Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008


1) Though Timberline football could not come out on top in their game against Mountain View Friday night, it indelibly left their State Playoff hopes in the hands of another team's win. A big, fat, thank you to Borah High School, for blowing the Boise Braves out of the water and into the trash can. Your efforts in ceasing the progression of Boise High football for this season, and permitting the Wolves to persevere into State, is SO VERY MUCH appreciated. Though perhaps I should be sending your school my medical bills from the exacerbated ulcer tearing it's way through my gut upon the impending results of your game.

Scales of Justice: 1, Boise High: 0.

2) The new hair stylist, recommended by my mother, is money. Literally, and figuratively. I finally walked out of a hair salon wanting to show off my new trim because my locks were finally thoroughly blow-dried, straightened, de-frizzed, and tamed. My checking account, however, wanted to go run and hide from anymore "swiping." Amber at Beehive Hair, River Street in Boise, Idaho: You rock!

Scales of Justice: 1, Half-Dried Frizz Ball Hair: 0.

3) Long story short: An inattentive driving ticket gone awry (from my rollover car accident in July), lead to a "Failure to Appear" (as I received ZERO notification of when I was supposed to show up in court), and a consequential warrant for my arrest. Yup; I was an outlaw of the state of Idaho for a bit...

So after some tears and careful consultations with a lawyer, it was decided I needed to "turn myself in." Ada County Jail soon became an acquaintance of mine, as I waited for hours on end with my mother to post bail, take my mug shot, and get fingerprinted. All the while, separated families were piling in by the dozens to visit with inmates, and lockdown cement bare white walls became my emotional prison. I SO did not belong there; this whole mess was really ridiculous.

Nonetheless, $525 dollars later and a few boring-all-you-can-do-is-stare-at-the-wall hours, I walked out of there with a criminal record to my name, a void warrant, and a new court date. My likely punishment for this whole miscommunicated mess? Just some more fees. Yes, this whole debacle really was unnecessary.

Scales of Justice: 1/2, Mile Marker 107 on I-84 (and the still visible car swerve marks): 1/2.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Future Forecast

Big day tomorrow. BIG. Timberline's shot to win a bid to the State football play-offs; their destiny is in their own hands.

Haircut (just a trim, really, as my patience is still persevering in growing the locks out) with a new stylist, referred to by my mother.

And apparently my good girl ways have somehow allowed for a criminal background to creep in- and I gotta go set the record straight. Details to follow.

Let the Scales of Justice prevail, in all aforementioned accounts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All Hallows Eve

Superstitious, I am not; an astrologic believing mind, I do not own.

But during the celebratory month of the Pagan Holiday, why not give in a little...

Halloween Horoscope for Cancer
You're usually the one who gives out the best candy in your neighborhood.
And you really get into the halloween spirit decorating your house.

Costume suggestions: A witch, wizard, or angel

Signature Halloween candy: Mini peanut butter cups

Scary movie you should celebrate Halloween with: Evil Dead 2

And may I even be so bold as to declare, this really isn't too far from the truth! If the Evil Dead 2 scary movie suggestion can be traded for Hocus Pocus, we are so right on the money...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Visible Light

Secret of Life #1. December 18, 2008.

Graduation from nursing school is so close, I can taste it! A date less than two months away represents the end of my nursing school training at Boise State University; what a long journey it has been, and what a long way I have come. As I finish up my rotational clinicals at St. Alphonsus hospital on the ICU, CCU and neuro floors, I even surprise myself at how quickly I can formulate a concept care map for certain diagnoses- particularly when it involves a failed suicide attempt gun shot wound to the head. Or a sixty year old mother and grandmother who dies of a massive cerebellar hemorrhage, leaving her brain dead and having to cease all ventilator support with all six children gathered around her bedside. Yes, I have come a long way; and my perceived honor in soon calling myself a nurse has only increased.

Secret of Life #2. The Final Stage.

So as I commence the close of my formal education at BSU, I really scored a big one. The last five weeks of the semester are deemed as the "preceptorship," referring to an intern-like hospital experience and putting together the final pieces before dismissing student status and saluting professional registered nurse. Being one on one with the same nurse for the entire 90 hour requirement and taking on a full patient load, the preceptorship is a big deal. And you want to be somewhere meaningful and of great interest. So yes, I really scored a big one.

St. Luke's Hospital: Labor & Delivery.

My first pick! For SO many reasons! Not only will I get to witness and play a small role in the miracle of life (as I have not yet been the mother laboring, nor plan on doing so in the near future), but I will get to be surrounded by (for the most part) healthy women and their families, who actually want to be in the hospital, with very little code browns to promote questioning my interest in my collegiate choice of study. Yup-I am going to help deliver me some baybays!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Secret of Life #1. Girl Scouts.

Because not only do Boy Scouts groom young males to always "Be Prepared," but my time as a Brownie and consequential Girl Scout in my younger years (Yeah, Grant, I just said the "Y" word...) taught me to follow the same vigilance. Hence, an hour in between class and an open computer at the nursing learning resource center led to finalizing some winter needs (and saving some bookoo bucks) on ebay.

(Yeah, remember how I already spoke on my new discovery of internet shopping? Guess I am still in the honeymoon phase).

At 3:05pm today, I won this for $56, originally $165:

And, at 8:15pm, this for $19.99:

Yep, it's true: The North Face = A Severe Pocketbook Weakness.

Though I am so loving Autumn in Boise, but when it is time for the last leaf to obey gravity and the temperatures fall into a severe depression... bring it on, this green-vested, merit-badged girl scout is ready.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Secret of Life #1. My RMAP family.
After my marathon, and the subsequent dips in the hot tub paired with the half hour long steamy shower to calm my chattering teeth frozen body...

And after donning the navy blue cotton sweat cozies, and munching on delicious soup and homemade wheat bread...

And after the two hour long nap on the couch (during conference, yikes!), and more munching on Costco caramel covered popcorn-apple combo...

My family and I made our way over to the Painted Pony restaurant, where I was welcomed by warm hugs, smiles, and laughter from my RMAP family! For the first time since I left the practice mid August for an education sabbatical in Boise, I was able to see so many of my favorite people, as the marathon was made possible through the practice.

To Kim and her husband, To Ray and his stunning wife, To Bette and her husband and daughter, To Jessica and friends, To Andy and adorable family, To Katie and her husband, and most of all, To Dr. Simper and his wife, Joanna and their great kids- Hunter, Mackenzie, and Connor: It was SO GREAT to see you. Not only did it remind me why I love RMAP so much, and how I am so blessed with an opportunity to work there again come January (seriously, so lucky), but it reminded me of the great people I can call friends.

Much love to Carley, Lindsey, Roz, Paula, Andrea, Roger, Cathy, Craig, Dr. McKinlay, Dr. Smith, and Brittany (look forward to meeting you!) who were all back in Salt Lake holding down the bariatric fort. And more love to Amy and her sweet family in Rexburg, who is also taking an education sabbatical to BYU-Idaho. I missed you!!! And still miss you.

So, many thank you's to a marathon acting as a catalyst to bring near and dear friends even closer... It was such a great dinner. Thank you, thank you Simpers for your generosity to pay for the WHOLE thing! Wow.

Much respect and love from a very grateful employee and friend,
Meredith Mangum

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Evidence

Official documentation of the marathon "domination."

4:30am: Rise and shine!

The rain.... In the 32 year history of the marathon, this was only the second time it has rained.

My mother, just lovin' life, at Mile 23.

DONE and DONE! (And crying).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Done, and done.

"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."

-Emil Zatopek

(Note: I know, I know. This post is practically a novel. You may sigh and roll your eyes, and I do not blame you. But this is my journal, and I wrote it for me, and my future prosperity.)

I did it. I ran a marathon. I ran 26.2 miles. I ran 13.1 more miles than I ever thought I could, or wanted to run. I ran for 4 hours and 26 minutes and 5 seconds. I ran in the southern Utah rain, and through a head-on wind. I ran on a knee which has required the anterior cruciate ligament to be surgically corrected, twice. I ran with my mother, two weeks before her 50th birthday. I ran, and I conquered ME.

One and a half years ago, I completed the Great Potato Idaho half marathon in May of 2007. After which, I felt somewhat accomplished, but felt such pain experienced during the 13.1 mile race did not outweigh the outcome. I questioned my reasons for engaging in such a competition. I very openly verbalized my severe lack in desire to ever run a full marathon.

Come May of 2008, one year later, I was presented with an opportunity through my work in Salt Lake City (Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians) to run the St. George marathon. To my own surprise, it did not take much convincing to get me to sign my name on the dotted line as a participant. I called my mother up as I was shopping in Albertson's on Foothill Drive in Salt Lake for a birthday card for my grandmother. At the end of our 5 minute chat, she, too, was persuaded (with a little more effort), to conquer a continuous 26.2 mile race.

And so the training began. It started with 7 or 8 mile runs up 2100 East, past the University of Utah football stadium, at 8:00pm to avoid the summer heat. Then it became 13 miles, running by the Hogle Zoo, down Sunnyside Ave, and through Sugarhouse park. Soon 13 miles dropped the latter '3' and added a 7 instead. At that point, my 17 mile never-ending journey lead me to believe running into the teens just was NOT fun. And perhaps this marathon would be my first, and my last.

I came home to Boise for my last school semester, and was able to complete the last couple of longer Saturday runs with my mother. And soon the race was upon us. People would frequently ask, "So, are you ready?" and my response would always be, "I don't think I will ever be ready, but I'm going to run anyway." And I did. I ran. Far.

Saturday morning, 4:15am, I awoke to my cell phone alarm after a short night's rest (though it was on THE comfiest double bed in the world, at Lizzy Henderson's home). Dressed in all black, including my hat and minus my shoes, my mother and I rode the 30 minute bus trip to the starting line. Our actions at the time seemed rather illogical... Who rides a school bus up a canyon, jam packed with strangers, to then.. run back down... for fun? Too late at that point to think TOO hard on the matter.

And the rain began to fall; which meant 6,000+ runners were all competing to get the 3,000 available trash bags to use as makeshift rain coats. My mother suddenly darted away, toward something or someone I could not see, and just as quickly as she disappeared, she returned with two black plastic bags in hand. What a woman. We settled around the first fire pit, being the rendezvous point for RMAP runners, but with a pre-sunrise nighttime sky and everyone hiding beneath trash bags, none could be found. Sitting on the ground, legs tucked inside my garbage bag, an array of bare legs standing above me was all I could see. Muscular ones, skinny ones, less-'firm' ones, which only went to show that 'marathoners' come in all shapes and sizes. I soon did a double take on a very fine looking pair of presumably male legs. I thought to myself, "now there's a runner," and I slowly worked my way up to the face to find that a Y-chromosome visage perfectly matched his lower half. I fully admit, I was staring. And while staring, I gathered that his mile time would probably blow mine out of the water; he was so out of my league.

After an hour of too much thinking time, the race was ten minutes from commencement. We assembled into one large line, falling into the 04:30:00 running time slot. We stripped ourselves of our plastic body umbrellas, and were off. At first, everyone was so close together- one false move, and either you or the runner to your left/right/back/front could take a spill. Naturally, as time passed, the crowds dispersed and focus could then be reverted back to keeping pace. With my iPod shuffle music playing quietly through my headphones, I enjoyed running in the dark, chatting with my mother, and savouring the general marathon splendor.

Come first aid station at mile 3, the crowd markedly condenses, paper Gatorade cups are squished and scattered all over the road, long lines are building behind port-a-potties, and gracious volunteers (SUCH an act of service, wow!) are hurriedly bent down applying IcyHot to many parts of runner's lower extremities. It was chaos.

First bathroom break for my mother and I didn't come until mile 13 (world-record for us, I am sure). At that point, the clock read 2 hours and ten minutes. I turned to my mother and said, "Well, people are finishing now," followed by the rolling of our eyes and small chuckles. Continuing on, the splendor ensued: massive wedgies of runners in front of us, good-looking muscular legs to watch and entertain my wandering mind, and runners stepping off to the side of the road to relieve themselves (usually males due to the unfair easy access). To my very welcomed surprise, I looked to my left and saw Mr. Hotshot Legs who's-mile-time-could-blow-mine-out-of-the-water from the pre-race fire pit. You mean, my new boyfriend runs the same pace as me?! I nudged my mom and nodded toward the guy, and his fellow (and also attractive, but not quite as 'leggy') running partner. We both smiled. And I stared.

It wasn't until mile 18 when the urge to "go" was too much to bear that I, too, stepped off into the sage brush, and whipped down my black stretch capris. Just my luck, a rebellious runner decided to bypass the busy street road and opted for the side path... which just so happened to stretch right behind me, and my full moon. Whoever you are, hope you enjoyed the view!

Soon the marathon took on a whole new meaning. I have heard that at and after mile 20, the body does and experiences strange things, but I never really knew what that meant. At this point, my hips were aching, my quads were on fire, my left foot burned, my knee was screaming, I was rain-soaked from head to toe and... I had 6 miles still to go. I found myself fighting back the tears- where were these coming from?! Why all this emotion?! I knew I couldn't quit, I wouldn't. And really, the thought never crossed my mind. Being an athlete since I can remember, I have always been taught to never say die. But I certainly began to so intently WISH and HOPE the end would come quickly.

This would be the most painful six miles of my life. I had to overcome my inner devil, defeat the defeated mentality, and conquer the conquered. I never understood until this moment that running a marathon is just as much physical as it is mental. The will to DO, the drive to survive, and to push your body to limits never experienced was incredible. My body doesn't want this. It is at its limit, or so it is telling my mind. But marathoners are capable of then retorting and telling the body, NO, it's not OVER. I guess I attained the status of a 'marathoner' for one golden hour, as I willed my body to continue. As the bewildering tears welled, my breathing quickened and became more shallow, making running even more difficult. I had to gain composure. Thinking in the moment, versus the seemingly never-ending finish, was the only way to combat the emotions. Or just looking ahead thirty feet and catching a glimpse of Mr. Legs.

Three miles later, mile 23, Bette from RMAP and my family came into view giving me a SO needed extra boost. Their familiar faces, warm smiles, and excitement carried me through. The fam started to run with us on the sidewalk, cheering as they carried their umbrellas and stomped in the puddles. I needed them there so badly as my fan base, more than I thought I would. Mile 25- I look to my left and I see another recognizable face dressed in jeans and a yellow t-shirt. Nick Rasmussen! So random, but so fun! He, too, looked surprised to see me and his final cheers lifted my spirits as I turned one of the final corners to the end. The self-pity wallowing which had occurred only an hour before, soon turned to a second wind. I wanted to start sprinting. As if my mother could read my mind, or detect my suddenly lighter footsteps, she said, "Meredith, don't take off. I need you." And so I stayed. Of course, I would stay. We trained together, we already endured 25 marathon miles together, we had to finish together.

As the red and white ballooned finish line came into view, I picked up my pace, hoping my mother would follow suit. Soon my baby sister hopped onto the running course. Her energy was not only contagious, but offered some comical relief as her baggy orange sweatshirt hung from her skinny body, and her soaking wet blue jeans shimmied their way down her bottom. "Come on, mom! You can do this!" We all were pushing her and cheering her to finish strong, as we always do, no matter how long of a run we have had that day. AND Mr. Legs happened to be right ahead of us! I yelled over my right shoulder, "Mom, we can't let my boyfriend beat us!" But that didn't seem to do the trick, for her, at least.

As the cheers rose from the large crowd gathered near the end, we pushed, and we battled, and we 'sprinted' through that line. We were done! We finished! It was ALL over! VICTORY! The tears from six miles prior finally saw the light of day, and my mother and I embraced in a wet, strong hug. My mother was first to be awarded the very cool southern Utah orange rock medal, and was hugged by the deliverer. After a moment of awkward silence, I said, "Can I have my medal?" And the woman said, "Did you run?" I lifted up my long-sleeve shirt (which was to be discarded when I warmed up mid-race, but never happened) and I enthusiastically retorted, "Yes ma'am!" We then bypassed the offers for ice cream sandwiches and popsicles, and opted for buttered Great Harvest bread, while celebrating with family and friends. And then there he was- Mr. Legs crossed my path one last time. Almost instinctively, I walked right up to him, put my hand on his arm and said, "I just have to tell you that it was such a pleasure running behind you. Really, a great view." He laughed, and we congratulated one another on a race well run. Turns out my older brother knows him, as he attends BYU! (Hope he has facebook....)

My legs no longer functioned, my knee was stuck in a straight deadlock, and my body core immediately dropped sending my teeth into a wild chatter. My father wrapped his jacket around my weary, frozen body and we made the very slow trek to the car, all the while laughing, smiling and proudly displaying my medal. A nice warm meal and a soak in the jacuzzi was just what the doctor ordered....

(Pictures and the WONDERFUL RMAP dinner post marathon run-down to follow.)

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Thursday, October 2, 2008

An RMAP Reunion

Secret of Life #1. Thursday is the new black.
Well Friday is coming a day early this week, as my brothers' football team takes on Eagle High School Thursday night. Though my excitement for witnessing Mangum-to-Mangum greatness a day early can hardly be contained, I fear my nerves (and the inevitable impending gastric ulcer) reap the consequences in lacking an extra 24 hours to recover. Oh well, it's SO worth it.

Secret of Life #2. Aligning of the stars.
And why is it SO worth it? Because somewhere, somehow, a Thursday night game = perfect timing. The football game a day early (allowing me every opportunity to see my brothers compete together), drive to St. George the following day, and then attempt to defy death on a 26.2 mile run Saturday morning. Hence, I get Wolves athletic action, AND my so needed reunion with many of my RMAP coworkers at the St. George marathon! I have missed them SO much and cannot wait to engage in the sweet seduction of bariatric poetry.

The first five weeks of my clinical rotation was spent at a mental health day center (see previous post for further details), and have now moved onto the second five week sesh: Med/Surg practicum, with day one accomplished. And, wow. Have seriously not missed code browns. Poop really just isn't my thing (who knew rectal tubes catching c-diff diarrhea was such a turn off...?). In other words, RMAP... I miss you... terribly.

The only thing that would complete the star's proper (or lucky) alignment, would be a visit to see my many Utah friends. As I hung up the phone tonight with one of the best of the 801 civilians, Jessica Kruger, I counted my blessings for loyal friendship. Setting aside her busy affairs of math homework, tending to a boyfriend, yahoo-sports personal interviews, and the soon arrival of a 5am awakening, to talk to me five hours up north makes this woman INCREDIBLE. So we decided pulling off the road in Orem to gas up and carbo-load (marathons are such a great excuse to indulge) is absolutely necessary so I can wrap my arms around her skinny little waist and drown in her blonde mane.

During our long distance phone call, I voiced my (valid) excuses for my absence down south. I thought perhaps the rest of my Salt Lake readers would benefit from knowing that I miss them, love them, and have surprisingly felt that my presence in Boise to support my family's athletic endeavors holds more weight at the present time. For now, I must give 100% of me to my hometown and my family. Come January (and several weekend getaways beforehand), I am all yours.