Monday, October 14, 2013

Macy and Izzy


I saw a recipe for this stuff on Pinterest and I thought Macy would enjoy it. She did as well as her friend Izzy. Here's the simple recipe:

3/4 cup cold water
1 cup Elmer’s glue
liquid food coloring
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon borax (you can find this in a box in the laundry aisle)
step 1: in bowl 1 – mix together the cold water, glue, and food coloring. set aside.
step 2: in bowl 2 – mix together the hot water and borax, until the borax is completely dissolved.
step 3: slowly add glue mixture to borax mixture. mix well. pour off excess water.

Th girls enjoyed mixing it together too! It's been a few months now and that stuff is still very wet and pretty much the same as it was the first day we made it. It stretches, breaks, melts back into the shape of the container, feels like it's going to stick to your hands but doesn't . I think I love this stuff as much as the kids!

It also sticks to the wall. I didn't leave it there too long though. We did find out that if it dries to carpet it doesn't come off! The glue dries really well to carpet. Oops!

Playing in the rain!
We had Izzy over a lot because her mom was on bed rest with twins. Macy and Izzy had a blast splashing around in all the puddles. They both got soaked. Macy's rain boots were sloshing around as she walked so I had her take them off and I literally poured water out of them. It was like the cartoons! They loved splashing in the big puddles and watching the water fly up around them. 

They are best buds!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My 1st Century Ride

On October 5, 2013 Ja and I rode 103 miles for the Culpeper Century. It was a momentous occasion and we had preparing for it for months.

It all started when I began taking spin class at the gym back in May. I loved the classes and how much fun (but also torture) they were and how quickly I saw results. I had many people tell me how strong my legs looked :) After doing the classes a few times a week for a month I thought to myself, "I should ride my bike outside too." I would ride my hybrid bike on the trails and had fun. Then I had the idea of riding in the century since it would give me a goal to work towards. Ja rode it in 2011 so he is to blame for all this.

Ja had already rode in 3 centuries and his knee was in excruciating pain by the end so I didn't want to ask him to ride with me again. I tried finding anyone to ride with me from the ward but there were no takers. Shocking, who wouldn't want to be on a little bike seat for 100 miles? I figured I would ride it myself but then Ja surprised me by saying he would do it with me. I am so grateful he was there with me. It was fun to be together and have the extra moral support.

Throughout my training I realized I wouldn't be able to ride 100 miles on my hybrid bike (tires are a cross between road bike and mountain bike). Ja talked me into buying a road bike and I'm pretty sure it saved my life. I got a Fuji Supreme and I love it! Road bikes are so stinking fast!

Macy and Anna had a sleepover at Marky's house friday night. Then a friend from the ward picked them up on Saturday and watched the girls for 8 hours. I am very grateful for friends and family for helping make this day happen.

After months of training the day was finally here! We woke up early and drove the 1 hour and 15 minutes to Culpeper to start the race at 8:30 a.m. Being at the race was fun and got the adrenaline pumping. There were a couple hundred racers at the starting line but there were three different courses: 35 miles, 65 miles, and 100 miles. We aren't sure how many people were doing the 100 miles. Towards the end of the race the amount of people at the rest stops really dwindled. I like to think we were part of an elite group riding 100 miles.

At the starting line.

First rest stop, mile 15. This stop came quickly and I probably could have skipped it but a spin teacher told me to get off the bike every chance I get. My bum will thank me later.

Second rest stop, mile 25. Still feeling great other than a bee sting on my neck. The stinging eventually went away.

I felt great for the first part of the race. Around mile 35 I told Ja I was going great. It was like taking a test at school where you actually knew every single answer. I felt great because I knew I had ridden my bike up to 60 miles and I could do it again. This was not a surprise to me and my body was very accustomed to riding. The scenery was beautiful and the company was even better.

This takes some serious balance. 

At mile 45 there was a hill that was 1.52 miles long. It was a little tough but not as bad as I was expecting. I was surprised after finishing the hill because my legs weren't that tired. All those hard spin classes paid off. We did pass a guy who had to stop because his legs cramped up. I was very grateful this never happened to me. 

Here we are at mile 60 where we got a boxed lunch. I was getting a little tired but would have been a little disappointed if I had chosen to only do the 65 mile course. I think I would have regretted not trying harder to go the full 100. I knew I could ride more, but how much more I wasn't sure. We did have 35 more miles to go so it was back on the saddle again for us!
Still feeling good. I could have been done but glad I pushed myself to go all the way. 

There was another steep hill at mile 63. It was bad enough that someone spray painted a skull and bones at the bottom of it. This hill was steep enough that I was surprised I didn't start rolling backwards because my bike was going so slow. I was reminded about childbirth while pushing up this hill. It was painful and hard but if I stopped pushing I would never make it to the top. Childbirth is also painful and hard but if you don't focus on pushing the baby won't come out and you'll be pushing for even longer. 

I actually felt great up until about mile 90. Those last ten miles were mentally painful. My legs were fine but I had been on a bike for 7 1/2 hours and was ready to get off. The childbirth analogy came back again. Around this time I actually said I would rather give birth without medication than ride in another century. For me giving birth is much quicker!

We missed a turn towards the end and added about a mile and 20 minutes onto the trip. That was not good for morality!

We took so long the last rest stop was supposed to close at 4:30 but they kindly stayed open until we got there at 5:07.
By this time there was only 5 of us left on the course. It was a first century ride for two of us. 

The course map said we still had 12 miles to go from the last rest stop but the volunteers said it was only 8, and an easy 8 too. That was the best news all day!

Off we went to finish this ride. Those last 8 miles were mentally hard. Especially when we reached 100 but were still on a country road in the middle of a field. Macy and Anna motivated me to keep on pushing, to keep on pedaling. We pushed on and we finished!! After 8 1/2 hours on the course we were done! I was elated. 

We made it to the finish line and still smiling. We were so late pretty much everyone else was gone.

After finishing my legs were a little sore but not too bad. The worst part was my bum. Sitting on a little bike seat causes pain! I decided I completed a century and I never need to do it again :) 

I had few chances when I could have chosen to take a easier course. I could have made a different turn and do the 65 mile course at many points through out the ride. This was tempting, especially towards the end, but I signed up for the 100 miles so that's what I was going to do! When we were at about mile 90 the SAG truck asked us if we wanted a ride for a couple miles. This time I was very tempted to sit in a truck. He said he would drop us off at a point where no one would know and we could still cross the finish line. He probably felt bad for us because it was really late and only a handful of people left on the course. I resisted temptation again and kept in riding my bike. I knew I would be disappointed in myself if I cheated or took the easy way out. 

The sad part is we wouldn't have gotten lost if we had taken the ride in the truck. Such is life. Sometimes when we do the right thing and make the right choices life gets harder or things happen that makes life more challenging. But in the end we will always be rewarded for choosing the right. I'm so so happy now I choose to finish the ride myself and did the full 100 (really 103) miles. 

Macy and Anna were the main motivation for me to finish this bike race. First, Macy asked me before the race if I would win. I had to "win" so I could tell her yes. Winning for me was finishing and not being dead last which happened so I won! Secondly, I wanted this to be a good life lesson for me and for them. The lesson being sometimes we have to do hard things. We can push through the trial, endure to the end and then come out successful. Don't give up or take the easy way out just because something may be hard. You can do hard things Macy and Anna! I know you can just like now I know I can do hard things! Endure to the end and you'll be rewarded.

I've already thanked Ja, but I have to thank him again for riding this century with me. I realized now how taxing it is on your body and why he didn't want to do another one. It was so fun having him with me. We have great memories now of doing our first century together. He also motivated me throughout the ride because he would tell me how proud he was of me for riding hard and fast. He said he was impressed. I couldn't think of a better partner :)

After writing all of this one thought comes to mind: When can I ride another century?