Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

August 2014
« Jul   Sep »


Car office and Mogollon


I am sitting in my car office in the driveway.  It’s been a week since Leadville, and I feel like I’ve just stopped moving.   My dad, Ruby, Asa and I got back to San Antonio on Monday around 11pm.  It was like the car had been a space capsule reentering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 11.47.33 AM



Every time we got out for gas, it was a good 10 degrees hotter.  (Going to be 102 degrees here today.)

I wish someone had taken a picture of us getting out of the car after 12 hours of driving with the grumpy baby.  I think fast food wrappers swirled around us momentarily as we opened the doors – propelled by Ruby’s screams.  I found a French fry stuck to my pants later – and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Truth be told, I’d still be sitting at the Sonic of the Damned in Snyder, Texas if my dad hadn’t made the drive with me.  “Eliot, I can’t make it and further.  Either come rescue us, or I’ll start looking for housing and work here in Synder.  I think the Sonic could use me.”

And then it was Saturday… Work, work, work, email, work, eating donuts, Asa’s birthday party with his classmates, work, … now.

Yeah, we’d promised Asa a birthday party with his classmates.  It seemed like a good idea back in June.  His good buddy, Alejandro, has an August birthday too, so Alejandro’s mom and I figured we’d knock out two celebrations with one Pikachu-themed pool party.

6 am party morning looked like this.


Yes, that’s Eliot drawing Pikachu figures to affix to the piñata.  Usually I make the piñata, but running Leadville, driving 17 hours, and the non-Lego block theme, destroyed that tradition.  We settled on a store-bought piñata enhanced with homemade Pikachu’s.  Thank God Eliot is so talented.  I assisted by filling the piñata with all the candy that had made it through the night.  Then I met with a friend to discuss the Mogollon Monster 100 on September 27th.  (Eeeeee!)  I got home at 9:30am with an hour to get everything together and packed for the 10:30am party.  Except apparently I had written 10:00 on all the evite invitations.  Eeeeeee!  I ran around throwing candles, tape, piñata ropes, etc. into bags, pulled on my bathing suit, turned the oven on to cook the pizzas, and headed out the door with the kids in tow.

It was a great party.  Asa and Alejandro had a good amount of 7 year-old fun.


I had a good amount of blind-folding and spinning kids around fun too.  And then it was 12:30.  Now, I had nine pounds of work to do (as usual), and 2.5 hours seemed like the appropriate amount of time to devote to partying.  Work-life balance and all that.  I looked around at the other moms expecting to seem them making moves to get on with their days – giving kids 10 minute warnings and wrapping up leftover Pokeball cupcakes for later.  Nope.  They looked content to keep sitting while their kids played.  I managed to be a gracious hostess for another 30 minutes.  My thoughts were filled with gratitude for Asa’s friends, the neighborhood pool, the beautiful day – and appropriate priorities.  But then it had been three full hours of birthday cheer outside in the upper 90s on four hours of sleep.  My equanimity evaporated.  I started to pack up while still trying to appear lighthearted and welcoming.  It was a challenge.  It wasn’t actually awkward though until I started hosing down the tables around everybody.  That was 3.5 hours into the event.  Asa’s happiness is paramount, but an introverted ultrarunner can only take so much non-running small talk with an 8-hour work day on the horizon at 2 in the afternoon.

Anyhoo, we got out, some work got done, and now I’ll embark on the rest.  Going to get some hill walking on the treadmill in tonight.  Only a bit more than a month to Mogollon Monster’s 106 miles.  I’m penciling in 8 hours of sleep a night into the plan.  Prizes awarded each week for goal completion.  😉

Comments 4
  • Kris
    Posted on

    Kris Kris

    Reply Author

    Hosing the tables down around everyone, LOL! You made it longer that I would have. Congratulations on Leadville!

    • Liza Howard
      Posted on

      Liza Howard Liza Howard

      Reply Author

      Thanks Kris! Yeah, the table hosing was not my finest moment, but it was nice to add fuel to the “Asa’s mom is kind of a weirdo” fire.

  • Anna
    Posted on

    Anna Anna

    Reply Author

    Wow Eliot is a Renaissance Man!

    • Liza Howard
      Posted on

      Liza Howard Liza Howard

      Reply Author

      Indeed!! He also makes a mean fish taco dinner.