Category Archives: About Me

1-18-2015 Another Chapter- MARATHON

This post is going to be hard to post just because there will be a LOT of emotion. Yesterday was a VERY surreal day for me and it all went by really fast. This is where I want to thank every friend who has helped. This is where I want to explain where my journey began and where I am now and where I am heading. Life is a journey.

In May 2012, I went online searching for answers. I felt very alone in my marriage and unwanted. When you make someone a huge priority in your life sometimes you forget to take care of yourself. I felt like I needed to find something, anything to make me feel a sense of belonging. I happened to stumble¬†upon As I searched for different hobbies and interests I kept going back to running. I had NEVER liked running growing up and was never good at it. I decided to join a group called Phoenix Pheet. I tried to strike up a conversation on the Meetup but someone directed me to their facebook. I knew I wanted to start running or jogging or maybe just walking….I did buy a jogging stroller that MOST moms seem to buy their kids so they can “lose the baby weight”. Whenever you join a new group or activity I am sure you feel very intimidated. I am very social person by nature and will strike up a conversation with anyone. I HOWEVER, at first, had NO desire to go running with these people. Why would I join a running group and NOT go running? I didn’t know HOW to run and I knew at that moment I couldn’t even run a SLOW SLOW SLOW mile without walking. There was NO WAY that I was going to actual go out and run with these crazy people who seemed to run 5 times a week and did marathons on the weekends. SO I stayed my distance for awhile and would most interact online which I am sure how a lot of people knew me as. The girl who posts way to much. I did pick the perfect time to start running in Arizona…..SUMMER…..100 degrees and sun! I did want to start running but I didn’t want to actually run with these “Real” runners and make a complete fool of myself. Someone posted when I joined that there is a Summer Series in Arizona where you complete a 5K. It was cheap enough that I didn’t feel horrible if I ended up walking. So I set out jogging and pushing Landen and “training” (honestly maybe running once a week) to run a 5K. I did end up meeting up Pheet at the summer series. I am horrible but I am not sure I meet at he summer series but I do think it was a good place for me to start. YES there were a TON of fast runners but the nice thing was there were also walkers so I felt okay with my run and walk. I was VERY slow but I did it. I learned early on to set goals and work towards them.

The next “goal” or “chapter” I pick a 1/2 marathon. I again avoided social interaction with runners for pheet in fear of being judged on how I wasn’t “a real runner”. I did seek advice on how to train through facebook and they opened their arms and welcomed me. I tried training and honestly training completely alone is HORRIBLE for the pure fact that you will most likely give up on yourself before you give up in front of people. I yet again “trained” but not as much as I should have. On 12/2/12 I set off for my first half. I did meet up with Pheet before the race and they were ALL very welcoming. I had NO CLUE what I was really in for. The furthest my trainig log had me run was 10 miles which I believe was normal but I had NOT kept up on running the shorter runs so my endurance as not there. BY MILE 9-10 I was done. I was in tears crying and asked why did I pick this horrible hobby. I had my cell phone on me and I ended up calling me husband at the time telling him I couldn’t do it. I felt like knifes were going into my back. He ended up being at the finish waiting with our son and told me he would start heading out to me and he would “run” (more like crawl for me) in with me. As we turned the corner I saw all these smiling faces and people waving and cheering….these people were not the normal crowd….things were torn down and medals had ran out. The people starting cheering and waving… was PHEET. Some of them only took over an hour and here I came in 3:03:39 and they waited to cheer me on, on my first 1/2. That is when I learned most AMAZING GOOD runners DON’T judge you by your time or pace. They judge you on your heart and soul. All they care about is cheering on one another. They are there when you go to a dark place and start to have a lot of self doubt. They are there to pick you up and tell you all the positive things you have done and show you the light again. THAT is what running and the running community is to me.

Since that first REAL non-facebook interaction with pheet I have slowly come out of my shell. First starting with a few runners here and there. Then slowly working my way into doing TRACK. Track to me is where people really can see how slow or fast you are. The best thing though, if you are like me and slow, you just get MORE people cheering you on to finish the track work out =). Another great thing about track is I can take my son to track and he can learn what a healthy lifestyle is first hand and see it is FUN.

I have had many chapters since my first 5K and half. I have had the GREAT pleasure of finding trail running and what ULTRA running is. I have PRed at every race since I started running (that is the great thing about starting slow). I have found out and joined teams for Ragner Del Sol and Ragnar Trail McDowell Mountains.

Last year I decided to make the jump and sign up will at the RnR Expo for the Full. At that moment it felt like an amazing idea. All these people were at this expo and looked like they were having fun. I even volunteered at the iRun water station and had a blast. It wasn’t till a few months went by that I started to stress and worry. Up till that point I had been horrible at following plans. I knew though for anything over a 1/2 I couldn’t just step on the street and run it and complete it. AS time went by my friend and the lady who started Pheet Kim decided she would help me set up a training plan. The first 1/2 of my training plan went SMOOTH. I ended up PRing at my 1/2 (2:28:33……. 35 minutes and 3 seconds then my first 2 years prior) and I felt GREAT after like I could keep running or that I could have ran harder. Running can much be like life….it has its ups (amazing runs) and its downs (crappy runs or no motivation to run at all). I was on a runners high after that 1/2 but I forgot what it felt like to have some bad runs. I ended up having some shin pain and started to have a lot of self doubts. I ended up skipping a few midweek runs but still tried to get out there for my long runs. I had a few conversations with running friends including Kim to try to get out of the funk I fell into. I did end up skipping one long run during my training which yesterday I was kicking myself for but the past is in the past and now I know better. I DID following this plan better then I did for any other training. I did notice I got faster on my short runs. I was even able to break the 9 minute range. I was able to keep up with Jess and Mitzi on our Monday night runs. It felt great.

I am SO happy that I picked Rock N Roll as my first full. I have meet some runners that feel RnR is to expensive and that it isn’t a by runner for runners race. Yes RnR is expensive but you get a lot out of it. RnR is not put on by local runners ( I AM ALL ABOUT local places) but a lot of local friends come out and support. I think it was the perfect first full.

This is the moment where I take time to thank everyone (I hope I don’t miss any) personally:


KIM- Thank you so much for creating Phoenix Pheet. Honestly if you had never got online and created this group I would have never meet such amazing people. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to make a training plan for me, for taking time to hear me complain about how I am horrible at running, and for being such a great role model. Thank you for pacing it out at he end for the walk and run. IT made the last two miles enjoyable Thank you so much for the beautiful necklace you got me after my first full. I will FOREVER cherish it. I didn’t read the card till today because I felt so overwhelmed with emotions that I went numb yesterday. The card made me cry and made me realize that I need to write how I felt today. Thank you so much for being my friend

Mitzi- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I would have gone to a self doubt place yesterday at mile 14 if you had not jumped in and ran with me. Your spunky attitude and happiness helped a lot from mile 14 to 20. Everyone asked what time I wanted to come in. My huge goal was under 6 hours (so that way I would beat my first 1/2 time). I believe I finished under the true goal because of you coming out and talking sense into me. You are an amazing friend!

Brooke- You were an amazing person to run the marathon with. I still feel bad that we didn’t get in at 5:30 but there will always be another race. Sorry for going to dark places at moments. It was nice to have someone to chat with the WHOLE TIME! I felt like the time did go by 10 times faster having a running buddy then if I did it alone. I am down to train for another race and run together if you are!


Mark H.- Thank you for pacing us at the start. It gave us a great goal and plan for that goal. I am still new and learning how to figure all that out. Thank you for running with me up and down A Mountain. We need to start that again.

Miguel- I HEAR MIGUEL I HEAR MIGUEL! I could hear you on the speaker phone before we even got to the irun station. I am pretty sure everyone around thought I was crazy when I was yelling Miguel from so far out that their was no way you could hear me. You are such a bright and happy person in the running community. Thank you so much for being so much more then a running friend. I have cherished are little runs on Mondays around the canal by your house. I hope one day to be 1/2 the dirt bag runner you are. Hope many adventures are in our future! BORN TO RUN 2015!


Stephanie and Larry- Thank you so much for running track workouts. I know you guys take your own personal time to do this free for the running community. Thank you for supporting ALL levels of runners and encourage us to get out there. Thank you Stephanie for running with me for a short time and give me a prep talk. YOU ARE AN AMAZING TEACHER not only to your own students but also to all of us runners.

Cristian- You have the most HEART I have ever meet. I know you can be very quite at times but you are an amazing friend and runner. Thank you so much for texting me yesterday asking how my race went hen you had an AMAZING race! Your heart and soul will get your far in life. You inspire me!

Jess- Thanks for being out there on Monday nights. Thank you for pushing me to be better. Thanks for being a friend outside of even running

Mark C- Thank you for opening up iRun! It is not only a store but a place that people come together as friends. I always enjoy visiting and getting new shoes or gear.

iRun Water Station- THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who came out and volunteered at the water station. It was amazing to run by and see familiar faces.

Victor- Thank you for pushing me on Monday nights to run faster. I think because of you I was finally able to get into the 9 minute range.

Claire- Thank you for letting me rant to you a few weeks back. I know you completed your first full last year and I need a pep talk from someone who just did something I was about to do.

Chris- Thanks for being so social online for Pheet. I am pretty sure you were the first one to welcome me to Pheet.

Sara and Silvia- Thanks for being my rock through the crazy pass two years. Thanks for being such great friends and supporting me in running even if you might not totally get it. I miss you guys

Mike- Thanks for putting up with the crazy moments. The moments when I have horrible runs and then I am grumpy because I want my body to do something and it won’t. Thanks for putting up with me when I come home sweaty and gross and am to lazy to shower right away. Thanks for taking the kids in the morning when I leave for hours to get my long run. Thanks for being at the start and the finish and even TRYING but missing me at Irun Water station. Thanks for being a HUGE greenbay pakers fan BUT STILL knowing that yesterday was about me ¬†and me reaching for the stars andcompleting something. Moments like that mean the world to me. OH AND thanks for taking both kids basically all day yesterday ūüėČ


Landen- I love you to the moon and back. I am motivated to be a positive role model to you. Thanks for always smiling and cheering “GO MAMA GO!”


Quang- Even though we are no longer together. I would have never found my passion. I would have never found myself if I had not experience very dark times. I would have never found running. Thank you

Even if you are not listed here and I have meet you during my journey of running. I am sure I through of you yesterday. I thought of how amazing each and everyone is in the running community. WE bring our own spirit and selves to the running family to make something great. Sadly, I was upset at the end because my own family couldn’t make time in their busy lives to come see me do something that means SOOOOOOOO much to me. I could have stopped and cried about it but luckily my voice of reason at times, Kim, was there to explain that some people don’t get it. I had to sit and count my blessings for a moment…..My running family to me is really FAMILY. Thank you! Thank you for being there to support me. Even if it was just a wave, high five, or a pep talk. It means more then I can ever express.

What is next you might ask? One reason I started this journey is to push myself. TO prove to myself that NOTHING and NO ONE can break me. I see trails and Ultras in the future. I am taking time to enjoy the moment. 2015 is going to be about volunteering and giving back to the community that welcomed me with opened arms even when I thought I was not a runner.     6


About Me Monday- Runners who INSPIRE ME! Javelina Jundred

I have wanted to write about this for awhile but have not had time due to the holiday season. AS I wrote in another post I attended the Javelina Jundred on November 1st. I had a great time watching other runs accomplish goals. If you are not a runner or maybe new to running you don’t really take the time to realize HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT has been put in to run that one race! I am only training for a full marathon at the moment and I feel like I am putting a lot of work in for that one race. I can’t even being to count how many hours, how many trails, how many good runs, and how many bad runs these runners have gone through to get to the point that they are doing 100 miles or 100K. It is amazing and something that I bow down to them for. Ultra running is NOT for the weak that is for sure.

My friend Tim Hackett, who ran the 100K, and Cristian Rios, who ran the 100 miler, were nice enough to answer some questions for me about their experience at Javelina Jundred and questions about running.

Tim Hackett

Photo Credit:Tim Hackett Facebook Page

Tim’s son’s crossover from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts in the spring of 2010 made him realize he¬†needed to get back into a regular exercise routine, when a weekend backpacking trip around Sedona showed him¬†just how out of shape he’d become. He first¬†started riding his¬†bike and hiking, then, in the fall of 2010, he then¬†decided he would train for and complete the PF Changs Rock & Roll Half Marathon January 2011.

Races he has ran are at athlinks and ultrasignup here:

Q:I know you are super active in the Aravipa community. You go out to their group runs and do a lot of their races. What lead you to Aravipia?

Amy English introduced him to the Aravaipa trail races and group runs in the summer of 2013.. Great community!

Q: I know this was your first 100k. What made you decide to sign up for a 100K?

The quote around most people never going far enough to know how far they can go. I want to see how far I can go.

Q: Was there a breaking point for you at Javelina Jundered? What helped you get past that point?

No breaking point, but had some injury issues and fast walked a fair amount of the 3rd and all of the last 15.3 mi loops. I shattered my right big toe in a night trail race 8/13, and neither joint now works, which has caused other issues in my foot, Achilles and knee, but has not stopped me. It has slowed me down though.

Q: I noticed at the race that some racers dressed up for the race since it is close to Halloween! I saw you when you came into the aid station and saw you were dressed as a Baywatch Lifeguard with a bunch of other runners or paces? How did that come about?

Erica Smith’s idea, that snowballed!

Cristian Rios

Photo Credit: Aravaipa Running

Cristian started running his junior years of high school. His first day of practice, he started loving running. Before he started running Ultras he just ran Arizona Road Runners Races and P.F. Chang Rock n Roll. His from high school was Paul Bonnett. Paul was doing ultras when Cristian was on the team. Cristian would ask Paul about his races and starred to think that it would be nice to run 100 miles and to do Western States 100.

Q: When I first meet you it was in 2013 at the Aravaipa races Insomniac Night Races I was new to the idea of Ultra Running. I was new to running in general. At every night race I heard your name mentioned and you ended up dominating that summer. What lead you to Aravaipa Races?

Paul Bonnett knew the Coury bothers and they asked him if the team want to run a 12 hours night run and we signed up and that is the first new year of Aravaipa races. I ran 44 miles in 12 hours. I started volunteer at their races.

Q: Was this your first 100 mile race? If so what lead you to this race? If not why did you decide to do a 100 mile race?

I tried to run 100 mile race last year but I dropped out. This year I tried to finished Mogollon Monster 100 race but it got cancel because it was flooding during the race.

Q: Was there a breaking point for you? What helped you get past that point?

There were breaking points during the race. What help to past that point it was everyone who believe in me and my little sister and brother. Everyone who cheer me during the races.

Q: What is your next race? Do you have any big goals for 2015?

My goal for 2015 is to run in Western States. If I don’t get in. My other goal is to run 2:40 in Boston Marathon

The great part about the running community is how open and welcoming they are to you. I have noticed that it even more true within the Ultra Community. I love talking to runners about why they started running, what crazy races stories they have, and any tips that they have. Thank you so much Tim and Cristian for sharing a little bit about your running experience and your running story!

Till next time


About Me Monday: LIFE IS CRAZY/ WEEK 8 Training

I didn’t get to my usually Sunday post about my training well because I have been so busy with running and life.I want to sit down and really reflect on a few things and write some blog posts.


. First of all two weekends ago I went to Javelina Jundred to cheer on some of my friends. For some of my friends this was their first 100K or 100 miler. It was amazing to go to the camp grounds at McDowell Mountains and see all these people enjoy and love something that I love. It was so inspiring and made me think hopefully that one day I might be able to be one of those people trying to do 100K or 100 miles. If you are at all interested in Javelina Jundred visiting Aravaipa’s website¬†¬†I am going to do a blog post coming up about my time at the camp and about my friends who completed it.

The other blog post I want to reflect and type up is Ragnar Trail McDowell Mountains. This past weekend I was on a team at Ragnar Trail Arizona at McDowell Mountains. Because I did this I had to move around some of my runs, You also have to remember I did a 1/2 last weekend and this was the first time I had big back to back races. So it was all a learning experience for me. The outcome was GREAT! Again I will reflect more on this in another post but I feel great today which makes me confident in my running ability and in my goal of completing a full marathon.


In general I feel like my training is coming along as I move into week 9! After I am done with this week I will be 1/2 way though my training. Overall I am happy with my progress and I am seeing results. The big thing I am seeing is my endurance level is up! I am hoping in the coming weeks I can be really stick with my training and complete my goal of the full! So even though life has been crazy I have been able to be involved in the race community over the past few weeks which makes the chaos fun!


About Me Mondays: Fall Garden

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I have a garden. I started right before this past summer which is not ideal planting season in Arizona but I still had some success. Now that we have hit fall I was able to redo my garden an plant a ton of stuff I know I will use.

So this is how the garden looked before I replanted

Garden 11

As you can see it was crazy. The watermelon plant had taken over most of the garden. It was fun having a watermelon plant but vine plants really do grow a lot.

I was able t get the kids to help me and we pulled the watermelon plant out. The only plant I kept was a bell peper plant becuase it seemed to be holding up. Here is the after photo:

clean up

Crazy how different it looks! After I was done cleaning up the garden I added some organic soil mix to the soil we already had. I just wanted to make sure that the new plants got lots of nutrition. Before I went to the store I used Vegetable Planting Calendar for Maricopa County to help me pick out what I wanted to plant.

I decided on the following:

– Brussel Sprouts

– Green Beans

– Spinach

– Butter Lettuce

– Carrots

– Green Onions

– Red Onions

– Broccoli


Along with keeping the bell pepper plant!

I headed over to the local nursery A&P Nursery and picked up some plants and some seeds.

Here are some after photos:

1 2 3 4

As you can see I did do a lot of transplanting. The reason why I did this was because some of the things I wanted to plant were by transplant only:

– Brussel Sprouts

– Broccoli


I did transplant a few spinch and butter lettuce. It is kind of nice to have SOME stuff growing just incase your seeds don’t work out.

I did the following from seed:

– Green Beans

– Spinach

– Carrots

– Green Onions

The Red onions were a last minute add. You do them from bulbs and you can place them anywhere in the garden. So I am interested to see how that turns out since we use a ton of onions in cooking!

Can’t wait to share later on how the garden is doing!



So Halloween is coming up this Friday so I figured might as well talk about some FUN Halloween stuff we have been doing. Halloween is by far one of my favorite Holidays. It is nice and simple and lots of fun. I try really hard to do something Halloween every week with Landen but this year has been insane. I had two Weddings to go to this month, Landen has baseball games, and I am training to do the full in January. Sometimes there is NOT enough hours in the day. So sadly we didn’t go to as many events as we have in years past but we got to do some fun stuff.

Jamberry Nails

So I am NOT usually a fan of those in house sale items that people try to sell. I only have so much money a month and NO I don’t want to buy a $50 Tupperware that will do 20 different things for you. BUT I have found the exception to the rule. I am in LOVE with Jamberry Nails. At first I would get annoyed because I would be invited to 5 different Jamberry Parties ONLINE. To me I am a person who wants to be shown how to use the product. I felt like it would be to hard and wouldn’t turn out cute. I ended up trying out Jamberry Nails while on a girls trip up to Utah and now I am hooked. I am even (don’t judge) hosting an in house Jambery Nails party- Mimosa and Nails – in November. I have had so many people out and about LOVE my nails. SO for Halloween I had to do a HALLOWEEN SET! YEs they have holiday sets and YES I will so rock one for every holiday.

jam jamb

So there you have it I am rocking Mummy nails! I have had them last for two weeks before and so far I feel like this set is already holding up better. They don’t chip and are amazing. If you know me and want to come to the Jamberry Nail Party in November let me know. If anything you will get Mimosas!

Truck or Treat

Mel’s school had a great Trunk or Treat last Friday. I use to LOVE going to my old Mom’s group Trunk or Treat so it was nice to go to another one. The kids had a lot of fun and it was a great way to have them wear their costumes.


P1000152 P1000156


P1000167 P1000168 P1000170 P1000173

As you can see with have and Elsa and a Spider. Landen and I are actually Little Miss Muffet and the Spider. It was so cute as we were driving he told me the whole Little Miss Muffet Nursery Rhyme. He was super excited to see other kids dressed as Minecraft. I think the older kids at his school plays it in the afterschool program because now he is wanting to play it.

Painting Pumpkins

I love pumpkins and I love how good people can carve pumpkins but carving pumpkins is NOT for me! So instead I had the kids paint pumpkins. It was super easy! We jsut drew whatever they wanted and then they painted it. We ended up going back and adding black lines to bring some shape to the picture. Landen picked to do an angry bird. I am actually super surprised on how well it turned out. Melanie ended up doing THE PACKERS. Which if anyone knows me I am DA BEARS fan. SO I had her dad help here as it would be sac-religions for me to draw or paint anything green and yellow.

paint paint2 paint3

I forgot to take a photo of the Green Bay pumpkin. I really forgot! We were trying to do a lot of house work this weekend and I got side tracked!

I am going to try to do little Halloween things all week to try to make up for all the missed FUN times we missed becuase of being so busy. On Halloween we are having a party with the kids and friends. I still need to find a FUN treats to make on Halloween. I try to make something new every year. I will say the best kids Halloween dinner is Mac and Worms. It is super easy to make and the kids love it! I just make it with Mac and Cheese and then Hotdogs but here is an actual recipe I found online:

Worms and Macaroni

Bugs, Worms, & Macaroni

12 Servings

1 pound corkscrew pasta, which seems to be the scariest, or substitute large elbow macaroni or penne

1 pound pasteurized process cheese spread, cut into 1″ cubes
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce

1 14 oz. can pitted black olives, drained and cut in half lengthwise, or substitute whole pimento stuffed olives or a mixture of both
1 12 oz. package hotdogs, each cut into 8 lengthwise strips

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta.
    1. Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
    1. Place the processed cheese spread and evaporated milk in a large microwaveable bowl; microwave 3 minutes.
    1. Remove the mixture from the microwave and stir; microwave 1-3 additional minutes, stirring every minute, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
    1. Stir in the grated cheese and Tabasco pepper sauce.
    1. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it well in a colander and mix with the hot cheese sauce and olives; keep warm.
    1. Place the hotdog strips in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate, cover with another paper towel.
    1. Microwave 2-3 minutes or until the pieces are hot and begin to curl.
  1. Stir the hot dog pieces into the pasta mixture and serve.


About Me Mondays: Gardening

Like most people I have a few interests:



– Being a Mom

– Crafting

– Gardening

And I am sure a million more things.

I figured I would bring RANDOM interests and things I am working on or have done just to give some insight into my CRAZY life.

The big hobby I took up this past EARLY summer was GARDENING! I have always wanted to garden but never had the space. I feel like I get my interest in gardening from my Grandmother (Mum-mum) who passed away when I was younger. Since starting to gardening I feel like I can feel her presence when I am out there digging in the dirt.

Here are some photos from this past summer of gardening:

garden 1

This was day one of planting. It is so sad looking but the future looked bright!

garden 2 garden 3garden 6garden 5  garden  4garden 7 garden 8  GArden 10garden 9

One of the GREAT benefits of gardening is it is activity that your kids can help with. The kids LOVE playing in the garden because they get to get DIRTY! I have had the kids help me dig, pick weeds, plant, and pick the vegetables!

By the end of the summer this is how the garden looked. The watermelon plant just took over! IT was amazing while it lasted and produced a ton of watermelons. We had to many that we were giving them away to friends and even to teachers at my son’s school.

Garden 11

Now we have moved on to fall. Next week I will show you the transformation from this crazy mess, to adding organic nutrition to our garden, and then planting fall crops!

Till next time!