Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Haunting!

Josh and Halle's Pumpkin Pizza Palace

It's Birthday Month at the Banks house!  We celebrate 2 of the 3 cutest kid in the world in Nov.  This year, as we asked the kids what they wanted for their birthday, this is what we got.  Josh: Ipod Touch! Halle: Ipad Mini!  Woah....those are some expensive birthday presents!  Rusty and I decided if they could come up with a way to earn at least $50, and both the grandparents pitched in, we could grant their birthday wish.  We started scheming ideas--sell books or DVDs or old toys?  Pet sit?  Finally we came up with the winner.  Sell pumpkin shaped pizzas with jack-o-lantern faces to our friends and neighbors.  And also offer our delicious sugar cookies as well.  

The kids sat down and made up a flyer which we put on all the neighbor's doors, as well as posted to Facebook.  We shopped for ingredients and figured out how much profit we would make from each pizza.  We sold the pizza's for $10 each, and figured we needed to sell about 13-15 to reach our goal. We sold 27 pizzas and 5 dozen sugar cookies :)  I had generously offered to make the pizza crusts, but the sheer number was intimidating!  I made a quick call to Papa Murphy's, and they sold us the crusts for $1 each.  Crisis averted!  
The kids helped with all the shopping for ingredients, and then, the day before Halloween, the real work began.  We created a pizza assembly line.  Someone measured cheese, someone spread sauce, someone sprinkled cheese, and then we all created the jack-o-lantern faces.  The kids had such a great attitude, and we whipped out those pizza's in no time.  We then loaded them up in the car and started our delivery route.  I think this was their favorite part. They had a great time delivering the pizzas and cookies and collecting their hard earned money.  Needless to say, we exceeded our goal by quite a bit, and the kids couldn't be more thrilled.  They are already thinking of ways to improve, and new products to add next year. :)  

I hope they learned that it feels good to work for what they want. I hope it makes them appreciate what they have, and not just expect that they will be given whatever they want.  Rusty is just as proud as punch to have such entrepreneurial minded kiddos :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

St George Marathon

IMG_1914The St. George Marathon was, hands-down, the best running day of my life.  Everything aligned perfectly and the result was a perfect race—could not have asked for anything more. 

Training for this marathon was tough, and different than any of my other marathon training plans.  We did a lot more work at Marathon pace, and we also had tough long runs.  Our longest run before the race was 22 miles, with the last 6 miles run at marathon pace. Kim McConnell coached me through this training cycle and her advice and expertise were invaluable. 

I must have checked the weather forecast 10 times a day in the week leading up to the marathon.  And the temp kept dropping and dropping.  It was a brisk 34 degrees at the start line, but a perfect 50 degrees when we finished.

Amber, Kummi, and I caught one of the last busses up the canyon.  This didn’t leave us with much time when we got to the starting area. A wait in a long porta potty line, quick bag drop, and we got to the starting line just in time to see the 3:40 pace group go by.  We jumped in and started running.  It was a hectic way to begin, but worked out just fine. I went to turn on my Garmin only to discover that it was FROZEN.  Nothing was working.  Couldn’t reset it, couldn’t push any buttons, couldn’t get it to respond at all.  I started to panic a bit.  Mile one went by.  Little more panic.  Mile two went by.  Full blown panic.  I was running with Amber at this point, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay with her speedy self.  I said a quick prayer in my head.  I told Heavenly Father that I knew in the grand scheme of the universe that a frozen Garmin did not matter in the least.  But it mattered to me at that moment very much.  A few min later I heard the most wonderful sound in the world….my Garmin beeping to life.  Relief and thanks flooded through me. 

The first 6 miles flew by.  And then it was time for the dreaded “Veyo Hill.”  It is about a mile climb and it is tough.  The worst part is you can see it stretching before you the entire way.  There is no fooling your brain because you can see the WHOLE THING. 

veyo hill

But honestly?  It wasn’t that bad.  I attribute that to living and training in hilly Vista Ridge.  We climb mile long hills all the time :)

The next 4 miles were at an uphill grade.  But I knew they were the toughest 4 miles of the course, and if I successfully came through those miles I’d have plenty of time to relax and recover coming down the hill on the other side. 

At about mile 14 the course enters Snow Canyon.  The scenery is breathtaking, and you start running downhill at a pretty steep grade.  It was easy just to leg my legs go and enjoy the view. I kept thinking how lucky I am to have a healthy body that can do amazing, challenging things. I couldn’t stop smiling as I realized my dream to qualify for Boston was firmly in my grasp.

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The next 4 miles flew by, and before I knew it, I was at mile marker 18.  I thought….I think I can push a little harder.  And so I did.  I decided not to focus on my Garmin at all for a little bit and just see what happened.  When I looked down awhile later I was running about 15 seconds under my goal pace, and felt great.  I decided to see if I could keep it up for a few miles.  Miles 18-23 had a few hill climbs, but I was able to maintain my pace.  I just kept telling myself…”Don’t slow down, you are doing just fine.  You have earned this.  You deserve this.”  Got to mile 23 still feeling great.  I kept waiting to bonk or for my legs or hips to tighten up, but it didn’t happen.  The last 3 miles felt like a dream. The crowds thickened, all the spectators cheering you to the finish line.  I hit mile 26 and was beaming from ear to ear.  .2 later I crossed the finish line (3:29:03) feeling more proud of myself than I have ever felt before.  I put my hands on my knees and just kept saying “I did it! I can’t believe it!  I did it! I’m going to BOSTON!”  I looked around for someone to share in my joy, but no one was paying the least bit of attention to me ;)  Check out my giant grin.

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Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 5.22.05 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 5.22.28 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 5.23.39 PM It took me awhile to find Amber (who finished at 3:24—my hero!) and then we both watched Kummi cross the finish line. Amber’s parents were meeting us there but we had neglected to designate a meeting spot and my phone had zero coverage.  We spent about an hour looking for them, and by that time I felt kinda like a zombie.  Nothing that a warm shower, warm peach Veyo Pie, and a warm fuzzy “Going to Boston” feeling couldn’t fix :)Veyo pie

IMG_1915After that, we were off to Vegas in our incredibly mini car. Weekend in Vegas = food (mmm….Sunday brunch!), sleep, and some well deserved laying by the pool.  It was an amazing day, one I’m sure will go down in the books as one of the greatest days in my life.