Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Scored

Grandpa Art, Chloe, Dylan, and Grandma Meg at the center of the UT campus.  Trying to teach Chloe how to do the Long Horns sign.
On Friday after Thanksgiving I drove down to Austin.  Dylan (my youngest stepson) had to go back to school (UT) and, I wanted to meet up with my in-laws who would be passing through and, see my oldest stepson (Ryan).  As you can see it was a win win from the get go and it got even better because I managed to workout a meet up with Bethany (crew from Rocky and Lone Ranger), wooot wooot. The title of this is "I Scored" because, I feel like I won the lottery getting 3 hrs to chat with Dylan.  Any of you who are parents/stepparents of young adults know it isn't easy to get time to talk with them.  They are always on the go and it never fails that when they do call it is an emergency situation and that gobbles up the conversation time.  So, to get 3 whole hours to just talk with Dylan was a major SCORE! He is one amazing kid.  He is in his first year at UT and he is just thriving in the college environment.  I had the best time listening to him and his ideas on things.  Here is where running comes in.  We did for a brief second talk about running.  We were talking about ultras.  He was shocked there needed to be a lottery for a 100 mile race, after all how could there be that many people who were nuts enough to run one, bahahahaha.  To top that off  I was explaining the Grand Slam (4 Historic/Bad Ass 100 milers back to back to back to back, over the summer) and he said "can you do that" and I said "well you can do anything you set your mind to, right" and that point I got the "ummmmmmmmmm.....(insert long pause).....yahhhhhh (insert thought of my step mom is totally off her rocker)."   OMG that cracked me up.  By the way I told him that was going in my blog.  We made it to Austin and got to spend a wonderful day with the in-laws and with Ryan.

Then the icing on the cake: I drove to Bethany's house (she lives just outside of Austin and when she heard we were driving down she graciously invited us over to stay the night), Chloe and I stayed the night and the next morning Chloe and CAB (Bethany's son) had an all morning play date.  It was so great to get to hang out with Bethany.  She is one amazing person.  Somehow I always find it fun to hang out with other runners.  When you get to hang out with another Running Mom it is super special and when it is another runner, who is a mom who is also ex-military it is extra extra special.  Suffice it to say we had a great time. Oh and as running goes, she is I think 1/2 way through her pregnancy and still running, I am super impressed. 

As you can see I did indeed Score one awesome two day trip.  Wooot Wooot!  What a great way to finish up the Holiday Weekend. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is starting their Thanksgiving off "right" with a little Turkey Trot :).  I will get in at least a 5k later but it will most likely have to be on the treadmill. 

I know I have been MIA for a week now, sorry.  I had a horrible week of training and was super busy.  I think we all have those weeks where we are just not enjoying our runs and our legs and body are beat but, all is better now.  Funny how the best cure for a running funk is running.  I am back on track now and super excited for the White Rock Marathon next week.  I love getting to run someones first marathon with them.  Cindy is going to do great. 

Happy Thanksgiving All!  I am super thankful for my family, my health and my families health and this on line community of runners who always make me feel like I am not alone in my crazy ventures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


That is right folks I have now gone over to the dark side, the crazy side, well the maniacal side.  I have submitted my races and been accepted to the Marathon Maniacs.  Meet Maniac #3082.  I sadly only qualify for the level second from the bottom: Silver.  It took 8 marathons/ultras in 365 days to get that but, as always I have my eyes set on higher levels already.  Anyone know where I can run 3 marathons in 2 days (that will move me right on up)?  And no 100 mile races don't count for anything but one single marathon in this crazy a$$ club. lol.  So seriously if anyone knows where I can find 3 marathons located close together at varying times of the day within one weekend, please let me know. 

I know what you are thinking...Did Tara really need something to make her even more crazy?  Some other running related goal that would drive her to run even more?  And well...while  the sane person might say: NO.  I did just get into a club that has Maniac in the title, so clearly I am not sane.  Thus, the answer for me is: YES.  Wooot wooot.  I am now in a group with a bunch of other nut jobs who love to run arguably more than I do.  This is AWESOME!!!

On that note: Happy Running everyone.  Hope your week of training is going well. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And the Winner IS.....

The proud new owner of an awesome Headsweats purple and white hat, a Headsweats Head Band, and some Aquaphor is: Christine Rockey from South Carolina.  Yay!!!! I entered all of your entries onto an excel sheet, there were 62 entries and then used a random number generator and came up with the number 15 and there was Christine's name.  It is  so much fun to give stuff away.  I will have to see if I can figure out how to do it more often. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ft Worth Marathon

 Sunday I ran the Ft Worth Marathon.  The marathon has an early start for those folks walking the marathon, the marathon start, a 20 mile start and a 1/2 marathon start.  Somehow it still has the feel of a small hometown race.  People are super friendly and the runners do a lot of running together supporting each other and talking.  I ran it last year and liked the feel of it so much I came back this year for more. 

Sunday was a cold morning, the temperature at the starting line was only around 40 degrees.  Yowsa.  I had on tights and tons of tops to pick up my packet.  I watched the Walkers take off at 0630 and they brought tears to my eyes.  They all gathered and when they found out there was no National Anthem to be played they sang it.  I am not kidding, these folks stood together in 40 degree weather and sang the National Anthem.  You already know you are going to meet great people when the race begins like that.  Fast forward an hour, I meet Ruth, a nice mother of two who is looking to crack the 4hr mark.  We are chatting and I decide at the last minute with her urging to change to my skirt, so I dash to the car, change quickly, dash back and find Ruth.  I tell her I would be happy to run with her the first half and pace her (my race plan had me running negative splits so I was totally down with running her pace the first half and then cracking the whip the second half).  So off we went.  As it turns out Ruth didn't need a pacer to keep her on a pace she needed someone with a leash to slow her down, lol.  Every time someone would run by us she would take off.  I would call her back and we would revisit her goals and race plan.  I did have an awesome time talking with her.  We ran and chatted and around mile 5 we were really getting thirsty (I had decided in all my wisdom not to take a handheld water bottle or camelbak to this race, I figured I would go light and just drink at every aid station, kicked myself for that decision for like 8 miles :)).  We had gone by 2 water stops in the first 3 miles and now it had been 2 miles and nothing. No Water.  I had a bad feeling about this.  We ran by a man who said there wasn't water on the course until mile 12, he happened to be standing next to a water fountain, so the pack (yes there was a group of us now running along chatting) stopped and took turns drinking.  Even with the slurp from the water fountain my mouth felt dry as the Sierra.  I felt like I had cotton mouth and how was I going to eat a ShotBlock if I couldn't wash it down.  This meant no food or water for the next almost 7 miles, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I did what any good ultra runner would do, I channeled my inner Anton Krupicka (Elite Ultra Runner who often heads out for multi hour runs with no food or water).  I thought if he can go for 20-30 miles with nothing I am sure I can make it 8.  Right???? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! At this point Ruth asked me to leave her, she thought maybe she could slow down if I wasn't running with her and so I headed off.  I quickly met up with Michael.  He was 18yrs old and running his second marathon.  His goal was also to break 4hrs (Ruth's goal as well).  He had only trained up to 7 miles during his HS Cross Country season.  I told him he was either crazy or just a really good runner or possibly some combination of the two.  He said he would let me know at the finish line. We had a great run together.  We were both hurting for water when a nice man pulled over and started handing out bottles of water to the runners at mile 10.87.  Yes, that is right, I know the exact mile where the guy gave me water, it meant A LOT to me.  That might have been the best water I have ever had, lol.  After that point in the race there was water every 2 miles.  On our way into the turn around we saw Michael's Dad and they did an awesome father son high five as we passed.  Michael was having some issues and so we stayed at our 8:37 pace for quite a while, as we went by mile markers I would do the math and let him know what his finish time would be if he stayed on pace.  He was pretty excited but said he was struggling to hang on.  He was such a sweet kid.  At mile 19 he dropped off.  I ran on up passed his dad and let him know Michael was a little ways back and was struggling.  And then I did my best to drop the hammer, I was close to breaking 3:40 but I would have to seriously kick my own A$$ to get the job done.  I wasn't quite sure what my legs could do.  I had run about 50 miles last week in training leading up to the race and was only a month out from Heartland.  I just didn't know if I pushed how much they would give me.  But, I went and went hard. I spent the last 6 miles of the race pushing as hard as I could to break 3:40.  I would run by a mile marker and redo the math, it was going to be close.  I ran up the last hill rounded the corner to the stadium and saw on the clock 3:40 click on the clock and my spirits dropped.  I ran it in but my time was 3:40:12 (unofficial).  Boooooo!

I hung out after the race and got a great massage.  You know, for a little bit I let the time (3:40) really get to me.  Thinking of all the things I could have done different to break 3:40 but, now as I sit here reflecting on the race, I feel pretty dang good about it.  The goal for the race was to get in some speedwork, to have a long run where I really pushed my legs and I did that.  I also got to run with some great folks and I ran negative splits the whole way.  It was a great run.  I think sometimes I get caught up on the number and forget the journey. 

This morning I did some post race foam rolling and Chloe did her best to help me out.  LOL!!

Happy Running Everyone and don't forget you have one more day to enter the Head Sweats Giveaway.
Post race foam rolling.  It definately helps to work out knots if you have a willing toddler to sit on your lap.

More foam rolling and yes those are compression socks on, those things are miracle workers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Give Away

WAHOOOOO!!!! Headsweats from  previous post has given me a hat to give away to you all.  The hats are great.  Super comfortable and great at wicking sweat.  There will be a random drawing to see who wins the hat and a few bonus items (not telling but you will like them trust me) one week from today (November 17th).  All you have to do to enter is one or more of the following, the more you do the more entries you get:
1. Become a follower of my blog
2. Friend Head Sweats on FB
3. Share this Give Away with friends via your Social Media network (FB, Daily Mile, Blog, etc.)

Winner will be picked via a random number generator on November 17th.  Wahooo, Happy Holidays early everyone!!!

Head Sweats

My New Love
Once again I was listening to The Marathon Show.  What?  I told you I am now in love with listening to podcasts.  I have listened to every Marathon Show and Endurance Planet (now off the air for an undetermined amount of time and maybe forever, booooo)  made and most of The Parent Experiment shows.  I have A LOT of time on my hands, lol.  50-100 mile training weeks leave you with a ton of listening time and well if I am not listening to something, I am thinking and, as you can guess that isn't always good.  No one wants to contemplate anything for that length of time.  So, podcasts it is. 

Long Bill
Back to The Marathon Show. I was listening as Joe (the host of The Marathon Show) was interviewing the owner of Head Sweats.  I then expressed interest in a hat they made with a longer bill.  I was thinking the bill might be great for running in the blazing Texas sun.  I might not have to pull my hat down so low over my eyes.  I also wanted to know if they made arm bands because, as you all know I wear a hideous and bulky sweat band under my Garmin.  Don't even get me going on the need for a sweat band and my Garmin.  That topic can send me into a tizzy.  Anyhow the owner said they aren't making arm bands but he would send me a hat with a 1inch longer bill.  When the package arrived from Head Sweats it was like Christmas. Don't ask me how the guy knew I loved red but along with the long billed hat (which is white) he sent me a red hat (love love love it).  As you might guess the sun is no longer blazing in TX (it is just toasting) so I can't try out the long billed hat for that but, I did take it out in the rain and you know what?  That sucker keeps rain off your face, it was awesome running with the longer bill in the rain.  It even kept Doug's glasses drier than normal.  Yes, Head Sweats generously sent us two long billed hats so we both got to try them out.  What a great hat for running in the rain.  The other feature I really like is the lining that keeps the sweat from dripping down your face it is super soft and it works great. What a great hat. Woot Wooot!

I heard from other runners that their visors are the bomb diggity so that is what I am going to try out next.  I have been dying to try out a visor for ages but just never got around to purchasing one but, if it fits as well as the hats do then I am in.  I saw a coupon code for Head Sweats on The Marathon Shows FB page so, if you do decide to get one definitely head there first so you can get $5 off.

Training: Well I am back into the thick of things.  I have a marathon this weekend but have no idea what to expect of my legs.  They are a bit tired so we will have to see what they can do in this state.  I do plan to run the marathon hard. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Hustle

We headed out at 0600 on Halloween morning like I am sure all families do...What? Everyone doesn't make running costumes and go race on Halloween?  Odd.  They should it is tons of fun.  Ok, fun is a relative term but, dang we had a great time.  Chloe wanted to be a Lady Bug for Halloween which meant Doug and I had to be bugs to fit into her theme.  You can already see who runs this joint.
  There we were ready to race...THE BUG FAMILY! Not kidding the other racers began calling us that after Chloe's race by the end of the 5K they were cursing that name (that story to come).  First up Chloe ran her 1K.  I am telling you that kid can run.  She switches between looks of pure joy and looks of sheer determination.  Her course had her going down hill and then up a big hill and then down to the finish.  She didn't pass many folks on the down hills but she powered right on by a ton of kids and a few adults (I am not kidding) on the up hill.  She is only 2.  It blows my mind that a 2 yr old can run that hard or would want to. This race was really well run and geared towards kids, every kid was given a medal at the end of the 1K and boy did that make her day. 

Chloe and Doug powering up the first up hill

Chloe and I getting ready to pass a couple of ladies.

The Bug Family with their medals.  We had a great time.
After the 1K we had to make our way quickly to the back of the 5K start.  We had already decided we would run as a family.  We headed out at the back of the pack and immediately turned onto a sidewalk and a sidewalk going can imagine the passing nightmare.  So I began making a hole for Doug and Chloe, I would run in front of them and politely tell people I was on their left or right and that a stroller was coming behind me.  This actually worked really well.  However...duh duh duh...apparently unbeknown  to me I was whacking those folks who so nicely moved out of the way with my wing as I passed.  Oh bugger.  I didn't know that.  Doug apparently thought it was hilarious so he wasn't about to tell me about it (until after the race).  After about 3/4 of a mile we were out of the crowd and ready to motor.  Doug let me help push Chloe for a bit but did most of the pushing.  We ran pretty hard and got a ton of comments on our costumes.  It was really fun.  We figured one of us might have placed so we hung around after the race for a bit.  Doug went over and checked the results and WAAAHOOOOO we both got 1st in our age groups.  What a great way to start off Halloween.