Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas from Nashville

My Family
starting my Christmas Eve run
Another Christmas in Nashville. This trip was much shorter than my previous trips. There was no driving with 5 animals this year-just flying by myself! The joy of only having two weeks off for the holidays! I do miss my furbabies and I missed my time on the road but since I've was sick all week it's probably a good thing I flew!

Centennial Park
The last time I ran was Monday 20th December. I was supposed to run on Tuesday with the girls but I started feeling like crap: achey, coughing, sore, chest hurt-so I did the smart thing and decided not to run and stay at home and try to go to bed early! I missed a great 6 miler with Kristy, Jordan and lauren but I did the right thing-for on Wednesday I stayed inside all day and felt like crap! I have had double pneumonia before and I don't want to get that sick ever again!
very early morning Christmas

I left LA on Thursday, I had to give my girl some exercise, so I walked Velcro before I left-got a 2 mile walk in and felt winded!

 Yeah, I was sick. So when I arrived in Nashville and the weather was in the 30's and 40's I said to myself, I HAD to run on friday, Christmas Eve. The weather is too perfect not to-even if it's a short run!

So on Christmas Eve I went out on a "short" run bundled up in hats, gloves and cold weather clothes! I LOVED it! I was still coughing but I didn't care. I felt invigorated running in the cold! I ran a route I usually run when i'm home. Around Vanderbilt University and Centennial Park, since that is my hood. I got home and felt really good but I still had my cough!
our house on the first day of snow

I hacked all night and woke up coughing on Christmas. What's new! But I was determined to get another run in on Christmas. I decided to run roughly the same route as yesterday but this time is was quite a bit colder and it had snowed and was still snowing! Have I said how much I love this weather! I wish I wasn't coughing! Because it is the absolute best weather to run in! I tried to just enjoy my run! It was Christmas, we had eaten some yummy home made cookies, opened presents and were going to be eating our dinner when I got back. So this was my Christmas present to myself!

Today I was supposed to run 6.2 miles for Operation Jack, but my cough is a bit worse and I just don't feel 100% so I decided to give myself a day off. I will run tomorrow!! I will run tomorrow! Because it's the last day i'll be in this glorious weather and I must take advantage of it before i head back to california and sun and heat!!! can't I import this weather?? Please!!

I head back to LA soon-looking forward to getting back to see Velcro and the Kitties but not happy to be leaving my family. We have such a fun time on the holidays! I just wish i could have stayed longer! I guess a short trip is better than no trip!!!

The TENNESSEE VOLS are in town. I drove past them practicing at Vanderbilt! I so wish i was going to be in town on the 30th for the Music City Bowl.....but I guess I'll have to deck myself out in TENNESSEE orange and watch from Southern California! I screamed Go VOLS as I drove past and took a picture of their big 18 wheeler-yeah i'm a geek!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!!!! Until tomorrow!

Friday RUN: 4.36 miles (53:90) in 38 degrees
Saturday RUN 4.5 miles (57:56) in 30 degree temps and snow

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!!!

I wanted to share one of  the three electronic Holiday Greeting Cards I made this year! I hope everyone has a fantastic Holiday and a very safe and fun New Year! I plane on sleeping and running...ok and having wine too!! I'll be heading back to Tennessee to see my family, without my furbabies! So it will be a short trip-must get back to be a furbaby mom! And to also run a Year to Year fun Run at Pt Mugu on December 31st!  Let me know if you'd like to join me!!

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Customize your own free digital ecard

Also a little 2010 comes to a close, I just wanted to remind everyone that I am still collecting donation for my Carlsbad Half Marathon charity, Labrador Rescuers. I am so close to reaching my $3000 goal. If you feel you can spare $1, $5, any amount, I will be so grateful for your help and donation. This is the 2rd year I will be running for Labrador rescuers. Each year I've reached my goal, I hope to do the same this year! ANY and ALL amounts are a gift!

Penny's Labrador Rescuers Secure Donation website

If you still need to buy a gift, gypsyrunner is graciously donating 20% of the final purchase to my charity! They have the most awesome bamboo shirts with great sayings-running, animals etc! I have 3 bamboo shirts and LOVE them! All I want to run in now is Bamboo-so I know I'll be buying more! They have long and short sleeved performance Bamboo shirts. To give 2 gifts in one purchase, all you have to do is add "Penny Sprague/Labrador Rescuers" in the comment section at checkout! Its that easy!!!

Holiday Giveaways:
Go-Lite Hydration Christmas Eve giveaway-go to Mile Posts.
Rad-Runner's runner cupcake giveaway!

Have a Very HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

FINALLY my Santa to the Sea half Marathon report....I am such a slacker on so many levels!

Yeah, I "ran" a race last sunday-if you can actually call what i did running! What makes me laugh and then cry is that last Sunday we had RECORD DECEMBER HEAT! And what have we had sandwiched between that horrific sunny warm Sunday, RAIN AND COOL WEATHER! Seriously! Who is punking me?

I did know last Sunday was going to be Africa hot. Now if you're new to reading my blog, ha ha that's a joke since I think only 3 people read my blog now because of the lack of blog post written due to my fantabulous work schedule, you'll know I HATE running in the sun and heat! I don't sweat alot, so I become an internal sauna! I burn easily and I feel like I shrivel...that is what my Sunday "run" was like!

I had great intentions! I really wanted to race a decent race. I had a holiday costume and I was going to have fun no matter what! Yeah yeah yeah keep spouting off about that Penny and how the times you run, even when you're out to have fun with your friends. don't matter!

The Short Story: the race sucked ass! It was hot and sunny and Oxnard California doesn't have one single tall fucking tree or building that might give any shade whatsoever!I ran then walked and really didn't want to run anymore. But at that point all I wanted to do was finish and get out of the sun and heat that was beating down on me!

The Long Story:

I ran this race last year with my son as a relay. And we had a blast! So I decided it would be a fun race to run with him again this year, as a half marathon for both of us. I conned some of my awesome friends into running with us. Kristy, Jordan, Bob and Stuart all signed up for the race! This will become an annual December event for me. This race benefits Toys for Disadvantaged Children-so I not only run but am hopefully making Christmas a happy day for some children!

Bob picked up all of our race packets on Friday, so I didn't have to make the trek up north to pick up race packets. I was keeping in touch with my kid-he was sick, so it wasn't looking likely that he would run....hmmm, this was my out! Or it would have been my out had I not wrangled so many people into running this race with me!

I offered, planned to carpool up to Oxnard from the southbay with Kristy and Jordan. I drove, since I kinda knew where we were going and because I just like to drive. We met at 5am at a Park and Ride and off we went to Oxnard.We had to arrive at the finish line by 7am to get the shuttle to the start and to also meet Bob who had all our race stuff. We arrived around 6:15, parking right opposite a toilet!! YIPPEE and waited for Bob to arrive. While we were standing outside the car I saw Stuart!

Stuart, Jordan, moi, Kristy and Bob
Once Bob arrived we all made our way to the school buses and were transported the 13.1 miles to the start at the GIANT SANTA! We deposited our toys at the base of the Santa and then had to have pictures taken!!! Pictures are mandatory! yes I know, it looks like it's a bit chilly because we are all wearing long sleeved disposable clothing. In true California tradition, we always feel it's cold at the start-even if it's in the 50's or 60's. Once the sun comes up, the long sleeves come off! And this is what happened this day! The sun came up and all of a sudden the heat came....and came and came and EVERYONE running was stripping down...I'm sure the locals or whomever the clothes go to, made out with the free items left at the start!

Once we deposited our toys, yes, I had to include a GLEE board game-just had to! We all headed to the porta potty line. Yes there was a line-but what I was thrilled to see was the arrival of more porta potties as we were in line. Nice to know someone realized they needed more porta potties!

with Stuart
The national anthem was sung and then the race started with very little fanfare. This is a very small race, a community race, that grew twice as big from last year! At least twice as big! Must have been Julia Roberts running last year!

At the start, Stuart said his goodbyes and was off. He's a MUCH FASTER runner than I and he had planned on a 1:45 Half......WTF is that time?????? **faint** in my dreams I'll run that fast!

I knew this race was going to be slow and ugly for me. The heat and sun were already beginning to beat down(the race started at 8am-pretty darn late for a race in Southern California!) And my running has been crap! Since Marine Corp I just havent been into running! I feel like I've lost my mojo. I ran 12 crappy miles the week prior to this race-so I knew I had the mileage, but I swear my running speed has gotten slower! Even though I'm now with a "coach" and "attempting speedwork, tempo runs etc, with my stupid ass work schedule, I just cant do anything.

with my fellow tutu diva, Kristy
So, because we were all running as a fun race, I was determined to have fun! Much to the horror of all my friends, I ran with jingle bells on my shoes-yeah, I'm that person! This was a holiday festive race and I was in a tutu.

with Jordan-she was a trooper today-she stuck with me to the end!
Well, I knew right off the bat that this race was going to suck ass. From the get go I was holding my head down and trying to hide from the sun! Doesn't work very well when there are NO TREES OR SHADE ANYWHERE!!!

I plodded. I walked, I grumbled, I drank all my water and NUUN and re-filled at the water stations. I wanted it to be over before I hit mile 6. Yeah I know, pitiful! I did like the mile marker signs though-so cute!!! I kept looking for them...knowing each one I saw I was closer to the end and a ice cold beer!!!

Nice view
Around mile 10.5 we finally hit the coast. I swear it got hotter! And still no trees and no shade-but the course took us onto the bike path along the water overlooking the channel islands. BEAUTIFUL! I never knew this bike path was here let alone how gorgeous it is. It was a hot day, lots of people out cheering us! And I so wish I wasn't running!!! I wanted to jump in the ocean and cool off! I knew the water was the only cool part of the day!

As we ran back into a residential area, we heard the finish line! Oh Thank You God!!! But we still had at least a mile to go. Thats when we literally ran into HEAVEN! A wonderful man was out with his garden hose spraying everyone! I cant tell you how amazing it felt! Even though I was in a white shirt with a pink sports bra underneath and realized after getting doused with water that I was the newest member of the wet white t-shirt contest, I didn't care-it felt amazing!!! I could have stood underneath that hose for the rest of the day! I think it might have been the only thing that got me to the finish line!

with Jordan around mile 11
I had been ready to quit, had wanted to hurl, had taken a puff of my inhaler-yeah all the wonderful side effects of Penny running in the sun and heat!

We "powered" ha ha ha to the finish. I was just so thankful to be done with this godforsaken race! It was SLOW SLOW SLOW! I looked at Ms Garmin when I crossed 2:55-FUCK-that sucks! But some races you feel great others not so great-this was one of those races. But, as usual. there was a part of me that was disappointed! Could I have run more? I should have pushed myself those miles that I just couldn't run.....But I didn't so what is done is done. As Jordan, My life saver, and I crossed the finish line, we were asked our names and our bib numbers were taken down. I didn't realize why until I didn't get a medal! AACCKK!! No MEDAL!!! I just ran a race in 80 degree sun and heat and I cross the finish line shriveled, burnt, dehydrated and fucking miserable and I don't get my Santa medal???????

Seems, this race was more popular than the race director was expecting-registration and runners who showed up the day off were 150% more than last year! The race director estimated more runners than last year when he ordered medals-but didn't expect that many more. I understand this-but I WANT MY MEDAL! The website has stated that the runners who didn't get a medal will be getting them in the mail....I am still waiting!

Kristy, Jordan, Moi and Bob-yeah, I had already bailed out of my shoes!
We all met up at the finish line-everyone was suffering from the heat, but I do believe I might have complained the most. I'm ok with being the whiner of the group!! That's me-I HATE running in the SUN AND HEAT! HATE IT!

What I did get was a BEER with Bob after the race! Thank you Bob for being my post race life saver! That beer tasted SO GOOD!!! I think I run these races for the post race beer!

I had fun, don't get me wrong! I loved meeting up and running with friends! I am so happy I have friends I can run these races with!

I'm also very happy with this small race! For being a small community race, it's very organized and the volunteers are FANTASTIC!! I am bummed they ran out of medals-but I guess when it's your 3rd year running the race, you don't expect to get 150% more runners than the previous year! Will I run this race again? YES! Without a doubt! I will be hoping for RAIN!
Beer with BOB!!! HEAVEN!

Did I say how tasty and fantastic the beer tasted???? And have I said that the weather is perfect right now!! Rain and cool! HEAVEN!!!

RUN: 13.1 miles 2:55:33

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4 dogs FOUND!

All four dogs have been found and are safely back with their owner!! The 2 Akitas were found in Compton,Ca and I'm not sure where the Corgi's were found yet- they were picked up at 1:40am. So thrilled!!!!!!!

On running news, I ran on Tuesday! 3.5 miles! An today is my Friday! So I slept today and will get a decent run in tomorrow.

On Sunday I have 12 miles on the book. I will either run the Lasse Viren 20k or run the 2010 Holiday 10 miler put on by the Pt Fermin Flyers in San Pedro- if anyone is interested it's a very LOW key event. You bring an new unwrapped toy and $10! This is NOT an organized event but there will be snacks and refreshments afterwards!
If you want to runrhis, it starts at 8am at Pt Fermin Park

Off to work!!

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

4 Stolen Dogs in Long Beach (Bellflower) California-Please spread the word!

Terrible news. Kristina Rickard's (Dream Hi Akitas) van was stolen while it was parked last night at the hotel in Long Beach, CA. They don't know when it was stolen, but it was gone this morning (11/30/10). It has Trace (Top 5 Akita) and a young female Akita, and two corgis in it. Please cross post this to every list you are on and get the news out. Anyone in the Southern California area, please notify your vets office and local animal control in case the dogs are found, turned loose or taken to a vet. shows a photos of Trace, I don't have info on other dogs.

If anyone knows how to get this on the local news, MSN, etc. it would be a great help. Tom Rickard is on his way to Long Beach right now, and Lori is at home manning the phones, and Nener (Kristina) and David have Tamera Houser driving to hotel right now, so they will have help and wheels. Nener's cell phone is: 530-351-2412--please do not call to talk, but only if information is found or you have amazing suggestion--please text if possible. . The police have already come to take a statement and hopefully they will be a great help.

2006 White Chevy Express Cargo Van, California license 8D20252, with a big black box on the back and three dog stickers on the back windows. If anyone was to see this van on the side of the road or parking lot, please report asap and check on the dogs. Hopefully, they will be found inside.

Christina Stanley

Here is an ad/reward with pictures of the dogs:

Here is a link to the news story.

Here is the Craigslist post that was put up today! Please spread the word!!! Lets get these dogs back to their owners!