Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back to back - And I don't wanna miss a thing

Cue Aerosmith.  Let me try this - listen here while you read?

So, to finish out almost 65 miles of racing in January, I ran the Endurathon (hilly) half marathon on Saturday and the Herothon half marathon on Sunday.  Because, I don't wanna miss a thing (and I'm dumb).  I laid back in training - just 12 or so miles per week - but laid on the racing mileage this month.  I do NOT recommend this approach.

So, Saturday I headed out in the drizzle to run the Endurathon HM through the hills of Bulverde.  It was not pretty.

Ironically, though I did not get eaten earlier this month during ~20 miles in Florida by an alligator or 25k in Big Bend by a mountain lion/bear, I almost got crushed by a deer in this race.  But I saw a llama, a pig, goats, horses, cows, and many doggies.  But it still hurt - especially during the uphill finish - this certainly ain't pretty

And then I took some food, a shower, and a nap - and continued on the weekend-long marathon.  (Note: it's almost easier to just run 26.2 in one shot, rather than taking an 18-hour break in between half marathons).  So, I went to pick up my race packet at the expo as "Laura Guerrero" (not my usual alias - but it is now my superhero name).

and I tried to look tough - but I really just went to go eat and sleep some more.  'Cause that's what superheroes do.

And then I hit the road again for another 13.1 miles.  I won't lie - my mind was beat and my body was beat (and really not decently trained), but I did it (albeit in tights - I hate tights, but I needed some reinforcement to keep my legs and knee from spontaneously exploding).


But, there's worse --
yep, classic crazy running chicken form. Cluck cluck.

But, I am not a one-show/pose pony - I still can put on a great running zombie closer to the finish

 Wait, no, upon closer examination (I dare you to zoom that pic) - that is clearly surprised crazy running chicken form.

And then, there is that wonderful moment.  That moment when you realize that you have 0.1 miles to finish 65 miles of race route over the mere 31 days of the month.  Because you clearly couldn't miss out on a thing, because you are dumb, because it is almost done...

And then it is - in perhaps the worst finish time ever
But I finished and got a sparkly medal

So, I made it through a 5k, 197 mile relay in Florida, 25k trail in Big Bend, and 2 HMs in a month.  I didn't die, but I may need to edit my races and only do what is sensible, and not what is available.  Riiiiiiiiight - I don't wanna miss a thing.  So, next up, Superbowl 7k on Sunday.  Yeah, I don't learn lessons very well.

Thanks to Belinda, Tom Lake/SARR, and Endurophoto for the pics

Saturday, January 26, 2013

yep, another almost famous

At today's Endurathon half marathon, a buddy mentioned my pic on the Alamo 13.1 site (race report on the HM to follow).  So, in between dragging myself into the shower and a nap, I checked it out.  Yep, there I am:

or check it out at  I had no business running that race last year - it was about 3 weeks after I dislocated my patella and it was still subluxed (hence the tights).  I'll be wearing tights again tomorrow for back-to-back half marathons, but more on that later....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Big Bend 25K and insanity

In recent years, I do not know why I've felt compelled to run a bunch of longer-distance runs in January.  It's not smart, training-wise.  I train for a marathon in October, goof off but make it through the RNR HM in November, then chow and short-run my way through December.  But, then, I pile it on in January.   Because I may be slightly insane.

I have self-diagnosed a bunch of impairments in the DSM - I'm pretty sure I have most of them.  But, I'm not sure that "not missing out on anything" is a diagnostic criterion for any of those illnesses.  Perhaps under personality disorders or some sort of mania?  I have been told I (and been accused of) compulsively running; but really, my racing is part of not wanting to be left out of anything fun.  I am really agitated when I missed out on something I could have experienced - and always will participate, even at the expense of sleep.  Like I said, not a precise symptom, but I'm pretty sure I can lobby for "Sally disorder," coded as 301.!! - don'twannamissoutonanything disorder in the new DSM.

So, now that we've diagnosed me with a pretend disorder, let me offer the proof of my symptoms (since this is what I do at work - OMG - intrusive thoughts about work = obsessive disorder!).  It's really hard to do my job when I am a wicked hypochondriac.

January's plan is 65 miles of racing, with not much training.  Yep.  If you can call what I do racing.  But, there was the Cobweb 5K, the Ragnar 197 mile relay (about 20 miles for me in Florida), rest/OT one weekend, and this past weekend - the Big Bend 25k trail run.  It's a dang long drive - but this is one beautiful race (except for me)...

 Yeah, rough but beautiful.  So, after a 7 hour drive home without cruise control, I eeked out a short walk and run this week.  And I plan to run a hilly HM on Saturday and another HM on Sunday. 

I'm pretty sure there is no pill for this disorder - and, if there were, I don't take pills - but I'm pretty sure you should c'mon and join me in my mania.  Until I nap, because that WILL be happening this weekend - and maybe for the next month.

side/non-running note - CONGRATULATIONS to Gerry & Jona - I was honored to attend the beautiful Terlingua wedding

I'm technically a doctor (well, JD) - but I can diagnose Jerry as pure crazy - not for marrying a wonderful gal, but for running the 50K the next day - true insanity!

Thanks to Rose for the extra pic!  Next up: Endurathon HM, Herothon HM, SLEEP

Friday, January 11, 2013

Almost famous, yet again

I do love me some (almost) fame!  As you recall, I've graced many a page and screen in the past years.  So, imagine my surprise when my eagle-eyed buddy, Bob, informed me I was in the Jan/Feb 2013 NFIT Woman magazine:

That is not me on the cover.  My nose is smaller.  But, when you turn to page 56 - BAM:

Yesssssssssssssssss!  An actual, published, ugly race pic.  Unfortunately, this was taken near the beginning of the Street 2 Feet 5k, so while I have my eyes closed, zombie expression, and the beginning of chicken wings, I had not yet deployed the full-out crazy running chicken look. 

You can check out the full story - in full screen (eek) here

Don't hate me because I'm (almost) famous.  Next, I'm targeting the cover of Runner's World. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


This year, I resolve not to get behind in posting ugly race pics and make no excuses for doing so.  Oh, crap - it's already 2013?  Well, there's always next year, and I was impeded by the possible world end, the holidays, a new vacuum cleaner that actually tackles tumblefurs (meaning I have actually been vacuuming), a hooker, and alligators - pretty much in that order.  And those aren't excuses - they are REASONS.

So, to pick up where I left off way back in 2012, before the world was due to end....(pour yourself a boat drink, because I have a lot to cover)...

The Brak Pak collected up a LOT of excess running gear for Street 2 Feet - the running club at the Haven for Hope shelter.  On December 22, 2012, we joined the folks from S2F for their training run, brought breakfast, and distributed the gear.  We all had fun - even when the S2F guy who is trying to cut his half marathon pace to a sub-6:00 minute mile pushed the pace on me for the last lap.

I even take ugly pics when I'm just around running...

A side anecdote from that day - I PACKED the Yaris podcar with the gear donated by the Brak Pak - to include driving with a box on my lap to the park. I pulled into the park early and waited for everyone to arrive for the run.  After the run and breakfast, one of the S2F runners told me that he had seen me drive in and felt very bad that I was homeless (with everything I owned in my cheap car) - he was going to approach me to tell me that there was a shelter nearby, but did not want to scare me in the dark.  It just goes to show that humanity abounds.

On New Year's Day, I hit the Cobweb Chaser 5k to knock off the cobwebs that accumulated the night (or year) before.

Unfortunately, I could not knock off the crazy running chicken look -

This is my buddy and frequent fotog - Scotty Dog - it was his third race of 2013 - he ran around 74 races last year - overachiever.

Then, it was off to Florida for the Ragnar Florida Relay.  Those of you who have read my drivel over the years may recall the time I ran the Ragnar South Texas Relay and said "never again."   Yeah, well, I forget.  Or lie.  Or both.  But I really had a blast this time. 

This relay is is a 12 runner/2 van x 197 miles from Miami to Key West (but our team was 10 runners).  I flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday and met up with my college buddy, Tara (whom I ran behind at the Hartford Marathon in October).  We drove to Miami and met up with our team for dinner - including a 'stranger' we picked up from the internet - John.  (Who turned out to be our van MVP, since he was familiar with Southern Florida and an all-around great guy.)

So, we had a zombie team dinner at a lovely Italian place in Miami.
Most of the team - Mike and Josh hadn't arrived yet.
Van 1 - minus Mike, who arrived around midnight.  So, after a couple of hours of sleep, we headed out for a 0530 start...

I ran the second leg, mostly in the dark.  It started as a nice tour of Miami, then I crossed over the train/main road into, well, a shadier part of Miami.  As van 1 passed me (and the many area residents that were returning home at that time), they 'tooted' the horn, angering a workin' gal, who menaced them and lurched toward me - I tried to run faster.  Soon, however, I was into the pretty campus of the University of Miami.  After I handed off, we tracked and supported our runners along the course.

After our van was finished with our first legs, we ate a Cuban breakfast and headed to the speedway to hang out/nap/watch jets.  Then, we were back on for our second legs.  Mine started in a tomato/squash field.

(while this looks like a great action shot, we dropped the baton/slap bracelet - which clearly added 1/2 hour to my finish time for the leg).  Then, I hit the Everglades.  "Do not throw food," the instructions said.  "Watch out for 'gators and boas," John and his Florida buddies who came to support us said.

That leg was on a single-track Jeep trail - a little rocky and swampy and stinky and buggy. 
Here's John, passing me a Gu and promising that I won't get eaten by alligators.  But, he wasn't so reassuring about the boas.  At about 4.5 miles into the 5 mile leg, the guy in front of me stopped and pointed to the water - audience left in the above pic.  Sure enough, we could see about 4-5 feet of exposed tail and a lot of rustling water in front of that tail - glad the gator got THAT runner, instead of us slower folks. (Disclaimer - no runner actually got eaten by an alligator, that's just a little story enhancement - but I DID see the big alligator in the water.)

Our van finished our second legs around 2200ish, grabbed a big meal, and headed to the team room in Marathon Key - where we showered even faster than I did in the Army, shared beds, and crashed for a couple of hours.  But, first we posed with Sam Adams (we're only trying to hide reflective vests, nothing more nefarious)

Then, it was up again around 0400 for our final legs.  Mine was a 10 mile-ish stretch, including the Seven Mile Bridge - yep, 7 miles over the ocean, running along the shoulder of a 2-lane bridge road.

It was tough.  While my legs/knee screamed and my head told me to just take a nap on the shoulder, I tried to look around at the sunrise - because it really was THAT beautiful.  I ran into a multi-colored sky and tried not to shut down or get pushed off the bridge by big trucks (and get eaten by sharks). 

Yeah, it wasn't pretty (other than the sunrise), but I did it.  And then, our van did it - and FINISHED our runs!

Van 1 - Tara, Mike, John, Me, Alyssa - heading to Key West.

After we arrived in Key West, we all finished as a team - in a finish time of just over 34 hours.

After the race, we hung out in fabulous Key West - eating, drinking, swimming, and dancing.  And checking out multi-toed Hemmingway cats :x)

This was my first time visiting the Everglades and Key West, and this was a wonderful way to experience those places.  And - it was a great group to run with - even stinky, tired, aching, confined to a van, sharing beds, and all - team Don't Tell Deb rocked it with amazing spirit.  And I didn't get beaten by a hooker or eaten by an alligator, boa, or shark - which I count as a win.

Thanks to Dulce, Elizabeth, Tom/SARR, Victor, ScottyDog, Tara, Mike, John, and Alyssa for the pics!  Next up - Big Bend 25K - I will try not to get eaten by mountain lions, javelinas, rattlers....