Morning Run

Monday mornings are blue. Everybody is off to work and school. Luckily, I have a little company on my morning runs. Francie the horse, Sky the nut and Miss Piggy who says, “Hurry the hell up. I am starving!!!”

the race is on....

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Morning Run

I drop Peyton off at school and drive to the park that is shaded by beautiful pecan trees. I sit in the truck watching the usual crowd walk by. The little couple Mike and Mary bend down to rescue a worm that might get squashed on the path and carefully place him onto a branch of a tree. A man named Jay lumbers by with his sansabelt slacks and Spurs hat. Stella struts by wearing her pink sponge rollers, but she is still so cute. Two young moms pushing strollers leave a trail of cheerios and fishy crackers……Do I really want to do this? I ask myself. I put on chapstick, my sunglasses, set my watch and grab my bandanna that will soon be soaked with sweat. I don’t see my running buddy Martha, so I am on my own to run around the little path like a gerbil smiling and waving to the familiar faces while counting the laps and ignoring the ache in my back and hips. I could stop now, I think……only my running journal would know, or I could walk a mile or two. I try to find some motivational music on my iPod…….Wilco? U2? Band of Horses? Coldplay? Sam Roberts sings “Brother Down” and does his best to get  me going and then I see two boys that have started running and I forget about my creaking joints as I try to keep pace with them. Before I realize it, 6 miles have gone by and I feel like the tin man who has just had a tune up. It takes longer to get loosened up, but I wouldn’t trade my morning run for a million dollars.

Sleep More and Win

I read an article in Mens Health recently, that revealed a Stanford University study. “Treat sleep as a part of your training,” says lead study author, Cheri Mah, M.S.  Sleep studies have shown the more you sleep, the more you increase your speed, reflexes, and power in competition. College tennis players who aimed for 10 hours of sleep a night for 6 weeks saw a significant boost in their overall performance including an 8 percent improvement in sprinting. Sleep studies have shown advantages for runners and swimmers, as well as basketball, soccer and football players. Just 30 more minutes of sleep can improve your play. Set the alarm for later……

training for the Bucktown 5k

training for the Bucktown 5k

Christopher just ran a 5K race in Bucktown last Sunday in 22:04…..just think what he could have done with an extra few hours of sleep.

What I Read About When I Read About Running

I always thought that having to exercise daily and battle the bulge was a curse, but I am reading a great book that has given me these cool little insights that will stay with me and encourage me and I just want to share this info that should be obvious, but never was to me. First I want to give a little of my running and reading history.

I never thought I would ever take that first step, but being newly married to an energizer bunny, I HAD to do something to increase my stamina, one way or another.  When I started running, I could not run to the refrigerator from the couch without going into oxygen debt. Belong long, I was hooked and when I wasn’t running up to 10 miles a day, I was reading about running the rest of the day. I started a collection of books and magazines that could fill a library. I saved every one of them and stored them in a huge wooden chest that Moye gave us. When we moved to the ranch after about 16 years of running and reading about running that chest was pretty hefty. I could not part with a single issue of Runner’s World or any other publication that mentioned the word RUN. They are long gone now. It took 6 pall bearers to carry them away as I mourned the decision to recycle these words of encouragement that had guided me through milestones and marathons, but had not been touched since we moved. I have never stopped running and loving my daily runs, but have not really been inclined to read anything other than my lifelong subscription to Runner’s World. While walking through Border’s Books the other day, I was intrigued by this book:book

I was hooked by the first page, and as I get further along, Haruki Murakami allows me to see many of my shortcomings and struggles to be blessings in disguise. Anyone who loves to run, read, write or all three like me,  would enjoy this book. I bought it in Borders and will probably buy another one on Amazon to share because this copy is MINE forever to be buried with me. I promise not to add my library of self help books to the load……

Wicker Park & Bucktown

Last week  was spent vicariously enjoying a great time  had by Chicago’s Golden Boy.  Christopher  moved from what I considered an amazing place on N. Michigan Ave. to an even more energetic  location for the 20 something crowd. Bucktown is already  sounding like a faster paced totally fun place to live. I’m just glad it’s him living there and not me because then I would have to feel very sorry for him  here….at home….slopping the hogs, like his Dad and I. 

  In between packing and moving, he sprinted over to Grant Park to run the Terrapin 5k race on Thursday night. I would have liked to just go there and eat the pizza, Cherry Garcia ice-cream  and listen to the Grateful Dead cover band at the after party. Can you believe the race packets had tie-dyed T-shirts and other stuff?  Read about  it and even see the results here. I checked it out……Chris Parish time:24:11. That is a 7:47 jet pace……homepageA great way to celebrate the move to N. Milwaukee Ave. was to enjoy  the Wicker Park Fest . Great music, food and an opportunity to meet the neighbors and be hip to the latest styles. Mullets really got it goin’ on!

wickerparkpony tail WP FestWP FestmulletsLots of  shiny happy people and ……on Sunday  a concert by  Back Yard Tire Fire.

To round out the week-end, there was a baby shower for friends Ross and Hailey. What better place to meet girls who want to settle down?

Run, RCP, RUN!!!!!!!

RCP

RCP

Peace and Power

It would be great to have both. World peace and the power to protect it would be paradise. Even as a person it is hard to have both. I know I don’t. I think my friend Martha does. She has been through more heartbreak than any one I have met, but her faith keeps getting more powerful with every challenge. We have deep conversations on our daily runs, and whether the topic is sex,religion or politics we don’t have to edit our details and opinions. Of-course I prefer talking about movies,music, food and sex, but even the other two subjects that are often ruinous to a friendship can be “no importa nada” 

Creo que si

Dana and Martha

Dana and Martha

What does bother me though is that when we are running together she flies like a little deer and I look more like Sponge Bob Squarepants……

The Adventures of Cactus Jack & Mesquite Joe

Part One of a series….

 Party hats, clowns  and streamers announced the arrival of these two precocious “Gifts” that came to celebrate Tom’s birthday on January 11, 2009. Everyone was excited to meet the new critters. The more mouths to feed means the more trips into the feed room for me and they all know that I cannot resist the meows, barks,quacks,oinks,moos,baas, nickers and neighs…..so EVERYBODY gets fed several times a day  so that nobody has hurt feelings or an empty tummy. It may sound like a hassle, but actually last week-end Tom and I had a fun time tracking down these two studly steers. We were on our way out to go for a training run for an upcoming 5K race and decided to feed the menagerie first….. Usually it would be here a moo, there a moo everywhere a moo moo, but the absence of this greeting was noted with alarm and then we realized that our two blonde bombshells were not begging at the fence line as usual…. .Our run was put on hold while we loaded our pockets with cattle cubes and grabbed our cell phones heading off in separate directions to track down our renegade steers….. This story will attempt to share all of the many possible adventures that they encountered during their traipse  across 1,000 acres of South Texas ranch land. Just to give you a preview of what they may have encountered, first there is a beautiful herd of Beef Master cattle along the way, a herd of Longhorn heifers just a fence-line away and last but not least…..lush green grass on the other side of the fence.

The grass is ALWAYS greener......

The grass is ALWAYS greener......

The Power Of Pink

I hope I can type this without crying….but who cares I am home alone. Peyton is with Hannah banana and Tom is at the HEB awesome guy that he is. Anyway, this morning Tom and I ran the Power Of Pink 5 K race in Floresville. We attached a large sticker to our shirts that said “I am running in honor of Moye Hinkebein” and this is the part that gets me…..We love her so much and there were people in their 90’s and all ages there that were more than 19 year  survivors and everytime they said their name a pink balloon was released. They were walking and running and looking awesome and right before the race a girl with looooong beautiful hair said now I’m going to get my hair cut. They cut off her loooong pony tail and she cried because she was so happy to give her “locks of love”. I almost stepped up there and offered them my scraggly braid, but I didn’t but we ran and prayed for all the beautiful sweet people who put on this great event!