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!

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As Summer Fades Away….

Today is officially the last day of summer.  Even though people seem to have been celebrating this for weeks now, I am finally accepting that the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler, but I’m not happy about it.  All I have left is the memories of the last few months of warmness and being outside.  When I think back to the Summer of 2011 I will remember it as the summer we went to Jamaica, got Giuseppe and trained him to be the world’s most amazing puppy, ran A LOT, tried something/someplace new almost every weekend, and had some crazy times with some crazy (and not so crazy) people. 

On the first day of summer back in June, I made a To-Do of all the things I wanted to do during the summer (I’ll do one tomorrow for fall).  Here’s how that turned out.

1) Dine al fresco as much as possible.  DONE

2) Spend an afternoon on a lake. DID NOT DO

But I did kayak on the ocean….so I guess that counts for something?

3) New Mexico Wine Festival: DONE

As an added bonus, we also went to the Santa Fe Wine Festival!

4) Fireworks: DONE

We didn’t see fireworks for 4th of July, but we did get our chance at the Rockie’s game!

5) Accomplish gardening success: IN PROGRESS

This is definitely more Aaron’s accomplishment than mine, but we’ve already gotten some green beans, peppers, and eggplants out of the garden!

6) Go on a road trip: DONE

We weren’t supposed to, but due to some crazy circumstances, we ended up DRIVING to Denver last weekend instead of flying. 

7. Go whitewater rafting: DID NOT DO

8.  Go to the Zoo: DID NOT DO

9.  Practice my golfing skills: DID NOT DO

10.  Practice my tennis skills: DID NOT DO

11.  Crash a pool party: DONE

12) Get my puppy potty trained: DONE

I think we are finally ready to shampoo the carpet!

I managed to accomplish about 58% of what I set out to do this summer, but regardless, we had a wonderful time soaking up the sun, hanging out with friends, drinking cool beverages, and incorporating the puppy into our home.  Goodbye, Summer.  We knew ye well.

Not Really Ready for Fall

I’m not sure when the world decided it was ready for fall, but all of the sudden, reminders of its impending arrival are everywhere.  Pinterest is filled with fall decoration/outfits inspiration, Spirit the Halloween Superstore is getting ready to open down the street, kids are back in classes or heading back to college, and suddenly the shelves are full of Oktoberfest beer. 

This makes me sad.

Didn’t we just start summer?  It feels like I looked forward to sunshine and warmness for months and it is almost already over again. 

This weekend I attempted to ignore the end of summer as much as possible.  It definitely helped that we got invited to hang out at a swimming pool on Saturday.

We gave Giuseppe a bath (which he was NOT happy about) in order to make him presentable.

We packed our beach towels and sunscreen (which unfortunately Lobster Aaron didn’t take advantage of until it was too late).

We got our mojito kit together.

We slowly introduced Giuseppe to the pool.

We cautiously tested the waters, and turns out, Giuseppe can swim! I don’t think he really enjoys being a water baby though (in the pool or the bathtub), but I think he could probably survive in an emergency situation if needed.

Ok, so I don’t know what the heck the big deal is about “planking,” but Aaron decided to get in on the craze…even though I think we’re too late because apparently planking is passe and “flagging” is the new cool thing to do.  Who comes up with this stuff? And what the heck is flagging?

So, after Aaron planked the slide, someone came up with the brilliant idea to have 3 men plank on it while someone else slid down under them (only 2 men fit).  Yeah…I don’t know.  But, everything went as planned,  friend Robin made it down safely, and I got some great pictures of the process!  Notice how I didn’t volunteer to be the one to go down the slide.

I will say that Sunday’s 7.06  mile run wasn’t the easiest after pool party food/mojitos/sunburn (another reminder why eating healthy makes running easier).  But splashing in the pool was a fun way to spend an end-of-summer weekend. 

Luckily, even if the world is anticipating the arrival of Starbucks pumpkin lattes, Albuquerque will hopefully still have warm temperatures into early October.  So with that happy thought, I will face the week and I shall glare at any reminder that summer is coming to an end.

Summertime!

It is safe to say that I REALLY hate the cold.  No matter how much people try to argue with me, I would much rather be uncomfortably warm without a way to make it better than cold and wearing 10 layers of clothing.  As a matter of fact, I turned on my office space heater yesterday when it was 95 degrees outside because I was a little chilly.

My bedtime outfit this past winter (taken by Aaron without my permission)

So, it is with extreme pleasure that I announce the arrival of SUMMER! Granted, it has been pretty warm here for about a month (don’t get me started on the freezing early May temperatures), and also granted that I’ve already had my summer beach vacation to Jamaica, but there is something so satisfying about knowing that for the next 3 months, I won’t have to worry about getting cold.  I will not be confined to my living room in order to stay warm, and leaving the house won’t involve putting on 10 layers of clothing.

Alas, summer only lasts so long, and I want to make sure that I take full advantage of the sunshine and fresh air.  I usually make a season “to-do” list.  In fall, I have to make sure I buy insane amounts of gourds to decorate with.  In winter, I have to make sure to do last-minute Christmas shopping.  Here is what I hope to accomplish this summer:

1)      Dine al fresco as much as possible.

I don’t care if it is in my backyard or at a restaurant patio.  Food tastes better outdoors.  The bugs agree with me.

2)      Spend an afternoon on a lake.

This might be easier said then done seeing as how I live in the desert and lakes are hard to come by.  And we don’t have a boat.  But nothing says summer like enjoying some chips, salsa, and margaritas in the middle of water…even if it is on a floating noodle.

I'm jealous of Washington Lakes.

3)      New Mexico Wine Festival

Every Labor Day Weekend the winos of New Mexico unite to sample the state’s finest vintages.  Since the age of 21, I have happily partaken in the festivities.

4)      Fireworks.

I am a sucker for fireworks.  I told Aaron I don’t care what we do on the 4th of July as long as I can see a firework show, preferably orchestrated to music while eating a giant funnel cake.

5)      Accomplish gardening success

We were waiting to come back from our vacation before we started doing some gardening, but now that we’re back, its time to start getting some flowers in those flower boxes. And I am determined to prove that palm trees can in fact survive in a dry, dry, dry climate.

 

6)      Go on a road trip

Nothing says summer like cruising down the open road with the windows down.  I don’t know where we’d go, but I’d settle for a trip to California.  

7)      Go whitewater rafting

The rivers nearby aren’t exactly brimming with excitement right now because we haven’t had rain in about a year.  While this should indicate a nice leisurely float down, in reality this means getting stuck on river rocks.

8)      Go to the Zoo

I actually think Albuquerque has a decent zoo.  I haven’t been in about 5 years, so I think I am long overdue for a visit.  Bring on the Koalas!

9)      Practice my golfing skills

Or rather, acquire some golfing skills. 

10)   Practice my tennis skills

Or rather, acquire some tennis skills

11)   Crash a pool party

I don’t have a pool.  I don’t have friends who live in apartment complexes.  We aren’t quite at the socio-economic level to afford a membership at the country club (trust me, I looked), and the nearest hotel pool party is a couple of hours away (and not really in a town I’d want to go to for a pool party…Google Espanola).  We may have to be strategic about how we get our pool fix.  It may or may not involve being “guests” at another hotel.

Photo by Paul Nguyen. I wish I had this pool at my disposal all the time

12)   Get my puppy potty trained

This needs to happen soon or else I will lose my sanity.  I’m definitely looking forward to the day that Giuseppe can indicate his need to go outside rather than me spending half my day out there with him, or cleaning up his little surprises.

I know you're cute...but can you just pee already?

So, Happy Summer! May you have 3 months of sunshine, BBQ’s, and pool parties!