Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Total Recall?

I have not yet received the notice, but apparently my pod (Yaris hatchback) is being recalled. [Since the pod cannot read, I can safely say I was secretly excited to get a brand new car. No such luck - just an hour-long visit to the dealer in my future to replace some seatbelt thingamajig.]

The pod is a great little vehicle for many things, though, including getting 30 mph around town and showing up at the last minute for race starts. There's ALWAYS a parking spot for the pod - here was the Beach to Bay Marathon Relay parking job the pod pulled in Corpus Christi last May. People were walking by as the first legs finished, rubbing the pod's "nose."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You want ugly, I'll give ya ugly

One often overused phrase that annoys me is "the perfect storm." But I must use it to describe the Endurathon ugly race pics. I had the superb combination of cold weather, wind, HILLS, 15.5 miles, undertraining, and leg cramps which combined for the perfect storm for ugly-race-pic-posing.

*Disclaimer* There's a whole lotta ugly race pics below. View with caution ;-)
The start - not too ugly yet in the white visor and cobalt jacket
downhills are already starting to hurt - getting uglier

Yeah, this is pretty much starting to hurt

I'm only smiling between leg cramps
and the bitter, ugly end - fighting leg cramps

and the truly perfect storm: all of the above conditions, after 15.5 miles, with salt in my eyes, cramps in my legs - and the guy goes and takes a profile picture of nose-less me while I'm bracing against the wind?! Man, that's an ugly race pic!

Thanks to Hill Country Rambling for the pics

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Endurathon part two

I'm not really a wuss. Here is the elevation for the race. Ironic, no, that my legs began cramping when I had to run flat for too long (2 miles)?! And here is the weather warning (I was in THE HILL COUNTRY):


But the airport across from the park where we started/finished registered 30+ mph gusts.

Endurathon 25k

WOW, it's not a very good idea to run a VERY hilly 25k (15.5 miles) if you're only really trained up for a flat-and-fast 10 miler. But I did. It also didn't help that there was a steady wind, with 30 mph gusts. Those almost knocked me back down some hills. You know it's hilly when the downhills hurt, too, and the few flat parts seem boring.

The first 12.5 miles were pretty brutal, but went well. Then, when it got flat for a bit, I experienced awful calf/leg cramps. I ran through those for the last 3 miles, walking down hills and frequently stopping to stretch. My time was slow - 2:49:59 - but I wasn't really ready for this race and was just trying to make it to the end.

Speaking of looking w-i-d-e:

(I decided to go without a race belt, so I had gels, paper towels, and my phone (just in case, for this brutal race) stuffed in my front pockets).

When I returned home, I couldn't even nap, because my legs kept cramping for hours. I will have to determine what - besides killer hills - caused that and avoid it for next time!

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics

Friday, January 23, 2009


The Brak Pak technically BBQs in Koehler Park (on the other side of the river from Brackenridge Park), but everyone calls the whole park "Brackenridge." Here's why:

George Brackenridge continued to donate land to enlarge the park. His gifts included Mahncke Park, which he asked to be named in honor of his friend Ludwig, as well as property comprising the today’s golf driving range (formerly the polo field). The park was further enlarged through the generosity of other donors. In 1915, Emma Koehler donated property west of the River where the Confederate tannery had been located. She dedicated the park to her deceased husband, Otto, who had owned the Pearl Brewery, and insisted that alcohol be permitted in the park. (By contrast, Brackenridge had prohibited consumption of alcohol in "his" park.)

History by: Maria Pfeiffer, Special Projects Officer, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department

Impromtu barbeque

I run on Tuesday/Thursday nights (and some Saturdays and most races) with an informal group called (informally) the Brak Pak. We joke about charging dues, train together for marathons, and (many of us) drink beers after running. And we BBQ. Usually, these are semi-planned affairs; however, last night, while we were debating which route to run, someone said it would be a good night to barbeque. And Adrian had wood in his truck. And Trey had already run and could hit the store. And we start/finish at Brackenridge park, so the BBQ was on. After a run around the golf course, we had ourselves a BBQ. Since it was impromptu, there weren't any pictures, but here are some Brak Pak pics from past BBQs:

I'm a little nervous about tomorrow's Endurathon 25k. I'm really not trained up for 15.5 miles in the Texas HILL country, but we'll see how it goes. Here's a picture after last year's Endurathon (I volunteered at the 10.5 mile water stop - and was looking very w-i-d-e that day - wow). After all those hills, I'm bound to take a truly lovely ugly race pic in the morning!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Still crazy after all these years

Well, I did it. I signed up for the dumb night-time, in the dark, over-the-river-and-through-the-woods crazy 10k trail run on February 13. And I'm planning on running a 10k the next morning. Yep, this was pretty painful last year. But th-th-th-that that don't kill me can only make me stronger (thanks, Kayne). And I should have sufficient recovery time before Fall marathon season if I bust my arse again. This year, I procured some better lighting:

And I plan to run like a sissy. Like a safe, injury-free sissy. In other hilarious news, my sister's treadmill declared war on her. I haven't run on a treadmill in almost a decade, but, then, it's been in the 60s/70s here, so there is really no need. However, she's located darn close to the frozen tundra, and has 4 kids (who constitute 2/3 of my starting offensive line for the 2025 GB Packers), so it's a necessary evil. Apparently, it gives her a mile to warm up then arbitrarily gives her "Fartleks," speeding up to 10 mph. Hee.

A great day

I was going to take today off, but really couldn't afford the hours. What a great day in history!

Anyway, I did not run to work on Saturday as planned. I was a little under the weather and didn't want to strand myself, so I just did an easy run in my neighborhood/downtown after work. On Sunday, I received my new mattress. And I took a nap. It was nice. The dogs think it's pretty cool that they have a mattress (the old one) in their room, too.

Next up: The Endurathon. 25k of hills I have no business running. It will hurt, I'm sure.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Run to Work Take Two

With the injuries of many running buddies, it looks like the Saturday long run is off this week. Funny how you can stave and will those injuries off and they nail you after the marathon. So, I'm thinking of revisiting my run to work overtime Saturday. I'm guessing it should be easier to accomplish in January than it was in July. And now I have pre-po'd clothing, wipes, and towels at the office.

In other news, my New Year's Resolution to get more sleep isn't going very well. I tried to approach it like nutrition/diet and write it down to realize the truth. Average sleep (total - not including sleep walking or time awake during the night) = 4.2 hrs per night so far this year. Not good. But, I'm going to set myself up for success. Sunday, my new mattress gets delivered, which I will cover with my 600 threadcount sheets and I will sleep and sleep on Monday. Okay, maybe I'll work on topping 5 hours and taking Dingo the limping stray dog to the vet. Old Army mantra: Shoot the 50m targets first, then keep shooting. The dogs are psyched,though, that they are getting my old mattress (I think -until they realize I'm not on it).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Return of the Chupacabra

Yes, as I contemplate running the springtime chupacabras 10k (Cupid 10k) at night, in the dark, in the woods, along very technical trails, trying not to bust my arse, you can get your very own Los Chupacabras de la Noche t-shirt on (while it lasts). No, you really didn't think I was going to give up my supercool technical tank that I got for busting my butt (really) last year during this run, did you? This is the cotton version, but supercool just the same - and $1 goes to the River Revitalization Foundation to restore urban river trails and waterways in Milwaukee.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beach to Bay Marathon Relay

Yes, the Brak Pak Chiks are registered and ready for the 34th Annual Beach to Bay Marathon Relay (Padre Island to Corpus Christi) on May 16th. This year's lineup: yours truly, Janie, Maria, Bernice, Carolyn, and Carol. Our goals: finish, party, and don't get run over by the Kenyans on the beach (really happened to me 2 years ago). Here are pictures from last year's Beach to Bay weekend.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is Winter Over Yet?

Yes, it was over 70 degrees here yesterday, but it's supposed to get cold again (not Wisconsin cold, but cold just the same). I just don't like the "feel" of Winter and always crave Spring. Part of that "feel" involves the dearth of races - no races this weekend, or next. Instead, tomorrow, I'm going for a frosty 10 mile run downtown with Brak Pak folks (followed by caldo and nachos), then taking the pitoodle for her shots.

Next race: Endurathon 25k January 24 - a looong way away!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Night trail runs

Now I'm becoming pretty sure I will run the nighttime 10k trail run through the dark, dark woods. Here is the account of last year's run - I had no idea we were running guinea pigs.

On wisdom, or lack thereof


1. good sense: the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience
2. wise decision: good sense shown in a way of thinking, judgment, or action
3. accumulated learning: accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience
4. opinion widely held: an opinion that almost everyone seems to share or express
5. sayings: ancient teachings or sayings

Ah, wisdom. That good sense, that judgment, that accumulated knowledge gained through experience. According to 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." So, surely, one who knows her history would have the good sense and knowledge not to repeat it. By, say, running a 10k night trail run in February and following it up less than 12 hours later with another 10k? Perhaps, in the absence of wisdom, one would simply read this on the Cupid's night 10k trail run flyer and abstain:

Waiver and Release
I understand that trail running at night is hazardous. I know I could break an ankle or take a stick in my eye. I am also aware that if I am not in shape I could have a heart attack or stroke. I realize if I do not pay attention to the superior trail markings I could get lost. In no way do I hold anyone other than myself responsible for my well being during this race.

And yet, I am thinking of running these back-to-back races. At least Edmund Burke has me on this one: "Applaud us when we run, console us when we fall, cheer us when we recover."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blasted resolutions

I tend not to make New Year's resolutions. I prefer to make goals throughout the year, but this year, I resolved to accomplish what I thought would be a realistic goal - to get more sleep. In the articles I've recently read, sleep is very important to overall health, and I am very bad at sleeping much over 4-5 hours per day/night. So, thus far, my resolution is failing, as evidenced by the fact that I write this at midnight and will be up at 5:30 a.m. to run. Even today, I woke up after about 5-6 hours of sleep and didn't nap, even though I had the chance. But there were books to read and football to watch and doggies with whom to play. I just always view sleeping as a waste of time, when there are better ways to waste my time. So, starting tomorrow night, I resolve (again) to get more sleep. Maybe it will make me faster?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Teecycle hits 200

Sorry, that's not a hot stock tip (is there any such thing these days?) But if (when) they go public, my advice is to buy, buy, buy. Congrats to for selling its 200th shirt! You can check out their new subscription service and peek at the top 10 shirts sold in 2008 - I'm partial to shirts #1 and #2!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

(I'm back there in the red shirt)

Wow, the 100th post and a brand new year! I welcomed 2009 in by running the Cobweb Chaser 5k. Yep, all the runners there are just a little sick. At least there is a delayed start - gun fired at 10 a.m., but that still felt pretty darn early. It was a nice, fun run, with over 400 runners this year. Luckily, it was also a nice San Antonio winter day - in the high 60s! After the race, we ate traditional black eyed peas. I guess it beats my family tradition - it would be hard to stomach sauerkraut after a night of celebrating and 3.1 miles!

The old school running crowd. It was chilly enough that I put on my jacket, but warm enough to run in a skirt!

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics