Monday, September 25, 2006

Marathon Photos

Mike and Elizabeth joined Danny and the kids to help cheer me on! Here's one of the action shots Danny ran along-side me to get,around mile 20, and a photo of my medals at the finishline. My favorite one is the homemade medal from Danny and Macie!

Marathon Photos (2)

Here we are together on the night before the marathon, at the dinner and packet pick up. The next day Macie, Reidy, and Daddy all cheered me on with pots, pans, spoons and custom-made marathon sweatshirts (The shirts said "My wife does marathons" and "My mom does marathons!").

The Marathon!

The past weeks have been pretty busy for our little family. Macie has started up our neighborhood preschool again, Reid discovered that he loves bowling (and makes Mommy spend hours setting up the pins for him), I've had a couple of Republican party meetings (everyone is gearing up for November elections), and Danny was made 1st counselor in the Young Men's organization in our ward. My brother, John, also left the MTC for Portugal this week, and we had a chance to talk to him for a while when he was in the airport. He's going to be a great missionary. Congrats to my brother Brian, as well, who had his Eagle Court of Honor last night. But the most exciting event we've had lately is the Top of Utah Marathon I ran on Saturday!
I'm happy to report that Saturday was a success -- 26.2 miles ran, and I am still alive to tell the tale. Of course, I'm gimping around today, but I am still alive. And I'm thinking that it will be several years before I try to run another marathon.
It all started on Friday night, when, after 5 months of training we drove up to Logan to get ready for the race. We had some hotel shuffles (our first hotel wouldn't allow our kids to stay!!), but finally got settled into a room and enjoyed a yummy pasta dinner with the other marathoners. We chatted with my Uncle George and his running buddy from Las Vegas, asking advice and getting psyched for the run.
The next morning I awoke at 4:30 am to catch a bus to the top of the mountain. At the drop-off it was pitch black, except for the stars in the sky and an array of glowsticks lighting port-a-potties and a trail down to a huge heated tent we huddled in for the hour before the race. Finally, the shots rang out and we started down the mountain. It was below freezing, but beautiful. The trees were changing colors and there was a little stream along the road. Very picturesque.
After 14 miles of running, we were through the canyon and suddenly had spectators. I anxiously scanned the crowd for Danny and the kids, but they were nowhere to be found. I was afraid that they were lost or had slept in! Each mile further I became more and more concerned. Luckily, I noticed them at mile 17, banging pots and pans and cheering me on! They inspired me to keep on running! Apparantly, someone had misinformed Danny as to what mile marker he was at -- they'd been waiting there for over an hour, and thought maybe they'd missed me!
Every other mile from then on, I saw Danny, Macie, and Reid with their pots and spoons, cheering me on. Danny probably ran a mile himself, trying to get a picture of me in action! Around mile 20, they were joined by Mike and Elizabeth, who had come to support me as well. It was awesome to have them there!
When I hit mile 21, I felt like my feet were broken, but I still kept on running. I wasn't tired, so much as achy. Finally, after 4 1/2 hours of running, mile 26 came along and Macie presented me with a homemade medal, which she and Daddy had made. It says "#1 Mom!" -- and I think I like it even more than my moose medal for finishing the race. I am so grateful for the support of Danny, Macie and Reid -- and to everyone who called to wish me luck and let me know of your support! Special thanks to the Baird family, too -- Angela's awesome marathon sweatshirts and Mike's driving up to Logan really meant a lot to me! I couldn't have done it without all of you! Thanks!
Well, after the run we waited for a little while to try and gather the clothes I'd left behind at the start, but finally gave up and just left so that we could catch the BYU game in Provo. We made it there by half-time and had lots of fun sitting next to our old friends, Chris and Misty Jackson. Later that night Macie and I enjoyed the Relief Society Broadcast.
I know that this update is getting long, but I have one more story to tell before I finish. Yesterday (the DAY AFTER THE MARATHON), I was sooooooo sore. Yep. I was limping around church and all around our house. Well, after dinner Brad and Cass and Melissa and Danny all wanted to go on a walk. I thought they were crazy if they wanted me to walk -- I was in too much pain. So we borrowed a wheelchair (yes, I was that much of a gimp to need a wheelchair), and went on a family walk. Julienne Vance joined us, and it was fairly enjoyable riding along. Well, when we were almost home we encountered a llama at the farm. All of the adults and the older kids were afraid that it would spit at us, so we were backing away from the fence, but Reid was so excited. He kept on calling it "Mama! Mama!" instead of "Llama!" (I hope he doesn't think I look like a llama!). Anyway, he really loved that llama. Suddenly, the llama dove down and tried to get Reid's head. It was so funny. Reid went from shouting "Mama!" to screaming, and Danny hit the llama and saved our boy from being sniffed or having his hair eaten. As soon as he was safe, Reid was calling to the "Mama" llama once more. What a fun night!
Well, we love you all and hope that all is well! We are excited to see Brian and Mel (and family) and Stephanie and Will this week, while they are here recruiting at BYU! If any of the rest of you happen to come to Provo, please give us a call! Take care!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Summer Photos

Here are some pictures of the garden (I am very proud of how well my square-foot gardening creation has turned out!), Macie's first day of dance class, Lake Powell beauty(speaking of the red cliffs, obviously not the non-showered Danny and I), and Utah Lake on our boat. We've had a fun summer!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Falling back into a routine...

Well, our family vacations are over and done with, until November at least. Danny, however, is still traveling quite often. With two weeks in Texas last month and now another week in Colorado, we are really missing Daddy around home lately. We anxiously look forward to BYU Football season, when we know he will surely be home here for the games! He told me last week that he wants to "volunteer" to be the president of the BYU Cougar Club, so that he has an excuse to follow the team to all of the away games, too. I knew he was a Cougar fan when I married him (after all, he was a BYU cheerleader), but I had no idea that he was THE NUMBER ONE Cougar fan. The things they don't tell you until later. :)
We are beginning to settle back into our "routine" of life again, and Macie has been especially busy, since she has begun taking dance and gymnastics classes this fall. She has always been an exceptional dancer and cheerleader (with Daddy's teaching, of course!), so we thought we'd give her some formal instruction. I love going to her dance class and watching her go at it -- she is super cute, shaking her booty and swishing around the floor. After dance today, Macie ran out of the room and shouted, "Mom, she said that I am such a good dancer! I did so good at ballet!" It was so fun to see her that excited. I can't wait until her first official performance.
Reid has been talking more and more every day, and it is fun to hear what things he chooses to say. For example, at the dentist office on Monday, when Macie got a purple "Belle" toothbrush, Reid grabbed it and said "Princess!" Of course, I didn't think Danny would be too thrilled with his first-born son talking about princesses, but I was quite proud (after all, "princess" is a tough word!). Most of what he says begins with "I want...". He had also shown a new facination with cars and trains, and "Vroom-vroom" and "Choo-Choo" are other favorite words. It sure is fun to be able to communicate better with the big fella.
Now that we are done with Lake Powell trips for the summer (This last trip, with the Davis Family, was TONS of FUN!), we've tried to get our fill of Utah Lake before the weather is too cold. A week ago we took our favorite neighbors wakeboarding with us, and by the time we got done it was dark and we were munched on by swarms of mosquitos (Reid has 13 bites!). Well, as luck would have it, they must've been Egyptian mosquitos, because 2 days later our kids came down with what we think (I'm 90% positive) was West Nile Virus. Actually, I would classify it as West Nile Fever, as it was the least severe form of the virus. They both had temperatures of over 103* Farenheit, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, etc.. I debated taking them in for the blood tests and official reporting, but, luckily, the fevers finally broke Saturday, and they are fine now. Let's just say that last week wasn't the most pleasant of times for the Gunnell children. Our advice would be to avoid mosquitos at all costs!
Just before the mosquito incident, our family had another unfortunate occurance. I'd decided to go on a bike ride (pulling Macie and Reid behind me) down to the river trail, because I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather we’ve been having. Well, as soon as I got to the trail I was attacked by all of these bees, and they were landing on my face! Being big and brave like I am, I started screaming and took both my hands off the handlebars to hit the bees off my face. BAD IDEA. I totally crashed my bike off the trail, but luckily I didn’t crash all the way into the river. I really scraped up my hand and knees, but amazingly, Macie and Reid were untouched. The worst part about it was that this guy who was fishing about 150 yards away saw me do it, and came over to make sure I was alright. My injured pride was what hurt most. Of course, I explained about the bees, but I don’t know if he really believed me. I’m sure that it was worthy of the America’s Funniest Home Videos grand prize if anyone had caught it on tape. Oh, I am so graceful.
Sadly, my biking stunts broke the front wheel off of the bike trailer, and now it can no longer double as my jogging stroller. So this week, my marathon training is solo -- babysitters watch the kids while I run like crazy to prepare for Sept 23rd. Saturday morning I ran 19 miles, my longest run yet, and felt like I could still run further when I was all done. At this point in my training, I am anxious for it to be over and done with. Macie and Reid and Danny are preparing to cheer me on by banging pots and pans with metal spoons. I'm excited for their support!
We love all of you and hope you are keeping busy and happy as well! We'll continue to give updates and we hope that you'll update us as well. If you are ever hungry and it's a BYU football game day, come over early for one our traditional pre-game barbeques! We love you all!