Comin' Around the Mountain - Arizona Hiking

There are a lot of hikes around here, some just a mile from our house.  Over the past weekend we ventured up one of them that Ben likes to trail run.  This one was mild enough to bring the lil pup, but I did end up carrying him after about two miles.  :]  After all, he is almost 12!  Better safe than sorry!  Isn't that, like, pushing 70 human-wise??

We LOVE having my brother live near!  It's just awesome.

Some of the stats:
  • 3.3 miles round trip
  • Took us 1:30
  • 610 foot elevation gain
  • Good for trail running or even mountain biking (as you can see from the trail below)

After a lesson in cactI, the one below is pushing 200 years.  Makes me feel so young.

If you don't want to click over to the cactus lesson I mentioned above, I shall tell you.  It takes FIVE years for a cactus to grow TWO INCHES.  Twenty years to grow one foot!

Basically if I was a cactus, I'd be two feet.  Ben would be like four feet...  


Little boy slept most of the way on dad's back.  We flipped him to the front for some of the way down.

The weather has been pretty ideal.  Maybe upper 60s and overcast.  Cold, unless you're hauling a bebe.  Nice for hiking!  Or incline walking.  ;)

It was a little storm-ish so we didn't see any hot air balloons out.  I think that'd be awesome to see from the top.  Perhaps next time.

And some pictures from a beautiful, sunny day!  There is just something about blue sky you cannot beat in a picture.

I have also posted about some well-known hikes we've done here in Arizona:

Squaw Peak (or known now as Piestewa Peak)

That's all.  Have a fantastic Thursday!  My mom and youngest brother fly into town here shortly because this weekend is our race.

A family affair.  My absolute favorite.  :]


Great Wall Training Week 1

Last week was week 1 of 13 of our Great Wall training (even though I've been trying to build a small base up for a little while).  My focus is on increasing the long run over the next few months but keeping weekly mileage low.  We're not going for any world records in China.  ;)

Last week I had the above scheduled.  I missed the 2 miler because of stomach problems, but I got in 9 miles and had a great 6 miler on Saturday!  I was thrilled to look at my splits afterwards, but my Garmin ate them and I am annoyed.  Gah.  Pretty sure they were negative splits with a last mile in the high 8:00 range.  I haven't seen 8s in forever so that rocked my world.

While the water is still cold (62 degrees), I take a nice almost ice bath dip afterwards.  Hopefully it warms up so we can actually swim (and we'll soon be fencing it if anybody was wondering), but until then...

^^And don't listen to Lululemon's claims that their clothes won't stretch out and you can wear them after pregnancy.  lol

This week is the Phoenix 1/2 (and 10k) so I'm taking it easy.  Ben is still having problems with his legs/back even after the epidural (boo), so he'll probably take the week off [and still annihilate me on race day].  Right now my race goal is sub 1:00.

Have a wonderful Monday!  I came down with a sore throat last night so I'm a little concerned about my run today (again, bah), but it's all good.  I will survive and I pray little B3 doesn't catch it!!  A sick baby would be the saddest thing ever.

Fun Story Friday: BAG

My little brother has this famous BAG he drew as a kid.  This bag's name is, in fact, BAG.

Meet Bag.  #bag

James had it turned into a stuffed animal for B3's Christmas present.  The company had a big backlog so it was going to be late, and it has arrived.  Look how cute!

Soooo, it was funny though.  It arrived from Croatia without a note, but addressed to our little guy.  I initially didn't recognize BAG and got worried and started in on some serious detective work.

An hour later I took another look at it and duh.  It's BAG!!  This must be the surprise Christmas present!

Such an awesome idea.  Thank you Lands.  He loves it.

Have a nice Friday (since it's practically over) and a wonderful weekend!

Run Like the Wind(ed)

One of my new year's resolutions has me adapting to a schedule of running 3x weekly and CrossFitting / X-training 2x based on this book. 

I have had good weeks, but it's been a bit of a struggle getting my body to cooperate as I get back to running.  It's disheartening.

The Great Wall Marathon is going to be here so quickly so I have come up with a low-mileage training program to help us stay accountable but hopefully keep our legs fresh, and I want to start updating with our progress.  

How do you train for a 1/2 marathon with 5000+ stairs/steps though??  I haven't been able to find anything online!!

I wouldn't be able to do it without our new treadmill, the Proform Pro9000, that's for sure.  It was the best push gift EVER.  I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  haha  :P

Ben and I started doing a plank challenge to help with my resolution to get my abs back into shape.  Core work is really what I need!!  

This one starts you out very easy and then works up to 5:00 with NO rest days.  No rest for the abdominals.

Ben had an epidural last week.  I know what you're thinking (or at least I was).  Epidural??  On a dude??  I guess it makes sense if you think about it, which I hadn't really, ever.  They always just meant BABY TIME.

He hurt his back in September and hasn't been able to work out since then and has only run a couple of times.  He's been to a bunch of doctors and had xrays/MRI and the spine doc recommended he give up running and CrossFit and take up swimming and other low-impact sports.  :/

^^I'm certain he did not plan to have this on the blog.  haha

(He is an amazing swimmer though...)

A second opinion said running would probably be okay.  The epidural should last about a year and maybe his back will have healed by then.  He has had shooting pains in his left leg from the injury so it's affected him in nearly everything he does.

My family is coming into town to run the Phoenix 1/2 and 10k which is next weekend!  Last year Ben and I both signed up for the half but I was too sick so he ran it solo.  He said it was a great race so I'm excited to participate this year.

Most of my runs have been on the treadmill since I don't run in the dark, but sometimes when Ben gets home I get to finish a mile or two outside as the days lengthen.  I have an 800m loop around my house so it makes it nice.  Especially when I have my own cheerleaders!

Ice bath anyone?  The weather's been nice but the water is FUH-REEZING.

I'm used to the treadmill, but one big thing I miss about running outside is the hot air balloons!!

They are usually out somewhere from September through May and then during the hot summer weather they disappear for a bit.  They literally take off anywhere.  These pics were on Friday.

I also miss my cool downs with the sunsets.  Here come summer and fitness/blogging streak Juneathon (run/blog/log everyday), I plan to resume the outdoor runs as much as possible!  Even when it's a sauna out.

Any tips on getting to China?  I don't personally know of anybody who has run it.  But we're stoked to run it as a family and know it'll be an experience.

Meanwhile here goes the next 13 weeks getting there.

One day at a time!

PS.  I am in denial that we will not be bringing Bentz with us.  I can't imagine going from being with him basically 24/7 to not at all.  He'll be in good hands, but I'm dreading it.  How do you deal with leaving your baby?

Five Months!

5 months old!  And he's looking so grown up these days.

He weighs 14 pounds, 12 ounces, and is 25-1/2".  I'm not sure where his height to weight ratio puts him as far as percentiles, but two weeks ago he measured 23% for weight, 57% for height, and 47% for head.  Probably somewhere around there still.  Tall, skinny, and super cute.

(Two weeks ago he also measured 25.5" long and we measured him way shorter at 4 months.  The whole measuring a baby thing though...)

Little man still wears size 1 diapers, 0-3, 3 month, and 3-6 month clothes.  We haven't had to pack anymore clothes away yet.

This month he found his feet and loves to pull his socks, slippers, etc. off.

He got more shots.  :(

Had some rice cereal for the first time.

And he liked it.

He still can't get enough of his hands and he soaks his clothes all day long.  We call him slobatron.

His hands aren't the only item he will put in his mouth.  Toys, my shirt, burp cloths, 

the bumbo.

He also has started to wiggle out of the Bumbo.

He's mastered the Jumperoo.  Or shall I say it has mastered him.

He also mastered selfies.

He doesn't loathe tummy time as much anymore.

He hasn't started napping in his crib (that's probably around the corner), but he will nap in his co-sleeper.  :)

He went on his first walk where he got to sit like a big boy and not in his car seat facing me.

And he fell asleep so I just wheeled him around the house with me.  lol

He now recognizes and reaches for a bottle while showing interest in holding it.

Doesn't like the pool when it's 64 degrees (we dipped A toe), but he loves the warm bath.  Hopefully he loves swimming lessons when we start this spring.

And at 5 months he was okayed for greens, so we gave him peas on Valentine's day!

We finally went back to sleep training after a month and a half of him sleeping in our bed (since Christmas) which was MY FAVORITE.  His pediatrician said now is when habits start forming so if we're going to take the plunge, it's time.  The first night was rough, but last night was pretty good and he set a record for crib time.  Woot woot.  :]

We love him!!!