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Friday, December 31, 2010

Santa Cruz Demolition


It may not seem like it now, but we are turning this mess into a pretty bathroom. Demolition is fun, but hard work!
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Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Running Shoe Retirement

It's official.  My Nike Lunarswifts+ have taken their last run and I am a bit sad about retiring them.
 These shoes were the ones I bought to carry me to my half marathon goal back in September. I bought them on clearance and I love how awesomely obnoxious the color was. I was in love and ready to tackle my goal of 13.1 miles in them.
These shoes were with me through some real highs and some real lows. I ran ten miles in these shoes (The longest I had run thus far) the day I got laid off from my job. These shoes with their bright colors were with me when I decided not to let go of my goal and fun my first 1/2 marathon in October (recap here) .  I will never forget the feeling and excitement I felt when I crossed the finish line in 1:47. 22.  These shoes powered with me through my self doubts on my runs and they were with me when I finally broke through my dark cloud.
I will always love these shoes and have enjoyed the journey I have taken with them.
Anyone else out there ever feel this way about a pair of shoes?
C'est la vie! Thanks for the good times and the good 1/2 marathon time.

To end this post on a high note! I would like to introduce you to the new Bandida running shoes.
Nike Pegasus 27+

Let's see where we go together!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feliz Navidad, Boas Festas, Joyeux Noel, God Jul, メリークリスマス, Ya'at'eeh Keshmish and Nollaig shona duit

Merry Christmas to my good friends around the world!
This is a blurry photo I took last year of a Luminaria (Farolito) tour that happens in our neighborhood. We Traveled south to El Paso, TX this Christmas and had to miss it. However, nothing beats hanging out with family.

Cheers and happy times to you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Starry Night

 The folks at Torchbox in the U.K. delivered this amazing IPAD Christmas message.
I hope all of you are doing well out there and have all of your holiday shopping done.
Don't forget to take care of yourself!

A Starry Night from Torchbox on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weather Records and Free Downloads

So this week has been amazing in regards to weather!
My city set back-to-back records in heat and precipitation! For example on Wednesday I went for a run around my neighborhood and it was a beautiful 65 degrees and I was in a T-shirt. New Mexico set a record high for this day and had ski/snowboard bums crying everywhere.  Well, it looks like the weather gods felt their tears because it's rained/snowed all day long on Thursday and Friday morning. So, This crazy NM weather lead to my first ever run in the flurries and it felt awesome! However, this NM chile loving girl needed some motivation to get out in the 33 degree weather.
 So, thanks to my hilarious facebook friends who gave me this advice and motivation:

Greg: the Navajo Way is to roll around in the first snow and holler out loud:) (There was not enough snow to do this awesome suggestion by Greg. But I will definitely do it next time) 

Haroon: Imagine yourself as Rocky training against Ivan Drago in Krasnoyarsk, Soviet Union. (Rocky IV) (I'm not going to lie, this actually helped get me out there. Visualization is key!) 

What is your motivation to run in the cold? I'm looking at your northerners!

On the topic of motivation I was able to jam out to some new music today! I discovered free music downloads on the Nike Women Facebook page.  They have some great artist from Japan and Sweden that motivated me to keep my pace up and on occasion sing along. (Sorry for all the dog walkers I scared out there with my singing.)
So, get your free downloads and add some new motivation and mix to your daily workout routine! 
Click Here. 

Here are a couple of my faves!
First Aid Kit: Sailor Song

The Suzan: Home

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Roadrunner, Roadrunner

For the folks who follow me on Twitter you may remember my roadrunner excitement that I had last week. There was one that was sunbathing out in the backyard of my house for about an hour and another one in the front yard. I got a few good photos of them and wanted to share.

Just another reason why I love NM.
Now it's time for me to be a road runner and get some miles in!
Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


My final for my A&P class went well and I am happy to report that I got an A in the class! Woo HOo!
On a fitness note, I've also started running again. It was a bit of a rough run today. But what do I expect after taking a 5 day hiatus? I needed all of my energy for my brain!!
Anyways, I hope everyone out there is doing well!
Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?

Music Tuesday--Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Music Tuesday: Macklemore

The Vs. is the first album of innovative hip-hop from Seattle's Macklemore and DJ/producer Ryan Lewis. Macklemore embraces a wide range of personal themes (including his recent struggle with drug addiction) in the powerful "Otherside." Lewis samples from Arcade Fire, Caribou, Beirut and Antony and the Johnsons, turning them all into cinematic bangers. Call it postmodern indie alterna-hip-hop crossover if you must, but it works. From

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nike Free+ Review

I have officially jumped on the Nike Free+ minimalist shoe band wagon. I have been researching this shoe for months. I've stuffed my head with reviews, blogged opinions and video, trying them on at local running shops, and even asking random strangers what they thought of the shoe. So, after extensive research I was ready to try the shoe! However, I was not ready to pay the $85 price tag. So, I started searching the internet for some deals. I came across a seller on ebay who was selling her pair because she wasn't a fan after trying them on a treadmill three times. After winning a bidding war, I was able to have these lovely pair of Nike Free's in my possession for half the price!! Pretty huh?

Nike Free+ side

Okay, here are the specs!
The Nike Free Run+ Women’s Running Shoe was created for those who love the feel of barefoot running, yet need the cushioning, traction and protection of a shoe. This update to the Nike Free series offers improved fit, cushioning and support. from

Inner-sleeve for a snug, barefoot-like fit
One-piece, patterned overlay for support and flexibility
Flex grooves for flexibility and stability

Nike + Ready
Weight: 6.4 ounces (women’s size 8)

Okay, so the first time I ran with this shoe I was a bit worried that I might turn into a hater of the Nike Free +. I was only able to run three miles in the shoe and during my run I  started to feel pain in my plantar fascia (refer to diagram below). Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated.  However, I will admit I started off with a high! This shoe was so light and I felt like I could run super fast in this shoe. This excitement I think is what lead me to cut my run short.During all of my excitement of trying out the shoe I forgot about one piece of important information that I had read about during all of my extensive research. That piece of important information was to allow myself to ease into this new style of shoe and running.  There is a sort of an adjustment period when It comes to the Nike Free+ and it shouldn't be taken lightly. I think that if I tried to force more miles out of my three mile run that day I could have really injured myself.
So, if you're not use to this type of shoe or running. I would recommend to start off easy and allow yourself to adjust to your new high tech minimalist shoe!  Don't try and fly like I did, okay?

Even though I was frustrated with my first round in these shoes. I didn't want to give up on them yet. So, I went to a park close to my house to try them out again. This time it was amazing! I could almost feel my form improve and was noticing the benefits of the mid-foot strike almost instantly. I could feel  the flexibility of the shoe and what a unique feeling it was. It was almost like my feet had a whole new range of motion! It was almost like they were telling me, hey! thanks for not strangling us today.
This time I was able to clock five miles and it really felt great. I enjoyed the light weight benefits of the shoe and I enjoyed how my running almost felt almost effortless. I felt fast, light and I finally understood the reviews of the many people saying that felt like they could run forever!! However, in my case, I got hungry and had to run home for dinner.  Nevertheless, I was a fan of the Nike Free+.

This shoe’s inner-sleeve, or bootie, conforms to your foot for a snug and comfortable, barefoot-like fit—with or without socks. Extensive, breathable mesh on the upper enhances the barefoot-like fit and feel.

The fit truly is interesting, it sort of fits like a sock. Some people in the reviews did express frustration with the bootie like form (no tounge) of the shoe and difficulty with putting it on.  My experience with this lead me to think. Well, if these people stopped bitching about the small things and just put the damn shoe on they would enjoy it's seamless benefits!  Just like I did! I find the design to be smart and effective and it does feel like the shoe is hugging your foot.

As for the size of the shoe it felt pretty true to size for me. I am a pretty solid size 7 in Nike's so I just decided to stick to my size and not order up.  However, most reviews stated that the shoe did run a bit small. So if you find that you tend to fluctuate between whole and half sizes  it may be safe to order a size up.

Deep Nike Free flex grooves along the length and width of the midsole (which doubles as an outsole) allow your foot to move naturally while adding stability. The Nike Free Run+ is even more flexible and “Free-like” than the Nike Free 5.0.

 The Nike Free+ definitely has a lot of flexibility and I feel this is why these shoes are so damn comfortable. It allows you to have your natural range of motion with some stability.  Which in turn allows you to run with better form leading to less injuries.

So, what is the Bandida Blog final verdict?
I really felt the Nike Free + was a nice alternative to the folks interested in going into the barefoot movement but were not quite ready to commit to throwing away their running shoes and going au natural. 
I do feel that this shoe is great for city or park running but I don't feel that it offers enough support to run on uneven terrain.  I did have some issues with small rocks and twigs getting stuck in my shoe while running in the park. But this has only happened twice and wasn't too much of a set back for me. However, it did lead me to think that these shoes would perform terribly on the trails.  In the photo below you can sort of see the rocks and small twigs I picked up with my shoe after running at the park.
Nike Free+ Back

As for running long distances in these shoes i.e. half marathon and marathon distances. I don't know if I would recommend them just yet. The furthest distance I have run in this shoe is six miles. The shoe expert at a local running store here did mention that she felt it was not a good shoe for the longer distances. She mentioned that she had really messed up her plantar fascia during a half marathon race and didn't feel it was the right kind of shoe for the longer distances. However, she did mention that some people are able to run long distances in these shoes and love it.

So to round up this final verdict I will say the Nike Free+ is a great training shoe. It is a great tool to use during my short training runs or on my recovery days. The Nike Free + also comes Nike+ sensor ready which allows you to track your distance at

I hope this review was helpful!
Please feel free to leave comments with your experiences with the Nike Free+.

Happy Free Running.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Runner Chica's Gift Guide

Thanks to I was able to create a gift guide for all you runner chica's out there!
I went through and gathered a few of my favorite things out there in the cyber shopping world.
Happy Holiday's to all my runner chica's and fitnessistas!!!

Here is a preview of the Runner's Chica's Gift Guide:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Que Hippie: Labor of Love

My Señor is an amazing craftsman.
He is one of the most talented people I know and the work that he does always takes my breath away.
Recently while I was studying, he saw that I was struggling to fit all my notes, books and paperwork onto a dinner tray stand. So, he told me that he was going to use the wood that he had left over from a construction job to build us a computer desk with enough room for me to study. Needless to say, I was thrilled!
Que green?! Que Hippie?!
He was excited with the outcome and is inspired to build more furniture.
I. can't. wait.
Start of the project
Putting it together
close up of the trim

He still needs to seal the wood before we can set it all up. But for now, it's holding all my work to study for finals.
I love it!

Music Tuesday--The Beatles

Just because I love this song..

All you need is Love

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gobble-Gobble re-cap

Hello everyone!
I hope you all are still stuffed from your Thanksgiving dinners, 2nd dinners, and even 3rd and 4th dinners. I swear, I can't even look at turkey meat without getting a bit queasy. I think I've honestly overdosed on the damn bird. So, it's tofu and noodles for a couple of days for me.
Anyhoot, here is the gooble-gooble recap.

My Señor and I had an amazing holiday weekend. For starters, we woke up to this pretty sight on Thanksgiving morning.


This photo was taken around 5am. I don't know why, but it's like my body sensed that I needed to get up at that moment and watch it snow. It was absolutely lovely.

We then went down to Patrick's father's house and made a really good dinner. The guys watched football while I studied the endocrine and reproductive systems.  Even though I was studying, I was super relaxed. I have to say, I am super interested in what I am learning in this A&P II class. It is pretty reassuring that an occupation as a Nurse will be fitting for me. 

Yeah, how about some of that with your turkey?

I was able to get a few good runs in this past week. I have never really exercised during Dia del Pavo week, but It was definitely a nice change. Not only did I work up an insane appetite for Thanksgiving, but It really felt good to get out and clear my head. I was able to get a good 10K run in the foothills and  a long 10 mile run down by the river. 
For the foothills run I decided that I would do the same course from the Run for the Hills 10k. It was much nicer this time around. Of course, there was less people on the trail and I wasn't getting elbowed by old men and ladies when I tried to pass them. That was definitely a plus! 

My stomping grounds in the foothills

For my long 10 mile run along the River it was nothing but beautiful surroundings. I had Canadian Geese flying in formation over my head and it was awesome.  Yeah, I was a bit worried that they might throw a wicked poop on me. But needless to say, I survived the run without getting pooped on. Yay!! 

We wrapped up our weekend with basically agreeing that we were going to do whatever we wanted. So, Patrick finished his labor of love (photos in an upcoming post.
And I put up the Christmas tree and drank lots of hot chocolate.
Ah yes, the season is here!! 

Oh, Christmas Tree 2010
Pato Y Justicia stockings
Pato y Arbol

Isn't my Señor good looking?? I just love his T-shirt. I bought it for him when we first started dating.

Anyways, It's a busy couple of weeks coming up! I hope all of you are taking are of yourselves and making "me" time.
I have some good post lined up for this week.
Patrick's Labor of Love
Nike Free + Bandida blog review
and Christmas wish list (everyone has one right??)

Stay warm!!
Fire place FTW.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

It's Black Friday and I'm still feeling the Thanksgiving holiday spirit. I am so thankful for all the blessing I have in my life. Family, friends, good changes,  running, and my caring boyfriend. And also probably because I didn't really participate in the Black Friday festivities. Some people really lose themselves in buying all sorts of random caca.  However, we did go and do some brief window shopping for Pato's family who are going to be visiting us from Brazil! We can't wait!
Thinking about family arriving and friends coming in to visit during this time of year always gets me excited. I love all the little gatherings and of course hanging out with great friends and family. Let's not forget to mention the food. I have been seriously fighting off my tamale cravings. just hit me right now...
Dios mío goodness

They are so evil and yet so good. 
Anyways, this weekend is going to be a relaxing one for us. I'll probably fit in a long run somewhere in my weekend so I can eventually go crazy at the tamale buffet. But for now, it's just fires, hot chocolate and watching my amor work on a labor of love (more on this in a future post.

Labor of Love in progress
Labor of love in progress

Happy Thanksgiving weekend amigos!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Music Tuesday--Ellie Goulding

I love this Elton John song and I love Ellie's little twist to it.
It made me think about the ones I love through the whole song. 

Your Song

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkanza 2010

My Señor and I have a fun tradition that we usually plan on having every year the week before thanksgiving. It's called..
The Turkanza
It's like a Matanza which usually involves cooking a pig in the ground. Ours is the same thing but instead of a pig, we cooked a turkey. Hence, the name Turkanza!
This year we had a good group of friends attend and it it turned into a sort of pot luck Turkanza. It was fun having everyone contribute and we had a good time stuffing our faces and hanging with good amigos!
Thanks to all our friends and family who attended! We can't wait till next year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is this a running blog?!

My father cracks me up.
After one of our "Funemployed" lunch dates he looks up at me from his green chile stew and asks.
"So, Speedy Gonzales, how far did you run today?"
"10 miles today along the Bosque." I say.
"Whoa shit girl! You're really getting serious about this running stuff?!"
This whole conversation was too funny. I love how my father speaks to me like he is super impressed. But really, my mother and him were the ones that inspired me to pick up running.
My mother was the one who I remember at first training and running the half many years ago. My father trained along with her but didn't compete in the race. My mother actually completed her first half marathon at the same event I did, The Duke City Marathon.  I didn't get to watch her race her first half. I must have had some sort of swim meet or something. But I never forgot that she did it and I wanted to join the half marathon club with her.
They don't really know it, but my parents actually did help fuel this running addiction I currently  have.
Running has always been my go to exercise if I didn't feel like swimming. Since I ended my college swimming days back in 2003 it's been a challenge to find something else other than the sport I did all my life to keep me motivated while I exercised.  I tried yoga, cycling, and even Capoiera (Brazilian martial arts), just to name a few.  But none of those activities really had me challenging myself or had me setting any sort of real goals for myself.
Enter running.
Running has honestly brought on a whole new focus for me and I love it! Since I feel that it has become a good part of my life, I plan to post about it here every once in a while. No worries, I'll keep it entertaining and I won't lay off on the other stuff in my life. But please, feel free to share any thoughts or comments you have about running or any questions you may have about my personal running experience. I'm not an expert. So I can't really give any real advice about running. But I can share my experience with you all and I would love to do that.

So on that note!  I have scheduled my next two goal runs for 2011.
Here they are in all their TRAIL RUN glory!

This run actually takes place at the end of May 2011.  I will hopefully be done with my semester from hell and I should be able to enjoy this beautiful run above 8,000 feet. Believe it or not, this is going to be a nice training run for the run I have scheduled next. Here are a few photos of Valles Caldera National Preserve. 
What a beautiful place right?

 Next Run
Okay, so this run is pretty crazy. I don't really have the desire or motivation to run a full marathon yet. So I have made the La Luz trail run my marathon equivalent.
I'm pretty sure a marathon will be a piece of cake after this race.
The La Luz Trail Run is a 9 mile trail run that starts in the far northeast heights of Albuquerque, NM. The race consists of 1.8 miles of paved road and 7.2 miles of dirt single track trail with a 12% grade. The race finishes at the Sandia Crest (10,678 feet) towers on the crest. There is a strict 400 runner limit imposed on the race by the U.S. Forest Service. In fall issue of 2001 Trail Runner Magazine, La Luz was selected as one of the "12 Most Grueling Trail Races in North America".
Intimidating much??
Am I freaking insane or what?!! It's running up the mountain that I have been staring at all my life and for some reason that excites me.
There is a lottery to get into this race, so there is still a chance I won't be able to participate in this run. However, If I do get to run it I can't imagine how it would feel to reach the top of that mountain.
Bottom line is. I have a lot of training to do Lucy.  
This race takes place in the 1st week of August.
Looking down on Albuquerque, Sandia Crest via La Luz Trail, Albuquerque, NM
 Top of the mountain where the run ends
Look closely and you can see the actual trail. 
(photo by: transluminate)

La Luz Trail Runners Sign 
 The trail
 (photo by: ab_14asos)

The La Luz Trail finish line

Insane goals I know! But they motivate me to challenge myself!
Any tips or advice that you may have on these trail runs or trail running in general are welcome! 

Happy Trails To You!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let me see if I can schedule you in

The Unemployment Chronicles
 It's crazy to say that even though I don't have a job, I have been feeling super busy lately. I think I've finally mastered being able to find ways to occupy my time.  It really is a blessing when you come out of the "I'm feeling sorry for myself phase." and just move on. There really is a lot to do out there! It really took me reflecting on some of the things my good friends said to me when I first lost my job to snap out of it. Such as, "Be grateful for this time to think about your future." and "You said it yourself that you've been feeling stuck lately, what a blessing to finally be able to move on!"

Moving on.

Yes, it's true. Even though right now I'm just an unemployed lady who is filling up her time with finding new running routes around the city, studying hard for my Anatomy & Physiology II class and having  coffee/drink drink dates with my amigos. I honestly feel like I'm finally moving forward. It may look or feel unproductive, but I am honestly grateful for this extra time that I have right now.
This week I finally was able to enroll in classes for next semester. I have one semester standing in front of me until I am able to petition for the Nursing School program. It's going to be a hell of a semester, but I'm ready for the challenge. I honestly have my college athlete days to thank for preparing me. My schedule of Swimming bright and early in the morning, going to class all day and then swimming again in the afternoon was a brutal one.  My schedule next semester actually looks easy compared to my college athlete days. Which gives me confidence and has me feeling ready for it!

So yeah!
Bring it Microbiology lecture and lab!!
Bring it Anatomy & Physiology lab I & II!!
Bring it Bio Medical Ethics, Psych, and analytical writing classes!

I will no longer be identifying myself as being unemployed. I am now officially a full time student.  BRING ON THE STUDENT DISCOUNTS!

I'm excited about all of the educational goodness in my future! Hopefully I will still have some time to go snowboarding and of course keep up with my running & blogging!

Thanks for reading guys!

My Favorite Book Shop .........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Music Tuesday--Shakira featuring Dizzee Rascal

This song is so damn catchy!!
However, this video makes me want to force feed Shakira a donut! She is a toothpick!


Loca en Español

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nike +Skirt + Capris = Skapris!!

So it's true, I can admit that I am somewhat of a Nike whore.
I don't know if it's because I love all the little gadgets that they have come up with such as Nike+ and the programs that go along with it.  Or is it just because I can always find their stuff on sale.
Recently I found Nike Skapris on sale for $15 less on
I have been going back and forth with trying to decide if I could run in one of those cute running skirts that I see girls in at races or just while training, they just look so damn cute!!
However, it's getting cold here and I sort of was looking for something more functional to keep me warm during my cold runs.

Enter Nike Skapris: I had recently written a post including them here.

What I can I say? I really do love them.
I ran 10 miles in them this past weekend and they were pretty comfortable.  The only time I had to really mess with them is when the drawstring came lose and I felt like my bum might fall out. But other than that they were very comfortable and the capris portion of the skapris actually felt like a compression tight. I did order a size down when it came to these tights because I read reviews that mentioned that they bunch up in the back. Ordering a size down did help with this issue. However, if you are a size small and you're sort of on the borderline of being medium, just stick with ordering a small in these babies.

So bandida blog gives Nike Skapris a good rating for this skirt. Not to mention I felt super cute running around in them. What brought it home for me in these babies?
My boyfriend was driving home from work and saw me running around the neighborhood in my new skapris.  He yelled,  "Hey bonita, who are you dressing up for?!!"
Yep, case in point!!

Please feel free to leave me a comment with any questions you may have or share your experience with this product!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

From across the pond

From Danielle via London.

Nothing like waking up on a Sunday morning to a photo of an original Banksy piece!

Thank you Queen D! Miss you!

London Calling

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Thank you to all who have served, currently serving and may we remember those Veterans who have given their life so that we may live ours!

Thank you to my favorite Veteran!
Mi Padre!
 Photo of my father as a young man in the Army.
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