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?