Category Archives: Food/Restaurants

Across the Years and New Years Eve

IMG_0376I spent New Years Eve day volunteering with my sister at Across the Years.  ATY is a 24-48-72 hour race from Aravaipa Running that attracts ultra runners from all over the country, and even a few other countries as well. Those running the 24 hour race can choose which day they want to start their race.  But most choose the Monday start to experience the New Years atmosphere.  Which is where the name comes from.

IMG_0377The volunteer shift was from 8-4 at the aid station.  We saw runners from all three races come through all throughout the day and kept them fed, hydrated and as happy as we could.  We served everything from egg burrito’s to sushi to grilled cheese sandwiches.  And the vegetable lasagne was quite the hit.  After running upwards of 200 miles in some cases, the body tells the runner what it needs and wants.  You never can tell what it will be so the kind race coordinators try to have a little bit of everything on hand.  And cater to all diets including vegan and gluten free.

IMG_0382Families and crews of the runners set up tents and tables all around the course to keep their runners fed, clothed and rested.  The course is a one mile loop around Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers spring training facility.  We were able to walk the course with a guest bib and it really was a simple, pretty loop around the various practice fields.   There was a remote aid station about halfway around and we saw some families and crews with RV’s that chose to setup camp on the side.  It was another AMAZING event by Aravaipa Running.

IMG_0384The day just FLEW by and before we knew it, it was time for the next shift of volunteers to take over.  The rest of New Years Eve was spent cooking my first ever prime rib (a HUGE success) and watching a Newsroom marathon on HBO.  What can I say, we are party animals.  We celebrated on East Coast time and went to bed.  However, we did see Arizona midnight when the GUNFIRE freaked out the dogs. In NC, it was fireworks.  In AZ, it is gunfire.  Everyone settled back down eventually.

How did you spend your New Years?  2013 Goals coming soon!

2012 Goals in Review

I set several goals for myself in 2012.  I even wrote them down.  One of them was to keep a journal, which is where I wrote the goals. But that is where the journaling stopped.  But here they are, along with the progress I made.

1.  Run Outside More – Less Treadmill.  Well, I have to say that I hit this one out of the park.  Once we moved to Phoenix, the treadmill had to be an option when the temps were in the triple digits.  But overall, I ran just shy of 700 miles (NOT the results I wanted, but better than 2011) and only 128.7 of them were inside.

Image 10-9-12 at 8.13 PM2.  Increase Mileage.  Overall, yes.  I ran more in 2012 than I did in 2011.  But I had hoped for better mileage.  I did discover that I do WELL with running twice a day.  And would much rather do two short runs than one long one.  Go figure.  And I increased my “short” runs from 3 miles to 4 and 5 miles.

3.  PR 5K.  HELL TO THE YES!!!!  I knocked quite a bit of time off my 5K PR and broke my 30:00 goal.  I ran a 28:27 and am VERY VERY happy with that.  This AWFUL picture is what it looks like to PR a 5K.

IMG_02324.  PR Half. I made one attempt at this in February and failed.  Miserably.  But I had a great time with my sister that day.  Later in the year I decided that I didn’t want to race the 13.1 distance and I am still VERY ok with that!  I DID PR my 10K time by over 4 minutes, I think.

5.  Spend Less.  I have to think I did better with this or we wouldn’t have had the money to hire people to pack and move us.  Or the money to move in general.  So I am saying this was a success.

IMG_03486.  Stop Stockpiling Food.  I thought I was doing better with this.  Especially with the big move. But I cleaned out the cabinets last week and the results were poor.  It will be on my list of goals for 2013 as well.  I just can’t resist a sale at the grocery store!


IMAG0254(1)7. Spend Time with Dogs.  I don’t think this is exactly what I meant. I work from home. I am with the dogs all day, every day.  But rather I meant walk them and play with them more.  Walking, yes there definitely has been more of that.  Playing, not really.  I seem to get injured when I play with the dogs.  So walking will have to do.

Overall, not bad.  I will be setting (or resetting) goals for 2013.  Did you set goals for 2012 and how did you do?

Holiday Update!

IMG_0327Hello there. I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday.  I spent Christmas Eve getting ready to host my family and spend some time Skyping with my in-laws. It actually all went very smoothly.

And now I can tell you about the holiday projects I did for Michael.  The first one was to take a map, cut it in three pieces and mount it to three pieces of canvas using Mod Podge.  And then you use pins to show all of the places you have been together. It wasn’t hard to do, although I did get a little nervous cutting the map.  We will put it up on the walls once we have our own house.

IMG_0328Christmas Day, we headed over to my parents house for gifts and breakfast.  Then we all took a break to get cleaned up and take care of dogs.  We went back over in the afternoon for an amazing dinner (ham) and we watched Ted. I thought it was pretty funny.

I have a couple of great new running tops, a new light for my bike, lots of gift cards, some new makeup etc.  I DID run on Monday and while my knee/quad didn’t hurt, I could still tell it isn’t quite right.  My plan for the week is short 3-milers and see how things feel.

How was your holiday?  Anyone hitting up the after Christmas sales?

Wednesday: Best Laid Plans


I had so hoped to try and run on Wednesday to see how things would feel. But I didn’t need to.  It was another day of cross-training.  On to the dreaded elliptical I went.  At least I finished my book.

Elliptical: 3 miles / 43 minutes

The rest of the day was supposed to go like this: meetings/shopping/errands, dinner, movie sneak preview.  I got the meetings and the errands done. But by the time I got to the theater, TWO HOURS before the movie, there were already two lines of people waiting.  And by the time Michael got there, with the tickets, there were three lines and they were starting a fourth. So we scraped the movie idea.

I wasn’t disappointed about the movie.  It was Tom Cruise after all. But someone owed me a nice dinner for waiting around that long.  So we decided to try a place called The Keg.  It was much fancier (translation: more expensive) than we were expecting.  But it was very good.  Incredible service, steak cooked to perfection and never once did I have to ask for a drink refill.  Not an everyday place, but very good for a celebration or special occasion.

IMG_0981The rest of the week is more meetings.  I have one, two, no make that three more things to buy.  And I am making cupcakes (these?) and french toast casserole.  So I need to prep for those.

Very exciting stuff.  Tell me something about your day/wee/plans.

Weekend Lessons

IMG_0330 I had this long post drafted about what I believe, what I think needs to be done and why. About how I was disappointed on social medial this weekend by discussions on one topic that somehow raged out of control onto other, unrelated topics.  I get it.  I opened the door.  On one topic.  To one room.  Not to every topic, every room.  My lesson.  But I scrapped it.  You can thank me later.

Instead you get a weekend recap.  And some pictures of other people doing things that I won’t ever do.   Sorry the pictures are fuzzy.

IMG_0338Saturday started with some errands and prep work for a belated Thanksgiving dinner.  It RAINED all damn day.  I didn’t think that happened in the desert Southwest.  Once everything was prepped and things were in the oven. I took off to see the Desert Solstice.  This is a 100 mile/24 hour race run around a high school track.  There were several people attempting to break records (American, World, Age Group) and I wanted to see what it looked like to run for that long.

The rain didn’t seem to be helping morale or slowing them down at all. But it was crappy, cold and rainy.  I went around 3:00pm so they had already been running for 7+ hours.  The first picture is what it looked like at 3pm.

IMG_0335Then we ate dinner.  After dinner, I convinced Michael to go back to the track with me.  It was after 8pm and the rain had stopped.  They had been running for 12+ hours.  We must have just missed Jon Olsen taking the 100 miles. As we got there, we heard Michael Arnstein’s crew talking about him finishing a sub-13 hour 100 miles and trying to convince him to go for the 200k record. He came in at 12:57:45 and it took all that he had.  It felt intrusive to take his picture after his finish, so I didn’t.

IMG_0339But there went Nick Coury (pic 2), who set a new PR for him self and Connie Gardner (pic 3), who holds the current AR for the 24 hour race.  Debra Horn set a new 200k record in the 50-54 age group.  Jay Smithberger (pic 4) came in third in the 100 mile.  His picture seemed less intrusive!

By Sunday morning only 6 were left on the track.  2 men and 6 women.  Nicely done!  I can’t even comprehend what it takes mentally to run for 24 straight hours.

As for me, my IT Band pain has been worse and I am taking it easy.  I swam on Sunday.  I will try to ride the bike some this week and give the IT Band a break.  Lots of stretching and foam rolling.