Monday, July 14, 2008

In Over My Head

First of all, let me say thank you to everyone who has been concerned about me.  I'm sorry for not posting on here and letting you all know what is going on.  I am really lucky to have people who worry about me when I don't blog! =)

What a crazy summer it's been!  I don't even know where to start.  Our deer venture has turned out to be a HUGE undertaking.  We lost three fawns when they were all first born due to fire ants.  Being new to this, I had no idea ants could be such a problem.  We had to take all the remaining fawns out of the pen and treat the entire thing with ant killer, which then all had to be watered hand.  I had to drag a water hose around for three days!  

Once we got the ant problem under control, we tried to return the fawns to the pen, but the does rejected them and would not let them nurse.  So, we are bottle feeding the deer until they can be weaned in about 3 weeks.  I know this doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but I can't tell you how much work it has been, and still is.  

First we weren't set up to bottle feed.  We had to build pens, get all the supplies, etc...The first week they all had to eat every 4 hours around the clock.  That has slowed down now, and I am just feeding 4 times a day.  And when I say "feeding", I really mean - mix up all the milk, feed them all, help them go to the bathroom (deer can't go own their own when they are young.  I won't gross you out by graphically describing this process), clean up the bottles, clean the pens, and then start all over again.  I was so exhausted for the first two weeks, I hardly slept at all.

While all this has been going on, I have also had to deal with all my regular work stuff, my dad in the hospital in Dallas with heart issues, my father-in-law in Dayton very sick, my dog died, and witnessed JP total our truck and travel trailer in a bad wreck right in front of me.  I seriously could write a country and western song.  I know that would make Jon proud! =)

Things are looking up though.  I am getting a handle on the deer, I think I'm just about caught up on my regular work, my dad is fine, JP's dad is feeling better, we had a nice funeral for the dog, and JP and Jared were not hurt in the wreck.

I still have my email forwarded to the office for them to deal with maintenance requests from tenants, so if you want to chat, holler at me at my other email address -

Again, I'm sorry if I had anyone worried.  Honestly I have been completely drained mentally and physically.   I'll be back soon...I promise!

Here are some pictures from the wreck.  I was so excited to be getting away for a couple days to Lake Travis.  We hired some people to come stay here with the deer and loaded up.  We got about an hour away from home and BAM!  The truck got a blowout on one of the rear tires.  With the weight of the trailer behind him, JP couldn't control it.  The truck and trailer jackknifed.  The trailer broke loose and flipped nearly ripping the back of the truck off.  I was following behind JP in my car pulling the boat, so I had a very scary view of the whole thing.  It is lucky there was no oncoming traffic, and that the trailer broke loose and did not flip the truck with it.  JP and Jared both wear a Saint Christopher medal for which I am very thankful.  

I've missed you all!

Friday, June 20, 2008


This past year, JP and I decided to add a little diversity to the ranch, and bought some registered whitetail does for breeding purposes.  Our first fawns began arriving this week.  So far we've had two sets of twins. (1 buck and 3 does)  They usually weigh anywhere from 5 to 11 pounds at birth....same as a baby.  Only in this case, I'm hoping for the larger end of the spectrum.  They are so danged cute!  It's hard not to go out there and play with them, but we have to leave them alone.  There are some procedures that have to be done shortly after they are born (2 shots, hair sample for DNA testing, put some stuff in their mouth to prevent a disease called "blue tongue", and spray some ant repellant on them - it's non-toxic, I checked), but after that it's not good for them to have human contact because it increases the chances of the dam rejecting it.  Bummer.

They all seem to be doing good except for the buck fawn.  It doesn't have the same spunk as the others.   Maybe the bucks are just more chill...who knows?  We're just learning here.

This is the buck fawn.  Poor little guy!

Anyhoo, back to running.  Wednesday morning I went for my daily 3 mile jaunt down the road, and realized about half way through that this was the day Ken was making his 2,000th consecutive run.  A group of us were planning on running the milestone with him.  Oh well, I'd just run twice...that certainly wouldn't hurt!  All I've really been doing since it got hot is 3 miles in the morning, and then either swimming or riding my bike later in the day.  I'm a wuss.  No summer long runs for me.

That evening we all met up with Ken at the track to run the 5K Avenues course.  This was actually the first time I'd ever run this course, and hopefully it will be the last.  Very hilly!  I asked Ken why of all the places he runs, he chose this location for his 2,000th celebration.  He said he wanted to see who his real friends were...apparently real friends will endure torturous hills in extreme heat to show support.  I started the run off with Adrienne, Chris, Hans, Norman, Darren, and Andrew...the fast pack, but then Norman and I decided to hang back and run with Ken.  Lavonne, Karen, Norman and myself ran him in.  Although I would love to say I hung with Adrienne for an entire 5K (even if she was holding back), I was there to run with Ken.  He may not run the fastest 5K in town, but he is one of the most dedicated runners I know.  It's inspiring!  Congrats, Ken!

Since I doubled up on Wednesday, I took off completely on Thursday.  I went down to The Woodlands.  I had an early hair appointment, then I met up with a friend for lunch.  The only workout I got was a stroll around Market Street.  I'm not complaining.

Today I went for a "long run"...a whole 5 miles!  It felt really good.  I miss running.  Friggin' heat!  I'm meeting up with Adrienne at the HKC pool later today for some lap swimming.  Maybe I can beat her in the pool?  I doubt it! :)

Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Camping at Canyon Lake

The Mobile Mansion
(sounds better than trailer)

Me and JP at the Party
(JP's best friend Tom in the background)

The Whole Group
(don't worry...there were several mobile mansions on the premises)

Well, we all survived the first of several summer camping vacations we take every year.  I call it camping, but it's really not roughing it too much.  The Mobile Mansion is equipped with two AC units, three TV's, a full kitchen, one and half baths, and is probably bigger than the first apartment I lived in.  

For this excursion we hauled the bad boy to Potter's Creek Park, located at what is quite possibly my favorite spot in Texas...Canyon Lake.  It is as beautiful as Lake Travis, but isn't spoiled with all the crap that surrounds that place.  It's a Corp. of Engineers lake, so they are very restrictive as to what can be built around it.  No bulk-heading.  It all naturale.  

While we were there we celebrated a major milestone for JP - birthday number 50!  That's right, I am officially married to an old man!  To his credit though...when we first started dating he was 38, and he still looks exactly the same.  That is unless he puts his reading glasses on. ha-ha.

I took my running shoes, bike, helmet, and goggles with me for the trip, and I am happy to say I used them all.  I got a nice run in every morning except for the morning we were packing up to leave, I enjoyed some nice rides with my sister-in-law, and did some swimming in the lake.  The rest of my time was occupied with absolutely nothing but hanging out with good friends and family.  It's always hard to come home from this trip...waaah.

Next up - Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis.  For now it's back to reality.

Oh and, Happy Belated Father's Day to all you awesome Dad's! 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tejas Triathlon Report

Swim Exit - (notice other people around me wearing pink swim caps.)

Bike Finish - (I'm not sure what's up with the arm flexion. Gross!)

Run Start - (Side stitch like a mofo!)

I'm happy to report that you people are going to have to give me a new nickname.  Buoy-to-Buoy Lampson is no more!  I did absolutely no buoy hugging this time.  That's right - I freestyled-it the whole 600 yards.  I had no issues at all this time around, other than I started out too far back in the pack.  It's too danged hard to pass people.  I'm going to be more aggressive next time around.  I guess all my visualization paid off.  I've been lying in bed at night picturing myself swimming in a crowded lake and staying calm...just doing my own thing, like I were the only one there.  You can laugh all you want.  That shizz works!  How do you think I learned how to juggle?

Next the bike.  Not much to say there, other than I seriously need to get faster.  I passed some people, but was passed by more.  I'm guessing this is just something that takes practice and lots more training than I have been doing.  I've pretty much neglected the bike for weeks.  Now that I'm cool with the swimming, I'm going to spend more time on my bike.  You've gotta have a lot of time to train for these multi-sport races...geez!

Ironically, the run is where it all cratered for me this race.  For some reason or another, I got one hell-of-a side stitch, and I couldn't run.  I actually laid down on the ground at one point to try and get it to ease up.  Several people stopped and asked me if I was ok, which I thought was very nice.  Nothing would make this thing go away.  My right side is actually still sore today.  wth?  I just did all I could do.  I ran until I thought my side was going to burst, then I stopped and walked a bit.  Run, almost die, walk, repeat.  This process resulted in 10 minute miles for me, which cost me about 5 minutes.  

If I could have run at my normal pace, I would have been in the top half of my age group, which is my goal at this point.  I finished 19th out of 29.  This race seemed to have some pretty stiff competition.  My friend Jeremy, who placed 2rd in the Combat Tri and 4th at Silverlake, placed 14th at this race.  I saw lots of what appeared to be serious athletes at this thing.  

All in all, it was a good day.  I am definitely hooked on the triathlon, and I would definitely do this race again, just without the side stitch.  Dammit!  

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Getting Ready For Tri #2

I met up with Cassie last Sunday for some open water swimming practice.  She took me to a lake in Manvel where they have some buoys set up for triathlete practice swims and some scuba diving stuff.  

I think it was VERY helpful...thank you, Cassie.  We made a loop around half the lake (550 yds), then swam back and forth between the pier and one of the buoys.  I sorta lost count, but I think we swam 850 yards total.  Cassie tried swimming close to me to simulate race conditions, but I was too worried about kicking her.  I guess I need to go practice with someone I DON'T like, and just kick away.  Any suggestions or volunteers?

It's crazy how much harder open water swimming is.  The next day I did laps at the SHSU pool while the kids played.  I went 120 laps without stopping.  That's 3,000 yards, and seriously, I could have kept going.  I only stopped because I had to tend to my wifely duties, and go cook dinner.  Ugh.  

Today I picked up my packet for the Tejas Tri....I hope this one goes much smoother.  I'm kinda going this one alone.  I had lots of peeps there last time, but the only people I know who will be at Tejas are Jeremy and Evan. (both competing)  No crowd support or female consolation.  Yikes.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

End Of The Montgomery Co. Triple

Montgomery County Triple Finishers
(minus Evan)

I went back down to The Woodlands today for the David's Dream Run 5K, the last leg of the Montgomery County Triple.  It was not an event without it's share of weirdness.  It all started out normal.  Ken and I pulled up at Market Street, and immediately ran into Sara.

Sara asked me if I had read the story behind David's Dream Run, so I told her I hadn't.  She informed me that David was a boy who lived in a bubble that had passed away about 13 years ago.  I don't know how many of you are Seinfeld fans, but after she told me that I couldn't get the Seinfeld bubble boy out of my head.  The proceeds from the race went to Texas Children's Hospital, and it is a great cause, and I know this is horrible, but I couldn't quit laughing to myself.  I know - I'm going to hell!  Please forgive me!

Anyway, next we picked up our races packets.  Apparently, everyone either got a size large or extra large shirt.  What the heck?  It looks like a nightgown on me.  Why did they even ask what size shirt we wanted on the entry form if they were going to give everyone a large?!

Then we found out that the race didn't actually start until 8:30, not 8:00 like the website said. So Sara and I headed over to the HEB to use the facilities.  While we were in the bathroom a woman and two young girls came in.  One of the young girls (probably around 16) told her friends that she could not use the restroom if they were in there too because she had a nervous bladder, and she asked them if they could wait outside.  Then she put her finger in my face and said "you better not listen either!".  I replied with a simple "ok", but I felt more like saying "get your friggin' finger outta my face you freak!".   For the record - I listened.  It sounded the same as when anyone else does it.  Geez...weirdo!

Sara, Ken, Jon, Bill, Karen, Evan and myself stood around chatting while waiting for the race to start.  It was the usual discussion for this time of year.  The heat, the humidity, etc.  Ken wouldn't stop looking for John Cook. (fellow SHRC member who made the first two legs of the triple, but was MIA for the Dream Run)

Finally, time to run.  I went out way too fast, as usual.  I was chasing Suzy Shreiber.  Bad idea.  I hung with her for about a mile and a half, and then died.  I'm not sure why I insist on doing this.  I mean, I know it doesn't work well for me, but I can not make myself start out slow.  Very frustrating!  I ended up 4th in the 30-39 age group with a time of 27:07.

The race itself was pretty uneventful, other than some crazy guy with a baby jogger nearly plowed me over.  The guy was flying.  I'm convinced the thing had a little motor, and was actually pulling him.  One thing for sure, he needs to work on his steering!  It's a miracle he didn't take out an innocent achilles tendon.

After a really long wait with REALLY loud top 40's music and the occasional Tejano hit, the awards ceremony was underway.  (chip problems...ugh!)  I was all prepared to cheer on Sara who placed 3rd in her age group and Ken who we thought had placed 2nd in his age group.  When they didn't call out Sara's name, we realized that they were only giving out awards two deep.  And, when they didn't call out Ken's name, we realized after they fixed the chip problems he was bumped to 3rd place.  Bummer.  No awards for SHRC.  Ten year age groups with awards only two deep - that STINKS!  However, it did make my 4th place finish less annoying!

At the end of the awards ceremony Jon took over the mic, and told the remaining crowd a little about the Montgomery Co. Triple.  Then he named Jacob and Joseph Mazone the top male finishers, and Me and Sara the top female finishers.  My first overall female finish.  Out of a field of 4....WooHoo!  I got three more pine cones to add to my collection.  Thirteen out of the fourteen MCT finishers were recognized and given an award.  Evan left early, so he missed out on his piece of wood.  Motocross something or other...dangerous!

We all called it a wrap and went home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Over Ambitious?

Well, since my horrible swim experience at the Silverlake Tri, I've been swimming like crazy.  Yesterday I signed up for the Tejas Tri in Sugar Land on June 8th.  It has a 600 yd open water swim...yikes!  I'm determined to do this one with a little more grace, and far less tears.  I loved the triathlon experience as a whole, so I can't keep letting the swim intimidate me.  I WILL get over my fear! (trying to psych myself up here)

Yesterday I swam 600 yds twice, timing myself both times.  In the pool, I'm doing this distance in about 13 minutes.  How that translates to open water...I have no idea.  I'm going to find a lake to practice in this weekend.

I also signed up for the Y Freedom Tri on June 29th in Pearland.  It's a 300 meter pool swim...heck yeah!

If anyone has any advice on goggles, it would be much appreciated.  Every pair I've tried fogs up on me.  Even the ones that say "anti-fog".  It's not really a big deal in the pool, but it's hard to sight buoys when you can't see, and trying to rinse the inside of my goggles out when I can't touch bottom is not an easy task for me.  Help.  This was a contributing factor to my Silverlake meltdown.


Hannah and I took advantage of the cooler temps this morning, and hit the road.  She rode her bike along side me while I ran.   It was great.  She carried my water bottle and pepper spray in her little bike basket, and didn't complain at all.  We went 3.5 miles, and she says she wants to go farther tomorrow.  Sweet!

Getting runs in when she is out of school has been a problem in the past, because I can't leave her alone.  Now her bike skills are good enough to come with me.  I'm so excited!  I won't have to run circles in my living room this summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Run...Walk

As you can tell by the look on my face, I was not overly excited about running yesterday morning.  It's just too danged hot, but I've already complained enough about that.  Waaaahhhh.

Ken graciously hosted the annual 7 Hills Memorial Day 5K and cookout at his house in the Timberwilde subdivision.  He set up a course that included one loop and a short out-and-back.  Garmin says it was right on.

I ran with Norman's oldest daughter, Chantel.  The last club run, I ran with the youngest of the Langwell girls, Deanna.  Now I just need to run a race with Colton, and I will have completed the trifecta.  Only problem is, I'm not sure I can keep up with Colton.

Chantel and I ran/walked the course, and did more talking than anything else.  32 minutes and something.  Just a leisure 10:00 am stroll through Timberwilde in sweltering heat.                                                                      

Thanks so much to the Johnson family for a great cookout!  I wish I could have stayed longer, but as usual, I had a house full of people waiting on me at home.  

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Brutal RTW

It happens every year around this time - I loose my will to run.  My last run before today was in Pearland at the Silverlake Tri.  I can't stand running in heat and humidity.  I know what you're thinking...who can?  But, seriously, I think I am overly sensitive to it.  It is very apparent in the crazy shade of red my face turns in high heat situations.  My high school basketball coach used to pull me out of the game because she thought I was dying.  Not wanting me to drop dead on her watch, I would have to beg to be put back in the game, and sometimes even ice my face.

Today at RTW, the second leg of the Montgomery County Triple, my face was crazy red.  Thanks to soaring humidity levels, the heat index at 8 o'clock this morning was already in the triple digits.  Ugh!  I did what I could do, but it wasn't pretty, and it hurt...bad!  Borderline torture.  It gave "for the love of pine cones" a whole new meaning.  

I zeroed in on Denise Van Kuiken.  I like to pick someone slightly faster than me and try to hang.  I shadowed her for about 1.3 miles, and then quickly faded.  I got a side stitch, which happens frequently to me this time of year.  I don't know if it's the heat or the fact that I'm running less, but I get them a lot in the summer.  Denise ended up finishing in 25:13, me in 26:52.  That is truly all I had.  Oh well.

My hat is off to Karen.  I would be willing to bet that out of the 98 people who ran RTW today, Karen is the only one who PR'd!  She broke 26 minutes for the first time today!  WooHoo!  I told her loosing all that gear would speed her up...or was it Coach Bill?  Either way, she was awesome!

Even though I repeated the phrase "I hate summer" numerous times today, I had a great time.  I've made lots of friends thru running, and lots of them were there today.  Best dollar I've ever spent!

When I got home JP was busy knocking the winter dust off the boat.  Time to take it out for it's summer test run before our slew of upcoming camping trips.  Jimmy Buffet and my song appropriate concoction (not frozen, but concoction all the same) quickly reminded me that I don't actually hate summer.  

We spent the day cruising around Lake Conroe watching the kids ski.  I say ski, but it's really wake boarding.  They are quick to tell me "mom, no one skis anymore...that's so eighties".  Being a former professional water skier and instructor, this is very hard for JP to accept.  Every once in a while he puts them in their place, and lets me pull him.  He throws on his 70's model ski (apparently they don't know how to make 'em nowadays), I put the Duran Duran cassette in the boom-box, and he tears it up 80's style. Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand... 

My plan for the summer:  

Short run.  Lots of sun. (with adequate SPF, of course) 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ride of Silence

My friend Keelie Hughes and myself headed over to Lufkin yesterday evening for a Ride of Silence.  This event, organized by Jeremy Webb, is held on May 21st in cities all over the world in memory of cyclist who have been injured or killed by motorist, and to raise awareness for biking safety.
Edwin wrote a great story about it for the Lufkin Daily News. read it

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My First Tri Experience

First of all, let me just say, it's a whole heck of a lotta work to get your stuff together for a triathlon.  I must have gone over my list a million times.  Helmet-check. Towel-check. Goggles-check.  And so on, and so on.  All my rechecking, and I still somehow managed to leave the number that goes on your bike in my car, which was parked about a mile away.  In my infinite wisdom, I decided the best way to retrieve that number from my car was to run back and get it.  Um - nevermind the perfectly good bike I had with me?  I'm an idiot.

So, I ran back to get the number.  I passed Jon and Waverly as they were making their way to the start area.  I'm sure they were wondering why I was running down the street in the opposite direction of the race.  Once I made it back to the transition area with my number (100 - I thought that was a pretty cool number) I had about 10 minutes to get all my stuff set up.  The lady next to me brought her entire closet, so I didn't have much space, but I got everything laid out in what seemed like a logically ordered arrangement.  Off to the port-a-potty line.

Desperate times call for desperate measures - I went inside a port-a-potty with no shoes on.  I suddenly felt very Britney Spearsish, but I had no choice.  The only shoes I had were on my little towel in the transition area that was already closed off.  A second pair of shoes is something I will definitely add to my list for next time.

Sarah was waiting in line with me, and was giving me some last minute pointers and trying to ease my mind a little about the swimming.  While Sarah was trying to ease my mind, the lady behind me was scaring me to death.  She was going on and on about how hard open water swimming is, and how lots of people freak out, and how it's completely different from swimming in a pool (which is all I've been doing).   I left the port-a-potties thinking I was going to die, and with who knows what on the bottom of my feet!

I had about thirty minutes before my wave started, which I spent chatting with Jon, Waverly, Edwin, Cassie, Manny, and Sarah.  Then they called my wave, and it hit me - I'm not ready for this!  We all got in the water, and when the guy said "ok...10 seconds" I started to panic.  The gun sounded and we were off.  I hung back in the pack, but still managed to get kicked in the face almost immediately.  I did exactly what the scary lady in the port-a-potty line said.  I freaked out, inhaled some water, and couldn't get myself together enough to swim.  

I was headed for the rescue boat when I heard a familiar voice yelling words of encouragement in my direction.  I looked over at the bank, and Jon had run around the side of the lake and was cheering for me.  That "you can do it!" saved my race.  I decided I could do it.  I would just take it buoy to buoy.  I never could get my composure together enough to actually swim freestyle.  I did a doggie-paddle/breaststroke hybrid and stopped at every buoy.  

It took me a little over 13 minutes to swim 400 meters.  Pathetic!  It actually would have been longer except for the fact that the people in the boats kept yelling at me to get off the buoys.  Apparently, that's not what they're for.  They put the buoys there to mark the course not to cling to for dear life.  I've never been happier to see astro turf!  I dried my feet off, put my shoes, helmet, and sunglasses on, and headed out on my bike.

The bike leg went smoothly enough I guess.  I got passed too much.  I'm not sure how many times I heard "on your left", but it was too many for my liking.  I definitely need to get faster on the bike.  36 minutes to cover 10 miles leaves lots of room for improvement.

There wasn't much to transition 2.  I just switched out my helmet for my visor, racked my bike, and put on my race belt.  Off for the run.  I hadn't actually done any brick workouts, so this was the first time I had run directly after biking.  Weird.  My legs wouldn't work for about half a mile or so.  I felt like I was going in slow motion, and I'm sure I was.  Once the jello legs went away I kicked it up as much as I could, and for the first time during the race I was doing the passing.  The run was 3 miles in 25:49, which is my typical pace.  I felt like I was running slower than normal, but I guess not.

Finally the finish line.  It took me 1:19:18 to get there, and I'm fine with that.  I had no big expectations for this race.  The goal was to finish, and learn a little about how this whole triathlon thing works.  I learned I need to practice open water swimming, I need to hammer out more miles on my bike, and I need to bring shoes for the port-a-potties.

After the race I hung out with my fellow TIR teammates for a while before heading back.  I picked up a few new nicknames like "buoy-hugger" and such.  I guess I've been called worse.  Congrats to Sarah for her awesome 3rd place finish, and to Cassie who completed the whole thing with one of the worst coughs I have ever heard.  I have no idea how she did it.  Jeremy Webb and his sister, Jennifer, were also there competing.  Jeremy totally rocked the course, and came in under the one hour mark with a time of 59 minutes and some change, which put him in the ever so annoying 4th place slot.  4th place drives me crazy!

I had a rough start, but when it's all said and done, I had a great day.  Thank goodness for all the familiar faces, especially Jon and Edwin.  You guys are the best!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

8 Things About Me

Curtis tagged me for this little game, so here goes...

1.  I can juggle.  Started with scarves and worked my way up to oranges.
2.  I used to be legally blind.  Thank goodness for Lasik!
3.  My first name is Lisa, and my middle name's not Katy.
4.  I too, like Curtis, am uncomfortable running shirtless.
5.  I have attended 4 different colleges, and don't have a degree from any of them.
6.  I have Eazy E and The Bee Gees on the same iPod.
7.  I am not a natural blonde...shocker, I know.
8.  I have seen Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink 437 times each.

Well, that's me in a nutshell.  Now I have to tag some people, so here goes: (Karen, Holden, Jon, Cassie, Sarah, Joe...get after it!)

Killer Clouds?

There was a sign on the door to the pool today that read "Pool Closed Due To Weather".  I was completely unaware that clouds posed such a threat to swimmers.  For 32 years I've been swimming on cloudy days, risking my life, and I didn't even know it!  

The lifeguard told me that the "lightning meter" had picked up some activity.  The sensor for this thing must be in Dallas or something....geez!  I think they all just wanted the day off.  Sitting in a chair holding a floatation device can be exhausting you know?

I did get in a run this morning.  Ken and I made the outer loop at the park.  It was humid and fairly uneventful, other than Ken ate a bug, which he apparently didn't like too much.  It's hard to say though...he makes the same face when offered a piece of chicken.  Only person I have ever met that doesn't like chicken.  It has something to do with having to pluck tons of them as a kid or something.

Monday, May 12, 2008

B-Ball Woes

Looking to escape the heat, humidity and snakes, I opted for an indoor run today on the track at the SHSU Kinesiology building.  It's an eighth mile track that circles above the basketball courts.  I get really bored running in circles, so luckily there was a fairly good game going on in one of the courts that kept me pretty entertained.  

There was also some bone-head muscled up idiot (mini mullet and a tank top with a dumbbell on it) in one of the courts that was throwing up brick after brick.  I'm serious, he was chunking the basketball like it was a shot put.  I was expecting the backboard to shatter at any moment.  It took all I had not to yell down at the guy "ease up's not how hard you throw the ball, it's all in your wrist!".  I am not kidding when I say, that in the entire 32 laps I made around that track, I did not see him make one basket.  The guy gets an A+ for persistency though.

I decided 4 miles was all could handle on this track.  I was starting to feel like a hamster, and suppressing my inner basketball coach was taking a toll on me.  It was time to go swim.  

On my way to the pool I had to pass the door to the basketball courts, and I couldn't resist going in.  There was a ball up against the wall, so I picked it up and sunk a 3 point baseline shot for the muscle man.  Amazing what a little arc and follow through will do.  Muscle man didn't say anything, but I did get a "damn wanna come play with us?" from the other court.  
Unsure how I would fare playing amongst a group of 6+ foot guys with the skillz of Kobe, I declined.  I may look into when the midget pick-up games are and go back.  

Ran 4, Swam 1

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I was going to write about how I always get the shaft on Mother's Day.  No breakfast in bed, or gifts, or anything like that.  I host lunch for about 25 family members, which requires buying it, cooking it, and cleaning it up.  I usually spend the day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and go to bed completely exhausted.  So, I was going to complain about this, but I changed my mind.

I spent the day cooking and washing dishes with my mom and my daughter keeping me company.  I am lucky.  Cereal's hard to eat in bed anyway.


Once the dishes were done and the in-laws were gone, I ran 3 miles on trails at the house.   Happy Mother's Day to everyone! 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Won Some Wood

I hit the snooze button 3 times this morning. Something I don't normally do, but I am sure that if I had not taken a few extra minutes of pillow time my head would have spontaneously combusted.  I'm guessing it had something to do with the previous night's events.  Matt's band, Pledge Defiance, had a gig last night, so we were out late, and I'm not sure, but I think someone may have slipped some rum into my diet 7up.  I'm totally innocent.

After downing two advils, a granola bar, and a sugar-free red bull, I headed south for the YMCA Trail Run 5K.  The race was much larger than I had anticipated.  People and cars everywhere.  I figured with the number of people in the race,  and me in my current condition, I had no chance at placing.  However, I am happy to report that for the first time in my racing history, I placed in my age group without it being by default.  I came in 2nd with a time of 26:31, a trail 5K PR for me.  For my efforts I won a lovely chunk of wood with some engraving on it.  With a little sanding, stain, and polyurethane, I'm sure it will make a nice wall-piece.

Lots of 7 Hillers made it down this morning - Ken, Marilynn & Ben Johnson, Hans Jaeger, John Cook, Sara Lange (by best racin' buddy!), Jan Parks, and Jon Walk (not running this morning.  he was there supporting).  Had a fun time.  Nice course and well organized race.  I will definitely run it again next year, even though I hate 5K's!

Just one last tidbit and I'll let you go.  About mid-way through the race I got passed by a hunched over, little old man that could hobble like the dickens.  Darnedest thing I've ever seen.  Hans saw him too, so it wasn't just my hang-over playing tricks on me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Can Brown Do For You?

Um..apparently not get me a Garmin!  Tired of waiting on my darned UPS man to bring me my new 405, I bought one at Luke's today while I was in The Woodlands.  I don't really blame my UPS man - Donnie's the best!  

I'm holed up in my room now watching the Astros, and trying to figure out how to use it.  Lots of instructions - I may be here a while.

I also bought Chelsea Handler's new book, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.  If I ever finish reading this instruction manual I'm going to read it.  She makes me laugh - lots!

No running today.  I biked for an hour.  I don't know how far I went because I forgot to clip my cyclocomputer to my bike.  I also forgot the water again.  I think they got the bleach a little too close to my scalp today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Snakes, snakes and more snakes

I hadn't seen a single snake so far this year - that is until today.  They were everywhere!  I couldn't even get across the creek behind the house to run my favorite trail.  There was a snake coiled up on the only spot where I can jump across.  I reached down to pick up a stick to throw at it, so it would move, and realized it was not a stick I was about to pick up, but another snake.  

A little startled from almost picking up a snake, I jumped back a little, and almost stepped on yet another snake.  What the heck?  I was surrounded!  I decided to re-route my run and take a different trail, but I still encountered two more snakes.  Needless to say, it was a very nervous 8 mile run for me today.  Every stick started looking like a snake.  I did lots of hopping around.  Glad no one was watching.

Headed to The Woodlands tomorrow to get my hair did, a little retail therapy, and lunch with an old high school friend/sometimes boyfriend who is just moving here from Dallas.  Should be interesting.  Is it wrong that I hope he's ugly now?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

6.2 With Rick

Went down to The Woodlands this morning for a 10K.  Nope, not a race.  Fellow 7 Hiller Rick Cook had planned a 100K training run in preparation for the Western States 100 that he is running in June.  His run consisted of 10 10K out-and-backs, and various people were running with him to help break up the monotony.  

My plan was to run the first 6 a.m. leg, so that I would be back in time for church, and then go back for one or two legs at the end of the run.  Rick and his friend John (a fellow ultra-runner who was planning on doing the whole 100K with Rick), along with Karen, Holden and myself headed out right at 6.  

What a great way to start out a Sunday!  Watching the sun come up on beautiful cool morning, while running 6.2 miles at a very comfortable 10 min per mile pace with great company.  I'm not sure that can be topped.  Well, maybe one way, but I won't get into that on here.  

I was just about to head back down to TW when I got a call from Karen that Rick and John had decided to call it quits 43 miles into the run.  No more trips to The Woodlands for me today.  Probably a good thing 'cause JP was being an a** about it anyway.

Congrats to Rick for a great 43 mile run!  A 62 mile run on those concrete trails in The Woodlands is unfathomable to this Huntsville Sate Park runner!  My feet hurt just thinking about it!  Best of luck at Western States!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

...and I'm spent.

Long night
Long ride
Long run
Long day

All of the above much longer than this post.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pimped My Ride

Today I added a little thang-a-ma-jiggy called a cyclocomputer to my bike.  Once I figured out what these rpm's were you people were talking about (Joe), I decided I better get one of these devices.  After reading the instructions about 112 times, I think I know how to use it.  I didn't ride today though.  I'm going to try it out tomorrow.  Apparently I'm supposed to stay at 90 rpm's or better?  I may have to eat my words...we'll see.

Went back to the pool yesterday and today, and taking Cassie's advice, I just took it slow and easy.  I am already feeling sooo much better about the swimming.  I swam 500 yds today without stopping, going slow and easy.  Cassie was right! (not that I doubted her)  I think I was trying to swim too fast that first day.  I'll work on speed in time.  I've got to be able to finish first.  I thought I was doing really good swimming 500 yds until I read Sarah does that just for a warm-up.  ha-ha.  I'll get there eventually.  I've got lots of determination!

When I got home I ran 3 miles on trails here at the house.  And, I'm happy to let Edwin know, I am showing my kids a restaurant tonight.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Outer Just Got Longer

                     hannah's b-day

Ran the outer loop today with Ken, and they re-routed part of the trail.  It felt really weird - loose dirt and slanted.  I'm all for change, but I don't like this new trail.  

I'm about to go back to the pool and give it another try.  My arms and shoulders are still sore from my first attempt.  

I'll tell you what's not sore, and that's my legs from my bike ride yesterday.  No offensive to any of you hard core cyclists out there, but I don't feel like biking does anything.  Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy it, but I think I could ride my bike from here to Saskatchewan and I wouldn't feel a thing (if I had water).  When I find a feeder road that goes to Saskatchewan I'll let you know.  Who knows, maybe I'm not doing it right.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Swimming's Friggin' Hard

Well, I went to the pool yesterday for a swimming test drive.  Umm, apparently 'used to be a strong swimmer' doesn't translate into 'still a strong swimmer'.  I don't remember swimming being that danged hard!  I've still got the technique, but absolutely NO endurance.  I can't believe I can run 31 miles pretty easily, but two laps across the pool and I'm about to fall out.  Got lots of work to do in this department.  I'm going back tomorrow.

Yesterday I was also supposed to run at the park with Ken, but just about the time I pulled through the park gate, the pool repairman that I have been waiting on for 3 weeks called and informed me his was sitting at my gate.  Thanks for the notice...geez.  So, I brought Ken back home with me, and we ran trails behind my house.  I'm estimating about 5 miles.
Today I was going to try and ride my bike all the way to Madisonville on the I45 feeder road, but just past FM 2989 I realized I was no longer on the feeder road - I was on the entrance ramp to the interstate.  Yikes!  So, FM 2989 is as far as I could go.  (around 25 miles round trip) Probably a good thing.  I forgot to fill my water bottle up before I left.  I was parched - almost drank out of a ditch.

I just finished a three mile run here at the house (which makes my April total 114.5), and now I gotta go cook.  These danged kids want dinner every night - crazy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Signed Up For My 1st Triathlon

I have been wanting to attempt a triathlon for about two years, but have always been a little scared.  Thanks to tons of great advice and a little push from a friend who's a veteran triathlete, I bit the bullet, and signed up for the Silverlake Sprint Triathlon in Pearland on May 18th.

I'm not really sure I'm ready, but I'm just going to go for it.  I know I can run, I've gotten pretty comfortable on my bike, and I used to be a strong swimmer.  I haven't done any distance swimming in a long time though.  I'm going to the HKC later today and see where I stand.  I feel pretty confident I can swim a measly 400 meters solidly by May 18th if I start working on it now.

Thanks for all your help, Jeremy!  If anyone else has any advice to offer, I'm accepting donations. :)  


Sunday (Hannah's 7th Birthday!) I ran 8 miles on the trails behind my house.  It seemed like a lot farther because of all the sand.  I had forgotten how sandy those trails get when it's really dry.  I felt like I was running in place.  Very frustrating.

Monday I didn't do anything, well I didn't do anything that had anything to do with running, biking or swimming.  I enjoyed the day off.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm an idiot

Today I was supposed to be running the new City of Huntsville - Weisner Huntsville 5K, but things didn't go quite as planned.  I showed up ready to run, the only problem was I was 5 hours too late.  The race started at 8 a.m., but for some reason it was scheduled in my head at 2 p.m.  I have no idea how I got that mixed up.  The fastest person in my age group was 38 minutes...bummer.  Oh well, I'll just chalk it up to a blond moment.

I went home, ran 3 miles and biked 10.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tour De HSP

I met Ken at the park this morning for a long overdue trail run.  We opted for the 9 mile loop that pretty much circles the entire park.  My calves started out really tight, but after stopping to stretch I had a great run.  

I ran the beginning and end with Ken, and ran much of the middle at my own pace.  It was really nice to be back at the park.  In fact, I decided today while running that I would actually rather be at the park running than sipping mojitos on the beach.

Next time JP wants to go on vacation, I'll suggest we just pull the fifth-wheel out to the park.  It sure would be alot cheaper..

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Been Chillin' in Cozumel

I got a phone call this morning from Norman.  He was checking to see if I was ok, because I hadn't posted in 5 days, and my last post was describing how sick I was.  How sweet - he thought I was dead.  I've made some really great friends in the running community.  Good luck this weekend Norman, Mr. Fit Texan!!

I have actually been hiding out in Cozumel.  JP and I left last Sunday, and got home late this afternoon.  It was nice to get away, but I'm glad to be home.  The trip was just a little too slow paced for me.  Those of you on my TIR team know I'm NOT a napper.  Unfortunately, everyone else there was.  I did alot of entertaining myself and talking to strangers.

There really wasn't anywhere to run that I felt very safe.  The beach was rocky, and the road, well that was out of the question.  I went to the little gym at the hotel a couple of times, but I mostly took the time to try and get well.  I am almost back to full strength.  Still a lingering cough, but not as intense as it has been.  I'm definitely on the downhill side of this crap.  Yay!

I missed running though.  When I got home I had about 30 minutes before Hannah got home, so I got in a quick 3.5 miles on my road, which will probably be my last run down my road.  I had a creepy stalker encounter which resulted in a neighbor escort on the run home.  Long story - too tired to go into detail tonight.  More on that later.

Anyway, I'm home!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Long Run Cut Short

I really wanted to get in a long run today.  My head wanted to just run as far as a could, collapse, and just stay there.  However, my lungs would not cooperate.  There would be no running away for me today.  I can't breathe, and it's starting to really make me mad.  It just keeps getting worse!  Uncontrollable coughing.  I think I have TB...

I ran 3.5 miles, got interrupted by two different neighbors coming home from work, and gave one guy directions to the rock quarry down the road they use to give scuba diving instructions.  Note to self: don't run down the road at 5:00, stick to the trails.

When I got back the house I took out some frustration on my new basketball goal. (which was a Christmas present, but was just finally installed this week.)  Don't laugh either!  I may be 5'2", but I can shoot some hoops.  Irving MacArthur Lady Cards!  Bobby Hurley used to be my hero.

I'm hoping for better health very soon.  Hopefully the Claritin-D will help.  I don't know if any of you have bought that stuff recently, but I think the pharmacy did a full background check on me.  I guess I looked like a closet meth cooker.  

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Had a good run at the park today with Ken.  Ran the outer 6.7 mile loop.  Coughing and wheezing was minimal, and I actually felt pretty good.  I decided to run the last 2 miles or so all out, and took off on my own.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and today was the day.  I survived my first fall at the park - with the end of the trail in sight.  How annoying!  Banged up my hand, hip, elbow and knee.  Judging by pain levels, my hand and hip hit first.

Covered in dirt, I limped back to the park restroom to try and clean up a little, but as usual, there were no paper towels.  Toilet paper is not all that effective on sweaty skin - I didn't even try.  I just took my shirt off and used it.  I drove home bruised, bleeding and shirtless.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My New Ride..

I bought my first real bike yesterday, and I'm super excited!  A little scared, but excited all the same.  I went for my first ride today - about 20 miles on the I45 feeder road here by my house.  I know that sounds crazy, but there is NO traffic on it once you pass our road.  I didn't see a single vehicle.  Perfect place to ride except that you have to pass a rest area.  Truckers galore, and they made sure I knew they saw me..if you know what I mean.  Last time I do that ride.  By myself at least.  I gotta find some good places to ride.
I'm still fightin' the upper respiratory crap, but I ran today anyway.  I HATE resting!  I made it 3 miles, but it sounded like the entire emphysema ward coughing in unison.  I'm going to try again tomorrow at the park.  Hopefully Ken will take it easy on me!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I'm sick again!  So, I'm taking the day off.
JP brought home a bag of rabbit last night that he got from some kid that showed them at the fair, and he asked me to cook them today.  My first, and hopefully only, pot of rabbit stew.  Disgusting.  It's a Lean Cuisine night for me.

Well, I'm gonna go pluck on my banjo now..

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh well..

I may have recently found my inner distance runner, but apparently she doesn't like to come out two Saturdays in a row.

I had originally signed up for the half marathon in Groveton, then switched to the full to try and complete the Texas Marathon Challenge, but I ended up running the half marathon anyway.  After the first of two out-and-back's I decided to call it quits.  My right hamstring was hurting, I was coughing like crazy, and I just didn't feel like pushing it.  I could have done it, but it just didn't seem worth it to me yesterday for some reason.

I thought I would wake up and regret my decision more than I do today, but I'm fine with it.  I posted a new half marathon PR, had a great time, and feel like I did the best I could do without hurting myself.

For those of you who missed it, Jon did a great job on the PA.  I stayed for awhile after my race was over watching marathoners come in and listening to Jon announce it all like a pro.  Waverly also did a great job as medal and bear bestower.  

Congratulations to my friends Norman on completing the Texas Marathon Challenge (Groveton was his fifth this year),  Edwin for running a great half and feeling redeemed as a runner (although I think he's too hard on himself), and to Jeremy Webb for his super fast extra-long 5K! (they made a wrong turn)

I guess I'll just have to find another marathon to do before the TMC ends...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One Last Run

I did one last easy, measly 3 mile run today down my road before Groveton on Saturday.  This is the first time I've run down my road since the 'discovery'.  It was a little eerie, but otherwise ok.
I was happy NOT to find my favorite cat on the side of the road.  She has been missing for 3 days now.  Dora the Explorer went exploring and never came home.  (yes, I have a 6 year old)  Unfortunately, I did find this load of crap that someone dumped.  It drives me crazy that people do this.  It would have cost maybe 30 bucks to take it to the dump.
Some people...ugh!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


That's how I feel today - Grrrrr!

I had meetings all day today, which I'm ok with.  I only have to do this one day a month.  Normally my job rocks.  However, my last appointment today did not go so well.  I was so mad when I left I could hardly see straight.

I went home, and couldn't get my work clothes off and my running shoes on fast enough.  I ran the 5K course we marked off on the trails here at the house (including the loops around the barn).  I didn't time it, but I'm pretty sure it had to be a PR.

I'm going to keep my posts short because the more I write, the further down the page my picture of Lance goes...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still Resting...Kinda

I didn't run today.  After yesterday's run, I decided my legs needed a bit more rest.  I tore it up on the elliptical trainer for a little over an hour, did a little light weight training, and called it good.

I'm running tomorrow.  I think I'm ready now.  Legs are feeling good.  Groveton better watch out!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Recovery Run

I got back on the horse today, and ran 5 at the park with Ken.  It was hot, my hamstrings were tight, we walked a few hills, and that's all I have to say about that.

When I got home my new Runner's World was in the mailbox, and to my delight, my man Lance made a cover story.  'Lance is Legit" - Umm.  Who was doubting this?  He ran a sub 3 marathon with a 13 mile training run.  The man is a cardio freak of nature.  But mostly I just like seeing him power up hills. (see page 27)

Started breaking in a new pair of Brooks Trance 7's today.  I love this shoe.  Best ever made as far as I'm concerned.  I already knew my size in this shoe, so I didn't try them on at the store.  Didn't even open the box until today.  They have white shoelaces with black flugglebinders on the end.  I just thought that was weird.  Never seen black flugglebinders before.  Hmm.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My First 50K

I'll warn you now, this post may be long.  It's just I had such a great day yesterday, that I don't want to forget any of it.  I ran my first 50K and my first official trail run.  My first marathon was run in my hometown of Dallas, so I think it's fitting that my first trail run was run at Huntsville State Park, where I train.

I got up around 5:00 a.m. and had my oatmeal.  A breakfast I rarely deviate from.  I didn't have the coffee though, G2 instead.  Then got dressed, gathered up my race number, headphones etc., and headed to the park.  I was there an  hour early.  I sat in my car for 45 minutes listening to the radio and watching everyone prepare for their 31 mile trek through the woods.  The award for best warm-up routine goes to J.C. Guzman. (fellow 7 Hills club member)

I've watched J.C. warm-up on many occasions and it still cracks me up every time.  The smile that it put on my face is probably what helped me get out of my car.  I was terrified to run this race.  I felt incredibly unprepared, and self doubt was hitting me hard.  The longest run I had made since the Austin Marathon in February was about 13 miles.  What was I doing running a 50K?  J.C.'s pre-race ritual suddenly made me feel at home, at ease, or something like that, and I headed to the start line.

There I ran into Karen and Pete.  Karen was running her first 50K too, and also seemed to have some apprehensions.  We spent a few minutes arguing over who was less prepared, and then came to the conclusion that we were just going to have fun with it and just shoot for a finish.  Ken was also there, lined up ready to run his 5th race of a marathon distance or greater this year.  That man amazes me.  I hope when I'm 66 I can still run five marathons a year.  J.C. and Felix were lined up in the front.  Not speaking.  In their racing zone I guess.  7 Hiller, Curtis Barton, offered me a few tips.  One was to hang back at first, so you get to do the passing, instead of getting passed.  I liked the idea.  It's much more fun to be the passer than the passee.  Out of nowhere Tommy Stunz and his son Jakeb, who were both running the 25K, appeared.  Their start time wasn't until an hour later, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them.  Very sweet of them to get up early to come see us all off.

And off we were.  As soon as we climbed the hill up Park Road 40 and entered the trail head, I was at peace with my decision to run this race.  These were my trails, and I felt right at home.  I didn't even turn any music on.  Just enjoyed the sounds of the forest waking up.  After winding through the inside trail we came out on the park service road, where there was an aid station manned by Phillip Clark, one of my 7 Hills friends.  Phillip offered me everything from his hand held water bottle, to his mp3 player, to some gu, get the point.  Very nice.  The first time I ever ran trails at the park Phillip carried my fuel belt for about 4 miles because I had a cramp.  I love my running club.

It was here that the course took us on the first out-and-back.  Two things I hate in races are double loops and out-and-backs.  This course had both, and I was not looking forward to them.  I quickly decided that my hatred of out-and-backs was ill-judged.  On my 'out' I got to see all the leaders making their 'back', and every single one of them gave me words of encouragement.  Trail runners are really nice!  Looking strong, great job, keep it up, way to go girl, run faster (from J.C.).  I then, in turn, did the same for the runners I passed on my way back.  

So the tone was set.  The weather was perfect, I was at home on my trails, the people were great, and I felt really strong.  I settled into my pace and had a blast.  Surprisingly, the trails were not in bad shape.  There were some hairy spots on the back side of the lake, but I managed to tip-toe around them in true girly fashion.  I guess I'll have to work on my fear of mud if I ever want to be a real trail runner.  The course was great.  A combination of the inner and outer loops, so you had some serious trail running riddled with roots and stumps, but then got a break on the jeep roads.  I ran on some trails that I never even knew were there.  Very interesting.  

I stopped at every aid station.  Had some Powerade or Heed (Which made me laugh.  Couldn't help but think of So I Married An Axe Murderer - 'Heed pants, now!', 'It's like an orange on a toothpick').  Anyhoo, yeah, I stopped at every one of them and chatted with the very friendly volunteers.  I wasn't really worried about my time.  In fact, I stopped at the mid-way aid station for about 15 minutes.  I had a little sandwich, took some electrolyte tablets, dumped all the trail debris out of my shoes, sent out a few text messages, chatted some more.  Then headed out for my second loop.

I was worried about this second loop.  It's really hard for me to not think 'oh my gosh, I have to do that all over again!', but I felt fine.  I did turn the music on for this one though.  Enough nature.  It was time to jam out.  My second loop went just as smoothly as my first one, with one exception.  I nearly ate it, hard!  I kicked the crap out of a root with my right foot and was sailing for the ground.  I grasped for a nearby youpon and managed to save myself.  Whew!  I hate to fall.

I'm not sure how, but my energy level never really wavered, and sans gel.  My second loop was the same speed as my first, which was really cool because I actually got to pass people.  This is something very foreign to me.  I'm not normally the passer.  I made it to the finish line in 5:49:29.  Having no idea what a 50K time for me should be, I felt pretty happy about it.  Paul Stone, the race director, commented to me that it was really good for my first time.

It's game on for Sunmart in December.  I didn't take this 50K very seriously, but I'm going to give it an all out effort next time.  I think I am beginning to find my inner distance runner.  Longer races seem to be much more my style.  I don't really have the explosive speed (although I'm working on it), but I can run consistently for a really long time.  Kinda the tortoise factor.

Congratulations to all my friends who ran Hog's Hunt!  Especially Adrienne, who was first female in the 25K, and Karen, who completed her first 50K in great fashion.  I am anxious to hear how everyone did.  No results are posted as of yet.

Shortly after returning home from the race I got a call from Jon Walk, who is running back-to-back half marathons this weekend in Kansas and Missouri.  He was checking to see how we all survived Hog's Hunt.  That was very sweet.  Good luck today, Jon!

This morning it's back to reality.  I was forced to come down from my ultra-marathoner high and resume my role as lowly pancake chef.