Back to reality…

Not the best shot, but it does showcase Pancake’s amazing athleticism. Now that Boston is over, and Monday looms, time to get back to normal…sigh….life. Always a little sad. It was a nice recovery weekend. Did a Hyde Park run on saturday…no trail due to very heavy rains. I took pancake, and we ran all over Hyde Park, to UT and back for about 7 miles, with NO hills. Very nice recovery. Today joined the group for the 7 mile town lake and got utterly drenched. It was raining so hard, it was hard to see in front of me. Next weekend is the Maze 30K, which I didn’t even realize until a few days ago, so despite tempatations to run more, I forced myself to be good and try to recover. today we saw a really good movie, called The Visitor, which I highly recommend. Mike made it home from Tokyo, on friday night, so we got to spend the weekend together.

Nothing too exciting on the horizon. Not sure if I will do the whole trail series this year or not. so far I have only signed up for the maze. I also am not sure of my summer running plans, I would like to do at least a fall marathon or 50K, but not really sure what will pan out. It is fun to check out all the different races online. All I know is, I have to at least take 1 long weekend away this summer, May-October is just too long to endure the humidity without a break. A short term summer goal I have to is run the scenic drive from Bastrop to Buescher state parks. I’ve wanted to do this forever, and Mike said he would help me (kinda need someone to meet you at the other park). That being said, if anyone wants to run the full 24 miles with me, I would love the company. It is super hilly and just beautiful. It is a road run though, but lots of shade and pine needles underfoot. I have biked it before, and always have wanted to run it.

My big news is I have an appt to get new ink! Well, not entirely new. I am getting a cover up tattoo of an old one, something I have been wanting to do for years. I finally met with an artist I really liked, and I am super excited. Only bad thing is she did not have an opening for 2 months! I suppose it says a lot she is so popular, but I can hardly wait. I have planned something out with her, but I am remaining silent until I have a picture to post of the real thing.


I freaking love Boston…

finally some time to sit down and write. Boston was awesome as it always is. We had perfect weather. I was worried it would be too cold, but it was just right. The first thing I did there was go watch the Olympic trials. It was so awesome. The course was set where we got to see the runners several times. It was inspiring, and definitely made me want to be faster! The crowd was incredible too. Not as good as the marathon’s…but so many folks out to support these ladies, most of whom have kids and full time jobs, and are just hard workers and very fast.

Next, I wandered town a bit with Steve, and had fresh scallops for lunch. Steve let me crash his room for a nap (my hotel was a little far from marathon central). we read the marathon program together and laughed at Mike Huckabee’s story, until we realized he runs the same pace we do. The shirts in the packets this year, were the best shirts ever, so another bonus. We then headed out to meet Stephanie, Bill, and his fam for Italian food. I got my favorite Boston treat…a cannoli.
Isn’t it beautiful? Got a good night’s sleep, and then marathon morning arrived. The start got bumped up to 1000 for wave one and 1030 for wave 2(me). soooo much better than noon. the wait in Athlete’s village flew by and steve and I sat on the uninflated floaties stephanie bought us, and wrapped in blankies. Stephanie was kind enough to start with me in slow wave 2. We were off before we knew it, and the usual Boston fun started. Wall to wall fans cheering for us! Things were fantastic for me until Wellsley. After the way cool “scream tunnel”, I was feeling my legs and hips. I shouldn’t feel them at mile 13. Trying to keep a pace stephanie could live with was a little out of my comfort zone. I encouraged Stephanie to go ahead, and slowed a bit, within a couple miles things were good again. This run’s special because it is the only marathon you will ever do that is so celebrated. a whole city cheering you on, restaurants on the course selling marathon seating for big bucks, and college kids wanting to high me with my slow ass pace, how can you beat that! The last few miles are the best. This year I tried to focus only on the fun, and not my painful hips and feet. I don’t know if I’ll make it here again, and being part of such a world famous sporting event is something to be savored. Crossed the finish line just under 4 hours and I was fine with that. I didn’t exactly train for this.

I hope I can make it here again. I wish Mike could have come. I love running this race, and cannot describe how cool it is to feel like a pro athlete for just a couple hours. I agree with Steve that have so many people tell you “Congratulations!” the rest of the day is a neat thing. They really take care of the runners there. Had a great celebratory dinner with Stephanie’s new inlaws…they were nice enough to invite me. more fresh scallops!

spent the next day walking around the North End, and seeing a very cool IMAX movie at the aquarium. I went to the aquarium with about 75% of the marathon runners, so it was a little too crowded to be fun, but trekking around town was fun. This was my favorite shot I took:

Now that I am home, I am already thinking about how I can qualify again. It is not easy for me…..time to pick up the pace!


More great spring days…

The last weekend of Boston training is over. Saturday I had a spectacular greenbelt run with Pancake. It poured one day this week, and it never got super hot, so it was greener than normal. It was really stunning. The wildflowers are out, and it was one of those rare runs that ends and I actually want to go further. I hadn’t brought water or gels, so that was a deterent to run further. Today I did an 8 mile road run. Once again, a beautiful morning. I later walked Pancake to “Lake Mueller”…the beginnings of the hike and bike park in the Mueller airport development near us. it is still rough, but there is potential. Pancake played in the big fake waterfall, and we watched the MS150 bike race going by.

I considered not going to Boston, since Mike cannot go, but I decided I would probably regret it if I didn’t go, so I am still in. The weather report is out for race day, and it is colder than I would like (50s), which means most runners will be very happy! (I am a much bigger wimp than most runners). I guess that’s what warm clothes are for. I have completely overextended myself this week…as I always seem to do when I am going out of town. I’ve committed to working late, going to a concert (maybe), plus my usual packing stress and insistance I do a full cleaning of my house before I go out of town. I realize all of this is my own self inflicted neurosis…..but I just cannot seem to help it.

So, I don’t know if I’ll be back on the blog this week, but I’ll take some pics in Boston (probably mostly of food….) Bring on the real Italian food….


I am not good at training…

Here are a couple more old pics of Boston Common…I think it is the oldest park in the country.  Well, I leave in a week.  In a twist of events, Mike cannot go with me, so I have some solo time in Boston.  I plan on going to the aquarium, and maybe a museum.  I am not sure…but there is no lack of things to do.

I am also done with my training..if you can call it that.  In the past, when prepping for a marathon, I would start about 16 weeks out, and run a long run every weekend, and a mid week, mid-distance run of 8-12 miles.  I would peak at a 22 mile run, all long runs done as quickly as my body would allow.  I sore after Bandera, that I would do this formula again, but instead I ended up running a marathon and 2 50Ks, all rather slowly.  In the last month, I’ve tried to focus on quick mid distance runs to hopefully make this Boston under 4 hours.  But, I really did every thing I shouldn’t….ran lots of long runs.  I swear, next year I will pick a marathon and do it right!  If I do not finish in a great time, I have no one to blame but myself.   Steve and I plan to go watch the Olympic Trials the day before, and I cannot imagine it will be anything except extremely inspiring.  It will probably be my only chance in my life to see part of the Olympics.    The weather is looking so-so.  A little cold for  my liking, but I am sure a lot of the runners think it is perfect.
so, it should be a busy week….

Dream runs…

It was a tough week. Sometimes life throws things your way you would rather not deal with, but that are not things you can control. My solution is do the best I can to make it right and make things work. That’s all I can do…I cannot change other people.

To make up for some of my frustrations the weekend gave Austinites dream weather. 60s in the am and 80s during the day. I started saturday am with a Walnut creek run with Pancake. She got a new car harness that straps her in and secures her, and it seems to really help with her car anxiety. We had a great run. The rain had made everything technicolor green, and it was crisp and cool. We stopped at El Chilito.
We each had our own taco. Then it was off on a mission to find a dress for Stephanie’s wedding. After 6 stores, and a few moments of panic, mission accomplished. A quick stop at home, and it was off to an engagement party for Stephanie. Steve was nice enough to be my stand in date, and we enjoyed more incredible weather and good food.

This am, hit the roads at 600 for 7 miles, then the hike and bike for 7 more. I do have some “lack of road training” worries for Boston, but I cannot do much at this point (2 weeks out). I stopped at 14 to head to work and get a little jump start on the week. It was another beautiful run, at a good pace. My goal was to hit a state park today and get some hiking in, but I just had too many errands to make it happen, and I had to catch up on some sleep.

I am getting more and more psyched for Boston. It will be my last big thing until next running “season”. It will also be a much welcomed vacation. Havea good week everyone…


21 Days Until Boston…

Here are a couple pictures from my first Boston. It was so much fun. It is such a great city. The tombstone is from one of the many graveyards in the middle of the city. Check out the date….1690. That just floored me…it is very surreal for those of us who live out west to think that anything in a city can be that old.

Yesterday’s run turned out to be great….I felt like I had a hard effort on my run this am, but I was not sore. That was the goal. It felt great to run fast for a change!! I didn’t start training soon enough to really be successful at Boston (as in run another qualifier), so my goal is break 4 hours. 3:45 would be a qualifier, and as much as I would like to think I can do it, I have focused on long, slow runs for awhile now. Plus, I really think running my biggest goal race (Bandera) early on in the Texas running season, it’s made it hard to really do well this spring.

I am torn in my goals the last couple years. On one hand, I used to be pretty quick as far as a recreational runner goes. But, I ran all the 10Ks- to half marathons I could, and ran with a group of mostly guys (and Stephanie) much faster than me. And it all went to my one big marathon of the year…sometimes 2, but not more than that. Fast foward a couple years, and the minute I decided to run Sunmart I had a dramatic slowdown. I think I need those shorter races to keep me on my toes. However, I love the huge feeling of accomplishment of finishing a big distance. what a high.

This running season I told myself no super long runs…50K at the longest….and not too many of them! really good runners just train for a peak for a couple races. I try to do a ton…like my friend Kathleen (check out her cool blog).

So what do I end up doing? Bandera 100K, 3 50Ks, and a marathon. Not the best way to focus. I really admire folks who can pick their key race and really focus on it. But, I love a race weekend. I love seeing my running friends, and the great feeling of crossing a finish line. So, I just keep signing up for stuff.

I have been thinking on my runs lately, that maybe next year I really will just focus on a couple races. Can I do it? I definitely think I will see better results. But then again, does it really matter? Isn’t this just a hobby? And hobbies are supposed to be fun. Ahhhh!!! What if I put this much thought and goal making into my job? Wouldn’t I be a little kick ass trauma nurse registrar then? But I digress…

Anyhow, I am looking forward to my Boston trip. The time away from work will stress me out, but oh well. The food and sightseeing will be a blast.

To switch gears…I have not been making many full recipes lately to post. Just lots of tofu stirfrys with whatever veggies are fresh, and lots of salads full of avacado. Whole Foods just rocks…yeah it’s expensive, but the veggies are so, so yummy. Made banana bread tonight, and realized it will be on my next ultra menu for sure. What an easy to eat, perfect mid race food.

My latest recommendations if anyone even cares: 2 great documentaries: Girls Rock!
and The Unforseen.
Thanks Moogy, for Girls Rock. What an awesome documentary. Highly recommended. And, everyone in Austin should go see the Unforseen. It really made me think about the city I live in.

New favorite tunes at work has been Jens Lekman.
These are the most creative, funny lyrics. “Night Falls Over Kortedala” keeps me going during my 10 hours of sitting on my butt at work. Very cool stuff.