3M half marathon + Jasper’s birthday…

First off never mix these two.  I was so tired last night and pretty sore today.  After a really bad sleep night (2 hours in w/ Jasp!), I ran , rushed home, showered, got party supplies from Costco, set up the party, had the party, cleaned up the party, put Jasp to bed and was completely wrecked.

As for the race, ended up with a 1:36:15.  Did not break 1:36 which was my goal.  BUT, I think I could have if I hadn’t missed the start by about 5 minutes.  I already sent an email to a friend that  pretty much sums up my stupidity.  So here’s a cut and paste since my blog time is limited today…

3M was a bit of a cluster at the start.  Got there with 45 min to spare, parked with no problem.  Sat in the car for 10 minutes, and decided to get in line for the bathroom .  Longer lines than at Boston.  WTF.  I had planned to do the clothing drop, and I had on a nice fleece from REI.  No way was I just going to chuck it on the street.  So I hop out of the bathroom line, and into the clothing drop line.  Another cluster.  Drop it off, 3 minutes until the start.  I really want to hit the bathroom and figure the porta potties have to be dead by now.  I get in line, hear the gun go off, wait another 3-4 minutes and realize the line isn’t moving at all, dart out of line, find a bush, sprint to the start and hit a wall of walkers in costumes.  I cross the start line thinking “I’m not too far behind, this isn’t so bad”, until I pass the 2:30 pace group a mile in.  My plan was to start between 1:35 and 1:40.  Yeah, I had a lot of catching up to do.  At the shuttle at the end, I was chatting to the guy next to me.  He said he sat in his car with the heater until 5 minutes before the start and stripped off his warm clothes and jumped in the corrals.  Smart guy.  He ran the same time I did.   I spent 35 minutes shivering in the cold for a clothing drop I didn’t really need and still ended up peeing behind a bush in the gateway shopping center.   You would think I would know how to run one of these things by now. 
 
So there you go.  thanks for everyone for well wishes.  It was fun, I’m glad I did it, despite the night before sitting in Jasper’s room at 1am telling myself there was no way I would run in the morning.
 
Jasper’s Art in the Park 2nd birthday party went really well.  The kids seemed to enjoy the art activities and the weather cooperated.  I realize you get what you pay for with a 99 cent pack of 64 crayons….when you open the box up and 55 of those crayons are brown….and were ignored by the kids who much favored the sand paintings.  Jasper didn’t have a single bite of cake since trying new foods freaks him out.  I brought over 1/2 of a mammoth dinosaur sheet cake to work today since I seem to have a thing for horrible sugary frosted kids’ birthday cakes.  I would have been eating that thing for the next month.
 
Thanks to everyone who came to the party and sent positive vibes my way for 3M.  Maybe next year I won’t be such an idiot at the start and actually hit my goal.
 
Party pics will be posted later…. 
 

 

3M eve…

I sit here the day before the 3M half marathon with a little bit of free time while Jaspy naps. Yes, I should be doing a million things around the house that I never get to, but sometimes you just need to sit.

This has been a weird week. Ever feel really stressed out not because things are bad or anything, but because things are just busy and schedules are off? That was my week. House hunting is like a part time job on the side. It’s stressful…who wants to make a bad decision and decide a year from now a location is no longer desirable or a house is just not the right choice? Jasper decided to have a growth spurt or something and woke up every night this week. It was nothing like when he was a baby, but by Friday I was tired…and my neck and back all tight from dozing off in a chair with him just about every night. Plus just a lot going on, family in town, Mike’s party last weekend, Jasper’s party tomorrow…so why in the hell did I sign up for a race!!?!

I mentioned previously I am only racing 3 times this year. Even if I didn’t have Jasper to get home to I seriously doubt I could afford the to race as much as I used to since entries are so expensive now. This is good and bad. It means I really “race”….no just showing up and making a quick and still pain-free run. I really test myself and see what I can do. As my friend Anna said, “who wants a crappy time by their name?” Well, you could probably argue all my times are crappy…hehe….but seriously it’s nice to go out and put an all out effort in and see what that gets me. So while in the big picture of life how I fare at a half marathon is really meaningless…and this race is so dang competitive. I ran the same time in 3M last year as I did in a later half, Zooma. In 3M I was like 20th in my age group…in Zooma I was like 7th overall. Huge difference. So yes, you can run your heart our in 3M, but for the women you seriously need to crack into low 6 minute miles to even get an age group placing. So it’s truly just you against the clock.

So I hope all works itself out by mile one tomorrow. I feel a little bogged down and have those thoughts of “why did I sign up to do this?” I also get so few chances to do this, another part of me can’t wait to see what I’ve got in the morning.

After the race is Jasper’s birthday party. Yes, what kind of idiot plans the ultimate endurance test, a toddler’s party, after a huge race effort? That would be me. Once again, thank god for compression socks, lattes, and birthday cake.

More tomorrow…….

Another weekend wrap up…

Another full weekend. I really need to be better about taking pictures. We celebrated Mike’s 40th birthday with a beer tasting at Hops and Grain to start. Jasp and I sat that part out and then we met up at Doc’s Backyard so Jasp could use the playscape while everyone hung out. The party went well. I had some slight nutritional melt down, as Mark and I had done a hard 20 miler that morning and I was beyond hungry by the time I met them. As far as the run goes, couldn’t have gone better. We did the last 6 miles or so as our fastest, and threw the hills of startford in the middle. We started painfully early, but we were done at 800 which was great. Then it was off to the bouncy gym for me and Jasp with me singing the praises of compression recovery socks the entire time(ever go jump on trampolines for an hour an a half after a 20 miler? this is generally not advised). Then the party, more Jaspy chasing, and then a collaspe at bedtime.

This coming weekend I have one of only 3 races I am doing this year, and my only half marathon. I am hopelessly underprepared. I have flopped horribly on getting enough speedwork, and my goal of bettering my time from last year seems laughable. I’ll give my best, but we’ll see. I have to tell myself not to be disappointed if I don’t make this goal. I don’t want to be self defeating, but realistic about where I am currently at. I need more tempo runs that that’s all there is to it. My excuse this morning was 4 hours of sleep after a Jaspy nightmare. I keep telling myself there were plenty of moms in those Olympic trials that have late nights too…so I need to get my butt moving!

We are pretty busy sorta househunting. I have a fantasy that somewhere there is a house not too big, not too small, in our price range, in a neighborhood where the elementary, middle and highschool are all good, and will be a great place to run…oh and will not create the commute from hell. There probably is such a house, but I’m not sure if it is in high traffic, lots of so-so schools, very expenssive to live in Austin. So we’ll keep looking. No rush, but another thing on my plate!

Well, my lunch is about over. My afternoon latte calls. I missed my Ashtanga class yesterday and went to a different class that apparently uses an entire different group of muscles. I hurt from head to toe. Being sore makes me sleepy….I need that latte…and a massage. Everyone have a good week…good luck on yoru running…

Anonymous…

Mark and I were chatting this morning (on our 430 am run), that one reason we love the Murakami book, What I Talk About When I talk About Running, is that is such a tribute to the everyday runner.    We’re the folks in the middle of the pack that just blend with everyone else and let’s face it, we aren’t very glamorous.    No one follows our blogs to see how we did, what we are eating pre-run, or who are sponsors are.   Sure we get encouragement from friends and family, but we are mostly anonymous.  No one ever will know about mornings of 4am wake ups, weekend after weekend of long runs, the many runs done on few hours of sleep, or the long runs done before a day of all day toddler entertaining.  This is not a complaint, as I think most of us feel these challenges build up who we are, give us precious alone time, and help put all of life’s complications into perspective.  I loved it on an episode of Marathon Talk when someone had broken some record for running in a superman costume or something, and the show host questioned “why do we celebrate that but not the single mum  (it’s a Brit show)  of 3  who finished in 4 hours?”  Agreed.  But, if you’ve read the Marakami book then you understand how well he puts into words that we just quietly go about our running and know that no one will really even notice it but us, but that we know our victories, and that’s enough for us.

Weekend wrap up…

The trials were awesome!!!  I was so glad a huge chunk of it was broadcast.  I probably saw more than if I had been there.  I am so inspired to run faster, but I have so much work to do.  Mark and I are doing a Marathon talk challenge, Jantastic, and next’s month’s phase begins sticking to pace runs and distances.  This should help me with the goals I have…all very doable when I don’t use excuses (I’m tired, I didn’t get enough sleep (seem to use that one a lot), it’s super cold out..none of these are very valid!!)

Mike and I got to eat at my new favorite restaurant this weekend, right after I got done watching the trials, and after a 19 miler that morning.    Sunday Mark and I did a little recovery run, then I hit Ashtanga and then took Owl to the nature center and to Yogurtland.   I am loving the new green tea yogurt.  Mike is no fro-yo fan, so I am glad that Jasp is…we make it a goal to go every weekend and somehow I have no problem making that goal.

Ok..back to work for me.  I just had to comment on how awesome the trials were.  I cannot wait to watch to Olympic marathon.

My first brush with blog fame…

A big thanks to MickiRuns for putting me on her Running Mommas blog list.  I feel so inadequete next to the other moms on her list:  single moms, moms with 3 kids, super fast moms….well you get the idea.    Check it out here.  At some point I will add her list to mine…because we all need more inspiration and more reasons to procrastinate doing chores while we read cool blogs.

Olympic Trials are this weekend…

Ok, I have been looking forward to watching these for months!  I have the DVR set to the regular and the HD channel just in case there is some mishap.   I wanted to go watch them live in Houston, but I just couldn’t leave my boys for a whole weekend when I have a couple other future events already on the calendar.  I kinda could care less about the men’s race, and am so excited to see the women’s.  I saw the 2008 trials, and Deena Kastor was such a favorite she would have had to broken both her legs not to win, so while a really neat experience, it wasn’t an exciting race.  This trials there are a ton of contenders and it will be so exciting.  Not that I know a single person in it, but I follow track and field news and I am familiar with the favorites.  It’s really hard to route for just one person.  So many of the women seem like great athletes and like they would be fun to go run with….if only I was that fast.

I gotta route for the two moms amongst the favorites, Kara Goucher and Deena Kastor.  There are also a ton of moms in the slower, but still super fast bunch.  AnotherRunnerMother has some profiles (one is even a grandmother!!)  It would appear you can wake up earlier than 430 to go run as those with kids and full time jobs do.  Note to self…..find a way to do speed work at 415 (yeah, right!)   At any rate…it’s all super inspiring to me.

Weekend notes…

I just love our photos from last weekend!

Warning:  lots of disjointed, somewhat uninteresting running related tidbits ahead.

The weekend was the Bandera Trail runs.  There’s a 25K, 50K, and 100K.  I’ve done all 3..not all at once though…on different years.   The trail is brutally rocky, and reduces all but a few to power hiking the really rocky sections.  Mark and I started our runs both Saturday and Sunday saying how glad we were not to be there.  I am happy I did the runs.  I got my paperweight sized  belt buckle and am proud of the work it took to get it.  But those aren’t the trails for me.   Give me a nice smooth, runnable surface with a pretty view.  I guess sometimes you check a box and really are happy to move on.  The Bandera 100K was the pinnacle of those races for me.  I knew I probably would not race there again.  Camping, hiking, you bet…it’s fantastically pretty out there, and I have a wild little boy who will go nuts over camping in a couple years.    But my days of killer trail runs are over and my feet are thanking me for it.

Speaking of feet, my quest for the perfect shoes to fit my monster sized orthotics continued this weekend.   I learned that feet really do change with pregnancy….drastically.  Shoes that felt great quit feeling so good.   I had a coupon for 10% off at a local store.  The girl helping me was really good…so good she convinced me to buy a super sleek, bright, “real runner” looking shoe.  It did fit the orthotic perfectly.  My feet were happy.   Slap some muscle on my legs and take off some fat, and I would look like a pro in these things.   I was sold.  She rang me up and I about choked on my gum.  Let’s just say I really needed that little 10% off coupon.  It ain’t cheap to look fast.  These things were priced for the 1%, but what could I say, I was in love.  The felt good and they aren’t orthopedic MeeMaw shoes.  Now I just have to figure out how to never get them dirty.

Otherwise a typical weekend.  Lots of playground time…lots of spiral slides…suspension bridges….hopping…and climbing.  I am utterly pooped from returning to Astanga yoga after a 2 week layoff in addition to the aforementioned activities.    Muscles I didn’t know I even had are sore.  It’s no help either that I did the killer hill long run with the two British boys, Mark and James.  Not only do their accents grow stronger when they are together, their pace increases too.  If I want to find out the meaning of various Brit slang, I am forced to keep up.  The end result is a nice time on a run, but sore legs!

Mike is at a friend’s enjoying coffee porter.  I just had a dark chocolate brownie, have my feet up, and am about to hit Netflix….I hope your weekend also ends on such a high note!

Memorable runs #1….New Year’s Eve hill run…

Remember how I said I was going to write about memorable runs?  Well, my New Year’s eve run made the cut.  Ever try a new route and think, “how come I never thought of that before?”  That was the case with our New Year’s Eve run, which was actually run that morning.  We did a routine loop for us twice, but did the first one backwards, making it harder (at least I thought so), and before we started the second one, we added in Stratford Dr, one of Austin’s most notorious , but prettiest hills (doesn’t it seem like where ever you go the hilliest streets and the prettiest?  It must be that whole overlooking a view thing.)  Anyhow….it was a hard run, 17 miles without any real break from up or down…but the whole thing was through Austin’s prettiest neighborhoods and with the Christmas lights still up we had a nice bonus (since we started at 515 am).  We were done before 800 and my legs felt like they got quite a workout.  I was frozen since I wore shorts, but it was a very satisfying morning.   Mark and I both finished and knew we had a route we will definitely repeat.  Plus there is just something about a hard run on a  before a holiday kicks off…good for me because I also went to New Year’s Eve lunch (yes I am that boring that I celebrated in the middle of the day)….at my new favorite restaurant and stuffed myself with sushi and green tea ice cream parfait….my new favorite dessert.   I had a trifecta of things I love:  hard run, yoga with one my favorite teachers, and one of my favorite meals.  Topped off by lots of Jaspy chasing.   Heaven.  Well I am off to bed to read “26 Miles to Boston”…a great read about the run’s history.    Gotta get some motivation to keep those hills up…