Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year in Review

Wow. Tomorrow is already 2009. Looking back on my running calendar, I ran about 850 miles last year. That's a couple of hundred less than 2007, but I was light on the mileage January - March, experiencing post-marathon plantar fasciitis. Then, throughout training for this Fall's marathon, I have notations on my calendar of hip pain, hip PAIN, and HIP PAIN!!!!!!!!! So, I'm pretty happy to be heading into 2009 relatively pain free and ready to run.

Here are pictures from last year's Cobweb Chaser on January 1, 2008 (you didn't think I actually earned bib #1, did you?)

Here's a quick rundown of this year's races (besides the Wednesday night zoo runs from April-October):
Cobweb Chaser 5k 1-1-08
Bird Lovers' 10k 2-9-08
Alamo Heights 10k 3-1-08
St. Patrick's Day 5k 3-8-08
Casa 5k 3-22-08
Susan Komen Race for the Cure 5k 3-29-08
University of the Incarnate Word 5k 4-13-08
Fiesta Mission 10k 4-19-08
Fiesta Fandango ~2.6mi 4-26-08
Beach to Bay Marathon Relay 5-17-08
Police Officers' Memorial 5k 5-24-08
Lawyers' Have Heart 10k (DC) 6-14-08
Carrabbas Half Marathon Relay 6-21-08
Freedom 4 miler 7-4-08
Chupacabras de la noche night trail run 7-18-08
Women's Run 5k 7-19-08
Sunrise 10k 8-23-08
Labor Day Whine Run 5 miler 9-1-08
Zoo Relay 8 miler 9-12-08
Run to Break the Silence 5k 9-27-08
Soler Missions Half Marathon 10-11-08
Ragnar 184 mile 2 day relay 10-24-08 through 10-25-08
Raul Jimenez Feast of the Heart 5k 11-1-08
Rock N Roll San Antonio Marathon 11-16-08
SABF Courthouse 4 miler 11-22-08
O'Connor Choir 10k 11-29-08
SARR 10 Mission 10 miler 12-7-08
Reindeer 5k run 12-13-08

Not a bad year, but hopefully next year will be even better! Next up: Cobweb Chaser Jan 1 @ 10 a.m. (not usually anyone's fastest)
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Madness and sadness

I've been out of town for a truly grand Christmas, but I'll post some Napa pictures when I finish doing laundry and getting back into the swing of things. The madness - for now, I remain angry at the airline industry - who lost my bag on the way out and made me too late to pick up the dogs on the way back, all while charging me fees for EVERYTHING. I wish there were an effective way to boycott flying!

And the sadness - I had a nightmare on Friday night that someone mean threw my cats and dogs off a bridge. I didn't pay much attention to the content of the dream, because I was more concerned that when I have nightmares, sleepwalking soon follows (yep, a different madness - and I was somnambulating the next night). Well, when I returned to San Antonio, my "foster" cat, Emo the Bathroom Cat, had died. Maybe somehow I knew. Anyway, Emo was a stray cat at my last apartment complex - with major attitude. She used to sleep on my car, and I would actually have to physically remove her from the car - even after I started it. Anyway, she became my bathroom foster cat, then (in the words of my nephew) the resident "everywhere cat." I'd like to think the last year and a half were her happiest.

Next up: getting back to the running routine and the Cobweb Chaser on Jan 1, 2009

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stray dogs teecycling

As I mentioned, we exchange small gifts at Stray Dog Xmas. This year, one gift given was a Teecycle shirt given by my friend Jenna to Jeff. *sigh* peace on Earth and teecycling to all men (and women)!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stray Dog Xmas

Nope, not the kind of pups that I let sleep in my yard and house, spay/neuter, feed, train, and try to pretend are not my dogs. This Stray Dog is a holiday tradition - the Stray Dog Xmas Party. Composed mostly of folks from the running community, the party meets downtown near La Villita and drinks beers/exchanges small gifts. This year, my gift to everyone (again) was a reusable grocery bag. This is because I am obsessed with making everyone use them instead of plastic bags - to the point that I give them away to the ladies in front of me in line at the grocery store. PLEASE bring your own bags to the grocery store! Thanks. Now, back to our story.

After freezing our buns off tonight in the parking lot (it was practically 40 degrees, with wind, and I am now thin-skinned to cold weather), we head down to the Riverwalk for dinner.

Afterward, we hit the tree in front of the Alamo and sing carols. Happy holidays to stray dogs everywhere!

And this is a real stray dog - Dingo the Stray. Up for adoption when I return from Napa Valley!

P.S. Teecycle Tim asked me about folks' expressions when our running pack pushes their cars. First, we (usually) do it with permission - I'd hate to think of their expressions if a pack of wild runners descended upon them unexpectedly! And, second, it's usually grateful surprise. They sometimes offer to buy us tacos. But we work only for smiles - and beer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cross Training: Pushing Cars

When I was stationed in Germany, one of my favorite things to watch was the strongman competition. Sure, it was broadcast in German, but I knew exactly what was happening when the BIG guy strapped himself to a firetruck and pulled it while willing his knees not to give out.

So, the group I run with incorporates this type of training into our schedule. Just not intentionally. It seems we have somehow always 'found' a vehicle to push during a run - perhaps a half dozen or so in this past training season. Which is understandable on long runs - somewhere in 20 miles, there is bound to be a stranded motorist.

Tonight, however, was a shorter (5 mile) cold run that we were all hustling to finish. And then we happened upon the poor guy who ran out of gas a couple of blocks from the gas station, and whose young son was unsuccessfully trying to push the SUV. Anyway, we took a break and pushed him to the station, walked for a bit to recatch our breath, and finished the run. Definite strongman style. Now I just have to figure out how to incorporate their "keg throwing" event into running.

Reindeer report

The Reindeer 5k was fun on Saturday. I am also amused after the race - when the Harley guys show up and we all share a cold brew. I always giggle when the technical gear-clad runner is pumping the keg for the jack-booted, leather clad H.O.G. rider.

There aren't any races nearby this weekend, and my hip has been bugging me since the race, so I will have to take it easy and hit a bunch of parties.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New shoes and reindeer

Well, it's that time again. Not the holidays. Time for new running shoes. As you can see, my old pair kicked off my new pair on October 17th. That was about 300 miles ago. I can probably run for another month in those blue ones, but then the niggling pains begin, indicating new shoes are due.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that was the last pair of 8.5D New Balance 846s in the whole world. Usually, when new shoes are needed, I just go online and find the cheapest pair of those babies, order them, and run in them within a week. My buddy, Carolyn - who wore the same model - scoured most of South Texas while I combed the internet trying to find our sizes of this discontinued shoe. Alas, NB revamped it's whole line, so I really need to go in and get fitted. And I need to plan that before some odd bone or muscle starts tweaking me, saying "new shoes NOW."
Next up (tomorrow) is the Reindeer Run 5k. It's just a fun little Toys for Tots run - with beer and breakfast burritos afterward (this is San Antonio). The trick for this no-age-group-awards run is to get a beer before the H.O.G. riders show up with their toys and decimate the keg. That way, you get your money's worth.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mission 10 miler

It started out a little frosty for the Mission 10 miler on Sunday, but it turned out to be a very nice race. I felt great 'only' running 10 miles - even with the bouncy bridges and flashbacks (I just ran a half marathon along that route in October and the marathon along that route in November). Since there were only overall awards, I didn't get a shiny medal, but I did get some nice ugly race pics:

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Historic Post - Mission 10 miler

It's officially December and cold. Well, San Antonio cold, anyway. The predicted race start temperature for Sunday is around 45 degrees, so I will be cold, but you never know. This was me running it last year! (I'm a blur because I'm running so fast.)

Thanks to Tom for the pic

Sunday, November 30, 2008

O'Connor Choir 10k

Ah, small races:

- no pros so I can take 2nd place in my age group
- no crowded starts

- no cash prize when I take 2nd place!
- no official results to post at athlinks
- no ugly race pics to post here

I ran the O'Connor Choir 10k in Helotes on Saturday. Last year, I ran this race as a training run before the Dallas Marathon. It was cold, windy, and drizzling last year. As I waited for the race to start in my car, I willed myself not to start the car and just drive home. I didn't, but it was a tough race then. This year, the weather was great and, 2 weeks post marathon, I just ran the race nice and easy. My feet were/are still pretty torn up, but it felt nice to run a 'short' distance for fun.

Next up: Missions 10 miler Sunday

Friday, November 28, 2008


I love blue. My car is "blazing blue." My grad class ring has a cobalt stone. Most of my coffee cups, cooler, lunch box, you name it are royal blue. In those dumb "get to know your friends" chain emails, I respond that if I were a crayon color, it would be cornflower blue (Crayon's version of cobalt). So, my Mom came down before Thanksgiving and painted an accent wall a lovely lovely blue. She has mad painting skills. And Gwen the pitoodle has mad sneaky skills. I tried to take this picture in action - but I couldn't interrupt the couch infiltration to find the camera. Anyway, it took the Gwendog a good 5 minutes to sneak, muscle by muscle, her 50 pound frame up on that sofa right next to Simba the I-hate-all-creatures-but-Sally sleeping cat. Well played Gwen. And thanks Mom!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nemeses or nemesi

Whatever you call them, they all showed up at the Courthouse 4 miler on Saturday. And blazed past me at full speed to shatter the 30s age groups. There was Liza, who placed second in the RNR SA marathon last Sunday, and Andrea, who recently ran a 60 mile race in Mexico, and Machelle, who I haven't seen in awhile, but who clearly hasn't gotten any slower. Yep, BLAZED past me. Man, they're fast.

Seriously, I ran the race nice and easy. It felt pretty good to run whatever speed I wanted for a nice little distance - instead of repeating "slow down, you have 20 more miles to go" in my head. Ironically, the courthouse run used to go from Sam's Burger Joint to the courthouse and back - now it goes to the zoo and back. What exactly are they trying to say about the legal community?

Needless to say, no prize money for me. No shiny medals. (I would have placed in the 20s age groups, though.) But I did get a breakfast taco and a beer, so it was a good race.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ugly Race Pics Rock N Roll Marathon Edition

Oh yeah. This may be the ugliest yet. I may even have to fork over $15.95 or whatever ungodly amount they want for a 5x7 of number 31362-3017-002 here. EXCELLENT ugly race pic. This one's not bad though - from the lost and found (dumb bib).

I'm actually feeling pretty good after the Inaugural Rock N Roll San Antonio Marathon last Sunday. The race was the largest inaugural race in history and the largest race in Texas, with 30,000 registered and 24,761 starting. Runners were from all 50 states and 18 countries. Needless to say, the Kenyans beat me. But I had a good time.

I started out around 5 am - driving to my friend's house in the King William District just South of downtown, about a mile from the finish line. Unfortunately, the barricades were already emplaced and, trying to do the right thing, I attempted to find an alternate way into the neighborhood. At some point, I unintentionally ended up within the barricades - but on the wrong side of the river. Finally, I just looked both ways and drove down the sidewalk around the barricades. (I was hoping they wouldn't arrest someone wearing a race bib.)

From downtown, we caught a shuttle to the start and caught an eyeful of the mess that was Hwy 281 South. Apparently, many shuttles were stuck there and folks didn't quite make it to the start in time. At the start, we waited. And waited. And waited. I really don't like waiting to run. Anyway, the start gun fired. And we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, corral #16 was released (moo) and we shuffled for about 5 miles. I don't think I actually hit stride without running around someone until almost the 9 mile mark. Funny how folks in "faster" corrals were already walking at mile 2. Grr.

Somewhere in that time, I managed to almost lose my bib, so I was running with it shoved down the front of my skirt. I eventually grabbed an extra pin from a runner and managed to reattach the bib to my shirt. Luckily, the weather was good - cold in the morning, with the sun coming out and low wind. There were actual spectators in town and bands, but they all spread thin as we headed down (and back up) the Mission Trail.

I felt pretty good until I got to mile 14-15, where I always bonk a bit. It doesn't happen in training runs, but in the marathon, at that point, I feel tired and kind of hopeless. Luckily, it passes and it's gone. And I haven't encountered 'the wall' at any point.

My hip reminded me that it hurt, but it didn't cause the shooting leg pains. Near the end, after my MP3 player froze at mile 21, my feet started hurting. Surprisingly, they took the brunt of the run this time, but I'm not feeling plantar fasciitis like last time. They did remind me just how hard it is to keep running for hours and hours. The Kenyans were already finished, with their feet up, drinking a beer, I'm sure.

The finish was designed by the world's biggest sadist. Instead of running toward the Alamodome and crossing the finish at the closest point, as we had in past years, we instead got to run to the dome, then around the West side, then around the North side where there is a HILL, then around the East side of the dome to the finish. Jerks. The girl I was running beside said "almost there" when she came in range of the Dome - yeah, except for the extra 1/2 mile around and big HILL 500 m from the finish line. Jerks.

Anyway, I finished in 4:49:00 on the nose. Thank goodness for chip timing, since my corral (moo) didn't even start until about 30 minutes after the starting gun. I was aiming for a faster time when I started training, but given the hip/piriformis/orthobutcher surgeon who wants to cut my back issues, I'm happy with that finish.

After the race, we walked back to Janie's for a Brak Pak BBQ and massage - which I think helped me recover much faster this year. Four of my buddies qualified for Boston and six friends completed their first marathon. Here are the Brak Pak pictures (mine is at about mile 23-ugh).

Next up: Courthouse 4 miler Saturday (probably) and Marine Corps Marathon next October!
Thanks to Darlene for the Brak Pak pics.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rock N Roll Marathon

I'll try to post a full race report soon, but the skinny is that I finished 5 minutes slower than last year's marathon, but about where I thought I'd be (4:49:00 - because I didn't want to remember too many numbers). It was ideal running weather, which meant I was freezing, and there were a LOT of people, as you can see from this start pic. I'm achy and sore, but no major issues yet, and I'm pretty sure my piriformis/hip/sciatic will eventually forgive me. Other official (not individual, unless you can find me "where's waldo" style) pics of the race are here.

Picture courtesy of Elite Racing

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ran it. Got it.

(the top one) seriously ugly race pics should follow. In other news, the next critter who steps on my feet/toes will be set free or placed up for involuntary adoption when I throw him/her over the neighbor's fence. Not really, but I swear they're doing it on purpose.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

26.2 or bust

Here is where you can track my laborious progress tomorrow. My bib # is 40417. Gun time is 7:30 CST. I'm predicted to cross the start line at 7:45. I'm not predicting a finish time, with my tricky piriformis/hip/butt, but will do my best to finish!

Full website is

Alamo City Pre-Marathon 5k

No, I didn't race it. As much as I wanted to, I volunteered to help the race director - mostly so I would not be tempted to squeeze just one more race in. Here I am telling the kiddos to run that way - and just keep running until I tell you to stop.

Now, I'm bored and antsy, trying to stay off my feet and hydrate, but unable to start any projects or run. 16 hours until the starting gun - and then just 26.2 miles until the finish!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Now that's hard core

This woman will be my inspiration Sunday when I feel like I cannot run another mile. I'll be thinking "at least I don't have a potentially rabid fox hanging off my arm!"

Jogger runs mile with rabid fox locked on her arm
Nov 5, 2008
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities in Arizona say a jogger attacked by a rabid fox ran a mile with the animal's jaws clamped on her arm and then drove herself to a hospital. The Yavapai County sheriff's office said the woman told deputies she was on a trail near Prescott on Monday when the fox attacked and bit her foot.
She said she grabbed the fox by the neck when it went for her leg but it bit her arm.
The woman wanted the animal tested for rabies so she ran a mile to her car with the fox still biting her arm, then pried it off and tossed it in her trunk and drove to the Prescott hospital.
The sheriff's office says the fox later bit an animal control officer. He and the woman are both receiving rabies vaccinations.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Yep, 4 more days. I am currently assigned to corral #18 (wave start taking 45 minutes with 30,000 runners). But that makes me feel like a really slow cow, so I'm going to move up to corral #16 with some running buddies (4:40 projected finish - semi-slow cows).

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Countdown

Well, it's down to the laying out of the running outfit and logistics. Ironically, I used to live .2 downhill miles from the start of the Rock N Roll San Antonio marathon. That would have been pretty convenient. Since the start and finish are miles apart this year, and I now live a couple of miles away, I am working on determining where to covertly park my podcar near the start and who to sucker into driving me back after the race. At least I already have the postrace beer tent scoped out. It feels good to plan ahead.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Still tapering

Well, I missed a good run last night because I was attending a hilarious continuing education program on ethics. Really, it was great. It's a musical - about ethics - written and directed by a guy who was my adjunct professor for writing about 7 years ago. And it starred attorneys I've worked with and against, senior partners from major firms, judges I've appeared before, and judges before whom I have even groveled a bit. And they sang and danced in wigs and sparkles. Truly great.

Anyway, I guess I will be making that run up after picking up Dingo the walkon stray dog from spay surgery tonight. I would just blow the 4-5 miles off, but then I watched this flyover map of the course I will be running next Sunday. Eek.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The first Wednesday of November

This day always makes me a little sad. More so in years like 2000 and 2004. The reason for my sadness, even in the midst of political relief, is that Summer is over, and I know this because zoo run is over for the year. This wonderful, unofficial, meet in the park for a 2-mile race during daylight savings time and a beer afterward has been held for almost 30 years in San Antonio. And I'm always a little sad when I don't have zoo run on Wednesday night.

Maybe I'll just do a victory lap around the neighborhood - for change. Here's a lovely pic from the final 2008 zoo run last Wednesday - with fellow runners Carl and Jerry - Gwen the pitoodle was on the other end of that leash - but was more interested in cheesy poofs than ugly race pics.

Thanks to Carolyn for the pic!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Small races

I love small races. The pros generally do not show, and there's a better chance of me getting a shiny medal. Once, I even got 2nd overall female. And there were more than 2 females - really. Anyway, I ran the Inaugural Feast of the Heart 5k at McAllister park on Saturday. Proceeds benefited the Raul Jimenez dinner, which serves over 26,000 people Thanksgiving dinner.

I ran a decent race, but did not read the race information carefully - no age group awards. In fact, when I did read it carefully, it made me laugh:

Awards will be won by the Top Three Male & Female Overall Finishers! No Duplicate Awards.

Now, normally there are no duplicate awards, meaning you cannot win overall female AND your age group. But how does one runner win duplicate overall male and female awards?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Up next?

I know I am supposed to be tapering for the marathon, but I really get antsy. All I have this weekend is a 12 miler on Sunday. What will I do with all the time? Eating and sleeping definitely top the list, as does painting the baseboard before my mom visits. But I think I need to run a little 5k race, too, just for fun. So, I will probably be running the Raul Jimenez Inaugural Feast of the Heart 5k tomorrow morning.
Yep, bad Sally. At least I'm passing on the 5 miler in New Braunfels. Maybe all the pros will stay home, too, and I can win a shiny medal.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proof of the things of which I speak

Yep, like I told you, it was surreal - lots of crazy old cars drinking a brewski with the Hashers...
"camping" in the city park (the boys got REALLY strange looks)

guys in red dresses (their team name was "a few chiks short") - most of our Ragnar relay team at a major handoff - I was cold even after changing into long sleeves
and the really ugly night race pic, "what the heck am I doing running on a highway in the dark?!"

I guess it really did happen.

Thanks to Carolyn for the pics.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Yes, surreal. An often over-used word meaning having an oddly dreamlike quality. But that is the best description for the Ragnar Relay experience. As van 1 (runners 1-6, and it was an Explorer, not a van), we embarked at 9 a.m. Friday morning. Because not everyone's goal is to take the ugliest pictures, these are actually at the start - when we're all bright eyed and bushy tailed! We quickly read through the pre-race precautions, which included emergency procedures in the event of a charging cow - duh? Run!

Stickley, Carolyn, Justin, Patrick, and me (D-Rod joined us enroute, mowed down about a pound of beef jerky, and hit the pavement). The other six runners were in van 2 (also not really a van).

Then, the hills attacked. And they were brutal, and we were ugly. During my run, I was passed by so many antique cars that, when a modern car passed, it was strange. Then I ran for a little while with a big white dog, who I kept trying to put back in his fence, but he kept following me. And a van from another team heckled me, but that was only because their guy was walking the hills behind me (and I was running - just not so fast). After a couple of legs, we shared a beer with a team from the Hash House Harriers.

(that sign meant downhill behind me)

Then we 'rested' - drinking a local ale, eating German food, and lying around in the park as dusk descended. And then it was running in the dark, separated from VERY LARGE TRUCKS by cones. Every shadow was a lurking skunk to me at that point. And I was passed by one of the guys from a team that all wore red dresses. I just kept trying to follow his red blinky light and red shiny tulle.

Luckily, we were able to crash in real beds (or the floor of a house) for a couple of hours, only to be awakened by some of the van 2 folks saying "move over or get up and run." And it was off to our final legs - once again along the shoulder of the highway for me. Carolyn and I headed back to San Antonio after our legs Saturday morning, but our last runner finished about 30 hours and 45 minutes after the start. What a run. Run, drive, sleep? repeat, indeed. Surreal.

running so fast, I'm a blur!

Thanks to Carolyn for the pics!


* did not finish last is better than did not finish is better than did not start (that's what I tell myself every race)

And we didn't finish last at the Ragnar Relay!

In fact, here is our team result:

South TX Viceroys
30:45:42 (as in 30 HOURS)

And we were #6 as a "corporate male" team. Yeah, I'm neither corporate nor male, but that classification comes from the folks who also classified my first leg as "moderate." Not a bad showing for over 180 miles of road race!

Monday, October 27, 2008

the pain, the pain

Okay, orthobutcher might have been (a little) right. I'm experiencing some delayed onset muscle pain from the crazy relay this weekend - and now back pain. I haven't had this in quite awhile and it's echoing from L4-L5 to the hip - straight out spasms. I don't need the doc to tell me that - I dealt with the dual muscle spasms all day. Damn Army. Damn running. Damn relay. I really just don't want to deal with a failed back until I'm at least over 40.

So, I decided to swap walking the pitoodle, lying around, and making pasta salad for the final zoo run for a 5-miler today. I'm technically tapering, so it's okay. I'm hoping to wake up semi (back) pain free. Sometimes that works. Until then, I'll think happy thoughts. Like the fact that another un-worn shirt of mine sold on It's kind of like watching ebay, but I don't profit - but $1 of the sale of that shirt was donated to the River Revitalization Foundation to restore urban river trails and waterways. So cool.

And I know that made everything better!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bibs and turds

Like many other runners, I keep my race bibs. They're a journal of sort, where I record the race details on the back, and the real race details in the condition of the bib (this last Ragnar 180+ mile relay bib is TRASHED). I used to tape them around my kitchen in my last apartment - on top of each other after awhile. Now that I'm residing in the cottage, I thought it would be neat to get a chinese screen-thingy with corkboard to post them on. Luckily, my Mom is an interior designer and found this for me:

It serves a treble purpose. 1) I have a place for all my bibs and awards (except for trophies) that's a little less tacky than taping them around the kitchen; 2) it covers the cats' litter boxes and I giggle every time they politely step behind the screen to do their business; and 3) alerts me when the cat-poop eating pitoodle tries to sneak a cat turd "treat" (ewww - the medals clank and I yell "Gwen - ewwww"). Gwen the turd-eating pitoodle - ewwww

Anyway, I know I'm not alone in this hoarding of bibs. An almost-elite running buddy of mine stacks them on top of each other and records the height, like tracking his children's height over the years. Certain family members think I'm a little race-addicted, but I just love the shiny medals - and my bibs.

Run, drive, sleep?, repeat

It is finished. The Ragnar Relay is in the books. It was tough, but fun. 180+ miles from San Antonio to Austin, through the HILL country, 36 legs, 3 of which and almost 17 miles were me. In between, we tooled around in the Ford "Exploder" (as the insurance guys called it), slept in a park to strange looks, sampled the local brew, and spent a couple of hours in a real bed kind of sleeping. Oh yeah, and ran and ran and ran.

Hopefully, I can post some ugly and not so ugly pics. For now, I sleep.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's official

Rock N Roll San Antonio is sold out - capped at 30,000. Man, that's going to be a crowd. Maybe I'll just walk to the start.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"I think we will vow never to do this one again"

I totally swiped the title from an email of a buddy (Carolyn) who had the same not-so-good idea I did. It started awhile ago with this:

"You and 11 of your closest friends running day and night, relay-style, through some of the most scenic terrain North America could muster. Add in live bands, inside jokes and a mild case of sleep deprivation. The result? Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it a Ragnar Relay."

Sure, what a great idea. Let's run 182.4 miles from San Antonio to Austin (the long way), sleeping in vehicles along the way, mere weeks before the Rock N Roll San Antonio marathon. GREAT IDEA! Well, it DID seem like it at that time. Now, I'm not sure I can pack enough ice.

So, Carolyn will be runner #1 and I am #2, running from San Antonio to Austin on Friday and Saturday in our debut - and likely only - Ragnar relay!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Missions Half Marathon ugly race pics

Well, you have to do some work, but here are the pictures (Missions HM, #45 - you have to input that information)

and some super-soaked (it was humid) zombie-style running pictures

and the end - slowest time EVER, but I did have to run 20 miles the next day.

Tomorrow: 15 or 16 downtown and the darn Alamodome

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The one month countdown

Yes, it is a mere month away. And with 30,000 runners, at this time on this day next month - I may actually be hitting the starting mats. I'm hoping for a cold front because, once that sun comes up, it gets hot after hours of running, and there isn't much shade on the missions trail.

My legs are still a little dull from 33+ miles this weekend, but nothing is falling off. That's a good sign, I think. No races this weekend - just an easy 15 miler and then catching up on everything I didn't do last weekend when I was running, eating, sleeping, repeating.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Well, the first 20 miler for this marathon is in the books and, surprisingly, 24 hours after running a half marathon, it wasn't so bad. I ran it all, with walks through the water stops, and only had a few major complaints from my piriformis/sciatic nerve (darn hills). When I returned home, I kicked Gwen the pitoodle and her new buddy, Stray the Walkon dog, out of the kiddie pool and made a slightly slimy ice bath for myself. Then, I crashed on the bed for awhile, awakening to giggle with glee at the Cowboys' loss. Bwahahaha. Anyway, after some initial muscle pain, I was okay.

Today, I got to spend my federal holiday day off at jury duty. This worried me a little - not due to outstanding warrants or past criminal offenses, but due to the thought of having to sit and/or stand for extended waiting periods after running over 33 miles in 2 days. It wasn't too bad - a couple of leg cramps, but manageable. The worrying part was that I almost ended up on a jury of this retrial (it was reversed by the top State court after that decision) for a week-long (at least) trial. I could just imagine sitting for a week listening to testimony with delayed onset muscle soreness and/or cramps. If I had thought there was really a chance I'd end up on a jury, much less one with an extended trial, I would NOT have run both long runs this weekend.

In serving my jury duty, though, I realized that I do miss the courtroom and trials quite a bit. But, then, I realized that, today, I missed my cushy federal holiday, at-will lunches and breaks, and getting off work around 3 p.m. more - for now!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another shiny medal

This morning, I ran the Missions half marathon and earned my shiny finisher's medal. It was my worst finish time-wise in a half ever (by about 10 minutes), but I was consciously staying at marathon pace and not allowing myself to speed up. Even over the 4 awful bouncy bridges. At the end, I felt like I could continue running at that pace for a long time, which was my goal.

Anyway, the Moroccans swept for the men and some of my nemeses took women's first and second. (Liza was first and Andrea, who got injured during the race, came in second.) I came home, chowed, showered, and spent the afternoon lying around with ice on my hip.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on a 20 mile training run - depending on how my hip feels. Right now, things look good - except for the ugly race pics from this half that will come soon...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The plan

Like many, many bad ideas, this one starts with "So, here's the plan..."

First, the background: My hip still hurts, but not quite so bad (or I'm just ignoring it because the orthobutcher scared me). But, I am back to within a minute or so of my normal 5k speed and ran the 2 mile zoo run last night within :30 of last year's normal times. (Maybe it's the sub-100 degree weather?) Not that either of those are indicators that I can run 26.2 anytime soon, but I'll take all positive signs.

Anyway, back to the plan. Tonight, a brisk 4-5 miles, since a Brak Pak BBQ awaits at the park upon completion of the run. Tomorrow, I will get ALL of my errands run, including picking up some sort of fencing for bad escape-artists dogs and installation thereof.

BECAUSE: Saturday is the Missions Half Marathon, which I'm going to try to run nice and easy. The race used to be up in the HILL country, but this will be flatter and is actually part of the marathon course. I just hope we don't have to cross the bouncy bridges that are located in the Missions park. (They make me nauseous)

THEN: I do nothing but lie around icing whatever needs iced until I run 20 miles Sunday morning. Then, I lie around icing everything.

Yep, dumb plan, but I'm going to try it and see how I feel. I can always ice my butt some more while on jury duty on Monday, which would otherwise be a holiday for me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Running scared

The thoughts that flit through your brain when you are running for hours at a time are strange - kind of like dreaming at night. Though this weekend's run was shorter, I kept experiencing thoughts of fear that the hip pain would strike back unexpectedly and I wouldn't be able to make it. So, I started thinking of times when I was afraid to run - like at the start of the Dallas marathon. Then, more frightening, of my times running in Sarajevo. I didn't run that much at the time - maybe 2-3 miles every couple of days. But, starting in Ilidza, I was running on 1.5 foot wide "trails" with mine tape (like caution tape-indicating there were probably blow-you-to-pieces mines on the other side of the plastic tape) on either side. At Butmir, I'd run the perimeter of the base and 1 wild dog would start following me, I'd run a little faster, then it was 3 wild dogs, and, by the time I'd hit a full sprint, there was a pack on my heels and I was wishing I'd grabbed my weapon before setting out.

Those times would have made for great ugly pics, but alas, I have none. There's the unit pic, though - I'm third from the left in front. Sure makes 13.4 miles in the city seem easier!

Rock N Roll SA

Wow - the Rock N Roll San Antonio marathon is capping runners at 30,000. Yeah, 30k! Rumor has it that 28,500 are already registered. I think last year, before it became a RNR event, there were about 5,000 runners - for the marathon, HM, and 5k. This is 30,000 for the HM and marathon. Sounds like it'll be crazy. I'm already blaming what's likely to be a not-so-good finish time on the crowds!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Training Like a Sumo Wrestler

I once read an article on sumo wrestlers. Apparently, they do their training (mostly strength) in the morning and then spend the rest of the day alternating eating (major calorie loading) and sleeping. So, I thought, for today, I'd employ that training philosophy.

This morning's run was 13.5 and it felt tougher than last week's 18 miler - but the course was pretty hilly. I scarfed down some eggs, potatoes, and fruit and hit the couch HARD. I woke up as the Brewers game and football started and was starving, so I made some spaghetti al pomodoro. Now, I'm alternating lying around with the dog and the cats, flipping between football and baseball.

While I may never make it as a sumo wrestler, keeping off my feet seems to be helping my hip and the rest feels good. It would feel better if the Brewers would put 5 runs or so on the board, though.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

A while ago, I weeded through my hoard of t-shirts and sent some off to be teecycled. Today, I went through my pile of old running shoes and sent some off to be reused. There are many organizations that reuse old running shoes - I picked one that is located in Texas so that I don't have to ship very far.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lazy weekend

And here is why my leg/hip/back hurts:
That piriformis that sits on top (or, likely
for me and some of the population, around)
the sciatic.
Or, you can believe the orthobutcher and
think that it is all back related and there
is nothing but surgery to be had. La la la la
I'm not listening.

What I am doing is NOT racing this weekend.
It's a step down week, so I'm going to take
the pitoodle for a long walk tonight and run
13 miles Sunday morning. Hopefully, that
will be after the Brewers win.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Will bike for donations

Well, not me, but a buddy. Yes, I know that I am always asking for money for homeless animals, sick critters, various diseases, legal aid, etc. I just want to make sure you guys have plenty of choices. My buddy, Carl, is riding in the Livestrong Challenge ride in Austin, TX on October 26, 2008. As in many of these fundraising races/rides, there is a minimum donation - which many of us runners/riders usually end up fulfilling out of our own pockets. I know that the current economic situation is rough for all, but by helping others - even a little - you help us all.

So, save Carl's pocket a little - any donation would be appreciated - and donate here. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure that Carl would appreciate happy cycling thoughts sent his way!

Monday, September 29, 2008

ooo shiny medal

The latest is the one with the green/white ribbon. Ooooo shiny...

Not so bad, actually

The title refers to this weekend's runs, NOT the picture. It's pretty bad:

But, the NOCC 5k felt good and was a nice, flat course, so I came in 3rd female 30-39. Here's the Brak Pak contingent at the end (I hadn't gotten my shiny medal yet - I love shiny medals).

Sunday's 18 miles also went pretty well. I'm not saying they were fun, but I managed to run them all without pain shooting down my left leg. I think Friday's massage helped a lot. Unfortunately, after running 18, I got home and couldn't quite keep my eyes open for the dumb Packers game that we should have won.