Sunday, July 29, 2012

State of the Union...

Well, maybe not the union, but my life. Life's been busy, busy, busy. It seems like my entire life revolves around riding, working, running and sleeping. Doing 10 plus mile runs every weekend is really taking a toll on me, but it's totally worth it. I always do better when I have big goals and dream big.

This is the hardest I've trained for running since I started racing almost 3 years ago and it is totally paying off. We did a 10 miles time trial at Tempe Town Lake yesterday and the weather was horrid. At least it was cloudy, or I swear the sun would have fried me to a crisp with the amount of humidity in the air.

I left my house at 4:15AM and it was already 90 degrees and humid. I honestly can not even fathom training for a marathon in the summer in some place like Florida. Kudos to those Florida runners for being totally bad ass. I would die.

Sunrise at Tempe Town Lake
I finally feel like I'm back to where I used to be when I got my half marathon PR back in January 2011. We did a 10 mile time trial and I honestly tried to run it as if we were racing, but I also tried to be aware of how hard the weather conditions are on the body and base my progress on effort rather than actual time.

Even Instagram can't make this pic attractive, so I won't try...
I think things are looking great for a PR at Disneyland, so I'm super excited. My 10 mile time trial had me just a few minutes off track and it will probably be at least 20 degrees cooler at the start at Disneyland if not more. Plus, I still have about 5 weeks for more training.

Glad to have some different scenery to look at!
I have a midnight half marathon next weekend, but the conditions will be rough considering the elevation of over 4000ft and the steady incline for the first 6 miles of the course. I won't be trying for any PRs, just want to survive that one!

I saw two different movies this weekend, too. On Friday, I went to go see Step Up Revolution. The story line was pretty lame, but the dance scenes were awesome!

This movie is definitely worth seeing just for the flash mob scenes. I actually really liked it, even though the acting was just okay. But I suppose that a lot of the actors are actually dancers first, actors second, so I can ignore that. I couldn't find a clip of my favorite dance scene, but the flash mob dance in the office building was really cool, too.

I also saw the new Batman movie. If you have not seen it, go. Go right now. So incredibly good. I think it's the best of all of them. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was perfect. I might even go see it again in the theater, it was that good.

                                             So. Hot.                        (source)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marathon Saturday

This morning was our group long run. It was hot, hot, hot outside! I can't wait until the temperature drops. Our runs start at 5AM and are pretty far from where I live, so I got up at 3:45.

I look pretty awake for 3:45

We were scheduled for 11 miles today. Last week we did 10. The longest I have ever run outside of a half marathon is 9, so we're definitely getting into higher miles now. I'm feeling pretty confident that I can PR at the Disneyland Half with all of this training. I do have the ET Half in a couple of weeks, but I'm concerned about the fact that it's at an elevation of something like 4800 feet and goes uphill for the first 6 miles. Not really a race for me to try and PR. I'm honestly worried about how tough that one might be. Anyway...

Sunrise on the canal
I'm excited that despite the heat, I finally feel like I'm getting faster. I'm back to the pace I was able to keep when I was actually training and not just showing up for races and dragging myself across the finish line. The heat really slows me down, too, so the 30 degree temperature difference in Anaheim, should really help my pace. Plus, I still have 6 weeks to train to get faster.

The nice thing about running with a team is that we have a water cooler to refill our Camelbak's, etc, while we're out there. And it's always nice to have icy water to pour on your head.

Running over the 101

Like how my arms are reflected in my glasses?
 Around mile 9 or so...
After our run, of course I had to stop for breakfast. There's this super cool gas station with a pretty nice restaurant inside. It's way nicer than it sounds, I promise. There's a little market inside with a restaurant and they make delicious omelettes and breakfast tacos. I got a big breakfast to go, went home, ate, and then slipped into a food and running induced coma for a few hours.

Later, I downloaded Spirit Of The Marathon and watched it on my iPad. I highly recommend watching it to anyone that races. It's really inspiring and touching. Plus, they share lots of marathon history, which is cool.

Seriously, I teared up multiple times. I cried when I crossed the finish line of my first half and then again when I did 2 half marathons in one weekend. I can't even imagine what a wreck I will be in NYC. Two thumbs up.

I've also managed to get myself addicted to Pinterest. Nice. Now I have no reason to ever put down my phone. But there's lots of marathon pictures. Here's a cool picture of wind chimes made from old marathon medals. Cool, huh?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Trail's what's for dinner.

Wait. I think beef is what's supposed to be for dinner, according to the Beef Council. Whatever.

A lot of running bloggers post pictures of their pre-race fuel, usually consisting of toast or a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. I was never a fan of bananas until I started running, but then I got on the band wagon with all of the cool kids.

Anyway, now that our team group runs are getting longer and longer, I have to remember to fuel on Fridays as if I were racing in the morning. On my way home, I stopped and got a bag of my favorite trail mix that I often bring with me for my pre-race breakfast.

The chocolate adds extra energy, right?

I can't eat bread - unless I want to get really, really sick - so last year I tried trail mix, and I've been hooked ever since. I'm also eating it for dinner tonight. We have an 11 mile run scheduled for tomorrow, so now I have breakfast.

I'm also getting better about gathering all of my stuff together the night before so I'm not struggling to find everything in the morning. The group runs are at 5:00 AM SHARP! Unfortunately, I live 45 minutes away at least depending on the location, so I have to leave my house at 4:15. Ugh.

Speaking of athletic endeavors, the super pony, Bam Bam Rubble, got a sports massage the other day. Now before you laugh your ass off at the idea of a horse getting a massage, a horse's muscles are just like a human's muscles. Show horses are athletes, just like a runner (although, I can't afford to get a message for myself.)

Anyway, BBR has a lot of issues and getting a sports massage for him seems to really help. If you've ever had one, you know how unpleasant they can be.

Hurts so good!

Getting the knots out
Lucky little horse. He gets way better care than I do. Go figure. I should probably consider getting one as our Saturday long runs increase in mileage.

My friend, Amber, sent me this text this morning:

I am not the person on the left.

It's 7:30, and I already need to think about going to bed so I can get up at 3:45. What a party animal!!

This is how I look until my second cup of coffee... (source)

Side note: Does anyone else think it's ironic the the spell checker on Blogger doesn't recognize the word "blogger"?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Recap!

Whew! This weekend was jam packed full of stuff.

First, we got actual rain on Friday. Now that may not seem like a big deal to the rest of the world, but here in the desert, we get excited about rain like the rest of the world gets excited about sunshine.

View from my desk.

Friday night, I went over to Tara's house for a get together and all around tomfoolery.

Tara and her boyfriend have a chalkboard wall and after multiple glasses of booze, we decided to play our own version of Taboo which was something a lot like Pictionary.

I love my new phone apps...
I did not partake of any alcohol because we had to be up at 4AM to be at South Mountain Park for a 10 mile run at 5. It was brutal. We stayed up too late and the rain made for very humid weather.

Okay, so not my most flattering picture...
I definitely learned the importance of running hills this weekend. I've shown up for half marathons with little training and have not been as sore afterward as I was yesterday. My body was aching all day. My hips hurt and my calves were on fire. But we did it! We ran 10 miles up some ridiculous inclines.

I asked our coach, Susan, how I could get in a good hill work out on a treadmill, and she said to do 90 second repeats at a 6% incline with a 2 minute recovery period. I guess I have my work cut out for me...

Sunday, I went to the barn to see this handsome gentleman:

Don't let his sweet and innocent look fool you...

I rode him this morning and he seems mostly recovered from his little accident on Monday. I still need to medicate him for another week, but he's doing pretty well. I'm pretty happy about that.

I helped Kristy take care of the horses this evening and then sat around drinking wine and eating gluten free pizza. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty productive weekend!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

WTF Week

Last week was a crazy, crazy week, so I'm pretty behind with blogging and basically everything else in my world.

Last Friday, I went with a few friends to a new restaurant called Brat Haus in Old Town Scottsdale.

This little van makes me look tall...which I am not.

It's not gluten free friendly, but I just ate my brat without the bun. I also had wine instead of beer. But Tabatha had this:

Now, that is a beer.
I certainly didn't want to drink too much or stay out too late because I was meeting Tara for an early morning 7 mile run, that actually turned into a 7.4 mile run. Man, was it hot, hot, hot and humid. Blech.

My first few picture attempts were of me grimacing
because it was so gross outside.
That night, my mom had a belated 4th of July party, which was pretty fun. My sister, the baker, make a cake that looked like a hamburger. I'm pretty sure we're not actually related because I never bake anything.

How cute is this?
And because she is the awesomest sister ever, she also made some gluten free cupcakes for me.


Sunday, my sister, her husband, and my mother took me to see Grease at the Arizona Broadway Theatre Company. They serve dinner before the show and our table was literally right up front against the stage. It was really fun. I definitely want to go back and see something else there.

Monday, my horse tried to kill me. Seriously. He's got some issues, and every so often, he goes off the deep end because something hurts. I've always assumed it was in his jaw, since he's had surgery on his TMJ joint, but one of my clients told me that when they have severe reactions to things, she finds it's usually in their neck. Great. Like this horse doesn't cost me a zillion dollars to fix on a regular basis. He almost flipped over on me, so after he attempted to launch himself to the moon, I bailed and landed HARD on my side and arm. Then he made matters worse by limping around afterward, so I'm a little concerned that his his foot is re-injured. Last year, he was off for 6 months and I finally had to have an MRI done on his feet to fix him. That shit ain't cheap, in case you were wondering...

Of course, this was sent from Tara...

I thought about taking pictures of my bruised, ripped up arm, but never did. Instead, I made multiple attempts with my crappy phone to get a picture of the two of us while I iced his foot.

Bam Bam was not cooperative at all during this process.
On Tuesday, it was my actual birthday, and I got a Starbucks from my work BFF, Tiana, which is always a great way to start my day. My outside rep, Kim, Sent me flowers:

One of my accounts sent me an Edible Bouquet, which was not only delicious, but super cool of them!

So, that's what's been up in my world. I didn't run much because my body was really sore after Bam threw my ass in the dirt. What a monster. I made up for it this weekend, though, by doing an incredibly difficult 10 mile run this morning with ridiculous hills. More on that soon.

Oh! And I finally joined the iPhone cool club.

I. Love. It. I'm not sure how I was able to convince myself that my Android was good enough. Because it definitely was mediocre compared to the iPhone.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mexico - The Finale

I've been a slacker in the blogging department, so in an effort to catch up on my blog, here's the rest of my Mexico adventure...

Sadly, our whirlwind trip to Cancun had to come to an end.

Our last night in Mexico was so cool. I got some shots of the moon over the ocean, looking all awesome, as moons tend to do...

We had a catered private dinner with fire dancers.

Nice eye candy...
I love this pic of Matt and Tiana
After dinner, we decided it was time to hit up the little club. We ended up shutting down the place. I may or may not have had a bunch of champagne before we decided to do a shot of tequila...

Despite all of the alcohol consumption, we decided to get up at 6 the next morning and get pictures of the sunrise on the beach.

I also took some last shots of the hotel.

And I almost forgot! These little guys were everywhere! The hung out on the rocks all day.

We had to leave for the airport all too soon. I would definitely like to come back here some day. It's a beautiful place. The best part was not having to pay for any of it, since one of our vendors sent us as a thank you. Guilt free vacations are the best!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mexico - Exploring The Beach

On Saturday morning, we got up early and went exploring on the beach before anyone was up and about. Our resort was at the end of a long line of hotel properties and there is a lot of empty space in one direction, so we headed that way to see what we could find. Mostly pictures here and they look a lot prettier if you click on them...

I would totally get married here...

We discovered an abandoned building along the shore might have been part of a hotel or some other kind of estate. It was really creepy, so of course, we decided that we needed to check it out. Because that is what sensible, intelligent people do.

Also, lots of bugs live here.

He's braver than the rest of us...
After the bugs attempted to devour us, we decided that this abandoned place was probably better left alone, We headed back to the beach and walked for quite a ways.

I hope some day I can make it back here. Everything is so beautiful! I still have more to post, since I took a ridiculous amount of pictures.

In case you missed them:

Mexico - Arriving in Cancun

Mexico - Chichen Itza

Also, my eyes have been declared officially healed by my eye doctor! Woot!