The Bucket List That Didn’t Get Crossed Off

Way back last December, inspired by other bloggers, I decided to nix the idea of New Year’s Resolutions and instead create a 2012 bucket list of experiences I wanted to have before the year was up.

If you don’t follow through with resolutions, you have failed. Failure is sad. If you don’t follow through with bucket list items, nothing happens.

Nothing especially happens when you don’t get very many of your BL items in the “DONE” category like me.

I did do some things.  Just not as many as I would have wanted.

I’ve decided to keep this sucker running.  I’m working on my 2013 list with 25 new items to be revealed tomorrow.  The rollover from 2012 will stay on there with the hopes that I’ll eventually cross those items off the list.  And as the years progress, I’m sure I’ll establish a pretty decent list of “gotta do before I die which hopefully won’t happen for 100 years” items.

My actual level of BL completion is below, listed item by sad un-crossed off item.

Items categorized as UNSUCCESSFUL didn’t happen or even come close to happening.  Items listed as ATTEMPTED were at least approached with cheerful effort.  SUCCESSFUL items (the few and far between) were ones that I was able to cross off the list.

How Amy Fared on the 2012 Bucket List

1) Get Passport stamp #4: UNSUCCESSFUL.  Though the possibility is MUCH higher in 2013 thanks to some college graduating sisters and their graduation present vacations.  I’m hoping we get invited (hint, hint, Daddy).

2) Pay off credit card debt: UNSUCCESSFUL: I don’t want to talk about this.  At all.  However, still thankful that my credit card debt load is tiny compared to the average American.

3) Ride in a hot air balloon: UNSUCCESSFUL. Shit’s expensive. And I’m kind of scared to go with the cheapest company because I don’t want to die.

4) Run a full marathon: SUCCESSFUL!!! Definitely a lifetime bucket list item.  AND I think I get bonus points for the BQ.  That was also a HUGE bucket list item that I didn’t bother adding to the 2012 list because I didn’t think it would happen for many many years.

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5) Run a race every month: ATTEMPTED.  I ran 10 road races and 1 virtual race, so I missed it by 1. I think doing the smaller ones helped me get better at racing, plus I snagged some age group awards, but the more longer races I do, the less excited I am about paying $10 per mile in a 5-k with no medal and a sad cotton t-shirt.  Sorry.

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6) Compete in a triathlon: UNSUCCESSFUL.  But I think I’m more prepared mentally to take on this challenge in 2013.

7) Learn to swim: ATTEMPTED.  I think I’m closer than I was this time last year.

8) Read my way through Newsweek’s Top 100 Books of all time:  UNSUCCESSFUL. I knew this would take more than 1 year.  I’ve read some books that I hadn’t heard of that I ended up  loving. But I’ve also been stuck on the 180 pager The Souls of Black Folk since August. I read 7 books this year (on the list anyway…I think there were 2 that I’ve picked up that weren’t on the list) which is better than the 1 I read in 2011.

9) Go on a White Water Rafting weekend expedition: UNSUCCESSFUL.  I’m starting to rethink this one.  I was pretty bored after a couple of hours of kayaking down the river in September. Could I really spend 4 days cold and wet with sore shoulders followed by sleeping on the ground for 4 nights?

10) Start dressing my age:  ATTEMPTED. I think some progress has been made. I tried to avoid stores where the majority of salespeople are in high school and I haven’t worn flip flops since it got cold out. I did however walk around Chicago dressed like this, so whateves. Although, maybe wearing black stretchy pants IS dressing my age. Sigh.

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11) Visit a new state: SUCCESSFULGot to experience Illinois in all of it’s finest! And by finest, I mean Chicago.

12) Send a birthday card in the mail to people on their birthdays. SUCCESSFUL. I did this at least twice.

13) Learn how to use my camera and take awe-inspiring photos: ATTEMPTED. I started looking up tutorials on Pinterest.  I’m still not Ansel Adams, but I least I know how to change shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, even if I have no idea what any of them mean. I did get a bokeh photo in of the Christmas tree!

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14) Relearn French: UNSUCCESSFUL. Although I’m listening to the French Cafe station on Pandora right now, so maybe I’m picking up a little bit? However, one of the potential graduation trips might require that I learn, at the very least, how to say, “I’ll take another glass of wine!” in order to get around (“plus de vin, s’il vous plaît!”).

15) Go horseback riding on the beach: SUCCESSFUL. It was fun.

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16) Write a novel: ATTEMPTED: I totally started one! I am 5 pages in.  At least I have the idea and the characters and the general plot line.  Now that the gingerbread house is done, I’ll have more time to devote.

17) Buy a new car: SUCCESSFULAnd I’m in love.  Aside from the fact that I spend twice as much money on gas. 

18) Do a massive house cleaning and reorganization: ATTEMPTED: I think this will happen pretty soon into the new year.  I’ve cleaned out a few closets and drawers.

19) Take the GRE: UNSUCCESSFUL.  I do want a masters degree, but at this point, I don’t know if it would be incredibly helpful or financially responsible.  And I still kinda don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

20) Go to a live music festival. UNSUCCESSFUL. I think this will require choosing one and planning a year in advance.  But with all of these potential vacations and Boston which is quickly shaping up to be as expensive as an all-inclusive week in the Caribbean, I don’t know if this is the perfect year for it.

21) Choose an NFL Team to cheer for: SUCCESSFUL. Though, now I’m questioning my decision.  How can a team go from winning the Super Bowl to scoring once in two weeks???

22) Win something (anything) in a radio contest: UNSUCCESSFUL.  I seriously tried though.  I even put in for a pair of Uggs last week.  I hate Uggs.

23) Invest in a piece of artwork: UNSUCCESSFUL.  Though I have decided that I want an abstract painting with warm colors.  So now I can be on the lookout!

24) Finish a Tough Mudder: UNSUCCESSFUL, mostly because it didn’t happen in Albuquerque like we thought it was going to, however it is scheduled for my birthday in 2013.  I’m rethinking this one because thanks to blog land and some detailed recaps, I’m not sure that I would have the best time.  I mean, cool that you are tough enough to do it, but it sounds mostly miserable. And I could think of better ways to spend a birthday.

25) Figure out what in the world I’m doing with my life and take steps to get there: UNSUCCESSFUL: but 2013 WILL be my year.  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and I still feel like I’m just in a holding area until my life really starts.  Considering I’m about 1/3 of the way through life already (if I’m lucky), I want to at least feel like I’m on the right path.

So, over the course of the year, I successfully completed 7 out of 25 bucket list items.  Here’s hoping that more items get conquered in 2013!

Are you creating a bucket list for 2013? 

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(Half) Marathon Reflection Monday & Other Stuff

WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS TIME!

I will be the first to admit that for me, Christmas time started right after Halloween.  I’ve been watching those high quality holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel, listening to Christmas music, and plotting ways to make this year’s holiday season the best ever.

Aaron has very politely indulged me, even giving up his Saturday nights to watch Eloise at Christmastime and not getting mad when I switch his Pandora station to Christmas music.

But now, my Christmas cheer is completely socially acceptable.  Thanksgiving is over, so I can prance around in Christmas happiness without fear that some Bah Humbug will squash my dreams.  However, I still haven’t put up a tree unlike everyone on Instagram/facebook.  We’re real tree people, so we always wait until December to make sure it doesn’t look dead by Christmas. I’d like to think this makes me slightly less crazy.

Meanwhile, on the running/half marathon training front, things have been going ok.

On Thursday my whole family (aside from my mom who was busy on Operation Thanksgiving Dinner duty) ran our Turkey Trot 5-K.   A few weeks ago I was thinking I was going to use this race as my attempt at a sub 21.  But I got out on that course, fell into a solid 7:00-7:15 pace, and was feeling really good.  I remember what it felt like for me the one time I did hit 21:05, and I decided I didn’t really want to get that awful sick feeling again.  So, I didn’t.  Maybe not the most competitive thing I could have done, but I’m ok with it.  I dread 5-K’s more than anything, and I don’t want to anymore.  I came in at 22:18 (7:10 average pace).  Still better than my last few 5-K times, and definitely a confidence booster than I can run 13.1 miles at a 7:15 pace in a couple of months.  Plus, I think this is my first ever 5-K that didn’t make me want to hurl.

To celebrate the amazing weather we’ve been having (still in the low 60’s during the day) we decided to get one more climb up our mountain on the La Luz Trail.  Typically the top is snow covered and dangerous by late November.  It is a little sad that our weather is so dry that we don’t have any snow on our mountain but it made for perfect hiking conditions. This hike is about 8 miles up a 3,600 elevation gain.  My dad and sister made their way up for the first time!

Yesterday’s long run was a little harder than it should have been after the climb up a mountain.  We had 8 miles on the schedule, so we headed to the most flat course we could find, and knocked them out.  I had an average pace of about 8:38, so I was going a just bit faster than last week.  And definitely minutes faster than I was running a year ago.  I felt pretty fatigued, my face got sunburn, and after we finished, my calves tightened up to a point suggesting I’d run much harder/faster than I really did.  I spent the morning doing some intense rehabbing just to get myself back to walking like a normal person.  But definitely on track with where I want to be right now.

On the non-running front, I’m pretty sure I did something very close to swimming last week! I’m working on a breathing rhythm, and after a few failed attempts (and lots of inhaled water through the nose…very yucky feeling), I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m hoping that with a few more lessons, I’ll at least be able to not look like a drowning abomination on Indoor Tri Day!

Otherwise, our Thanksgiving week was pretty normal:  I baked! (gluten free pumpkin snicker-doodles), two dinners with two families, late night Black Friday shopping, football watching (GO GIANTS!!!), and planning my annual gingerbread house (you can see last year’s HERE).

We’ll take some of that turkey, please!

Muppet Christmas Carol is a Thanksgiving tradition.

Aaron is obviously adopted

Macy’s at about 1:00 am. 

Hope everyone is having a minimally painful Monday!

P.S….there *may* be a giveaway coming later this week! (And by may, I mean I’ve already agreed to do one in exchange for free stuff, so…)

I’m Cool with Savasana

First…I have updated my “Contact Me” page to include (I think) all of my social media accounts so you can follow me EVERYWHERE.  Do you want to see my filtered pictures of my puppy?  Join me on Instagram! Do you want to see what I wish my house looked like? Join me on Pinterest.  If you don’t, that’s cool.  I don’t know if I even want to follow me that much!  But the option is out there!

In other news, I’m really awkward at yoga.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I don’t find it relaxing and I don’t get an enlightened feeling.

Um…this doesn’t look very comfortable…

And hot yoga? That is one hour and a half of pure torture.

But every once in a while (usually prompted by a Groupon), I’ll go on a month long hot yoga kick.

But I don’t like yoga enough to pay full price.  Luckily Aaron has some really cheesy “yoga for athletes” DVD’s that don’t involve having to get all dressed up (our yoga studios are definitely Lulu’d out).

We did not use them once during marathon training.

Over the last 4 weeks, it has become blatantly obvious that my muscles are tight.  They are looser now then they were on my day after limp fest through Chicago, but even after all the rest, they are not as loose as I want them to be as I head into “Operation Fast Half” next week.

On Saturday, we did one of the DVD yoga workouts.

I spent 12 years of my life as a ballerina.  I worked on my flexibility constantly (it isn’t cool to be the only girl who can’t do the splits), and I’ve always been pretty limber.  Even in our previous yoga attempts, I’ve been pretty good at holding poses and getting deep into the stretch.

I couldn’t touch my toes on Saturday.  I also fell over on every attempt to hold tree pose (I think this is supposed to be symbolic of my inner balance).  Basic moves like rotating my hips were extraordinarily difficult.

Basically, I was the biggest yoga disaster before even considering my runny nose, and my tendency to giggle every time the monotone lady narrator said “buttock.”

But, regardless, we popped the DVD in again last night, and already my flexibility was far better then it was on Saturday.  My maturity level was about the same.

I don’t love yoga.  I don’t think I’ll change my mind on that any time soon, but I can’t deny that I need to do some good quality stretching to compliment the running mileage.  My goal is to incorporate yoga once per week when I’m actively training.

It took me a really long time to even walk right after the marathon and I think if I had practiced some yoga I would have been much better off.  I will have no time between my half and jumping into Boston training, so I can’t afford to take a few weeks off to recover.  I’m hoping yoga, no matter how unenlightened, will make for an easy transition.

Namaste! And go vote!

Which One of You Pace Groups Wants Me?

I’m allowing myself to have a minor freak out over details this week.  Next week, assuming all of my fears and concerns and worries and general anxiety have been soothed and solved, I will move on to pep talks and inspiration and some loud Chariots of Fire music (extra points if Mr. Bean shows up).

But today. Today is Amy is Freaking Out Over Her Marathon #1.  Please consider this as an open invitation to give me honest and unsolicited advice, because oh my goodness am I listening! Not that I’m ever NOT listening. But you know what I mean.

Marathon Dilemma #1: Pace Groups. 

So, before I get into that, I was doing my daily stalking of the B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association).  (Congratulations to all of you who got accepted for 2013!).  Registration is still open, which is pretty crazy.  We are currently into the 2014 qualifying window, and spots are still open for 2013.  Apparently, yesterday morning, there were still 2500 openings available.  I have never entertained the possibility of running Boston 2013 because it didn’t occur to me that spots would still be open this far into registration.  Even though I’m certain after this upcoming weekend’s races and the roughly 1 billion people hoping to BQ at Chicago that I won’t be getting in, there exists just a slight glimmer of hope.  Just maybe.

However, I stumbled upon this little tidbit of information on the Boston Marathon facebook page.  I don’t know how I missed it until now, but this makes my heart happy!

I set my 3:30 goal assuming that the times would be reduced by 5 minutes as they have been the last couple of years.  But, the times will remain the same! So, to qualify, I have to run 3:34:59 or 8:11 mile splits…5 minutes slower than I have been anticipating!

Herein lies my dilemma.

I’ve been planning on running with a pace group.  I figure when the going gets tough and I lose the ability to think, and I start fading away physically and wanting to curl up in fetal position , I can say to myself, “just stay with the pacer, and you’ll be ok.”  That’s it.  Just stay with the pacer.

I am of course hoping that the pacers know what they’re doing.  I’ve read some blogs of pacers who kind of screwed over their groups, but those were for smaller races.  I’d like to think that Chicago would have a competitive process for choosing these people who fearlessly lead hopefuls to victory.  Maybe?

Also, apparently the pacers keep a consistent pace throughout the race.

Luckily, both the 3:30 and 3:35 time groups are offered in my corral.   But which one do I choose?

(First, I’m being confident and positive Amy and assuming that I can keep up with these groups at all.  Obviously there is a HUGE chance that I won’t be able to hang after the first 15 miles.  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there).

Should I go with the 3:30 group and give myself five minutes to fall behind pace?  This gives me wiggle room to not make some mile splits at goal time, or use the bathroom if necessary, or stop to walk, or curl up in fetal position for a bit, or whatever.

OR

Do I go with the 3:35 group and hope that I’m feeling good enough the last 4-5 miles to pick up speed and come in somewhere around 3:33-3:35 since I saved so much energy by going 11 seconds slower per mile?

For me, going out too fast usually means that I start out about 6:45 and run my first few miles in the 7:00 range (not the best idea).  I don’t think starting at 8 or 8:11 will make or break me energy wise.  Plus, the one time I tried negative splits, I didn’t feel like it helped me at all.

So, do I give myself a cushion or do I conserve a bit of energy and hope that I have it in me to go crazy the last few miles?

My inclination is to go out for a 3:30, but I feel like everyone will say to go out slower and then pick it up for the last few miles.  But what if I’m too tired to pick it up?  I’m not giving myself any wiggle room if I go out slower.  But what if I really can’t handle 8 minute miles. I think I know what Pre would suggest!

I don’t know what I’m going to do.  What would you do and why?

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Also, the problem with following all of the “big” running blogs is my envy over their participation in all of these cool relays.  The running social media world was recently taken over by Hood to Coast coverage (thanks to the 3 Nuun sponsored blogger teams who were tasked with talking about the race and Nuun as much as possible), and I added it to my bucket list.  It looks AMAZING!  Mountain AND Ocean views!

So, this race just happened, but they are already getting people pre-registered in anticipation of real registration in a couple of weeks.  Apparently this thing sells out in 1 day…10 months in advance! If only we could find 10 other people willing to commit to something 10 months in advance (and you know, running at night and living out of a van for a couple of days).

I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!

Friday Take Two

FRIDAY!

It seems like I just had a Friday.  My life has been one giant ball of confusion this week.

So, after a quick look around blog land today, I didn’t see any pre-race posts.  It is quite possible that everyone got their races in on Wednesday. I’m sorry if I missed you, and I hope you have wonderful luck if you are racing! (Update: Whitney is crossing Alaska off her list tomorrow!)

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I don’t have too much to say today.

I ran in the rain last evening, and it felt glorious! After weeks of HOTNESS we’ve finally cooled down to highs in the mid 80’s and a monsoon season!  The rain makes everything so green and so fresh, and it feels like I’m running through a giant sprinkler.  Everytime I’m running and I want to die because it is so hot, I wish for a giant sprinkler to appear, so running in the rain is like a small dream come true.  I’m so sorry to anyone living just about anywhere else right now because I know you are hot. I’ve been there and I feel your pain.

I’ve been watching reruns of The Hills the past couple of mornings. I loved The Hills and Laguna Beach when they were on-air (well, I stopped watching The Hills after Kristin took over).  I was a California college girl at the time (one of the minor Laguna characters went to my school!), and I was not sure why my life (and my clothes) didn’t look like theirs.  I am having a hard time believing that it has already been 5 years since I watched this show! It seems like just yesterday I was grossing out over Justin Bobby.

And I always thought Spencer was bad news, but watching these shows now after being a bit older and with almost 3 years of marriage under my belt, leaves me truly horrified.  His control over Heidi (who I think was 19 at the time) is nothing short of emotionally abusive.  He isolates her, makes her completely dependent on him, and gives her no say in their relationship.  And later into the future there is the plastic surgery ordeal where he literally physically altered her appearance to fit his version of ideal.

I know a lot of what happens on these shows is blown out of proportion to make it entertaining, but I think, especially after the surgeries, that Heidi really showed that she wasn’t in control.

I guess they’re still married?  I only hope that this poor girl has any shred of self-worth left. TIP: if the entire world thinks your fiancée/husband is a DB, then maybe you should entertain the possibility.

Sorry, man people, for that Hills rant.

I’m also having a crazy obsession with 1960’s Palm Springs right now.  I want to be lounging in a poolside chaise wearing a glamorous Givenchy resort outfit, drinking a dirty martini, listening to Rosemary Clooney.  Is that too much to ask for this weekend? (We’ll forget for a moment that it is probably 120 degrees in Palm Springs right now and that the 1960’s probably smelled like a giant ash tray).

Reality Check: I will be running 14 miles.  The moment I pass 13.2, I will officially hit my longest run ever.  This is kind of exciting!  I remember a little less than a year ago I hit 6.3 miles, which was the longest I’d run up to that point and I felt so accomplished! Amazing how a year can change things.

Annnnndddd…I think this warrants some kind of celebration. Might as well get some presents out of it, right? It isn’t everyday that a girl runs her longest run ever (thank goodness).

Am I the only crazy that celebrates mileage milestones? Can someone please take me to Palm Springs? I’ve only been once, but I was 5 and all I remember was that the detour was distracting from my Sea World time.  And I thought it was crazy that you could check out of the hotel room from the T.V. set.  I’m always amazed at the weird memories that stick in our brains.  I literally have a picture in my head of that T.V in Palm Springs circa 1989 with instructions on how to check out.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

SUMMER! And the Lovely Blog Award

HAPPY SUMMER! I absolutely love summertime.

Except when it comes to running.

Yesterday I did my first 800’s sequence since…October?  It was 90 degrees outside at 7:00 pm, so it was not a fun or fast workout.

And although I complain about living in the barren desert a lot, I do not envy anyone who has to live in a place that is both 90 degrees at 7:00 p.m. and humid. I’ll take dry heat any day.

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Last week Kelly at Here We Go nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Thanks, Kelly!

Kelly, a marathon runner with an adorable baby, who has quite the lovely blog herself (and just recently got back from her own Jamaica vacation), relayed the following stipulations for being awarded:

1) Post the award logo and picture on your blog and link back to the person who nominated you. (DONE)
2) Tell seven things about yourself. (SEE BELOW)
3) Nominate up to 15 additional bloggers whom you think deserve the award.
4) Post a comment on the blog of each nominee to tell them they have been nominated!

I have no idea why I have such a hard time with these types of things.  I pretty much hashed out every random fact about myself back in February HERE. I had to get REALLY random this time around.

So…7  Even More Random Things About Amy:

1) The first time I pumped gas for myself was as a junior in college even though I got my first car at 16.  For the first 5 years of having a car, my dad filled up my gas tank for me.  (I wasn’t allowed to have my car for the first two years of college because California freeways are scary, although now I think NM freeways are scarier because nobody knows how to drive on them). I don’t really think this makes me less of a person.

2) I experience allergic reactions to whiskey.  I stopped drinking whiskey once I figured out the correlation in college, but then a couple of years ago, Aaron was a groomsman in a wedding where the signature cocktail was Jack and Ginger.  I had about half a glass before my face turned beet red, I started overheating, and I puffed up (the preacher pulled me aside to see if I was ok…talk about awkward).  Nothing like sitting at the head table looking my absolute worst while toasts are being given.  Luckily, the Bride was beautiful (and is incidentally in labor with her first baby at this very moment…Congrats, Katie and Grey!), so no one was looking at me!

3)  My thyroid is broken…it doesn’t produce the hormone that it is supposed to.  I take a little synthetic pill everyday to help me function as a normal person.  Unfortunately I missed a few growth spurts before I was diagnosed, so I am the same height I was in the 6th grade (and I wasn’t very tall for my age then either).

4) I LOVE The Real Housewives of the OC and Beverly Hills.  I can’t help it. Sorry.  Judge away. I mostly just like their ridiculously lavish lifestyles, not so much their pretend fights and staged drama. And I’m also under the impression that every woman should have a nanny and a plastic surgeon on speed dial. Heather and Adrienne Maloof are my favorite (FACT: Adrienne Maloof is from Albuquerque!)

5) Closed toed shoes make me claustrophobic.  I usually pack a pair of flip-flops in my gear check bag to change into right after finishing a race.

6) I would so much rather live in a big city over a small town.  Not that Albuquerque is all that big, but I prefer feeling surrounded by people and places and things while still being relatively anonymous.  And I love having everything I need (airport, hospital, Target, Starbucks, etc.) nearby.  I love tall buildings and corner shops.

7) My favorite type of music is the classic American Standards sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and Doris Day.  This is what I listen to on  Pandora, and Aaron even puts it on now while we eat dinner.  My dad gave me my first “jazz” CD as a souvenir from London, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  This was our first dance song at our wedding! One of my absolute favorites! (It is also almost 5 minutes in length which makes for a very LONG first dance).

Ok, so here’s the thing.  I have an irrational fear of tagging people in posts like this.  I feel bad that I might leave people out and they’ll be sad, or that I’ll tag someone who’s like, ah man, what did you have do that for? I know that I’m making a far bigger deal of this than I should, but I have a hard time.  There are obviously blog friends who I follow on twitter/instagram who at this point probably know more about me than most of my actual friends.  There are friends who I used to talk to all the time, but who have fallen off the blogging bandwagon because of some craziness like grad school (ahem, Jamie), and there are new friends who I just recently started following who I am excited to get to know more about! AND YOU ALL HAVE AMAZINGLY LOVELY BLOGS!

So, I’m not going to tag people because it stresses me out.  I do try to link to as many people as I can in other ways, and it makes my little heart happy every time I look through comments on other’s blogs and see familiar faces.  Not that I take credit for friendships formed, but I love seeing the world become one big happy runner blog family!

Enjoy the extra few minutes of sunshine today before we start the descent back down to shorter days.

Also, if you are so inclined, Albuquerque’s lifestyle magazine, “Albuquerque the Magazine” does a “Best of the City” contest every year, and voting is going on now.  My blog is small, and most people who read it aren’t from here, so I’m not going to campaign very hard for it, but usually the winner is some political commentator, and I thought it might be cool if a blog focusing on the running/fitness and outdoor culture of Albuquerque (with some wine and microbrewery culture thrown in there!) made the Top 5 list.  As far as I can tell, you don’t have to be from Albuquerque, and you don’t have to vote for more than one category.  You can vote HERE. THANKS!

Shout Outs and Friday Rest Day Randoms

Sending Fast Thoughts To:

1) Hyedi is running the Gary Bjorkland Half Marathon!

2) Carly is competing in her first Tri this weekend!

3) Anna Catherine is running a 10 miler this weekend…her longest race yet!

4) Lauren, my friend since 6th grade who kicks my butt at every local race, is running her first marathon, Grandma’s Marathon, this weekend.  If anyone can qualify on her first try, it’s this girl!

Good luck to you ladies, and anyone else racing this weekend! 

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REST DAY! Woo hoo! Let the Randomness ensue!

Last night we spent a few hours in Amy and Aaron Heaven.

Our Natural History Museum hosts occasional “Margarita and a Movie Nights” with the movie portion being shown on an IMAX (or DynaMax as our museum calls it) screen.  At this moment in time, the IMAX theater at the museum is the only one in Albuquerque, so seeing something on the BIG big screen is pretty exciting around these parts. To me, anyway.

{I’m pointing to the ticket that says Margarita and a Movie so you know I’m not lying to you}

Before the movie, they get you all liquored up with a mini margarita! Then you proceed to theater to watch the movie.  (Also, since Friday night booze consumption is off limits to prevent miserable Saturday morning long runs, I figure a margarita on Thursday (the day before our designated rest day) is an acceptable substitute).

Yesterday the movie was BACK TO THE FUTURE.

We are crazy about Back to the Future.  On our first date, we realized we both had an unnatural love of that movie, could both probably quote the entire script, and would both gladly purchase a DeLorean if the opportunity arose.  After our first date dinner we headed over to Aaron’s apartment to watch it. And now we’re married. Back to the Future = Love.

So we have margaritas (+1 point), IMAX screen (+1 point), T-Rex sightings (+2 points), and BACK TO THE FUTURE (+10000 points).  It was a fabulous event!

Before the movie, we stopped by to visit Friend Peter at his newest restaurant endeavor, Q Burger downtown.  If you’re in Albuquerque, you should check this place out! The burgers are yummy and are made of local grass-fed beef, all the produce is local and seasonal, and the bread is baked here in town. The sweet potato tots are to die for, they have local brews on tap along with local wines AND THE ATMOSPHERE IS AMAZING! And I’m not just saying this because he’s our friend.  Completely Amy approved.

{Please ignore the red meat and bacon in this picture}

{Aaron’s gluten free version.  There is a turkey burger somewhere in there}

In other news, I wouldn’t be a true Disney diehard if I didn’t mention that CARS LAND opens at Disneyland’s California Adventure today and I am pretty much having a panic attack because I’m not there. In addition to Cars Land there are also some other park perk ups like the addition to mountain climbers on the Matterhorn and a new “Buena Vista Street” in California Adventure.  Ever since I ventured into the magical world of Disneyland on my 5th birthday, I have been obsessed.

{Everyone wears Minnie Mouse ears to their wedding, right?}

I introduced Aaron to Disneyland on his 27th birthday 3 years ago, but we haven’t been back since.  I think now is the perfect time to plan a vacation.

{Riding the Carousel in 2009.  I’m jealous of  younger Amy’s hair.}

Lululemon just announced that the headliner for the post Sea Wheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver is going to be FUN.  (The Sea Wheeze is the Lululemon sponsored race). This only makes me about 10,000 times more sad that I’m not going to be there.  Dear RnR Arizona, can you please secure Fun. as your concert headliner? Nate IS from Phoenix.

Also, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! I have a pretty cool dad as you can tell by the picture below! Thanks Dad, for: all your support, help with math homework (even though engineers make algebra 10X more complicated than it needs to be), making sure my taxes were always filed on time, fixing car problems, and financing things like college, my wedding, and that 90’s Nike wind suit that I just HAD to have (truly tragic).

And Happy Father’s Day to all you other dad’s out there! Happy Weekend to everyone else!

The FUN. Concert That Wasn’t and Post NRD Reflections

Before I get into my recap of what I DIDN’T do last evening, I wanted to acknowledge that my National Runner’s Day post was easily the worst one I saw.

First, I got the day all wrong.  What I thought was Runner’s Day (like, the day where you  honor and celebrate that special runner in your life and gift them with new shoes) was actually Running Day, a day celebrating the sport of running and our love and joy for it.

I saw lots (and lots) of beautiful reflections of what running means to people and how it has changed their life. So, I totally dropped the ball on having a meaningful Runner’s Day.  But I really enjoyed reading everyone else’s thoughts.  It is so great to see how so many people have found themselves through running! And it kind of felt like a joyous runner’s Christmas.  So much goodwill and shared excitement!

So, here’s a beautiful Pre quote that I think sums up running for me:

“Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

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Yesterday we were going to drive up to Santa Fe and see…FUN!!! Fun of course is the super popular band with the hit single “We Are Young” (trust me, you’ve heard it), and my personal obsession, “Some Nights.”

Nate, the lead singer is from Phoenix and a few years ago he was in a band called The Format. Aaron, who was living in Phoenix at the time was a fan. I know they had a following here, and even in Northern California where I was, but I don’t think they were quite mainstream.

So, when this song came out in a Super Bowl Commercial, not only were we in love with it, we were also excited to see that The Format dude had found himself some new bandmates, they were producing some pretty neat stuff, and they were getting major exposure.

Last night they were scheduled to play in Santa Fe.  It was actually a free show (probably booked before they become one of the biggest bands in the country), so we were prepared to battle some high school girls for optimum audience placement.  I ran my miles in the morning, I arranged to get off work early, I burned the album onto a CD and listened to it on loop both on my commute and in the office all day.  We were pumped and ready!

Until 12:15 p.m.

I was glancing at my Facebook feed, and I noticed:

WHATTTTT?????

And then this:

Apparently Nate was deathly ill with a fever and cough and couldn’t perform.  They are playing at Bonnaroo this weekend where Christina will get to see them, and probably being well for that performance is a bigger priority (they were on Jimmy Kimmel on Monday and the MTV Music Awards on Sunday.  They’ve had a long week).

Today’s post was supposed to be a lovely recap of the fabulous time I had at the Fun. concert.  I was going to have pictures of the band up close and personal, and there may have been a video of me jumping up and down in true fan girl style while they sang Some Nights.

But sadly none of this could happen.

I’m not a huge concert person.  I pretty much go see Journey every time they come because I LOVE JOURNEY SO MUCH, and I did have my Huey Lewis phase.  But I’ve never been a huge “let’s spend money on concerts” person.

I was REALLY looking forward to this concert.

Aaron was annoyed because the last time The Format was supposed to play in Albuquerque, the same dude got sick, they cancelled, never rescheduled, and never refunded tickets (that show wasn’t free).

So I’m hoping they reschedule.  Looking at their tour dates however, it seems kind of unlikely.  They are pretty much going non-stop, then heading to Europe.  I hate catching bands at the end of tours because they are so obviously worn out, but I’m guessing they won’t head to Albuquerque to conclude their tour right after flying in from Portugal, so I don’t know.  We may have missed our chance to see them for now.

After that disappointing news, we had all evening to do nothing.  We both ran beforehand, so we literally had hours on our hands.  There may be something to this “get it over with first thing in the morning” thing, because having a full evening to run all our errands was actually pretty convenient.

To console we went to a vegan Thai restaurant (called Thai Vegan no less).  Aaron tried (like, really really tried) to convince me not to order the tempura, but I was bummed enough to mask my sorrows through deep fried veggies and soy shrimp.  I immediately regretted it.  I’ve always known that the “healthy” part of this marathon training would be the hardest.

Life goes on, and today will hopefully bring less concert drama and less fried food!

I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Happy Birthday, Aaron!

Today is a big day in Casa de Lavender.

Today my husband crosses over to the other side.

Today is Aaron’s 30th birthday!

30 seems like such a big deal.  We’re talking full-fledged adulthood.  None of this twenty-something nonsense.  No more child-like antics, no more immature jokes (thank goodness!), no more partying til dawn because we just can’t stay up that late.  And a whole new (less competitive) racing age division!

{Check out that incredible display of maturity!}

Yeah…not so much.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  ~Chili Davis


I think it goes without saying that I love every second of my husband’s silliness, and I would never imagine trying to squish it out of him now that he’s at such an advanced age!

We celebrated a last few days of immaturity this weekend in Durango, CO (more on that tomorrow).

Happy birthday, Aaron! 30 is just the beginning! 

Nerd Time During the Perpetual Taper

I kind of feel like a bum this week.

I started the second taper of the last 3 weeks after taking a few days off to rest the IT band (still tight, but not as bad as it was last week), so nothing too exciting with running.

I also did pretty badly on the April “Have Fun Everyday” blog challenge that I signed up for.  I tend to think that I have a pretty fun life.  Turns out I am SO UNFUN.  Some of my fun moments included stealing the remote to watch a Doris Day movie on TCM and taking pictures of the snow.  I need to liven up a bit.

I also looked at my daily horoscope after purchasing my car on Friday, and it said “DO NOT enter into any contracts today.”  Fantastic.  I don’t believe in horoscopes, but it kind of freaks me out that it said not to enter into contracts on the one day of my life that I actually sign one.

So while my athletic life, fun life, and astrological life are in need of some fine tuning, I did get in some major nerd time this weekend.

And by nerd time, I mean I hung out with my family.

My little sister goes to college in a town about 3 hours south of Albuquerque, and about 45 minutes north of Mexico.  You have to go through border security on your way out.  Albuquerque is barren desert.  This town is the barrenist of all deserts.

A couple of weeks ago, a club she belongs to (some acronym to do with building model planes…she’s a mechanical engineering major) went to Wichita Kansas to compete with other college teams across the nation.  They got through one out of three rounds before the competition was called off due to tornadoes.  Wichita actually made national news that day/night because the metro area had about 97 tornadoes touch ground.

The team was ok, though pretty freaked out because the competition site along with the gas station 2 blocks from their hotel were obliterated, but they also didn’t get to finish out the competition.

They decided to show off the plane and complete their missions on Saturday safely back in the land of no tornadoes, so Aaron, Giuseppe, and I hitched a ride with  my parents at the crack of dawn, and we all drove down to the desert to watch the plane fly.

{Giuseppe, walking through the barrenist desert}

They got through their first mission of flying as many loops as they could in 4 minutes, and finished the 2nd mission of carrying added weight before the plane crashed in fabulous glory during landing.  GAME OVER.  I guess it was a good thing that it crashed in front of friends and family instead of in front of judges.

{Meanwhile, the plane is flying and Giuseppe is stealing the show!}

{Poor little crashed plane}

{Where model planes go to die}

My sister designed the wings.  The wings did amazingly! They managed to fly even in the super windy Tornado prone Kansas, and they were still in good shape after the crash.  Good job, sister!

Next year she will be the president of the plane flying engineer people.  Hopefully the plane won’t crash under her reign.

We went to lunch, and by this time, because we were in the barrenist of all deserts, it was HOT.  We went to get some Frozen Custard (FroCu?  It sounds like a bad word phrase when you say it, but FroCus doesn’t sound any better), to cool down, and then dropped my sister back off at her apartment to have a finals induced heart attack/panic attack for the next couple of weeks.

And then we drove back home after passing through the border checkpoint!