Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New couch review

After Simba the cat's serious disappointment that the old couch went to the dogs, she was not very excited about the new couch during today's powernap (being locked in a room with Vaca the cat during delivery probably influenced her decision). And she loves a couch - even when a pitoodle invades. However, upon further review, she approves the couch. Or the addition of the Packers blanket to the couch.

Long run couching

There are three parts to my weekend long runs. The running, the feeding, and the couching. Here lately, my long runs have only been 8-12 miles and not as regular as those during marathon training. But they are still followed by food (mmm cheesy nachos) and crashing on the couch for an hour or two. It's my ritual and I like it.

But I've been couch-less for almost a month (dogs stole it). And that has left a gaping hole in my long run ritual. Until today:

Yay new couch! I test-napped it for about 45 minutes, and it will certainly do. The pillows must go, though. Then it was off for a Brak Pak run and BBQ.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Next ups

There was a small 5k this past weekend at one of my alma maters - St. Mary's University. I could not find the information/flyer online though, so I just ran a nice 10-miler with buddies on Sunday. I always like running this route - through Brackenridge Park, along the golfcourse, downtown, past El Mercado, part of the riverwalk (the linear park area - not by the bars), through King William District, back through downtown, past the Alamo, and back up to the park. But not really up - it's a nice, flat route that has plenty of hotel waterstops and stretches about 10 miles.

If only I could have completed my normal long(er) run routine: run long, eat heartily, and crash on couch for 1-2 hours. I remain couch-less. The dogs continue to snicker at me from what is now their couch in their room. Fear not, however, the new couch is finally due to arrive tomorrow - sometime between 10 and 2 so that I have to take the WHOLE DAY off to accept delivery. I love that. But then, I will crash on my couch to make up for Sunday!

Next up:

Every year, I claim that I will not be running this race the following year. But every year I run it, because the cause and the vibe of the race are wonderful. It's the $40+ entry, $10 parking, and 29,999 other people in my way that are not so wonderful. But I will save my complaining for after Saturday's race, just to give everyone something to anticipate! Presumably, after I indulge in a bit o' couch napping.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Return of the Crazy Chicken

This morning, I ran the Spurs/CASA 5k. It was crowded (1,100 preregistered) and not very scenic (around the AT&T Center), but it was for a good cause. I haven't done much speed work lately and haven't run a 5k in a long time, so my finish time was not great. But my finish pose? Pure crazy chicken. I'm not sure how I take pictures like this, with chicken wings, since I don't run like this. My excuse is that my shoulder is still healing, so I am a little hunched up. And at least I beat that stroller guy?!

Afterward, I headed up to Leon Springs, where a running buddy of mine was selling heirloom vegetable plants. (She's a former nun and founding President and CEO of ACCION Texas, now the largest micro-lending organization in the country.) I was just going to go buy some vegetable plants from her from the Santuario Sisterfarm, but there was actually a full farmer's market, too. (The one near me does not open until May.) So, I was able to purchase excellent vegetables there today, as well as the heirloom veggie plants. Tomorrow, I burrow through the mucho compost I have and plant the well-loved plants! I am pretty sure if nuns grow them organically, they can only produce the best veggies.

Thanks to IAAP for the chicken pic

Friday, March 20, 2009

So many races

After no local races last weekend, there are 4 this Saturday. Sadly, I am skipping the St. Patrick's Day 5k and running the Spurs/Casa 5k instead. There are already over 1,000 preregistered for this race and 10-year age groups, so I am not likely to earn a shiny medal. It should be a fun run, though, and I will get a high five from the Spurs Coyote.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Prickly Pear Pics

Here are some pics from our super Fiesta aid station

Brenda and Joan with our super pooper

Me looking cross for no apparent reason - probably the dogs

aid station mascots Dingo the Stray Dutch Shepherd and Gwen the Pitoodle - Shultz (Brenda's dog) was also there in all his shy glory

Aid Station #1 crew: Joan, Pete, Jenna, Me, Brenda, and Roche (with our other mascots - Madelynne -on back- and Mason)

The wind was strong - my fiesta head thingy kept blowing off.

And just how tough that race (10m/50k trail) was - glad my separated shoulder and I decided not to run it!
Thanks to Jenna for the pics!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Safety Alert

I am not as vigilant as I should be when I run. I used to run by myself, in the park, sometimes in the dark with headphones, and even "witnessed" a stabbing - although I didn't notice until a cop stopped me for a statement. I am better now and run with other folks about half of the time. But I still tend to zone out when running by myself. Of course, a guy jumped out of a soup kitchen line to grab my hand and a homeless gentleman stopped me mid-stride to compliment me on my appearance in the past year - before I noticed and while I was running with someone. So, I can and should be more vigilant. Especially since this was reported down the street - where I just ran this evening (alone but in the light):

In Olmos Park on McCollough near Panchito’s restaurant, the Olmos Park city manager reports, "a resident was assaulted last night in Olmos Park while jogging, and the attacker attempted to abduct her. The resident successfully fought the suspect and managed to break free. Another resident was passing by and called 911. He was able to provide a description of the suspect and his vehicle. The Olmos Park Police Department arrived at the scene and apprehended the suspect as he attempted to flee the location. The victim and the attacker had no known connection. The suspect was charged with attempted aggravated kidnapping and was booked into jail. The victim suffered minor scrapes in the event.We are posting a reminder ... to advise residents to use the buddy system when walking or jogging at night. We will also encourage them to call 911 and report any suspicious persons or vehicles."

I guess it's time to carry the pepper spray and cell phone - or increase the Gwen the pit bull's mileage.

Thanks to Carroll Voss for the story

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another no race weekend

Well, no races this weekend, yet 4 next weekend - I haven't decided which I'll run yet, though. So, tomorrow I work overtime instead and take the doggies to play with friends. Since those pictures will likely be unexciting, here are some pics from my cousin, Brooke's horse show last weekend. Had I known pictures were going to be taken, I may have tried to look a little nicer. At least they are better than some of my ugly race pics?!

Those are my grandparents in the picture. And the super English style horse rider - man, we need ribbons like that at road races!

Thanks to Sandy for the pics!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Post Prickly Pear Pics

Yep, say that three times fast - post prickly pear pics, prickly post pear pics...

Here are the pictures after the Prickly Pear 10m/50k trail run. It was a long day. I got there around 6:30 a.m. (later than I wanted -dogs seem to be like kids - getting them and their gear in the car takes TIME - alone, I can be out of the house in 15 minutes post wake-up). Anyway, after handing out encouragement and fuel, the last 50k runners passed our station at 1:00 p.m (with about 8 miles of trails to go).

So, Dingo the Stray, Gwen, and I headed to the finish line for refreshments.

This is my best post-race shot ever (oh wait, perhaps because I didn't run - I was just tired and my shoulder hurt). I'm talking to Sally #1 (I'm Sally #2). We decided awhile ago to be known by #1 and #2 rather than "big" and "small" or "old" and "young." The dogs were locked in the trunk. [kidding - I have a hatchback, so unless I want my car's interior to die, the dogs 'come with.' They were actually tied off to the table there - enjoying the love and fajita meat everyone was giving them.]
And a bow to our frequent sponsor, Alamo Ale:

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics.

Dingo Diagnosed?

I have been trying to figure out what kind of dog Dingo the Stray is - I have been calling her a "shepherd mix." My Mom thought she looked like one of the wild dogs she saw in Africa. Well, my friend, Jenna the dogwhisperer, thinks she may be a Dutch Shepherd. I guess that's like a German Shepherd who likes coffee houses, funny brownies, and tulips.
Really, here is Dingo the Stray:

And Cheetah, world champ Dutch Shepherd:

Pretty close, I think. Incidentally, Cheetah is a large/light brindle coloured Dutch Shepherd. She is the #1 Dutch Shepherd in Canada in the North American Flyball Association. She is the only Dutch Shepherd in the Canadian Disc Dog Association. Cheetah loves performing with the Eukanuba Superdogs and in her spare time enjoys lounging on the couch. Cheetah has earned her Flyball Grand Champion title this year. Cheetah – Dutch Shepherd, born 2002.

I guess that explains why she's wearing sweatbands. Now, I'm going to have to coach Dingo so we can knock Cheetah out of the #1 Flayball spot!
Thanks to PawzieTraction for Cheetah's action shot

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekend wrap-up

I took both dogs out to the Prickly Pear 10m/50k trail run. Since I injured my shoulder, I have tried to handle them one at a time - and it takes two arms to walk two dogs and two arms to walk Gwen the pitoodle. So, I don't like math, but that's more arms than I have fully available at this time.

Well, the dogs and I once again volunteered at water stop #1. They had a blast checking out the multitude of 10 mile runners (of which I planned to be one) and those crazies that ran 31 miles on the trails on which I have now fallen twice (albeit in the dark). They even were able to bark at a 'herd' of deer that came through.
So, we did not leave the park until almost 3 pm, and I did not end up traveling to Austin for Jayne's show. But I kind of looked like the dogs after we got home:

Gwen 'couched' out. I kind of missed having a couch when I wanted to also take a nap.

Dingo, the ever-vigilant, never sleeping stray.

Sunday, I made it out to see my 11 y/o cousin, Brooke, in her first English riding show (she's done other shows, but this was the first competitive one). The age groups for riding are HUGE - 11-17. So, yikes, she was the youngest. Her first ride was good, but cautious. Second ride (after falling off the horse during a practice run right before performance) was even better. It just amazes me to see 'small' kiddos riding (and controlling) big horseys. And she informed me that she has narrowed it down to two names for the animal rescue facility we will run after she is graduated from college. I'm guessing I'll need to work some more overtime to fund that.
** note: no animals were harmed in this blog. Unless Brooke yelled at the horse that dumped her, but, by her dad's account, she got up, brushed the dust off, and said "my fault."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Weekend madness

I won't be running any races this weekend, but I also apparently won't be resting much.

Tomorrow night is the First Friday cruiser bike ride through Southtown (with beverage stops). Saturday, I had planned to run the Prickly Pear 10 mile trail run, but decided that a potential fall may be a bad idea in my shoulder rehabilitation plan. So, I'll be volunteering at Water Stop #1 with the dogs. This run is also a 50k, so it'll be a long, but fun, day. Hopefully, not too long, because I'm going to try to hit Jayne's exhibit in Austin, then hit the sack. Sunday is my cousin's horse show (she's apparently riding the most ornery horse) and then I rest - for real.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bird Lover's 10k

No races this past weekend, since I'm supposed to be resting my shoulder. (By helping move my buddy, Carolyn, into her new place - I only moved the light stuff!)
But, never fear! Here are some new ugly race pics - action shot style - from the Bird Lover's 10k on February 14 (the morning after the Cupid night trail 10k). I like how they captured me trying not to fall on my bum while running cross-country and laughing maniacally as I slow-mo'd it across the finish line.

Thanks to Hill Country Rambling for the pics.