Monday, December 17, 2007

Drunken Kitty.

Wow, is this blog-worthy or what? Last night we were sitting on the couch and as you can see, Shackleton likes to make himself nice and comfortable. He had laid out on Derick's legs as we were watching 'Superbad' (flipping HILARIOUS by the way), and after Derick finished his beer Shack just reached up and decided to take the last bit of it. Didn't take the poor little guy much before he passed right out. Hmmm....passed out on the couch after drinking, is he trying to be like we were on Friday night after the G&S Lounge visit with our friends?? Anyway, moving on...I had to send this to New Belgium Brewing in Ft. Collins, since his beer o' choice was a New Belgium 2 Below. Guess the little guy has good taste in his beers! But then again, in our house there are only good options as we are quite the 'beer snobs'...Enjoy the pics. And watch your pets and the holiday alcohol, this was just a few sips. Wonder what a whole beer could do to him, especially at 6+%?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God Grew Tired Of Us.

I just finished watching a movie called 'God Grew Tired Of Us.' If you have not seen it, it should be your next rental. Simply beyond words. It was about a man named John Dau, who was at age 14 a 'Lost Boy' of Sudan. Taken from his website (

National Geographic writes, “Dau is one of the thousands of African males in Southern Sudan attacked in the 1980s and ‘90s by the Arab Sudanese government in the north. For 16 years, Dau was either on the run—from the Arab militia and the Sudanese Army, from wild animals, from starvation and thirst—or living in refugee camps.”Even while he was still just a boy himself, John dedicated himself to saving others, becoming a caregiver to younger children, helping them dodge bullets, scavenge for food, and cross the crocodile-infested swamps. In 2001, he was among the lucky chosen to immigrate to the United States, a place he had never heard of until he learned to read at the age of 17. This gift of literacy allowed John to pursue an education, working toward completing a degree in public policy from Syracuse University.Since arriving in the US, John has dedicated himself, heart and soul, to giving back through humanitarian service. With the support of the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles, John built and opened the first health clinic in Duk County, Sudan in May 2007.
This really makes you stop and think about things...especially around the holidays, with the hurried life, the rushed feelings we all cannot get away from...have we gotten everyone gifts, are we going to make it to our destinations, will our planes be on time...seeing this movie makes us realize that our 'worries', so to speak, are really nothing of the sort. It is tough because it seems so much needs to be done in other parts of the world, and the amounts of money we can donate may not be much, but it can add up. It just made me re-think some of the 'remaining gifts' I have left, as you can donate to these organizations in others behalf. If nothing else, rent the movie and see it for yourself. It will really get you to thinking, about what is truely important in life. When we think that we have it tough or the day is not going our way, we have no idea...this is a good reminder to stop, be thankful and realize that we can help others even if in small ways. Please see this movie for yourself, and also check out these websites as well. (You can get a gift card as a gift here)
Each one of these is tied in with one of the men from the movie 'God Grew Tired of Us,' and is an extension of what they have done since having had the opportunity to come to America. Look them over yourself and pass on the word to others as well. 'Tis the season of giving. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decker 20k: It Is As Hard As They Say.

So, I follow up a post titled 'Down Time' with well,...a race report. Guess I just cannot keep away from it. :) But this was a fun one; Well, that term is used loosely. 'Fun' as in I have been taking a few weeks not spending a lot of time training, so I could go into this one with little expectations. Did I go into it with little expectations? Of course not. Derick could tell I was all nervous this morning. I guess I could say this was the 'kick off' to start some structured training again.

It was the Decker 20k, which is put on by the Austin Runners Club here in Austin. The course is touted as being extremely challenging, which, well, it was. It was I believe east of Austin, about 20 minutes, and the entire thing was rolling from start to finish. My 'goal' today was CONTROL. I always seem to go out too hard in running races, and if I really want to complete a marathon, I have to learn to control the front end and save some energy for the middle 2/3 and the end of the race. I was very pleased with the 'control' today, granted my first mile was a 5:50 however I was trying to keep the top few women 'in sight'. And, the hills to come would surely slow that average pace so I had to roll with it when the course was 'giving it to us'.

I felt good and rather comfortable for about 4-5 miles. By the half-way point, I was in second place but I was definitely starting to feel the challenge of the terrain. I really tried to push up the hills and let myself 'roll' down them and on the flats. Just before the mile 8 marker, Derick rolled up to me and said, "Great job, Kel, she is right up there. Now's the time to stay on it, keep it strong and reel her in" (or something to that effect). I believe I mumbled back, 'dying'. Then I told myself not to think negativity. The miles continued until 10, when I saw the hill most talk about, which at that point in the race is a sizable hill. I turned to the last water station and just had about 2 miles to go. I tried to kick it up for a mile or so, then (how MEAN is this?) we had 2 more small hills before mile 12. Are you kidding me? I was able to grit my teeth and really dig deep, and by the time I came to mile 12, I was toast. But I tried so hard to hang on, as I seem to get caught @ the very end all too often. Luckily I was able to hold second place and finish in 1:20, a bit off what I had hoped but considering it was warm, muggy and a TOUGH course, I was pleased with it. Tired, but pleased.

I guess this is the start to my 2-month running block! This week I'll just focus on recovering, and of course going to see a great friend in Bend, Oregon next weekend (which I am sure will involve a lot of beer, and hopefully some running and cross country skiing, too). The rest of today will be spent doing as little as possible. :) I can say now, that I have run it, I have a lot of respect for the Decker 20k. Excellent job to Chris Kimbrough, the womens winner (who was chatting away the whole time, I heard!) and Bernard Manirakiza, who won the mens race, as well as fellow 3 Stories'ers Lance Parker (4th) and Derek Yorek (2nd). Way to go on a tough day, ya'll.