The almost 4 year old, some podcasts and cake in my future…

The almost 4 year old! This is the only photo on my desktop at work, so it was quick to add it

This week was a whirlwind of catching back up at work and a snow day.

I ran on the treadmill a lot this week.  The weather kinda blew, but nothing compared to the rest of the country.  It’s just so hard to go out in 20 degrees if I don’t have to…BUT, I have a two week stint of exclusively running on the treadmill coming up when Mike is out of town…so I’m going to do my darndest to run outside as much as I can in the next couple weeks.  This includes the Austin marathon!  So excited…it’s finally here.  I also saw that Spirit of the Marathon II comes out on DVD sometime in Feb, so I may spring for a download while I do a long run on the ‘mill.  I also discovered this site:  Running Podcast List.  Now, not all podcasts are created equal, that’s for darned sure, but I have a couple more in my arsenal now to get me through long treadmill runs, and long work days.  Life is all about distractions.  🙂

Tomorrow starts marathon “taper”.  As I’ve said, I don’t really taper, but just decrease my long runs.  I’ve got 16-17 for tomorrow, and then a giant chocolate cake for someone’s birthday.  Yay!  Jasper is a big frosting fan since it fits into his profile of preferring soft foods.  We’ve got a lot of chocolate frosting on his cake.  This is a good thing.

This week I got the Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World from Amazon.   Yes, this means a trip in the future is possible.  I heard a podcast with the authors and it seemed quite helpful.  A year is a long time, so who knows if we would really end up going this year, but the book was only $11, and it’s pretty fun to read about all the stuff to do in the parks.  I recommend it if you are thinking of hauling your fam down there.

Alright, lunch break is over.  I’m happy it’s Friday, happy tomorrow is supposed to be warm, and happy I’ll be eating chocolate cake tomorrow.  Most of all I’m happy I’ve got my little almost 4 year old in my life.


Winter running blues…

Where is all this sunlight when I run? A Turbo balloon wouldn’t hurt either….

I admit I have struggled with some runs this winter. Probably most of the country has. This winter has been cold!!!!! Today is beautiful, but it looks like tomorrow will bring more mornings in the 20s. Combine this with darkness for the entire run, and not having anyone to meet, and it doesn’t always seem fun. I don’t have any brilliant “how to survive winter running tips” other than I think you just have to suck it up. Some days will be freezing and some days your whole run will be in the dark. In the Texas summer darkness for the run is an asset, but something about cold darkness is just plain mentally difficult.

I had a 20+ mile run yesterday. I couldn’t do it today, so no matter how cold it was I had to do it and couldn’t put it off another day. After a really long return trip home, locking my keys in the trunk at the grocery store, and 5 loads of laundry, rushing out at 4:30 am to start a long run in 28 degrees sounded awful. So I opted to run on the treadmill until it got light. I discovered this is the way to go for future winter long runs. Then at the last minute a friend offered to meet me for 7 miles. I had 9 on the treadmill, 7 with her, then 5 more on my own to nail a long run. Allow me to invoke my inner Jesse Pinkman (since I have watched 3 episodes of Breaking Bad between yesterday’s and today’s treadmilling). 21 miles done, bitches!!!!! 21 miles isn’t that big of a deal…but it was great to have a long run go super smoothly when the day before I was dreading the dark, cold, and aloneness. Treadmill saves the day again. This is the way to do all long runs. Once I went outside, I sorta “forgot” the treadmill miles. It was still cold as heck, but I had a much less daunting amount of miles to do.

For now, Jasp and I are off to do some fro-yo eating and scootering. Today is a freak 70 degree day! Gotta love that!


This is only a test….

Legoland mania…

This is our a last night after all most a week in Florida. This was a trip to visit with family and we were already cramming in a lot, including several long drives, so we decided it was just too much to also cram in Disney madness….more on that in a bit.

First up, the running report. Very meh. This week was the coldest so far is winter for Florida. Mild compared to most of the US, but I packed for the forecast lows of 50. It was actually lows in the high 30s, and my running gear was just not warm enough, so I froze on most my runs. Also, not sure if all of Florida is like this, but both areas we visited were pretty heavy on lots of small subdivisions along very busy main roads. So I did lots, and lots of subdivision loops, with occasional scurrying onto a very busy road…with a sidewalk, but lots of cars jetting in and out of gas stations and what not, it still didn’t seem safe. So lots of subdivision loops. To be fair I was offered a drive to more scenic running by both sets of family we visited but I turned this down because 1. I can’t really imagine asking someone to get up at 5:30 to haul my butt to a running trail, 2. Even if I did ask, I don’t think anyone realizes that even a shortish run is still a long time to wait and it wouldn’t really be a fun run if I was just stressing about someone waiting on me, 3. I try not to be a pain in the ass when visiting people. Yes, I go for a run most days and yes I eat some funny food, but I try to go with the flow and just deal. I considered doing 22 miles since the weather in Austin is even colder when we get home , but I just couldn’t fathom that many subdivision loops. Meh.

The tricky part of this trip was was visiting two sets of family who lived over 4 hours apart. We opted to fly to Orlando (in the middle) for cheap, and drive a lot. We drove back to Orlando this afternoon, so we didn’t have to drive 3 hours prior to our flight. I booked a hotel at Downtown Disney, which has lots of shops and restaurants and is very close to the airport. We walked from our hotel there late this afternoon for dinner/ shopping (aka see how Jasper does with all the stimulation….a test for a possible future real Disney trip).

I am purposefully vague about some Jasper issues, just so one day he’s not embarrassed by something I put on a public blog. Even though pretty much only family members read this, you never know. Let’s just say there are some sensory issues. And I will say that Disney is probably not recommend for sensory kids.

Just downtown Disney had a major cat nip effect on him and not always in a good way. I got out of there $46 dollars poorer, which I suppose isn’t that bad for a place designed to suck money from you through your children. I can’t imagine that any mother of a boy has ever made it out of Disney Legoland without a purchase. We’ve discussed making next year “the Disney trip year”. I selfishly would like to do the to half marathon/ marathon double they offer all while having family fun and creating memories (insert sarcastic tone here). The Disney marathon is not over a school break so next year is the last year I could do it, since once Jasper starts school we are limited to trips over breaks.

As I sit here with a pounding migraine, I have some hesitancy. I am in sensory meltdown after just Downtown Disney….not even the rides. For a little boy who short circuits with sensory overload…I’m not sure it’s a great idea. I’ve got some time to think about that one though….

In less stressful news, I made a pilgrimage to Babycakes! There’s only 3: NYC, LA and Disney ( go figure). Babycakes is a famous vegan, gluten free bakery, I’m not on the whole gluten free bandwagon, but I love me some vegan treats. I LOVED my cupcake. Totally spendy, but a week of traveling with an almost 4 year old justifies some stress eating.


Fingers crossed for no flight delays tomorrow.


Heading out…

Last night’s Lego creation…

About to head out to the airport for (hopefully) warm Florida. I’m crossing my fingers I can find some good running there. I’ve been on the he treadmill a lot lately and I’m looking forward to lots of outdoor running. Rewatching Breaking Bad is seriously helping all the treadmill time not seem so bad though.

I managed to pack, but am still second guessing everything I brought except the couple of new things I managed to snag yesterday in between errands and getting my birds nest chopped off (aka a haircut).

Got Divergent packed…gotta get it read before the movie comes out and a new, unopened issue of Marathon and Beyond ( aka the running magazine for old people). I love that Joy Johnson is on the cover. She is awesome. Read about her here.

Then again, why do I think I am just going to sit back on the plane and read? Hoping that Angry Birds Go! On the iPad keeps someone busy…….


Packing ulcer…

Just a quick post in my attempt to blog more. I am totally stressing. We are going to Florida to visit family for a week and I just realized :

1. It’s not really that warm there in the winter and I have nothing to wear. 3 pairs of jeans that don’t fit that great and I don’t really like. I was hoping for shorts weather. Can I somehow fit a shopping trip into the one day I left everything else I need to do?

2. I’m attempting to run long before 7:30 am…..and shower. Lately I’ve been on a “I hate the dark and cold while I run alone” pity party. So sometimes when Jasper wakes up at 5am, I don’t mind that it means I run on the treadmill. Anyone out there looking for a running buddy in my area, who runs middle aged person pace and wants to start most runs at 5 am?

3. I have to round up all Jasper’s special foods still. Kinda forgot about it. One day, I hope this child eats so I don’t have to haul half a suitcase of purée pouches every time we go somewhere.

4. I decided to rewatch all of Breaking Bad. I didn’t realize it started way back in 2008. No wonder I don’t remember the beginning. That should pass some treadmill miles. This is a good thing.

5. I should start packing instead of playing on my iPad and blogging. I’m slightly paralyzed with packing anxiety though. I am in awe of you people with multiple kids. How you ever go on a trip is beyond me. Packing for just one child gives me a slight ulcer.

Ok….Enough complaining. Taking a break from regular life and visiting family will be much welcomed. I just need to figure out if yoga pants and a sweater could pass as an outfit……


“Let me tell you about the time I almost ran 20 miles on the treadmill”…


Today I had a 20 miler scheduled….and a friend to run the whole thing with! My only issue was the little boy was sick this week ( as was I), and he had fever for a couple days and that means poor sleep and he becomes a Klingon.

No, not a member of an alien race from Star Trek, but a little boy who clings to me constantly. Not sleeping well + clinging to mom= a good chance for a 20 miler with a very early start to fail.

So I did a preemptive fail myself. I cancelled plans with friends and decided to run alone to eliminate the stress of trying to get out the door at 4:45 am with a crying, sick child. My plan was this: if Jasper was asleep when I woke up I’d run outside, swinging by the house periodically to make sure Mike wasn’t stuck with a child crying for mom. If he was awake I’d run on the treadmill. If he seemed better I’d head outside as soon as Mike got up, if not I’d do the whole 20 on the treadmill. I could also run Sunday, but I really prefer to knock out the long run Saturday and get on with the weekend, so I was going to at least try it.

I’ve kinda been obsessed with seeing how far I can go on the treadmill. Mike may have some extended travel this year, and I wanted to see if I could manage a long run on it….and not go crazy, as I may be on the treadmill a lot if he does a long trip. I had a secret weapon though. I’ve been wanting to see Hood to Coast for a long time now, and I’ve been saving it for a long run indoors. You can rent it on iTunes or Amazon. When Jasper woke up at 5:00, I decided to go for the long run on the treadmill and since he seemed much better I’d head outside after Mike was up.

Ok, the movie is amazing. Best running movie I have ever seen. Please do yourself a favor and watch it. I want to run Hood to Coast more than ever I just need several friends to feel the same way and I’ll have a team! The movie wasn’t that long and took about 10 miles. Mike got up about then and I decided to see how much longer I could go. I made it to 13 and just got bored with watching No Reservations. I decided to run 7 more outside. I had lost a little time with a couple small stops and I ended up not having time to get in 20 before I had to take Jasp to swimming lessons ( since he was better we were back to burning his energy). So I made it a little over 18 miles. But, 13 is the longest treadmill run I have ever done. I realized having on an incline really does a number to my hamstrings, so in he he future I will probably not add hills. I still think I can make it to 20 if I have a couple movies all ready planned. I loved Hood to Coast and time flew by while I watched it, but then it started dragging while I searched for something else for a mile and a half.

So I’m sorta bummed I didn’t make 20, and will be babying my sore hamstrings for a few days, but I’m proud of my TDR ( treadmill distance record)!




I love this picture because Jasper is completely suspended in the air. Pure happiness…..plus it’s warm and sunny!

The theme of the week is the treadmill. After Sunday’s monster run in the cold, and the extreme ( for Texas at least) cold, I was pretty happy to run on the treadmill this week. Today I was all bundled up and about to walk out the door, when someone woke up and begged me to run on the treadmill (aka an hour of iPad time for both of us). So I watched a lot of No Reservations this week and concluded that watching food shows while running = extreme hunger!

I’ve really gotten good at this indoor working out thing. I was looking at being partnerless for another 20 miler this weekend, and it was considering doing the whole thing on the treadmill just to say I did. I know….crazy, but one day I want to see how far I can push my treadmill limit. I find that the first 3 miles or so it goes by slowly and I wonder how in the heck I’ll get through a whole run, but then time starts to get away from me and I zone out by the end of the run I feel like mentally I could keep going. Time is usually my limiter….I just need to stop at some point and start getting ready for work. Turns out I get a buddy for my long run, so I won’t pass that opportunity up, but one day I’m going to try the treadmill 20. Hmmmm I think I may have a new way to run a 20 miler in August….

Another game I play is “how far can I go until Jasper wakes up?” Over Christmas time he was sleeping until 6:30-7:00. I was getting in my whole run before he woke up plus a cup of coffee! This is my idea of heaven. So I’ve been bummed the last few days when he went back to 5:30 wake ups. 7:00 consistently would seriously change my life. Is almost 4 years old too young to start New Years resolutions?

In other useless news, I got my Daily mile report that I ran 2595 miles in 2013. I forget to log runs here and there but that’s probably pretty accurate. July was my highest mileage month….I’m not sure why. The three lowest months were all months I did a marathon in. I didn’t realize how little I must run during taper/ rest weeks. I honestly don’t care how many miles I run. Other than long runs I don’t plan much. But it’s fun to have it all tallied up.

Well, I’m coming into the home stretch of being at the OT place for almost 3 hours. Be jealous of my exciting life…..speaking of jealously, I am jealous of those doing the Disney marathon this weekend. With a soon to be 4 year old, the Disney marathon suddenly becomes a bucket list race for this former trail runner…..


Ramen 30K


Today was another marathon pacer run, the Rogue 30K. If you are unfamiliar with the metric system, that’s 18.6 miles. I planned to add two more to make it a 20 mile day.

The reasons you would want to run the Rogue 30K are: 1. You live in the suburban area it’s staged in. Otherwise running through a lot of suburban neighborhoods isn’t that exciting, 2. You are running the marathon and the thought of doing another long run alone makes you want to poke your eyes out, so this way you run with other people, 3. You are pacing the marathon and this is a “please plan on attending” event for you, 4. All the above. I would be an all the above person.

It all sounded good until the arctic blast hitting the whole nation arrived. Feel free to say unkind things about me in the comments if you live in the Midwest or northeast, but I was seriously freaking out about the 24 degree forecast. Turned out not to be quite that cold, actually not too bad at all, but there was a massive arctic wind. We have to carry these goofy pacer signs, and it was strong enough to snap another pacer’s sign in half. It was a strong enough that my lips are wind burnt despite carrying a tube of Burt’s bees with me. I was waaaaaaaay too wimpy too add on miles in this wind so I woke up at 430, ran a couple miles on the treadmill, changed clothes and did the 7 minute drive to the start. I met my new pacing partner, and we hit it off, so it was super nice to have someone to chat with to pass the miles while the wind chill got colder and colder. I finished with blue lips.

And why do I call this post the Ramen 30K? I’ve been wanting to try one of Austin’s new hipster ramen joints forever now and finally did tonight. That’s the perfect runner food if ever there was one. I’m more sore from shivering than from running, I’m super tired, and my lungs and vocal cords are seriously rebelling from cedar pollen and arctic wind, but dang it, my belly is full with veggie ramen. It pretty much cancels out my other woes. Almost….I still will sleep in compression socks, ‘ cause that’s how I roll on a 20 degree Sunday night.

I will singing the praises of the treadmill on 20 degree mornings and dreaming of more ramen for the next few days……


Happy New Year…

Happy scooter rider
Happy scooter rider



The fittest 14 year old you will ever meet...
The fittest 14 year old you will ever meet…
Heading into the tunnel...
Heading into the tunnel…
A favorite activity, picking out rocks to throw.
A favorite activity, picking out rocks to throw.
Border collies love their walks...
Border collies love their walks…
Someone is getting really good with their scooter...
Someone is getting really good with his scooter…

We spent the morning at Brushy Creek so Jasper could get in some good scooter time, and Pancake could also get in some playtime.  We lucked out with great weather!   I will miss having these extra holiday days off.  It was so awesome to have a little extra time to do fun things and get out of our daily grind.   Brushy Creek is also one of my most favorite places on the planet and I really do need to run their more in 2014.

There have definitely been some tough times in 2013. I try and make my blog a place to be positive, funny, and talk about all the good things I have going on. That’s why it’s primarily a running blog. I can always be positive about running! I’m looking forward to more blogging in 2014. As for running goals, I think having no goal is a good goal for 2014. I would love to pick a goal marathon, train for it properly (emphasis on the properly) and go for a Boston qualifier. That, however, is just not going to happen. I’ll still do what races I can, but running for fun is what I need to be happy with these days. I am hopeful within the next year I can start looking into that “train properly” part and maybe get a little more structure. Otherwise, 2014 will be the year of, “its a good day if I get my run in”.

And in really good news, we still have some Christmas chocolates left. Off to have a snack…