Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January's New to You Cross Training Challenge

One of my major  goals for 2012 was to find a balance between consistent miles AND cross training. Over the summer I tried to incorporate all of P90x program, but what ended up happening is I did zero running (9 miles in June, then 52 in July... ballin!)

Kim @ (Just) Trying is for Little Girls kicked off 2012 with a New to you Cross-training Challenge where you try 1 new thing every month. Brilliant.

I knew I wanted my January cross training would be to do the bootcamp at work taught by one of my personal trainer friend's Joseph. Despite the fact our bootcamp has been going on since the summer, I haven't taken advantage of it due to wanting to run instead and build up mileage.

This month I went 4 times to get a feel for everything- you choose what station you want to go to- 60 sec of that activity, then the whistle blows and you have to do a lap around the garage--- probably 150 meters?

  • medicine balls for wall slams or russian twists
  • tire attached to rope for running with it
  • weighted bags
  • agility ladders
  • kettle bells
  • mat for core
  • resistance band for bis and tris
  • circular resistance band to wrap around legs for side lunges
  • heavy duty rope around a cylinder that use your own body weight for back, tris, bis (holy crap this is intense)
  • jump rope
  • 'battling ropes'
  • and lets not forget ending each camp with jumping jacks, wall sits, burpees, and some type of lunge.
Looking back this was a GREAT cross trainer because the accountability is definitely there with all my friends going, its offered 4x a week, and although it SEVERELY is painful to do so... if I choose I can run afterward. I've done this twice and saying my legs feel like bricks during the run is a complete understatement. 

Now to get creative and even MORE out of my comfort zone for February's challenge.. I'm hoping in a few months I'll be able to say this:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Motivation- Trying to get better.

I have the fortunate opportunity Monday-Thursday to attend a 45 min bootcamp class that is offered at work during the week. This has been going on for MONTHS, but rarely do I go since I just run instead. Last week I went to bootcamp after work
 As you can see the bootcamp is held in work garage basement, so it has a tendency to get a little warm by the end (for me since I heat up so easily)  I didn't think it was a big deal just to leave straight from   bootcamp in my shorts and tank top, and whip out my run before going home. 

My legs were so numb from bootcamp + being cold, I had no idea of my pace and looked down when I hit the first mile.... 6:42-- yikes. Now I know very well I can run  JUST 1 mile that fast if I'm doing a mile run, but I never go out that fast for a multiple mile run. I didn't think much of it and naturally my pace slowed down because right after mile 1 is .5 mile all uphill- I ended up cutting the run short and did 3.5 miles vs. 5 and finished with a 7:20 pace. 

A few days later I was talking to B and I mentioned the run and her reaction "holy crap that is really fast" kind of threw me off and got me thinking... I seriously don't push myself enough. Now I'm realistic and know I won't be whipping out 6:42 miles, but I think its extremely do-able to work on speed mixed with endurance so I can keep a faster pace for the beloved half marathon distance. My secret goal for the Arizona 1/2 a few weeks ago was to go sub 1:50- BUT sadly, side stitch / breathing issues made that goal go out the window. Austin is my redemption race, however the course profile kind of scares me
It looks intimidating, however when you see the difference in the change in elevation, its only 300 feet. I guess race day will tell because I'm not the best at reading course maps. 

So what can I do to get faster? 
First off I do need to firm up- inches, not what the scale says. I'm going to start doing 1 burst training workout (minimum) a week to jump start fat loss. I know for a fact when I was doing burst training on the treadmill (it was easier to keep track of pace vs. outdoors) it helped me with speed as well. 
My go to for burst training ideas is a wellness physician here in Nashville area, Dr. Josh Axe http://www.draxe.com/burst-training/. This man knows so much about fitness, clean eating, healing yourself through hollistic practices etc. He actually JUST has his last meeting with the tv execs  to get his own show on Oprah's network- *fingers crossed*

Second I need to start paying attention more closely to what I eat. My body is greatly affected by my diet. If i'm not careful, I can easily gain 10lbs in 1 month... yes you read that right, 10lbs. On the positive side if I'm strict with what I eat I can lose 10lbs in 1 month (I've done it before but it takes some serious discipline for me). So its back to limiting dairy (except my beloved greek yogurt), as well as searching for a complete whole food based protein powder to do for either breakfast or after a run.

First up... 

Chocolate Vega Whole food  Health Optimizer
  • I'm going to be brutally honest--- I mixed this with chocolate soymilk, chobani plain yogurt, ice, peanut butter, cinnamon (all my staple ingredients) + chia seeds --- it was DISGUSTING. I drank it after a 9.5 mile run so I was able to choke it down because I know my body needed it, but YUCK. I'm so glad I just bought the one sample, however I'm nervous because I also bought a strawberry version of the whole food optimizer, fingers crossed.  
Do you have a complete nutrition protein powder that you actually enjoy the taste of?
  • Chia seeds are going to be new for me. 
  • I bought them because they are always being talked about as having great benefits for endurance athletes (more energy),  a great source for Omega 3s ( I don't eat ANY fish, so I'm always adding in food to get my omega 3s), great source of calcium, balancing blood sugar, as well as helping with weight loss. So far everything I've seen requires you to get the seeds wet, so they are ideal adding to water, yogurts, oatmeals, or adding in baking etc. In the last day I've added it to my smoothie as well as two different flavors of yogurt, SUPER easy. 
What are some ways you incorporate chia seeds into your diet? Are there other seeds you use?

  • The last part of my diet I'm working on (it's all about baby steps to be successful) is to limit my beer consumption. If you're new to my blog, I'm a beer snob aficionado- and enjoy a good brewski here and there. Lately I've been going out to eat a lot with friends- I'm not going to stop going out, but what I promised myself I'll stop doing until Austin is not getting 2 beers each time I go out. My water consumption is just fine, but I guess it will be EVER better since I'll only drink that to save on calories, carbs, and keep money in my wallet. 

So I know that none of these items seems ground breaking or life changing, but the more realistic you can be with yourself in regards to making changes, the more they'll transfer over to actual lifestyle changes and habits. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- race photos

Finally was able to get  copies of my race photos from RnR Arizona. I haven't had this many photos to choose from in a long time, so here are just the decent ones. It looks like I'm really enjoying my race, ha, pictures can be so deceiving.

Now what should I order?!!?

Pre-race with matching cheetahs 

LOVE that there are palm trees in the background

At the relay exchange point 

Probably the most accurate depiction of how I was feeling--- LOVE cacti in background

 What what- some type of arm definition going on there 

It's a weak "thumbs up" I was going for- but I must going somewhat fast if my hair is all crazy like that 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What I learn from my bathroom mirror and randoms.

  • It has been insanely gorgeous here in Nashville the last few days. On Sunday I went for a mid afternoon run, although the sun was tucked behind the clouds, it was still quite humid...... in JANUARY. Finished 8.35 miles with a 8:21 total pace - Time 1 hr 9 min & 47 sec. 
  • Generally I just come home, stretch, then immediately shower- this time I looked in the mirror and realized two things---- I sweat A LOT (look at how drenched my hair is) 
  • And I have boob sweat... not even boob sweat, but nipple sweat-- they're poking out to say Hello to all of you! 

  • I guess I need to start doing more bathroom pics because I keep learning things! 
  • Ever since I moved back in June, I've changed grocery stores due to location- Saturday I decided to visit my old favorite, Kroger, and man did I hit the jackpot
 Frozen goods
 broccoli florets (bc who likes cuts?), boneless chicken breast, corn, onions. (already have my frozen peppers which are a HUGE staple when sauteeing veggies) 

 The quick 'go tos
chobani & fage yogurt, 2 "new to me" Lara bars flavors- gingersnap and pecan pie, whole wheat bagel thins w/ PB for bfast during week, everything bagel thins I use to make egg bfast sandwiches with for quick dinner or weekend bfast. 

The produce 
container of strawberries, 2 avocados, 2 packages of basil, romaine hearts, bag of kiwi, 2 red & 2 orange bell peppers

The indulgences
Salt & vinegar pringles, cheese and garlic croutons, homemade style ranch, nutella, Coke flavored gummy bears, angel food cake w/ whipped cream icing (it was only $1.49, how can I say no?)

Guess who much I spent?!?!

All this for $52. What a steal. They were having a special on bell peppers, 4 for $5! I would have bought more, but considering I buy for myself only, didn't think I could eat them in time before they go bad. 
  • I found more time wasters to add to my list: 
  • I installed skype last night on my computer via my dad's suggestion--- what a hoot. I had a conversation with him while hes working in Pennsylvania and then my mom back home in Ohio. 
  • It was funny because my parents haven't been to visit since May, so they have no idea what my apartment looks like. My mom kept asking what things were in the background on my walls, so I gave her a mini tour of my bedroom, as well as introduced her to my roommate Adam- it was cute because she said to him how we're just like twins (we look NOTHING alike) and he agreed--- silly boys
being silly over labor day 
  • While having so much fun skyping, I decided to download "Tango" on my droid--- its like Iphones "facetime"- so when you call them, IF they have tango, you can basically just skype them. 
  • My pinterest is blowing up- I only follow 44 people right now, but both my brother and sister in law recently joined and have been pinning maniacs- which naturally shows up in my 'feed' and makes me want to pin even more. When will I even have time to make all this stuff?
  • I sent an invite to my mom, but apparently its telling her she needs to have facebook timeline first. She said she was still able to look around on it and when she looked down at the clock she realized 2 hours had passed--- story of my life. 
  • My words with friends obsession has calmed down a bit and am now only playing with my parents, friend from home and redonk runner- during our game the other day Ashley said I should check out scrabble with friends. I finally recognized my addictive personality and said I already have too many time wasters that I need to control, I don't need another one. 
Thats enough randomness for today, Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Look what I found...

Earlier this month I wrote a post about not having any "guns" worth writing home about. I decided that I would at least try to be more disciplined in doing one arm workout a week- which I'm happy to report I've been successful at so far.

My go to workout for upper body is P90x "shoulders and arms" because I can do all the moves, it keeps my interest, and I'm not exhausted thinking "I can't go on..." at the end.

Anywho-- before my run yesterday I was so excited about the pristine weather -55 with a slight "night breeze"- I categorize night breeze as something similar to the breeze off an ocean- not chilly, just cool enough to keep you comfortable while sweating- that I took a photo of what I was able to wear

Now so many other bloggers have perfected the bathroom mirror picture, that I figured I would give it a whirl ...

I coordinate my shirt to my camera... 

For those who haven't figure it out yet--- I'm completely random and I'd like to think at times, funny. One of my faves is making goofy faces. Below is my 'signature' look that I've been making since I was about 15- no idea why I do it, but I get a laugh from someone everytime this beauty crosses my face. 
Put it this way, someone saw this photo on the internet about a year ago, and sent it to me saying they found my dog twin....
bhahaha - moving on to the actual point of this post...........

So during my bathroom room mirror photo shoot I noticed a few things:

  1. I need to clean my mirror
  2. When taking bathroom mirror pics I need to make sure my bedroom in the background is picked up or all my 'piles' are out of view
  3. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I noticed - <drum roll please>

I'm getting definition in my arms!!! Yes I know its nothing crazy, or even that impressive, but I have lines now- woot woot. Pretty soon I may be able to fit into an extra small arm sleeve, or <GASP> maybe someday a small!!

In the spirit of finding things, I'm hoping that before bikini season I will 'find' a nice 6 pack-- all the coughing I've been doing the last month has left me with quite an impressive 2 pack, so gaining the extra 4 pack shouldn't be too hard... right?!!?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rock n Roll Arizona (Race Recap)

State #23 Arizona
Weather- perfect, 50s, partly sunny

Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico are 3 states I have purposely been saving until winter to run due to the high temps. I ADORE warm weather, just not when I'm running.... especially not when I'm racing. Although I'm not a fan of the RnR series as a whole, I chose this particular race because it fit nicely into my schedule, and all the people that were going to be there. It also helps that B was finally able to join me in my adventures (we haven't traveled for a half marathon together since August, Chicago)

One of the great aspects of Phoenix is they have this rail system that will take you all over the surrounding areas for fairly cheap. Once B and I landed, we left the airport, took a shuttle to the rail, and made it to the expo in fairly decent (and more importantly, uneventful) time. 

This is my race face 

Had the opportunity to meet Endorphin Dude back in Oct, was cool to see him on the promotional poster 

PF Changs was the sponsor and they had a dragon set up at expo... come to find out people actually ran with it the entire race!!

I told myself I wouldn't purchase anything at the expo because I didn't need extra stuff, but also we had our luggage with us since it was out of the way to go to our hotel before the expo (or so we thought) and I didn't want to be there too long lugging everything around. I already knew that after this race it would be time to retire my shoes and get a new pair, so instead of waiting till I got back from the race and test out some Brooks for the first time, I decided to just get the updated pair of my Saucony Progrid Guides... I present to you the 5 series

Its quite different from the 3 and 4 I ran in previously. From their website:
Saucony’s go-to training shoe for runners seeking lightweight stability, the Guide 5 arrives a full 1.5 oz. lighter than its predecessor version! ProGrid™ foam running from heel to toe provides the ideal blend of cushion and responsiveness, and an 8mm offset encourages a smooth transition with less impact. Weight: 9.1 oz.

I'll be excited to test them out on my first day-to-day run- since I didn't buy them at Fleet Feet, I'll be s.o.l. if they dont' offer the same amount of support as my previous shoes... fingers crossed. 

Finally left the expo and after many adventures HERE, we made it to the correct hotel, got everything ready for the morning, and had a few beers and food before heading to bed at the ripe hour of 9:30pm- in my defense, Technically its 10:30pm cst.

Although I woke up several times in the night with a coughing fit, (one of which I had to stay out in the hall till I was done) It was the first night's sleep I had in over 2 weeks where I actually felt RESTED. I'm not really sure what is going on with my body, but I've been sick for a little over 2 weeks and I have ZERO energy... constantly feeling like I could fall asleep at any moment (praying its not mono)

After my alarm goes off at 5:20am, I do my normal routine of getting ready, eating, hydrating etc so we can all  be ready and out the door by 6am. The 6 of us (me, B, other B, L, Chris, Jason), hop on the rail to head to the half marathon start- only to find that the rail runs LITERALLY through the start line... poor planning Rock n Roll.

Since apparently none of us are the greatest at reading maps, we're not really sure where the half fanatic photo meet up is, so we just decide to do our own pre-race photos.
Strike a pose!
Couldn't get the "demon look" out of our eyes, so lets just say this is how you know we're ready to run. 

Jason and Chris

We end up walking around a bit, and I learned that apparently when you match, people think you are race officials or something. We had several individuals walk up to us asking where the race start was or other questions that although we knew the answers to, it was strange that they were asking us out of all the people. 
I also learned that the camera crew LOVE matchy matchy
I didn't get the throwaway memo 

Apparently B, B, and L don't stretch, weird right?!?! Me... I HAVE to  or i'll have hip issues- lesson learned the hard way

We cycle through port-o-potty's one more time before heading to our corrals -- note to people that are still new to racing, OR have yet to catch on: When there is a large group of port-o-potties in a linethe closest line to you will always be long, if you willing to take a little extra effort and walk to farther port o potties in the same group, you will cut your wait time in 1/2. What looked like a huge cluster and potentially a 15-20 min wait, was less than 5 min for us since walked a bit farther. This ceases to amaze me that people don't catch on on. 
Other B was last to get out bathroom, so unfortunately, not in the photo. 

I never blogged this because I wanted to save face if it didn't pan out- but originally when I signed up for this race I had every intention, and ability, to break into the 1:40s- thus I put that time on my expected finish and was originally going to start in corral 4.  Since B & L had put a faster time as well, they were starting in 5, so I figured starting one back and waiting around with everyone would be fun, and I didn't really think 1:40s was realistic anymore with my stupid congestion / cough/ breathing thing going on. 

For whatever reason, race start was delayed 10  minutes (I heard it was much much longer for the marathon start on other side of town), so we had plenty of time to be goofy. I entertained everyone with my super sweet dance moves, but politely declined a few offers to take videos so I could post for you all. Sorry guys, I just really don't think you're ready to see all that my dancing has to offer....

When there were a few minutes left till the gun went off, my Garmin had a seizure and although it was fully charged, it decided to keep turning off and on, off and on, repeatedly till it just decided to stay off

Its one thing to run a race Garmin-less, its another to expect it to be working and then crap out with less than 5 minutes to the start--- mini anxiety attack. Now I wonder if my Ipod will short out too because it wasn't connected to Ls charger she let me borrow--- agh!!

*complely side note- I had a few people, including my fellow matchy matchy folk, ask where in the world I got a cheetah head band that went perfectly with my runningskirt. I got this from Chica Bands back in May @ the  Geist 1/2 expo since I wore the same.exact.outfit. Generally I stock up on them at expos because they have the 3 for $30 bands, what a steal!  Looked and worked good then, looked and worked good now! End side note* 

Right before our corral was supposed to be released to start the race, the rail is going to be crossing the start line soon so we have to sit around and wait. I don't necessarily mind the waiting part, what I minded was there was NO CLOCK at the race start so I had no idea how much I would be 'behind the clock' to get assessment of my pace since Garmin died on me. To top it off I turned on my Ipod to test it, and it immediately said battery low--- well well well Arizona, looks like you are not starting out as planned. 

Eventually the rail passes through and we're off. It was quite a neat experience to be at the front of the pack, no bobbing or weaving, but also nothing to really listen to. Randomly about 1/2 way into the first mile, my garmin magically turns on and starts tracking my pace--- weird. I deleted the workout and decided I would wait until I hit the first mile and start it up so at least I know my pace- and that is what I do. 

Just as I suspected, judging by my pace in the 2nd mile, my first mile was sub 8, stupid Lisa, when will you learn? I'm already having trouble breathing and I'm not sure if its because I was going faster in comparison to other half marathons, or the fact that I can't breathe through my nose... or both??

Shortly before mile 3 I see the PF Changs dragon!!! Once I caught up to it I asked one of the back runners if they were going to be carrying it the whole way--- yup. they didn't have bibs on so maybe they were just getting paid to carry it?!?!

The head with the ball in it- I can't imagine running while carrying a stick, so kudos

Sadly that was probably the most exciting part of the race for me. Normally if my music dies on me or I forget it, I'll listen to conversations of runners around me to keep me entertained, today everyone decided they would just keep to themselves and it was SILENT. I finally gave in around mile 4ish and turned on my music and would just deal with it if it died later on. 

I never claimed to be good at math- I was trying to figure out what my actual time was based on how far back I was from the clock, and the fact that my garmin is 1 mile behind since I started it right at mile 1- apparently that was too many variables to figure out exactly, so I just estimated that I was about 10 minutes off (which is what it turned out to be!) 

This was the first race I ever decided to do ABC goals
A- Break into the 1:40s
B- Get a new PR (anything under 1:51:56)
C- Go sub 1:55

I don't even remember palm trees being there 

Up until mile 8 it appeared I was on pace to break into the 1:40s- although I had to stop every so often to catch my breath, I wouldn't allow myself more than 15 sec, so it didn't eat too much time- even with my bathroom break around mile 5ish. 

Somewhere around mile 8.5 everything fell apart. I was having issues breathing right away, but I guess not being able to breath through my nose and just using my mouth caught up to me. Out of no where I got a killer side stitch that WOULD NOT go away. No amount of stretching or controlled breathing would lessen the pain, so I had to resort to walking- only problem was that the pain would resurface within a minute of running after the walking, so I was kind of screwed.

Annoyingly the rest of my race was spent running 2, MAYBE 3 minutes, followed by walking. I knew my mom was tracking my time, so I sent her a text about my breathing so she would understand if suddenly my pace drastically slowed down.  I realized that as much as running in pain sucks, I can tolerate and potentially push through that, however when it comes to  breathing issues and stitches, I can't. Up until the finish line  I kept cursing at how great my  body felt and how I wasn't tired, but yet I just couldn't shake the stitch. I had no idea what my accurate time was, but I knew my A goal was out the window, and possibly my B goal. 

In the last mile I had a brain fart and forgot that my watch was 1 mile behind- when I looked down and saw the time I thought, "wow I can still break into the 1:40s if I push" so I sped up and ignored my stitch. About 1 minute late I came back to reality and remembered I had to add about 8ish minutes to make up for the first mile not documented-- therefore, no chance of breaking into 1:40s so I literally said 'screw this' and started walking again. HAHA pathetic I know. 

I'm pretty sure the last mile, including the chute, was the longest mile of the race. I knew the route well since we had walked it the previous day to our hotel, which is why I think it made it more unbearable to know how much farther I had to go.I high fived every little kid with their hand out to pass the time. I hate to admit this.... but I walked in the last mile. Yes I know it shouldn't be a surprise considering I walked from mile 3 on during entire race, but I generally try to push through it and give a good last mile--- not today. 

I waited until seeing the Mile 13 sign before picking it up, and even then it was hard to go much faster. Crossed the line, ambivalent to what the clock said, grabbed my medal and water, and immediately walked over to the fence to keel over and die get my breathing squared away- I must have sounded like an asthmatic fat kid. 

Within 1 minute of finishing, mom sent me a text with my official time 1:54:24--- how about that, I got my C goal after all. 

Quick Rant: 
Here is where the conflict comes in- I had a sucky race. Even before mile 8.5 hit, I just never could control my breathing and I consistently had to walk. I've had some people say "it's still an awesome time, you should be happy" Well then I can't help but think- If I can fall apart and take a bathroom break, text, and walk every few minutes, then 1:54 is NOT a good time for me because apparently I'm capable of running much faster. I'm just so used to running in the 1:50s, that its just always expected / anticipated- then I use my time as a determinant of if the race was good or not. I NEED to step it up and see what I'm actually capable of, I think only then will I be satisfied with a race entirely. 
End Rant. 

After hanging up phone with mom I grab my food- normal post race Rock n Roll stuff, only this time they had many different flavors of the Snickers marathon bars- normally its always the same crunchy tasteless flavor, but I tried something new and I think I'm in love... its chocolately, chewy, caramely, salty, and sweet goodness! aka Caramel nut rush- seriously, try it. 

I knew B, L, & other B were planning to run together, so I go over toward the finish line and wait for them. Despite my height advantage when looking for someone, L spotted me first, sans B & B. Both ladies were experiencing pain in different areas- other B in her calf, and my B in her hip (once we got back to TN she found out she has a stress fracture in her hip and she is going to be on crutches for 6 weeks--- I cannot imagine taking that long of a break, so pray for a speedy recovery)
We try to weave through the crowd to get out of the finisher area, but some Rock n Roll workers genius idea of having family and friends be in the finisher area and NOT in the family meeting area made it a slow "i want to rip my hair out" kind of experience- we even lost other B in the process. (thank goodness for her and I carrying our cell phones)

In our process of searching for other B 

We finally find her and now the guessing game begins of where do we need to go to get to the rail and back to our hotel. There are ZERO signs, and our only saving grace was having someone else ask a security guy and we just eavesdrop on where he is telling them to go. 

After quite a long walk we make it to the rail and finally back to our hotel
We actually didn't plan the ladder in height affect 

All in all the race was okay.

  • Weather was seriously perfect. I was never too hot, or too cold. It was just right
  • The half marathon and marathon had 2 different courses included different start and finish, so even though it was a Rock n Roll event, once you started running it was never too crowded
  • Where we stayed was RIGHT on the rail, the rail dropped us off 100 feet from start line, which made being from out of town easy. 
  • Views in the distance of Cacti and mountains
  • Relatively flat and easy course
  • For a rock n roll event, course support was relatively low (i think maybe because there were 2 different courses?)
  • Not that many stages of music (this doesn't bother me since I listen to my ipod, but it was something i noticed)
  • HUGE cluster that was the finish line and finish area- it took us over 30 minutes to exit
  • No signs pointing us to the rail until it was clear in the distance, then we saw a sign- gee thanks
  • start line crossed the rail tracks, so we had to wait on it before our corral was released. 
If you do decide to do this race, you can get around on the rail alone, if its a quick in and out trip- it will take you to the expo, good eats, and your hotel if its near the rail. If you are wanting to stay an extra day to explore like we did, it might be best to get a rental car so you can see other  surrounding areas- Scottsdale, Chandler etc. 

State #23 Done
Official time 1:54:24
didn't show places for some reason
Updated splits now that garmin is working

Mile 2- 8:05
Mile 3- 8:16
Mile 4- 8:29
Mile 5- 9:56 (bathroom break)
Mile 6- 8:38
Mile 7- 8:29
Mile 8- 8:54
Mile 9- 9:23
Mile 10- 8:52
Mile 11- 8:53
Mile 12- 8:51
Mile 13- 8:40
.16       - 7:07

next up: Austin, Tx - Livestrong 1/2 marathon

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All things random about Arizona

As I was starting to collect my thoughts for the Rock n Roll Arizona race recap, I realized that so many random things happened that weren't relevant to a race, so I would recapture everything in a separate post... in bullets to streamline the actual race report.

  • Never been to Arizona... EVER, so I had to capture in all the scenery
Desert from the flight 

Goodbye 19 degree Nashville weather, hello 60s Phoenix 

A stubby short Cactus!!

Scenery was gorgeous 

Walking 2 miles to "our hotel", luggage in tow, passed by ASU stadium, which was also the finish line 

Outside of ASU stadium

  • After expo we decided to take the rail to downtown Tempe to explore and get some good eats. We randomly met these  guys on the rail, Scott & Pedrum, talked with them very briefly, then decided to walk around and have beer / food with them for a few hours. Scott was racing, and Pedrum  was there for moral support. Since they were Canadian and we couldn't easily just swap numbers, we exchanged Facebooks (yes classy in this stalker age society) to keep in contact with over the weekend. I had already talked with Rebecca W aka "other B"  about joining her in doing a back to back in June,  RnR Seattle  + Scotiabank Vancouver 1/2 , and since they live in Vancouver, I'm now planning a meet up with them again. (Oh how I just love the friendliness of runners)  
  • After lunch with the boys B looked up our hotel and google maps said it was 1.5 miles from our location, so we decided to walk and enjoy the scenery (which is where the above photos are from) Turns out it was much farther, just over 2. We are staying with other B and her sister L, so they text me about 10 min before we get there by foot, saying that they are checked in and our room  is 421. We get to room 421, knock on the door, and someone else answers. I call B... turns out we just walked to the WRONG Aloft hotels-- for the record there are 2 Alofts- one in Phoenix, and one in Tempe... mis-communication at its finest
"Ok so you're at the Aloft thats a $14 cab ride away?!?"
  • Somehow B got injured during the race- not  injured as in she fell- more so repetition caused some type of injury with her hip that we're waiting to see what the doctor says. After the race it progressively got worse and she was moving at a snail's pace. On Monday we had to take a taxi to Walgreens to get her crutches to take the weight off
The boys figuring out what the proper height needs to be
Stealing one of her crutches
  • Speaking of cabs, in Phoenix they have clean air cabs, all Prius', so neat and odd at the same time- also, every driver we had was a well educated, clean cut, middle aged American, again odd.  
  • Above pictures are us in the In -n- Out Burger parking lot, first time for everyone!
Behold "In-N-Out"

Meal wasn't bad, HOWEVER, they don't have bacon in their establishment, WHAT?!?!

  • Our flight was delayed 2 hours and we didn't find out till we got to the airport and noticed how our flight wasn't on the departure screen- after asking the attendant about our flight he just said "oh ya, its now leaving at 7pm vs. 4:55"- I wanted to be like "where is my text notification?!!?" Oh it came.... almost 1 hour later. 
  • One perk of B being on crutches is we got to be boarded with all the wheel chair people, which translates into being in the first row with PLENTY of leg room- thanks B. 
  • I sat next to this extremely good looking gentleman who at first talked normal, then made a phone call and he had a full blown Irish accent, and the ENTIRE time we talked to him, probably about 1.5 hours, there was NO accent. He also first mentioned his ex girlfriend, then later it became his ex boyfriend--- so strange. I did learn a lot about the process of someone becoming a Buddhist monk though (he worked in Nepal for 6 months helping out by teaching them English and hygiene) - so although I couldn't figure out what was going on with him, I at least learned something. 
  • I don't think I can properly do this trip justice, but there was a lot of  adventure and random meetings of people- I did have fun.  Although it was hard having to rearrange plans and go at a slower pace for 1.5 days to accommodate B's injury, I think it better prepared me to be a mother in regards to taking care of someone, and of course... my ongoing quest for learning better patience :) 
Report to come soon....