Posts Tagged With: Phoenix

Another weekend, another race

Here’s to the start of an amazing day!

At work for the morning to host an orientation. Always a fun day to see the incoming students. I still have vivid memories of my orientation and I kind of wish my current school would adopt an overnight model of orientation.

After orientation, my buddy Kim and I are off to see the Host. I do love me some sci-fi alien love stories! Here’s hoping it is a decent way to spend a few hours. After parting ways with Kim, we will meet again for the Firefly race tonight.

Unfortunately, this one will not be timed. I would have to pay an extra five bucks in top of the 54 I already paid to run in this one. So, I’ll just use my phone to track myself. It won’t be accurate, but it’s better than paying! There’s a bit of a party afterwards, but I’m unsure of how big it’ll be. The video makes it seem like this huge event, but I’ve been mislead before. Pictures to come.

I wish I would have known about these fun races sooner. I really get a good vibe from the energy at those events. Speaking of fun races, I got an email yesterday from the Splash Mob 5k for this year. This was my second 5k ever and I can’t wait to do it again. It’ll be at an actual water park this year so maybe I’ll actually get wet. I managed to dodge the water balloons last year 🙂

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Firefly Run

So, my friend found this FireFly 5K/10k happening on Saturday night. A glow in the dark 5k. Do I want to do it? Do I want the 5k or 10k?

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Ouch.

Today was the eight nine hour hike on the Superstition Ridgeline.

After getting up at four, Stephen and I hit up IHOP for some breakfast. I behaved and got something on the fresh fit menu. It was good, but I found myself hungry for more.

Then came the hour drive across the valley to drop of my car at the end zone of the hike. The mountain looked so small at the beginning..

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After getting in Stephen’s car, we drove about 30 minutes to the other side of the mountain ridge. We were all smiles beforehand…

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Pardon my crazy stalker face…

The hike started out well enough…and then we got to the base of the mountain. It got steep REAL quick! On top of that there was snow and ice from a recent storm. It was very slippery and a wrong move could send you down the mountain….or at least on your ass. I did my best Spider-Man impression and crawled up the steep slope while everyone else was in two legs. #dontjudgeme

At one point we came to a rock wall. There was no way in hell I was going up that. Not when I look behind me and see such a long way down and with ice on my feet. After a few failed attempts and watching others go up, I finally made it to the top of the wall. Note that this isn’t even close to the peak of the mountain. It was just a rock wall to get up near the Ridgeline.

The following photos look lovely, but they do not show the massive amounts of snow that we had to deal with. At some places it was over 4 inches. This was a particular problem because we were supposed to be looking for these small piles of rocks to indicate that we were on the right path. With all that snow, we never knew if we were good.

The scenes were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Once we got to the Ridgeline, it was mostly smooth sailing.

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joe1 joe2 joe3

We finally came to the part where it was time to come down….and down…and down. Apparently, we were over 5000 feet high. It was so scary being that high and walking next to a cliff that could easily kill you. After descending for hours, we finally hit the bottom. Our legs are battered and pricked by the local cacti. But no, the trail is not don’t yet. We spend another 30 minutes walking around and trying to orient ourselves to find the car. I was exhausted and almost about to shut down when we found the car.

9 hours… Over 11 miles of hiking up and down mountains… Exhausted… Sleep now.

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Wanting to go out

English: Opened umbrella

English: Opened umbrella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today is one of those rare rainy days in Phoenix. I had planned on going out for a nice long walk with Leo, but that won’t happen in this weather. So, I need to find another method of being active.

I still have my Insanity workout for later tonight. Tonight is the last night of the recovery week video. The new videos next week will be a good change of pace for me. I’m at the point where I’m not even worried about them anymore. I will just take the time and get through them all.

Perhaps this will be a good day to catch up on sleep a bit. I never seem to get enough recently and it is starting to show with the bags under my eyes.  I often try to take a nap,  but I rarely actually fall asleep. Any tips?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to going for the marathon and for now, I’ve decided against it. I am still going to run and run often, but going a farther distance is not a goal for me anymore. It is a bit sad seeing a goal like that go, but I think it is for the best. For me, my best results always come when I move around from activity to activity. It prevents boredom and increases passion. So, unto my next goal.

Rowing/Kayaking & Sailing

It’s odd that I would want to do this in the middle of a desert type climate, but I think it’s going to be something awesome. There are a few lakes around here in which I can use. My old running lake is a perfect place. There are even inflatable kayaks (even with sails) that should make transport fairly easy. I’ve focused on my legs for a good amount of time and they are quite beastly looking at times. Now, I need to work on my upper body a bit. This may be what can help with that.

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1/2 Marathon Complete

It’s over. It’s all over.

No times yet. They will post them later tonight and I’ll make a new post about it.

The morning started out well enough. I ate breakfast, got dressed, and headed out the door. I thought I would be smart and park in my work garage (right near the start line). NOPE!

I got turned around 2-3 times trying to figure out where to park, finally ended up on the other side of campus. Figured it would make for a nice warm up walk and it was a cold one this morning. Turns out other runners had the same idea as me and we had a small group walking over together.

We eventually found the place and there were already a decent number of people there. This picture doesn’t do it justice as I was tucked away in my holding bin (15).

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Slowly but surely, more and more people showed up. I’ve never liked huge groups, but I didn’t mind. I knew that in a bit, we’d all be on a nice journey together.

One by one, they started the waves of runners and I waited for my turn to go. I was a little thirsty, but I figured that I would get some at one of the water areas. As our group went to the start line, it suddenly became a bit emotional for me. Only for a short while, but it felt good to have made it this far.

I had figured the start would be really messy with the number of people. Fortunately, I never became frustrated due to the packs of people. I just turned on my music and ran…and ran…and ran. Partaking in refreshments at the water spots was mandatory for me. I only had to stop once for a few seconds to grab a cup from a volunteer.

As the miles flew by, I looked for ways to entertain myself. Sometimes I would find someone with a similar pace and keep up with them for a bit. Other times, I would look for funny signs. My favorite was “Worst Parade Ever.” I actually cracked a smile at that one and the lady holding the sign noticed and smiled back. The small moments made this worth it. One other noteworthy sign acknowledged the support for complete strangers. One of the other runners stopped to give her a hug and take a picture. Nice.

Along the way, there would be packs of cheering sections. Some were themed (Wizard of Oz…Grease). Whenever these packs were cheering loud enough, I could hear it over my music, it had an impact on me. It made my legs tingle a bit as if they were re-energized. Loved it.

Finally the miles came to an end near where we began. In another lane, I could see people finishing the marathon. Wow! Those are some fast people! When the finish line was within reach, I made a bit of a dash for it. 1/2 marathon: Complete.

On the way out, I got my medal.

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Then people were handing out so much food and drinks. I helped myself to get back some of what I had lost. I had a small banana smoothie, a water, a Gatorade, a chocolate milk nutrition drink, and some honey oat crisp things. After finding my way out, I realized that my car was on the other side of campus.

That walk was painful. But, I finally made it and now I’m back at home.

Do I want to do this again…at this moment, not so much. However, I’m trying to avoid jumping to conclusions. I’m hurting now and I think I have this thing with my neck/shoulder. Whenever I run for a long period of time, it feels like someone is sticking a needle in my my shoulder. To early to say if I want to go for the marathon. I don’t want to give up running and I won’t. I just don’t know if a marathon is for me. Again, I’m giving it some time.

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See Joe Run

This week has flown by!

Oh, where to begin!? Let’s start with the house. I did my weekly stop by and was pleasantly surprised!

 

I remember when I first started this process, everyone said that once the slab is down, the process really takes off with the framework. I’m excited to see how things shape up in the coming weeks. Now that the slab is down, I’m starting to get  a picture of where everything will end up. I can see the dining room…a place to host countless dinners and holiday get togethers. I’m looking forward to the memories to be build within this house…this home.

Next up: Sedona

The Running Partner and I were supposed to make a trip out to Sedona this past weekend. Due to uncontrollable circumstances, it needed to be postponed to this coming weekend. Even before I came to Arizona, I had heard Sedona was known for its spiritual properties. After doing some research, I discovered that Sedona is home to a few “Vortexes.” I’m fascinated by this and hope to see them in person. Expect lots of pictures. Reading about the Vortexes reminds me of the World of Warcraft and Ley Lines. Apparently there are lines in the world where magical energy runs. I wonder if there is a correlation between the two. I’ll have to dig into it a bit more.

Part of me is scared about the trip going up and back. I remember moving here and driving through the mountains. I absolutely freaked out. How in the world to people go 65 MPH around the side of a mountain. One false move could send your car off to the side and into a nasty fall. I was literally going 25 MPH during my final drive. Other drivers were less than pleased, but I kept myself safe, right?

Running

Nike+ is absolutely amazing! I found the app today and instantly fell in love. This app uses GPS to map your running route, pace, and distance. While all of that is amazing, the best part is that it can link to Facebook. When someone likes or comments on your in-progress run, it will create a cheering sound to play over your current music. It was nice to know that people were being supportive while on the run. A built in cheering section!

Today’s run was 4 miles. This was a new personal best in terms of distance. Surprisingly, my time was around 35 minutes. The next 5k is August 12 and I’m aiming for a time below 30 minutes. If this GPS bit is accurate, I should be able to make it! Each day until then, I’ll be running a bit longer. The eventual goal is to run a half-marathon in February. I think I can get this done if I keep it up!

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Random Musings for the Night

Tonight was a charity event at another local bar. One of my buddies was the MC and I wanted to show my support. I was surprised by the turnout! The entire parking lot was packed and everyone seemed to be having a great time inside. Even with that said, there was just something a bit off about tonight. I think I’m starting to hesitate about going out to the bars. I want to meet new people and I want them to be of substance and merit. I think that I will have a hard time finding that at times when most of what I see tends to be more focused on who you’re going home with rather than getting to know you as a person.

While I like bars and trying new drinks, I still don’t really fit in….at all. This one guy came up to me and asked if it was my first time out because I looked like I was so scared. I don’t recall being scared, but apparently I was giving off that vibe. I was relatively comfortable, but perhaps the scene just isn’t for me.

Some people say that you will find what you are looking for when you stop looking for it. I don’t really know if that’s true. If I stopped looking for what I want in life, then I think I would just sit at home and surf on the web for days on end. Having an objective helps keep me active and out there. So for the time being, I will continue. There is some merit in the idea of choosing another objective other than finding a relationship. Perhaps I can shift my focus to getting more active and fit as my objective and meet people along the way.

 

With all that said, I noticed that there is another 5k this coming weekend. This one seems a bit more special as it has a fun theme. They will have children with water guns and water pistols shooting the runners along the way. To me, this is amazing and I totally want to do this! I think I’ll sign up tomorrow!

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You Only Live Once…

So, last night was….special.

One of my band buddies invited me to this black ritual themed bar party. I’ve never been to a themed party of any sort, let alone at the bar. The interesting thing was that this bar is often frequented by the more “ursine” of the population. I’ll let you take that as you can!  So, with that in mind, I grabbed my roommate and we headed out for a night on the town!

When we got there, I was less than impressed. The space was a lot smaller than the pictures lead itself to believe. I was driving so I got myself a diet soda and found my perch for the night to watch the festivities. The crowd was certainly older and not a lot was happening at first. There were less than 10 people at the bar. That all began to change as the hours started to pass. A more varied mix of people came in and out came all of the leather.  This was an unexpected turn of events. If you have ever kept fish, you know that you put new fish in their own little bag to acclimate it to the water and surrounding fish. I kinda felt like that fish last night. I was in my own little bubble and wasn’t quite sure how to act or what to do. One thing’s for sure…the leather culture is full of some very uninhibited people.

I won’t go into detail with what I witnessed, but let’s just say…wow. People were really not holding back….much of anything. I enjoy a bit of modesty in my clothing and actions, but it seems like all that was thrown out of the window at around 11pm last night.

Some of the other band people eventually turned up and provided me with some relief to my bubble. It was comforting to see them also feeling a bit awkward about the place.  It helped me feel not so alone there.

So, long story short….while I don’t think I will be going back, I was able to try something new and certainly saw a lot more than I was expecting!

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Status Update

Hey all,
Maybe you can tell, but I’m back 🙂 Just wanted to give you an update on a few things.

House: They broke ground on my house on July 2. I’ll be providing updates along the way.

Weight loss: Maintained since last time. With birthdays and holidays, I wanted to celebrate, but now it is back to the grind as I finish this off. I have recently joined the gym at work and go every day after work for an hour of cardio. It’ll happen for me. I’m sure of it! I’ll post updates at least once a week.

Blog Format: I’m somewhat moving away from the old format of quest only. I will still have the occasional quest or two, but this is more about my journey and what I see throughout my life.

Hang on tight, because here we go!

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QUEST COMPLETE: New(er) Heights

What a long, long, and satisfying trip!

We met at the base of the mountain at around 11:30am. Party members include: Michael, Stephen, and myself.

At first, it didn’t look like much. Michael even made a mention of it looking like a “Mount Trashmore” from back in Virginia. How wrong he was!

After about 30 minutes we came to our first little picture area and I managed to snap the following pictures.

 

 

We didn’t seem that high up, but there was still plenty more mountain to go! I found out that we were taking the Mormon Loop of South Mountain. I know nothing of the different trails around here, but I was sure enjoying my time. Around every bend, I was so excited to see the new scenery. It felt amazing to be out in nature and exploring the area…even if it was on a train.

 

After a bit more time walking (and one fall later- I’m okay…just hurt my pride). We came to a mini peak of sorts. This is Michael on the peak and the view from the top.

 

 

These pictures do not do it justice. We were very, very high up! You can see downtown Phoenix in the distance there.

 

We went on to the National trail for about 45 minutes or so before turning around. On the way down, there were several parts where the group was bounding down the hill and running/jumping through rocks. I absolutely loved doing this. I know I could have hurt myself if I landed wrong, but it felt so good to run down a path while leaping from rock to rock. I felt like a ninja!

Long story short, we made it to the bottom and I forgot to wear sunscreen. As a result, I am burnt! Lesson learned…

 

Until next time!

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