Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stolen blog post - please read

I copied this from http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn't. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I'd be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don't have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked.funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn't worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn't clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. "Rare" or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay - for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d'orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you're concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It's not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we're pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It's important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it's trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don't have to have a lump to have breast cancer

Why I'm weird and just a little bit crazy

I like hard work.  I know I'm strange - but I love putting my all into something, and reaping the benefits.  Maybe that is why I'm such an exercise junkie.  I love feeling like I totally pushed myself - getting all tired and sweaty - and then taking a shower.  And to me, there is nothing more exciting than feeling myself get stronger and fitter every day.
I remember a few months ago, my sister and I went to the gym.  My goal that day was to run a mile on the treadmill, which I did, but I was sore and miserable for about a week afterwards.  Now running a mile on the treadmill is just a warm up.
So far this month, I have run 72 miles.  I'm so proud of myself.  Since today is the last day of the month, I plan to run tonight, so my total will be up to 75 miles this month.  My goal for next month is 90 miles.  I think I'm addicted - not so much to the running itself (because frankly, quite often it hurts while I'm doing it) but definitely to the "runner's high" afterwards.  Its such an amazing feeling to have completed a long run feeling strong.  And, I'm so proud of myself for avoiding injury thus far.
I do think that my ice baths help to keep me from injury.  After my long runs, I sit in the bathtub and run the coldest water possible.  Once the water has barely reached the top of my thighs, I dump in all the ice from my ice maker.  Then, I sit and shiver as the ice melts.  I probably spend about 20 minutes total in the ice water.  I know I sound crazy, but it really keeps me feeling good.  After the runs where I ice bath, I'm rarely even sore or stiff the next morning, whereas when I skip the ice bath I's usually sorry.
So, ya.  I am weird and probably more than a little bit crazy.  But at least my obsession is healthy and good for me.  Maybe one day I'll even have a runner's body.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My first 10k

Its been almost a full week since I ran my first 10k, and I'm only now finding time to write about it. And I really should be working, but I'm finding a real lack of motivation right now. So, here's the story:

My brother and I signed up to run the Deseret News 10k together. The race was held on Tuesday July 24, which is Pioneer Day - the day that Brigham Young walked into the Salt Lake Valley and declared "this is the place", and thus began the habitation of this great state.

The race began at 6 am, in attempt to combat the heat. But even at 6 am it wasn't very cool outside. It began in an area called Research Park, and the route started out downhill and ran downtown. The last 2 miles or so were along the parade route, and the race ended up in Liberty Park.

I was a bit nervous. I've run several 5ks, but nothing longer. A 10k is 6.2 miles, so I knew it would be a bit of a test for me. I still haven't been running that long.

We lined up about mid-pack, and waited for the start. My brother and I chatted with a veteran runner. She was so nice, and told us how she and her hubby are running a marathon in every state. She has run St George, and it was fun to hear her words of wisdom. She was interested in our iPod arm bands, and I thought how funny it was that we each were experts in something.

Finally the race started, and I was grateful the race was chip timed because it took almost a minute to cross the start line. My brother was gone in the first few seconds, and I never saw him again. Immediately the race started downhill, and I found myself struggling to hold my pace. The force of running downhill combined with the excitement of the race made me want to push it. But I knew that I needed to save something for the end.

The first 2 miles of the race went very quick. I had forgotten my heart rate monitor, which also has a timer and I regretted it. I really think I set a PR for the first 2 miles. I would love to know my time. After about 2 miles, the course leveled off a bit and even went uphill for about 1/4 a mile. I started to feel a bit thirsty and I hoped for an aid station.

I didn't pass the first aid station until after mile 3. By then I was very thirsty. I drank a water and gatorade, and walked about a block to let my stomach settle.

At this point, the course turned southward onto the parade route. Again I found myself running downhill. I probably ran this part too quickly, but it was so exciting to have the spectators along the route. Some of them were uninterested in us runners. But others had signs, were shouting words of encouragement, and some were even giving hi-fives. At the bottom of the hill, I had to walk a couple of blocks, and of course that is where I saw a friend. He shouted "hi" to me, and I wished I looked more like a runner and less like a tired walker at that point. I started running again.

While I was walking, I got passed by a man who appeared to be in his mid 70s. He was wearing a shirt that said "running behind Opa". I thought he was really cool. Unfortunately, I don't remember if or when I passed him. I'm not sure which of us finished first.

The race course turned again with about ? mile to go. I had kind of been leapfrogging with a man and a girl. We kept shouting encouragement to each other, and noting that this seemed like the longest part of the race. I hadn't taken anything to refuel, and I felt tired. Finally I saw the finish line. I really wanted to sprint to the finish, but all I could manage was a strong jog. I felt good though. There were several vomit puddles at the finish line, and I was grateful that none were mine.

I crossed at around 1:16-ish. Results weren't published until the next day, but my official chip time was 1:15:07. Not a fast time by any means, but I was very pleased with myself. It was such a fun race and I'm definitely running it again next year.

Monday, July 23, 2007

3 year old wisdom

In effort to become a better blogger (I've sucked at it lately, truth be told) I've decided to update a bit on my kiddos. Starting with Gracelin. She's so funny lately, and I really don't want to forget anything about her. So, this post is dedicated to her and her 3 year old mind. Just as a warning: it may be a bit fragmented and disjointed. So please bear with me.

The other day, G told me the difference between mommies and daddies: daddies have hair on their tummies and mommies do not. I had a good, hard laugh at that one.

After helping me upload the pictures from our cabin trip this weekend onto my lap top, G announced that "I looked really good in that outfit". I think she's becoming a diva!

She has become the girl of one million questions. I'm not exaggerating that fact either. She loves to ask questions about anything and everything. The other night, an exasperated Daddy asked her why she has so many questions. Her response: I'm just a talker! She sure is.

Gracelin loves to comb my hair, and she is gentle enough that it feels really good. So, she does my hair a lot. The other day while doing my hair, she proclaimed that I was looking so pretty, that Daddy was going to come home and kiss me and want to make a baby boy with me. G really wants a brother, and takes every opportunity to remind me.

She also follows me around, everywhere I go throughout the house. Yesterday as I was hurriedly trying to get stuff together to get out the door, she was constantly at my heels. I think I tripped over her 6 or 8 times. I didn't say anything to her, but she could tell I was frustrated. We got into the car, and she said to me: When I have a little girl, I'm going to let her follow me around, because I will love her. It made me feel really sad to hear that - I love her too. I guess I need to work on patience.

G is such a good sister. She loves Bryn so much, and is very kind and gentle with her. I love watching them together, as Bryn loves her sister just as much. G is always hold Bryn's hand, and helping her out. She will softly touch her face, and tell her: "I love you my little chubby", which is a bit funny, as Bryn is not that much littler than G. But it is so cute and sweet.

I can't ever stay upset with G. Her kindness and sweet personality is too overpowering. And she feels so bad when I'm upset that she does everything she can to fix things. She is such an obedient and well-mannered child (she won't even eat without a napkin). I am blessed to be her mommy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend at the cabin

We just got back from an overnight trip to the cabin owned by my husband's family. Its a fun cabin located right on a ski run at Brighton Ski resort. Its only about 45 minutes from our house, but far enough away to feel like a vacation. The cabin is in the trees, and it was wonderfully cool up there - a nice break from the heat wave we've been experiencing. The girls had a blast! We took G on a night hike, and I was so proud of her. She hiked almost the entire 2 mile uphill by herself. She faded at the end. Finally, just a few minutes from the lake we were hiking to, she told me that she needed to close her eyes, so we carried her the rest of the way. But I was very proud of her toughness - it wasn't an easy hike.
It was so beautiful up there, and the wildflowers were in full bloom. Hiking under the ski lift though made me excited for ski season.
This picutre is the girls with my mom. They love being outdoors, and couldn't wait to go play in the meadow with all of the flowers.
My ILs lived in Switzerland for awhile, and MIL has painted part of the cabin to look just like a Swiss one.
We had a blast watching the humming birds - there were several buzzing and swooping around on the porch. I was suprised how aggressive there were. I think they were mad at us for invading their territory, and several times I felt like we were being dive bombed.

It was a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday America

We spent the night at my parents' house, because we had plans to get up early and go to a breakfast in the canyon. But, I had to get up early and run. My parents' neighborhood is really hilly, and I was a bit nervous to be running in their neighborhood. I got up at 5am - it was still nice and cool. I ended up having a great run - I didn't want to go too far, since I had a busy day ahead. I just ran 2.2, but it was one of the best runs I've ever had. I loved running those hills. At one point I ran past one of those stop signs that tell you your speed, and it told me that I was running 6 miles per hour. I thought that was pretty cool.

I got the rest of the family up at 6:30, so we could be in the canyon early. G donned her "Happy Birthday America" tee and Bryn a patriotic jumper. They were so cute! Last year we had gotten there late, and we stood in line forever. It was still nice and cool, and the lines were short. We got the most amazing pancake breakfast, and the girls got balloons (which was probably the best part for them).

We ate breakfast, and then took a short hike around the lake. Gracelin walked the entire way, and Bryn made it most of the way. They loved it - especially Bryn who wanted so badly to get right into the water. We spent a long time just throwing rocks into the water.

After the hike, it was time for the "parade". Anyone who wants to be a part of the parade can put streamers on their vehicle and drive around. Its fun for the kids though. They throw candy and beads (G flashed them and got a whole handfull of beads). My kids got more candy than Halloween (I'm not sure what we're going to do with all of that candy either - we still have Halloween candy at our house, and Easter candy . . .)

Then we headed back down the canyon. The girls were exhausted, so after a sandwich we took a nap at my parents' house. Well - everyone else napped while I made potato salad. At 5pm (4 hours later) the girls and daddy were still sleeping. I had to wake them all up so we could head for our dinner at D & A's. The girls had so much fun there with cousins - it was chaotic. At one point, Bryn disappeared. We all spent about 5 minutes freaking out, before we realized she had disappeared into the bathroom to play in the toilet. Dinner was fantastic, but the kids were getting so tired. I felt like the mean mommy, but we left before fireworks began. We all had to be up by 6am the next day, and I needed to let the girls get some sleep.

Monday, July 02, 2007

5k Race Report

I ran in a local 5k on Saturday. I work as a City Planner in an adjacent town, and it was their celebration. As you can see from the picture, my mom participated with me. We got to the race only a few minutes before it started - its nice when the race starts and finishes from the same location. I woke up that morning coughing and wheezing - there was a bad wild fire in the mountains outside my house, and I think I'm allergic to the smoke. I actually took my daughter's breathing treatments before the race so I could breathe.

The race began at 7am, and it was already hot. We lined up in the road, where someone had painted "start" onto the asphalt. It was a smallish race - less than 300 people - and not as well organzied as the other races I've run. We crossed several intersections, and only one or 2 in the entire race were there police there to help with traffic. In fact, there were times that cars actually drove right next to me. I was also suprised that the first part of the race was a steady incline, as I was expecting a flat race. I actually would have prefered more hills, as I think I would have run it better. But, I ran the first mile in just over 10 minutes, which is a fairly good pace. I was having a difficult time pacing myself because I'd forgotten my iPod, and I use that to pace myself. I still felt like I was doing fairly well.

Then, at mile 2, the course turned eastward - right into the blazing sun. It was hot, and I faded fast. And a young girl (maybe 8 or 9) who was runing with her dad right in front of me, fell and skinned her knees badly. She was so tough though, she got right up and kept running. I'm not sure how quickly I ran my other 2 splits in, because I never saw the mile 2 marker. I was so thirsty, but there were no aid stations to be found. Finally, at what I'm thinking must have been around 2 1/2 miles, they had an aid station. That water tasted so good.

I tried to pick up the pace a bit, but the heat was really taking its toll. About this time, I really thought I was going to puke on the side of the road. But, I was so close, and I willed myself not to. Finally I rounded the corner to the finish line, which was on the other side of the building where we started (we ran a loop around downtown). Seeing the finish line helped me get my second wind, and at least I finished strong. But my time was 34:30, which is really quite pathetic and discouraging.

We did have fun the rest of the day. Ben and the girls met me at the finish line, and we headed over to a breakfast in the park. The girls played at the park and had fun at the petting zoo, until we had to get Gracelin dressed and onto her float for the parade.