Let's Take the Train (UTAH III)

Christmas Eve Eve started out to be really sunny day and only mildly freezing!  The mountains are so majestic along the Wasatch Front.  I'll admit I did take them for granted while growing up, waking up to monster mountains everyday, no big deal.  Living on one, for instance.

My sister and her puppy Whippet, named Jpeg, aka "Peggers."

We all jumped on the train towards downtown SLC.  I love the train, a much better alternative to driving, and more fun for all.

We had lunch planned with my boss and now retired office manager, at Happy Sumo, and my family all decided they wanted to eat at Happy Sumo too (lol).  I mean, you really can't beat Happy Sumo sushi!!!  My dad said, "we'll wear trench coats and sunglasses and sit in the corner."  haha

I just celebrated 10 years with my company!  Five years in the SLC office, five years via satellite.  So nice that my boss kept me on even after I moved to Arizona in 2011.  One of the best things for my family!

The Gateway has turned kind of raunchy since we moved and since City Creek opened up.  It was really ghetto and made me sad, but I think there are good changes in store for the area.

Bentz was SO grumpy and SO under slept.  He finally zonked out and stayed asleep for hours despite it being so cold.  He is such a champ!  When we go out of town I don't do much to keep to his schedule, and he usually adapts so well, but we sometimes encounter rough patches like on this day.

Every year I win the jackpot on the pinball machine at my moms.  I spent HOURS on that thing this year, and I nearly won it at least a dozen times, but I eventually failed miserably.  I could have had a record top score!!  The shame!!

And another random picture from the fun Christmas Eve Eve.  Bentz never does stairs so he learned how to go down big-boy style.  :)

I realize my posts are a little random, but I just can't not post the fun times.  I used to write one ridiculously long post, but I now find that blogging time is more sporadic that it's easier to focus on bits and pieces at a time.  For instance, I am in bed.  :D

I love the memories.
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Year of Running 2016

I wanted to do the "Year of Running," link-up, and sadly it has already closed before getting around to it, but I figured I'd write it anyways since 2016 was my favorite year for running despite losing some time for an injury.  It was a year for my books, and I credit my coach and also my most supportive team member, BEN.  It can be difficult juggling training, working, sleeping and family/mommy life, and I definitely couldn't do it without my sweet Ben.

Best race experience:
Mt. Charleston Marathon!  The race was evidence of solid training and it built up my confidence.  Now I wish I would have made my goal a little more ambitious because a few weeks later I ended up sidelined with my injury -- bummer! 

Best run:  Basically all of my spring weekend long runs; they were some of my most favorite miles:  I was hitting my workout paces, I was getting faster, I was getting sleep at night (!!), I had a huge base built up, and I got lost in my music constantly while wishing my long runs were longer!  (This fall I experienced the opposite and half the time I didn't hear the music that was playing in my ear because I was focused on my steps and trying really hard to hit paces.  There will always be ups and downs in everything we do and this year was a good reminder of that.)

Best new piece of running gear: 
Motorola S11 HD bluetooth wireless headphones!  These were inexpensive in terms of wireless headphones and no. more. cords. and the battery lasts well through a marathon.

Best running advice you’ve received this year:  It's supposed to be hard.  If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.


Don't quit.  You're already in pain.  Get a reward from it.

Most inspirational runner:  I have always loved Meb. He is so talented, but that is just the tip of the iceberg which is why I find him so inspirational.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year:  One with my family! -- after we both ran 26.2 on our 6th wedding anniversary.  A race to remember!

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat:  
Seattle!  It was my favorite race based on the experience as a whole:  location, scenery, people, weather, etc.

I hope you had a wonderful year running, or whatever it is you do, too.  Now on to 2017.  Happy running!!
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A Very Mall-y Christmas (UTAH II)

My mom plays the piano at the mall and each Christmas we venture over to hang out by the fireplace that's by the piano, and listen to her awesome Christmas tunes (she's amazing!).  James just happened to be videoing her playing when the funniest thing happened in the background.  I think I about died.

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My New Hobby

We interrupt my Christmas posting to tell you about my new hobby.

I have been wanting to try Lush's crazy colored bath bombs for awhile and finally got my hands on INTERGALACTIC, one I've been eyeballing.  Now is the time to do it cuz there ain't no bathin' in the summer.

The water was SO BLUE and there was a TON of glitter!  I felt like I was in a snow globe!!

Glitter aftermath...

I read that the glitter is "plastic free" and ocean safe.  

2017 New Year's resolution:  try all the bath bombs.
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Flyin' Early to Christmas (UTAH I)

We did a lot of traveling in the past couple of months (Cali, Seattle, Utah) so we took the super early/late flights for Christmas, which helps on costs!  That meant getting up at the lovely hour of 3:00 to catch the 6:15 flight!  But it was Christmas time so there was plenty of excitement to get us going.

Usually we drive the 9+ hours for Christmas, but after five trips where each one we hit terrible weather, last year we decided we were donzo with that.  I get stressed driving in the snow and that stress has grown since having a little one, so the plan this year was to fly up to Utah and drive long only one time:  one hour on Christmas afternoon.  The rest would be done via TRAIN/TRAX.  (Our Christmas afternoon drive was in a BLIZZARD though.  Go figure.  lol)

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas has come and gone and was the best!!  I have yet to start the exhaustion recovery process so I am so grateful for a few more days.  :D  I hope you had a fabulous Christmas!!

This was B3's third time seeing Santa and as predicted, he hated it.  haha  I am adamant that he must see Santa because memories!

Nailed it! 

Have a Happy New Year!
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Run Run Rudolph 1/2 Marathon

Last race of the year, the Run Run Rudolph 1/2 in Peoria!!  Wednesday I Primed these reindeer antlers to arrive just in time for Saturday, and they ended up being perfect for the race.  They were a little heavy and it was windy so they'd jerk back and forth sometimes, but they never fell off -- hoorah!

This race had a 1/2 marathon, a 4 miler that started an hour later (which my brother ran), and a kid's dash.  We have had a really nice December, but winter showed up again over that night so we dipped into the 30s, which is really cold by Phoenix standards!  We got back in the car to warm up until I had to get going on my actual warm up.  :)

Being cold at the beginning is perfect for me because with the sun coming up I knew I would warm up really fast, so I just wore gloves.  They even came off a mile or so in.  It was the perfect temps!

The race was at a big park complex so Ben and B3 had plenty of fun playing a few feet from the start/finish lines.  B3 had SO MUCH FUN.  I love big races, but small ones do have perks too.  This one was really well put on, Startline Racing does an awesome job!

B3 has to have his hoodie up at all times.  He wore one to church this weekend and kept the hood up.  lol

I didn't have a goal for this race and just planned to stick around 9:00 miles.  Usually I am more competitive with myself, but my motivation for PRs has been lacking over the past few weeks for some reason.  Maybe because I am enjoying my leisure runs ......and sleep.  :)

Anyways, the course was on the path by the canal which goes on for MILES AND MILES, so we passed a bunch of other runners/walkers out enjoying the morning, and they were always excited to see festive attire which made it all the more fun.  Oh, I wore jingle bells.  hahaha I felt bad for anybody running without music because the bells were very noticeable.

Somewhere around the 9th mile my fun race changed when randomly I got nauseated and threw up!!  :P  It was miserable!!!  My brother gets nauseated almost every race but this was my first time with stomach issues and now I feel extra horrible for him because that really sucked.  My stomach was not thrilled afterwards so I'm not sure what the story was there, although all I could think about was thank goodness I wasn't running a full.

It was fun that Santa was at the finish, and he seemed genuinely excited for each finisher, yelling for you as you crossed.

Official time:  2:00:45 for 9:13 average pace
58/205 overall
25/140 female
7/22 age group

Splits:  9:02, 8:55, 9:01, 8:59, 9:05, 9:11, 9:08, 9:03, 9:09, 9:14, 9:28, 9:52, 9:22, 1:08 (8:57)

Meanwhile while I ran he somehow tracked down an appo...

And some friends...

The finishers!!  I love having my family nearby.

We hit up Ihop afterwards which is always perfect for a post race breakfast.  I got soup though.  :P

Holiday anythings are the best, including races.  Love running and love my fam.
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