If so, I hope I can leave the remains of my dreaded injury there after this Saturday. I have to say that I’m so excited! The Ragnar Relay Las Vegas begins Friday in the Valley of Fire State Park, which is located north of Lake Mead, east of Las Vegas. Six members of our Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back team signed on to run with us and six other friends and family members. This is going to be a fun relay. It’s quite different from Wasatch Back. Not as many hills, but some of the legs are longer. I’ll run a total of 18.6 miles over three legs.
Getting ready has been interesting in many ways. Mostly logistic, but also in regards to my health as mentioned above. As many of you know, I’ve been battling the dreaded PF — plantar faciitis since January. The rehab has been a roller coaster ride. Some months are great. Others are not so great. Much of the lengthy rehab has to do with my desire to run and train for races. I had to pull out of the Salt Lake Half Marathon in order to rest it up and be able to train properly for the Wasatch Back. I also ran the Deseret News 10K, and a few other 5K’s (Murray Fun Days on July 4th, and Utah Young Alumni Scholarship 5K — where Neal beat his PR!) in between and after over the last six months. Running’s addictive. At least it is for me. As addictive as it is, I’m going to take some needed time off from running after Saturday. I’ll still workout at the gym. I’ll just focus on weight training and other cardiovascular-type activities for at least 4-6 weeks, if not longer. I should be OK. I don’t need to start training for the Salt Lake half until January.
If you want to track our status during Ragnar Relay Las Vegas, follow me on Twitter — @Bryan_Packer. I’m to tweet as much as I can on Friday and Saturday. We start at 7:30 a.m. We’re staying in Cedar City on Thursday night and will need to leave around 5 a.m. in order to be at the start line in time for the safety training. So, expect some early tweets once we’re on the road. I’m working on a hashtag to use so those that care can easily follow my “fun!”
Watch for a recap on Ragnar Relay Las Vegas later next week!
Last week, Amber and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s already been 15 years. It seems like we were just dating. I’m thankful for Amber’s infectious personality. She’s such a great friend to so many people – no matter who they are and where they come from. I’m also thankful for her creativity. Creating brings her joy. Being able to create like she does has given her many opportunities to touch others and help them understand how they can be creative in their own way as well. Most importantly, I’m thankful for her unconditional love for me and our sons, Neal and Riley. She’s the best mom and the best spouse around. Happy anniversary, Babe. Love ya!
Heading down the south side of Avon Pass towards Liberty - my first leg
Two weeks ago I completed my third Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay. This year was just like the last two – an amazing experience. Our team consisted of some great family members, and some new friends. I was runner six in van one again. I ran those legs last year. In our van was my brother-in-law, Matt, Amber’s aunt, Sharon and her cousins, Spencer and Jordan. We also had a special friend of Jordan’s — Danielle. We started at 7:30 on Friday, June 18 in Logan, and finished 188 miles and just over 31 hours later in Park City at The Canyons Resort. In van two was Amber’s brother, Geoff and his wife, Jill. She was awesome! Jill was our team captain and spent a lot of time getting things ready for our team.
The relay for me this year was a little harder. My training since January has been very limited. I’ve been battling a plantar faciitis injury in my right foot. It’s taken numerous doctor appointments, steroid shots, and two podiatrists to help it to feel better. My foot held out very well during my three legs. In fact it felt great all of the next week, but started to show some signs of soreness again earlier this week. Overall, it’s so much better than it was 5 months ago. I think I’m about out of the woods.
Our team is signed up for the relay in June 2011 already and we also signed up a team for the Ragnar Las Vegas Relay, October 22-23. It starts in the Valley of Fire, and ends at the Red Rock Resort and Casino on the west side of Las Vegas. I’m excited for this relay. Same distance, but not as many drastic changes in elevation like the Wasatch Back has. Participants who run both the Wasatch Back and The Las Vegas relays receive a special “Saints and Sinners” medal. I’m excited to get this one! Want to see more pictures? If you’re friends with me on Facebook, check out my profile.
Team 218 - Up & Running
Fox I... our patrol's water rocket
Well, I am… right? I think Amber would say that I am? Seriously… I attended Wood Badge at the end of April/beginning of May. The patrol I was assigned to was the Fox Patrol. What a great group of guys. I consider all of them my friends. The whole experience was amazing. I attended the third course (WE2-590-3-10) of the year for the Great Salt Lake Council at Camp Tracy in Millcreek Canyon. This was a weekend course, which meant we attended Thursday, Friday and Saturday for two straight weeks. I would like to share every detail of my experience but that would possibly distract from others attending.
Wood badge is a leadership program for adult Scout leaders around the world. The first Wood Badge course was held at Gilwell Park in the United Kingdom by Lord Robert Baden-Powell in 1919. It’s been going ever since. Wood Badge helps Scout leaders become better in their Scouting positions by teaching them combined leadership and outdoor skills. Each participant develops five tickets (goals or projects) pertinent to their Scouting position that they “work” once returning home. The tickets had to be approved by our troop guide and course director. Once the five tickets have been “worked”, the Scouter is awarded his or her beads. So far, I’ve completed two of my five tickets. I should have the third completed within the next 3-4 weeks. My goal is to have all five completed by the end of the year.
Wood Badge was a life changing experience for me. I was born and raised in Scouting. I’m very familiar with the ins and outs of the programs. But, this experience is one I will never forget. It made me a better Scouter, a better husband, a better father, a better friend, and a better employee. I’m thankful for this opportunity and hope others that I associate with in Scouting who haven’t been can have a similar experience. Besides the unseasonably cold weather (both rain and snow), I made great friends and had great experiences that I will never forget.
Fox Patrol - Wood Badge - WE2-590-3-10
Seriously, I promise an update is coming soon. The past two and a half months have been crazy-busy at work and home: school activities for the boys; soccer; Wood Badge; ribbon cutting and open house, etc. And now, the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay is on Friday and Saturday. When I get back from the relay, I promise to give some great updates on what’s been happening with the Packer’s. Until then…
Just a quick note to tell Amber, happy birthday! Wednesday was Amber’s birthday. Poor girl spent it not feeling so hot. She has a sinus and ear infection. We did go out to dinner tonight with her parents and my mom and the boys. My dad is on business in Canada. We missed you dad!
Also, this is a belated happy birthday to Neal as well. Our little buddy turned 9 last month! Love ya bud.
I’m headed out for the last three days of Wood Badge on Thursday. I’ll catch up with everything from the last couple of months when I get back.
If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, where will you be on June 3, 2010? Well, Amber, Neal, myself, and my brother Spencer will be with 54,000 other diehard fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah. And, it won’t be for a Utah football game. Earlier this week, U2 announced their final show on the North American leg of the 360 Tour in 2010 – that’s right, Salt Lake City! I am so excited, especially after not being able to see them last October in Las Vegas. Amber and I were going to go to Vegas with my brother and his wife, but some pretty big things came up at work and we had to sell our tickets. It was a major bummer. I’ve enjoyed this band since I was a kid. This will be the fourth time I get to see them live and all of them in my hometown.
The setup for this tour is amazing. They have two different sets and it takes days to set it up. If you haven’t been able to see video or pictures from it yet, check out this video.
This time, we will be watching the concert from the stands. When they came for the Vertigo tour, my vantage point was pretty amazing. I was on the floor about 8 feet from the stage right in the center. If we’re friends on Facebook, you can check out my album from the show. Since we’re taking Neal, we decided we needed to: 1) Be as frugal as we can with our money (which we would have done anyway); 2) Do all we can to ensure he has a good experience at his first concert and make sure we can to protect him.
We’re looking forward to the concert. Neal is very excited. What a lucky kid. My first concert was The Jets at the Utah State Fair. Oh, boy! 😉