Monday, September 27, 2010

Premarathon nerves

I don't usually get nervous.  Except when I have to go to the doctor, get a shot, or jump/fall off high things.  But speaking in front of crowds, running most races, and other sometimes intimidating situations do not really bother me too much.  But, the last weeks before the marathon always make me anxious.  I worry about sustaining some dumb injury after all that training, and I fret that I cannot, in fact, actually make it through 26.2 miles. 

This year is no different and, actually, worse.  So, today, I went to go get a massage.  It was brutal, but necessary.  The therapist said "damn" 14 times.  Really.  Apparently, I had some major knots - and felt it.  But, she did a good job working out my bum left hip and some of the residual scar tissue in my previously-separated shoulder.  (NOTE:  I should have waited until after the Packers-Bears game for that - I'm already getting tense again!)

In other news, I'm back in the 'news.'  Gwen and I made the 'cover' of  Ceci changes the cover, so you have to look fast, but here are some screencaps to prove it:

Gee, I hope this isn't like the Sports Illustrated jinx or curse thing or whatever!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gwen's first race

Gwen the pitoodle has run the zoo run with me, and some other training runs, but this was her first official, chip-timed run.  We 'ran' the SNIPSA race for the rescues 5k this morning - which means we walked it, because I'm not getting taken down by a pitoodle one week before the marathon.  We had to take one poop break ('we' being Gwen) and then, at every water stop, Gwen had to take a swim and do her hippo impression in both doggiepools (which meant about 8 by the end).  So, our finish time was somewhere around 57:30 - by far my worst, but a PR for Gwen. 

I tried to give her some ugly race pic pointers at the finish line, but she was determined that they get her best side - all of them.

She was THRILLED with the 3 side-by-side doggie pools at the finish - she would wallow in one and move straight to the next for more wallowing and blowing bubbles.  I kind of think race directors should include those pools at aid stations/finish area for people races.

Thanks to Ceci for the pics - check them all out at

Friday, September 24, 2010

still tapering

Wow, I am so tired for not running as much!  Here are some more pics from the Cowboys game (thanks to Tickets & Tours USA)

Tomorrow, I am walking (yes, WALKING) the SNIPSA Race for the Rescues 5k with Gwen the Pitoodle.  She's not very psyched about her race outfit:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tapering like a pro

Well, not really.  First, I took a spill while running in the rain on the Riverwalk Friday evening.  Nothing serious, but I banged up my problematic left hip/butt AGAIN.  Just what I needed.

What I DID need was a fun trip to see the Cowboys play the dirty, dirty Bears on Sunday. 

That stadium is just crazy.  First, we toured the stadium.
Then, Joe and Ruben got benched for their elaborate endzone dance.
We spent the night in Fort Worth, watching UT beat up Tech.  Then, it was tailgating and watching people get towed from the $70-80 parking!  And then, GAME ON!

The pregame show was performed by dancers from the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center on San Antonio's West side.

Anyway, it was one of the few times I cheered for the Cowboys, since we play those dirty Bears this week.  And they disappointed me.  And I got heckled in my Packers gear by fans from both sides.  But it was AWESOME.  And, then, I came home and realized - I have to run 26.2 miles in 12 days.  *GULP*

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tired and tapering

And done:
Zoo relay - run (Brak Pak Chiks finished 8th in the women's open division)
Kids' zoo run - volunteered
Overtime - worked
20 miles - run (HUMID and tough)
House - cleaned

On the other hand:
Lawn - unmowed
Dogs - unwashed and very doggie
Driver the military foster cat - not retrieved by his cat daddy (yet).

So, all around, I'm pretty beat and tend to be nodding off anytime I sit, slow to less than 2 mph, or think about sleeping.  Hopefully, I can get some more overtime worked, the lawn mowed, the fostercat picked up, the dogs washed, some lighter tapering miles run, and some sleep - by/through Friday. 

Because I kind of have to - before I head to the Cowboys home opener at the gawdy house that Jerry built.  I'll be rooting for those punks, though, since they'll be playing the dirty, dirty Bears.  And maybe I'll even wear my cheesehead -- if I weren't so worried that I'd nod off and my buddies would make nachos out of it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zoo and 20

Wow, this is going to be a crazy weekend.  Tomorrow night is the 26th 'animal' Zoo Relay - and this year, we actually run through the zoo!  And check this out - Dingo was 'featured' on the tshirt!

Saturday morning, I'm volunteering for the Kids' zoo runs, then heading into work for some overtime.  And Sunday is my last 20 miler - eek.  And, sometime in there, I will eat, sleep, clean, and mow.  sometime.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The hills are alive. and my legs are dead.

So, the theme of this step-down weekend seemed to be hills.  Sunday, I ran 13 miles of Terrell Hills and Alamo Heights (heights and hills - get it?).  Then, Monday was the SARR labor day 5 mile whine run, which was held in the hills near the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards.  Thankfully, there were no crazy chicken with tired legs pics to post here.  Instead, I bring you the whole point of the run - wine tasting afterward (in the sprinkly rain)!

This week is my last high-mileage week before the pre-marathon taper.  So, today, after the main part of Tropical Storm Hermine hit San Antonio, I headed out for a 4-mile recovery steeplechase through the flooded and downed-tree-ridden Brackenridge Park.  At least it was flat and kind of cool, albeit wet.

Thanks to Tom Lake and Scottydog for the pics!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A funny thing happened at Zoo Run

Zoo Run turned into an NCAA cross country meet!

As you know, Zoo Run is a 30ish year tradition of informal 2-mile races through Brackenridge Park that occurs Wednesday nights from April through October.  Well, the 'race director' of Zoo Run this last decade, Joan Bobrukiewiez, retired from DOD (Navy) Civil Service yesterday, and today was her first day of retirement.  For this, we were planning on burning some hotdogs and having a little shindig after the run.  So, we were already planning for a special night.

Then, Sally #1 (I'm Sally #2) started getting calls from local college CC coaches that they were bringing their teams to Zoo Run.  And lo and behold, we had many colleges' women's and men's cross country teams out there tonight. 

I got there early to run my 5 miles in the blazing hot sun and humidity BEFORE the rain cooled us off, and my panting, weary body was passed by many a 20ish y/o easily clipping by at a much faster (warm up) pace.  Winning time for the 2 mile race (on a wind-y, narrow, and rained-on course) was about 9:46. 

It was even kind of official - here's the announcement in today's paper:

Yep, that first note says that the Trinity University CC opener was in Brackenridge Park - at Zoo Run.  Apparently, in order to have 'early' workouts under NCAA rules, they must first have a meet.  And this was a meet.  The course is measured, marked, and marshaled.  Time is kept and recorded (this time, by the coaches).  And there were winners.  And it was really neat to see that much talent running out there.

And then, we chowed on hot dogs.  Ironically, some folks (most likely accidentally) ate all of the Smartdog veggie dogs!  The funniest things always happen at Zoo Run.

Did I say tired?

Yes, so tired that I passed up on races this weekend.  Really.  And they were cool ones, too - the Dam 09 Sprint Tri just around the corner from my shack and the Jalapeno del Sol 10k trail run at McAllister Park.  But, it's the end of the fiscal year, so with overtime and everything else, I was beat and did not run anything fun.

Instead, I awoke at about 0330 on Sunday, hit the road at 0445, and ran my first 5 miles solo in the dark in 'cool' 70s temperatures.  Then, I jumped in with Fleet Feet for a hilly 15 miles.  Unfortunately, at my mile 14/15 (their 9/10), I followed the runners in front of me and got off course.  Which meant that I added on 2 miles and blew the water stop, since I didn't make it there in time.  Luckily, my miles 15.5-20 were through Alamo Heights and Olmos Park, so I knew where to find water and could navigate a cutoff of about 2 miles on the route, hit the final water stop, and get back on the route. 

At the finish back at Fleet Feet, Garmin read 19.8.  Normally, I'm not anal on distances - if it's 16.7, it's a 17 miler, etc., but I wanted the dang Garmin to read 20.  Period.  So I ran the parking lot until I hit 20.01 miles.  Ridiculous, I know.  Especially since, last year, both of my 20 milers were busts, and I ran my best marathon.

This week is only 35 miles, so I'm going to try to get more sleep and maybe a massage, if the rest of life does not get in the way.  But it looks like it will, so I'm just going to concentrate on trying to get more sleep.  After I finish typing this.