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Holiday running, etc….

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Somehow I managed not to take any real pictures of Christmas. It went by in such a blur. Jasper is still young enough that what he wants changes by the minute, and he’s not really into big ticket items, so he mostly had an assortment of some toys he seemed interested in. But he declared he got everything he wanted so it was a success. We’ve hit the point where Christmas is super fun with lots of activities leading up to it, and I’ll miss the big behavior bargaining chip it gave me.

I got some nice runner gifts for Christmas. Socks, drink mixes, The Runners World cookbook, and a Road Runner sports giftcard. I’m saving it for when I need new shoes. My current shoe is no longer made and I’ve scooped up the last of them at the outlet mall, so it’s time to find a new shoe. Running shoe shopping = fun. Real shoe shopping, not so much.

I made this week a drop down week in running with the holiday and some travel. I gambled on Christmas Day by getting up to run at 5am , hoping that if I did an hour long run Jasper would still be asleep when I got home, and it worked! There’s just something about running Christmas Day with all the lights and the peacefulness of it all. And let’s be honest it’s a day spent eating lots of sugar and getting a few miles in eases the guilt.

The yoga challenge is in it’s final days and I did miss a few days over the month. The day we saw the trail of lights we got home at 10pm and I had gone into work at 600 that morning, and I was just too tired to lift a finger. We are visiting family right now and I missed yesterday and today. There’s just no good way to say ” oh don’t mind me, just doing yoga while everyone is watching tv”, so I just opted not to do it. But the challenge did get me in the mindset of giving just a few focused moments everyday. Just taking 10 minutes before bed to stretch out makes a difference. So I guess overall it was a success.

Coming up: Time for 20 milers and 2015 running plans, and no more cookies.

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Joy, joy, joy….

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Pure beauty…the Zilker tree seen from the Ferris wheel. Pure yumminess, Oreo peppermint cookies. Pure joy…..riding the Ferris wheel after talking about it nonstop for two weeks.

Christmas post! The last week was a mix of super fun holiday times with some epic kid meltdowns, but take the good with the bad, right?

We made it to the trail of lights after one cancellation due to a meltdown, but just squeaked in to see it before the final weekend crowds. It was a 90 minute traffic jam to get there and not a cheap outing with parking, and the pricey Ferris wheel, but soooooo worth it. Pure joy from every child there. And I had an Amy’s hot chocolate with homemade Mexican vanilla marshmallows. Amazing……

I had a wonderful 18 mile run this weekend connecting with my friend Meredith who I hadn’t seen in forever. It felt great to chat the miles away and she brought me fabulous Kona coffee and a trucker hat after having just finished a double ironman in Hawaii. So she humored me on my “hill” run after biking 200 miles up a volcano. I also realized trucker hats aren’t the best look for me….And what’s the best thing to do after an 18 mile run? Well., Jasper and I decided we really wanted to give neighbors little cookies gift bags and went on a three hour cookie making marathon later. I thought we’d have tons left over after our gifts, but sadly not. It brought my cookie total for this Christmas to 5 batches. My faves were the Oreo peppermint drops pictured above.

Sunday my friend Stephanie was in town and I did a group run and then breakfast. Another fabulous morning. As much as I love going to kid sports on weekends, I confess I miss the ritual of a group run followed by going out to breakfast. My waistline doesn’t miss big breakfasts, but my heart does. Sniff….many of life’s problems were solved during those breakfasts, not to mention the laughs and inside jokes that still go on after 10 years.

I’ve got to rush off to work now. More holiday updates to comes…

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Trails and pterosaurs…

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First belt graduation in taekwondo .
Dogs being dogs. Pancake has entered a “I don’t want my picture taken” phase.

The week had kicked me in the butt big time. Nothing dramatically bad happened, it was just a huge rat race of just me here shuttling Jasper everywhere, with a dash of behavior jags thrown in. I fell into a heap every night, and barely managed my yoga challenge, but did it. Go me! Today is was my only outdoor run this week, and tomorrow is another treadmill day too. I needed a stress relief run. I was grouchy and doubtful I’d make good company, but I really needed to hang with friends. Weeks when it’s just me and Jasp we are so busy I feel like I lose all contact with friends. I met Steve and Meghan for 8 miles and then had about 10 on my own after they left. I love the town lake trail, but usually the group doesn’t want to do the whole trail loop. I figured it would be a good day to do it since I was going to be solo a large chunk of the run. for those who don’t know,it’s about 10 miles of mostly wooded, gravel trail, along a lake in the middle of downtown. Pretty awesome, huh.

It was wonderful. It was about 55 degrees which is perfect running weather in my book. After a quick run with friends I devoured every moment on the trail, inhaling the smell of pine with each step. The cypress trees had lost their leaves and the ground was damp making the whole run smell like Christmas trees. I watched the sun rise and loved that all the guys out fishing by the new Boardwalk had their boats decorated for Christmas. I ran into an old trail running friend and caught up a bit for a couple miles. I miss this run. I love this loop. I need to do it more. I came home a much more relaxed person.

And the I got stupid on an afternoon museum outing with Jasp. I guess I failed to eat and drink enough because I spent some time in the museum wondering how embarrassed I’d be if I passed out. Salty food and lots of water made me immediately better. There are times a person can actually have a physical need for fries….and this was one of them.

And I have a fantasy that one day Austin will have a really good natural history museum. How do we manage to have one of the largest universities in the country and tons of dinosaur and ice age mammal bones come out of this state and only have a teeny, tiny, natural history museum? I’ll take any chance I can get to see dinosaur bones and I love the Texas pterosaur, but come people we need more. The Texas Memorial does good for what it is, but it just seems like as big as UT is, it would have a huge museum.

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From The UT Texas Memorial Museum website.

I guess it’s never a bad day though to manage 18 miles, a pterosaur viewing, and another batch of cookies!

Of yeah and someone already went up a belt in taekwondo! So proud of my angel!

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Yoga, Santathon, cookies, and owls…

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This picture is leftover from Thanksgiving weekend and I forgot to post it then. It’s awfully cute, isn’t it?

The yoga challenge is proving to be quite a challenge. I do a short yoga video most nights, but it’s those nights I don’t that are hard to add something in. Sometimes we are just super busy other times I honestly feel too tired for even 15 minutes….but I did at least something everyday for my self inflicted challenge that no one else cares about. Yesterday was a stretch to call it yoga with just a few down dogs after my run, and every intention of adding more later, but my afternoon plans were ambushed by a 2.5 hour wait to see Santa. Otherwise, I’ve got at least 15 minutes of yoga a day with a killer class Wednesday that left me sore for two days. Wimp!

I had really nice runs this week with lots of company. I had a painfully early 4:30 am run and lucked out when my neighborhood partner actually wanted to meet the same day at 4:45. Score! Then I lucked out again yesterday in that Steve wanted a buddy so was happy to come my way. The goal was a hard 16 for a long run. Today my neighborhood partner was happy to join again so more company. DaVinci is running just a mile at a time with me still, and still manages to chase a ball for hours, but somehow doesn’t really seem that into running more than a mile. But he has started waiting by the door for me to do his mile. So I know he likes it. This week is all treadmill which won’t be bad since it’s just a week and I should still manage a nice weekend run.

And the Christmas cookie count so far is 1 batch peanut butter drops and 1 batch chocolate crinkles. Other than me, the rest of this household heavily favors chocolate, and since I am outnumbered and I really don’t want a non- chocolate batch of Christmas cookies just for me, chocolate it is.

We got our tree this weekend and had the 2.5 hour wait to see Santa. Jaspy was really, really excited to see Santa, so I endured. Note to self: next year if I do a hilly long run the morning before seeing Santa I will wear compression socks and not wear my converse….oh and bring water. My legs were toast by bedtime.

As I type this I hear a very loud owl outside. Dang, I love living in a neighborhood with trees. Life is better when you are treated to wildlife from time to time…..and when you have batches of Christmas cookies.

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Cupcakes, parades, and silly string…

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Our version of pumpkin pie. Christmas parade photo similar to the one in the paper, and silly string madness.

It was a long weekend…which is wonderful and tiring. I worked a little Friday, but otherwise….nada.

Now lots of folks do the turkey trot thing, but in the last few years, I’ve grown to love a nice quiet, holiday run. I bribed Steve into meeting me a Brushy Creek, and it was heaven. It was beautiful and I did another beautiful neighborhood run on Saturday. It’s hard not to feel thanks and gratitude when you have beautiful runs in perfect weather. Friday I took an off day and slept until 6 am and drank coffee in my pajamas. Also quite lovely. I needed it too….I fell asleep at 8:30 on Thanksgiving, completely spent….I felt like a loser, but I felt rested for the first time in weeks.

Today I did 16 miles with Meghan and Steve. It was 70 and humid. That must be my threshold for feeling tired the rest of the day, because I was. But it’s done…the 20 milers are right around the corner.

And our eats…..we did Pumpkin cupcakes from scratch complete with from scratch cream cheese icing….that made double what you really needed. Having a vat of homemade cream cheese frosting in your fridge is extremely dangerous. Today I had to set it out to pasture. Those little spoonfuls here and there of icing can’t be the best idea. Just saying’. We also started Christmas cookies today. This year I am determined to have time to make plenty of them…..enough to share….and have some variety. So more to come. Another reason to get rid of a vat of cream cheese icing.

Finally….I’ve been down on Austin this year. The traffic is completely out of control and I’m over the hipsters and overly expensive restaurants. But going to the Chuy’s Christmas parade gives me hope it’s still worth living here. We’d gone before but never with Jasp. He loved it and made the paper! A photographer asked me if they could use his photo and he made it to our local paper’s online version. The parade was the highlight of our weekend. And the reason we have ozone missing above our house. The Spider-Man in the parade shot out silly string. It’s all I’ve heard about ever since. And someone had some money from grandparents, and silly string doesn’t really cost much anyways….so we purchased quite a few cans, hence they hole in the ozone.

And one last finally….I’m attempting a December yoga challenge. Just some yoga everyday. I do this most days anyway, but I figured December is a really good month to take care of my body everyday…..the extra stress plus more long runs. Usually I fail at challenges. The whole ” do something everyday” thing doesn’t work for me……usually. I’m hoping to break my streak of failure with this one. If I fail again I could always go for “eat a Christmas cookie everyday”.