Sunday, May 3, 2009

Race for the Cure 5K

I DID IT!!!!!!

Here we are, the Brinley Bruins Team who particpated in the Race for the Cure Breast Cancer 5K run. It was an amazing event, very well planned and executed. This is my first time being team captain and Jackie helped me through it. It was downtown at the Freemont Street experience. Starting from left to right we have Raja (science), Wendi (sister), Jan (mother), Jackie (trainer), Dave (father), Me, Cindy (math), Alyx (Cindy's daughter), Zach (Alyx's boyfriend), Will (Jackie's sone), Lindsay (English) and Jen (math). And Kristine (graphic artist) is taking the picture.

Amazingly enough, we met up with everyone before and after the race. There were so many people there out to support the cause; it is such a good thing to be a part of. I was there with a purpose and that was to run the entire distance with no walking and to beat my previous time. I am pleased to say that I accomplished both of my goals. My time was under 37 minutes and the first 2 miles were 11 minute miles. I am grateful for the love and support that many people have shown me and that has helped a lot. A couple of times I thought it would be so easy to just stop running and walk a little bit, but I knew I needed to meet this goal. I had told everyone about it and I promised myself to do this. Somehow I dug deep and finished. I gave it my all and that felt good.

Dad, Jan and Wendi came down to support me. Dad has been training with me and we have been talking a lot about this race. It has been fun to have discussions with him about health and nutrition as we both try to improve our health. He hadn't really prepared as much as he would have liked and had a sore calf muscle. So Wendi took his place in the timed event. She ran with me and it was nice to know she was there. Dad and Jan signed up for the 1 mile fun run and walked together with Jen, Cindy's group and cute, pregnant Lindsay.

What's next you might ask?? Well, Jackie made sure that this wasn't the end. I obviously still have more weight to lose (see above pics) and a life of healthy living ahead of me. So, Jackie found this race tailor made for me. It is the extra-terrestial 10K run out at Area 51 (the top secret place where all the UFO's are kept). I'm almost tempted to wear my Spock ears to this event. :) It is in August and I've got to really focus this summer on running twice the distance in half the preparation time as I had for my 5K. However this time I won't be starting at point zero (or actually in the negatives in my case). August you might wonder . . . in Las Vegas . . . am I crazy? Yes I think I am, but the run will be at midnight, so I'm hoping the temperature will come down to a cool 80 degrees if I'm lucky.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Zions National Park

In case you were wondering if I haven't done enough hiking, you're right; I haven't. I am really falling in love with hiking and am grateful that I am living in a place that has so much wonderful hiking all around and the weather that makes it all possible to hike a lot more during than year.

I have been thinking I need to do more single stuff in the church and this was the week I started to act. I went to an institute class on Wed night and then Saturday was an all day hike in Zion's NP. So just to give you a small tasting of how tired I am right now I'll briefly describe my weekend to you. Friday after school I went out with some work friends for dinner, left them to join another friend at the temple for the 8 pm session. Arrived home around 10:30 and got everything ready for the hike. Woke up at 4:30 am and rendezvouxed at the speedway to carpool up to Zions at 6 am. Hiked all day and drove home, arriving at 9 pm. And it just happened to be welfare meeting at 7:30 am on Sunday with presidency meeting after that, then choir, church and then visits. It's now 6 pm and I'm wiped out, so much that I don't even want to cook dinner, I just want to go to bed and sleep.

Anyways. . . My hike was amazing. The whole time going up I was so excited to be doing this hike. I'be been wanting to do this hike for a long time. Jackie told me that I would be able to do this hike after doing so well in Sedona the previous week. I was hesitant, but decided I would try. The people I went with were very nice and there was no pressure to get up quickly. I hung out with a sister who it was her first time also, and we hiked up together. She did very well. The picture on the right is from the top and you can see how far away down really is.

Angel's Landing is a very steep hike with drop offs on both sides. There are 21 short but very steep switchbacks that are called Walter's Wiggles. At the end, chains are provided to help you climb the dificult inclines and help you to stay clear of drop offs. The view from the top is well worth the possible fear of falling to your death and the feeling of accomplishment is amazing. As I was hiking I had to sometimes put up my hands to act as blinders so my peripheral vision wouldn't scare me so much. But once I stopped moving I could look around and see how far up we actually were. On the way down it is much easier to run because it is so steep. You can see on the picture to the left that we had to walk out and across to reach the top.

Afterwards, we went to see Weeping Rock which was amazing and literally very cool. I'm sure once the summer comes and the plants are grown, it is an amazing sight. Apparantly water travels from the top of the mountain, through to the sandstone which is very pourous, moves horizontally until it seeps out and drips down. They said it takes 4000 years for the water to run its course. All in all it was a wonderful trip and hopefully the first of many more to come.
This guy Chris arranged monthly hikes and I think I'll start going to them. He has been doing these hikes for over a year, but I haven't gone because they have coincided with my Bruin Trailblazer group. But I haven't really done that since the Christmas break, so I'll start going with the SA group instead. He organizes everything, so that's one less thing for me to organize. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break - part III

After my trip to Sedona, AZ, I took Wed to recoup and have dinner and a movie with a dear friend, Michelle. But I had some research to do since I was off to Death Valley National Park in CA on Thursday. I tried to get some friends to come with me, but each one declined - so you know me, I went by myself. I left Thursday morning at 10 am and arrived back home half past 10 pm.

I went north to Scotty's Castle and toured that area, hiked up to his gravesight and walked around the guest shop/visitors center. It was a little chilly so I bought a Death Valley long sleeve shirt and of course my obligatory key chain. Death Valley is an interesting place with its unique beauty. There were a few wildflowers out; the tiniest yellow, white, purple, orange, and pink flowers I've ever seen. I contined south and stopped at Stovepipe Wells Village and Furnance Creek. I ate my linner at a yummy place in Furnance Creek and my waiter was from Dallas area. I recognized that he was from Texas because his "yes ma'am" came way too naturally. By then the sun was getting lower and I finished Artists Palette and Badwater with just enough sunlight left in the day. I headed south through Pahrump to get home to Las Vegas.

All in all it was a very fine and rewarding day trip. I am glad I went and can go again since I didn't get to see it all.

Spring Break - part II

After returning from St. George on Sunday, I had to hurry and pack for Sedona because I was leaving at 7 am the next morning. Jackie, my friend who is helping me run, and I have a 2-day trip to Sedona, AZ. Everyone I've spoken to says that it is beautiful and that they love it there. Everyone is right. It is beautiful!! Even though Sedona is only 5 hour away, it took us just under 12. We stopped in Williams for a few hours and had lunch. Then we stopped in Flagstaff for a few more hours. Let's just say that I am doing my fair share (if not more) to support our suffering economy. There are so many cute and fun stores in these places it was hard to not buy everything I saw.

When we finally arrived in Sedona, we got our room and then met up with Jackie's brother, Bill, for dinner at the Cowboy Club. Then we drove out near Montezuma's well; the stars were brilliant.

Our next day was full of hiking. We hiked up Devil's Bridge and saw some firemen from El Paso, TX training on the bridge. They were learning rock climbing and were all in Hawaiian shirts, quite the sight. Next we headed to Cathedral Rock and enjoyed the river running through Oak Canyon. We stopped and dipped our feet in the refreshing river. Grabbed some lunch in town then off to Brins Mesa for our afternoon hike. We finished a little earlier than planned so back to town for some more shopping. Finally our drive back to Vegas.

It was such a fun trip and there is definitely reason for me to return. So much to see and do. I bought this book that highlights Sedona's Top 10 Hikes and I would like to complete them all. On this trip, I was able to do 3 of them, so 7 more left. Anyone up for a trip to Sedona with me???

Below are some pics from my trip. If you want to see the captions and/or stop the slide, put your mouse on the picture.

Spring Break - part I

Spring break started wonderfully with General Conference. Friday I drove up to St. George to stay with Kirk & Vanessa. It also turned out that Uncle Frank and family were down there celebrating his 60th birthday. I was able to visit with his family, which is something that I rarely have the opportunity to do. It was so much fun to see and talk with Cam and Carston and their families. Brooke & Tessa and Grandpa & Dottie came to be with us as well. And it also turned out that Dad and Jan came down as well. So Friday we had a BBQ at Uncle Frank's new home in St. George.

Saturday I woke up and put in my run before conference. It was wonderful to run in St. George; however it was a bit chilly in the morning. For the first time I ran with a sweatshirt and my face was really, really cold; something I haven't experienced in Las Vegas. I did my 3 miles and got my shoes really dirty from the back roads, but it was beautiful.

Dad, Jan and Grandpa came over for the afternoon session on Saturday and watched with us all day Sunday. Conference was really good and I feel a newness and am recommitted to living a better life. I hope you enjoyed conference too!!!

Waylan was very well behaved for our many hours of "church-on-tv". I brought up my Qwirkle game and we had a fun time mixing the shapes and colors.

I drove home Sunday after conference, unpacked, then packed again for my Sedona trip the next day (see Spring Break - part II).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mom's Visit

After our day at the Springs Preserve, we went to Uncle Don's office to visit with everyone there. We got to see Uncle Don after his luncheon with the Over 50 club, Linda on her way out to Oceanside with her family, Brent, and Bruce. It was nice to have some time to visit with them; I don't get to see them that often which is a little weird seeing as I live in the same city, but life is busy for everyone. After our visit to Tingey & Tingey we drove home to rest for a little bit and to get ready for our Vegas show. I got these tickets for free for donating blood; yes they really want your blood here.
Steve Wyrick is an excellent magician and a great show if you ever get the opportunity to see it. It is in Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile Shopping area. We went to the 7 pm show and it was so much fun. He did big and small tricks, but each one was impressive. He has a good stage presence and uses the audience a lot. That night was extra special because his mother was sitting a few rows behind us.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Springs Preserve

It is so good when Mom and Bob come down to visit me. It is so nice to see them and to just be around them. They came down and stayed with me 2 night and I took a day off from school to play. We had a delicious breakfast of pancakes and fruit with homemade syrup and blueberry jam. There is a relatively new Springs Preserve that I've been hearing about and I drive on the 95 and see the big roadrunner and iguana on the freeway wall enticing me to go.
So we went and enjoyed the afternoon walking around and learning about this wonderful oasis in the middle of the dessert. It is a wonderful place to take children and I hope to take my nephews if and when they come to visit me again. I loved it and would definitely go back. Locals even get a $4 discount.
You can see the interactive fun that we had at the Springs Preserve.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gray slacks

I have a dear friend that I work with and I just love her wardrobe. She always wears the nicest, professional yet casual clothes to teach in. And I asked her where she shops. Gap. All of my slacks are quite big on me now (yeah), but I still wear them because I just can't go out and buy new clothes. I was actually thinking of having them tailored since they are still in excellent condition. Anyways, I have been wanting to get some light gray slacks for some time now and decided that I would get some at the Gap. I went to the store in Las Vegas and they didn't have my size. When I went up to Salt Lake for Christmas break, I looked in their stores, but they didn't have my size either. It was coming down to the few last days and I was just itching to get these pants. So I got them a size too small. When I tried them on in the store, I couldn't even button up the tops and the thigh area was way too tight. Well, that was December. Now it is March and I was just thinking about wearing them and thought to try them on before going to work. I put them on and vualla (sp?). They fit! They are still a little tight, but definitely doable. I'm so excited because I've not been doing my best at exercising and eating right. But slowly I'm making progress. They are a light gray, long with a french cuff at the bottom, fully lined and side pockets.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Photo Tag

I was photo tagged a few months ago by a friend

to post the picture that is in my 6th folder, 6th picture onto my blog. And this is what you get. I actually have a Friends file because my dear friend, Heidi, has an obsession with them and downloaded some pics onto my computer. And I just haven't gotten around to deleting them. But why would I, it's a funny show and it makes me think of her. So here's to you, Heidi, and all my dear friends out there. Love ya!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Free Show on the Strip

After the race, I took a little nap and was woken by a call from Emily, a co-worker. She gets these free tickets to shows around Las Vegas and called to see if I wanted to go. It was tickets to Danny Gans and of course I wanted to go. I've heard such good things about his show, how delightful and clean and funny it is. So I got ready and we went down to the new Encore casino that opened recently. We both agreed that the decorations are quite hideous, sorry Mr. Wynn; I guess not if you like seeing red every where. The Danny Gans show doesn't officially open until next weekend, and he was offering this show to locals for free. He is a great impressionist, singer and comedian. He has a live band that plays with him and he is quite good. Some of the impressions were right on. It looked like he and his band were having a good time, which made us have a better time. Emily and I got front row seats!! All in all, it was a great ending to a great day.

My First 5K

My first 5K was yesterday, Saturday, January 31st. It was so much fun. I went with a team from my school and there were 22 of us. It was at Towne Center which is like running around Gateway Mall for a Utah connection. The day was so beautiful and the race started at 9 am. We arrived and met everyone else, got our electronic tags on our shoes and then lined up. My race number was 641. We took off running and I surprised myself by running for 5.5 minutes before deciding to walk. I then continued to run 3 minutes and recover for 3. It was so fun to be with a lot of people accomplishing the same outcome. My two goals was to run at least half of it and make it in under 40 minutes. And I am pleased to say that I accomplished both of these goals. My official time was 38:33.

This is only possible because of my great support system of friends and family. Jackie and Lindsay have been instramental in getting me to this point. And this is only the beginning, so they tell me. I've now started and need to improve my time and hopefully by the May Race for the Cure I will be running the entire race. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Santa Monica Sunsets

MLK weekend

Ever since Veteran's Day weekend, I've been wanting to visit my cousins, Mike & Becky, in Santa Monica. They live a few blocks away from the beach and it just sounds wonderful. So, the long weekend over Martin Luther King Jr. Day I went to Santa Monica. It was so much fun and so relaxing. Mike & Becky are the best and were very welcoming. I drove down Friday after school and my run. I got there 9:30 and we stayed up that first night talking until 2 am. I haven't done that in a long time (oh wait, since the reunion last July). They have 2 children living with them now, and I got to sleep in Arica's room. We woke up, had pancakes and then went to the farmer's market. We got such yummy and fresh produce that we enjoyed all weekend. We came back home to put the produce away and then went to the beach in the afternoon. It was so nice just to have a book to read, people to watch, and take a nap. It was so beautiful to hear the waves crashing down and then it would be silent until the next wave. That was my favorite part and each time was surprised at how loud the waves were compared to the absolute silence afterwards. Sunday we went to church and then we took a little drive around. I had heard about the famous Santa Monica pier and had to go and see it. I watched my second sunset that weekend and walked the pier. It was very nice and fun to walk. There were tons of tourists and I think extra busy because of the long weekend. I guess I wasn't the only person with the idea to come to the beach that weekend. We went to the LA temple grounds, which is quite close to their place. I am definitely going to return and do a session in that temple. It is so beautiful. This will be my second visit to this temple without going inside. The last time I came to this temple, I was with Heidi and we were a little lost in LA and just came upon it one day. Monday was my drive back, but I wasn't in a hurry and finished my book first and left around 11 am. It's only a 4.5 hour drive and a tank of gas. So, a very economical trip for all the relaxation I got in. They told me I was welcome to return and they don't know it, but I will!!

New Years Resolutions

It's still January. . . It's not too late to say my resolutions, is it?

After seeing fine examples from Gary & Ashley and Mom & Bob, I've decided to join their ranks of one who recycles and lives greener. Although I don't produce a lot of waste, I still can do better. And lo and behold it was actually easier than I really understood. Apparantly I've had these containers the whole time that I've lived in this new condo (since last March). I never knew what these multi-colored bins were for. They were outside in the back turned upside down and backwards. I just thought they were garbage. But then I saw these bins outside every Friday infront of my neighbors houses. But it wasn't until Jackie showed me hers that it clicked that that's what they were. So, I dusted them off and put them right-side up in my garage and now can use them as intended. I now recycle cans, plastic, magazines and glass. And even better I just put it out on my curb on Fridays and they pick it up for me. I love when cities support the cause. I also decided to buy a Brita filter system. So now I use my own bottle (from Yosemite NP) and take that to work with me. When it's hot, I can drink 32 oz before lunch at 11:45 and then another 32 oz before dinner. However, the water at school doesn't taste anywhere as good. When it's not as warm, I'm lucky to get down 32 oz a day. I know I need more water and it's a daily quest. These are just a few of the things that I'm trying this year. I constantly look for easy things that I can incorporate into my simple life. So, if you have any ideas that work for you, let me know so I can try them in my house.

Running now

Those of you who have been watching my blog since this summer know that I have been fighting the bulge. And it still confounds all my logic. I was able to drop around 20 pounds, but have not gotten anymore off since then. I guess I should be happy I didn't gain it all back over the holidays! Well, I have a wonderful friend named Jackie who is making it her personal goal to help me get fit. I am so grateful for her constant encouragement and high expectations. She's a runner and has decided that even though I've never ran before in my entire life, that I should start. So, my goal is to run an entire 5K by May. I had to laugh when she told me the plan because I've never liked running and could not picture myself ever doing it. However, she has started me out nice and slow and now I really enjoy it. She has helped me to get the items necessary to make running easier than I could have expected. We took a day to go and get me some running shoes. These are my first pair of running shoes that I don't wear except for when I'm running. Next, I needed a much better support and Jackie steered me in the right direction. I told her sports bras just couldn't hold my big girls, but she assured me they did and it's true; they do make over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders. I really, really like this bra and need to get a few more. The straps don't fall off and I don't get black eyes when I run anymore (hee, hee). I have to thank Champion USA for their exceptional design and comfort. I usually run with Jackie and we've worked out a good starting point. In her neighborhood, she's marked out a 3 mile loop and my first time around was 42 minutes walking. My first run/walk was to walk 4 minutes and run on the 5th minute for one minute. Yeah, that was pretty hard and I was there for a good few weeks. Then she thought I should bump it up to running for 90 seconds. And now, I'm up to running for 2 minutes every 5 minutes. Probably next week I'll be bumped up to 2.5 minutes. I'm now charting my progress and runs in this log book Jackie got me for Christmas. And I have this fancy watch that keeps track of the times/dates of each of my runs. As I get better and start logging my time in a mile, it keeps track of my best mile and averages also. Now that I've been running on this schedule, I really look forward to running now. And not on a treadmill. I have run outside everytime. It is so refreshing, fun, enjoyable, beautiful and energizing to be running in the real world. I am thankful that I can run outisde and know that I wouldn't do that in cold Utah. Also, Las Vegas has a lot of 5K runs and in fact, I'll be running in the Make A Wish Foundation 5K next Saturday (1/31). Wish me luck. My goal for this run is to run half of it and get a good time, which would be under 38 minutes. Jackie wants me to run another one before the May run and wants me to run 3/4 of it. That will also get me 2 good times so I can beat myself. I'm a little nervous about doing this one next Saturday and hope it will be a good first 5K.
So, I hope that you are working on your healthy goals this year. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Since I'm not really losing any weight, my new goal is to just run and get healthy. I'm hoping the weight will have no choice but to leave. Good luck!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Shout Out to My Utes

I hope you all saw the Sugar Bowl last night. It was absolutely amazing. I am so impressed with my Utes I can hardly stand it. The first 3 minutes the Utes scored 3 touch downs and stopped the Alabama offense 3 times. Immediately we were up 21 un answered points. Alabama did not know what hit them. And all the commentators where so hesitant about Utah and how they shouldn't really be in a BCS bowl game. Well, we certainly proved them wrong. Alabama's only way to get on the score board was to kick field goals (from far away) to get on the score board. Then their special teams scored a touch down. Not even their offense could score because Utah's defense was so good. And that was just the first half. The second half was a little bit more scary because then Alabama scored another touch down, but never fear, so did Utah.

All in all, Utah has the BEST record in the nation. 13-0. Not one other team has been undefeated this season, not even the so called #1 team in the nation. Plus, Utah won their bowl game, which makes their bowl game record undefeated as well. Utah should be #1 in the nation, but they most likely will be #2, after the team who wins the National Championship bowl game.

Cooking Highlight

Here's a little sample of what I had last night for dinner. A marinated pork tenderloin, thinkly sliced and cooked with onions, served on Boston lettuce as a wrap and a side of rice. It was delicious and took less than an hour to make.

It seems like it's been forever since I've actually cooked, at least 2 weeks with vacation and everything. I've had good meals, but it's different when you cook. I have missed cooking and when I came home, I made my list and went grocery shopping. For me, cooking is relaxing and fun; so it was a treat for me.