Category Archives: Events

Are You a Warrior?

Warrior Dash 2012 was held last Saturday here in NM for the first time.  My sister Rosa was a true warrior completing the race in one piece.  Her account of this right of passage follows:

Warrior Dash was a thrilling race!  There were many warriors prepared for battle.  It took place on Saturday, May 5th in Edgewood, NM at Founders Ranch.  There were 14 obstacles to keep you busy as you completed the 5k course.  It is a race to run with friends.  We dressed as tigers and zebras this year, but we’re already preparing for better costumes for next year’s race. 

My favorite was the ending.  We had already completed 3 miles of hilly terrain and 7 tough climbing and crawling obstacles.  Just as we were hollering because we were near the finish a 30 foot wall with a rope ladder to climb comes into view.  Up and down we climb.  As my feet touch the ground I smile thinking I didn’t miss a step the whole course.  Then, I turn to see there’s still more.  Next is the mud slide – my friends and I roar as we dive into the mud to slide to the next obstacle:  FIRE!  I truly feel like a warrior as I leap over the flames, my body covered in mud as the crowd cheers.  Not done yet.  The finish line is only 30 yds away, with 20 yards of it being barbwire that is only two feet off the ground.  As we struggle to figure out how to go under the barbwire the crowd yells for us to barrel roll.  I have no more energy to think so down we go rolling our way to the shallow mud.  Dizzily we wade through the mud using our arms to pull us to the end. Finally, we stand up grab hands, cross the finish line, receive our medals, and collect our hard earned ice cold beer. 

Warrior Dash brings race, mud to NM

(photo from krqe)
I will definitely be the first to sign up for this race next year.  It was well organized as we were able to quickly and easily get our registration packets and turn in our bags to be checked.  The only downfall of the event was the traffic to and from.  There was food, music, beer, and a big screen tv to watch warriors complete obstacles.  And the best part of it all is that it benefits St. Jude’s hospital!
Warrior Dash brings race, mud to NM
(photo from krqe)
Thank you Rosa and friends for your bravery and courage in completing the Warrior Dash! 

Mardi Gras at St. Claire Winery and Bistro

If you can’t make it to New Orleans this year for Mardi Gras, why not celebrate at St. Claire Winery and Bistro.  On February 21, 2012 they are offering a fun-filled evening  with a Mardi Gras themed atmosphere paired with wine and Cajun food.  I don’t want to forget to mention that there will also be live music, party favors, and a great atmosphere!  The reasonably priced event, $32 per person, gets you a souvenir wine glass, a three coarse meal (Red Beans & Rice with your choice of Grilled Pork Chop,Blackened Grilled Chicken Breast or Cajun Grilled Shrimp), soup or salad and dessert!  There will also be a wine pairing with this delicious meal.

When:  Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Where:  St. Claire Winery and Bistro
901 Rio Grande Blvd. 87104
Call them to make a reservation for this fun event!



Don’t Call it a Comeback!

So, I haven’t been exercising at my optimum level since about April or June of last year.  Although, I did continue a pretty good routine of running, weight lifting, core work, and spin through September, when I was about six months pregnant.  After that, I transitioned into very light running, the eliptical, yoga, and light core work.  For month number nine, however, I kind of fell off the exercise wagon.  Workouts were few and far between.  Actually, they were pretty much nonexistent.  I probably stretched a little – does that count?

Now, I’m about 6 weeks post-Baby Girl’s birthday and I need something to train for to get back in the swing of things.  I’ve been walking and doing a little bit of core work but nothing strenuous so far.  I’ll throw in a short jog with my walks just so I know my legs still work but I wouldn’t call it running.  I also do lunges and squats with Baby Girl in the Moby – which really made my legs sore – yes!  I’ll start playing soccer in the beginning of March but I really need a goal – something to train for. 

A friend of mine with a 3 month old just enjoyed a weekend of cross country skiing and ice climbing with her husband and baby in Colorado.  A new mama who is fit and not afraid to jump right in!  Inspiring!

So, my dear readers, this is where you come in.  Right now my best idea is the GoRuck Challenge in April.  My husband says I’d be crazy to do that at this time and he’s probably right – I would have to sign a Death Waiver . . . maybe next year.  So, please tell me, what should I train for?  I’ve got a few requirements:  the event must be in NM, it doesn’t have to be a race, it can’t be rock climbing (I’m just not into that right now), and it must be sometime in April, May, or June.  So, what’s it gonna be?  I’d love to hear your ideas :)

It’s never too soon (or too late)  to be a M.I.L.F.!!!  (That is, a Mother Inspiring Lifelong Fitness!)

Post image for Are you a MILF?


P.S.  I promise to get back to you soon with a post-Blissborn labor and delivery wrap-up!

Cleaning up the Bosque

Recently we took our new puppy on a walk to the bosque for a nice long walk.  We really love the bosque’s trails and winter time is no exception.  During the winter my son likes to look up in the trees for porcupine nests and bird nests.  It is the perfect time to see the wild life habitats because the trees are dormant.

While on this walk my son noticed that the trails needed some maintenance.  He was finding trash all over the place and took it upon himself to find a plastic bag while walking and started picking it up.  I was really proud of my kiddo for noticing and even more impressed when he started to clean it up.  Our walk turned into a day of clean-up at one of our favorite places.  It was an easy way of doing community service without having to really think about it.  What have you done for your community lately?

Rockin’ the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Vegas

 Hello Readers!  The New Year is right around the corner and what better way to start the New Year than with a little inspiration to set a fitness goal and reach it?  With that in mind, today’s post comes to you from my cousin Katie Simmons about her experience training for and running her first half marathon  – none other than the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas in December 2011.  Thanks Katie!

33,279 people finished the 2011 Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, and I am one of them! My first thought as I crossed the finish line was “Oh my gosh! I did it!!”  Although the training program I used was 9 weeks long, I had been training for this moment much longer!  I decided to sign up for a half-marathon after I completed my second sprint triathlon this fall!

I know that the only way I will consistently exercise is if I have an event to train for, a training plan taped to my bathroom mirror, and a highlighter to mark off completed exercises:

I followed the beginner training plan that I found on Runners World. I used this training program because it was the only free one I found at the time. The program had me run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  During the week, the runs focused on interval training in the middle and at the end of the runs.  Saturday was an easy shorter run.  Sunday was a long run.

Training for a half-marathon was challenging mentally and physically.  Before I began the training program, the furthest I had ever run was 6.2 miles and the fastest I had ever done that was in 10 minute miles.  The seasons were changing as I continued my training which meant that it was dark when I left for work and dark when I got home from work. There were days I was too sick to run, and days I was too lazy. 

BUT, I also had a voice inside my head saying “Yes, you can!”  That voice belongs to a trainer at the Rec Center I go to.  She would say that at the 8th repetition of every exercise, and it really stuck!  I found that telling myself “Yes, you can”  over and over during my runs when all I really wanted to do was stop running helped take away the self-doubt and made me more confident for the next run.  Luckily, my boss was willing to give me an extended lunch break so that I could get my 8 and 9 mile runs in during the day light hours outside.  And I always had the looming feeling of accomplishment after highlighting a workout that motivated me to lace up my shoes! :)

The day of the race, I was excited and nervous!  It was a different feeling waiting all day for the race because every race I have ever done started early in the morning.  The race had coordinated a shuttle bus to take us from the hotel to the starting line, but there was so much traffic from the strip and a few surrounding streets being shut down that I made it to the starting line a little late!

The course started at the south end of the strip at Mandalay Bay, headed north to Old Town Las Vegas, made a loop, and then headed south back to Mandalay Bay.  As I approached the starting line, I turned on iMapMyRun and started my play list.

As I crossed the starting line, I was really excited!! There were thousands of people around me, and a band to get us pumped up!  My plan was to start out a little slower than my goal pace for the first five miles, run my goal pace the next five miles, pick up the last three miles (thanks to some advice from a veteran half-marathoner ;) and finish in 2 hours 11 minutes, averaging 10 minute miles. 

The race went by really fast. I started in a slower corral than my race pace because I arrived at the start line late, and so was weaving through people. There were bands about every mile on the course, and there was a lot to look at!  Before I knew it, I had already reached the 10K mark, and I was running barely slower than goal pace at 1:03:22.  I did not have a water bottle, Gatorade, or gels on me because they were provided along the course.  However, there were so many people and the stations were not marked as to whether they were water or Gatorade (this race used Cytomax) so next time I will carry my own!

I took my picture at about the half-way mark near Freemont Street.

At the 10 mile mark, I was at the north end of the strip, and could see Mandalay Bay.  I started to pick up the pace.  By mile 12 my legs were burning with every step, but I was not about to stop.  I kept pushing, sprinting as I approached the finish line giving it everything I had.  I finished in 2:11:30!! I averaged 10:02 miles!!  My iPhone says that I actually ran 13.57 miles because I did not take every turn as tight as possible, and did a considerable amount of weaving!  So I really ran 9:42 miles, shattering my goal!!

Sweet Victory!! A Couple of Finish Line Pics with My Sweet Finisher’s Medal!!

 I finished 9,520 out of 33,279 Competitors (top 28%), 4,253 of 21,134 Women (top 20%), and 233 of 960 Females Aged 18-24 (top 24%)!  I rocked it!! And it rocked me!  I was really sore afterwards!! I did some light stretching before we headed back to our hotel and hobbled for the next couple days, but it was worth it!!  It has been a couple weeks since the race, and I think I might just sign up for another one… :)

Just remember, “Yes, you can!!!!”

***Sway and I are very grateful to you all, our Dear Readers, for following along in our pursuit of good health and happiness in 2011.  We wish you a wonderful New Year with plenty of adventure and wellness all around.  See you all in the New Year!


North Fourth Street Holiday Stop and Shop

I don’t know if you are familiar with the north valley, but for those of you who are not – now is a good time get acquainted.  The north Fourth Street corridor is full of fun antique and eclectic shops, along with bakeries and restaurants that are fabulous!  Part of the fun of living in the north valley is that most of the shops, bakeries, and restaurants are local.  The north Fourth Street corridor spans Fourth Street north of Alameda to just south of Montano.

Some of my favorite places near my home are A Cake Odyssey -I love their red velvet cupcakes and I order my son’s Birthday cakes there, Casa De Benividez (a great lunch stop), The Antique Co-op – I found a funky retro metal love seat there, Plants of the Southwest, and Steel Garden Art just to name a few.  So, if you want to buy local or if you want to buy something unique stop by any of these friendly places.  I think you will be surprised at how many shops you’ll find.

(P.S.  There are approximately 42+ shops to stop at along the way)

Happy Shopping!


Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll

*Update!  Due to those terrible winds on December 1st, there will be a make-up of sorts:  the Nob Hill Park and Shop on Thursday, December 15th.  Lots of merchants will have great one-day sales and parking up and down Central is free.  Please see the Nob Hill Facebook page for more information.  Cheers!

The annual Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll is upon us!  On Thursday, December 1, 2011 from 5pm to 10pm Central Avenue will close to vehicular traffic from Girard to Montclaire (5 blocks east of Carlisle).  Central will fill with shoppers, fire jugglers, carolers, old world/vaudeville entertainment, gift wrappers, cuddly dogs and cats available for adoption, food trucks, and of course all the unique shops in Nob Hill.  It’s a chance to get out of the stuffy malls, walk around in the fresh air, and enjoy the vibrant holiday atmosphere that is Nob Hill.

This is a lively event where you can people watch with a cup of joe from Satellite Coffee, stroll with a Boba Tea,  dog watch with a pint on the patio at Tractor Brewing Co., or work on your shopping list at places like the A Store, Zap Oh!, Getrude Zachary, Dawg Gone Good, Masks y Mas,  Tres Boutique, and Beeps!

The only downside is that navigating the area to find parking can get a little hairy.  I suggest parking on streets north of Central because of the construction going on with the Lead/Coal streets south of Central.  (Also, a couple of blocks on Silver will be closed.)  You can also take the ABQ Trolley to get to Nob Hill.  Last year, and likely this year, the pick-up/drop-off locations are:

Central & Girard
Central & Kelly’s Brew Pub area
Central & Serafin’s Restaurant area
Central & Desert Fish area
Central & Washington

By the way, throughout the evening of the Shop & Stroll many shops will be collecting canned goods for the Storehouse.  So bundle up, bring some canned goods, and get into the Christmas spirit!

I hope to see some of you out there this year!


3.1 miles and a turkey dinner later

The weather was absolutely perfect for the 11th annual Turkey Trek!  The sun warmed me up, the skies were clear, and there wasn’t any wind.  Over 1300 runners and walkers particpated this year.  This included the stroller derby contingent, happy walkers, casual runners, and elite racers.  Not to be forgotten are the many race organizers and cheerful supporters.

Alas, the perspective on this photo reveals my start position - pretty much at the back of the pack :)

I think the one mile Fun Run for the kids was conducted twice:  once soon after the 5K was over and then again at the scheduled time of 10:45am.  Other than this little hiccup, the morning appeared to be a success.

Approaching the turnaround at Mountain and 12th Street.

Granted, I’m not responsible for preparing a Thanksgiving feast, but it was still a great way to jumpstart my metabolism for the day.  I must say it was especially fun this year because of so much of my family that paricipated in race:  husband, sisters, nieces, in-laws, and cousins from out of town.  I definitely recommend this for next year!


Cut the Thanksgiving calories by running the Albuquerque Turkey Trek!

almost to the finish line

Last year was the first time I had ever run in a race.  My husband, in-laws and numerous friends joined in on the fun.  We ran the morning of Thanksgiving in the Turkey Trek!  The run took place in Downtown Albuquerque and was a flat, fast paced (but not for me) easy run.

running with the kids in the 1k

The race was perfect for me because I HATE running and it was a short 5K run.  Don’t laugh, but my goal was to make it in 45 minutes.  I met my goal on my first race despite loathing running.  I also thought it would be a great way to enjoy a semi-guilt free Thanksgiving feast.  Everyone finished before me, but cheered me on as I reached the finish line.  My son also ran in his first 1K race.  He loved

a happy kiddo

it!  This is perfect for the entire family – you can walk, run and bring your jogging stroller!  So, if you need some advice on how to cut your calories on Thanksgiving, all I can say are two words…. Turkey Trek!

The details…..This year it will be taking place in Old Town

When:  Thursday, November 24, 2011  @ 9:00 am

event address:  800 Rio Grande NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Click here to register and for other finite details.

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!


Local Retailer Highlight: NM Tea Company

*Hello Readers!  I just wanted to let you know that this isn’t a sponsored post.  I’m not being compensated for this post and I’m not related in any way to the NM Tea Company or its owners.

NM Tea Company

One of my favorite local shops is the New Mexico Tea Company located near Old Town in Albuquerque.  The owner, David Edwards, is so friendly and whenever I wander in he is usually there to chat about the various teas, explaining the health benefits and providing recommendations.  Tea is great for its health benefits, aroma, and relaxing vibes.  The shop itself is in a great location tucked in among Old Town casitas and down the street from several museums and Tiguex Park.

Organic Mother's Tea

These days I’m drinking Mother’s Tea which is a blend of various organic herbs.  It contains raspberry leaf which by itself is rather boring, but this blend includes peppermint leaf and tastes minty fresh.  T is drinking various rooibos (african red tea) blends which are rich in antioxidants and Hawthorn leaf for heart health.  NM Tea Company carries many different teas from the straightfoward like chamomile and peppermint to the exotic like Sgt. Peppers Rooibos and Thai Lemon Ginger.  They also carry medicinal teas like The Healer Tea for colds, allergies and headaches and Kidney and Bladder Detox Tea.  Some teas are imported but they also carry tea from right here in New Mexico.

Organic Hawthorn Leaf and Flower

I’m not a huge tea fanatic, but NM Tea Company affords me the opportunity to shop for something that is way more interesting in a small shop setting rather than mindlessly grabbing a box of tea based on the package design under the unsexy flourescent lights of a grocery store or big box discount chain.  I find it way more enjoyable to walk into this warm, cute shop located in a sweet, old neighborhood, breathing in each tea and sampling others before deciding what to buy.  Plus, I can buy just the amount I want without committing to a huge box of something I might not care for.

Cascadia Licorice Rooibos

I wish you could take in a deep breath and smell the wonderful scent of these teas.  It’s a beautiful bouquet of fragrant aromas.

Organic Green Rooibos

Part of the fun is examining the physical make-up of each tea:  berries, leaves, twigs, peppercorns and all.

Sergeant Peppers Rooibos

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a huge proponent of shopping local, especially during the holidays.  When I shop locally, more of every dollar that I spend stays in this community.  According to a 2004 study, for every $100 spent locally, $68 is returned to the local community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.   A study in Austin showed that for every dollar spent at local book and music stores returned 45 cents to the community while a dollar spent at Borders returned only 13 cents to the Austin economy.  Buying local also means encouraging vibrant shopping districts, supporting retailers that know your name, and supporting stores with local character.

Organic Chopped Hibiscus Flower - T mixes this with hawthorn leaf to boost flavor.

So, have you been to NM Tea Company?  What are your favorite local shops?