Saturday, May 31, 2014

May in Review

I think that May might have gone even faster than April! CRAZY!

Here are a few highlights.

We started the month by running/walking a 5k. Race for the Cure.

Race for the Cure 2014 | Las Vegas, NV

We spent the next weekend on Catalina Island for my cousin's wedding. We also went SCUBA diving in the ocean before the wedding and I went for a run the next day.

I also did some sun salutations on the beach, which I didn't really blog about but had a great time doing.

Yoga on the Beach | Catalina Island, CA

We took a weekend off the 3rd weekend, but then I ran a half marathon and a 5k the 4th weekend. It was a gorgeous day for a race, and I had a great time - despite exacerbating an injury I'd been ignoring.

Trails of Fury | Las Vegas, NV

I also had a great time participating in Namaste in May with Fitfluential and MPG Sports. There was a different yoga pose challenge each day, and I did a version of each pose - missing only a few. Yay!

Now let me check in with the old 2014 goals.

Individual Goals

Fitness goals - Run Faster and Train Harder
Can't say I really devoted anytime to this in May. :( I think I may have had one speed training session. Boo. Overall my training wasn't as good as it should have been, but there's always next month. LOL.

Blogging goals
Blogging in May definitely could have been better. I checked in with my Google Analytics this morning only to find out that my pageviews had dropped significantly. Guess I have some work to do to build things back up again.

Goals with Jeff

Run a Triathlon. No news on this yet. Well, except the we've decided against running the Solana Beach Triathlon. There were a lot of reasons why we decided not to do this one, but the ocean swim was definitely a big one.

Read 3 books together. Maybe in June...?

New in 2014. SCUBA diving in the ocean!

Enriching Activities. Nothing in May, but I think we're still good on this. :)

What was your biggest highlight from May?
How are you doing with your 2014 goals?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ready for the Weekend!

Happy Friday!! Even though it was a short week with Monday being a holiday, I'm more than ready for the WEEKEND!

Ready for the Weekend!

We ordered Bountiful Baskets to pick up this weekend. Yay for fresh produce! I usually drive to pick it up, but we're hoping to hop on our bikes tomorrow morning. We biked to pick up our basket the very first week we participated, and NEVER AGAIN! Oops! That was more than a year ago. Wow!

Speaking of biking, we really need to get back in the saddle. :) We're still hoping to get in our first triathlon this year. Even though, we'll be doing a sprint distance, and we certainly won't be racing, we still need to get used to being back on the bike. We still haven't decided on a specific triathlon. We were thinking about doing the Solana Beach Triathlon in July, but we've decided against that one. I'm still feeling a bit of twinging pain in my butt, and I'm not sure if I'll be ready for that kind of race in just two months. Plus, I'm a bit nervous about doing a tri in the ocean - without living near enough one to practice. :)

In the meantime, I just need to get on my bike MORE! I think I've only biked to work ONCE in the past SEVERAL months. Yikes! I used to be so good about it. Now, I always seem to have one excuse or another or I simply didn't prepare the night before.

In addition to biking to Bountiful Baskets tomorrow, We're also hoping to join a few friends for a trail run/hike Sunday morning! Yay for active weekends. :) I hope I feel good enough after tomorrow's bike ride to head up to Mt Charleston on Sunday. I just want this pain to go away! I know I need to do a little more research on some good stretches and strengthening moves to heal properly. And give it some time.

Now, I've got to get a move on, but here's a random conversation I had with a co-worker earlier this week.

HIM: So, how many marathons did you run this weekend?
ME (being a smart-ass): None.
HIM (looking perplexed): Oh, you took the weekend off?
ME (laughing a little): Not really. I just didn't run any marathons. I only ran a half Saturday morning and a 5k Saturday night.
HIM (looking impressed): Wow. I don't know how you do it.

I love conversations like that! One of the best parts of being a runner is the bragging rights! lol.

What are your weekend plans? Anyone racing?
Do you run for the bragging rights? Or is that just me?

I'm linking up with Jill today for Fitness Fridays.
Go check out how everyone else is celebrating fitness today.
Fitness Fridays

Monday, May 26, 2014

Trails of Fury Race Recap

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early - so early, it wasn't even bright yet actually - to head out for Trails of Fury. In a moment of insanity, I'd registered for the Dirty Double - which meant a race in the morning and a race in the evening. I'd decided on the Half Marathon to start the day and a 5k at night. Since I'm still a little new to trail running, I didn't want to push it any more than that.

And it's a good thing, too, since I ended up exacerbating a little injury during the half. I don't think I could have done any more than I did. More on that later.

Race #1 - Half Marathon
What a gorgeous morning for a race!

Trails of Fury | May 24, 2014
Ready to run!

The race started with a pre-race briefing.

Trails of Fury | Desert Dash races

Going over things like the race course and some basic trail race rules. You know. Stay on the trail. Unless you see a desert tortoise or a rattlesnake. Or a wild horse. Or if you need to step out of the way, so another runner can pass.

The course started out on a single track trail, actually the majority of the race was on a single track, so it was a little crowded at the start.  We started out a bit faster than usual, and I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain that for the full 13.1, so I stopped off to the side and let a few runners pass.

Desert Dash did a fabulous job marking the course. They felt it should be a race - not an exercise in orienteering. :-D

Trails of Fury | Desert Dash races

The course was absolutely gorgeous!

Trail Running | Las Vegas, NV

The weather was perfect. For me. Others probably thought it was a bit too hot, but I loved it! It was in the low-to-mid-70s with a nice cool breeze. I never really felt too hot and uncomfortable. Like I said, perfection.

Trail Running | Las Vegas, NV

George and I had previewed part of the half marathon course the week before, so we were familiar with about miles 2-5. These were some of the toughest miles of the course, in my opinion.

Trails of Fury | Cottonwood Valley, Las Vegas, NV

Trail Running | Las Vegas, NV

There were aid stations around miles 2.75 and 6. We ran right through the first aid station. I still had plenty of water and didn't really need anything. I did pop 3 ShotBloks from my own stash around mile 3, though.

We took advantage of the 2nd aid station, though. I grabbed a bunch of pretzels and some M&Ms. Plus we just took a short breather.

Shortly after that 2nd aid station, we ascended Satan's Escalator. This was most aptly named. Haha!

Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. George zoomed up the switchbacks as I slowly plodded my way to the top.

Trails of Fury | Cottonwood Valley, Las Vegas, NV
Finally near the top of Satan's Escalator
View from the top of Satan's Escalator
Miles 6.5 to 8 was a fantastic, mostly flat, savanna stretch of the course. It was so fun to just run and enjoy the beauty all around me - without feeling like I was going to fall down the hill or die struggling up the hill.

The 3rd aid station was around mile 8. We spent a bit of time here. They had all kinds of goodies. Bananas, oranges, Oreos, potato chips, pretzels, water, Coke, Island Boost, Tailwind. There might have been more, but that's all I can remember. I tried most everything. :-D

This aid station was located at Wilson's Tank, which has a gorgeous view of the Vegas valley. You can see the Strip WAY off in the distance, but I didn't get a great picture of that.

I was way too mesmerized and excited about the WILD HORSES down below.

Wild Horses | Cottonwood Valley, NV
Sorry it's such a bad picture. They were so far away! 

I'm not sure why, but I'm incredibly fascinated by the idea of wild horses. Until a couple years ago, I never really knew that wild horses still existed. Apparently, if I were a stronger, faster runner I would have seen one up close. The volunteers at the aid station said there was one right in the trail for awhile that startled several runners. Then the horse moved off the trail and hung out behind the volunteers for awhile. I wish I could have seen that!

Wild Horses | Cottonwood Valley, Las Vegas, NV
Way down there in the valley are some WILD HORSES!
Trails of Fury | Las Vegas, NV
5 more miles to go!
Probably about a mile or so later, my butt really started to hurt. It's a pain that I've been ignoring for awhile too long now. After looking at some images, I'm guessing it's my sacrotuberal ligament or obturator internus muscle or maybe piriformis muscle. It's basically a nagging pain near my tailbone.

It got progressively worse the further I went. And maybe it wasn't the smartest idea, but I kept running along - thinking if I kept going, at least it would be over that much sooner.

George started to have some IT band issues and kept stopping to walk. I kept running ahead, but then I knew he wouldn't have left me, so I stopped and ran/walked with him to the finish.

Around mile 10.5 or so, we got to a really pretty part of the course. I wanted to stop and take pictures at nearly every step.

Trails of Fury | Desert Dash races
The beginning of some absolutely breathtaking views
Probably around mile 12, a girl that we'd leapfrogged with the first half of the race had caught up to us. That was enough motivation to keep running with no more walk breaks.

The finish line was bittersweet. It was wonderful to be finished! The pain in my ass had moved down into my knee for the final miles, and I was in a good deal of pain, so it was good to be off the course.

But the course was so beautiful and the weather was so gorgeous that I could've spent the whole day out there!

Time: 3:25:44

The post-race treats were great!

Trails of Fury 2014 | Desert Dash races

I had some salted watermelon, a banana, and a quarter of muffin. It was a perfect spread.

After the race, we headed back to George's car, which had been broken into. Booo! He had a credit card stolen and some cash, and they stole one of my credit cards as well. There were a few other cars that had been broken into as well. So sad.

I wasn't going to let it damper the rest of my day, though.

We headed to the M Resort's pool. We'd reserved a cabana for the afternoon. I'll save a recap of the pool for another day, but it was a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, even splashing around in the water irritated my knee. I knew it was going to be slow 5k.

Race #2 - 5k
Jeff met us at the M pool and we hung out there until around 6:45pm, when we headed back to Cottonwood Valley for our 2nd race. George had left the pool earlier, so we met up with him back at the race.

The race started with the Race Director doing a roll call to make sure everyone was there. I'd never been to a race where they called off everyone's name. It was kind of neat. Roll call was followed by the race rules. Pretty much the same thing as the morning, so I know I didn't pay as close of attention this time around.

About 1/2 mile in, we turned right for the 5k loop. The 10k-ers did this loop twice; the 30k-ers did this loop at the beginning and again at the end. Not too sure of the 50k course, but it started with the 5k loop as well. :)

Trails of Fury 2014 | Desert Dash races

I knew I was going to have to walk most of this race, as my knee and butt were in a lot of pain now. George and I started way in the back, and we stayed there for the full race. I think there was just a slow walker behind us.

We were both A-OK with walking, but we did try to keep up a good pace.

Trail Running | Las Vegas, NV
Only pic George took of the 5k; I took none.
The downhills were much worse for me, and probably half of the course was downhill. There were some downhill switchbacks after dark. George's IT band apparently didn't mind the downhills as much, so he took off while I slowly made my way down. It was difficult to see in the dark, and I'm pretty sure that I missed part of the trail and cut across the rock. Oops!

We were passed by a couple of the 10k-ers, who started at the same time we did. Oh well. We still finished strong and under 1hr. Yay!

Time: 55:02

Oh the things we runners do for bling! I love that I got a medal for the 1st race and a pilsner glass for the 2nd.
Trails of Fury 2014 race medal and pilsner

Despite my injuries, this was a fantastic race! It was my first Desert Dash race, and I would definitely register for another one of their races. Their signage was perfect and very helpful for both distances. The aid stations were nicely stocked with all kinds of goodies and provided a perfect breather. The weather was amazing, though Desert Dash didn't really have much control over that. :-D The volunteers were awesome as were the race directors.

Now, it's time to focus on healing this injury.

Did you race over the weekend?
Have you ever pushed through pain in order to get to the finish faster?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 5/25

Even though my right knee is killing me (more on that later) after yesterday's races, it really was a great week of workouts!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Race Day - Chatty Cathy

Tomorrow is another race day! 2014 is really turning out to be the year of the races for me, and I'm having a blast!

Tomorrow is ...

I'll be starting my Saturday morning bright and early with a half marathon and then finishing the evening with a 5k for the DIRTY DOUBLE.

As with any race, particularly a trail race, my #1 goal is always to just get out there and have fun. ENJOY THE COURSE. :) This definitely won't be a PR course, but it will definitely be a beautiful course.

Part of the fun of running a race is interacting with other runners out on the course.

I'm kind of a solo runner during training, so I can be a little chatty during a race - especially a longer race like a half marathon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Catalina Island: The Wedding

You may recall I had a fantastic visit to Catalina Island earlier this month! SCUBA diving and running were just bonus activities; the real reason for the mini vacation was for my cousin's destination wedding.

The wedding was a Great Gatsby theme, and we had a lot of fun getting all dressed up in 1920s fashion.

Posing outside the casino

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 5/18

I actually did pretty well with my workouts this past week! Yay!! I've still got a little ways to go until I feel like I'm really back in the groove, but I'm pretty happy with how it went last week.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Catalina Island: The Running

In planning our vacation to Catalina Island, I simply knew I had to get in at least one run.
I packed for two. :-)

The weekend really went too fast don't they always? SO after the wedding with an open bar, I woke up Sunday morning determined to run off any hangover.

It was a bit of a struggle to crawl out of bed and change into my running clothes, but I did it. SO GLAD I DID!

It was a beautiful morning! There was a slight breeze; the weather was perfect.

I started out running along the ocean.

Catalina Island | Pebbly Road

It's such a rare treat for me to run with the ocean by my side. And it was exhilarating. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Catalina Island: The Dive

As you probably know, I spent this past weekend on beautiful Catalina Island. When we found out my cousin was getting married there, we simply knew we had to attend. It was the perfect excuse to finally get in our first ocean dive.

We got certified back in July 2011 in MN. Obviously, there was no ocean available, so all of our certification dives were done in lakes. While in MN, we also dove Lake Wazee a couple times and did a dive at SeaLife in the Mall of America. Since moving to Vegas, we've only gone diving once - an eco-dive last June at Lake Mead.

An ocean dive was definitely the next step!

And our New in 2014 for May.

Becoming a certified diver was an immensely difficult and emotional accomplishment for me. You can read more about that here.

I'm still a pretty nervous diver.

Monday, May 12, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 5/11

Yesterday was spent traveling home from Catalina Island, so I'm a day late in writing this post. I had such a marvelous weekend! So much fun that I can't really get into it all here. ;-)

I'm excited to share with you all about my first ocean dive and my adventures on Catalina Island, but in the meantime, here's a look at last week's workouts and next week's menu.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What's for Dinner? Week of 5/4

Last Sunday, I was driving through Zion National Park on my way home from Ragnar Trail Zion. The rest of the day got a bit crazy, and I never got around to writing my weekly recap / menu planning post. In fact, I never even made a meal plan. Booo.

Last week was a bit crazy at work - training in a new guy. It's not a very good excuse, but I think it was probably a factor in the disappointing results of last week.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ragnar Trail Zion 2014

I'm not even sure where to begin writing a recap of Ragnar Trail Zion 2014! Really writing a recap of any relay.

It was an incredible couple of days - despite Mother Nature not really being on our side.

We left early Friday morning after playing a little Jenga with all of our gear in the trunk of George's car. We really didn't think it would all fit, but yeah. we're just that good. :)

Ragnar Trail Zion 2014

Last year, the guy I drove to Zion with took a back route, but this year, we drove several miles through Zion National Park. We didn't stop at all, but I did manage to snap a couple pics from the car window.