Monday, January 14, 2008

IT'S OVER!! =)

It's hard to believe the event for which I trained for since September has come and gone. Well, I finished my first ever half-marathon. It took me 2 hours, 37 minutes and 14 seconds to complete the PF Chang's Rock-n-Roll half-marathon, or 13.1 miles. I had to stop and walk a few times and stretch. My toes and the bottom of my feet were just not having any of it after mile 9. It was pretty fun to be part of the festivity of it all. The whole course was lined with people. Some were local school spirit teams and other volunteer cheerleaders. There were quite a few parents with their kids. It was so cute, some of the kids would stick their hands out, wanting runners to give them a high-five as they passed. Some of the children were so sweet-faced, I had to make a bee-line for them.

I have to admit that I was somewhat envious of all the people who had family or friends cheering for them or waiting for them at the end. I couldn't find anyone I knew and even if nobody was there, it would've been nice to have someone who wanted to go out and celebrate with me afterward.

Some people say they cry after completing their first marathon or half-marathon. I did end up crying a couple of times--because after the race, I realized I lost my car key!! With my house keys, cell phone and wallet inside my car, I was basically stuck on an island with almost no hope of rescue. I don't know if I was more distraught at feeling extremely stupid or the fact that I could only think of three people who might come to my aid. I talked to police officers, a paramedic and informational volunteers. Everybody kept sending me to someone else. There were rumors of a tow truck nearby. At one point, I considered trying to use the medal I got after to break my car window (OK, I know that wouldn't have worked. But frustration makes one extremely irrational). Finally, an ASU police officer was pro-active and called dispatch to send a tow truck and told me to wait by my car. The driver propped my door open and I was able to get a hold of my aunt Karen. She picked me up, drove me home to get my spare car key and was nice enough to reassure me to not feel bad. I finished the race before noon but didn't get home until 5 p.m. Overall, it was a $60.50 payback for stupidity. Man, if she hadn't been around, I would have had to call a cab or something. Every time I'm reminded about how few people I'm close to out here, it makes me want to move away ASAP. If I do one of these races again, I think I'll do one in California. If I'm lucky, someone I know will be around.

Well, a close friend was sweet enough to tell me not to let this car key debacle eclipse the accomplishment of finishing the 13-mile course. I'm working on it.

Not much else happened except...damn. Am more sore today.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2008 starting off busy

Hope everyone I know had a good New Year's. I want to say a big thank-you to all the friends and family who sent me Christmas cards, e-mails, red envelopes with money and special gifts. My not-so-secret Santas gave me lots of goodies. I'm not sure I deserved so much but I'm very happy and grateful. What I found under the proverbial tree:

-A Dwight bobblehead doll (as seen on "The Office") which now is the cornerstone of my office desk
-Two cupcake desk calendars (from two different people). I have one for work and one for at home. Yah!
-A baking tin for mini cupcakes
-a one-cupcake carrier (I'm sure y'all sense a theme here)
-A picture frame
-Soap made in Canada
-Trader Joe's gift card
-an assortment of food colorings to go to town on frosting ideas
-a mechanical pastry bag from Williams-Sonoma (OK, I bought that for myself. It's like Harry Potter buying himself a Nimbus 2000)

Twas a good holiday except for an unwanted visitor in the form of a cold that still lingers. The congestion is affecting how I feel when I run. I got nauseous yesterday after only going three miles. Not good. Hopefully come race day, this Sunday (gulp), I'll feel normal.

Besides thinking about the race, this week, I'll be devoting a lot of time to two Super Bowl oriented stories. In case you haven't heard, the big game is in the city of Glendale, Ariz. this year, which is part of metropolitan Phoenix, the west side. But all the major parties will be in Scottsdale, which is on the east side of the "Valley" that houses all of metro Phoenix. I'm doing a preview of the parties which means I've been going on Web sites for hot-shot men's magazines like Playboy and Maxim. I have to remember to alert my boss every time I have to go to a "questionable" site. My co-worker said he knew someone who wrote about seedy clubs and features for a newspaper. This reporter was always going to weird places under the guise of research. Well, one day, his computer had to go the company IT and they discovered he had downloaded the Paris Hilton sex tape. Couldn't explain himself out of that one and was shown the door. Oops!

The other story I'm working on is just a simple rundown travel story of Super Bowl activities going on and places visitors can check out around metro Phoenix.

The weekend after the PF Chang's marathon is Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. I get that Monday off. Woo-hoo! So, I'm treating myself to a few days away in So-Cal. I plan to do a cupcake crawl and see some old friends, and possibly my younger cousin Wilson.

Then the last weekend of January, I have a high school friend coming to visit. Not sure what I can show her around Phoenix but I'll do my best. Wow, measured in this way, February seems like it's just outside my door.