Category: Fun

The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Seattle

My trip began on Wednesday, July 19 with an early flight to Seattle.  Lola did not want me to leave.  I had a packing list provided to me by Jenny and I would cross off each item once I packed it in my suitcase.

I left early in the morning and arrived in the early afternoon.  Meghann and I had another flight to Anchorage the next morning so we decided to stay in a hotel close to the airport. I made the mistake of not checking the reviews and ended up with a not so great room. The room had a “funny and weird” smell and the owner/manager was not friendly. He was nice to me but he was very rude to another customer.  I couldn’t believe it.  The customer simply asked a question (more towels or linen) and the manager flat out yelled at him and told him to wait and that he had already told him that it would be another 5-10 minutes to get the items he requested.  Umm, let’s just say I never plan to stay there again.  And I will do a much better job of reading the reviews.  Lesson learned.

My nephew is a student at the University of Washington and has a summer job at Microsoft so we made plans to meet for dinner.  In the meantime, I took the Link to go to the Oiselle store, the Apple Store, and Pike’s Market.  I even saw the Original Starbucks but the line was too long to go inside.  Just seeing it from the outside was enough for me.

Then it was dinner at Japonessa Sushi Restaurant followed by a few flights of beer at Elysian Brewing Company.  <<Beer was DELICIOUS!


Afterwards, I was tired and ready to get some sleep.  Meghann had texted me that she had landed and was heading to the hotel.  I took a Lyft (first time and my nephew encouraged me since he has a internship with them in the fall) and met up with Meghann.  

Then I got my stuff ready for the next day and went to sleep.

It was a long but FUN day.

Ever been to Seattle?  What did you like about it?

After the Utah Valley Half Marathon

You can read my race recap HERE.

After the race, we went back to the hotel, showered, got ready, and went to Red Robin for lunch.  I was craving a burger and a beer.  I was too hungry to take pictures but it was delicious!!

Then we went to Bridal Veil Falls.  It was gorgeous!!  I was not brave enough to climb the rocks to get closer to the falls.

Then we had some time to rest before our next adventure – ziplining!  It was so much fun!!  But I will admit that I was nervous.  I’ve been ziplining once about 6 years ago.

I was scared!  I kept thinking of all things that could go wrong.  I know, crazy!  I knew that the only way to get over that fear was to volunteer to be one of the first ones to go.  I was also worried about the hand brake (afraid I would not brake in time) but the first time is the “hardest” one and then the rest was easy.  I became a pro and would have zip lined the rest of the day!!

Afterwards we were hungry again and decided to eat Mexican food.  Well, that turned out to be an adventure.  Mexican food and margaritas go together, right?  Someone suggested “Los Hermanos” in Provo.  Well, it turned out they only had non alcoholic beverages.  I searched Yelp and called two more places but neither had alcoholic beverages.  Finally, we went to Joe Vera’s.  Yes, margaritas with tequila!  The food was OK.  I ordered a dish with one taco and two tostadas.  However, the tostadas had so much stuff on top of it (chicken, beans, guacamole, sour cream) that it was soggy and I couldn’t eat it the way a tostada should be eaten.

The next day was my flight back home.  Marcia, Mary Beth, and I went downstairs for breakfast.  Then it was time for the whirlpool to relax before my ride to the airport.

The weekend went by fast but it was still a wonderful trip!

Ever been to Utah?  Ziplining?  Where?

Birthday Week

My birthday is today.  I remember when I turned 21, 30, and 40.  As I’ve gottten older I don’t do anything wild or crazy.  I am just happy that I get to celebrate another birthday because I know many people do not.  So, let me tell you about my week leading up to today.


Back to work.  Tired as usual.  Woke up at 4:30 and could not go back to sleep.  Thankfully I had to get through the week and two more days the following week till Thanksgiving Break.  

In the evening I enjoyed a glass of wine.  Or it might have been two glasses.



I do not know why but woke up again at 4:30 am.  My cat thought it was time to eat so she meowed until I finally fed her.  

I could not go back to sleep so I went to the Running Warehouse site and ordered two pairs of the Mizuno Wave Rider 19.  A few people have reviewed the 20s and I wanted to try them out too (I know it is different but it has pretty good reviews).  I went with the 19 because they were on sale.  I usually wear a 9.5 but have had to size up a few times with some shoes so I ordered a 9.5 and 10.  I also ordered a pair of the Mizuno Sayonara 3 which were also on sale on Amazon. I’ve worn this shoe before and did not really care for it.  But I’ve heard good things about the updated version so I want to try them out again.

After work I felt sick.  I felt like I had a fever.  I left at 3 and stopped at Target to get some things for a parent volunteer breakfast the next day.  Once home I took a nap and woke up at 5:45.  I debated on whether to meet my running club for our workout (1×1600 and 4×400).  I ended up going and am glad I did.  I ended up running my fastest mile in 8:24!  It was tough!

Don’t pay attention to the rest of the splits.  I’ve had my watch for almost a year but rarely use it at the track so I never figured out how to use it correctly for track use.  Well, after Tuesday I have a much better idea.


After my workout I went with a friend to eat tacos.  Since it was Taco Tuesday there were so many people there and we waited a long time.  I think we waited more than the actual time it took us to eat the tacos!



The usual stuff at work and a meeting after school.  I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner but ended up cancelling to work late.


It is almost Friday!  Plus, it was supposed to get to 70s.  That is unheard of for November but I’ll take it.


I got my shoes from Running Warehouse.  Cute colors and very comfortable.  I posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram and asked friends if I should keep both.  Ha, they all said to definitely keep both pairs.


I took advantage of the weather and did my run in shorts and tank top.  Why not?  6.02 miles @10:05 average pace.



The best day of the week.  Payday and breakfast.  The day went fast but I did stay at work till 5pm to grade papers and finish my lesson plans.  I did not want to do that this weekend.

I was not too crazy for the pink and purple shoe colors.  I ordered another pair in lilac/white/violet.  I think those will look prettier!  I mean running shoes have to be comfortable and pretty too, right?



I went to Fleet Feet to check out their Thanksgiving Sale and to return a pair of shoes.  I bought the Saucony Zealot 2 at the Chicago Marathon Expo and while they felt great when I tried them on, they hurt my feet when I ran in them.  The manager was nice enough to take them back even though it was over 30 days since I had purchased them.  I ended up buying a TrailHeads hat (which I have to return because I realized the next day that I have one in the same color) and a Brooks running jacket during the cold winter this year.

I made a quick stop at Staples and found this Atari game console on sale.  I remember my siblings and I had one when we were kids.  It was tempting to buy it.



My birthday!!  I ran 4.4 miles to commemorate this special day!  It was cold and windy and I was glad it was just 4.4 miles.  I am not ready to run in this cold weather.

Lola loves cuddling with me!



For lunch I went to Home Run Inn with my siblings and nephews and niece.  It was  fun to catch up and eat delicious food.  I even got a free sundae to celebrate my birthday.


I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!



Illinois Marathon Relay

My first relay race was Ragnar Relay Chicago in June 2012.  On Sunday I completed a marathon relay and got to cross it off this list.

There were 8 girls doing this relay race (two teams: Pink Ladies and Faster than Snails).  One of my teammates offered to drive to Urbana-Champaign (about 2 1/2 hours from Chicago) and we left Friday afternoon.  There were two girls from the other team so it was nice to meet them and talk to them.  They had food and I snacked on crackers, hummus, and sweet potato chips.


We arrived to pick up our bibs and to check out the expo.  It was OK but does not compare to the Chicago Marathon or RnR expos.

I almost bought this headband.

After the expo we went to Destihl for dinner.  The food was delicious!  We had a few appetizers to start off along with beer.  For dinner I had pasta with spicy thai shrimp.  The rest of the teammates met us there and we all had a lovely time.  We then said goodbye because it was late and we still had to check in the hotel and get our stuff ready for the next day.

ILMarathonRelay18 ILMarathonRelay4

From L to R: Lety, Liz, Rocio, Fabiola, me, Angie. We were missing Ana and Arasally.

As I was getting my things ready for the next day, I realized that I had forgotten my socks.  I had originally packed everything in my Apera bag.  I switched to a bigger bag because all of my things wouldn’t fit but left my socks in one of the pockets. Luckily, I borrowed a pair from a teammate.

I checked the temperature and got really nervous because all I saw was rain, rain, and more rain.


I slept good Friday night.  I was up at 5am and got ready.  I shared a room with 2 other girls so I waited for them to get ready before heading out to get something to eat.  The hotel provided us with a  free continental breakfast.  Love it when hotels do that.  I had coffee and a waffle.  Not too much but enough for a 6.7 run.

It was cold and drizzling.  I was hoping the rest of the rain would hold off till AFTER the race.  It didn’t.  There was a long line to get to the parking lot.  One of the girls was familiar with the area and told us of a shortcut.  We parked the car and got out to meet up with Ana and Lety.  We quickly got a team picture and since I was runner #1, I headed over to the start line.

Team Faster than Snails From L to R: Ana, me, Lety, Rocio

I don’t remember hearing the National Anthem but I realized the race was about to start.  I walked over to the start line, got in the corral and off I went.

I don’t remember too many specifics of my part of the race.  Here is what I do remember:

  • I felt really good the first two miles.  Unfortunately, I do not know my splits because the Nike + app in my phone did not work.  I turned it on but somehow it turned off.
  • I felt tired after the first water station.
  • The volunteers were wonderful!
  • The crowd support made me happy.
  • I would run, walk, and repeat.
  • It started to rain and I had forgotten to wear my visor.
  • I was running in new shoes and they felt really good.  Ha, little did I know what was happening in my right foot (too much callus remover and a lot of water is NOT a good combination).
  • One water station was after mile 2 and the next one was after mile 4.  That worked out for me since I had a short run but not sure if marathon and half marathon runners will agree with me.
  • Between mile 5 and 6 there were signs along the course with several facts about the University.   I don’t remember the exact words but I do recall reading about REO Speedwagon, PayPal, YouTube, and a Nobel Prize Winner.

I saw a sign on the floor and I thought it was the the 6 mile marker.  I told my teammates I would send them a text when I got there since the exchange was at mile 6.7.  There the volunteers were giving out oranges.  Yummy!  Up ahead I saw the actual mile marker. Oh well.

Finally, I saw the exchange spot.  I removed my belt and put it on the next runner.  I was done but I was also very cold.

We got in the car and drove to the next exchange which was about 10 minutes away.  It was raining so much harder and I felt bad for the runners.  Runner #3 got her stuff ready and then we left to meet runner #2.  We finally got a text from her that she was at mile 13.

Runner #2 is done!

Two legs done and two more to go.  The next exchange took a bit longer.  I drove this time because the owner of the car was running.  I am OK driving but get nervous driving other people’s cars.  Luckily, nothing happened and we arrived at the next exchange spot.  Lety was nice enough to get coffee for the both of us.  It felt good to drink something warm.  Earlier I had changed my top but left my skirt. I was getting colder so I changed into capris.  Not sure why I didn’t do that before.

Love my colorful shoes!

We got a text from Rocio that she was at mile 20.  We were meeting her at 20.5. One of the volunteers told us that the race was cancelled because of the weather. We were like “What?!?”  We couldn’ believe it.  We kept walking and asked another volunteer and she was not aware of the news.  Ana was the last runner and she said that she would run no matter what.  We saw Rocio and Ana took off to complete the race.  We told Rocio what we were told about the race.  On our way to the finish line, Ana sent us a text.  Yes, the race was cancelled and time would not matter.  She would keep going till the buses arrived.  She called me and I  asked her if she wanted us to pick her up. She said no and I told her that we would meet her before the entrance of Memorial Stadium.


It was raining even harder.  We arrived at the stadium and went inside.  It was pure chaos.  There were so many people there.

Definitely not a signage you want to see at a race.

While waiting for Ana, I used the bathroom and got some pizza.  There was also water, bananas, and bags of pretzels.  She texted us at mile 24.  We waited a little bit before heading out to meet her so that we could cross the finish line together. While waiting we cheered for the runners.  Some looked tired, cold but also excited to be almost done.  We waited and finally saw her.


We ran inside the stadium.  We held hands and crossed the finish line together. Finally done!

Our finish time is 4:29:47.




Even with the nasty weather we all had a great time!  We made the best of it and felt thankful for being able to participate in this race.  We ran, laughed, motivated and helped each other out.  And the rain did not stop us.  Definitely teamwork!  We had so much fun that we are already planning to do it again next year.

Have you ran a relay race?  Which one and how was it?

104.10 Miles for runDisney

So this year I ran a few Disney races.  I ran a total of 8 races which equals to 104.10 miles and 14 medals.  I won’t get into how much money I spent.  I had fun traveling to Florida and California but prefer going to Florida because 1) It is closer and cheaper and 2) More parks and more things to do.

I remember when I signed up for the Goofy Challenge and I was nervous and scared.  Running a half marathon is tough but then to add a marathon the next day?  What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.  My friend, Jaime, convinced me to do it so I did.  She did Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, 13.1, and 26.2).  At the end of the marathon I was almost in tears because I had accomplished something that I did not know I was capable of.  Plus, I enjoyed the course more for the full than the half.  I was also very sore.


But I recovered quickly because the following weekend I went to California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  Traveling there was nerve wrecking because there were problems with my flight and I got to the hotel after 5pm.  I was too late to pick up my packet but luckily I picked it up on race day.  I was not able to get my shirt but someone was nice enough to mail it to me.  I liked the race and the course.  The weather was perfect too.  The last time I was in Disneyland was in 1991 so I stayed an extra day to hang out in Disneyland.

In February I went back to Florida for the Glass Slipper Challenge (10k on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday).  Definitely so much “easier” than Goofy Challenge.  I ran the Enchanted 10k with Jeff Galloway and it was nice to chat with him.  It was muggy and humid that morning but I finished early enough to head back to the hotel, shower, eat breakfast and hang out at Magic Kingdom with Arasally.  We had a blast! The last time I was there was in 2004 (I did run through there in January but did not stay at the park).  The half marathon was OK.  Nothing too exciting about it.

Pretty medals!

At the end of August was another trip to Disneyland for the Dumbo Double Dare (10k on Saturday and 13.1 on Sunday).  This time I made sure to leave early enough to avoid any problems with my flight.  I saw Jaime again and it was fun hanging out with her.  I knew Emily was also planning to run the half marathon but I did not see her at all.  I liked the 10k but not so much the half marathon.  It was cool running through Disneyland and California Adventure Park but could not wait to finish the half marathon.  I did like the medal I got for completing both races.


Finally my last race was last month.  I was nervous and excited about that one.  The race was at night and I am not a fan of night races.  The weather was pretty decent during the day but then things turned for the worst.  It rained pretty much the whole time for the whole race.  I heard good things about the race and was looking forward to it and the post race activities.  I was cold and miserable.  I could not wait to finish.  I walked a lot, which made it worse.  I know this was out of Disney’s control but the rain ruined it for me.  However, the best part of the race was seeing all of the beautiful lights in Hollywood Studios.

Final thoughts:

  • Each race is a fun experience.  I like the Disney theme and seeing the various costumes.
  • I prefer traveling to FL than CA.  But unless you have a car or stay on property, it is much easier to get around in CA.
  • When traveling to FL make sure to stay at a resort.  Disney does a great job of providing shuttle busses from/to the airport and to/from the expo and race.
  • Why, oh why, is it so expensive for these races?  I know I spent over $300 for Goofy Challenge and while I did get 3 medals and 3 shirts, there pretty much nothing in the goody bag and in the post race box snack.
  • I told myself I would never run another Disney race but am finding myself drawn to the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in 2015 and the Glass Slipper Challenge in 2016.
  • Part of me wants to run again the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and actually enjoy the race.
  • Ugh, I will not miss the 3:00 wake up calls.  Those were brutal.  I understand the reason behind it but they’re still brutal.
  • Every runner has to run one Disney race.
14 medals!

My favorite medals.