Saturday, April 23, 2011


Yep, it's broken. Her left index finger. And now she gets to sport this cute little number on her wrist for three weeks, then go back in for another X-ray to assess. Barrett broke it along her growth plate, so it's extra critical she keeps it in the splint 24/7 to let it heal. So it looks like she's out for the rest of the softball season. Insert Afty into the line up, remove Barrett. I guess the Brown sisters were not destined to play together this season after all. Now it will be Barrett's turn to wear the "rally cap" helmet...

Easter Saturday

Much to our children's amusement, the Easter Bunny comes on Saturday of Easter weekend. So today was the day. The big hunt. The hidden baskets. The loot. A great day in the life of a kid, no doubt about it. I have great memories of Easter morning from my early childhood too. And strangely, I still vividly remember one Easter morning that fell on a fast Sunday. I crawled behind my bed to sneak candy and then tucked the wrappers under my if the Big Man Upstairs couldn't see...And I felt soooooo guilty. Crazy guilty, but it was just too hard to resist. I mean, come on. A whole basket of candy at my disposal? That was just too much pressure for me. I hope I remembered to repent for that one :)

So funny the things we remember as kids. At any rate, the kids had a blast this morning hunting down their eggs and baskets. It was another good Saturday morning at the Brown house.

Happy Easter Eve!

Rowan's Haul

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Softball & Other Stuff

We are nearing the end of regular season play. One more week for the big girls and two more for Rowan. Then the tourney begins for the olders. Double elimination. We are already getting excited. Barrett & Afton's team, the Diablas, has really had a great season so far: undefeated and one tie (if you don't count their exhibition 2-inning game on opening day, which doesn't count. They lost that one).

Afton is excited to finally play next week after missing most of the season with her broken foot. She got the boot off 8 days ago, but the doctor said she couldn't run right away, so she's still been waiting, waiting, waiting. She'll get to play in the last two regular season games next week and the tourney, so at least she'll get in a little action. She's been practicing with the team ever since she got out of the cast and into the boot, and she's been the team's #1 fan all season. She's fully dressed out in her uniform every game, leading the dugout cheers and making everyone laugh. She is seriously so funny. She cracks me up when I see her sporting the backward "rally cap" helmet most games, which all the girls rub for good luck. But hey, so far, so good. It seems to be working.

Sadly, we think Barrett might have broken her finger at tonight's game. She was playing third and the runner on second came in hard on a steal and cleated Barrett pretty good on her glove hand. I didn't even know she was hurt, as she just shook it off, finished the inning, then got up to bat and nailed it hard. It wasn't until after her team finished batting that she came over with teary eyes and a very swollen finger to show me the problem. By the time we got home tonight (around 9:45), it was really swelling up bad and starting to bruise. Who knows - maybe it's just a bad sprain, but it doesn't look good. Not good at all. She iced it at the game and again before bed. Ryan is out camping tonight and has no reception so he doesn't even know.

So we may be spending tomorrow morning at the doctor's office getting x-rays and splints. No fun. I can think of a zillion other things I'd rather do. And I have a zillion things planned for tomorrow already...and addressing a broken finger is not on that list...

We are hoping to still see "Soul Surfer" tomorrow with the kids and a couple of their softball friends. We've been planning it for a couple of weeks now and everyone is itching to see the shark attack scene where the girl loses her arm. The previews look really good. Tomorrow is also my dad's birthday and Costco shopping for all the Easter fruit day, and a long run day, and prep for 6th grade science camp day (yes, I'm going up with Barrett as a cabin mom next week) and Easter Saturday morning prep day (the Easter Bunny comes on Saturday at our house) and finishing up some very urgent RMB work day, and finish putting my "bathroom in the hall" stuff back in the bathroom day, and oh yes, the kids will be home all day day...

No, the broken hand thing doesn't fit super well into that already way too full day. I'd say that things will just have to spill over to Saturday (and they might), but that day is already scheduled too. But just as it always does, it will all work out. Many things just won't get done and we'll all live.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Saturday Morning

Chalk up another one for Mr. & Mrs. Brown. We ran the 4.2 mile Pat's Run on Saturday and had a great morning together with 28,000 of our closest Valley of the Sun friends. Crazy crowded...I mean super duper crazy crowded. They wave started us by corral in 1,000 runner waves, but it was the most crowded race I've ever ran. Not sure why it seemed crazier than last year since there were about the same number of runners, but it never really loosened up that much the whole time. We were in wave 4 of 28 too, so we had it better than many.

But despite having to weave in and out of runners the whole race and throwing a couple of elbows here and there (not really, but I thought about it), we made it to the finish line a few seconds apart. Ryan came in ahead of me and we both were really pleased with our times (33:02 and 33:19), which translates to sub-8:00 minute mile pace - somewhere around 7:52 for Ryan and 7:56 for me. Hooray! This was by far Ryan's best race pace EVER and my second best (last year's Turkey Trot 10k was my PR).

We were both happy to support Pat's legacy and Foundation and run for such a good cause. It's always so cool doing a race. I love it. I love the ambiance, I love the fit people, I love the inspiration, I love the challenge, I love the competition, I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish, I love the time with Ryan. I was one super proud wife on Saturday. My hunk of hubby is becoming one lean mean running machine these days and I love that too. He's been running long a couple days a week (8-ish miles) and hitting the mountain biking trails, not to mention really watching what goes in his mouth.

I guess it's the basic formula for healthy living: good diet + exercise = fit.

I'm excited for a healthy summer and excited to work on some new fitness goals of my own. I ordered some new DVD's from Beachbody (same company that makes P90X) so I'm hoping that I love them. Time will tell.

Thanks to all the fellow Pat Tillman fans out there who helped make Saturday morning a memorable one for us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


"Run because you love it. If you don't, learn to love it. Running will bring things into your life that you could never imagine." - Scott Jurek, Star of "Born To Run"

Today I registered Ryan and myself for Pat's Run. It's a short 4.2 mile race (next Saturday April 16th at 7:00am at ASU) honoring Pat Tillman. He was a great scholar athlete. He wore #42 on his jersey when he played football for the ASU Sun Devils (GO DEVILS!). He went pro and played for the Arizona Cardinals, before leaving his multi-million contract to serve in the US Military in the Iraq war. He was killed in the line of duty and will forever be remembered, especially in our town, as a hero.
I'm excited to run next weekend. I've been feeling really really good the last couple of weeks. I'm finally "back" after some lost momentum and general fitness atrophy during my plague. Last year, the Tempe crowd at Pat's Run was huge. Crazy packed. I think there were something like 28,000 runners and walkers. But it was so well organized. Lots of corals for starting runners in heats by projected pace so that the course didn't seem too insane. Ryan and I had a great time and are looking forward to this year's race. We'll have to be speedy, though, since Ryan's little sister, Lacey, is getting married that same day at 3:00 in Tucson.

On a training note...
I've been feeling the urge to mix things up a little. I need to tone up the soft spots, want to work on some speed, build up more muscle so that the metabolism gets a jolt and I burn more calories. Every week I get an email link to some cool running articles and tips from It's always a good read and usually inspiring. Today I was reminded that I need to incorporate more speed work into my routine if I want to get off my plateau. I've been running the same pace for the longest time. So tomorrow I'm going to do fartleks. Yes, I said fart. Fartleks. Stop giggling. It' Swedish for "speed play."

Here's how it works:
Fartleks are meant to be fun (remember, it's speed play). To do them, simply vary your pace based on guidelines that you make up. For example, after a warm-up, pick a tree in the distance and run fast (not all out) until you get there. Jog again until you pick out something else—yellow house or traffic light—and run fast to it. Repeat for 5 to 10 minutes, then run normally for 5 to 10 minutes and cool down. Work up to 20 to 30 minutes or longer once a week.

I think I'm also going to work on some drills. This was another of today's running tips:
Most people think running is all about putting one foot in front of the other quickly; but there is technique involved—it encompasses your stride, posture, arm swing, and even how you carry your head—and simply going fast or far (or both) won't help you improve it. These drills (do them once a week) will help create a more efficient and powerful stride. After warming up, do each of the following workout routines for 30 to 60 seconds: Run while lifting your knees as high as you can. Next, exaggerate your running stride so that you bound as far as you can with each step (you'll go slower than your normal pace). Finish by running with tiny baby steps (one foot directly in front of the other). Repeat the series two or three times, then run normally for as long as you want and cool down (or just do these drills on their own).

Just keep running...just keep running...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I've gone mobile...

OK, so I may be a little behind the times, but I just learned how to do mobile blogging from my iPhone this week (thanks, Brittany, for the quick low down on Sunday). I am super duper excited. Super duper. I just posted Ryan's rattlesnake pic below right from my phone in like 10 seconds. How cool is that? So look out, oh small circle of my blogging friends...I may very well start uploading more on-the-fly quick posts with solo shots more regularly. Can't wait. Oh, what has technology done for us? AMAZING!


Ry went out on his mountain bike today to shred some tasty single track. He ran into this guy on the trail. Nice.