Wednesday, December 30, 2009

PanCan Purple Stride

This is my friend, Pete.  He is fighting pancreatic cancer again.  He will win again.

When she's not rescuing animals, training dogs, gardening, working, reading, running, cycling, doing a kazillion other things, or helping Pete through treatment, Pete's wife (and my friend), Jenna, is my personal photographer.  She does not know this.  Sometimes all that other stuff gets in the way of being my personal photographer - so these pics are a little delayed, but much appreciated.

This was the Pancreatic Cancer Purple Stride 5k at one of my alma maters - St. Mary's University - on November 7.  It was a great run.  My slow post-marathon finish time netted me 3rd in my age group and I won a $50 gift certificate to a wine bar as a door prize.  Good haul!

Before the race:

And during the run, thinking "dang, I just ran a marathon two weeks ago"

Caught getting some post-race beverages - Jenna is like the paparazzi.

And Wally with Diesel, my dog Gwen's "twin."  

I first met these two about a year and a half ago, when I queasily crossed the zoo run finish line.  I thought "why does that guy have my dog?  why is Gwen not home where I left her? when did Gwen get so buff?  and WHEN did she, um, grow balls?"  (I HAD just tried to run 2 miles as fast as I could in San Antonio in the Summer, mind you. And, look, they are pretty similar - Gwen's the one on the left!)

See?  Anyway, next up is the Cobweb Chaser on New Year's Day.  Mercifully, gun time is 10:00 a.m.

Thanks to Jenna for the pics!  And fight, Pete, fight :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I went for a nice little Christmas run today along the north section of the River Walk with my new toy (Garmin 405 - thanks Folks!) and new shoes (free, courtesy of American Express points).  And all was happy and bright!

Then, I played a game of fetch with the dogs - Dingo is pretty good, but Gwen always turns it into a game of keep away from Sally, then eats the tennis ball.  Merry Christmas!

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some things other than running and beer

Lest you think that I only run and drink beer with running buddies, I am posting activities other than those aforementioned.  Here are some pictures from October's book club (a/k/a Book & Bottle Club, a/k/a JUGBABES‏).

Yep, we read books and talk about them.  "We" being many runners, cyclists, and triathletes.  "Talk" meaning talk over a glass or two of wine.  Definitely different than running and drinking brewskis.

Wow, as you can see here - I had recently dyed my hair (I absolutely admit that) - yet, in the previous post in Mexico (about 6 weeks later), it had already lightened a LOT from sun exposure through running.  I think this shows that I need to be more diligent about sunscreen usage because solar exposure here, even in the Fall, is strong.

Thanks to Jenna for the pics!

The Crazy Running Chicken Training Plan

(or more pics from the International Friendship 10k Run in McAllen, TX on November 22, 2009)

Okay, first you drive just over 4.5 hours to the border - and cross it into Mexico.

Jenna, the Mexican Eagle, and me

Joan and I on the bridge

Then, you meet up with more buddies along the streets of Nuevo Progresso and enjoy a cerveza.

My classic rabbit-squint.  Before me on the table are a "Court Case" prayer candle, limes, salt, and Dos Equis.  All of which I could have used when I litigated and practiced family law.

And then, you wake up and run a 10k in a heavy fog among the tall palms.

In fine crazy running chicken form!

Thanks to Jenna for the pics - she actually drove and ran alongside to take the action ones (but not the beer drinking ones).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

No Race Weekend

Yes, they are rare, but this is one.  AND, because I work for a certain employer, we are without a budget, under a continuing resolution, and are not allowed overtime for now.  So, what is a Sally to do?

Well, after a nice party with friends last night at Pizza Italia, I dragged my butt out of bed and hit the new riverwalk for a short run this morning.  I LOVE this section of the riverwalk (thank you Mayor Phil for building it for me to run on) - though it is concrete and tough on the legs, it has marked the last 5 miles to the park on my long runs all Summer.  So, entering the upper riverwalk is simply happiness for me!  And today, I saw many fellow SA runners and fluffy doggies along the run, which always makes me happy.  Afterward (where I parked the car) I shopped at the Pearl Brewery farmers' market and their holiday craft fair.

Tomorrow, I am trying to get out of bed early for the 7-8 mile run at Fleet Feet (please, no hills).  Then, I am going to attend visitation for Judge Andy Mireles.  He was a nice man and a fair and strict judge, which was good for me when I appeared before him, since I was generally overprepared, nervous, and trying to do the right thing.  He will be missed.

Sunday evening is the Stray Dog Xmas.  We (mostly runners) meet downtown, enjoy 'cheer' as we exchange the cheapest, most creative mass gifts that we can develop, then head down to the riverwalk for dinner, and sing caroles at the Alamo.

Thanks to the San Antonio Bar Association for Judge Andy Mireles's pic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sing it with me

Sally got run over by a reindeer

because she looked like a crazy running chicken.
She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog,

but at least she made it to the end.  brrr.
(and how creepy is that reindeer hand jutting out from stage right?)

Thanks to Hill Country Rambling for the holiday crazy running chicken pics.

Hakuna Matata (I've been spelling that wrong for years)

Simba the housecat says, "I'm glad you liked the show, but I'm pretty sure these are all about me."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yet another nemesis

It has been awhile since I have whined complained about my nemeses or nemesi or nemesises.  This is only because I have not been sorely beaten lately by these VERY fast women in my age group (only because we have not been running the same races).  But now, I have a new nemesis - Rochelle Cuff.  By day, she is a controller/accountant type, wife/mom, and fellow book & bottle clubmember - by early morning and evening track workouts, she is a REALLY fast runner.  And this morning, she finished 3rd overall female at the Dallas White Rock Marathon with a chip time of 3:03:35!  Yep, that is a mere 1 hour and 40 minutes or so faster than I ran it two years ago.  *sigh* the nemeses keep getting faster and I just seem to be getting older!

Great run, Rochey!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Next up - Reindeer Run

The Reindeer Run 5k, where I get my 'prize' for running 8 of the 10 Alamo Series runs.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BRRRRRR-race report

Well, there was a chance of snowflakes, so the City Manager's 5k was cancelled/postponed this morning.  Being from "The North," I scoffed at such postponement.  However, having lived down here for years, and waking up to ACTUAL FROST which REMAINED on the lawn and CRIPPLED my basil, this was indeed a good idea.  So, instead, I ended up heading into work this morning to work some overtime - and it was quite frosty.  It was the first time I realized that I no longer carry approximately 3 ice-scrapers in my car.  In fact, I now have none and used a piece of cardboard to scrape the windows.

After work, I chowed some food and took a nap (yes, excitement, I know).  Then, I set out for the Jingle Bell 5k Run for Arthritis at the University of the Incarnate Word.  I often run through that campus, but it is especially nice during the holidays, when they put twinkly lights in all of their trees.  The run was nice, but frosty, as the temperatures remained in the 40 degree range.  (Stop laughing you Northerners - I CANNOT deal with those temperatures any more.)  This intolerance (and newfound naiveté) for cold weather was probably best evidenced by my failure to dig out a pair of tights in which to run.  Ah well, at least I only have to run in "The Cold" for another month or so.

Thanks to for the frosty ugly pics

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Next ups

Well, there were approximately 2,500 runners at the Turkey Trot last Thursday, so I didn't espy any ugly race pics among the kazillion thumbnails before I went blind.  I will, therefore, have to try for some ugly race pics this weekend.  Luckily, the weather is a miserable 40ish degrees and raining and, if this holds, I should look equally as miserable.  Further lucky still, I have back to back races on Saturday.

First, I finagled a guest invitation to the City Manger's 5k Saturday morning (thanks, Joe!):

Then, I will come home where, hopefully, elves will have visited and mopped up the muddy dogprints.  And I will take a nap.  Then, I will run the Jingle Bell 5k Saturday evening among the lights at the University of the Incarnate Word.  And then, I will sleep some more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

La polla loca corre

You would think that the 4.5 hour drive to the Rio Grande Valley would knock the crazy out of my crazy chicken running form.  And it did, but then I crossed the border to Nuevo Progresso, purchased some cheap tequila and other junk, and became La Polla Loca.  Here are the pics from the International Friendship 10k last weekend in McAllen, Texas.

Straight crazy chicken in any language

and here is a little 'zombi' or 'autómata' thrown in.

but I snapped out of it long enough to keep ahead of the fast older gentleman behind me.

and done.  This was actually a great bargain of a race.  For $10, there was a prerace spaghetti dinner, tshirt, 10k flat, fast race with water stops every 2k (I spent most of the race trying to compute my 1k splits, since I only know my mile/5k-increment splits), finisher medals for all, awesome breakfast tacos, (sadly, no beer unless you brought it - um, we did), and 'big injun' trophies for age group finishers. 

Thanks to for allowing me to slooooowly swipe their pics.  Frighteningly enough, you can visit their website and order these ugly race pics on a koozie or refrigerator magnet!  Now THAT's a holiday gift!

Next up - Turkey Trot

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rock N Roll SA - the lazy version

Yes, I normally screencap and swipe otherwise protected ugly race pics and post them, but right now, I am BUSY.  So, here are "my" pics from Action Sports International.  I say "my" because I'm not sure why my bib number pulls up a bunch of other random folks, all looking much better than I did that day!

Next up:  Friendship 10k in McAllen, TX - with a side trip to Mexico

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rock N Roll SA - recovery

Yep, it was brutal - can you tell?  My eyes are salted shut here.

Thanks to John O for the pic!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rock N Roll Half Marathon

enough said

Thanks to Action Sports International for the thumbs down pic
more to come

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So, I'm trying not to get upset about my terrible finish, but now I'm running my splits, trying to figure out (how many) things went wrong and why.  In doing this, I did find out that I beat the mayor of San Antonio

then, I realized that's a bit of a Phyrric victory.  Yep, I beat him a bit today in a really bad race environment, but he graduated from a (much) better law school and is the youngest mayor of a major US city.

(pause) I'll still take beating him.  Too bad he's a respectable attorney and good mayor.  I'll hold off on the nanny nanny boo boo.

Corrections to my Worst HM Beat the Kenyans Game Result

It turns out, more elite guys passed me somehow - mostly Kenyans. 

Again, here are the rules in my silly game:

1) they start about 10 minutes before me (because they are elite and I am a slug - ooo, or maybe because I am nice an give them a head start?)
2) they run 26.2 miles, I run 13.1 miles
3) if I beat them, I giggle.  because it's just a silly game that I play in my head
4) they win money for their tremendous runs, I just get my giggle

and the just plain truth:

it is AMAZING to watch those guys run past me.  They are so efficient and fast, I just have to watch them glide by and think "wow, just wow." and then, "ow," because I was not feeling the best.

BUT.  I erroneously reported that I finished with the SECOND female, when I actually BEAT the women and TIED with the first American male (again, they ran double the distance) who placed eighth!  I guess that was why I got such a cheer at 'my' finish.  *giggle* (remember, their clock times are about 10 minutes less than mine, due to the wave start.  But that's really not important, since I'm comparing their 5:00ish minute miles to my 10:00ish minute miles, but do NOT question the rules of my silly game). 

Here's the real report - even the Kenyan men had problems with today's weather:

San Antonio, TX (November 15, 2009) — 29-year-old Gilbert Koech led a five-man Kenyan sweep of the second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon today, notching his first marathon victory since the 2005 Las Vegas Marathon. In testing, humid conditions, Koech broke from the five-man lead pack shortly after the 19-mile mark, and was headed on his way to victory in a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 39 seconds.

The race began under overcast skies and temperatures in the mid-60s, but humidity hovered at over 90 percent. Notwithstanding, American half-marathon winner Westly Keating and runner-up Shadrack Songok, both from Texas and running in their debut half-marathons, led the accompanying six marathon runners through a fast first 10 miles and reached the 10-mile mark in an aggressive time of 49:25, sub-2:10 marathon pace.

“I wasn’t concerned by the early pace because I felt comfortable,” said Koech, whose $17,500 first place prize equates to 1.26 million Kenyan schillings. “I’m looking forward to coming back next year to defend my title at this race.”

After reaching the 10.7-mile-mark where the half-marathon and marathon courses split off from one another, the six marathon runners increasingly slowed their pace reaching the half-marathon point in 1:05:39. The pack stayed together until just after the 19 miles when Koech made his move running a 4:56 2oth mile to gain an initial six second advantage over eventual third place finisher James Boit, which surprised his better credentialed compatriots.

He remained on course record pace through 25 miles, but he began to suffer the effects of the fast early miles and rising temperatures. It was a difficult second half as Koech ran a split of 69:00 with a 5:45 final mile, falling just three seconds shy of the course record. However, none of his challengers had the firepower to close the gap that Koech had built.

“I didn’t care about the time; winning was awesome. It’s been a struggle living in America with little money,” said Koech, whose injuries over the last two years had been misdiagnosed and eventually cost him his sponsorship contracts.

He is married to two-time Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Champion Edna Kiplagat, who was planning to run in San Antonio but was unable to due to visa difficulties.

Washington’s Drew Polley was the top American, coming in eighth with a time of 2:20:59 in his debut marathon.

In the women’s race, Tatiana Pushkareva of Russia won in a time of 2:30:30, over four minutes ahead of countrywoman Svetlana Ponomorenko, who finished second in 2:34:57. It was the second Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series victory of the year for Pushkareva, who also won the Country Music Marathon in April.
“After we hit the half marathon I was confident; I was running my pace,” said Pushkareva, who finished fourth last year in San Antonio. “I love the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.”

Polish Olympian Dorota Gruca finished third in 2:36:07, while Russia’s Albina Gallymova was fourth in 2:40:38. Kenya’s Evelyn Lagat rounded out the top five finishers with a time of 2:42:28.

“I felt I ran well today,” said Gruca, who represented Poland in the marathon at last year’s Beijing Olympics. “I’m looking forward to running faster in my next marathon. It was a little lonely with no one really in front or behind me during the race. Finishing on the podium was my goal and I achieved it.”

Becca Prichard of Charleston, SC was the top American woman, finishing in seventh place with a time of 2:52:51.

The race had nearly 26,500 starters from all 50 states and 23 countries. Temperatures were in the mid-60s at the start line, a stark contrast from the extreme cold that greeted runners in 2008, the event’s inaugural year. The first hour and 50 minutes of the race were held under cloudy skies, with the sun only coming as the elite winners crossed the finish.

2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon Results


Gilbert Koech, 29, Kenya, 2:14:39, $17,500
Laban Moiben, 26, Kenya, 2:15:21, $,8,000
James Boit, 30, Kenya, 2:15:43, $4,000
Joseph Mutinda, 31, Kenya, 2:16:00, $2,000
Noah Talam, 26, Kenya, 2:17:43, $1,500

Tatiana Pushkareva, 24, Russia, 2:30:30, $17,500
Svetlana Ponomorenko, 40, Russia, 2:34:57, $,8,500
Dorota Gruca, 39, Poland, 2:36:07, $4,000
Albina Gallymova, 45, Russia, 2:40:38, $2,250
Evelyne Lagat, 29, Kenya, 2:42:28, $1,500

Worst Half Marathon

I will have to double-check, but I'm sure that was my worst or close-to-worst half marathon performance at the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon this morning. I felt strong enough at the beginning, but my body started letting me know that I just ran a marathon 3 weeks ago and it was not happy. It probably did not help that the start time temperature was warm and humidity was 98-99%, depending on which news program you watched. And I knew it was not going to be a great run when I was already ready to bag it at mile 4. Usually, I can "reset" myself, despite leg cramps, fatigue, etc. (and here, nausea and abdominal cramps to top it off), by pretending that a new race is beginning at the next mile marker or halfway point. However, my body was not fooled by the ploy this time, and I just had to run it in the best I could suffering from the problems above. Which was certainly not very good at all.

I also play a game at the end of the half marathon where I try to beat the top (ELITE) marathon runners to the finish. Yes, I know, they ran twice the distance, but I still try to beat them - they do not know about this 'game.' Anyway, I usually 'win' at this one, but today, I was passed by at least the top two males (Kenya) and the top US male with 1-2 miles left, and I finished alongside the #2 female (Russia). Which meant that many people were seemingly cheering my finish. I, however, was not.

I'm disappointed in my run and need to figure out what is causing my now-chronic leg cramps, but the run is in the books. And it will surely provide a myriad (yes, literally tens of thousands) of ugly pics. Because that was what it was, straight ugly.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Next up - Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Wow, I am glad I did not decide to try two full marathons in three weeks.  So, instead, I will be trotting the SA Rock N Roll half marathon on Sunday.

Thanks to for the shiny medal pic

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marine Corps Marathon Finish

at the finish line - the Brak Pak contingent
thanks to Joe & Bernice for the pic

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Next up

Yes, I just returned from DC, then returned from WI, but it is time for another race.  This one is just a little 5k, but I will be running it with my buddy, Pete, who is battling pancreatic cancer again.

You can donate to (or join) our team here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Marine Corps!

So, here are some excellent pics from buddies John and Rose - they did not quite capture the UGLY pics though - there must have been a rose-colored filter on that camera.

'carbo loading' at the expo

Expo with Joe & Bernice

We're official

checking out DC in the drizzle

casa de Brak Pak

Still smiling around mile 16 or 17


Postrace chow (Trey, me, Mikey, John, Tracie, Christina, Jake's mom, Jake, and Rose on the camera)

Capitol City Grill brewskis

And heading home

Pics courtesy of John and Rose O