Things to be thankful for…

Isn’t this an incredible picture? A 20×30 of it framed now graces my wall. what an awesome birthday gift! it is from Zion. Visiting Zion was one of the highlights of my year. As the year draws to a close, it is easy to remember things to be thankful for. I am still convinced travel is the best thing to spend money on. I’ve never gone somewhere and had a bad time. It is always an adventure.

It has been a low key Thanksgiving weekend. ran the fort worth turkey trot on thanksgiving day. Not my best 10K, but I was happy to go under 8 minute miles the whole way. It was sooooo cold. In the 30s. The day before we were 89 degrees here in austin! I am back home now, and it is pouring rain and cold. I am glad I did not plan a big run for the weekend. Looks like I’ll be going to the movies a lot this weekend. Up next weekend: The Double Decker.


Warda 50K run…a great birthday celebration…

Had a blast yesterday at the Warda 50K. It didn’t start until 900, so it was nice not to get up at 4am for a change. This was a good thing, since the night before I went out with friends had a couple glasses of wine…pasta with chunks of heartburn inducing garlic in it, and I didn’t even start getting my race stuff together until 1030. I barely fell asleep and Mike came in and woke me up at midnight and more insomnia followed. Not a good pre-race prep, when I was already feeling tired from a busy week. Woke up and met Meredith and Pete at 630 for the drive out to Warda. Got there with plenty of time, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the setting was…lots of pines, longhorns, and packet pick up at the ranch house (complete with a litter of lab puppies). We were off at 900, and I decided to do my best to make it a good day. After loop 1, I mentally divided the course into 3 sections: the pines, the field, and the hills and bridges. First part was a little rocky and rooty through a gorgeous tall pine forest. After an aid station, we had a trip around a big field, and then back into the pines, but this time with lots of hills and some truly crazy bridges. It was like a roller coaster ride. Had to do this loop 4 times.

Loops 1 and 2 flew by. I threw on the ipod for loop 3 and stubbed my right big toe twice, which always gets me. My feet hurt and I kinda worried..how on earth could I run Bandera if 20 miles into a trail run I was having issues. I started loop 4 and really felt fine. I think the loop aspect of the course had just played tricks with my mind on loop 3. I had a feeling I was the lead woman..which in a race this small isn’t really that impressive, but I did think, it would be fun to bring home a winner’s trophy on my birthday. I knew to do that I couldn’t wimp out and walk at all on loop 4. Just keep moving! I did just that and toward the end I saw Mariella, a runner from Houston who always runs very strong. I thought I had to pick it up if I wanted to stay in front and managed to finish strong. This was really a big training run, but it was neat to win a race on my birthday! I had a huge PR, and most of us agreed the course had to be short. Meredith wanted to call it 28 miles, but Pete and I are sticking with 30! Got another wood plaque to take home. Had a quick change of clothes and puppy petting session and headed home.

Got home and felt like garbage, so I worried more about Bandera. I need to go double this distance and I need to feel like 50K is not so taxing. I think it was really a lack of refueling after the run, because once Mike and I got some food I felt much better. I had the BEST CARROT CAKE EVER. Mike got me a whole cake from Upper Crust. No nuts, no raisins, just lots of moist carrot cake and fresh cream cheese icing. I got a terrific gift. A beautiful framed photo from our Zion trip.

I’ve definitely got some things to work on for bandera if I am going to finish. My feet just cannot hurt as much as they did yesterday. I am hoping my new Hardrocks will fix that problem. I ran this am (it was not fun), but it forced me out on tired legs and I thought some things through. I really didn’t walk at all yesterday except up a couple hills and walking out aid stations. I will be walking more at Bandera and that will help. I also have a couple more long runs and I hope that toughens me up a little. I really wasn’t too sore this am, which is a good sign. Just very stiff. Overall, a race was a great way to spend my birthday. It’s hard not to appreciate another year when you are out there running and going through ups and downs. Definitely more ups though!


I love/ hate tapering…

Here is an old picture taken before my first 50K. I was doing the crane from the karate Kid. Got my first 50K in about 7 months next weekend. I can’t wait! it’s been too long since I’ve done my favorite distance. I love it because it is very doable, but you finish feeling like you really accomplished something. The training is no more than a marathon though. 50K next weekend, meant tapering this weekend. I hate going from running a 20 miler to running 7. It just doesn’t feel right. I am so used to a semi-exhausted state on weekends, where I get the wonderful feeling of having pushed myself (plus I enjoy weekend treats more…queso, pancakes, and breakfast tacos!). On the other hand, it is nice to go to dinner friday night and not think twice about the next day’s run. I went to dinner Friday and saturday, enjoyed rich food and wine and didn’t think “I hope this agrees with my stomach for 20 miles tomorrow.” Anyhow, back to the grind next weekend. Got a series of races coming up: the Warda 50K, the fort Worth turkey trot 10K, and the Double Decker 24 mile road run. I am actually really excited for the 10K, as I have not raced one in longer than I can remember. It will be a family affair with my sister in law and niece. It is a treat for me to share my hobby with family…I do not get the chance very often!

Had a nice weekend solo ( Mike is still in Germany). Teresa was nice enough to chaparone Pancake and I on the hike and bike. Pancake got her 7 miler in, so she eared her bacon and queso breakfast. Finally got to see Into the Wild last night thanks to Travis and teresa letting me be the thrid wheel. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I did enjoy the scenes on the Colorado River though, and I sure do have a burning desire to spend more time in that part of the world. today I met teresa again, and the Runtex 10 miler derailed our running plans, so we regrouped at her house and had an excellent run through south Austin. It is such a treat to see these awesome little neighborhoods in the light. I look forward to the development in my neighborhood so I can have coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants too. Got a bettysport gift card from my very cool father-in-law and his wife. They are way too generous and I had a blast spending most of it today. I’ve got to learn to buy clothes other than running clothes!


A few of my favorite things…

Not much “new” going on. A few things I love/ am thankful for:

Photos that turn out good!
Sticky toffee puddings. My favorite new dessert. The lemon pudding is HEAVEN. (they got ’em at Central Market)
Boston Common in the early am on marathon weekend, with little hints of new grass and daffodils.
The National Park webiste….I plan a lot of fantasy trips here.
Coming home from work and finding a new magazine in the mailbox…what a great way to spend the evening.
Walking Pancake after work.

Being the first one in at work, and having the whole office to myself to get things done and make fresh coffee.
Guinness on a cold night
Race weekends…got one coming up!