Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Petrified Forest

Flat Jenny enjoyed a short 2 mile VERY difficult and steep hike through the petrified forest near Escalante, UT. She loved the scenery and was excited to see petrified wood for the first time. Flat Jenny passed Bryce Canyon National Park on the way to the trail head, but alas, there was not enough time to stop and visit. Maybe next time?
There were large pieces of petrified wood all over the area in every color of the rainbow. Flat Jenny thought they were SO COOL!
It is difficult to tell in this picture, but those are not big boulders . . . they are chunks of huge petrified logs! And, up close they were really pretty, but not so much in the picture. Oh, well. Flat Jenny still had a great time, even though the pictures don't look too spectacular. Jenny loves adventures of all sorts!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Good Luck!!!

Flat Jenny, I want to wish you and Laurie the best of luck tomorrow when you walk the American River Parkway 1/2 Marathon!!!  You will be awesome!  What an incredible adventure you'll have together!  Can't wait to read all about it here SOON!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Break in Escalante, UT

Flat Jenny went with Meggen and her family on their spring break vacation to the Escalante, UT area. It was a great break from the daily grind of life in UT County and the weather was definitely a lot warmer! ;o)

Flat Jenny enjoyed climbing this tree near the campsite to get a better view of the surrounding area. This isn't the first tree Flat Jenny has climbed, so she is somewhat of an expert! She likes the perspective being in a tree can give her.
Flat Jenny hiked to Lower Calf Creek Falls and it was spectacular! She loved the hike and all the interesting rocks, wildlife, and desert scenery along the way. Her favorite part was definitely the falls, though. It was nice and cool---a great place to sit on a fallen tree and contemplate the beauties of life while having a drink and eating a yummy snack.
Flat Jenny thought all the cactus plants along the way were interesting, even though they were taller than her and she was happy to stay far enough away from their spines to stay safe. She's had enough of being pricked with needles at the doctor---she doesn't need to add that to her vacation routine too!
Flat Jenny also was grateful for the rock cairns along the trail that marked the path when she was hiking over large areas of sandstone. It always such a blessing when those who have gone before are able and willing to blaze a clear path for us to follow.
At the end of the hike, Flat Jenny thought it would be good to have a picture in front of the sign to the trail head so she will never forget this beautiful day in the Utah sun!
Here is a short video that Flat Jenny took at Calf Creek Falls. The falls are much larger and more spectacular than any picture or little video clip can capture. What a beautiful day!
video

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy (Belated) Easter

A few days ago, Flat Jenny discovered a couple small bunny statues! The statues were near a small pond in Fairfax, VA. (the pond is in the backyard of Nita's workplace)




Flat Jenny posed with the bunny statues! She had hoped these pictures would bring some Easter joy to Jenny, however, due to technical difficulties in uploading the pictures to this blog, there was a slight delay in posting, and these pictures were not able to be posted Easter Morning as originally hoped.




Nonetheless, FINALLY the pictures have been able to load! Enjoy!!!



Flat Jenny posed with this bunny!





She hopped on the other one!






Even though the meaning of Easter is so much more than bunnies, we hope that these bunnies bring some Easter Joy to the real Jenny from Flat Jenny!


Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Frolicking in the Tulips!

By Nita . . .

Tuesday, April 19th was a lovely spring day filled with lots of sunshine. Nita felt happy to be able to leave work early. While leaving the parking lot, Nita saw a beautiful display of yellow tulips that surrounded the sign for a nearby business. The tulips added to the beauty of the day. Flat Jenny thought it would be fun to get a closer look at the beautiful tulips! So Nita stopped the car and Flat Jenny smiled as she jumped into the tulips!

A quote Nita really likes is "what sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity!"

Thanks so much Flat Jenny for sharing your smile in the following pictures!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Special Olympics Training Event

The Adventures of Flat Jenny at a Special Olympics Training Event
by Juanita

Both Flat Jenny and the real Jenny are fortunate in that both have a plethora of friends who love to run. One of Jenny’s real life acquaintances, Juanita (hereafter Nita, her online nickname) is not yet a runner. Just so those who read blog know, Nita doesn’t actually know Jenny too well. Nita has met Jenny at some singles events such as the local institute, a religion class for those who are single. And last year both Nita and Jenny were fortunate to attend a small group class in Thai cooking, thanks to a kind soul who invited a few people to attend the class! Other than that, Nita mostly knows Jenny via her blog which she discovered after Jenny’s diagnosis.

Last week, when Nita learned about the Flat Jenny project, she thought Flat Jenny might enjoy going on a Saturday morning outing to a Special Olympics training session for some local athletes. Nita had already signed up to attend and she thought Flat Jenny might enjoy attending as well! Thus on Friday, April 8, Nita downloaded the Flat Jenny Template and another Flat Jenny was created!

Since the event was to be Saturday morning, April 9th Flat Jenny would be quite busy! You see, Flat Jenny was already joining her amazingly extraordinary California friend Laurie in a 20 mile early AM run! On that day, in sunny California, Laurie and Flat Jenny got up at 4:30AM PST to RUN 20 miles to church to attend a baptism! Such a feat is truly fantabulous to the nth degree!!!

Flat Jenny realized there would be a time conflict, for the time Nita and Flat Jenny were going to need to leave was at the very same time! Remember, at 4:30 AM PST, Laurie would begin running 20 miles to a baptism! And that would be 7:30 AM EST when Nita needed to leave her place in Woodbridge, VA in order to arrive at the gathering location in Fairfax by 8:15AM.

Luckily Flat Jenny takes after real Jenny in multitasking. And due to her special powers she can add speed of light travel. So Flat Jenny had no worries, she knew it was totally possible for to accompany both Laurie and Nita on their respective daily adventure. Just like the Little Engine That Could, Flat Jenny knew she could do both! For remember, she is Flat Jenny, representing the real wonderful Jenny!

Flat Jenny wanted to know a little about the meeting place. Nita explained she used to work at the Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC), a state residential facility for some of the most wonderful people in the world. They happen to have intellectual disabilities and most have severe physical challenges as well. The motto of that facility is helping people with intellectual disabilities to live life. Nita said she no longer works there but occasionally helps out at their events. NVTC is located in Fairfax, near GMU where Jenny is a PhD student.

In the training event, they would meet at NVTC and then get on the bus to drive to Flint Hill School, in Oakton, VA. Here it would be sort of a trial event for an upcoming Special Olympics, the objective was for the athletes to qualify for another event in a few weeks. The winners at that event get to go to the State Special Olympics event! At least that is Nita’s understanding.

So on with the Saturday AM adventure! Nita is absolutely not an early riser, this fact is one of her major lifetime weaknesses, and they had to be at the meeting place at NVTC at 8:15AM . However, having been up until 4AM, doing various night owl things such as coloring her Flat Jenny template and making a baked item for a potluck dinner at her church, Nita didn’t wake up until 7:28 AM. And she’d planned to leave at 7:30AM! Oops!

Nita wanted to do something "running related" for the Flat Jenny project. Thus, for her contribution, Nita jumped out of her bed and dashed to get ready. Luckily Nita had showered late in the night, thus she just had to hurry to dress and brush her teeth. Luckily, Flat Jenny was already to go!

They jumped in the car and headed north up 123, then turned right on Braddock Rd. During some of the traveling time, Flat Jenny actually hopped over to California to run with Laurie, but Flat Jenny did arrive back in Nita’s car as they passed GMU. Nita and Flat Jenny thought of Jenny as they passed GMU, for they know how much Jenny hopes to be back there, continuing her PhD studies. Nita and Flat Jenny hope that very soon Jenny will be able to resume her dream.

Soon they arrived at NVTC which is off of Braddock Rd. They were delighted to realize they had arrived on time! Notice the picture of Flat Jenny smiling as she displays the proof that they had indeed arrived EXACTLY on time!
Once in the parking lot, Flat Jenny was ready to go inside. However, Nita needed a moment to finish brushing her hair and donning her belt, as she had rushed to just get out the door. Nita shared that she sometimes didn’t like her hair and wished that it looked nicer, so often her hair made her feel like a Monster Woman. In saying this, Nita immediately felt bad for complaining. She felt sad for Jenny due to her struggles with chemo-induced hair loss. Flat Jenny joked Nita could borrow one of Jenny’s wigs. She said Jenny is generous and won’t mind! Nita would have taken her up on that offer but remember Flat Jenny was also running in California, so there was no time to borrow a wig. But Nita did say if given a choice, she would want to borrow Jenny’s awesome hot pink wig!
Finally, Flat Jenny and Nita went into the building. Luckily for Flat Jenny and Nita, sometimes things run late at NVTC, and that morning was no exception. There is so much for the dedicated staff to do on behalf of these amazing human beings who require so much care and attention. So after waiting a few moments, they were ready to go. They enjoyed meeting the staff, another volunteer and most importantly the athlete-clients that they would accompany! Their mode of transportation would be a Fast Tran.

Along with Carol, another volunteer, they helped load the Fast Tran. This meant that they had to use a little muscle power to pull wheelchair with its occupant onto the wheelchair lift that would elevate the athlete from the ground up to the Fast Tran. They discovered that some of the wheelchairs and their occupant were a tad hard to guide onto the wheelchair lift! But with Flat Jenny’s can do spirit, they did it! One of the fun parts was pushing the lift control button up/down. Such cool technology! Once the person was on the Fast Tran, the staff secured their wheelchair into a safe position for the trip to the training meet.

Here is a picture of Flat Jenn helping operate the control for the wheelchair lift. Please note that the black gloved fingers are those of Carol, one of the volunteers who was interested in the Flat Jenny project. She was supportive and enjoyed seeing the pictures Nita took of Flat Jenny!
On this event, there was a 1:1 ratio of assistant to athlete. Flat Jenny and Nita were privileged to hang out with a lovely gregarious friendly young woman, for purposes of this blog, Nita will call her “A” . Her name doesn’t even begin with an A but that is what they decided to call her.

They liked “A” a lot and know real Jenny would too. “A” was very excited to be in a wheelchair race. On ride over she said, “Here we go! It’s going to be fun!” She looked forward to her race. Her awesome attitude made Nita think she’d like to be that excited about the things she does in life!

En route to Flint Hill, one of the kind but busy harried staff shared that she had accidentally forgotten to bring a camera! Oops! This staff member had charged the camera but ended up forgetting it, something totally understandable as things can get so crazy busy in direct care work. Nita was hopeful to lend her camera, in fact the only reason it was there was due to the Flat Jenny project. Thus Flat Jenny and Nita were eager to share the camera they had brought. For a moment they were happy as they thought the camera could be used at the event. But they soon found out that unfortunately, the State of Virginia rules prevented using the camera that was not the property of the State of Virginia. In addition, they were unable to take pictures of any of the athlete-clients due to the rules of privacy. But they could take a few pictures with only Flat Jenny visible!
Within a short time, everyone arrived at Flint School in Oakton, VA. Upon their arrival at the school, they helped unload the Fast Tran. They were warmly greeted and directed to the track and field area. To get to the track, it was necessary to either go down a staircase or go down a somewhat intimidating hill for people either using a wheelchair or pushing one. Oh well! So to go down the hill, they worked in twos, sometimes in threes- one or two people in front of the wheelchair and one person behind the wheelchair. Everyone made it safely down the hill! Anything can be overcome w/teamwork! This experience made Nita and Flat Jenny happy that Jenny has so many people on her support team!

As several events were occurring simultaneously, they spent much of the time waiting while watching other events from the far side of the track. There were running races, walking races, racing via manual and electric wheelchair and throwing events (such as a tennis ball toss).

While waiting, Flat Jenny decided to explore the grassy area surrounding the track! There were a few trees in that area, and Flat Jenny decided it would be fun to climb one! So in a fascinating feat that elite gymnasts would envy, she hopped up the tree in a quick move and balanced perfectly as she posed for this picture:
While they waited some more, “A” again voiced her excitement to participate in her upcoming race!
Meanwhile, Nita and Flat Jenny decided it would be good to Flat Jenny’s picture taken near that steep hill mentioned earlier:

After taking that picture, while walking alongside the track en route to the waiting area, another group of runners sprinted past Nita and Flat Jenny. Nita thinks the runners may have been in the 800. Flat Jenny was eager to cheer for the runners, so Flat Jenny smiled her heartfelt well wishes as Nita waved Flat Jenny back and forth, side to side, sort of like a flag! It truly seemed like Flat Jenny was right there cheering for those runners! During this time of cheering and waving, one special moment occurred. While cheering a young teenage runner, who was passing Flat Jenny and Nita, the young runner turned and looked towards them and said “thank you” to them, he then continued on in his race.

Here is a picture of Flat Jenny cheering for that young man as he raced by:

Soon Nita and Flat Jenny were back at home base with the others they had accompanied. Flat Jenny was excited to know and cheer for everyone! Of course it was cold since Nita had not brought a coat for Flat Jenny, so Flat Jenny spent most of the time in Nita’s cloth bag as well as jumping back and forth to California to keep up with Laurie.

As runners participated in the various races, everyone would clap for them. As people went by, Flat Jenny and Nita both felt bad they didn’t know everyone’s names! Nita has heard marathoners find it helpful to hear named called out even from strangers. But today no one wore bib numbers or name tags! Flat Jenny emphasized it important to cheer anyway! Nita felt happy that in Jenny’s current race, Jenny’s friends know her and cheer, care, encourage and support her by name and in so many ways!

As the waiting continued, “A” practiced for her event with the help of her recreation therapist! For “A”, she has a unique method to pedal her wheelchair. The strategy that works best for her to propel her wheelchair is to use her feet and pedal backwards! An exciting moment occurred when “A” was practicing diligently: everyone who was practicing on the track suddenly had to hurry off the track because some more racers were just about to rush by.

Soon it would be “A”s race. It was touching to watch the assisted walker race, where the athletes participated in their race with the assistance of someone else. It made Nita think of how we all walk independently in life. But in reality, we all need “assisted walking”, in that we all must walk with the Savior. And as scripture and the Flat Jenny blog proclaims, we must walk and NOT be weary. Jesus Christ can walk with each of us; He wants to help us in our daily lives. We all need His help! The Savior loves Jenny and will help her in every step in her life as she battles this current challenge.

Finally it was “A’s” turn to race! There would be two others racing against her. As the race started, there was lots of enthusiastic cheering for each athlete. “A” raced exceedingly well; she was totally persistent and stayed her course while backwards pedaling! “A” actually ended up winning her race!!! One of the staff even dubbed her “SPEEDRACER A”! As this was a time trial event, there were actually no medals issued at this race- “A” had seemed excited in anticipating receiving a medal. But she understood. And Nita hoped that even more than a medal, “ A” knew she had good staff that supported her and cheered her. As she shared that sentiment with Flat Jenny, Nita didn’t wish to sound overly dorky, but she told Flat Jenny that Jenny deserved a medal for how she has endured her challenges.

Overall, what fun times!

Now it was time for everyone to return home! We learned there was an easier flatter path back to the Fast Tran in the parking lot. They would not have to push wheelchairs up the steep hill! Yeah! They wondered why their greeters hadn’t told them about the flatter path when they first arrived at the school. Oh well!
Nita and Flat Jenny began to push “A” back to the parking lot. While doing so, a young lady who also resides at the facility where “A” does, joined them in helping push “A’s” wheelchair. This new friend helped push “A’s” wheelchair with her left hand while using her right hand to hold onto Nita’s left forearm/upper arm. But in so doing, sometimes this young lady tried to hold onto Nita near her armpit, essentially poking Nita in her armpit. This was sort of tickly, not a fun feeling! So Nita gently encouraged the young lady to hold her on the forearm or upper arm, so as not poking in the arm pit. When Nita did this, Flat Jenny shook her head and smiled and said that is no reason to complain! She reminded Nita that Jenny has to be poked w/NEEDLES and suggested she should be grateful for gentle pokes!

Soon they departed and arrived back at NVTC. They helped unload folks off of the Fast Tran. They said good bye to “A” and thanked her for being so kind in allowing them to hang out with her. Nita left to go do some errands. And Flat Jenny needed to hurry back to check in with Laurie and all the happenings in California.

Flat Jenny did drop in for one final moment later that afternoon. Nita was going to spend part of the afternoon watching the daughter “C” of her friend. But first they stopped to get lunch, as due to the morning rush, Nita had not had a chance to eat.

While getting lunch in drive thru, Nita told “C” a little about Jenny and the Flat Jenny project. And “C” shared that she had been in a one mile fun run at her school for a terrible disease. “C” couldn’t remember the name of the disease- turns out it was for diabetes. “C” also shared that her school teacher had run in a running race and had told the class about the race. “C” shared some of the experiences of her teacher’s race with Nita.
They took this picture to remind Jenny and her friends of the many kids out there who care to help prevent- cancer and all horrible diseases.

In a moment Nita wishes she could have captured, “C” held Flat Jenny with both hands and looked at her. But as they were waiting in the drive through, Nita didn’t think it would be safe to snap a picture at that moment. So after picking up the food, they paused in the parking lot to snap a picture of Flat Jenny with “C”.

Figure 7 "C" & Flat Jenny
After taking the picture, “C” and Nita left to go watch the hilarious movie from Redbox, Beezus and Ramona. Flat Jenny was invited to stay and watch, but she kindly declined as Flat Jenny wanted to get back to her California friend Laurie and all those adventures such as attending the baptism and crashing a wedding!.
“C” and Nita said good bye to Flat Jenny and thanked her for the fun times!

The End

Nita’s life is not too overly exciting but said she does have a couple other adventures to plan for Flat Jenny. In particular, there is a statue at her workplace that she thinks Flat Jenny will really like! Stay tuned! Special thanks to “C’s Mother for allowing this picture to be posted!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Taking it slowly

Look carefully at the bottom of this photo.


That's right. It's a friendly snail. This, unfortunately, is an action shot of Saturday's power walk.

We were supposed to go 12 miles. We went a half mile and realized we wouldn't make it the full 12. The muscles behind my knee hurt - a lot. This maaaaaay have something to do with the 23 miles the week before. No problem, I thought. We'll just do 6. We finished the first mile when I made an executive decision to turn around right then. I'd rather skip a few workouts than injure myself.

We are currently not injuring ourselves by visiting with family in Arizona. One family member is pregnant with twins. We have been "fueling" for future races with her. Flat Jenny and I have been enjoying that a lot.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Day, Another Run

Another spring day has come and Flat Jenny has been out enjoying the beauty of the world around her. This morning started off chilly and a little cloudy, but by the time the 4.5 mile run was finished it was sunny, warm, and glorious!

The daffodils were out, happily sharing their sunny faces with the world!
Flat Jenny's run took her through some neighborhoods around town. Again, Mack was her gentlemanly chauffeur. She has a completely unobstructed view of the world that way and she loves it.
Toward the end of the run, Flat Jenny and Mack met up with some of their friends---John and Anya---who were coming back from a scooter ride adventure. John gave Flat Jenny a speedy ride back home and she loved feeling the wind on her face!
Excellent running again this morning, Flat Jenny! Now she is off to have spring break adventures with Meggen and her family!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Popcorn Popping!

Flat Jenny had a lovely 4.5 mile run this morning! The popcorn was popping on the apricot trees and the sunshine was out! Yeah for spring! How interesting spring in Utah can be . . . snow one day and sunshine and blossoms the next! I think Flat Jenny prefers the sunshine and warmth to wind, snow, and ice any day! ;o)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

There is nothing fun about 4:30 in the morning

After my mission I decided I was never getting up early for the rest of my life. This worked for a while. I took afternoon classes at BYU and having a job that requires you to show up at 9:00 isn't so bad. Then I had kids - kids who like to wake up early. There must have been a mix-up at the hospital three times. I have finally trained them to not wake me up before 7:00, but still sometimes I accidently see the sun rise. When it came to motivation this morning the 20 miles I was about to do did not intimidate me - waking up in the middle of the night did.

A friend's daughter was being baptized this morning and I really wanted to go. I had a few options: 1. skip the workout, 2. wake up at 4, do 10 miles out and back and drive over with the family, or 3. just do the workout TO the baptism. I know, #3 sounds pretty nuts but it was going to give me an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Easy decision. Also, there was a shower there so I wouldn't stink. Cecilee's baptism was at the Stake Center next door to the Sacramento Temple, which, by perfect chance, is exactly 20 miles from my house.

As I shoveled down the oatmeal in my kitchen this morning I just kept thinking, "If Oprah can do it, I can do it. If Oprah can do it, I can do it. If Oprah can do it, I can do it." Not that Oprah is my model of health, but she did do a marathon. If Oprah can run a marathon I should be able to kick my self out of bed in the dark every once in a while.

Things were going really well. I had plenty of water and food, my husband texted directions to my phone so I couldn't get lost, plus my ipod was chock full of NPR podcasts so I wouldn't get bored. (Some might disagree with that last part but that's just the kind of gal I am - kind of nerdy as well as physically fit.) Then at about 18.5 miles I hit the freeway. Uh, oops. In all my advance planning I hadn't considered that I couldn't cross where I wanted to. CARS could cross there, just not people - if they wanted to live.

No problem, I thought. I'll just go to the next exit and cross there. I was following a bike path and the jogger I asked said that the next exit was just "a little ways away." Yes, that's true . . . by car! By this point I didn't care if I had to go "a little ways" out of my way. I had decided to walk to the Temple and by jove, if my people could cross the plains and Oprah could run a marathon and I could wake up ON PURPOSE at 4:30 on a Saturday then I was going to do it!

So here we are, just after 20 miles, saying hello to a very shy CA Parks parking attendant. He works at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, a wonderfully exciting place where elementary school kids learn about the life cycle of Salmon. I'm sure other things happen there too when it's not Salmon time but I'm not sure what they are. In any case, the trails around there were certainly pretty and I was certainly pleased with the power of Zyrtec.

We continued "a little ways away" and made it to the Temple entrance! Whoooo! Then we went up a massive, massive hill. Whoouuugh! But we made it. We added an extra three miles to the already completely obscene mileage for the day and had bragging rights forever. (What did you do this weekend? Oh, nothing much, except I walked to the Temple . . . )

Here's Flat Jenny crashing a wedding.
Oh Flat Jenny, I didn't know you had it in you!

And here she is congratulating the newlyweds. I'm pretty sure she had artichokes in her bouquet, which is very Central California chic. (Upon closer inspection I realize they are NOT artichokes but 23 miles makes you think wedding bouquets have veggies in them, I guess.) How weird is this? I had no problems asking them to pose for a photo but I was too shy to ask for their names. So congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Artichoke! Here's to a long and happy life together - and to sleeping in on Saturdays!

Endurance

Another cold, snowy run for Flat Jenny today.  Nevertheless, she persevered (as is her nature) and made a strong and brave finish!  Great 4 mile run today, Flat Jenny!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Springtime in Utah

Mother Nature sometimes has a wicked sense of humor . . . especially here in Utah! We made it through April Fool's Day without any problems, but then when we least expected it, WHAM! Mother Nature had only been teasing us with the recent beautiful, sunny, mid-70 degree weather of late. Sunday morning we woke up to a flocked world! Everything was covered in a layer of snow and ice (even the popcorn that had just started popping on the apricot tree!)
Even now, Monday morning, the world is still snowy and 28 degrees outside. ;o(
So, although Flat Jenny thinks the snow is beautiful, she has opted to stay inside on the treadmill this morning for her daily run. Slipping on the icy roads and possibly breaking her neck in the process just doesn't sound like a great way to start a new week. But, perhaps if she waits a day (or even an hour or two), the sunshine just might return! That's springtime in Utah for ya!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cisco

No, not "The Thong Song" guy, that was Sisqo, and don't you think it's kind of embarrassing that we all remember that song anyway? What the title of this post means is the company Flat Jenny and I walked all round yesterday - Cisco Systems. We went six miles through beautiful Santa Clara, CA. My sister lives there amid gorgeous landscaping, high-tech companies and apartment buildings.

There's also a pretty beautiful nature center there. I was planning to go on the trails but, as you can see, once we got there we realized the trails were just six inches wide and the rest was ginormous plants and grasses. I'm not too familiar with this area and was a touch concerned that perhaps the nature center was a hide-out for the region's attack turkeys. About 50 feet in I decided to turn around - and run (yes, run) out of there.

Instead Flat Jenny and I walked around Cisco for six miles. Seriously, that place is HUGE. We went by building after building and parking lot after parking lot for the company.

There were also plenty of light rail stations all around. Here's Flat Jenny with her own personal station.

Look carefully. This says "Moving is the best medicine." Here's hoping Flat Jenny is making non-flat Jenny healthier!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jordan River Trail Run

Flat Jenny had a glorious run today on the Jordan River Trail in Lehi, UT. The sun was out and the temperature absolutely perfect! Flat Jenny smiled and loved every minute of her adventures outside. She got to ride on the back of her friend Mack. (Mack is very gentlemanly and always carries the water, snacks, camera, and car keys in his backpack, so why not let Flat Jenny ride too?!)
Within the first mile, Flat Jenny came around a bend in the trail and discovered a dozen cows hanging out next to the fence waiting for a visit. Flat Jenny said a quick, "hello," but couldn't stop for too long. She was just getting warmed up!
Next, Flat Jenny decided that the view of the lovely snow covered Mount Timpanogos was awesome, so she just had to stop for another picture. She really loves looking at the beautiful world while she is out running---there's always something inspiring to see.
Another mile later, the llama who shares his pasture with a bunch of sheep decided to come over and say hello. He usually is not very friendly, so this was a special treat! Even so, Flat Jenny decided not to get too close because, as you know, llama's spit (or so Flat Jenny has been told!)When today's 6 miles were through, Flat Jenny and Mack felt very tired, but extremely happy to have been outside on such a beautiful day! They hung-out together in the back of the car while Meggen drove them home for a well-deserved rest! Great running, Flat Jenny!

Flat Jenny & Laurie's Adventure

From Laurie:
Jenny and I have something in common - neither of us can run. Jenny's inability to run is due to a very bratty disease. Mine is due to bratty genetics. A few years ago my doctor, who after several tests diagnosed me with osteoporosis (at 37 - awesome), told me a list of things I cannot ever do again. Included on the list was no skiing, no tackle football (For real - do I look like a football player?) and no running. I then went through a few of my favorite exercises and asked if I could do those. NO. I asked him what I COULD do and he said, "Walking is a great exercise." Please. Walking is for old ladies.

I was mad. My husband had just signed up for his first marathon and I was feeling sorry for myself. My exercise options seemed so lame. Was I going to have to sneak into the 65+ water aerobics classes? No thanks. As Scott was looking on a race website he noticed that you're allowed to walk marathons if you can do it under the time limit. Hummm. I could do that.

So then, because apparently I am very easily persuaded to do good things for my body when I am mad, I decided to show my bratty genes what I thought of them. I decided to be not just any old lady walker, but a freakishly fast one. Yeah, so there, porous bones. As it turns out, I'm pretty darn fast. Yes, I look a little silly (OK, let's be honest, you've seen the racewalkers on TV, they look CRAZY) but I'm having fun, I feel great after a long, long walk and now I have a flat friend to go along with me.

Enough background. Let's get on to the adventures!
Here's flat Jenny in my kitchen (giving my scary callused toes a massage) before she was carefully folded up and put into my backpack. Sadly, some of those toenails are actually that color in real life. At least I still have all my toenails! While inside the backpack Jenny enjoyed eating a banana, energy bar and gel. She was pretty thirsty after all that and went through three refills of the water bottle.

I was pretty nervous. I'd never done 18 miles before. The hospital is about seven miles from my house so I thought I should head in that direction. I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to be by a hospital because anyone going 18 miles was either sick in the head or just plain sick.
There were lots of fun things to see on the way to the hospital. About five miles in we passed the mall that burned down last fall. Here is a photo of it when it was still smoking. It's almost back to normal now - whew - except the DownEast Basics is not coming back.
One of my favorite things about California in the spring are the poppies. (Important note: this photo is not of a real poppy but part of a state flower embroidery project I found today. I think I feel a new project coming on!) California Poppies all over the place in my neighborhood! Flat Jenny and I felt a little more relaxed every time we walked past a big clump of them.
We did not feel quite as relaxed when we saw these jokers. Not only is my neighborhood filled with the state flower, but also these gigantic turkeys! Doesn't it seem like turkeys are something that just live on farms or in ye olden days or yore? I swear they are as big as a Kindergartner. They actually kind of freak me out. They way they move always remind me the scene in Jurassic Park when the velociraptors were walking around the kitchen. We also saw lizards, by the way. They do not scare me.

Somehow we made it to the hospital, past the hospital, into a neighborhood with bigger trees and fancier cars than on my block, back to the hospital, back past the poppies and freaky turkeys and back to my home sweet home. We did it, Flat Jenny, we did it! (Or as Dora would say, ¡Lo hicimos!)