29 January 2008

So...

I just haven't felt like posting anything lately. It's not that there's nothing going on. It's just that it's not that exciting. Maybe I'll feel like posting tomorrow.

Until then... hope everyone is happy and healthy! Cheers!

22 January 2008

How 6 becomes 7 and Why I Run

What I learned on my 6 mile run:

- Be sure to put your GU in a pocket with a zipper or it will fall out when you're sprinting across the street with no traffic light and you'll be really disappointed at mile 4 when you were going to eat it.
- The "Run 4 songs, Walk 1 song" is so perfect for me, keeps me going and doesn't make me too tired.
- The Nike+ chip and my new Ipod Nano are fan-freakin'-tastic! That little voice marking down the miles for you makes the run more exciting.
- Never leave the house without a hat when it is cold and windy. My ears were killing! Luckily the wind died down at mile 3.
- Trying to do 6+ miles without water is not a good idea. Good thing the fuel belt I ordered is on its way to my house!
- The sun goes down by 4:45pm so trying to do finish my 6miles before sunset means I have to start running at 3:30pm. Maybe I need to quit my job.
- Measuring your run on WalkJogRun isn't always totally accurate. Going on a 6 mile loop run might turn into 7 miles just to get home. Good thing I had a something left in me to get me home!
- Starting your run on a hill into the wind will tire you out in a quick hurry. It's ok to curse the Gods of Running at that point.
- It's totally normal to want to quit and go home after running 1/2 a mile. But if you keep on going you'll soon find your pace and before you know it you'll have finished your run.
- Running is awesome!

The run was actually really good. I felt good the whole time (if not a bit thirsty- bad!) and it felt good to go for so long. My 6 mile mark I was at 63'20". Not bad!

The other day I confessed to my non-runner friend that I actually hate running. Her question to me: "Then why the HELL do you do it?!"
I think only runners can understand the answer to that question. Granted, in the moment, running is not fun. It can be hell to be quite honest. But the answer has something to do with the fact that every moment that I'm not running I'm thinking about running and want to be running. It has to do with that feeling right after you finish your run. That sense of accomplishment! Maybe it's indescribable. But that's why I run. Why do you run?

These quotes from "The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women" by Dawn Dais are so dead on!

"But one thing you'll learn after you cross the big finish line, and all the little finish lines in the middle, is that rarely will you find glory without struggle. The things that are easy? The things that make sense? Those aren't the things you talk about for years to come. The aren't the things you hang on your wall with pride. "

"Even after you start training you'll wonder if your limit might be more Fun Run and less 26.2-Miles-in-a-Row Run. But you will continue to run and you will continue to surprise yourself with your ability to keep running right past those weeks on your training calendar that once seemed so insurmountable. And you'll realize that the only real limitation you ever had was your inability to see what you were actually capable of all along."

19 January 2008

a caucusing we'll go...

I'm not gonna lie. I pretty much have a crush on Mitt. And yes, we're on a first name basis...

I decided that it's time to get political. I've been pretty apathetic my whole life (that's what happens when you grow up in the most Republican state in the union). Now that I'm in a state where my vote really matters (not to say that Utahan's votes don't count... they totally do, esp since the state has become much more diverse than when I lived there) and because of the early intensity of this upcoming presidential campaign I've found myself drawn into the election coverage, learning about the candidates and forming opinions of my own about the political issues of the day and the candidates.

Thursday I attended a rally for Mitt which featured none other than the Mitt himself! It was fantastic. I whooped and hollered and I'm pretty sure I had a few good fist pumps in there. It was a lot of fun to see him in person. With my very own eyes!

Don't worry. I'm not one of those Mormons who is voting for him just because he's a Mormon. I actually agree with him on most of the issues. I honestly feel he is the best candidate to fill the Presidency. I could go on about this, and why I think some of the other candidates are certifiably crazy. But, I won't. Y'all are probably much smarter than I am on the topic and I don't really feel like getting taken to court just yet because might not know what I'm talking about. In fact, at the rally I caught myself forgetting that Mitt was a Mormon and thinking "Man! This guy really has a lot of the same moral stances as I do and would make a really good Mormon." Yeah, sometimes my brain breaks. I had to laugh when I realized what I was thinking. No wonder!

This morning was the Nevada Caucus and I attended, having done a bit of research before hand so that I would have some sort of clue what to expect. It was a really neat and educational experience. Thursday at the rally I told my friend that I wanted to be a delegate but maybe not really since I wasn't sure what a delegate did. But still, I kinda wanted to be one. Well guess what. I'M A DELEGATE! And I'm pretty dang excited about it! At my precinct meeting I had the opportunity to fill one of the positions so I jumped at the chance. So, I'll be attending the Clark County Convention in late February and I'm considering nominating myself to become a state delegate. I've been mentally preparing my speech all day. Perhaps I'll deliver it to you when I've got it polished up.

Anyway! Interesting morning. I caucused. I became a delegate. I really feel like I'm doing my civic duty! This is a first! I even stayed after and helped count the votes. And, by the time I got home from the caucus several national news networks were already reporting Mitt's win. Hurray!

Here are some photos and a video from the rally on Thursday.






video

17 January 2008

first attempts

OK, yes... some of these had a little editing help. But what great digital photographer doesn't spend time in editing. I really want to take a photography and a photoshop class! Anyway... here are my first attempts at being a photographer. On Sunday I took a drive up to Red Rock and shot for an hour or so before it got too cold and dark. I took about 100 shots. These are some of my favorites. So fun!

take that!

1- The temple was great. So glad I went. I did some VTing before I went and it brought the whole thing into perspective. I'm excited to go back.

2- The run was AWESOME! Okay so maybe awesome is overexaggerating because by mile 2 I was feeling like I was totally out of gas. But I kept pushing and was pumped that I did my 4 miles in under 44 minutes. 43:50 to be exact, which means I averaged better than 11 minute miles. I'm so happy that my minutes per mile are starting to go down. Maybe someday I won't be the slowest runner in the world.

Also- along the same lines- I'm putting together a team for the Wasatch Back Relay in June and I'm SUPER PUMPED!! I have soft commitments from about 6 people which means I still need to find at least 6 more people who are interested (in addition to turning those soft commitments into firm commitments). So LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED!!

3- What better way to end an evening than to play ROCK BAND! I think this game is taking over my life.

16 January 2008

I'm exhausted.

The thought of having to go to the gym tonight and run 4 miles is making my want to throw a major trantrum then collapse into a deep sleep for the next 3 days. My thoughts are battling each other for the title of "best excuse not to run". It feels exactly like this:



I know I'm going to just have to do it. I already made my decision to do it when I signed up for the 1/2. I just have to do it. But, by hell if I'm not going to complain every step of the way tonight. I felt like I was finally in my training groove until this morning. Right now I'm trying to bury that voice that keeps telling me to give up. I'd better throw on a few extra shovels of dirt for good measure.

This cloud of negativity today isn't just raining bad thoughts about running (it's just the easiest to open up about and explain). It's soaking every area of my life. Mostly I just feel like life will never, ever slow down. Every night of the week I have things scheduled. And the weekends aren't any less busy. It's wearing me out. Granted, I'd rather be too busy than too bored. But, still. I'm tired. And to make it worse, I'm freezing. That never helps.

OK, rant over. About 5 minutes ago I figured out why this cloud chose today to share it's gloom. It makes total sense. You know how when you decide to do something that the adversary doesn't like he kind of goes crazy? Oh, he's a sly one. See, I'm planning on going to the temple tonight and he's playing a mental game with me to get me to bag it. Which makes me wanna say "EFF YOU SATAN!" *Can I say that?

15 January 2008

potato chips and taco bell

So, I still haven't posted any photos from my new camera. I was just too tired and lazy last night to hook the cam up to the compy. Hopefully I'll get around to it tonight so you can see my first attempts at becoming a photographer.

I know it seems like I've posted a lot about running lately but it's what I've been focusing on the most. So, sorry if it's boring to you. Personally, it is fascinating to me to watch myself go through this training process especially because I consider myself a non-runner.

In so many areas of my life things come pretty natural to me. It's not that I'm amazing at everything I do but I can at least find a measure of success in most things. For better or for worse, this means that I haven't had to work very hard for things that I want to do or accomplish. This has served me well in my life but it has also created an interesting mind set when I'm faced with things that do not come naturally. Something in my head tells me that if I can't succeed right off the bat then I will never be able to succeed at that particular thing so don't even try.

I don't know why, but running has become my vehicle for proving that part of my head wrong. The 10k in July and a lot of inspiration from friends has motivated me to push myself past what I thought my limits were only to discover that there are no limits. I am seeing the value of setting and working towards accomplishing goals, the value of hard work and absolutely swimming in the exhilaration of meeting my goals. It's amazing!

Here are the upcoming races that I'm seriously considering this year:
I'm sure no one is super interested in seeing my running times but if I don't write it down here, I'll never write it down and I don't want to forget this journey.

Saturday was a 5 miler and I was a little nervouse about how it would go since I haven't done more than 4 miles for at least 6 months. I mapped out a route and was excited to do an outdoor run for a change. The weather was great even though I left a little later than I'd hoped to. I was following the 4songs to 1song jog/walk method and feeling in good form. However, tragedy struck half way through the run when the battery on my Shuffle died! DIED!! (Mental note: always charge the battery before a long run.) To add insult to injury the sun went down right about the same time. So I was running in the dark (I know... not smart) and with no music and it was cold. Turns out, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I pushed myself and found a really good pace throughout most of the run. Finishing time was approx 60mins (approx because I had no timer) which is about 12mins per mile. It was a good run and has me excited for this coming saturday's 6 miler.

Yesterday was a 4 miler on the track at the gym and can I just bitch for a moment about how many people were there?! Seriously, it was packed! I hate people who join the gym in January! But, I love that 99% of them will dissappear by February. I just have to endure for a few more weeks. Ugh. Anyway, I thought the run would be horrible since I'd only eaten potato chips and Taco Bell that day. Turns out they are pretty good fuel for a 4 mile run. Haha. I finished in 42:20mins which averages to a 10:35min mile. Awesome! I was so happy with my time. I tried to push myself but not past the point that I could handle. My pace felt pretty good the whole time and I tried to keep my walking breaks to a minimum (.2mi at 1.5 miles and again at 3mi) and to keep up my pace especially towards the end when I was tired.

I love running! Hurray!

14 January 2008

2 down 28 to go

KARAOKE- Check!

Friday night I decided it was time to start marking things off the '30 for 30' list and since nothing else was going on I got some friends together for dinner and a show. By chance we ended up having a girls dinner at Mantra Masala (again... indian food two nights in a row is so, so fantastic) then a bunch of us met down at Aloha Kitchen for some mad karaoke. It was amazing.

I decided it would only be appropriate to sing a song I hate so much that I kind of love. Remember this post? That's right friends. I rocked "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and it was hot. Want to know why I love drunk guys at bars so much? Because they make me feel so good! Seriously, I had a table of them swooning. Anyway... tons of fun.

SLR- Check!

My 30th birthday present to my self was a Nikon D40x SLR camera. I finally bought it on saturday and I'm pretty much in love. Sunday I took a drive up to Red Rock to start learning the ins and outs of the camera (and since I have no idea about f-stop and aperature, etc, I have a lot of learning to do!) and enjoy the beautiful scenery that is so close to home. I got out a little later than I'd hoped so didn't get in as many shots as I'd liked. I'd planned on going into the actual park but ended up shooting around at Calico Basin and at the Horse Ranch. So fun.

This week I'm going to set up a faux photo studio at my house and force some of my friends to be my posers. Also, I'm planning a trip to the Neon Boneyard if anyone wants to join me. I think there will be some awesome potential for some wall art for my house.

*I'll post some of my Red Rock photos this evening.

10 January 2008

a wee bit of advice

indian food at 7pm plus running at 9pm is a very bad idea.
just wanted you to know. but seriously! i can't say no to free indian food! heck! i can't even say no to really expensive indian food. and even tho the combination of the food and running was a bad idea... it was so totally worth it.

3.5 miles, 46 mins. 2 walking breaks (2x.2miles at 1.5mi and 2mi) ouch! so slow. but hey, at least i did it.

it's all good

I don't know if it's the magic age of 30 or if 2008 is just a great year (esp in comparison to how craptastic 2007 was) but seriously, this year has started out with some major awesomeness. Last night was fantastic- great date then ice skating with all my friends. Happy me!

I forgot to write about my run on monday that I was really happy about. 3.5 miles, 39:20 mins. I was so happy with my time (anything under 12min miles is great for me) and I felt really good the whole time. I only took one walking break (.2mi) after 1.5 miles. My first mile timed around 9:30mins and I averaged just over 11mins per mile. I tried shortening my stride a bit and seemed to really help. I was able to run faster and longer.

I'm behind on my training schedule which is a little frightening considering how fast the 1/2 is going to be here. I've got to stick with it if I'm going to be able to up my miles enough to feel comfortable running the 13.1 miles in march.

What my training is supposed to be for this week:
sun- stretching & strength training
mon- 3.5 miles
tues- 2 miles or cross training
wed- 3.5 miles & strength training
thurs- rest
fri- 40 mins cross training
sat- 5 miles

What my training has been/ will be this week:
sun- 4 hour nap (I'm pretty sure I was burning calories)
mon- 3.5 miles (yay)
tues- church meetings (all night. I was too tired to go to the gym at 10:30pm)
wed- cross training (does ice skating count as cross training? i broke a sweat.)
thurs- 3.5 miles (hopefully as good as monday's) and some lifting tbd
friday- Karaoke (though it's probably not considered cross training. I'm sure I'll find something else that qualifies)
saturday- 5 miles (outdoor. I usually run on the track at the gym. Saturday will be a good day to go out while the sunshines. I've determined a route using WalkJogRun, which is totally brilliant!)
I knew yesterday evening was going to be too booked to run and I knew I should have woken up early to go to the gym. But I didn't. Not shocking. I am by no means a morning person. I usually wake up around 8:30am. I've been thinking about the hours between 5:30am and 8:30am that I could be using to get my running out of the way for the day. But I've yet to get motivated enough to do it. Maybe someday soon. Maybe.

Also, I've been thinking a lot about what it would be like to train with someone. I've never been a fan of running with people mostly because I'd be totally worried about slowing them down. When I'm on my own I can go at my own pace. However, I think maybe I don't push myself as hard as I would if I were running with someone. Plus, I like to listen to music to keep me going and it's not super kosher to have headphones in when you're running with someone. Pros? Cons? Then there is a problem actually finding someone at or near my level to run with that lives near me.

Also, also, I need a running watch. Any suggestions? I've been looking at this one. They've got some cute girl colors as well but I'm guessing the band will be too snug for my big, fat old wrists.

Anyway, I'm totally excited about running these days and really frustrated that I've got so many other things on my plate that are keeping me from doing it as much as I would like and need to. I guess it is a matter of prioritizing and taking full advantage of the time I do have.

Happy trails everyone!

07 January 2008

30 never looked so good

Saturday was my birthday extravaganza. Extravaganza indeed!
Seriously, it was amazing. Special thanks to Tif for planning & inviting.

7pm: Cafe Rio. We started it off right and it never tasted so good.

Lesley, Hurley, Tiara and Me

Tif, Mojica and Marie

Tinkles, The Mexican, Budinger and Tyler


After debating over ice skating & mini grand prix and a failed attempt at bowling I finally made an executive decision-

9pm: Mini Grand Prix

Marie, Tiara and Me

DDRing it up. This made me so happy!

The Mexi-HOES! HO! Marie, Missy, Moss and Me

Mini Grand Prix!

Most everyone bailed on the next activity which consequently was the MOST FUN! Our dancing venue of choice is Carnival Court. We've been plenty of times. Birthday 29 was also celebrated at CC. But this time was THE BEST EVER! BY FAR! Before we got there Tif, Spence and I decided that if we didn't have any shenanigans while dancing we'd make something up in order to make all my friends who bailed really, really jealous. We SO did not have to make anything up! It was fantastic!

11pm: Dancing at Carnival Court

Crazy bass guy, Tiara and Me

This guy is my fav! He's the basist for the cover band "The Crashers" and he's usually up on stange sporting a grill. This time, no grill. But he did have a crazy eye! I got a kiss on the hand and a sweet photo op.

Me, Tif, AWESOME drunk friend #1 and Spence.
Seriously this guy and his 2 friends made our night! They were so fun and crazy.

Tiara, Drunk friend #2 and Me

It was his actual birthday so I had to share Tiara with him.

Tiara, Me, Tif and Spence

My dancing queens!! I'm forever indebted to these girls for braving the elements and the late night hour to make it the most amazing night at CC ever!

1:30am: Rock Band at Mojica's

The perfect way to end a perfect night. We met up with some of the friends who bailed on me to play Rock Band and eat ice cream. If'n you've never played, I highly suggest making friends with people who have this game because it's suuuper fun.

Maren, Tif, Spencer, Mojica and Me

Hurley and Me

Going strong at 3am! Still sportin' Tiara. I was the only one who was not tired. Maybe the awesomeness of the night kept me buzzed. Best birthday extravaganza ever! Getting home and 3:30am made me feel so young (however, going to bed at 4am and waking up at 8am for church made me feel so old)

Thanks friends for making it great!! I think 30 is going to be a pretty spectacular year.

You can view the rest of the photos here.

04 January 2008

And the winners are...

Big THANK YOU to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!
It was a nice day - pretty low key and pretty great. Saturday is the official BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!! so if anyone wants to party it up all night long in Vegas let me know. I'll fill you in on the details.

Now on to the important business of the day!
THE WINNERS OF THE "I'm turning 30" CONTEST ARE... drum roll please!
  • anne
  • thomcarter
  • cramster

Hurray for the winners! Email me your addy (to cropstar5 at hotmail dot com) and next week you'll receive a special something in the mail. You guys rock!

03 January 2008

30 for 30

After lots of fretting about turning 30 it finally happened. Not so shockingly, I don't feel different than I did yesterday. 30 is just a number right? No need to worry.
Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out the obvious and such is the case with turning 30. It didn't occur to me until yesterday that, not only would my life not end, but that I can make this year anything I want it to be. I have the power to make it great. So... it's gonna be great.

I hear by present you with the 30 things I'm going to do this year to make my 30th year fantastic!

30 for 30
  • run a half marathon
  • take a continuing education class
  • read "The Count of Monte Cristo" (unabridged version)
  • stay out all night
  • write a short story
  • karaoke in a crowded bar
  • attend an mlb playoff game
  • use a fake name/story
  • road trip to nowhere
  • play in the rain
  • make a budget and at least try to stick to it
  • kiss someone in a crazy location
  • attend church services of a different religion
  • cook with homegrown herbs
  • go skinny dipping
  • confess to a crush
  • have a spa day
  • make a rad bleach pen shirt
  • hike havasupai
  • go one month without tv
  • swing on a rope swing
  • take photos in a photo booth
  • go to a drive in movie
  • read the Book of Mormon in french
  • get a stamp in my passport
  • buy a digital SLR camera
  • ride a horse
  • transition to a family ward gracefully
  • lose 20lbs
  • get married

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

HURRAY!
I was really dreading this day until I woke up this morning and remembered how much I like having all the attention on me. It's a pretty great day, n'est-ce pas?
PS- not too late to enter the contest.