Next weekend is one of my favorite races in austin, the maze. It’s at Walnut creek park, which is my favorite place to bike and one of my favorite places to run. When I lived near it, I could combine it with neighborhood loops and easily do a 20+ miler out there. the scenery changes a lot, so it doesn’t get boring. It is not rocky at all, so raod shoes are fine, and the best part is most of it is a leash free park. Pancake has put in mile after mile out there, and she has run the last loop of this 3 loop race with me for the last 3 years. We smoked it the first year we did it, but we are both a littel slower and a littel fatter now, but it’s one I push myself on…
Had a great weekend of running this weekend. I did a route all south of the river with Steve and Stephanie yesterday, through some great south austin neighborhoods. We are so lucky here to have so many fantastic routes to run. Lots of hills. In the afternoon, we went hiking at McKinney falls. the water was low for some reason, but the wildflowers were incredible. Today I did the greenbelt with Pancake and Smella again….still tons of water and beautiful and green. Always a great start to the day.
This is Ella, aka Smella, aka Smelly. She weighs about 100lbs. We are watching her for 3 weeks and we are on week 2. She is a messy eater.
Had a nice greenbelt run with Pancake today. Mike took Smella to the dam to play and waited for us. Somehow we missed each other and I ended up doing unplanned hill of life repeats looking for them. I also had to run fast to try and make it to the dam without having them wait too long. It was good….it forced me to challenge myself. What a beautiful run…..everything is so green. I took it fairly easy this week, as starting tomorrow is marathon training time….gotta get my slow, fat butt in gear.
This week I entered the lottery for the St George marathon in early october. A good friend is doing it and suggested I sign up. Mike is eager to come, since you fly into las Vegas, and it’s “only” a marathon. Should be a good way to kick off next running season. I always think of the texas running season as October-May. I usually consider anything done in October as kinda a “kick off” to the season race. It would be nice to train for something a little shorter over the hot summer, and then in the fall switch gears to start building the miles back up. We shall see though, the St G website says they turn away 2000 runners each year, so it is not the greatest chances of getting in. I’ll find out on May 8th if I am in or not and then go from there…
Been beating myself up all week about dropping from a race. I decided to have a new perspective. does it really matter? Not really. It’s a pretty big luxury to worry about a run. Most folks are worrying about much more important things. I am a pretty badass nurse, if I don’t say so myself, and this is probably a much bigger accomplishment than any running thing I’ve ever done. I count nursing school graduation as my proudest moment, and no run really comes close. And guess what, it was a lot harder than any race. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling of accomplishment after I finish something big, but let’s not lose perspective here. Remember that to most folks there’s not much difference between 6 miles and 100 miles. It all seems utterly ridiculous to them. I’ve been fortunate to travel to some awesome places to run, and I am fortunate enough that I have no health issues preventing me from doing so. So here is a picture to put it all in perspective. This is me, karen, and Stephanie a few years ago before the Reno marathon. We went out for a girls’ trip. We went out for the marathon, didn’t train properly, and didn’t give a crap. Had a blast just being together and seeing a beautiful place (lake Tahoe, not Reno!), and didn’t think for one minute what our race time would be. I don’t even remember how long it took. it does hold the distinction as the most sore I’ve ever been after a race though…
The Maze 30K. Pancake’s favorite run. Actually it would probably be the Belt, but she has never done it. She runs the final loop of the Maze every year. It’s coming up pretty soon…so I am psyched. Doesn’t she look cute here?
In other news, my refocusing phase I am in involves coming up with a marathon training plan for Midnight Sun. I am going to revive my White Rock plan and do my midweek fast runs of 8-12 miles before work. I guess I just did a 35 mile long run…so I am pretty trained!!! The fun starts next week. the 515 start for the 8-12 takes a little motivation, but I’ve done it before. Better than when I used to have to go at 430. I am hoping this refocusing gives me a little lift.
Photo courtesy of Hill country trail runners.
Well, it turned itno a 50K day, not a 50 mile. I am a little disappointed in myself I changed races so late in the game (during the first loop). My heart just was not in it for 50 miles today. The run felt a lot like a training run, and when not training for anything big…going 50 miles is not easy. In hind sight, signing up for the 50K would have been perfect and I could have had a great day. oh well, live and learn. A lot of runners I know sign up for every race and can do long run after long run. I realized today that maybe I do better with a couple key races and not over racing. I will think about this in the future. I also know folks who do a key fall race and a key spring race. I might think about doing that, and add just a few other tune up or training races.
So, time to refocus and regroup. I am very thankful to all the volunteers today and all my friends who tried to make me feel better when I felt like maybe I hadn’t given it my all. It was a gorgeous course and gorgeous day.
Probably won’t be online for a little while….slammed at work, and a slammed weekend. I have a wedding on saturday, and then rocky hill ranch 50 on Sunday….plus of all life’s usual chores: groceries, laundry, cleaning up after the giant rottweiler we are dog sitting for 3 weeks. YIKES!!!! Up next will be a RHR 50 report. Weather is looking great. This is my last ultrarun of the year, sniff-sniff.
In other news it looks like my current employer will be taken over by the state in may or june. I will be getting cashed out for 450+ hours of vacation time. saving up all this time has been my claim to fame at work. Mike has suggested I use some of the money to fund a Western States trip. Good idea!!! I should be getting a nice little chunk of change.
Here’s a pic from Rocky raccoon this year. I was thinking at work today, how I really have 2 personalities….one for work and my real one. I think a lot of people are this way. I much more of a “hardass” at work and more anal and strict. I am probably not all that nice. I’d like to think I’m a lot nicer in my real life. A few folks at work know about my running, but most don’t, nor do they really care. Plus, if I tell them I get the reaction I’ve gotten my whole life: “You, run? really? I wouldn’t have thought so.” I’m not sure what causes this reaction. My compete lack of muscle tone? The fact I am at a happy hour when this comes up, on my 3rd beer? It’s sorta depressing, but after years of this, I have learned to live with it. I get the same reaction at RunTex when I go to buy shoes. I usually start by saying I want the same shoe I’ve been wearing, blah, blah, blah, and the sales person starts in on “We’ve got some great shoes for beginning runners.” why do they assume I just started? One time the questioned if I would even be using them for running at all. Maybe this is a hint I should pick a new sport? Knitting maybe?!?
In other news, check out my link to the Man against horse race. This was my little hometown’s ultra when I was in high school. I am impressed it’s still around and it would be a blast to do.
Mike and I were looking at pictures, and he pointed out that this is sorta a neat picture with the reflection of the clouds and what not. So, I decided to put it up. It doesn’t really have much to do with the weekend though…Had a good one despite MISERABLE weather. I’ve never seen it this cold in texas in April. Had a fun group road run on saturday. Taper weekends are sorta nice that a run does not dominate the day. Moogy and I hit the bank to finalize my term as HCTR treasurer and start his. I almost killed him with my bad driving, and we had to kill time at central market, but I did enjoy getting lots of yummy groceries. Got stuff for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and whipped up a big batch. Mike and I saw Blades of Glory later in the afternoon. Pretty silly, but fun for a cold, rainy, day. I got to have my all time favorite salad in the whole world. Saturday night, we got Smella, Mike’s cousin’s 90 pound rottweiler mix, who will be with us for 3 weeks. she is a little hyper. We slept in today, and took the dogs to town lake. Mike walked Smella, while Pancake and I did the 7 mile loop. It was great to have Pancake back running again. Next we were off the Hoover’s for brunch. Got a lot of rest for next weekend. Now, a taper week awaits. Always a little tough, but best to go into a race rested. Weather is looking beautiful for next weekend.
Here’s a picture of my second Boston marathon, taken a couple days before the run, at a Red Sox game. It was about 30 degrees, which is too cold for me to sit in a metal seat. Even though a big, crowded, marathon, I do enjoy this event. It is the only time in my life I’ve ever been treated like a celebrity. The city goes nuts for all the runners. I love the food there and walking around to all the sites. My favorite things are the old cemeteries, and the Boston museum of art…it was just incredible. I hope to make it back there someday. Everyone who qualifies should at least go once. the only thing I don’t get is why all the runners feel the need to wear little tiny running shorts, or tights out to nice restaurants. It’s bizarre. I had a similar experience at Vermont 100. Runners can wear regular clothes, can’t they? I am a bit of the anti-runner, runner. I guess that comes from years of having no friends who ran, so I had to be secretive about it, because I found it somewhat embarrassing. I am such a geek…this picture seems to support that…