Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hola from Cancun, Mexico!

Yesterday, we made our way to Chichen Itza, the Mayan ruins. I took a zillion pictures with my real camera, but this will have to suffice until I get home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to ruin your day...

It always seems like the most drama occurs in my world right before I'm about to go out of town. Maybe I bring it on myself by overly worrying about things or by being stressed out. Regardless, this trip was no different than any other.

I'm leaving for Cancun, Mexico in the morning for a work trip to a gorgeous resort that involves no actual work. Awesome, right?

                                                  I love my job.                                     (source)

This morning, I went to the barn and rode before work and then went off to work like I normally do. My eyes started to get irritated in the morning and got steadily worse until after lunch when my vision started to get more and more blurry.

I took out my contacts, thinking my lenses were just dirty or something and my vision was still blurry. I rarely have contact trouble, so I didn't have my glasses with me and therefore, had to put my contacts back in because I'm legally blind without some sort of corrective lenses. After stressing and worrying for awhile, I decided to see if I could get in to see the eye doctor in case it was something serious before I left for Mexico.

By the time I got to the eye clinic, my vision was so bad that I could barely see. I had called my mom and asked her to go to my house and get my glasses. I really got scared when I took my contacts out, put on my glasses and I couldn't read a text message on my phone.


The tech tested my vision and even with my glasses on, I couldn't read the biggest letters on the chart with either eye. As I waited and waited for the doctor to finally come in, I got more and more scared, not just that I might not be able to go to Mexico, but that there was something really serious wrong with me ( ya know, like a BRAIN TUMOR).


Anyway, it turns out that both of my corneas have tons of micro scratches, and my left eye is way worse than my right. I have to put drops in every hour, but they are already starting to feel better and the vision in my right eye is almost back to normal. My left eye is much improved, but still a little blurry.

I have no idea how this happened. My eyes were fine when I left the house this morning. Anyway, here's an awesome picture of me wearing my glasses with the special shades they give you when you get your eyes dilated. Cute, huh?

Don't be jealous of my style...
So yeah, bummer. I can still go to Mexico (although this eye doctor was such an alarmist trying to freak me out about it getting worse and me having to go to a doctor in Mexico...) but I can't wear my contacts or make-up and I can't go swimming.

I do get to go to Chichen Itza, one of the most famous of the Mayan ruins. I can't wait. There will be lots of pictures when I get home. But right now, I need to rest my eyes, they are starting to burn again.

Also, it appears my spell check is not working... sorry if there are errors, it is what it is tonight.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Amusement

Since this is mainly a running blog, most people that read this will be pretty familiar with the Garmin sports watch and heart rate monitor or some other variation. I use the Garmin 405 and I've become so dependent on it, that I have mild anxiety just thinking about running without it.

A friend of mine that is new to running just got one for her birthday from her husband. The very first thing she did was try out the heart rate monitor during sex to see how hard she's working out. True story.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kindest Words

I'm not feeling great today, so I thought I would spend my day laying on my couch and stalking reading blogs and facebook.

I did start my day with a 6 mile run at 5:30, so I haven't been a lazy bum all day. The group runs are pretty far away from where I live, so I had to leave my house at 4:45 to get there in time. And because my brain wasn't working that early in the morning, I accidentally ended up taking the long route. Doh!

We ran along the canal and I didn't take any pictures because there really wasn't anything different from the last time we ran there. Since I didn't feel well, my run was tough. I just wasn't feeling it and I've had a headache ever since, but it seems to be easing up.

The only cure was this:

I love my Tinkerbell Half Marathon mug!
I tried making over hard eggs for the first time for lunch:

There's a restaurant that we go to all of the time and every weekend, I order my eggs over hard and they are always runny. And not just a little bit, but like sunny side up eggs runny. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's happened at least 10 times there. You're probably wondering why we keep going there and answer is: because we are dumb. And the food is good when it's correct. And it's close to the barn. Last time we were there, my eggs were done correctly for the first time, but Kristy's and Nicole's pancakes were raw in the middle which prompted a very loud "I hate this place!" from Katie. I can't take them anywhere.

 Anyway, my version of over hard eggs turned out perfectly on the first try. I'm wondering why the cooks at the restaurant can never get it right. It's not hard. I would have taken picture of the finished product, my hunger got the best of me and I snarfed them down before I remembered. Oops.

I also practiced self portraits because all of the other bloggers seem to be able to get decent shots of themselves and mine always look horrid. Turns out it's waaaaaay easier taking them with a real camera than using my cell phone.

Hello, there! I'm working on my narcissist skills!

Now for the Kindest Words part of this post:

A friend of mine that lives on the other side of the country in Florida and I were chatting via text earlier about my struggles with marathon training and also getting my horse ridden in the Phoenix heat. I told her that I wasn't a quitter, though, and I would figure it out. She said these kind words to me:

"You are inspirational just being you. That's what I enjoy most about you. You are you...professed 'flaws' and all. You don't try to be don't expect others to be. You are accepting and are a blessing."

I think this is the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time, and of course, I almost cried. I'm going to have to figure out a way to make this into a graphic I can save.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dude! I cooked something!

I'm not what you would call 'domestic'. Not even a little bit. I once had a friend tell me that I really needed to be a good cook if I wanted to find a husband. (I'm not even kidding that she said that and she's a prosecutor, for crying out loud!)


Anyway, it's not that I can't cook, it's that I choose not to. Besides, I think the fact that I would rather see movies where things blow up than girl movies makes me an ideal girlfriend and not my housewifely abilities, but whatever.

Cooking and Cleaning...Me?

Anyway, I made a gluten free pizza casserole.  It's also fairly low carb. Now, I'm not a celiac but gluten sensitive, so I can't guarantee that there's no gluten at all in the ingredients I chose, but there's very little if you are sensitive and if you are celiac, well, there's definitely certified gluten free options for all of the ingredients I used.

Okay, this is super easy and super delicious.

First, I browned a package of extra lean turkey meat with some oregano and garlic. I'm sure fresh garlic would be better, but all I had was dried.

Try not to notice how dirty my stove got. I'm not an expert!

You can also use ground beef, but I'm bringing this for lunch tomorrow for me and my work BFF, Tiana, and she likes turkey better. Plus, it's a lot less calories. (Although, I make up for that with my other ingredients!)

Only gourmet ingredients for mah
masterpiece, thank you very much!
Once the turkey is browned I added most of this jar to the frying pan and let it simmer on really low heat for a few minutes while I cut up the vegetables.

I ate an embarrassing amount of this while it was cooking.

And by 'vegetables', I mean two: an onion and a green pepper. Yes, that is a tiny cutting board. It used to be much bigger until I broke it.

I also don't own proper chopping knives...
I considered just dumping the veggies into the casserole without sauteing them first, but I thought maybe that would make the casserole watery, so I popped them on the stove with a little garlic.

Next I put the turkey and veggies in a small baking dish.

The veggies taste much better browned.
Then I added a layer of pepperoni.

And then a layer of mozzarella cheese.

And then another layer of pepperoni.

I said low carb, not low cal...
Top it with a sprinkle of oregano and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes and voila! A masterpiece is created.

Okay, so this recipe doesn't yield a lot of actual food, but the ingredients are very filling. You can really use anything that you like on your pizza. The pepperoni adds a lot of flavor and while it looks really bad for you, 10 slices of that pepperoni is 130 calories and I used a total of 16 slices for the entire thing.

So that's my once in a blue moon contribution to the cooking world. Maybe I will try something else. But don't hold your breath. Oh, I almost forgot! I also ran on treadmill for almost an hour tonight. Woot!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What is beautiful?

Of course they say beauty is only skin deep, but do people really mean that? Having spent time with women from other countries and having been surprised by just how comfortable they seemed to be in their own skin, I think we Americans are a little too hard on ourselves.

Growing up showing horses, I've always had a distorted body image. Tall, thin people make a prettier picture sitting on a horse than the shorter, rounder riders such as myself.

That's me...not exactly tall and lanky...
The things I've noticed - and it's taken me over 30 years to figure it out - is that once I care about someone, I sort of stop noticing their features, so is a perfect body really the end all be all?

I always thought that I was lacking somewhere; that I was missing something in the looks department, like I wasn't thin enough or pretty enough, but I'm starting to realize that we all feel that way. And in America it's like it defines everything about us.

Just a little food for thought, because I stumbled across this picture tonight when I was reading a blog (and I love this blog for motivation, by the way). She posts awesome pictures...but I don't like this one (and that's not the blog owner just in case it seems like I'm being bitchy).

Also, why is there a weight hanging off of her pelvis? (source)
I don't actually think this is attractive. Clearly, she's in great shape, but honestly, I don't really want to look that way. Not that I'm ever going to, because let's face it, I'm probably never going to want to work this hard, I'll admit it!

Sure. I would definitely feel better if I lost some weight, no doubt about that. It's just that if I lost 20 pounds, I wouldn't come close to looking like this, but I think that's okay. Really, I do. I would certainly feel better about myself. Maybe my view has changed since I seriously started training again and that I've decided to tackle a full marathon. Now I think more about the fact that I would probably be faster if I was in better shape, not just that I simply need to lose weight. Marathon training (and racing in general) has sort of changed my views. Thanks, running!

                    Love this! Also from the same blog...    (source)

Don't get me wrong, most people could improve their bodies and I'm definitely including myself in that category. It's just that maybe we could cut ourselves a little slack and be a little more comfortable in our own skin because there's definitely someone out there that would love us for who we are now, not who we might be later. And yeah, we need to love ourselves first, blah, blah, blah, but we tend to define ourselves through the eyes of others and maybe we think that others don't find us attractive (okay, maybe I'm talking about me, here) and our vision is off.

Something to think about. Someone remind me I posted this when I starting beating myself up again, k? ;)

In other news, how freaking cute is this?


Sunday, June 17, 2012

But it's a dry heat!

It got up to 110 degrees in Phoenix this weekend. Ugh.

The weather in Phoenix is weird. It was almost as hot Friday and Saturday, but Sunday just felt horrid because the humidity came rolling in.

We get monsoon storms here and monsoon season doesn't really start until July, but we got a small haboob (dust storm) Saturday.

Last year, we got a storm that made international news. I happened to be at the movies when it rolled through and when we came out, it looked like we had gotten a thin blanket of snow.

Yup, that is a huge wall of dust from July 5th, 2011. (source)
A small one rolled through here yesterday:

From the front door of my townhouse.

That's dust, not clouds!
Anyway, with the arrival of the wind and dust, came an increase in humidity. Yes, we're relatively dry compared to other places, but when the humidity rises in places that are regularly over 110, it feels like your skin is being seared off.

Yesterday, I wrote about the tent we added to the arena with misters. Today I rode Bam Bam and he wanted nothing to do with those scary misters! Every time I rode by, he cocked his head and tried to dart away. He doesn't mind the tent itself, like some of the other horses, but those misters are scary, man!

We spent Father's Day afternoon at my sister and brother-in-law's house hanging out in her pool to beat the heat.

My Dad and step mom, Clare

My bro-in-law, Adam, and my sister, Melissa

My step sister, Vanessa


My adorable niece, Jacqui

Saguaro cactus only found in AZ and Mexico.
I will admit that I didn't do much running this weekend...or any at all. Official training for our team for NYC starts tomorrow, so slackerville is coming to an end. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Disney Cars Land 5K Medal and the MATTERHORN!

The medal design for the Cars Land 5K was just announced on the runDisney Facebook page. How freaking cute is this?

With all of the runDisney events I've done, I haven't tried any of the 5Ks. Usually, I just focus on the half marathon race. Even though I love, love, love Disney races, I've heard that the 5Ks are a mess. They aren't timed, there are no corrals, there are strollers everywhere and it's a total cluster f***.

This year, though, my mom and sister are coming along for a little family vacay over the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. I figured they could join in on the fun on Saturday and all three of us could do the 5K and then I would do the Half on Sunday.

                                    Cars Land just opened yesterday!                        (source)

They haven't posted the 5K course, yet, so I'm excited to see if we run through Cars Land. The half marathon course looks the same as last year, although, I'm assuming the California Adventure portion will be a little different. The course map is a little vague.

                                          V8 Cafe in Cars Land                                (source)
I'm really excited to see all of the new stuff. Also, the Matterhorn has been completely refurbished. I haven't ridden it in years because even though it was one of my favorite rides, it was getting so run down that I always felt like I needed to go to a chiropractor after the ride was over. I can't wait to ride it again after many years of skipping it.

       New bob sleds. This is a much better design than the old!          (source)

                                            New Matterhorn Track                         (source)
When the "snow" was reapplied to the surface of the mountain, glass beads were added to make it sparkle like real snow.

                                                  Aww, pretty!                                  (source)

I can not wait to go. It seems like every year that I am older, I love Disney parks more and more. I get a lot of crap for how often I wind up at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. I used to only go to Disneyland once a year at the MOST, sometimes less than that. But now that I've discovered how awesome their runs are, I plan on doing at least 1 or 2 of them a year for the next few years to come. I still haven't done Wine & Dine, but it seems like we're adding that to the calendar for 2013. Woot!

With all of this excitement, I should be training harder than ever. Last night I drove to the gym and had actually pulled into the parking lot when I got a text saying that we were having happy hour at the barn. Of course, I immediately headed to the barn! We now have a tent with misters in our arena for drinking. Well, it's actually so that my trainer can have shade in the brutal sun all summer, but whatevs.

Photo: Happy hour under the arena tent with the new misters!
View from inside the arena "bar"

And for the record: this is the best invention ever. 100 calorie packets of gaucamole. Store bought guac is always a gamble, but this stuff is really good.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WTF Wednesday

Welcome to my random world! I present a hodge podge of topics for your enjoyment today. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

1. We decided to take a group photo at work today. That's a lot of estrogen in one room!

I'm on the far right. And for some reason, my boobs look huge in this pic!

2. A 15 page letter containing doping charges was presented to Lance Armstrong yesterday. I honestly don't know how I feel about that. If it's true, then I'm seriously disappointed in him as an athlete and a human being. But I also have no idea if it's actually true, so I'll wait until all of the facts are in before I decide. But you can read about it here.


 3. Ahhh. Goofy Challenge.

Registration for the Tinkerbell Half opened yesterday. I think Tink is my favorite Disney race. I posted that on the Running At Disney blog and she asked me why it was my favorite. I answered her in several paragraphs, so I suppose that would be a good blog entry later. Last year, there were two weeks between WDW Marathon Weekend and the Tinkerbell Half so we managed to do both events. It was moved to the weekend immediately after WDW and I just don't think I can pull it off, which is bumming me out. Luckily, it took no effort at all to convince Tara that we should do Wine & Dine in November next year, so that will be cool. I can only go so long in between Disney races. I would also like to do Princess again, but that will most likely have to wait until 2014. Or until I win the lottery. Whichever comes first.

I bought this key chain at Disneyland to keep me motivated.
 Mostly, he just mocks me all day at my desk.

4. Last night I went to a new restaurant called the Windsor. It's in central Phoenix and pretty cool. The food was great and so was the atmosphere. And the entire back wall is lined with cassette tapes. I want to do this in my hallway at my house...if I still had any cassettes, that is.

Love this!
 5. This super cute dude was waiting for me this morning.

6. This is what I had for dinner. Oh yes, I did. Now I'm just waiting for it to cool down so I can go run some of it off.

 That pretty much sums things up for right now. Have a good night!