Phoenix Bucket List

I love to travel! When I was younger my family took a vacation every year, allowing me to see some amazing places, like Australlia (twice), New Zealand, Alaska, Spain, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii (5 times!), Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and much more. My mom wanted my sister and I to explore the land and learn the culture. She believed that part of the adventure and beauty of a certain place lied in its way of life. Although I don’t think my mom envisioned this happening, I think the frequent vacations have led to me being somewhat of a nomad. A nomad that enjoys and embraces each cities culture, of course.

Chompie’s Ultimate Slider Challenge
In 2005 I left Long Island to spend the next 4 years in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The warmer climate and slower pace seemed like a nice change from fast-paced New York. I never really came home once I left, spending only one summer outside of North Carolina – in Orange Beach, Alabama. After a great 4 years at Wake Forest University I decided to head out west to Tempe, Arizona. So far I’ve been enjoying the lifestyle out west – people seem to be more health concious, less stressed, have simpler -less complicated- lives, better weather, and ‘greener’ cities. However, I have yet to spend a summer in the desert heat and I honestly probably never will. This summer I plan to get in my first stint of altitude training in the beautiful mountain town of Flagstaff, Arizona. After that, who knows where I will end up. I am not sure when, but at some point I’m going to pack the few belongings that fit into my Mitsubishi Eclipse and drive off to my new adventure. So, I’ve decided to make a list of things I want to do in the Phoenix area before it’s too late.

1. Meet Larry Fitzgerald, my favorite NFL player.
2. Hike Camelback (all of it – last time I tried my dog got so tired I had to carry him back to the car).
3. Run/start/watch the Rock ‘N’ Roll Arizona Marathon & Half Marathon.
4. Run/hike all the way up to Dobbins Lookout, an elevation of 2,330 ft.
5. Attempt the Ultimate Slider Challenge at Chompies – 12 New York-style sliders, each loaded with lean brisket, mini potato pancakes, and Jack cheese, plus a side of brown gravy and a mountain of fried onion strings. This dish weighs a total of 5 pounds! It sounds sick, but I actually think I can do this – after a long run I could eat carbs all day long! Thankfully, for running, I don’t do that – not anymore at least.
6. Dine at Pizzeria Bianco, rated the “best pizza in America”.

On a side note (although it’s not just a side note in my head), my next race is in less than a week! Erin Donohue (a 2008 Olympian) and Desiree Davila (who beat me at Club XC and has the fastest marathon time for an American this year) will be in the race too! My goal is to hang with them as long as I possibly can. More to come on the race soon!

“There is one big push waiting inside you. Just keep going, keep walking” – Haile Gebrselassie (

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