This is my race

CAP10K 2014 Selfie

My inner voice told me to keep going. I’m glad I listened.

I ran in the 2014 Cap10K four days ago and I’m just now getting over being sore.

Which is crazy because it’s not like I haven’t been running long distances.

But this race was difficult. I wasn’t feeling right. I had only been running intervals for the few weeks before. Following the training regimen I had been using for guidance was agony. Or maybe it wasn’t, and I just did not want to devote the time.

It also didn’t help that I did not sleep as much as I should have the night before the race. There was a rare night out — a fundraiser for the kids’ school. Then I was up working late. Again. Or maybe it was the glass of red wine I had with dinner. Did I really need it? Should I have had more water? I’m not young anymore. I don’t bounce back as quickly.

Did I mention there were hills?

There were 6 big hills on the course. The first three were very steep. I have been running almost exclusively on a treadmill. Even though I raise the incline, it is no substitute for the massive hills on the race course. But I’m proud of myself. I did not stop. Here’s the mental conversation I was having:

-Don’t stop. Keep going.

-But this is harder than I expected. I can stop if I want to. This is my race.

-That’s right — it’s your race. That should keep you going. Don’t worry about the people running by. You need to keep going. You will get mad at yourself later for stopping. You know you can do this. This ain’t your first rodeo.

-This is my race…. This is my race….

Still, as difficult as the race seemed at the time, I did not do too poorly. In fact, I was right on par with last year. My time was 1:00:58, and since I’ve been training at that pace, I’m not surprised at my results.No, I did not reach my goal, but as my friend Jenny pointed out — there is always next year.

My kids rock.

Pre-race 2On the other hand, I’m super proud of Luke and Madeline. They both ran in the CapKids race the day before. Luke improved his 1-mile time by at least a minute from last year. He looked great running through to the finish line!

And Madeline? She ran the WHOLE FREAKIN’ THING. A mile. She ran it. She’s 3.

I think I’m doing something right.

Saddle sore

Me, Greg and Mads in downtown Austin.
Me, Greg and Mads in downtown Austin.

My brother came in town for Christmas and stayed for the cycling. He keeps a fixed gear here (at my folks), but decided to rent a road bike to tackle Austin’s hills better — the route from downtown to my folks house has some really gnarly hills.

He’s been trying to put in 40 miles every day.

The last time my brother came to town he shook his head at the condition of my bike. My little road bike had been neglected and abused — sitting out on the back porch, open to the elements. He carried it to a downtown bike shop and asked them to give it an overhaul. It came back looking shiny brand new and riding beautifully. But I’ve only had the opportunity to take it out once or twice. So the other day, my brother texted me that he was five miles away and he wanted me to pull out my bike and go for a spin around the neighborhood.

I hooked up the bike trailer and loaded Mads into it, then we took off down the street with Greg.

I wish I had taken photos — because it was a great day for a ride. I was surprised at how strong I felt. I know that I’ve been working out and running, but bike legs are not the same as cycling legs. And pulling the trailer made it a bit harder — in a good way!

We didn’t go that far — just 11 miles. We wound our way through my neighborhood, across into Allandale, down to Rosedale and around back home. I knew I would be saddle sore, because I did not bother to pull out my riding shorts.

The next day I ran 5 miles on the treadmill. I thought I would not be able to handle it, but once I got started, I felt good and strong. I followed up with a bodyweight workout.

Today I’m pretty sore. I’m scheduled to lift weights, which I think I’ll do once it warms up a little. But sleeping more has helped me recover faster.

I’m on vacation, and I’ve been relaxing (well, I’m working a little). Over the past week I’ve been trying to sleep longer. It’s made a difference.

I think I’ll take the kids out for a ride a little later — I don’t often get a chance to do that.

In just a few days the mad schedule begins again — early morning workouts, long days and late nights of working and trying to keep pace for the family. Right now, recharging and having fun are exactly what I need.

My 2012 Cap 10K

Mads, Cindy and Luke after the Cap 10K
Me and the kids after my race

With no specific training, I shaved several minutes off my 10K time today.

I ran the Cap 10K. It’s the same race I ran last year with Jenny, and we had such a blast that I decided to run it again this year — alone. The thing is, I decided not to make an effort to train for an endurance event. I wanted to see if the short distance I run in Crossfit and before Olympic lifting would be enough.

It turns out they were enough to get me through the race — and even beat my previous time — but not enough to stave off soreness. More on that in a little bit. First, the stats:

Time: 56:32
Pace: 9:06/mile

Class position: 105
Overall Place: 2835

I was a little annoyed at the start, because there were only a few ways to enter the chute and the lines to get in were jammed. Then some race volunteer tried to close the gate on everyone to make us go around. Her comment was, “That’s why you’re supposed to get here early and be in place.” Gees. Thankfully, about a minute before the start, someone had enough sense to open the fence and let us in. It still took me 5 minutes to get to the start line after the gun went off.

The weather was much warmer today than last year, and that made the hills a bit harder. I was sweating a lot more, but the course was still pretty fun.

I would have been even faster had I not had to pee so bad. I ended up pulling a Beth and jumping into a port-o-potty between miles 4 and 5. I jumped back on the course as soon as I could, but when you stop, it’s hard to get started again. My legs felt a lot heavier the rest of the race.

I had to tell myself not to stop as I ran over the South 1st Street bridge and toward the finish. I picked up the pace as much as I could, and I heard Andy scream from the crowd to “Go!”

I mistimed my run, so for a while I thought I had finished slower than last year. But I signed up for automatic Tweets for when I crossed the finish line, and it wasn’t until Jenny responded with a big cheer that I realized I had finished well under an hour — which was my goal.

I like that race. I’d like to keep doing it. But I’m so sore right now, I think I’ll try to train a bit more. Everything aches, and I’m hobbling around like I’m 80. Oly tomorrow is going to be fun, right?

Luke’s 2012 Dillo run

Luke stands in front of Junior Dillo finish line

Luke woke up this morning with fire in his belly. I had already been up for a few hours, and the coffee had kicked in. But Luke didn’t need coffee.

He was kind of driving me crazy, to be honest. I’m already feeling a bit on edge with ask the tasks piling up. Then, I decided not to work out in order to get some work some, so I was already in a touchy place when the screeching began. And the jumping around.

Needless to say, I was glad when he and I left for the Junior Dillo race at Auditorium Shores. We parked about 20 min before his heat was scheduled to begin, only to realize his race tag was at home on the kitchen counter.

Color me not amused.

Cooler heads prevailed, and after calling Andy who insisted the race people would help, crisis was averted when Luke for a replacement tag.


We had a great run. There was a lot of excitement in the air, and it was infectious.
Luke kept a great pace. He loves sprinting, so he would take off, slow down to catch his breath, then take off again. I cheered him on along the whole mile, and I even tried to distract him by pointing out stuff up ahead so he wouldn’t think about being tired as much.

Luke eating a cinnamon bun

I have no idea when we crossed the finish line. I guess the race people didn’t enter his new tag number, because his name wasn’t among the results. (Bummer.) But we had fun anyway.

I do have one beef with the race. Guess who was a sponsor — Whataburger. The fast food chain provided the food after the run, and it wasn’t fruit.

It was cinnamon buns. With icing.

You can imagine my amusement.

Despite the sugary madness post-race, I’m so glad we went, and I’m so proud of my Luke.

My workout world: Meet my new running buddies

I’d like to introduce you to my new running buddies: Bennie and Goose.

My dog Bennie
Bennie (I call her Bennie Bean)
My dog Goose
This is Goose.

These are my girls. We adopted them more than 9 years ago from the Nashville Humane Association. They’ve endured a major move to Texas and the addition of two human children to our family. They each have their quirks. And they have become my new running buddies.

Bennie is a Treeing Walker Coonhound. At least, we’re pretty sure she is. We’ve had a number of people recognize the breed and ask if they could buy her. We imagine she was taken hunting sometime when she was a puppy, got lost, and somehow found her way into Nashville where she lived on the streets for a while before getting in a fight and being nursed back to health at the animal shelter. She has a different bugle for everything, which can be fun and annoyingly loud. She loves to run.

Goose is a black lab mix, and we think she’s mixed with pit bull. The shelter told us she had been rescued by a woman with 40 cats, but after a few months the lady turned her over to the shelter. Goose loves to chase small animals, and she’s actually killed several rats.

Andy used to be the one to walk them, but after Mads was born, it got harder and harder to take them out on walks. Then we lost their leashes somewhere and the walks stopped altogether.

Bennie and Goose tend to get stir crazy, so I decided I was going to make it a priority. I went out and bought new leashes, and in early December I started taking them for almost nightly walks. Brisk walks.

Then I started running them. At first it was around the block. Bennie had no problem, but Goose would start dragging halfway through. We’ve been gradually increasing the distance. Even Andy has noticed that Goose’s endurance is improving.  Not bad for a 10-year-old dog!

Maybe one day they’ll have to slow down for me, instead of me for them.

I’m not really interested in running long distances anymore, but I’d like to get the dogs able to run a few miles. They seems much healthier since the walks/runs started up again. I like spending time with them, and they tend to be less crazy at home.

Dogs make awesome running companions. I love how Austin Pets Alive sets up on the Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail and lets runners take the dogs out for a spin. The dogs get exercise and the people get to see how awesome dogs are.

Dogs aren’t substitutes for people, but they’re fun in their own way.

Luke’s Marathon

Luke runs toward the camera on a school track.My Luke is running a marathon.

He joined a group from his school and is participating in Marathon Kids, a free program designed to help children develop a love for being active.

Over 6 months, Luke is running or walking or both for a total of 26.2 miles. He’s also supposed to eat healthy foods every day and learn to grow his own vegetables and fruit as part of the program. (Not a problem…)

Sunday evening I joined Luke, Andy and Mads for one of his Marathon Kids runs. (Andy is one of the coaches for the school program.) I love watching Luke run, because like all kids, he has that natural gait they teach in the pose running seminars — the gait adults forget how to do after years of wearing fancy running shoes.

I’m not sure how far Luke has run so far as part of the program, but he has until February to put in his miles. So far, I can tell Luke is more of a sprinter than a distance athlete, but I’m totally cool with that, because it’s whatever works for him, right?

Run, Luke, run!

She’s not going the distance

I have a confession to make. Ever since my running buddy moved away, running has lost its luster for me.

I loved meeting Jenny on the trail for an early morning weekend run. It was a great time to catch up, vent, talk smack — whatever. It became less about running than hanging out.

I miss Jenny. Still.

Until I find a new running buddy (Yes! I’m looking for one! Contact me if you want to run!), I’ve pretty much been focusing on short interval runs. They’re drills I can do in the neighborhood without straying too far from the house (in case the kids need me).

On Sunday I did long intervals, followed up with sprints:

800m x 4 → 3:44 / 3:43 / 3:43 / 3:44
50m x 5 → :10 / :10 / :11 / :11 / :10

It felt good to work out my legs.

On Tuesday, Coach Aaron decided to put our running to the test. He timed us on an 800m run. Running in a pack really made a difference in my time! I was working hard to stay with Steph and Katherine, and I shaved some seconds off my 800:

Time: 3:27

Aaron says we’ll be doing that again. I’ll have to make sure I don’t neglect my interval training.

Intervals in the garden

Ever since I went back to work, I have neglected my wonderful vegetable garden. Less time plus insane heat left me with little motivation to spend time sweating, weeding and digging among the raised beds in our front yard.

Luke and Andy look at camera while sitting next to a garden bed
Fortunately for me, Andy has taken on the garden with gusto, and he’s managed to keep it alive through this long hot summer. He’s been more successful than I was, starting seeds in the house and transplanting them to the garden. His goal is to grow enough greens and other vegetables to feed not just our own insatiable appetite for vegetables but also donate to other families.

This morning, it was cool enough for us all to spend outside in the garden. Mads and I explored and watched as Luke and Andy mixed up soil and planted new seedlings in the garden. Hopefully those veggies will fuel our paleo meals!

I took advantage of the cool temps this morning, too, with some interval sprints before dawn. I was nearly done before the kids woke up, but they managed to entertain themselves for a little while so I could finish.

8 x 200m
5 x 50m

200s – 1:11 / 1:09 / 1:10 / 1:09 / 1:10 / 1:11 / 1:11 / 1:12
50s – 11 sec each sprint

I also did core training this morning.

3 sets: 5 flags / 6 deadlift twists (each side) / 15 supermans / 8 DB twists (each side)
1 min plank hold

I could get used to these cooler temperatures. It’s been such a relief after that crazy and very long summer.

Interval runs: Scaring the neighbors

I think I freaked out my 90+ year old neighbor this morning.

Thelma is — seriously — the sweetest, most vibrant and active elderly woman I’ve ever met. But I think I completely freaked her out. And if I didn’t, she was VERY suspicious.

I was just finishing up my workout (which was:)

6 x 400m run
5 x 50m sprints

It was dark — just after 6am — when I ran by her house on the last sprint. I was walking back, feeling good about shaving time off of my sprint when she walked outside to pick up her newspaper.

“Good morning, Thelma!” I said, but I tried to greet her quietly so I wouldn’t disturb the other neighbors.

Silent stare.

“How are you today?” I panted (I was still recovering from the sprint).

Silent stare.

I smiled, wondered if she heard me, and kept walking. I felt her eyes follow me. And I think she even walked out to the sidewalk to see where I was going. I don’t think she recognized me. I’m sure I looked pretty weird. I was wearing my dark blue bandana (a gang symbol!) and I was carrying my stopwatch (what the hell is that in her hand?!).

I tried to look nonchalant and did not look back. I didn’t want to look any more suspicious than I already did. I mean, who runs up and down the sidewalk in the dark?

Ha ha! I hope Thelma’s OK. One day I’ll have to go over there and explain.

Good intervals, though:

400s — 2:01 / 1:52 / 1:50 / 1:51 / 1:53 / 1:51
50s — 11 secs each sprint

I finished up inside with some core training.

3 rounds
5 Wheel roll-outs
15 V-ups
20 Russian Twists with med ball
12 Supermans

Double unders: Practice makes a difference!

When I was growing up, I played the piano.

For an hour a day, I was expected to practice. I was sent to the living room to stare at the keyboard. The timer on the stove was set to keep track of my time.

I wanted to play the piano. I really did. But I also wanted it to come easily to me. And it didn’t. I also wanted to do a lot of other things, and sitting on that bench an hour a day sometimes felt extremely lonely. I would wait for the time to tick away, wishing that I could play beautifully without putting in the time and effort.

Now that I look back, I regret wasting so much time wishing for something to happen, rather than taking action to MAKE it happen.

How many times have I heard people say, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” It’s so true.

Why the deep philosophical commentary? My WOD this morning, of course!

5 rounds
35 double unders
200m run

Today was my interval day, and I saw this WOD somewhere and thought — Oooh! double unders!  Here’s a good way to work in practice! (Because I want to do Annie RX one day.)

I took the timer outside and set it to 25 minutes, thinking I would be so slow at double unders that I wouldn’t finish. I also started off doing the same thing I did last week and counting my failed double under attempts.

But after round 1, I realized I didn’t have to do that.  In fact, my double unders were a heck of a lot better. What’s more, I set a PR for unbroken double unders — 18!

Time: 17:22

I’ve been working on double unders and pullup strength nearly very day for the past month or more. I’ve been WANTING to do both for years and “working” on them sporadically — a workout here or there — but I’ve never put in a concerted effort. Until now.

So the lesson for me has been: if I really want something, I have to work for it.

I wonder what I can accomplish if I apply that to all aspects of my life….