Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Party Right

We just got back last night from a trip to San Fran to visit Greg and Laura, in what is now a visit with family and not just friends (what the?...). Amy and I chatted briefly on the ride back from the airport about the trips we've been able to do this past year (since Memorial day of last year):
  • Zion on the Walton Utah family vacation of a lifetime.
  • Moab to go canyoneering with Mike.
  • Moab again with our ward.
  • Summer Christmas in California.
  • Vancouver for my first visit to Canada over Labor Day weekend.
  • St. George to run the marathon.
  • Thanksgiving at home.
  • Post-Christmas and New Year's in Vancouver.
  • President's Day in California.
  • Cancun on our honeymoon.
  • Back to Vancouver for an open house.
  • Again in Cali for another open house.
  • Goblin Valley a couple weekends ago.
  • San Fran this past weekend.
Most of that is dominated by trips back home, but I think that's totally cool. And that doesn't even include trips we've made on our own (twice more to Cali for me, and a , California, Chicago and Japan for Amy's work) or the few that we did just after we started dating (Vegas, Cali, Zion). That makes for 90 hours of car rides and 10 different flights in the past year for us. Kind of crazy, right?

I'll post more on the weekend once Amy finishes editing the photos, but we had so much fun with Greg and Laura. They live in such an awesome location in the Presidio, and San Francisco is just such a fun place. I dated a girl who was from that area and I got well acquainted with SF in that time with her so I've never lost that affinity for it. Plus I had a cousin who lived up there for a bit. It's just a cool, different place.

Anyway, we have a lot more planned this upcoming summer. The preview goes something like this: Cali again for the 4th, Reno Walton family Vacation of a lifetime, Cali again for a Redford wedding, and...drum roll, please...Europe in the fall! Woo woo! We just booked that one on Sunday. Throw in some more camping trips in there and that about rounds out our travel plans for the summer.

One last thing. Since Amy is the one with all of the photos, I'm just going to link to her posts that give the visuals on everything we've been up to, for whoever may be interested:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Than a Number!

In the construction of this post I ended up publishing it to see if the formatting was working on some of the elements I wanted to include. It didn't work, so I subsequently deleted it. That's why you've seen a couple lines of this before. Anyway, this is the full post.

A friend of mine had a post recently about not allowing how much you weigh determine your self-worth. You can find her post here. I tried posting a comment on her blog, but for some reason it wasn't working then. I know she comes around here sometimes anyway, so I'll just go ahead and move on with my response here. She comes from an MFT background, so she runs into these issues a good amount, so I have a lot of respect for where she is coming from.

She's right: everyone is worth more than a number. There is a very real concern for women especially about appearance, and all too often, weight literally becomes the measure of attractiveness. An interesting study recently carried out by a BYU professor helps illustrate that even among women who self-report that they have no concerns with body image, they do still subconsciously react to images of obese women. It's actually a pretty interesting study. Read more here.


I don't know. I guess I think it's a bit of an extreme perspective to take. Weight, as indicated by the "enemy" scale, is an objective measure. When it comes down to it, that's what it really is. So there's a part of me that feels like this reaction is just a little too extreme, especially when I consider it with respect to how prevalent obesity is in comparison to eating disorders.

According to the NIMH, eating disorders in 2008 afflicted only about 3% of the female population. Add in the fact that many other women suffer from less severe disorders that probably wouldn't even qualify as disorders in the first-place, and that number no doubt goes up to cover a good amount more of the population, so bump that number up to wherever you please. Let's say 10%? Something like that.

However, the prevalence of obesity is just exploding in the last few decades. I wanted to post it on here (which is what I was trying to post on my blog, but it wasn't working right), but there is a really great powerpoint presentation that the CDC put out that helps illustrate how much obesity is exploding across the country. You can see that here (look at the map). Nationally, about a quarter of the population is overweight, and when you consider that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, an affliction highly associated with obesity, then this is something that is also a very real concern among our population.

This is probably easier for me to say it because I am male and guys are for the most part not tormented to the same extent with body image issues that women are, but the objective measurement that the scale is telling us is not the enemy: the real problem is the subjective interpretation that we bring to it. While knowing how much I weigh does not constitute healthy behavior, it is just one of many possible indicators about where I'm at in terms of my health and can help me make any necessary adjustments. I just think it's a good idea to be a little more moderate in this respect.

I am not a number when it comes to my weight, anymore than I am my IQ, SAT, ACT, GRE, GPA, annual income, height, bowling score, or any other number.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

U2 at Rice-Eccles

It was my first time entering into enemy territory, and happily, it was a very good visit. Forever ago I did a post about must see concerts. At the time, I was only partly sold on going to a U2 concert as being one of the must-see concert experiences, but when I heard that they were doing the 360 tour, I thought it would be worth checking out.

Amy and I started dating, she was down with the idea, and we just planned on showing up to the concert and trying to buy the tickets off of a scalper. Then Bono hurt his back, they postponed the tour, and we had to wait a year.

Then last night finally came. We had the same plan as last year: just show up to the concert and see if we can find tickets cheaply off someone outside the venue. I had been looking at ticket prices on KSL and Craig's List and was pleased to see that so many had been put up for sale. I felt like we could get something for pretty cheap.

We put $100 limit on what we would spend for the both of our tickets. We found a free parking spot a couple of blocks away, and we made our way towards the stadium. I was actually a little surprised that we couldn't find more available. The Fray was playing and the music was pouring out of the stadium, and we were anxious to get inside. At first I thought we'd have to pay at least $50 for decent seats, but then I revised downward based on how many ads I saw online, but with the paucity of scalpers, I revised back upward.

The first pair were going for $100 each for general admission tickets that had $58 printed on them. The next guy was asking $90 for the same ones, and I told him we had $100 total, at which point he screamed at some other guy, and he sold us seats that were straight out from the main stage, just about halfway up - $95 for the pair. At first I was a little disappointed that we couldn't get cheaper, that is, until we ran into a friend of mine (Anna, yup, that one) who paid $100 each for her tickets. Phew! And we were lower and had a better angle on the stage than they did.

They opened with Even Better Than the Real Thing. The stage really was a 360 stage, and they had huge screens above them that went all the way. We later learned those screens expanded downward to fill the huge gap of space from the structure above the stage almost to the stage itself. They had some really impressive visuals, and lights and smoke really made it something spectacular to see.

I was impressed with the range of audience from young to old. I guess I shouldn't have been, but there were lots of kids and lots of adults, and everyone seemed to enjoy it equally. I guess that's the thing about U2 - they have managed to stay relevant for decades, and not just in the picture, but on top of the world for all of that time. They literally have dozens of songs that anyone would recognize, and as you'd expect, they just put on a really good show. They gained popularity in the 80s as a live act, and it shows. They're great.

Another thing that surprised me: I was a lot more emotionally affected than I thought I would be. They played Beautiful Day, a song which I don't even really love, but it really got to me. I was just so excited to hear them live, and they really are just so good musically, and great performers.

My favorites:
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday - there was a guy next to us that was obviously a HUGE U2 fan. He went crazy when this song came. I think the song kind of surprised everyone once it started playing. It's just a really cool song.
  • All I Want Is You - I've always just really, really loved this song. Great ballad.
  • Elevation - really got everyone going.
  • Pride (In the Name of Love) - classic!
  • Where the Streets Have No Name - this was the second to last song. I thought they would end with it, but some other random song followed.
  • One - it followed a really moving tribute to the Burmese leader who was released in this last year.
It's just crazy to think how much time that band has spanned, and how many memories everyone has associated with their songs. My earliest U2 memory is of my brother coming home with the CD single for Desire and him playing that over and over again. I grew up listening to Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum.

You know what else is impressive about them? Not only are they not pretentious as could very easily be the case with them, but you really, really, really, really get the sense that they really do try and use their celebrity to further good causes. They are very socially aware, and not about things that are really touchy issues. They support freedom and democracy, and they are wonderful strong advocates for those causes. Going to their concert and hearing them perform and hearing Bono advocate their causes, it's just really inspiring. It was all done in a really tasteful way, and it really felt like a lesson on some important world causes.

It was just a really cool experience. One of the best concerts I've ever been to, and one of those bands that I think everybody should see in their lifetimes. I know not everyone feels this way, but there are artists that you just really need to see do their thing live. It would have been cool to see Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. Everyone should have seen Michael Jordan play basketball. I got see U2 sing With or Without you, and it's an experience I won't soon forget.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dating Blows

I have an office on campus next to a guy from my cohort that I just really like. Previously things had been going really well for him and this girl, so it was high times on the 10th floor of the SWKT. (Yes, guys get excited for each other too.)

As a side note, it's funny how you can be feeling something and not realize how much more you are communicating about that feeling beyond the words that you are saying. People said that about Amy and I on our wedding day. And he said that about me when I was talking about how great it was to be married when we talked soon after I had come back from our honeymoon.

Today was the recounting of another low in the endless torture that is involved with dating. I really felt for him. Insecurities get exposed, people act irrationally, and things just feel off when your love life is off-kilter. I totally remember that.

The nice thing, however, is just how right things feel once they do sort themselves out.

I want to hearken back a little ways to the post that I put up recently about YSA men and dating. My main contention was that I think the GA's in the Church are mischaracterizing the young men in the Church. Are there a lot of great YSA women who aren't married who totally deserve to be? Absolutely. I think the bigger problem is that there aren't enough men to satisfy the women.

I was going to go through the exercise of actually counting out numbers in trying to explain why girls are dating more and how it's not because guys aren't dating enough. I won't bother to anymore, but I will say this - in every ward, there is typically an imbalance in guys to girls, and if everyone basically thinks that anywhere from one half to only one tenth of the population is really datable, well then a lot of people are going to go unattended to. Also, it's just a fact that 10% of the girls do 90% of the dating. Guys are selective, but so are girls. And with their being few guys compared to girls, all the numbers get skiwampus. There.

Anyway, to further validate my point, I was at a department brown bag some time ago and some of our researchers had carried out a study on YSA trends in the Church. Even the researchers in that meeting said that while Church leadership is still very much concerned about YSAs waiting so long to get married, their (researchers) general feeling was that most active YSA men are not putting off marriage for invalid reasons. And that's my feeling as well: if you have a guy who pays tithing, does his home teaching, and goes to Church, it's likely that he does actually want to get married, and will actively move toward that end.

Then, one of the researchers spoke up and said that if we are going to follow the research, it probably is a good thing that people in and out of the Church are waiting longer to get married anyway. Getting married at older ages tends toward more stable, long-lasting marriages.

Which brings me to my final point: The Census Bureau recently reported that marriages are lasting longer than they have in the recent past, and they attribute this largely to the fact that people are waiting to get married later in life.

So there you go. Not necessarily a bad thing. It could lead to more moments like this:

So two things worth remembering while dating:
  1. Psalms 23 - The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
  2. D&C 122:7 -...these things shall give thee experience, and [really!] shall be for thy good.
Even when you're down in the dumps because it just seems like things will never work themselves out or even when you're getting in your own way.

They do, and you'll learn to get out of your own way. It's great.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Caring for the Poor and Needy

I had kind of a neat opportunity this morning to go and help some of the people that live over at the Developmental Center that is right next to the temple. It is a center for the mentally retarded.

I ended up going by myself, mostly because they only asked the elders in the ward and the youth to help out. This seemed to be a good idea probably because I think my better half would have probably been in tears for most of it anyway. There is a chapel that is north and west of the Mt. Timpanogos temple, and the center is almost attached to it, although it's still state-run and not directly affiliated with the Church.

We received some instruction in a meeting beforehand, then they walked us over to the patients and we wheeled them over to the chapel where they participate (and maybe that word should be in quotes when referencing some of the experience the patients had there) in church meetings.

I happened to be paired up with Doug. He wouldn't engage anyone in conversation, which is pretty typical of most of this population, but there were moments that you could get his attention, and he would make his ba-ba-ba noises towards you. He also laughed a good amount. He must have been in his late 60s if I were judging him by my normal standards, but I don't know if these people age differently than most people do.

The ward leaders like to have as many of them participate as much as they can in the meetings, so they ask them to give prayers in church, some to administer the sacrament, and even say the sacrament prayers. Some of those were kind of funny to me because the words were indecipherable, I'm pretty sure to anyone, but they had them say the prayers nonetheless. They didn't have them repeat the sacrament prayer even when it just came out as a bunch of grunts.

The patients are incredibly sweet. They make noises the whole time; they're very affectionate, and they never hesitate at expressing their feelings, good or bad, though I only saw good this day. They don't really communicate with words well, or at all, so physical contact is the only way many of them communicate. They want to help and join in at any point that they're asked to without any reservation about any kind of social norms that the rest of us obey. And I think that's one of the most interesting things about them. They're clearly adults in body, but so incredibly child-like in spirit. The developmentally most mature of any of them were only teens at best, and there were only a few of those, but most were like 6-18 month-olds.

A ward choir was formed where volunteers and patients alike were asked to sing I Am a Child of God and the few patients who got up sang proudly and with little concern about the musicality of their words.

Anyway, it got me thinking a lot about these kinds of people, their purpose here. Any one of those people automatically requires a number of caretakers. One-on-one would never be enough to meet all the needs that any of them has, unless that person ministering sacrificed his life entirely for that individual. For a center that houses more than 200 patients, I imagine it requires a staff of at least 2-3 times that many people to ever meet the immediate needs that all of them have, not to mention the amount of money that must be generated for the resources that they all require. All of a sudden, well over a thousand people have to contribute so that they can go on with their lives. And that's only at the present moment. Like I said, my guy looked to be at least in his 60s, so that means for decades these people will go on living without anything to offer back besides their own sweet spirits, which I guess is what they're there for - to help us become more like them: "as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

It was just a neat experience that I thought was worth sharing. I'll revisit this topic more later.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

This and That

  • Some of my favorite blog entries are the ones that I don't publish. I just noticed recently that my blog is approaching/has approached 1000 posts. I thought that I would reach that number much sooner, especially if you look at the sidebar over on the left and see how many posts I had in the first few years of this blog's existence.

    It's crazy to think that this blog has years under its belt, as well as hundreds of posts, and around a 1000 at that. I say around 1000 because every hundred or so posts I have a few drafts of posts that never got published, so the published ones are still probably just under 1000.

    They don't get published for a variety of reasons - they aren't well-developed enough, the topic loses my interest, or the topics are too close to home, or they refer too much to someone that might read this blog. That might all be surprising considering the kinds of things post about, right? Seems like all my posts have some level of application to all of those things to some extent. But now you're curious, aren't you? Well, I'll never tell. Or maybe not. We'll see.

  • I was supposed to run 8 miles yesterday, and 12 this Friday before we go camping this weekend. The day kind of ran out on me, so I thought I would only run 5, until I got out there and realized how great I felt. I ended up pushing the miles up to 8 without even blinking, and I would have gone to 12, but I thought my absence out running in the dark at 11pm might worry my wifey. When I got back, I realized that she's not really fazed by that kind of stuff, so I probably could have gone longer. Not my point, however. Point is, I felt great, and I just loved being out there on the lonely streets, putting one foot in front of the other, as I explored Pleasant Grove/Lindon in the dark breathing the brisk night air. It felt perfect, and I probably could have run all night.

    Something really neat happens when you mix up the distance of your runs, throwing in occasional long runs, with medium and a short ones. Even altering the speed at which you run makes you a more adept runner. All of it helps make the running experience one that is richer and more expansive. I can't even tell you how good it feels to come back from running more than an hour and feeling like it wasn't enough. It's bliss.

    I was recently talking to a friend who just found out she got in the St. George Marathon. It's her first, and I tried convincing her that her time really doesn't matter on this first one, but of course she started asking me about how she can start running faster. It's funny how that is everyone's tendency. Just focus on completing the 26.2 first, and worry about your time once you've got a few of those under your belt. Funnier still was that she asked me if becoming a faster runner means logging more miles. It made me laugh. "No, I said, running faster makes you a faster runner." Not sure why that was so funny to me. You get better at something by practicing that specific thing, right? Not by practicing other similar somethings hoping that it might help with something else that's different. There aren't shortcuts for all of that.

  • I'm helping out as part of a research team, and the main topic we're pursuing is intentionality. I'll probably write more about that in a separate post, because I doubt anyone has come this far, and it deserves a fair treatment. It's interesting is all I will say right now.

  • People at home, or I should say from home, want to protest the closing of a pizza place that we all grew up with. Some even want to stage a peaceful protest. You know what's a better way to protest the closing of a business? Patronizing it. Strikes me as silly that everyone is trying to prevent it. If you want it to stay around, buy their pizza. What do you want them to do? Run it without a profit so that when you go home you can drive by it and look at it nostalgically, but not actually buy anything from there? Makes me sad, but what can you do and what do you expect them to do?
  • Lastly, Chris Brown has made quite a nice comeback, no? People forget bad history pretty quickly when you're really good at stuff. Anyway, I downloaded some of his songs last week, and I've been digging on this one lately. Here you go:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Aftermath to OBL: Part II

Found this article over at NRO over the weekend where Daniel Krauthammer makes the following comment:
Is America’s joyful reaction then a sign that we have strayed toward darkness? Were the crowds of chanting, hooting, dancing youth in Washington and New York actually America’s equivalent of the so-called angry Arab Street, which, egged on by the ideological compatriots of bin Laden, burn American flags, behead effigies of our leaders, and chant “Death to America”?

Absolutely not. In fact, the surface similarities serve only to highlight just how opposite are their meanings and motivations. The celebrations across America did not glorify death. In fact, they weren’t really about death at all. The crowds didn’t lynch effigies of bin Laden; they didn’t burn Korans or trample the flags of Muslim nations; they didn’t raise armed soldiers on their shoulders or shoot rifles into the air; they didn’t chant for vengeance or death to other nations, peoples, or religions. No, these crowds of all races and creeds came together and raised American flags, sang patriotic songs, drank and made merry, embraced and shook one another’s hand. They did not glorify death, but rather affirmed life — their own lives and the life of their country at its moment of great victory over an enemy dedicated to bringing death to its shores.

That enemy was not just Osama bin Laden the man. It was the real, operational threat he posed to the life of every single American citizen around the world. And it was the organization, the mission, and the very ideology of terror that he represented and of which he had willfully and masterfully made himself the ultimate symbol during his decades-long career. The moral confusion about the issue has come about because the end to all three of these different conceptions of the bin Laden enemy — the man, the threat, the symbol — occurred simultaneously rather than separately, as they did, for instance, in the case of America’s last encounter with a larger-than-life evil: Saddam Hussein.
I agree.

Also, I think we're getting a little carried away about how we're viewing those people who were celebrating in the streets last week. In social psychology there is the concept of actor-observer bias, wherein people who are present in a situation attribute the causes of their behavior to stimuli inherent in the situation, and observers tend to attribute causes for behavior to the actors themselves. This concept goes to the heart of social psychology - how there are social tensions that create circumstances that have great effects on our behavior.

Most of what came out last weekend I think is attributable to mob behaviors. And I think most of us would have acted similarly if we were present with those people. People get in a group and they feed off one another until their reactions are completely different than what they would otherwise be if they were by themselves.

However, as was mentioned before and in my previous post, I don't think people were just celebrating the death of human being. I think they were mostly excited at the resurgence of American power and the arrival of some long overdue justice.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughs on the Social Networking Aftermath of the Death of OBL

Weird that it's taken me so long to comment on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, right? Politics and current events used to be the bread and butter of my blog, but I've kind of shifted gears these last several months. I did, however, want to comment a bit on the fall-out of the OBL stuff.

I had several friends make comments, write posts, and put up falsely attributed quotes all in the name of talking down people who were celebrating OBL's death. Let me start by saying that I don't think most people were solely cheering for the death of another human being, and then let me add that pretty much anything anyone does in the form of a mob is not really a good descriptor of anyone's true feelings on a matter. Individuals are smart, mobs are dumb, so while there were plenty of images of people cheering and dancing in the streets, I don't think his death was the only thing they were so excited about.

Let's remember who it was that was killed over the weekend - Osama Bin Laden - the same guy who was the symbol for, and the driving force behind the terrorist movement for many years. This is a guy who would not hesitate for one second to kill you or anyone you care about, all in the name of pushing his brand of religion on you. There are few individuals in the history of the world who are recognized the world over as being "evil," and this guy was unequivocally one of those people. When people were celebrating and everyone who wasn't started chastising them for doing so, they're ignoring the triumph of a small measure of justice, and is it really such a bad thing to celebrate when something truly right actually comes to pass?

No, the war on terror isn't over, but it has taken a very large and unmistakable step forward in alerting evil-doers across the globe that the world's lone superpower will not stand for injustice, even if it takes 10 years to come to pass. And that's a really good thing, and something that should be applauded. While some of the demonstrations of glee may have been in poor taste, the only thing most of these people are really guilty of is getting overly exuberant about something that is long overdue.

Plus, why do you want to be the dirtbag who gets on Facebook and tells everyone that they're dumb for celebrating such an important moment? Do you really want to be that guy? Really?

Also, why is everyone so insistent that anything well-spoken must be attributed to someone famous for it to have any real validity? The rise and fall of the MLK quote was quite comical, but true words are true words, regardless of who said it. If something is said wise and correctly, it's still useful and edifying even if spoken by a fool, is it not?

I put up a status on Facebook earlier this week related to these points and a friend of mine sent me a message asking if the quote was my own, and if he could steal it. That made me laugh.

Just thinking out loud.

The Hardest Part

The key to getting ahead is getting started.
It wasn't really much of a fortune, but I think it was the wisest thing a cookie ever told me. It's always the thing that I have the hardest time doing. Once I'm in the activity/work-out/writing process/work/whatever, I never really seem to have much difficulty keeping it up, but it's always the getting started that's so hard for me.

Take yesterday, for example. I had 8 miles to run, but time was fast running out on the day, and I really just didn't feel like doing it. With much debate and prodding from my better half, I decide to get out the door and do 6 miles, but once I got started it was easy to just continue and get up to 7.5. That stuff really isn't hard for me once I'm out the door, but that's always the problem, getting there.

Anyway, I'm officially getting started on my marathon training because I finally registered for the Deseret News Marathon on July 25th. I'm excited about this one. I'll be done earlier in the season, and I'm actually looking forward to moving onto some other kind of work-outs later in the summer, especially since we will probably be gone for 4 weekends between August and September and long runs just won't be very realistic.

One thing that I think I'd like to try out is Crossfit. If you have any friends involved with Crossfit and you are FB friends with them, then you also realize that it's almost a cult. I have two friends who do it and I'm pretty sure it's the only thing they do. They post Crossfit pics of themselves as their profile pics, and post their times/lifts whatever, and all they do is work-out. They have affiliates all over the place, but I was looking at their website today and it's pretty cool because they have scaled down versions of the work-outs that you can do on your own, and it actually looks kind of enjoyable. What's really appealing about it also is that they emphasize overall fitness so that you're not limited to one specific kind of strength, if that makes sense. Check it out here.

You know what else? I think I might volunteer to help with the Utah Valley Marathon.

That's all I've got.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Point Half

You can find Amy's post on this here.

This is the second half marathon that I have run. It's kind of funny that I jumped straight from casually running straight to the full marathon. The first half that I ran was Provo City April of 2009. From that year on, they started scheduling it in May so that they would have better weather because it ended up snowing that Saturday that we ran...

Flashforward to two nights ago and it happened to snow that night as well. The night before I would run my second half. Lame.

This one was kind of funny because I haven't been on too consistent of a running schedule lately. I was really good just before the wedding, and then I took three weeks off, and then I came back on for a few weeks, did a 10 mile run about two weeks ago, but then only ran twice two weeks ago, and then twice this past week. But having run the 10 made me feel fine about running this one, and plus I knew that this would kind of jump-start my marathon training for this summer.

Thursday I went for a nice 5-mile run at about 10pm. It was just a little windy, but the temperatures were nice. Felt great. Not even two days later the temperature had dropped 30 degrees and when I woke up at 5:30am to get ready for the race there was a 2-3" snow covering on the ground. Awesome.
I was pretty whiny about everything up until about 15 minutes or so before the race. Kira ran this one too, so it was fun to see her there. Her dad also happens to work at Thanksgiving Point so it was fun to see him in various places during the morning.

I had on my running tights, shorts on top, long sleeve shirt, t-shirt on top, and then a jacket that I sometimes run in on top. I also had gloves and a headband. Gear-wise, I'm doing pretty well these days. I have just about everything I'll ever need to run in any kind of weather (although I'm kind of starting to think that I'd like some trail running shoes, but that's for another day).

The cold was pretty miserable in the beginning. It just felt like it seeped right through my clothing. They had no heaters. Just cold that morning. But I knew that once I got going temperature wouldn't be a big deal.

The race started, and sure enough, by about 1.5 miles in, I had already taken off my jacket. Lucky for me, my sweet little wifey had already gotten to another part of the route and I was able to strip it off and leave it with her. Eventually I took off my headband, stuffed that into my pocket, and then took off my gloves and held those the whole time too.

The race was fine. It was well-organized, had plenty of aid stations with the right stuff, and good post-race treats. I just didn't like that it was so early, and that it doubled back over so many parts of the race. I really just hate seeing other runners that are ahead of me doubling back over parts that I know that I'm going to be running in just a little bit.
I ended up doing well enough, finishing in about 1:48. Kira raced well too, considering that she's PREGNANT! Crazy, right? But that's Kira. She's tough as nails.

Anyway, although I was a big baby before the race started, whining so much about the cold, I was glad that I participated once it was over. And even more, I'm just so glad that I married a girl who loves me enough to get up with me at 5:30am on a Saturday in 30 degree weather just to come and cheer me on and take some pictures.