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!

Road Trip Through the Painted Desert

The End of a Journey

I had the rest of this post written out last night, but how much can change in a few hours! Etta James’ death was unfortunately not the first one I heard about today.  Etta passed away his morning at the age of 73 after battling several health problems.  Even though it sounds like she was kind of the Lindsey Lohan of her day, I believe that At Last is one of the most beautifully sung and most  iconic American standards ever recorded.  That one song alone kept Etta relevant across generations, and based on my facebook feed, her death has affected many people.  So, before anything else, RIP Etta James, and thank you for your contribution to American Music.



The trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix is 6 hours. It is a relatively short distance, but the terrain is so varied along the way.   

To pass the time during the trip, I pulled out the Canon and started snapping away. I still don’t really know how to use my camera, but I did learn that the little runner dude icon is “sports mode” which means I can capture stuff moving fast without it being blurry.  This came in handy when trying to take pictures at 75 mph.  Meanwhile, Aaron was embarrassed about how dirty the windows were. 

I prefer an ocean sunset, but I would be lying if I said that New Mexico sunsets aren’t some of the most amazing.  I only wish I was a good enough photographer to capture them with any sense of justice.

So, here is rural New Mexico and Arizona: desert, mountains, forest, cliffs, Route 66 towns, roadside attractions, Navajo Reservations, and open road.