Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Retrospective, July to September

This is the second installment of my year in review.  Read Part One HERE

I didn't run much at all in July, but I did quite a few miles of walking and hiking in and got a chance to see my Frunners nearly every weekend.  It was hot, crazy Texas hot, so I was actually glad to have an excuse to not be in the middle of all that with intense training. And even though I wasn't racing, I did finish a race in July, the Colony Fourth of July 5k. Erin was gracious enough to walk with me and keep me company, and we hung out after to watch the two Michelles get AG awards and then were treated to pancakes and mimosas at Team K's house after that. Definitely see a new Frunner tradition starting with this race!!

Drum-Ninja Showdown, Part One!
Always a great day when I see Mr K & the Lindsley  men!
The next week, I went out to a social run put on by NTTR at Big Cedar in south Dallas. I was relegated to hiking since I was still on restriction, but it was a great morning and a fun new trail. I haven't had a chance to explore these trails as much as I'd like, but am definitely looking forward to hosting a Frunner Beer & Bagels run on this side of town out here soon.

Top of the hill out at Cedar Ridge. 
The next day, I went back out to the trails to meet Libby & Alicia for a few more miles on trails at Northshore.  This is the outing in which Alicia coined the phrase that my stories are "measured in miles!"  Yes, that is probably true!! I do have a story for nearly all occasions!!

Requisite self-portrait. Foreshadowing of things to come... 
You meet all kinds of people out on the trail!
A few weeks later, I went out to River Legacy to cheer on Marci in a small 5k put on by one of our favorite race directors. Jeph Abara puts on a summer series of no-frills 5k races up at River Legacy, with small crowds, a scenic flat course through my favorite park, and simple amenities for a low cost. These are good races for tuning up 5k strategies and getting a gauge of your fitness in the heat of ths summer. At the July race is where I finally met Byron, who is as supportive and encouraging a runner as I have ever met. Definitely a highlight of my year to get to know this man!!

My favoritest park! 
Pre-race with Marci
Looking good out there, Marci!
The next day, we had a HUGE Frunner party out in Fort Worth for El Scorcho. Tons of people were running either the 50k or 25k, and Marci, Julie, Cassie, Megan and DP DinoBoy were all out there with me to cheer and spray runners with cool water as they lapped us again and again. It was crazy-hot, and we had good times for sure!! This might go down as one of my favorite nights of the year!!

Make it glitter, make it rain! About to get our cheer on!
Sweet Julie came out just to cheer! YAY!
Tutu power!! 
THIS. This is why I run! 
With Blanca & Lupe - Latina POWAH!
Post-run with 25kers
The next week, I was cleared for running and did a few weekday runs around my neighborhood, then was able to go up north to meet NTX runners for a loop at Erwin Park. There was a great group of ladies out there, old friends and new, but it was tough for me. This was the run where I realized I had a lot of work to do before I could get back to my previous level of fitness. This wasn't a fun run, but as usual, the frunner gatherings before, during and after the run made it a good day!!

Pre-Run at Erwin Park
Great girls' run - pretty colors! 
Picture Break!! 
Fi billy-goating up that hill!
I wrapped up the month with a nice easy loop around White Rock with my buddy Sarah. From the first time I ran with her, I've always just enjoyed our time together, and we had a wonderful chat and caught up with life in general. And we found a few frunners out on the lake to make it an ever better day!!

Morning at the Lake
Team K!! 
Great time when we run into Frunners!
with my Sarah! <3
July Stats: 
Total Miles: 50
Number of Races: 1 (one 5k)

August found me out at White Rock again, this time with Marci and Erin, for a loop around the lake and breakfast post-run with Megan and Mel.  The heat of the summer was definitely upon us and my lack of training was hard to deal with even with scheduled walk breaks during my longest run post-surgery. But, we laughed and had a good time, per usual with these two!

The Whitest Girls You Know
Yes, I am that short... 
The next day, I met Sarah again, this time out at Northshore for a combo trail run and swim lesson. This was another great day on the trails - I was starting to get my legs back and it's always just a fine day when I get to run with my favorite barefoot Jew!! 

Cherry could hear us through the trees!! hahaha! 
Dirty girl. Yes, please!
I swam in that. For reals. Go me!
The next weekend found us out at River Legacy for another 5k, this time I was able to run and get a good sense of where I was fitness-wise. Of course, it rained for the first time in months, so we started in a steady drizzle and were treated to muggy warm conditions for the last two miles. It was tough, but as usual, having Marci along really helped make it a good day. Scoring AG hardware helped make it a good day, too!!

Hardware. And, yes, that's a long-sleeved shirt in August!
The next day was the Hottest Half. I swore last year I would never run another race in Texas with the word HOT in the name, in any way, shape or form. But then, I saw the hardware, and I changed my mind. And there were a TON of Frunners out there, too, so it was guaranteed to be a good day, no matter the temperature.

But this race... man, this was hard. Probably my hardest of the year to date, physically and mentally. We only were out there for a training run, for the hardware. No time goals. But, this race... Lots of memories came flooding back to me while I was on this course, of who I used to be as a runner and was no longer because of the surgery. Memories of running partners who I've run around this lake with in the past, some of whom are no longer friends, and others who have become closer friends and family to me than I could ever have imagined. Memories of hard training runs, hot training runs, windy training runs.  Memories of the tears shed around this lake, and anger and frustration exorcised around this lake, and mostly, memories of laughter and love shared around this lake.

The White Rock Lake Girls were born on this lake, and it will always be special to me. We had a reunion out here that day, too, even though Mel and Kris ran the 10k instead of the half. That was so special to me, and the fact that Fiona and Marci ran with me, when they were both so much faster than I, meant so much. They also knew when I needed them at my side, and when I needed to run alone, to think through all that was flying through my brain, to process all my emotions and thoughts.   There are a lot of bridges on that course, more than we'd ever noticed even though we ran that lake constantly all year 'round. And when it was time to throw negativity and pain and doubt and heartache over the bridge, they were there for me. That was just beyond awesome. I can never express how important that was to me, to have them there with me as I faced that half-marathon that day.

And in the end, this race was good. It was hard, hot, and miserable while we were out there, but in the end, it was a good day.

These people rock my world!
Two of my favoritest runner dudes! 
Lots of peeps running in the heat! 
Through fire for these girls. FIRE! 

August Stats: 
Total Miles: 71
Number of Races: 2 (one half-marathon, one 5k)

September started out with a return to the trails, after a little bit of a funk after Hottest Half.  I went through a little bit of a slump emotionally and physically after that race, in which I didn't want to race or run, or even meet up with Frunners. I had to snap out of it. And to help me, I met up with Drum, Coco and Cherry for a few miles out at Northshore. They had so much common sense and really helped me get my head back on straight. Nothing like a little dirt on your feet to help you figure out the problems of the world!

Coco,Drum & Cherry. 
Next weekend found me back at River Legacy for yet another 5k race and another AG place for both me and Marci! This was a great day, made even better by a friendly Grapevine police officer & breakfast with the Ninjas afterward. Fi scored hardware in her 5k race too!! It was a banner day for the WRL Girls for sure!!

Bright-ass shoes scored us hardware!
I wrapped up September with Run for the Ducks out in Weatherford, way west of the known universe. My buddy Derek and a few other folks were out there too, for this timed, looped course, in which we had 8 hours to rack up as many miles as we could. It was still crazy hot, even for September, and while it was a tough day, it was made better by the camaraderie of all the runners that we saw over & over again throughout the race, and especially wonderful by Marci coming out to crew and pace us for a few miles. I ended up with 27 miles for the day, and renewed confidence in my abilities to run an ultra. Oh, and I also had a GREAT appreciation for watermelon!!!

Fountain at start & end of each loop
Our sherpa Marci with D & me, post-run. 
These cobblestones beat me down after 27 miles! 
September Stats: 
Total Miles: 110
Number of Races: 3 (one 5k, one 10+ miler, one timed race)

1 comment:

Michelle K said...

These pictures remind me of just how hot it was this summer! We survived!!