Looking back…

I have seen a lot of other blogs reflecting on the past year. I suppose overall I would rate 2007 as a good year. I am super fortunate to be in a position at this point in my life where I have the freedom to do a little more. I’ve advanced a little on the career ladder, and boy, does it make a difference in what you can do! Not living paycheck to paycheck is wonderful, but I do not think I will ever forget what that is like, and I ALWAYS try to do little things here and there for those who struggle. anyhow, got off topic, but here are my favorite memories of 2007:

My best run was by far the Rocky Raccoon 50 miler. I felt great the whole time and it never felt very hard. those runs are rare!!! Plus, I hit a goal, which always helps. A runner up would be Bandera, as teresa and I just had the best time, and we always seem to find ourselves in situations were we just don’t fit in, and then we have a good laugh about it.

It is hard to pick what was a more beautiful trip, Alaska, or Zion. One nice thing about Zion, was it was just Mike and I. We probably had not had a trip with just us since we first got married. It was a such a nice time and made me realize how important husband vacations are, not just trips with girlfriends.

I was happy to hit a goal right before the end of the year in getting my new job. I loved what I was doing, but it was a position with no mobility and I knew at some point I would need a challenge. I am happy I found a path to take with my new position, and I will be very challenged and my brain will definitely get some stimulation.

So, running goals for 2008 are still undecided. I still have unfinished business with the 100 miler, but I think Bandera will determine my next move on that one, so I will have to wait and see. I always have the goal to stay injury free, and keep running a big part of my life. Throughout the year, I always kept in the back of my mind the fact I am very fortunate to get to do these runs, and I always feel gratitude. I had a lot of fantastic adventures in the past year, and plan to continue the trend as long as I am able to.

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S-T-R-E-S-S

Photo courtesy of Hill Country Trail Runners, Bandera 2007

Life has been so busy with the holidays, the process of getting a new job, and out of town weekends, that I almost forgot, I have a very tough 100K run in less than a week and a half. Oh, S—!!!

It really dawned on me today. I was thinking 2 more weeks, but it’s more like 1 more. I got home late from a crazy day at work and started list making. Maybe one day, I will actually get meds for my ADD and OCD :). Thank God for holiday weekends. I feel like I have a ton to do. Plus, rest, rest, rest. right now, I feel I need major decompression before I will be ready to run.

The weather report looks abso-friggin’ -lutely perfect, so I hope it doesn’t change. High of 70, low of 45. I can deal with with that. I may not need an entire Christmas Story snow suit for the night time that way. But this is Texas, and in the next week, things could do a 180.

I have already apologized ahead of time to Mike for the upcoming week. Race prep, covering for a co-worker, trying to transition jobs, cleaning up the Christmas fall out, and oh, yeah, trying to do a couple fun things here and there. And rest, rest, rest.

Happy Holidays…

These are old photos, but they look kinda Christmas-y. Life has been crazy! On the running side of things, had a minimal running weekend last weekend, due to being out of town. I ran in Austin Saturday, only about 12, then headed out to Manfield, TX. A cold front blew in, and Sunday morning, I did a run in 25 degrees. I was well prepared with a ton of layers, and was ok, but there was actually ice to avoid slipping on.

Made it back to austin Sunday evening, and started a whirlwind week of trying to get something resembling holiday shopping done. I have never done such a bad job keeping up with cards and gifts. next year I SWEAR, I will start in November. I then got news this week that I got a new job I’ve been trying to get for the last month. I had a couple interviews and was on pins and needle for the last 3 weeks, and finally got word I got the position. It was a great Christmas present.

This weekend was the final push before bandera. I did 3 hours on the greenbelt yesterday and 1 hour at walnut creek today. The goal on the greenbelt run was to feel like I hadn’t run. Mission accomplished. The post run trip to the mall was far more exhausting. But, I’ve worn scrubs to work for the last 10 years…I don’t own a single pair of pants that are not demin, scrubs, or running tights. So, I have some major shopping to do for the new job. Thank goodness for the holiday sales. Anyhow, woke up with a very sore back this am, but I think it is from toting around a giant shopping bag on each shoulder for 3 hours yesterday. Now, the big runs are done, the shopping is done, and it is time to kick back for a couple days and eat. Lots of good holiday movies to see too….here is the one I am most excited about The Orphanage. Check it out: The Orphanage Merry Christmas!!

Christmas lights..


I was so sad last year the wonderful 37th street lights are dying off. We are trying to start our own. this isn’t as good, but it’s a start!

Done!


This weekend was my longest run for Bandera. I was very fortunate that my pleas for company were heard. I had Moogy, Joe, and Doise all lined up to join me. My run really started Friday night, as I truly prepared. I went to whole foods, and got fruit, chips, and vegan cookies for running snacks. I went to bed early, and had a cooler packed with a lot of water, gatorade and cokes. I planned on a 30 mile minimum, and the forecast was 85 and humid.

I planned 3 10 mile loops, but my new Garmin screwed that up, as my suspicions that the 10 mile loop wasn’t quite 10 miles was confirmed. there was no way I was going home without 30 even though I was drenched in sweat by mile 2. Joe, Moogy and I had an unevenful first loop. Moogy’s lingering hip pain flared on loop 2 and he made the right choice to call it a day. Luckily Doise and I connected right before I was starting my third loop, so I would have company. she knew a way to do a variation of the loop that would avoid, the very slick and gross grotto section. Doise was great company, as despite us not really knowing the way, we had a blast. My feet hurt, it was hot, I was getting hungry, but I was getting the miles done. On the whole, I guess I didn’t really feel that bad. The heat was better than cold and wet. The bad news was I still wouldn’t hit 30 miles, I would have to do a couple more on my own. I realized it was 100pm in the afternoon, and I had been out since 700 am. It was time to get this bee-atch over with. I grabbed a can of coke from my car and practiced my power walking for 2 more miles…Done!!! meredith swears the garmin loses track of miles on the switchbacks, and I hope she is right, because that means I had some bonus miles. I got home, inhaled a hamburger, took a shower and it was 400. Almost a whole day running…yikes.

I DRAGGED my ass out of bed at 430 this am to meet Steve for 7 more. Steve was a sport to put up with my moaning. But I did it….the biggest Bandera weekend done. Now, by no means, do I get to sit back and do nothing, but the longest day (7 hours and 41 minutes to be exact) is over. Whew!

This was one of those weekends where I really noticed how many great people running has put into my life….and that they are all so different from me and interesting. In hind sight, it went well, and I am feeling confident. I am sore today, but it’s a good feeling that I worked hard..not that it was too much for me to handle. I need to work on taking better care of my feet, and eat a little more during Bandera, but I am ready…..

Double dogs and Double Decker…


Our week started with sad news that Mike’s cousin, Mary, passed away after a lifelong battle with a childhood illness. She was only 37. Our thoughts all week were with Mike’s aunt and uncle and with Mary’s brother, Robert who lives in Austin. Mary led a courageous and admirable life always under extreme chronic pain. She was an inspiration to all that knew her. Robert was off for funeral arrangements, so that meant we get Ella, aka Smella, aka the Smellinator. Smells is like Frankenstein’s monster. It’s not her fault she is a gigantic, scary looking, mess making, can’t be trusted off the leash, rottweiler. She just wants to curl up in Pancake’s bed and smell the flowers.

Saturday we took the 2 dogs to the greenbelt. Pancake and I ran 7. It was great to do a Pancake run, as it had been a long time. Afterwards, the 2 dogs swam, and got good and dirty. The both were exhausted. Mission accomplished.

Today, got up at 330 to get Mike to the airport, took a little 45 minute snooze, and then got picked up for the Double Decker. now it is not that long (24.8), but I figured miles of hills under what are always tough conditions would be a good Bandera prep. Steve was gracious enough to agree to run with me. The weather looked rough: 80 and humid! we started out with a goal of 9 minute miles of loop one. I felt the need to be conservative, because if the sun came out (and it did), this was going to be one hot mutha ——. We stayed around 8:45s for loop one, and crossed the finish only to head back out with the mere 20 of us doing this silly thing. As it got hotter, the road kill started smelling a lot worse and the legs hurtin’ up those hills a lot more. There was a porta-potty at mile 1 (aka mile 13) I begged Steve to wait for me if I dashed in. Steve said he would, but, would keep walking so he wouldn’t “stove up” (I guess this is a small town Texas term, Wesley uses, as in “Keep moving and do a cool down, don’t wanna stove up”. I caught back up to Steve and found the HCTR angels at mile 2 (aka 14) with a full ultra aid station: cokes, ice, and full service! A cold coke was great, and we motored on. We decided to power walk some hills by mile 4 (aka 16). around here, Steve started to “stove up”. Miles 5-8 (aka 17-20), were marked by a lot of walking. Steve got irritated with me and begged me to forge ahead. So, I did. I felt good and went for a strong run. The sun was out and it was hot, hot, hot. Afterall, my goal today was to get my ass kicked. I had a strong finish, and waited for other friends to finish, since the finish line was sparse. Steve made it in, and we were off pretty quick. I actually got a little sunburnt on the backs of my arms. Funny, last week I ran a 10K in the low 30s. Now I have a sunburn. Only in texas. Tomorrow is supposed to be cold.

It was a nice confidence building run. I only can hope Moogy and I have as good of a weekend next weekend. To bandera I say, “bring it!”