Nothing like a Texas Summer…



Today’s run was much better than yesterday’s. While still quite muggy, the horrible humidity induced headache was gone, and Mark, Pancake and I zipped through a wonderful greenbelt loop, where things were quite green, and there was actually water. Pancake did a wonderful sea-serpent like swim at the end of the run, that inspired Mark and I to at least get wet up to mid-calf level. We discussed our mutual summer running plans, and the fact that you really must change things up to survive here in the humid south.

This summer I plan to desperately try to maintain a 20 mile base, at least every 3-4 weekends, but doing a lot more mid distance runs to keep up my mileage without depleting my body of every water molecule I have while trying to run 20+ miles in 95% humidity. First part of the plan is to try a mid week longer run of 8-10 miles. Easier said than done, but Mark has signed on to do a few with me, and it is always easier to get up early knowing someone is waiting on you. I’ll see how long I can keep it up. It is a little ambitious, but I gotta do something to avoid becoming a sloth with minimal races on the horizon, it is very easy to go down on mileage.

Anyhow, gotta run, I made a last minute decision to go to yoga today, so I should be good and sore by tomorrow am.

Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t…



Today was the Fredericksburg Wildflower 10K. I won’t go into huge details about a 10K run, other than to say, it was one of those days I thought “How have I run 26 miles, 36 miles, and even 56 miles, when today I can barely handle 6 miles!?!” Yup, for no good reason, at 2 miles my head was pounding, and I was thinking of the finish line. Oh well, some days you just don’t have it. I am hoping tomorrow’s greenbelt run is better. This is also the first weekend in about 2 months without 20 mile or 4 hour run….I know it’s good for me, but sometimes I really need to burn up that extra energy!

Anyhow, the run was really just an excuse to go to Fredericksburg with Steve and Stephanie, and see some wildflowers, eat some good food and hit a winery. My boss lives there and commutes, so I had her recommend her faves for goodies. She referred me to Rather Sweet bakery, for which all I can really say is , you must go there. Incredible stuff. We also had breakfast tacos at a little place that makes the tortillas fresh as you order them, and once again, incredibly yummy. It was fun to see Mark and family too , even though he finished about 10 whole minutes before I did! We ended at one of the wineries. I wasn’t quite feeling in the tasting mood, so I just bought a bottle to try at home later.

All in all, a fun little Saturday road trip, despite the fact I could barely run 6 miles.

Introspective post…


I have found myself with some free time in the evenings. Not a lot, but I seem to implode if I am not doing something all the time. I had the idea to get some modeling clay, and every night I make a different critter. So far I’ve done a spiny starfish, a narwhale, a squid, and this…the flying spaghetti monster. Yes, it might seem crazy, but little things like this keep me occupied.

Anyhow, I never really wanted my blog to be a diary. Everything’s cool…just trying to be a better, nicer person and not such a brat.

That’s about the best I can manage….

Ultra weekend…

Today was the make up run for yesterday’s canceled 50K. After we got back from a VERY wet, muddy and thundering race site, Meghan and I went for a run. We hoped to do 10 miles, but the weather was still pretty sucky here in Austin. We also had all woken up at 330 am for a 600am race start, so at this point we’d had about 3 hours drive time and no race, so we were pretty cranky too. We made about 7.5 miles, before the rain just got awful, and then I went home, threw on dry clothes and went to a really butt kicking yoga class. I tried to be positive all day, and pulled out my old Advanced Marathoning training plan book and started thinking of what it would take to get my slow butt qualified for Boston.

Today was a 20 miler on the hike and bike. I was excited because I really needed some exhausting miles to put my adrenaline into, and I love running an entire run on the town lake trail. I especially like it on hot days because there are plenty of water stops along the way, and I have much less likelihood of getting dehydrated and spending the rest of the day with a headache. Well, the day was gorgeous, and we had a fantastic run. I woke up super sore from yoga, which I normally would not do the day before a long run, but I really needed to feel like I had burned up some energy this weekend. We ran the Dam loop, past the dam on the eastside trail I had never been on. It was lush, green, and completely empty. Heaven! Meghan lives in a condo on town lake so we had a built in refueling stop for goodies. We finished 13, and stopped at our cars for Dr. Pepper, and my usual bathroom stop for Steve and Meghan to complain about. Another 7 miles flew by, and my body was hating me for the yoga class, but loving me for finally getting some of the bummed feelings from missing yesterday’s race out. We ran a good 8:44/ mile pace the whole way, which is pretty decent for a warm day.

Rocky Hill Ranch isn’t a huge production of a race like Sunmart, so it wasn’t that, it was really about time with friends, and the process of going through something together. Today was a nice make up for missing it. We still need to get Steve in a 50K. There is talk of a travel race way down the road and there is a make up “fun run” for RHR on June 6, but we all agreed to mixed feelings about that. June is pretty hot for 30 miles and none of us want a sufferfest. So time will tell.

At any rate, we committed to a summer of pushing each other through regular 20 milers, and right now, I am happy with that. We can see what future plans bring, but for now I’ll take my friends giving me shit for 20 miles , and me giving it right back….part of being in the sisterhood is learning how to dish it out and learning how to take it.

Boo-hiss….

I should be out in the pines about 10-15 miles into a 50K right now. But, we were rained out. A little rain never deters most runners, but this was pretty extreme with big lightning, and it’s
not safe or reasonable to ask the volunteers to deal with that. First I am going to rant: we trained hard, and I am stressing the WE part. Steve, Meghan and I spent at least 4 hours a Saturday for the last 6 weeks or so training. Steve is not a trail runner, and I was really excited I got him to come along for the ride. I know he was both excited and nervous to try a 50K. I also hate to “waste” the training. It is difficult to explain getting to what is a peak fitness, and then letting go. A lot of runners get a little post race depression. When you put a lot of time and energy into anything, and then it is over, there is a little sense of “What’s next?” Plus, I spent all week building up my freakin‘ manic tendencies with no race to channel them into (see…being crazy is ok, so long as you admit you are crazy!). We all had a big pre race dinner together last night that I cooked for, so we had turned a small, little local race into a bit of an event for ourselves. Finally, I don’t know when I’ll get to do an ultra run again for quite a while. I have a lot of family obligations coming up, and while I am NOT complaining about these, it does mean no travel runs. I already wrote off the summer trail series second to cost. Sunmart is a great thing to train for all summer, but it no longer exists…so yeah, unless I make my own (which I could), no ultra runs.

Ok, now to be positive. You cannot control the weather. It’s never good to get upset about things out of your control. In the big picture this isn’t a huge deal. Not running because of injury would be MUCH worse. I didn’t book a plane ticket (like the Western States runners did last year when it got canceled). I didn’t train for 6 months. I’ve done some pretty neat things in my lifetime, and this wasn’t going to be the be all end all. Plus, I do have the Anchorage Marathon in August…which…drumroll….I am going to try and eek a Boston qualifier out of. So I cannot completely sit on my ass all summer.

Sooooo, I am going to try and suck it up. It’s hard for me to explain why this race was something I was looking so forward to, and why it more important to me than your average little local run, but it is not meant to be. Time to be positive…..

A couple more photos…



Here are a couple more old photos. Both of these are from Montana. The goat isn’t really that great of a picture, but it is always very cool to capture a critter up close. The mountain stream is a favorite, because I am always amazed at the crystal clear water, that almost looks bright blue…our creeks here can be a little murky….Of note, blogger seems to alter the color in my photos, and they never seem quite as bright once I download them.

It was a true taper weekend, which is a love/ hate for me. It is nice to have the extra time on the weekend, and not worry about running for 4 hours on Saturday, but a part of me does miss that long adventure. I also tried to make this weekend one of those “getting things done” weekends since the next 2 will be packed with activity. I did try my first more advanced “vinyasa” yoga class on Thursday, and I am still sore, but it was an incredible workout I will definitely do again. And thanks to Mark for coming to my ‘hood this am for a rainy but fun Mueller loop.

So we are all set for Rocky Hill Ranch. Steve, Meghan and I are all quite excited. I am just looking forward to a fun run, knowing it will be the last trail race for awhile. Time to rest up this week!

It’s back…May 16th

The Sweaty 20 in the Pines, aka 20 miles of incredibly hilly and scenic road running in Bastrop State park is set for May 16th. Not sure of a start time yet, but it will be pretty early to beat park traffic. This was so much fun last year. It is a gorgeous, fairly shaded challenging run. Please let me know if you are coming. I’d like to have some kind of finisher’s goodie this year. Last year I said that too, and never got organized, and Mark came through with finisher’s certificates. It is an out and back, so if you do not want to run the full 20, just turn around sooner. You cannot get lost. Of course this is all weather permitting. If it is a really rainy day, we’ll postpone, since this is supposed to be a fun run there is no point in slogging out tough weather. there is some talk of adding some trail miles, or a entirely separate trail run on a later date, so keep that in mind…

Let me know if I can look forward to seeing you!



On weekends I do not get out and take new photos, I will likely be recycling photos I like from my ever growing library of photos. These are not related at all, but both lucky shots. The seal photo has the mom seal glaring at the seagull, while the little baby seal is creeping up the rock in the background. The dragonfly was a sit and wait shot, while I waited for him to stop flying long enough to focus. I really don’t know what I am doing when it comes to setting up shots, but I love it when I get a critter to stop for a second. There were a couple times I wished I had the camera this weekend: I came face to face with an armadillo on the greenbelt. Now, we see them all the time here in Texas, but I was so close to this one it would have been a close up shot. Today at Mueller, I saw the most beautiful black oriole with just a hint of bright red. He was balancing on a bunch of reeds.

Anyhow, I think this weekend marked my last weekend of company for trail long runs. Steve, Meghan and I completed our last long run for Rocky Hill Ranch. Time flys on the greenbelt when I have company. The loops go by go quickly. I really love running out there, and will likely be out there a lot this summer….the company was good while it lasted.

Today, I met Mark at 545 for 6 or so miles at Walnut creek. It is always so much fun to do an entire trail run with just a headlamp. I would never do this alone, so the company was very welcome. The sun was just starting to come up as we finished, and a massive wind blast came through, making the rest of the day blustery to say the least. I went home and passed out for about 30 minutes and then ran a couple more with Mike at Mueller. The wind was unreal, and my little nap between runs made me pretty stiff. Pancake went to both runs and seemed unfazed by the wind, and the fact that she had about 3 weekends worth of foul creek stink on her. After her bath, she slept the rest of the day.

It was one of those uneventful weekend, with a lot of chores. Not bad, just not exciting. As usual I end my weekend super sore….(damn yoga DVD!), and with Thai food so spicy, my lips are still tingling an hour and a half later.

Have a great week everyone…..enjoy the springtime, get out, and remember that summer is just around the corner. Enjoy it while you can.

Here we are…

It’s Friday night. I turned down a work happy hour,
went home, grabbed my dog and went to a taco stand and had fish tacos and a beer. Yeah, I probably need meds..

Here we are on our trail run. Extra credit if you can guess who is Wesley, Meghan, Steve and me.

I took this photo a couple summers ago. These little guys are quite the trail running inspiration.