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Chicago Marathon & A Whole Lot To Catch Up On!

Chicago Marathon October 13:

I love running Chicago’s marathon! The course, the people & volunteers, the atmosphere and the energy… all of it, so electrifying. I didn’t hit the time I wanted or a PB (personal best) but I loved the entire race. I did go into this race with a few hiccups along the way with training. I found out 2 1/2 weeks before the race that I was borderline anemic so trying to load up on iron pills was no fun.

I was able to stay mentally positive even when I fell off my pace. I’m not going to lie… I am way bummed about it but there’s always another race. I don’t know if I’m crazy to keep trying for the olympic trials, but I know I would regret it if I didn’t try. The weather was perfect at the start of the race.

It was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit and no wind. Which was awesome because it’s been windy all weekend (strong winds). At about an hour into the marathon (10-11 miles in), the wind started to pick up.

I still stayed on pace for another 5-6 miles but around 17 miles, started to struggle. Slowly but surely, I began to fall off pace… I finished at a 2:51 and just tired. But mentally I felt good!

Corom was awesome and all over the course! He probably put more miles in than I did. He seriously was making me laugh… I’m glad he was able to go out with me.

We had a great weekend (movies, walking the streets of Chicago, food) and met so many great people from all over the world. I do love traveling for races.

Well back to training!


My 2nd daughter’s bday: She turned 12! My kids are growing up so fast. She is so fun to be around. She knows how to joke with adults which is not too common with younger kids. She is growing into a beautiful young lady and always so sweet to everyone (except to her sisters ๐Ÿ˜‚).

We had a girl from Italy stay with us for about a week. We took her around to the Hot Springs, a Sundance lift ride, the High School, etc. It was a little hard because she didn’t speak or understand English to well. But it was fun having her in our home.

We went south towards St. George Camping with my sister (missy and her family), the Thompson’s and Jeff Chase and a couple of his kids. We had a blast!


Halloween: Trick or Treating (lots of it), The Witches 5k Run (and the 1 mile… my kids did both); Halloween dinner of Monster burgers, mummy dogs, pumpkin mashed potatoes and brain jello, and school parties!


My 3rd daughter’s bday: She turned 11. She cracks me up! Always says whatever she wants and doesn’t care what others think or say to her. She is the best cleaner and loves doing it! She is always willing to help anyone that needs it.

Corom’s birthday was also this month. He is now 41. We are getting old. His friends left a nice surprise on our front lawn. ๐Ÿ™„ They left a living room set out there (chairs, couches, shelves, carpets, TV, a toilet and many more things). We do live right next to the high school and jr.high so that was probably pretty entertaining to them.

The girls made him breakfast as well.

The rest of the day was work and things not going so well at work. He had to do an assembly at an elementary school. He was given an hour to talk about emotions, suicide and the safe app Utah has. Well he decided to throw in some magic tricks to keep the elementary kids entertained and engaged. There was a girl in the front row that kept calling out how the trick was done because she could see everything. Corom said he was getting so frustrated. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Anyway, we had dinner with his brother and sister and their spouses. Later in the week we went out again with our friends.

Thanksgiving was good this year. My brother (Mike) came into town from California. So my other brother (John), my sister (missy), my Aunt Georgia, 2 nieces (Taylor’s) and a Chinese family (visiting from China and had no place to go to), came to our house. The week was fun with hanging out. Corom’s brother also came into town.

More cousin fun.

That morning we had a little over 50 missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s come to our house for cinnamon rolls, muffins and drinks. We used the facility behind us to play soccer and football with them (our families, the mission president and the cute missionaries.


My bday… I started off with a 9 mile run with 2 good friends of mine (Amber-her bday as well & Beth). Beth has us run with balloons, music and little fire crackers, along the busy roads every year! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Love it!

I had some friends stop by on their bikes… I wasn’t home so I got this nice selfie from them:

I received a message from the Croatia guys:

Corom lit off some fireworks for me…

I had songs sung to me on messenger (just audio) from our Peru friends and the Republic of Georgia… and treats, messages from neighbors and friends.

I did go about my day as usual… cousins are still in town, so my mother in law, aunt Mary, and 7 cousins (4 of them being my own girls) went to the movie, “Lion King”. It was cute.

Corom and I went out to lunch at the Chinese place here in town (and a pic of some of the treats I got from friends).

I had cross country practice and ran 5 miles with them, then headed straight over to the Boat Regatta.

Corom, Sarah (my mother in law), and I had to help build 3 boats out of duct tape and cardboard. It is 2 people per boat (so my 4 girls and 2 cousins).

I actually got a few cross country runners to come over and help us build them (in the 2 hour time frame we were given to build it).

They put their boats out in the water and had to race around some buoys. My oldest and her cousin’s boat sank right away and had to be brought back in. My 2 middle daughter’s were a pair and their boat made it around great. My youngest and an older cousin also had a great boat and made it around. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

The rest of our City Day’s week: We had a 5k fun run; We had a parade; We went to the city talent show and there was many more activities!

August through December:


-High School Cross Country: I absolutely love coaching the high school kids (we are actually on our way to California right now for our last race). They had a great season. The girls team made it to state and we had a couple of boys on our team make it. They were a lot more chatty this year than in the past but they are also a young team. They Ran well and worked hard! I will have to say, they did some great service around the community when needed. Anytime someone needed help moving or whatever, they always jumped to the occasion.

-My oldest and Jr. High XC (and soccer): Corom coaches the Jr. High team. It has been nice to have him as a coach because he makes it fun for the kids where they get hooked and then they come to us at the HS. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My oldest is running for the jr. High now and is actually enjoying it. I love going to her meets and watching her. And I also threw in a soccer picture… corom and I coached her city soccer team as well and this was the 1st time we won the tournament. ๐Ÿ˜‚ The team was really good!

-Coaching the City’s XC team: The city started a new elementary age XC program and asked if I would coach it. We had about 22 kids on the team (3 of them were mine ๐Ÿ˜‚). It was actually more than I thought but fun to be out there with the kids.

Yes it is a lot of running, every day!! With my own training, HS, Jr. High and the city… sometimes I do go a little nuts.

Random Pictures:

I had a gift certificate for a a few pedicures… well I never used the gift certificate and realized it was going to expire in about a day or 2. So, my girls and I, decided to take a day out and get spoiled. It was nice! (I actually had an 19 miler that morning… so it was great to sit and have my feet/toes worked on.)

Boaz, our dog, had an infection in his mouth. It kept getting worse… we took him in and he had to get tubes in his cheek to drain the blood. If it comes back then we will have to put him down. ๐Ÿ˜ž and our cat went missing the same week… she has been spotted in the city next to us by a few random people but we cannot find her. Poor chubby… maybe she will find her way home.

The last 3 bottom pictures are of my oldest… she likes to cook. She put a sheet across the kitchen (to hide what she was doing in the kitchen) and surprised us with breakfast.

Pictures of the Southern Boil at the Clarion, hiking and a trail run…

Croatia For the Week

Well another great week of fun. We got back from Mexico on Saturday and had 6-8 people from Croatia come stay with us for a little over a week. They are here for the Springville Folkfest.

We had 6 wonderful young men (Ivan, Tommy-Tomislav, Jurica, Phillip, Z-Zdravko, Dominik) and gained 2 beautiful young ladies for the last few days.

The week was filled with touring, performing, and fun!

Sunday July 28th:

The group arrived at around 11 this morning… I had to pretend I knew what I was doing when I paired up dancers with host families… I got the left overs. Joking boys! We lucked out with such a great, fun group. I told them they were in trouble right at the beginning (for having to come into our home) and Jurica spouted right back, “No, you are in trouble!”… and yep, I think he got it right. ๐Ÿ˜‚

After the boys settled in, we headed to the SF park for a pot luck dinner with the other host families of Croatia (37 members in the Croatia dance/musician group and 13 host families).

Monday July 29th:

I began my day with a 8 mile run (and I ended my day with a 5 mile run and hill strides). I quickly headed to cross country practice at the SF park. There we met up with the 4 surrounding HS’s to go for our Monday morning trail run. It was our last time gathering as HS’s for the summer, so us coaches made a pancake breakfast for the kids.

I hurried home, so I could take the Croatians to the stage for an interview with Big Buddha Fox News.

We came home, they changed and before we headed out, my dad stopped by. โค๏ธ (My parents are leaving today and wanted to hang out with the kids before they left.) Before my dad left with the girls, my Croatian boys sang us a song. It was wonderful!

And then finally we all headed up to Temple Square in Salt Lake. We walked around there for a while, had lunch and stopped off at a couple of souvenir shops on the way home.

Then of course just hanging out and relaxing at the home.

Tuesday July 30th:

I went out for my 8 mile run early this morning and then headed for the HS for the CC team’s practice. (I also went out for 5 miles in the evening… it was so hot!)

The guys were gone most the day because they had to practice for their performance with the other countries that are here (Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Mexico, Taiwan, Morning Star-USA and a clogging and dance group from BYU). We had downtime for a few hours and then left for their 1st night of performing (in Springville).

They did a wonderful job! They are beautiful dancers, singers and musicians!

Wednesday July 31st:

I had a speed workout this morning… it was a struggle the 1st half but then it came together the 2nd half. 15 miles total (4 min on/3 min recovery with a warmup and cool down).

And once again I ran over to the HS for their speed workout. My oldest comes out every so often… I wish she would come out more but I will take what I can get (she is in jr high, though).

Once the boys were up and fed, we (my mother in law and I… Corom had to work and my girls went and played with friends) left for the Meadow hot springs.

A storm came in so we left. The Performance was canceled due to bad weather so Corom, the guys and I went out to eat.

This was a typical car ride with these guys:

And this…

I actually looked forward to the car rides home from their performances because of their singing.

Thursday August 1st:

After my easy 8 mile run and coaching the HS cross country team, the host families met up at the HS this morning with Croatia, Netherlands and Russia to learn American football. It went really well and it is so fun to watch.

The football team taught them how to throw, kick, tackle, the plays, etc.

Tommy shocked everyone with how far he could kick! He kicked it over the goal post at college level… so we moved it back even further. Of course, I didn’t record any other kicks except for his last one and the only time he missed it.

It was great to see people from all over the world interact!

We went to Ross for a little shopping (and I got a 5 mile run in) before their performance. The performers tonight did not disappoint!

Friday August 2nd:

I went out for my 8 mile run, then coached the HS cross country team on their their run.

We took the guys (and Sarah’s crew) to the Bean Museum… they were a little tired or maybe bored. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I didn’t care because I like this museum.

We then headed straight to BYU for a class the Croatians were teaching to one of the dance classes.

After the BYU class, most of us in our group went to another host families house (the Crockett’s) for a bbq. It was great to hang out with everyone… and I only got pictures of my kids. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜‚

Croatia was being featured tonight so we had the privilege of seeing a longer performance from them.

This is just a short clip of their dance (I couldn’t get it all uploaded on the blog).

Saturday August 3:

My long run… I got up early and ran 16.1 miles on the treadmill in 1:50:00. It was tough and I was so tired but I got it done. My youngest ate something yesterday that upset her stomach. So she was up all night getting rid of everything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We took the Croatian group (well those that wanted to get dirty) to Mud Volleyball for our City Days. The Netherlands group met us there.

We normally enter the country we are hosting in the tournament but this year, they had to be somewhere earlier than the years past… so our city let us come an hour before the tournament and play.

I have never played because we wanted to give the dancers a chance… this year I did and it was a blast!!

We had to clean up and go up the canyon for a Picnic with host families and all the countries.

A little music before heading out…

They had their last Performance tonight… every country did an excellent job this week!

Sunday August 4:

Corom drove our 6 guys and 2 girls and 6 others from their group to Las Vegas this morning. They had the day off and really wanted to go. So they piled into the bus and headed on down. I’m glad it worked out for them… they had a great time.

The drive down was a little hot! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

After church, the girls and I hung out with family (on Corom’s side- Aunt Mary and her 2 nieces) that came into town.

Monday August 5:

They got in at 8 a.m. from Vegas. I was able to go on my 8 mile run before they got home.

The rest of the morning was packing and cleaning up. We had to drop our group off by 1:30. After lunch, we took off. ๐Ÿ˜ž

We said our goodbyes and we headed back home. The girls hung out with cousins (and aunt Mary and g-goat) while I cleaned house.

I then headed to cross country practice. I had to get another 6 miles in with 10 x 15 sec hill sprints… so I ran with the hs kids. A mom came after and made us Orange Julius’s. They were so good!

Our city days started (on Saturday with mud volleyball) and goes all week long. Tonight they did music in the park… it was a nice and relaxing night. The kids played and danced on the lawn while Corom and I laid on the blankets.

King’s Peak Backpacking Trip

Corom did go on a 3 day trip to King’s Peak in the Unitas (while the Folkfest was going on). He went with some men and boys from our neighborhood/church. They had a great time!

Random videos/pictures of Croatia week:

Mexico Trip to the Orphanage

What an experience!! I am not a good enough writer to give this week any justice.

As I mentioned in my previous post we headed out for Mexico on Sunday, July 21st. We drove to California and stayed with our good friends the Southwell’s! They have 4 cute boys and with our 4 girls, I am hoping that one will match up with one of theirs in the future. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We got there Sunday and stayed until Tuesday morning. Kelly and I went for a 9 mile run together and then we headed off to the beach! It was a beautiful day at Oceanside beach. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Monday evening I went for a 5 mile run and then Tuesday early morning, I got up and ran 8 more easy miles. We said our goodbyes and headed into Mexico.

Tuesday July 23rd:

We drove from the Southwell’s house (about 1 1/2 hours from the border to Mexico) to Mexico. We didn’t know what to expect getting in, but the officers here did a quick check of our van and let us in. My sister in law, Yolanda, arrived earlier then us… they took a small tour looking like bus in (with 17 people) and got stuck at the border for 4-5 hours. So we were grateful that we were only stopped for 5-10 min. We drove 1 1/2 hours in to the orphanage in Guadalupe. As we pulled in, you could see kids peaking out their windows. The orphanage had its own compound with a fence around their property. There were about 9-10 houses that surrounded a common ground play/gathering area. Each of these homes had a married couple (with their own children) and about 12-16 additional kids that the couple tended to and took in as their own.

It was so amazing to see how well “A Child’s Hope Foundation” has made this orphanage into a great, loving and structured “home” environment for these children. The parents in these homes were some of the most patient and caring people I have ever met.

We had our own living arrangements, on the orphanage grounds, but behind their homes. Our place had 7 or 8 bunk beds, with a bathroom and shower. There were 2 other homes like that to accommodate all the volunteers that come in and out. There were 25 of us in our group and a dentist and his family (that we just met when we arrived) there this past week.

Once we settled in, we were able to start interacting and playing with the kids. It was so fun.

Yolanda, Corom and a few others had to go shopping for all the supplies to start our projects in the morning.

I was able to get away for 40 min for a 5 mile run.

Wednesday July 24th

I got up early to go out on a speed workout. I ran 14 miles with 20 x 2 min on/off. It was tough doing it here in Mexico because there were a lot of dogs and some areas I didn’t feel as confident going down. I got back around 7ish a.m. and our group was already out working. It gets so hot early on that we wanted to have a couple of cool hours. I felt sluggish for a good part of the day!

This morning me, my girls, Eliza and a couple of the orphan girls sorted out a massive pile of donated clothes. It felt like this was never going to end! Others in our group went right to work on painting, tiling, sheet rocking a little tutor/school building, and helped in the main eating area with expanding it.

At about 1-2, we finished up and had a water fight with the kids. So hilarious… these kids are so funny!

Thursday July 25th

I went out for 8 easy miles. It felt better than I thought I would.

Today we worked on finishing up the kitchen, tutor room, the tiling and bathroom and we started to help build another house (we got bricks in). My girls painted trees today around the facility. It helps keep the bugs away.

Once again, we ended around 2 and took a trip to the local zoo. The zoo was great! There was a swimming pool there as well, so our group swam for a while. Corom didn’t go to the zoo, he drove to Ensenada to go surfing. I was bugged that he went there instead of hanging out with us but it turned out just fine.

We took a train ride, played on the playgrounds (at the zoo)…

and paddles around a pool with paddle boats…

That evening we attended a soccer game. The kids in the orphanage put together a team and they play against other teams around the different cities. It was so fun to be there. Our team won in a shootout!

We came back and had a piรฑata (it was one of our volunteers birthday)… so we had a “fiesta”. The kids loved it!

I headed out for another 5 mile run this evening.

Friday July 26th

I went out for a 9 mile run this morning. Our last day here. I had to run just a mile to mile and a half out only and back because there were too many dog encounters. So I knew I was safe in this radius. (Running pictures and a few others that I can’t remember if I put them in or not.)

Today we tried to finish up the main projects we started. We were able to finish the tutor/school room. We finished the tiling and bathroom, and the kitchen was 95% done when we wrapped everything up. The house that is being built, will probably take a while!!

My 2 middle children got into a good fight. ๐Ÿ™„ They we’re finishing up with painting trees when their fight broke out. My 3rd child threw some of the paint/pesticide stuff at my 2nd daughter and of course got right into her eyes. There were 6-7 of us for the next 45-60 minutes cleaning/flushing out her eyes. They burned! Yeah it was a pain and she was in pain. For the next several days after we continued to flush her eyes out.

After taking care of that incident and after cleaning up all the tools, we headed into town to do a little shopping. We all met back up for a last night taco party. The kids (and all of us) were so excited. We had a mechanical bull there, Street tacos, music and fun.

I just absolutely fell in love with all those children. They were happy and loving and they clung to you and just wanted all your attention. My kids loved them and loved to play with them as much as they could. Corom and I put our girls to work but when the kids came out after lunch we let our girls stop to go play.

We (Corom, the girls and I) left after the gathering on Friday evening to drive home. We got through the border pretty fast as well. I was grateful for that. Corom drove the whole night through (well I drove for the 1st 3-4 hours but by midnight I was too tired to drive). He drove from midnight until 7:30 a.m.

Saturday July 27

I went for my long run (16 miles- 20 min warmup, 65 min at marathon effort, 20 min cool down). It was hard to get out with the driving in a car all night. But I got it done.

My parents came into town last minute so we were able to hang out with them at my little brother’s house (my niece was able to come out as well). I love when we are able to see them. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s not too long ago… it is hard to see him go through this health issue. But it was so great to visit and hang out. We went out for dinner and celebrated my nieces birthday.

Well we had an amazing week! Words can not describe the experiences.

Summer of Traveling and Marathon Training!

May 25th- June 19th: Costa Rica (already blogged about it)

June 26th- June 29th: girls camp (Lava Hot Springs) for me and my 2 older daughters.

June 27th- June 29th: Las Vegas for Corom and my 2 younger daughters for Aunt Sandra’s funeral.

4th of July week

July 14th- July 19th: kayaking trip in San Juan islands in Washington

July 19th- July 20th: Cross Country Camp

July 21st- July 27th: Mexico trip to the orphanage (on our way right now)!

July 28th- August 4th: 8 people from Croatia are coming to stay with us for Springville Folkfest… (will write about this after it happens ๐Ÿ˜‚).

June 26th- 29th:

We were home for a week (from Costa Rica), then went to girls camp (me and my 2 older daughters): We went to Lava Hot Springs in Idaho. It was so fun. We went swimming, tubing down the river, crafts, played games, etc. The girls got along so well and we had a great, spiritual experience.

I started my training this week for Chicago marathon. It was a little difficult trying to get my runs/double runs in, but I did it.

June 27th- 29th

Corom and my 2 younger daughters went to Las Vegas for our aunt Sandra’s funeral. She had a stroke when we were in Costa Rica. Our cousin, Dan was the one who rushed his mom to the hospital while she was having her stroke. She told him she was really scared. He told her, “Mom, when you go in for surgery, you will either wake up to seeing my face or dads.” She felt at peace with that realization. โค๏ธ Corom said it was a very nice service. They did get to hang out with cousins for a while as well.

July 14- 19th

A week later, Corom and I headed to the San Juan islands in Washington. The girls went to my sisters for the 1st 3 days, then went with Corom’s sister for the next 3 days. We went on a kayaking trip with friends for a week. We left Sunday evening (later after church) and drove all night. I actually slept the entire time so I could be rested for my 8 mile run in the morning. I told Corom I would go on this trip if I could for sure get my running in. I ran in Oregon Monday morning while Jeff, Mike and Corom went shopping for food.

We arrived in Anacortes, Washington late afternoon. We caught the 4:00 ferry to head to Friday Harbor. The guys really entertained themselves (and others on the hour+ Ferry).

They played wall ball for most of the time… they just had to make sure the ball didn’t go into the water.

We met up with the rest of the group on Friday Harbor. We all stayed at a hostile (because there was enough of us, we got our own place). I went out for my evening easy run once there. It was awesome. The next morning I got up at 5 a.m. and headed out for a speed workout (20 min warmup; 20 min tempo- 3.3 miles in 20; 5 min recovery; 10 x 2 min on/off; 20 min recovery). The workout went well and I was excited to head on out across the ocean to our different islands.

(I don’t know why this is in bold writing but oh well):

Sea Quest Kayak of San Juan Islands
Guide: Casey Greufe (he was 24 and fit right in with our “older” group… Corom and I were the youngest in our group)

Friends that went: Sarah (my mother in law)/Gary, Karen/Steve Boothe, Holly/Jared Adams (Gary’s daughter), Debbie/Vic Lewis, Mike Fullmer/Jeff Chase, and Corom/me

Day 1 (July 16th Tuesday):
Launch: Jackson Beach, Friday Harbor
Stop 1: Turn Island Park; we saw a herd of porpoises ๐Ÿฌ in the distance. Beautiful animals. We also came upon many seal lions throughout our trip.

Stop 2: Shaw Island Reserve (rope swing; we had lunch on this beach/island.. Corom and mike found a rope swing and had fun with it).

Stop 3: Jones Island – camped the night – I went out for a 51-52 min run on this island… it was beautiful!! I loved it. Lots of raccoons that roamed our camp after we all went to bed.

Day 2 (July 17th Wednesday)
We had to be in the water by 7 a.m. We quickly packed up and began our paddling by that time. It was cold, rainy and windy today. Kayaking was a little tougher but still fun.

Stop 1: Posey Island – Waited for current to die down before crossing channel towards Spieden Island. We had a whale sighting-we saw 3 humpback ๐Ÿ‹ whales about 200 yards away from us… it was so amazing. We Paddled the shoreline before crossing Danger Shoal Bay to Stuart Island.

Stop 2: Camped the night on Stuart Island. I got a 1:22 min run in. I came upon a school, lighthouse and cemetery. I love running in places that we travel to. There are so many things I see that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t run. It was a great run.

Day 3 (July 18th Thursday)
We had to leave at 5 a.m. to catch the tides just right and to avoid the wind that was predicted for that day. The ocean was like glass all morning! We were able to cruise! We Crossed Bay towards McCracken Point (house w/ totem pole), paddled Henry Island shoreline to Open Bay.

Stop 1: We had a brunch/snack on Driftwood Beach. We had a raccoon come right up to Jeff as we were all pulling out in our kayaks. It’s crazy how they are adapted to come out in the day and just roam.

Crossed Smallpox Bay towards final destination San Juan County Park. We kayaked a total of 40 miles these past few days. It was great and quit the experience. We cleaned up, caught the Ferry back to Anacortes by early afternoon on Thursday. I went on my run right off the Ferry. Corom, Jeff and Mike went to lunch. Anacortes was a cute town to run in. I really enjoyed it.

We headed out after lunch and drove through the night once again. We arrived home Friday morning at about 9 a.m. We were so tired but I headed out for my run anyway, once we hugged the kids and unpacked (I got 8 miles in). I didn’t have time to rest because I scheduled our cross country camp for the high school runners this weekend as well. I had no other time to do it. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

This was our agenda:

July 19th Friday:

5 pm: meet at hs Track and go for short 30 min run

6: dinner at Coach Hughes’s House

7: Payson canyon- captains introduce the theme; games, skits & smores.

9-9:30ish: go home

July 20th Saturday:

7-8:15 am: meet at SF sports park by the tennis courts at 7. Go for a run, stretches and core.

8:15-8:45: breakfast

8:45-9:30: goal setting with Coach Hughes (and corom)

9:30-11: games and team building at sf park

11-11:30: clinic/speaker (Thompson on the mental and drive)

11:30-12:30: lunch

12:30-4: swimming at the reservoir

4-4:25: 20-25 min shakeout run

4:30-6:00: go home to shower

6:00-7:00: meet back up (Coach Minson’s House) for pizza dinner.

7:00-7:30: clinic on nutrition from Coach Lange and coach Weights 2 cents

7:30-8:30: games (volleyball, pickle ball, etc) 9-?: movie at Coach Hughes’s House)

I did get up at 5 a.m. so I could get my run in. I was so tired but the run went well. I had a 20 min warmup; 60 min at marathon effort; 20 min cool down. I ran 15 miles in 1:42:31. My 60 mins started at a 6:49 pace and worked my way down to a 6:10 pace. I felt good as the run went on, but I was tired throughout the day of our cross country camp. The kids had a blast (we have been having practices every morning since the 2nd week in June). I’m just glad there are 4 of us coaches!! We have good kids! And I enjoy coaching even more so because my own kids love being around the HS kids.

Sunday July 21st: We went to church at 9 and then headed out for Mexico. Corom, the girls and I are meeting up with Corom’s sister (and a few others) to work in an orphanage for the next week. We hopped in our old sprinter van and began the drive to San Diego to stay with our friends (the Southwell’s) for a couple of nights.

I forgot to post a few past events!

Birthday: My youngest turned 9 in April. I can’t believe my youngest is 9! I now have a 9, 10, 11 & 12 year old. Crazy but so fun. She is so fun and so spunky. Always on the go and entertaining everyone. She invited all the girls in 3rd grade over (and Lucas from Costa Rica was with us as well… and Gianluca our Foriegn exchange student).

Birthday: My oldest turned 13 in May. I now have a teenager. I am beginning to feel old! She is becoming a beautiful young lady and I just love the relationship we have.

Easter: Shared Easter with Gianluca… Zecheng went to another family because him and Gianluca almost got into a physical fight. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don’t mean to make light of the situation but it really was funny how the fight went down and for the reason that made them blow. Short story of it… Gianluca locked himself in the bathroom for over 2 hours so Zecheng couldn’t use it, he took all the hot water and things just escalated. Anyway… so Easter was just with Gianluca.

Easter egg hunts, which you are never too old, Easter baskets and fun family hangout times.

4th of July: Swimming, BBQing with neighbors, friends and family, rescuing baby raccoons and fireworks!

St. Patrick’s:

Always an adventure with Corom around!

Summer Hiking: (day or weekend trips only)

Goblin Valley pictures… we met up with the Thompson’s the 2nd half of our trip. I love going to Goblin Valley!!

Different hiking/repelling, motorcycling times with the young men from our church and with friends.

Dripping Rock hike with the Chamber’s and Burk kids.

Family/Cousins- Summer BBQ’s 2019:

We try to get together with our cousins as much as possible. It’s so hard with how busy we are but when we do, it is so fun.

Family on my dad’s side. Uncle Mark and his kids and grandkids (my brother, John & his family & Missy & her family).

Family on my mom’s side (Aunt georgia and Aunt Julie and her kids & grandkids).

Track & Cross Country Combined:

I was awarded the coach of the year award at the HS I coach at. It was an honor and I was shocked! The girls took region in track and the boys took 3rd losing to 1st by 4 points. It was so close between 3 schools! Pictures also of my girls running track.

Random Pictures:

Costa Rica Week 3

So this is our last week (and a couple of days) left of our trip! It has been so fun to get away and spend that time as a family. We were really sad to leave and who knows, maybe one day move there. We met up with friends and families that we have not seen for a while and met some new friends from all over the world.

We had amazing experiences good and bad that created beautiful memories. We were able to look past the comforts we take for granted in the U.S. and embrace the culture. For example: sleeping with mosquitos all around us, going to bed knowing that bugs would be crawling on you at night- in some areas- , sleeping with no fans or air conditioning, no dryers, no dishwashers, etc…the list goes on and on… but I envy their way of living sometimes over the comforts we have. My girls did really well; and they also fought a lot!! But sadly, that is a norm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

These memories we will always cherish and we will be back to visit the beautiful country of Costa Rica!

Day 1 (Mon, June 10th)- Week 3

Kim and I went out for a 40 min run together. During our run, we ended up on a trail where there were howling monkeys everywhere. They were so loud. I dropped her off at her hotel room and continued on for another 22 min. It was hot and humid this morning. I finished off a 62 min run. I have no idea how far I ran… I forgot the charger for my watch so my watch stopped working last week. After getting ready, We went over to their place for breakfast and helped them pack up (they are leaving tomorrow and are staying at a place next to the airport tonight). We came back to our place and found out that we get a breakfast here (included with the price)… so of course we ate again.

We left around 11 to head to Potrero. We had to pay more there because when Corom booked the room, he booked the 4 person room. Well with there being 6 of us, it was $40 more than what we planned. ๐Ÿ˜ฌIt still was a nice place with fun things to do there… so I guess that’s a plus. We did go to the beach for a couple of hours and of course the girls swam at the place.

We went to their grocery store in town to get things for dinner. We opened up the pasta package and a ton of bugs were in there!! So gross!!! I seriously lost my appetite.

We played pool and swam more in the pool.

We received a phone call from our cousin (Ryan) that his mom had a stroke and she might not make it. Corom is very close to his cousins, Dan and Ryan (always has been), and is sad that we are not in the states to be with them. We do fly into Vegas on Monday of next week where Dan and his aunt live.

Day 2 (Tuesday, June 11)- Week 3:

I went for an hour run this morning. It was so hot and humid! The girls went for a swim while I ran. They are loving all the swimming. We checked out of our place and headed to Conchal… a shell beach. It is amazing here! The water was so clear and warm. We did a lot of snorkeling and kayaking today.

We eventually had to leave to go get dinner. We passed a group of boys playing “football” on the beach! It is so fun to see so many soccer games going on all hours of the day, every where in every town of all ages.

After dinner, we walked the little town. So many shops and things to see.

We also had to go find a place to stay and as we were looking, the girls kept begging us to camp out. Both Corom and I did not want to but we gave in. Yeah… we ended up sleeping in the car! Way too many mosquitoes. So we spent the night in our cramped car. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚ And still mosquitoes got into our car. I hate, hate the sound of them buzzing in my ear.

Day 3 (Wednesday, June 12th)- Week 3:

After little sleep for Corom and I, we headed to Tamarindo beach town. We spent our day there. We met a really cool family from Houston. She told us to come stay with them for the marathon next year, and I hope she takes us up on our offer to stay with us if they make their way down for Zion’s. The girls played on the beach… a couple of random horses walked over to us and “played” and nipped at the girls. It was pretty entertaining.

We ended up paying a guy $20 for all 4 girls to go ride the horses on the beach. They loved it! That was seriously such a great deal! When the girls finished with the horses, I took off on a 56 min run in that town. It was a good run. I came back, and we all just hung out at the beach (with that other family as well).

We walked the town of Tamarindo before we left for our next place. We headed to Junquillal known as Turtle Beach. There were very few people that were staying in this town. The beach was empty and we loved it! The locals said we were there in the off season so there are not too many people around (except for the locals). I’m happy about that.

We met a few people that are here doing humanitarian work… They will walk the beach at night, looking for turtles. As soon as they see one, they will wait for the turtle to lay their eggs, leave, and then they take the eggs and put them in a safe area to let them hatch. Once they hatch, they release them back in the ocean. They have eggs that will hatch at anytime. I was hoping they would hatch while we were here.

Day 4 (Thursday, June 13th)- Week 3:

I went out for a 62 min run. I felt a little sluggish today and dehydrated… but still a decent run.

We made our way to the beach (about a 2 minute walk), to see if there were any turtles (which we knew there weren’t going to be any but our girls still wanted to check ๐Ÿ˜‚), and to make our annual sand creature at the beach. For the past 9 years, we have gone beach camping in California. This year, our favorite beach camping site burned down with one of the big California fires. Anyway… every year on our last day at the beach we will make a big sand sculpture. So we figured this time in Costa Rica since we have been at 6 different beaches now in the past week, this will count as our beach camping. Our last day on the beach was today. The girls and Corom wanted to make an iguana. It was high tide and not a lot of sand room so we had to be quick. They did a great job getting it done.

We eventually had to leave and began our way back to Alajuela. We got a little backwards and lost on a few roads. During that time, we saw 2 sister missionaries standing out in the pouring rain waiting for their bus. We quickly pulled over and gave them a ride to an appointment that they had 10 minutes to get to. Talking with one of the sisters, we found out that my girls hang out with her cousins. (The missionaries were from Arizona and Las Vegas.) Small world! This did remind me of when my aunt was out here with us and we picked up a hitchhiker (from France)… he was a nice fellow. He missed the bus so we hurry and caught up to the bus 2 towns away. He made it on. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We made our way to a pharmacy because my 3rd daughter has been complaining about her ear hurting. It’s been a few days now, so we decided to stop in. The nice gentleman looked at her ear and said it was inflamed (swimmers ear). So she is now on antibiotics and has ear drops. I hope it gets better soon. We made a few stops and met a few people on our way back to the Castillo’s home…

We made it back to the Castillo household where we will spend the last few days here in Costa Rica.We visited a family tonight that Corom grew close to while on his mission. It was fun to talk with them… especially because 3 of them knew english. My girls loved being around their daughters. After being here, I want to learn Spanish and I want my kids to speak Spanish.

Day 5 (Friday, June 14th)- Week 3:

I got up at 5:30 to my 3rd daughter’s ear hurting. Once she was taken care of, I went out on a 46 minute run. It was a nightmare to run here in the city! I can’t believe how many people are out and about at 5:30 a.m. Roads are packed, drivers everywhere, most of the time no shoulder to run on so you are praying the whole time you won’t get hit, but all runners know that you have to get your run in! Yeah I’m glad this one is done with. I wanted 10-15 min more but I’m good with 46 min today. Oh and some of the holes around the city are dangerous!

We headed out to San Jose to do some shopping. My girls were so excited to have their own money to spend! They each earned $80 in the months leading up to this trip (babysitting, cleaning the neighbors house weekly, mowing the neighbors lawns, selling hot chocolate/lemonade, cleaning out my mother in laws chicken coop and selling the eggs, and selling honey from her beehives). It was well earned. They were in heaven! They would ask, “mom can I get this?” And I just told them it was up to them! I don’t think they knew what to do because I usually say no to everything that ask for me to buy. It was fun to do this today. They only spent half (or less than half) and were good to stop.

There was an area along the main shopping strip that was packed with pigeons. ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ Of course my girls stopped and had a hay day with them. They were all over the girls (and Corom & Lucas). One pooped on my oldest.

My girls and I were in a line to go to the bathroom at McDonald’s of all places and there was a lady behind all of us. My oldest asked her if she wanted to go in front of us. I was bugged at first (I really had to pee and there was only 1 stall) and then thought that was pretty awesome for her to let the lady in front of us. I was looking at my oldest (without her knowing) and am amazed on how much older and mature she is becoming.

We went to the Rojas’s house for dinner. It was so good!! I couldn’t stop eating (and I paid for it the next morning… it made running really hard).

Day 6 (Saturday, June 15th)- Week 3:

Corom and I got up at 4:30 a.m. to head into San Jose to Sana track. Corom was nice to take/join me. I met up with a runner from Costa Rica this morning. We met him and the Costa Rican team at the Chicago marathon 4-5 years ago. I have kept in contact with them throughout the years and was so glad to join one of the members this morning. He is a very talented runner and the place we met, was packed with runners (and roller bladders). I ran a warmup and then joined him on a 1 x 4K at a 6:25 pace. He had another to do but where I have taken 2-3 weeks off of running, I didn’t want to do another and felt out of shape. It did feel good to be out there running with someone at a good speed. Then I finished off with a little cool down.

We were going to head back into San Jose today but Deanna called her son and asked if I could go help her prepare for a Church Father’s Day party (for our church). We are staying with Deanna (Castillo). We dropped our plans and all headed over to help. She was only expecting me, so she was pleasantly surprised to have our whole family there.

I didn’t realize she was cooking for the whole ward. I am so glad we were there to help her and her husband and daughter. My girls jumped right in did a lot of the prep work. Once finished we had about an hour or 2 to do some shopping and just looking around. We went to Alajuela’s main strip area because it was the closest.

We headed back to help the Castillo’s bring the food over to the church and to help wherever they needed it. There was a good turnout for their Father’s Day party; Papa Castillo did a wonderful job on the meat/food; the father themed games were fun, the kids got a soccer game going, and people just visited. The people here are so loving!

Day 7 (Sunday, June 16th)- Week 3:

Father’s Day!!

We went to church at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with the Castillo’s. They actually called Corom to speak (he served his mission in this area and they were so excited to see him here). Deanna Castillo also spoke today and bore her testimony (at the end of her talk) on the power of missionaries. I felt the spirit even though I didn’t understand a word.

After church, we visited a while and started to pack up. It’s crazy how 3 + weeks have gone by so fast! Later in the afternoon we had the opportunity to attend 2 games of the Gold Cup football/soccer games here in Costa Rica! The 1st game was Haitie ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡น and Bermuda ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฒ and the 2nd was Costa Rica ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท and Nicaragua ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ. Costa Rica won their game 4-0. It was so awesome to be there at the game and to see all 4 countries around cheering the teams on! We sat with a group of people from all different countries and made friends with them.

We came back to the Castillo’s home, visited for a little while, said our goodbyes (they went to bed and the girls went to bed), while Corom and I packed up. It’s a sad day… now that it is here, I don’t want to go home!

Day 8 and 9 Going in to the next week:

I am continuing on because of our travels home… by the time we get home, we would have been gone for 3 weeks and 4 days. We have a couple of guys who just graduated staying at our house, so I know things are taken care of there. We did receive a text that our freezer did go out and all of the meat, etc was spoiled. I was way bummed about that. Oh well!

Our flights home went well… customs went by fast and we were able to get to our connecting flight from L.A. to Nevada. As we were waiting to board they announced over the intercom if 2 people were willing to catch a later flight. They would pay them $500 a piece. Of course Corom and my 2nd daughter said they would stay back and catch a later flight. So worth $1000! That will help with all the mishaps of paying extra in Costa Rica! It will also be good because we are going to hang out with our cousins in Vegas today and tomorrow. They are taking their mom off life support this evening. So it will be good to be there with them.

The people in Costa Rica are amazing! Everyone is very laidback and easy going. The saying out there is Pura Vida! “It’s all good”! I know we were on vacation mode but there were many places that we visited, stayed at that put us right in their culture.

Back in Vegas:

We hung out with our cousins (some were in from out of town as well-it was nice to see them, too) for the next couple of days in Vegas… on Tuesday morning I went out for 1:05 hour run. It is so dry here from Costa Rica! What a huge difference. It was nice to get out and run after the traveling. Our kids and our cousins kids had fun playing. They are a good family! Our aunt was taken off support (on Monday night) and moved to a care facility where they are waiting for her to pass on. Dan (our cousin) was driving his mom to the hospital on the morning of her stroke. She was scared to go in because of not knowing the outcome (of going into surgery). Dan gave his mom comforting words. He said, “Mom, you will either wake up from your surgery looking at me or looking at dad.”

Random pictures of the 3rd week:

Running On Healthy

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Mother Racer

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Barlow Family

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