I would win every time.

Well hello again.  A lot has happened since my last post (which is the reason for the delay).  I have been up to my neck in schoolwork lately, so all of my time with fast internet has been spent doing actual work, rather than getting to blog, which is unfortunate.

So!  When I last left off I was planning on running a 5k last Sunday.  Well, that happened, and it was pretty great.  There were a lot of people there-I think there were at least a hundred who participated, not to mention folks who came to cheer on their loved ones.  I ran it with Nason, and I saw my dad at three points: In the beginning, at the end, and when he was finishing a loop of the course that I had just started.  My dad is pretty in shape, so I wasn’t surprised.  The biggest shocker was the story he told me after the race-apparently, when he was in view of the finish line, one of my middle school students who was right behind him decided to pick up the pace and sprinted past him at the last minute!  It was pretty funny, to think that an 8th grade girl beat my dad, who is still active duty with the Air Force.

Meanwhile, Nason and I were about 5 minutes behind.  We both claimed injury on Sunday-Nason woke up with bad knees, and I developed a sore back throughout the day.  It put us on an even keel, and we finished with decent times.  I finished at 30:06 and Nason finished at 30:50.  The 5k was pretty non-competitive, so all three of us ended up in second place for our age group!

Overall, the 5k was a success.  The guy coordinating it raised about $3500 for Rapha House, and there were no injuries or anything negative.  It ended up being a really cool day, and I was happy to participate in it.

This week has otherwise been a blur of midterms, work, and shooting guns.  I found a handgun that I’ll be picking up this weekend (more on that later), and I will be done with my midterm exams after tomorrow morning (I had three this week-yikes!).  Life is busy right now, but oh so good.

On Sunday I am running a 5k with my dad and my husband.  And I am pretty nervous.  It’ll be the first 5k I’ve participated in since Race for the Cure a couple of years ago, and my running has been so-so.  Both Nason and my dad are in better shape than I am-Nason does reps every morning, and my dad can normally run a mile and a half in 12 minutes (which is my best time ever).  They’ll be able to keep up with each other, but I’m a little worried about being able to keep up with them.

But the thing is?  It’s okay.  I love to run, and the 5k is in support of an awesome organization.  I don’t run to compete or ‘keep up;’ I run because it feels good, and I’m doing this 5k because that means I get to use something that feels good to do good.  It’s a sweet deal when you think about it.

Anyway, I’m pretty nervous but excited.  If you want to sign up, you can do it here.  Or you can donate here.  It’s going to be cool.

This past weekend was the Whitetail picnic-an annual tradition at my church-where we move the entire church up to Mt. Lemmon, hold a service, have a picnic, and hang out together as a church family.  Last year they started renting the Whitetail campground the day before, so people could camp overnight and then attend service the next morning.  This is where we were this weekend-camping on Mt. Lemmon, surrounded by beauty and friends, enjoying one last trip before school starts again.  And, it was quite a trip.  It was such a cool trip, in fact, that I’m going to write about it in three parts, because I came back with some pretty fun stories.  So this is part one.

Nason and I got to the campground a little before the check in time (1:00).  We drove around and took some pictures, then headed back.  We were some of the first people there, so we had our pick of camp sites.  Of course, we didn’t camp on a camp site-that would have been silly.  We wanted adventure, we wanted to risk getting eaten by bears, so camping on one of the sites wasn’t an option.  Instead, we walked up a nearby hill and found a spot overlooking everything.  It was beautiful.  We set up our tent in record time and then turned to each other.

“So…you still want to hike?”

“Yeah, let’s do it!”

So we went hiking.  Now, the hiking was much like the tent pitching-we wanted adventure.  So, rather than find a trail, we made our own. 

We started by visiting the hill where Nason proposed to me two years ago (yes, it was at the Whitetail picnic two years ago), and we spent some time there reflecting on the past two years.  Proposal Hill is just as beautiful as I remember it-the sunlight filtering through the trees, the stillness, the fantastic view of the forest below-it is a wonderful spot, and it is where I want to camp next year.  We looked ahead, and saw another hill, so we hiked to it to see what we could see.  And it was even more beautiful than Proposal Hill!  It was higher than the previous hill, so it had a better view, and what a view it was!  Nason joked that this was where he should have proposed, so I named it The Hill Where Nason Didn’t Propose (not the most creative name, but it fit).

From there we went downhill, and came across this field.  I was feeling silly and wanted to frolic through it, but in addition to all of the neat plant life, there were a lot of sharp rocks, so we opted not to.  Nason wanted a picture by a tree we thought was very small, but when he walked towards it we discovered that it was much larger than anticipated!  It still made for a good picture, though.

That was our turning point, so we headed back after taking some more pictures.  The hike back up the Hill Where Nason Didn’t Propose was very steep, so we were out of breath by the time we made it to the top.  The next hill was easier, and then we were back, tired but happy.  Overall Nason said we probably hiked about 2 miles, and it took us a couple of hours (keep in mind, it was all uphill and downhill).  It was perfect day for hiking, and I’m glad we took advantage of it!

Check back tomorrow for Part 2: The Prank War!

This morning I got really inspired.  I was reading Jamie the Very Worst Missionary’s latest post about how difficult it is to get motivated to exercise, and I found I could completely relate. 

Right before today's run.

I used to go running at the U of A’s rec center, but about 6(!) months ago I got very busy and I had to stop.  Since then, I have tried to get into the habit of running a few times a week, but it’s hard.  things come up, and then it started getting hot, and I found I could come up with all of these excuses about why I wasn’t going to run that day.  But today I realized that I was putting off something I genuinely loved to do.  So, I got off the computer, threw on my running clothes, and went to the park.

Now, the whole time I was fighting this.  I worried that it would be too hot to be enjoyable (this is Tucson, after all).  I was afraid that I would make a fool out of myself, since I had not run in so long.  And I knew that I would be sore afterwards.  But I went.

And now I’m back again.  It wasn’t too hot-painfully humid, but not too hot.  I didn’t make a fool out of myself-there was no one at the park, and I ran about a mile, based on my time, and walked a little while after that.  And I am sore, but it’s that wonderful kind of sore that comes with a physical accomplishment like running a mile after 6 months of sitting on my butt.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  I feel good, and healthy, and I will be doing it again.  Maybe tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, then Saturday.

So, I want to say thank you to Jamie for inspiring me to rekindle something I love.  Now that I’ve started, I don’t really want to stop!