My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

cedar city sheningans

This weekend, I went on my very first girls weekend since I have been married.

I went to Time Out For Women several years ago, but that was just 1 night, and it was in town.

This was a three day, three night, 5 friends, half marathon, hiking, swimming, Cedar City, Saint George, Las Vegas, girls weekend...and it was fun, extremely fun!!!

I went with my best friend and next door neighbor Karli Sweat, another great friend Julianne Michaels, a friend from the ward Jen Avery, and a girl I didn't know until this trip, Nicole Davis. 

I take that back, I actually met Nicole once.  She was the ER nurse that treated Ben last year when he was in the ER after a bike crash.

All of them are nurses in the ER here in Heber, and all of them are crazy, hilarious, fun, and a blast to be with. Oh the stories...
left to right:  Nicole, Julianne, Jen, Karli, me

We drove to Saint George Thursday night, where we stayed in Jen's parents vacation home.  We talked the entire way there, and I think we pretty much had the world's problems, and our own problems solved in that three hour drive. ha!! 
I also heard all sorts of crazy ER stories.We got there really late, so we pretty much just got there and crashed.

We woke up Friday morning and walked to a grocery store for breakfast and got food for the day.  Then we headed off to a lake.   

It was hilarious as we tried to smash in a huge paddle board, three blow up tubes, 5 women and a cooler into one vehicle.  I was literally hanging onto a tube on top of the car, while holding the paddle board in the car.  There wasn't enough room in the car for my whole body, so I was hanging out of it for a little while.  Everyone else was just as squished.  Luckily, it was less than a mile from the rental shop to the lake.  I am sure everyone heard us laughing and screaming the entire drive down to the lake.

that would be my head smashed between the window and the paddle board.

We rented some blow up tubes and a paddle board, and just hung out on the lake for hours, relaxing, talking, laughing our heads off, and enjoying some time to just chill. After the lake, we headed out to dinner, and then back to the house.

We bought a ridiculous amount of chocolate and treats, pulled out some games, and laughed our heads off until it was way past bedtime.  I seriously love these ladies so much.

We woke up at 3:30am, and got ready for the half marathon that morning.  Let me repeat:  3:30 a freaking m.

Yeah, waaaay too early. 

It was a necessary evil though.  We had to be at the bus line up at 5:30, and the marathon was about 2 hours away.

Rewind a little bit.  When we first arrived in Saint George, Julianne gave us all these really cool tank tops and bracelets that say "IGU" on them.
They represent a brand her brother in law in New York started.  IGU means I Got U.
This is what it means.
We all put on our bracelets and cried for a while.  Some of my friends that were there are going through some terrible situations right now.  We have all been trying to help get them through this for the past 6 months or so.  These hard times are what have bonded us all so closely together.  We have cried together, leaned on each other for support when giving up seemed the only other alternative, we have prayed for, fasted for, and done whatever is necessary to keep each other afloat. It was a very meaningful and special moment for all of us that morning.  Tears were shed, hearts were knitted even more together, and support was once again reinforced.

So, back to race day.  We all put on our IGU tanks, and headed out the door.

The Cedar City Half Marathon is supposed to be one of the fastest ones out there.  I have trained really well for it, and was excited to see what I could do.  We were all pretty excited...tired...but excited.

Lucky for us, the bus driver that drove us up to the starting line, let us stay on the warm bus as long as possible before we had to get out at the starting line.  It was 38 degrees up there, so the warm bus was a huge luxury!

We waited forever in line for a bathroom, and then walked up to the starting line.
we went to the DI the night before and bought sweaters that we could throw away on the course soon after starting the race.  I actually kind of liked mine, but it is gone...long gone.
Unfortunately, Julianne is dealing with some serious foot problems, so she couldn't run the race with us.  She is a great runner, and has several half and full marathons behind her, but she had to sit this one out. We really missed her.

We had all decided to run our own pace, and meet up at the finish line.  That way there was no pressure to run faster or slower than we naturally run.

I was feeling a little bit funny in my stomach when the race started, but I figured it was probably just the zipfizz I had just chugged and blew it off. I was excited and ready to roll.

I blasted out of the start, and was hauling down the mountain for the first 6 miles.  I was running a 7:30 minute mile, and super excited.  If I kept up that pace, I would for sure PR, and probably get a big PR.  The downhill was kind of a shock to my quads, but it was so fun to run fast that easily.

The course was stunning!  It was gorgeous!  I made sure to look around and enjoy what was around me.

Around mile 6, my stomach went completely psycho.  It was the ultimate gut bomb. It swelled up to the point where my shirt and pants got tight, and it started cramping like crazy!  I couldn't believe the pain to be honest.  It literally took my breath away, and brought me to a screeching halt.

Luckily, mile 6 had an aid station with a bathroom.  I figured I would just go to the bathroom, drink some water, and be well on my way.

I unleashed the demons in the bathroom.  Not kidding!  It was unbelievable!  (sorry so graphic)

I got out of the bathroom, not feeling any better, and tried to start running again. 

I ran the next two miles in pure agony.  I could hear all sorts of crap sloshing around in my stomach, and the cramping was horrific.  By this time it wasn't just my stomach.  I had double side aches, and back spasms going on as well. I looked down, and seriously looked like I was 4 months pregnant.  What the?!?!   I began to wonder if the ghost of my uterus was coming back to haunt me, with a vengeance!

At mile 8, I found another bathroom, and lost everything inside of me, and then some.  I saw Karli running by at that point.  She stopped to help me, told me I looked green and freaky, and then I sent her on her way.  I caught up to her a mile later, we ran a mile together, and then I stopped again at the next bathroom to unleash the demons yet again.

Karli kept running, and I soon found her the next mile up.  Worst game of leapfrog ever!

I was so dehydrated by this point that I was dizzy and cramping everywhere from lack of hydration. 
I found Karli at the next aid station, where we decided to stick together from there on out.  I think I may have scared her. Pretty sure I looked amazing by this point.
Karli has a bad knee, and she was in loads of pain.  I was pretty much being ripped from the inside out, so we looked at each, said, "I Got You" and started running, limping, and shuffling our way onward.

We kept each other going to the finish line.  We stopped when we needed to, walked when we needed to, and tried to run as much as we could.  I never would have finished that race without her.

We crossed the finish line together, where she stopped to get her medal, and I continued running right past the medal people, straight to the bathrooms.  Go me.
Thank you friends for making me take this lovely picture.  Sad, but true statement right there.
I know it sounds crazy, but even with being so sick, this was my favorite half marathon to date.  It was so fitting that Karli and I ended up fighting it out and helping each other endure and finish something hard.  That has been the story for us for a while now.  The scenery was gorgeous, the course was perfect and fast, and I was in great company.

Jen's IGU tank was too big, but she did have one.
After the race, while we were stretching, and I was still rolling around in agony, we discovered that Karli's energy chews she had kept in her bra had melted all over her, and Nicole had run the entire race with her pants inside out.

We burst into fits of laughter, which resulted in me running to the bathroom again.  Oh man, good times...good. times.

As soon as I could take more than a 10 minute break from the bathroom, we got in the car and headed back to Saint George to get Julianne.

Come to find out, she woke up feeling great, and did a 2 hour run while we were gone!!  Seriously!  She is still getting a lot of crap (all in good fun) for that one. 

We showered, some of us ate (definitely not me and pyscho stomach), slapped on our swim suits, and headed to a waterpark in Vegas.

The waterpark was a blast.  I pretty much just floated around the lazy river, waiting for my stomach to stop eating itself.

We did a couple crazy slides, and screamed and laughed.  We forced Julianne to go down an incredibly steep slide, (she is scared of heights) which took forever, because she just sat up there swearing for 5 minutes at the top of the slide, while we laughed our heads off and encouraged her to go for it.

After the waterpark, we headed down the strip to do some shopping and grab dinner.  Again, good times, good company, crazy moments, and psycho stomach doing it's thing.
Cheesecake Factory

We didn't get home until 1:00 that morning.  Needless to say, we were TIRED!!

The next morning we got up, ate, cleaned the house we were staying in, packed our backs, and headed to Kaneraville to do a hike.

This was hands down the most beautiful hike I have ever done.  The pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.  It was stunning.  I can't wait to take my family there.

Yes, I am standing in water with my shoes AND socks on.  I never, ever thought I would see the day, but I did it.  The whole hike is in water, and it is soooooo worth it.

After the hike, we grabbed some lunch at Café Rio, and then made the drive home.

It was a wonderful weekend, full of fun, laughter, bonding, healing, crying, recharging, and everything in between.

I am blessed.

1 comment: said...

We also did that hike for girls trip!