Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scottsdale Beat The Heat 5K

I'm not really sure why I thought participating in this race was a good idea, but I did it.

I haven't raced too much this year. By this time last year, I had already done 5 half marathons. This year, I've only done one. Now, granted, it was part of Goofy Challenge, so it was a really big deal, but needless to say, I haven't raced a whole bunch in 2013. After traveling all over last year for races, I decided to try and scale it back because that gets costly. Plus, now that I have Lou, horse showing has once again become a priority, so I need to save some money.

Anyway, since I'm not traveling as much (still enough to keep me broke...*cough* Dumbo Challenge *cough* New York Marathon *cough* Glass Shipper Challenge *coughcoughcough*), I'm trying out some local races.

I got this email for the Scottsdale Beat The Heat Race and it was different than other races I've done, so I signed up at the last minute.

Now, temperatures have been nowhere near 122 this year and I trained for the NYC Marathon all last summer, so I figured how hard could a 5K with temps around 104 be? Also, the race was held at West World of Scottsdale where I've shown horses for the last 20+ years, so I thought it would be fun to race there since I've shown there my whole riding career.

Well, let me tell you: running a race when it's 104 and the sun still super bright is hard. The race started at 2:47pm (something about the hottest part of the day).

Yeah, they took this stuff very seriously. I arrived at West World about an hour before and still had to pick up my packet. The packet pick up and start area was inside (Thank God) the Equidome indoor arena. The first thing I saw as I walked up to the building was the sheer number of EMTs everywhere.

Eye candy

More eye candy

Packet pick up was kind of a mess. In all fairness, I can't really blame the race organizers for that. I wasn't the only one that decided to wait until the last minute to pick up my packet. Also, we had to sign a second waiver. Everyone was required to sign their life away for the second time acknowledging the risk involved with running in this kind of heat. After signing the second waiver, you got a green wrist band. Anyone seen without a band would be pulled from the course.

By the time I got my packet, ran my t-shirt back to the car, and went to the bathroom, it was only a few minutes before the start. Everyone was lined up in the arena, which I thought was pretty cool since I've shown in there before.

And there was air conditioning
Ready to run!

Tara is more appropriately dressed

Lara and Blake
After about a billion announcements, we were off! As soon as we stepped outside, I felt scorched. It did not take any time at all for my body to start over heating. I honestly think it was because the sun was still so high in the sky. Living in Arizona, 104 is not that hot in June.. Running in 104 in the stark sunlight is another story.

I didn't take a lot of pictures during the actual run because I just wanted to get done. Also, I seemed incapable of running the full thing, even though a 5K is a pretty easy distance when compared to a half marathon or full.

It just looks hot, doesn't it?

Did I mention that I drank a bunch of wine the night before? No? That may or may not have contributed to my difficulty.

I'm dying.

Right before the end, there was a fire truck hosing off runners. I didn't get a picture, but it felt great. The finish was on the polo field, and the sprinklers were on.

This was tougher than I expected. I really didn't think I would feel so miserable. To be fair, the race was fun otherwise and really well organized. My only complaint was that it was pricey for a 5K, especially considering we only got a t-shirt and not a tech shirt. Although the design of the shirt was pretty cool.

Would I do it again? I don't know. I would definitely do another race organized by this group. I just don't know if I want to run another race in these circumstances. I'm dumb, though, so there's a good chance I will magically forget how hot I was by next summer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Serial Killers, Killer Mountains and Unicorns

I have a two story townhouse that is technically a condo. I don't really know what the difference is, but when I was signing the millions of pages for my loan, I saw the word "condo" like a every other sentence. But it's important to this story that you understand that my condo is two stories, because there is a possibility that a serial killer has taken up residence in my guest room upstairs.

I use the term "guest room" lightly because, in reality, this is a giant storage room. Therefore, there are plenty of spaces for a serial killer to hide. 

My house is the middle unit of three attached two story condos. On one side, my neighbor is out of town a lot and the unit on the other side of me is vacant. My complex is really quiet, so imagine my surprise when I hear a giant crash upstairs coming from the vacant condo.

So I did what any normal person would do, I grabbed The Stick and ran upstairs to investigate.

When recounting this story for Tara, she said, "you grabbed The Stick, but it never occurred to you to grab a knife?" Hmmm, yes, she has a point. 

So I ran upstairs and searched for anything that could have crashed into wall. Nada. I went back downstairs and slept on my couch clutching my "weapon" all night. 

I know I didn't imagine the crash, it shook the wall next to me. And my other neighbor was, of course, gone. I considered calling the police but I never heard another peep.

Anyway, I've determined that there are ghosts, monsters and/or Hannibal Lechter in the vacant unit next to me. 

But this is not a serial killer blog, despite my new obsession with the show Hannibal, it's a running blog. And I ran trails again this Tuesday. Lara has decided this is going to be a regular thing. This is how I feel about running up a mountain when it is 105 degrees outside.

Also, Louie is now a unicorn. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Jaime in Dallas

I wrote this post while still in Dallas and then meant to finish it at the airport, but let me tell you, the airport was a total cluster (insert bad word here) and I got to my gate just in time to board...

Hello from Dallas, Texas! I'm actually supposed to be home by now, but my flight was cancelled and the first flight out on the same airline in tomorrow morning. Wtf?

But that's fine by me because I got to spend a little more time with one of my dear friends in Texas. And we're watching the Tony Awards right now which is making me super excited for NYC Marathon
Anyhoo, here's what I've been up to...

Found some awesome stuff at the Frisco Mercantile...

We went to the Perot Museum of Science and Nature...

We also stopped by the Frisco Heritage Center where I got this shot that I totally love:

And then I wanted this shot:

I even went running this morning. I rarely run on vacations that aren't racecations (which happen to be most of most trips), but I went out for 6 miles this morning. 

Of course, I stopped along the way for some instagramming. And I got lapped twice by a guy in a Boston Marathon shirt. TWICE, people. Good thing my slowness doesn't really affect my self esteem...

This neighborhood is so pretty. I left just after a thunderstorm passed through so the weather was first.

About three miles into my run, the sun came out and tried to sear the skin right off of my body. It was so humid. 

I'm pretty proud of myself for running on vacation. I ended up doing 6 miles and felt pretty good the whole time.

Thanks, D (who may or may not be reading this... I have no idea), for a really fun, awesome weekend. I had a great time! XO

Monday, June 3, 2013

Happy Tears

I'm going to share a little story with you all because it's about something that I hold very dear to my heart. I debated about whether I wanted to write about this on my blog, but I love a feel good story, so I thought I would share.

Last summer, I had to retire my horse, Bam Bam. It was a very emotional thing for me and I really had a difficult time letting go. It's hard to explain the relationship I had with him. Maybe it was the fact that I raised him or maybe it was because he's the most unique animal I have ever met. Maybe it was believing in him so hard that I couldn't let myself give up on him despite all of the signs that he couldn't do his job anymore.

Eventually, though, it became very clear that Bam Bam was no longer able to compete. He was miserable and I was miserable and I had to let go of him in order to give him the life he deserved. Letting him go was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. As cheesy as it sounds, I had promised him when he was young and recovering from one of the many surgeries that would ultimately lead to his retirement, that I would always take care of him.

I couldn't just sell him because then I might never know how or where he was. What if something terrible happened to him? He not an easy horse to ride or deal with and I couldn't bear thinking that someday he might end up on a slaughter truck. (I'm not over reacting on this. Non horse people would be shocked if they knew how many show or race horses end up going to slaughter if they are no longer useful.)

An opportunity came up for Bam Bam to go to a ranch to help kids suffering from emotional trauma. The kids work with the horses and the horses teach them about love and understanding.

I follow the ranch's Facebook page and would always be on the look out for pictures of Bam. They post all sorts of pictures of the kids playing with the horses and Bam was never in any of them. As months went by, I had convinced myself that maybe he wasn't useful to them or that he wasn't good with the kids.

I never doubted that he was well cared for, they're very good people. I also have a contract with them that if he doesn't work out, I get to take him back. But as months went by and I never saw pictures of him, I worried more and more that maybe he didn't fit into their program.

Finally, finally, last week I saw a picture of Bam in my Facebook news feed and immediately burst into tears. At work, of course. (Not that I'm on FB at work if my boss is reading this.)

Bam is a total attention whore, so this job is perfect for him.

I could have saved myself months of worrying and heartache if I had just had the guts to contact the woman that runs the ranch. I was so worried that they weren't happy with him, that I couldn't bring myself to ask if they liked him. I sent them a message on FB after they posted his picture and this was the response that I got:

I seriously can't read this without crying and I've read it like a hundred times. My special little horse is helping kids and apparently he's a rock star at it. I knew he'd be great if they gave him a chance, but he can be a little weird at times and needs understanding himself.

I'm so happy that he's made a difference in this little girl's life. He's a special guy and I can't express how relieved I am that he's appreciated and loved for who he is.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fail, Fail, Fail

I swear I was getting back on the running wagon, but life can be so distracting! Especially when there's other things I could be doing that don't involve going out into the blistering desert heat.

I went out with some friends Friday night and had a fabulous time. I didn't get home until well after 11 and had to ride bright and early in the morning. Plus, Prince Charming forgot to give me my wake up call.

It's impossible to run during the day in June in Arizona. It was 109 yesterday and 110 today. So even though I had a friend's 40th birthday bash last night, I tried to limit my sangria (which was the best sangria ever) to like 7 glasses because, by God, I was going to get up and run in the morning.

So I get home from the party and even get all of my running stuff together including remembering to charge my Garmin. I set my alarm for 4AM because I figured if I left by 4:30, I could be back by 6 and sleep for a couple of hours before heading out to the barn to take care of the horses. (I'm in charge of the horses at my barn on Sundays because I participate in a sport which I can not really afford and therefore I work off some of the expense.)

My alarm went off at 4AM. At least I'm assuming it did, because I have no recollection of that taking place. Instead, I became vaguely aware of pushing snooze at around 6.

That's right, I pushed snooze on my phone for 2 freaking hours. I could have gone running and been back in bed by 6 if I had just gotten up when I was supposed to. I guess I need something more motivating than Prince Charming to get me out of bed. Something a little threatening.

That's not my only fail. I had briefly considered doing Juneathon awhile ago. But then I decided that it was probably a little too much to take on. I also had planned on doing a 365 challenge where you do sit-ups and push-ups every day for a year, increasing the number by one every day until you reach 365 on the last day of the year.

Then I totally forgot to do one itty bitty push-up and sit-up yesterday. So now I've totally screwed up my whole year!! I'm thinking that I will just start with Day 2.

Because I'm lame. Sigh.

So all my running shoes did this weekend was help me muck out horse stalls.

At least I got some form of exercise because running around the barn all day is exhausting.

Now I'm off to do a couple of sit-ups and push-ups. I hope I don't break something.