Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Letter to My Leg

Dear IT Band and Wonky Knee,

I have iced.
I have stretched.
I have foam rolled like a mutha fu&*#.
I have pumped you full of Ibuprofen.
I have yoga'd.
I have rested.

Today I shall run and I will need you to help me. You see my dear little leg, we have a schedule to keep and a really fun few months of running ahead of us and we need to work as a team.

For most of my life, I have always hated you. You are too big, too short and not shapely enough.

But now that I have discovered running...I appreciate you (and your twin sister, my right leg) and all the miles you carry my body through...but I need you to cooperate and work with me here. I promise to be good to you...to be more consistent in my training....to up my mileage slowly and to thank you every single day.

And I'll try to shave you more often, cause ya know...it's going to be getting warm soon. And I'm working on making you skinnier after seeing last weekends photos, sorry bout that.

Much love,

Monday, January 30, 2012


Saturday was my my 6th half-marathon. I wasn't sure I wanted to do it with my knee/IT band giving me troubles and after losing my precious Garmin on Friday morning (haven't told that story, I'm still upset about it) which kind of put me in a funk and probably because I depend on it too much.

Which is stupid. I know.

If was my club's race, so I was going anyway to help out....why not run, right? I was NOT excited about the fact that the in-and-back course was uphill for the first half. Yup.

Kara and I started out together...and plugged along for the first half...at one point she screamed at me "what the f&*# is with these hills dude!" I laughed at her crazy ass and kept plugging away. I was actually doing just fine with the slow incline and felt pretty good. Our pace (according to her yelling out times) was hovering around 8:30-8:45/pace which is pretty much where I hoped to be. We hit the turn around point and kept cruising, her foot was bothering her so she dropped back a bit and I kept on trucking. I got kind of lonely towards the end as it was a small race and and that point we had all spaced out on the course. I had NO idea what kind of pace was running which was irritating and liberating at the same time and around mile 9.5 my knee/IT band starting to irritate me, a lot. There was one big hill at the end (so effin rude) and I cruised to the finish where we all bitched about how the course felt uphill the WHOLE time.

Thank you photog, for capturing my thunder thighs in photo #1 and the look of pain in photo #2. Awesome.

Annnnnnnd, Wade and Brian ran with their shirts off, total boyfriends. I swear, those boys compete at everything! 

Our timing system had a little mess-up so I'm still waiting on results but I think I was right around 1:54:XX...I'm happy with that I suppose, I'm happy I ran. My body is pissed off a little bit, but I'll be OK.

I literally limped back and forth between registration/food and the finish line.

I hung around for a while packing stuff up, bringing the full marathoners in and passing out water before we took off to grab lunch and beers.

And I made Grimaldi's pizza my bitch that night. It was amazing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

4 Legged Running

Tomorrow is the Desert Classic Marathon/Half Marathon hosted by my club, the Arizona Road Racers.

I'm excited for the actual event, the process, the race enviroment...all of that.

But I'm NOT excited about the end result of running 13.1 miles. I really hope my IT band holds up. I have been babying it since RnRAZ so I'm hoping the rest + cross-training + easy runs makes the difference.

If it feels stiff tomorrow am, I will drop down to the 5k. I won't feel bad about it and I won't beat myself up over it.

I went for an easy 3 mile run yesterday. As I laced my shoes up I decided to make it a fun run. No watch, easy pace, beautiful weather, calm tunes, and my favorite 4-legged running buddy...

If anyone ever gets bored with running, bring your dog. Watching the excitement in her face brought a whole new meaning to WHY I ran yesterday.  That was also Sadie's furthest run to date!

I have to remember what's on the horizon and prevent injury and burnout...Ragnar Del Sol and 26.2 baby.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shoe Love (obsession)

Oh yes....these are finally in my closet. *love*

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh La La L'Auberge


Birthday Boys Birthday Trip...and the debut of my new camera!

We spent one lovely evening in Sedona this past weekend. We have both been wishing to stay at L'Auberge de Sedona for a few years after dining there about 3 years ago. Hands down, best hotel experience ever. Ever.

From the initial booking to the Valet Man showing us off on Sunday morning, (with bottled water waiting in our cup holders) every detail was flawless. Every hotel should be just like this.

We drove up Saturday morning and stopped at Oak Creek Brewery for some delicious brews and lunch.

And then headed over to check-in...I was pretty excited. I didn't lift a finger the entire time...they unloaded our car, brought our luggage to the Cottage, had the fireplace ready to go (just light the match), music cued up in the room. Scones and coffee were available in the morning and wine tasting with the chef in the evenings. They even brought us an umbrellla Saturday night to get to our dinner reservation and countless other small details that did not go unnoticed and were very much appreciated. The grounds were impeccable, the room was beautiful, the staff polite and charming. I was in awe the entire time. They ALL greeted us by name and even wished Wade a "Happy Birthday".

Courtesy of L'Auberge

And of course...these pooches were pampered as well. Dog beds, fancy water bowls and a customized box full of goodies awaited their arrival. (and a giant water bowl at their feet, hehe)

We took a walk with the pups down to the creek to let the dogs roam, check out the views and play around with the camera....

It was chilly and windy, but we still enjoyed every minute of our stay....we had cocktails in the lounge, dinner and breakfast in the AMAZING creekside restaurant and of course, no trip to Sedona is complete without a beautiful hike before wrapping up our trip. Red soles and doggie paws? Yes please!

 It will certainly not be our last trip back.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birthday Boy

Excuse me, but we are VERY busy celebrating the birth of this boy....like all week...after all, he is VERY important.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh UPS Man

I love the UPS man, especially because of his latest delivery. You see, I have been coveting something for a long time. Months and months and months.

And then, like magic, a special deal popped up on it. And I knew it was meant to be mine.

I work hard, I deserve it. This is my Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary/Just Being Awesome gift to MYSELF. Yup, I bought myself a nice gift...a gift that will keep on giving. And I don't feel guilty one bit.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

108 days...

Yes, 108 days until I run my first FULL marathon.

I just clicked the "register" button on my computer and registered. Well I actually pressed click 8 days ago, but it's taken me this long to gather the courage to tell you.

I was waiting for my husband to get on board because honestly, I need his support. I need him to get up with me on weekends and run 17, 18 and 20 miles with me. I need him to have a crazy strict schedule to fit all these miles in. I need him to whine with me about blisters, hydration and chafing. I need him to talk me down when I start freaking out. I want him to accomplish this goal WITH me.

And I certainly need HIM to hold my hand as I walk to the start line on May 6th, 2012 in Newport Beach, California...home of the OC Marathon. 

I know I could do it alone, but how amazing will it be to share this experience together?

The thought of a start line with a finish line 26.2 loooong miles after makes me feel a lot of things, lots of mixed emotions...mainly nauseous, terrified and full of anxiety. But a little bit of excitement, challenge and finally "joining the club" that so many people are part of.

My main goals are:

1. Finish, injury free.
2. Not shit my pants.  (more worried about that one)

I have told a few people that I registered...including my best friend who recently finished hers...watching her train, race and finish with a smile on her face made me feel 110% on board with this decision. I know it will be hard, but I'm up for the challenge. I know she will be one person that can talk me down when I freak out.

Soooooo, why the OC Marathon?

1. Weather.

I needed one far enough out for proper training, as Arizona does not have any fulls after March/April due to weather.

2. Location.

California was my natural choice for various reasons; weather, ease of travel, and the option to stay a few days after for "recovery" aka beer drinking and being lazy and awesome. And this is part of the course...hellllllo.

3. Date.

Why May? 5 months out...I didn't want to wait until Fall.

4. Course.

Not as flat as AZ, but flat enough so I won't die.

5. Size of Race.

Including all races (5k and half marathon) about 12,500. Large enough for crowd support, a decent expo and for me to get lost in the crowd so people won' even notice me dying at mile 22 and point and laugh.

Official training starts soon...POW!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

7W2R - Week 2

Well...I had a repeat of last week. BUT I have a valid "excuse". I swear.

I got 2 out of 3 done. I would have done one on Friday as planned, but honestly I ran out of time. And I didn't want to be sore for my half on Sunday.

Valid? Yes. Honest? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Good Excuse? No.

So nothing exciting to report. I need to try harder, eat better and run more. I need to follow my running plan as I have in the past and not just "wing it". The side of my fridge is bare and naked, and filling that space with a good solid plan should help me on my day to day motivation level.

This was my week:

Monday: 3.25 mile hike + 7W2R
Tuesday: 4 mile run (weak, should have been 6)
Wednesday: 30 min intervals/5 min CD on trainer + 7W2R
Thursday: 5.75 mile run (good strong run)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest (walked a lot at Tough Mudder)
Sunday: 13.1

Total Miles: 22.85
Total Walking/Hiking: 8+
Total Trainer Time: 35 minutes
Total Days of Strength: 2
Little less mileage than the week before and 10 min less on the trainer. I need to step it up this week.

Next race: 1.28.11 - half mary. First half, uphill, last half, down. Hmm....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Muddy Danglers

Tough Mudder Team Name....and that they were.

Friday Night. 

Dinner at Maggiano's, carbo loading for the Tough Mudder.


Tough Mudder. Awesome and crazzzzzy! 12+ miles, 29 intense obstacles assembled by the British Special Forces, or something like that. They were dirty, cold and wet for 4 hours. We chased them around miles of obstacles, cheering, yelling and heckling anyone who would listen.

This was Sara's idea of getting ready for a full marathon the next day. She is nuts.


RnRAZ, Part Deux.

I won't do a full recap of the course, because I didn't LOVE the course. However, I ran this race for free, with no expectations or goals except to have fun and don't suck too bad. Having said I would never pay for a RnR/Competitor event again...I will say, they did a decent job. We had a new course, new starting location, the full and the half were different locations for the start (like different cities)...but I think the logistics worked. Both races started late, which is a total fail in many peoples minds...but I understand WHY it happened and am sure those kinks would be worked out prior to 2013's race.

Both of my "goals" were achieved. My #1 cheerleader and overall bada** of a husband decided to wake up at 5am with me to pace me (aka, he didn't register and was jealous of my running atferglow I would soon have) after putting his body through the ringer the day before at TM. We were both dyhydrated, not properly carbed up and had tired legs.

Again. No expectations.

Plus, that whole signing up 8 days before was a bit daunting.

The weather was perfect, high 50's and a light cloud cover. The crowds were HUGE and so supportive. People were happy, festive and excited.

As I was running past mile 7, with Wade next to me..I thought back to 1 year ago. My FIRST half marathon, here at RnR. I was so scared, so unsure, yet so excited to be doing this. I was in a different crowd of "runners" this year. Last year I started in corral 14 or 16. I was surrounded by heavy over exuberant women in tutu's, old men shuffling along, 1st timers (me) and a lot of walkers. Nothing against any of that....but it really skewed my vision of this race...is this race more of a parade? I spent a lot of time and energy last year weaving through all those people to keep up a reasonable pace. I didn't know any better.

This year I started in Corral 3. I was surrounded by Nike Tempo shorts, Garmins and a lot of really really nice legs. The people surrounding me as I pounded 13.1 mile of pavement were athletes, they were there with PR's on their minds, they fueled their bodies with GU at mile 7, this was not their first rodeo...they gave the competitive spirit to this event. It wasn't a parade or a festival this year. It was a race. (well kind of, I'm still not very fast but you get the point)

Starting out (Wade, Kara and I) we agreed to run a 9:00/pace as none of us were very prepared and all had the same goals in mind. Finish without injury. Have fun. Finish under 2:00. 

As I mentioned, I didn't love the new course. It was 100% better than the old one that ran through the 'hoods of Phoenix "showcasing" the most hideous parts of our town. There was a slight incline almost the entire time, for the first 10 miles, and that really sucked. The last 3 dipped up and down. We lost Kara around mile 6.5...I turned around and she had disappeared in the crowd. I felt bad. Wade and I asked each other if we should stop and wait, but I knew she would be pissed at us for doing that....so we kept going. I got tired at the end. My legs were just doing what my brain told them to do. My IT band was screaming at me. My chest was burning. Wade was pointing at his Garmin and telling me to keep running faster. I wanted to punch him at mile 11.5.

I had a negative split. I cannot believe it.

My last 3 miles were my fastest. That makes my PR goal for 2012 seem somewhat within reach.

On to the good stuff. Wade and I met up with our friends Erin and Richard (Junk) for drinks and food afterwards...Erin ran the half as well and Junk came for the beers. It was a bum day for a few, Kara had a hurt foot as did Erin and our buddy Brian had a not-so-great race either. Shit happens I guess.

We gabbed, slurped down a few adult beverages, and had some delicious food. I was in a hurry to get back to the finish to see Sara cross the finish line. Except the restuarant was SO busy and our waiter was SO slow, we missed her. I found Brian coming in the last mile...looking sad, defeated and in pain, so I ran with him for a few minutes to help get him to the end. We hopped off the course and into our car to go meet Sara the Marathoner and our friends Ann and Marcel.

Sara has been talking about a doing a full marathon for a while. I knew she would do it. She did it. She killed it. She was SMILING the whole time. She gives me Faith in MYSELF to do one someday as well. She had heart and I'm really proud of her. We celebrated. I was happy to be part of her monumental achievement.

Excellent weekend my friends, excellent.

One more thing....I was left yesterday feeling the want or need of something greater...half's are fun, but I need a new challenge to set my mind on. News to come...I think.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nerdy Runners Unite!

Tonight was my 3rd "official" social activity with the Arizona Road Racers. No pressure or expectations seeing that every other event has had a showing of about 10 people in the past. But I plan on taking my job as serious as I can (and if you know, I'm not too serious) and getting our numbers up and making our social events an actual event vs a pathetic showing of a few random people.

As the biggest and oldest running club in Arizona, we have a pretty decent number of members and have several great and well attended races throughout the year, I'm proud to be a part of it. 

I just got thrown into this mix recently, so I am basically doing what they have done in the past just to get myself comfortable...but once I do, I want to start being creative and doing some fun club events.

That's the point of belonging to a club, right?

Tonight we honored our volunteers and invited all of our members out to announce the winners of our 2011 Grand Prix (year long competition, pretty rad...more to come on that)...and to eat pizza and be nerdy and talk about running.

Last year we had about 10 attendees....this year about 45-50. I'm pretty happy about that.

And my buddy Raj from this post...it was was special day for him, so of course he got a cupcake. 

I have an AMAZINGLY fun weekend ahead of me... my BFF is running her first full marathon so she is in town...something that involves 10+ miles of obstacles (I'm not part of that bad boy) mixed in, and my 5th half marathon....stay tuned!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Favorite Things

Just a few things I have been loving...

My Kindle...and the option for free books.
My Christmas Watch from my Sweetheart.

MAC Fluidline...in a multitude of colors.

Superstar Shampoo.

My newest Blazer.

Yogurt Cherry Pretzels (highly addictive and delish)

Monday, January 9, 2012

7W2R - Week 1

My first official recap at my attempt for getting RIPPED. (insert hulk noise & stop laughing at me)

The plan calls for 3x/week workouts, which I figured would be fairly easy to achieve, and it will....now that I have my ass back into gear....or I will this week anyway.

I was thrown a bit off "ma game" when I was given the opportunity to run RnRAZ just last week...so I switched up my schedule a little bit last week in an attempt to get a few more miles in.

7W2R =   Fast. Effective.

I completed my first workout on Monday, struggling through the pull up section and kicking ass at the rest. Each day calls for 10-15 minutes of cardio/games to follow the basic plan, I skipped it knowing that I get enough cardio with my weekly runs...I walked my dogs instead.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday...it hurt to put deodorant on (don't worry I pained through it) so I didn't end up doing my Wednesday workout until Thursday. FAIL. I only did 2 of 3 workouts. That's ok, better than nothing.

The workout is simple. 4 exercises, 3 sets. They exercises vary each set, but focus on the same muscle group so it's a breeze to get through.


5 chin-ups
10 squats (I added weight)
10 push-ups
10 v-sits

I was a little reluctant after the first day only  because it seemed so short..I thought I couldn't get a burn that quick. I guess it showed me who was boss.

This was my week:

Monday: 7W2R
Tuesday: 5.25 mile run
Wednesday: 4 mile run
Thursday: 40 min intervals/5 min CD on trainer + 7W2R
Friday: 7 miles
Saturday: Rest (aka hangover, whoops)
Sunday: 10 mile run + 3 mile beach cruiser ride

Total Miles: 26.25
Total Trainer Time: 45 minutes
Total Days of Strength: 2

I'm fairly pleased with my miles, my biking and I'm just slightly off goal for strength, one more day.

I just finished another workout, hopefully I'm not hurting tomorrow! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Apparently, I think I'm 21 again
Friday night was date night. Actually, double date night with our fun friends....we met up at Zinburger, dined, wined and laughed. 7 hours later...I was drinking a chocolate shake at Denny's and my husband was wolfing down an Omelet. Classy class.

Best part? We got home at like 4am. Kill me.

However, we had a REALLY REALLY fun time. I can sleep when I'm dead right?

After sleeping in until 9:30am, we got productive and spent some time outdoors, running errands and being adults. We crashed pretty early knowing Sunday was our "long run" day. After being a moron and signing up for RnRAZ last week, I figured I needed to bust out a decent long run. It's been a month since I ran over 7-8 miles, awesome.

It was decent. The weather was perfection. (seriously, who gets to run in a tank and shorts in January?) Wade joined me for part of it so it was helpful to have him alongside. It wasn't my fastest...but it wasn't my worst. I just need to tell myself that this one is for fun. No PR's to achieve, just fun.

We showered and hopped on our cruisers to ride over to Cyn and Jeff's house for some BBQ and football. It was a great day full of things that I love; being active, friend filled, food and beer consuming, and laughing.

Time to sit on my butt until tomorrow. Ugh.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I always try to write my goals down. Each year.

I like lists. I like crossing stuff off those lists even more than the actual list making process...hello crazy. 

I don't make New Year's resolutions because I prefer the actual  meaning of goal vs. resolution. Either way, if someone can achieve something they wish to achieve, then I like both terms.

I usually hide my goals on a word document buried deep within the files of my laptop. These are my goals, things for me to accomplish....or fail at, privately. But with everyone around me putting it out there, I thought it would be a good exercise in holding myself accountable, and honestly why shouldn't I share them?

2012 here I come...


  • Stretch. Foam roll.
  • Strengthen - lean up, use my muscles more. 
  • Ride my bike every week. Outside, or on the trainer. 
  • Run. Run more. Track miles.
  • PR. On something. Or everything. (OK not really)
  • Don't be so stringent.  If I'm supposed to run, and want to spin....spin.
  • Do something new that scares me. (I'm lookin at you Triathlon, full mary)
  • Be healthy. Appreciate my body.

  • Work harder.
(I'll leave the work related goals buried within my word document, no one cares)

  • Try new things. 
    • Food, music, events, books, daily grind.
  • Love more each day. Friends, family, husband.
  • Explore my State. (Sedona yes, you are booked)
  • Travel. Europe. 
  • Unplug. Cell phone/laptop/TV. Use them less.
  • Think twice before buying. Do I need it? No? Walk away...
  • Invest in a REAL camera. And take a class on how to use it.
    • Take more photos.

I turn the BIG 3-0 this year...I have mixed feelings about getting "older". I am happy at where I am in life...but a part of me wants to put a freeze on getting any older. Guess I'll be turning 30 every year until I die. Or I will work on being excited and happy about it...most people I know (over 30) have told me their 30's were the BEST years.

Of course, this list will evolve throughout the year...things will be added, adjusted, dropped off or pushed back. That's OK...starting somewhere is the most important thing.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll...#2

AZ Edition. I said I wasn't going to do it. (BUT) It's in 10 days and like the idiot I am, I went ahead and accepted a comped race entry. Free will get me everytime.

I guess I better prepare for this shit show...

This was MY first half marathon just a year ago...so I'm just a little excited about it, even though it's a giant huge mess of a race. I'll be running it with Kara, as usual. No PR's, no stress...we are just going to soak up the RnR experience - bring on the crazies.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

7 Weeks to Ripped

Remember last week when I mentioned having something I was excited about?

It's a book, it's really simple and because of it, I can barely lift my arms today. Ouch.

Good times.

My friend Brett just launched this book, so of course, I had to give it a try! I'll be recapping each week and maybe posting some pics...maybe.


I am officially old. Yup.

Initially we had planned to celebrate in Phoenix, with friends at a swanky bar....complete with a live band led by a friend of mine. I wanted to wear a sparkly dress, heels and dine out.

That all changed when the seed of snowboarding was planted in my head by my nature loving Hubby. Suddenly fresh snow, campfires and PJ's for NYE sounded a whole lot better.....and it was.

My dreams of being a Snow Bunny were brought to a screeching halt as soon as we arrived at the Mountain. It was a clusterf*ck of people, muddy parking lots, staff that didn't know anything, and yup...they ran out of boots at the rental shop. We were shuttled over to the other side of the Mountain where I received boots and the LAST snowboard and then shuttled back in time to catch the 2nd lesson of the day.

The lesson was a good attempt, the instructor (Ruben) was patient and sweet, but because of it being SO crowded, we didn't accomplish much more than starting and stopping every 5 feet to avoid a random body on the hill. I did however, accomplish falling 4,862,782 times and waking up sooooo sore the next day. Thank goodness (not really) I was a complete lazy ass and didn't exercise all weekend.

 We headed back to the cabin a little early to beat the crowds....cooked steaks, salad and bread.....I drank Champagne (OK, sparkling wine) and Wade had a few beers and we rang in 2012 with Ryan "Tiny" Seacrest. Annnnnnd I fell asleep at 12:05.

The rest of the weekend entailed dog walking, football watching, beer drinking, chili making, UNO playing goodness. 

It was low key, fun and perfect.

BUT....Lesson learned....don't try new things on Holiday Weekends!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 in Review

Welp...here we are. The end of 2011. Where did it go? I could have sworn I was just celebrating the Holidays of 2010.

I guess time flies when you are having fun.

I was out for a run earlier and was reflecting on the past year (I'm so intelligent and full of thoughts, hehe) and what I have accomplished. This time last year, I was prepping for my first race ever. My first. I vividly remember the feelings that would run (no pun) through my head (and stomach) every time I thought about running my first 13.1. Scary. The Unknown. I remember every detail of the night before, the morning of...and the complete high I felt that entire day after I crossed the finish line.

My time wasn't fast. But I did it. I have to remember that when I worry about being faster, being skinnier, being healthier, splits and course maps. At the end of the day, I'm doing something and that something makes me happy.

The racing bug got the best of me. It occupied several weekends, and I'm happy with that.

2 - 5K's
1 - 10K
1 - 15K
1 - 10 Miler
4 - 13.1's
1 - 30K Relay (15K/leg)
1 - Ragnar Relay (<---awesome)

Of course, I had several "PR's" being that I had no previous times to go against (cheat, yes) but my last half marathon of this year was a real big deal to me. After I ran my 1st half a year ago, I couldn't EVER imagine running a race under 2:00 or in the 8:XX pace time. I did it, and I felt rad.

I went from a 2:20 half marathon to a 1:53 half marathon in just less than a year. I shaved off about 7-8 lbs. I learned A LOT, not just about the sport, but about me. I made new friends...I tightened bonds with current ones. I joined a running club, became a Board Member. I found a hobby both my husband and I can enjoy together. My career is going in the direction I want it to go, Wade's new business is booming, we are all blessed, happy and healthy. This is not a brag post (well not to others, but maybe to myself), but a post to myself, to tell ME that I am proud of myself and I can achieve what I want, if I set a goal. My blog will hold me accountable, and my legs and heart will hopefully take me through some more achievements in the next year.

  With meeting goals, you must make new ones. Over the next few days, I will be thinking about my "bucket list" for 201 and what I want to accomplish over the next year. I know it will include running, racing, cycling and some other cool stuff.

Happy New Years!