Friday, July 31, 2009


I know, I know - this has become the weather blog. After almost 40 days of 100+ degree days this year (yeah, quit your whining, NW Coast), and no rain, the 1/10th of an inch we got yesterday evening was AWESOME. Of course, we had a Brak Pak BBQ (really sandwiches) planned, but we did it in the drizzle.

The best part of all was that the temperatures dropped into the high 70s, and running felt like flying when it was so cool. (Overnight temperatures haven't even been getting out of the 80s lately!) So, this is tonight's forecast. I am not holding my breath that I will get another 1/10th of an inch of rain or that my lawn will miraculously come back to life, but I like it.
And I am just going to pretend this is not true for next week:

No races this weekend and it is a step down training week, so I'll be running a nice, easy 9 miler while the temperatures climb back up to 3 digits. *Sigh* It was fun while it lasted.
Thanks to WOAI for the weather

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crazy Chicken Unleashed - the Women's Run Edition

Now, see, last weekend, I started out normal enough

but then the hills unleashed the crazy chicken

Yep, that is a crazy chicken running on very little sleep and turf toe.

Adrian, JohnnyO, and Victor cutting off chips

Ruben just laughing - probably at my crazy chicken

Thanks to Hill Country Rambling for the ka-zillion pics. Should you wish to order an 8x10, check out their website at and I'll autograph a crazy chicken ugly race pic for ya!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Women's 5k

So, mere hours after getting bitten by a chupacabra, with a veggie burger and 4 hours of sleep under my belt, I ran the 30th annual Women's 5k. The race is hilly and, particularly of note, mostly downhill at the beginning and ALL UPHILL at the end. Hence, these lovely finishline pics:
My chupacabra-bitten right foot was still throbbing (and continues to do so). *sigh* What else could I do but strike a crazy chicken pose?

Next up: a 12 mile training run tomorrow on a pretty flat course so as not to REALLY make my foot hurt. Then some couch time with my buddy, the ice pack.

Thanks to Hill Country Rambling for the pics

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Más de los Chupacabras

Running the last 200 yards (the only paved part - whee) from the Chupacabras:

The Chupacabra that bit me

I'm not sure what I did to enrage the Chupacabras. Last year, one tripped me. This year, one bit me.

On Friday night, at 9 p.m., 451 running buddies and I strapped on headlamps and headed into the deepest, darkest woods of McAllister Park. It was dark and the trails were technical, as is always the case at Los Chupacabras de la Noche 10k trail run.

We kept a nice, easy pace and I DID NOT FALL! However, while passing someone around mile 5, I either sustained a chupacabra bite or smashed my right foot into a big rock, then jammed my first Metatarsal-phalangeal Joint trying to keep my balance.

Whichever way it went down, my foot ended up very sore and bruised (even on the bottom, which made the next morning's women's 5k and Sunday's 11 miler pretty painful). Here's what Healthline has to say about my chupacabra bite: "Every time you take a step, the MTP joint bends, allowing the foot to roll forward and push off. During this phase of the walking cycle, the joint supports 50% of the body's weight. If the joint doesn't function properly, not only walking, but also exercising and many other activities of daily life can be difficult, sometimes impossible."

Impossible? Pshaw.

That is not a one-armed crazy chicken pose - I was just bumping my buddy, Adrian, for another great stumble, er, run at Los Chupacabras.

Thanks to Bill Gardner and Hill Country Rambling for blinding me on the trails with the flashes while taking these pics

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Running weekend

Wow, I feel like I spent all weekend either running or showering. I started with Los Chupacabras de la Noche 10k nighttime trail run on Friday night. I will recap that race in another post, but I DID NOT FALL. Again, I DID NOT FALL. Instead, I almost fell when I caught a rock, bruising/spraining/something my right great toe/arch, which made the rest of the weekend's very hilly running 'interesting.' After a veggie burger, a shower, and a little sleep, it was on to the next race.

Saturday morning was the 30th Annual Women's 5k. The women run, the men volunteer - here are some of the Brak Pak guys handing out chips. (These 3 guys on the left had run the Chupacabras with me the night before and were also operating on about 4 hours of sleep.)

Here I am attempting to run up the hill with a very sore right toe/foot. Like the night before, I was soaked, due to the extreme humidity.

After the race, we enjoyed breakfast tacos and watermelon.

And I told my running buddy, Jim, all about the chupacabra that bit me on the toe! After another shower and a nap (and some other stuff), I ran an 11-miler this morning, showered, and napped.

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Viven los chupacabras!

Friday night, I run with the Chupacabras. I will wear this so that los chupacabras think I am a zebra and not a goat:
From the race director, Bill:

About this race:
The race will start and finish at McAllister Park right next to Pavillion 3 (Optimist Pavillion) 13102 Jones Maltsberger Rd, 78247, at 9PM on Friday July 17th and run on the dirt trails of McAllister Park. Runners will follow trail marked with orange marking tape, arrow signs and glow sticks to the finish. The trail is straight and smooth to windy, rocky with many roots. Headlamps are HIGHLY encouraged as you will run through pitch dark, heavily wooded trails.
All runners will receive technical shirts, excellent support, a burger, fries or salad and drink and free cold beer (while it lasts) . There will be a post race party immediately after finishing at Momak’s after the race.
Click here to read race report from ‘08.

Refunds and Rain: There will be no refunds for this race. In the event of heavy rain we will attempt to reschedule the following Friday. If it rains heavily that Friday we will say f^&* it and have a party at Momak’s.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The (really) Bright Side

San Antonio:

Death Valley:

I will keep this in mind during this afternoon's run.

Thanks to WOAI and KLAS for showing me the bright side

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The heat, doggies, biggest losers, and broken down cars

Wow, for a weekend that I did not have a lot of things planned, it ended up being a bit chaotic. I started out with a 10 mile run on Saturday - through downtown. It was hot, but at least it was slightly overcast, which made a big difference. Along my way, I saw a LOT of doggies. That was due to the dog show downtown. Many of the owners did NOT want their primped doggies patted, though (tsk). But I did get to see all kinds of doggies!

[side note: I did not get to see Cesar. Tickets were about $100, discounted to $50 for rescuers, but NO DOGS were allowed. I wasn't sure $50 was worth it if he could not fix my doggies' problems on the spot.] Anyway, I turned the corner and there was the line for The Biggest Loser auditions. There were many very large people in line, but none of them beat me for pure sweatiness. I was soaked.

As I rounded the corner to spot where my faster running buddies and our cars were waiting for me in the park, I came across Adam Moran, who was chained to a tree like a dog (ironically, with a chain from a dog he had been called in to save the night before). Adam is a dog rescuer, who convinced me to foster Driver, the badcat, for a deployed solider. He was trying to raise awareness that chaining a dog is a BAD idea by staying chained to a tree for almost 12 hours in the San Antonio sun. He had some good coverage from local stations and Unavision; so, hopefully, his message was well broadcast. Having run for over 1.5 hours in the early morning heat, without fur, and with frequent water stops, I could still only sympathize with a dog who was left chained out in this heat. MESSAGE: Stop chaining dogs and donate to Dogs Deserve Better.

When I returned home, Lowe's had delivered (but not installed - grrr) my new above-the-range microwave. So, instead of hitting the couch like I planned, I spent a bit of time on the phone attempting to reschedule installation (for which I will have to take leave from work). Last time I order from them. ** note - my 2.5 y/o car began struggling to start, so I began to back into all parking spots after the run **

On Sunday, after cleaning, I ran some errands and was heading home in the 100+ degree heat to take the dogs to the dogwash when the car did not start. There was no indicator light on the newish car, nothing, just sluggish starting. Luckily, because I have driven a "living on the edge" car in the past, I had parked nose out with spaces next to me (the easier to get jumped/towed/etc.). Unfortunately, it was also in the sun. Thank goodness I did not have the dogs in the car. I finally got someone to jump the battery and, since it was Sunday and the paid-for-under-warranty dealership was closed, I just drove straight to the auto parts shop.

As was my practice with my last 10+ y/o, almost 200k miles vehicle, I left the car running and ran in to make sure they had a battery for me. As I was waiting for the guy to bring out the battery, I surveyed the parking lot and experienced old-car nostalgia. The parking lot was full of vehicles that were left running, with the hoods up, and nobody in the car, as the owner tried part-by-part to fix the problem, while still keeping the vehicle running (just in case-a running car can generally make it home). Ah, I almost missed my 96 Geo Tracker and the many weekends we spent in parking lots such as this. Anyway, I now have a new (out of pocket) battery, and all is well. I had done the math (in the heat) in the Walgreens parking lot and realized it was cheaper to pay for it myself than to take leave from work tomorrow, find someone to jump my car a couple of times in the morning, and get the dealer to fix it.

So, the dogwash was closed by the time I returned home all sweaty. Perhaps we will have to take a spin on the new battery tomorrow and go to the dog wash.

Friday, July 10, 2009

How hot eees eeeet?

It is so hot that I saw two fire hydrants fighting over the attention of a dog. But I may have just been hallucinating during a little 4-miler last night when the temperature (not the heat index) was 105 degrees downtown. Yep, it is hot. And it looks like this weekend will be more of the same:

There are no local races, though, so I will be running an early long run on Saturday, then retiring to air conditioned bliss.

Thanks to for the evil forecast

Monday, July 6, 2009

Freedom 4 mile midrace pics

Sooo gonna beat the stroller. gonna beat it. gotta beat it. Do I look like a crazy chicken?

chick in white "What IS that, a crazy running chicken? eek"
guy with stroller "no WAY I'm exposing my child to that craziness"

Thanks to Hill Country Rambling and lack of coffee for these pics!

2025 Packers Offensive Line

My future 2025 Green Bay Packers Offensive line met last week in Southern Wisconsin for mini (really mini) camp. And they are looking good for the future season:

From the left (line right):

TE Quinn. He'll talk at you a mile a minute, then blow past you like the Brewers' sausages are chasing him

T: Travis. He's tough. He's determined. Head down, he'll plow through you.

G: Steven. He's only laughing about how fast he will BLAST THROUGH you.

C: Jack. Are you looking at me? Are you REALLY looking at me. 'Cause I am looking THROUGH you!

G: Reece. Yeah, I'm small. Just wait until I head butt ya with this melon.

TE: Ronny: I will duke, flinch, run by ya and do an awesome dance in the endzone.

Um, sistas, I realized I am missing at least 2 offensive players - I at least need another tackle, a kicker, and a QB. No rush, we have until 2025, but you guys aren't getting any younger :)!

Gracias to Tim for the offensive line pics

Brak Pak Attack - Freedom Run

Proof that other folks who run with the Brak Pak somehow take normal race pics:

Pre race strategizing (place one foot in front of the other, repeat for 4 miles):

John Garcia:
Veeeeeeeeector (with John O. and Christina behind):

I couldn't find an action shot of Adrian in the collection, though I am sure he looked normal too. But I will continue to work on schooling them in the art of the ugly race pic.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Bird Day to Me

Happy bird day to you. Happy pheasant day to you, happy peacock day happy turkey daaaayyyyyyy. Happy bird day to you!
I am often depicted as a crazy chicken in my ugly race pics:

I toned it down a bit for this morning's Freedom Four Miler - but not by much!

Happy Independence Day!
Thanks to Dad for the lyrics. (thanks to Gretchen for reminding me of them)
Thanks to Jim Yanaway for the crazy chicken picture - where in the heck did you find THAT?
Thanks to Tom Lake for the crazy chicken ugly race pic of me!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Next up

MY BIRTHDAY! For real. And, in honor of my birthday, many of you are allowed to take tomorrow (Friday) off. Also, in honor of my birthday, I will be running this 4-miler on Saturday:

Then, the city of San Antonio, and cities across the nation will host fireworks in honor of my birthday. I also encourage you to have BBQs and wear red, white, and blue for my birthday.