Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon

j, n, and i, heading to the race!

Yesterday was the half marathon. I was ├╝ber nervous for it all day long, and I actually thought to myself that the early hour of a normal race was preferable. Cause then, I’m still nervous, but it’s only a couple of hours and not all day long while you’re also trying to take care of a baby and a husband with the sniffles.

My friend J picked me up around 315, and we went to her friend N’s house because N’s husband was going to drop us off at the race. We were not prepared for the number of people down there. It was CRAZY. I have no idea how many corrals of people there were, but my friends and I were in number 23, and it took us forty minutes to get to the start line. My friend M was also down there, and I was certain she would never find us, and I was surprised to hear her call my name just before the first wave of racers.

heading to the corrals. don't you love our sweet headlamps?

I was really really glad she was there. We ran the whole race together. Neither of us used an iPod–we just talked and talked the whole time, and the miles just zipped by. Nothing really hurt, and I felt pretty good. I have to tell you guys: running on the strip at night with no cars and live music and a zillion other runners is really awesome. The lights are awesome, and it’s just a totally new way to see the strip. It was so. Much. Fun.

The weirdest thing about the race was even at the very end, we were still passing people. The crowd never thinned out at all, and there were always hundreds of people all around us.

I was pretty much golden the whole time. I wasn’t really tired, I wasn’t out of breath, my feet didn’t hurt. And then at mile ten, I felt this twinge of pain. That got worse as we picked up the pace. And at mile 12.5, my knee felt a rubber band pulled so tight it’s going to snap. I went off to the side and stretched my it band, and I ran my butt off to the finish line.

It was a really, really good run.

The end of it though? Was a nightmare. There were soooooo many people. And it was freezing. And there was nothing to carry your water and food in while trying to hold onto the foil thingie that was keeping me warm (cause it was freaking windy and freezing). M and I made for the indoors. Along with eighty bajillion other people. I wish I’d taken a picture. It was crazy, shoulder-to-shoulder mob scene.

We eventually spotted a fire exit that led to a parking lot, and we headed home where I took a bath and then crashed. What a great night.

me and m, eating our snacks and resting our legs.




Well on Sunday, I will run the las Vegas half marathon. I’ve been training now for about twelve weeks, and I’m ready, but for whatever reason, I still feel super nervous. I don’t know why. I mean, when I actually think about it, it’s really stupid to be nervous because honestly, what’s the worst that could happen? I walk?

Anyway, that’s what’s been on my mind all day. That, and whether I chose to start in the right corral or not and also how there will be so many freaking people running. The news said there were forty-something thousand people running. Holy shit. That’s a lot of runners. I actually don’t think I’ve ever run in a race this large.

I ran in a pretty large turkey trot once in Florida with my mom and sister. It was actually a little annoying because you could never really break away from the crowd and get in the zone. I doubt that will happen tomorrow though–at least after a few miles.

I went to the race expo today at lunch to pick up my packet. So glad I did. I got there about ten minutes after the doors opened, and it was already jammed. I can’t I imagine what it will be like tomorrow or even today after work. Also, just right this moment, I thought about how long the damn lines are going to be at the port-o-potties on Sunday night. I mean, those lines are long even at small races. Sigh. And I always have to freaking pee before I run. At least my girlfriend J I’m running with scored a pass to the VIP bathroom area where it’s heated, and there is heat and running water. So that’s nice.

I think it will be pretty fun though–running the Las Vegas Strip at night. The city’s closing down
Las Vegas Boulevard to traffic, and the half marathon runs from Mandalay Bay to downtown and back. Oh! And there was a headlamp in the swag bag. I’m totally wearing it!

**Also, I know this picture doesn’t have squat to do with running, but doesn’t C look cute bombing on his spoon?**

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made a delicious dinner tonight. Seriously. I usually don’t even like my own cooking, but tonight, I wanted to lick the dishes clean. And best of all? It was super easy and would be really really easy to set up in the crockpot the night before and cook while at work all day. Here’s the recipe–I doubled it by using a can of tomato paste and about 3 additional cans (i.e., fill the tomato paste can up–I know, exact, right?) of water and 3 additional cups of chicken or veggie stock (whatever you’ve got on hand, but not beef stock). This could easily be made vegetarian, too, by taking out the chicken and adding more beans or corn or both.

1 large can crushed tomato
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite sized morsels (what a funny word “morsel” is)
1 1/4 c water
1 1/4 c chicken stock
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 T chili powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how much kick you like your soup to have)
1 tsp salt
1 T olive oil
1 15 oz can corn
1 15 oz can black beans
1 small can diced green chilis

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in stock pot until onion is soft.
Add cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, tomato, water, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer about 20 minutes (more or less depending on how much time you have, but at least 10 mins–the longer you simmer, the tastier the soup, imho).
Add chicken, corn, beans, and chilis. Simmer at least 20 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream with crunched up tortilla chips on top. (If you want to keep it weight watchers friendly as I did, skip the toppings. If you do, and you’ve doubled the recipe the way I did with tomato paste and extra water/chicken stock, there are eight (huuuuuge) servings, and they’re 4 points plus each–woot!). Or, use reduced fat sour cream and baked tortilla chips).

Another trick I learned recently: take a freezer ziploc bag, label it with whatever it is and the date, and put it in a large cup with the top of the bag flipped outside the edge of the cup. Ladle your leftover soup into the bag that’s now inside the cup. Get as much air out of the bag as you can and seal the freezer bag. Lay the bag of soup flat to freeze. Once it’s frozen, it’ll stack up flat in your freezer. To thaw, put bag in a pot or large bowl of hot water. Then just microwave, and voila! Soup! It’s my new favorite thing to take to work for lunch. The bag’s enough for three lunches, so I only have to pack one other day because I go out to lunch once a week. Easy peasy.

More happenings chez Jones

As I am still not really in a posting sort of mood, here are some more pictures of all the happenings.

oh hi! a rare occasion where mr. c isn't having a cow in his car seat.

I think I’ve mentioned how C can have epic meltdowns in his car seat? Well, apparently all he needs is a little photo sesh with his Auntie C.

I feel very lucky that thus far C hasn’t ever had a meltdown in a restaurant. Though this time was the first that I wasn’t holding C on my lap during the meal. He actually didn’t mind being in the seat by himself, and I found that if I feed C while we’re waiting for our food, he’s usually pretty content to hang out during the rest of the meal as long as I’ve got lots toys to entertain him with. (Although I will say the stupid high chair–it was not safe. I found a little travel high chair thing on etsy that I’m going to try. Will report back.) Anyway, he was really good until the end of the meal. So that was nice. Actually, he was a really good baby all day yesterday even though (as per usual) he didn’t sleep so well during the day.

mr. c and his grandpa j, post-lunch.

It’s been so nice having C’s grandparents here. He’s been home from day care (which was especially nice because after his recent flu shot, he was all sniffy and runny nose-y–although I’m not entirely sure that wasn’t related to his teething as his front top center teeth are coming in). It disrupted his routine a little bit, but as C doesn’t nap hardly at all at day care, I think it was actually for the better. Because today? He took two two-hour naps today, and I honestly cannot remember the last time he’s done that. Probably when he was a new newborn baby. It was kind of awesome, but I really didn’t even know what to do with all that spare time this afternoon.

s making faces at calico basin.

We went to Calico Basin yesterday. Every Saturday when I’m running, I run past this road that runs along the back side of Red Rock. I’ve always wanted to go down there, and yesterday we did. There was a little boardwalk with signs that asked you to please stay on the boardwalk to protect the meadow, and oddly, there were people in the middle staging professional photos. Which I thought was pretty rude. And actually wanted for the BLM rangers to come and give them tickets.

me and my babeh, taking a hike.

I love wearing C in his carrier. He is so happy. Even though he should have been super crabby without naps yesterday afternoon as long as he was being held in his carrier, he was just fine. That thing is amazing. I think I mentioned that we’re going to Paris for New Year’s Eve, and we’re not taking a stroller, just his carrier. Will let you know how it goes. More on our trip later.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Just hanging out watching movies tonight.

A day late

And a dollar short. No, really, we’ve just been running around and enjoying ourselves. Here is a picture post because I’m too lazy busy for anything else today.


This child is going to be crawling SOON. He is pretty much a master scooter/roller/flopper now.


What? We had a little photo sesh with the Roosky hat.


We went to Calico Basin and walked along the boardwalk with Mr. C, who although sans nap, was amazingly well behaved.


C’s first time seeing a horse. He was quite curious. Am sure the owners of these horses were thrilled that we just stopped on the side of the road to admire their livestock.


We saw the lights at the cactus botanical gardens which also happen to be at a chocolate factory. Awesome. Also, sorry Lynn, for the eyes-closed photo–it’s the only one where we are looking at the correct camera. Sigh.