Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nathan's Art Work

I can't remember if I've ever posted this photo of Porter but it cracks me up every time I see it. It was so typical of Porter and his goofy humor to do something like this.
Well, we received a pretty nice gift from Porter's best friend Nathan Buhler.  He showed up with some awesome artwork to give to us.  He has been going to college down in Southern Utah at Dixie College and this large painting of Porter was his final project.  He came by to present it to us which we quickly and gratefully accepted.
I know I've said before how much Porter loved the band Keane. Nathan also knew of Porter's love for this band and so he also did this painting of the lead singer to give to us as well.
Last weekend was a tender time for me.  I started gathering things from all over the house that reminded us of Porter and put them in his room to fill it up and make it more cozy to go in there.  Up to this point his room has stood pretty empty with bare walls and just a bed and a rocking chair.  His clothes and other items had been safely put away in his closet.  Occasionally I like to go in his room and lay on his bed and read my scriptures and just think about him.  But it always feels so cold and empty.  I know it will always feel that way to some degree but this past weekend I, along with the help of the family turned that feeling around a little bit.
Cooper had Porter's bass and amp in his room and brought it back up.  We hung Nathan's beautiful art work on the walls.  I put a bookcase in the room and filled it up with everything 'Porter' related.  Now I love to go in there and sit in the rocking chair and admire so many things that Porter loved.  It has such a relaxing feeling in there.  I someday want to have a blanket made out of Porter's clothes, yet in talking with all the family about it they aren't sure they want to have his clothes cut into pieces.  For now we still find comfort in opening his closet and looking at the items hanging there and remembering how he looked dressed in them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Postum Pals

Porter and Brian

I love this photo
I love the boys' smiles
I love that Porter has no clue how much sugar is going into his glass while smiling for the camera
I love all the tomatoes on the counter
I don't love all the dishes in the sink
I don't love that Postum can't be purchased anymore
(unless you want to spend 125.00 on Amazon)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Observation of Waving

There seems to be a feeling of camaraderie in the world amongst people doing activities of the same kind. Have you ever noticed when you're driving down the road and you see motorcyclists pass each other?  They usually give each other a little wave or a nod, yet they probably don't know each other.  And people out riding their bikes?  They seem happy to share a wave and a smile.  The same thing happens on my morning runs.  As I pass a fellow runner sure enough we give a little wave or a nod, as if to acknowledge that we understand that what they are doing is challenging.  Yet, I don't notice motorcyclists waving at runners, or bikers waving at motorcyclists, or runners waving at bikers etc.  It seems to be people doing the same activity. come people in cars can't do the same thing?  Wouldn't that eliminate road rage if everyone just smiled and waved at each other?  Oh, what a happy world this would be :)

Have a lovely weekend and wave at somebody new.  It might just brighten their day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Utah Valley Half Marathon

It came. (The Half Marathon)
I conquered! (13.1 Miles)
That's all that matters.
I am content with just the three above sentences posted about this race.  However, I feel I must expound for my own memory sake since I will want to remember this day for years to come and writing it all down will help me accomplish just that. So, this will be a long post because I do have many thoughts about it all.

June 10, 2011
I went to bed rather early so as to get as much sleep as possible.  I laid out my clothes, ipod, chapstick, gum, energy bar, etc so as to feel completely ready in the morning.  I remember tossing and turning most of the night waiting for the alarm to go off at 3:00 am.  I actually had a dream about Porter sometime during the night.  He was alive again and was home and I was so comforted with him being with me.  We were in a room with a lot of other people and he was standing by my side with his head resting on my shoulder.  I was trying to introduce him to people but he never spoke, yet I felt so much warmth with him just being there with me.  I felt like Porter was there to give me strength and encouragement to get me through what lie ahead.

June 11, 2011
3:00 am came all too quickly.  I awoke feeling excited, yet rather calm about the whole event.  I had trained to the best of my abilities and followed through with all the prescribed runs.  In looking through my records, out of the 40 training runs in preparation for the half marathon, I only had a bad experience with 2 of them.  So I felt as ready as I could be.

  A young college friend of mine, JaNae, was running also and her mother offered to drive us to the bus.  I was picked up promptly at 3:30 am and we drove to the Provo Town Centre Mall where we met up with Doran and Jody, some dear friends of mine.  Jody had some major owies going on and wasn't able to run this race. (Next one Jody :)  So she kissed her hubby good-bye and he hopped on the bus with me and JaNae.  We drove for what seemed like an eternity in the dark, on an old yellow school bus, up Provo Canyon to the starting line.  All along the way I kept thinking, am I really going to be able to run all this way back??  Yet, I still didn't feel nervous.  I kept wondering if this was normal that I was feeling so calm?

Doran, Jody, me

We arrived at the starting line somewhere before 5:00 am and had to wait in the cold for over an hour.  There were little fire pits with fires all around and we were able to squeeze in by one of them and enjoy the conversations and warmth going on around us.  I enjoyed watching the night sky starting to lighten and just enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of being in the canyon.  I did see two familiar faces in the crowds of people.  One was Susan, whose daughters take piano from me, and the other was Clint Friel who is a trainer at Gold's Gym and used to be in our ward.  I never saw either one of them again after the race started.  Someday, if I keep this running up I just might get faster.  I can only hope.

With about 15 minutes left until the race was to start I made one last stop in the port-a-potty and got my ipod turned on and headed further down the road closer to where the starting line was.  I didn't see JaNae or Doran after this point and knew I wouldn't since I'm a much slower runner than either of them.  That's o.k. though because I had my tunes and the morning air was beautiful and cool.     

Then it happened!  The race began and the throngs of people began moving down that canyon road.  I got a little emotional at that point and cried a little.  I think it was just for the fact that I now felt completely overwhelmed and couldn't believe I was here at this point in my life running in a race I never imagined I would be.  The tears dried quickly and I got into a nice comfortable running groove and ran and ran and ran.  

The first 6 miles of the race were all in the canyon and were absolutely beautiful.  When I passed Bridal Veil Falls I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.  I kept thinking of Porter and how he had climbed that mountain not just once, but twice, all the way to the top where the old burned down restaurant and dance hall were.  I think he would have said that was one of his most adventurous hikes!  Certainly one of his scariest!

There were many water and gatorade stops along the way and of course I took drink from each of them but never stopped running.  Around mile 6 we got a packet of GU.  I had never tasted one of these so I was kind of excited about trying it.  I was handed a chocolate one and WOW!  It was so delicious!!  I felt like I was sucking on a piece of fudge.  I savored it and ate it sloooowly as I continued running. I Probably enjoyed it for the next mile or longer.  I remember wishing I had a whole pocketful of those things.  Around mile 8 I pulled out a piece of gum and that kept my mouth busy till the end of the race.

Around mile 9 some very dear friends of mine, Annaleesa and Laurie, showed up on the road and started trotting along with me.  I say trotting because I really am a slow runner.  They made me laugh and chatted for a bit and totally buoyed my spirits up for what I had left to do.  They left me a few minutes later and I felt renewed and energized by their visit! 
Laurie, me, Annaleesa
Around mile 10 I had to do some self-talk.  I knew that 3 miles wasn't a hard distance to run and that I just had to persevere.  There were lots of spectators along University Avenue and that gave me a boost as well, even though they weren't necessarily cheering for me.  I saw a poster that kept me going strong to the finish.  It read "TOUGH TIMES DON'T LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!"   Those words rang through my mind throughout the rest of the race.  I thought how true they were.  This race wasn't going to last forever.  I was almost done and I could finish proud!

Around mile 12 I was running past the Provo High School and I saw a car to my left driving by very slowly.  The girl inside had her window down and was waving at me and cheering me on.  It was one of Porter's friends, Katie Andrew, and I immediately felt rejuvenated again.  I started crying as I thought of Porter and how much I love him and how much I longed to be with him.  Crying while running is a bit challenging because it messes up your breathing.  I tried to dry up quickly and the next thing I knew I saw Doran, my friend who rode the bus with me.  He's not running to the finish line but running BACK to get me after he had finished his race and to help me finish my very last mile.  That made me cry again, but I was able to quickly get it under control. 
 In training for a half marathon the longest run you ever do is 12 miles and so this last mile to the finish line was a whole new experience.  I could definitely feel new aches and pains starting and I was so grateful that Doran was encouraging me and keeping me going.  I could see the huge big blue finish line down the road but it felt like 100 miles away.  I stayed focused though and ran proud and strong.  The first recognizable face I saw in the crowd was JaNae's mom, Heidi.  Then I saw my family, Mark, Cooper, Jordan, and Kali.  I wanted to cry again when I saw them.  I love them all so much.  This is my reaction when I FINALLY saw my family.
Jordan, Kali, Mark, me, Cooper
 Then I saw Jody, my great friend who has the great, supportive husband.  My daughter didn't get her picture in the crowd. I think she got lost.

Then my 2 dear friends, Annaleesa and Laurie standing by the black sign wearing blue.
I couldn't help raising my arms in triumph!  I was so relieved it was over!

My mother was out there in the crowd somewhere but she never found me until after I ran through the finish line.  She was disappointed but that's alright with me.  She was there and that's all that mattered.
me and my mama
After I ran through that finish line I felt complete joy!   It was over and I felt satisfied.  My final time on my chip was  2:38:02  of which I ran every single step of the way!
I drank a chocolate milk and ate a creamie and visited those wonderful people who came to support me.

A little while later we waited in a long line and got a massage, (so totally worth it) and then I hobbled to the car and spent a lot of my day resting. 

Now it's time to start thinking about the next race at the end of August. (Top of Utah-Half Marathon) My mind is motivated but now I just need to get my body to agree with my mind.