My Race Calendar

I indulge in a few race superstitions.  I don’t wear the race shirt during the race because the shirt is to show that you’ve completed the race and wearing it before you actually have completed the race is like asking to trip and break your ankle on the course.  At the UMOM walk, I was nervous putting on the shirt, even though it literally was a walk.

I only sign up for one race at a time because if I have more than that coming up, I will no doubt injure myself in the first one and be unable to run the next.  This actually is more based on my experience.  In the past, race day has taken me out of training for at least a few weeks, although, since I’ve started yoga, it’s less of an issue.

Even so, that doesn’t stop me from getting excited about building my race calendar.  I don’t want to burn out on training or the races, but as of right now, I’m planning on:

Volunteering at the Women’s Half on November 5th
PRing at the Phoenix 10K on November 6th
Volunteering at Ironman on November 20th (and then watching the – from what I hear – amazing 11pm to midnight finishers)
Cheering on my GOTR team at the Fiesta Bowl 5K on December 5th
Dominating the IronGirl 5K Scottsdale on December 11th
PRing at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half on January 15th
Volunteering and/or participating at one or both of Red Rock’s spring tris on April 15th and May 5th

I know that my motivation may change and I’m staying open to any opportunities that are not yet on my radar – races in different states? countries? sure! – and that’s there’ a sizeable gap in the spring, but I certainly like the looks of it right now.

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A Tri Sneak Peek

For purely selfish reasons, I woke up at 3:30 last Saturday morning – after coming home from booty shaking and a little bit of boozing on Friday night at midnight and seriously considering just staying up – to drive 30 minutes to work for free in the hot sun (well, technically there was no sun that early, but eventually it got sunny and HOT).

No, really.

Last weekend, I volunteered at the IronGear Sports Rio Salado Triathlon! 

Since I’m planning on completing my first this year, I thought it would be a good idea to see what they’re all about and instead of going as a spectator, I loved the idea of actually being involved.

I started with marking the athletes before the race and then had a chance to watch the start(s) in the Tempe Town Lake before heading into the transition area to encourage, direct and hydrate the participants as they headed out for the run.  Technically I was also enforcing the no headphones rule.  THEN I did bike check outs. 

Whew, long – but FUN – day!  I was inspired and motivated by every athlete I talked to.  I love the fact that so many people – I heard the number was about 600 – choose to DO LIFE in this way, choose to jump in a cold (official temp was 71) lake at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, choose to push themselves physically and mentally during training and the actual event. 

I’m just gonna say it…triathletes rock.

A lot of my questions about joining the awesome ranks were answered, but a few more were raised.  As I watched swimmers start of in close packs and some get pulled out of the lake at different parts of the swim for different reasons, I wondered if I could do a lake swim – for the cold factor and the freak out factor.  That’s something you really don’t know until you actually try it anyway, I suppose.

Then I wondered if I’d be satisfied with completing a tri with a pool swim.  I’m accomplishing this life goal for me, myself and I, so I’m the only one who can decide that.

As I said, I was the enforcer for no headphones on the run course, but I had NO clue this was a thing!  Now I’m wondering if after swimming and biking, I’d be able to keep my butt in gear for the run without any tunes.  And after a little searching after the event, I’m wondering if I could even find a tri that does allow it and still meets my expectations.

I’m also wondering how much more fun and awesome training and competing with a group would be after seeing friends and family participating together.  Kinda thinking a lot and I’ve joined some tri-focused Meetup groups to hopefully meet some other crazy asses who think triathlons count as fun!

I’ve Got a City Love

Phoenix gets a bad rap.  Despite multiple (read: confusing) branding efforts and an active calendar of events, the typical POA is to get in, go to your game/concert and GTFO, leaving Phoenix as a virtual ghost town on nights and weekends.

However, this weekend, I gave Phoenix a little more love than I normally do (I’m an east valley girl at heart) and I have to say, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

On Friday, I went to a movie in the park at Biltmore Fashion Park.  It was like a grown-up pajama party!  Yes, there were kids there, but this event is for the adults.  For two months in the spring and two months in the fall, the shopping center shows classic and new-classic movies (this week: Top Gun) on their center lawn on Friday nights at 7:30.  Attendees show up at least an hour early to stake their claim to some grass with blankets and pillows and chairs.  Picnic baskets or take out from the center’s restuarants and contraband alcohol also add to the ambiance of the evening!

Then on Saturday, I volunteered at the Devoured Culinary Classic at the Phoenix Arts Museum.  This event was amazing.  All the buzzed-about local restaurants (some too trendy for their own good and some worthy of the hype) set up booths and cook all day, handing out samples to hungry attendees!  There’s also plenty of wine and beer!

Granted, I skipped the opportunity to make it a three-peat and hit Phoenix again on Sunday to go back to Devoured’s second day because it’s a bit of a drive, but I was really impressed with the fun things going on in the city.  While downtown on Saturday, I also saw the St. Patrick’s Day parade and Phoenix’s Great Urban Race participants running all over.

I guess it’s just that season because there were plenty of other things to do around the valley all weekend.  The beautiful weather this time of year is the reason people live here and everyone is out enjoying it. 

Check out your city’s calendar of events from local newspapers and on about.com (my main sources) and find unique things to love about and fun things to do in the place you choose to live!

Photo Credit: Biltmore image