Here are Ella and Pancake practicing their running.
Tonight after work I went for a couple miles to practice my marathon pace. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not calling it a slow pace, it is just not my usual pace. I figure the only one most of us runners are really running against are ourselves, unless you are one of the few elites, so what does it matter what your pace is…you know when you are challenging yourself. But the 5 hour marathon pace, is a little slower than what I typically run comfortably. I want to get a few practice miles in before the REAL practice run this weekend with runners who are really aiming for the 5 hour marathon goal. Last year the 5 hour pace group won the best pacer award, and I would love to help repeat the title, so I intend to find the pace and nail it. Pancake assisted me this evening. I think I got it…I found a groove which got my just barely under 11 minutes a mile. I have to average 11:27 a mile for the marathon and I figure with walking through the water stops that should do it (I hope!) I am definitely a little nervous for this weekend.
I posted this picture because I think these are the conditions I would have liked to run in…it was freakishly hot and humid yesterday. Mark and Meghan met me for a tough run. We started with Stratford….I haven’t run it in awhile and I think I forgot how hard it is. We went into the traditional Scenic route, and I was feeling pretty good. We had fun chatting and things were flying by, but at 72 degrees and 90% humidity, we were all sucking down the water. On water stop # 2 at UT, I started feeling the fact I was not acclimated to the high humidity, and the rest of the group was feeling the same way. I think we were definitely feeding feelings of fatigue off each other. We got back to the Rock, and Mark called it day, having another long run scheduled the next day. Meghan and I still had 7 more miles to hit 20. We did the town lake loop, and had to really dig deep. I am glad she was with me, because it would have been a tough day solo. While it was not near as hot as summer, and sudden blast of heat like this just wasn’t something we were used to. We sucked it up, finished and were super happy our long run was done on a Friday, and we finished a hard one when we didn’t want to keep going. My clothes were so sweaty, they weighed about 10 pounds. Today another cold front moves in making the temps more seasonal, and I think I am looking forward to it! Today we did 10 miles, which wasn’t quite as bad as yesterday but was for sure another sweatfest. Thanks Mark and Meghan for helping through a tough weekend!
I wish Christmas was on Thursday every year. 4 day weekends are heaven!
Ok, nothing but free time today….can you tell? I love my new camera, and it takes great photos, but I realized the background I had was so busy, it obscured the photos. So, if I really want the photos to be the stars, I need to keep the simple background…so here it is….I think the photos really stand out now.
Hope everyone is having a good holiday. Mike and I decided to forgo gifts this year, and instead replaced our stolen camera. Got to test out the newer model today (Nikon D60) at McKinney Falls. Things were pretty gray, but I managed to find a little color. A giftless Christmas was actually really nice. We got to focus on other things.
Lots of running and yoga planned this weekend. The best Christmas gift I got was this long weekend at home. It is such a treat to have some down time with no races and no trips anywhere. I hope everyone is enjoying their time off as much as I am…
Ok, maybe not this cold, but we’ve had some days in the 30s here lately. I believe today was the first day to dip into the 20s. This summer was so long, and so brutal, I decided I would learn to embrace winter this year. I historically have not done well in the cold. This year I decided to make things a little more bearable, I would pile on the layers. In the past I tried to wear the least amount of layers for the conditions…like most runners. This year, I am piling on the layers and not worrying about looking silly. Once I get out the door in the morning (the biggest challenge), it has actually been kinda nice. This morning was a balmy 28 degrees, and I got my usual morning treat of seeing the egrets and herons at Lake Mueller. They just don’t seem like they should be in the middle of the city, but they seem to like Lake Mueller. When it is cold, there is steam coming off the lake and no one in Austin seems to be out at 530am. Anyhow, I hope I can keep up my improved attitude towards the cold mornings. It is nice to come into work knowing the run is done!
I have a new job…just for a day. I am one of the Austin marathon pacers for the 5 hour group. It should be a blast. I went tonight and got my (free!) Nikes to run in, and got a big order taken for all kinds of clothing. The folks in charge of the pacer groups were really nice….it should be a great experience to help folks finish their first marathon or achieve a goal.
Got the second (and last…don’t worry!) tattoo cover up started. It will be a 2 session deal, so every uncolored spot on my very sore arm, will be colored in another 3 weeks or so. You can kinda see the faded old tattoo peaking out. It was about 4 hours yesterday and I hit my limit!
I spent the week in recovery mode. I started feeling like I was getting another asthma bout again, and went into recovery overdrive. Monday night I did yoga after the weekend’s hard races and it was a great recovery. The class had a good holiday theme and was all about learning to free yourself from “want”. It was not only about freeing yourself from material want, but also learning not to want people to change, being content where you are, not “wanting” for more at work, not being upset when you can’t do all the yoga poses (which is always the case with me)…anyhow, a great message, and one to translate to running. Be happy where you are in your running. Just be content you are out there. Meghan said it well at Sunmart: You can’t really complain when you are out running on a beautiful day in a beautiful place. I agree. In all the stress that most of our lives are, it is nice to have a hobby that allows for occasional moments of bliss.
Along that note, another cool zen-like phenomena happens with our dogs. Dogs are content just being dogs. They never really want more than to just be a dog. Meredith had to put her best friend down this week and Mike now has PTSD after coming upon our neighbor’s border collie right after a hit and run. He took her to the vet, but it was too late she died in his car on the way there. So, all this dog sadness this week, led me to sleep in yesterday , and instead take Pancake for a nice sunset Mueller run. It was nice to watch her just “be”, with the pink clouds in the distance, and as it got dark we ran by a beautiful huge live oak, completely engulfed in Christmas lights. I never run in the evenings, so it was a nice change, although I learned just because it is 60 degrees when you start, doesn’t mean it will be 60 degrees when you finish. I was cold!
I will add some pictures as soon as Stephanie emails me some (hint-hint, Steph).