Friday, October 23, 2009

Kaiya turns 8 and i love her so

my baby 'princess from heaven' (thats what her name means in hawaiian) turns 8 today. Lauryn Kaiulani Ward. my firstborn, i remember the day like it was yesterday. she started out in this world a bit stubborn, totally determined and full of cuteness, and always some attitude!!

So far and hopefully she stays that way!!

upside down in the birth canal, wouldnt budge when they tried to turn a couple minutes and a slice or two later, our little kaiya was here. born in hawaii via c-section.

Proud dad? You have no idea.

It was as if the world revolved around us and our new little baby princess. She slept in our closet. Our apartment was made of cinderblocks, minutes (walking) from the beach. I loved going surfing and seeing kaiya in the car seat next to alissa on the beach. EVERYDAY!

i loved taking her for ride on my longboard skateboard with alissa all worried. Holding her against my bare chest at night. I remember one day when the swell was big, waves were double overhead, 12 foot faces or so. Catching a bigger wave than i should have i went right, backside on the wave, got worked, my leash snapped, board washed way down the beach and i was struggling. it was a long time. there came a point after being held down by wave after wave that i really thought i was not gonna make it. i was ready to blow out my air and it was gonna be the deep sleep in the blue water. what killed me the most was the thought of not seeing my baby grow up. now all i want to do is be an amazing dad. Be there for them, everyday!!!

She was walking at 9 months. Loved books from a young age. Always wanting to help her daddy. She always did and still does, LOVES her friends. Amazing at spelling, sensitive of the underdog, responsible.

She now has grown into quite an impressive young lady.

I love and respect her so much, but sometimes i am a butthole of a dad. I get impatient, i am too hard on my little princess. i expect perfection when i shouldnt. Hells bells....kaiya is just like me, once she has her mind dialed into something, that train is nearly impossible to derail

She is responsible, loving and caring. She is starting to be extra clean and I REALLY love that. She is super helpful with her siblings. Very athletic. Her little arms are ripped, she loves ballet and gymnastics and karate and skateboarding and riding her bike while i go running.

Happy Birthday Baby, thanks for letting me learn how to be a dad with you.

first baby, young us.........let the adventure begin!

life was a whole lot simpler then

even when it was just taj, kaiya was a happy big sister, nice job on the hair alissa!!

books, she can never get enough

teach a child to be awesome when they are young and they will always be awesome or so i heard

a very happy girl

with her cousins

curly and cute

kaiya gets her beautiful looks from her beautiful mommy

Frozen hands from playing in the snow

Sweet butt bucket baby

her little arms are already getting naturally ripped from gymnastics

night time hiking learning to be epic in southern utah

disneyland with daddy

i love this picture of kaiya, it captures her spirit and its just beautiful

always goofing off, wonder where she gets it

natural beauty

cute, cute, cute, first day of school

one of kaiya's coolest and most adventurest friends, rivers johnson

I love how kaiya is always watching after her siblings, she is an amazing sister

attitude and looks, i better get a gun for the teenage years

some flower love in hawaii

costa rica, she was too scared to surf with me for reals. i had to settle for this

just after we moved back from hawaii, what were we thinging?

alissa always makes the holidays so fun for the kids

hogle zoo

She has loved books, and why not read naked in your chair?

my cute baby

3 months old at the beach in hawaii where she was born

Monday, October 12, 2009

trail race gear checklist. 100 miles o'fun

Well i am just a couple days away from the pony express 100. a pretty 'easy' 100 miler. just a few friends who go out and run the desert. i did it last year in 23 hours and change, i think. i don't really keep track of that kind of stuff. not too sentimental in that area. i dont think that i have ever saved an award or medal, except for the belt buckles because they are sweet and redneckish.

alissa and the kids are gonna come out for the first few hours and crew for me. should be fun for them to bounce around in the car. still working on getting a crew together for the rest of the race. any sadistic takers?

I know, i know you are thinking to yourself "what a weak ars" "why does he do such easy races?" "why not pick a course that is challenging instead of just an easy 50 miles out and 50 miles back" what can i say? i have been weak sauce this year. new baby, crappy real estate market, life with 4 young kids, a beautiful, patient wife who actually wants to see me sometimes (not exactly sure why, but...............)

so if you are dumb enough to want to do a hundred miler race here is what i take. hopefully it helps. now all you need to do is get outside and train insane amounts and you will be ready to go!! lets be honest its still cheaper than therapy

  • ensure (the old peoples drink) 18 bottles
  • water 3 gallons
  • coke plastic bottles (yep i drink pop on a long run and i LIKE IT!! no diet wussiness here 12 (opened for 24 hours to let out some of the fizz)
  • apples and adams peanut butter none of the skippy or jiff Crap (knife)
  • gu chomps packets 15
  • ready to drink soup 10 (take a baby bottle warmer to heat them up in the car)
  • bananas 3-4
  • nuun electrolyte tabs 3 bottles
  • candy bars 4 (lets be honest i run so i can eat more junkfood)
  • hammer perpetuem (sure i have thrown this up on many races but its still the best stuff on the market)
  • red bull 4 (wings come in handy)
  • chips and salsa
  • avacados (yummy fat and easy to digest)
  • iboprofen
  • salt pills
  • tums
  • benedryl

FEET (an important aspect of running for 100 miles)

  • 3 pairs injinji socks (the merino wool outdoor version)
  • 2 pair smart wools
  • mizuno wave riders
  • orange wave riders
  • go lite storm dragons
  • north face size 14 for swollen feet
  • athletic tape for blisters
  • tincture of benzion (glues tape on, but its a bitch when you rip it off)
  • needles for popping blisters
  • butt paste for greasing up the feet so as not to get blisters in the first place
  • zoot compression socks for after the race (and because they are so dang sexy)


  • smart wool long sleeve
  • ipod or two with good music and some good books to make you cry in the night
  • a speedo for those hot sections of the course and for sexy running
  • body glide lube
  • light gloves
  • warm gloves
  • headlamp
  • handheld flashlight (extra batteries) 2nd light helps with depth perseption
  • hat
  • visor
  • nathan running back pack
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • camera with full battery
  • hip pack
  • 2 amphipod bottles
  • warmer bellweather jacket for hypothermia/exhaustion stages
  • tights
  • light jacket go lite wisp
  • arm warmers
  • hot hands hand warmers
  • baby wipes
  • folding camp chair
  • bandana for the dust
  • extra short sleeve shirt
  • extra pair of compression shorts

Friday, October 9, 2009

the real reason for living

its true, i write often about my passions. endurance sports specifically biking and running and as much as i love them....there are 4 things that i love more and here they are in chronological order.

(and the pics are unproffesional, but let's be honest so am i)

1. kaiya
2. taj
3. marley
4. livvy


being the oldest cant be easy, especially when your dad is crazy like hers. i am particular to say the least. kaiya is kind, determined, very helpful to alissa and a great big sister. creative and caring, great at spelling and wants to choose the right. when she prays, i am humbled by her sincerity. she's a fast runner and loves to goof around. i need to let her be a kid more and not be so hard on her. I LOVE YOU KAIYA. you will always be my little princess.


this boy is gonna be a lady killer. cute curly hair, HUGE eyes and super sweet. he tells alissa how much he loves her at least 10 times per day. he is incredibly tickle-ish and laughs with his whole body. he's a bit 'wimpy' but i will take that because he is so sweet. I almost have him riding a bike with out training wheels. He gives me the biggest hugs at night and i feel so loved and unjudged by such a great little man. I LOVE YOU TAJ.


marz is such a petite lovely little girl, who loves all things girly. lipstick, necklaces, babies, and her little voice is just mezmerizing to me. its so pretty. i love to hold her when she cries. she speaks so eloquetly for a 2 year old and i love it when she sings to livvy. she's a picky eater when she is eating by herself, but will eat anything as long as mom or dad is feeding her off of our plates. I LOVE YOU LITTLE MARZ.


adoption is truly amazing, because the love that i have for livvy is no less than for my 'own' kids. she is a funny girl, stoneface, as she is a hard nut to crack. she is starting to laugh more and growls at the same time. from one week old, she has slept thru the night. her hair is crazy and her eyes are big and lovely. she gets cuter everyday, and seldom cries, thankfully. I LOVE YOU LIV.

Friday, October 2, 2009

fall is for read mine!

So its sunday night and i just got done with my weekly (or more if needed, which it usually is because i am psycho) garage cleaning therapy session. the house is immaculate, the kids are in bed (still whining). candles are light and alissa and i are trying to get to know one another again. Kaiya just got out of bed and came and flexed her ripped arm muscles. She is gonna be a killer and i am gonna need to buy a gun to fight off all the boys who act like i used to in high school.

I have been making a point of getting out and riding the loop as often as possible (i guess i always do that) as the cold i feel in my bones, tells me that there is not much time left, and friday afternoon was as perfect a day on the bike as i can remember.

When i hit the mouth of american fork canyon, i was already tired, no weak, no exhausted, no spent, no worked, well you get the idea. those close to me know that its been a very hard week emotionally. now i cry easy and i am pretty much a basket case wussie little girl wrapped up in a tough guy costume, but this week was REAL. There was not much left in the tank. but the moment i hit that guard station the pain of emotions can be slain by the pain and burn of lactic acid and sweat in the eyes and burning lungs filled with the rich, minerally smell of fall, decomposing leaves and a dusting of snow not more than a day old. it has a way of suspending life. I dont know what its like to take anti depressants, but if they can do what this canyon does for me, sign me the freak up!

the only negative thing about the ride was the abundance of cars. nobody was rude or scary, i just wanted to be alone in my mountains. I actually was glad to see so many people out there. but please if you are gonna go on a mountain drive in the fall, people please do yourself a favor and ROLL DOWN your windows, the smell IS THE EXPERIENCE.

the colors are going fast, remember when you were a kid and how long summer lasted then it seemed like an eternity before the first snow would come and you could play all day in your snow clothes, soaked to the bone, with freezing hands and a mom who always had something good to eat when you cleaned up. Now life seems to be moving ever faster. Just yesterday it seems the new year was here and i did my best to not fall asleep before midnight and today its october? what year is it? how old am i? My oldest kid is a 2nd grader? Holy shizzle i remember that grade, i remember the girls i had crushes on, i remember the halls of central elementary how they seemed so big, then windsor elementary and how i so badly wanted to be one of the 'older kids' and did you say its freakin october? HOLY SHIZZLE

so as life blows by, dont forget to live. take some pictures, especially of yourself if you can catch one like this beauty here on the left with snot coming out your nose (i may be 32, but there is no way in HADES i am growing up) do something everyday to make yourself smile. I said DO not buy, though i do love shopping as much as any girl (REI). Do something everyday to make those around you happy, or if you cant make them happy at least make them smile. Hug your spouse, kiss you kids, call your dad and tell him thanks for being there and the example that he set. and that he still owes me for breaking mine and jere's GI joe toys! (just joking dad, I REALLY LOVE YOU AND MOM). Do things for the right reasons, you will still have a lot of questions in your mina bout life in general and you may still be psychotic, like me (but its a cool club!!)

MORE THAN ANYTHING, BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. Its quite liberating. and if your driving a car and you see some spandex wrapped body on top of a bike, give us a break and steer clear. I can only flip so many people off per day :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

i commute by running

For those of you who are reading this blog for the first time, welcome! its probably the best blog in the universe (at least top 10). Let me bring you up to speed, i run. I run to live, to disconnect, to reconnect, to relieve stress, to breath, to love, to forget, to remember, to relax, to commute, to energize, to be a better husband, to be a better dad, I RUN!

and in my spare time...i ride my bike. which do i like better? the answer is YES.

I am a big believer in back to backs for long distance training. You dont dig so deep in hurting your body and mentally it really strengthens you to go the real long distances. I have a 100 miler coming up in 5 weeks and i have been lightly running, more time on the bike but its time to get serious.

So instead of riding back and forth to work i will be doing more running. My 'commute' is pretty varied. I run through a bit of city, farm areas, river paths, mountain trails (were they just found a mountain lion in someone's window well less than a mile from my trails) but dont worry, i have a mountain lion attack on my list of approved ways that i would like to die :)

Just this last particular night i had 2 funny experiences. First i stopped into a church to refill my amphipod bottle. (which btw are the best bottles around). take a look at what i was wearing, headband, indian pony tails, short shorts. normal for me, silly for a church ....take a looksee

So there i was looking around for a drinking fountain in the church and up walks 'the suit' asking if i am ok, or if i need some help.

can you blame him, in his mind he is thinking "what's this wierdo doing here"

i told him that i am good, just getting some water and that he has no reason to fear " i am a legit card carrying member of this establishment and that i just needed some water and i was on my way. it made me laugh.

now for my second trick, late. but being all 'shook up' from my church incident i decided that instead of going inside at 10pm to get a running snack, i would hit the drive thru (or 'run thru') for me. Once again my feelings were hurt, the lady said she doesnt serve my kind, and that you have to have a car to go to the drive thru. I said she was racist and discriminating against people who wear short shorts, she laughed.

then i went running some more, tucked the kids in when i got home, slept for 6 hours and then went running again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

my funeral party and ideas to "go out" in style

So i have been thinking a lot about death lately. not in a morbid way but in a cool, party way.

Let me start off by saying that my funeral better be a party. I tell alissa all the time that i want it to be a party, but for some reason she thinks i am joking, and if you know me, I am always serious. ALWAYS.

I want a good food buffet, some pita and hummus, chai tea, anything with pesto, sweet potato fries, tom ka gai soup...mmmmmmmmm, and some tofu green curry and of course sushi.

I want to be sitting up in my coffin with my eyes OPEN and a big phat smile, Kinda saying "gotcha" i mean honestly, when was the last time you saw that at funeral? Lets celebrate a life well lived. Pump the music, Bob, Phish, John Mayer, Metallica, the Dead, ray Lamontaine, a little Rage, Bboys (travis you better karaoke one for me) and some good country...thats right i said good country like brad paisely and willie nelson. While were at it lets have some races let the kids run around. I wonder if they could rig a gun in my hand and make it look like i was saying "GO" Maybe thats too much to ask of the mortician. But what if we brought in some wax statues...could do a lot of cool stuff with those, but that not very practical and I'm a budget conciouse kinda guy. Cardboard cutouts, now thats the ticket!!

But seriously enough with all this planning of the funeral, the real question is how are you gonna go out? I mean really i want to go out in style. We celebrate life, so cant we celebrate death?

so here are just some ways of dying that "IF" i die, i wouldn't mind dying from.

  1. mountain lion attack
    1. not necessarily funny but for as much time as i spend by myself in the mountains it would be a cool way to go. And look at it this way, i used to want to get a tattoo (glad i didn't, too trendy) but if that sucker didn't kill me i would have some AWESOME SCARS.
  2. leg shaving incident
    1. I know this happens ALL the time. trying to get that hard spot behind your knees, or the tricky spot down by your ankles, and you cut your legs up, but what if its a real bad cut and you cant stop the bleeding, you pass out in the shower hit your head and BAM its to never never land. I guess the one positive aspect of death by leg shaving would be, if I was wearing shorts at the viewing, my legs would look great!!!
  3. hit by a car, but not the normal way.............inside a porta potty
    1. I like this idea because it could create some really awkward conversations after the fact. "hey what the crap happened to matt ward" "dude don't say that, didn't you hear how he died"
  4. flying off a cliff while damning red bull to hell, because it really didn't "give me wings"
    1. Lets be honest here i think for as much sugar free red bull as i drink (how else do you think i can do 3 am workouts) i should have ownership in the company. Maybe if i die this way, then i could have a sweet lawsuit and create a huge trust for my kids and family. Not to worry, i have a pretty sweet trust fund set up already but $12.34 really wont get them that far!
  5. vending machine incident
    1. talk about irony. Rocking that sucker trying to get the grandma's pink sugar cookie that i shouldn't have been eating anyway. then the damn machine falls on me and kills me. Radically poetic, the endurance athletes "achilles heel"...get it haha

but once again these are strictly works in progress, and all the above assume that i might die, when in actuality I won't.

Friday, August 21, 2009

fueling for endurance events

people all the time are asking me what i eat when i do my crazy workouts. In my 'off time' in between workouts i eat pretty freakin good. I have become very disciplined lately and i like the results that i am getting. I do allow my self one small treat per day, around 5-6 in the evening usually after my 2nd workout of the day and before my ride home from work. I used to love treats and still do, but i definitely feel the effects of eating junk food. No mi gusta. Sure i could eat whatever i want, but my performance suffers.

Now when i am working out thats a different story, especially when i am going long. I eat whatever sounds good. In race situations i tend to be very careful so not to upset the balance. After all any time you go for more than 10 hours you are bound to have some sort of stomach problems, but you pull back a little, take in some salt etc and your back on track. Or you throw up and feel better then keep going.

So last night i left work at 8.30 pm and rode for 5.5 hours. Did the alpine loop up american fork, then south fork, then squaw peak and then home out west. I like to eat crazy stuff in training because then if my stomach can take it then, when i am racing its "more trained" I like to call it GUT TRAINING.

this is what i ate last night

lara bars all natural whole food bars 4 of them
one gu razz flavor
4 20oz water bottles with prolite electrolyte
one chocolate ensure
one bagel with egg and sausage from maverick
one half pound pizza flavor hot pocket
one slim fast chocolate shake
one peanut butter cookie
one granola bar
one monster chai hai (caffeine infusion for the late night))

and when i got home at 2am i was starving

and when i woke up at 7.30 am to help get the kids ready for school my stomach felt so empty i could wrap my hands around it and touch both ends and my manorexia side loves that :)

oh the joy of endurance sports.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



So life has been a wee bit hectic (maybe you read some of my earlier posts, when i was getting institutionalized haha). Working full time, starting a new business, being a dad, husband, endurance athlete etc. So its constant go go go at our house. I have a really hard time relaxing, yep its true, shocker! I will sit in church and think about laundry that i want to fold. I was hanging with travis snyder, his kids and my kids last sunday on his front lawn and all i could think about was going and cleaning my garage(Got that from dad, i think he still vacuums his :-). It drives my wife crazy at times because it, for me, is always ON

So that's life, probably for all of us. But some days just come together and feel pretty damn close to the perfect day.

Here was one of mine.


woke up just before my alarm, giddy like a school girl to go running with garrett white and ryan johnson. 2 very good brothers. the goal was lone peak 16 miles, 6k feet in 5 hours. Didn't happen. We got lost in the dark, found the hamhog trail, got super muddy, scraped and bruised and finally turned around and went up another trail to box elder peak. bush wacked, who knows how long and got to the false summit before turning around to get home before the kids were even awake!

personal note to the mountains.........I love you!


made breakfast for the kids while alissa went on a bike ride. Waffles, healthy and big with strawberries and peaches. Kaiya my 7 year old took it upon herself to vacuum, oooh she knows how to get on my good side!


put marley down for a little nap and fell asleep with her myself. We just got a new bunkbed for her and the bottom is SOOOO comfy with a new fluffy comforter. nice and cool and dark. Woke up feeling like a new woman.


Alissa made a KILLER salad. Honestly the best i have ever had with beets, blueberries, tomatoes and peppers from our garden, and sprouts. There was more to it but i don't remember was beautiful to look at and a joy to devour! After all the metabolic fire was RAGING after my long run. That's half the fun of going long. Today alone i ate almost 9k In running especially in the mountains, the machine probably burns 800 calories per hour.

2.30 pm

Packed up the brood in our clean car. Yes, ever since we got a new car Alissa has humored me and kept it immaculate. It makes me happy just thinking about it!! Headed to the canyon. An absolutely perfect day for it. 80 degrees, healthy snacks, kids playing up on the playground up at Vivian park. then my ma and pa came up and hung with us too. We hardly ever see them for living so close...kinda sucks. They both work so dang hard. Looking forward to a st. george weekend with them. Walked over to the river and threw rocks in for a while, just chillin.

5 pm

Headed to Alissa's brothers house in orem for a family party on her side. More good healthy food. Holding Lyvie in the grass, as she drooled all over my fingers. watching kaiya and taj play barefoot in the street with their cousins. just being kids, not a care in the world. oh to be a little kid again. I guess we all will be like them again when we get old. I just am gonna take myself out before i have to start wearing diapers again. Ride off a cliff up on the alpine and call it good :*)


Went home and bathed the kids while Alissa went out for another workout (running i think, because she biked right after i got home from my run). Sure the kids were crazy and crying and fighting but i LOVE it anyway. I feel like sometimes i just don't ever see them. Bedtime is not my favorite because our kids have as much energy as i do and going to sleep is "such a waste of time" but i lay down with them for awhile and they were eventually out.

9 pm

spent some time with Alissa, i think we watched a movie. too bad we couldn't get a sitter, then we could have gone running again. after all i only did 5hours this morning and then had a nap. I was good to go for at least another 10 miles. Oh well it was still a perfect day.