Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Happy 'Official" Halloween all.

Holden's First Halloween - October 2009

Just so we're clear. I live in Utah, so unless the holiday is Christmas or Easter, it's not getting celebrated on a Sunday...and certainly not a pagan orgy-fest like the 31st of October.

Besides, we passed out most of the good candy last night. Though in a shocking twist, along with the full-size candy bars, etc we gave out I had also added some organic Annie's Chocolate Graham Cracker Bunnies and Vegan "No preservatives" Fruit/Nut Bars. The punchy pink and green packaging was so alluring, a bunch of kids grabbed them before they could think to opt for a Snickers or Bag of skittles! Ha! I am so tricky.

Anyway, once we run out of Snickers tonight, we're giving toothbrushes to the heathens that have the audacity to come to our door on the Sabbath. :)

But moving on:

So it's a fact that I blog more in the Winter. Something about shutting one's self indoors when the weather is cold and slushy. I love being curled up on the couch with my thoughts, a warm beverage, a computer and just have a chance to free-write. Since I'm no longer a 'professional writer' (if my moonlighting as a magazine writer could ever really be called that), sometimes it really is nice to just be in the habit of writing.

You know what's another great habit? Gratitude.

That's right people...being thankful.

Not that I'm a glass half-empty type of gal; but there really is nothing to boost your spirits like finding the little things in life you're grateful for (and because I have a lot of random pictures of Holden that don't really merit an entire post), I'm going to work on micro-blogging in November.

During the month of Thanksgiving, I'm going to post every day...something I'm thankful for. It could be something grand and meaningful like my family, or something just freaking fabulous... like toe socks. Who knows? Guess you'll just have to come see to find out.

Let the attitude of gratitude begin!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Before there was snow, there was SUN

Here's a little piece of airline trivia: The three letter airport code for Sun Valley, ID is S-U-N, that's right "SUN."

You know Sun Valley. The US's first destination winter resort? Where Hemingway completed "For Whom the Bell Tolls"? Playground for the Kennedy's back in the day? Ring any bells? Or shall we say "Toll any bells?" Ha! See what I did there? Genius.

So before Salt Lake got waylaid with snow this week, but just a weekend after I had run 26.2 miles (yep, still talking about it, ha!), the Mangums took a little trip North, past Napoleon Dynamite territory to this fabulous resort town.

Danny's family has been going to Sun Valley since before he was born. His Grandmother "G.G" as we call her (Grandma Great since she's Holden's great grandma), tells the story of the family being up on Sunday morning and telling the kids: "Well we have a choice. We can either get ready and go to church or pack up in the car and drive to Sun Valley for prime rib at Warm Springs Lodge." I'm sure you can guess the outcome.

My love affair with the resort town started a little differently. I used to nanny for the daughter of Sun Valley Resort's owner (Earl Holding). The family would take summer vacations and spend Christmas up there. Years later, when I worked for SkyWest, I found myself revisiting for Christmas parties with our dear friends that wrote and published SkyWest Magazine (Go! Publications out of Boise, ID).

Sun Valley has a special place in both Danny's and my heart(s).

So off we went. Holden's first trip to one playground of the rich and famous.

But what to do? We'll we've got our regular haunts, but it's always nice to check in with the locals when you're wondering where to eat and what to do.

So we did.

With 2665 of them.

The Sun Valley Guide published the results of the local's favorites -- from best breakfast to bike shop tune up. Our weekend also happened to coincide with the Annual "Trailing of the Sheep Festival," which among the many festivities ended with a parade on Sunday where 2000 sheep were brought down from highland to low land through Main Street in Ketchum. Classic. Holden loved it, and kept signing "More" while saying "Baaaa."

The boys waiting for the sheep

And here they are!

being blessed by a priest

Big cheers from the Little Guy
Sun in the eyes

This was before the parade; Holden was playing with his little skateboard (about the size of my thumb)
and then found a local skater and decided to try out the real thing

Here are some of the things we did (in no particular order):
  1. Danny and I took a 30 mile bike ride (15 out to Hailey and 15 back to Elkhorn). I'm not a cyclist. Prior to that ride, I the furthest I had ever gone was the nine miles I did for the Bountiful sprint triathalon in 1999. (My sit bones were kind of numb.)
  2. Coconut Steamers & breakfasts at Java (the blueberry muffins were Holden's fave)

  3. We ordered Holden a cup of whipped cream (among other things) at Christina's. He had been eyeing everyone's warm drinks and wanted something to call his own
  4. Romantic date night at the Ketchum Grille with Danny. His parents had Little Bits and we were treated to live Jazz music table-side
  5. Hashbrown skillet and blueberry pancakes at The Kneadery (and whipped cream in Holden milk since we were all indulging in hot cocoa)

  6. Four mile run and the serious realization why one should take a few weeks off of running apres your first marathon.
    SV Duck Pond & Dad's Shoulders

  7. Sun Valley Resort for the duck pond (trying to feed them, but Holden just kept eating the bread we got for the ducks); Bald Mountain Pizza and a new *Vera Bradley from the gift shop I am now declaring the swankiest diaper bag I will ever own. (It's called "the weekender." How fitting right? And the color scheme is Baroque.)
  8. Sandwhiches from Perrys (hailed as Sun Valley's best bakery)
  9. Pedicure at "In N' Out Salon" (not the burger joint) where I was mistaken for a local (did I mention I LOVE the off season?) And Danny and the grandparents took Holden to see horses
  10. Despos ('Best Mexican') for dinner and Holden's first real come apart when I suggested he share a toy. Usually the kid is so game...not so much om this particular night.
  11. Some Signing Time, a French 'cartoon' and a lot of Beverly Hills Chihuahua for the roadtrip
And not a Walmart or McDonalds for miles....ahhh, heaven.

*So what is it with Old Lady Bags, you ask? Well, a decade ago, when I was a flight attendant, there were certain 'routes' I would fly where these bags kept popping up. Sun Valley in the summer time was definitely one of them; but any place that was famous for it's vineyards, wine, etc. It seemed that these 'weekenders' on my flight had a certain air about them. Not necessarily hoity-toity; but they always seemed so put together... they'd wear designer slacks or crisp pressed linen pants (how does one keep linen 'crisp?', designer sun glasses and toowhite sweaters tied around their shoulders... and more often than not they'd be sporting a Vera Bradley. That's when the love affair began. They're not ridiculously pricey like a Burberry or Prada bag; AND YOU CAN WASH THEM! So naturally, I now have three in various shapes, sizes and colors.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Starts with Baseball, Ends with Alpaca

Tuesday had two things on the agenda: Halloween Party with the new Play-Date group we joined in the neighborhood (this was actually only our second showing, but we both seem to enjoy it) -AND- canning chili sauce with Mama Suite (my Mom.)

So I got Holden (just shy of 21 months these days) dressed in his costume:

The baseball theme seemed like a good option since each day when I ask him what he wants to wear he says: "Bay-Ball!" Which, besides "Mom," & "Dad" is one of the few words he really tries to say (the rest of his communication consists of about 10 ASL signs and then mostly animal sounds and roars... yeah, we're proud.)

Here's Holden with the new love of his life: "Hot Courtney." Apparently Holden takes after his father and loves older women. He wouldn't leaver her alone; even though she has two of her own darling children to look after. I met "Hot Courtney" through church. I know she has a last name, but when I'm talking to Danny, I always just say "Hot Courtney" and he knows who I'm talking about... yes, she's a looker (and she's got a great personality so DOUBLE WHAMMY!)

Hot Courtney's Darling Children:
(Blonde) WonderWoman and Superman (the early years)

At the Party, Holden found his way onto the stage.
I was proud of him for sitting on the edge and not jumping/falling off.

Here he is being all angelic for Storytime at the party. (Proud Sigh).
Actually he kept grabbing all the kid's toes and shoes...
I thought it was pretty awesome. They seemed ok with it, so I didn't interfere.

And "PARADE TIME!" Which was actually just the kids walking around the gym in a line... but Holden didn't really grasp the "line" part.
So he just marched to his own beat... if you know what I mean.

After a craft, a sugar cookie, nearly taking a kid's head off with his baseball bat and MANY wipeouts on the gym floor (but like Johnson's Shampoo - no tears! huzzah!); it was time to hook up with Mama Suite for naptime and canning.

We are so crazy like that. I mean, one minute we're suppose to be elbows deep in tomatoes and onions, and then BAMN, we go ROGUE like Palin and hit up craziness homemaker style. What up?

But seriously, my Mom was meeting my Dad for a work-thing; and so we got invited and joined in for lunch. Holden LOVED looking at the decorations and was especially interested in the cats. The picture below is of witches playing baseball. Even with frozen hands and a nose that looked like a strawberry, he didn't want to wave goodbye.

But even more intriguing? The ponies... Seriously? $3 for a 3-minute ride? That's like a dollar a minute! Yeah, we did it twice. I was especially stoked I wore my new fuzzy creamish boots to walk through all the mud and horse poop, because flip flops would've been down right disgusting.

Such a big boy! He looks kind of freaked out in these pictures, but he kept pointing saying "Nayne!" (meaning "neigh") which is Holden-speak for "Horses Mom! I love horses! More horses! Acknowledge the horse mom!"
And the pony isn't actually moving, I just moved back to take a picture.

Why can't I just smile like a normal person for pictures?

So after the pony ride/s we hit up the petting zoo. I was kind of expecting it to be like the fair where you reach through the stables and fences and can touch the animals if they walk towards you.. oh, not here. Holden just roamed around, petting, touching, pointing, mooing, nayne-ing, oinking and baa-ing to his heart's content.

Obviously neither the goats, nor my son, have personal space issues.

Here he is trying to ride an Emu. I ran interference successfully. Such was not the case when he tried to mount a goat that was seated; he took off before Holden could begin his 'mutton busting' career; and Little Bits tumbled backwards. Luckily, no one was hurt; they didn't kick us out and PETA wasn't protesting.

Speaking of PETA: I'm not entirely sure how I feel about "petting zoos" or "zoos" in general. (Leave it to me to turn a day of activity post into something political, eh?)

Most of the time zoo's freak me out -- because so often the animals seem sedated and unhappy. I've also been reading a lot of Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver lately, so my senses have become acutely aware about the misconnect of our pastoral view of the family farm and the CAFO's where most of our cow & chickens come from. That said, the animals here roamed about (with a larger pasture area behind them) and certainly didn't seem sedated (I saw one goat eat another's skin not a yard from my son.) But they were friendly to us. They seemed to be loved by the caretaker in charge of them -- she called them each by name, and even chatted them up a bit.
I guess I'll just have to withhold judgement about it or wait to make any serious decisions until I learn a little more. In the meantime, it sure was nice to just let Holden be a kid for the day...poop on our shoes and all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Randoms, because I can

Short form:

  • I'm trying on Bikram, aka HOT YOGA, for size. It's a 4 and I'm a 8. But I like it.
  • My hair is getting so long when I tilt my head back it's past my waistline - it needs to be trimmed.
  • It's time to have another baby, but I haven't come up with a catchy theme like Holden's conception mantra: "Procreate in 2008" I'm not entirely sure how to go about it... well, that's not completely true. I guess I have a bit of an idea...
  • Holden is a person. A real live boy. (Yes Ash, it is time for another update-coming soon!) For now I will just say he's amazingly good at minding for a 20-month old; I need to remember that. And he also looks fabulous is argyle sweater vests.
  • Yes, I've started to let him watch TV. (Well mostly just 'How to Train Your Dragon' because I've been sick and my parents gave us the movie. It's about the only 'kids show' we have. Too violent? Well he walks around the house saying "Roar?"which seems to mean"More Dragon Show please Mom?")
  • I have only run two times since the marathon (a 4 miler in Sun Valley one week after my 26.2 and a the Pink Half Marathon in Park City just over a week ago.) My right-bigtoe(nail) has still not recovered. I read somewhere to take 2-4 weeks off of running after a marathon. But it still feels weird.
  • I got a little tickle in my throat on Day 2 of Bikram Yoga. I assumed it was the MASSIVE DETOX happening from exercising in a room that's kept at more than 100-degrees and 40% humidity. But there was a blockage in my 5th Chakra (throat) from Not Speaking my Truth, and so I ended up with a sore throat/cold.
  • You may be wondering if you should take my last comment seriously; but then again, if you really know me, you know I'm entirely serious...go ahead, laugh now. It's only fair.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holden Rides a Bike

OK, so it's not exactly a bike, and I'm not sure if you'd call it 'riding'... but the kid is only 20 months. Looks like a good option for Christmas!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm being interviewed!

A Little Stretching before our Red Rock Relay Start

You know those fancy bloggers who get to say: "Hey, check out my interview over at {insert fancy blog name here}"?

Well, much like after Oprah Marathon finished her marathon, I too had many follow up questions to my 26.2 experience. (Ok, not really but there were a couple.)

So no, I'm not being featured anywhere; but I am just vain enough to sit down for an interview with myself (I can be, afterall, my harshest critic.) So before I lose my nerve, I better get to it.

Intro, Rolling Stone Style:

It's just after 1 on a Friday afternoon in October. I sit on a red couch in the front room of the Mangums, waiting for Sabrena to show up. She bounces in, hair straightened and slicked back off her face in a pony tail (obvious it hasn't been washed in days). Her blonde haired-blue eyed toddler (Holden, now 20 months) is asleep in the next room after a quick hour jaunt to the children's museum earlier this morning.

She's in a pink t-shirt from Smith's Marketplace, and dark denim Joes Jeans; recently scored for 20-bucks at an Urban Blues sale. (Hollah!)

The house is quiet, except for the squeaking of the hard wood floors. She looks around the room, as if the furniture has recently been rearranged making it impossible for her decide where to sit, and then flops down on the couch, a little closer to me than I'd prefer...

The Suite Spot (TSS): First off, let me congratulate you on your run. It's not often someone of your, um 'stature' shall we say, can achieve such athletic achievement.

Me: Yeah, this one goes out to all the big boned women out there! Except I'm not really big boned. Have you seen my wrists? I'm just fluffy...

TSS: But seriously, I thought you were hard core, but then I heard you actually wore shoes for the marathon. Isn't that kind of selling out?

Me: I'm glad you brought that up... I still train barefoot, mostly in my Vibrams actually. And for pretty much my entire training schedule I would run barefoot-barefoot or in the Five Fingers. But once my long runs hit more than 10 miles, even I had to admit my foot-muscles just weren't strong enough. For my Saturday runs (ranging from 10 - 22 miles) I'd wear a 4-yr old beat up pair of Saucony tennis shoes Danny convinced me to buy explaining that 'tennis shoes are sooooo comfortable.' Truth is, I'd wear flip-flops year round if I could (or Jimmy Choos if I had a million dollars). I really hate socks.

But for the race I bought a pair of (women's) Saucony Kinvaras. They're shoe-like, with hardly any stability but some cushion for the feet. But I wish I could've run barefoot... then maybe my toe nails wouldn't be black and falling off right now.

TSS: But you're still kind of a sell out, right?

Me: I guess so.

TSS: On the subject of selling out, what's with the Red Bull, Miss I-make-my-own-crackers-because-we-try-not-to-eat-processed-food." Isn't that just a bit hypocritical?

Me: Yes.

TSS: OK, glad we agree...

Me: I reacquainted myself with the beverage in September at the Red Rock Relay. I was running the very last leg of the race; a 7 and a 1/2 mile scorcher into Zion on an steady incline when it was over 95 degrees outside (the pavement made it feel like 100-plus.) I had already run two legs, totaling over 10 miles; and we were operating on two hours of sleep in 36 hours-- gotta love those relays! Since I am pretty careful about what I put into my body, I just had this feeling it might be a good experiment.

New 10k (plus!) Personal Record first leg of the RRR with Wikky's Watch

I downed a can after 3 miles and was able to finish and feel good. There was (and still is) a brief moment after I drink the stuff that I feel like the Hulk because I get crazy endorphins rushing through my body; but I clench my fists and jaw, keep going and then it's fine. I ONLY use it on race days; and I've only used it for the RRR, the day I ran my 22 miler and for the actual marathon. So it's not like I'm addicted.

And I don't see it becoming a part of my normal training regimen. I don't GU's. I try to stick to real food (granola bars, , fruit like bananas and oranges, maybe a PB & honey sandwhich), but I do allow myself an indulgence...speaking of, I wish I could run with cupcakes in my back pocket, now that would be a great race!

TSS: Ohhhh-kay. (I schooch a little further away from her on the couch.) True or false...

Me: True.

TSS: I didn't ask the question.

Me: Then I pick, D, all of the above.

TSS: Let's move on. You can't really have enjoyed the marathon as much as you say you did. Isn't that just blogging sensationalism? And let's be honest, you are kind of a spaz.

"I dance-run because the running-man doesn't give me the mileage jogging does"

Me: Yes, agreed... on the spaz part. But that really is how I remember it. I think for me, I went slow enough that I really could enjoy it. I got to take in the amazing scenery, visit with awesome people and have an experience.

I have friends that are fast, friends that qualify for Boston and friends that try to qualify for Boston and friends that run because they have to....

And I've had times in my life when I've had to run for other spots (like volleyball). The mile and a half we did seemed like an eternity...but it was for time, and to impress coaches and not lose a starting spot, etc etc. I just wanted to run a marathon, get it checked off the list BUT enjoy it. And I guess you could say if you do it in 4;45 minuets it's not really running... it is jogging; but that's ok for me. I feel like I've got my whole life to work on getting faster.

See, unlike a lot of people, I finished a marathon and know I will do it again. Running (however you define it) is a part of me now, so I better make sure I enjoy it since we're going to be together for a long time. The marathon really was great. It's the aftermath that sucks...

TSS: Sore muscles, not being able to walk down stairs?

Me: Well sure, I mean my muscles weren't really that bad. I was more sore after Red Rock. But exercising for that long does something to your insides. Besides the toenails and blisters, I really thought my digestive system would never be the same.

TSS: I'm not sure our readers want details...

Me: Oh I don't think they do. But I will say my brother-in-law is a doctor, and he thinks it's caused from blood being routed to other parts of your body for so long it takes a while to normalize. I'm paraphrasing of course, but I will say I should've eaten sooner after the race, and once I did eat, sweet potato french fries were not a good choice.

TSS: Um, yeah. I really think we should move on...

Me: Right, well, my son's going to waking up soon; and we're headed up to Park City this weekend for a ladies only half-marathon in support of breast cancer, so....

TSS: What about your toenails?

Me: Hopefully they grow back. if not I'll just put some polish on their where a toe nail is supposed to be. Besides, we're approaching boot season anyway.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The least some of what I remember

Ride the bus to the startline with my brother-in-law (he suggests I NOT sing kum-bay-ya). Warmest start temperature ever (or so they told us.) Stand in line to use the ladies (aka gross port-a-potty). See one of my running gurus (CPB) and her family - I take it as an omen I'm going to have a great race.

Fall in line with the 5-hr plodders (and the Cliff Pace Team member); and make a pledge to not go out too fast. Feels great to be running with people who are easy-like-sunday morning. No pressure for fast - I feel great. I've had a Odwalla bar, I drink the Gatorade at the Aid Stations and never turn down a piece of banana. Visiting and taking it all in, there's really no need for my ipod at this point. Vow to turn it on once the race gets hard (most likely at the Veyo hill).

I find Brittany. Brittany is a long legged twenty-something blonde college student, who is also a first-timer. She's my running friend for about 4 miles. She uses my chapstick. We bond. We inch ahead of the pacers but keep them within an ear's shot.

Some how 7 miles have passed; and we're already at 'the Veyo hill.' Brittany tells me it's not that bad (she's been training on the course), and I think I'll probably need my ipod. But I don't. The Veyo hill is manageable. There's about 4 more miles of rolling hills after Veyo's 1-mile climb reminding me that whoever said the Saint George Marathon is all downhill has NEVER run the first half of the race (or the Winchester hill.)

My set list is 3 hours long; I figure I'll start listening to it after 2 hours. We (Blonde Brittany and Me) keep inching ahead of the pacers. I check my Garmin watch. We're pacing around the 11 - 11:30; and getting further from the 5-hr pack. I hit 2 hours and keep pulling away. I stick my ear buds in, and push play: CAKE's "Going the Distance" begins my anthem for the race. I turn around. Brittany is smiling, and I keep going the distance. I never see her again.

Before I know it I've hit 13 miles and am still feeling good (about 2 hrs 30 minutes, on track for my 5-hr goal). My pace picks up a little; but I feel pleasant. I pull the Red Bull from the back of my water pack. I flick the lid with precision as I trot along. The red liquid energy sprays all over and makes my hand sticky. I don't really care. It tickles my throat but goes down relatively smoothly. I throw the empty can on the side of the road. It feels weird to litter -- even in a marathon. I turn around to the men behind me and muse "That feels weird. Just so you know, I feel bad about it." They give some slight courtesy laughs and soon after, the taurine and caffeine kick in.

Around the corner (a mile, maybe two?) my boys are waiting. It nearly takes my breath away I am so happy to see them. I feel euphoric. I feel great. In fact, I feel so good I'm almost afraid because 13 miles has NEVER felt this good, but I'm closer to mile 15! I hand off my knock-off camel back to Danny, give Holden a kiss, squeeze both of them and down 4 more ounces of a Red Bull Danny has brought with him. (He later confesses to finishing off the other 4 ounces as apparently tending Holden on race day has made him in need of a little 'pick-me-up' too.)

Before I know it, I'm at mile 17 or so. I've been posing for the cameras, wanting to make sure I have at least one happy picture of my run. But I don't have to try too hard because new people make me hyper, and cameras make me down-right spastic. I pull a 360 and the photographer makes me feel like I'm a paparazzi darling. The other runners around me vacillate between laughter and looks of disgust.

I look at the Garmin; and I'm on track for a negative split! Now 5 hours isn't the goal. I could pul around a 4:45! Is this really happening? Where's the wall? The Winchester Hill approaches and something weird is happening to my body. My feet suddenly have an aversion to the ground. I'm running uphill, but my feet feel like they are skipping on clouds. I look at my watch and I am pacing just over 9 minute miles -- uphill. This is not normal for me. In fact this is downright insanity. Holy Balls Red Bull really does give you wings! And the some. I don't fight it. I just revel in the sublime sensation. I let my feet carry me. At some point my pace slows a little; but I'm still holding around 10-minute miles.

I see another of my running gurus (BBS-one who helped get me into all of this). It's one more lift to my spirits. I keep going. It stands to reason that eventually I'll hit a wall, but it hasn't come...yet. I pass mile marker 22; the furthest I've ever run. I bust through it. People along the course are walking and stopping to stretch; and one guy is on the side of the road with paramedics. I say a little prayer for him and keep going.

Mile 24 is around the corner. I've thought about this point: the causes I would run for. The people I would think about. How I would dig deep into the innermost vault of Sabrena-ness
and find the strength to continue on. Because the wall is coming right? Any moment it's going to hit me. It's almost here...

But instead, I let out a wild yell:


The spectators along the sidewalk don't know quite what to do with me: so they cheer, and I smile and keep on keepin' on. And my race continues... no wall, but the bliss continues (well, as blissful as running 20-plus miles can be. It's a sliding scale, people.)

Someone is passing out popsicles around mile 25. The orange high fructose corn syrup feels cold and fabulous down my throat. I run with the small wooden stick it in my hand and am grinning from ear to ear.

The final stretch, I can see the balloons.
I pull out my headphones to hear the crowd and take it all in.

Another of my running gurus (WHH) is with her husband on the sidelines. She in grinning and cheering, and I babble on about how amazing I feel. She runs me in for a few strides. My emotions are so high I feel like my cells are going to explode. I'm almost in tears. I see my parents and Danny and Holden and my sister and brother-in-law. And they are smiling too. My face probably looks like I got botox at this point because my grin is from more than ear to ear.

I yell again to the crowd:


They erupt in thunderous applause.
I salute a National Guardsman. And then I leap over the finish line.

And in 4 hours and 44 minutes I have had the time of my life
and just happened to run 26.2 miles.

To be continued....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I came, I ran


I did it! It was awesome and I loved it, and I am certain I will do it again. Even when it was hard, I loved it.

4 hours, forty-four minutes and change (15 minutes faster than my goal time of 5 hours.)

More on the race later, but it behooves me to say that I never would have guessed I would have loved it as much as I did. Sure I thought I would love the finish line (and I did); but for one of the first times in my life, I actually enjoyed the journey.

Gotta Run....

PS. Yes, I wore shoes. :)