A Week in Pictures
May 3, 2010 § 4 Comments
I thought I’d try something a little different this week. I was inspired by my friend @WesleyTech when he suggested that I do a picture post about my commute to work to break my writer’s block (#photocommute on twitter). Great idea, but it doesn’t really work for me because all you’d see is bumper to bumper traffic, freeway “plants” and the occasional broken down car. This post is a “week in pictures” that tells the story of how a typical week can go for me. Always on the go, keeping active and getting involved – that’s the story of my life!
Saturday, April 24: Dirty 6 Mud Run
This wasn’t the usual type of race I sign up for. I’m used to flat surfaces, maybe some hills and the only reason why I would be wet is if it rained during my run.
The Dirty 6 Mud Run lived up to its name and then some. A 6-mile course (which ended up being closer to 6.5 miles – dirty little trick!) through some pretty barren desert landscape that was riddled with nine obstacles including water “walls”, ditches filled with mud, mud crawls and river crossings (one running, one swimming). The last mud crawl was a beotch! It was filled with all kinds of rocks that tore up my knees with every lunge forward. I’m not sure which was harder – getting through the final mud pit or going through all the obstacles feeling like I was carrying an extra 10 pounds of mud and water-soaked clothing. When it was all said and done, I finished in 1:03; not too shabby. It was a great run and a lot of fun! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. And to make it even better, I was able to cheer on my husband as he crossed the finish line and made his way through the final mud crawl. We then celebrated with our personal trainer (who totally kicked everyone’s ass in the run) with a beer!
Sunday, April 25: Liberty Market
If you’re in Gilbert, you have to go to Liberty Market. Owned by the same couple who owns Joe’s Farm Grill and Joe’s BBQ – which have both been featured on Food Network – this recently renovated neighborhood market serves up some awesome dishes like griddled bread pudding, gourmet pizzas and a tempting array of scratch-baked pastries.
After sleeping in past 5 a.m. for the first time all week, I rolled out of bed and headed out to brunch with my hubby. Feeling good about my run the day before, I decided to treat myself to something indulgent. Enter the yummiest Irish coffee I have ever had!
I then proceeded to order a white pizza with a parmesan cream sauce, chicken, pine nuts, bacon and arugula. Umm…hello!? Totally tasty. If you’re ever in the Gilbert area, this place is a must-try. If you need any recommendations on what to order, I’m your girl!
Monday, April 26: My Morning Greeters
There’s nothing too exciting about Monday’s in my world. Just work, working out and cooking dinner. To add a little spice to my otherwise dreary cubicle, I tend to decorate my walls and shelves with fun items from different marketing/sponsorship programs I work on. Last year my company sponsored Sesame Street Live and as part of our sponsorship, I purchased mini versions of all the characters to giveaway to people who stopped by our locations. Of course I had to keep some for myself as a reminder of what we did for the promotion, so every morning I am greeting by the cast of Sesame Street just hanging out on the shelf by my computer.
Tuesday, April 27: Interesting Run
Every Tuesday and Thursday I look forward to coming home after work and heading out for a run. This Tuesday was no exception. I had my running gear laid out and ready for me to just change into when I got home so I don’t dilly dally and get lured in by the marvelously comfy couch that’s calling my name. It was 91 degrees out and windy. I decided to run 3 miles and include the new 1-mile hilly loop that I discovered last week. The run felt great and I went through quite a bit of water in just two miles. By the time I hit 2.5 miles my nose was a little runny; chalking it up to my usual allergies I tried to just wipe it a little and to my surprise I saw blood. Yep – I had my first bloody nose on a run. I think it was from the dry, hot air. I still had half a mile to go before I got home, so I just kept running. I probably looked a little strange as I ran past the little league teams playing at the part keeping my 8:45 pace with my head tilted up, but that’s ok. I don’t know any of those people anyway!
Wednesday, April 28: Salsa Challenge
I love to cook. I think I might be addicted to trying new dishes, so I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting recipes. When my husband told me that one of his co-workers was having a Salsa Challenge party I immediately jumped online to start looking for some good recipes. I have one that I like to use, but I wanted to spice it up and see what else is out there. I found a great recipe for an award-winning salsa that I modified just a bit (I don’t think I’m ready to venture into habanero land yet!). After admiring how colorful the ingredients looked in their pre-salsa state, I chopped and chopped for about an hour. The salsa didn’t win the challenge, but it was still pretty darn tasty. I think I make a better guacamole than salsa, but at least I tried it out.
Thursday, April 29: Volunteer Junkie
I am a huge fan of volunteering. I enjoy it so much that I created and head up the Employee Volunteer Program at the company I work for and at least once per quarter I find a volunteer event to get involved in. Since 2006, I have put together a group of volunteers to help out at the Special Olympics of Arizona Summer Games and continued that tradition this year. These athletes are so amazing and inspiring. They have wonderful attitudes and great ambition. It’s always a heartwarming experience for me to get involved with this organization.
Despite the 25 mile per hour winds, chilly temperatures (in the low 60’s) and keeping up the energy to last for nearly 5 hours of volunteering after working a 9-hour day, it felt great to be a part of such a wonderful event and to support all the athletes. And to see how many volunteers come out to help is great. Organizations like this rely on volunteers to keep them going and I am happy to lend a hand. I can’t wait to do it again next year!
Friday, April 30: Finding Ways to Make a Difference
I receive all kinds of emails with info about lots of cool local stuff. When I recently received one from a company that promotes AZ events and other miscellaneous news, a call for donations caught my eye. The Southwest Behavioral Health Service’s Homeless Outreach Program was seeking donations including lightweight t-shirts to distribute to the homeless in AZ this summer. My first thought went straight to all the race shirts that I have accumulating in my closet. I never wear them and if they could go to use by someone who really needs them, I’d be happy to part with them. Then I took that thought a step further and contacted the organizer for a 5-K race that I was signed up for and asked them if they were willing to donate any extra shirts from the race to the cause. They were happy to help! In addition to the extra race shirts, a few friends also raided their closets and contributed to the donation. It definitely made my day to get out of the office for a little bit and deliver these to SBHS.
Saturday, May 1: Derby Day
My husband and I were fortunate enough to be invited to an amazing event on Saturday. A Derby Affair, which benefits Homeward Bound, is an annual fundraising event that takes place at The Arizona Biltmore hotel and celebrates the Kentucky Derby and all is glory. All the women are dressed to up in their best “garden party” attire and fabulous hats, and the men are decked out in their sweater vests, suits and bow ties. From the traditional Kentucky fare to the mint juleps, you almost forget that you’re in Arizona. And the best part is that the event benefits a great local charity! Even though the horse I picked didn’t win, I had a great time. My husband and I even received a nomination for Best Dressed Couple!