Monday, January 17, 2022

Short and sweet 2022 edition

Again, the writing bug has hit me hard lately.  I use to love blogging and here lately it's been more of a slog.  Here is the short and sweet version of my week.  Been watching the Chili Bowl on FloRacing since we are now addicted to dirt racing, so get ready for some racing memes because I am so ready for race season now!

Mom and Tony's mom came down for a quick visit to deliver Christmas presents that couldn't be shipped and just stay hi.  Of course my mom spends most of her time cleaning my house.  She just can't help herself and I am NOT saying no :)  I am seriously going to kidnap her this time.  

Andrew finished the test to stay program and got his second Covid vaccine while I was brave and got my flu shot.  I am trying to show him that needles aren't that big of a deal when I myself am terrified of them.  It's a hard balance y'all!  We are trying to do our part but there are many in our community that have 0 interest in helping others and it's severely affecting my ability to be nice to said people.  Still looking for the part of the bible that says thou shalt not wear masks.  Still haven't found it.  

I did a hot buns run (10 minutes of running followed by 10 air squats, 10 jumping jacks, 10 rear lunges).  I love these runs and could see making different exercises part of the run and spicing it up.  I also walked 1 minute of the 10 minutes, but my pace was really good on the run part, so maybe I could call this a threshold run? I did a Thursday five miler and boy have I missed my five miles.  Five is just my sweet spot and I love a good 5 mile run.    I took Boom on the hot buns run minus Stella, and then took both for the five miler since all of the ice has melted and them pulling wouldn't matter.  We had snow and ice Friday night into Saturday, and honestly I should have gotten out or gotten on the mill Saturday, but I chose to hang out with my mom and work a puzzle instead and be lazy. #sorrynotsorry

The puzzle was only 300 pieces, but it was a bitch and we were determined to finish it.  It may look easy, but it was not let me assure you.  Mom summed it up nicely.  

We got a dusting of snow at best, but we got ice before the snow.  That meant running was a bit tough for my long run.  The roads were slick as snot and the gravel was fine with just some drifting.  I knew if I wore my ice spikes that running on the gravel would be painful, so I didn't wear anything and just prayed that I wouldn't fall for almost .75 of a mile until I got to gravel.  After walking pretty much the whole time I was on pavement trying not to fall,  I called Tony on my way back and told him to come and pick me up to avoid that situation again.  Luckily the sun was out and melting a lot of those ice patches by the time I got done for other runners who went later.

Have a great week y'all!  Dealing with more Covid issues that may drive me nuts.  Can I just become a hermit and home school my kid and live in a cabin in the woods till this blows over if it ever actually blows over.  Stay safe!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

2021 Crunching the numbers

I haven't had time to sit down and get this done so it's a little late.  I usually love writing these type of blogs, but here lately my mojo for writing just hasn't been there. I love looking back every year, so I am making myself hammer this out for posterity. Enjoy :)

How many races in 2022?

We actually had live races again and I won't lie, it was pretty awesome to be back on courses with people again!!! Here is the list with recaps of each of the races I did in 2021.

Stella's last big ultra and Robin's first marathon and ultra marathon.

Prairie Spirit 50K

Stella and Boom both got running time and I got my first DNF of the season.

Flint Hill's 50 M

I got revenge out at Wilson Lake and boom got his first big trail race.

Hell Creek 20 M

I couldn't resist one last trail hawks race with Stella to end the year.

Sanders Saunter 10K

I didn't really "race" any of these races and my goal for each was to finish with a smile on my face.  While I didn't technically finish my 50 miler, I gave it the best I could and that is okay.  I really missed my racing friends and it was really awesome to see so many them in person again!  I am also glad to get Boom's first big race done and am ready to try him out on some technical trails this coming year.  

Total miles?

Garmin: 925.85.  I had to hand figure because again, I can't seem to find the magic button to just say how much I ran in 2021.

Strava: 931.6.  I think.  Every year I struggle to find what just my runs only are.  Not sure how to make this process easier. I seriously searched for a solid hour just trying to find runs only in 2021.  I even made the mistake when my year in sports reel came out believing I was much closer to 1000 than I really was because it was counting runs, walks, and bike rides.  Oh well.  I listened to my body this year, gave it rest when it needed it, and that is what counts.  

2021 Goals met?

Oddly enough I can't find where I made any goals last year.  Honestly, I listened to my body way more than I have EVER listened to it in the past, so I think that is always a goal and i get an A+.

2022 Races?

Right now all I am signed up for is the Flint Hills 50K, but I may do a half marathon or two in the spring. I am also considering the Sanders Saunter 50K as it is a late in the year race, BUT that is going to majorly depend on me being able to do the training I need to do to be ready.  With Andrew's racing and football, even this later season race may not work.  Sanders has some strict cut offs, so I would need major trail time to be ready.  

2022 Goals?

Since I didn't make any last year, I am back to making them this year.

Goal 1: At least one strength session a week.  I really like the very simple and quick AMR strength sessions and they fit in my life easily. I want to try to get two, but for sure 1 a week because one is better than none.

Goal 2:  I know I say this every year, but get my nutrition under control. I have now gained 35 lbs from where I want to be and I am miserable.  I am still trying to figure out what is going to work the best.  I feel for me portion control, some meal replacement, and increasing my protein intake are some things I can do and can continue to do for the rest of my life.

Goal 3: Continue to listen to my body. I am probably going to continue my once weekly or once every other week chiropractic appointments.  I am not going to run if I am having issues or pain.  I am going to get back to my rehab exercises and stay with them.  Right now I have a shoe that sort of works for me so I am going to buy every one they made.  Just kidding but not really.

That is my 2021 in a nutshell!  Hoping 2022 will get better, it's not starting out well as I type this.  I can't wait to do more races with Boom and get to know him better on technical trails.  Miss Stella isn't completely done running and racing so I am looking forward to doing some shorter races with her and some shorter runs with just her and I.  

Thursday, January 6, 2022

New Year, same old me!

I am not one for resolutions and for that reason, I am not making any!  I don't even have a word for 2022 because thus far 2022 hasn't been very kind and me and it and I are not getting a long.  Maybe  Faith should be my word because that is all I have right now.  So far we have had a death, our pipes have frozen, and we have all been exposed to Covid and that is all in a matter of 6 days.  All I can do is keep my head up and plow on.  I also have not had time to work on my year end numbers blog or pictures. Sigh.  It's just been cray cray around here.  

My first run of the new year was on the dreadmill and I chose to do the snowman run from the AMR Joy to the Run program to keep my sanity.  Why is it that I feel like I am dying at slower speeds on the mill than when I am out running?  My fast for the fast portion has been 9:30s on the road and I wasn't even able to break a 10 on the mill.  I guess I should be thankful that at least I have a mill in my house.  My second run was in loops around our rec complex in feels like 10 degrees. I couldn't fathom another mill run which meant choosing super cold over mundane.   Again, I should be thankful that it was clear and half way lighted, but after 4 loops and not even 3 miles and my phone dying due to the cold, I couldn't take it anymore and gave up at 3.5 miles.  I also got a longish run in at 6 miles with boom and a recovery run with 3.something miles with Stella both outside on my normal route.  I love this time of year because I can sleep in and go out any time versus rushing to beat the heat and the sun.

I actually did some strength training!  I really like the AMR short, 25 minute work outs.  I am usually drenched in sweat and not too horribly sore the day after.  I have really regressed with a lot of my exercises and what I can do, but it gives me a starting place and a place to work back to.  

They laid my father to rest on Saturday.  Due to our Covid exposure, I did not travel down to Tennessee to attend and instead viewed the service online.  We had several family members that had Covid exposure who didn't get to attend so I am very thankful they had the services where we could all see.  I am very proud of my dad for turning his life around and making his last few years for the good of others.  It sounded like he was a great addition to his local church and that he would be very sorely missed by all.  I made a photo album of pictures of my dad and mom and I  found a grand total of 9 photos between us in photo albums.  This pretty much sums up our relationship.  Glad he is in a better place now and not struggling to breath, but feel horrible for my uncle Tony and Aunt Shirley and his wife Janice for their loss.  Praying they can figure out a new normal without him in it.  

Sorry to end on such a bummer note.  Have a great week y'all!  We should all be out of Covid jail if all of our testing comes back negative on Monday.  

Monday, January 3, 2022

Week 5: Joy to Run Wrap up and TULSA

This was going to be an epic week!  Three days of running and then heading to Tulsa to watch some dirt racing indoors!!!!  Yes, all the exclamation marks.  I am not going to do a day by day plan since I kind of went off the rails with my plan this week.  

I got one run in and because Stella wanted to come, we didn't do speedwork.  She had a pretty painful chiro appointment on Monday with her being pretty ouchy even with less mileage. I honestly think she is like me, when I do lower mileages, that is when my body kind of falls apart.  We have a plan moving forward including getting her back to 3 runs a week and some supplements.  I hope this works, her mind is still wanting to go and I hate leaving her behind anyway.

Most of our week was spent in Tulsa Oklahoma at the Tulsa shoot out.  I knew it was a big deal but I had no clue just how big.  Three of the kiddos we sponsor were racing, plus several of our TKQMA drivers and several famous NASCAR drivers.  Honestly, I know nothing of dirt racing.  I have seen one dirt race in person in all of my existence and watched several of Micah's online.  

Our plan was to leave Wednesday morning and head out for a 4-5 hour drive.  Of course work kept piling up and we couldn't hit the road till much later in the day than we wanted but it is what it is.  Owning a small business is NOT for the faint of heart, even with good workers to take care of things while you are gone.  I googled local breweries close to where our hotel was and low and behold, there were two.  One was more of a chain type place BUT they carried all local beers.  This was a blueberry ale that was amazing and even had blueberries floating in it.  I also tried a Dunkel and Tony tried a local Kolsch.  

Thursday was all about heat races and passing points.  All the boys drew good positions to get tons of passing points.  There is a ton of hurry up and wait and these stands became my best friends for 3 days straight.  

Two things, it's loud and the fuel they burn will burn your eyes.  I thought it was a new fashion statement to wear ski googles until I sat there for a full day watching heat race after heat race.  

Micah was a star all weekend and had an amazing heat race where he passed many cars and finished 3rd.  Passing points are the name of the game so his passing points plus his finishing points put him in the qualifier.  I am still trying to learn the structure of these races so I may get this totally wrong but you want to be in a qualifier to get straight to the A mains (the big show) instead of having to battle it out in the lower mains.  If you land in the lower mains, you have to be top 2 to move up and then you are at the back of that upper main.  

We had such a great education this week/weekend.  We learned so much about the cars, the tracks, the engines, and the famous drivers.  We were such rookies but we soaked it all in.  Honestly, it is very different from pavement racing and I kind of like it!  I like the fact that the tracks are much wider and you can pass on the inside or outside.  You just have to find what line works best for you and go.  

Evan, Cooper and Micah all raced in the heat races Thursday.  Both Evan and Cooper finished last and had to go to the lower mains.  Micah got into the qualifier.  They all worked incredibly hard and we are proud of all of them.  

Andrew had to facetime with his track buddies to show them the races.  They are all big dirt racing fans so they probably know these drivers better than we do!

I was most amazed by the flagman who stands ON THE TRACK while these cars are speeding by you.  Not sure how fast they go but I would be peeing in my pants.  At some times he is only a few feet away from them!!!!

Here is Micah's heat race.  I am so proud of how amazing he did!

Here is Cooper's big wreck.  He was fine due to the very amazing safety gear our kids wear racing.  

Post the races, the kids played, we watched some other crazy heat races, and then we headed back to the hotel to wait for line ups to be posted and to have some beer.  

We had lots of late nights, laughs, food, friends, and fun.  

Day 2 and qualifiers.  Only Micah was driving so we had lots of watching and playing in the pits.  

We met some famous drivers or stalked them anyways.  Hailie Deegan is amazing and we will be following her NASCAR career and while we never went up to talk to Kyle Busch, we were pitted right across from him and took many photos of him from afar.  He was driving and his son was driving so we didn't want to disturb him.  

Micah needed a top 2 finish to advanced to the A mains and HE DID IT!  I can't upload the video as it's too big but it was amazing driving.  

We celebrated New years eve with chicken fingers, beer, and a New York countdown.  

Saturday was Last chance qualifiers, lower mains, and A mains or the big show.  Micah was our only driver to get in the A mains but everyone tried hard and that is all you can ask for.  Last chance qualifiers were amazing to watch as drivers were putting it all out on the line to try to make it to the big show.  

Right off the bat, there was a little on track incident that might have damaged Micah's car.  Tony ran down to double check while they were on caution and couldn't see anything.  Things got a little crazy from there.  Micah had a car slow down in front of him and he tapped the bumper of the car which caused the car to spin.  It was not intentional, Micah just had no where to go as he was boxed in.  He was penalized and put to the back of the pack.  Then that same car came down on him in turn one and caused Micah to flip very violently.  It was very hard to stay in the stand and watch helplessly and they pulled out the back board and the jaws of life.  

Luckily he passed all of his tests at the track by the EMT crew and was allowed to go to the pits and recover.  Other than some soreness probably from his seat belts doing their job, he is okay.  They had to use the jaws of life to cut the wing off as the supports were bent.  

Later we celebrated the weekend with pizza and beers at the hotel and the boys had a sleep over that kept them up passed two am.  Luckily Micah's mom is a night owl and Micah's dad can sleep through anything.

Sunday we slept in and headed back to reality.  

We had so much fun and I am so glad we went.  My kiddo loved hanging out with his friends and watching racing.  It was a new world to us and it was quite fun.  We have a great group of friends and I wouldn't trade them for anything.  

On a more somber note, I lost my dad on New Year's Day.  My dad and mom divorced when I was 8 months old I believe and while he was around, he wasn't really "in" my life.  I am happy that in his later years he came to know God and recommitted his life to Him.  He had been sick, but was Covid negative until he was suddenly very sick and had to be rushed to the hospital and was Covid positive, plus pneumonia.  I have not heard the full story of exactly how all of this took place, but I am assuming that his lungs were so damaged that he would never recover as a vent was never an option.  We were not allowed to call, but I did sneak a few texts to let him know I loved him and his response was ditto.  I am glad to know he is in heaven with my Grandma and Granddaddy Gordon, his sisters Doris, Kay,  and Diane and my cousin Biff just to name a few.   I still have an aunt Shirley and an Uncle Jerry still alive and my step mom Janice.  Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  The above picture was the last time we saw each other in person, a few years ago at the Memphis zoo.  Very fitting since he use to take me to show me the glass jobs he did there (he worked in glass estimating/work).  I still wish we had gotten to know each other better, I still feel like I barely know the man that contributed half of my genetics.  I have heard he was super smart in math, something he didn't pass on to me. I was suppose to get his height but you can see I did not.  While I didn't seem him much and especially in later years due to distance, I did grow up with some amazing grandparents that loved me so I am very glad they are together again.  RIP Michael Wayne Gordon.