The little rectangular piece of happiness…

DSC_0290Today was an 18 miler.  It was 30 degrees for the whole run.  Those of you in states with real seasons probably laugh, but that is sooo cold to us here in Texas.  I must have the world’s slowest metabolism because I feel like I never get warm on these runs.  Mike got me a box of hand warmers for Christmas.  My hand were still burning like crazy the whole time with handwarmers and mittens.  I wore two shirts, a hat, capris, compression socks, and I was still cold.  I didn’t bring my water since holding it would most certainly cause frostbite to my fingertips, and drinking something cold would chill me even more.  I had about 3 sips of water the whole run.  Smart, I know.   Mark showed up in shorts and a t-shirt.  He never gets cold.   Not fair.    I missed the trailhead on one of my little out and backs and turned the run into 19 miles.  I based the finish time I told Mike on a 5am start, not remembering that we were actually doing a 530am start.  I got home 40 minutes late.  He claims he was actually worried.   But I got a 19 mile done to check off.  I was full of energy and inhaled a giant bowl of cereal.  I took Jasper to Whole Foods and had one of those shopping trips with him where multiple times  I had to leave the cart and proceed to the car thinking we couldn’t manage a shopping trip because he was in major fit mode.  I got about a fourth of my groceries and ended up leaving in tears since it was probably our worst shopping trip ever.  We were over it by the time we got home though.  Mike got Jasp to nap (yay!) and I de-Christmased most of the house.  Now I am gearing up for afternoon activity #2 with Jasp.  I. am. tired.

Happiness is the Starbucks giftcard sitting unused in my wallet.  Who says consumerism is all that bad?

Happy last weekend of 2012, everyone.




Chinese Christmas and eyes hurt…

Any Austinite with a child under 8 will recognize where this picture was taken…

We’ve had a busy couple of days.  We crammed in lots of holiday activities.  My holiday was kicked off with a fantastic run on Sunday.  I picked a hilly course in an area we don’t run in too often, and Mark, Stephanie and I had the type of run that it’s really all about.  Challenging, but lots of good conversation and laughs tossed in.   I had to work a little over the holiday, but I managed a few longer than normal runs with some extra time off.  What a treat.

We planned a tradional Christmas dinner on the 26th, when all our family was arriving.  I was making some healthy versions of traditional favorites, so it was a lot of cooking and prep over a couple days.  The vegan peanut butter cheesecake pie was AMAZING.  The rest of the meal was really the worst Christmas food I’ve ever had.  I miss timed everything, had a turkey disater resulting in it going into the trash, and spent way too much time cleaning up a ton of messes.  After serving everyone what little of it was edible, I had a realization.  I don’t really like all these rich holiday foods.  I spent two days in the kitchen and not with Jasper and family, all for a meal that no one really even wanted.  In the words of the immortal Raphie from A Christmas Story, it was the year I discovered Chinese Christmas.  Next year we will get whatever ethinic food we find open.   Chinese, Indian, I don’t care.  No more entire days in the kitchen for Christmas.    It was pretty liberating expereince, and I love the idea of a new tradition.   We’ll keep the pie though….

Finally, Jasper has been sick with fever off and on.  For 2 days he kept saying “Eyes hurt”  His eyes looked fine, so I wasn’t too worried.  He kept crying last night saying “Eyes hurt!”  It suddenly dawned on me that Jasper has always said eyes for ears.  Crap…an ear infection.  Another feverish night with tears and thrown up sour milk (per Jasper, “oh no, spill!”…yes that was quite a spill), I offically felt major guilt.  So Jasper spent the day at the doctor getting his ear infection confirmed.

I’m finishing off a quick day at work, then back home for some t-ball in the backyard to limit ear infection spreading, and perhaps tonight a belated Chinese Christmas dinner.

Gotta love the the holidays….


2012 running recap…

I really am not clever enough to come up with stuff like this on my own.  Laura @ MommyRun Fast gave us the recap topics on her blog and suggested linking up.  See, this is the kind of thing real bloggers do.  It takes more time than “here’s a recap of my weekend” ( the kind of posts I do).  But one of the things I would like to do in 2013 is become more of a real blogger…so here goes:

  • Best Race experience:  Definitely the Route 66 marathon.  Not my best race, but so much fun to kick off being a masters runner with my best friends at a really unique fun event.  Plus, I kinda like saying “I went on vacation to Tulsa for my 40 birthday.”  Believe me, it keeps people guessing. 
  • Worst Race experience:  All the races I signed up for and didn’t go to.  Let’s not dwell on those.   Have I mentioned being more positive in 2013?
  • Best run:  That’s a hard one.  Sometimes the runs that kinda suck at the time are the best ones training wise.  I would say any run in the Texas summer over 2 hours long that doesn’t leave me feeling like crap all day.
  • Best new piece of gear:  That’s easy….compression socks.  Total nerd at the pre-race athlete's villageI think technically I discovered them in 2011, but this was the year I started wearing them on runs.  I guess you could say 2012 was also the year I started looking even geekier.  Is that even possible?  Yes, yes it is.
  • Best piece of running advice you received:  I don’t know if anyone gave me any running advice.  I don’ think I got any.  Anyone have any advice for me?
  • Most inspirational runner:  New blogging friends, Chrissie Wellington (ok, technically a triathlete, and pretty much all the interviewees on UltraRunnerPodcast
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?   I’m not a Deadhead but, What a long strange trip it’s been, instantly came to mind.  You’ll have to trust me on that one, but I just realized that’s more than a couple words.  Oh well, I’m sticking to it.
  • Running ups:  Marathon #24, 25, 26, and 27 done this year.  It’s not quite running, but mastered a headstand.   Found a pair of shoes like Mo Farah’s.
  • Running downs:  my arthritic feet.  Homeland season 2 just ended and I can’t wait until season 3.   I know that’s not running, but watching Homeland in compression socks eating popcorn the night after a long run?  Total recovery.
  • Surprise of the year:  Jasper loves running.   He still watches the Olympic marathons I DVR’d back in August.   I’ve seen Meb Keflezighi’s bio about 150 times this year.  I’m not kidding…

Thanks Laura for such a fun idea.  I”ll have to check out the other folks who linked up and see what other runners said.


Running ramblings…

DSC_0041_12I have struggled to sit down at the computer lately (dang night owl child!) I’ve constructed a lot of blog posts in my head that don’t seem to materialize.  So you get a conglomeration of all of them.

Do you run on holidays?  I always do.  I do wonder if I’ll still be able to run on Christmas day as Jasp gets older, but he still has no concept that it’s any different than any other day so I’ll be able to head out.  I never do crazy mileage but it’s really the best way to kick off a day of lounging and eating (duh).  My neighborhood is fantastic for Christmas light viewing, and it’s given my runs a facelift.  It’s challenging to make runs sound exciting on this blog when I mostly run in my neighborhood.  But now, with whole new routes constructed around hitting up the best lit houses, it’s a lot of fun.  Jasp went with me this morning since going to bed at almost 1000 and getting up at 500 seems to be plenty of sleep for him.  We had a blast though, and I suspect I have created a new holiday tradition:  the neighborhood trail of lights 6 miler.

My friend Steve and I are running spring ultras.  Mine is 50K and on an urban trail, so I don’t really need to do anything different for my training.  His is 60K on more of a hiking trail, so he is doing “real” trail running, and we touch base in a phone call every weekend with updates.  Our chats have really made me miss trail running.  I know I’ll never run the really long or rugged stuff again ( 62 miles over rocks…no way).  But I miss taking Pancake out for a greenbelt run.  I quit when I was pregnant because of the fall risk, and never resume it because Jasper was just so time intensive, it was easier to not drive somewhere to go running.  I realized the other day that I now live a lot closer to a trail network, and Jasp is not a needy as he used to be.   Maybe I can add back in a short trail run a week.  I still avoid the real rocky, rough stuff, and will never trail run in the dark again after a couple hard falls last year.  But, maybe just maybe I’ll be back out there.

Finally a lot of bloggers have discussed the state of world and sad events in the last few days.  I’ve never really felt the need to let my superficial, all about me blog drift into heavy topics, politics, and social crusades.  And, I still maintain that policy.  I have a complete lack of eloquence, and any attempts at me putting down deep thoughts here read like a 5 year old wrote them.  But I’ll say this:  We runners have such a gift that we always have a place to think, process, dream, and plan.  Do you even realize how few people have that?  I can’t tell you how many times I have coworkers tell me they don’t mind sitting in traffic because it’s their “time to think.”   Really?  That’s sad.  I much prefer my time in the predawn, on quiet streets or gravel paths, occasionally having my thoughts interrupted by a a critter scurrying by or a bird waking up.   This morning my thoughts didn’t get much time as Jasp and I admired Christmas lights together in the quiet darkness at 530am.   Thoughts can  always wait  for another run….



Decker Challenge Half Marathon…

This has nothing to do with the race.  Just Jasp being Jasp.  He is currently in a "no shoes ever" phase.
This has nothing to do with the race. Just Jasp being Jasp. He is currently in a “no shoes ever” phase.

This will be a quick recap while the little one who never stops is actually napping.  Today was the Decker half marathon.  I think it might be Austin’s oldest race…maybe.  It’s claim to fame is tons of hills and atrocious weather.  This year was no exception:  75 and muggy as heck.  That means next year will be a freezing rain year.  I don’t get to this race every year, but I try to.  It’s out on country roads and is a really nice change of pace from all the Austin runs that go through downtown.  I wore my red compression rocks (they are soooo awesome), and a bright green Dogfish Head Ale tech shirt in hopes of looking Christmas-y.  Stephanie said my shirt was too bright and it didn’t quite work.  Darn….next year reindeer horns for sure.

Anyhow, met Steph and another running friend Elizabeth.  I told them I was going to see what I had today and was going to race it.  I knew I was a good minute a mile slower than my pace last year, but I wanted to feel like I put in an effort regardless of where that landed me.  I thought if I could keep it under 8:30s I would be thrilled (never mind a year ago was 7:30s…dang aging process).  So I took off about a 8 min pace and slowed into about 8:20s, slowing on the hills.  It felt good, but I was working.  I saw a friend at about the half way point and ran with her and her friend the rest of the way.  Sometimes I was just keeping them in sight, sometimes chatting, but it passed the miles really fast and helped me keep up the pace.  With chip time I made it in 1:48.  Which given my current running pace and the horrible weather, I was over the moon.  I did better than I thought I could which is always nice and doesn’t happen often.  This was my first half marathon as a masters runner, so I get to call it a PR.  Ha!

Oh and I forgot to mention other than the heat my other issue, aka excuse is getting Jaspy’s cold.  Yesterday after a nice 7 miler with Mark and Pancake I realized my throat hurt, by last night I had to admit I was coming down with it.  So I really wasn’t sure how this run would pan out.   I guess the daycare crud doesn’t have full hold of me yet, but that combined with sore legs tomorrow will make for a fun Monday.

Ok…time to get some things done before the hyper one wakes and we go get him new shoes and Fro Yo.  It’s a good day…



13 in 2013 Challenge…

I’m doing the 13 races in 2013 Challenge.  It’s a really nice thing some bloggers are taking the time to do (for free!).    I’ll have to add in links and pictures later, because I am on my break at work and my computer here is so slow (and from 2003) that it won’t load a picture or let me add a link.  Don’t even get me started on what a computer at this speed does for work effciency…that’s a whole different topic.

Anyhow, I am hoping the challenge lets me connect with some other running bloggers.  The miles aren’t really a challenge, it’s paying for 13 races.  That challenge will be taken care of with some virtual races the hosts of the challenge will offer for free (like I said, these are really nice people to do all this).  I already had 4-5 races planned for 2013 anyways, so I figured filling in the gaps with the virtual races should make it pretty doable.  You can pick all of one distance or do a variety…which is what I will do .  I would LOVE to do 13 marathons, but I would have to travel.  A lot.  And that won’t be happening.  So virtual races it is.

This public announcement is also incentive for me to follow through.  I’m not so good on that.  I have a lot of ideas and fantasy plans that don’t materialize.  If you recall I was supposed to be running a marathon in every state right about now.  See what I mean?  Many of my plans don’t happen.  This one seems doable.  Wish me luck…and join me when I am on a computer fast enough to paste in the images for the challenge and put in some links.   TGIF.

Here is the link!


Round Rock Reindeer Run…

DSC_0227DSC_0238DSC_0244This past weekend we did another kids’ run.  It was part of a new 5K where you run in the evening to preview Round Rock’s light display.  I’ve learned to go to these events thinking of them only as a kids’ run.  Jasp has no interest in getting into a stroller when he just got done running so that I can run, so I now go into these assuming the 5K part will be a walk with Jasp running around people.  I also don’t even consider signing up for one of these unless it’s being billed as a family event more than an actual race.

This event had a few first time event organizational issues, but for the most part it was fun and I suspect they’ll work out the kinks next year.  Jasp LOVED the Christmas lights.  They were hyped up as one of the top displays in Texas.  Not sure if I would agree with that, and I am not sure what the light studded Battle of Iwo Jima display had to do with Christmas, but maybe that’s just me.  We walked most of the 5K with Jasp running next to us and I was pretty impressed he basically ran 3 miles.  I can assure you I was not pushing him one bit…in fact I really wanted him in the stroller to make seeing the lights a little easier and not chase a toddler in the dark, but he’s all about running.   I am not complaining!

You would think all that would wear him out, but Jasp has been on a streak of not going to bed until 900-1000.  He still gets up between 500-600 most days, which is why doing just about anything is a challenge.  I really want just an hour of time a day to get a couple things done!  Meh.  I have no clue how you moms with more than one kid do it.   Maybe you just accept you will not get anything accomplished until they are in high school and want to sleep until noon?

I am super, super excited for the Decker half this weekend.  It’s kicking off my winter “season” and ultimately my prep for my 50K.   I was so on the fence about this for awhile and now I am so excited.  When I find some time (ha!) I will write out my long run schedule.  Who knows when that will happen.  Dang the holidays are sooooo busy.    Don’t even get me started on Christmas related projects I want to do.  I managed to get stockings up so far.   It’s all about baby steps….