Monday, April 26, 2010

SLC Half Marathon

Last year when I was training for the Bear Lake Half, I ran the SLC Marathon 5K as part of my prep (albeit, that day I should have run 8 miles, but still...). As I stood at the finish line watching as the half marathoners came in, I felt a pang of emotion - sadness that it wasn't me finishing my own half, and extreme pride for those that were finishing. I even watched the amazingly talented em-cat cross the finish line - before she was my friend. I SO wanted it to be me - so this year, I made it happen.

The forecast for the weekend was gorgeous - the temperature wasn't going to break 60 degrees until after 10 am, and by that time I would be done and gone. I picked up my packet on Friday and left work a few hours early, ready to mentally prep for Saturday. Saturday, April 17th dawned bright and early - I left the house around 5:50am (an ungodly hour my body only sees on Walk Day) and booked it to the Gateway. I chomped down my banana on the way and made my way to TRAX to head up to the U. I met up with Mya (a gal from my parents neighborhood) and some of her friends to ride the train to the starting line and we chatted a bit, trying really hard to not let the anxiety get to me. I chugged a Vitamin Water on the way up the hill (and it took FOREVER, mainly because of the sheer number of riders), so naturally when we got to the starting line (15 minutes before the shotgun start), I had to pee like crazy. Consequently, so did everyone else.

We stood in line - listened to the sponsors of the race, Mayor Corroon encouraging the racers, the National Anthem, and yup....the shotgun start. I still had my gear bag that I needed to stash with the gear truck for careful transport back to the Gateway - and, you guessed it, we heard the announcement that the gear truck was leaving as well. I wouldn't have cared about my sweatshirt, but my car keys were also in the bag. I made an executive decision to kindly ask a gal in jeans (i.e. a marked non-runner) if she would take my gear bag back to the Gateway and get it with the rest of them. She said she would and I had serious doubts about ever seeing my keys again. But nevermind that, I had a race to run!

I finally started the race (unsure of how late I started, and really hoping I would still be able to cross the finish line relatively close to when I asked my family to arrive) and I knew it would be a great race as I was running down Mario Capecchi and Heartbreak Warfare came up on the 'ole iPod. Love it! The trending for the first stretch was an easy downhill grade and actually quite pleasant.

I got down to about Sugarhouse Park (6 or so miles in) and started to feel it in my hips. I was making sure to adequately hydrate at each aid station, with both water and Powerade, but it wasn't helping matters much. One of the houses along the route was even handing out bacon (why, I'll never know). I kept plugging along, knowing it would all be done soon enough.

I found myself at mile 9 around Liberty Park, and I remembered the few miserable training runs I did there last year. As I made my way out of the park, I realized I was so close to being done, but I was starting the State Street climb - one of the only stretches of road that was pretty moderately uphill. It was at this point that I started seeing an aura in my left field of vision. This has never happened to me before and I was a little freaked out. That hill, and the vision issues all but killed my motivation, and the self-talk got really intense. People were passing me, and I felt like a snail creeping up the road. Perseverance and a few good tunes and I was on South Temple. I saw a guy mouth to the woman in front of me "Only one more mile!" I was so motivated by that!

Working my way along South Temple, I noticed the crowds of spectators becoming more and more prevalent, and I remembered with a swell of pride that my parents would be waiting for me at the finish line. Last year Krista was at the finish line cheering for me, but there's something about having someone who shares your DNA that makes that moment all the more enjoyable. I started watching for them, but never found them in the crowd. I was overcome with such intense emotion and accomplishment as I turned the corner into the Gateway and the finish chute. I remembered the emotions I felt the year before and almost teared up as I started sprinting to the finish. I almost felt defeated as I crossed the finish line with the official time clock reading 2:22:54, and I had to remind myself that I had gotten a late start. I couldn't worry about that - I needed replenishment!

They herded me through the chute and I was bombarded with food and beverage. I wanted to find my parents, and was seriously upset at the length of the lines to pick up your gear bag. I wandered out from the tents and immediately found my parents just outside the menagerie - what a coincidence! We snapped a few pictures, my mom so kindly offered to stand in the ginormous line to get my bag (after I explained what happened, we all started praying that my keys actually ended up at the finish line), and we headed off for breakfast. My second half marathon experience was officially over.

I got home and anxiously pulled up the site to check my official "chip" time. 2:09:31 (overall pace of 9:53). All the emotions of the day again washed over me and my heart swelled with pride. I finished 6 minutes faster than last year, shaving nearly 30 seconds off my pace. It wasn't as fast as I had hoped, but the improvement over last year was enough to make me happy about what I had accomplished. Perhaps I shall entertain thoughts of a third.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Battle Studies, Round 3

It's not Wednesday - but I have no words. I will be sitting (or, rather, standing and cheering vigorously) on that star on August 31st to see the Mayer for a third time this year. That makes for a gooooood year.

p.s. I haven't forgotten that I still need to blog about that race I did on Saturday. Patience - it is forthcoming.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Madonna. Simply saying the word aloud makes me feel powerful.
~Sue Sylvester this made me all kinds of happy tonight. Vogue has long been one of my Madonna favorites, but Sue Sylvester makes it all the more delightful! Next week is the Madonna themed episode of Glee and I'm so excited!

There's even a cameo by cute Nathan Trasoras from the last season of So You Think You Can Dance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

MBP Does Giveaway?!

So...awhile back I posted about how I let these guys rate me on their blog. The jury's still out on whether that was a stupid decision or not.

Well, I still follow Mormon Bachelor Pad (despite my better judgment), and they are doing a giveaway. Now, were it ANY other giveaway, I probably wouldn't care. BUT, they are giving away a Shabby Apple Five to Nine dress. Oh, how I {heart} Shabby Apple! I haunt their site on a regular basis, dreaming of the day I can actually give in and drop a hundy on a beautiful dress. Sissy actually got me a Shabby Apple frock to wear as a bridesmaid at her wedding...FYI, I rocked it. I probably wouldn't choose the Five to Nine, but it's beautiful regardless...and I'm sure I could rock it as well.

In case you're wondering, my preference would be the Bugle Boy or the Sheep Meadow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In case you're wondering...I want to have John Mayer's babies

I like to think that the fact that I've seen the Mayer perform in two countries makes me a "true fan." I mean, how many people (besides Tiburon) would invest the cash, time, and resources to go to a concert - two nights in a row? Canada came and went in a blur (all but the last 3 hours in the country, spent anxiously waiting a border crossing - but that's a story for later).

Getting into the country was easy - a quick 10 minutes off the I-5 and we were in business. As we meandered around Vancouver, we found our hotel and took to the primping. I learned firsthand just how expensive Canadian toiletries are. We had a wonderfully fantastic $16 caesar salad at the Shark Bar, puttered off to our $30 parking space, and made our way into GM Place in the misting rain.

Again, I wasn't overly jazzed to hear Franti again (and a wee bit pissed about our seats at the very back of the arena - fan seating, my ass), so the show was off to a great start. Once they drew the curtain, however, the Mayer anticipation set in with a vengeance. I was seriously freaking out again - Heartbreak Warfare rocked my pants right off (well, not literally, but you get the gist). The energy was already better than the night before - higher in ways that one cannot experience legally in the U.S. (if you catch my drift).

The fabulous set continued, and Mayer didn't disappoint. Despite the awful seats, the show was freaking amazing. The moment that absolutely made the trip was when flames lit up the stage and I heard that opening riff to Slow Dancing in a Burning Room. I'm not lying when I say I think I had a baby orgasm. The performance was so impassioned and I was transported back in time to the first time I heard it live at Red Rocks. Fabulous.

He again played Assassin, and again the mood was intense and the crowd was wild (and the lala girls were totally wigging out - hard to miss). The remainder of the set list was pretty good, with only a few standout parts - first of which was All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye acoustic. This was one of my favorites from Battle Studies (well, let's face it - there's not many that I dislike), and performed without the band, it was pretty dang good.

Second standout item of the evening - seeing Tiburon practically piss her pants when the intro to Neon started. She REALLY wanted him to perform this one (probably about the same as me wanting to hear Slow Dancing) and her reaction was seriously priceless.

Again, the closing song was Half of My Heart, and again, I totally dug it. This time, however, it was infused with a rendition of Don't Stop Believing (making for a fantastic combo). I think the Canadian Mayer fans did him proud (prouder than the American fans - but hey, when illegal substances are involved, is there really a contest?) and the energy prior to the encore was palpable - he didn't stay off stage for too long before coming back out and playing Who Says and Gravity. What a great way to wrap up the night. And again, Tib hasn't disappointed - her concert recap is stellar. Her video is amazing.

Some other non-Mayer related highlights:
  • Tib almost hitting an elderly lady
  • Waiting 3 SOLID hours to cross back into the USA (still surprised they let us back in - but had they not, there was another Mayer show in Calgary two nights later...just sayin')
  • Meeting Tib's awesome family and getting a better understanding of her "roots."
  • Eating Tib's mom's AMAZING cooking - a fab beef dish, and seriously, I'm not a beef eater - and I ate the ENTIRE thing.
  • NOT getting a stamp in my passport for leaving the country (ok, this really is a drawback - but in a post about Mayer, I can't say anything negative....unless it's about our seats)
  • CUPCAKES for breakfast!
  • Staying up until 3am talking like high schoolers
Best part of the whole thing? Knowing that in August, the whole affair can happen again, here in the SLC...he's performing at USANA on August 31st.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hold on. We might die.

There are few things in life that please me as much as hearing The Mayer play live. He is one of my life's great loves. His music whispers to my soul. I'm on a Mayer high and I'm not sure I want to come down.

8:15 am, Wednesday morning rolled around quick (considering I procrastinated packing until the wee small hours as usual). I pulled up at Tib's house just in time to see her kids emerging in their PJs for the quick jaunt to the airport. After waiting what felt like hours to de-ice the plane, we were off, and a short 2 hours and 3 minutes, we landed at SEA-TAC. We got our rental car and swiftly headed up to Broadway for a Dick's Burger (totally kicked In and Out's ass), did some shopping downtown, and headed out to Tib's parents to get ready for our Mayer experience number 1.

We got to the Key Arena in Seattle, procured our souvenir tour t-shirts, found our seats (on the floor, row AA28) and waited. We got there an hour early. Thanks to a Ticketmaster glitch, we thought the show started at 7, when indeed it started at 8. No matter - it just gave us an extra few minutes to sweat out the anticipation (it really had been TOO LONG since I witnessed the Mayer in all his LIVE glory).

Michael Franti and Spearhead opened - not my favorite, but they did a great job elevating the energy and engaging the audience. Dirty hippies make the best openers. I was ready for them to be done long before they were - I was seriously pissing my pants with anxious anticipation. Following Franti's set, the crew set to work (not quickly enough) preparing the stage for the main event. And seriously, I don't think any crew has ever worked slower.

Finally, the lights went out and the crowd went wild. I don't think my heart has ever beat that fast - I had researched the prior shows and I knew what I was in store for in the coming moments. He opened with Heartbreak Warfare, easily one of my favorites from Battle Studies. I could not believe how amped I was! But, again, as I said earlier, there are few things in life that please me more than listening to Mayer live.

The rest of the set was fantastic. With one exception - not many "talkies." Mayer always has some great anecdotes and musings to accompany his music, and those talkies were distinctly missing from the evening's performance. As we all know, the Mayer has had a helluva year thusfar, sticking his foot in his mouth more times than I care to acknowledge. I pictured a very one-sided conversation between Mayer and his publicist before the show to go something like this:

"John, you better be careful tonight, because if you open your mouth and embarrass yourself or me one more time, I might just castrate you."

I was a wee bit disappointed at the absence of talkies, but the music was phenomenal - just as it always is. I won't go in depth with the set list, but rest assured, Tib's always got my back, keeping immaculate records, and has documented the whole night with photo and video. He included an amazing 4-5 song sub-set of pure acoustic bliss - it is seriously Mayer at his finest. I think my favorite song of the night was a toss up between Assassins or Half of My Heart. These two were definitely not my immediate favorites on the album, but performed live, they were BOSS! Assassins was definitely more intense on stage than on the album, and included a bitchin' guitar solo mid-stream. Half of My Heart, I've decided, is another of my life's theme songs. Performed live (sans T-Swift), I fell in love.

Great show. Definitely worth every penny and ounce of effort I put in.

Stay tuned...the great international Mayer experience coming soon :)