Wednesday, September 26, 2012


With great anticipation many of us Mumford fans have been awaiting the release of their 2nd record and yesterday was the day!

I downloaded the album and immediately began listening.  I had a nice hill run scheduled and the new tracks went with hills like chocolate sauce on ice cream.  And just as sweet too!

I will admit, I was not a Mumford fan until I had a chance to listen to their first album, Sigh No More, on the run, in the woods, all alone.  Enjoying uninterrupted listening to the music and the lyrics, I was completely mesmerized by the beauty, the pain, the struggle, and the triumph that was written so perfectly into the compositions.  Since that day, I have been a huge fan, and I was really doubtful that the second round would prove to be any where near as good as the first. 

I am excited to report that not only does Babel meet my expectations, it exceeds them!  

From the opening track, the title cut, Babel, there is a definite carry over from the first album of the plight of the sinner, the struggle against one's self to become right in the eyes of the One whom the character is clawing his way back to.  I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself who exactly this is.  I listened to each track and could see it being a lover or Christ.  Since I am a sinner, constantly clawing her way back to Christ, I hear this album as a prayer.  Some of the prayers are pleading for acceptance, forgiveness, some are ramblings of how angry he is at himself for falling yet again.  Some are a complete submission to accept the consequences of his actions. 

Currently, after 4 or 5 listenings, I have a few favorite tracks. 
Babel, I Will Wait, Holland Road, Ghosts That We Knew, Lover's of the Light, Lover's Eyes, Hopeless Wanderer, Broken Crown, Below My Feet.   That's 9 out of 12 that I have listened to over and over again, drinking in each lyric and piecing together the painting the verbage paints for me. 

One cautionary note about the song, Broken Crown.  There are a few "F" words thrown into the mix at what I think is the very best part of the song.  And while I don't subscribe to the use of the word as a rule, I do think that the way that the word is used in this song is totally appropriate and understandable.  Unfortunately it is a song that won't be played outside of my headphones for the sake of my children.  

I definitely have a new crop of tunes to carry me through Cactus Rose in a few weeks! 

Monday, September 24, 2012


Since leaving the world of FB, I have actually been able to carve a few minutes a day out to read.  I am working on my 3rd book of the "summer" which is highly unusual for me. I read often with the kids and for knowledge, information, and growth, however, rarely do I have the opportunity or time to read just for the fun of it.  

Of late, I have read You Are an Ironman by Jaques Steinberg.  

This was a quick read, though, admittedly, I really did not want to get to the end of the book.  I really enjoyed learning about each athlete, his/her challenges, and learned quite a bit about triathlons that I had not yet experienced.  There were moments in this book when I had to stop reading to keep from bawling my eyes out!  I get so inspired by the stories of everyday people overcoming their various challenges and doing what most would never or could never dream of doing.  I recommend this read to anyone who is considering doing an Ironman or to anyone who knows anyone who is doing an Ironman.  It will give you a small peek into the thinking that goes into and behind these types of events.

The next book I "read" though an audiobook.  I had never really "listened" to a book this way, outside of  a children's story.  It was a bit weird at first as my hands weren't occupied while reading.  I found it hard to focus at first, but then started listening while running and began to enjoy the format very much.  
Eat & Run by Scott Jurek is a fantastic read!   I had the opportunity to meet Scott Jurek in 2011 when I ran Rocky 100.  He and several other "big dogs" showed up to run, and by far, he was the most personable!  I have always admired Scott, and after reading this book, connecting dots of things I knew of him from blurbs on the internet, and meeting him, I feel as though I have a real feel of who he is and what drives him.  Definitely one of those people I would love to have dinner with and chat with on a good long run.  
I hate this picture of me, but it was such an amazing meeting during my first 100 miler, I will always treasure it!

His story is inspiring, heart-breaking, and real.  I found myself not listening to it because I didn't want it to end.  I have never really felt as though I'd like to re-read a book, but this is one I definitely will re-read.  I plan to buy a hard copy of it though, because I am one of those people that like to mark my favorite lines, and Scott's book has many favorite lines for me!

Currently I am listening to Rich Roll's book, Finding Ultra and next on tap is Chrissie Wellington's A Life Without Limits. 

What are your current reads? 

Saturday, September 22, 2012


With great sadness I write today to let my followers know that the young boy, Hans, who is/was my inspiration for running my first 5K, entered Heaven yesterday.

As it was, I had my own little boy, Boo, at the doctor yesterday for a suspicious looking mole on his back.  I thought of Hans all day and wondered how he was doing.  This morning, I received the message that he has passed away.

I feel so selfish for my tears, my anger, my pain.  I did not walk the path of cancer with Hans.  His family and very close friends did.  My tears, anger, and pain come from the sorrow that this family must feel, and the complete helplessness that I feel about not being able to do much after praying.

What do we pray for?  A healing?  A miracle?  Understanding? Comfort? Heaven?  When the pain is so great, do we pray for it all to just stop?  I know I did with my Mom.  But for a young boy?  A boy of only 9 years?  Sometimes, I just don't understand.  But I do know this.  Hans changed the hearts and lives of many, many people. He was the inspiration for me to run a 5K after a mere 5 weeks of running experience.  He afforded me the opportunity to DO something WHILE praying.  And he continues to provide this for me.

The family has asked that we pray for them.  And if you are so inclined, please pray a Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary.   I am off to hug my babies. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CASA 5K 2012

I headed back to this race with the tongue in cheek mind set of "defending my title", which was really just a joke because I know I have not done any type of speed work and as well, I assumed this race would have many more runners than it did last year.

Richard and I registered about the same time.  I am not sure who egged who on more.  But all in good fun, we registered and knew that above all else, this great local race is all about one thing...the kids.
A great organization and a great group of folks putting on a fun race, what's not to love!

Last year, I believe the attendance was low because there were two other local races of the same distance going on.  Also, this race is a trail race which does deter some folks from coming out. If they only knew what they were missing.

This year, the race was much larger.  About 300 for the 5K and 100 for the 1K.  Yours truly was picked by Gary Van Kuiken along with three others to help demonstrate the moves for the YMCA song.  Sorry world...someone had to do it.

The kids race was first and are they ever the cutest things!  I just love watching kids run!  It makes my heart happy!  They have no care as to time, pace, place, etc.  They just run for the pure joy of it.

The 5k was next up.  Richard and I had done a small warm up on the course prior to the race start and found a large puddle but nothing too risky.  Richard had a "plan" and I figured I would tag along for the ride for as long as I could.  I didn't expect I would stay with him too long as I really had not been feeling that great.

The race began and the first mile was done in 7:36.  A bit too fast for me.  I slowly let Richard creep ahead of me and by 1.5 miles, I was well behind him.  I tried to get my HR down as I really didn't feel very good.  I kept running, but at mile 2, I began to feel as though I was going to throw up.  Not from running, from sickness.

I actually took a short walk break to get my stomach to calm down.  I can't believe I had to walk in a 5k, but I did.   I came upon a young girl from our homeschooling group, Clare, and she was holding her own!  Great little runner and someone to keep your eyes on in the future.  She took first in her age group.

I picked the running back up and stuck to nose breathing the rest of the race.  I figured any chance of winning anything went down the tubes with the walk and that was ok by me.  There turned out to be several very slick muddy areas on the course and I was expecting to see a lot of falls from those who were not accustomed to trail running.  I didn't see anyone fall though, which is a good thing. 

After crossing the finish line and catching my breath, we checked our times and I was first in my age group again, with a time of 25:26.  8:10/mile.  Richard took first in his age group with a 23:06!  Nice and speedy!

We were enjoying visiting with friends and watching the different activities that the race had going on.  Richard went back to check results and found that I had been awarded the Female Masters Award.  I was not expecting this in the least!

We snapped some more pictures and received our awards.  I have a nice gift card to buy my next pair of Flows with!  That is how I came to buy my first pair of Pure Projects last year!

Thanks for a fun day, CASA!  What you do is amazing stuff!  Thank you for letting me a small part of it all!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Since Clear Lake Tri, I have been faced with beginning the focused running training that will hopefully prepare me for Cactus Rose 50.

Truth be told, I have really struggled with whether or not I honestly want to do this race.  I have not felt in my heart that I wanted to for a while and I was hesitant to even mention it to anyone.

I did tell a few people close to me and they all confirmed for me that it made no sense to show up to start a race that my heart wasn't in.  Cactus Rose is not the kind of race that one can traverse without their mind and heart focused on the finish line.

I made the decision to train for a solid few weeks and then make my decision.  Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about the distance of this race.  Others have a hard time to believe this when I tell them that the 50 mile distance is challenging me emotionally, but it has been.  Yes, I have run several 50 milers, however, I DNFd CR50 in 2010 and to go down that road again is not on my list of things to do this fall.

Thinking that getting through some higher mileage cycles and seeing how my body adjusted to the increasing running mileage, I could better discern my fitness level for CR, I set about setting a date to make a decision.  During these higher mileage cycles, I have not let up the intensity or frequency of the swims and spins/cycling as well as weight-training that I had taken on.  It has been a challenge to get all of these workouts in, but the payoff has been worth the effort.

Tomorrow is that day.  But my decision is made.  I am in.  My heart is in.  My head is in.  My fitness is better than it has ever been.  I will run Cactus Rose 50.  And God-willing, I will finish Cactus Rose. 

Another decision that I have had on my mind is whether or not to run the "training run" in Bandera on Sept 22.  At this point, I still can't commit one way or the other.  I will think on this a bit more before making a final decision.  The two reasons I would not do it are the time it takes away from the family and the risk of injury on the CR course which could take me out of the race altogether.

As ridiculous as this sounds, if I should end up with an injury at CR, I would prefer it be while running a race rather than a training run.   There are obvious benefits to running the trail before race day, but I am not convinced that those benefits are worth the risk.

I am entirely convinced that my current level of fitness and endurance is the direct result of the cross-training taken on while participating in the sport of Triathlon this year.  I have trained harder than I ever did while "just running" and yet, I feel stronger, fitter, healthier, and have more endurance than I believe I ever had before.  Therefore, I will continue with the current training regime, only letting up the last week or so before CR.  I can not duplicate that difficult course in my hometown, but I can run on trashed legs and ride that fine line between fatigue and injury.  It will require me to be completely in tune with my physical state and not ignore any type of pain, ache, etc.  It will also require me to be diligent in my daily nutrition to prevent my body from breaking down.  This is a challenge for me, as I often forget to eat, but one benefit of tri training has been the increased appetite it has afforded me.  I wake up hungry! 

Here's to that little race in Bandera!  Happy training all!