Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Year in Review


- was trying to be more adventurous, went snowshoeing
- met my goal weight
- volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and earned a free ticket to Disneyland


- saw Dierks Bentley, met Dierks Bentley


- ran the Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam 5K in 34:29 - first one ever!
- had the 2nd Annual Fake Patty's Day celebration at McFadden's
- saw the Dodgers and the Reds play an exhibition game at Cashman Field


- went to my sister's CA baby shower
- hosted my sister's baby shower
- decided to do a half marathon


- met my first niece, Brianna Lyn...she was born on May 26th


- started training for previously mentioned half marathon


- did my first shot of Jack Daniels
- cashed in my free ticket to Disneyland with my friend Christi
- had an awesome weekend in CA with Christi - lot of memories made


- saw Rob Thomas play poolside at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino
- went back to school after taking a semester off


- saw John Michael Montgomery in Primm
- met John Michael Montgomery in a gas station in Primm


- went to Utah for a long weekend
- turned 24.
- dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast for Halloween


- saw Alan Jackson, The Band Perry and Chris Young
- went to Missouri to visit family for 10 days, had Thanksgiving
- went "hunting" for the first time
- ran the Springfield Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving in 37:49 in 32 degree, snowy weather
- ran the Mansfield Turkey Trot in 00:00....that town didn't time us
- completed training for the half marathon


- ran the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
- got an A- in my math class

And what a year it was!

Sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win....

Little miss down on love
Little miss I give up
Little miss I'll get tough, don't you worry 'bout me anymore
Little miss check her dress
Little miss one big mess
Little miss I'll take less when I always give so much more

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
And it'll be alright again
It'll be alright again
I'm okay
It'll be alright again
I'm okay
It'll be alright again
I'm okay

Little miss do your best
Little miss never rest
Little miss be my guest
I'll make more anytime that it runs out
Little miss you'll go far
Little miss hide your scars
Little miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
And it'll be alright again
It'll be alright again
I'm okay
It'll be alright again
I'm okay
It'll be alright again
I'm okay

Little miss brand new start
Little miss do your part
Little miss big 'ol heart beats wide open, she's ready now for love

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
And it'll be alright again
It'll be alright again
I'm okay
It'll be alright again
I'm okay
It'll be alright again
I'm okay

-- "Little Miss" - Sugarland

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Half Marathon is 13.1 Miles...

The title of this post is the same title I gave to a playlist on my iPod that contained songs I thought were cool enough to accompany me while training for and oh yeah, completing the half marathon.

So, here is the long awaited review of the whole shebang...

As the days grew closer to the real thing on December 5, my anxiety level rose. I was nervous and excited and hopeful and ready all at the same time. Soon enough, Friday rolled around and my brother-in-law and I went to the Expo Center to pick up our race day packets and "swag bags". Seeing all the people, signs, t-shirts, etc. made it all REAL. The first glimpse I caught of the "Runner Check-in" sign really struck a chord for me - it was at the moment I realized what I was about to embark on.

Check in went off without a hitch. I bought a sweet t-shirt (which I'll be wearing AT LEAST once a week for the rest of my life...just so people know what I did ; ) ) and we visited a few booths. We also got to meet Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray - that sure did set a good tone for the whole weekend.

I was so excited as we were leaving the Expo! I had a little more than 24 hours 'til the big day!

To say I was stressed on Saturday evening would be an understatement. I was making checklists left and right, applying safety pins in the appropriate places, putting my d-tag on my shoe securely, laying out my clothes, putting together a bag of extra clothes. It was a whirlwind! I picked up a few things I needed and went to the grocery store for my Night Before the Big Race meal. I had whole wheat pasta, tomato/zuchini/black olive made-from-scratch sauce, chicken breast and garlic bread. Man, was it good! A relaxing bubble bath and some TV watching later - I was asleep by about 9:00.

Sunday finally arrived and I was awoken at 4:15 by my trusty cell phone alarm clock. You better believe I curled my hair too. I gathered all I would need, ate breakfast (whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and a banana - what else?!) and soon it was 5:30 and my brother-in-law was picking me up. I had butterflies in my tummy and a smile on my face. I. Was. Ready! We arrived at the Mandalay bay at about 6:00 a.m. or so and made our way through the (crowded!) casino out to the parking lot to get ready.

We both needed to check our bags with stuff we didn't want to run with and that took a few minutes longer than anticipated. While standing in line the first corral of elite runners started right at 7:00 a.m. Right on time!

My brother-in-law and I split up and went to our respectable corrals. His: 17. Mine: 29. Ha. I was armed with my lip balm, a sweat towel, an iPod nano, 2 pieces of gum and a pair of sunglasses. (my Chanel's - duh!) I made my way to #29 to wait with hundreds of my closest friends. I popped in my iPod earbuds and listened to a few motivating tunes while stretching a little bit. There was a "Blues Brothers" band playing all sorts of old school songs. All of which were super entertaining. As the corrals near the front started, our corral slowly made our way up the road and curved around to the Start Line. Finally, after about 20 or 30 minutes of waiting - there I was staring straight up at the Start Line banner. In a flash, they announced it was #29's turn to take off and BOOM! there we went. I had my music pumping as well as my legs and I started off pretty well. I was passing people left and right to get out of the crowd and made my way to the far left. As it turns out, this was an AWESOME place to be because that's where all the course photographers are. Ha. Can't resist a photo opportunity.

So, picture this: there I am trucking along, feeling great, saying a prayer (or 7) that my IT band pain doesn't creep up, hoping my shin splints don't give me any trouble, hoping I'm smiling in every picture when I begin to wonder how far I've run so far. I'm thinking it HAD to be like 5 or 6 miles. 5 or 6 miles AT LEAST! Right about that time is when I see a purple Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series mileage sign stating that we were approaching a 5K. As in 3.2 miles. Womp womp. Ugh. My little flame of rockin' and rollin' burnt out RIGHT there. Talk about a bubble burst! I keep running....past the MGM, the Paris......

the Venetian, the Palazzo, the Wynn, the Encore and I see the Stratosphere in the distant.

Right about then I felt both my right and left leg IT bands start stiffening up. I grabbed a cup of Cytomax at the first station and didn't spill a drop! I kept running. And I ran some more. Until finally I decided to take a walk break at about mile 6, 6.5 or 7... I can't be sure. My legs were both really hurting by that time and I ended up walking a mile or so until the course wrapped around through downtown (Fremont St. area) and started back up Las Vegas Blvd.* Every step I took was more painful than the last. I felt as if any moment my IT bands would pop with a snap - like a rubber band. My left leg was definitely worse than my right and on the run back I could feel a blister starting to form on my left inner foot. Oh joy. A blister. You can imagine my delight. From mile 8 to 10 I ran and walked intermittently - taking walk breaks when I needed to. I saw the signs indicated the miles and knew I only had a few left. At about mile 11 I knew I wasn't going to meet my goal of finishing in 3 hours, but I just wanted to finish at the point. Mile 11 came and went, and I was finally on 12. 1 more to go! I could see the Mandalay Bay and just decided to book it down the road. I'm pretty sure I said to myself, "Let me just get this (expletive) over with!" I took off and my legs were tingling! I saw the finish line and passed a few people on the way down the chute. I crossed the finish line and kept running... so far that I almost didn't grab my MEDAL! That's also about when my legs were ready to each fall off - sort of like a Barbie's does if they're twisted too far. My commemorative photo was taken and I headed off to meet my brother-in-law. We met up with his parents and my sister and then left shortly thereafter. We went to Hash House for lunch and what a wonderful lunch it was! I proudly wore my medal at the restaurant and almost slept in it that night. A short nap that afternoon along with some ice and heat application helped me a lot. The next two or three days were a bit rough, my left leg was seriously jacked up. I am recovered now though. It was all so worth it!

I'm so glad I did the half marathon. Not only do I have two awesome t-shirts (which I'll be wearing every week)...but I have the most awesome memory of deciding one day to do something and then seeing that act come to life. I'm so proud...if I do say so myself.

Annnnd...I didn't lose any toenails.

*Best Sign I saw on the race route: "You're All Kenyan To Me!"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Well, I did it...

Finished the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon today! Worked through some SERIOUS IT band issues to finish in 3:22 - which conincidentally enough...was finishing at my 5K pace. My original goal was to finish in 3:30, so I guess I finished 8 minutes faster than that.

I will do it again next year and beat my time. Right after I get IT band replacement surgery.

: )

Full post-race coverage to come.

Stay tuned....

Friday, December 3, 2010

This is really happening...

I'm going to the Health and Fitness Expo tonight to pick up my race day stuff. Bib number, timing chip, swag bag, tech. shirt, etc. When I printed out the confirmation sheet last night - it hit me. I'm going to complete a half marathon. This is BIG for me. It will be right up there in the Top Moments of My Life! I keep thinking back to the day I decided to do it.....what in the heck was I thinking?!?! Hahaha.

I'm so ready to pound the pavement with +/-28,000 of my closest friends. I'm so excited, yet so anxious, yet so nervous...all wrapped up in one. It's a good feeling though...really good.

Who knows...I might feel like doing a full 26.2 mile long marathon one day. For now, we'll see how this experience pans out.

See you at the finish line.