Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Good News!

Weather Prediction 2013 Armadillo Dash_JPEG_cropped

{Screenshot from}

The good news is that this weekend, College Station is going to have perfect weather for racing!

I can’t wait.  13.1 miles, let’s do this.

(Also, let’s ignore that bit about 10 mph winds.  No rain!  Moderate temperatures!  Good enough for me.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

All the News That’s Fit to Blog

All right, people: get ready for the longest fitness update EVER!

But first, more pretty pictures from New Orleans.

Fancy Ferry

Another Cool Sculpture

Fern Overflow

Ah, it’s all so pretty!  Okay, onto the updates.

Week of February 10, 2013:

Monday: Off, with a little yogic stretching before bed

Tuesday: Bike ride commute to work and HEB

Wednesday: Bike ride commute to work and Target

Thursday: Evening run (38 minutes)

Friday: Off to New Orleans!

Saturday: Wandering around NOLA

Minutes run this week: 148.

Week of February 17, 2013:

Sunday: Visiting City Park, Bourbon Street, and other delights in NOLA

Monday: Driving back to Texas (insert sad face here)

Tuesday: Bike ride commute to work and HEB for groceries

Wednesday: Short evening run (30 minutes)

Thursday: Either a bike ride commute or off—I can’t remember which

Friday: Short evening run (30 minutes)

Saturday: Bike ride for groceries in the morning, yoga in the afternoon

Minutes run this week: 60.

Week of February 24, 2013:

Sunday: 2-HOUR LONG RUN!  Yee-haw!

Whew!  That’s quite an update, don’t you think?  I think it’s a sign that I have been preoccupied with other things, both fun and not-so-fun.  Fun: New Orleans, new men, new running shoes, new dresses from Target.  Not-so-fun: a new crisis at work that’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety, new men.  Men can be a real problem sometimes!  But enough about them: let’s talk about running!

Yesterday I did my final long run before the Armadillo Dash next Sunday.  I decided to go all out for a full two-hour run, knowing that it was probably a wee bit beyond my current fitness level, but what the heck, right?  I’d say that the first 90 minutes of the run were pretty good—the fatigue and soreness was manageable and I felt strong and capable.  In the last 30 minutes, I started to feel the effect of reaching my current long-run limit; I’m sure my pace slowed down to more of a trudge.  At the very, very end, I did something unusual: with just 3 minutes on the clock, I stopped at home, got a drink of water, rested a few minutes, and then headed out for the final 3 minutes.  It sounds kind of silly, right?  Like, it’s just 3 minutes: either finish it or call it quits.  But I was so parched and so tired at this point that I desperately needed the break.  I needed water.  And once I had my moment of refreshment and stillness, I was able to finish the last few minutes of the run.  I really wanted to be able to tell all of you that I did a two-hour run yesterday—yes, sometimes I do things just so I can write about them on my blogs.  I’m not the only one, right?

Anyway, I’m happy that I got two hours of running under my feet this week.  I’m not sure I feel ready for Sunday’s race, but maybe when next weekend rolls around, I will be ready.  I’m getting ready in other ways: I ordered a new pair of running shoes and wore them on yesterday’s run, and I finally (FINALLY!) ordered a SPI belt to use during Sunday’s run.  All I need now is my bib and shoe tag and I’m ready to go.

How have you been, lovely readers?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Night Postcard

More Gorgeous New Orleans

Hello from Sunday night!  I’ve been busy this evening, cooking and getting ready for a Monday morning meeting.  Today I ran for two hours, my last long run before next weekend’s Armadillo Dash half-marathon, and it was a good run—hard but good.

And I owe you, my two blog readers, an apology.  I didn’t have a chance today to write a proper summary for the last two weeks, so tonight, I humbly offer some New Orleans beauty.  This photo was taken along one of the city squares (I forget which one right now), and I just love its balconies and potted ferns.  And its windows and red bricks.  Oh, all right, I concede: I love everything about it.  So pretty!

Tomorrow night I hope to have a chance to write a better update.  For now, it’s off to bed with me.  Have a lovely week, my dears!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Cafe Beignet_via Christy on FB

Greetings from Café Beignet in New Orleans, Louisiana!  I just spent the weekend there with the lovely women you see up there (that’s me on the far left!).  While there was no running this weekend, there was plenty of running around, from brunch to City Park to the French Market to Café Beignet to the oldest bar in America to a Cajun food diner and into bed.  It was a whirlwind trip that managed to seem much longer than its four days.  While I’m happy to be home again, I already miss my friends, especially that lady on the far right, Christy, who was my running buddy while we both lived in College Station.  She doesn’t live here any more (much to her pleasure and my dismay), but it was so, so fun to see her and the rest of the gang in a city that captured my heart long ago.  We heart New Orleans forever and ever, amen.

I plan to share a catch-up post later this week, so thanks for being patient with me.  If you want a few snippets from New Orleans, you can catch them on my food blog here and here.  And yes, I plan to write several more posts about this trip, which was quite memorable.  I hardly ever get to visit some place new (or some place other than Detroit to see my family), so I intend to milk this trip for all the inspiration it offered.

Have a great week, friends!  I missed you.

PS  I totally stole this photo from Christy’s Facebook page.  Thanks, Christy!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wonder and Joy, Right on into the Wall

Sunday Lunch

{Post-run Sunday lunch}

Week of February 3, 2013:

Monday: DIY yoga (~20 minutes)

Tuesday: Bike commute to work 

Wednesday: Short evening run (23.5 minutes)

Thursday: Bike commute to work

Friday: Short evening run (26.5 minutes)

Saturday: Bike ride for groceries

Total minutes run this week: 150 (sexy saxophone!)

Week of February 10, 2013:

Sunday: Very long run!  110 minutes.  Whew.

I run for many reasons.  I run for the physical challenge, to clear my head, to hear the rhythm of my sneakers on pavement.  I run to shake off stress or to rev up for the day.  I run because I can.  I run to get a little lost or to find myself.  I run for the sheer joy of it.

Outside on my long run today, I found myself thinking about wonder and joy.  In our control-freaky culture, I think we give some lip service to wonder and joy, but we don’t go far enough in acknowledging that it’s when we let go of control that we invite wonder and joy into our lives.  A long run is, to my mind, the perfect vehicle for transcending the desire to control in order to find more joy.  I can get a little lost on a long run, which I think is fun.  I can let my thoughts wander, which is nice for a space cadet like me.  But most of all, I think we find joy at the end of the long run, when we kinda feel like crap physically (tired, sore, in need of food and water ASAP) but our minds have been cleansed and cleared by the physical exertion.  I love that feeling, as physical comfort gives way to a transcendent joy.

I totally hit the wall today when I had about 30 minutes left in my long run.  My arms and legs started to feel a bit noodly (to use Kate’s description) at the halfway point, but I kept going.  At 30 minutes, oh man, the wall started coming down on me.  I took a bit of a walk break just to take a break from some of the soreness that was building in my legs, then I took off again to finish my run.  I finished pretty strong (I think?!?) and was so happy to be done running.

The thing that most of us need to remember is that life is a set of yins and yangs.  There is no joy without sorrow, no wonder without the mundane.  There is no feeling of “I did it!” without those moments of “Oh my god, I can’t do this.”  That’s what running is to me: a kaleidoscope of opposites, shifting in and out of my consciousness.  But with running, unlike some of my other pursuits, I feel the kaleidoscope more vividly, maybe because running is an endurance sport and so much of the challenge is mental.  Running makes me feel alive, and that’s why I keep coming back to it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Triple Digits!

February Sunset

Week of January 27, 2013:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Short evening run (30 minutes)

Wednesday: Off (busy cooking dinner!)

Thursday: Bike commute to work and wine night

Friday: Bike commute to work and Target/HEB

Saturday: Bike ride for groceries and a pizza lunch at Café Eccell

Minutes run this week: 120 (dancing flute!)

Week of February 3, 2013:

Sunday: Long run! 100 minutes, baby.

I’ll keep this one short and sweet because it’s getting late and I’m ready for bed.  A 100-minute run today and all is well.  My legs feel fine, a little tired of course, but not bad at all.  I even had the energy to hop on my bike this afternoon to ride over to Half Price Books in search of materials for my super-secret project.  No luck there, but still, it was nice to be out in the sunshine and warmth a little more today before hunkering down to make dinner and watch some Big Love.  (Man, that show!  I don’t know how they managed to write it to keep ramping up the crazy revelations, but they did.  I am so hooked.)

Also, don’t you hate it when people talk about their super-secret project and then they won’t tell you what it is?  More will revealed on my other blog soon, I hope.  For now I’ll just say that I am super-excited about the super-secret project—so excited, in fact, that I am going to buy a new notebook for it and start attaching sticky tabs to organize my notes.  I am such a nerd.  And so, so excited.  I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

Happy week, friends.