Trails and pterosaurs…



First belt graduation in taekwondo .
Dogs being dogs. Pancake has entered a “I don’t want my picture taken” phase.

The week had kicked me in the butt big time. Nothing dramatically bad happened, it was just a huge rat race of just me here shuttling Jasper everywhere, with a dash of behavior jags thrown in. I fell into a heap every night, and barely managed my yoga challenge, but did it. Go me! Today is was my only outdoor run this week, and tomorrow is another treadmill day too. I needed a stress relief run. I was grouchy and doubtful I’d make good company, but I really needed to hang with friends. Weeks when it’s just me and Jasp we are so busy I feel like I lose all contact with friends. I met Steve and Meghan for 8 miles and then had about 10 on my own after they left. I love the town lake trail, but usually the group doesn’t want to do the whole trail loop. I figured it would be a good day to do it since I was going to be solo a large chunk of the run. for those who don’t know,it’s about 10 miles of mostly wooded, gravel trail, along a lake in the middle of downtown. Pretty awesome, huh.

It was wonderful. It was about 55 degrees which is perfect running weather in my book. After a quick run with friends I devoured every moment on the trail, inhaling the smell of pine with each step. The cypress trees had lost their leaves and the ground was damp making the whole run smell like Christmas trees. I watched the sun rise and loved that all the guys out fishing by the new Boardwalk had their boats decorated for Christmas. I ran into an old trail running friend and caught up a bit for a couple miles. I miss this run. I love this loop. I need to do it more. I came home a much more relaxed person.

And the I got stupid on an afternoon museum outing with Jasp. I guess I failed to eat and drink enough because I spent some time in the museum wondering how embarrassed I’d be if I passed out. Salty food and lots of water made me immediately better. There are times a person can actually have a physical need for fries….and this was one of them.

And I have a fantasy that one day Austin will have a really good natural history museum. How do we manage to have one of the largest universities in the country and tons of dinosaur and ice age mammal bones come out of this state and only have a teeny, tiny, natural history museum? I’ll take any chance I can get to see dinosaur bones and I love the Texas pterosaur, but come people we need more. The Texas Memorial does good for what it is, but it just seems like as big as UT is, it would have a huge museum.

From The UT Texas Memorial Museum website.

I guess it’s never a bad day though to manage 18 miles, a pterosaur viewing, and another batch of cookies!

Of yeah and someone already went up a belt in taekwondo! So proud of my angel!

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Yoga, Santathon, cookies, and owls…

This picture is leftover from Thanksgiving weekend and I forgot to post it then. It’s awfully cute, isn’t it?

The yoga challenge is proving to be quite a challenge. I do a short yoga video most nights, but it’s those nights I don’t that are hard to add something in. Sometimes we are just super busy other times I honestly feel too tired for even 15 minutes….but I did at least something everyday for my self inflicted challenge that no one else cares about. Yesterday was a stretch to call it yoga with just a few down dogs after my run, and every intention of adding more later, but my afternoon plans were ambushed by a 2.5 hour wait to see Santa. Otherwise, I’ve got at least 15 minutes of yoga a day with a killer class Wednesday that left me sore for two days. Wimp!

I had really nice runs this week with lots of company. I had a painfully early 4:30 am run and lucked out when my neighborhood partner actually wanted to meet the same day at 4:45. Score! Then I lucked out again yesterday in that Steve wanted a buddy so was happy to come my way. The goal was a hard 16 for a long run. Today my neighborhood partner was happy to join again so more company. DaVinci is running just a mile at a time with me still, and still manages to chase a ball for hours, but somehow doesn’t really seem that into running more than a mile. But he has started waiting by the door for me to do his mile. So I know he likes it. This week is all treadmill which won’t be bad since it’s just a week and I should still manage a nice weekend run.

And the Christmas cookie count so far is 1 batch peanut butter drops and 1 batch chocolate crinkles. Other than me, the rest of this household heavily favors chocolate, and since I am outnumbered and I really don’t want a non- chocolate batch of Christmas cookies just for me, chocolate it is.

We got our tree this weekend and had the 2.5 hour wait to see Santa. Jaspy was really, really excited to see Santa, so I endured. Note to self: next year if I do a hilly long run the morning before seeing Santa I will wear compression socks and not wear my converse….oh and bring water. My legs were toast by bedtime.

As I type this I hear a very loud owl outside. Dang, I love living in a neighborhood with trees. Life is better when you are treated to wildlife from time to time…..and when you have batches of Christmas cookies.

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Cupcakes, parades, and silly string…



Our version of pumpkin pie. Christmas parade photo similar to the one in the paper, and silly string madness.

It was a long weekend…which is wonderful and tiring. I worked a little Friday, but otherwise….nada.

Now lots of folks do the turkey trot thing, but in the last few years, I’ve grown to love a nice quiet, holiday run. I bribed Steve into meeting me a Brushy Creek, and it was heaven. It was beautiful and I did another beautiful neighborhood run on Saturday. It’s hard not to feel thanks and gratitude when you have beautiful runs in perfect weather. Friday I took an off day and slept until 6 am and drank coffee in my pajamas. Also quite lovely. I needed it too….I fell asleep at 8:30 on Thanksgiving, completely spent….I felt like a loser, but I felt rested for the first time in weeks.

Today I did 16 miles with Meghan and Steve. It was 70 and humid. That must be my threshold for feeling tired the rest of the day, because I was. But it’s done…the 20 milers are right around the corner.

And our eats…..we did Pumpkin cupcakes from scratch complete with from scratch cream cheese icing….that made double what you really needed. Having a vat of homemade cream cheese frosting in your fridge is extremely dangerous. Today I had to set it out to pasture. Those little spoonfuls here and there of icing can’t be the best idea. Just saying’. We also started Christmas cookies today. This year I am determined to have time to make plenty of them…..enough to share….and have some variety. So more to come. Another reason to get rid of a vat of cream cheese icing.

Finally….I’ve been down on Austin this year. The traffic is completely out of control and I’m over the hipsters and overly expensive restaurants. But going to the Chuy’s Christmas parade gives me hope it’s still worth living here. We’d gone before but never with Jasp. He loved it and made the paper! A photographer asked me if they could use his photo and he made it to our local paper’s online version. The parade was the highlight of our weekend. And the reason we have ozone missing above our house. The Spider-Man in the parade shot out silly string. It’s all I’ve heard about ever since. And someone had some money from grandparents, and silly string doesn’t really cost much anyways….so we purchased quite a few cans, hence they hole in the ozone.

And one last finally….I’m attempting a December yoga challenge. Just some yoga everyday. I do this most days anyway, but I figured December is a really good month to take care of my body everyday…..the extra stress plus more long runs. Usually I fail at challenges. The whole ” do something everyday” thing doesn’t work for me……usually. I’m hoping to break my streak of failure with this one. If I fail again I could always go for “eat a Christmas cookie everyday”.

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Little updates…

More little updates. Life is calming down some. Whew! I needed a couple weeks where nobody in the house had to go out of town!

This weekend I did my first run starting to enter “real” lmarathon training runs. I did 15.5 hilly miles. I was just dead afterwards. You know those runs where you wonder how you ever did 26? It was one of those. I took Jasp swimming for a little bit later in the day and then met a friend at yoga, which I would not normally do after a long run, but that was really the only day I could go. So perhaps I overdid it a bit, but I definitely feel like I’ve entered marathon training, aka always tired and hungry. 😃

The only new news is that Jasper started taekwondo. We debated doing it. He does swimming already and we’ve been rotating through the Y’s team sports to help work on interacting with peers, teamwork, etc. We’ve had a couple epic tantrums, but we’ve still tried to push doing things with a team. He really wanted to do taekwondo, and we did a trial class. Of course he loved it, and of course it’s very expensive. There’s equipment now and fees for belt graduations and mandatory memberships into the American Taekwondo Association. But, there’s also a requirement to meet behavior goals at home and at practice to move up in belts. And a behavior chart. It’s only been two weeks in taekwondo, but this was the first weekend in a couple months without a massive tantrum (or multiple tantrums) as is the case most weekends, which usually means by Sunday I’m totally fried and start the week on the brink of my own breakdown. The take home discipline chart appears to be highly motivating. If it continues to work, it’s money well spent. I’m also pretty impressed with the the program so far and how much the kids get to work on skills and how much the instructor motivates them to do what they are told. So yes, for purely selfish reasons I am digging taekwondo. It’s keeping me sane, and keeping the little Tasmanian devil calm.

And finally, some smoothie news. Now that I have a real blender, I’ve been branching out. Why did it take me so long to discover protein powder? I guess I always thought it was a waste of money and wouldn’t add much, but it makes smoothies taste like milkshakes. I have the Trader Joe’s brand. I know everyone loves Vega, but the price tag. OMG!!!! You need to take out a second mortgage to buy that stuff. I’ve never had it and you don’t miss what you never had. I’m sticking with TJs.

Ok, time to sleep. Yes, it’s only 900 but I ran extra early so I could take a little doggie to the vet for some minor surgery. Time to curl up with the little doggie and get ready for some hills in the morning.

Super, milkshakey tasting green monster. Mmmmmmmm

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Update in overly long sentences…

One of the many highlights of the last week…

The last week was a full one. The short version: I flew to Chicago and back, I got a mild stomach bug there, it put a damper on things, Jasper had another reactive airway episode, and got a real diagnosis of it, so that bought him a nebulizer, I missed more work, and I I tried desperately to catch up on work, I did a run with the marathon pace groups during our first real winter weather weekend, lots of standing around in the cold on said run meant for lots of muscle soreness, I celebrated a birthday, I requested a stress free day without me reaching my breaking point, it sorta happened. I got a Ninja ( take that vitamix!), I made my first pumpkin pie smoothie, My very kind and generous family over- gifted me with Lululemon giftcards, And I have some shopping to do. I went to a real yoga class, and despite a birthday massage, my entire body hurts from the real yoga class. I had a great birthday dinner, with salmon, an IPA and a peanut butter dessert.

And now I’ve got some soda crush to play with a little black fur ball at my feet. And then bed calls!

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It’s been a very stressful last couple of months. Mainly because at least someone in this his household has been constantly traveling. Add to it some good stress….running a marathon, getting a new dog….yes, these things are wonderful but not really relaxing. Then some bad stress, sick kid, constant appointments, trying to work….you know the old “I’m doing a lot of things but not doing any of them very well” deal, and that’s where I’ve been. This weekend the stress continues with a last minute work trip for me. In Chicago where the high is going to be in the low 30s. Ouch. The puffy jacket will come out. Actually there is no downtime on this trip, so I really won’t even need to see the outdoors, but I plan to run. Last time I had this same conference I was able to run the lake path. Hotel treadmill is a back up….it’s not like I’m not used to it. :)

DaVinci is settling in really well. We had a few marking territory incidents I was not happy about, but once he seemed less nervous that stopped. His running is not going well though, but it’s ok. He seems utterly uninterested in going on a run, but will chase a ball for hours. So that may be his gig. He sleeps on the bed which is something Cake never has done. It’s nice to have a doggie at your feet all night. I’ve caught him and Cake playing a few times too, which is the biggest relief that their temperaments do indeed mesh, and there is no aggression. He’s really good with Jasper too, where as being an older dog, Cake always just tolerated him, but was never that interested in him. It’s nice he has a dog buddy now.

I’m staring to plan for Austin marathon! I got invited back for the pace team, which is a huge honor I really enjoy. We are about 13-14 week out, so I’m back to some mid range runs. I will always run Austin as long I’m capable. It’s just so cool to have a home town marathon. This will be my 14th Austin this year. I missed two years….one was early one before I realized I’d have a streak and I took off the year I got married and graduated nursing school the same winter as the marathon…and then the year I had Jasper I was on bed rest for post partum hypertension, but I probably couldn’t have managed even walking it if I had been allowed. I was a mess. I give myself a pass for that year and the year I missed for trivial things like graduating and marriage ( I kid), I still did the half, so I’m calling it a streak!

Well….I’ve got a super early wake up tomorrow and I’ve spent two days with a feverish child glued to me starting at 4am…so yes, I am tired. Time to dream of puffy jackets…….

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New family member…


Meet DaVinci. We’ve known for a few months that he was coming at the end of October. He was my parents’ dog and they decided to simplify their life a bit and down size their dog pack. DaVinci was really good with Jasper when we met him back in June. So here he is. It’s a little adjustment, but so far, it’s going pretty good. Our biggest concern was Pancake, who’s been an only dog her whole life. DaVinci is a very gentle male dog, so we thought it could work (apparently two females can cause fighting for who gets to be the alpha dog). Pancake has given him some warning growls, and he responds without any aggression, so I think they’ll work out the order of things.

I am going to slowly working on converting DaVinci into a running partner. He’s at about a mile right now, so we’ve got some time ahead of us to build him up. Cake has gone down from her 6-10 mile range to 1-2 miles at age 14, so they are pretty evenly matched. But I still think a couple miles is good for a 14 year old.

So that’s the newest adventure. I know I need more stress and chaos in my life (not!)…….but hopefully in a few weeks once DaVinci gets settled in it will be pretty easy to have two dogs.

Working on gently running this week. Feeling mostly recovered from last weekend’s fun run. I am seriously craving yoga, as with Mike being out of town almost all month, and then my out of town weekend, I’ve only done home yoga for almost a month. So that’s the goal in the next couple weeks……to get back into a schedule. Then time to think about the Austin marathon….more on that later. In the meantime, I’ve got some miles with a little black fur ball.

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