A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Life in the Arizona Desert January 18, 2011

Filed under: Arizona,Food — Kelocity @ 7:12 pm
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In Phoenix, we stayed at the Legacy Resort. It was a timeshare that we scored through a third party website. It wasn’t the nicest place we’ve ever stayed (I’ll leave that title up to the Encore in Vegas!) but it was comfortable, clean and nice. And Irving played the golf course twice while we were there.

Monday, we laid out by the pool (in the shade!) and read our books. It was nice to relax since we don’t do much of that at home. Oh vacations, how I love you.

When we got hungry, we headed over the the clubhouse for lunch before our long drive back.

The scenery was so pretty. I love the desert landscapes.

I had an amazing Taco salad. It hit the spot. (I donated most of my shell to Irving, and he shared some fries).

Then we got on the road right away, hoping to get back home at a decent hour.

So cool to see these big old cacti along the road.

The whole way back we listened to old NPR episodes of This American Life. I love that show. The stories are so well told and they don’t make me feel dumb when they tell them.

When we were an hour outside of LA, we decided to stop at “Old Spaghetti Factory” for a quick over an hour bite to eat.


The Thrill of the Race January 17, 2011

Filed under: 20 before 30,Arizona,Marathons,Races,Running — Kelocity @ 4:56 pm
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I did it! I ran my 10th Half Marathon yesterday! It was a great race!

But first, let’s back up! The night before, Irving and I went searching for some Italian food to carbo load with. There were plenty of Mexican restaurants, but Italian was surprisingly hard to find in Phoenix! We ended up at a great place called Nello’s.

The menu was perfect. Lots of options and reasonable prices.

I went straight for the Pasta. Sometimes simple is best. I didn’t want to take any chances before race day.

It was delicious! The pasta was homemade and cooked al dente.


Washed down with a few hydrating glasses of H2O.

When we got back to the hotel, I laid all my race gear out.


GU and Shotbloks: check
Garmin and Ipod: check
Fuel Belt: check


Fuel Belt Bottles: uhhhhh…. NO CHECK!

I totally forgot my Fuel Belt Bottles…. If it wasn’t on my list, it didn’t get packed! Next time, no beer while making packing lists.

But the race must go on –with or without my liquid energy. Luckily, I knew they had Cytomax and water on the course, and that’s what I run with anyways, so of all things to forget, this was probably the best case scenario. In the past, I’ve forgotten my Garmin, and that’s the worst!

Moving on… I pinned on my race bib, and set my alarm for 5am!


I slept fairly well, but still felt a little groggy in the morning. I knew I’d be fine once I started to get excited about the race. I wore my Boston Marathon shirt to give me a little extra confidence boost. haha I also rocked the Zensah compression socks. This will have been my first race running in those.

Ok… let’s do this!

We parked at the golf course club house where Irving was going to play golf, and then I walked to the shuttle busses across the street. The line looked long, but I was able to get right on a bus. It took about a half hour to get to the start line, but it was so cold, I was thankful for heated transportation.

The start line was organized and spread out, so it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be. 

They were giving out water bottles, which fit perfectly in my fuel belt. Score!

I met up with some Team in Training friends and we chatted for an hour or so.

I kept my sweatshirt on for as long as I could before I had to check my gear bag. It was so cold, maybe 35 or 40 degrees?

I was SO glad I had my compression socks on. At the very least, they kept my legs warm!

Then I made it to my corral and waited to start.

They assign corrals based on estimated finish time. It took 35 minutes to for us to cross the start line. I just put my ipod on, blasted the music and tried to forget how cold I was.

Once we passed the start line, I started running. At first I was annoyed that I’ve already lost 35 minutes behind the first half-marathoners before we even started, but then I realized what a great perk this was to the race. It was SO nice to be with the same group of people at the same pace for the whole run. I really appreciated that. I didn’t get trampled by fast people, or slowed down by walkers. It was just right. I was very thankful that they did this. Just one more reason why “Rock N’ Roll” marathons get it right.

And not long after that, the sun came out and the air warmed up a bit.

I hadn’t really trained properly, so I just ran when I felt like it and walked when I had to. I definitely ran more than I walked, and that was pretty much my goal. I had no real time expectations. I rocked out to my music, and muted it during the bands along the course.

Just for the heck of it, I ran through this tunnel of hula hoops. Total energy booster!!

I cruised through the first 8 miles or so. I got into a rhythm of running/walking intervals. My body was in tune with my mind, which is sometimes the hardest part to overcome.


I had been nibbling on Shot Bloks here and there every couple of miles, but I had this Chocolate Cherry GU at mile 9. It was SO GOOD! It had two shots of caffeine in it too.

For the most part, the race was a point to point course down one main road with very few deviations. It was starting to get a little boring until we finally got some glimpses of the beautiful Arizona scenery.




How funny is this giant inflatable rock and roll man?! Rock on!

My knees were starting to get crunchy around mile 11 with two miles left to go. I’d start running and my knee cap felt like it was going to fall off. But then I realized that it only hurt when I jogged, not when I was running full out strides. So I started sprinting pieces of the last two miles.

I looked down at my watch and saw that I could break 3 hours if I kept up the pace. My best time was 2:40 and my worst was 3:13. Coming in under 3 hours would put me right in between (not bad for a bad training season!)

It’s always exciting towards the end of a race when the crowds get a little thicker and you can hear the cheers getting louder.

I never saw the Mile 13 mile marker. But my watch read 13.1 miles about a half mile before the finish line!

I crossed the finish line officially at 2:56:44.

Here’s the stats:


I was really thirsty at the end (no fuel belt bottles, remember?) Don’t worry, I was drinking every few miles, but it was starting to get hot, and I was parched!

I gathered up all the post race swag: frozen yogurt, cytomax, fruit, pop chips… and headed out to find Irving. He was still playing his last hole on the golf course, so I plopped down on the nice grass on the course (the golf people didn’t seem to mind.)

Zensah Socks: huge success. My shins didn’t hurt at all during the race.


I entertained myself by taking self portraits.



The medal was huge! It was heavy duty!


I was saving my frozen yogurt for Irving, but he took too long and I got bored, so I ate it!

Soon, I was reunited with my golfer.



Mile 1 – 11:28
Mile 2 – 11:49
Mile 3 – 12:11
Mile 4 – 12:53
Mile 5 – 12:36
Mile 6 – 13:53
Mile 7 – 14:23
Mile 8 – 14:24
Mile 9 – 14:33
Mile 10 – 11:38
Mile 11 – 15:05
Mile 12 – 13:26
Mile 13 – 12:23
Mile 13.56 – 12:15

Garmin told me that I burned 1210 calories, so I decided to make up for some of it by heading to:

I normally don’t condone eating fast food in a car (and we NEVER eat it at home…) but the prospect of a cheeseburger being delivered to me was too tempting to ignore!

Soon our waitress on skates arrived with the goods!


When we got back to our hotel, Irving went out to play another 9 holes of golf. I, on the other hand, chose to take a two hour nap.

Later that night, we went to a blogger meetup that was organized by Skinny Runner. If you don’t already read her blog, you should.

Virtual life meets real life!

We met at Seasons 52 (which I’ve been reading so much about on some of the Florida blogs lately.

The food was fantastic. They claim that everything on the menu is under 475 calories.

It was fun to chat with so many great like-minded people. So nice to meet all of you!
Sarah, Pam, Diana and me! (Not pictured: Risa!)

After dinner, Irving and I used my ‘Buy one, get one’ coupon from the race swag bag at Mojo.

I didn’t put too much because I was pretty full from dinner. But I added some nice looking chocolate toppings.

It was as good –if not better—than Menchies! Hit the spot!

I slept like a rock last night. My body was just exhausted. I woke up with incredibly stiff legs though, and there was only cure:

LA desperately needs to get DD!

After a couple hours of reading by the pool (I’m already half-way through Meb’s book!) we grabbed lunch and began the 6 hour drive back to LA.

Arizona was a blast. What a great (long) weekend!

Just a few weeks until the Surf City Half Marathon!


The Road to Phoenix

Filed under: Arizona — Kelocity @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

We’re always up for a good road trip. Phoenix is only 6 hours from LA, so we got up early on Saturday and hit the road (coffee in hand of course)!


We left at 5:45a and it was dark for the first hour or so. Then the sun started to come up. Towards Palm Springs, the landscape is gorgeous. They have mountains you can’t find anywhere else in the country. So unique to the desert landscape.

After a little nap, we stopped in Palm Springs for Breakfast.

There’s a great place called “Manhattan in the Desert” that has become a favorite of ours. We both got French Toast. mmmm!

We didn’t pick up any sweets, but they have an amazing bakery. Case in point:


And the journey continued!

We killed a couple of hours listening to old episodes of NPR’s This American Life.

Most of the drive looked like this from my point of view!

Loving the open road!

Then we crossed the border! Which means the time changes! Arizona is 1 hour ahead of Los Angeles.

PS… we just stopped at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere that had one of these stuffed animal claw machines:

Sounds innocent enough, but each toy had a $20 bill attached to it with a rubber band…. isn’t that gambling? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.

Onward onto Phoenix!!


Grand Canyon September 24, 2007

Filed under: Arizona,Family — Kelocity @ 3:58 pm
Tags: , ,

One day, we took a side trip to the Grand Canyon. It was only about three hours from Sedona, and totally worth the drive. Pictures speak louder than words… so here they are!

On the drive there, we pulled over to watch a Deer that was on the side of the road!
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We walked about a half mile down the trail and back up again. It was fun! Good preparation for our hike to the Colorado River next year!
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This guy doesn’t look so good.
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Some of the mules coming back up the hill from the bottom.
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My attempt at photography.
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A museum at the top of the canyon.
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This guy was just hanging out on the edge of a cliff!! Is he crazy?!?!
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Truly amazing.
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Sedona, AZ September 22, 2007

Filed under: Arizona,Family — Kelocity @ 3:56 pm
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We just had the most relaxing week in Sedona, Arizona. The weather was beautiful, the company was great, and we had a blast! It was about a nine hour drive, but it was great. It rained a little bit when we got to Arizona, but I was so excited. I even stuck my arm out the window to feel it! (When you live in LA, you kinda miss the rain!) We had a little detour and we kinda got lost on Route 66, but we figured it out and it was all good. 🙂

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The hotel we stayed in had two pet snakes!! The black and white one was kinda going into hibernation so he wasn’t really that active, but the red snake was really active and he ate tons of crickets while we were there. This, of course, entertained me til no end! Snakes behind glass are kinda cute!

Ok, I know there are a lot of pictures, but they were so beautiful, I couldn’t narrow it down!
Here’s a few pics of Sedona and the area. So amazing.
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Irving went golfing at one of the beautiful courses in Sedona.
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And this is what I did while he golfed. HAHA!
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After sunset, we went to visit the famous church that is built in into the red rocks. Pics are kind of blurry because there wasn’t much sunlight left. But they were too beautiful to leave out!
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One day, Irving and I went for a bike ride to get some brunch. It was a little intense, the hills were enormous!! But it was a great workout, and I saw cool cacti on the side of the road. haha
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Seriously, how cool is this!
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View from the top of one of those massive hills!!
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One of the most famous rock formations in Sedona is called "Coffe Pot Rock" because, well… it looks like a coffee pot!! But check out the names of the streets at the base of the mountain! HAHA
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This is hilarious!
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I think one of the highlights of our trip was going to "Slide Rock Park"… It is a natural rock formation that has reallly slippery rocks, and you slide down them like a waterslide! The current pushes you through, and it was sooo much fun. Check out these cute pics!!

This is the little river, you slide all the way down them into a little reservoir at the bottom.
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10 points if you can find Irving!
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Here’s me! Getting ready to go down! (Did I mention the water was just about freezing? ha, I’m guessing around 45 degrees! Crazy!!!)
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Almost to the bottom!
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So fun!
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Here comes Irving!!!
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Dropping down!
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Here’s a few more pics around Sedona:

This is the road that gets you down into Sedona. I love how the roads are carved out of the mountain!
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We were there for a beautiful full moon!
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A coal miner? not sure. ha
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These chairs were made 100% out of stone and pipes. Cool huh?
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It was too good to pass up!
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