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This is an incredible story! Please check it out. I can relate to fighting cut offs in a 100 miler. I don’t know when I’ll do another one, but I really hope I have a little more resolve now. I feel like I do, I just need a race to test it!

Yesterday was my longest run yet, and I realize I still need to do that speed work. We dropped it to 7:30 miles at many points, and those suckers are hard. They seemed effortless to Mark, but today my hamstrings are letting me know that I was pushing. I cannot believe I am starting the biggest training month. Every run in September is a biggie. Then it’s time to start winding it down a bit. Heck, I just can’t believe it is almost September. Not much longer of super hot weather.
I am about to meet Mark for the Danish run, and then actually get danishes. We meet at a bakery (hence the name), but we always finish before the bakery opens. Today we slept late and started a little later in order to get goodies. Except Jasper got up every hour starting at 1am, and at 4 I just stayed up. We had work done on the house, and we had to be out all day, and I think it made him kinda nuts. Then there was a lot of dust, so he was super congested all night. So maybe this one is my fault, but the every hour nights are the toughest!
Ok, off the sweat then eat a pastry….
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Rocky Mountains..





We are home from the Rockies. I jumped right on the computer, because Jasper is napping, and who knows when I will have my hands free again.

It was too few days of heavenly weather, as we were greeted by an “F-you, welcome back to Austin”, 108 degree airport parking lot. Going to the Rockies is about more than the weather though. There is just something about being in a place that makes the fast pace of life vanish, and makes you feel so good. We left Thursday morning at 6am, and by 9am, we were looking at a mama and baby Elk foraging for some breakfast. Pretty awesome.
We have decided this is our summer destination. A quick 2 hour direct flight cannot be beat, and then about 45 minutes in the car. We got a cabin that was secluded, on the river, and had a wonderful patio (nothing like morning coffee on the patio in 60 degrees!), but terrible beds….including the Owl’s pack and play, so he slept like poo and I would not call this a restful vacation. When we came here 2 years ago, we literally never stopped hiking, and as we reviewed park maps, we realized we had already done a lot. We knew this year with Jasper would be different. Last time we summited a 12000 ft peak, this time we knew the shorter easier hikes/ walks would be our main agenda. We also booked time with each other to watch the Owl, so I could run and Mike could play disc golf.
Shortly after we arrived at our cabin, I set out on a run on a trail behind it that eventually entered the national park. The guy in the cabin’s office said “it’s steep in the beginning, but don’t let that discourage you.” Steep is an understatement. It was straight up. I didn’t want to start my run at a walk, and my ego got the better of me and I tried to haul my ass up as fast as I could. Then it went straight down, and I repeated the process. The trail forked and I thought that with no water and a little boy who needs his mama alive, it would be a bad idea to start taking lots of twists and turns where I didn’t know where I was. There was a little road a ways off, and I hopped on it, and realized it just brought be back into town, but I knew where I was at least. I also realized I had destroyed my legs. Why had I run that hill as hard as I could? I knew pain was inevitable the next day. I also realized I was late getting back to Mike and I had to run as hard as I could. Sure enough, I spent the rest of the trip with completely busted quads.
After a great evening of making spaghetti in our cabin with yummy local IPA, I went out for a painful run. I turned a corner and on a ledge about 10 ft away was a beautiful, mature bull elk. I just stopped and stared. My poor writing skills don’t allow me to put words to what it is like to see an animal like this in the early morning stillness. I continued onto the local hike and bike and there was another mature bull elk, with his harem of female elks around him. I could have easily petted them, but opted not to. What an awesome run!
We spent the next couple days at the park walking when we could in between Jasper’s naps and eating, and when we couldn’t walk we drove. We went up Trail Ridge Road to 12000 ft, for more elk watching, and amazing vistas. We picnicked by a lake. We did short walks/ hikes. We left the park for a trip to the Bald Pate Inn, for yummy pie on their deck. It is an almost 100 year old log cabin Inn that is so much fun. Jasper loved watching the humming birds.
We also spent a day in Boulder. Jasper and I shopped while Mike played disc golf. We then had my favorite micro brew at Mountain Sun brewery. We checked out the flatirons. That night we ate at the Boulder Tea Room which had a middle eastern feel, and incredible food that I had to eat in about 2 minutes thanks to a very sleepy Owl.
We did a lot, but we had a lot of down time due to Jasper. It was really about spending time together and just “being” somewhere beautiful. We cannot wait until next summer’s trip.
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Vacation…

Two years ago we went to Rocky Mountain National Park. We loved and it and vowed to go back. In a couple days, we’ll head out and Jasper will get his first mountain trip. This photo is from the very popular Bear Lake hike. Last time we went we did a hike where we summited a 12000 foot peak above tree line. This time we have a long list of short hikes to do, in case a certain little Owl decides he’s had enough. He’ll be going in the Ergo with me carrying him for all the hikes. We also plan on just hanging out at our cabin, eating pie at the Bald Pate Inn, and drinking good micro brew. There was a half marathon in Boulder, I wanted to do, but decided against throwing in difficult logistics. Instead I will enjoy a long run either in the park or around Estes Park, the town right outside the national park with a nice little hike and bike. Right now I am list making for the packing. Jasper has a lot of stuff….

Ever have one of those days you are sore head to toe for no good reason? I have one of those today. Had a 15 miler Saturday, and Sunday I only did about 6.5. I went to baby yoga which usually isn’t much, but we did a lot of core work and some back bends. I also played with the Owl pretty hard all weekend while Mike was off winning a 2 day disc golf tournament (yay Mike!). Anyhow, I feel like a ran a marathon. Tomorrow is an easy day, and Wednesday is 8 miles of hill repeats. Ick… But it must be done. On workout days I tell myself “In order to run faster, I have to run faster.”
So, hopefully I will have some pictures in a few days. I am a little nervous the Owl will not sleep there, but it’s not like he sleeps here, so I guess it can’t be worse. On that note, I am going to bed for a little nap, in case the Owl does his usual “I like to get up every 2 hours” thing.
Hope everyone has a good week.
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Races!


Ryan asked me what races I was planning, and I’ve been meaning to post on it for awhile. First off, I love racing. I have no trouble getting out and doing my runs if I don’t have a race, but I love the ritual of it all, I love the challenge, and I love meeting other runners. I’ve done a couple little 10Ks since Jasper was born, but nothing where I had to really dig deep and push myself out of my comfort zone. I am looking forward to the race season in about 8 weeks or so.

In Texas, the racing “season” really starts in October and goes through abut April-May. Other than the Frankenthon marathon in October, I am undecided on what my goals are. There are a couple contingencies. 1. If I qualify for the Boston marathon, and if it isn’t full, I would like to do that in April. 2. If I get invited to pace the Austin marathon again. that would be a priority. Both of those are big “ifs”. I’ll run Austin no matter what, but if I get invited to be a pacer, it becomes a little more of a time commitment with some of the practice runs. Other wise, I am not sure what I want to do. There is a series of races leading up to the Austin marathon called the Distance Challenge and one year I did it. I ran a great marathon, because I used each progressively longer race as a big speed effort. I might do that again this year. The only challenge of it is having all the weekends there are races free. The distances are really not challenging for someone who has done a marathon before.
I am enjoying running “faster” . That is a relative term, because I am by no means, “fast”. But, I have been running a lot faster than when I was training for 50 milers, etc. Due to the fact that Jasper is so little, unpredictable on his sleep, still nursing, etc, this may be the year I just concentrate on the marathon and 50K distance. So, I will probably do either the Waco run or Prickly Pear run next spring. I would probably pick the one that more friends are going to, as both are about equal in travel time, fun, and both are well done. That is a long way off though.
I would like to make myself a race “schedule ” though and schedule rest/ down time in between efforts. The huge time I took off long runs did teach me that week after week of really long runs was tightening up my back, and I think if I want to have longevity in this hobby of mine, I need to have some periods of lighter running from time to time.
The great thing is we have so many races in this area. You really could do something every weekend if you wanted to. Other than Boston, I will not be traveling out of state to any races, but there is so much here that is really well done, and challenging that there is no need to do out of town races. I am really looking forward to getting back to racing and I look forward to hearing my friends’ plans. After watching from the sidelines last year, I can’t wait to join everyone again.
A side note….the photo is from the Antelope Island 50K near Salt Lake City, Utah. It was 32 degrees and spitting snow. It was a fantastic race, but I was sooooo cold.
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One of the coolest side effects of having a blog is meeting people. I met awesome runners/ dads Mark, Derek, and Ryan this way. We’ve all become great friends and they have been so inspirational for me to work this balancing act of baby+work+running. Well, recently I met Jules, and she did an awesome post (and gave me a shout out!) about trying to keep up hobbies while you have an infant. Hello, the girl is trying to find time to run and ride her horse! How is that for being an active mama!?! I can sooooo relate. While I write a ton about running, I have about a billion other things I want to do that just don’t happen any more. Just a few: yoga (well, I get some but not 3 classes a week any more!), riding PeeWee (my bike), mountain biking, hiking, taking photos, baking, reading (got 2 books right now I am dying to get into), multiple TV series, movies, well you get the idea. As a mom of an infant, the only time you can do anything productive is when that baby is asleep. Now I also like my house clean, so I tend to have a long list of chores I want to get too also. I also have the Little Owl in day care, so when I am home with him it is the precious little time that we have together, and I feel terrible if I am not spending it with him. And, oh yeah, I have a husband it would be nice to spend time with other than tag teaming the Owl.

So here’s what has worked for me so far. And, I totally welcome tips from anyone on how to create a little more time for hobbies. Ok, here goes:
1. Pick a time of day when the baby sleeps that will always be your time. For me it is early, early morning. Really I think it is this or late night. And, on either one there is still the risk of baby waking. Now, both times are optimal for sleep, which most moms need, but I forgo some of it to get my run, which I have deemed non-negotiable. There are a lot of days I am exhausted, but I really want my run, so this works for me.
2. For other times, don’t plan anything. Any time that comes your way is a gift, and you can enjoy it. But plans that don’t happen get very frustrating, so why set yourself up. This took me forever to figure out. If I want more time to stretch, or answer friends’ emails, I just have to get up earlier. If I leave it for the evening it may not happen. The only plans I make in the evenings now are feed the Owl, bathe the Owl, love the Owl. If he falls asleep easily, then any left over time is for Mike and I and a rare treat.
3. For my running, having a goal helps. My goal is to run a Boston qualifying time this fall. It keeps in line when I want to skip hard runs.
4. I try to make my chores into playtime for Jasper. I’ll wear him in the Ergo while I cook dinner and sing to him. He really doesn’t know that I am doing a “chore” and to him it’s all fun. This way I get something I need to done without sacrificing time from him.
5. Finally, if at all possible, I try and do my hobbies with Jasper. So far this has worked for yoga, and I confess he has watched an occasional episode of the Tudors.
I welcome anymore tips. I confess there are times I wish I was a stay at home mom for selfish reasons. I would join a gym with childcare and hit the yoga and spin classes. But I don’t feel like I can stick Jasper in anymore childcare than he already has.
Also, I have to constantly remind myself he won’t be this little forever. One day we’ll mountain bike together, go hiking together, bake cookies together, etc. Yesterday one of my coworkers told me that on his first birthday I can look back and say that I survived the hardest year of being a mom.
It’s really not so bad…

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Jasper is currently napping recovering from his getting up every 30 minutes last night. I seem to be unable to nap, so here I am.

So far it’s been a good weekend of running. I am hibernating inside right now, as we’ve had a week of triple digits, and it never seems to cool off. A couple years ago, I was training for trail runs every weekend, doing long runs on the greenbelt in the full sun, and cooling off in Barton Creek. This year, I seem to do my runs earlier and earlier, and even a 2 + hour run gets done before the sun comes up, so I am not exactly getting a tan this summer. Mark was nice enough to meet me Saturday for a 15 miler starting in east Austin and heading into Hyde Park, thru UT, and then thru Cherrywood. We started at 5am, and once again it was nice to be done so early. My Garmin seems to be swirling the drain, so I have no idea what our pace was. I am trying to keep my long runs at race pace and not slow down as the mileage increases. Today I met Steve for a slightly modified Danish loop, and then I ran Mike’s run with him, while pushing Jasper in the stroller. Then Mike was nice enough to watch Jasper while I went to a real yoga class. What a treat. I realize my runs are kinda uninteresting to construct a running blog around. Gone are the long, epic trail runs. Gone are the big races in amazing locations. Most my runs are practical solutions to getting in the training I feel need to achieve my goals, and they will be local goals. This is not a complaint. There are fantastic races in the Austin area I will get to do this fall. So, in case you haven’t noticed, the focus of my blog is really about the challenges of balancing running, work, and most importantly a very active little Owl!
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Back to back runs and the Owl back to not sleeping…

I feel busy this week. I am not sure why. It’s not different than any other week. Maybe all that the days now consist of is finally sinking in.

I am excited and motivated to be in full swing marathon training. Mike got me a cannoli the other day from Whole Foods and that was my motivation for the week. I LOVE going the the Italian pastry shops at the North End in Boston and getting a fresh cannoli. So if I ever want to do that again, I gotta get my butt moving faster. While I am not up to 20 milers yet, I do a back to back long runs of sorts on weekends. It’s enough for me to feel it on Mondays, and not mind doing a recovery run on Monday morning. Tomorrow is my hill repeat day, so I am psyching myself up tonight.
And, speaking of nights, Jasper quit sleeping over the weekend. At first he just got up a couple times in the night, and then Sunday night he got up about every 30 minutes from 630 when he went down until 2 am. Then he fell asleep until 6am. Soooo uncool, Owl. Then last night he got up every 2 hours again, which is his usual pattern. I did stay strong and kept him in his crib, but I wasn’t happy. I had mentally prepared myself he may backslide some, I just didn’t think so much. I try my best to remain optimistic, but the realist in me says I may look back and refer to 2010 as “the year I didn’t sleep.”
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Happy Half Birthday Jasper…

Jasper is 6 months old today. I really cannot use the excuse anymore of being a new mom/ having a new baby. As in: “Sorry I am late, I have a new baby.” “Sorry I dosed off in the middle of the meeting, I have a new baby.” “I know I have a bit of a gut, but I just had a baby.” At some point, I cannot make excuses anymore. Darn.

Anyhow, happy half birthday to Jasper. I’ll save the sentimentality for his first full birthday. For now I’ll just celebrate with a glass of wine and a cupcake if I can get my hands on one by this evening.