Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Big Bend 25k - and the end

It turns out that I came in 3rd place in the AG - missed 2nd by 0:0:20 when I let the chica pass me in the last .2 miles or so and sauntered in.  For the record, there were more than 3 of us in the age group.

Monday, January 24, 2011

no race weekend

But still fun.  I traveled to Southeastern Wisconsin this weekend for my Grandma's 80th birthday celebration, hosted by my folks in Waukesha (unfortunately, I did not find my camera until Sunday).  It was great to see many, many family members, even though the high temperature was around 20 degrees - when I departed. 

Grandma was suffering from some sort of bug, but was still vivacious and spry as always.  I'm hoping some family members who snapped pics from Fri-Sat send me them or a link (a-hem?).

After the fabulous birthday celebrations, we had brunch (and I found my camera) - to prepare us for the Packers's and Steelers's victories.  My future offensive line was ready to rumble.

not to be outdone, Lena rocked (well, swung) her Packers gear

Because they are already in the hard core future-Packers offensive line training program, the boys camped out - in Dad's golf room

and, then, we enjoyed watching the Packers's conference win.  Even when Peppers made a dirty, dirty hit against Rodgers (my sister made sure that all of the boys understood that THAT was a dirty hit that REAL players don't do - so we'll continue to play a clean game).  Next stop - Lombardi trophy.  With a race or two in between.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Big Bend 25k - TOTALLY new type of ugly running pic

I will call this "the robot"
It's actually just a combination of "I'm finished, stop running" and "hit the stop button on the left wrist"  and "ugly race pics are my specialty!"

Thanks to Kirk Scheel for the pic!

More Big Bend 25k - the start and finish

Thanks to my buddy, Mike Escalante, for these pics.  Mike volunteered during the race and was first in on Wednesday and last out on Tuesday - and got to drive the race vehicle - FJ Cruiser. Here's me at the start (brrrrr)

and with fellow Brak Pak'ers, Christina and John
and here I am after about 15.4 miles of trail - bringing home the finish

still finishing - and bringing it in looking like a crazy running chicken in the desert

and, it's in the books (the time clock is about 1 hour off, since the 50k folks started before us - that's their time)

and here's Mike with his race ride...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Bend 25k

Wow, what an amazing weekend.  I drove down to Big Bend National Park on I90 - it was a 6.5 hour drive, mostly with no cars or civilization in sight and no cell phone coverage.

After the drive, I finally came to this

of course, it was another 40 minutes into the park until I made it to packet pickup and met up with my buddies.  Then, another 25 minute drive up the mountain and into Chisos Basin, where we were staying at the lodge.  Many (crazy) folks camped.  I rather enjoyed my bed, heat, minifridge, and coffee maker.  Here was the view from my balcony.

After we arrived, we hiked to see the Window - here I am on the hike, with the Window behind me (remember, 6.5 hour drive, so I look haggardly).
and along the way, we saw JAVELINAS!  (don't call them pigs, I learned - they are not - no tails and only 3 toes)

Here is the Window at sunset

The next day, we headed to Santa Elena Canyon - that's Mexico right behind me.

Then we headed to Boquillas Canyon - again, Mexico behind me, across the Rio Grande

where I saw Mexican ducks illegally crossing the border

they must have been the ones that left these trinkets for purchase

The next morning was race day.  The start was chilly, in the 40s, but dry and clear.  The first 5 miles consisted of a climb from 3,200 ft elevation to 3,600 ft on fairly technical, rocky trails.  It was pretty rough.  Then, the trail smoothed out some to this

and then smoothed out a little more, but was always Jeep trails.  Here are some pictures from along the run

and here's me at about mile 12 or so

miles 6-13 went by fairly quickly and I enjoyed the scenery.  The last 2 or so miles were a bit mushy - gravel and sand mostly.  And you could see the finish from afar, but it didn't seem to get closer, until - there it was!

After a VERY bumpy van ride back to the campground/race HQ and post-race dinner, I took a nice nap and admired my medal - it shows the three zones of Big Bend we ran through - the mountains, the desert, and the river.
I drove back on I10 (speed limit 80 mph), which was boring and painful, since I don't have cruise control.  But, I made it back and now my legs hurt (training for this run probably would have been a good thing).  While I was gone, the dogs had a ball at Green Dog Kennels - this is Gwen under the 'bridge.'
Though it was a remote destination (and I mean remote - no cell phone connectivity, spotty wifi, no televisions, etc.), this was really a great race.  And I did not fall down.  Next up - no race, trip to the frozen tundra instead.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Next up - Big Bend 25k

I hope I don't get eaten by a javelina or buzzards

Monday, January 10, 2011

getting worried for Big Bend

 Eek.  This run is this coming weekend.  I'm not doing the 'ultra' part - just the 25k.  But I'm running it with slack training (long runs have been ~ 10 miles, tops), it's trail-ish (where I fall down), I have to drive and drive and drive before and after, and I'm running it on a sprained knee and torn something-in-my-shoulder.  Not ideal, but I'm pretty sure I can take it easy and enjoy the scenery and gut through the rest. So, I'll run this:

Because it will be worth it to see this:

and earn (something like) this:

no problem.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

getting ready for Big Bend

not by running, mind you, but by accessorizing

I was getting the cat critique from Simba in this last shot

First First Friday Cruiser Ride of 2011

With the holidays and marathons and everything, we haven't been riding the First Friday cruiser ride, but we kicked off the 2011 'season' this past Friday.  First, we met at Guillermo's for some delicious shrimp lasagna.  Then, it was wheels down, with a ride to the Southtown Yoga Loft on S. Alamo for their grand opening.  Then, of course, we rode to Alcapulco Drive In and heckled runners on the Run a Tab run.  Next up was the 'new' old Hays Street Bridge - here we are at the 'top.'

We then rode to the VFW, and on to Joey's to end the ride.  First Friday rides are always a good time - especially when it's December and you can get away with a light jacket!

Now, I'm gearing up for a Packers win (please?).  And a little 25k trail run that I haven't trained for (yikes).

Thanks to Darlene and Adrian for the pics!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cobweb Chaser 5k

Here's a pic from Scotty Dog at the start - with my running nemesis, George (we trade 'wins')

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Well, so far,

Time spent running this year: 29ish minutes
Elevation Gain: 19 ft
But I was kind of goofing off.  This morning was the Cobweb Chaser 5k - a nice race with a bunch of friends.  At the start, Jerry (race director) was having problems with the PA during the national anthem.  And then I faintly heard runners starting to sing the Star Spangled Banner (Jenna started it, from the back with the dog) - and we all sang it, and THAT was a great way to start a race!
You know, they say what you do at the turn of the new year foretells the events of the coming year.  Pretty fatalistic, I think, but it sure looks like I'll be taking a lot of ugly race pics this year, once again...

(bustling - kind of - to the start in the blue jacket)

Thanks to Tom Lake for the pics!