Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Great Week Off Work

It's been quite a week so far!  Our office has been closed since last Thursday and I have managed to work everyday since!  So much for a Christmas vacation!  Just kidding!  Actually, I will be heading to Sarasota, FL on the 1st for a week of fun in the sun and playing some baseball!  It's one of my favorite times of the year (except my birthday of course)!

Let me catch up to speed.  If you remember on Christmas Eve, I finally ran after being sick for 9 days.  Well, I'm on a running streak.  Today was day 5 of running and I still feel really good.  We're housesitting and I've been trying to run on the trail near the house all week, but have yet to do it.  Not only is it cold, but I am a pussy have been busy at work, remember!  Anywho, we have been working out at a different gym the last couple of days...yes I said WE, me AND the GF.  She's getting back into it.  Right now we're working on strengthening her knee back up, but we got get her ready for San Diego or a future race...she WILL run a halfer in 2012!

Speaking of the GF, she made an awesome turkey dinner for Christmas.  It was her first turkey so she was a bit nervous, but it came out amazing...and we've been eating it everyday since! 
Look at that spread!
That morning we exchanged many many many gifts and the GF got me my first ever Garmin Forerunner watch.  Now that I'm trying to pretend to be this serious runner, I felt this was the next big step!  I can't wait to use it in Florida!
So, when my bro and his family came over to visit on Christmas day, we all sat around for a few hours just hangin out and opening presents for the kids.  My nephew found a new way to get to the backyard!
Well, I saw the dogs use it, so I just figured...
You never really know what this cute kid is gonna do!  He was running around all afternoon without his pants on and feeding the dogs potato chips!  Would any of this sound strange if I said he was 17 years old?  Just kidding...he's 2, although I'm sure some high school student is blogging about his crazy weekend!

Yesterday afternoon we had to take some heavy boxes to the post office so they could be mailed to Sarasota.  When we arrived, the GF was carrying a big box with another small box on top, and I was carrying a very large box myself.  My job was to get the door with my elbow, prop it open with my foot, and let her pass through.  Well, lucky for us a woman was walking in right in front of us and BLAM!  Door shut in my face!  Luckily there were two doors, so she could redeem herself, since you could tell I was right behind her carrying a humungous box with the GF right behind me carrying two equally heavy boxes.  She opens the door and BLAM!  Door shut in my face again!  BITCH!  I really couldn't believe that just happened.  So, we get in and set our boxes down and I get into line to ask the postal man a quick question.  Well, that lady was over to the side looking a holiday cards, so I stepped to the front of the line and she steps in front of me and says, "I think I was behind that guy."  And I said, "Bitch, up yours, I'm next!" "Oh, I thought you were looking at cards!"  And she stayed in front of me!  I'm not confrontational and there was nobody else in the place, so I just let her go in front of me, but the GF was about ready to give this lady a piece of her mind.  The GF always has my back!
Look how heavy this box is!
Last night we had Christmas with the BFJ!  It was her mother's birthday, so we went over to her house for dinner and games and cocktails (her dad makes really good margarita's)!  Anywho, she gave me some really thoughtful gifts.  One thing she made me was this Race Bibs board so I can hang all my bibs up in one place and display them on the wall!  We're gonna have to get together to make a medals board now...cause I've got lots of those too!  Maybe like a picture of Pinnochio with his nose sticking way out and all the medals can hang from his nose!  Although, then many people might think I'm lying about running all those races!  I'll think of something!

I'll leave you with one last thought, which happens to be the other gift my BFJ gave me!
Enough Said!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Running!

Happy Christmas Eve!  That's right, I get to open up tons of presents tomorrow!  Isn't that wonderful!  We actually have run out of room under the Christmas tree.  It's been the best Christmas we've had in a long time...for me probably ever!  I'm not much of a Christmas person...but the GF has whipped me into shape.  Sometimes I even can be seen singing along to those dreaded Christmas songs!  But I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "I will take presents any time of year!"

So, after 9 days off from being sick, I finally laced up my running shoes and ran 3 miles today!  And I didn't feel horrible, and I didn't have a coughing fit when I was done!  Although it was a major setback and now I only have 3 weeks before Phoenix halfer, I really need to focus and get my runs in.  I have goals remember?  Can't abandon those now.  This week is Ultra important, since I'll be playing baseball all next week...who knows what kind of schedule I'll have in Florida.

If you remember from the beginning of the week, I was in a Blogger Gift Exchange, and the person that I was given was Laura at Undeterrable and not only was it fun to search through her blog posts and see what she was into, but it was great becoming a follower.  She's a really fun girl and we both have an obsession with making lists!  It's as if Jill, the organizer of the gift exchange, knew what she was doing!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy your gifts Laura!  Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Bestest Running Bests

Miss Zippy, a fellow blogger, asked her followers to tell her about their bests in 2011.  It's a quick list, so I thought I'd let you all in on some of mine!

Best Race Experience:  Definitely the Vegas RnR.  I know many, many people hate RnR forever because they didn't have a good race experience with this one, but it was by far my favorite RnR so far!  The lights, the crowd, the energy, the new PR...all of it was something I'll never forget.

Best Run:  This would have to be my 10K I ran during Halloween.  It was the one run all year where I knew I felt good the whole race.  It was also the run that made me believe I was still on track for my Vegas race plan.

Best New Piece of Gear:  I got 2 new pairs of shoes that are identical.  One pair in January and then the same pair in October.  I love them both and I can't wait til I'm done being sick, so I can get back up on my treadmill with them!

Best Piece of Running Advice You Received:  Shut up and Run from SUAR herself.  She said not to over think it and that I didn't necessarily need the motivation I'd been looking for, but to just do it.  There's absolutely nothing holding me back except for myself, so just shut up and run!

Most Inspirational Runner:  I'm not an ultra runner, nor am I even a marathon runner, but Fast Cory is one inspirational guy!  There's something about reading his Javelina Jundred Recap that makes me love running even more.  I'm also a huge fan of 50 Half Marathons in 50 States!  She has run more races just this year than my own town puts together in 2 years!  I'm not sure I'll ever run as far or as fast as either one of them, but they definitely keep me going!  If I lack the motivation I was looking for in the question above, I can definitely get it from these two!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be: As a runner I would have to say, "Finally, a Breakthrough!"  In my personal world I would say, "My dreams are starting to come true!"  As a life partner to the wonderful GF, I'd have to say, "Just another great year in our love story!"

Thanks for a great year (obviously more on this later)!


Blogger Gift Exchange

One of the bloggers that I stalk follow, Run with Jill, is having her annual Holiday Blogger Exchange.  All that is required is that you tell her you wanna be in the exchange, she gives you a name, and you send them a gift!  Actually, you check out the blogger's site for a while and see if you can figure something out that they'd want for the Holidays and you send it to them, hopefully before the holidays!  It remains a secret until you actually receive the gift, and then you can praise them with thank-you's and how-did-you-know's!

It's no secret that I love getting gifts for any occasion...even no occasion at all.  Why do you think I came up with the 12 Days of Birthmas!  Because it's Christmas, when I receive a gift, I try not to open it up until Christmas Day, so with all the excitement that came with getting my Blogger gift in the mail the other day, I put it under the Christmas Tree to await patiently for the 25th to roll around.  I was even going to wait to blog about it until afterwards, so I could praise XLMIC-Taking it On that it was exactly what I'd wanted and thank you so much and I can't wait to use it!

Well, I just couldn't wait any longer!  I had to rip open the present and dig in right away!  Here's a look at what I got!
OH, WAIT!  Did I mention that the dogs were the ones that were so excited to see my pissed off face excitement about what I got?  Yeah, they were actually the ones that opened my Blogger gift!
How does Nuun taste?
Why squirt when you can unscrew?
One of our dogs, Neko, thinks she can eat whatever she wants around the house.  She's had raw chicken legs and breasts, bags of chips, a full bag of individual kit kats, leftover Olive Garden, and other numerous things that we assumed were out of her reach!  She's like some bionic dog when it comes to getting things off the counter.  Once she's gotten it down, then our other dog, Jersey, helps her devour it.  Neko's the sneaky looking one on the right:

I think she's even hiding something in her left paw!

We're not quite sure why she keeps acting up, because we punish her every time, and she knows that she's been a bad girl, but how do you punish someone that looks like this:

I love you mommy!  I'm just a little baby!
 So, I'd like to thank my dogs for not making me wait another 5 days to see what I got from my Secret Santa Blogger.  I'd also like to thank Marjorie at Taking it On for my wonderful wonderful gift!  I love it and was thankful they didn't chew through the entire bottle, or else I'd be out on some great GU flavors!  I'm also excited to try this Lance Armstrong endorsed waffle!  So, again, thank you so much!  I'd also like to throw in a quick thank you to Jill for organizing such a giving event, my dogs would be eating other things lost without you!

Have a wonderful day!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Martha Stewart Night

I didn't think it was fair to go out tonight without allowing you all a view into what's about to happen...It's Ugly Sweater Party night.  After visiting a few stores and not finding anything worthy of representing my ugly sweater, I decided to make it instead.  After about 2 bags of supplies, 25 glue sticks, lots of time and vision, I give you this:

Front - stockings hold miniatures!

Back - Doesn't the top left snowflake look like the Grinch?
It was a lot of fun making this sweater.  The reindeer head on the front sticks out dramatically and the antlers are free to swing around!  The bulbs on the front are just added to hang there.  On the back, the presents under the tree are actual little boxes.  It's quite the sight to be seen.  It's definitely more towards the Cute and kinda Ugly Sweater, but it's got a lot going on! 

I'll let you know how the party goes and hopefully have more pics for you!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Random Thoughts

I cut my fingernails today, so now I can't get the popcorn out from between my teeth.

I don't think being sick and getting things done go together very well.

I've bought about $100 worth of alcohol in the past 2 days!

During the holidays, I forget that I'm supposed to buy presents for other people and not just myself.

A guy this afternoon referred to me as, "This dude right here!"

I'm excited to go to the dentist next week because I've been flossing my teeth everyday since my last visit!

I love cheese!  Bleu and Cheddar are my favorites.

If I had enough money, I'd go somewhere warm for every Christmas.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Frog in my Throat

The getting's been gotten!  It's official...I'm sick!  Poop!  I thought I could get away with pretending it wasn't there, but my throat is so scratchy I can't even walk to the bathroom without having a coughing fit.  Needless to say...

(Notice how I didn't say anything after "needless to say"...since it's needless to say!  But if you're dying to know, it's needless to say that I am not going to work out until this is completely gone.)

Last time I worked out before my cold was officially gone, I retained this 'cough' that just wouldn't go away.  I'm not gonna let that happen this time!  I'm so stern right now, but I'm sure in 2 days I'll be dying to get on the Mill.  I just feel so bad if I don't train well.  I only have a month before the race and I can't miss my important long runs!

I just realized that I have A LOT OF SHIT TO DO!  Not because it's Christmas, but because I'm a lazy sack of __________(insert favorite word)!  Just looking around my desk it looks like something blew up.  I'm not sure what needs to be filed, what needs to be paid, and what needs to be put into another pile!  I've got personal stuff to get done, like preparing for teaching, and deciding what beer to drink.  I've got family and friends stuff to do, like attending parties and making jokes.  I've got home stuff to do like putting up a shelf and celebrating our new house anniversary.  So, I need to take some time to organize my life...maybe tomorrow at work I can start delving into these stacks of madness surrounding me!
Where do I start?
It's almost goal time!  I've been thinking about the things I want to accomplish next year and I've told you about a few ideas, but it's almost time to actually write them down and publish them to the world my 10 followers!

What are your goals for the new year?

What do you do to cure the feeling of being bogged down?


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Accomplishments

Look!  I won a major award!

I know it's a smaller version of the real thing, but the box did say FRA-GEE-LAY!  I'm pretty sure I wanna leave it up year round even though it's meant to be a Christmas type thing.  This also happens to be from my all time favorite Christmas movie!  I plan on watching it at least 4 times during the TBS 24 hour marathon and I may even throw in the DVD!

Lazy Days
I think I'm getting sick.  The GF and I woke up early this morning searching for cough drops because we're getting a little itchy and scratchy.  I still went to the gym today and had a really tremendous workout, and I'm hoping to continue working out until the sickness reaches my chest, but for now I'm gonna down meds every 4 hours and hope it doesn't go full throttle on me!  BUT, if it does then I guess I'm due for some nice Rest Days!  I wish I were my cats and could just lay around all day!

Look at those eyes...such a pretty girl, who's always mean and whiny...ask the GF...they're not that fond of each other!

The Crack of the Bat
It's that time of year again, when we start packing our bags to go visit the beautiful Sarasota, Florida to play America's Favorite Pasttime!  I just got off the phone with one of Baseball's greatest right fielders of all time...Mr. Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins!  He's a close personal friend of mine and the GF's and I look forward to seeing him every January, among other Greats!  I can't end this post without mentioning my all time favorite Baseball Pro, Jack Billingham of the Big Red Machine!  He pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1975 World Series against the Boston Red Sox and led his team to what was the first of two consecutive titles.  He's the nicest man I've ever met!  He's the type of guy you want to have a beer with while you watch the sunset near the beach somewhere and just talk about "things"!

Christmastime Guzzler
Christmas is among us, which means time off from work and thinking about things.  Which also means more time to drink.  I'm not a wild drinker any more, but I do like to enjoy frosty beverages when I don't have to worry about working the next day or the next week!  I'm stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things this season, so I'm asking for recommendations.  So, please help me out...ask your friends and drop me a quick comment about stuff I should try.  P.S. If you have suggestions on great whiskey too...I'm sort of testing that out too!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Where All My Time Goes

About 7 1/2 years ago, I signed up for this thing called MySpace.  Shortly thereafter (within a month or two) a good friend told me to sign up for this thing called Friendster, and shortly after that I signed up for this thing called Facebook.  I was obsessed with MySpace, as were many many others.  I started to realize that I was spending WAY too much time searching out long lost friends and commenting on pages of people I spoke to everyday anyway.  It was seriously cutting into my procrastination at work, so I decided "to hell with all this social network crap"!  If people want to get ahold of me, they can call or text me, or email or snailmail me!  I officially deleted all of my social network accounts.  Most people hadn't even heard of Facebook yet when I deleted it!  I wasn't going to consume myself with silly social media outlets anymore.

I have friends and family who forget about me because they post everything about themselves on Facebook.  They wonder why I didn't know they had a baby, or adopted a dog, or bought a new house, or moved away!  Everyone always wants you to post something or comment somewhere or Like their page, but I don't have that ability because I don't have a Facebook page.  I don't even Tweet and I'm not quite sure what a hashtag is!  My brother is very tech saavy and social media friendly and whenever he talks to me about this stuff my eyes sort of gloss over.  I haven't even seen the movie The Social Network!  I'm actually quite sad about this because I've tried to honor Justin Timberlake's acting abilities and I feel I'm not accomplishing that task by not having seen this movie yet!

Anywho, I'm beginning to think that Running Blogs are becoming my new Facebook.  Everything I care about I can find in all the running blogs that I follow: running, beer, and poop!  I can spew at the mouth everyday for those that are willing to listen, and I can read up on the latest race, interesting new training methods, great after race beers, and the best poop stories ever!  I've found myself not wanting to do anything but read blogs, find new ones to follow, and thinking about what I'm going to write next.  All while trying to build a bigger fan base.  Please tell your friends to follow me...I'm funny...and they won't find this on Facebook!  But it is taking up a lot of my time!  And I love it!

What do you love about blogging?

Would you tell your friends to follow me if I had a Giveaway?


Friday, December 9, 2011

Next In Line

Vegas is behind me!  I'll never forget that race, especially because I stuck (sort of) to my plan and I accomplished my goals.  I trained pretty hard, I never stopped running, and I got a PR for the course.  Those were my three main goals.  I've had a week to rest and celebrate my Victory in Vegas (ViV) and now I must shift my focus to Phoenix on January 15th.  That's's only 5 weeks away.  I have to continue my training and getting in my long runs and complain about things and have days I just "don't wanna" and I need new excuses and I will have breakthrough's and I'll start a new job and I'll play baseball and so on and so forth.  As you can see, there's lots on my plate. 

I mentioned this yesterday, but my first ever halfer was in Phoenix in 2005.  I ran with some friends and one friend inparticular ran with me for the first 9 miles until I finally told her "you can run up ahead of me, I'll be fine".  Well, not only did she increase her pace for the last 4 miles, she finished 10 minutes before I did!  My time was 2:15:27.  The next year I ran it by myself and finished in 2:22:20.  The GF swears it's because my coworker pushed me so hard in 2005 that there was no way I could run that same time again in 2006.  I'm claiming that 2005 time regardless of how it happened because I did it and it's the fastest I've ever run a halfer.

Last year I ran Phoenix in 2:35:59!  It had been 6 years since my first half and I was 15 pounds heavier.  At about mile 8 of the race I wanted to just stop.  I passed the GF in the crowd and saw my Seester and I thought "I should just finish now and we can all go eat!"  I didn't stop and at mile 9 I was hurting so so bad.  At mile 10 I finally thought I had found my finishing pace and was really truckin along at a good speed when I looked down at my feet and I was walking!  OOps!  I somehow picked it up and finished the race with a little bit of dignity left!

So for the 2012 race, here are my goals:
  • Don't stop running (or at least don't think that I've stopped running)
  • Beat last years time - If I run like I did in Vegas then I'm gonna crush my 2011 time, but if I train real hard the next 5 weeks, then I may even come close to my 2006 time!
  • Increase my pace per mile - this will help the previous goal.
  • Stay positive for the whole race
Sounds a lot like everyone else's goals for any race that they run, but if I don't lay it out in front of me, then who knows what'll happen.  My biggest test will be the first week of January when I'm playing baseball and how I fit my training runs into my busy schedule!  We'll see how it goes...and you'll know as it happens!

Do you ever feel obligated to do things once you tell people about it? I always tell people my plans so they can hold me accountable!

Has someone ever helped you get a better time in a race that you didn't think you could accomplish on your own?


Thursday, December 8, 2011


I was many things in high school.  I was an athlete (soccer, basketball, softball, track).  I was a drama freak.  I was a book nerd who got straight A's.  I was involved in almost every club.  I was voted Homecoming Queen because I was nice to the freshmen and they were the only ones that still brought their Student ID's to school every day (which you needed to vote).  I was voted class clown my Junior and Senior year...although they wouldn't give it to me my Junior year.  I held an office in Student Counsel.  I attended most all sporting events, including swim meets and tennis matches.  I even partied with the teachers.  With all of this on my resume I still wouldn't consider myself "popular".  Maybe I knew a lot of people, and even more people knew me, but I never thought I was popular.  I didn't get picked on or bullied either.  I considered myself middle of the pack.

Nowadays, I'm still the class clown.  I'm still the athlete.  I'm still a book nerd.  And I love it!  What's awkward these days is when I run into people who know me and remember me from school.  I don't have a bad memory, it's just that (as evidenced from above) I was involved in a lot and I crossed paths with thousands of people through my high school years.  I'm sorry if I don't remember you, but unless you were actually on one of my teams, in drama with me, or involved in countless other activities alongside me, then I might not remember you.  The girls at the office make fun of me because of all the people that recognize me when we go out to lunch or shopping or anywhere really!  Last night at volleyball, these 2 people remembered me and they both graduated when I was a freshman!

I guess there's one thing that's better than being popular...and that's being Unforgettable!  So, I'll take it!  I've done many things in my life that weren't popular, but they're unforgettable!  Like the time I took my shirt off on top of a bar to get a free shot, come to find out it was Rumpleminz...yeck
Recently, I've gained a greater love of running, which has become very popular.  But my ultimate goal for running is how each race that I complete becomes an unforgettable peice of my history.  I'll never forget the first time I was in a race: It was in October of 2004 and I was the anchor leg of a 5-person relay.  It was so amazing to cross that finish line.  I continued my training and ran my first ever half-marathon in Phoenix in 2005.  I thought I was pretty cool telling people that I'd run a half-marathon...I was in a lot better shape and 7 years younger then, but it was still unforgettable.  And just this past Sunday I finished my 6th half-marathon, adding yet another notch on my belt for accomplishing something that I'll remember for the rest of my life. 

That's why I think running has become so popular, because it gives you the opportunity to go out and do something for yourself that is unforgettable!  It's why we push ourselves so hard during training, why we time ourselves religiously, why we cry when we cross the finish line, why we run in harsh weather for a free medal and a tech shirt, why we ignore our sore bodies just to get one more mile in, why we rearrange our schedules to make sure we get in our long runs, why we bless mother nature with our own offerings, why we think it's okay to run while we're sick or injured, and why we raise our arms in triumph for doing something that makes us proud!

Why do you run?

Where you popular in high school?


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegas Halfer: Full Race Report

As I mentioned yesterday, I finished the Vegas halfer in 2:23:09!  That's 2 minutes and 9 seconds faster than last year!  It was an amazing race and an amazing weekend!  Welcome to "Weekend In Review"!

WARNING:  This is LONG!  Grab a drink and a snack to help you get through!

Friday:  We wake up at 5:30 am with a possible leave time at 6am (yeah right).  After we get dressed and do the last minute packing, we head out the door.  We stop at McDonald's so the GF can get some breakfast and we're on the road by 6:50am.  Please note that driving to Vegas was a great idea a month ago AND it saved us lots of money!  Some things to note about the drive:
  • We stopped at a gas station and the power was out, so we had to pee by cellphone flashlight.
  • We ran into some weather as we approached Flagstaff.
  • But the weather made the trees in Flagstaff look beautiful!
  • We also passed by Boobie Mountain!
  • We thought it'd be a fun game to keep track of all the license plates we saw from different states, both on cars and semi's.  We ended up with about 27 different states and 1 province for the cars, and about 15 states for the semi's!  Pretty fun game!
Arrive in Sin City about 3pm and check in to our hotel, the fabulous Imperial Palace! 

We were exhausted from getting up early and the long drive so we took a nap...well the GF did, but I couldn't quite fall asleep.  I think I was antsy to start gambling!  After showers and dressing, we met up with the BFT and her main Cheese.  We hung out for a while in her really nice Bally's room (I didn't realize Bally's rooms were so nice), and then we all dined in at Ichiban Sushi Restaurant! 

Salmon is my favorite and it was so nice to visit with the girls.  We headed to meet some friends at O'Shea's and the GF and I finally started gambling!  It was a night of losses.  There were horrible rollers at the craps table so we are officially down $200!  Poop!  Luckily I had plenty of free drinks by then!  Bedtime was about midnight!

Saturday: Wake up about 8am because we gotta get ready to make it to the Expo by the time the doors open.  I know there are going to be approximately 40,000 people there, but the expo is one of the highlights of a RnR race!  We stop with about a thousand other people for more McDonalds breakfast and arrive at the Expo about 10:30am.  ENSUE MADNESS!  So many booths, so many people.  Here's what we got out of it:
  • I bought a new bra for the race since I had been having issues with my lady nips.  I figured wearing a new bra for the race probably wasn't the smartest thing in the world, but I had nothing to lose!
  • The GF and I got these awesome running sleeves that I used for the race too!
  • We met Dan and Jackie from the Biggest Loser Season 5!
  • We filled up the new and improved "going green" swag bag with lots of goodies!
  • Saw this annoying sign as we left the Expo room...bonus if you know why it bugs me so much!
After about 4 hours at the expo, we finally headed out to grab a quick slice of pizza and saw Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars in the lobby.

We didn't wanna get full on lunch since we planned on having a hefty dinner.  We decided to gamble a little more before we headed upstairs to get ready for dinner.  Another afternoon of losses.  Down another $200.  Things aren't looking good in this area which is a bummer because I love to gamble!

We headed to dinner at Olive Garden so I could carb load on spaghetti noodles and butter!  I also had my final beer of the evening and vowed not to drink again until after the race.  We drove around town a bit so the GF could scope out where she would park during the race so she'd be able to see me running by!  We got a little freaked out when we noticed the Sahara was closed and it was sooo dark...CREEPY!  Once we finally got back to the hotel, I wanted to gamble just a bit more before going to bed.  FINALLY a winning table!  We were having so much fun cheering and chanting for the rollers!
"Fifty-Five! Fifty-Five!"

I think we walked away winning about $200!  This was the table where I met my new running buddy Andrea.  She clearly had a long evening because her voice was almost gone, but we had a blast at that craps table!  Bedtime was near midnight again!

Sunday: I think we woke up around 9 or 9:30 because the GF wanted to go shopping!  After getting ready we drove over to the Fashion Show Mall so she could return some shirts to Forever 21.  I sat around and waited for her for a while and peed about 3 or 4 times...small bladder!

I wanted Subway for lunch around 12:30pm so I could digest the food well before the race.  We sat and ate 6 inches while watching the end of the Bronco game at O'Shea's.  The Broncos pulled off another Win against the Vikings and this was when I knew it was gonna be a good day!  We walked back over to our casino and decided to play some craps before it was time to go get ready for the race.  Lo and behold - we find Andrea at the craps table!  Another good time and another winning round!  We won another $200!  Another sign that it's gonna be a great day!  Andrea mentioned that her and her friend were gonna ride the Monorail over to the race, so the GF and I offered to give them a lift!  We all headed to our rooms to get ready!  I put on my lucky yellow shorts, the GF chose the orange shirt and I wore my new arm sleeves.

We met Andrea and her friend Julie downstairs at 4pm to head over to the Mandalay Bay!  It took us half an hour to get close enough for the GF to drop us off, and once we got out of the car it was cold!  Nearing 40 degrees!  We made our way to the parking lot and started searching for the gear check.  One guy said "next to the stage", once we got to the stage, we stopped for a moment to enjoy Cheap Trick!
Then we headed more lefter to get around some more booths so that we could go more righter to enter the building.  Once we got about 10 feet from the doors we all piled into some sardine cans and slowly made our way through the doors only to find out that we still had about a quarter of a mile to go to get to the actual ballroom that was "gear check"!  It was kind of funny because it was 5pm (half hour til start time) and 30,000 people were all trying to drop off their bags at the same time in the same place.  You can only image the scene!  I even heard one lady ask her friend, "Do you think they'll hold the start?"  Ahahahahaha!  Yeah right...Nancy over there is still checking her bags, so don't start the race until she gets back out here!  Why do you think we have timing you can start any darn time you want!  It only took us 10 minutes to drop off our stuff and make our way to the Port-O-Potties!

Well, I'm sure you are all well aware of my peeing issues while I run, so I had to make sure I peed now, just in case I needed to pee once more before the race started.  I actually felt pretty good by this time.  I was going into an earlier corral with my new friends and I didn't have that sick nervous feeling I normally have before races.  I think it's because it was a night time race.  You could feel the energy of the 30,000 plus people all piled into the corrals.  I was a bit worried about the wind chill and was scared it might be too cold while I was running, especially after the turnaround since I'd be running into the wind.  And then it started!

RACE: Everyone took off pretty fast and I got so excited!  Here I was among 44,000 people running these races on the Vegas strip at night!  I tried to find my pace right away since I'm always quick out of the gate.  Because of the massive size of this race, I had to do a lot of maneuvering to find my own spot.  Because the full marathon joined up with the half on the strip there were these tiny orange cones trying to keep the halfers to the right so the marathoners could run by on the left...ENSUE MASS CHAOS!  None of the halfers would listen as people tried to tell them to scootch over, so all the marathoners just ended up yelling at everyone!  It became pretty funny after a while, but I'm sure it ruined a lot of marathoners' times (and hopes of qualifying for Boston)!

Anyway, I missed the first mile sign so I didn't look at my watch til mile said something like 20:06, so I knew I'd done a couple 10 minute miles...good stuff!  I passed the GF near 2.2 and she cheered like a crazy person and got a good pic of me! 

Two thumbs up means I'm good to go!  I crossed the 5K mark in 32:49 and realized I was WAY off my mark.  I'd run that last 1.1 in almost 13 minutes.  I was just hoping the distance was off!  Anyway, I kept trucking along and felt amazing.  My shoulders were relaxed, my feet didn't hurt, and my knees were feeling great!  Once I got to the 10K mark and saw 1:05:17 I knew I was at my correct pace.  I wasn't pushing it at all and I still felt I had another 10K in me!  Still nothing hurt.  Right around mile 8, THIS guy passed me
He was in great spirits, didn't seem to be cold, and was drinking a 24 oz Coors Light!  It definitely kept my mind elsewhere for the next mile!  I lost him when he stopped at a table that was passing out free beer!  At mile 9 I saw the GF again, and gave her 2 thumbs up.  I felt great.  My new bra was holding the nips in place, so I was pain free.  I wasn't cold even though I had sweat a ton and so I didn't see the need to stop and change, nor to stop and pee!  About half a mile up I passed the beautiful BFT Cheese and she did some sort of jig for me!  Seeing the GF and Cheese helped tremendously because mile 9 is always my "wall".  By mile 10 (1:47:09) my knees started aching and something was wrong with my right foot.  I knew I was slowing down, but also knew I still had a chance to beat my 2010 time.  Shortly after this realization my stomach tumbled and I thought I was gonna crap my pants right on Las Vegas Boulevard!  I looked for bathrooms, but there were none.  I ran like I already had a load in my underoos, and finally it subsided.  I looked at the clock at mile 11 and saw that I had 25 minutes to finish the last 2.1 miles.  I'm not sure how fast I was going at the time, but I sped up pretty drastically and did a 10 minute 12th mile!  Once I knew I had 15 minutes to finish the last mile, I slowed down to a comfortable finishing pace and cruised on in.  Finishing time 2:23:12 is what my watch said, so I knew I did it!

Once I crossed the finish, I bobbed and weaved through the mass of bodies to grab some water, grab my medal, grab some Cytomax, and find the exit.  I ended up shimmying through the gate to get to the Port-O's and I only had a drizzle come out and thankfully no poopy pants!  I met the GF and the other girls at the family meeting point and we headed to gear check.  Like a sensible person, I packed a hoody and sweatpants in my bag to stay warm after the race.  We took a small jaunt back to the GF's car and arrived back at the hotel around 10pm.  I showered right away and got ready to go celebrate!  Dinner was a must and I spoiled myself with one of these:
Enter your own joke here_______________________________!!!!!  I just knew this was gonna be a good day because we won money gambling, the Broncos won, AND I got my PR!  We headed out to do one last round of gambling on this lucky day!  Well, we lost...and fast!  We met up with Andrea and Julie again at the craps table and lost $200 very quickly.  The GF headed to bed, but I saw a lucky roulette table so I decided to sit down and enjoy myself before bed.  Good thing I did, because not only did my number hit 4 times, but so did about 30 other black numbers and so I won my $200 right back!  Bedtime was 3am!

MONDAY: We woke up at 9am, even though we wanted to get up at 8.  We wanted to get back on the road ASAP so we would get home at a decent time. We left at 10:30.  The way home was about staying on the road.  We knew that there had been tons of snow dropped all over I-40, so we just wanted to be safe.  We ran into a blizzard along the way.
But it cleared up after about 15-20 minutes of riding on that semi's ass!  Then it was really nice until about 35 miles before town when we were driving on almost completely iced over roads.  Pretty scary, but the GF is an amazing driver!  She got us home safely!

OVERALL: I had an amazing weekend!  I love Vegas and I loved this race last year.  Regardless of all the things others complained about, I loved Vegas this year too.  I want to run it again and I'd hope other people would want to run it too.  I'll discuss more on this subject later this week, but know that I didn't stress over things out of my control and I had the time of my life!

Thanks for reading...if you're still awake!  Please note: the $200 mentioned above has nothing to do with the actual amounts won or lost during the trip!  Just know that we didn't lose all our money, nor did we win it all back!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Quick Few

The moment you've all been waiting for...*drumroll*...I finished the Vegas halfer in 2:23:09!  That's 2 minutes and 9 seconds faster than last year!  I DID IT!  And it was amazing!  I haven't quite compiled my race report yet, but since I hadn't blogged since Thursday, I wanted you all to know how I did.  Here's just a quick few bullet points to keep you satisfied until my full race report:
  • Amidst all the complaints from others about their race experiences, my experience was AMAZING and I had the best time ever...did I mention I PR'ed?
  • I was scared the weather was gonna be too cold and too windy, but it ended up being perfect running weather.  It was cold afterwards, but I was covered in sweat and it started raining, but I had a hoody and sweatpants waiting for me at Gear Check!
  • The energy of running with 30,000 other halfers was great.  It really kept me pumped up the entire race and motivated and energized.
  • I possibly had too many GU energy gels during the race that I almost crapped my pants at mile 12!
  • Some dude ran in a thong holding a beer!  Quite the site from'll see (pics to follow)!
  • The GF is the most amazing person to have at a race with you...more on that later too!
  • I didn't come back a winner, but I didn't come back a loser.  Vegas tried to take all my money the first 2 days, but it soon turned around and I won most all of it back!
I'd like to thank EVERYONE for all their nice comments and well wishes.  It really helped get me across that finish line!  So Thanks!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Out With The Bad, In With The Good

Gambling anyone?
 Here's the plan:
  • Leave early in the morning tomorrow, hopefully don't get trapped by the snow in Flagstaff, arrive in Vegas and check in, shower and nap, GAMBLE, dinner and drinks with BFT, GAMBLE!
  • Sat: Possibly go watch Santa Run, hit the race expo, GAMBLE, dinner and drinks, GAMBLE!
  • Sun: Sleep in, GAMBLE, lunch and nap, GAMBLE, race, dinner and drinks, GAMBLE!
  • Mon: Pack, possibly GAMBLE, drive home and hope for no snow in Flagstaff, think about GAMBLING!

For just the second time over the last 5 weeks, I've actually felt like I can do this halfer and finish it feeling strong.  You may remember the first time I felt this good.  Well, today on the treadmill as I was running, I just felt IT!  You know that feeling?  IT felt so good.  I'm not sure where it came from or what it meant, but IT was amazing!  It's like something took over my body and I could picture myself running the streets of Vegas and seeing the lights and seeing the GF on the side of the road and running past groups and groups of people and then crossing the finish line beating last years time by 6 minutes!  Now, I'm not sure how much of this is true, but it felt fantastic!  Now, there's this thing about visualizing your run in a positive way and training your mind to keep out the negative thoughts, and this is what is happening!  My mind is taking over and I'm gonna kick some serious ass in this race.  Please note: My ass kicking is different from others' ass kicking!  I'm not worried about anybody else in this race, just me and my pace.  MY Race!

I think my body knew that this might just be my last run before the race.  I did a solid 3 miles and every bit of me felt great!  I even gave myself the "great" smile on the Daily Mile!  There was a girl on my machine when I got there, I was tired and wanted to sleep, I had so much stuff on my mind from work, I'm concerned about the weather, and I didn't even apply my vaseline and bandaids to the nipplage (new word) area.  A good run just wasn't in the cards today, but lo and was amazing!  I think my body knew that I needed to drown out those issues and just focus on my run.  I think know I'm ready for my race in 3 days!

The only thing I need to figure out is what to wear for the race!

Does your mind ever take over like this?

What do you tell yourself to help stay positive?