Brain Jarring Fireworks...

Facetious Face Productions presents my wonderful family!  We are scattered around cities/states, though we communicate via cyberland a LOT.

 "Brain Jarring Fireworks."  It is as random as it sounds.  Have you ever had to talk about a subject for ten minutes that you know nothing about?!

My sister has no shame.  lol  And note my background music!!
My brother and his friends just started this random vlog and will be uploading videos every other Saturday!  Stay tuned!!

Race Day - Ragnar Relay Del Sol

Race:  Del Sol Ragnar Relay
Date:  February 24th-25th
Location:  Wickenburg, AZ to Tempe, AZ
Distance:  200.5 miles
Team members:  12

Goal:  8:30 average pace for me, 7:45 for Ben
Time:  27:26:03
Division Placement:  4th out of 203 teams
Overall Placement:  20th out of 415 teams

Ben and I decided to skip out on the Ragnar Del Sol this year after we spent money on the Super Spartan for the same month (racing gets so expensive!).  Thursday morning I got an email from a team saying three members had to drop out due to a funeral.  Ben and I were on the team by lunch seeing it was sponsored by the Runner's Den and our registration would be free (deal maker!).  The race started the next day.

That same afternoon we headed to Scottsdale to meet the team at dinner.  The team was pretty competitive with an 8:09 average pace, putting a lot of pressure/motivation on myself.  The last Ragnar I ran in 2009, our team was not competitive (very much including me), so this was a change of pace.

Our team starting time was 1:00 pm with only seven others.  I guess there were 14 teams left to start times after us, so the starting line wasn't crowded.  In other words, 390+ teams had already started anywhere from 5am-noon!!  This meant we would be seeing few runners for the first part of the day until we caught up to the majority of other teams.
Runner's Den Rednecks was our team name.  Here are the guys in VAN 1...Ben and I made a stop before the race for whatever we could find to dress up.  We didn't really plan to run in it, so we just wore it over our running clothes.  =)
The guys (yes the guys) got the van stuck.  Jillian and I just stood across the street chuckling.  Thank goodness help arrived before our runner reached the exchange.  (Our van is boring because we didn't want to clean it afterwards...)
I was runner #4 and my first leg was about 6-1/2 miles.  The mileage was fine, but I was worried about the heat.  It was low 80s and I was so hot I ended up handing off my shirt to Ben.  Hottttttttt desert run.
Below is a perfect example of our first legs of very few people around.  I saw one person this entire leg.  I had the van closely leap frog the entire leg so I was never alone.
Moving in on my first kill.  It took a couple of miles to catch up to her, but it was great motivation before and after I passed on by.  This is what makes racing extra fun (in my opinion).
My night run was about what I expected for 5-1/2ish miles.  It was quiet, there weren't streetlights most of the time, I was alone and it was creepy at 2am.  Ben jumped out and ran with me which made it much better and kept my mind from playing night time Ted-Bundy-in-those-weeds noises in my mind.  Most of our night runs were in the "no van support" zone, which was a bummer.
Ben ran his entire second leg with a lady named Beesee (sp??).  I know she felt so much better not being alone, because she caught up to him within the first minute and was like "I'm going to run with you if that's okay!"  She was soooo cute.  Her team started at 8am, so we were starting to catch up at this point.  FINALLY.
My last leg was so great.  There were a lot of people around and it makes it a blast, and I was feeling strong. It was another hot one.  Maybe Ragnar needs to move the race to January?!
Contemplating his last leg?  It was pretty hot, we were tired, and his run wasn't easy.  We all ran our last legs with lots of teams around which made it extra fun and competitive.
The finish line was at Tempe Town Lake...beautiful!!  I want to live right by it.  Our team finished just before 4:30pm.
There were lots of random dog walkers/people at the lake aside from the event.  This one made me chuckle. That dog was pulling him so fast!!  How cute!!

Leg one at 5:40pm:  4.7 miles in 32:45 at 6:58 average pace
Leg two at 3:28am:  6.03 miles in 48:10 at 7:58 average pace
Leg three at 11:40am:  5.6 miles (incline/hills) in 46:43 at 8:22 average pace
Average Pace:  7:45
Total mileage:  16.33 (+3 of my night run = 19.33)
Total kills:  0+15+16=31
Total deaths/times passed:  ZERO!

Leg one at 3:47pm:  6.5 miles in 55:47 at 8:34 average pace
Leg two at 1:35am:  5.8 miles (all incline blech) in 50:45 at 8:45 average pace
Leg three at 10:27am:  (decline for first 2 miles) 4.28 miles in 33:40 at 7:51 average pace
Average Pace:  8:22
Total mileage:  16.58
Total Kills:  1+5+10=16
Total Deaths/times passed:  ZERO!
(The last half mile of my last leg I saw one guy a quarter mile back that seemed to be slowly closing the gap, so I really had to work hard to keep that distance.)

And we survived!!  What a random weekend, but a fun time.

Will we do it again?  Perhaps!  I think we'd do competitively again, even with the most likely later start time.  It makes me want to work hard on getting my average pace to 8 minutes (or less...dreaming).  The most fun part of it all was doing it with Ben, and cheering each other on.  Running and racing is the awesomest hobby to do together.  I love it!!

And just like that, back to Monday.  Happy Monday!  I already need a Monster.  Locals come run the 5k on Saturday!

PS.  Saturday night was our first night back in our bed...our scorpion proofed bed.  I actually dreamed of scorpions that night.  Creepers.

Fabulous Februariness

1.  Wow I met Ben three year's ago today.  That is amazing.  It feels like yesterday, and it feels like a very long time ago.  I think the world of my husband!  We are soooo alike, share so many similarities and common interests, and we spend so much time together doing them.  I love you sweetheart!  You've made life a dream come true.  This is our first date picture while we were dancing at Moon.
2.  If you're FB friends with me, Ben, my mom, my brother, etc., you probably saw these.  Spartan released their shots of the race so here are a couple of them!  I just purchased the personalized video so hopefully I'll have that shortly.  (I also apologize for the wardrobe malfunction.)
Eric made the collage below...

Watch us pass the gladiators at the end.  I dodge them.  :)

3.  So...still sleeping on the couch.  Haven't slept this well since we moved to Arizona.  It's like camping every night (and you can eat in bed).
We are currently taking precautions to scorpion-ify our bed.  We're raising it off the ground, and wrapping the base with duct tape, reverse style.  I'm serious.  So if a scorpion tries to climb up, it shall stick.  Oh, and it's no longer against the wall.  Scorpions climb those.  They climb ceilings too.  They are freaks of nature with amazing climbing abilities!!
We were sprayed, and the exterminator (I asked millions of questions, poor guy) said we'd see more scorpions this week after being sprayed.  We have seen ZERO.  This is a good sign.  However we saw zero before one showed up in bed.  Who knows.  Too bad our carpet is scorpion colored.

4.  Every third Saturday is a "lighter" long run.  This one was a ten miler.  It was one of my most awesome feeling runs I've had.  I started slowly, ended strong, had all negative splits and brought my last mile to an 8 minuter.  I love runs that fill you with confidence and excitement for the next one.  I think it was the new shorts we picked up hours before...
Ben followed me for the first 5 miles so I could run in a remote area that doesn't have very many people, but it does have a pretty fast speed limit of 45.  He put on his flashers and stayed right behind me and listened to a book on tape.  =)  It was a great route!  I enjoyed the long, straight stretch of road, coupled with the pretty snow capped mountains and beautiful weather.  I hope to do it again next week!

If you want some excellent compression socks, I LOVE these CEP socks.  They have been worth the money.
Ben ran a new incredible 5k PR before my long run.  He never seizes to amaze me.  We have a race next week and he's shooting for sub 19, I'm shooting for an ambitious sub 24.  I'm proud of him!
5.  Valentine's Day was great (minus the random!  Ben bought me some pretty pink Jessica Simpson shoes!!  I adore that he can pick out all these shoes on his own.  I love them!  Aren't they cute?
That's my Spartan band on my ankle.  I've since taken it off since my ankle went from numb to hurting.  I didn't realize scorpion stings were so long-lasting.  I felt pretty cool with it on though.  Maybe it'll go back on soon.
I heart attacked his mirror and left him some of his favorite treats.  Tadah.  Ben is my happy.
6.  Ben made a peg board for our medals (he is so crafty!).  I think we will display them like this...

Unfortunately my bibs/medals from before this year are in a box in Utah.  But this is it so far!  Hopefully we fill it up full by this spring.  I'm in charge of the picture frame above it, and Ben will probably hang our bibs.
7.  We went to the local college basketball game this weekend.  I loooove going to games of this sort.  The game was pretty lopsided (favoring the Monsters!), but it was still fun to watch!!  It was fun to cheer along with the cheerleaders and hang out with peeps.  Go Monsters!  CUTE nieces.
I think that is all.  I'm slightly behind on my push-ups for the 100x, and my monthly running log is shy a few miles after the whole almost colliding with a car thing, but February is shaping up nicely.  Can you believe March is next week??  But Happy President's Day!!  I think everybody has to work today, though for some reason the club is closed for the holiday, so no classes today.  Have a great Monday!