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2nd Half of March-The Effects of the Coronavirus

Things are getting more serious with the spread of the coronavirus around the World. We have been praying for everyone to be able to get through this. We are doing what we can to keep our social- well, let’s say physical distancing. It has been hard but it has also been so good for us to spend quality time with each other as a family.

The rest of March went a little slower than the 1st couple of weeks in March. But we are still doing our school work, lunch, PE, finish schoolwork and an activity every day. The girls really look forward to the afternoon activities. We each have a day throughout the week where we get to choose the activity of our choice.

Monday 23rd: My day to choose the activity: Obstacle Course (we actually added words on to the video we made of our obstacle course to use it for a young women church video).

We did our PE time at 10 this morning. It was a nice morning so I had the girls ride their bikes alongside my 8-mile run. They made me push a little harder during this supposedly easy run! My youngest made a little fort for her school work time.

Tuesday 24th: My oldest chose the activity: Ride in the back of the truck and then Corom let the 3 older ones “drive” a little straight away in a parking lot. They thought that was the coolest thing.

I started off with an 8-mile run… then helped the girls with homework. My youngest broke down today. She was frustrated with the math and then her reading. It was hard for me to help her as well. Sometimes I feel like I am failing as a mom and “teacher”. I felt bad because she is missing school and her friends.

For PE we went to the track and the girls ran laps, bleachers and jump roped.

Wednesday 25th: My 2nd was in charge: A bathroom challenge-Who could stay in the longest and completing the different challenges while in the bathroom. It started off with 4 eggs hidden around the bathroom. The person who was not able to find one was out. That was me. The 2nd challenge was to use the egg you found and smash it on the top of your head. The next challenge, to smear the egg all into your hair. Finally, letting our dogs into the bathroom to hang out. Yep… pretty much everyone was out. Our dogs are outside dogs, so having 2 160lb & 210lb dogs in a small space didn’t go over too well. Pretty funny to watch.

I had a speed workout today. I went out early so I could make it back in time to help the girls get school started. After school work, we went to the indoor facility to play a game of football and run for a little while. It was too cold to do PE outside.

Thursday 26th: My 3rd was in charge of the activity tonight: A cooking contest with cake mixes. We had to get into 2 teams. She had a few different bowls for each step we had to take in cooking. The 1st bowl had different size mixing bowls to work with. The next bowl had a few different mixing utensils (a knife was one of the options… neither of the groups chose that one). Then we had to pick what flavor of cake mix we were able to use. Then, of course, the next bowl was items to put into the cake batter. One group picked peaches and chocolate chips. The other group picked Oreos and pears. Corom and I were the judges. My oldest and youngest made the best-looking cake and our 2 middle daughters, made the better tasting cake (strawberry flavor with peaches and chocolate chips).

I went out early for my 8-mile run, came home and got ready. While the girls were working on their school work, I ran to the Clarion to help make lunches for the teachers and hospital workers… we then went to the indoor facility again to play a game of soccer when I got back. It was cold and rainy today. This weather makes it so hard!

Friday 27th: My youngest chose the activity: We all had to walk the plank, then we went hot tubing and had s’mores. Our friend, Jeff, has a hot tub so we were able to take the girls there for a little while.

I went out for an easy 8 miles then we had a dentist appointment for my 3rd daughter. They are only taking emergency cases and of course, we fell into that category. Shortly after we came home, a big fight broke out between my girls. So I yelled at them, had them put their shoes on and take 3 laps around the Jr. High. 😂 That did the trick. My 2nd daughter and I went to the Clarion to help with meals they were making for the community. She stayed on top of dishes while I helped package the meals.

Saturday 28th: Corom’s choice of an activity tonight: We went to the school for a mini workout and then he took us through a meditation round. I was actually pretty impressed that our girls were able to sit through the 15 min meditation. It was so peaceful.

I went out for 15 mile run with a 6 mile tempo in that 15. I felt good today. The girls helped with organizing the cupboards and then worked on crafts today.

Sunday 29: Today was an amazing Fast Sunday. We began our fast last night and continued into today until the mid-afternoon. My girls have only fasted for breakfast but decided they wanted to break their fast when Corom and I did.  Our Prophet, President Nelson, asked that members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints around the World and all others of different faiths to hold a special fast for everything that is going on with the Coronavirus- Covid-19. To fast for emotional, physical, mental and financial needs for all those around the World. It was an amazing experience and neat to know that so many others all over would be doing the same thing. I felt at peace and I know that things will be OK. The girls worked on art projects today and we just lounged around the rest of the day.

Monday 30: My turn for the activity: I decided to do tin-foil dinners. We had fun making them, cooking it, then eating outside. A little too cold outside for my liking but I just stayed near the fire.

I ran an easy 8 miles with my friend Kim. It was nice to meet up with her. The girls and I went to the track today for PE time and the girls did do a little hurdle drill. It only lasted about 10 min. They were done… or in other words, bored. So they just goofed off the next 45 min before we went home.

I staged this running photo… all my distance runners are on a GroupMe chat. Every day, they post a picture of their workout, etc so I decided to send in a picture as well.

Tuesday 31: My oldest chose to go to Soda Retreat and then do some star gazing for her activity. Well, we did go to Soda Retreat but it was too cloudy to see the stars. Another night.

I ran an easy 8 with Beth and Amber then went home to start our new norm. My kids were tired of the routine today… a few more breakdowns during school work and not as much cooperation. I found my oldest hiding in the tire because she did not want to run. Pretty clever. The 2 middle girls were fighting but today, I didn’t care as much either. We didn’t stay as long. I let them walk home to finish up being outside (just to be away from home for a little longer). I saw a couple of my distance runners… oh I miss them.

Now that this day is over… on to April and getting ready for April Fools!! 😂

My running for the past 2 weeks:

 

Half Of March-The Effects of Coronavirus

I just have to start off by saying… my kids have fought so much this month!! Especially when we all went to “Home Schooling” (social distancing). Oh my gosh!! And then this picture says it all as well:

This little running segment was before everything started to change:

Running: Speed workouts and long runs are getting more intense. It was nice to have a month of easy runs. On Saturday March 7th, I was able to meet up with a few of my running friends. It was so great.

I was not supposed to do a 20-mile run but the peer pressure was real. 😂 I totally ditched out on my workout to hang with these ladies. Lots of laughs, running hard, obstacles (fences- climbing them and going through them), and run in with animals (donkey, coyote, pheasants, and scary dogs.)

And then the Coronavirus stopped all the training (for my race in Greece) and for many others. Races around the World have been canceled… reality has set in and we realized this is a lot more serious than when it first came out.

My coach has backed us all off on our running and told us just to run easy and put miles in. This started on March 16th. Running has kept me sane through all of this. (Top left, bottom left, then right- workout in order of weeks. March 1st-22nd.)

Track:

The season has started off great! We had about 150 kids sign up this season. I am over the 400, 800, mile and 2 milers (boys and girls). It has been a little tricky giving each group their individual workouts and times, but we have great captains that have helped lead their individual groups. We have been going for about 3 weeks and then got the notice that school was canceled for 2 weeks (maybe more) to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Along with no school, there are no sports or other activities. Everything is shutting down. I had many phone calls/texts from the kids on the team wondering about workouts and what they needed to do on their own. As coaches (there’s 8 of us), we posted 2 weeks’ worth of workouts on our Instagram site so the kids can keep going.

I’ve been down to the HS a few times (with my own kids to get them out) and have seen a number of kids practicing on their own. It’s pretty impressive to see. Man I miss it!!

March Friday the 13th: We were told that schools were going to be shut down for 2 weeks. I think it’s going to be longer. I also realized that I, too, will be out of work. We are fortunate/blessed that Corom will still be working at the school (as the social worker). He is still going to meet with kids he sees and probably others with all the changes.

The 15th: All of church was canceled… well going to church was. We have a wonderful Prophet here on earth… President Neilson. He has guided us and taught us months earlier how to have a better “home based” church. To make sure we are teaching it in our homes and not just learning about the gospel on Sundays only. It has been great. What better timing then now to put what we have been taught into action. This 1st Sunday was wonderful! I missed church and it was weird not going, but we had a wonderful experience at home. We were able to take the sacrament in our home with a few others that needed/wanted it. I’m grateful to have the Priesthood in my home.

We went to the Clarion and ate dinner there, then Corom & I and the girls went for a nice walk. Beautiful day outside.

16th: 1st day of “Home School” 😬😭. I am not the homeschooling type, so here we go. I did have to go to work (at the Clarion) for a little while today. All of the people are postponing their weddings/events but there were some things we had to finish/clean up. I gave the girls a list/schedule of what they had to do while I was gone.

I was impressed that they did their chores, school work, and piano/chelo practicing. When I got home, I took the girls to the track to have them run around… get energy out. That is my youngest running past a few of the HS athletes.

There I saw a good amount of HS track kids doing their workouts. We then had Family Night. It was nice.

17th: St. Patrick’s Day

Well… my kids got up early and put their green on. Well… so did Corom and I. 😂

I went out for my run as the girls started their rotation with reading, practicing and school computer stuff. I came back and helped them finish up. We went outside and I had the girls help me shovel the big pile of rocks into our backyard. Yeah… they fought a lot out there!! Especially over who got to dump the barrel. I, seriously don’t know what to do. But they worked hard for a little over an hour.

We went for a bike ride, then came back and played four-square. I schooled them all! Ok… I got out every time.

We had our St. Patrick’s dinner!

Corom sent out a message to everyone in the school that he will be available if anyone needs to talk or see him for any reason. He sure loves working for the youth and kids. Hard and confusing times for many of them. He did get a good amount of response.

My youngest did find this in our backyard today of all days!

18th: I slept in until 6:45 this morning. I rolled out of bed and slowly got ready for my run. Just before I was going to head out… we had an EARTHQUAKE (at 7:09 a.m.). It was in the Salt lake area at a 5.7 but we felt it pretty good here. It was strong enough that it woke my kids and Corom up. Lot’s of strange things this past month. I did get a 10 mile run in, though. It felt good today and it was a huge bonus with the rain. We headed to the schools at our designated time to pick up packets and chrome books for the girls to share. This is going to be hard for me to figure out all of the girls class assignments and to make sure they are getting it done. They spent the rest of the afternoon doing their school work and chores. Not as much fighting today but they did stay pretty busy.

I took them down to the track to get them out. We ran into other families we knew and quite a few high school kids doing their workouts (individually).

We also saw 5 cute missionaries from The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. They were “racing” the mile, so being the coach that I am, I timed them. It was pretty fun. They, too, are quarantined so they are only able to exercise for a certain amount of time and then go home.

19th: I went out for my 8 mile run this morning. Then the girls had their 6-month dental checkup. I wanted to keep the appointment before that all shut down as well.

It’s a good thing I did… my oldest has a couple of cavities, my 2nd has 4 cavities, my 3rd has 1 but it will turn into a root canal if we don’t get it taken care of right away and my 4th, needs 2 crowns or a cap or whatever and has 3 cavities. I swear… we go every 6 months and always leave with so many cavities. I hate it!!!

It was back to our new norm. Schoolwork, lunch, 4-square, school work, the track (my youngest is always in her PJ’s), then activities and chores. Fun times.

20th: Today was a little tough for me. After my morning run, it was the same. Schoolwork, walking around the house bored, etc. I did take the girls back to the track for about an hour. They ended up with the hurdles again (and Coach Weight and I cleaned out our track shed).

Practice makes perfect!

We stopped by the Thompson’s to sing happy birthday to my oldest’s good friend. We kept our distance but felt bad that she couldn’t do anything. They have been good friends since the age of 5. Then we had pizza… we were all hungry!Corom was so annoying because he purposely delayed coming to the car eating the pizza.

21st: I went out on a solo run and ended up running into 2 friends of mine (Mac & Aubrey). It was nice to do 4 miles with them. I turned back and ran into another friend (Keri). The last 3 of my 12 were solo but I felt good and picked up the pace.

The girls and I worked at the Clarion for a few hours. We did some deep cleaning for her. It was nice to get out and have the girls make some money.

(Corom was home working on our backyard while we were at the Clarion.) Once we got home, Corom and I went over to a new family moving into the neighborhood and helped them unload their Uhaul… we are trying to keep ourselves at a social distance but in situations like this, we felt the need to help. The girls did a deep cleaning of their rooms. Totally needed!! My oldest and youngest are so messy… we put those 2 together in a room to share. 😂

We took the girls to the Spanish Fork river trail… many others had the same idea. It was nice to get out. I actually had to finish up on a 2-3 mile run, so the girls had their roller skates and bikes. Others (Barny’s and Mcdaniel’s) joined us as well but we stayed somewhat separated while recreating…

We Came home and watched a movie.

Sunday-22nd: Once again we had the Sacrament at home. We had a neighbor and her kids come over as well. We went for a nice walk outside today and just hung out on the lawn for a little while.

It was nice to go through the Come Follow me manual/lesson and make today more of a learning day of Christ. The girls were connected to their young women’s class through the Zoom app and had a mini lesson/discussion. It was great.

We then brought dinner to the missionaries since they are quarantined as well.

It took us forever to get the girls to bed. They would fight, then get out of control, play, fight, cry, laugh, play, etc. It’s been great being home and doing more as a family but gosh it has also been draining. 😂

Before the Social Distancing:

My 2nd daughter had some 80’s party to go to:

My 3rd daughter had her 5th grade science fair project:

My 4th daughter had her parent/4th grade dance:

My oldest straightened her hair. And just for the record… she did just take her hair out of a ponytail when I took the pic with it being curly.

Corom running around chasing the girls, neighbor kids and friends looking like this:

February

Running: Well my running has been many days of just running…. I am feeling lost right now with what I am going to do. Many times on my run, I would get sad wishing that I was out for the reason of training for the Olympic Trials but that was not in the cards for me. So it has taken me all of this month to work out some feelings. But it has also been good! I have grown a lot from this experience.

I was so excited to watch many of my friends and people I have met race the Trials on the 29th. But it also brought on a longing and emptiness (if that’s the right word) that I wish I didn’t have to feel.

Anyway… I am back into “training” and am excited to do my race in Greece. Here was February’s running for me (left to right, top to bottom):

Skiing/Snow Shoeing: We have been fortunate this month to get a hold of some lift passes to go skiing/snowboarding up at Sundance Resort a couple of times. I wish we could go more but it is so expensive! We are cheap and usually go to the hills and/or mountains near us and hike up and ride down. It is fun to watch them because they have no fear. Me… I am such a wimp now. I used to ski and snowboard all the time (I worked at Sundance resort on the lifts for 13 years). Now… I just watch the girls and Corom go. 😂

We had some good days of snowshoeing and some days we had to drag our kids out while they cried because they didn’t want to go.

And of course, they would start to enjoy it just a few minutes after we would start (for the most part).

Indoor Track/Simplot Games: I do like indoor track… mainly because it is indoor and I can stay warm as a coach. Ok and I like working with the kids… they are dedicated and fun to coach. Corom still coaches for the jr. High here but he also became our pole vault coach at the HS.

I also enjoy going to The Simplot Games. It is a fun, 3 day weekend “track meet” trip. Usually Corom and the girls come up but this year they didn’t because the hotel pool was not in use. We have a good group of kids.

Corom bought that pink “Yoda the one for me” shirt as a Valentine’s gift. He was on ambien (the pill that helps you sleep), when he ordered it. 🙄😂

Valentines Day & The Banff Film Festival: We did a little Valentine’s breakfast before I left for the track meet. The night before we took the girls to the Banff Film Festival at UVU. There were so many great films. My youngest won the most pull up competition during the intermission.

Basketball Games: Well our 3 younger girls finished off this month with their basketball games. They played well but we still lost a lot of games. Oh well… it’s fun to do the city sports. We went to the boys and girls high school games when they played at home.

Other:

The girls jumping out of the window:

My oldest made this out of clay:

Our dang English Mastiffs got inside and tore our garbage apart. We had pizza on our counter for dinner and they ate all of that as well.

Me making pancakes and my girls always comment on how much chocolate chips I put in my pancake. 🙄😂

The girls helped paint the “She Shed” (which was rare for them to help), helped with dinner (which is another rare occasion), stopped to pet the horses on our walk home from church, went to Manhawk at the high school, and we went to the High School play.

Just a couple of videos of the Manhawk talent show. Pretty funny:

 Just a random video (I wish this is how my kids fought all the time)… this is very minor.

And Corom came to the gym on one of my runs to surprise me with water. It was much needed!! Yeah I am not the prettiest runner… that’s for sure. 😂

Houston Marathon- January (So Much in 1 Month)

If God puts a Goliath in front of you, He must believe there’s a David inside of you! I did not beat my Goliath the way I wanted to but I did gain the David inside of me because of this journey. Though just a running goal, it gave me clarity to each day.

It has taken me a little while to process my journey to Olympic qualify and this last race in Houston. I have been sad, down and angry at times. I question how I could have let CIM (the race right before my last attempt at Houston) get away from me by missing the trials by 28 seconds. Such a long race and to miss it by 28 seconds is nothing, but everything!!  The marathon is a beast of a race but that is why I love it. There are so many ways 26.2 miles can slip away from you. It tests your limits, mentally and physically. I will admit, there were times I felt amazing but there were many times I wanted to give up. Racing is terrifying because of the unknown. All the “perfect” training that goes into the marathon can take a turn for the worse come race day if one thing goes wrong (in Houston’s race… the wind mentally and physically for me). I am not as mentally strong as many of the amazing ladies that I have met along my journey, but I have learned so much about myself and have grown to be a person that I thought I was incapable of becoming.  I have had so many ups and downs, but the good has by far out weighed the negative. I love running and to be honest, it feels so good to run this fast.

Along this road, I have met amazing people; we trained together, we fought together and we have helped one another out. Few qualified but most didn’t. I am coming around to being ok with being among those that did not qualify… I went out for that last shot in Houston knowing it would be a difficult race on tired legs. After a hard, fast and pushing to my limits marathon at CIM, I had to get right back into training for Houston. It was a more emotional and draining training cycle but I did not want to look back and wonder “What If”.  So I knew I needed to give it one more shot before the trials in February.

I was reading the book Mind Gym (the book is excellent by the way) throughout my training; my husband brought up a good point… all the sports they talk about in that book can’t even compare to running a marathon. With all sports, you have to get “in the zone” and stay “in the zone” while you are performing. Most sports, you are able to take a mental break throughout the game/match, but with the marathon, you have to stay in that mental state for the entire race and try not to spiral down into the negative state; which would take you out of “the zone”. Well… welcome to Houston for me. I woke up “In the Zone”. I had really good sleep for a night before a race. But then… opening up the hotel room door to winds. I fell out of the zone and let the negative thoughts seep in before the race even started. Everyone who knows me, knows I hate to run in the wind. It is a weak spot in me when it comes to racing. The entire weekend in Houston, it was calm, humid weather, with rain showers off and on. Of course on Sunday morning, it was windy. It was cold as well but I didn’t mind the cold. The forecast was saying it was going to be between 13-16 mph winds. It sucked. I knew what I had to do. I began to think of all the positive things around me and I thought of my family and everyone who believed in me.  The other racers were in the same boat as me and we all had this fight together.

The race started at 7:01. We started off in a big pack of about 100+ ladies. Our pacer leading the Olympic hopefuls along the road. We stayed tight together fighting against the wind. The nervous energy all around; drinks and gu’s being shared amongst everyone.  At about mile 11, they had an announcer, music and a pretty big crowd. As we were approaching in our pack, he announced, “Here comes the Boston hopeful qualifiers”. We all gave a little laugh. I wish that was the time we had to hit to qualify for the Olympic Trials. And I say this not to make fun… regardless of your pace in the marathon, there is nothing easy about it when you are pushing your limits. Anyway… By mile 13, ladies started dropping their pace and couldn’t hold on. You hate when it gets to that point because you are always hoping you are not next. We had 3 pretty good falls at different times in this marathon. I do contribute that to the windier conditions. We all ran so close together, that there were quit a few times I was stepped on from behind or accidently kicked or vice versa. Every time someone went down, at least 3 or 4 more would go down with her. They would always pop back up and continue. Not knowing the outcome of their race but hoping the best for them. So many encouraging words would be said amongst our group throughout the race and everyone generally was hoping the best for everyone. I love this sport! I had a friend out there with me. She was shooting for the same time. At about mile 15, she started to drop. I was so sad for her but yet as I ran past her, she yelled keep going, you are looking strong! She is so amazing and had to drop out of the race due to hamstring issues. Ayisha is such a fighter and one of the most positive people you will ever meet. (Ayisha is on the left; Mariah is the top right; we met in Chicago and kept in touch throughout the training cycle to Houston and the bottom right is Joy. We became friends on Facebook because we have the same coach. We met up at the race… she qualified for the trials but is hoping to run for Ireland.)

Well… Sadly, It was not my day, either. I just did not have the fight in me this time and I realized it at mile 18.  My legs were tired. I was also all over the place for the 1st 17 miles with my mile splits. (We were with the pacer… lots had to do with wind but other factors as well.)

Mile 1: 6:30   Mile 2: 6:19   Mile 3: 6:09   Mile 4: 6:13   Mile 5: 6:19   Mile 6: 6:12    Mile 7: 6:16   Mile 8: 6:20   Mile 9: 6:18   Mile 10: 6:13   Mile 11: 6:09    Mile 12: 6:16.     Mile 13: 6:21.     Mile 14: 6:11

Mile 15: 6:19   Mile 16: 6:16    Mile 17: 6:10     Mile 18: 6:27    Mile 19: 6:35   Mile 20: 6:39    Mile 21: 6:45    Mile 22: 6:49   Mile 23: 6:52    Mile 24: 7:03   Mile 25: 6:59     Mile 26: 6:40    Mile 26.4: 2:12

26.4: 2:49:41. Pace 6:26 per mile

As the pack pulled away at mile 18, I tried to keep them in sight just in case I had a miraculous burst of energy. I kept pushing hard and by mile 21ish, I decided to not push so hard and to slow down to be able to enjoy the rest of the run. I did not want to finish this last qualifier hating the marathon. I finished, finally. I was so sad the last few miles but so happy that I have been given this opportunity to be able to do this. We have traveled to so many places (with Corom and sometimes my girls), met so many people, seen and experienced things that few can say they have experienced…because of running. I would be lying if I said I have no regrets, but I can honestly say that I tried! And I am no where near to being done.

I am signed up for a race in Greece in April, and then one in Montana in June and will do another in October… but right now, I just want to take a week or 2 and clear my head. It’s been quite the journey with a continuous 7-8 months of hard and intense training and racing. Chicago Marathon was the 1st weekend in October (2:50), then CIM the 1st weekend in December (2:45:28; 6:19 pace) and Houston January 19th (2:49:41; 6:26 pace). My legs are shot and my feet hurt!

So many thoughts have ran through my head these past 2 weeks. Now what? Where do I go from here? But as I just mentioned, I have 3 races lined up and I will break that 2:45 time just to show to myself that I can do it. I don’t know how to thank everyone for being so kind and for the encouraging words. I don’t think people realize how much they have helped me along this journey of mine. Everyone has helped me push beyond what I’d be capable of doing on my own. The days I didn’t believe in myself and wanted to give up, are the days I had the most support and encouraging words. I have a hard time believing in myself and many times I relied on everybody else to get me through. My heart is full to all of you. Thank you!

January

As I mentioned in my last post… we started off the year with the annual “Polar Plunge” in our city. I did go off on a 8 mile run before everyone met up, but my oldest and I did not jump in. 😂

Corom and his friends are always pranking each other on their birthdays. It is so annoying and hilarious all at the same time. It was Mike’s bday this month and Jeff, Travis and Corom decided to brick off Mike’s front door.

Our dog Boaz fell out of the truck and got a pretty good gash on his leg. Mike came over with all his doctor stuff. Corom, Jeff, Mike and the girls cleaned him out, numbed him and stapled the wound.

I did a podcast a week before my race: I had no clue what I was doing and what to say. Oh well… it was fun talking to Matt on Ramblingrunner.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/road-to-the-olympic-trials/id1468827005#episodeGuid=2c43e178-d57a-489d-9112-af8cfa788884

Corom does a T.V. show for the high school every Wednesday called Corom’s Corner. The 1st Wednesday of this month he talked about change and New Year’s resolutions. He shaved half of his beard and head for the show. The 1st 2 min of the show only showed his unshaven side. He gives his spill on change, New Year’s resolutions and what not. Then the HS crew goes to a 2 min clip on a studio C skit. When the camera is back on Corom it is zoomed in on the shaved side of his face. It was pretty funny and disturbing.

I wanted him to come home right after Corom’s Corner was over to shave the rest of his face and hair before he visited other schools. He didn’t have time to come home and had to run up to one of the elementary schools. He soon found out that that day, the elementary school was celebrating halfway through the school year day. The ladies in the office thought he did that on purpose for their school. They loved it and took him around to show the classes. My oldest is in Jr. High. She actually cried that morning and begged him not to come to her school like that. Her words, “Dad, please don’t come to my school until you fix your hair and beard! My friends already think you are weird!” The sad thing is, even with tears coming down, we both laughed. Yeah… we are not the most sympathetic parents.

Our travel to Houston- Jan 16-19:

Sarah (my mother in law) and I arrived in Houston on Thursday evening (close to 5 p.m.) after 3 delays. Our 1st flight left at 5 a.m., we had a layover in Denver… which was only supposed to be 2 hours but ended up being 6 hours. It was a long day. But we did meet great people at the airport. It made the time go by fast.

Expo, movies, sleep, running and food… what more could you ask for! At the expo, I met Matt (he had me on his podcast), and talked with Jared ward for a little bit. Ok… so I’ve met Jared a few times. He lives in the city next to mine. He has talked to my distance runners a few years back. I didn’t think he would know who I was, but as there was a line of people wanting to take a picture with him, he saw me, stepped out of line, gave me a hug and talked for a short little bit. I felt like I was cool and important. 😂

We did stay with a family friend, She took us around to see the Houston flood marks. Unbelievable!! Jody showed us neighborhoods that were completely under water. It was hard to imagine. We went out to lunch and we ran into 6 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love running into missionaries. One of the elders was actually a kid I coached for a season. it was fun to see him.

 

Coaching Indoor Track:

Cross Country season ended the 1st week in December and indoor track started 2 weeks after that. 😂 I really enjoy coaching indoor… it is more laidback and enjoyable.

Corom is now coaching for the high school he works at and where I coach at. We have pole vaulting in our school district (about time). He pole vaulted at a college for a couple of years. We have had a few indoor meets. I love coaching and I love it even more when my own girls come hang out at the indoor track with the high school kids.

 

Home Life:

Skiing/snowboarding at a school near our home:

Basketball (my kids, HS and college): My 3 younger girls are playing basketball. It is fun to watch… controlled chaos. We Lao had the opportunity to go to the men’s BYU basketball and we try to go to the HS games when we can.

Church activities, Science projects, Star awards & assemblies, 100 days at school, saving owls and more!

The Spirit of Christmas! Recap Of CIM Marathon

I love December!! I love the spirit of Christmas and spending time with my family… even when we fight (which is a lot-especially with the girls 😂). In the month of December, we do an activity every night pertaining to the holidays. It’s been a fun tradition and as my girls get older, they are having more fun with it.

Dec 1st: Christmas activity- We put up the Christmas Tree and decorated our house.

Dec 2nd: Christmas activity- FHE (family home evening) and drawing names between the girls for Christmas.

Dec 3rd: Christmas activity- Writing letters to neighbors and delivering them.

I had an easy 6 mile run today. It felt nice.

Dec 4th: Christmas activity- Make count down necklaces. My mother-in-law is taking our girls this weekend so corom and I can go with the high school cross country team to California. So she will continue the Christmas activities.

I had a 2 mile warmup, 3 mile tempo run at marathon pace, 2 mile cool down. That afternoon, Corom and I left on a Charter bus with the HS XC team (a few other coaches, the neighboring HS & their team, and chaperones) to Southern California for a race at Mt. Sac college- Footlocker.

It was quite the drive but they were a fun bunch to drive down with.

Dec 5th: Christmas activity- making soap for friend gifts.

I stayed at the hotel all day, while Corom and the other coaches went to Disneyland with the HS kids. I was sad to miss out but it was nice to be able to relax before my race. I did get an easy 5 miles in. I love taper week. 😊 At Disneyland, corom and Chad (one of the other coaches) did have a few issues-kids losing their Disney tickets, etc., but nothing to bad.

I do feel somewhat bad because my girls have never been to Disneyland… we would much rather spend our money on taking trips around the U.S. and different countries. I just told them to join the XC team. 😂

Dec 6th: Christmas activity- watch a Christmas movie

After a short 5 mile run with strides for me…

We (the HS XC kids, coaches and I) loaded up on the bus and headed for the beach. It was a very nice morning and the weather was great… the afternoon it began to rain just a little before we were about to leave.

After we picked up their race bibs, went back to the hotel and went out for dinner.

Dec 7th: Christmas activity- make gingerbread houses at grandma’s house.

We watched some of the HS kids races, then corom and I left Southern California. We went to the packet pickup expo, then headed to my brother in laws house (Jarom).

Dec 8th: Christmas activity- make cookies and bring them to G-goats neighbors. Corom and I came home tonight so the girls sang and delivered cookies to g-goats (Sarah’s- their grandma) neighbors. Then brought the extra home for some of our neighbors.

I raced the CIM marathon and then we drove home (after a short visit with Corom’s brother, Jarom). It was a nice drive. Corom and I had a great, long and much needed talk with the 2 of us and with no interruptions.

Dec 9th: Christmas activity- went to the elementary school for a movie night with treats.

It was kind of an emotional day for me. I was so happy about my race but sad at the same time. It was nice not having to get up and run, though. I subbed at the girl’s school today, in my 3rd daughters class. There are a few kids in that class that makes it so hard at times. And it didn’t help that I was tired.

Dec 10: Christmas activity- shop for secret sister and elementary school choir concert.

Dec 11: Christmas activity- make a Christmas craft and bring them to the neighbors.

Dec 12: Christmas activity- Christmas story and hot chocolate (but the girls were fighting so much that they didn’t get hot chocolate).

Running:

I got back into training today. I’m going to run Houston marathon to give it one more shot for the Olympic trials. Here’s to another intense 5 weeks. 😁

Dec 13: Christmas activity- Christmas movie and neighbor gift exchange.

Dec 14: Christmas activity- ice skating.

Dec 15: Christmas activity- old folks home. I did have to warn my kids and mainly corom the night before on this activity. The girls are pretty good about going but corom has a hard time with this activity. Today went really well! And I don’t know if it’s because my girls are getting older but we had longer visits with the residents and better interactions. The Barney’s came with us again this year.

Dec 16: Christmas activity- Christmas dinner and orchestra recital.

Dec 17: Christmas activity- leave a treat for the mail lady and garbage man and deliver neighbor treats. Piano recital!

My 3 younger girls are in piano… 2 out of the 3 don’t like it. But I’m hoping they will change their mind once they start to learn more. My oldest is in art so she does not have to take piano.

My oldest (13 years old) drew this picture in about an hour. My kids are obsessed with The Hunger Games. I have been reading to them almost every night and they love it. It has been a great way to get them to go to bed on time and for us to read them the scriptures (Book of Mormon) and have them listen (or at least pretend to listen). 😂

Dec 18: Christmas activity- drive around salem pond and look at the lights. My oldest and I had to work at the Clarion, so we missed out on this activity. (I worked a lot this month at the clarion… mostly during the day).

After the pond, Corom and the 4 girls went to the high school Christmas performance (my oldest was able to go to that)… I stayed at work a little longer. We served an event that day for 400+ people.

Dec 19: Christmas activity- Christmas craft. Parties in their classrooms.

Dec 20: Christmas activity- serve neighbors.

Dec 21: Christmas activity- see Santa!

Dec 22: Christmas activity- Christmas movie

Dec 23: Christmas activity- sledding and a Christmas get together at the Black’s. Well we didn’t go sledding because there wasn’t enough snow! The girls did go over to our neighbor’s house for a Christmas party. The neighbors are so good to my kids!

Dec 24: Christmas activity- Greek dinner and pass around. I love making and eating Greek food (well eating it at least)! My sister and her family came over and my mother-in-law and Gary came for dinner. We did a pass around gift right after. Then it was cookies and milk out for Santa and then bed time.

Dec 25: Christmas Day- gift to Jesus (our gift to our Savior this year is having positivity in our home). I don’t write about it often but with Corom, he suffers from depression and just having really low days and extremely high days with his moods. I know with him being a social worker at the school has been a huge blessing for him and for the school kids. He can relate and understands and knows how to help. He has been so good with what he has to deal with (and has the right medication). Anyway… so we are going to work on positivity in our home this year and hopefully less fighting between the sisters!! 😂 The girls play so well together and it’s so fun, but they also fight really well! 🙄

The girls could not come out of their rooms until 7:45 this morning. At the beginning of December we start the time at 6 a.m. for getting up for presents. If they fight, it goes up 15 min. If they are nice and help each other out, it goes down 15… well 7:45 it was. I loved it! 😂

We had a very nice morning and a lazy day! I did go out at about 1 p.m. for an easy 8 miles. It was beautiful out today. So many things to be grateful for. I love my family and my Savior!

For the rest of the break we didn’t do to much. Corom worked on our shed out in our backyard for the most part of the time. We are turning it into a craft/art room for the girls. We did go to the movies, had another friends gift exchange (with this group we always get together after Christmas… lots of pranks, funny/shady gifts, and dropping off junk on you lawns 😂) and ice skating again (with the Thompson’s) but other than that… just neighbor kids in and out of the house.

New Year’s Eve:

I had a hard workout today! 19 miles worth of a speed workout. I was glad when it was over! The girls had a few friends over and we celebrated New Year’s with New York’s time (2 hours ahead of us). It worked great. The kids had fun and then all the friends went home by 10:15-10:30. We watched a movie as a family until midnight and then went to bed shortly after that. Oh and of course, Corom had to light off a few fireworks, etc.

Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day:

I did start off the New Years with a 8 mile east run. It was great but the roads were snowy and slippery. Corom and his friends started a polar plunge tradition in our city about 5 years ago. Every year more and more people jump in. This year, Corom led a group on a 1.1k run and then jumped in right after. My 3 younger girls jumped in with Corom, as my oldest and I watched. 😂

My 3rd daughter stepped on something in the pond and almost needed stitches. Good thing Mike was around to come check it out!

A few random pictures throughout the month of December:

I saw this write up on me in a little news article called “The Stable”:

JEN’S HEARTBREAKING 3 MIN PB

Jennifer Hughes ran a heartbreakingly brilliant 3 minute PB in Sunday’s California international Marathon.

Hughes reduced her PB from 2:48 down to 2:45:28, just missing out on the US Olympic Trials Qualifier by 28 seconds.

With half a mile to go in the race, Hughes was on for 2:44:44 but in the final half mile, Lady Marathon swiped the legs from under our Jen.

 “…my legs just felt like lead! I really could not get my legs to  turnover the last 800,” Jen told The Stable News.

In The Stazza’s Stable Strava Group, Jen explained the bitter/sweet nature of her PB: “Thanks so much John!! You are truly amazing and I had that 2:48 time 4 years ago. I started a little over a year with you with a 2:50:45 time… you helped me get 5+ min off since I started with you. So thank you!! Bitter/sweet today.”

Stablemate, Jason The Yoof Cisney captured the excitement in real time as he followed the race on the live tracker and posted in The Stazza’s Stable Strava Group: “Savannah picking it up! Jennifer gonna be real close…Man that’s tough for Jen…to be so close for so long. Very solid efforts all around….That last 400m must be a tough stretch. Looks like people lose a lot of time there.”

Jen also took to Facebook to share her thoughts and thanks: “Well another great opportunity to be resilient… I’m not giving up on another marathon race that I missed my time!! I was 28 seconds off qualifying for the Olympic trials. Bitter sweet today (more bitter than sweet )… I did shave 3 min off my previous best. Hopefully, next time I will be crying for joy.

BITTER/SWEET TEARS:Jen’s bitter/sweet PB hits home

But here we go for 1 more shot in Houston. It’s a good thing I like running. Thanks John Stazza for coaching me. Thanks Sarah for taking the girls again. Thanks Corom for supporting me. And thanks to everyone else(running friends, the kids I coach, neighbors and family).”

Jen will now have a few days rest and then get ready for the Houston Marathon where she hopes to give The Lady Marathon a slap and knock off those 28 seconds or so, to get the OTQ.

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Barlow Family

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