Interstellar Adventures

January 16, 2005

Am I un-interesting…or is it just me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:16 pm

So, in an effort to extend my blog-awareness beyond my small circle of friends, I am employing the use of Blog Explosion. I’ve checked out a couple of others, but this one was the first that I could figure out how to use. I get the game…check out other people’s blogs to earn credits and get links to my blog. It seems to be working because my “hit count” on my site has gone up. I actually am taking the time to review the blogs I’m hitting. Some I do pass by quickly, but I’ve blogmarked a few for later perusal. I haven’t been blogmarked yet. This is disappointing to me, but perhaps I’m being a bit impatient. I’ve only been at this “blogging” thing for a few days. Give it time. My greatest fear is that I’ll be un-interesting to anyone except the people that already know (and pity) me.

Keeping Score

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 8:18 am

Do you know anyone who is a “score keeper”? This person keeps a mental tally of all of the things they have done and all of the things you have done. These “things” can be good or bad; you hurt their feelings saying this, or you unloaded the dishwasher x number of times in the week. This person then uses the scoresheet to determine their attitude and actions towards you. They decide that they can treat you in a certain way based on your score versus their score.

Once you realize this person is a “scorekeeper” it causes you to swing between the attitude of “I must do this so that the scorekeeper will be happy and will be nice to me and do the things I want to do”, or you have the attitude of “GRRRR. They’re keeping score again and it makes me really mad. I’m not going to do anything they want me to do just because he’s keeping score”.

Neither are healthy ways of living, I’m sure. Would the tables have been turned, and had score been kept on the scorekeeper, score on the “bad list” would have been so high that score would have burst through the roof and they could not have done enough good things of high enough mangitude to ever achieve good/bad balance. Now the scorekeeper has changed things in their life and that “bad list” doesn’t get a tally much anymore. Except when they “keep score”.

Still, how does one deal with a scorekeeper? Confront, ignore, keep your own score? All sound exhausting and have their own issues. I shall confront. We’ll see where this gets us. Probably not far, but it’s at least out there.

January 15, 2005

Snowman Shuffle at WRL

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 1:52 pm

It was a gorgeous morning to be out running. The temperature was cool and there was very little wind. The course was mostly flat but peppered with a few small hills. We started promptly at 9 am, and I hung to the back of the pack. There were both 5K and 10K runners starting together, and some racers had their dogs with them. Kudos go out to everyone who participated, but especially all the silver-haired racers. I hope that if I make it that far in life, I’m able to keep running like they do. One lady in particular made me smile. She was tiny, thin, with full makeup and fuzzy ear-warmers. She was probably one of the oldest racers on the course and was out there putting one foot in front of the other and workin’ it! Go granny Go!

I ran the first mile quickly (for me) at right on 12 minutes flat. I knew I wasn’t going to keep that up…in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m SLOOOOOW. I continued on as fast as I could for as long as I could, finally resorting to the 4/1 method…run four minutes, fast walk a minute.

Not long after, I started seeing the 5K runners headed back to the finish line. Young kids running flat out. Ahhh, to be young again. My knee started to hurt just after mile 3, while I continued with my 4/1 pace. At the turn-around for the 10K-ers, I realized that there was only one person behind me. But hey, I wasn’t running to win, I run to finish and better my own personal time. Still, I was glad to not be last. The way back seemed to fly by (sort of) and I started seeing mile markers faster than I expected.

I had originally wanted to finish in under 1:15, but I could tell that wasn’t going to happen. So, I revised my goal to finish under 1:20. That was attainable if I pushed myself just a bit more. I started to see racers running back to wherever they came from while I got closer to the finish. I could see the end, and I kicked it up a notch, and crossed under the time clock at 1:18:54. Not good, but not horrible.

Next time I will finish under 1:15! It’s good to have goals, right? I figured my overall average pace was somewhere around 12:45, which is a great improvement (I think) from my 13:19 average at the Turkey Trot back in November.

My friend Judy is running the Houston Marathon tomorrow. I hope she has a good race. She just ran the White Rock Marathon a month ago. She’s inspirational! Good luck Judy!

Snowman Shuffle

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 7:20 am

OK, so there’s really no snow on the ground. This is Texas folks! It is at least chilly with current temperature at 37 degrees, feeling like 30. It should be nice for a 10K run this morning. So, a few more sips of coffee and gulps of water and me and my Gu will head out. It’ll be my first outing at White Rock Lake. In all my time of living in Dallas, I’ve never been out there. Sadly, this won’t be as exciting as my run last weekend (or will it?), so, all you 18 people who have ever whizzed by my blog may not have much to read later. Ciao.

Wrigley’s doing great

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 2:17 am

I picked Wrigley up from the vet after work today, and she’s doing pretty well. She’s in her kennel in the kitchen, and once she settles she’s doing OK. Doctor’s instructions said to keep her confined pretty well, so I guess it’s OK for now. I’m trying to walk her as much as I can to keep her from getting stiff. Poor baby. I know what it’s like to have surgery and it’s not fun.

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Wrigley 
This is an older picture of her. She’s bigger, and even cuter (if that’s even possible!).

January 14, 2005

Happy Friday! sort of

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:04 am

It’s Friday and I can’t wait for the weekend. I had to drop my dog at the vet this morning. She’s getting “fixed” today. I actually have two dogs. Wrigley & Tori. Wrigley is a puppy…a 6 month old lab-mix. She’s gorgeous! She’s got a velvety, chocolatey brown colored coat, floppy ears and big brown eyes. Poor baby. I know it’s best for her to get it done…lord knows we don’t want any puppies running around the yard! Still, you feel bad. I know they feel pain, but you never know how much. I’m sure she’ll be fine and the vet will tell us all we need to know to take care of her.

January 13, 2005

Keep up the blog…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:55 am

Blog On…

I can tell this is going to take some work to keep this up. My second day and I’m already at a loss for words. I could rant, but that wouldn’t be in the spirit of keeping this a positive blog. So, I refer to the last fortune I received from a Chinese restaurant. “You are the master of every situation.” That’s a really good fortune. Especially if you follow fortune cookie rules and add “in bed” to the end of said fortune. He he he. My fortune is taped to my lucky bamboo sitting on my desk. I got it for Mother’s Day last year and it’s still alive! Over the holidays it got a little dry, so some of the tips are yellow. But all in all, it’s very healthy and growing.

Blog Off…

January 12, 2005

This blogging thing is cool

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 11:34 am

So, at a friend’s suggestion, and after another friend’s recommendation, I have now started my very own blog. They shall remain blameless for now. Later, when this becomes really annoying (either to me or the readers…if there are any), I’ll point the finger at them and it shall be their fault.

Until then, I hope to have a few adventures with my friends to relate to my other friends that weren’t there. The ultimate goal is to get as many friends into my adventures as possible.

What are these adventures you may ask? Well, my first was the Bandera Trail Run. I plan to do more of these trail runs, as well as regular (pavement) running, adventure racing, triathlons and whatever other trouble I can get myself into along the way.

Adventures may also include my daily trek across the George Bush Turnpike. I have a few stories from that as well. Crazy drivers, construction, beautification of the freeway, things to ponder as I drive.

Since life is an adventure of sorts, anything is game for this blog. I’ll attempt to censure myself when necessary, keep it fun and positive and hopefully you (the reader) won’t be bored to tears.

My first 25K (plus some)

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 11:04 am

Wow. Well, I must say that it wasn’t easy…in fact it may be one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I conquered Bandera and lived to tell about it.

I did a 25K trail run in Bandera, TX this weekend. That’s in the heart of Hill Country just 50 miles from San Antonio. Some friends told me about the race, and I took a look at the pictures on the web site and said, heck, let’s go for it! Little did I imagine that every stretch of the course was rocks, rocks and more rocks, and seemingly all uphill.

The day started off early (7:30 amm), foggy, and quite surreal. The starting temperature was about 40 degrees. After about 2 hours of running, the fog finally burned off, and the views from the top of the hills were stunningly beautiful despite the pain it took to achieve them. The first aid station was 5.6 miles into the race, and I still felt pretty good, even though my fingers were starting to swell, resembling the sausage I had for breakfast hours earlier. Someone told me to hold my hands above my heart to help reduce the swelling, so off I ran from aid station #1, resembling either a surgeon waiting to be gloved or a crazy woman running off in the woods with her hands above her head (the latter being the most likely scenario).

Faster than I expected, just about 3.3 miles later, I made it to aid station #2. Please note that this aid station was used twice in the race, the third leg being a giant loop back around a really big hill and ending at the very same spot. Filling up on all the goodies to be had, I was still feeling good after a total of 8.9 miles and dashed off ready to conquer the next leg.

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Entering Crossroads Aid Station (where I went the wrong way) 

Alas, being the novice racer that I am, I made a really dumb mistake and didn’t ask directions when leaving said aid station #2 and, instead of starting the third leg of the race, I headed off to the finish line. I realized my mistake when I got passed by another girl from the group I run with who is WAY faster than me. She said we were less than a mile from the finish, and reality hit me over the head. I struggled for a few moments with my options. But, rather than get a ‘DNF’ by my name on the official race report and succumb to my error, I turned right around and went back to the previous aid station…a 4 mile detour if you will. I then headed off to the correct leg of the race.

This was the toughest part of the whole day. Having already run ~13 miles (8.9 plus 4 mis-directed miles), and the day heating up into the 70’s and sun coming out, I then faced the mental challenges of fatigue (no wise cracks here please…I know, I know) as well as the physical. Seasoned racers running the 50K and 100K races passed me with barely a gasp for air and seemingly fresh legs. After some time, and struggling to the top of hill after hill and not seeing the blue-tented aid station and terrified that I had again gone the wrong way and ended up on the 50K course, my frustration welled up, and I shed a few tears for awhile. I managed to pull myself together whenever I would hear another runner approaching from behind, and as soon as they were (hopefully) out of earshot, another tear or two would flow. FINALLY, I saw the blue tent I had been dreaming of for so long. I don’t think I have ever felt such relief.

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Oh Yeah!

A few shots of Gatorade, a half-peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some chocolate nutty bars and I set off for the final 2.6 miles. Having already had a preview of what lay ahead, I knew that it was just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, and I would be munchin’ on burgers and beans in no time. I think I actually managed a smile somewhere in here. This was also the shadiest and coolest part of the course, which was also rather refreshing. I could hear the finish line quite some time before I saw it, as other racers ran in ahead of me (yes, even some people completing twice my distance in less time) and winding around the trail up the last sneaky hill. I kicked myself in the rear and threw it into whatever gear I had left and finished the race (plus 4 extra miles) in (according to my watch) 6:35. Yes, all you math whizzes out there, that’s just under a 20 minute mile! But, I wasn’t racing for time and I knew it going in. Had I not made such a cololassal error, based on my previous splits, I could have finished right around 5 hours (not much faster really). The hills were steep, the rocks were sharp, and I’m more afraid of falling down than I am interested in going fast. My friends had all waited for me and were there to cheer me across the finish line. In fact, they even had to tell me when to stop…I didn’t see the yellow cord marking the end! Right now, only last year’s pictures are up on the web, and no official results are posted yet, but you’ll get the idea from these.

All in all, this race was a great experience for me. It was very well put together, with great food before, during and after, a free massage after, and a really cool racing shirt and finishers medal that I will wear proudly for at least a week. It was really, really hard, but now, knowing what I can do amid great difficulty, nothing is out of reach for me now! My next 25K is in Tyler on Feb. 12 (yes, I’m going again!), but this time on soft pine needle-covered hills. And each time I leave an aid station I will ask “which way please”.

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