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!
YEA LEGOS! :)

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

..sigh..

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 it..it's really fun and a great exercise...you'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!!!

WOO HOO!

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

TWENTY MILES...ON FOOT...RUNNING....ME!!!

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 thingy..it's like just under the knee cap...old injury...the Hills to Heaven route aggravated it I think....how's that ARA race looking right now? yikes...)

But I just kept thinking to myself...dude...it'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 own...here 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)

YES! I DID IT!

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 knee...so 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?!



OMG, OMG, OMG!!

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

WOO HOO!

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...


VEGAS!

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)...so 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 trails....in 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 way...in 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...

...in 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

WOO HOO!

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!!!