December 30, 2009
Usually, a post with a title like ‘My first white Christmas’ would be accompanied with pictures of a baby (or very small child), but not this one…in fact I had to wait almost 30 years to see my first white Christmas…but I’m not complaining! I”m usually not a fan of cold weather, but who can argue with cold, crisp air swooshing little snowflakes around outside when you’re wrapped up in comfy pajamas sitting in front of the fire, watching it all from inside? That’s exactly what Dustin and I got during our 2009 Christmas trip to Granbury to spend time with my family. We planned an entire week of resting, cooking, and visiting with the Wards and Urbanovskys and we had one of the most relaxing times in recent memory. We’d have never predicted the snow since the Tuesday before Christmas provided temps high enough for us to catch a game of disc golf, in shorts no less!
But as we awoke on Christmas Eve morning, the chill had taken over and the weathermen were predicting flurries. Sure enough before noon-time the snow started falling, softly at first and without ‘sticking’, but as the day wore on the snow piled up and before we knew it the streets were frozen and we were enjoying our first white Christmas.
Later that night we had a lively Chinese Christmas gift exchange with the Wards. Didn’t get a picture of the entire gang this year, but did get some good shots with the grandparents.
Christmas with the Urbanovsky’s (my mom’s side of the family) continued one of my favorite long-lived traditions with caroling, a gift exchange and stockings for the kids…I love seeing the faces of all my cousins as they open their stockings (my Urby stocking used to be one of my favorite Christmas gifts every year!).So, another Christmas come and gone…guess that means a Texas summer is around the corner!
December 20, 2009
My friend Chris and I participated in the Spicewood Vineyards 10k the weekend of December 5th. The 26 degree starting temp, ice crystals and frozen low water crossings just couldn’t keep us away from the free wine awaiting us upon completion of the race! The cold was a stark change from the hot and humid running weather we have been having in San Antonio and I actually enjoyed the cooler temps. Of course, the best part of race was finishing the hilly course and running straight to the bar for our free wine (and free wine glass etched with the race logo – how cool!). The boys were troopers and waited out our return at the finish line and then enjoyed drinking with us. This was one of the funnest races I’ve ever done in the SA/Austin area (mostly due to the goodie bag and free wine) and I look forward to participating in it in years to come.
December 20, 2009
As I ran through downtown during the San Antonio Rock & Roll Half Marathon I couldn’t help but be inspired by the spectators and their motivational signs lined along every inch of my race path. From fictional & funny to heartfelt & provoking each of the brightly colored pieces of cardboard carried a different message that ultimately led to one greater theme…YOU CAN DO IT. And although I had no doubt in my mind that I would finish, I did doubt whether or not my body could fight the heat and humidity with enough persistence for me to make my goal. Ultimately I finished 3 minutes slower than I had hoped (2 hours 23 minutes), however I still accomplished what I set out to do. As one of the signs blatantly pointed out “if it were easy, everyone would do it” and that made me feel a little better about my finishing time.
Among the friends running by my side (or in front of me ) that day were my best friend Caty, 4 other sorority sisters (Amy, Julie, Cathy & Sheila), and 3 co-workers (Julia, Chris & Mark) – all together they make up one of the best support/running groups I could ever ask for. Although I didn’t talk to most of them every day, they were always there at the right time, with a note, an email, a word of encouragement and if it weren’t for their love of running, my love for the sport might have waned just a little (ok, let’s face it, I probably would have quit a long time ago!). I am especially thankful for Caty & so proud of her for finishing her training and the race…she’s been completing her master’s degree and has been so busy, yet she never thought about quitting once…not only that, she kept me going and motivated throughout the past 12 weeks!
Among the spectators that day was a very special person, my father-in-law, Tim. I’m used to having people at the finish line and I love seeing Dustin’s face after a long and challenging race, but having a fan along the route brings an excitement that I can’t quite explain. I knew that I’d be seeing Tim around miles 3 and 7, but still, as he crept out of the masses and toward me handing over a bottle of water I couldn’t help but smile. It was nice to see a familiar face and to hear an encouraging word aimed directly at me…and it helped me chug along. What I didn’t expect was to see Tim when I really needed him the most (and Caty agrees)…at mile 10 when the race coordinators felt it appropriate to only provide Goo at the aid station and no water despite the scorching <running> weather and humidity that caused some full marathoners to eat salt packets to keep from cramping up! So, as I’m running past the aid station and literally using my arms to pull my shoes up off the pavement (the soles were cemented to the street with left over Goo that was acting as glue), out came Tim with a fresh bottle of water – PERFECT TIMING! After the handover, Tim took a picture and shuffled his way back to the sidelines leaving me refreshed and ready to finish my race.
And that’s it…I finished, met up with my friends, shared a celebratory drink with them at La Fogata and then went home and crashed. Unexpectedly, I felt pretty good when I woke from my nap and within 2 days I was back in the gym.
YEA for fast recoveries, great running buddies, fun races, supportive spectators and oh yeah, those lively little signs that lined the course…here are a few of my favorites…
“Run <insert name here> Run!” – it’s funny because you see so many signs with a specific name written on them with this message, but I actually saw a guy holding up this sign, essentially cheering for everyone
“Free Beer” and they really did have free beer and there were some runners that took advantage of the offer (bleeehh!)
“You’re no longer a runner, you’re a marathoner” – and although I was only running a half, I am a true runner (I never used to believe that because I wasn’t fast, but I’ve learned that I am a runner, no matter how slow, and I am proud of what I can accomplish even if I take longer than others
“Your feet are hurting because you’re kicking so much ass!”
“Run like you stole something” – I’ve seen this one before, but it’s still funny
“Runners have balls, other sports just play with them” – although not literally, figuratively I like to think so
On the back of a female runners shirt – “I run to beat myself, and she’s pretty good.”
And, my all time favorite that I still repeat to myself in my head on those days when I eat a big greasy cheeseburger and am trying to talk myself out of going to the gym…”Sweat is your fat cells crying” – wow, now that is inspiration, at least for me!