Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just the Facts

Monday:  duh.  Rest.  :O)  Very sore quads.  Plus the heat from the race yesterday just really did a number on me.

Tuesday: Missed hot yoga due to work meeting running late.  Ran a recovery 'jog' of just over 3 miles.  Still had sore quads all day, but once I started running, surprisingly they weren't hurting.  Took it real easy though, only to pick it up in the last 1/2 mile for the hell of it.

Wednesday:  Gym day. 
  • Treadmill
    • 20 min easy
    • 10 min at 6.0
    • 10 min at 6.2
    • 10 min easy
    • 5 min at 6.2
    • Tabata (4 min) at 8.0
  • Weights
    • 40 minutes
Thursday:  90 min hot yoga class; felt GRRREAT to be back in the studio!

Friday:  Rest day.  Race Saturday morning.   Four 4 the Park (4 miler).


Fall and Winter Races

Chevron Houston Marathon  - Round 5 (January) - Lottery in June or July; registration probably in July

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Angies Half Crazy Half Marathon Race Photos

Courtesy of Your Sporting Image

Finish Line shot

Another Finish Line shot

um can we say "hold your stomach in please?"  :O)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon - Race Review

This half marathon has been around for only a few years (3 I think) and has grown exponentially since it started.  If I remember correctly the 1st year it had around 200 people and this weekend it was over a 1,000. Its a flat course of course, being in SE Texas, sans one little overpass that maybe went up 30ft or so in elevation.  It certainly is not a scenic route by any means, the only scene worth seeing is when you cross over Clear Lake.  :O)

Next year if what I heard on the loudspeaker before the Start, it will be 5,000 strong with it coinciding with something called the Firefighter challenge...I don't know what that means but it would grow the 1/2 to a much larger number!

I have never done this race mostly due to previous years it was later than March and I didnt really want to run 13.1 in warmer temps plus I was always so focused on running the shorter Spring set of HARRA races (5K-10K)

This year when I found out it was going to be in March, I really wanted to do it due completely to the fact that I wanted to be out there with 2 of my dear friends Nicole and Melissa who have done it since its inception because of the charity it donates to.  Then I saw that it was the same weekend as the Dallas RnR Half, which I loooooooooooove, but I still chose to stay close to home this year...Hoping it doesnt fall on the same weekend next year because then I could do both if I wanted to, and that remains to be seen.  There were a few things about this race which you will see that I was not a fan of.

Packet Pickup - Nothing fancy here.  Small race, not a lot of hassle.  Only thing is that their pick up locations were scattered around and not very convenient for most.  But then again I am spoiled living in the city where about 98% of race packet pick ups are within a 5 mile radius of me.

Race bag - Fail.  Not only were there no goodies other than a bite size Lara bar, they were in the Sun and Ski bags you get when you buy something at the store.  Come on Angie, get with the program.  I was hoping for a reusable!  Be green!!!

Oh and a big fat fail on the shirt too.  This is not a 'tech' shirt.  No its not cotton tshirt, but its not a tech shirt either.  And to run out of small sizes so early is just dumb.  AND to have generic styling (i.e. you get a men's shirt) is just so 2005.  So my 'small' shirt is not only hideous, it swallows me up.

There was a cap in there too, which is awesome if you like caps.  I however, do not wear caps.  Rare.  Like 2-3 times a year rare.  And never running.

Before the walker start at 6:30
Race morning - Eh.  Now I did not open all the MILLIONS of emails and Facebook message updates that seem to just be over the top (in too much content trying to be funny and witty) but I understand that one time we could be there to park onsite by one time, then it was another (much earlier; which we did), and then only to find out (see) that we could have come 45 min later than we did.  The start for the walkers (6:30), wheelchair at 6:45 (were there any?) and runners (7:00) started on time and without a lot of fanfare.  Just the way I like it.  They did have corrals this year (placed by your est finishing time when you register), and from what I could tell most people were abiding by that (big plus for those that are courteous).  I didn't have to weave at all; there were a few people that were obviously misplaced (by their own doing), but it wasnt horrible.

Course - The course itself is fine as previously mentioned.  Most of it is the same as what the Fall series 10 mile warm up race is, so its familiar.  For some reason though this time I didnt hate it.  I ran that 10 miler a few times and all I can remember is that I wasn't fond of it to say the least.  Maybe I liked it more this time around because I am faster? I was passing a lot of people throughout the entire race and the fact that I felt pretty darn good the entire time except for the life sucking humidity!  :O)

Post Race - Here is where the overall experience of this race is a big fat FAIL.  Let's start with the fact that when you finish they hand you a bottle of water.  Awesome.  But then guess what?  That is ALL there was.  There were no sodas anywhere, no additional bottles or even CUPS of water.  Are you freaking kidding me?  Fail.  Fail.  Fail.  It was DAMN hot ... there should have been additional fluids.

In addition to that they ran out of towels and we never saw hide nor hair of any awesome mugs as were promised and advertised.  I had heard they ran out of medals in previous race, but as far as I know not this year. 
I still cannot get past the fact that there were no liquids around!!!  And the fact that I was supposed to get a mug for finishing is not cool.

Medal?  A++++  ... I do love the medal.

The food was not a fail, but nothing to write home about; I saw orange slices, and I think I remember my friend Melissa wanting a banana instead and there was some remark/issue made about that?  I stuffed a hot dog down my piehole and called it a day.  But there were mini Lara Bars (which I took about 10 and stuffed in my bag) and Girl Scout cookies ... oh and some kind of Icee thing which they gave a teensy amount to you and it didnt taste all that good.

The band was good.  Cheesy looking motley crew, but they weren't half bad.

Oh and somehow my time was not recorded.  I am nowhere to be found on the results page.  I have emailed the race director and the guy who runs the timing.  Oh well, at least I have my Garmin.  And had this actually been a PR I would be a lot more upset about it.  :O)


I am hoping that some email from them comes out with a survey.  Or at the very least possibly letting us know about the mugs?

Also I have knowledge that last year not one $ was donated to the melanoma cause as it is advertised because "they didnt make any money".  I know this because either they told everyone, or my friend Nicole just has inside information.

This is not cool.

Maybe thats why there was so much less 'perks' like nothing to drink after a hot ass race?  To save money?  Eh, I dont buy that really.  And if you aren't going to go through with what you advertise then you shouldnt have advertised it in the first place.  Advertise as no frills...or lower the winning $ amounts ... You aren't pulling any of the big (local elite) guns in anyway...maybe 1 or 2 here or there, but this year I sure didnt see it.

Anyway, I will wait and make a decision on whether to run again or not based upon if $ is donated or not, and if any participant improvements are made.

For a hometown half marathon, its ok I guess.  The single reason (and the best one in my opinion) is that I got to spend time with 2 of my dearest and well you just can't put a medal, dollar amount or rating (other than DUH! WINNING!!) on that...  :O)


On a personal level, I am overall pleased as punch with the way it turned out.  Let's face it, the past 6 weeks have been hell on me; sure I ran a couple of 11-12 milers but if you go back, you'll see that they sucked for the most part.  And speed training?  Eh.  You see my blog; couple of speed workouts in the gym.  Compared to past Spring's this one is down right embarrassing I suppose, but honestly I am cool with it.  Some things are just more important.

I went out there not knowing exactly what I could do.  I hadnt run that far since the end of January and certainly not at any pace other than training on Saturday (and that again hasnt gone well); nor had I even come close to simulating race day...and then factor in that I really havent run in hot/humid for quite some time.

Honestly I think it just shows me the kind of shape I am in.  Which is way better than I might have thought.

The hot yoga has given me some ammunition when running outside in the hotter temps...I have lost some weight and just gotten overall stronger due to more strength training.

I could have very easily run faster yesterday...even thought about it a time or 2 early in the first half.  After each mile I kept thinking "any moment its going to hit me" and I am going to bonk; so I kept at the pace thinking 'get it while you can' mentality.  However I also didnt want to finish by doing the death march in the last 1.1. 

I had said all along I just wanted to use this as a training run...supported....with some extras; and also the benefit of my girlfriends and I sharing it together.

Sure I am sore today...My quads hurt like a mo fo...and my hip flexors are cranky.  Again I havent run at that distance and pace for a while; I am not surprised that I have some repercussions...

 I will take it easy by doing nothing tonight...I figured I could take a day off   :O)


How about some random pictures from the weekend?

A few pictures taken from where we ate dinner on Saturday night:  Top Water Grill down in San Leon

I ate one whole grilled shrimp taco, and the insides of the other; smushed black beans and rice together; had a few bites; started with a small dinner salad.

Nicole and I

I just thought this sign was funny.  Like who would do a meet and greet for Jim Beam's great grandson?  I never liked Jim Beam...had a friend who drank it like it was water though.

And a few from the car on the drive back to Nicoles after dinner; Galveston Bay

Outside Kemah Boardwalk; huge tourist attraction; this picture actually is pointless :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Few Pictures...Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon

Before the Start:  LtoR:  JunieB, Nicole and Melissa!  I love them!

Loved the medal; hard to see but since this years them was 'baseball', the medal is a baseball; nice and heavy, and big.  I like big medals.  :)

JunieB and Melissa post race...Wearing my I Wanna Punch Running in the Face tech shirt from SkinnyRunner!

Melissa running her Momma in...I dont know...I just get choked up thinking about this picture...

After we are ALL done...JunieB, Melissa and Nicole!  I miss them already...Have I said I love them?  I do.  I love their faces, their spirit and their friendship...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This One was for you Momma...Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon

Another pic of Momma in her glory days!

Its been 17 days since Momma passed away.  Today her memory on my legs in Marks a Lot carried me, even through bouts of tears that fell along the way...

Mile Splits (total time 2:12:13)
10:06 (took my only gel here)
10:13 (started throwing cups of water on myself to help cool off; 70+ temp deg and 90+% humidity made for a not so comfortable race)
10:25 (purposely slowed way down to have what I needed for the last 1.1)
9:09 pace

10:05 average pace

Full 1/2 marathon race report and review to follow.  I'm still a mess.  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just the Facts

Sunday: No run
Monday: Gym for HIIT (treadmill), Tabata (treadmill) and weights
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 4+ miles
Thursday: 1 hour run on treadmill and weights
Friday:  No run
Saturday: No run
Sunday:  13.1 miles:  Angies Half Crazy Half Marathon.  At this point, this 'race' will simply be a supported long run with a medal and a finishers shirt at the end :O).

Yes I took the week off from hot yoga.  In trying to catch up on sleep, chores and friends, hot yoga just interferes because of the time of the class, how late it ends, and that it just drains me physically to where I just dont have the time or energy for much more afterwards.  :O)


That's how I feel.  Like I am sometimes losing my mind.  My mind races off into so many different directions at such random times that I do feel 'crazy'.

(be prepared that this post is likely to convince you I am mental or crazy); clearly by now you have figured out I am not one of those rainbows, light brights and sparkly stuffed unicorns kinda blogger, where I make you feel all soft and comfy and pretend that my life, food and habits are anywhere near perfection???? 

1)  I find myself dissecting conversations, sentences and even singling out one word from a phrase or comment that may have been spoken to me...and then making it into something it probably wasn't even meant to be or even mean...but my brain is just on overanalyze/overdrive.
2)  My patience seems to be worn thin at times as well.  Or maybe I mean that my tolerance (for certain things) has worn thin.  I find myself rolling my eyes a lot.  Especially when I do read the updates on Facebook.  Here is a hint...if you consistently post politics, anti-gay, religion, gluttony (food or alcohol), or are just overall disrespectful to our country or any facet of our human race then I am going to either delete you or at the very least hide your ass...and let me tell you there are a lot of people on my 'friends' list that are hidden.  In addition, it just saddens me that at some point I may have thought this person worthy of my friendship and attention?  WTF?

And I suspect that a lot of people on mine loathe my status updates sometimes too...and that's fine.  I couldn't care less.  I just get so downtrodden over the stupidity of others when it comes to certain things...I am trying to stay off of there more and more to be honest.  Its just saddens me which is a negative feeling and I hate when I have negative feelings...

3)  And speaking of that...negative feeling thing...I thought I had turned a corner with my self-esteem/body image thing, but that was short-lived.  I have however, figured out the 'trigger'...since Monday I have often found myself trying to figure out just exactly how little I can eat and still 'function' and by function, I mean run.  :O)

Even as I sit here now, my mind is focusing on things I have googled/researched/read on exactly some fight the good fight with their struggles as it pertains to their ED.  And what I mean by that is exactly how they eat (or not eat), think...everything.  Its overwhelming and I find myself yet obsessing over how to 'be skinny' ... I mark that in such a manner, because no less than probably 25 times over the past 2 weeks (and at least once a day for the past 3 days) I have had to hear someone make a remark about my weight, or lack thereof.

Do you really think that because I am what you consider skinny, that any comments cannot trigger a person and in this case, me?  For whatever reason, the more people comment on how 'little' I am the littler I think I need to be to 'live up to that perception'...crazy yes.

4)  OK, so here is something else...and something that I have thought long and hard about...even tweeted about it; and wondered if I could get past it or would it just keep resonating in my brain until such time I felt like I just had to write it out...well now is that time.

I am completely floored, disappointed, and overall just completely shellshocked that I know people...who I considered dear friends that either are completely clueless, that selfish, or just completely rude (or maybe all 3) to the fact that I a) have been going through a lot these past couple of months, and b) that I just went through probably one of the single most traumatic life experiences a person will have (death of a parent).  Now granted, I know that my Momma was my Momma, and that well, in the big picture maybe they didnt know her...and its been suggested that 'some people just don't know what to say' etc.

Um.  No.  Don't buy it. 

Let me tell you something...out of alllllllllllllllll of the people I want to know what?  I will tell you what.  The people least likely...the ones that not only didn't know my Momma, but BARELY know me...yeah they are the ones that stepped up.  Floored me.  There were flowers sent, cards, gifts, offers for meals...from what I would consider almost a stranger...and from some that I have had issues with in the past that somehow, somewhere along the way, just faded away and was replaced by compassion and genuine sympathy.  Sometimes it takes something so personal and sad to find out who not only means the most to you, but who you mean the most to.

After writing all that, and then also what I just deleted, its pointless really.  The few that I am speaking of...well, I often wonder what (if anything) I will say to them should I either run into them (inevitable) or if I should receive some random email spouting off about something or to see 'Whats up?' (also inevitable).

To those of you that went out of your way, before, during and after, words cannot express how much gratitude and love I feel for you...

And having said all of that...I am taking a much needed break from social media (Facebook and Twitter).  My blogging might take a hit as well, but it won't be non-existent. 

I think I just need a bit of 'privacy' for a while you know?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Everyone Needs a little Rob Base in their Workout...It Takes Two to Make Things Go Right...

H.I.I.T. Workout (treadmill)
20 min warm up run

2:00min at 9:00pace
1 min at 5mph
x 5

2 min at 9:30pace
1 min at 5mph
x 5

(total:  55 min)


20sec at 8.5mph (7:27pace)
10 sec off
x 8 (total 4 minutes)

Today I did something different.  There is never really anyone on the treadmills, so in honor of Rob Base (It Takes Two), I loaded up on two different treadmills (side by side).  I had one set at the faster pace, the other at the slower pace and hopped off and on between the two instead of resetting the speed each time.  Worked out great!  Thanks to the song for coming on at just the right time to give me the idea (not that I hadnt thought of it before, just never acted on it).  Obviously once I was done with HIIT and before starting Tabata (which I only needed the one treadmill for), I stopped the 2nd treadmill from its rotation.

There was one lady on a treadmill 2 over from me and I am pretty sure she thought I had lost my mind :)

Once I was done treadmill hopping, I went to work on the weights, but only ended up doing about 40 minutes.

Felt really good to get a good, hard and sweaty workout in!

Kenyan Way Long Run - 12 miles

Eh, I was going to do 13, but it ended up being 12. 

At least this 12 miler was better than the last 2 in the previous weeks.  Wasn't great, but better.  I am hoping that this week, with me and life getting back to some sense of normalcy both mentally and physically, I can at least not embarrass myself too badly at my upcoming half marathon on Sunday.

While I have not been able to train really at anything other than going the distance, and with the much warmer temps, it surely will not be my best finishing time, but I plan to have a good time with friends who are also doing this race.

As I said mentally each day I seem to be better (even though the first thing I remembered this morning was that it was a week ago today that we buried Momma), and I should be able to really get some normal rest and sleep this week as well. 

I actually ended up working at Lukes both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend, which is great for the pocketbook, but hard on a girl otherwise.  I was dead to the world Saturday evening and ended up with a lot of sleep which was great since Sunday not only did I work, but spent the evening into the late hours at a baseball tournament and then just staying up late in general; thank goodness I did get all that sleep on Saturday night!  I actually don't feel that tired today on such little sleep last night!

Going to take it easy this week workout wise, a bit of running, some gym time (tonight) and only 1 night of hot yoga.  Hopefully all of that will help with an OK finish time at Angies on Sunday!  Heck at this point, I just want to finish in an upright position!!!

I am looking forward to a non-working weekend!!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

One Day at a Time...One Day at a Time

Thursday 3/17/2011 - Turned off the alarm somehow and went back to sleep so no before work run (yes I went back to work today); 90 min hot yoga
Friday 3/18/2011 - No Run (long run tomorrow; 13 miles)

The hot yoga session I had yesterday did WONDERS for me.  Not only was I able to (almost) completely zone out mentally, but the the extreme sweat session I had and the physicality of it all just ... well it just helped.

While I have been keeping up with my running, I hadn't been to hot yoga in 2 weeks.  I havent missed that much since I started back in October.  I think I went a week once.

In addition to all of that it allowed me to have my first night of blissful sleep.  I remember only once having a dream and that was after the alarm had gone off and I had dozed back off.  There was nothing that I recall occuring in the night as I know I never woke up.

And now for the really exciting part!  Something I have been working on/towards for a few weeks now and while I had indeed managed to 'get into' a toe stand position a couple of times now, I had not managed to 'get out' of it without falling over!!!

For those that do not know what a 'toe stand' is, here are a couple of photos:

Side view
Notice the girl in the middle who is not quite yet into the pose; this shows the beginning of actually getting into toe stand.  Then you pretty much do the same thing to come out of it (which is much harder by the way!).  I am not yet able to take my hands from the floor into prayer (look at the girl in the front row to the back of the picture; that would be me at this point; and also in the previous picture as well) :O)
The follow picture shows the beginning of the pose (also known as tree pose)

Then you start to bend forward, lifting up on your toe, letting your hands reach to the floor, while bending that knee into a 'sitting' position...Took me FOREVER to be able to do it.  Requires mucho flexibility and as a runner, that isn't always a gift. 
I almost peed myself yesterday when I was actually able to get back up, as I said, without falling over onto the floor!

And now for something that I found to make me smile today....


Thursday, March 17, 2011

2 - 1 - 1 = 0

There are so many feelings and emotions surrounding one and one's head when a parent is lost.

I lost my daddy 16 years ago.  I was very close to my daddy.  While this event was indeed heartbreaking and devastating to me, it was very different than this go round.  16 years ago, I was self medicating myself with booze, drugs and partying.  They slacked off for a year or so but then began again up until 2004.  Its just what I did to drown out all the turmoil from all the years of this, that, the other, and then losing daddy.

Also I didn't have to take care of daddy during his bout with lung cancer.  Momma took care of that. 

Now?  Well I have been clean and sober now for going on 7 years, and while I thought going through the normal ups and downs of life that way was compared to going through this that way.

I am still struggling with sleep and when I do sleep, I have vivid dreams pretty much the entire time. Not of her, just dreams in general.  About some strange things really; none of which right now I can recall.  People say that that is normal for some because of all the emotions and stress surrounding the situation; your mind is just active all. the. time. (moreso than normal).

Being so close to this situation with momma over the past year (which incidentially she passed exactly one year TO THE DAY from the stroke), taking care of her, sacrificing (nothing like my sister did though) etc., well it just puts you much closer to the a caretaker, even in a minimal capacity that I consider myself to have been involved, makes the loss so much greater. 

Anyway, the whole reason for the post title of 2-1-1=0 was for the reason that that is how I feel.  Like I have been reduced to a 0.  I don't know where I belong.  I mean, even after daddy died, I still had my momma, but now? 

Now I don't have any parents.

I don't have a momma or a daddy.  To me that just sounds sad.  And just not right somehow.

Its something that I am struggling with and figure its going to the one thing that takes some getting use to.  Or maybe I wont ever get use to it.  I still miss my daddy and its been 16 years...I think about him a lot actually. But I am finding myself really having a harder time with the loss of momma, which is weird because of our history and just the fact that I never considered myself 'close' to her ... I think about her more than I think I did my dad in the few days afterwards...again I can only attribute this to my state of mind and the fact that I am not only older but as I mentioned, clean/sober.

I don't know really...just still kinda feels surreal to me.

I feel like Little Orphan Junie.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just the Facts

Monday 3/7/2011 - 12 mile run.  Wasn't pretty but it got done.
Tuesday 3/8/2011 - opted out of hot yoga and got the call from sister while in the car home so I wouldnt have gone anyway
Wednesday 3/9/2011 - 3.5 mile run under the cover of darkness
Thursday 3/10/2011 - 5+ mile run under the cover of darkness
Friday 3/11/2011 -No run
Saturday 3/12/2011 - 11 miles.  Bailed out of the Bayou City Classic 10K (not that I even ever had the chance to sign up) and ran with Kenyan Way instead.  Was very tough.  Very little sleep and very little food since Thursday.   There was some walking and some crying.  Wow.  I just  noticed that I ran 12 miles just 4 days ago.  That might have contributed some to my legs feeling like they just had no get up and go as well.
Sunday 3/13/2011 - 3 miles
Monday 3/14/2011 - No run
Tuesday 3/15/2011 - 6 miles

We had my mom's service yesterday.  It was perfect and beautiful.
I have a lot to write about; non-running stuff...more like some 'life' stuff, but I am just not ready to sit down and write a lot just yet.
Thank you for you sentiments and comments of sympathy.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of my momma and my daddy; one that we used during the service on the picture collaboration.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In Memory

August 10, 1928 - March 10, 2011
Rest in Peace Momma

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Temporary Hiatus

As many of you either know or have surmised from previous posts, my family and I have been helping Momma out since her stroke last March.  Things were 'ok' until July 2010 where things started going not so well and just got progressively worse.

We are at the end, or the beginning, however one chooses to see it.  We have everything done, we are just waiting for her to decide when its time (maybe a day or maybe a few; we obviously dont know for sure).  The music is set, the clothes are picked out, the photos are chosen and the pall bearers are chosen as well.  And Momma herself picked out and paid for all the other arrangements a long time ago.  Yes we are a Type A family.

If you're a praying sort, all I ask is prayers for a painless and peaceful journey for my dear Momma.

Momma at 17.  Wasn't she just absolutely gorgeous?  I always loved this photo.  To me she looked like a movie star.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ash Wednesday - Beginning of Lent - Fast

It's that time of year again.  Last year I gave up all meat.

This year I have no idea what to give up.  They say instead of giving something up you can add something to your life..that requires dedication, serves others; whether that is God or people in general.

The act of 'fasting' and the rules that surround this vary from one religion to another, and in some cases even from State to State, e.g. Louisiana fast from non-seafood meat only on Fridays during Lent, while really it is said that it should be any animal (product).

Its all just as confusing as Lent itself which is supposed to be until Easter.  40 days.  But really it ends up being 46 days, but some say that each Sunday is like a 'mini-Easter' and you can 'cheat'.  Say wha?  I never heard that until last year, and again reminded this year during research.

I think most people go with what they were brought up with.  For me that meant no eating meat on Fridays (unless it was fish or other seafood).  I was never asked to give anything up but once I was old enough to figure all that out, I made my own decisions.

And it wasn't until the past few years that I started the practice of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Again, so many rules and 'outs'.. for example:  In some places, believers abstained from food for an entire day; others took only one meal each day, while others abstained from all food until 3 o'clock. In most places, however, the practice was to abstain from eating until the evening, when a small meal without vegetables or alcohol was eaten.

I have not eaten at all on Ash Wednesday (from the last meal on Tuesday until breakfast on Thursday)... the last 2 years but did eat on Good Friday, mostly because I had to run on Saturday.  :O/  This year my plan is to, on Good Friday, eat the one meal.

My other plan is to add the act of fasting one day a week during Lent.  There is a lot out there on why fasting is 'close to God' and how it plays into spirituality.  I won't bore you with that.  I like to keep my spirituality close to the cuff...

And this year moreso than ever...I will still hear my mother's voice when she would call me EVERY Friday and simply say "Dont eat meat today!"

And from the scripture:

Matthew 6.16-18
16... When you fast, do not put on a sad face as the hypocrites do. They neglect their appearance so that everyone will see that they are fasting. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. 17 When you go without food, wash your face and comb your hair, 18 so that others cannot know that you are fasting, only your Father, who is unseen, will know. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
Do you or your family observe Lent?  Ash Wednesday?  Fridays during Lenten?  What are you giving up?  Do you fast?

Drats! Foiled!

Since I knew that I was going to be missing my regularly scheduled and supported run with KW on Saturday morning, I had in my head a plan of action.

Unfortunately Mother Nature (and Mother) had other plans.

I had set my phone alarm for 6am, knowing that there was no way I was going to be running down FM1485 before it was light enough (even though I was fully armed with blinky light and head light as always in my backpack), but before the alarm even had a chance to go off, around 5:30am I was awakened by the sound of heavy rain, thunder and then I could see bright flashes of light.


The rain just kept coming as did the thunder and I knew that my plan was foiled. 

Typically we don't start to attempt waking Mom up until around 8:30 or 9:00am so thankfully around 7:30 or so the rain had let up enough to where I just got dressed and headed out into what was now only a light mist.  My plan had been reduced to run to the 2nd bridge and back (4 miles), come back by the house, check to see if Mom had woken up on her own, and get some water and head out again. 

But by the time I was just getting back to the house, the wind started picking up as I ran inside to check on things, and then I just decided that I was going to just do loops there which I had driven it before and I knew it was just at a mile (I could check in on Mother every other mile or so).  I set the water on the back of my SUV and headed out.  Before I had even made it a half mile not only was it windy as hell, but it was getting colder by the second.  The cold front was moving in, which is what I had hoped to avoid.  By the start of the 6th mile it was unbearably cold for me and I just packed it in.  I did have a long sleeve I could put on but...

When I went inside and peeked in on Mother she was indeed starting to stir so there was that...

A tough 6 miles for me.  Running on that road (traffic scaring the beJesus out of me too often) and the mini-hills and the drizzle in my eyes, fighting the wind, I just sucked at it.  But at least I felt like I did something.  The loop there around the homestead isn't so bad (other than the scattered neighbors peeking out from their windows I know wondering 'who that crazy girl is running the gosh darn rain Vern?')  I saw several people looking as the dogs would start barking...bringing their owners to the windows and screen covered front doors..

What bit was the fact that in Houston, KW was running in a rain free environment as the rain didnt bother Houston till much later than we would have started.  Yes that is more of me being selfish (at first) thinking how upset I was ... so dumb and so childish ... Its just a freaking Saturday run June... so I did.  I got over it and planned my attack to get the mileage in on Monday (that post cometh)...

Little Not So Independant

This past weekend I was supposed to be running the Texas Independance Relay (203 miles across Texas).  Two weeks or so ago I found out I was an alternate, then later finding out that I indeed could be on the team (of course now they wanted someone with 9min miles which was not the original request, but I digress).

Not only was that something I wasn't going to be able to do (and besides I had stopped training for such a long relay), but I had also found out that my Mom was in her final days (we still dont know when obviously, but it 'won't be long' whatever that means).  So clearly I wasn't going to commit to this given all of the above.

Even this past week I was asked by 2 other teams but declined.  For what I would think are obvious reasons.

Which turned out to be the best decision because not only was my sister sick, but she has pneumonia.  Shes doing much better now and talked the doctor out of admitting her to the hospital.  The fact that right now I am just unable to really plan anything short term.  I can schedule things but always make sure that whoever I am making those plans with or for, they understand that at any given notice I may not be available.

I am not going to lie.  This weekend was tough for me.  Part of me was angry because my routine was disrupted (not only not being able to do TIR but also having my long run foiled; more on that in the next post) but then all of me would feel guilt.  Forget the fact that just caring for a dying parent isn't quite stressful and debilitating enough...It didn't make it any easier that I had to be subjected to constant updates on Facebook by those people I knew out there on the course.  Out of all of them, only one persons updates didnt phase me much, because it was just the statistics.  Thats really all that I cared about and all that I was actually able to stomach.  I was thankful for his updates because as a close personal friend, I was happy for him and I put all my focus in his endeavor and no one elses.

Recently there was a study of some sort about how Facebook has caused a rise in depression (among other things), because of the barrage of updates and pictures that can sometimes (if a person is suseceptable to begin with; or can actually trigger) low self esteem.  This I know to be true.  There have been numerous occasions that I get overwhelmingly depressed or feel bad about myself or my life because of 'updates' from people with seemingly perfect lives.  Facebook, just like the rest of the internet is suspect at best.  People can and will portray anything and everything they can to make themselves into something, that in most cases I believe, that is simply not true.

Case in point:  Here I am going through the most horrible and difficult time of my life, yet I do not post that on Facebook; yet I post all the excitement leading up to Bay to Breakers and Chicago, and how well this run went or how awesome hot yoga made me feel last night.  While that is indeed true, it portrays nothing to the fact that I am crumbling on the inside and feel more alone than ever. 

You can have all the friends in the world on Facebook but at the end of the day, only about 1% (if that) of those people really give a damn about your situation.  They are more concerned with their own lives and doing exactly what we all do I think; pretend we are something we aren't.  Protect ourselves from scutiny that we are ALL fucked up in some manner at any given time.

Let me be more specific; out of all my 'friends', there are 3...THREE that regularly check in with me.  And out of those 3, only ONE (and one that I would never have suspected) that truly makes an effort to really understand what I am going through and offer her guidance and thoughts on it all.  I am truly grateful to her, and I hope that when she reads this, she knows who she is...  :O)

I am not saying that I expect anything more from people, because lets face it; we are a society of me, me, me and have become desensitized to the plight of those that we consider to be our friends.  However I think along with everything else, Facebook has redefined the term 'friend' which saddens me to no end.

So I continue on as I have, trying to get through each day and not break down at any given time ... we just wait for Mom to be 'ready' to go and then we'll mourn and then yes, we'll move on.  And through it all, I, along with the rest of my family, will just bond together and in that I take some comfort.  Family is family, but it would be nice to be able to feel like the know the family you get to choose, would show a little compassion.

I told my dear (best) friend last night that I sometimes think how insensitive people are, or maybe I am just TOO sensitive and that I shouldnt be...but then no...I will NOT be less sensitive because that is who I am...I genuinely care about people and just wish that more people were.

Well you know how the saying goes:  "Wish in one hand..."

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm A Little Bit Country....

I got a phone call today and I have to go to New Caney this afternoon to take care of my mom.  I wasn't planning on going until tomorrow but my BIL called and my sister is very, very sick and is at the doctor.  She just needs rest.  Having to take care of my mom on top of it is not good. 

What this means is a change to my weekend long run.  I thought about doing it on Sunday morning back in the city, but I am working at the Locker on Sunday and I won't feel like it after caring for mom for 2 days anyway...

Soooooooooooo that means tomorrow I will be running my long run down a 2 lane farm road (with some ok scenery; bridges to run over etc.,), but not really at this time of year).  I have a 3 mile stretch (6 miles with out and back) I can do, 4 times to make 12 miles (which I am supposed to do 13 miles) but I dont know if I can stomach that.  But it would be easier to put fluids out, so that is what my initial plan is.  I might run 1/2 mile further just so that it makes it 13 miles and I dont have to add on at the end.  What sucks is that its just not conducive for a runner and last time I did any running out there, I ended up jumping off into the grass/ditch a lot because I got scared of the cars. 

At least this will be early enough that there won't be that much traffic. 
Talk about having to get out of my comfort zone.
I'm already kinda stressing about it.

I will just have to make the best of a not so good situation.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Because I'm an idiot.
October 9, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Wow

Warm up: 15 min easy

H.I.I.T. Workout

1:30 min at 8:30pace
2 min at 5mph
x 5

2 min at 9:00pace
2 min at 5mph
x 5

2 min at 9:30pace
1 min at 5mph
x 4

(total:  55 min)


20sec at 8.5mph (7:27pace)
10 sec off
x 8 (total 4 minutes)

5 min cool down - walk at 3.5mph

Total workout/treadmill time = 73 minutes

Weights (mostly back, bi's and tri's); One machine for quads (3 sets x 2)

Hip Hop Ab's - Ab Sculptor DVD - 24 minutes  (at home)

Hellllooo Lovah!

I got the strangest compliment yesterday...As I was leaving what was quite possibly the best hot yoga practice I have ever had (not only mentally but physically), a girl that was slightly in front of me during class got my attention outside and said:  "I don't know if anyone has ever told you this before...but today, especially during half moon, you looked so much like Carrie Bradshaw I couldnt stop staring at you".  I looked at her oddly because it honestly threw me off guard.  She then said "thats a compliment!".  I wondered later exactly what she meant specifically...I wondered if she meant what Carrie would look like in a hot sweaty mess doing a pose that I loathe beyond all comprehension?  (half moon is my demon; I just hate it although yesterday I tried a new mental technique and got through it for the first time without really even realizing I had).  Or did she mean my face?  My body?  What?

I know there was at least one episode of SATC where Carrie and Samantha were in a yoga class (oh plus the one where Samantha picks up a guy in yoga class), but I couldnt for the life of me find a still from that episode!  And I know for certain it wasn't anything like what I do at YBC.  :O)

Oh Carrie, How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

I do know that SJP is an avid yoga and pilates nut, which is why her body is so bangin'; I have read enough of the articles of her interviews on the subject(s).  Now if only....  :O)

So to elaborate more on why yesterday was so awesome (physically) I not only can nail my 'hover' (see below photo; still not down to the 3in though; more like 5 or 6in)...

I conquered Tuladandasana or more commonly known as 'balancing stick' yesterday!  Only on one side (my left side is harder due to lower back disk issue on that side' meaning when using the left leg as my balancing leg and raising the right as shown in picture).

I have done Tuladandasana before just as a one off pose, but I have never been able to nail it in a class 50 minutes into a class where you are already tiring...and the heat is suffocating you.  It truly became me mentally checking completely out during this; and most of the class actually (which is the most heart raising and most difficult pose in the series because of the ones leading up to it and that its the last pose of the standing series)...AND I held that sucker for the full length!  I didn't even let the sweat pouring from my face onto the towel below shake me.

I love who I have become because of practicing hot yoga.  When you start getting comments (not talking about the above CB one) about how 'you're so different; in a good way', you feel pretty darn spectacular.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Ugly Truth

Let's start with the good stuff first...

Ran in these last night and looooooooooooooooove them!  Granted its one run, but I think I might have found a new shoe!  We'll give it a week to be sure. 

Now for the ugly...

I am in a funkety funkety funk funk.  Its bad this time around.  I am not going to go all into it, the why's or anything like that, because really it isnt good reading; let's face it Charlie Sheen has me beat on cracking the crazy code...and you are all too busy waiting to see the next installment of his crazy anyway.  :O)

My head is all messed up, I find (most) people annoying and disappointing.  Then on top of all of that, I get a text message from one of my best, oldest and dearest friends last night asking for prayers...his wife of just a few months has left him and wants a divorce.  He is devastated beyond belief. 
He is seriously the kindest, gentlest, most perfect man specimen I have ever had the privilege of calling my friend.  Lets just say it made me think some pretty awful things about love in general.  My heart is further breaking because of this.

I am just at a loss as to why on earth I cannot for the life of me realize that in general, people just don't treat people the way they want to be treated in return.  And I am sick to death of it.  This statement pertains to just more than my friends devastation right now.

My giving heart and desire to be the person that makes things all right is just in dire distress.
I have nothing left.

Tonight, I yoga.