Monday, November 29, 2010

1st Annual runwithjill Turkey Trot RR

I'm not really sure if I've mentioned that I have been having this little annoying heel problem for the past many months??  Well, if not I deeply and sincerely apologize so let me summarize:  My heel hurts, I've barely run  in 8 months.  I know, shocker!!  Speedwork?  Practically zilch, unless you call a handful of mile repeats at once MP "speedwork."

There must be about a half dozen or so Turkey Trots happening around Denver on Thanksgiving day, the biggest being the United Way 4-miler in a very popular running area called Washington Park ("Wash Park" known to us locals).  I've done this race a few hundred times in the past - when my daughter was little, we used to go and run/walk with friends.  One time my girlfriend from Iowa (Hi Meg) was here visiting and I think 9 of us smashed in my Honda Pilot to get to the start.  Fun memories, that turkey trot holds.

But I didn't do it this Thanksgiving; the daughter now thinks running is a death sentence, the only running child I own wasn't in the mood, no friends I knew were doing it and though I could easily have gone alone, as I have done with various races past, I couldn't justify paying the bucks to go run a very slow race (hahah, threw that slow pace thing in there for you, Kovas!).  But there was a 5K at the uber-cool gym I go to put on by the personal trainers (well, it was once uber-cool, but the novelty of it's grandiosity has waned and I now find many irritating how many of the digital lockers never work, or at least two of the stellar treadmills are always broke) - and it was free!  Free + Jill-in-need-of-some-sort-of-speedwork meant it was time to bribe my neighbor, Jim, to join me.

Wake up Thanksgiving morning, ready to race..... to a balmy 9 degrees. 

Call me a pansy if you wish.  It does not matter that I grew up in Iowa, where lawns have been known to stay white for an entire 6 months and that I now live in Colorado, the mecca of winter sports - I just do... not... do... cold... well!  I'm not sure when this I-hate-to-be-cold problem started - I used to LOVE to ski but one time going up a ski lift, my toes got so cold and my core was shivering so badly - it took days of countless hot chocolates and scalding showers to thaw out and that was it, I was done downhill skiing.  Haven't skied in ages, have no plans of ever doing so again.  Snowshoeing, where I can constantly keep moving is another story...but not skiing. 

So I send Jim an email: I'm out.  Too cold.  Pansy.  Whatever.  Thankfully, he concurred so no guilt on my part.  Whew.

So what's a cold weather pansy girl gonna do?  Hello treadmill!!!  I know most have a hatred for the thing (except for Emz - my happy treadmill buddy) but I really don't mind it.  I especially love it's convenience (my basement).  So I decided it was time to enter the first ever "runwithjill Turkey Trot 5K" - here's me, jockeying for a pre-race front row position (remember that room, Marcia??).  I don't know what pace I can run a race anymore.  The 5K has always been a huge mystery to me pace-wise, and I honestly think it's one of the worst lung-sucking races ever invented.  Aside from the 10K.  Or the mile.  So considering all I've been through these many, MANY months, I was ok with anything my legs and lungs could produce; I just wanted a number - any number.  And for the heel to cooperate.  So I set the treadmill for random inclines between 1 and 4 and away I went.  Started out a bit too slow (whooa, that never happens in a paid-for race) so played with the pace here and there and by the end, I was doing a 7:31 pace and feeling mighty fine (and thankful I didn't decide beforehand I needed to do a 10K).

Goal #1 accomplished, I got me a number: Official runwithjill Turkey Trot 5K time: 23:51
Avg pace: 7:41
AG placement: 1st
Overall female: 1st
Overall placement: 1st
Post race food:  As much turkey (deep fried and smoked, thanks to my brother) as I could shove in my mouth!

Goal #2 accomplished: Absolutely no heel pain.

All I can say to these two accomplishments is Praise the Lord, MIRACLES DO EXIST!
This was not a PR, but as much as I detest pretty much avoid the 5K, this time isn't that far off....if we count it post-children era (I used to run sub-21's...but that was a looooonggg time ago).  And yeah yeah yeah, this was a treadmill vs enduring the brutal outdoor elements....whatever, I was happy with the time.  And stoked my heel didn't choke.  No race t-shirt, no medal around my neck, no congratulatory hugs, but the reward was better than all those combined - my confidence was starting to creep out of the mud pit it's been lurking for some time now and I began to start thinking of all the possibilities out there waiting for me in 2011.

But, true to form with just about everything in my life lately (whaaaa), I had a miserable 13-miler on Sunday when the heel started screaming at mile 10.  Ah yes, the infamous mile 10 of hauntings past.  How could I have forgotten you?  Oh how I hate you - nothing's changed in your absence!  I stopped and stretched and cursed the heaves above repositioned my heel insert some, walked and talked a bit with a woman on the same trail who was having some knee pain,and amazingly, I was able to finish the remaining 3 miles relatively pain-free.


But this post isn't about that dumb Sunday longish run, this post was about my runwithjil 5K debut so let's just focus on that, pretend the 13 didn't happen, and repeat that 13 next weekend with much better results.  Ok?  Ok!!!

Holiday Gift Exchange update:
So far we have 53 partaking in what I am sure will be the highlight of your upcoming holiday festivities - the blog fest gift exchange.  53!!!   Word is spreading and I couldn't be more pleased (I think).  Still lots of time to sign up and spread the love, so please help me in seeing if we can get some sort of Guinness World Record blog holiday exchange going (bonus points to anyone who can tell me what that magical number is!! - Well, I'll just make sure to pair you up with yours truly - how awesome would that be??)  Tara (yes, she still exists believe it or not) and I decided during our swimwithjill session yesterday that we were going to have to down a few beers while we pick names to keep our sanity... we may be there awhile, any holiday beer recommendations?? 

Still time to sign up if you haven't right here 

All you across the vast blue oceans or up in the fozen Tundra-lands of Canada are also encouraged to participate.  We do not descriminate here.

I will list those participating in this exciting holiday gala mid-week, just to make sure I haven't left anyone out.  Could y'all do me a HUGE favor and email me: your home mailing address if I don't already have it?  I won't publish it on the blog, I just need to let your blog buddy know - you know, so they can send the gift.  I'll be glad to send y'all my address, in case you're eyeing those diamond earrings for me.  Or a trip to Fiji.
Here's a list of special comments worth mentioning:
- Lindsay wants someone "good."  Wave your hand if you're "good".
- Emz will not participate if she gets Kovas.  Ok, I completely understand, Emz.  Anyone want Kovas?
- Kovas claims to have an inside scoop that Emz is giving away her 50-miler belt buckle for her gift.  I am SO picking Emz as my exchange buddy - I just knocked off a 50-miler belt buckle from my bucket list - go me.  But I do take cash bribes if anyone else wants it.  Bidding starts immediately.
- Jill (onelittletrigirl) said people signed up last year and didn't follow-through (obviously, some other lame blog attempted this last year).  Oh how this hurts.  You signed up, you will participate.  End of story.  Got it?  Good!  I will hunt you down and stalk you 'til you die if you don't.
- Chris K. is the only one who doesn't understand the rules.  Go figure.
- Katie A. also wants someone "good".  Hum, this good thing is becoming a common theme....I'm going to have to check Santa's good list, I'm not sure any of us are on it.

Anyone else have any special requests like being a pain in the ass

I'm off to the gym to do a little something on my plate this coming weekend which I'll share after - if I don't die.

Happy miles, friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude with a Holiday Blog Party

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."  - Melody Beattie

Ah....Thanksgiving, the holiday where we reflect upon all for which we are thankful.  No gifts, no cards, no parties, no have-to's, no fanfare. The day is all about celebrating what is already there - it's simply a no pressure day, a restful day dedicated to – Gratitude.  Not a day to add or acquire, simply to relish the contentment of what is already present. 

There's been a lot of flutter around the world of the blog, bloggers out there displaying their gratitude lists, as they seek their inner souls for all the good in their lives.  I love reading them, learning more about the special things to those we read about often - things more than just their training.  I, too, have been thinking a lot about gratitude lately, as I do every year at this time.  I like to take some quiet time around this holiday to be still and catalog my blessings…reveling in thankfulness for things for which I am blessed.

Having a bum heel for the past 7093 8 months, not able to race at all nor even run close to my half of my potential, I could be grateful for many thing, such as:
  • I haven't slit my wrists.  Yet.
  • I haven't fully taken up knitting as my only hobby.
  • I haven't bought 50 pair of boots, combing the internet in my running hiatus.
  • I haven't adopted a dog.
  • I haven't discovered a fondness for ironing.
Yes, all these things I am grateful for, and many more. 

Yet I'll admit it, I have somewhat of a less than gleeful heart this Thanksgiving, not because I do not appreciate all the good in my life, I have plenty and I am very thankful for all, but my heavy heart is because it has not been easy to sit out many, many months unable able to run much, unable to train for the marathon which I hold so dear to my heart, unable to get that thrill by clicking "submit" on a race registration website.  Watching everyone around me training and racing their guts out, doing races I so long to do, yet cannot, has been so demoralizing and discouraging.  My disposition has been pretty much in the toilet - 8 months (really, it's 10 months when you add in that lung fungus I got back in February) I have seen all my previous hard work to get in prime marathon shape slowly slip away from me.  I am a marathoner, it's part of who I am, and I miss it dearly.  It has NOT been easy. 

On a recent, SLOW run this past weekend, I had a mindbender thought about gratitude - and decided it was time for a little gratitude adjustment.  What if I could wrap my pea-brain around being thankful for things that don't normally fall into the blessing category.  I mean being specifically thankful for the things that seemingly do not go right at all: An idea that failed.  A goal that was not met.  An injury.  An illness.  Loneliness.  Reversals.  Struggles.  Weaknesses.  Addictions. Temptations. Setbacks of every kind and every degree.

These types of things do not typically make it onto one's gratitude radar.  Why should I think about them at Thanksgiving?  Why should I consider them at all?

For all these things, the obviously good and the not so obvious, I am going to try to be a little more thankful this week.  I will be thankful I am able to run - some, thankful my heel is starting to cooperate - some.  I'm going to be thankful I did not get the job a couple weeks ago because it really wasn't the job I wanted, therefore my door is now open for the one I do want (when I find it).  I'm going to try to appreciate the little things…the gestures, sentiments and details often overlooked.  I think I owe it to myself to try. 

It is hard to imagine a people more blessed than us here today. We truly enjoy a bounty unimaginable to most throughout the places and ages of the world. This is something worth recognizing and considering!  And what could be more rewarding, and fun, than during the upcoming holiday season to remember to share the goodness in our hearts with those whose lives we are brought together by this common thread - the blog!

Hang with me a second...

I'm not one to get heavily into the holiday spirit - I admit it.  I stress over the rat-race of the onslaught of holiday crazies: putting up a tree, trying to get cards out (quiet "mightly" Kovas!), over-indulging in too much holiday sugar.  The list goes on.  So I thought it'd be kinda fun - in keeping in line with the grateful theme and all - to take a little time out of our crazy upcoming days to do something nice for all of us who have supported and encouraged us along the way, to show our love - our gratitude - to one another and do a little holiday blog world card/gift exchange!!!!

WHAT?? - me, ME, organizing yet something else to add to the chaotic-ness of the holiday madness?  It's all part of being thankful - thankful for all the warm friends I have met through this blog and all I have learned through everyone else's.  I think it will be fun.  And good for us all - to appreciate, and celebrate, the one thing that has brought us all together in the first place. 

So here's what I propose with this little holiday blog gratitude adventure (and it's very late and I'm really tired, so if something doesn't make sense - I promise to work out all the kinks in the upcoming days (hear that Kovas??  I'll be blogging again in DAYS!):
  • Leave me a comment if you're interested in a card and about a $5 gift exchange a with fellow runner/tri/cyclist blogger.
  • If you took the time to read this entertaining blog, then you have time to do this exchange.  No excuses!  No time-outs!  No substitutions.  Oh....sorry, that's just a coach pep-talk getting mixed in :).
  • Canadians (and other farther away places) can partake, just don't forget the U.S. dollar exchange rate.  And your gift may be a bit late, just let your blog buddy know you're from lands afar.
  • Leave your email address in a comment, or send me an email if you want your email private:
  • Do not renege on this once you commit.  Last year, I signed up to do the "Secret Santa" at work - something I usually ba-humbug at, but I was trying to get into the spirit after enduring a pretty crappy fall and thought this was a good attempt to lift my spirit.  The rules were simple: send little gifts for an entire week,place them in your work mailbox with and little clues as to who your Secret Santa was, then on the last day of the week a larger gift was given and the secret was reveled as to who your Santa was.  Um....I got some gum on day one .... and then nothing again.  Ever.  Totally sucked!
  • I'll take sign-ups until December 8th at midnight.
  • I'll then scramble up all interested bloggers and draw names - each of you will get ONE name to send a card and small gift to.  I will email you who your holiday blog buddy is.
  • You cannot ask me for a new name after I send you one.  I don't care if they haven't commented on your blog in 3 years, yet you do theirs daily.  This is your holiday blog buddy, love them with open arms!
  • I'm going to have a holiday giveaway for all those that enter this fun-ness - and. it. will. be. FUN. dammit!!  I don't know what the giveaway is yet, more on that as I think about this, but I'm certain it can't beat that scorpion sucker - which somehow got lost in my house (sorry, Jesse - at least you got the gift card!).
  • I'll remind you every blog post, so don't worry, you won't forget!
  • Spread the word of the exchange on your blog PLEASEEEEE!!!  The more the merrier!
  • Here's some great gift ideas below:

Holiday Boxer Shorts!  Sorry, body
parts not included.

Holiday GU or Bars!

How about a festive ornament??

Don't forget your host - runwithjill!
Other ideas could be $5 gift cards to Starbucks or the likes, a bottle opener from Jamoosh's lounge perhaps, running stickers?!?  Chia seeds?  Just a word of caution, though - I recently sent a gift card to a guy I've been working with for a very long time as he finished his first marathon in the onset of a lot of physical and personal obstacles.  It was stolen.  Yes, envelope sliced right open and card removed - sad, eh??  So might be best not to send a thick card envelope and instead put gift in a padded envelope or small box.. 

Who's in????  Come on, it'll be fun.  Maybe.

A VERY happy Thanksgiving from my blog to yours!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And in the blink of an eye...

....she suddenly left the teen years.

Happy 20th Birthday, baby girl!!! 

Those blue eyes - age 6 mo

Northern Michigan - age 3
Adoring her newborn baby brothers, age 4

Pacific Northwest tulip fields - age 6

State Park with her little brother, Brendan - age 7

Zion National Park, age 9
No pictures "allowed", per Abbey, during those trying middle school years.  Jump ahead to high school....

Christmas Card -  age 17
See Kovas, we sent out cards - one year.  I haven't always been Scroogie.

High School Graduation - age 18
With her brothers and I at college - age 19

20th birthday


Friday, November 12, 2010

Capabilities + We have a scorpion winner!

"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would
astound ourselves"
- Thomas Edison

I found this little quote sometime ago, not sure how I came across it, but I loved it - it reminded me of when I first really attempted to qualify for Boston a couple years ago and started doing a lot reading on the brain, in particularly, it's affects on racing performance.  I was always a girl ridden with self-doubt about my abilities, especially in races where it "mattered" and though I knew I had endurance and speed on my side, I didn't know how to mesh the two into believing I could fight my way thought the pain of 26.2 hard. tiring miles.  My motto was: start out comfortable and just get slower as the fatigue increased.  I believed "negative splitting" or maintaining a consistent pace in a marathon was for the elite, or those very well-trained and educated on the subject, and therefore I'd just set out in a marathon running - and slow down when it got tiring so I could finish.

Which is fine, for awhile.  But you can only run so many races this way until you realize that something needs to change if you want to see different results.  It took me awhile to understand the physiology behind my running (everyone's running, essentially) and how our bodies work - Geeky science girl here needed to learn what was going on, how my body reacted to the signals my brain sent that I was tired and thus slowed down - what I learned was that I was capable of a lot more than my mental cramping brain told me I was. 

I needed to learn to train my brain to fight through the fatigue of the marathon if I were to improve as a runner.  The way I learned to do this was to kick up my training - to train my body to run at race pace as much as possible so it adapted to the pace it was going to do in the marathon.  I needed to get stronger to achieve this.
All forms of running fatigue entail signals of impending harm sent from your body to the brain.  You can delay running fatigue by training your body to resist various types of harm and by raising your brain's threshold of response to the body's danger signals.  How, you ask?  There are no guarantees, as I've mentioned so many times.  A vast array of factors can take our race down in a heartbeat - but if you do the work needed, your chances of succeeding have more power.  Train your body to run at race pace for an extended period of time through stressing it with increasing race-pace running, and you will see results. 

And it worked.  I stood on the start line of St. George, the race I was trying to BQ, with normal pre-race jitters - as the race so deserves - but confident I could pull it off if the Running Gods didn't throw some obstacle in my path.  I finally trusted my training because I finally trained at a level where my mind knew what it was capable of producing.  It was a feeling unlike I've ever experienced...I believe it was that race which transformed me into becoming a running coach: I knew what it took ME to train at the level at which to see improved results.  Anyone can read a training plan online and adjust it according to their lifestyle, but I knew how much I struggled with stale training times and inadequate race performances, how my mind would get all tangled in the few weeks leading to a major race, and how emotional that journey truly is - those are the things I want to share with you in the upcoming posts (race-pace runs, strength training, etc) - and hopefully you will find that you, too, are capable of so much more than you thought - and will break through some sort of barrier you may possess and truly astound yourself.  I look forward to it :)!!!

So anyway.....yowzie, my first ever giveaway was a huge success!  Thanks to all 131 of you who entered and commented - I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on bug consumption.  I think it's safe to say that we in the U.S. are pretty pampered and the vast majority of us all would not eat these creepy crawlers -- unless absolutely starving -- and even then it may be difficult.  I guess I watched one too many episodes of "Fear Factor"when that show aired - my boys were obsessed and I can't tell you how many times I almost lost my dinner watching someone consume a living cockroach - bleh!  Aside from the occasional gnat I've unwittingly swallowed while running or biking at the state park near my house, I'm not signing up to be a guinea pig with the FAO anytime soon.  Ok, never.

But it was fun and I thank everyone who participated.  If nothing else, at least you now know some bugs carry a lot of protein - in case you're stranded on a desert island one day and need some fuel!!

So the lucky scorpion sucker and CSN winner, using is:  # 17
Jesse - Run to the Border (
email me, Jesse, we need to chat!
(I so need to learn how to have my comments individually numbered - it's not easy to scroll and count, people!!)

Other totally boring random stuff....
- No go on the new job.  I had a gut feeling before I even interviewed something was just "off" with the position and I have found out a few interesting facts since I learned on Monday I didn't get the job, that being I'm not sure I would have gotten it no matter how well I performed as someone was pretty much pegged for it beforehand.  A little bummed - but I learned a lot about myself in that whole process and it just made me that much stronger for the next.  Right?  Right!! 

- This whole insurance fiasco is becoming even more ridiculous.  When I found out I didn't get the new job (which provided benefits), I started working with HR so I could purchase it through the school district - as I was told I could.  Well, unbeknownst to me, I was suppose to sign up for it during "open enrollment" which was back in May - and it may be too late to do so now...or they may make me backpay for the coverage starting from May (um...hell NO!).  Ok, back in May, I was suppose to be picked up by another source, and we all know how that turned out, so now I have to find the rejection letter from the July insurance company (look for me digging through the local dump for the next 4 years) and send it, along with a whole lot of begging and pleading, to the district.  I can already foresee this is not going to go smoothly, if at all.  I hate to be a negative Nelly here, but I have totally lost all faith, and respect, for the U.S. healthcare system.

- The Heel: I've been reading a lot and learning to read the signs of my pain - not that I know what exactly it is - but I think I am learning how to process the signs better when it flares up, and therefore what running I am able to do, is a little more than I was able to do.  All runs this week, though not high in mileage, went well with no pain or twinge of pain ... though I did have a bit after I was finished yesterday's run.  Once I got off my foot though and stretched it, it was better and I could walk fine.  Just taking this baby one day at a time and seeing how to abate the pain as much as possible so I can hopefully just build my mileage up.  No need for speed (though I will admit it is demoralizing sometimes to see how pathetic the pace has become) right now, just build for awhile - the 50 is still on the forefront of race thoughts...and if I can managed to get it cranked up, would love to do this puppy in July, maybe:

- The Arctic weather has returned to Colorado.  Monday it was 75 degrees and Tuesday it was a high of 30.  I completely understand now why old people flood Arizona and Florida in winter.  I honest to God wore my down-filled winter North Face coat for the first two miles I ran on my basement treadmill last night.  It's gonna be a long winter....

- I think I NEED a new pair of boots (need is a necessity in life to live, want is just a desire...this boot thing is a NEED).  While online browsing the internet for the daughter's upcoming birthday next week, I ran across these sweet things:


Hum....decisions, decisions!!  Both are much-needed, but funds are only allowing one.... thoughts?

Happy miles!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Bug's Life Cuisine + Giveaway(s)

While in New Mexico last week, I was reading National Geographic Magazine and came across this little article about bugs, more so how the Food and Agriculture Organization is working on a policy to promote insects as FOOD worldwide.   Turns out, beetles, crickets and many others are  A serving of small grasshoppers, for instance, packs nearly the same protein punch as ground beef.  And insects can be farmed more cheaply and on much less land.  The FAO sees insect farming as a move towards food security - a subject for its upcoming conference on entomophagy, the practice of insect eating. 

Uh....I have one word:   YUCK!

Red Ants
Water Bug

Serving size: 100g

Calories: 153
Total Fat: 6.1g
Protein: 20.6g
Calcium: 35mg
Serving Size: 100g

Calories: 83
Total Fat: 3.2g
Protein: 7g
Calcium: 8mg

Serving Size: 100g

Calories: 62
Total Fat: 8.3g
Calcium: 44mg

I'm skittish eating anything with eyeballs still intact and crunches when I bit down - not that I ever tried, and not that I'm ever going to, but I know I'd never make a great contestant on that show "Fear Factor".  I can't even stand the site of these things....this blog post isn't going to be able to stay up too long because I don't want to look at them.


I did find the article interesting and wondered how many of these critters you would actually have to eat to consume 100g (more than I am willing to try!).  So while combing Old Town in Albuquerque one fine afternoon (and eating a couple veggie tacos, thank you) I came across a tasty little treat:

A little blurry, sorry  - it's hard to get a good image of a  Scorpion Sucker.  That's right, your eyes read correctly, I saw this little tasty treat and since the article of eating bugs was still fresh on my mind, I thought I had to get this little guy and even better - I had to GIVE IT AWAY to all you nutrition freak endurance junkies!!  That's right, you heard it here - the blog world's first ever Scorpion Sucker Giveaway!! 

Don't worry, the sucker is apple flavored so all you gotta do is lick away - lick, lick, lick, at some de-lish artificially apple-flavored sugar until you get to the tasty scorpion anxiously waiting for you inside.  It's like having your dessert first and then getting your meal - loaded with rich fuel loading carbohydrates to make your run strong and satisfying.

I know you'll all be rushing to leave the blog so you can leave your comment to win this scrumptious delicacy...but wait, I'm not done yet.  Ok, I am done with the critter giveaway, but since I was approached by the nice folks at CSN stores awhile back to give away a gift card, I thought I'd throw the generous $45 gift card in to whomever won the sucker.  Yep, TWO awesome things to win.  I'm just nice like that. 

CSN is comprised of over 200 online stores, selling everything from dining room chairs to fitness equipment. A great store with so much stuff it'll pop on over and see what you'd use the gift card for:

I can't do these giveaways often, this isn't really the way I want to take the ole blog, so get out there while you can and win something super cool from Jill. 

There's twowo ways to win, leave a separate comment for each:
1) Tell me what you think of eating bugs, before this post and then again after reading it.
2) Tell me what you'd buy with the CSN gift card (don't forget the holidays are coming up and your favorite blogger, Jill, needs some presents!).

Total fun, eh??!!!  I'll keep the contest open for a week, until midnight of November 11th, so don't lolly-gag, get busy commenting.

In other news - I had my interview today for the new job *sigh*.  I don't think it went so well *sigh*.  I got all discombobulated with the first question, omitting half of what I wanted to say, and it only went more sour after that.  I don't know how many times I used marathon training as an example of accomplishing my goals and how organized I was (read: anal retentive) - I'm sure they were sick of hearing it *sigh*.  Will find out by the middle of next week, but I'm not holding my breath.  I am grateful I was dwindled down to the final 6 of the 98 which applied - that in itself is an accomplishment.  I guess. *sigh*

A big shout-out to Brian, a guy I've been working with for a very long time, who is running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon this weekend.  He has overcome a vast amout of diveristy from injury to job issues; I couldn't be more proud he's still giving his race a go.  Good luck, Brian - I know it will go very well!!

So anyway, I know I said I'd do the coachy thing today but it took all my strength to do the giveaway so will work on that this weekend when I'm not so sulky and can think more clearly.  It's coming - promise.

Until then, happy miles....and next time you're out running and see a little critter on the street, don't step on it, pick it up, pop it in your mouth, and your run may be oh so much better!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tis the End of the XC Season on Halloween Weekend

Site of the Colorado State Cross Country Meet
Gotta love that view, eh?
(Mt. Evans is the highest of those peaks, a 14,055' peak- there is race
up that in late June: The Mt. Evans Ascent, which is run on all road.  I've done it
twice and it's nothing but spectacular!)
I'm back from New Mexico (miss me?)...and a big YES to all those who commented they thought the "Land of Enchantment" is a bit of a stretch for this pretty dry parcel of land - that is a big affirmative.  There are some pretty pieces to NM, but trust me when I say those stretches of pretty are nowhere along the I-25 drive.  Anyway, glad to be home, for sure, but crazy busy since my return - the highlight being yesterday's state cross country meet.  My school was the host for the grand event this year, so there was a lot of work to do by the coaches and the volunteers to get ready for the big day.  The kids did great, our school is class 5A so we have some stiff competition and as the day progressed, a significant amount of wind affected the later runners (our boys) ... along with my allergies, and though I bitched and moaned was beyond tired after standing on my legs for a billion hours, it was a very fun, and action-packed, day.  The boys placed 7th overall in the 5A division and the girls placed 12th.  Here's a few pics of the day!

Yours truly being a Course Marshall ..... and hogging
all the camera action.
Note the black jacket I'm wearing: freebie from the race - yay!

Smoky Hill boys and girls gathered under the tent in
total teenager mass destruction.
(yeah, our school colors are red and green.  We're always ready for Christmas!)-

Bald heads make you speedier - more aerodynamic. 
Especially that mohawk!
Smoky Boys group together for a quick pep talk
Vast openness of the course.  Windy, dry and full of prairie grasses.
Are you sneezing yet?  My allergies were totally in
party-mode out here.

Mile 2.  Duh!
The runners reaching my command post

The start of the girls 5A, Smoky Hill is there in the red on the left.

The finish, with a Smoky Hill guy coming in (green guy).

Mobs of people at the end to check out the results

The weekend ended with Halloween, of course.  We in Denver trick-or-treat on the actual All Hallow's Eve Day so extra rushing as the day closed.  Here's the difference between those younger years where I made all my kids' costumes and they were just so dang cute and the too-old-to-be-trick-or-treating ages of my now older-aged kiddos (I must learn how to use my scanner and scan some pics from their itty-bitty days...that's being added to "the list" of things to do):

My boys and their friends:
Front: Detective, Mountain Climber (Brendan)
Back: Skier (Ryan), Mountain Climber, Mountain Climber
(guess who the mountain climber freaks are?? And why yes, that
is a real ice axe Brendan owns.  Only child I know who asked
Santa for an ice axe and climbing rope last year)

Abbey: Colorful Paint Pallette
Abbey's boyfriend: Guatemala (the entire country)

Perfect Christmas Card Pose!

October's end stats weren't exactly where I had hoped (I know, this is becoming a broken record comment each month) but I did have a great run today (again, slow - blahhhhh) and decided it was time to make some changes starting tomorrow, such as stop eating like I'm running 60 mpw and get back to the strength training and swimming on a regular basis.  I miss the body tone I once had and need to get that back, stat!!  Ended the month at least in the triple digits with 109 running miles....which is pathetic but that's what the hell heel is allowing.  I have a crazy week back at work this week, with a possible interview for a new position at school....which will, get this, get me insurance.  Whoooa, crazy huh??   I'll be a real person in society but more important, a step closer to a heel diagnosis.  Fingers crossed: I'm one of 98 applicants (argh).  If this new job doesn't pan out, which let's be honest, one of 98 applicants is pretty slim chances, I did find out last week that I will be able to purchase some school insurance, at an absolute ridiculous rate, but insurance nevertheless (the new position's insurance is paid through the district.  Current position means I GET to pay myself.  Reason?  Cuz I work 35 hours/week instead of 40 in my current position.  Lame, I know!).  How many months has this insurance disaster been going on?  If you knew how little patience I had for the ignorant in this world, you'd be in awe that I haven't slit my wrists waiting for all this insurance stuff to pan out.

Anyway, that's what's new with me.  Wednesday or Thursday will be the big giveaway along with my first, official, coachy tip (pressure's on - yikes) so check back soon!

A huge GOOD LUCK hug to Meg (, my Boston roomie this year, who's running NYC this coming weekend.  It's inside you girl, I know you can do it!  And best wishes to her friend, and my other Boston roommate, Runway Girl, who's running NY, too.

Happy Miles....