The Mi Amigos, Red Mountain Turkey Trot was my first "real" (timed and fast) race... not that I really raced it or anything; I just ran it. My ITB is still very fragile so I had low expectations. I did however, have higher expectations for my pre-race routine, which failed miserably:
6:00 AM: Wake up; real excited
6:15 Am: Have somehow gotten ready at lightening speed, however I'm sadly out of coffee filters
6:16: Drive to Starbucks, buy coffee, get gas, drive home
6:50: Pack up bag, drink protein shake
7:00: My cousin arrives
7:05: Can't find keys
7:06: "Oh, they're where they should be" (on key hook).
7:07: [in car] "Oh sh**, where are my keys? I just had them!"
7:08: Walk inside, grab keys (still on hook) drive to deep east Mesa (45 minute drive).
7:30: "OMG! [step on brakes] Am I on the wrong 202?! (There's two 202's in Phoenix... God knows why)
7:32: [After two minutes of panicking, pull off road, check GPS on phone, realize I am indeed on the correct 202, flip a U, and get back on 202.]
7:50: Arrive at Red Mountain Park, race destination
7:51-8:00: [Realize my water bottle leaked inside my bag. My running cap, which keeps my ears warm, which is a CRUCIAL necessity to my running capabilities, is soaking wet.]
8:05 Walk up large hill to sign-up booth, realize I forgot cash
8:12: Jog back to car
8:20: Jog back to sign-up booth, sign-up, jog back to car to prepare and stretch
8:30: I have to pee
8:45: The line for the bathrooms is too long. Must hold it.
8:46: I forgot my inhaler in my car
8:48: Run back to car
9:00: Run up to starting line, seconds before the race starts with a very full bladder
Next time.. I'll be better prepared.
I ended up having horrible ITB pain in the last 3 miles (probably because of all those warm-up runs to the car) but I didn't walk even though at times it was excruciating. We started off at a fairly fast pace for me, and it felt comfortable and good, however as soon as the knee pain kicked in, we had to take it down a notch.
To make a long story short, I apparently overcompensated profusely and ended up pulling a muscle on the bottom of my right (not the leg with ITB pain) foot. I've been limping for days.
I think the lesson there should be not to push myself too hard, but hey, it was my first race and I'm glad I ran through the pain! So there.
I am not as glad that I am apparently the most forgetful person on the planet.
No, I didn't get attacked by a pervert. That would've been a better story. BUT I did get attacked.... sort of.
You see, I live in what Phoenix likes to call "Central Phoenix," which is a big word that describes downtown, uptown and midtown, all of which, are far from mimicking a real city feel. But Central Phoenix is the closest thing we've got to a real city. I live midtown. It's fun, I love it. There's lots of cute restaurants, thrift stores, coffee shops, antique shops, and random specialized shops. Ya know typical city stuff. There's also a lot of homeless people and crack heads. And I run at 5:30 AM, when it's still dark. So I carry pepper spray, just in case. (It's really a safe neighborhood but you've got to be safe, right?)
I dread the day I have to use, said, pepper spray.
So I'm on my way back from a 3.5 mile run. The sun is barely rising creating a beautiful "midnight blue" landscape... if you will. The birds are starting to chirp. The air is cool and refreshing. I'm listening to my ipod in runner's bliss; basking in the wonderfulness of not having knee pain.
And then I hear a faint noise through my music. It sounds like someone screaming. It sounds like someone screaming, "watch out." And as I peacefully glance behind me I am shocked at the site of a 20-pound, screeching, angry little mut running towards me with his fierce, little fangs shining out at me. Who would've thought such a small dog could look so evil.
And then I hear the most inhuman sound. It's a deep, loud but breathless sound, likened to the voice of Chubaka. Oh God, that voice is mine. I'm screaming "No." And then I wrip my head phones off and clear my throat and let out a few stern "NO's" while aiming my pepper spray into his eyes. But I do not pull the trigger. No, I just aim it at him with a steady hand, ho[ping he'll back off. Finally, the dog freezes; alarmed at my ability to discipline. His owner calls, and he meanders back into her arms.
"Is he aggressive?" I ask.
"Yes!" she replies, "sorry."
Hey, no problem [jerk].
First of all, behold my new KICKS! They are the Adidas AdiZero Tempos. They are much lighter than my old Sauconey's and they hug my foot in a wonderfully soothing way. So far, they've felt comfortable, light and supportive and my knees feel pretty good too. I just LOVE getting new running shoes... or any shoes for that matter. Don't you?
Sometimes I catch myself smiling at them, admiring their wonderfulness. I even show them to my friends, my non-running friends, with enthusiastic glee, "Aren't they rad?!" And the said friends agree -- because they're my friends.
Second of all, I did some trail running today. I mean, for the first time in my running career, I meandered away from the asphalt, sidewalks and that cushy, weird pavement-like material found near a lot of city parks, and hit the trails.
Needless to say my new shoes are already quite dirty.
Ah, but it was so wonderful. I ran through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve through a rocky set of paths named "Dreamy Draw." The preserve was relatively vacant, the trails were narrow, rocky and packed with hills, rivets and rocks and storm clouds were bubbling over the horizon. It was perfect.
And I man-handled those paths. I did. I ran up, down and side-did and I pretended I'd been trail running for years. I sucked in that beautiful, clear air and I soaked up the scenery consisting of cacti, rocks, dirt and Palo Verdes. It was freeing, really. And if it wasn't already beautiful enough, I ended the run just ahead of the storm but right in the middle of the calming sprinkle.
My knees, however, might spitefully turn on me and kill me in my sleep.
Oh running, how my body hates you... and yet loves you.
This weekend I:
Partied with the parents and Gma
Babysat my adorable nephew
Packed for Tucson
Realized I left my wallet at work with my money, license and registration in, said, wallet
Un-packed for Tucson
Cried (b/c I'm dramatic), drank a beer, did my laundry and waited for Mr. Wonderful
Mr. Wonderful and I went to Los Dos Molinos.... again (my name is Kelsey and I am a Mexican-food-aholic)
Bickered about what movie to watch for about an hour
Went to sleep
Ran 5 miles
Mr. Wonderful left and I again cried, as per usual.
The most important part of this series of events? RAN 5 MILES. Do you know what that means? That means that I am back in the game. That means that I can start training for a marathon again. That means that I can run a 5K faster than a turtle pace. That means that I can once again center my entire life around my running schedule.
And this time I won't push myself to hard. This time I will only increase my mileage by 10% weekly and this time I will not do any hills or speed work until I am good and ready. I will also stretch... if I must.
So hopefully this blog is about to take the turn for the better while I re-center myself my love of running. Question! Being in Arizona where the weather is all Topsy-turvy, when exactly is prime racing season for the rest of the nation?
OH and I leave you with this fun fact: Here in Arizona, we don't do day light savings. But apparently Apple doesn't know that. So everybody's iphone automatically switched today and people were late for life... because we don't do daylight savings. HILARIOUS. Glad I don't have an iphone.
Ya'll thought I died didn't ya?! Nope, I was distracted by a series of events that looked something like this: intense moping; emails begging my former boss to pay me (still haven't gotten paid from former company); hours perfecting my resume and "brag" book; lurking of any and all job sites in my field; sending out resumes; completing five interview in one week (holy crap!); landing a great job, and training for said, great job.
Now that I can say that I have a stable job with a stable company in a position that I enjoy, I feel I can outwardly discuss how horrible job-searching really is.
Reasons looking for a job sucks:
1. You have to look impressive on paper. WTF?! I'm not a website... I'm not a business card... I'm a young person with a fabulous personality... DUH! Can't I just write you a three-page, free-form paper discussing why you should hire me? Who decided upon the resume format anyway?
2. Oh damn, my email had a typo... I guess that means I'm unhireable.
3. Oh I get it, just because those baby boomers can't retire I have to compete in an already horrible market with people who are five times as qualified as me, merely because they are applying for a job that four years ago they would have considered below them?! Ya that's fair (to both involved parties).
4. And then the fun part: I put on a suit, I spend $75 bucks at kinkos, I drive to the interview with the worst nervous stomach writhing of my life, I barely break a sweat (although inwardly trembling) while under interrogation, I present myself like I'm a hot new product (oh please, please, please like me), and I suck up to you, ONLY to find that I didn't get the job.
What I'm trying to say is looking for a job feels, to me anyway, completely degrading.
What are your thoughts? Do any of you actually find job hunting enjoyable?
The great news is that I don't have to worry anymore. I have a great job working with seemingly great people. So I guess, for now, all is well.
And the Blonde Bullet is back from her hiatus.