Tag Archives: Races

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! 

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!


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!


Thousands Ran for the Zoo!

Despite unusually cold temps and that ubiquitous spring wind, thousands attended the Run for the Zoo on Sunday.  T and I ran the 10K.  As we waited for the gun, T turned to me and in a serious tone said, “This is what we’ve been training for all week.”  I reminded him it was more like 2 weeks. Questions about training aside, we met our goal and finished in just under an hour.

The route was all paved and sights included a couple of friendly zoo elephants and the lovely Tingley ponds. Understandably, many opted not to drag their families out into the cold.  No worries, NM has many more races this season.  Check out NM Sports Online and Active.com.



Run for the Zoo: 5K and 10K

I finally convinced T to sign up for a couple of races this year!  First up is the Run for the Zoo 10K on May 1st.
Goals: Back when we signed up, we thought we’d like to finish in 55 to 60 minutes. Ha! We are now sheepishly aiming for 65 mintues – see “preparation” for the explanation.
Preparation (or lack thereof): T spins 1-3x /week for 30-60 minutes. I spin and cross train about 3x /week. We’re not totally out of shape, but we’re hardly in top form. We started our training a little late, as in we started running 2 weeks before the race. Ever sign up for a race with good intentions and then not really train for it? Our first run was 30 min. at a 10:15 min/mile pace around the open space loop at USS Bullhead park. According to MapMyRun.com the loop is .98 miles.  If you can run 30 minutes you can run 60, right?  Here’s hoping we can get our act together this week!
Note:  Run for the Zoo has a 1 mile Fun Run that is perfect for little ones.  With all the people, the excitement of a start line, and supporters cheering along the route kids love it!

5K’s are more my pace.  I ran my first 5K in November for the Albuquerque Turkey Trek.  I only trained for two weeks prior to the race and my goal was to finish in 45 minutes.  Don’t laugh! (I did meet my goal.) I’m not a runner in any sense of the word.  I get bored, it’s hard and I’m always waiting for the ‘runner’s high’ that so many of you talk about.  I have yet to feel it and I have serious doubts that it exists.  Running and I don’t get along unless it’s me chasing after a soccer ball, but I have made a pledge this year to run a few 5k races.  This was one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  Not to mention, it’s something that my husband enjoys.  I figure that if he plays soccer with me year round I could at the very least run a few races with him.   I just don’t think I was made for running.  So far I have run in 2 races this year and I have hated every minute of them.  I have tried to stay motivated to do it but if another activity comes up like soccer, biking or kayaking I would rather do that.  Do any of you have any ideas for me?  It’s just so dang hard!


A Good Time for All

I was not expecting to break a sweat Saturday morning! My white wrist band was supposed to be just for looks, but I used it to wipe my brow after that grueling Tingley BeachTrek! Not once, but 2 times around – that was the deal. We ran, did burpees, hauled buckets of river water (repeatedly if you weren’t careful), tip-toed on logs over sloshy mud and water, and skillfully, or not, tossed frisbees into their rightful place. A glorious start to summer!


The overall female winner finished with an 18:something time and the overall male winner finished with a 15:something time. My time was somewhere in the 22:something category. You might guess that Troy was the overall costume winner, what with his mesh top skimming over a pretty pink top. There were so many era-appropriate eighties outfits it was a bit hard to choose the best. Nevertheless, the winners were awarded a thirst-busting growler of La Cumbre beer. Afterward, everyone celebrated with a cold one.

after-race decompression session

Depending on the after-race beer you chose, according to race-organizer Jon, Saturday may have been a “positive calorie day” despite the effort put forth on the Tingley Beach Trek course. No matter, I felt great and had a heck of a time!  Overall, tons of fun and well-worth the effort!



Tingley Action!

This gallery contains 4 photos.

A few quick photos from today’s trek:

Tingley Beach Trek – a “Race for the Rest of Us”!

Tingley Beach

We are so excited to run in the inaugural Tingley Beach Trek – an “adventure” race!  Afterward, we’ll head over to La Cumbre Brewing Company for a cold beer and prize-giveaway.  With Saturday temps predicted at 82 degrees and a forecast of mostly sunny we’ll be enjoying springtime in New Mexico outdoors!

What the heck is this?!  Adventure racing can include “trail running, mountain biking, paddling, climbing, orienteering and other adventurous sports,” says Jon Pier, founder of the Tingley Beach Trek and President of Advent Health & Wellness

I caught up with Jon to find out exactly what we signed ourselves up for this Saturday.  The Tingley Beach Trek won’t have mountain biking or rock climbing, but Jon tells me “it is certainly not just a trail run either. Our event is short in duration, and some of the ‘disciplines’ are literally yard games…”  Jon says he and his wife Stephanie “always wanted to host a unique activity-based event for individuals who were tired of the same old offerings, and who want to be healthy, but don’t want it to feel like ‘work’.”

Tingley Beach

A “Race For the Rest of Us”:
So I asked Jon why someone wouldn’t just run a regular race instead.  Jon says, “There are plenty of 5 and 10K’s out there, and running a marathon is a major accomplishment, but it’s not for everybody.  So Advent Health & Wellness is encouraging people to get in some exercise by taking part in one of the ‘Races for the Rest of Us’, a shorter combination of exercise and fun. Our races are not necessarily better, but they are very different!”

Thankfully, this also means that elbow pads and goggles are not necessary; according to Jon, “trail running shoes and some tough skin should be more than enough.”

More to Come:  If you love the first race or if you didn’t sign up but wished you had, there will be more events like this one.  Jon says he will be “offering a whole series of events in 2011 and expanding into 2012. We will definitely have another Tingley Trek or very similar race. The response has been great.”

Event logo

Advent Health & Wellness is a family-owned, New Mexico business that specializes in workplace and individual fitness and health.  They use tools ranging from web-based tracking and incentive programs to outdoor boot camps, to events like the Tingley Beach Trek.  Everyone finds health and fitness in different ways, but Advent Health & Wellness always focuses on fun.

Sponsors:  And thanks to the sponsors:  La Cumbre Brewery, Sunflower Market, Heel Pharmaceuticals, and Sisco Sprinkler Supply (for helping with the cost of some of the “obstacles”).

What:  Tingley Beach Trek
Where: Tingley Beach, Albuquerque (directions)
When: Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 11:00 am, participants meet in parking lot at 10:30 am

Check back with us on Monday to find out how the race went and view photos!

On Tuesday, we’ll post the plans for our next Wellness Experience . . .