Friday, April 18, 2014

The Planner & The Procrastinator

While UMM and I share a few similarities, we are both very different. I mean, I would hope so right. How bored would I be if I was in a relationship with well, me. He challenges me everyday, and for that, I love the guy! There are those times though that I do want to rip his brains out and smash them against the wall, but I will just refrain and save that for the zombie apocalypse.

The biggest example of how we differ is that I am planner. UMM is not. Let the conflict begin. It isn’t a huge deal really. I mean we make it work just like our ancestors have been doing for centuries. It can however be quite challenging when trying to plan around holidays, events or even weekend activities.

It became especially challenging when Matt got into the Western States 100 miler. While everyone selected from the lottery went home that very same day to book accommodations, UMM waited. It was around this time that I started experiencing heart palpitations. I took a few deep breaths and told myself this was UMM’s surf. Just ride the wave and let him take care of things.

Every Sunday thereafter, I would pull out my mental list of things that I had accomplished and could cross off. I love crossing things off my list. While the crossing of action items is never ending, there is something very satisfactory about getting stuff done. Except, every Sunday there it was screaming at me: BOOK ACCOMMODATIONS FOR WESTERN STATES. And every Sunday I would politely remind UMM who would then acknowledge my reminder with an enthusiastic “YES! I need to take care of it!”

And then there was the packing for our Ragnar SoCal adventures. It’s true that I tend to pack way in advance before the actual trip. I pack so early in fact that I have to pack to upack to then pack again, just so I remember what the heck I had packed in the first place.
UMM however, waits until the very last minute. The night before our trip, I gave him a beer. I thought it would make the packing process less painful. I turn my head for one minute and all of a sudden he is lying on the bed.

“What are you doing” I ask?
“Oh, just taking a break.” He says.
From what, I wonder.
He then asks me to sing Purple Rain with him. I don’t really care for the song much and why out of all the songs in the world does he chose Purple Rain as our duet? It is within that very moment of annoyance that brilliance hits.

“Okay.” I say sneakingly.
“I will sing Purple Rain with you after every five articles of clothing that you pack.” I was partially kidding, but UMM took on the challenge and wasted no time packing his clothes. After the first five items were packed, I held up my end of the bargain and sang the chorus of Purple Rain. Apparently I didn’t put enough feeling behind it, so after another five items were packed; I belted my little heart out.

So there we were ; UMM and myself singing Purple Rain at the top of our lungs.

Ragnar Relay Finish!

This last Sunday, I am happy to report that I was able to cross Western States Accommodations off of my list! Email # 1 has been sent to UMM’s crew and my heart is beating normal once again! To my surprise, the planet did not crumble into a billion little pieces, nor was I set ablaze like the phoenix due to late planning.

Everything eventually works out while UMM gets ready to begin his first 100 mile journey and I continue to cross things off my list. We celebrate our differences by yep, you got it - Singing Purple Rain loudly with no shame, all while enjoying a nice, delicious beer.

When not running, we Swing dance!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ragnar SoCal - Team afterNuun Run Relay Recap

It was at one point while sitting in the van getting ready for my next leg that I said; “I can’t believe this is my life right now. This is insane.”

This was my first relay! An incredible experience if I do say!

Thoughts before I begin my recap -

I learned that I really need to take on a more minimalist lifestyle. In fact, I should just be called Lost Girl. Not because I got lost on my legs (I only did once), but because I kept thinking I lost everything. The whole trip consisted of me searching through my bag o’ crap! I always found what I was looking for...eventually, but I did manage to lose Miriam’s blinky clip that fell in the porta potty toilet..Perhaps still blinking away even! (Sorry Miriam, I still feel awful)!

I also learned that being trapped in a van with five others is not as bad as I thought it would be.

And lastly, I have OCD with time. If I am not perfectly punctual, I start to get stressed out and anxious. During the relay, I am certain my blood pressure was up the whole time. I hate that I am so clock oriented. On the other hand, I will never be late for an event or function so there is that!

And onto the weekend -

UMM and I arrived in SoCal in the early afternoon. At the airport we met up with Paulette, Erin, & Westley, who all arrived around the same time just different flights. Our fearless Captain Chris picked us up and after picking up the other van we grabbed something to eat and headed back to the hotel where we met up with keith. After settling in, we all changed into our running clothes and headed out for a run to Downtown Disney! It was so much fun to run with the group and I loved that we did this!

Organizing all of our awesome swag!
Ragnar Christmas!
All smiles as we head to Dwntwn Disney
Dinner w/ half of the team!
We each had our very own pizza's the size of our head! Not really, but fun to so anyway!

Beast made out of legos! So awesome!!!
Our start time was not until 12:45 and since I was in van 2, we did not actually begin our legs until 6:00pm. Needless to say, we had a long wait. We parted ways with Van 1 and basically hung out. I had a phone issue that I needed to take care, and then we decorated the van. Waiting around was pretty uneventful, but it was fun to hang out and chat the hours away.

Van 2 Decor

Finally it was time for our van to head out! UMM was the first on our team to kick off our legs. I was the last!

Leg 12 - As I mentioned before, I was nervous about running in the dark. Meg was gracious enough to pace me which meant that she took on extra miles (Many thank you’s and hugs Meg)! My leg did not start until 11pm or so. It was dark. I could barely see. With the lack of sight combined with the excitement of beginning my first leg, I grabbed the wrong team bracelet and started running. In all fairness, the guy did give it to me, so why not! My team stopped me dead in my tracks. Okay, so it wasn’t Bruce, but the dude was just as tall as Bruce and had a similar stride. It was a simple mistake.

Meg and I beaming before my 1st leg.

Bruce arrived shortly after and Meg and I were off! I had a hilly route. The climbs always get me, but I absolutely love the ride down! Some of the course was on a dark and scary bike path that I am certain is quite lovely during the day. It reminded me how happy I was to have a run buddy along side of me. Getting closer to Dana Point, Meg stopped to tie her shoe and as I kept running, a lurker came from out of the bushes, smoking a cig, and wearing black. My imagination started to go wild as I picked up my pace while also making sure Meg was in tow. We are still alive to tell the tale, but in that exact moment, I was pretty sure the guy was going to rob us of our garmins and running shoes. We hardly saw anyone on the course except for four speedsters who passed. There was no way I could catch up to them.

I crossed the finish line and felt ill. I had been dealing with stomach/digestion issues that evening and headed straight for the restroom! My issues never really ended for the rest of my legs though they did subside around my last leg (thank goodness).
Leg 12 - 6.7 miles. 1:00:14/8:59 mi.

The girls slept in the van while the guys got out and slept on the beach. Too cold for my blood. I think we were able to get in two hours of tossing and turning sleep. I’ll take it!

One of the few times we got to hang with Van 1!

Leg 24 - It was close to sunset and thinking I had more time, I was actually late in meeting Bruce at the exchange. Our team was there, we just, Bruce was faster than expected I suppose. I sprinted up the stairs, grabbed the slap bracelet, apologized to Bruce, and away I went. I was running solo this time around. The course was another roller coaster of climbs holding steeper hills. Because of being late to the exchange, I was charged by adrenaline. I ran my heart out and also honestly, I walked a partial of a steep hill.

The last two miles were hell as I felt sick sick sick! Ending the leg and coming into the exchange was absolute paradise as it was downhill where I sprinted. UMM ran me in and after I slapped the bracelet onto Keith, I stepped aside and thought I was going to hurl. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion, feeling sick, or me being just plain emotional, but it was right there that I began to cry. It was a short lived cry and I have UMM to thank for that. When I told him I was going to be sick, he told me to just stick my finger down my throat and everything would be fine. This made me laugh. And everything was fine...Though please note, I did not actually stick my finger down my throat. My teammates after giving me a moment, joined me. I was very proud of my second leg. I think this was my favorite one reflecting back!

My expression is priceless!!

While I never did get my Garmin to turn on during this leg due to not be properly prepared, I did run 4.9 miles. 40 minutes/8.9 mi

Leg 36 - While the course was pretty easy and beautiful with views running along the ocean, this was my toughest leg. Perhaps it was the exhaustion of it all, maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the massive crowd of people that I had weave in and out of around the tourist areas. My guess is that is was all of the above! The signage was not great and I did get a bit off course. I made it however, and it was so wonderful to see my team there ready to escort me to the finish!
Apparently, UMM and Meg were not there to cross the finish line with me as they got stuck in traffic. I was a bit bummed that the team was not altogether, but we still got our finish line team photo in the end!
Leg 36 - 5.3 miles. 48:37 minutes/9:14 mi

Taking advantage of a little down time!
We crossed the finish line in 26 hours and 40 minutes. Our team ended up finishing 8th in the Regular Mixed Open Division out of 530 teams and 24th Overall out of 720 teams! Not too shabby! Especially since all paces were represented!

Of course, all this wouldn’t have been possible without our fabulous sponsors!

Paulette and Miriam in our team SFM Shirts

With Meg, matching Skechers that I really enjoyed running in!

Gametiime Check out the nice write-up they did on our team!

Van 2 stylin' w/ Zensah!

And a special shout- out goes to Tricia who sent both vans a lovely care package filled with all kinds of sweets and treats!

A few memorable highlights (but certainly not all) -

  • Singing out at the top of our lungs to the Bohemian Rhapsody song with Meg. Head banging included.
  • Paulette being the cheerleader of the group with her amazing positive energy.
  • Paulette chasing after Bruce’s sleeping bag that rolled on down the hill after escaping the van.
  • Keith taking 99 kills on his 3rd leg!!!
  • UMM running in with me at the end of my 2nd leg.
  • Being apart of this amazing team!
  • Beer at the Finish line! Duh.

So many more fantastic moments it is hard to even describe! It was awesome to be on a team with fellow SFM ambassadors. I became closer to the ones I already knew and enjoyed meeting and getting to know the newbies! It was a great bonding experience and I already miss all my afterNuun Run family!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ragnar SoCal - The Adventure Begins!

Tomorrow I leave for an adventure - Running the Ragnar Relay in SoCal. I am very excited and thrilled to be apart of such a dynamic team!

A great opportunity, as we are fortunate to be sponsored by some great companies. Shoutouts and huge thank you’s go out to

NUUN - Keeping us hydrated and providing a team entry!

The San Francisco Marathon - Taking care of the van costs and amazing swag.
Register for any of the SF Marathon events and save $10 with code: DSC10RAGNAR2014

Skechers - Providing us with light as a feather Go Run 3 shoes!

Gametiime - An awesome new website for finding races in the area, they have provided us with some fabulous t’shirts!
Zensah - Excited to recover in the compression gear they provided.
Fitsok - For official race socks!

Our start time is around 12:45pm. I am in van two, runner 12! I am excited that I get to cross the finish line, but nervous about running at night. Even with my glasses, I have horrible night vision. I fear I will either:

A.Get lost
B. Trip and fall (which I should be use to by now)
C. Cross paths with a skunk. Dead or alive it doesn’t matter - The smell is always there! But don’t get me wrong - I do love skunks! I even took a skunk rehabilitation class on how to save them...Oh, But that is another story!
Hoping it will be;
D. None of the above as I should run with a blindfold more often!

I can’t wait to catch up with my fellow SFM ambassador friends and get to know a few more...The best way to make friends is in a van down by the river, right?

Let the Ragnar adventure begin!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spirit of Benny 5k

Running the same bike trail week after does have one great advantage - You start to see the same people running the same path and thus, this is how friendships are formed!

Getting our run on out on the Jail Trail er, El Dorado Bike Trail
My newest running buddy is not only an amazing person but she just happens to be the Race Director of a fun community fundraising race event - The Spirit of Benny 5k & 10k held right here in Placerville. One Hundred percent of all proceeds made from the event are given to a non-profit called Partners in Care. That means that all race expenses (permits, medals, etc.) are completely out of pocket.

And why would my newest running buddy organize a race all out of pocket you might ask? Because she is passionate about the cause! You see, she had the misfortune of losing her son to a rare and fatal disorder of the nervous system a few years back. It all happened so fast. And with no one else to turn to, Partners in Care (a non-profit community organization dedicated to improving the care of the seriously ill) was there.

With heartfelt thanks to my friend Patty, I had the privilege of participating in this community event. I love races that start and finish only three miles away from where I reside. The race was well organized and really, I am not just saying this to be bias.The Start/Finish line area was festive that included a band. The course logistics were up to par, and I absolutely loved all the swag! Besides a tech shirt, I received a cute mesh bag, sunflower seeds to plant in memory of Benny (love this idea and can’t wait to plant them), and a logo decal.

I participated in the 5k. I had no goal except to beat my course PR. I felt pretty good toeing up to the start amongst all these track kids who I knew would leave me in the dust! Being that I run the course weekly, I knew it well, so when the gun went off, I was off and running. The first half of the race is a downhill incline which is awesome as you can really fly down the path. It is the second half of the race that I had to run back up the hill as it was an out and back. Not so awesome as my pace decreased.

It was somewhere in the middle of the second mile that I got pupped! Getting pupped is much like getting chicked, only it is by a dog instead of a girl. Of course, I can never really get chicked because, well I am a chick, but you get my drift. If Penny the Pup was there to race with me, she would have never allowed this to happen. That will teach me to leave her at the finish line! Still, I bow down to the little speedster cutie!

I crossed the finish line in 24:52. I finished 20 overall, 7th Female, 1st AG. I also managed to get a course PR. It was a fun morning and a great way to kick off the day as I had friends in town and we were going to indulge in some serious wine tasting business.

I am so happy I was able to participate in such a whole - soled souled event and honored to be surrounded by such inspiring women running friends! I look forward to participating in this fantastic local fundraising race event again next year!

The beautifully talented RD!
Carina and I before the sweat fest began!
Penny the Pup meeting Scooter. She didn't quite know what to think of him. Comedy at it's finest!
Clearly well after the race... 
And, with wine in tow!