Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cardinal, Falcons and Longhorns - OH MY!

What a great kickoff to the football season!! WOW!!

It started out with a bang as the Stanford Cardinal and 2nd year head coach Jim Harbaugh showed divisional opponent Oregon State, that we came to play this year with an impressive win at the recently renovated Stanford Stadium. YAY! GO CARD!

Last night, the Horns kicked off their season with a nice warm up romp over Florida Atlantic. (No surprise there.)

But the highlight of my weekend, was the first official game of the LCP Falcons!!!

The football spirit in Texas starts young..and I LOVE IT! The atmosphere at the Pop Warner games is just as fun as the big boys. Complete with parents in spirit shirts and even a banner for the kids to run through!!

While the Tiny Mites don't officially keep score (I know, I know...that's a topic for a whole nother post), let's just say the Falcons reached the end zone 3 times, while the Eagles reached it once.

And one of those times included, YOU GUESSED IT!, an 80-Yard Scamper TO THE HOUSE by none other than my very own, Shay Schaffner!!!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Spirit Day

Here's Shay on his way to school in his jersey for spirit day. (Note the new buzz cut? All the football boys are sporting them!)

When he was parking his bike, two older kids pulled up next to him to park their bikes. Shay looked over and they were wearing their Eagles jerseys (I think they are the 8-10 year olds).

I could've sworn Shay bowed (that's bow up, like bow and arrow -- you know puff his chest out...) up a little and a smile stole across his face as he saw the big boys look him over in his Falcons jersey.

And there was definitely a swagger in his gait as he went into the school a couple paces behind the bigger kids.

I had to choke back a little tear. It was a proud mommy moment. I'm a dork. I know. Carry on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Falcon Fever!!

As I sit here reveling in the end of the football drought and watching my beloved Cardinal play against Oregon State (GO STANFORD!), I'm also excited as this weekend officially kicks off the LCP Tiny Mites tackle football team, the FALCON's season too!.

WE ARE SO EXCITED! In fact, Shay and his first and second grade teammates are all wearing their game jerseys to school for Spirit Day. (I am THIS close to wearing an old cheerleader outfit around the home office tomorrow...check back tomorrow for a possible picture and post.)

Here's a couple of quick picks from last weekend's scrimmages.

Here's Shay and his good buddy Cameron:

(btw, the boys got to pick their numbers from an available list...Shay picked 15..his daddy's number....I'm not sure who is more excited...)

..and he may have his daddy's number...but that body proportion is all mommy....poor kid...all arms and legs...seriously, look where his waist is....I'm sorry Shay..

Here's Shay...playing quarterback (he also plays linebacker...he's a kid who likes to hit..)...and look at the surge by the O-line led off by center, Wisniewski -- is that a lineman's name or what?

the play? quarterback sneak up the middle. Took two kids to take him down after a nice gain.

This is gonna be a fun season!! GO FALCONS!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Murderer's Row

Yesterday's spin class was really fun!

First of all it was Maggie's FIRST spin class with T3! I hope she liked it. (Drink the blue koolaid! Drink it! DRINK IT!)

Secondly, even after a one hour pre-spin class spin, the legs were feeling good. (And I ran 7 earlier in the day!) I think I got nutrition right this day.

And thirdly, I was being a total dork as I looked around and felt like I was in the midst of murderer's row. Because it looked like this:

Two bikes to the left, Ironwoman Maggilicious. Immediately to my left, Hammerin' E Whalen - podium placer. To my right, Jazzy Jess -- looking ironfit in prep for IMAZ.

We were all in the second row, but as I looked up into the first row I see straight ahead, Mr. Miah -- going so fast there is literally a puddle of sweat under his ride. To his left, Blazin' Blakistone..and one more over was Not gonna catch him Noah. Seriously the wattage being thrown down was enough to keep the Big Ass Fan going all night.

I love the sound when Coach Pain makes us kick it up to 110+ RPM. All you see is a blur of legs spinning fast and hard, sweat dripping everywhere and the sound in the room goes ....wwwwwwrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

In my head we weren't even in the training center anymore, but out on a road somewhere in a race, pushing the pace, smoking the competition and just generally kicking ass. It was cool just to think about being out there with the team, pushing and pulling each other along to do our best.

I can't wait for IMCDA training. It's gonna be fu-un!

Yes. I'm a dork. I know. Carry on.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vacation - Part II

Alright, alright. Here are some more pics, mostly of the kids, from vacation in Mexico.

And, no, it's not Wiley's house.

Cougar Speed Runs Deep (aka Sweet & Twisted Race Report)

What a fun race! Congrats to Leilani and Red Licorice Events for putting on such a great event! Definitely some of the best swag at a race I've gotten in a while. Very nice. And of course a big THANK YOU to all the hunky T3 volunteers...and Maggie! :)

And let me just say this....Cougars are a bunch of fast ladies!! The 35-39 age group is who I'm talking about here. Holy Smokes!

Check out these stats from this weekend's race:

10 out of top 20 -- Age group 35-39

My overall place:21
Age group place: 9

(or something like that...the stats are weird because the overall listing has some cheaters...I mean ladies who only did one lap on the bike instead of two..)

But age group is deep with wicked fast ladies. Granted, I did not have a stellar run for many reasons that I could post here, but in the end they are all just lame excuses for not getting the job done, so why bother.

Even if I HAD had a good run, I wouldn't have placed anyway!! Seriously. These chicks are hella fast.


On a positive side, I had a really great swim. The swim start was in the back of this little cove, so the start line wasn't very wide. Regardless, I snuggled into my standard spot, front row - outside edge and watched the previous wave go out. Then I noticed that the girls on my edge were quickly running into the rocks because of how low the water levels were. So the best place to swim was in the channel in the dead center. Shit. What am I going to do now?

Nothing I could do....except sprint like hell when the horn went off and get in front of everyone and swim up the middle. So that's what I did. The horn blew. I pushed off from the bottom and went BANG! Swam as hard as I could angling for the center.

I could see Celine to my left swimming hard also and I knew she was in the center of the start line, so I used her to sight so I wouldn't waste anything looking up. And before I knew it, I had the angle that I wanted, pulled in front of everyone, sighted, straightened out my line for the farthest buoy and led the pack out of the cove. Once I had the lead, I really wanted to stay there so I just kept after it, thinking a lot of the gals will peter out after the first 100 of going hard. I settled in around 250 I think. Rounded the corner and picked it up so I could swim strong to the end.

I came out of the water 1st in my age group, so that was really fun! It still cracks me up when the T3 swim exit volunteers (I think it was Tom yesterday) always seem so surprised when I pop out of the water amidst the wave in front of me. They are always like, "Dionn??" Which I always read with a giggle as: what the hell are you doing here already? Didn't someone tell you black folks don't swim? ;)

My bike was pretty good I felt. There were some good rollers out there, so you had to do a lot of work. But I think I fare well on rollers with my power to pound ratio. (At least that's the mantra going through my head!)

And I had a WICKED fast T2...only 43 seconds! And our rack was the farthest corner from the bike in, so I had to go a long way in my bike shoes and pushing my bike. I think having Coach Mo and Noah standing (literally) two feet away on the other side of the transition fence really made me get a move on. I could've sworn I heard Mo say to Noah, "Let's see how she does transition." Again, this could've been completely in my head. Regardless, it got my ass moving!

And that would be the last time I was moving quickly for the duration of the race. My run sucked. Plain and simple. I am now committed to working specifically on my run over the next several weeks. It will be back. Mark my words. Even Joey who was annoucing the race finishers said..and I quote.."Wow. I've never seen Dionn move that slowly before." I kid you not. But alas, it was true.
The T3 Ladies were out in FULL FORCE. We represented on every podium (save the 50+ age groups I think) beginning with overall woman, our beloved Coach Pain (aka Chrissie Novak) and sweeping the podium in the 30-34 AG! We also took home the biggest team prize. GO T3 BLUE! Here we are!

And most importantly!, my darling friend, Erin took home some sweet ass swag and an amazing TROPHY for placing 3rd in her Age group! WAY TO GO E!!!! WOOT!!
Mimosas, Tacodeli and ice cream afterwards were a nice way to round out the event. Good times. Thanks T3.


I'm back!!! I know you missed me. Just admit it.

I missed you too...especially my lurkers. ;)
Here's a brief synopsis of where and what I've been up to in the past two weeks:
That's right..time for the annual pilgrammage to Puerta Vallarta with 14 kids. Yes. 14 kids.
Began quite auspiciously with a flight cancellation from AUS to DFW...and some reason American Airlines had NO other flights from Austin to Dallas that day. Really. No flights. From Austin to Dallas/Ft. Worth. ALL DAY. Seriously. You have to be kidding right?
So instead of going ABW (that's Angry Black Woman) on AA, I simply got us booked on the only other carrier that would get us to Dallas in time for the connection to Puerto Vallarta. Great, right? Unfortunately, that carrier was Southwest. Yep. The one that flies into Dallas Love...not DFW. Nice.
Next problem...ok. Always an adventure. So, called in some favors and booked ground transportation from Dallas Love to DFW. Here's how we rolled. The boys loved it! :)
The rest of the travel was thankfully uneventful (save the case of the runs that poor Devon had all day!)

I'll save the vacation photo montage for the few folks who really care, but here's a quick view from the beach and one from the house.

It was a week filled with fun, food, friends, frothy drinks, fine service, surf, turf, tortillas, quacamole, shrimp, celebrity bowl (ask me about this one!) and just a damn good time.
Then last week was the LAST WEEK OF SUMMER VACATION!! So, it was me and the boys hanging out in the last of the summer laziness. We had fun sleeping in, lounging in pajamas, playing the Wii, eating at McDonald's and indulging in general non-school year craziness.
And now, my big SECOND grader is back at school and the Devonator has graduated to Jr. Pre-K 2. (Did you get all that? what happened to plain ol' preschool?)
Whew. Now you are caught up. What do you think?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

Mighty Mite Pop Warner...that is..WELCOME to the FALCONS!!
Yep! It's Shay's FIRST tackle football season and boy is he pumped!!
I loved this pic..all the elements of the season: helmets, water jugs...and a miller lite cooler for the parents! ;)
Here he is taking the snap from center....yes, so far he is slotted in the QB spot. Can you say Apple not falling far from tree? Oh, and how about Head Coach Scott "Legs" Hanna peering in from the backfield. T3 meets the Falcons!
Of course, Devon loved hanging out with the big boys on their water breaks. Here he is with big brother Shay (on your left) and Pierce.
While the big boys did their stuff, Devon played on the playground, running all over the place until....see the concrete edging surrounding the playscape?
Devon tested its strength...with his forehead. :( MY POOR BABY!
I'm happy to report that after is just a little bump now. No stitches were required (this time.)

Tomorrow is the first practice in pads, so we'll see if Shay is still as excited about playing tackle as he is right now. I'll be close by with a cooler full of ice packs and retired nurse GG (grandma) on speed dial...just in case. And so the Riverplace dynasty begins...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Excuse me, can you spare 26 seconds please?

I don't know why I get nervous. It isn't like I haven't raced on this course like, say, oh 3 times a year for the past 4 years. I've raced in front of my new teammates at least once already, so that shouldn't be a big deal. Yea, it was going to be hot...but so what...I'm a tropical people...I love the heat. The racks were assigned by wave, so I didn't have to worry about getting there super early to get a good (read: better than fellow age groupers) spot. I mean, this thing should be over and done with in less than an hour and half -- it's not like I'm going to be out there working my ass off all day...

So why do I still get nervous enough to send myself to the bathroom at least THREE times between arriving at the site and my wave going off??

Because this thing should be over and done with in less than an hour and half, less than an hour and 20 minutes....ideally, an hour and 15 minutes. Because I SHOULD be in the top few folks in my age group out of the water. Because, let's face it, I will be bummed if I don't beat my rivals. Because I will be pissed if the person ahead of me is ahead by 20-30 seconds and I don't close the gap.
There are expectations now when I race. Most of which I place on myself...but I know others expect certain things from me as well. And that's pressure...

It's kind of like riding roller coasters or seeing a horror movie. You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you start barrelling down that first steep hill and how it feels like you can't breathe or when the scary music starts playing and the main character slowly peers through the darkened window and you feel chills steal across your skin....the adrenalin starts to flow...and you LOVE it.

It's awesome to feel the click, click, click of anticipation and then the rush of the free fall. It's fun to scream in terror one second and then laugh about it the next. Am I an endorphin and adrenalin junkie? Yes!

As much as you hear me protest about doing a race in the 5 minutes before my wave goes off, multiply that a million-fold to hear how much I actually love it.

I'm weird. I know. Love me or leave me.

So...Jack's Generic. Number 4 in the Texas Tri Series. Here we go.

I arrive in what I thought was plenty of time, yet still had to park in the auxilary parking lot. Wow..I remember when this race just started and you could pretty much park your car right next to your bike in transition. Make my way into transition with all my gear loaded in my pink (surprise again!) backpack. Find my age group rack and immediately spot a very familiar light blue bike and post up about 3 bikes down from that. (I like to know where she's at...) I longingly admire her bike shoes clipped in already in anticipation of her flying mount and make (another) mental note to have someone teach me that crazy thing. Go about my business setting up.

Now you know I'm not a morning person and I was feeling quite sluggish (perhaps it had to do with the "training through the race" philosophy which meant over 100 miles on the bike in the past 6 days, the sprints on Wednesday and over 3 miles of swimming), so I figured a warmup was definitely in order.

Donned my shoes and headed out on the run course. Good news was my foot felt fine! Bad news is I knew I wasn't where I really wanted to be in terms of running since my 6-week running hiatus. After the run, made it into the water for some splashing around in the sea....wait...I thought this was supposed to be a lake...what's with the salty taste in the water? Ew. I figured I didn't want to know and made another mental note to really, really, really try to not take in any water whatsoever.

It was so great to see so many friends and teammates out on the course racing and volunteering. The Riverplace contingent was in full force. T3 blue was EVERYWHERE. And Rogue friends popped up around every corner! YAY!! It felt good to be surrounded by so many people I knew. It was good Ju-Ju.

The swim around the lake is my favorite because all you have to do is follow the cable up top. Just cast your eyes a little bit higher when you breathe and VOILA you have sighted. This works great for the first half of the swim...until you start to run into traffic from the previous waves...then you actually have to sight. Damn.

I lined up in my favorite spot...far outside, front row. Looked across the field of competitors. Ms. Lord. Check. Patricia Murphy? Ah hell. Double check. There's one podium spot gone. Shit. When is she going to move to the open wave anyway? :) I'll just surf on her wake as she cruises through this bad boy I guess.

Logan counts us down....And we're OFF! Little burst in the beginning to get clear of the field, triangulate in on the buoy closest to the first turn and swim. Touch, pull, roll...Touch,pull, roll...I'm gliding, I'm with the chest...swimming downhill...touch, pull, roll, touch, pull, roll....swimming with wide arms so as not to cross the center line....glide, glide....touch, pull, roll.....touch, pull, roll. Nearing the first turn. Its just two other caps of my color ahead of me. SWEET! Can I catch them? Maybe one...but not Patricia...she is hauling ass. Buh-bye. I kept after it, but came in 10 seconds behind the second finisher and nearly a full minute (!) behind Patricia. (see..told you she was fast...).

The T3 swim exit volunteer brigade was in full force, but seemed somewhat surprised when I popped out of the water. They were like, "Hey! It's Dionn!!" You were expecting some other black female triathlete today? (Seriously...Leslie wasn't there so I was THE ONLY ONE.) It always cracks me up when someone says, "ok I'll look for you out there" and I respond "I'll be the black one!" I think it catches them off guard, but it always elicits a personal giggle. Sorry y'all. ;) I'm just messin' with ya...

Came into T1..Patricia was long gone...but the second place swimmer was still there..SWEET! I made a speedy T1 and beat her out of transition. YAY! Turns out her T1 was 2:21...mine, 1:42! WOOT!

Hopped on my bike and took off on my super steed. (Yes, Drew, Stacey and the boys at J& IS in desperate need of a bath...I'll clean 'er up...) I wanted to have a strong bike, but leave some gas in the tank for the run since I knew I was going to need some help on that part since I haven't been running much.... but then there was this chick that came by me...and she was in my age group...didn't look like the swimmer I had passed in transition...must be the 4th girl out of the water..

(Tell me y'all do all this mental craziness when you are racing too...right? It's not just me? right? anyone? anyone? Bueller?????)

She and I played leapfrog for probably the first 8 miles or so until I finally let her go. I was burning up a lot of fuel hawking her down and she was just a stronger cyclist than I was...even with my race wheels...sigh...I've still got a lot of work to do...

So mental calculations, 3rd out of the water, passed one in transition, that put me in 2nd, got passed on the bike, back in third. OK. NO ONE GETS PASSED ME NOW. one from my age this super studette 47 year old went flying by me like I was standing still...uphill..into the wind...seriously.

Went barrelling into the dismount line and got off my bike cleanly. I can't say the same for the gal next to me as I heard a small scream and looked back just to see her struggling to clip out, not make it and crash to the ground. ouch.

Into T2, hurled my bike onto the rack and heard something like "I'd better not see you getting beat by 20 seconds...move it..move it!" YAY ERIN!!! :) Grabbed my gear and headed out onto the run.

Legs felt ok. Not great. Not bad..but ok. I wanted to get to the turn around at the 1.5mile mark in 12 minutes or less and then negative split the second half. That was the plan. I could see the second place girl ahead of me and she was moving steady and strong. I just wanted to reel her in slowly and steadily.

Several times I felt like the gap was closing, but then it would get farther. I didn't have my garmin on, so I'm not sure if I was the one slowing down or she was speeding up. Didn't matter, I kept chugging.

Hit the turn around, quick glance at the watch 10:40. Cool! But I was getting tired. I also wanted to note the time so that when I saw Ms. Lord on the other side I could calculate how close she was...saw her pass by, watch check: 11:40. Ok..math time. (this could be a good or bad thing...) If she continues to run the same pace and it took me a minute from the turn around to get to her...doesn't that mean I have two minutes on her? I couldn't think if that made sense or not..kinda thought it did, but kinda didn't because I don't know what pace she was running, right? If she's currently going faster than I am right now, she'd make up that distance in a less amount of time it took me to do it. Right?

If one train leaves San Francisco traveling at 95 mph and another train leaves Chicago headed towards the other train......

Oh yea...I'm racing...shit...just shut up and run, D!

I looked ahead and #2 looked about...oh....25-30 seconds away from me. Yea. I know EXACTLY what 25-30 seconds away looks like. DAMMIT. I wanted to close it, but I just couldn't muster it. I was hot. and tired. and pissed at seeing 25 seconds. AGAIN. That would be a negative on the negative split. dang.

Just finish strong D. Hold it together and let's have a good strong finish. I mustered up the Don T. Bonk hill, rounded the corner and headed for the finish. There was a gaggle of guys in between me and the tape. Uh, I don't think so fellas. Sorry. Chicked them at the finish to cheers from the T3 team. Mo later told me he knew I sped up at the end so I would have a good finishing picture with all those guys in the background! I can't wait to see if he was right!!

Final Stats:
Swim: 8:22 (1:40/M) -- I think that's a swim PR! YAY TPR!
Bike: 42:20 (19.6mph) - respectable, but not stellar
Run: 24:22 (8:07/M) - not my finest moments

Total Time: 1:17:48
AG Place: 3rd
Gender Place: 17th

I'll take it!!! case you were wondering...2nd place time? 1:17:22. Told ya.

And again a big thanks to all the volunteers out there: Shorey, Tim, Carri, Erin and the T3 team. Y'ALL ROCK!!

It's coming...I SWEAR!

I know, I KNOW!

No race report yet. It is coming. I swear!


Check back soon! :)