Mumblings of March

Words and words.

The carnival came to town.  Carnivals are kind of creepy, but I love taking pictures of the lights and how cheery they look.  Every jog I passed it by made me reinforce my high plans to go take pictures, but I didn't.  I've been lazy in that sense, lately.  We did go check it out for a couple of minutes with our friends Jake and Sarah.  It was a bit anticlimactic, but I still love that the carnival came to town.  It left yesterday.

So since the carny was across the street from the theater, we wandered over to check out the long line which was for the opening of Hunger Games.  As we walked up, Ben's buddy was next in line to buy tickets and Ben was like, "hey buy four more."  So we walked right in and saw Hunger Games unplanned.  That was sweet.
We've both read the books, and Sarah finished the book that morning.  I gave the book 4 stars, and I give the movie 3.5.  I got a little bored after two hours (2-1/2 hours...really...) but I thought overall it was good!  I didn't really like Lenny Kravitz acting, and I had imagined Cinna to be all flamboyantly happy and over the top, which Lenny wasn't.  Peeta was a little on the smaller side than I was hoping, and Katniss didn't look quite starved, but I did enjoy having read the book first and knowing more than what the movie showed of the story's surface.

Ben ran my long run with me on Saturday evening which makes them extra awesome.  It was mid 80s and the water on my hydration belt was gone quickly.  At one point we had to stop at Dairy Queen (not for a frozen hot chocolate yum) for a "complimentary ice water" to guzzle and refill the bottles.  Ben likes to run in the heat, I do not.
By about mile 12 we were both not really talking.  We got home and took a romantic fully clothed ice bath together (next time we should turn on the jets lol), and then went over to our friends Tan and Eric's house for french bread pizza which we inhaled!!
It's peak week!  In three weeks we head to Utah for my first full marathon, and Ben's first half.  The elevation is different there, but I'm hoping my last month of in the heat training will help me when we get to Utah and the temperatures are ideal, and the course too.  As long as I can keep my shins intact, it should be great.
No more scorpions in the house (I'm finally sleeping at night).  We found this lil guy on the driveway.  I think he was dead.  Put him in a bottle of water and he turned upside down.  But they are good pretenders.  Who knows.
Spent time reading our books on the lovely inmate mown grass (guess which one is mine):
Just enjoying the weather and such.  Next week the taper beings, and it's also Ben's Toro Loco.  I say I'm not doing it, but I don't know.
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Phoenix Zoo & Such

The past weekend we spent in the valley with the fam.  We went to the Phoenix Zoo during the winter-ish storm that hit.  It was pretty cold, but it wasn't crowded which was nice.  Since it rained I only brought my lil camera.  But this pic of Mallory and Ragan is super cute!
I've never been there before, but it was a pretty sweet zoo and had lots of trees, greenery and ponds.  Didn't feel like a desert at all, and add the rainy weather and it felt like Hawaii.
This pond (below) had its surface covered in...something...gross.
Below is some sort of ginormous African dog-like creature, I don't remember its name.
Below:  Gila Monsters!  They're venomous lizards and our college's mascot!  Under state law you can't harm them, so hopefully you don't find one in your house.
Our little nieces are more mature than us.
It snowed!!  I have never seen a snowplow here in AZ until this day.  I have forgotten how pretty the white on blue contrast is!
It took us a month+ of hassle to get our Super Spartan personalized video.  It's sweet though it is a little more like "Where's Waldo?"  Spartan gave us free passes for next year's race since it took so long.  So that is exciting and makes it worth it.  And the music is super cool.

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Race Day - Arizona Gladiator!

Race: Gladiator Rock 'N Run
Location: Goodyear, AZ
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2012 (St. Patty's Day!)
Distance: 7k (according to Nitro) or 4.3 miles + 17 obstacles
Team:  Team Nemesis (7 guys, 1 girl and 1 leprechaun)

Ben is the most wonderful husband and amazing athlete!!  I'm so proud.
Ben
Goal:  Win something!!  Or just win.  lol
Time: 41:25
Age group placement: 3rd place out of 425
Gender placement:  9th place out of 1230
Overall placement: 9th place out of 2411

Christy
Goal:  I didn't really make a goal for this race.  I just wanted the shin to survive, which it did!
Time: 57:03 (I lost 5-ish+ minutes to waiting on a fellow whom broke his ankle...unfortunate)
Age group placement: 10th place out of 310
Gender placement:  41st place out of 1181
Overall placement: 236th place out of 2411

Team placement:  1st place out of 115 teams (wahoo!)

Team picture minus Mike and Roger, and a shot of some of the festivities going on around abouts.
It was an awesome race!  True parking was absolutely horrific (it took us an hour to get one mile to the parking lot...thank goodness Tan gave us Justin Bieber to listen to), but the way the heats were organized, it didn't seem to matter when it came to late comers.  You lined up with your team, and each 15-20 minutes they'd let 200-ish racers go, so you could essentially line up whenever you were ready to go.
Eric's wife, Tan.  I think she may do the next one with us...yay.
Nothing like starting a race with a straight up mountain run.  The running in this course was actually pretty tough.  It was like a mountainous obstacle course.  Challenging!
That green ended up everywhere and Jon looked like a leprechaun.  We are lining up here in the coral.  It took about 20-30 minutes to get to our turn.
The really competitive guys pushed their way to the front of the heat, but I didn't think it would matter that much for me so I didn't fight the crowd and hung back.  After we started I regretted my lack of pro activity when I got stuck behind all these people.  Some of them were walking after like 30 seconds!!!  I couldn't believe it.

The first obstacle had bottleneck problems.  People were lining up like "in line for cheeseburgers" and were perfectly content on waiting 2-4 minutes to single file through the obstacle.  I started by-passing the line and some people even tried to block me..."hey there's a line."  "Hey this is an effing RACE."  

Turns out Ben and Jon both by-passed everyone.  I ended up waiting in half the line for 1-2 minutes with Eric when I saw he was chillin' there in line.  The race and bottlenecking got better after that point!

Ben grabbed the camera after his speedy finish and he was able to shoot me as I ran through the last 1/2 mile or so of the race!  Tan had also taken pictures of us both (above).
Other obstacles:
  • 8' dumpsters you had to climb in and out the other side (hard but AWESOME)
  • Crawl up a mountain under a net
  • Run through tires (two locations...or was it three?)
  • Jump over giant spools (saw a lady fall off one backwards and land on her back- ouch)
  • Underground tunnel that you had to squirm through on your belly...that made me think of scorpions
  • Muddy pit you had to crawl through on your belly under flags
  • Polar Bear Plunge which was a pool filled with ice chunks that you had to swim and completely submerge at three areas to go under wood lengths (HARD...I kept losing my breath in that cold water)
  • Climb mud hill, slide into water pit, climb another mud hill, slide back down into water, etc. (where mister guy broke his ankle)
  • Carry sandbags to Buddha
  • Giant Slip 'n Slide
  • Climb hay bales
  • Walls you had to climb over (where I met my 15 year old running buddy...who ran the race in SOCKS...weirdo)
  • That's all I can think of right now.
Most of the team with Nitro!
Aside from the parking fiasco (which we got over pretty quickly, and they apologized profusely about), it was a blast!  This is the first race that I can recall them giving out FREE MONSTER afterwards.  Races always bribe you with free beer, so those of us that don't drink are out of luck.  But free Monster!  Ya!!

Affliction is a sponsor so we came away with some sweet Affliction race shirts/shirts in general, and there were some other delicious treats to munch on post race while listening to the bands on stage.  It was enjoyable!  These races are a so fun!
Ben and Jon both absolutely rocked it!  Ben came out 3rd in his age group, Jon 2nd in his age group.  The finishing times were so competitive towards the top, that Jon also came out 2nd overall.  We had some great competitors on our team!  Not bad for 2411 racers.  They are both ready to win the next one.  =)
Below are the overall winners of the Gladiator 2012.  The first place winner was age 23 with a 40:13, Jon is 21 and came in with a 40:41, and the 3rd overall placer was 45 and had a 40:44!  Pretty close.  No females.  Ha.  Next year that'll be me...right...?
Official race photos will probably be up in a day or two.  Overall the race was a lot of fun, and they may be back in October to do another one.  We'll definitely be there!
The next race is 4-1/2 weeks away, SLC marathon, so I don't plan to race anymore between now and then so I can focus and avoid injury.  (Ben, Dallin and his prom date will be running the half that day too!!)

Ben may add one more mud run in 2-1/2 weeks to his schedule.  These races are so much fun to do and especially to do together.  The Warrior Dash is April 28th and we have a huge team already signed up for it.  Come join us!
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