Friday, December 9, 2011

Las Vegas Rock N' Roll Half Marathon (Or as I like to call it, my first and last of this series)

ROCK N' ROLL!!!!!! Or not....I guess the long and the short of it is that it was a fun weekend with some girlfriends, it was fun to run the strip at night with no vehicular traffic, but that it felt like it was put on by people who have NEVER put on a race before was a little much for me.  Especially when you consider the price tag on these suckers!!!

Ok, so complaints included, first and foremost, the number of people running and the fact that this course CANNOT deal with that many people, unless you like to run, walk, run, walk, jog, jog a little faster, slow down, stop, jog, run, all while dodging people left and right.  I started in the CORRECT corral and I was passing people, by the hundreds and I'm not even exaggerating....and for those who know me, I'm not FAST....I can do it, but I'm NOT quick!  44,000 people....enough said

Second, third, fourth, and so forth: Rumors of water stop water being from a hydrant????!!!!  One of the biggest names in road races and you couldn't find a water sponsor???  Or even just take it out of the tap???  It's definitely not great but it's better than the hydrant!  Also rumor that the marathoners didn't even get water until they walked out and around to the half-marathoners finish section?

Running out of medals???  YOU capped the race!!!  YOU knew BEFOREHAND how many medals you would need!  And you've put on races before!!!  THIS SHOULD NOT BE HARD!!!!  It also shouldn't be hard to keep people from taking extra medals!  What kind of person takes more than one for crying out loud!!!???

Optional photos that you forced the rest of us to wait in line for while everyone got theirs individually taken immediately after finishing.  I'm pretty sure that everyone saw the size of that parking lot and it could have been ANYWHERE else....Some of us would've liked to have the option to bypass that and NOT wait so we could get food first, see family, leave, find booze, etc....

BIGGEST PEEVE: The bands weren't even playing when I ran by!!!!  All 5 times or whatever it was!!!!  I thought my expensive ticket paid for these great bands.  All I did was see them drink and talk about how they're glad they weren't running....Next time just have someone's iPod playlist going....Would've been better.

Overall, I give this race a big, fat -2 and these thoughts:

But at least it was Vegas and there was copious amounts of booze afterwards at a fantastic dueling piano bar..... C'est la vie.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Turkey vs. The 'Roosta'

 It was the morning of my first Turkey Trot (and my first holiday completely by myself, but I digress).

Thankfully, this Turkey Trot was in Boulder City, NV, just southeast of Las Vegas, so the weather was perfect and we didn't even have to deal with any car traffic as the 12K race (7.46 miles for those of you wondering about this strange distance) took place on one of the trails from the up-and-coming "Rails to Trails" network where they take old railroads that are no longer in use, remove the rails, and keep the dirt "trail" that used to support the weight of a freight train...literally.  OK, so we weren't as fast as said freight trains but who is?

6 Tunnels carved out of the mountain side, panoramic vistas of most of the entirety of Lake Mead, and a turn-around with a view overlooking the Hoover Dam.  It could've been worse, I suppose.

Now, as luck would have it, the hotel that I am calling home at the moment "The Hacienda" was about 700 yards from the race start.  Only other time that happens is when I'm in Portsmouth and running the Seacoast Half Marathon!  That's 60% of the battle right there!  It was a small crowd and everyone seemed to have someone there with them...except a woman with an Ironman 70.3 hat on.  Of course we're the only two without someone there supporting us.  We are everywhere!!!

The last mile and a half I ran with a nice guy named Brandon who was up visiting family for the holiday from Tucson.  He made the last bit go by quickly and I was happy to have someone to talk to.  We wove our way through the tiny-ass gauntlet (think speedwork!) that was the trail at the finish and made it safely past a double wide stroller man with a harem of walking females, some EMT's, and two "downed" runners.  Not to worry though, I think they only tripped and landed on their faces as each had a nasty nose bleed going on.

Where does a Roosta fit into all of this you might ask?  In Spain, they are a symbol of good luck.  In Italy, it is tradition to give a ceramic Rooster pitcher
to friends or relatives as housewarming or wedding gifts as a good luck or good fortune blessing on the family and home.  It can also be a symbol of prosperity, strength, and fertility (guess which two I'd prefer over the other:)), chasing away bad spirits by crowing when everyone is still sleeping.

As interesting as this all is, it is not why I like the Roosta.  My reasons are for other matters, although strength might actually be pretty close.  The Roosta I know is loyal, compassionate, empathetic, and truly one that I am lucky to call a friend.  His most recent message to me (yep, they talk!!) came at a time when it did a world of good mentally with everything that has gone on in my life in the last 2 weeks....Lots of game changers.  It is SO nice to know that I am so lucky to have the friends I have.  To know that they are there for me and think so highly of me even when I don't think the same of myself.  Knowing this helped me get through Thanksgiving day alone, with only a few tears, and a lot to be thankful for.

You know, there just may be something behind a Roosta being a source of good fortune and good luck.

Have you hugged your Roosta today?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You can reverse CANCER by cutting out animal products???

Well this is something I never thought I'd write...I'm actually considering going vegetarian.  Or mostly vegetarian.  Or whatever it is you call people that eat a plant-based whole food diet most of the time.

I just finished watching the documentary "Forks Over Knives" as part of my on-going self-education about pursuing a healthy lifestyle and making sure I really do consider that I AM WHAT I EAT.

What a powerful film!!  I mean, I know that what you eat has a large impact on your health, but seeing it again and again, this time in a very well-put and OBVIOUS manner is truly thought provoking.  Reversing things such as heart disease and diabetes is something we all have probably heard about, but reversing breast cancer??!  Being able to turn on and off cancer cell production just by tweaking the amount of casein that is inputed into a diet?  That, to me, is actually pretty incredible and may be the first time I have heard of those "scary" diseases being able to be treated almost exclusively by diet.  

This is something that the world has known for thousands of years, but the western medicine giant has overclouded it in our day-to-day lives with prescriptions for just about everything so that half of us can't even tell what's wrong anymore, let alone are able to decipher what our bodies are telling us. 
The answer is NOT more pills!!  EAT BETTER, LIVE BETTER!!!!

To blog or not to blog....

Well, I've been thinking about this for a while now.  I was never really into blogs or blogging until Facebook exposed me to some of the most interesting, thought-provoking, really-hits-home entries I've ever read.  They have made me re-think things, contemplate new things, laugh out loud, and yep, sign up for races I hadn't heard about.  
I figure that a blog on my workouts, let's call them "Sanity Sessions," was pretty much all I'd be talking about on an "everyday life of me" blog anyways....I'm also not sure how much of my everyday besides my active lifestyle I'd want on the internet.  Maybe travel is next? Maybe I'll combine the two here?
Ok, Ok, you got me...There will be lots of talk about food too, cause, well, I loves me some good food...["I eat to train not train to eat"...always gotta remind myself of that].
Either way, it should be an interesting venture and I hope you'll come by every now and then and see what my two cents is on the latest exercise debaucles in my life:)