Mmmmm…

When Mike is out of town I am such the little healthy eater. Here is one of my usual dinners: a big salad with avocado and a glass of red wine. See, I’m too lazy to even put it on a plate…I just shake it up in the tupperware with Mother’s cashew –tamari dressing, the best freakin‘ salad dressing ever. Then Mike gets back and we go out for pizza or something…oh well, at least I eat good every now and then.

I have scraped all running plans past this weekend for now. I think I have made a break through, and talked my running soul mate out of retirement. So, if he will do another marathon, all runs get planned around that. Plus, it looks like I may be doing baby/ nurse duty beginning of january, and that is more important than planning a run (remember , NOT my baby, my sister-in-law’s..don’t want to start rumors). Both those plans kinda cancel out sunmart and bandera, but I have done both before and I can always do rocky raccoon in Feb. But, I do think I get to do the Dr. Pepper 10K this year. It has been on my to do list a long time. I love small town races.

This am I had a nice run with Pancake on the hike and bike. I got a free pass to miss a Thursday 630 am meeting, so I had time to go. It sure was crowded. The training groups are out in full force. it amazed me how many other folks were out at 530 to run. Sometimes it’s nice to see all the folks starting their day the same way I do, and I feel very energized from the trail. Other times, it’s nice to go somewhere very solitary, and soak up the alone time. It’s nice that I have plenty of options for both.

It was a good week. Monday I worked, but with no one else in, it was a nice quiet, stress free day. the week flew by, and tomorrow my dept is hosting the regional trauma conference, so it’s kinda like a freebie work day. Plus, some of the speakers sound really good. My cool boss then takes us to a happy hour at the Domain. Mike sent me some really cool pics of sweden…he has such a more exciting job then I do…but I am too much of a planner to do last minute travelling like he does.

Well, gotta go. Final season episode of Lost…yes I am a geek….

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Hidden treasures and finding an old friend…

An old photo, but tonight I took my French Kitty Mt bike on an awesome spin through the Mueller grasslands. I hit the undeveloped part…it is truly a little paradise in the city. I had never really explored what sat vacant for a decade. It is definitely a bird watcher’s destination. I don’t know enough to ID much of what I saw, but they took it over! I never realized you get a great view of the city’s skyline. It was a very nice, relaxing ride, and it was a nice reintroduction to Mt biking. No hills, but lots of dirt roads, and no cars! This will be a good start to my mt biking. although next time I will not eat a really giant, rich avocado salad and glass of red wine. Major stomach cramps.

I’ve really been enjoying reading my friends’ blogs, and their friends’ blogs, and then strangers’ blogs. there are some very talented writers and photographers out there. I stumbled on this blog the other night: www.arcticglass.blogspot.com
I don’t know the person who does it, but it has amazing pictures and is very inspiring to go out and try an adventure. So, if you actually read this blog, please check out my linked blogs, and their linked blogs etc. It is a great thing to be inspired by the lives of ordinary people.

State of the union…


This weekend was Stephanie’s wedding. We had a lot of fun, and in honor of the event here is an old photo.

I do confess, it made me wonder if my little running group adventures are ending. Things change and go so fast before you know it, it is just not the same routine as always. before you know it, you realize you haven’t talked to this friend or seen that friend in ages. I hate that! I hate losing those bonds with people…so I hope the adventures continue. I hope despite the fact our lives sometimes go faster than we can all keep up with, that we don’t forget one of life’s great pleasures, of those moments spent with friends.

It was the hottest wedding I have ever been to, as the weather here has been dismal. how does 98-100 with 80% humidty sound? yesterday’s low was 80 with 80% humidty. A little depressing to think we have 5 more months of this. I find myself determined not to become addicted to air conditioning, and still go out for evening walks, and the bike rides that I decided to start, but damn, it ain’t easy. I guess it is a little eaiser to tough out the cold (and I may eat these words this winter).

Didn’t do a ton of running this weekend, with all the wedding events. That was ok, since next weekend is my last race of the “running season” (In Texas, roughly Oct-May), The Loop 30K Should be fun. I have a goal to keep up at least one good 3 hour run every 3 weeks or so this summer. so far the trail races have kept me on track, but we’ll see how it goes.

I asked myself this week…”why in the heck do I live in texas and deal with this awful weather?” The answer is my friends, my home, and a great city with tons to do. I hope that is enough this summer. I miss the outdoors in the summer, as hiking just ain’t happening. I have some plans to try yoga and maybe indoor rock climbing this summer to make up for it, but there is something to be said about outdoor adventures. But, I have always been inventive and not one to sit and gather dust, so I am looking to this summer to explore some new interests. Gonna start right now, and start reading a new book…more to come.

oh, and I almost forgot the best news of all.  I  found out I am getting  a little niece or nephew in a few months!     I can’t wait!

Weekend…

Just found out I don’t have to work Saturday and Sunday. whoo-hoo. still gotta work Monday, but I can deal. Very good news though.

Been running all week on the new Mueller trail. There was a lot more than I initially thought. From my house, I can do 3 miles, so I just turn around and do an out and back for 6 total, but no streets! What a treat. I discovered a second little lake to run around that has native water plants. Lots of water birds have reclaimed it. I read the other day that while the Mueller airport sat vacant for a decade or so, native grasses took over, and native wildlife moved back in. Makes sense…I’ve seen owls, hawks, egrets, and coyotes…..and I live in the middle of austin where things are quite developed. I was happy to see a beautiful native grasslands section of the trail done, so I hope these critters don’t leave. I doubt the coyotes will stay though.

Next weekend is the Loop 30K, so this weekend is fairly light running. It worked out well since despite the work getting called off, I still have a ton going on. Tomorrow is a wonderful greenbelt run, and I get some company for a change. Pancake is excited…

Her…

see my previous post. Here is my new running partner on the trail! Mike and I simply call her, “Her”. Isn’t she great!?!

Running from my doorstep…


This am marked a milestone. It is the first time in almost 3 years I could vary my running route from my house in the am.

You see, for many years, I only ran from my front door. It was like that when I started running, through my moves to Flagstaff, Tucson, and finally Austin. When I first moved to Austin almost 15 years ago, someone told me I would hate the hike and bike, that it was “a crowded meat market” (it kinda is if you run at 5-6pm.) well, I believed them, and for a long time, I only ran starting at my front door. This worked great as my various residences were S 5th (I’d run down Dawson, into Zilker, onto the greenbelt and then turn around and run home, or run through Barton Hills), then hyde Park (flat, but I would just zigzag around the neighborhood), North austin off Duval (a huge flat neighborhood), then Far West…the best running ‘hood I have ever had. I had well over a dozen routes, all with the possibility of hills, all beautiful with lots of deer sightings. I would run up Spicewood Springs, run Bull Creek, run Mt Bonnell, Balcones, Mesa Dr., 2222, ValBurn, Ladera Norte, Shoal creek, some of Austin’s best routes, all from my doorstep. then I moved to Metric blvd, and I had 15 + miles of single track trail across the street from me. Plus, Wells branch hike and bike, and great neighborhood full of huge oaks.

Almost 3 years ago, we bought a house in Central-northeast austin (51st and Manor). we are minutes from UT, I have a 10 minute drive to work, downtown is just a few minutes away, and Hyde park is about a 7 minute drive…….but, the running stinks. I am bordered by Airport blvd, 183, I 35, and Cameron Rd. Horrible places to run. Plus, I am TERRIFIED of the feral dogs. I am sure a lot of people arelaughing at me, but once when I called the pound to come get a stranded puppy, the dog catcher was scared the puppy’s cries would bring out the feral dog packs. One morning, I hoped in my car, and started backing out my garage only to see 2 GIANT pitbulls in my driveway. I have developed one boring loop, and the major lack of street lights, can make it a little scary before work. Not to mention the trash. Shame on all of those who feel like they can just toss their garbage into east austin. Nothing like seeing old couches and mattresses along the road while you run…

this am, I tried the new Mueller trail for the first time…ok, I ran maybe a whooping mile on the trail, but combined with cutting through the Mueller development, and a loop around Bartholomew park, I made a 6 mile run; which is about all I have time for before work. It was great looking up, and seeing the sun rise over the lake (ok, it’s man-made, but who cares!) an old air tower was left up, and it was neat to see it on the horizon. there were definitely no feral pit bulls or old couches. I cannot wait until the whole trail is done. then, I will get 5 miles of crushed granite surface, with beautiful native plants landscaping the whole thing, and sculptures by local artists. So far we have a beautiful giant spider to run under.

There is something wonderful about running from your front door, and coming home, collapsing in a heap on the floor. In this age of global warming, it sometimes seems silly to me to drive to run. Weekends are better…the lack of traffic opens some options up, but M-F I am a slave to a very limited area if I don’t want to hop in the car and drive somewhere. I never realized how good I had it living off Far west and Metric when I took in some really beautiful neighborhoods…and having walnut creek park across the street was a true gem. How many trail runners who live in an urban area have 15 miles of trail outside their door? the photo is an old one from the park across from my apt on metric. There was a nice little stretch along a creekbed.

Don’t get my wrong….I love owning a home. To do that in Austin is not an easy thing. Most folks I know can’t afford it, and have very long commutes since they can only afford to live outside of town. the trade off of getting a home in Austin was losing the possibility of a dozen or more great runs up to 20+ miles out my front door….but it looks like I am getting there again!

Wink, deadlines, and more…

Here’s a picture from Emma Long City Park from last weekend. Mike, Pancake, and I are savoring the last of non-killer heat weekends. Did a little 2.5 mile hike. Had a terrific time.

This weekend, I have a really fun event coming up. I am hosting a bachelorette party at Wink.
I am sooo excited. We are having a 7 course chef’s menu paired with a wine at each course. I’ve never done a chef’s menu, so I am pretty psyched. I will just have to resist going on line to see what they have that weekend (the menu constantly changes depending what is in season)….since they have some funky stuff I have never had like foie gras, and wild boar, but I want to do my best to try it all.

Looks like I am working everyday until June 1 to hit a deadline at work. Not a big deal, when it comes right down to it, one of the few talents I have is I can make it work, and I find a way to get it done. It’s not a surprise, so I can deal. It might take a toll on the running though…I can still run, but long runs may suffer the next couple weekends.

Not much else going on. we got hit by an insane storm last night with BASEBALL sized hail. lots of tree damage, but unlike some of our neighbors, our house seems to have survived. At least we are not in China or Myanmar. remember to count your blessings….

INK!

Had an appt today for the tattoo. NO….I did not get it today. I know this is a good artist, because first there is a pretty long consultation to go over everything I want, and no rushing into it. I had a conflict come up for the actual tattoo appt day, because it looks like I am out of town then, so I was bummed when she told me there were no openings until July 😦
At the last minute though, she found a cancellation, and now it is 3 weeks away!!! I cannot wait, been wanting to do this for years, and just realized I can afford it, and need to do something that has been in the back of my mind this long. This photo is a hint of what I have planned, although, there is going to be some major color. Whoohoo!!!

Went to a pretty cool research forum at work today, and it was really nice to hear about all the great stuff we do! I learned today we are the busiest level II trauma center in the nation. Wow! It is always nice to have a moment of pride for your work, and very motivating. No wonder it seems like we have so much work to do. It definitely helped me take some steps to feeling like more of a part of the team, so for this week, things were a little better. I hope to keep going in that direction, as it is pretty neat to be a part of something so valuable to the community and that does such an important job.

I think I am 100% recovered from Boston marathon, then the Maze less than 2 weeks later. I am pumped up for some greenbelt running this weekend, even though summer is here…..but at least we still have water in the greenbelt.

A blog about nothing…


Forgive the old running pic, I am just about out of running photos. Nothing too newsworthy to type out, but a friend recently told me any writing you do is using your brain, no matter how fluffy the writing may seem, and that is a good thing, especially when I find myself reading less and less these days. I really do try and keep my mind stimulated, and since I do not have a very intellectual job, I think this is important.

Speaking of fluff, I do want to point out my blog probably makes me seem a little one dimensional. Like all I care about is running. Well, I won’t lie, it is a big part of my life and I can claim 20 years, at least 5 days a week most those years, and the math adds up to a lot of running and more races than I can count, but I do have other interests. But, when I decided to do a blog, I really didn’t think I was up a full diary, to bore people (if anyone would really read it), with my mundane thoughts and worries…so I decided to keep it pretty light. I occasionally drift away from running, and fluff , but overall, the blog will stick to mile after mile!

A couple friends expressed interest in my idea to run the scenic road at Bastrop state park, and we talked about the weekend of May 31st, but I don’t think it will work since that is the weekend of The Loop 30K…which I might do, since that is the last race for a few months for me. If you want to run Bastrop, let me know if there is a weekend that works for you.

A friend who shall remain nameless retired from marathons recently. He just confessed to me he is coming out of retirement to try to qualify for Boston in a fall marathon….so it is on!!! Mike is helping me pick what will be a nice little long weekend, and what will be a good marathon. Alaska may not work this summer due to my dismal vacation situation, but we are thinking maybe Lake Tahoe. the course doesn’t look too hard and it is an easy flight to get there.

Otherwise, I am just riding out the week, waiting for the weekend. Plan on the 10 mile loop that is really 8 miles at the greenbelt and then the St Ed’s loop the next day. I also want to hit a state park, as the count down has begun…..maybe just a couple more weekends before it is equator in the middle of July hot….

Hope you get the reference I made in my post title..

The Maze 30K…


I didn’t get any pictures today, so here is an old picture of walnut Creek. It was a beautiful weather day, and I knew that I was still tired from a marathon 2 weeks ago, so I just sat back and enjoyed a nice long run. It was fun, I ran with a friend the whole way and never felt tired. I got home and eventually needed a crash for an hour or so, but overall, I realized how much easier trail runs are than road runs. Sooo much less painful. Not sure if I will do the whole series. It kinda dawned on me today I run out there all the time for free, so it is sorta silly to spend all the money the races will cost. they are fun, so we’ll see. I’ll at least do one more, and maybe will do the next Warda 30K run in a couple weeks, since it is for charity and under tall pines, which is my favorite type of trail in Texas.

The weekend just flew by…that is the bad thing about a race, it sorta dominates the weekend, and time flys.

I was looking at my last post and hope it doesn’t seem too negative. It’s been a very difficult last few months for me in my job, and sometimes escaping sounds really nice. I rethought everything, and I am just going to have to really dedicate my energies into making this job work. I have to, I have no other choice, and I can’t spend more time feeling so defeated, so watch out work, here I come full force ahead…

Mike and I did watch a great documentary last night. “Air Guitar Nation”. A super funny, but not a joke documentary. Highly recommended…got it on netflix