Thursday, January 27, 2011


30-Day Challenge - Day 2:  Where You'd Like to be in 10 Years

Umm...  Well... Let's see...

I have always hated this question.

I've been asked this in job interviews time after time and I have never been able to answer it honestly because, quite frankly, I HAVE NO IDEA.

How about basking in early retirement and wasting away in Margaritaville (mmm... margariiiiiitttaaasss)?  Now that sounds like a great plan!  But realistically?  As long as I'm happy and at peace with the life choices that I have made along the way, I'm not too worried about where I land in 10 years.  I think everyone knows that I just like to enjoy each day as it happens, make the most of it, find the silver lining (because, yes, there always is at least one!).  I'm not much of a planner and I love that!  I feel like I contradict myself because I'm a total control freak about a lot of things, but I hate to plan ahead for anything (unless it involves traveling).

Sure, I could say that in 10 years I want to be "happily married with 2.7 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence, making $100k per year," but I think you all know me well enough to know that I'm not even sure that I want those things (well I could deal with the $100k salary, of course!).  People tell me that someday it'll hit me like a ton of bricks - that I'll get the itch to settle down and procreate.

But so far, that bug hasn't bitten me.

Which recently has made me ponder... Why haven't I been bitten by that marriage/children/settle-down-and-procreate bug yet??  I mean, am I missing something here?  Am I biologically wired to ever want those things??  Am I still that jaded from TheEx that I no longer believe that 2 people can truly remain happy together forever and ever amen, despite the fact that my grandparents, parents, and all but one of my aunts & uncles are still married?  I certainly don't come from a world of "broken homes" and "non-traditional" families, so I honestly can't figure out why I don't actively desire these things.

Where do YOU want to be in 10 years?  Do you have The Itch?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All the Single Ladies ("Day" 1)

30 Day Challenge:  Day 1 - Your Current Relationship (If Single, Discuss How Single Life Is)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love being single.  I was in such an unhealthy on-and-off relationship for such a long time (nearly 4 years) that for the past 2-2 1/2 years, I've been completely content being on my own.  Having an awesome roommate and an always-entertaining, crazy, deaf dog to keep me company probably helps.  Having Suzanne and Percy in my life, how could I possibly get lonely?!?

I've been on a handful of dates, had a handful of short-lived "flings" (what else can I call them, it's not like they were actual relationships), but so far, nothing has "stuck".  A lot of girls my age wouldn't be okay with that.  Sure I occasionally have a moment where I would like to share a moment or an event or an experience with someone besides my dog or my Blackberry.  But, for the most part, I'm happy.  I'm having fun, enjoying each day as it's thrown at me.

But what about the dates?  The "flings"?  The whatever-it-was-while-it-lasted's?

Well, there's not a lot to tell.  But here are a few snapshots into the date-dabbling that I have done... (I'm borrowing some ideas/formatting from Shaka.  Sorry, girlie.  It's hard not to when it comes to this topic!)

Nope, not a dentist, though that's still what I think of on the rare occasion that his name crosses my mind.  This is actually his last name.  But because I have ZERO ties to him anymore, I'm comfortable using his actual name.  Toothman was your typical car salesman:
    He lied (told me he was single). 
    He cheated (took me out a handful of times, meanwhile maintaining a relationship with is LIVE-IN girlfriend of 5 years). 
    He most-likely stole (he did get fired from the dealership where I met him, partly because he was writing shady deals).

But there was one thing about him that was awesome.  His car...  And not even just because of what he drove...  But because it was TheEx's dream car. 

And I can all-but-verify that TheEx saw me get out of Toothman's car one night in Old Town.  Hells-to-the-yeah.

The Baseball Player
Part of me still thinks this one was a little too short-lived, but we had a lot of fun that summer and parted on relatively good terms so I have no hard feelings.  We caught up briefly last spring and ultimately developed a professional relationship at my last place of employment.  Last I heard he's in a fairly serious relationship and seems happy.  He's a fun, sweet, adorable guy - good for him! 

The Firefighter
Simply stated, this went from 0-60 then came to a screeching halt.  When we stared hanging out, we were inseparable for 3-4 weeks.  He wanted to be with me all of the time.  I tried to play it cool, play the game, occasionally be unavailable.  But since we were neighbors at the time and could see each other's comings and goings, it was hard to be unreachable, unavailable.  Especially once he got comfortable enough to show up unannounced and just walk in.  (Oh yes, it happened.  More than once.  Mind you, I was never made it a habit of leaving my door unlocked, but sometimes I'd run out to my car or for the mail and not realize I didn't lock it when I came back inside.  Or I'd know I was leaving again in a little while, so why bother locking up?)  The Firefighter made his exit almost as abruptly as his entrance into my life.  I still hear from him on occasion, but he's a lost cause.

Snuggle Buggle 
Hahahah, that never gets old!  Snuggle Buggle was fun and I can honestly say that I do miss spending time with him.  I'm not sure if it was timing or our personalities or what (though I do have my opinions, of course), but clearly we weren't on the same page.  I had times over the last year when I'd be upset about how things panned out with Snuggle Buggle, but ultimately it just wasn't quite right.  We're still friendly and on the rare occasion that we get together to catch up, we always have a blast. 

Almost Heaven
Loooong story that I'm not 100% comfortable writing about.  Suffice it to say that I thought I had "found The One."  But timing is everything and there are a lot of reasons why things with him couldn't be what I wanted.  He's a great person who deserves a lot better than the hand he's been dealt thus far in life.  I genuinely believe that he is on his way to finding true happiness.  Much love to you friend!

I'm taking a risk writing about this one since we're still getting to know each other, and there's a good chance that someday he'll actually see this blog.  But I have to share...  We met at Saddle Ranch the weekend before Christmas.  We were at a bar.  It was loud, and I was drunk.  And I swear he told me that his name is Lorenzo.  It's not.  Or perhaps he did tell me that his name is Lorenzo because he didn't expect to ever see me again??  But lo and behold, we're still talking.  At some point I plan to ask him if I made that up in my head or if he did actually introduce himself by a false name (hey, I've done it!)...  

Ahh, what a fun little trip down Memory Lane!

30 "Day" Challenge - The Intro

I started my blog as a way to track and journal my training for my first-ever (but certainly not my last) half-marathon.

But now that it's all said and done, what do I write about??  

Sure, I've got PLENTY to say about all sorts of things - ask anyone who knows me, and they'll assure you that I never shut up.  And, on the rare occasion that I do stop talking, my friends worry and want to know what's wrong with me. 

But now what??  What do I write about?  Where do I start?

I decided to "steal" this from Simply Shaka because as I read through it, I felt as though I could use it as a tool to learn a little (or maybe even a lot) about myself.  But instead of blogging every day for 30 straight days, I figure I'll complete this at my own pace.  Some days I may tackle more than one topic.  Other days I may not bother at all.  And I'm sure that I'll have times when I'll go back and add updates a few days, weeks, or even months later. I will write in the same order that they are listed, and name them the same way as well (Day 1, Day 2, and so on...).  And ideally, I will revisit each topic every now and then to see how far I've come.  Cross your fingers that we see progress, people!  :)

Other than the 30 "Day" Challenge, I'll just write about whatever is on my mind that day!

Stay tuned... This could get interesting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Race Day Recap (Finally!)

This week has been pretty hectic so I'm just now finally getting around to publishing this... I wrote it Tuesday evening, so it's a few days out-dated and quite frankly, I barely even remember what I wrote and don't particularly feel like editing.  But not much has changed since then, so I'm not concerned about it.  Enjoy!

Is it really over???  OMG!  It can’t be, can it?  Three months of training and it’s all over already?!?!? 

Major sadface.

As most of you probably have noticed by my Facebook posts, comments, etc., Race Day was pretty awesome!  Sure, I had issues with my knee and it slowed me down.  Sure, I hit the wall around Mile 9 and seriously didn’t know if I’d make it.  Sure, it was tough, mentally and physically.  But overall…


And I’m actually quite excited to commit to another race and I’m (almost) as excited to start training for it! 

Yes, a week or two ago I was sick of running.  I was tired of knowing that 3-5 days a week I HAD to run, and I had no choice but to run 5, 7, 10 miles.  But looking back on it all, I truly did enjoy the training, and for the training aspects that I didn’t like?  It all paid off on Race Day.
We all started together in Corral #19 which means we didn’t cross the Start Line until about 9:05am (the race started at 8:30am!).  

The Crew

So excited!!

We started out at a 10-minute pace and maintained that until about half way.  Unfortunately my left knee started hurting early on, probably around Mile 3, so I was struggling early in that aspect.  At first it wasn’t so bad, and at times it either didn’t hurt at all, or perhaps I just forgot about the pain.  But, for the most part, it was nagging me almost the entire race. 

We stopped to pee a little after the halfway mark.
I actually LOOK like a runner here! 
Around Mile 9, I seriously thought I wouldn’t make it.  Not because I was tired or because I felt unprepared, but because my knee was hurting me THAT badly. I walked through the next Cytomax/water station and a minute or two after b/c of the pain.

Then we started running again.  And then I walked some.  And then I ran a little.  And then I walked more…  You get the idea. 

My memory is a little vague about the details after that.  I’m pretty sure we ran the entire last 2 miles, but Suzanne would have to confirm that.  I remember seeing the Mile 11 marker and telling myself, “Only 2 more miles.  20 more minutes!  You got this!”  (I was saying 20 minutes, even though I knew that my pace was no longer at 10 minutes.  It made me feel like I was closer to the Finish Line than I actually was.)

Oh, side note!  I met a Pi Phi from Mizzou along the way! Her shirt says, "Pick the Phinest."  Hell yeah!
Cute & Popular! 

Between mile markers 11 and 12, I swore I was going to give up.  Again, because my knee was KILLING me at this point, nothing else.
When Mile 12 was finally in sight, I was ecstatic!  I remember a man congratulating me because he saw the back of my t-shirt.  “You’ve got this girl!  Congratulations!  You’re doing great!”  I turned back to him and said, “Thanks!  You have NO idea how badly I needed to see that 12!”  He had a few more words of encouragement, and I went along my painful-but-merry way.

Mile 12!! Thank God!!

The last 1.1 miles were exactly like Beth told me they’d be… NEVER.ENDING.  Every time I thought the Finish Line HAD to be in sight, it wasn’t.  And when that Mile 13 marker popped into sight??  OooohhhhEeemmmmmGeeeeeee!!!!  It was like a sign from the heavens!  I grabbed Suzanne, hooked my arm through hers and said, “Ok, lets go!”  So we zigzagged our way through the people in front of us and crossed the Finish Line arm-in-arm (haha!). WAAAHHHHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Our official time was 2:36:58.  All things considered, I’ll take it!  And from what everyone keeps telling me, that’s actually a decent time for a first-timer.  (I have no idea.  I had no intention of finishing at any particular time, but since we finished under what our Corral’s estimated time was, I was ecstatic!)

After crossing the finish line, we grabbed water, warm bananas (that we threw out 5 seconds later), and a fruit cup.  At the time, that fruit cup was SOOOO yummy!  J  We headed for the Family Reunion area to meet up with Tiffany & Kolby and Beth & Steve.  The Nicholas was at the Marathon finish line waiting for Jacque (mad props to Jacque for running her first FULL marathon!!). 

Pen Pals for Years.  Friends for Life! 

I was intending to stay and hang out with Nick & Jacque for the Vertical Horizon concert, but since I caught most of their first set, and because I was starting to feel a little funny in my stomach, I opted to head home shortly after reuniting with them.  Suzanne brought me a double order of Cracker Barrel’s macaroni and cheese (something neither one of us had eaten since we started training in October!) – YUM!! 

After eating half of my mac and cheese and showering, I just chilled.  I remember being super hungry after my 6-mile and 7-mile runs than I was on Sunday post-race, so I was really surprised that I wasn’t consuming everything in sight...  Percy & I watched the Golden Globes then I indulged in a cocktail of Tylenol PM and ibuprofen (not a lot, people, relax!) and crawled into bed.  I still owed a phone call, so I wound up chatting until about 10:30pm when I finally threw in the towel, hung up, and zonked out for the night.

Luckily I had off work Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day.  I woke up sore, but not nearly as bad as I thought I’d be.  Since I have been toting around a gift card (good for a 1-hour massage at Massage Envy) since October 2009, I had planned ahead and scheduled a sports massage for 11am.  When I requested my appointment, I had signed up for a 90-minute massage.  When I got to Massage Envy, they had me slated for only 60 minutes.  I was so sore and tired that I didn’t bother to argue it.  The way I saw it, I didn’t have to spend any extra money.  The gal at the front desk took me to the waiting room a little before 11am.  My massage therapist didn’t come out for me for about 10 minutes.  By the time she got started actually massaging me, it was nearly 11:20, and when she finished it wasn’t even 12pm yet.  So, my question is this, people:  When you schedule a 60-minute massage, is it unreasonable to expect to be physically touched for a full 60 minutes??  Because that’s precisely what I expected!  Not that half of my appointment would be spent filling out paperwork, waiting on my MT to show up, and then having to listen to the sales pitch for their “membership”.  So not cool.  But again, I was so sleepy and sore that I didn’t argue.  I just cut off the front desk girl when she tried to pitch me “on paper” and I walked out.  Thanks, but no thanks.  Next time I’ll spring for the $100 massage at an actual salon/spa, so long as it means there will be physical contact for a full 60 minutes. 

I spent the rest of Monday laying on Suzanne’s bed crocheting and catching up on the 5-6 episodes of Grey’s that Suz had DVR’d for me over the past 2 months.  (We don’t have a DVR in the living room so she records Grey’s for me and I catch up on it whenever she’s not home.)  I went to bed around 9:30 and was asleep around 10:30 again.

It’s now Tuesday evening, and I’m feeling relatively good.  My muscles are still sore, no doubt, but it’s really not all that bad.  I certainly don’t plan on going out and running 13.1 miles again this week, but I do think that by Thursday or Friday I’ll be feeling up to a short, slow jog and hope to be on track next week to uphold my deal with Suzanne – that we’ll run 5 miles 2-3 times per week.  I’ll probably still go for a long run on most weekends, and I’m excited to start hiking Camelback again.

Now that everything is over, here are a few things that I have learned/am more willing to acknowledge:
  1. You can do ANYTHING you put your MIND to…  Including pushing through the physical pain/limitations.
  2. Set goals...  Without them, you can never truly see how far you’ve come.  I’ve never been much of a goal setter in my personal life, but after having accomplished this, I finally see just how important it really is to set goals.
  3. Believe in yourself…  If you don’t, who will??
  4. … but don’t be afraid to rely on your friends in times of “need”…  If it weren’t for Suzanne pushing me through the last 4 miles, I may not have made it.  I owe her big time because she easily could have left me behind in order to finish with a better time.  But she didn’t.  She stuck by me, cheered me on, pushed me, and all but physically dragged me across that finish line. 

I’ll probably come up with more over the next few days, but that’s all for now.

Oh, and since just about everyone has asked me if I’ll run another half-marathon… The answer is YES!!!  Suzanne and I already plan on running the Vegas Rock ‘N Roll Half on December 4 and we will be running the Phoenix RNR again next January.  By running both, we’ll receive the Desert Double Down medal… sweet!  There’s a high possibility that I’ll run one between now and December, but we’ll see.  It depends on the date, location, course, etc.We're looking at the San Diego RNR in June, then would probably take a break until Vegas in December.  But we'll see!  


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Twas the Night Before Race Day


Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!! 

Checking in and picking up our race packets today made it all seem so REAL! 

I don't have a whole lot to say, except...


Friday, January 14, 2011

I've Got the Magic Stick

Have you heard of this thing called The Stick??  

It works miracles, I tell ya!

During my short run on Monday I did something funky to my right calf muscle and it has been sore since then.  I'm not sure if I landed on it wrong, or maybe just ran too fast (we were FLYING!), or what.  And it wasn't super painful, but enough that it made even walking uncomfortable from time to time.  It was enough to keep me from running this week b/c I was afraid I'd hurt myself more and then be in pain for the entire race on Sunday.  No thank you!

But then after work yesterday I finally caught up on the phone with my BFF Beth for the first time in several days (again).  I had heard her talk about The Stick before.  I had heard her RAVE about The Stick before.  Hell, I had even recommended The Stick to The Nicholas several weeks ago when he was having problems with his hamstrings and his Achille's tendons.  But I had never actually used The Stick (let alone even seen one!) until last night when I marched my tired rear end down to RoadRunner at Tempe Marketplace and purchased The Stick.

BEST $25 EVER SPENT.  No lie. 

I barely even used it on my calf last night, but today?  NO PAIN AT ALL!!!!  How does that even happen?!?!  I'm amazed.  I think I'm just gonna start rubbing my entire body down with The Stick on a daily basis!  It is AMAZE-BALLS!!!! 


With only 2 days left until Race Day, I'm having a LOT of different thoughts and questions and emotions running through my mind...  Is my body ready??  Is my MIND ready??  Am I going to make it?  How am I gonna feel afterwards?  Am I even gonna be able to walk?  And most importantly...  Where should I eat afterwards?? 

While I was walking into the office this morning, I was thinking about crossing the finish line and literally had to fight back tears.  I don't wanna get ahead of myself here...  I mean, I still have to actually get out there and run the 13.1 miles on Sunday morning.  But the feeling of accomplishment that I already feel is HUGE, so I can't even begin to fathom how amazing of a feeling it's going to be to actually cross the finish line and officially say, "I just ran a mother-effing half-marathon!"


My co-worker Kelly just sent this e-card to me:

Enough said. 

Here goes nothin'!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nine Days

Nine days.  NINE days.  NINE DAYS?!?!  

(This is the story of a girl…  Get it?  No?  Shame on you.)


First of all, I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted.  I was SO good about posting at least once a week but recently I just haven’t felt like doing it.  But, I’m back!

The past 2 weeks of running hasn’t been great by any means.  Last week my knees were sore during my shorter runs on Thursday and Friday.  Friday at the lake was cold and windy and painful.  I barely even remember it, honestly, which I consider a good thing because it was that bad.  Last week was, by far, the worst week I’ve had since we started training in October.  It was probably as painful as the first 2-3 weeks were for me!  Ugh.

Friday night was, of course, New Year’s Eve.  SO FUN!  Suz & I went to the Montelucia with my coworker Marisa & her superfun boyfriend Leo.  Beth & Steve-o met us there, and then a bunch of Marisa’s “cougar-friends” (as she calls them).  We had a blast!  Cheers to 2011!  Saturday I ventured down to Queen Creek for a cookout at my friend’s dad’s house.  It was awesome.  I got schooled in Northern Argentinian culture, learned how to properly salsa dance, and simply just had a great day.

The next morning I had to get up early to head out for my long run since I had committed to watching football all day with the same people from the cookout.  I set out around 8am for what was supposed to be a 9-miler.  It was about 35 degrees when I left.  BRRRR!!!  I LIVE IN ARIZONA!!!  WHAT IS WITH THIS COLD WEATHER?!?!?!  (It’s finally warming up a little bit, though!  Phew!)  

The first 3 miles were awful.  Then the next 2.5 were almost just as bad.  I felt like I couldn’t get my mechanics together.  My hips didn’t feel like they were rotating right, my knees felt loose.  I was a mess.  I’m still not sure how I stuck it out for the 7.5 miles that I did manage to cover.  But, let me tell you, the last mile of that was pure hell.  I didn’t think I’d EVER get home.  And then, of course, as soon as I was inside and started to warm up a bit, I felt like “Oh, I could’ve totally run another 1.5 miles.”  Figures.

I was really upset with myself that I didn’t finish 9 miles that day.  I wish I could say that the battle that day was all mental, but that time it was actually more physical than it was mental.  I know that my body can do just about anything if I push myself hard enough.  But not that day…  I just simply could not push my body any further.  So I decided to be content with the 7.5 miles and not stress about it anymore.

This week has been a little easier.  We ran the Town Lake again on Tuesday and Thursday.  Tuesday my shins were hurting within the first few steps of the run, which was quite discouraging.  But somehow I pushed through and actually ran the entire way.  I thought maybe my shins were hurting because I wore my new-but-crappy running shoes, but when we went back Thursday, my shins were sore again even though I had on my old-but-perfect running shoes.  But while my shins were still sore, they weren’t nearly as painful as Tuesday.  For both runs, we paced right around a 10-minute mile, though.  Even though the runs felts like they were never-ending, we still maintained a good pace!  Wahoo!  Progress.

This run was a struggle though.  I think I’ve hit that dreaded runner’s “wall”.  I hated every.single.step. of my runs this week.  I felt like I was never getting around the lake, never getting back to the Beach Park, never getting back into my car.  UGH.  

So anticipating a 10-mile run tomorrow, and Race Day (gulp!) next week?!?!  Eeeeeekkkk!!!!
Looking ahead to Race Day, I’m nervous.  I can’t believe it’s so close!  But I’m also very excited to see how it pans out.  And there’s a part of me that just wants it all to be over!  But at the same time, I’m looking at FOUR more races just in this calendar year!  It’s highly unlikely that I’ll run all of them, but I’d like to say that I’ll do 1 or 2… depending on how next Sunday goes…

<Sigggghhhhh…>  Nine Days.

(Oh, and for those of you who didn’t get the Nine Days reference earlier: