond to go ahead, he took the hill, did great - met his goal and had a strong finish.  Me?  At that hill I decided I was here to have fun, not get a good time. 

I decided I would do every fun thing available along the course.  I ate bacon, watermelon, cotton candy, Doritos, and a cupcake - although really only a bite of each.  I opted to stop for the guy holding a "Free Hugs" sign and zigzagged along the road hitting each and every sprinkler.  (Although I decided against the Slip N Slide - the line was really long). 

To be honest I was disappointed by my performance.  I had run six miles in sixty minutes at the gym a few times and was hoping to get the race done in close to an hour.  I came in at 1:11 - much slower than I wanted.  I also walked a ton more than I had been doing at the gym.  Oh well.  I finished - and I do feel like I took full advantage of everything that Bolder Boulder has to offer.  Diamond's already talking about doing it again next year.  I'm thinking, "Have fun Babe."

Steamboat Springs

There have been a handful of students from my time teaching high school that I have stayed in touch with.  (Facebook has been particularly helpful in making that happen!)  Every so often I'll hear from one of my old students and I've always loved that.  Earlier this summer I got a message on Facebook from Chris, someone I had taught back before BB#1 was even born.  She messaged me because she was investigating the church and wanted to talk to me about it all. 

We had some great phone conversation and even met for dinner when she and her husband came to town.  It was good for me to be able to articulate why the gospel means so very much to me and why I believe that following the path outlined by the church leads to true happiness.  A little later she told me she had decided to get baptized and asked if I would speak at her baptism.  SO great! 

We decided to go with the whole family up to Steamboat (where she lives) and make a long weekend of it. 

We spend some good time with Chris and her family on Sunday (at her friends gorgeous restored barn/home) then on Monday we hiked Fish Creek Falls. 

It was a longer, steep hike, but it was stunning the entire way - lots of little waterfalls along the way and big waterfalls at both the beginning and end of the hike. 
A great weekend in the Colorado mountains!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Broken Angels

We survived another season of baseball.  Phew!  We stayed in the same league as last year, opting to drive a half-hour each way to practice (pre-season 4+/week) and games (2-3/week) in exchange for avoiding Sunday games and tournaments.
Last year Big Boy #2 was the starting pitcher.  By the end of the season he was batting fourth or fifth in the order and had a fabulous experience.

This year, not so much.  His coach did let him pitch - some.  Try as hard as we could, there wasn't any logic to whether or not the coach would let him pitch.  In one game the coach had him start an inning and after BB#2 struck out the first two players up to bat the coach pulled him.  What?!?  That was all he pitched that game.  Sometimes the coach would promise to let him pitch at practice, but then wouldn't put him in during the game.  BB#2 spent way too much time in right field and hardly ever played first base (which he played when he wasn't pitching last year).  It was frustrating and discouraging.
When BB#2 made a fantastic diving catch the coach heaped all the praise on the kid BB#2 threw the ball to and then complained that BB#2 wasn't giving 100%.  It seemed there was no way to earn the praise of the coach.  As a parent I was annoyed when he called a last minute practice on Memorial Day that lasted over two and a half hours (seriously!) and by the end of the season BB#2 was talking about quitting baseball all together. 
Like most kids, BB#2 blossoms under praise and tends to wilt under criticism.  Fortunately, he didn't get worse this season, but he didn't get better either. We'll try another coach next year and hopefully it will be a better experience. 
It seems kids sports are nearly impossible to get just right.  At least we haven't managed to figure it out.  Too easy, too competitive?  A coach that's too hard and/or doesn't build skills? Avoiding Sunday games and the volume of time to get to long practices and even longer games?  Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it.  Especially after a season like this. 
But when he has a great game and is so proud of himself for cracking a double or striking out a batter, well, I guess sign me up for one more year...