Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for ZOMG!

ZOMG, I'm finally done with the Blogging Challenge! And I even managed to crank it all out in the month of April.

I don't have too much to say about the letter Z, except that Z is for Ziva, the totally kick-ass ex-Mossad turned NCIS agent.

Seriously hot couple, these two...(source)

Today was pretty damn good, considering it's Monday. One of my coworkers brought me a Starbucks...and gave me an opportunity to screw around with my phone apps...

I like that they dot the I's with hearts...

I also found the little Goofy doll I bought at Disney World to remind me to train for the Goofy Challenge.

I had a really hard time forcing myself to the gym this evening. I just felt tired, but I skipped my last run and I know if I wait too long, weeks will go by with no training. It's too bad that all of the web surfing I do reading blogs about cool races can't count as working out.

I'm glad  I made the effort, though, because I'm already getting faster. I ran for 45 minutes and managed to go an additional .36 miles in the same amount of time. Baby steps, right?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Y is for Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs

Maps by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs gets me every time I hear it. And I haven't listened to it in awhile. Such a good song.

X is for...

I had to go with X-Files when I was image searching the letter X and I found this particular X.

I was the biggest X-Files nerd you can imagine. I started watching at the beginning of the second season and watched it all the way until probably the 7th or 8th season, when it got completely ridiculous...and I think it's possible that Mulder had died and come back to life several times at this point.

X-files was the first show I was obsessed with. The Internet was just getting really popular at that point and I discovered X-Files news groups. I spent hours in awe of all of these strangers getting together and discussing my favorite show. I even discovered fan fiction. (I might have even written some, but it's so horrible, I won't outright admit it.)

Man, did I love everything about the Mulder and Scully dynamic.


                                                Love them!                                (source)

Yeah, T and I pretending to work for the FBI in 1998 while on a choir trip.

So letter X is a tribute to the very first show that had me hooked. I miss you, X-Files.

And since I found the pic of T and me in Washington, DC, here's another amazing shot I took with a crappy camera from the airplane when we left for home. I don't think it's possible to take pics like this these days because I don't think most airlines can fly this close to the Pentagon anymore.

Forgive the crappy quality, we didn't have digital back then!
Hope you've all enjoyed my nerdy side. Only TWO LETTERS TO GO!

W is for Wisdom

Eeek, four more letters and only two days to get them done! W could have been for weekend, since I am heading up to the barn to not only ride, but also have mimosas. Yum!

I figured I would share a few pearls of wisdom I learned in the last year or so...

1. You really can do anything you set your mind to doing. I never in a million years thought I could run a 5K and now I've run 13 half marathons. People tell me all of the time that they could never do it and I know that they can. But only if they want to.

2. Showing horses can be the most rewarding experience. It can also be the most devastating. Show horses and race horses are athletes just like humans so sometimes they get hurt or don't feel well and everything that you've worked for, can change in quickly.

3. Actions definitely speak louder than words. We've all heard that saying a million times, but it finally hit home in the last year that just because someone says all of the right things, doesn't mean they are doing all of the right things.

4. Any runDinsey event is going to be awesome. Need I say more?

Yeah, totally fun.

5. If your first marathon is going to be NYC, be prepared to already be having nightmares about it. Like last night, I dreamt that I was happily on my way on the ferry to Staten Island. I kept checking my bag, made sure I had layers of clothes and then looked down at my feet to see that I was wearing FLIP FLOPS and not running shoes. AAHHHHH! I'm sure this nightmare stemmed from the obsessive NYC marathon blog reading that I am doing.

The stuff of nightmares! Don't be fooled by their bright innocent colors!

6. And last, (or at least the last thing I have time to write before I head out to see the main man in my life)

Back off, ladies, he's mine!

Nothing is forever. Hard times and good times come and go. I always get so wrapped up in the bad things that I forget about the really good things that happen. And some really good stuff is happening right now. One of my new goals is to be more positive. (Although, I won't be giving up entirely on my sarcastic, snarky ways, because then I would have nothing to live for!)

 Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday. I may be back later to tackle X, but I can not think of a legitimate word that actually starts with X other than xylazine (horse drug) and x-ray. Maybe mimosas will help with that. See you later!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

V is for Video

Ahhh, letter V. We're getting close to the end of the alphabet. Finally.

I need to catch up! I'm supposed to post Z on April 30th...

When I was training for my first half marathon, I spent lots of time Google image searching pictures from half marathons. Having never run a race of any kind, I had no idea what to expect and it was fun to discover that there was a huge online running community.

I've run a total of 13 half marathons so far, so there hasn't been to inspire me to troll the Internet like a kid excited for Christmas until now. I have a new race distance to conquer: the marathon. Eek.

So, of course, I'm soaking in everything I can on the interwebz relating to the NYC Marathon. This video is really cool. Enjoy!

U is for Undertaking

Whew! With all of the hype surrounding the lottery selection of the ING NYC Marathon, it was a let down not getting drawn - especially since I spent the day checking my bank account to see if my card had been charged. The site went down almost immediately and no one knew whether or not they had been selected, so thousands of people spent the day constantly checking to see if their cards had charges that would reflect their acceptance for a coveted slot -and bitching about the process all day on facebook.

T and I knew we would have to find a charity to run for if we wanted a slot, but we were both hoping that somehow, we would manage to be lucky enough to get into the marathon via lottery. We weren't.

Next came two days of frantic texting and emailing back and forth trying to decide which charity would fit the bill. In the end, we chose a local group: Team Chances.

Chances for Children is an Arizona based organization. From their website:

Chances for Children is committed to improving quality of life by supporting programs that provide access to sports, physical education, and character education for youth. We provide fitness training, nutritional programs and educational services to students at schools throughout Arizona.

Chances for Children was founded on the belief that in life everyone deserves the chance for opportunity. Research shows that diet and exercise promote a balanced well-being, resulting in positive life achievements.

The program seems really cool, and while I'm not a "kids" kind of person - meaning I don't want any of my own - it seems that this group is extremely dedicated to their cause.

Tax season is when you get to experience the real benefits of pretending to give to charity.
Yes, donations are tax deductible!
It was a hard decision to go with this group, not because we don't believe in their cause but because the amount of fundraising is a little steep. Some of the other charities had a much smaller (and less daunting) amount, but this one includes most of our expenses as well. Since it is local, I can participate in the weekly Saturday long runs with a group, which will be really helpful.

Another bonus is that the team is run by an elite athlete that participated in several Olympic trials. Cool, huh?

The information meeting is May 15th, so we'll find out the rest of the information then, but we paid our $100 registration fee, and we're listed on the team! Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

T is for Thunder From Down Under

Oh, yeah. Thunder From Down Under....mmmmm.

When I turned 21, but dear friend, Rebecca, took me to Las Vegas where I experienced what most of you are thinking of: hot men.

Yes, please!

However, hot oiled men are not what I am referring to.

I've been leaving work every night and going straight to the gym to log miles on the treadmill. My body and brain were just not feeling it today. So instead of going to the gym - despite the fact that I had already changed into my running clothes before leaving work - I drove home. I got a text from my friend, Kristy, telling me that I needed to come to the barn, have wine, and then go eat dinner because she "needed chocolate Thunder from Down Under". That's a direct quote.

So not only did I not work out, I drank wine and ate too much. C'est la vie. It was worth it.

Yes, my work out regimen does include chocolate.
The chocolate Thunder From Down Under is gluten free. Score! Night, all. It's been a loooong day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

S is for Suspense

Hoooooly. Cow.

Today was the lottery for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. Registration for the marathon opened months ago and closed on Monday. Today was the opening ceremony to kick off the marathon and draw names for the lottery. (Like my letter S in NYC Marathon colors?)

Apparently, there were something along the lines of 150,000 entries and only 47,000 slots. There were a few ways to get guaranteed entry, such as a qualifying time or having been denied entry for the previous three years. Most people, like yours truly, had to wait several months for the lottery today, and man, did they over hype the event.

This was a total cluster f**k.
The lottery was supposed to be held at 12:30 EST (9:30 my time). The names of the lucky winners would scroll across a screen that people could watch live. Unfortunately, the site crashed and no one could get on to watch.

I had a lot of fun watching the freak outs on Facebook all day long. As the clock kept ticking and no lottery results were being posted, more and more people turned to Facebook and Twitter to vent. Once your name was selected, they immediately ran your credit card. If your card didn't go through for whatever reason, you got rejected. All day long, people - myself included - kept checking their credit cards online to see if the cards had been charged.

What an absolute mess. Five hours later, after people had been glued to their monitors all day long, FINALLY the website could be accessed. And then I found out I had been denied.

The 2012 ING New York City Marathon

We're sorry but you were not selected for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. We appreciate your commitment to running with us, but we must limit the size of the race field to make the event safe and enjoyable.

You're not in, Jaime!

I didn't really expect to get into NYC via lottery and I knew all along I would have to run for a charity if I wanted to participate, but I managed to get all nervous and hyped up with everyone else, so I did fee a little disappointed when it didn't pan out. But it's okay. Now I just need to find a charity and hope that I get accepted that way.

Here's a sampling of the comments all over FB:

David Laviska Everything about how you have handled this lottery/hype/announcement/entry process has been disappointing. It's shameful for such a well-established event to be run this way. Thanks for wasting my lunch hour and most of the afternoon. #lame #INGNYCfail
DeAnne Sapel Perhaps instead of acting like everything is cool and fun, you should apologize and promise to try to improve the way things are done next year...I think I a lot of us would be much less annoyed if you did that!!!
  • Neil Gottlieb Actually, all NYRR needs to say is "if you haven't seen your credit card pending transaction, you are not in". Why the extra waiting? People, don't lose sleep if you didn't get a credit card charge....time to look at another November race.
  • Darren Kreitman I think you guys suck since your own staff on the phone today said they don't agree with the way u do things. Then your own staff on the phone says everyone gets an email not just those accepted. Then I read your post that says "accepted" runners get an email. I'm speaking for many, a large company with millions should get their shit together and simply tell everyone the correct info the first time instead of have them watch a garbage web show where people get in for free from the crowd that had nothing to do with us. It's pathetic and why runs like the rock n roll series are passing u by. I hope next year it is run professionally. I am speaking on behalf of the 9,700 who wasted their time on your webcast today. Say what your going to do and do what you say!!

  • Oh, what fun this opening kick off was. It's hard to have a huge party and expect everyone to play nice when less than a third of the entries will get in. There was less drama for the lottery of the Hunger Games and that involved the threat of death!

    I'm still excited to run NYC. I can't think of a better city to run my first marathon. Today was a little bit of a let down because I still hoped lady luck would be on my side and now I know for sure I have to not only train to be able to run 26.2 miles, I also have to raise a few grand to be able to run NYC. And somehow ride my horse five days a week and still work 40 hours.



    It's still going to be awesome. See you there!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    R is for Remembering

    I could have chosen a lot of words for the letter R: running, riding, racing, etc. I chose to go with 'remembering' because one year ago, my dear friend, John passed away.

    John grew up in the horse industry and went on to become quite a famous horse trainer. I knew him from the show world, but didn't become close to him until he had made the decision to give up horse training and come work for the same company as me.

    We had a ton of fun with John around. We went to lunch every day and had movie dates on Friday nights. We would always get coffee and find some ridiculous movie to go see.

    It seems a huge violation to write about the circumstances surrounding his death, so I will just say that John passed away on April 21, 2011 and we still think about him. I remember exactly what I was doing when I got the news and how hard I cried.

    I wish we could have one more coffee date. He would order a venti iced Americana.

    Rest in peace, John. We miss you.

    Life is short. Don't waste time holding grudges or treating people badly. Sometimes you don't get another chance to tell someone how much you care for them.

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    Q is for Questions

    It's been awhile since I answered a bunch of questions and someone sent this email to me today, so I figured why not use it for Q? Besides, I was having trouble coming up with another topic that starts with Q other than Quest and we all know that would lead to more marathon chatter. (Yay, for week two of marathon training! It's going swimmingly, by the way.)

    I don't usually do these questionnaires, but I happen to like this one.

    The last time you felt honestly broken? A few months ago, but things are much better now, and even then, I wouldn't say I was broken.

    Would you rather have ten kids, or none? Definitely none. I'm allergic.

    What’s on your mind right now? The fact that the Goofy Challenge is already 52% full. Better cough up some dough!

    Are you there for your friends? Yes

    Last person to see you cry? Kristy or Jay

    What do you do when you get nervous? Lose sleep and drink way too much coffee.

    Be honest, do you like people in general? I'm one of those annoying people that believes that humans are generally good. So, yes.

    How old do you think you will be when you finally have kids? Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Does anyone completely understand you? I think there's been a few people over the years that do.

    Do you have a reason to smile right now? Yes

    Has anyone told you they don’t ever wanna lose you? Only by people that are not in my life anymore, which is ironic

    Would you be happier if life had a rewind button? Hard to say. There are definitely different choices I might have made, but nothing I truly regret, so I guess I'm doing okay.

    Do you tell your mom or dad everything? Hell, no

    Are you going to get hurt anytime soon by someone? I hope not!

    This time last year, can you remember who you liked? Yes

    Do you think more about the past, present, or future? Past and future. I have a hard time staying in the present.

    How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Not enough

    Are you easy to get along with? Generally, yes.

    Do you hate the last girl you had a conversation with? Weird question...definitely no. I can't think of anyone that I truly hate.

    Do you like the rain? I live in the desert, so we get excited when we see clouds, and it's even better when we get actual rain!

    Do you think someone is thinking about you right now? I have no idea, but I would like to think so.

    Have you ever done something you told yourself you wouldn’t do? Ha! Yes! But I will keep that a secret. I also said I would never run a full marathon and I'm training for one right now...

    Who were you last in the car with, besides family? Tiana

    What’s the last movie you saw in theaters and with who? 21 Jumpstreet with my sister. It was much, much funnier than I expected

    Have you ever been hurt by someone you never thought would hurt you? Definitely, but then, who hasn't?

    Do you regret a past relationship? I know a lot of people regret past relationships, but I don't. Anyone I've had a relationship with, I truly loved, so I don't regret it.

    Do you care too much about your appearance? Not really. I don't like looking bad, but I'm not overly fashionable, that's for sure!

    Are you a jealous person? Sometimes, but I try to recognize that for what it is and not let it make me do or say stupid things.

    Do you miss anyone? Yes

    Have you ever been cheated on?

    Ever given your all to someone who walked away? Sadly, more than once, but I'm learning

    Who was the last person you had a serious conversation with? Toss up. Probably Kristy, Jay or Tiana

    Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to? Yes

    What is your current mood? Happy

    Anything happen to you within the past month that made you really happy? Yes, being a rock star at my last horse show

    Funny Confession Ecard: I wish we could share the kind of intimacy we share with 350 million others on our Facebook walls.

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    P is for Pat's Run

    P is for Pat's Run, as in Pat Tillman. Now I am the exact opposite of a sports fan, so if you don't know who Pat Tillman was, I completely understand. Since I live in Arizona, and fairly close to ASU, it's impossible not to know who Pat Tillman was.

    Pat Tillman was a Phoenix Cardinals football player that turned down a $3.6 million 3 year contract with the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army after the 9-11 attacks. The army had first reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire and was awarded the silver star. Later, the Pentagon ruled that Tillman was actually killed by friendly fire when the fighting had escalated on both sides. Read more here.

    From their website: The Pat Tillman Foundation is a national leader in providing resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members and their spouses. The Tillman Military Scholars program aids all veterans, specifically the ever-growing population of veterans of Post-9/11 conflicts.

    Corporal Patrick Tillman.jpg
           Specialist Patrick Daniel Tillman    (source)
    Pat's Run is a huge event held at Arizona State University every April. Last year, I had tried to organize a group of work mates, including our head boss, to go down and run it, but planning fell through and then I had gotten horribly sick and couldn't run anyway, so we never went and ran the race.

    Since then, my head boss resigned his position from our company after a false alarm heart attack from stress. The doctor at the time had told him that he needed to lose weight or he would die before he reached 60. A month or two ago, he stopped by the office and had lost 50 pounds. He asked me if I was running and I told him I would sign up and run it, too.

    Now he and I have always had a love/hate relationship but he told me over and over and over again that I had inspired him with all of my races and that I helped save his life. That might have been a little overly dramatic, but I truly think he was sincere considering the number of times he said it. And he's not one to overly give credit, so I believe he meant those words. And I have to admit: I felt really happy for him when he left my ass in the dirt.

    The race is 4.2 miles in honor of Tillman's number when he played for ASU, not when he was a Phoenix Cardinal, which really threw me off when I saw this in the starting corrals:

    Tillman was #40 when he played for the Cards
    It was really hot in Phoenix this weekend with temps over 100 and not a cloud in the sky, so I was pissed that I had forgotten my sunglasses that morning. I was probably tired and cranky because I had consumed multiple glasses of wine the night before and didn't get home until after midnight when I knew I had to leave my house at 5:30. I never learn.

    Arizona State Sun Devil Stadium - also the finish line.

    The finish line is at the 42 yard line in the stadium. This is race is incredibly crowded, so even though I was able to run most of it, running the last half mile to the end is nearly impossible with the amount of people being funneled into the stadium. I did manage to sprint the last little bit to the finish line.

    After crossing the finish line, I wandered around aimlessly for awhile in the heat trying to figure out where the post race drinks were. I seriously must have tromped around for another good half mile before I realized that you had to hike to the top of the stadium to get water and Powerade. So I got an addition stair workout, too. But it made me grumpy.

    Quite a hike up to get water

    Over all, I actually liked this race because it was more challenging than a 5K with the additional mile and it was actually very moving. Crossing the finish line in the stadium was fun, too. I just wish it hadn't been so hot. And that I had remembered my sun glasses. And maybe skipped the wine the night before.

    Plus, it's always nice to know you've inspired someone to make a difference in their life.

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    O is for Of Monsters and Men

    Whew! Finally half way through the alphabet!

    I'm always trolling for new music, especially when I'm on a running kick because sometimes the thing that makes me run the extra mile is an awesome song.

    By accident, I discovered an Icelandic band that is apparently becoming quite popular here in the States with their song, " Little Talks." (I'm always a little late to the party because I'm particular about music, so I rarely just listen to the radio.)

    I'm also an on-again-off-again reader and I just read the article, Six Popular Upbeat Songs You Didn't Realize Are Depressing. "Little Talks" totally falls into that category.

    This live version is slightly different from the iTunes version -there's a great trumpet solo. Anyway, I bought the song because it was so upbeat and has an alternative flare. Then I started listening to the lyrics and it's actually pretty depressing.

    I'm not sure of the actual meaning behind this song, but my interpretation is that the girl is slipping into some sort of mental illness or addiction and the guy is talking her through it. Having watched people I care about self destruct through mental illness and addiction, maybe my interpretation is biased.

    Regardless, I am in love with this song. Check it out. I'm off to check more of their work and maybe after I take a nap, I will do my race recap for the Pat Tillman Run which was held this morning in Tempe, AZ. It was HOT.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    N is for New Leaf

    N is for New Leaf

    I've turned over a new leaf. I added a treadmill workout today. I ran for 60 minutes and my legs are feeling it. I haven't run on the treadmill since I was training for my very first half marathon.

    Last summer, I had a really hard time training in the scorching heat, so this year I decided to do most of my weekday runs at the gym. It really did feel weird after so many months on the pavement.

    I don't usually have achy knees, but mine are acting up.

    I almost feel like a real athlete with my
    compression sleeves and ice packs!
    I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. I'm exhausted, so this post is short tonight. Life has been crazy busy lately, so I'm off to get some sleep. Night, night!


    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    M is for Marathon

    M is for Marathon
    Why yes, I did use M&Ms for my letter M...because I ate some after I did my first marathon training run. Let's pretend that counts as refueling.

     finally finished my NYC marathon training plan. It even involves an Excel spreadsheet which is pretty impressive for me. I did a modified version of Jeff Galloway's training plan, minus the crazy 30 mile run he schedules. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    I spent some time during my crazy weekend trolling iTunes for some new songs and I found a few. T suggested looking at some of the running blogs and checking out some of the playlists to find new music to listen to.

    Speaking of marathons, the song Marathon by Tennis is awesome. Maybe not the best for running, but I listed to this song on repeat on my drive to and from San Diego in October and I'm still not tired of it (although I don't listen to it on repeat anymore). Despite the title, the song has nothing to do with running marathons. The tune in catchy and retro and I love it. Too bad I don't really like any of her other music.

    In other news, it's getting hot here in the desert, so I will be doing a lot of training on the treadmill. Today was my first day back in the gym. I haven't run on a treadmill since I was training for my very first half marathon. Last summer, I tried to get up and run at 4 or 5 in the morning, but I never made it very far because it was just way too hot. End result: not nearly enough training happened last summer.

    Unless you live in Phoenix where Satan's sidewalk is the real sidewalk...
    So the Dreadmill and I will be BFFs for next few months, because treadmill running is better than hallucinating out in the Phoenix heat this summer at 4 AM when it's already 95 degrees.

    I won't continue you to bore you with the work out details, but I did 45 minutes. It had almost forgotten how good it feels to work out. If anyone knows where I can find some good music, let me know!

    My hardest workout is trying not to look bored while you tell me about your workout.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Firefly Run Phoenix 5K

    FireFly Run

    Saturday night, several friends and I met down at the Arizona State capitol for the Phoenix Firefly Run. I carpooled with my friend, Tabatha, and we ended up arriving super early. We had time to entirely outfit ourselves with blinking lights, glow-in-the-dark star stickers and glow bracelets and necklaces in the parking lot while waiting for our other friends to arrive.

    Once everyone was there, we still had enough time to wander around and take a few pictures of the statues and the capitol building. I don't think I've been down to the state capitol since elementary school, which is kinda sad...

    AZ capitol
    For all of you history nerds out there, the USS Arizona is the ship that was sunk by Japan in World War II. The wreckage still resides in Pearl Harbor, HI, but the anchor was sent back to Arizona.

    Anchor from the USS Arizona
    As it started getting darker, the race was getting ready to start. We made one last trip to the porta potty area and got some guy to take our picture.

    Tabatha, me, Sarah - my work buddies

    Tabatha, Layla, Sarah, me and T
    We made our way to the start line and then we were off! In the race packet, we each got reflective arm bands with flashing lights. During the run, I have never seen so many red blinking lights in one place. It got old pretty fast.

    I started off pretty slowly, since I have hardly run since the Phoenix Half Marathon on March 3rd and I was certainly feeling it. My time wasn't terrible and I've done worse, but I struggled. My legs felt like lead and my lungs hurt because I started to pick up speed after at about mile 2.

    I'm much better at long distances because my slow first miles mean negative splits later. The problem is that for a 3 mile race, you can't really waste that first mile. I guess that's why some people jog before the race starts so they can be at racing pace by the start. Overall, though, it was a fun race.

    T and me at the end...I really need a new phone with a better camera.
    Afterward, we went for dinner and drinks in historic downtown Phoenix. On the way to the Rose and Crown Pub, we passed by the Rosson House. I remember going on a field trip here in elementary school.

    Rosson House

    The Rose and Crown is an awesome English pub style restaurant in an old house downtown. The food was really good.

    Rose & Crown
    I tried the Kung Fu Girl Riesling. It was so good. Plus, with a name like Kung Fu Girl, I had to try it. I need to find this wine somewhere.

    Try's yummy!