Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Women's Health Issue

This just in from a girlfriend as we prepare for our week of debauchery in Mexico:

Important Women's Health Issue:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or

pharmacist about Margaritas.


Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident

about yourself and your actions.


Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the

world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.


You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with
a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent
you from living the life you want to live.


Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will
discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.


Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or

nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind

nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try them.

Side effects may include: Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration,

loss of motor control, loss of money, loss of clothing, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth and a desire to sing Karaoke.



WARNING:

The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering
when you are not. The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your
friends over and over again that you love them. The consumption of
Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing. The consumption of
Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members
of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.
Thank you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

What I Love About...

Austin is at 5:45am on a Friday morning, the Barton Springs' parking lot is PACKED!

There are people getting ready to run, cyclists pumping up tires getting ready to roll and swimmers donning wetsuits, flippers, paddles, kickboards, caps and goggles and jumping in.

Way to be fit and fun Austin. Keep it up!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Anything BUT Generic - My Tri Race Report

Jack's Generic - one of my all time favorite races. I've been doing this one since 2005. And every year I have a BLAST!


This year, however, the morning began auspiciously....as I was headed down toward the Ski Ranch, I was trying to mentally prepare for the race. I'd had a lot of distractions leading up to it, so I didn't have time to work through some positive visualization and mental readiness like I should have. The last time I didn't do this....well, the results from Galveston speak for themselves. oye.


So I'm driving along visualizing the course and being on autopilot to the Ski Ranch. Well, so I thought. I snap to and realize I've just exited 360 south onto Mopac South.?? WTH? I should be heading straight through Ben White to I-35! Hasty mental moment and I decide to just take a left on 290, head back north to 360/Ben White. I'm freaking out a little, checking the clock -- don't want to be late and have to walk a bizillion miles from parking to the race. Look up, see the exit for 360. Perfect. Take that. Then realize...hey, I should be up there on the fly over to.... DOH! Dammit D. You wanted to go Ben White/290 East NOT 360. GRRRRRR!


On to the access road and finally pop back up onto Ben White headed to I35. Sheesh.


I arrive at the Ski Ranch, only to find the close parking lot full and have to schlep to the back lot. Oh well...there goes that plan for this morning. I pull in park and start getting my stuff together. Start pumping my tires. Front tire. Full. Back tire -- hmmm, I just rode this yesterday, why is it missing so much air....hmmm...load the pump on it. With each depression of the handle, I hear "Hissssss", "Hisssss". Wait...that doesn't sound quite right. I lean in a little closer without moving the pump and still hear "Hissssssssssssssssssssssssss". Aw damn...a hole in my tire. Strike 2 on the morning. This does not bode well.


To compound matters, I saw my two closest age group competitors where racing also! Good grief, I was going to have bring my "A" game or get taken down. Dang it. I had to really, really get my act together and fast.


I made sure to follow the rest of my standard pre-race procedures to the "T" to avoid any other mishaps. I even did a warm up run and swim. Some of my teammates gave me the "what's up with you look?" as I'm usually pretty jovial and peppy pre-race (shocker, I know), but this morning I was nervous and it showed.


The other waves started going off and I made my way into the starting gates with the rest of the 35-39 year old ladies. I knew it was going to come down to wire this day, so every second was going to count. I lined up, not in my usual spot, but closer to the middle, but in the front row. As we waited I saw Ms. Lord appear on my far right, Kristen just to the right of me and Michelle P. off to my left. Kristin is a faster swimmer than I and Michelle, Tracy and I are all pretty much the same. I figured if I can get on Kristin's feet and keep and eye on Michelle since she's on my left, I would be in the lead group coming out of the water. That was the plan and off we went.


We all went pretty hard out of the gate and there was some other girl who was out in front of the three of us. She had some serious speed going and I knew I couldn't catch her, so I settled in and tried to keep pace with Kristin. Before I knew it, we were rounding the first buouy and headed into traffic already! I had to take evasive maneuvers and ended up losing Kristin in the melee..although I could still see her. Michelle also got hung up in the mix and dropped back a bit. I moved around and ended swimming parallel to Kristin but about a body length or so behind her. I tried my best to keep up and ended up having a great swim. Kristin went 8:57.7, I went 8:59.2. That's the closest I've ever been to her.


We smiled and hustled our way up into transition with Michelle appearing just a couple seconds behind us. Man, this game was ON today! We all laughed as we made quick transitions and pretty much headed out of T1 as a group. And just as we were pulling away from the rack, I saw Ms. Lord heading to her bike. Now, she typically can hawk me down on the bike, so I knew I didn't have any time to spare. We hit the mount line, jumped on our bikes and flew like bats out of hell onto the bike course.


I pretty much knew I was going to have to go hard with no slacking and have everything go right in order to keep those girls behind me. On the bike my toughest competitors would be Tracy and Michelle. I figured if I could keep them behind me or close on the flats, I'd be ready to really go for it once we hit the hills. (I'm a goat. I. Love. Hills.) So, I just kept charging away. Really concentrating on my pedal stroke and making good ovals...really working the hip flexors and not just mashing on the pedals.


I did get passed by a 40+ year old woman with a disc wheel. Gosh...she was moving. And I got passed by a 20-something (to which I quietly retorted...Oh yea? Have two kids and THEN come race with me!). But other than that, I was steadly moving and making good head way. Of course I couldn't look behind me at any point to see where the girls were, but my spidey sense tingled like they were right there the whole time.


As I was pushing it hard, I was thinking....man, and now the runners are going to come and run me down...and then I said, wait a damn minute...I'M A RUNNER...I'm not going to get run down today, my friend. Not. To.day.


I was first out of my little group into T2. I arrived at our racks and saw one bike there. Dang, that girl is fast! I haven't seen her once since she beat us like crazy out of the water. (26 seconds faster than me out of the water...there's that damn number again. ARGH!). I'm gonna have to see if I can run her down.


After a quick T2, I head out on the run. Quick feet, quick feet. Turnover. Turnover. That's my mantra for the run. My marathon gait is long and steady. I didn't want that today. I wanted cute little chipmunk strides. Short. Fast. Turning the legs over quick. Hot coals. Go. Go.


It was so awesome have Team T3 out there yelling and cheering as you head out on the run. Everyone's here Dionn..better get moving and look good doing it. Move it, MOVE IT! I headed out onto the course and tried to keep fast thoughts.


ABC. A - Always, B-Be, C-Closing, Always Be Closing. ABC. A - Always, B-Be, C-Closing, Always Be Closing. And then: Quick feet. Quick feet. Turnover. Turnover. I just kept switching between the two. Picking my feet up and putting them down and passing a good many folks.


At the turn around, I started my usual process of watching the other runners on the other side. Yes, I was looking for someone in particular...someones actually...Tracy and Michelle. I saw Tracy first and she wasn't that far behind me. Dang. I'd better giddyap!!! She's coming after me! I picked it up a little more and fell into pace with a guy #687 and basically mentally attached myself to him. He and I took turns pulling each other through the last mile and a half. It was awesome...both of us working hard, pushing each other to keep going. In between gasping breaths he told me it was his first tri...I tried to respond and tell him awesome! It came out quite breathy!


We crested the hill, rounded the corner and headed for the finish. I could see and hear the T3ers along the finishing chute yelling and cheering it was awesome! I took one quick peek behind me, I didn't want to get taken down in the last couple hundred meters or so and it looked clear to me!


I relaxed into a nice, long up tempo stride and headed on home!


I had no idea what my time was because after the swim instead of hitting the lap button, I hit the stop button on my watch...so I was clueless. I never caught up to anyone else in my age group, so I figured the girl whose bike was on the rack when I got there was very speedy and I wouldn't have stood a chance catching her anyway. And mentally gave the mystery woman a bow.


So unless I had missed someones bike in transition, I felt pretty good about locking down second place. It was what I placed last year and was happy to have it again. Post-race, I futzed around with the team, got worked over by Dr. Laurie (in that good but painful kinda way we love her for) and chatted with everyone while we watched the rest of the finishers..


I didn't bother going to look at the results, because either way, I felt pretty good about how I raced. I went hard and felt like I left what I had out on the course...and that to me meant a successful day at a tri.


But then I was curious about my run pace, because I really wanted to see if my speed has come back and I definitely felt like I had run harder this time than most recently at Couples and the Rookie. As I was making my way to find the results, a cheeky Elizabeth stopped me and asked if I was staying for awards and I said yes and she said with a smile in her eyes, "Good, because I think you Won!"


"What?"


"Yep, first place!"


"That can't be...there was another bike...another girl, somewhere..." my mind start reeling..


"Well, I don't know...but that's what it said next to your name!" she said excitedly! I squealed, "REALLY?!" "Uh huh!"


And then I had butterflies again. 1st place? I've never won my age group before....how cool would THAT be????? Could it be that someone but their bike on the wrong rack? Did I pass her on the run and not notice?? Could it be..could it be?


When Logan started announcing my age group, I was flat out giddy. "In third place, Michelle Parkins!" I gave her a high five as she went up. "In second place," I held my breath", "Tracy Lord!" I looked around, I didn't see Tracy anywhere...that was odd. "And in first place, MY GIRL, DIONNNNNNNNN SCHAFFFNER!!!" YEEAAAAA!!! I squealed and jump in place! And then hustled on to the podium to accept my award! We snapped some pictures and then I hopped down.


About a half a minute after getting some great hugs and congrats from the team, I see Tracy walking by..."Tracy! You got second! Go get it, go get it!!" She smiled and went over and got her hardware from Stacey. We congratulated each other on another hard day and she asked me if I would wait and get a picture with her if we could find a Kreutz photographer. And of course I agreed! At the end of the awards ceremony, we grabbed a guy and had him snap a couple of us together with our hardware it was awesome. From Porter Jr. High in the 80's, to podiums at Tri's in the 2000's....that's just plain cool, people.


Final stats:

Swim: 8:59.2 (Pace 1:48/100M) - AG Rank: 3

Bike: 43:52 (Pace 18.9mph) - AG Rank: 1

Run: 22:34 (Pace 7:31/M) - AG Rank: 3


Age Group Rank: 1

Gender Rank: 11


A good day out at the ranch.


OH -- and for Mike: