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.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Resting & Watching it Rain

I'm taking the day off in preparation for Hog's Hunt tomorrow.  That's pretty much the only preparing I've done for this race.  I think I've lost my mind.

It has been pouring rain all day, so the trails at the park ought to be nice and muddy.  Oh well, what's trail running without mud?

I'm looking forward to seeing all the folks traveling to Huntsvegas for the festivities.  A little mini TIR reunion.  Wish everyone was going to be there.

Please pray for me...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Grand Champion Heifers

Just thought I'd share..
Jared showed his commercial heifers yesterday at our county fair and was named Grand Champion.  This is the second year in a row that he has won the show.  I guess we know how to grow good heifers! (words I never in my life thought I would utter)

Going for a 50K

Let's see - yesterday I got in a quick 3 miles here at the house.  I had lots of stuff going on so that's all I could fit in.  

Then, today I ran a 5 mile loop at the park with Ken.  The topic of Hog's Hunt came up, and Ken informed that he has decided to switch from the 25K to the 50K so that he can complete the Texas Marathon Challenge. (five races of marathon distance or greater in one season)  If I also switched to the 50K, and ran the full marathon in Groveton that would give me 5 too.  I think I'm gonna do it.  We happened to run into Paul Stone, the race director for Hog's Hunt, on the trails.  He informed me that it was not too late to switch.  I took that as a sign that I just need to go ahead and do it.

I'm not really trained for a 50K, but I know I can do it.  I feel really good right now - healthy, strong.  Once I made the decision in my head I was going to go for it, I was pumped.  I sprinted the rest of the way in.

Thanks Ken.  I need a new jacket.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ran the Outer - Inner

Azalea 10K - Tyler, TX

I've never actually kept track of my monthly mileage, so this being the first day of a new month, I've decided I'll start.

I ran at the park this morning with Ken.  We started out on the outer loop, then cut over to the inner loop about mid way, for a total of 6.6 miles.  Two words for you - humid and sticky.

April = 6.6 miles