Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Votes are IN!

No...not Obama and Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife...

Looks like it'll be Boston 2009 and IM 2009!!

Who's with me???

Bike Envy didn't take long for me to remember how speedy on their bikes some of my friends are....sigh.

I spent 20 miles on Saturday chasing after Kris around the veloway and autobahn. Then on Tuesday, 12 miles on the veloway chasing after Erin (after which I had to escape to the autobahn to recover for another 8...into the wind from hell!).

I'm thinking I'm going to need some technical assistance to keep up with these people. And I haven't even ridden with Glenda yet this year (and her new racing wheels! Can you say...speedy?). I'm jonesing for a new bike...

Ring, ring...Hello, Jack? It's Primetime. We need to talk.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Trail Virgin - No More!

This weekend I got to run my first trail run! (I know...I've lived in Austin for a bizillion years and have never officially run trails...since we all know that the H&B doesn't really count...)

It was AWESOME! I set out with Wiley, Triscuit, Nedra, Panther and I. And as you know, those guys all move at a pretty quick clip so my goals were these:
1. Don't fall down
2. Don't be so slow that they have to stop and wait for me
3. Enjoy myself

So...I managed two out of three. Care to guess which??

I have NO idea where the hell we were but recognized this from Kerry's blogs!
And naturally, I had to snap a picture of the ladies as evidence that I'd actually made it out there: (note Panther's finger in the top of the frame...can't take that guy anywhere, sheesh) And here's one of the boys, so they didn't feel left out:

I love how the picture of the girls, we're all close together...and how the boys have this uncomfortable "man" space in between them.! :)

So for my goals, I did NOT fall down. (Although Panther did and drew blood. Typical.) I attribute it to my springy-boundy-bouncy running style, while inefficient on the street, proved quite useful at rock hopping and missing roots! Hmmmm...maybe I've missed my calling...Rogue has a Trail Series training don't they??

They did, however, have to stop and wait for me a couple times towards the end. But seriously, I can't keep up with these guys on flat streets, how the hell would I be able to do it on the trail?

And finally, and most importantly, I had a BLAST! As I was running, it reminded me of so many afternoons horsing around in the trails behind my house in Oak Hill with sister, my friends, or my german shepards Skip and Webo. I was thinking about the trails that we usually went on...I suppose it would be called the Deer Pond Loop or something...since it was the trail that led to the huge deer pond where the dogs and everyone could go swimming (and chase the deer who were drinking there, naturally.)

It was great watching Karma run with us, dodging in and out of the trees, taking short cuts and playing in the water. He had that great doggy look on her face, tongue hanging out to the side, eyes bright, tail doing that circle wag thing when he ran.

It was humorous having to say and hear "Karma back!" because on the skinny parts he'd come up behind could feel him tapping your heels and he would try to shinny past you...I wish my Mastiffs could run like that...

Funny...back then we called it playing, now I call it running trails. Go figure.

Live From Austin!

Following onto Thursday's OS (Obama spotting), Erin and I scored VIP tickets to his rally Friday night!

I have never been to a political rally before and I have to say, it was WAY COOL! Of course, to me, any type of rally is going to bring out the cheerleader in me, so I had a great time in my element! Here's E and I at the rally. Wiley said he saw us on the new coverage as it was hard to miss E's blonde hair and red coat and me in my purple skirt. (What does one wear to a political rally anyway? Krissy - we saw this one volunteer chick who had on a KILLER pair of leopard print FMH's. You would've liked them!)

He really is a dynamic speaker and quite funny too! There was a great line when he was discussing some of the issues his opponents were bring up against him, one of which was that he wasn't tough enough. He responds to the crowd, "Not tough enough? Not tough enough? Hello? I am a black man named Obama!! Please!" Another one I thought was humorous was the dig on him that he wouldn't be able to handle the underhandedness when he goes up against the Republicans. He followed that by launching into the "Hoodwinked and Bamboozled" speech from Malcom X. I thought it was hysterical...others might not agree.

E and I hung out for a bit and watched Obama work the VIP section and shake hands after his speech. We both agreed that it was way cooler to have shook his hand by happenstance rather than at a rally.

However, that did not deter us from getting a picture with one of Obama's big supporters, George Lopez! Random celebrity sighting! How can you pass that up? And I'm sure JJ has some comment about the challenges of lighting and exposure between the three of us. But I'm working with an iPhone here..cut me some slack!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Obama! Erin and I are on our way to hit the trail for a little run, and look who we run into. As noted in Erin's blog, we turned into total school girls and were giggling and gawking as he came strolling through.

All Hail the iPhone as I snapped a couple quick pictures...somehow I wasn't sure if I was allowed to and envisioned some of his security guys jumping me and stealing my phone. (Although they looked dashing in their non-descript suits, shades and ear buds. I bet they were packing heat too. OOOOoooooo.)

Unexpectedly while still talking on his phone, he looked over, gave us the "what's up ladies?" up-nod, departed the trail, walked up the sidewalk to where we were standing, shook both our hands and then strolled back down and away.

It very much left me a twitter! I literally stood rooted to the spot for several minutes. Strangers even came up to us and asked him if we met him and if we got his picture. I happily obliged and showed them on my phone. One woman even asked me to email it to her..which I did.

Erin and I were giggly for the duration of our run, reviewing and discussing our encounter. Yes, it was really that cool. Call me silly, but, yes it was.

And yea, he looks even better in person. I'm not saying, but watching the State of Union addresses could be really, really nice.

Addendum: Ok..need to add some of my favorite responses from the email that I sent out because they are such a perfect representation of each person who sent them. I love it.

Kris: God damn it! And I was going to try to leave early and go for a run around the lake... (I cracked up because I could totally picture her actually saying out loud "God damn it!")

Wiley: Response #1 -- could you not get a closer picture?

Wiley: Response #2 -- that's all he said?! "hello". he didn't say: "hello, my name is Damon Wayans, I'm filing a movie, you ladies wanna come see my trailer??"

Ostrich: Damn, I totally missed my chance to accidentally crash my bike into a presidential candidate. F*ck you, impossible bucket list

And Lulu: I had PBR on draft. Way more exciting. Just sayin'

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Marathon Mental Madness

You know how you hear all the stories about folks running marathons and literally losing their minds somewhere between miles 20 and the finish? How it is next to impossible to do even simple math and that's another reason why we have those pace bands??

Well, I'm here to report that I had my own personal experience with said madness....TWO INSTANCES!!

One, which I already reported on and had actually figured out on my own, the crazy issue of freaking out looking at the Finish clock and thinking that was my time, but then realizing afterwards that that was GUN time and not my CHIP time. DUH.

The second one, was just explained to me last night. (Seriously...I still hadn't even figured it out!)

Here's the snippet from my race report:
"Around mile 25, I looked at my watch for the FIRST time.... 3:34. SHIT. I have 9 minutes to go 1.6 miles? I can't do that. Is that right? Was that the 25 mile marker? Shit. I'd better giddyap. But the pacers are behind my watch right, was that sign right?"

Ok...does anyone see the problem here???

That Glenda, she's a smart one....even after 3 margarita's. She finally clued me in.

The sign was right. It was mile 25. My watch was right. It said 3:34... I had 9 minutes to finish under my time goal of 3:45.

But here's where my math fell apart. I was at mile 25 of the marathon. Marathon distance is 26.2 ........ not 26.6! WTF? I thought I had 9 minutes to go over a mile and a half...even running an 8-minute mile would put me at 12 minutes until the finish and I knew I couldn't make that happen. But 1.2 miles in 9 minutes? That would put me perfectly on pace to hit 3:45. DUH!

I have no idea why I thought 26.6. Total brain fart. Sheesh.


I thought this was was an email conversation Erin and I had after Kerry had gone MIA on us....

E: Where is Kerry????

D: Got an email from her about an hour ago, said it wasn't look good (for us to get together)

E: Shit! I hope not. She is not answering her calls either.

D: maybe she's on the trail in a zen place....

E: maybe she's with a snail in a open space...

D: or with a spy with a secret case.....

E: i hope she's not gone without a trace!

D: for we would surely miss her smiling face!

E: i bet she's wearing stilettos and lace!

D: and has a cool secret weapon and a can of mace..

E: could be in reno by now at this pace?

..and finally Kerry surfaced and responded with

K: OMG. I love you guys!!! If I was at the store I'd buy you both a case!!!

Yea..we're dorks...but I love those gals...

Marathon Stats

Ok...this is an excellence use of technology. How fun!!

Still on marathon high..... is it weird that I slept in my finisher's shirt? I'm a dork. I know.

Monday, February 18, 2008

AT&T Marathon Race Report

I AM... a runner.

I AM... a marathoner.

I AM... a qualifier.


I did it, I did it, I did it! OMG OMG OMG!!

I can't believe I did it. (I'm a little excited, in case you can't tell!)

As you know, yesterday was the AT&T Austin Marathon. 26.2 miles of hills, concrete, sweat, blood and tears. And I ran every damn step of it. Me, with my two feet. 26.2 miles. Yep. Cuz that's how I roll.

Wow. What an experience. I'm not even sure where to begin on this one. It's weird because usually on races or long runs, as I'm running, my blog entry just kinda starts writing itself as I'm going along. And by the time I'm done, all I have to do is get some time at home and transcribe it from my head. But this race was different.

I'm not sure if it was because I've never done this distance before or if it was because I needed to do this distance at a particular pace. Actually, I think it was the time goal element of it that threw me into a dither. Usually I approach new distance boundaries with the simple of goal of just finishing. I execute conservatively so that I know I will definitely finish. But this marathon specifically had a goal pace...and the goal pace meant a lot more than just was also qualifying.

I think if my original MGP wasn't close to qualifying time, I wouldn't ever have even considered going for it, you know? It would've been to just finish. But with that BQ time just dangling right there...tantalizingly just kinda have to go for it, you know? So there were 2 bogeys out there...finishing...and finishing at a particular time. So what do you do? Freakin strap on your shoes and just do it!

I prepared for the race like I'd been preparing for all my long runs this season. I was confident that I'd nailed all my attire, nutrition and bathroom issues, so that was a HUGE relief!
(Tip #1: When they say practice this it. Do NOT blow this off!!!!!)

At the race, I gave myself plenty of time to find parking, go to the bathroom, find the rogue tent, go to the bathroom, hang out, go to the bathroom, drop my clothes, go to the bathroom, and finally find my pace group in the chute. I really like how they had the big signs to get everyone queued up appropriately. Going into the race, I had done two of the long runs with our pacers Jen and Andy (Bob joined us on race day too.) and they were awesome. My plan was to just stick to them like glue and they would get me there.

I lined up at the 3:45 sign and looked around. Wow. There are a lot of fast looking people here. Not a lot of chicks. Not a lot of chicks my age. And of those, I wondered how many were moms. I wondered, holy shit. What have I gotten myself into? This ain't right. Then I took a BIG breath and let it out nice and slow and looked around. There was Nick, Rabbit, Michael, Jen, Andy, Bob...all the familiar's going to be ok. Calm down. Relax. Relax.

The nervous energy was tangible. You could see on people's faces, hear it in their voices, feel it in the air. We were all ready for the cannon to boom, the fireworks to crackle and to get this bad boy started!! And then it did....and we were off!

How cool was that start???!!!! HELLO! The fireworks as you cross the bridge, everybody yelling and cheering, looking out across town lake, the sun shining gloriously! I mean, really, how can you not be pumped up with all that??!!!!

And then you look ahead....and your gaze goes up, and up, and up as you stare at the sea of runners heading uphill for 2.5 miles. Holy shit.

The two miles went by quickly actually as I spent most of my time weaving in and out of traffic trying to keep up with the little 3:45 sign. I kept is it that I have to pass people when you were supposed to line up by pace? There shouldn't be anyone slower than me in front of me, right? Let alone walking at mile 1.5!! WTH? Oh well, dodge, weave, speed up, slow down...whatever it takes to get close to the 3:45 sign. Don't lose the sign. DON'T LOSE THE SIGN.

(Tip #2 -- via Wiley -- Carry a plastic water bottle with you so you don't have to fight the congested water stops in the first miles. Wow. Was that a great tip!!!! DO THIS!)

Before I knew it, we were up and down the Congress and S.1st loop and heading into town. I saw Kryz on the bridge and he gave out a big yell for me when I ran by. Thank you!! And then I got my first glance at the AWESOME support team of Kris, Shorey, Tim S., Kerry (not Carrie), Carrie (not Kerry), who looked like a killer bike team. Y'ALL ROCKED!!!

I tried to follow Sisson's race plan and just get into the flow of the race and settle into MGP. Our pacers had already made up anytime we had lost on the first uphill so we were pretty much on pace and ontime by the time we made it through the dog pound loop and cranked up Veterans.

I made a couple deals with myself during the race:
1. I wasn't going to even look at my pace bands until mile 13.
2. I wasn't going to turn on my music until mile 20.
3. I wasn't even going to think about using the bathroom. ever.

However, my nutrition plan was that I would eat every 5 miles. But with the melee and the masses of the first 6 miles, I had totally forgotten about it. I was settling into to Lake Austin Blvd, when I realized...SHIT! I forgot to eat!. I tore open my first pack of gel blocks and started chowing. And yes, it takes me about a mile to get them all down...but it makes the mile go by!!

Before I knew it, we turning into the hill section around mile 9. It was time to settle in and do some work. Oddly, those hills did not seem as nearly as tiring as Congress! Part of that was because as I was running, I heard this, "Hey D!" There aren't many folks who call me that and it was from a voice I hadn't heard in awhile...I turned slowly and it was my old high school friend, Ron Bennet!!! We ran together for about a mile it seemed, just catching up since it had been probably a year since we'd seen each other last. He was "recovering" from running a marathon..! Yea, he's that fast. As we chatted, I slowly started losing ground to my beloved pacers and so I had to shut up and pick it up to catch up. He must've seen the concerned look on my face because he said, "Ok, D...have a good run and I'll see ya later." I put my head down and caught up to my pacers. I just had it in my head that if I lost them, I would lose my I couldn't lose them. ever.

And props out to the fry guy and company, Tim, KP and HP....y'all were hysterical! What a great time seeing ya'll all over the course! Thank you!! "Take that Hill! Take that Hill!" Cracking me up....

Right around mile 11 or 12, I had my first mental challenge. I was tired. I hadn't even gone half the distance yet. The halfers had already turned off. I was tired from the hills. I still had a long, long way to go. I hadn't felt this bad at this mileage before. What does that mean. Am I bonking? Am I not going to make it. I was sad. But I remembered Sisson and Panther and Wiley and JJ and so many others talking about how the marathon is a head game...not just a physical challenge. I started the internal dialog.... C'mon D, you can do this. It is supposed to be challenging. It is supposed to be hard. You like hard. Yea, that's what she said..... that made me smile. Then I realized it had been about five miles and it was time to eat again. Good. Maybe that's why I was feeling low...I was a little behind on the nutrition. Eat. Eat.

Mile 13 food had kicked in. I wasn't feeling the chills or the whapida whapida in my ears anymore. Phew. I'm back in it this thing and the worst of the hills are behind me. Thank god.
About half way done. Checked the internal gas gauge...hmmmm....seemed like there was enough in there for another half...but not by much, that's for damn sure. It's gonna be freakin' close today people.

PLUS -- I need to buck up because the support team should be somewhere around here and I need to look good when I pass them dammit! This turned out to be a recurring theme....thank god y'all were out there!!!

Mile 18 was monumental in that I remembered from the graph, it was generally downhill from there. Yes, there were a couple little hills in there...but overall, it was down to the river. Thank GOD!

Mile 20. The next mental moment. Dear lord, someone save me. I looked down on the pavement and someone had spray painted....Your Race Starts Here. Yes. It does. Here we go. The hardest 10K I've ever done. Let's do this.

But as I looked around, my beloved pace group was falling apart. No one was talking, save Bob, Jen and Andy. Bob's footfalls were loud and there was some other guy in our group who was breathing really, really, really loudly and hard. That was not part of the mental image I needed right then, so I sped up a little and moved over so I would be out of earshot.

I thought about turning my music on just then, but I still felt like I could go. I wanted to save my music for emergency. It was almost as if my iPod had a "In Case of Emergency, Press Play" button on it. I knew it would get me through 3, maybe 4, maybe even 5...but I didn't want to chance it for 6.

I think it was around Mile 23, I had just eaten but was in that no man's land of waiting for the food to kick in and feeling very very tired, sweaty, chilly, slow and the whapida whapida had returned to my ears..... then an angel appeared in my sights. Blond hair, big smile waving frantically at me and then falling into step beside me. It was ERIN! I'm not sure how long she ran with me, but she ran and talked and encouraged me the whole way. Telling me how she'd been getting texts from everyone saying how strong I looked and how she knew it was true because she was seeing with her own eyes, how proud she was of me, how she knew I was going to make it and that I could keep going. It was exactly what I needed to hear and when I needed it most. Thank you, E. Seriously. Thank you.

Now I was refocused. I had all the food on board that I was going to take. I would get water or powerade at the remaining stops, but there was nothing left to do except finish.

Mile 24, Bob came up next to me. He said, "You know you've got this, right?" I smiled back. "Yea, I got this." Then I heard the words I had been waiting for from Jen, "OK, whatever you've got left in the tank, go for it now." I picked up my pace. All I knew is I wanted Jen, Andy, Bob and that 3:45 sign at my back. Not in front of me, not even with me...BEHIND ME.

I popped my ear buds in my ears and hit play. I pressed with the chest, leaned into it and started running. In actuality I probably didn't even really pick up that much speed, but I put those guys behind me just a bit. I didn't even want them in my peripheral...and there was still the San Jac hill to contend with.

I could feel the cramps in my calves and shins teasing me. I knew if I stopped at all, they would seize up. It reminded my of going up Ladera Norte on my bike. So many times I wanted to stop on that damn hill, but I was going so slowly that if I stopped, I wouldn't have enough time to clip out and I would just fall over, so the the only option was to just keep pedalling. That's what this was like. The only option...and I mean the ONLY option was to keep running. Don't stop. DON'T STOP!

I passed the stadium and even though I'm not a Longhorn, I threw up my horns and yelled, "Get your horns up!" to no one in particular. Strangely I thought about running in a cheerleader uniform at that moment. Then I thought, good lord, I'm losing my mind. Just shut the hell up and run, D. So I did.

Around mile 25, I looked at my watch for the FIRST time.... 3:34. SHIT. I have 9 minutes to go 1.6 miles? I can't do that. Is that right? Was that the 25 mile marker? Shit. I'd better giddyap. But the pacers are behind my watch right, was that sign right? shit. shit. shit. Just shut the hell up and run, D. So I did.

I rounded the curve and stared up at San Jac. I thought about the hill. I thought about the right turn before the capital. I thought about the final sprint to the finish. I gotta go faster, I gotta go. I can't be this close and not make my goal.

The San Jac hill actually felt good on my cramping legs, stretched them out or something, change of pace? I don't know. But it felt good. Approaching the top of the hill. Streets are lined with was amazing! They almost pull you up the hill and around the corner. It's like being on the end of a bungee feel the pull from your core and it just pulled me up and slung me around the corner.

I turned right towards the capital. There was the Blue Thunder cheering section! YAY! OMG! OMG! You can do it! Go DIONN! They were yelling! Yes, Yes! I thought to myself. Good thing I was wearing my shades so they couldn't see the ridiculous tears welling up and threating to roll down my face.

My legs were cramping, but I just kept running. I turned left onto Congress and saw the Finish gate. OMG..I'm going to do this, today, right now, I'm going to do this. I got closer and closer. I was trying to look for my family because I knew they were there, but I couldn't see anything except the finish...and the clock. It said 3:44 and something. SHIT. SHIT. SHIT! I've got to get there now, I'm not going to make it. Go faster, GO FASTER! I saw it change to 3:45 and I still wasn't there yet. FUCK!!! GO, D, GO! C'mon! Dig, Dig, Dig. You have to do this NOW!!! I quit looking for my family and just ran. I gave it everything I had. Crossed the clock it said 3:45:59. Oh thank god. THANK GOD!

I stumbled forward a few more steps and clicked stop on my watch. 3:44:29. What? Oh DUH. In my delirium, I was looking at the gun time on the big clock, not my start time! I'm such an idiot. But guess what??



I stumbled into Carolyn and she gave me a great big hug. I cried on her shoulder. I apologized afterwards though.

I soon came upon JJ and Wiley and got big hugs from them too. They made me drink and get food and walk. I'm sure I had a dazed looked on my face, but they kept me moving in the right direction.

Eventually, I made it back to the Rogue tent for some R&R. I even got an awesome congratulations from Ramsey who was one of my very first Rogue coaches four years ago..back when I was running 9:30's and hadn't run anything longer than a 5k. She made me feel like I made her proud....and that was really, really cool.

What an amazing experience. I couldn't have done any of it with the love, help, butt-kicking, cheering, coaching, counseling, listening, talking, drinking, running and support of my family, friends and coaches. You are all an inspiration to me and all that I do. There is NO way, NO FREAKIN WAY, I could've done any of this without you all. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU.

I am making it my next goal to make sure that each and every one of you know how thankful and appreciative I am of you.

So....who feels like a trip to Boston in April? ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008


ok...enough of the wussying around. It is time to get prepared to do some serious business this weekend.

I am through my moments of weakness and have transcended into my power position. Thank you to everyone for all your positive notes, talks, calls, emails and vibes! Kris, Erin, Mike, Kerry, JJ and of course, Panther -- a special thanks for giving me gentle support when I needed hugs, believing in me even when I didn't, and tough love when I needed to be kicked in the ass. Y'ALL ROCK!

Here are my Goals:

MAIN: Finish under 3:45:59.59
This is the main goal. This would be completing the marathon on pace according to my time trial at the beginning of the training season. It just so happens to coincide with the Boston Qualifying time for my age group. Hell ya!

BACK UP: Finish under 4:00:00
I have much respect for this course and this distance. If I get a cramp, stitch, bathroom emergency or whatever...I still want to be able to pull myself together, recover and get back in the game.

I know it seems odd to many of you, but yes, this will be my FIRST marathon...EVER. I have never in my entire life run 26.2 miles. NEVER. 18? Yes. 20? Yes. 22? Yes. But that's it. So above all else, I'd like to cross the finish line under my own power.

There they are. In writing. For public viewing, consumption and chastising. Hold my feet to the fire, people.

Y'all are right. I AM ready. I've done the training. I've banked the miles. I've done the work. I've battled injuries. I've rested when my body said, rest. I went hard when my body said, GO! I've practiced my race nutrition. I've figured out my bathroom issues. I'm tapering. I've got my tunes selected. I've got my race plan. I've got my pace band.

Let's do this thing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


...days until the marathon.

Everyone has been so great in helping my contain my freak-out craziness. (I think I'm suffering from withdrawals from queso actually....).

I'm trying to hydrate and stay that way. It reminds me of being pregnant. Walking around with a water bottle all day long. Stopping at a bizillion bathrooms throughout the day.

Have you reached maximum hydration when your pee is as clear as the water when it went in the body? And that everytime you drink a bottle of water, 5 minutes later you pee the same amount out?? If so, I'm just about there I think.

As far as nutrition goes, I'm trying to not be bad. But frankly, if I started eating a bunch of healthy stuff, my body would revolt and who knows when I'd ever leave the bathroom. (I am totally not kidding. You don't even want to know what happens if I eat a salad.... And you'd NEVER guess what I'd eat everyday for lunch when left to my own devices....)

Seriously, I'm scared to death if someone like Meredith made me keep a food journal...I would send her into anaphalytic shock I'm sure.

I think the hardest part right now is knowing that there isn't SHIT I can do from a fitness perspective to change anything that will occur this weekend. It's like spending months building this awesome machine and then submitting it for testing...but it has to sit in the queue for two weeks before you are allowed to show it.

You'd like to have it back and spend two more weeks working on it, tweaking it, fine tuning, adding new features, making it better, faster, stronger. But you can't. It's behind a locked door and you can't get to it until Sunday when they call your name, tell you to hop in and show them what you got.


Me no likey da taper.

Shit...look at the time...gotta go grab some more water and go to bed. Sigh. Is it Sunday yet?

Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm not freaking out at all about the marathon in 5 days.


Not one little, bitty bit.


No, I mean for real.

Nary a skosh.


What in the hell have I signed myself up for? Why didn't one of you talk me out of this?

I need some queso....and a hug.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fun with Hamsters!

Confined indoors with chicken pox, Shay builds a maze for Chewy!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Very Fishy...

So, with the marathon LOOMING over me like a..hell..I don't know what...and fearing taper madness, I hit the pool yesterday with fervor.

I don't know why, I just felt like swimming hard. I didn't have as much time as usual because I horsed around in the water with the kids after their swimming lesson...although they've had almost non-stop mommy time since Shay's been out of school all week.

Regardless, I figured if you can't go long, go hard! (yea, yea...that's what she said. I know.)

The minute I slid into the water, I started thinking about triathlon season and how it was right around the corner. I mean, May 10th is the Rookie, May 25 is CapTex. (And if you really wanted to get crazy sooner, Lonestar HalfIron is MARCH 30th!) That is not that far away people.

So I started thinking about the Rookie and my performance there the past couple of years. Up until last year, I had used that race as a tune first brick of the season..didn't really race it hard. Just tried to get back into the swing of things, transitions, etc. Last year, I actually tried to race it and I distinctly remember trying to swim fast and hard. It's only like a 300M swim, right? Got to leave it all out in the water on those bad boys.

So as I swam, I started trying to descend my 500yd sets. One of the things I learned from the Marshes (that's Amy and Brandon, not the running route) was how to make small changes to increase your speed. It's not like you have to go all out, harder and harder each time, but rather just add a few things. For instance, on the first descent, you can push a little harder on the back half of the you are doing a tricep push with a dumbbell. Add on to the next, a little harder pull on the front half of the stroke, right after the catch...really use your lats. So now you are pulling harder on the catch, pushing harder on the back. On the next, increase the turnover of all that. And finally, add some turbo power by actually kicking. (I never kick when I swim...the legs just hang out there..I don't know why...that's just the way I do it...)

As I was swimming, I thought about the Texas Ski Ranch course. About swimming in the hot lake, getting hung up in the weeds around the corners, following the cable...all that good stuff. I love that course. I can't wait to be back on it.

Ended up doing the 4th 500yd set in 8:02! That's my best split to date! Man, if I could learn to flip turn I could shave some more time off of that. But then again, there is no flip-turning in triathlon, so what's the point. Unless of course Kerry challenges me to a swim off in the pool... ;)

Went back and looked at my Rookie performances of the past several's how the went down:

2004: (First year triathlon training)
Swim pace: 02:20.0
Bike pace: 14.0 (bike on hybrid!)
Run pace: 08:41.0
Total Time: 1:11:36
Class Place: 14

2005: (3 months after Devon was born)
Swim pace: 02:30.0
Bike pace: 16.6
Total time: 1:08:38
Class Place: 17

2006: (tune racing)
Swim pace: 02:27.6
Bike pace: 15.9 (WTF? what was I doing...having a picnic?)
Run pace: 09:00.0
Total time: 1:09:04
Class Place: 13

2007: (racing!)
Swim pace: 01:48.0
Bike pace: 18.5
Run pace: 08:12.0
Total Time: 1:00:48
Class Place: 3 (My FIRST Podium! YEA!)

I think this year I can break the 1:00 mark (sans mechanical issues of course). Last year's winner in my age group (Milissa Day) did it in 58:43. I've definitely shaved off time on the run, so I should be able to pick up at least 1 minute, maybe 2, on the run (it's only a 2 mile run). I was first out of the water last year (Laurie Allen of Texas Iron was next, 36 seconds later), but Milissa SPANKED me on the bike, putting 4 minutes on me! YIKES! My run was decent, but I know it can be a lot better this year.

But first, there's this whole 26.2 thing I need to take care of.....

He has WHAT?!


Can you believe it? The freakin' chicken pox.

Yes, he had the vaccination when he was younger. But APPARENTLY, the CDC is now recommending a booster for 5-6 year-olds because they are seeing a mild breakout of the chicken pox in kids who received only one round of the vaccination. 30% apparently.

We would be in that 30%. oy.

Fortunately, it is very, very mild. Not like back in the day when we had it. I remember having it so bad, I was either soaking in a tub with baking soda or knocked out asleep on Benadryl for TWO WEEKS so I wouldn't itch.

So aside from a bunch of little red bumps, he's fine. (Yes, yes..that's what he said...) No fever or achiness. In fact, this may be more challenging because it is hard to keep a fiesty, spirited 7-year old contained in the house!!!

So now that I didn't do ANY work for the past three days because Shay had no school due to teacher's one to two MORE days of no working. Thank god my work is flexible. I really feel for the folks who can't be as flexible with their work schedules.

For good measure the Devonator is staying home with us today too. The more the merrier I always say. (And the Doc said Devon should be ok since he was very recently vaccinated...) At least Shay will have a playmate other than me....even though Devon sometimes drives him up a wall. Ahhh...little brothers...gotta love it!

Ah, rats...just found out from his teacher that Shay is missing the big 100th day of school celebration today. They've been preparing for the past couple of weeks for all the activities, parade and party today. I just broke the news to him. Tears welled up in his eyes and his lips started quivering. He's trying to be brave, but he is very sad. I think I'm going to give him some extra Wii time today.....poor baby. :(

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chillin' with my boys

Teacher inservice days are cool!

Monday, February 4, 2008

What does this picture say about me?

MONSTER (monster) TRUCKS (trucks) !!

As a reward for awesome behavior in school this past month, I took the boys to the monster truck show at the exposition center. After a massive parking cluster, we met up with the Montgomery's and settled in for an evening of big engines, big noises and well...big self-proclaimed rednecks! (Note of interest, we were NOT the only black family there...we counted at least two others!)

Here's Shay and his buddy Cameron before the show:
Of course at the first big rev of an engine, all the boys covered their ears. MAN was it LOUD! WOW! Fortunately, we'd brought along some ear plugs. The big boys agreed to wear them, but Devon was having none of it and just wanted to me to hold his ears!

But he soon perked up when he saw all the cool monster trucks!

After some head to head racing and the pulling contest, the boys indulged in some snacks..

And then was the best part of the show...the Wheelie contest! WOOT!

The blue truck, "Monkey Business" was the boys favorite! He also won the wheelie contest!

Good times!