Me, the Runner, Part 5: Running With Dad

Categories: Exercise, Family, Remembers

Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: Jr. High Track & Field
Part 3: College & Beyond
Part 4: Marriage & Children

You might have noticed a theme as you’ve been reading through these.

My dad has been an integral part of my running story from the very beginning. And he was always there at the end of the run or the end of the race for me.

I started running when my dad pushed me in the stroller when I was a baby.

My first race was at age three. I held my dad’s hand the whole race.

My summer mornings as a kid started with runs around the neighborhood with Dad before he’d go to work and I’d go back to bed.

When I ran track and field in high school my dad would rub my shins with Icy-Hot when I’d get shin splints.

It was my dad’s encouragement that had me run my first marathon. And our combined desire to run Boston that had me running my second.

My dad and I started my wedding day by going for a run together.

We bought our BOB jogging stroller with the Christmas money my parents gave me when Iddo was born so that I could run with my own children just as my dad had run with me.

My dad and I shared our miles with each other virtually through live-tracking as well as comments and virtual races as my family grew and more miles than we’d want to run separated us.

On October 30th I told my dad with great pride that Iddo had paced me for a 3-mile run on her bike. He was so proud of her.

And now the rest of the story.

That night he got incredibly ill incredibly fast. We lived the crazy ups and downs of the ICU at different hospitals until November 12th when, after the perfect storm of complications, we said goodbye.

Iddo and I have hummingbirds on our running hats now in his honor. I’m still leaving notes about my miles, who I take and what I see, because I know he is running with me still. I cry for a bit on most of my runs, especially my long runs on Saturdays, because I miss him. And I wish he could watch me and my kids run again in person.

This last Saturday I ran my second half marathon. It was the day after my dad’s birthday, and also two years from the day we found out Izri was coming. I had a special shirt made for it that I’m planning to wear for every race until it wears out, at which point I’ll make a new one. I finished in 2:13:27, about 7 minutes faster than I thought I’d finish. Strangely, my live tracking didn’t work the way it should during the race, meaning Brett and my mom couldn’t track me and my dad was the only one who could.

Afterwards the older three kids ran the 1K again. Izri will run the 1K next year for his first race.

And I know we’ll always be running with Dad.

Me, the Runner, Part 4: Marriage and Children

Categories: Exercise, Family, Remembers

Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: Jr. High Track & Field
Part 3: College & Beyond

I had two significant runs in 2009. The first was an early morning run on November 14th. My dad and I woke up early that morning and bundled up to go running in the Avenues neighborhood in Salt Lake City in a snow storm that would become a bit of a blizzard a few hours later before clearing up and leaving the world absolutely beautiful. My parents met while they were working at LDS Hospital there in the Avenues and their first place after they got married was a basement apartment in the Avenues. They were living there when I was born at LDS Hospital. We ran past both of those places plus a few others. A few hours after that run Brett and I got married.

Because Brett knows running keeps me same we agreed that me training for a marathon while planning for our wedding would be a good idea. So almost one month exactly after we got married I ran my third marathon, the Tucson marathon. I spent the first 25 miles cursing the head wind and the last mile and a bit cursing whoever planned the route to end going uphill and last couple hundred yards in sand. Because really?

In 2010 I talked Brett into running a Turkey Trot in Bountiful, Utah. There had been a huge winter storm a few days before and it was still well below freezing. But no wind and lots of sun so it actually wasn’t that bad. He did the 5K and I did the 10K. It was his very first race.

I was looking forward to running while pregnant. I even read a book about all the benefits to both the mom and the baby if you exercise while pregnant. But then there were some complications with Iddo’s pregnancy as well as Shimri’s and Shimei’s. So I never got a chance. The closest I got was a 6 mile run the morning of our IVF transfer that gave us Shimri and Shimei. I did get back to it as soon as I could after every time.

When Iddo was six months old we got our BOB running stroller and I loved taking her out running. And she loved going. Her first race was the Boneyard 5K in March of 2014. It was Brett’s second race so that he could watch her. She wore a running outfit my dad had bought for me to wear when I was a baby and he took me running.

Her second race was the Deseret News 10K in July of 2014. Since the race finishes down the Pioneer Parade route and the race is on Pioneer Day, I wore a pioneer bonnet the whole time and I decorated the stroller to look like a covered wagon. We heard a lot of cheers as we finished and the newspaper even ran a photo of Iddo getting her finisher’s medal at the end.

When Shimri and Shimei were born we were gifted a double jogging stroller. Their first race was the Boneyard 5K in October 2016. This involved telling them not to eat or hit each other. And the double stroller was a bit tricky to get through the crowds on the small dirt paths, but it was a whole lot of fun. Shimri wore my running outfit this time. So far this is the only time Brett has ever run with a stroller.

The Boneyard in 2016 was at the start of me training for my first half marathon, the Mesa-Phx race. Through the end of 2016 and the start of 2017 I was increasing my mileage and having some of the best runs of my life. I ran on my own in the mornings on weekdays and then on Saturday I’d either take Iddo out in the single jogger or the twins in the double. Iddo started getting a bit bored on my really long runs so I even did a few where I would do several miles with her and then run past the house and switch kids and strollers to finish my run. I loved running with the stroller because it held my water for me.

Three weeks before my race I started to seriously consider that I might actually be pregnant. Two weeks before the race we confirmed that I was. Since I clearly hadn’t had any complications with the pregnancy and my running to that point we went forward with the race. I was a day shy of 24 weeks with Izri on race day. Which meant he’d actually been with me for the Boneyard race a few months earlier too. I was finally getting my opportunity to run while I was pregnant, a thought that choked me up every few miles. I was grateful for him giving me that chance. My dad was able to track me digitally on the race and when I finished he congratulated me on my race, “Good job on the run. You were consistent on the pace. Have fun racing with [Iddo]. Send pictures.” I got cleaned up from my race and then Iddo ran her very first race, a kids 1K fun run. The race photographer snapped a photo of us finishing.

The next year, 2018, I ran the 10K, my dad tracked me again and when I finished told me, “Right on target. I followed the first half; then the weather cleared so I went for my walk. It started raining again just as I got home. Congrats to you and your family.” Afterwards Iddo ran her third race and Shimri and Shimei ran their first races and there was another photo at the finish.

In August 2017 my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and we all got together for a week for it. As part of the celebration my dad got all of us running shirts and we had a family race with Grandpa.

Since it’s still hard to find races that aren’t on Sunday I’ve started doing virtual races, since a big part of racing is the t-shirts and I can still get those with a virtual race. My first virtual race was for the solar eclipse in 2017. It was my first run after Izri was born and it was humid as all get out. My dad had done his run for it earlier in the day before it was quite so warm.

My most recent one was for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission. Our whole family did it at the park and we had some friends join us. We’re looking forward to doing the next virtual runs for the Apollo missions later this year.

And there is a 5K near Christmas that also has a kids 1K that Iddo and I have done two years in a row now. Izri’s first race in the stroller was the Christmas race just two months ago.



When I go out running I track my mileage with the MapMyRun app. I would leave notes about which kid I took and how windy it was, because the wind makes a huge difference when pushing a running stroller, as does the weight in the stroller. Eventually my dad started leaving notes about the wildlife he saw on his morning walks and it became part of my daily routine to wake up in the morning and see how his walk had gone and then later in the day report on my run around the neighborhood or my walk taking Iddo to and from school. There is a cactus on the corner of our street that we discovered blooms in a spiral and so every day I’d include a photo of the cactus so we could watch the blooms work their way into the center till the last bloom in October. I wasn’t literally going out running with my dad every morning any more, but through technology we were still able to get out and do our miles together. It was a milestone on October 30th to share with him that Iddo had ridden her bike with me for my whole three mile run that evening. The older three now love to go for a mile or two with me on their bikes when I go running.

I love running with my kids. I love passing it on to them as my dad passed it on to me.

Me, the Runner, Part 3: College and Beyond

Categories: Exercise, Family, Remembers

Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: Jr. High Track & Field

I mentioned at the end of Part 2 that I’d dislocated my knee at the end of high school. But I still got back to running when I could. At BYU I did the inaugural Rex E. Lee Memorial 5K my freshman year and every year I was at school. Getting into a regular running routine was a bit of a challenge as I also got into the routine of living on my own, but things went better when I was running regularly.

1997 was the sesquicentennial of the Mormon pioneers arriving in the Salt Lake valley. As part of the celebrations for Pioneer Day, July 24th, there is the Deseret News Marathon that starts in the mountains and follows the route of the pioneers down the mountains and into town. My dad and I decided we would run the marathon in honor of the last wagons, the ones who had to breathe the dust of everyone else ahead of them. And that’s pretty much where I finished. But I officially finished. My dad finished ahead of me but came back to run the last bit with me.

In 2004 I ran my first 10K, part of the Deseret News Marathon. The runners never really thin out and the race finishes running down the parade route. With all of that pushing me on I finished in 59:45. It was a great race.

At midnight on December 31, 2007 I bundled up and went for a 3 mile run to get 2008 off to a running start. It became a tradition. One that has been modified most often to a walk that “starts on the right foot” due to being sick, or having small children, at New Year’s. But I hope to get the years off to a running start again soon.

In 2008 I turned 30 and my dad and I again ran the Deseret News Marathon, which is the day after my birthday. We both had the goal to qualify for Boston but his hip started giving him grief near the end and I had issues with my ankle through training and the race. But we finished. So the race didn’t beat us.

In 2008 I also moved to Tucson and that September I ran an 11 mile trail race in the mountains north of town and decided that I am definitely not a trail runner. But finding races in Tucson that aren’t on Sunday is hard.

As 2008 turned into 2009 Brett joined me on my midnight New Year’s run.

And that’s a good place to end part 3. Part 4 I’ll talk about running since getting married and having children.


Categories: Family, Musings

One of the hardest parts of motherhood for me is lasts.

You rarely get to plan them. They sneak up on you. Sometimes they pass without you noticing till it’s too late.

Brett was completely in charge of the bed time routine with our oldest daughter. He would brush her teeth, give her a bath, put on her diaper, get her in pajamas, read to her, sing to her, and then hand her to me to nurse to sleep. After over 3 years of doing that (except the nursing to sleep, at 13 months he would hand her to me and I’d sing to her and put her down), she potty trained from one day to the next. We put her in underwear after her nap and then at bed time gave her the choice of underwear or a diaper. She chose underwear. And he realized he’d already put the last diaper on her. It was an unexpected emotional moment.

Our youngest is 19 months old. He’s still waking up to nurse at night. I LOVE my sleep. But I also consider those moonlit moments of holding my warm, soft, sleeping children so close to me to be sacred moments. Our bedroom window faces south and I have a rocker-recliner next to the window. I have loved opening the blinds at night when the moon is big to let that soft blue light rest on my baby’s cheeks and feel his small hand hold on to my chest.

But I can tell the LAST is coming. And as much as I want to sleep through the night again, I’m definitely going to miss those sacred moments.

And I won’t even know to enjoy that LAST until it’s already gone.

Me, the Runner, Part 2: Jr. High Track & Field

Categories: Exercise, Family, Remembers

See Part 1 for a review.

When I started jr. high in 7th grade I considered myself athletic. So I went out for every sport. And, it turns out, I’m not as athletic as I thought I was. At least not when it comes to team sports involving balls. And I was cut from every team. Track didn’t have cuts though. They could find something for everyone to do. I was definitely not a hurdler. That ambition never materialized. But I could run distances. So I ended up running the 800m, the 1600m, the 4x800m relay, and the anchor for the 1600m medley relay (200, 200, 400, 800).

Our junior high had a dirt track which actually gave us a slight advantage when we ran on real tracks. And there was a hill on the northeast corner of the track that we’d have to run repeats on. And our coach loved to have the 4×200 and the 4×400 relays race against us long distance runners so that we were going up against fresh legs regularly. We moved at the beginning of my 8th grade year and I did track again at the new junior high as well.

I enjoyed going to the meets. I had a lot of fun being with the other runners but I liked that for the most part how I did on an event was all up to me. My mom came to all of them and my dad was there for as many as he could be. I had a cooler they’d pack for me with oranges and Gatorade in it. I had issues with shin splints so my dad would rub Icey Hot on my legs for me.

After junior high I continued running with my dad in the mornings during the summer and doing 5Ks when they’d come up but I didn’t pursue track in high school. My senior year of high school I dislocated my knee and it took a long time for me to come back from that. Knowing what I know about injuries now I should’ve done some physical therapy but the doctors never suggested it.

Next up: Running during college and my first three marathons.


Categories: Family

Well, it’s National Blog Posting Month again. And in all the history of this blog I have never not blogged every day for the month of November. That includes the year we got married (mid-November). But I cheated just a tad that month and pre-dated/post-dated a few because there was no way I was getting online the weekend we got married.

This year I will still have the goal to blog every day this month. However, because four children actually do keep a person rather busy, I’m disastrously behind on our private family blog about all their comings and goings and doings and such. So my goal for this month will be to do one catch-up post on our kids’ blog every day so that I can record all their littles while they are still little and we still remember them rather well. Because darn it all if they don’t all grow super fast. That still won’t get me caught up, but it will at least get me close enough that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wish me luck!

And if you get a chance, sit down a few times this month yourself and record parts of your own story in whatever fashion you’d like.

IVF Means…

Categories: Life

I can think of no better way to describe IVF than as one of the greatest miracles of modern science. Growing up I always wanted children and assumed I would be able to have them. Getting married in 2009 in my 30s, my expectation for a possibly large family was cut down to the idea that I might only have one or two kids. Then Lisa and I began to go through the infertility ordeal. We met with Dr. Gelety, our reproductive endocrinologist, in early 2011, and he assured us that we would be pregnant by the end of the year. I was a bit of a skeptic up until that point, but when the promise was fulfilled, and Lisa got pregnant through IVF in November 2011, I started to become a believer.

Our struggles had not ended by that time, as that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. With so many obstacles to overcome, I remember one moment of sheer desperation in mid-2012 when I was virtually out of hope and believed I would die without posterity. But through faith, prayers, sacrifices and struggles, we became pregnant again in October 2012, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in June 2013. This was followed by a frozen transfer that resulted in the birth of our twins, a boy and a girl, in April 2015, and because the pregnancies had kept Lisa’s endometriosis at bay, we became pregnant naturally and had our final child, a boy, in June 2017.

None of this would have happened without IVF. It is astonishing to me that the first IVF baby is the same age as my wife. That means if we’d been the age of our parents, we would not have had the opportunity of raising biological children in this life. Multiplied over tens of thousands of years of human history, it is staggering to think how lucky or blessed I am to be living when I am. I love my family and thank God for providing the science that enabled it to be what it is today.

– Brett