Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Milestone

I hit a new milestone this weekend as far as distance running. I ran 15.25 miles on Saturday. I actually felt pretty good afterward.

We met with our Team Chances group on Saturday morning at Kiwanis Park in Tempe.

This picture was from July at Tempe Town Lake,
but I never posted it. I'm on the far right.

I was a little worried about this run since I've been such a slacker lately, but things went really well. It's still pretty hot here, so by the time we were done, I was feeling really overheated.

Hee hee, it kind of looks like Tara is throwing up in this pic.
Rest assures, she is not.

Along the way, one of my team mates, Ari, came up behind me and called out, "Jaime, you are looking so SKINNY!" Okay, so that totally made my day. Thanks, Ari!!

It was really hot by the time I made it back to the parking lot.

Kiwanis Park
By the way, if you wake up for a really early morning run and realize you forget to get fuel such as GU or Clif Bloks, Skittles will work in a pinch. I knew I was never going to get through a 3+ hour run without sugar for my muscles. so I stopped at Circle K and grabbed Skittles. I'm sure the guy behind the counter was a little confused buy the fact that I was dressed in running gear and  purchasing bottled water, Advil, Clif Bars and...Skittles. Besides, I think Clif Bloks are just glorified candy, anyway.

I may bring Skittles for fuel during the NYCM.

I won't bore you with all of the little details, but I think the run went pretty well and when I was done, I felt like I could have run another mile or two, but Susan, our coach, said that too much running does not benefit you. She explained in scientifically, talking about mitochondrial something or other, but I will just take her word for it because, well, she's been to the Olympic Trials, so I have faith that she knows what she's talking about.

Seriously the coolest coach, ever.  (Source)

She even said that some elite marathoners will go on 4 hour walks instead of running and now I've forgotten the reason why, but I really need to read up on that or talk to her more about it, because she had me curious.

So yeah, I ran 15.25 miles and I felt pretty good today. Although trying to ride was painful. My hips and quads were a little sore, so I didn't have much in my legs to really ride hard today.

It's a good thing Little Lou is such a good boy.
And I don't know why, but this song has been in my head for the last 48 hours.

I'm not even sure why I like it, but I do. And I'm always looking to add to my music collection so I had to down load it. The beginning is a little weird, but I like the rest of it.

Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest girl around. Life is definitely what you make of it and thankfully, I've had some really cool experiences between a lifetime of showing horses and now training for one of the world's most prestigious marathons under a coach that has been to the Olympic Trials and has the patience to coach someone as slow as me. I need to remember to take the time to be thankful for the opportunities I've had.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Burn Out

I've been a really bad blogger. And a bad runner.

I'm still riding my ass off, even though Bam Bam Rubble, the wonder pony has been retired. Still riding Little Louie 5 days a week until he sells and shopping for a new show horse in between, so I haven't been completely lazy, but wow, am I lacking in motivation.

Really, I just want to lay on my couch watching crime drama marathons on TNT, playing on Pinterest and drinking cheap $3 wine.

Wait, I would never drink Bud Light...
I need some motivation, dear friends of the blogosphere. I'm really burned out and really tired. I know, I know. Waaah. Everyone is tired. Thank God for my little barn buddies, so I don't have to do all of my drinking alone like a true alcoholic. (Although, I really have no problem drinking alone.)

Katie and moi.
Even the horses are getting involved in happy hour. We're not very good parents, I have to say...

I'm a little worried since I have two huge races on the horizon: The NYC Marathon in November and the Goofy Challenge in January. You can't fake that stuff. You can fake it through a half marathon. I should know, I've shown up for more half marathons than I would like to admit having done little to almost no running in the weeks prior to the race. A marathon is an entirely different matter. Then there's Goofy Challenge, which, let's face it, is just plain stupid.

I mean, c'mon, who in their right mind thinks it's a good idea to run 39.3 miles in one weekend?

This girl, that's who.
Does she look smart to you?

Oh crap! I forgot all about you!

On another note, I talked to a client on the east coast that pretty much implied that Phoenix, AZ is some red neck kind of town. Okay, I get it, you've watched a bunch of old westerns. But um, just for the record? Phoenix is 6th largest city in the United States. It's not some small town in the middle of no where. We have, ya know, like people here and stuff. It totally rubbed me the wrong way, obviously.

See? Lots and lots of people here in the desert.

Anyhoo, in addition to bickering with clients and consuming wine, I need to get my priorities in order. Sorry, Pinterest, we need a little break....

But, Pinterest, I love you!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Warrior

Why does the weekend go by so fast? Boo.

I made the wise decision to stay home on Friday night (despite the usual drinking shenanigans going on at the barn) because I knew I would never get up on time to run for three hours in the morning. As it is, I have a hard time getting up. Drinking wine certainly does nothing to aid me and my habit of hitting snooze on my phone.

Even Instagram can't make me look good at 4 am.

Anyway, I behaved myself and went home like a good girl. I knew I would be running about 13 miles in the morning, so I carbed up. Thank you, Pinterest.

Pinterest Potato

My Potato
So, I have to admit, this was really delicious. You just cut the potato almost all the way through, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake at 425 degrees and voila!

I think the recipe said to bake the potato for 45 minutes, but I had to bake it for almost 2 hours. Maybe my oven is off, but I don't think so. My slices were really thick and not deep enough, so maybe thinner, deeper slices would help them cook faster. I think sprinkling the potatoes with other seasoning, like ranch dressing mix or something would make them even yummier.

So I got up early on Saturday and drove to Sole Sports in Scottsdale for our weekly team run rather than Ahwatukee, which was so much closer to me. We ran along the canal and it was nice to see some different scenery.

Scottsdale Canal

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Waterfall Reflecting Area

Typical clear blue skies

Around mile 10, I bumped into one of the other runners, Tricia, and we chatted for the rest of the run. And by "run", I mean walk. Both of us had hit a wall and gossiping was a much more pleasant way to finish up. I was really surprised by how sore my body was. Just two weeks ago, I got a PR at the Disneyland Half Marathon and this week, I hit a wall at mile 10.

I have never run 13 miles outside of a race setting, so getting into these higher distances, I'm starting to realize just how much of a mental game distance running is. At a race, there's crowd support, scenery and other runners to push you. Out along the canal, it's just you and your thoughts. Unless you run into Tricia and discuss very inappropriate things like sex, dating and fake boobs. But hey, I gotta say, that was the best part of the run!

Afterward, I went to my favorite "gas station" that's really a pretty high end little market that happens to also sell gas.

They make the best breakfast tacos with gigantic strips of jalapeno bacon. Seriously, amazing. I would share a picture with you, but I scarfed it down before I thought about doing so.

That afternoon, I tried another Pinterest project: making dried strawberries.


This is really easy. Just bake the strawberries for 3 hours at 210 degrees. Simple, right? Except that I fell asleep, so I baked mine for 3:45. Oopsy. They were still pretty good, though. I think next time I might try using waxed paper and keeping the strawberries whole to see what happens.

This morning, I went to the barn and rode my new little project, Louie. He don't own him, but I'm training him until he sells. Such a nice little horse.

Louie and me at the Flagstaff Horse Show in August

Then I went to breakfast with the breakfast club.


Now I'm home, blogging away! I really wish that there was a Rizzoli and Isles marathon on TV, but there is a Law and Order: SVU marathon on, so I'm watching that. Next up, I think I might attempt to make hamburger soup in a crock pot. But I have to get my sorry ass off of the couch first.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon Sept 2012

Once upon a time, in a land far away called Anaheim...

The Disneyland Half Marathon is my favorite race. (Although Tinkerbell may climb into the first place slot since the weather is so much better and the park is 100 times less crowded.)

In 2010, I ran my very first half marathon at this race. I had wanted to PR at the 2011 race, but I got really, really sick in the middle of the race and literally walked the entire second half. (No way I wasn't getting my medal or my Coast to Coast!). Also, I was distracted by a lot of real life stuff at that time, so my training was, well, pretty lacking.

Anyway, I really wanted to PR this year. Then I had some more life drama and didn't run for the two weeks right before the race. Oopsy. But all of my marathon training before that saved my ass. And I got my PR!!! Happy 3 year runniversary to me!

So, there's not a lot of pictures for this recap. Sorry about that. The course has been different during the park portion all 3 years that I have run this race because Disney California has been under construction for several years. I think I like this year's course the best.

And for some reason, I didn't even take pictures of anything at the start line. Maybe it was because I was cutting it close, time wise, and I was trying to find a friend of mine that was assigned the same corral. By the time I finally pushed and shoved my way over to her, it was almost time to start.

I don't remember all of the course differences, but I do remember that we ran through the castle going the other direction. It also seemed like we spent more time on Disney property this year and the back stage route was different.

My favorite part of the back stage section is running by the horses, of course. There was a pair of draft horses playing together in the turnout and cast members had brought a couple of horses up to a gate for pictures and it was really tempting to stop for a pic with them, but I was on a mission!!

I won't bore you with all of the mile by mile details. Plus, I don't remember them. I do remember that the really long stretch of boringness on the streets of Anaheim was different this year because people had brought out a bunch a fancy classic cars to line the roads. Miles 5-9 are incredibly boring and the cars gave me something to look at.

Traditional Mile 10 pic
Running through Angel Stadium is great, too. It's almost as cool as the park portion of the run. And then back to Disney we go! I knew at about mile 10 it would be easy to PR. But now I wanted to break into the 2:30s and I did it by the skin of my teeth. Seven seconds, to be exact. But who cares, right?

My sister has come down to see me cross the finish line, which was cool of her!

I ran in my first Sparkle Skirt!

We also went to Rain Forest Cafe in Downtown Disney so I could inhale some breakfast. And wow, did I inhale it. Also, they kept bringing us more and more toast. Which was weird and would have been awesome if I could eat toast...

After breakfast, I went back to the hotel and tried to nap, but I couldn't sleep, so I went down to the Magic Kingdom to hang out with my sister and her husband, Adam.

Melissa and me. Not sure why my hair looks like that.

I also discovered that Disney is really accommodating to people with food allergies. So I had some gluten free pizza at Pizza Port in Tomorrowland. It's probably the best gluten free pizza that I have had.

I tore off a chunk before I remembered to take a picture..
We mostly took it easy and wandered around. I have to say, that the iPhone 4S has a pretty damn good camera (until something requires a flash.)

My next Disney race will be the Goofy Challenge in January so I couldn't resist the Goofy statue pic!

So excited to finally have a new PR. It's about time...

Also check out my recaps of the Cars Land 5K Rally and The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo.

Disney Cars Land 5K Rally Sept 2012

If you missed my riveting recap about the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo, clickety here.

Originally, I planned to take my usual Disney running pictures during the 5K rather than the half marathon because I was shooting for a PR the next day and didn't want to waste time stopping and messing with pictures. I spent the entire run completely irritated, so I forgot to take pictures on the course.

This post is more of a rant rather than a've been warned...

The 5K starts later than the half marathon, so it was already daylight when we arrived at our "corrals".

Melissa, my mom and moi
I use the term corrals lightly, because the start space was narrow and lined with tall bushes so regardless of what corral you were supposed to be in, you couldn't move up. We were packed in like sardines. I tried to make my way up to the runner start (rather than starting with the walkers) but I thought it would be fun to hang out with my mom and sister while we waited.

There is much less fanfare for a Disney 5K than for their other races. I was only disappointed because I wanted my mom and sister to experience the awesomeness that is a RunDisney event.

Finally, the runner corral started.

Now, I realize that Disney 5Ks are fun runs. I really do get that. BUT. For the amount of money Disney charges to participate, I think that there should be some changes. First of all, it should be a timed event. I know a lot of people don't care about that, and I really didn't either, at first. But again, it's a really expensive race that isn't benefiting breast cancer or something, so for that amount of money (and the prices have all recently increased), I feel that there should be some more runner perks.

Second, I had been warned that the 5Ks are a mess. So I was prepared for a lot more walkers and some disorganization. Most runners follow a pretty strict runner etiquette code by only walking or running in two's, not stopping right in the middle of the rode, etc. Occasionally, you'll see 3-4 across, but not that often.

I swear, people were moseying in huge groups taking up the entire width of the road. Then stopping for group pictures right in the middle of the course. Not on the side or with a character. Smack dab in the middle of the road. And this is not a dig at walkers because the walkers that I see doing half marathons follow the same rules as the runners.

People would let their little kids run - and I'm talking little - with mobs of people, letting them get under foot. I'm not a parent, but that seems dangerous to the kid not to mention highly irritating to the runner immediately behind you when you make the decision to plop your kid down right in front of her so that she trips another runner while trying to avoid stomping your kid into smithereens.

So, we run through the Magic Kingdom, run back stage, then across the walk way to the entrance of California Adventure. The crowd had spaced out some, plus there's more breathing room in that park. The finish line was in the main "street" of the new Cars Land, which would have been really, really cool if it wasn't so jam packed that it was bordering on dangerous. It took forever to walk through the finish area, get my medal, get a snack and then water.

Oh wait. Nope, we didn't get water because they ran out of water. That's right. They ran out of water and it was really hot.

I really wish I had taken pictures of the colossal mess that was the finish area.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love, love, love Disney races. I'm sure I will end up running another  one of their 5Ks in the future, but man, that was not really an enjoyable experience. And before I get flamed for complaining about a Disney race and the expense, I know it's expensive. And I knew going in that it would be more disorganized that the half marathon.

I just wasn't at all prepared for just how messed up it was. I was not prepared for the fact that people in huge groups would just stop in the middle of the road and block every one's path. I didn't realize how many parents would let their toddlers run under foot. I've never experienced a race like that.

I guess I just thought that since it was tied into a bigger event, it would have a similar feel. But I was very wrong about that. Maybe if it had been easier for me to get to the runner corral, my experience would have been a lot different, so that's probably my fault. Next time - if there is a next time for a Disney 5K - I will push and shove to the front corral.

I didn't take a picture of the 5K medal all by itself, so I will borrow the one from the RunDisney Facebook page.
Okay, so at least the medal was really cute.

Then I instagrammed a picture of the finish while I was waiting for my mom and sister to find me.

But there was much awesomeness to be had the next day at the half marathon, so stay tuned for that!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo

My (non running) friends think it is weird that I spend so much time at Disney Parks. I'm an adult in my 30s with no children, yet it's one of my favorite places to be...unless it's a holiday weekend like Labor Day. Then everything is ridiculously crowded but I powered through. Because I'm an athlete...or something like that. And the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend happens to take place on one of the already most crowded weekends of the year.

Anyway, my mom hasn't been to a Disney Park since probably the late 80's and she wanted to do the 5K. I hate to say it, but bling whoredom runs in my family. My mom doesn't care about times or splits or pacing. She wants a medal, which is kind of cute considering that the rest of my family would rather have their eyes gouged out than run a couple of miles. So my mom shows up for 5Ks and hobbles through them with her bad knee. And when I say "hobble", I'm not exaggerating. Her times are usually over an hour.

When I come across races that have a medal for a 5K, I drag her along so she can have her own bling collection. That's how it came to happen that my annual trip to the Disneyland Half Marathon turned into a family vacation. So my mom, my sister and my brother-and-law trekked out to Anaheim for a 5 day vacation. My sister is a good sport, but even bling doesn't get her excited to run.

I learned the hard way the last two years doing the Disneyland Half that if you want a shirt or a jacket, you need to go to the expo first because everything sells out quickly. We arrived on Friday right as the expo opened, so I was able to grab a new track jacket, a cute glittery v-neck shirt and a glass with the DL Half logo on it. I think my new shirt is currently in the drier, so I'll spare you the pics, but trust me, it's cute.

Mob scene. For real.
After I spent a ridiculous amount of money on things I don't need, we ended up back at the parking structure to get our 5K numbers and my Half number, but not before I bee lined over to the RunDisney booth to check out the Goofy Medals for January. There was a crowd, so I didn't get a chance to get a decent pic, but the marathon medal is bigger in person than in this picture. It's pretty damn cool. I wasn't in love with it at first, but I do like how different it is from any of the other RunDisney medals.

Yes, please! I'll take some of these!
Off to the packet pick up...

More mob scene.

I never stop and take my picture at the little sets they have set up, so this year, I made it a point to do it. I'm glad I did, the backgrounds are so cute!

Me with my sister, Melissa.

My sister, my mom and me with our 5K bibs.
We spent the rest of the day hanging out in Disney California Adventure.

I love the Little Mermaid ride. Not necessarily because the ride is that amazing, but there's rarely a line and I love the soundtrack which plays throughout the entire ride. The Little Mermaid Ride is also opening at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World and I can't wait to check out the differences when I'm there for the Goofy Challenge.

We stayed for the World of Color show, which is amazing. If you ever go to Disney California Adventure, you must see it. The music is great (I'm a Disney soundtrack nerd) and the animation projected onto the water will blow your mind. Super cool.

Then we were off to bed to we could get up early for the Cars Land 5K Rally in the morning...

More soon!