Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Thoughts

Some people are into resolutions, some are not. I personally like any opportunity I get to push the restart button and fix things that I haven't been to thrilled about in myself, in my actions, in my life.

I love the start of a new school semester or quarter when you start with a fresh notebook and a new syllabus. I loved moving around when I was a military brat, because you got to just plain start over in a different country, with new friends, new wardrobe....a new lease.

It's the perfect opportunity to let go of old nagging, negative things you've been holding on to and have tons of room to embrace new positive things. I love it.

I received the following quote from a good friend. It seemed perfect for me, for this time of year, hell, for this time of my life. It says the following:

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Anger is only one letter short of danger. If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; if he betrays you twice, it is your fault. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; he who loses faith, loses all. Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself... There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift, that's why the call it the present. [Unknown]

Happy New Year everyone! Make 2008 your own.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Genes - Part II

And here's my engineering gene shining through in the Shay-monster as he gets to work on his Lego Mission from Mars flanked by his cousin in crime!

Now, there's something I can get into!! YES, we can build it..better, faster, stronger!

Genes - Part I

Somehow, I missed out on the cooking gene in my family. My sister, however, did not. Here she is with my niece (who clearly got the gene also) making up a big ol' batch of our family's favorite recipe for egg rolls, passed down from my mom when she took cooking lessons when we lived in Japan.

These bad boys are big, fat and goooooooooood!

Day at the Museum

On Thursday, we had a day in between family visitors (in-laws left on Wednesday, my sister arriving on Friday), so the boys and I set out on a Mommy and me adventure day.

As usual, it took as awhile to get rolling (we are NOT a morning people), but we eventually made it out the door. The first stop was the Y. The boys had the option of swimming or playing in the daycare center...they chose playing, so I got in a bonus swim workout of 2500 yards! Yea for me! After the Y, we headed on over to the place with the funny name and serious sandwich to fuel up. YUMMY...Schlotzky's!

We needed to run off some of our lunch so we headed to Auditorium Shores to play with some pups and just run around in the open space. (Sometimes it's the simplest things that work out so well, go figure.)

Not wanting to leave "Big Town" as Shay calls downtown, we decided to leave the car at the annex and just walk across to the Dell's Children's Museum since we hadn't been since they've changed the exhibit.

Devon was a trooper and made it ~most~ of the way before I had to give him a piggyback ride. (You know it takes a lot of little steps just to go a couple blocks!)

We got to the museum and had a total blast. From train spotting...

to playing restaurant

to the recycling center, general store, hanging around like bats

and jumping around in the ball pit...excuse me, the drop of blood filled with many red blood cells...and searching for the few white blood cells

A good time was had by all and as usual, I had to literally drag the boys out of the museum, crying because they wanted to stay longer. (Yes, I had to be THAT mom...)

Good times...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays!!

I've always loved the holidays. And since adding kids into the mix, it just keeps getting better. It is fun to pass on old family traditions to them and create new ones.

One of my all time favorites is the Christmas Eve decorating of the cookies for Santa.

But there's absolutely no way to replicate the expression on the face, the sparkle in the eyes, the giddyness in the voice, the spring in the step early, early Christmas morning with that first gaze upon the tree after all the friend's, family's, and Santa's handiwork is complete..... I can only hope the boys feel the same way.

I kinda think they do...

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


I think I'm still recovering from the Pub Run...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Red Dress Pub Run

See you there!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sh*t My Knee

If you've ever done any vocal or choral work, you are probably familiar with the Bumble Bee Vocal Warm up. Which is very nice and sweet where you sing the words:

Bumble Bee Bumble Bee Bumble Bee Bumble Bee
Bee Bee Bumble Bee Bee Bumble Bee Bee Bumble Bumble Bee

over the following notes of the major scales:
1 3 2 4 3 5 4 6 5 7 6 8 7 9 8 10 8 9 7 8 6 7 5 6 4 5 3 4 2 1

like this:
Bum (1) ble(3) Be(2) e(4) Bum (3) ble(5) Be(4) e(6) and so on..

(Go ahead..try's really fun and a great'll be ready to sing or talk for hours!)

When I got to college, we added on the fun variation of "Shit my Knee" to the same tune.

Anyway, I've been singing "Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee, Shit my Knee" every time I walk or especially go upstairs since Sunday's 20-miler. It totally blows. But afterwards I've been belting out some GREAT holiday tunes like "Santa, baby" and "All I Want For Christmas". :)

So I took Monday off and yesterday I swam instead of Blue Thunder Fartlek workout. I've been icing and taking anti-inflammatories since Sunday and I think it is starting to feel better! YEA!!!!

I'm not sure what workout I'll do today, most likely will not be running. Maybe I'll clip in and ride so I can get the knee moving but without the pounding pressure of running..

Nonetheless, it felt good to get in the water and just swim. I don't know about you, but I hate drills. I would just rather swim and swim and swim. And nothing like a little knee pain to make sure you are kicking from the hips and not from the knee!

Since I was trying to rest my knee, I tried to kick as little as possible..effectively just pulling the whole time and really working on swimming downhill (pressing your chest down, so your back end floats nicely -- and that is quite the effort when you have alot to float back there...) and front quadrant swimming.

Here are my paces:
1st 500 yards: 8:13 (oops..gotta a little excited about being in the water)
2nd 500: 8:38
3rd 500: 8:35
4th 500: 8:37
5th 500: 8:21

Is it tri season yet???

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Andrew Jackson's Babe

20...that's right...20!!!


I ran my first 20-miler today. Can you believe it?


I can't believe it...except for that dull ache in my knee..that's a good reminder, actually. BUT I'LL TAKE IT!

Today, I sucked it up and ran the Runtex to Runtex (not Runtex to Rogue that was run on Saturday because...well, there was the Phil/Stacey Open House Dreidel game..which I most assuredly lost, Chuy's, Missy's, etc., etc....let's just say that Saturday 4am wake up call was NOT happening...)

And today's run was in serious jeopardy because Triscuit had to finally graduate and Steve and Ruth do keg stands and play with blow torches.

Nonetheless, I rousted myself out of bed..sent Panther at text around 7am saying "ok..I'm up...Let's do this thing."

The weather was a little better than Saturday, apparently, as we had little to no wind and lots of great sun, but it was still quite cold!

It was quite humorous to me to look at the trip ticket and think...ok, I'm just going to run from the Arboretum to Town Lake...and then run around Town Lake to finish it off. What?!

And I didn't even have my trusty sidekicks Nick or Michael (I'm assuming Rabbit is still recovering from Dallas...), because they were good boys and dragged their butts out of bed and ran on Saturday. (Apparently Nick barely made it, waking up 10 minutes before run start, getting dressed in the car, clocking 7-minute miles to the first water stop to catch up with me...only to find out that I didn't show...SORRY NICK!!! I owe that kid a beer.)

So it was just me and the road (Panther was there and a few other folks, but no one running my pace)....fortunately, I downloaded some great Christmas tunes, so I was at least entertained.

Surprisingly though, the miles just kind of clicked by...really the only thing of note was the pain in my knee. (Not IT band's like just under the knee cap...old injury...the Hills to Heaven route aggravated it I's that ARA race looking right now? yikes...)

But I just kept thinking to's 20 miles. A good friend once told me when I was struggling with my speed plateu, "Going fast hurts at first, but then you get through it and it gets easier. So does going long. So, suck it up!" (Yea, yea..that's what she said...yada, yada...) But it really resonated with me to push myself out of my comfort zone and get through to the next level. So I did... I just kept running.

At mile 18 on the trail, I was looking forward to two things:
1. With every step I took, I was running farther than I had ever run before...and that's just plain cool.
2. Panther said at the beginning that when he finished he would double back and run me in, since he wanted to get in 22-24 miles anyway. So I was looking forward to having someone when the going got the toughest.

Except I got to mile 18, No Panther. 18.5, no Panther. 19, no Panther. WTF? Well, hell, guess I gotta bring this bad boy home on my we go. I punched up Black Eyed Peas' Pump It on the iPod and made my way back to the Annex. (He was in the annex, riggin' hard...didn't want to run another step..even if it was to save one of his students! Thanks, El Pantero. j/k)


I ran the whole way! Well, I stopped for water at 4, 8, 12 and 16...but the rest of the time I was running! Interestingly, I almost beat my Heaven to Hills 18-miler time...just missed it by a few minutes!! (Can you say Ladera Norte? ugh.)

I am so looking forward to the easy week! YEA!!! I'll be doing lots of swimming to rest my achy if anyone wants to paddle around with me...give me a shout (except for all you duathletes, because I know you hate swimming, yada, yada....)

20 miles. CHECK!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

IT Betty

Yesterday was a complete wash. Well not a complete wash, I got new carpet put in the master bedroom, two closets, the office and the stairs and had a wonderful dinner with friends.

HOWEVER, because I had new carpet put in the office, that meant I had to disassemble 3 computer systems, a wireless network and more importantly actually clean my damn office. And let me tell you, this was no small task. oy.

Additionally, the entire master bedroom and his and her closets had to have everything that was on the floor removed. (Hello, can you say way too many shoes?? jeez.) So this meant that my bathroom and living room became staging areas.

(yes, those are Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater Murals hanging on the back wall. Shay created a museum exhibit dedicated to the Disney movie, Cars.)
(and yes, that is a red satin and black lace bustierre hanging from that clothes pile. And no, it will not be worn on the red dress run.)

So then the fun came when I got to be IT Betty and put back together the 3 systems, wireless network, 2 printers, 1 scanner and 1 fax. I cannot begin to count the amount of foul language that then ensued...

I went from this:
To this:I am happy to report that internet connectivity has been restored to the house. All systems are up and running. We are GO, Flight! WOO HOO!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I did WHAT?!


Well, it's official! I received my HALFMAX National Championship Qualification invitation last night!!!


That's right. I get to participate in the USAT Age Group Championships in 2008 for the long course (Half Iron) in....wait for it...


Hot damn!

I am so fired up right now. Scared shitless, but fired up nonetheless! It was my 8th place finish at the Longhorn Tri that got me in...although I just missed the qualifying time of 5:45 by four minutes (my time was 5:49) I figure even if the field wasn't the toughest, I was still pretty close to qualifying just on my time alone.

Dude...I'm pumped right now... WOO HOO!!!!!

And super congrats to Glenda who also qualified!!! GO IRONMANIACS! Many thanks to all my friends, family, Rogue and of course beloved coach Panther! I could NEVER had done it without y'all!!! YOU GUYS ROCK!

Addendum per Wiley if you are looking for a good excuse to go to Vegas in the fall!:
October 18, 2008
USA Triathlon Halfmax National Championship
Boulder City, NV

Monday, December 10, 2007

18....I'm Legal!

What a weekend! People breaking down personal records and challenges all across the state.... freakin AWESOME!

Lulu kicked major ass at Sunmart on Saturday...that's 50k...on under 6 hours. Yep, that's what I said. She, people, is Ultra Hard Core...DO NOT MESS!

Wiley spanked the hell out of White Rock...that's 26.2 the hard 3:21. Yep, that's what I said..... top 7% = Bad ASS!

Some people may call them crazy....I say AMAZING! You hear time and time again about the benefits of athletic pursuits, both team and personal....but when you get the chance to experience it up close, either yourself or someone close to you, it is truly inspiring and transcends to many aspects of your life.

Sometimes we train to get somewhere, sometimes we train to get away from somewhere, and sometimes we train so we can prove to ourselves, Yes, I can.

This weekend, I also busted my own personal record, while it pales in comparison to 50k and 26.2M, it was nonetheless quite a milestone for me. My first 18 miles!!!! WOO HOO! It is (so far) the LONGEST distance I've EVER RUN! (That's just fun to say...I'm gonna say it again.) It is the LONGEST distance I've EVER RUN!

And let me just say that it wasn't just 18 miles, it was a BRUTAL, HILLACIOUS 18 miles! (Well, actually it was really just the first 10-12 miles that were really, really, really hilly....) And by hillacious, I don't mean gentle rollers, I mean Ladera Norte! OMG!

It's probably a good thing I didn't look at the trip ticket and just headed out because I'm not sure if I would've shown up to run!

Fortunately, I was joined by my partners in crime Nick, Michael and Jonathan. (Rabbit was getting ready to go kick ass at Whiterock!). And per usual, Nick and Jonathan kept up great banter and the miles just seem to click by.

Even though the schedule said MGP, we all quite quickly decided that there was no freakin' way that was going to happen on this hilly route, so we just settled into a nice, easy long run pace. The hills were hard as hell and I am happy to report that I ran every single one! Yes, including Ladera Norte! Although I'm quite sure I could've walked and have gone just as fast, if not faster up that damn thing. And BIG THANKS to the Rogue water stop at the top of that hill and the runners who were resting there...because I gotta tell ya, if it weren't for y'all standing up there staring at me and encouraging me on as I battled the hill and my desire to just stop and walk....I totally would've stopped running.

And let me just apologize if I offended anyone when I got to the top and exclaimed "Son of a BITCH!" It was out of my mouth before I had time to filter anything....I was just so glad to be at the top of that monster! But the view is GORGEOUS from up there...holy cow.

The remaining 8 miles after that were a breeze! Even when we got lost with Coach Karen and probably added some distance, I didn't stress. I was feeling good. I've figured out my breakfast issue (didn't have to pit stop at ALL!) and my in-race nutrition, I think. In fact, at mile 17, Nick and I were able to pick up the pace and pick off several people on our way in to the finish!

My left knee is a little achy (but it was sore back on Wednesday anyway) and my right quad is a little tight, but other than that, I feel great!

What a weekend....what....a....weekend.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Singing the song... the words of my namesake, the wacky Ms. Dionne Warwick (yes...I was born in the 70's...)..

That's what friends are for....

I had a much needed, impromptu, fortuitous gathering of gal pals. (and a friendly bartender of course..) Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

2K at CV at TSD

Did you get all that??

Yesterday was the 2K at Critical Velocity pace (15K pace) at the Texas School for the Deaf. It was actually a great workout! Long and hard (stop giggling...), but good!

I did 5 sets of 2000 meters with 200 meter rests. My 15k pace is 7:44. And since none of my printouts have my 400meter time for my 15k pace, I did the following math which I hope was correct.

So, if 7:44 is one mile, one fourth of that is 400m, right? Well, 7:44 is 16 short of 8. And one fourth of 8 is 2, then hack off the 16 seconds divided by 4 for each lap to get at 400m time of 1:56. Does that seem right?? If not, oh well, because that's what I ended up going for! (If that's not how to do that..someone please enlighten me!)

Here are my paces:
1st 2K:
lap 1 -- 1:50
lap 2 -- 2:00 (find it, find it, dammit)
lap 3 -- 1:51
lap 4 -- 1:52
lap 5 -- 1:55 (yea!)

2nd 2k:
1 -- 1:54
2 -- 1:55
3 -- 1:55
4 -- 1:52
5 -- 1:52

3rd 2k:
1 -- 1:54
2 -- 1:54
3 -- 1:54 (I'm in the ZONE!)
4 -- 1:54
5 -- 1:54

4th 2k:
1 -- 1:53
2 -- 1:53
3 -- 1:55
4 -- 1:52
5 -- 1:52

Was feeling pretty good, so I decided to see if I could do the last one a little bit faster.

5th 2k:
1 -- 1:49
2 -- 1:49
3 -- 1:52 (was daydreaming staring at the Frost tower lit up at nite...very pretty...oh wait, run, run!)
4 -- 1:49
5 -- 1:48


Stanford Shinanigans Never Cease

As many of you know, the Stanford Band is always up to something.... and this year's Big Game (our big rivalry against Cal -- which we won BTW! WOO HOO!) was no different. Even though the band had just come off super-secret double probation...they still couldn't resist.

The band is not a traditional marching band, but what they call a scatter band. Basically, they run (scatter) to different formations that go with the theme of the show, often spelling out words and such.

For a ever-so-brief moment in the pre-game show, the band produced the following. It's a classic. I love Stanford.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Embarrassed Chills

Some of my college girlfriends and I had a phrase that we used when we saw someone doing something so utterly embarrassing that you yourself would get goosebumps....we'd say, "Ooooo...I have embarrassed chills for her..."

Here's one of those times...

Decker Challenge -- CHECK!

Whew! How fortunate were we to have NO wind and WARM temps for the Decker run yesterday!!

I know all the Decker veterans were going on and on about how unusual the weather was and I would just like to say a little thank you to the run weather deities because you know I despise the cold weather...after all, I am a tropical people.

I actually had a good race! It definitely was challenging though! I felt good going in as I have been all over this course on my bike between the 4 Danksins, 1 Couples Tri and part of the Longhorn. I'd even run up that damn hill TWICE at the Longhorn, so I knew what I was in for. Granted, I'd never done the whole thing on foot, but I was cool with that. I just feel at home out at Decker racing.

I managed all my pre-race shinanigans appropriately. Ate and rested relatively well the day before. Managed all my pre-race potty stops so that I didn't have to stop at all on the course. Packed my Gu and my gel blocks (yes, in my hat....) and was ready to roll at the horn.

I started out with Nick and Dave and we settled into a nice pace for the first 4 miles. I knew the back half was going to be tough so I wanted to bank a little time in the beginning, but not so much that I didn't have anything left for the hills at the end. I parted with Nick and Dave somewhere between 4 and 5 (sorry boys...Nick had a tough race..but a REALLY good time on the Pub Run and Dave is running Dallas next week, I think..crazy!) and just kept chugging along.

I stopped for water at pretty much every water stop. With the crazy humidity, I didn't want hydration to be an issue. I started popping gel blocks at mile 6 and wasn't done until mile 8! Yes, it took me that long to get them all down. Damn braces...just wait until Wednesday. WOO HOO! But it was a good way to pass the time across the miles.

Popped my iPod on at mile 8 and brought it on home. Had a little kick at the end and VOILA! Decker Challenge COMPLETED! YEA!!!

And it was AWESOME to see so many friends out running and volunteering. Thanks Erin, Wiley, Lulu, and Missychel!!! You guys ROCK!

Here are the splits according to my watch:
Mile 1-- 8:08
Mile 2-- 8:12
Mile 3-- 7:58
Mile 4-- 7:58 (how's that for consistent!)
Mile 5-- 8:40
Mile 6-- 8:29
Mile 7-- 8:31
Mile 8 and 9-- 16:39 (oops..was busy finishing gel blocks and getting water forgot to hit the button)
Mile 10-- 8:32
Mile 11-- 8:48
Mile 12-- 8:17
Mile 12.4 -- 3:46

Total Time: 1:44:02
Pace: 8:23/mile
AG Finish: 16th Place
Not HMGP, but under MGP so I'm cool with that.

On to the next one...YEA!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Trail Run

Wow! What a crazy, busy Thanksgiving week I had! I'll spare you the details and just provide a quick summary of events!

It began innocently enough with a trip to (gasp!) Houston to visit my sister. I piled the boys in the big rig and set out to add even more pollution to the Houston air. (Yes, I know my carbon footprint is atrocious..but how else can I fit 2-4 kids, 400 pounds of dogs, groceries, 4-6 bicycles and a burlee? Show me a hybrid that can do that and I'm all over it!)

We had a blast playing at Auntie's house and getting to trash her playroom instead of ours for once! Since my nephew was out of school for the week as well, we brought him back to Austin with us for a few days! Now how does that work...leave with 2 come back with 3???

We had some GLORIOUS weather, so I figured the best thing to do with three rowdy boys on a day off from school....HIT THE TRAILS! WOO HOO! This time we decided to bike around Lady Bird, so the big boys mounted up and the Devonater settled into the Burlee for a nice leisurely adventure.

I figured we'd just do the four-mile loop and stop to feed the ducks on the way.

Which all seemed well and good and then these guys showed up! BONUS!

I love how the Devonator was the only one not scared of them! After our loaf a bread was gone, we mounted up. The boys asked how far we were going to go and I told them 4 miles. Then I made the mistake of showing them the mile markers on the trail. So then they were all excited to ride up to the "4" marker. Of course at this point I didn't want to tell them that the four mile loop we don't actually get to go by the 4 marker since they seemed so excited.

So, I figured, if they can do 4, they can most certainly do 4.5-ish, right? So we rode up to the 4-mile marker and snapped a keepsake to show their friends.
Being the 6 and 7 year-olds that they are, they ask how long the trail is anyway. I tell them 10 miles. The cousins look at each other in awe and decided that they'd like to do 5 miles...since that is half of 10. Again I'm thinking to myself...ok, we get to the 5-mile marker, then we are going to have to turn around and come back another mile and a half or so to the car at the annex. Can they do 6-7 miles? They plead with me, "Please mommy!" "Please Auntie!" Who am I to deny youngsters such athletic endeavors?? We push on!The boys did great! They made it all the way! The last leg back to the car, however, was definitely the most challenging. My nephew said "I think my legs are going to fall off!". Poor little guys. They made it back and literally fell into their carseats. Shay said "I don't want to do anything except go home, get something to drink, sit on the couch and watch cartoons."

Why, that's exactly how I feel after a long run. Good times.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The LAB -- Attempt #1

So, this was my first attempt at the LAB and I think it went pretty well. I still haven't mastered the breakfast issue as half way through the 16 miles I had to make a pit stop, but that may be something I just need to factor into the pacing and schedule for the race.

We started at the ass crack of dawn with the fearsome foursome of Michael, Dave, Nick and I. After our pace group of 3:45 began our so-called warmup, we quickly ran up into the back of the group ahead of us. Um...that's not so good. Turns out we were doing faster than MGP for our warm up. WTF? That doesn't bode well for the rest of the day. So after the first half-mile and much debate, we dialed our pace down to an acceptable warm up pace.

Nick was his usual talkative self, which is nice when some of us aren't really morning people, so to have someone entertain you is great! The new LAB course is relatively flat with a short, slight uphill, then down it...then mostly flat until you hit the back side which is a LONG slight uphill that felt like about a mile long. But the good news is that you get to go down that as you come into the finish of the loop. Overall, I thought it was a great course, well marked (except with think mile 4 was a little short and the first half mile marker was early...) and hardly any traffic.

After our warm up lap, we tried to hone in on our target pace of 8:30. Technically, according to the pace calculator, my MGP is 8:20..but the boys were shooting for 8:30 and since this was the first lab, I figured hey, works for me too..that's still at 3:45.

Other than our fastest half mile coming on the backside uphill (I blame Nick, he likes to charge the hills...), I think we were pretty consistent. We all tried some shot blocks at the start of the 3rd loop and we gave them a Thumbs Up. (It was the orange flavor..they are good!). I had to make a pit stop in mile 1 of the 3rd loop and was very glad I did because I felt SO much better afterwards! It would've been not very much fun had I not, that's for damn sure.

So here's what I have on my watch for our paces....
Mile 1 -- 9:30
Mile 2 -- 9:11
Mile 3 -- 9:03
Mile 4 -- 8:35 (we think this mile was marked short)
Mile 5 -- 8:19
Mile 6 -- 8:29 (included water stop)
Mile 7 -- 8:28
Mile 8 -- 9:00 (included water and shot block stop)
Mile 9 -- 9:47 (included pit stop)
Mile 10 -- 8:22
Mile 11 -- 8:24
Mile 12 -- 9:36 (included water and gu stop)
Mile 13 -- 8:14
Mile 14 -- 8:50 (included water stop)
Mile 15 -- 8:22
Mile 16 -- 7:18 (we did pick up the pace for the last mile because everyone was feeling good, but also it is measured short)

So, I think the total time was like 2:18.32 which is a 8:39 pace including all the stops which I think is like a 3:46:40 marathon. (OMG! Like how many times can I say "like"? And I'm all...and she's all...) But I liked that our actual paces during the MGP miles were all between 8:20 and 8:30 which is exactly what we wanted.

I've got some work to do between now and February to get that down to my current goal pace of 8:20 which would be a 3:38 marathon and that would leave me with some wiggle room for pit stops if need be (and I'm sure I will need them!)

Afterwards we had our traditional celebratory breakfast (Panther, Meep, JJ, Jane, Ryze Kryzpy, Triscuit, Driver, Mom and I) that turned into a pub crawl complete with blind taste testing of Miller Lite vs. Bud Light. (I think Miller Lite won....sorry Kris!!). You know it was getting rowdy when not once, not twice, but 5 times the waitress tried to seat folks in the booth next to where we were and they ALL REQUESTED TO BE MOVED!

Cause that's how we roll people.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

what do you do? Swimming, swimming...

Based upon nothing but my own experience from last season, I've started adding a Long Swim to my workout schedule. I mean for the bike and run, we do quality and then a long version, right? So shouldn't that work for the swim? It's pretty much what I did this past tri season and it usually put me somewhere in the top 5 coming out of the water, so I can't be all that bad.

Yesterday, I strapped it on and did my longest non-stop swim ever, 2500 yards. I just checked into my easy, forever pace and swam. And damn, did it feel good.

I know all you runners and duathletes are out there like swimming freakin' sux, I hate drinking other people's pee (although I'm still confused why you are drinking so much pool water while swimming Panther..), yada, yada. But I really enjoy it. You can settle into a rhythm, let your mind wander (or clear, whatever the day calls for) and just reach, pull, push...reach, pull, push...reach, pull, push...reach, pull, push, breathe...repeat. The sound of the water rushing past your ears, the freedom of floating weightlessly, the gentle caress of the water sliding from your fingertips to your toes....seriously, what's not to like? (in my opinion...)

Anyway, here are my paces:

1st 500 yards (457m) -- 8:50
2nd 500 -- 8:39
3rd 500 -- 8:38
4th 500 -- 8:36
5th 500 -- 8:30

I had a blast!

Followed that with a Blue Jacket workout of Panther's Ladder at the Austin High track.
400 w/200 recovery
800 w/400 recovery
1600 w/400 recovery
800 w/400 recovery

at HMGP of 7:55. Nick and I nailed our pace and it felt great!

Awesome workout day! WOO HOO!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yes... can ride a Mastiff like a horse.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Distribution Requirements

While I try not to "overschedule" my kids (although as a youngster I was totally overscheduled and loved every damn minute of it), I have tried to get them involved in a couple of extra-curricular activities that let them sample different things.

For some reason, I have this view of "balance" and want to make sure that we participate in different genres of activities...something in athletics, something in fine arts..stuff like that. Kind of like what we called at Stanford "Distribution Requirements". You had to have take a certain amount of units in each of the departments so you come out nice and well rounded. I'm sure most schools have the same sort of thing...

This fall in the athletics department, Shay chose soccer again. And in fact, he's pretty damn good at it. He's not the fastest one on the team, but has excellent foot work. When there's a scrum and all the kids are grouped up kicking at the ball, he usually ends up popping out the other side with it!

In the fine arts department, I let Shay choose to either play an instrument or take a dance/theater class. He chose the dance class. (Of course I was thrilled!!) It's this great Hip-Hop, Tap and Jazz class for BOYS ONLY called "Just for Kix". With his great foot work, I figured tap would be right up his alley. PLUS, alot of the great NFL receivers took dance, so it should help on many levels! (I took a ballet class at Stanford that was audited by none other than the great Jerry Rice a couple times. The man has NICE foot work!)

And while I'm sure many of you guys reading this are rolling your eyes...(poor kid, having to take DANCE, they are going to kick his ass at school), check out this video. It's not from Shay's class, but it is a hysterical close facsimile. These kids are WORKING IT OUT! And you know what they say about guys who dance well... I'm not saying...I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How NOT to PR (aka EAS 10-Miler Race Report)

Sometimes you just have to prove to yourself why you DON'T do certain things...just to make sure you don't forget them again. Scratch that, no excuses. Here's what I will remember for next time.

1. Pre-Race Nutrition is important. Yes, go figure. It is probably a good idea to eat more than 4 digits worth of calories in total for the two days prior to a race.

2. Pre-Race Sleep is important. Yes, go figure. It is probably a good idea to sleep more than a total of 8 hours for the two days prior to a race.

3. Nutrition during the race is important. Yes, go figure. It is probably a good idea to replenish at some point during a 13-mile run. Also, water during that time is also a bonus!! Duh.

Sometimes a race is more about mental fortitude than about physical endeavor. This was one of those races for me. That being said, the course was challenging, but not surprising. We've been all over this course in our training so fortunately I knew what to expect. The wind was a great little twist to throw in there as well. I knew I didn't physically prepare appropriately for this race, but I was committed and it was going to happen. Nothing to do, but put one foot in front of the other and "get 'er done!"

During our little 3 mile warmup with Panther et al, Panther asked me, "how you doing?" I replied, "not so good today". "Oh boy" was his response. Oh boy, indeed. I went to pick up my race bib (see, I hadn't even done that...sheesh D...), got suited up and lined up (after a final potty stop, of course...). I weaved my way into the starting chute in a place I thought was appropriate for my goal pace of 7:48. I didn't see any of my regular pace cronies, but I figured it was just going to be that kind of a day anyway and popped my earbuds on and lined up my Go! playlist, but didn't turn it on yet.

The gun went off and it took about a minute to cross the start line. I didn't have to do too much weaving and running around to find some open space to run in once we turned onto Cesar Chavez. (Thank you race directors!)

Within the first mile, I knew it wasn't going to be a 10-mile goal pace day, so I tried to dial into my half-marathon pace, which I figured which is what I was really going to end up running anyway following the warm up.

It was GREAT to see Wiley early and often on the course. His white boy attempt at "Woot"-ing always brings a smile to my face. And speaking of often, HOW MANY GLENDA'S DID YOU SEE? I felt like I was in a Where is Waldo repeat. I swear I saw her 4 maybe 5 times! But I never saw her pass me on the road on her bike anywhere. I would see her, pass her by and then 3 miles later, there she was again! I don't think she's being writing gaming software, she's been working on a teleportation device disguised as her bike. Thanks Glenda, you were awesome!

It was also fantastic to see Ruth and Steve out on the course. It was even humorous to watch the paces of all the Rogues go up everytime they came into view and then settle back down once we got past them. Cracking me up!

Throughout the race, I followed the ABC plan and just reeled 'em in and picked them off as best I could. I also had a fun little cat and mouse game with a gal in a red bandana and two was a fun way to pass the miles. (She beat me in the end tho...damn.) I really miss having the ages on the leg like they do in triathlon...nothing like knowing exactly who (whom?) you are up against or who (whom?) you can go ahead and let pass you on by. Well, I guess I'm supposed to be running my own race anyway, right? Ooops...(hard to reign in that competitive spirit all the time...)

So my current half-marathon pace is supposed to be 7:55...but I couldn't even pull that together. I was just running on empty from the get go. I tried convincing my body to go and pull some of that stored energy I carry around on my backside (read: junk in my trunk) and use that for some fuel (for cripes sake), but I don't think it worked. So I just kept picking them up and putting them down, for the first time in a long time, just wanting to finish...not even worrying about finishing strong...just freakin finish. Even my tunes weren't picking me up like they usually do. Today it was just going to have to get done solo.

And I DID! Lord knows it wasn't any stretch of the imagination...but it was done. Definitely a mind over matter kind of a morning. I skipped the cool down with the group and instead had a private pity party, downed a couple waters and pulled myself together.

Met up with the group afterwards for a great post-race tailgate. Big thanks to Gina for bringing the beers (even my fav: miller lite) and Wiley for ALL the chairs (this guy is PREPARED!). And we even had a guest appearance by Sisson and Ruth! It was actually just the thing I needed. You guys are awesome. Blue Thunder (and the Lightning Bolts of course) ROCK!

According to my watch, here are my paces by mile:

Mile 1: 7:59
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 8:12
Mile 4: 8:01
Mile 5: 8:11
Mile 6: 8:05
Mile 7: 7:50
Mile 8: 7:58
Mile 9: 7:51
Mile 10: 8:21

Official run-far times:
1st 5 miles: 40:31.3 (8:06/M)
2nd 5 miles: 40:06.6 (8:01/M)

Total Time: 1:20:37.9 (8:04/M)
AG Finish: 18th

So, didn't hit my 10-mile or my half-marathon pace, but was able to negative split...EVEN with just mailing in the last mile. (8:21...WTF?..... I was so done with the race at that point...)

It's good to know that I can dig deep and just finish if I need to....I have a scary feeling the last 8 of the marathon are kinda like that anyway! And technically, since this was my first 10-miler race ever, it was a PR. Good news is that next year I will TOTALLY PR!!!

Sigh...thank goodness that freakin' race is over. phew.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

School's Out for Summer!

Well...not really, but Shay did have an early release day yesterday (which means he gets out at noon), so what was originally conceived to be a "Mommy and Me" afternoon, turned into an all-out afternoon adventure with Shay and Friends!
Yes, that's Shay in back (being a good host and letting his friends right up front), the tow head next to him is Cameron and up front in the "cowboy seat" is Robert (the ONLY first grader to run the TITAN MILE...this kid is FAST!) and TJ.

We started out by going to see "The Bee Movie" which the boys loved and I thought was downright hysterical! It was replete with the voices of some of my fav stars including Jerry Seinfield, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Oprah Winfrey and a host of many others. It even included a great line about how it was all an evil plot to make us work for "The Man" that I know JJ would have thoroughly enjoyed!

It was a beautiful day and the boys were amped on popcorn and candy, so I figured we needed to run some of that off so we headed to the Zilker playground.
We did the requisite fire truck, music making and general mayhem on the playscapes. And then I was thinking...WTF.... I've got four rowdy boys...what the hell are we doing on this manicured playground? When I was this age, we would go exploring in the woods behind our house for HOURS... I loved the Deer Pond and those trails. The trails! Of course!!
So we scooted down to the greenbelt. The boys LOVED it! Naturally, the first thing they did was pick up some "walking sticks". (What is it with boys and sticks?)

We walked along the trail and saw lots of stuff, explored side trails, played explorers, investigated some scat and decided it was deer, heard some rustling in the bushes and wondered what kind of animal (friend or foe) it might have been...found a pond and threw rocks in it and tried to see who could make the highest splash and then the loudest splash and decided that big flat rocks make the best splashes....and no one fell in! whew.

Afterwards on the ride home, we listened to Shay's Lucky Seven CD mix and the boys rocked out to great tunes like "Real Gone" (from the movie cars), the Underdog Rapp (from the movie Underdog), did the Cha Cha Slide and then Party Like A Rockstar.

We were tired, dirty and hungry. Just the way you are supposed to end your day off from school, right? I'm pretty sure the boys had a blast...but truth be told, I think I might've had more fun than they did!

Thanks boyz...thanks's great being a kid again!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mom's Suburban Race -- Race Report

This sunday I got to participate in one of my favorite race series, the Mom's Suburban Race! It is one of those wacky races where your team has to run around, execute a bunch of tasks and try to get them all done with precision and speed.

In this race series, you pretty much just get a list of all things you have to do and a certain amount of time to do it get to figure out what to do first, where to go next, etc. And in addition to your immediate team members, you can request back up...but it is hit or miss as you can't be certain if the back up will be available.

Sunday's list included the following tasks to be completed under 3 hours:
- Eat lunch
- Run 10 miles, the last four of which are run hauling 50 pounds
- Wash, Dry and Fold as many loads of laundry as possible
- One team member must bowl, glo golf and rock climb for 2 hours
- Two team members must nap for at least 2 consecutive hours


Here's how it went down...

First, I started the first load of laundry.
Then while that was going, I wrestled one team member into his nap..

Fortunately, while this was happening, the other team member quickly jumped on the other task of taking a nap...CHECK!

Then I made a quick call to my back up to see if she could take my other team member to the birthday party for bowling, golfing and climbing (she was running the race too I think...). She agreed since we are on the way. Load team member into shuttle. CHECK.

Swap Laundry. Eat Lunch. CHECK!

Then I went out on a 4-mile loop. Returned to base camp. Swap Laundry. Fold. Check on nappers. Still napping. CHECK.

Facilitate return of team member from bowling, golfing and climbing excursion and debrief. Chat with other teams participating in the race, discuss strategies, success stories, etc.

Check on nappers. Still napping. Set up other team member on computer for "research" and other activites (like gaming on

Run 2-mile loop. Return to base camp. Swap Laundry. Fold. Nappers have risen! Time for the final push.

For the final 4 miles of running, load one 40lb team member into 10lb sled/stroller, put one team member on BMX bike, other 2 team members on foot, set out for 4-mile loop pushing the 50 pounds. CHECK!

Return to base camp. Waters all around. One last fold of laundry and I'm DONE!

SWEET!!! Another successful Mom's Suburban Race completed! I ROCK!!! WOO HOO!