Friday, February 20, 2015

PHOTO MOMENT: Outside Antelope canyon

I can't get enough of the desert. This is outside (or on top of) Antelope canyon.  You enter through the "slots" or giant cracks.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

PHOTO MOMENT: Arizona desert

While driving in Arizona looking for the slot canyons, I got a little lost. But with desert this gorgeous, being lost isn't all bad.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Starting the year with a Ragnar – from Miami to Key West

You would think living in Saudi Arabia would be enough of an adrenaline high, but apparently not. I have push myself when on vacation to which is why when I noticed that Ragnar Team U.S.A (Ultra Sexy Athletes) posted a desperate plea looking for a runner for the Key West Ragnar, I had to sign up.

I mean, how could I not? They needed a runner and I needed to run. Plus, a Ragnar in Florida meant I could hang out with my friend Kristen in Tampa the day before the race. And no, I had no idea who these people were before I met them on race day, but that’s the beauty of Ragnars. It’s a certain type of person that signs up for them, and those people are my people.

I admit, in any other situation flying 18 hours and showing up at a hotel room in Miami to spend the night with people I met on Facebook would not be something I would do.  But when it's Ragnar people, it's perfectly acceptable.

I mean, it's like the equivalent of getting into a van to accept candy from a stranger…um wait a minute... Vans? Candy? Strangers? That sounds like Ragnar people too.

You know it's a Ragnar when every white van in the city has been rented  


The race began in Miami and was going to end in Key West. The six of us loaded up in Van 2 ready to go – all except one runner. He was smiling and trying to be positive, but he warned us that he hadn’t been feeling too good since the day before. He had severe stomach pain, but was hoping by the time it was his turn to run that it would be better.

Two hours later, it was his time and he wasn’t looking any better, but no problem. It was a short leg, we could double up and do it for him.

An hour later and he was looking bad. Really bad. While Van 1 did their runs, we quickly rushed him to the hospital for tests. Turns out he had burst his small intestine and wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. His best friend, who was also a runner in our van, decided to stay behind with him in the hospital to make sure he was okay – because who wants to be in a strange city in the hospital by themselves?

But that meant we were down two runners. The four of us in the van would need to make up their legs if we were going to finish this Ragnar.


What’s cool about Ragnar people is that when the going gets tough, the tough get running. It never even occurred to the team to quit the Ragnar. Even though none of us had trained enough to run the 30 to 35 miles we would now have to do each, we never complained. We looked at the legs, split them up and that was it.

We were going to run this thing even if it hurt.

And it did hurt. Running the extra miles during the second leg through the night wasn’t a big deal, but that third leg when we were running the doubles the next morning were not pretty.

The three of us (we let our driver off extra-running duty so he could be alert enough to get the van where it needed to go) were running pretty slow at the end. My hips were stiff from sweating and then sleeping in the van, and my toes hurt. Don’t know why, but they did.

But we did it. We completed a semi-ultra on the fly and we would do it again tomorrow!! Well, maybe not tomorrow, but in a week once my muscles stop cramping up.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The beauty of Antelope Canyon

There are a few things I didn’t get to do when living in Arizona and visiting Antelope Canyon to check out the amazing wave shapes in the stone was one of them.

Antelope Canyon is located 4 hours from Phoenix or you can go from Las Vegas. It’s 4 hours from there as well. It’s quite a drive if you plan to go, see it and drive back in a day. I drove up to Flagstaff the night before and stayed in a cheap hotel to break up the trip, which I was glad I did as I got lost on the way and the 4-hour drive turned into 6 hours.

 The lower and upper canyon are on Navajo land by Page, AZ and are located just outside the town.  Surprisingly, it wasn't crowded at all, but they do recommend booking in advance just in case.

The canyon is what they call a slot canyon. You enter through these holes in the Earth and climb down a ladder to the bottom on the canyon. The canyon was formed by flash floods and water eroding the sandstone. 

The effect is really quite memorizing. The photos I took were with my iPhone and were just the way the light played on the rock. I only did the lower canyon. This one has a ladder that you climb down so not recommended for people with knee troubles. 

The upper canyon is also beautiful and doesn’t require any climbing. Both canyons don’t require a lot of cardio. There were a couple young kids on my tour and they had no problem doing the tour. The walking tour of the canyon takes about an hour.

You can only go through the canyon on a tour, but the tours are inexpensive.  It was $28.  I went with Ken's Tours (