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