About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Week 4: My Super Heroes

Mike: a.k.a “Running Hubby”
Superpowers: Can recover from debilitating injuries with patience and determination; Can get a girl to marry him within weeks of knowing her, Has an amazing decorating eye for “dirty berber” carpet; Loves Austin even though he’s an Aggie; Is a dedicated Austin Fit Running Coach; Has a serious “kick” at the end of most runs (except when he starts too fast!)

Superpowers: Makes homemade pasta like nobody’s business, Has a wit that is matched by no one, Can Race a 5k on Thursday nights and Run 18 miles on Friday morning without blinking an eye, Has a stellar alcohol tolerance, introduced many to the Wide World of Running Blogs before I ever knew what the hell one was; enjoys his new Garmin 305 almost way too much.

Superpowers: His name. There is no marathon without “thon”; Also has a stellar alcohol tolerance and a knack for texting well-timed photos and messages; Has an arsenal of kick-ass “super secret” runs, Can GMap ANYTHING in a millisecond; Superfast and way too humble about it; should be running with the “no-shirts.”

Individually, they are three incredibly talented, sincere, hard-working friends and athletes…strong in their own way. Each has overcome diversity in many forms. Each has lost 30-50 pounds each as a result of running and fitness.

Together, they are the unstoppable, “CARRIE’S BODYGUARDS!!!!!!!!!!”

Watch as this powerhouse threesome kicks some serious ASS at the Fila Relays this Friday Night! Unfortunately, their namesake (ummm…ME) will be out of town, but anxiously awaiting text and photo updates as “Carrie’s Bodyguards” score some points for the Gazelles in this city-wide competition.

Go “CARRIE’S BODYGUARDS!!!” I’m with you in spirit. Tell the unknown teammate Maxton that he’s gotta come through for us!


Here is the costume I designed for you:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Week 4: Manadatory Rest Week

Well, the demon growth on my inner thigh has officially been eradicated. It was pretty much what I suspected. An ingrown hair follicle had become infected and was irritated even more by my cycling shorts, thereby growing into non-human proportions. I'll spare the photos and the details, but let's just say I could've used a Civil Engineer for the drainage system that was needed! (sorry, Jill). I'm a comedian. I'm supposed to cross the line. I knew it was bad when he asked the nurse for a 4 x 4.

"Um, isn't that a plank of wood?" I asked.

I actually got a Doctor to chuckle.

He admired my sense of humor as he stuck needles in places where needles should never go.
I admired his ability to stick needles in places where needles should never go.

I got some pain meds (hallelujah) and antibiotics. I was also told to sit in warm bath water a couple of times a day. You don't have to ask any woman twice to do that! He didn't say anything about candles or bubblebath though...damn.

It also means mandatory rest for at least a week. No running, biking or swimming. (trying not to let the panic attack set in). No complaints here. I'm heading to Colorado on Friday night for my annual "Girls Getaway" to Crested Butte. We did have some hiking and moutain biking planned so I'll just see how I feel. If nothing else, I'll finally finish some books I've been trying to get through!

Week 3 : Ride and Wrap Up

So, I did it. I completed my 15 hour week-2 training week last week! Perhaps next time, I shouldn't squeeze half of those hours into two days (Run 3hrs on Saturday/Bike 4hrs30sec on Sunday). Oh well, that's the way my calendars fell. For the most part, I feel great! No sore muscles, no IT issues, etc; However, I have been forced to take a mandatory 2-day Rest break because I did rub a rather large cyst on my inner inner thigh rendering it impossible for me to run, ride, swim, sit and basically walk. How big is this growth?? Let's just say I can now empathize with the male gender when you sit down and I'm glad that the Good Lord gave me girl parts and not boy parts! What do you do with the extra stuff??? How do you ride bikes?? How do you sit? How do you walk? Wow... While I still feel that women got shafted in the whole creation process (i.e. menstruation, pregnancy, PMS, etc), I now feel a little sympathy for the guys. It's weird and, at the moment, extremely painful.

I'm off in just a few minutes to get it taken care of. I'm not exactly sure what the procedure is, but I've heard words tossed around like drain, excise, lance, cut, pop and squeeze. Let's just say I'd rather be training!!

Hopefully, I'll be back to normal in an hour or so...Thank God it's a rest week anyways.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Week 3: Saturday Morning 20 Miler

I was slightly nervous about today's 20 mile run because I actually had not eaten dinner on Friday night. No, I'm not a sicko. No, I'm not a calorie freak or anything like that. We had simply attended a going-away party for a colleague of his and there really was no opportune time to sit down and eat. It was very casual and we spent most of the night walking around mingling with others. We were at a restaurant on Lake Austin and the appetizers that were ordered consisted of fried fish, fried shrimp, french fries and hush puppies (ok--I had one of those). The food wasn't really that condusive to a long-run the next day. So, right before I went to bed, I ate a Balance Bar for some nutrition.

I woke up at 4:45 am this morning for a 5:30am start and had another Balance Bar on the way to Barton Springs. We were starting and ending at Barton Springs today. It was great for a change of scenery and spectacular for a cool soak after my first 20 miler of the Fall season. The run started off slow as they all do. I settled into a steady pace with Amy, Marcie and Shelley who was back from an extended break. It's always great to incorporate new people into our little clique as she gave a fresh perspective on lots of our topics that we hash every weekend. Plus, she's a certified USAT Triathlon coach, so I picked her brain about a lot of things as well.

The one thing we noticed immediately (and tried to block out immediately) was that it was incredibly hot and humid, more so than usual. We were drenched after just a couple of miles. Luckily there was plenty of fluid along the way thanks to Gilbert's crew. In an unusual turn of events, G was actually doing the run with us, although he was there and gone before we knew it. We ran from Barton Springs across the Mopac Bridge, Lake Austin, Exposition to 35th, 35th to Shoal Creek, White Rock, Great Northern, Foster, back to Shoal Creek and up to Steck for the turnaround point. I had a picture-perfect run today and felt incredibly strong the entire time. At 45minutes, I took my famous Tangerine Power Gel. At 1:45, I took an orange Enervitene. Both provided me with plenty of sustained energy. I felt energized until the last 1/2 mile when I finally started to run out of gas. Thon and I both observed the same thing today. We both felt great cardi-wise. In fact, even during the later faster miles we could still converse with very little effort. Unfortunately, we just felt a little sore and tight. My ankles were bothering me for some reason during the run. We ended back at Barton Springs for extended stretch, soaking and the usual Saturday morning ritual of breakfast at Mi Madres. Today's crew expanded by a couple as Erine joined us! It's been a long time and it was great to catch up with him. A friend of Hava's also joined us, bringing our crew to 9 this morning. I say this all the time, but it was a great way to start another day in Austin, Texas.

Shawn and I then actually proceeded directly to Four Hands furniture where we spent an hour or so looking at kitchen tables, barstools, etc. I apologize to the employees for the rancid waft as we walked through the door! At least we spent some money on chairs!

The Splits do NOT include water stop breaks

Mile 1 9:55
Mile 2 9:07
Mile 3 9:05
Mile 4 9:04
Mile 5 9:11
Mile 6 9:03
Mile 7 9:12
Mile 8 8:49
Mile 9 8:49
Mile 10 8:42
Mile 11 8:40
Mile 12 8:40
Mile 13 8:38
Mile 14 8:36
Mile 15 8:45
Mile 16 8:33
Mile 17 8:32
Mile 18 7:45
Mile 19 7:43
Mile 20 8:18 (slow jog the last 1/2 mile)

Avg 8:46 per mile
**awesome for the heat and for still being over 3 months away from the marathon.

Week 3: Friday Morning Ride

The sun wasn't ready for me on Friday morning as I rolled out of the house at 6am , in hopes of getting about 2 hours of riding in before work. I'm currently living near the Arboretum, so it's natural to hop right on 360 for a perfect challenging ride. The only problem? When it's pitch black and you don't have a working light on your bike, the ride is less than perfect. It's crazy and dangerous and I discovered that almost immediately. I couldn't see anything directly in front og me. God forbid had there been rocks, glass, or even road kill, I would've crashed. The only time I had visibility was when cars were coming behind me and gave me some temporary headlights. So, I'm a determined risk-taker, but I'm not stupid. I wasn't about to continue this venture in the dark, especially on the hills of 360. I also wasn't going to go home and quit. There is an apartment complex at the corner of 360 and 2222 called the Gables Grandview. Now, I'm getting used to training on roads that have words like, "mountain," "view," "peak," ridge," "scenic," in them so I knew what I was in for with "Grand View." I turned in the well-lit complex driveway and it immediately began a nice steady uphill climb. My original thought was to sit for a while until the sun peaked over the horizon. It was about 6:15am and I thought for sure it would happen at any moment. Well, instead of sitting, I proceeded to do hill repeats up and down this drive for the next 35 minutes until I felt that it was safe to proceed--about 6:55am. Of course, by this time, Austin was waking up and heading to work. I rode South on 360 and took in the bridge, the climb up Riverbend Church and the hill climb to Bee Caves. At that point, I decided to turn around and head on home. I ended up riding for about 1:45 with the Hill Repeats included.

Maybe next time I'll just sleep in a little bit longer...Nahhhhh...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Week 3: Run/Swim/Run

Kim-fucious say: "Falling behind on blog updates is not a good thing!" (My friend Kim is so wise) I hate it when work gets in the way :-) Seriously, it's been a nutty week at work and I think we've picked up three new business accounts for various projects! How exciting is that? One of my favorite parts of working for a small ad agency is getting to meet the business owners that we service (not in THAT way)! We primarily handle small to medium businesses and I love getting to know about their industry. This week we met with a Financial Planner, Public Housing Authority, Cookie Company (I want this account!!!) and a Gynecologist. How do you top those for variety??? I don't know that we'll be doing any co-promotions with the OB-GYN and the Cookie company, but you can certainly feel free to insert your own jokes there about "sweet tasting" ingredients!

Surprisingly, I've been able to keep up my workouts this week in spite of it all.

On Wednesday, Thon talked Richard and I into skipping our regularly scheduled Gazelle run in lieu of another "Super Secret" 7 Mile Hilly run. After a couple of diversions and locked gates, prompting Richard to remark that it felt like we were playing a real life video game, we headed up Stratford (Holy Moly) and ran through the streets of Rollingwood. As usual, Richard does an amazing job of describing the course and actually showing the elevation levels of this run. Having run it a bit slower than normal, we thought that we would miss the Gazelles who were finishing their workout. Lo and Behold, Gilbert spotted us from a hundred yards away and gave us a little bit of a hard time for skipping Mile repeats in Zilker. Honestly, I think he was just happy to see us out there running if nothing else. We chatted it up with him for about 10 minutes and then soaked in Barton Springs for a few. What a spectacular and picture-perfect way to start the day.

I ended up meeting some media colleagues for Happy Hour on Wednesday night and had a grand old time! Our friend Kim was dispensing words of wisdom all night long prompting us to give her the nickname "Kim-fucious." One of her quotes: "Disappointment is inevitable, but suffering is a choice." You know, I believed that quote until another friend at lunch told me that her neck has been bothering her. She made sure she told me that she did not choose this suffering!! Damn...another fortune cookie proverb proved wrong.

I actually slept in this morning until 6am and headed to Barton Springs for an open water swim. So, I'm 2 1/2 laps into my 4 lap swim and I came face to face with a random swimmer. It's fairly common to run into other swimmers. There is a major blind spot when the sun begins to rise over the Springs. I look up and I'll be damned if it wasn't Richard!! He and Thon had just finished their run and had leapt into the Springs! What a small little world we live in. I was actually swimming strong today--each of the 4 laps was between a 9:35 and 9:45. Ok, so it's strong for me. I finished up around 7:45am, threw on my running clothes and headed out for a quick 4 mile run. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning in Austin and I relished in the opportunity to take it all in at my own pace.

This weekend, I'll be hitting it hard with a long run and bike ride. In addition, I've got plenty of other obligations to keep every minute occupied.

Oh yeah--I also finally OFFICIALLY closed on my condo and made some moolah!! (wine glasses clinking) Most people would go out and buy new clothes. I'll do that too, but my clothes will be running shoes, new bathing suits and some new tri shorts. Neiman Marcus sucks.

Wednesday: Very Hilly "Super-Secret" Run of about 7.5 miles
Thursday: 1 Mile Swim at Barton Springs followed by a 4 mile Run

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Week 3: Swim Class and Moments of Gratitude

Today was a pretty tough swim workout (aren't they all for me???) The hardest part was just getting to the pool today. I was really freaking tired this morning for some reason even though I had slept soundly the night before. Our workout today was a ladder-style. 100, 200, 300,(all with paddles) 400 at 80%, 300 at 85%, 200 at 90%, 100 at 95%...Plus, lots of other drills and warm-ups before the actual speed set. I determined that I don't actually have a 95% effort. I pretty much peak at about the 90% range and then I lose touch with my form.

Today's total = 2800 yards

I interrupt this regularly scheduled training log to bring you, "A Moment of Gratitude."

Over half the year has already passed and I realized that I haven’t actually “taken inventory” of all of the good things that have happened during 2006. Like most people, I spend most of my time bitching and moaning about how busy I am or how tired I feel (see above rant). I forget to just chill out and just relish in gratitude and happiness. So I started jotting down some of the overwhelming things that have happened to me so far this year.

1.) Joined Gilbert’s Gazelles last summer and met some of the most amazing friends, training partners and athletes.
2.) Ran Chicago last October and qualified for Boston with a 3:37.
3.) My ad agency won three Addy Awards this year at the Austin Ad Fed Awards Ceremony.
4.) My ad agency was nominated for “Ad Agency of the Year” by the American Women in Radio and Television. We didn’t win, but my boss did win the Trailblazer Award (Lifetime Achievement).
5.) I was elected to the Board of Austin's American Women in Radio and TV Chpater.
6.) My comedy troupe “Gag Reflex” was invited and flew to perform at the DC Comedy Festival in April.
7.) Placed Top 10 in my Age Group at the Capital of Texas Triathlon. (PR of 2:36)
8.) Placed Top 15 in my Age Group at the 3M Half-Marathon. (PR of 1:34)
9.) Set a PR of 3:35 at the Boston Marathon.
10.) Set a PR at the Eagleman Half-Ironman of 5:44
11.) Qualified to Race in the IM70.3 World Championships in November.
12.) Placed Top 5 in my Age Group at the Marble Falls Triathlon.
13.) Taken some amazing trips this year including the New England Coast, Virginia/DC/Maryland, and the Pacific Coast Highway of California.
14.) Training to race the IM World Championship in November and the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December.
15.) Got engaged and am starting a new life with the coolest dude ever!!

And 2006 isn’t over yet!!

They are personal and professional achievements that I never thought possible. The one thing that every one of these accomplishments has in common is the fact that they all involve other people…my family, my fiancĂ©, friends, training partners, coaches, colleagues, bosses, etc. Most importantly, they also involve faith, perseverance and determination on so many levels. Success never happens without the assistance and support of others. This is where I give my sincere “thanks” to those who are in my life. Thanks for listening to me talk incessantly about, well...ME. You have all made ME someone of whom I am very proud.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Week 3: 10 Mile Pace Run and Staying in the Zone

Let the 15-16 hour training week begin!

Today's prescribed run was an exact carbon copy of the 10-Mile Pace Run we did two weeks ago on August 7th. Run the first two miles slow, the next six miles at marathon goal pace and drop the hammer for the last two miles. We were NOT allowed to stop our watches at water stops, etc.

Mile 1: 9:06
Mile 2: 9:02
Mile 3: 8:21 (water break)
Mile 4: 7:59
Mile 5: 7:47
Mile 6: 8:10 (water break)
Mile 7: 8:21 (water break)
Mile 8: 9:24 ??
Mile 9: 6:51
Mile 10: 7:20

Obviously something strange happened between Miles 8 and 9--I'm pretty sure they were both about a 7:3 0pace.
Total Time: 1:22:43 with water stops (8:14 per mile)

It's a nice improvement over last time when I actually stopped my watch for a minute and still came in over 1:23. Overall, I felt incredibly strong the entire run even until the very end. I paced most of it with Thon as we encouraged each other through the last two miles. It was a great way to start the week and an even better indicator of where I stand from a pacing standpoint. An 8:00 min Marathon Pace would earn me a sub 3:30 marathon. Can I do it? Only time and training will tell, but as of right now, all signs point to "yes."

Thon kept track of just our running minutes for the last 8 miles without the stops. The results were encouraging as hell.

Total "running" time for last 8 miles: 1:01:34

31:40 1 st 4 miles (mile 4 was a 7:48)
29:54 2nd 4 miles (mile 8 was a 7:20)

The biggest thing I changed this week (besides the roof over my head!) was my diet. I'm in the process of tweaking it more to fit with the Zone parameters. 40% carbs/30%protein/30% fat. I hooked up with a local nutritionist Tracy Jones, M.S. through my connection with Thundercloud Subs. In addition to shopping lists, recipes, access to emails and blogs, Tracy also facilitates a weekly conference call for her members. Tonight, I sat on my first conference call. Even though my battery died about 1/2 way through the conversation, I was still able to talk about my week, ask questions (i.e. Is Hummus a carb or a protein??) and listen to some encouraging advice. As an endurance athlete, it's hard to gauge exactly what I should be putting in my body. I'm fortunate enough to see that my diet is on track for the most part. I wish I was one of those people that could eat anything just because I work out, but that's not me! The main thing is planning ahead and I always keep plenty of healthy choices at work and at home. That isn't to say that I don't treat myself because I do--in moderation. People from all over the country are members of Tracy's community so if you're interested in learning more about nutrition and the Zone way of eating, let me know or visit her website. I've definitely seen benefits in just one week.

Swim workout tomorrow!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Week 2: 45 min Run

Busy Sunday as we continue to consolidate items and create donation piles for our final move. Our major accomplishment this weekend was to take almost 1,000 CDs, remove the plastic cases and condense all of them into a few binders, along with the liner notes. You wouldn't believe how much space we saved by doing this (and how many laughs we got making fun of each other's CD collections!) Who the hell is the band Zebra anyway and why do I have the soundtrack to the movie, "The Horse Whisperer?" Good times...

We did manage to squeeze in a 4.5 mile run this morning around 9am. It was already getting hot, but luckily there was plenty of water and Gatorade in the right places. As usual, many thanks to Runtex for having the neverending supply of hydration along the trail.

I managed to squeeze in my alotted 14 hours of training this week and feel better than ever! No real soreness or overexhaustion. This coming week is going to be a doozy. I'm scheduled to do 15-16 hours of training that includes a 20-mile run and a 75 mile bike ride. Honestly, I'm not sure that I'll be able to accomplish both of those. It's really not even necessary for either of the events that I'm training for, but we'll see how the week goes.

Nutrition Today:

9:30am Coffee
12:30pm Kashi Go LEan Crunch with blueberries and a splash of milk. 1 piece of string cheese
4pm 1/2 balance bar
7:00 Firebowl Action with chicken, veggies, ginger white wine sauce and brown rice on the side. 1/2 small brownie blizzard from DQ. (I had to. It's been a long week)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Week 2: 50+ Mile Bike Ride

"Strong and Sweet"

So I went to Starbucks this morning before my ride and ordered a coffee with Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup. When the woman handed me my coffee, she said, "It's Strong and Sweet." I took that phrase and hoped to apply it to my 50 mile ride today.

It was my first official training ride with T3. While I attend their swim workouts, I've never attempted to ride with the group. I guess I'm just fearful of being the slowest in any type of group ride situation. Today's route was a 50 miler taking us through South Austin, Driftwood, Wimberly, Buda and back home. A lot of the roads were nice country roads with a fair amount of traffic. It wasn't too bad, but I was certainly riding with caution. I was also riding with some speed today!

If you want to get faster, you have to train with those who are faster. I worked with that philosophy today and really tried to hang as much as I could. Much to my surprise, I did pretty darn good! I found myself in the middle between those who were really pushing the pace and those who were holding back and taking their time. The first half, I found myself riding by myself a lot after I lost my portion of the group. We all hitched up again at the midway point and I was able to hang with all of them for the 2nd Half of the route. It definitely pushed me faster than I would've normally gone, but it felt great! It was a good confidence builder and I avergaged a little over 18 mph for this ride. That includes several hill climbs!

6:45am 1/2 CLif Bar before ride
9:00am 1/2 CLif Bar during ride and one Power Gel and Bottle of Gatorade
10:30am Post ride--finished the Clif Bar

Week 2: 12 Mile Run/1 Mile Swim (Friday)

The title sounds pretty brutal even as I type it out myself! However, I did these workouts over the course of two days, but am attempting a quick summary now.

Friday 8/18: 12 Mile Run to Mt. Barker followed by 1 Mile Swim at Barton Springs
Had a great run on Friday morning and I'm not sure what to attribute it to. Probably a combination of factors-a different course, a different starting point, a few new people, a good night's rest, nutrition, etc. Thon revealed one of his "super-secret" runs just for us! He gave me the choice of which "top-secret" route we would do. Actually, even though I knew the course I chose was hilly and more difficult than the other, I picked it for two reasons. The first being that it was Thon's all-time favorite route and second, there was more opportunity for water along the way. Richard gives a wonderful overview of the entire course in his blog. I'll just say this: the journey up the hills was brutal and left me breathless many times, but so did the view and the peaceful morning when we got to the top of Mt. Barker. We climbed higher than Mt. Bonnell and took in the view of the world below us just as dawn was approaching. The way back down was much more pleasant, but definitely not without it's climbs. Fortunately, we had started at Barton Springs Pool and we really didn't have to even look at the trail today (except to get water under Mopac as we crossed the bridge). We all finished seemingly strong and looked tough at the end. A few of us decided to soak in Barton Springs for a few minutes after the run to soothe the sore muscles. I, of course, had another agenda. I was supposed to swim today as well.

1 Mile Swim
Thon and I hung for a bit, but then I decided to brave the cold springs sans wetsuit and not abandon my swim. I did alter it however. Because I had done a 30min time trial the day before in the pool, I decided to use some toys for this swim. Each lap I alternated between wear fins for my legs and using the paddles for my arms. I'll call it a strength building swim!

I finally finished up and made it to work feeling refreshed, energized and utterly amused at the workout I had already completed by 9:00am.


5:15am Clif Bar on way to run and 1 Power Gel during Run
9:30 am Cup of KAshi Go Lean Crunch with yogurt and 2 pieces of string cheese
12:30 pm Caesar Salad with Chicken and Turkey, 1 medium orange
4:00pm 1/2 ZOne Bar
6:30pm glass of red wine, Salad with apple bites and blue cheese, pork tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes and veggies. There was definitely butter in the taters! small glass of champagne to celebrate my friend Mike's engagement!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Week 2: Impromptu Bike and Swim Class

How funny is this?! So, I’m typing my daily update just now while listening to the latest Triathlon Podcast of “Get Your Geek On.” Yep, I am a geek, but we all need something. Well, a couple of months ago, they actually aired a quick segment with me just before the Eagleman Half-Ironman in June. On this week’s show (Tuesday, August 15th) , they very randomly gave the update of how I did. How funny is that?!? Yes, my “silent goal” was a sub-6:00 and I came in at 5:44. Woo hoo! I think I’m still in awe. I had actually sent them a note letting them know I had gotten a slot at the 70.3 World Championship Race. My goal in the email was for them to let other triathletes know how relatively simple it was to get a slot. Basically, I stuck around and remained patient. I don’t care who you are. It’s always fun to hear your name being broadcast (this being said even after spending 13 years in the radio biz!)

So, back to the training for IM70.3!

Wednesday Afternoon: Impromptu Bike Ride

With Shawn deciding to work late, I decided to throw in another impromptu ride on Wednesday evening instead of the planned Thursday evening. I don’t know about most of you, but my bike is in my car about 90% of the time anyways, along with outfits for various sporting events that may strike inspiration in me at any time. I’m a sporting goods store on wheels these days with extra shoes, socks, towels, shorts, helmet, bike pump, etc. This was also after a tough running workout in the morning so I wasn’t sure how the legs would hold up. Now, I also have to admit. The devil tried to play a little trick on me. Two of my co-workers were going out for sushi and drinks after work so that they wouldn’t have to sit in traffic. I can’t tell you how close I was to skipping the ride and partaking in a spicy tuna roll with extra wasabi. However, I had already made dinner for later AND I wanted to take advantage of this “free time” for exercise. I started off on what I thought would be about an 1hr 30 min ride. Instead of going to Tarrytown, I opted to ride through Barton HILLS instead. It too has decent bike lines and plenty of climbs, twists and turns to make the ride interesting. One of my favorite climbs is to the top of Mountain View Road. I swear, there are moments when the bike is standing completely still between pedal strokes. However, when you crest the hill, you feel like you’re on top of the world—or at least on the top of this steep road in Austin, Texas. About 45 min into the ride, Shawn called and was leaving work. I rode back to my car and called it a day after an hour. It was a great hour of solid riding and hill climbing. I finished feeling completely satisfied and proud that I didn’t give in to the nasty devil himself.

I got home and heated up the dinner that I had prepared earlier…Turkey taco salad with black beans and salsa. Of course, I also capped the evening with a glass of red wine.

Thursday Morning: Swim Workout

A little surprise awaited us this morning at the pool. After 1600m of warmup, drills, fin work and paddle work, we had to do a 30-min Time Trial Swim at 85% effort. Essentially, 85% effort is supposed to be a sustainable effort over a long period of time. It’s the “pace run” of swimming. It’s an effort that you should be able to do on race day and not feel completely spent afterward.

Chrissie placed me in Lane 2 with three others and off we went. Honestly, I didn’t expect to finish. I hadn’t really done an extended long swim in a while. Plus, I was in a lane with faster people so I was automatically nervous about not keeping up. In many ways, it felt like a little race. The watches beeped and I started last of the group. A couple of laps into it and I was feeling very relaxed. Wow…this isn’t so bad. I was even right on the feet of the guy in front of me and thought about passing him on one or two occasions. I opted not to mainly because it meant that I’d have to hold that position for about 20 more laps and I didn’t know if I had the endurance. I also realized that I felt relaxed because I was catching some of his draft. Never mind that, I’m just glad I was able to stay right on his tail. The two others in front of us had a significant lead. They did end up lapping both of us. No surprises and no bruised egos. I just kept swimming. About 20 minutes into it, I noticed that the lanes seemed to be getting less crowded. That meant it was 7:00am and several people had to leave regardless of whether they were finished or not. I, on the other hand, still had 10 minutes to go in my swim. JP lapped me about 2 more times during the course of the swim. We stopped after 30 minutes and I still felt good. My form was beginning to fatigue, but my breathing was steady.

I ended up doing 27 laps for 1350 meters. That equates to a 2:15 100m average. For me, that’s an improvement. A good improvement. Maybe I’m turning a little corner. I don’t know. Most of all, I just have to keep patting myself on the back for getting my butt out there and “tri-ing.” Not only do I try, but I complete the entire workout damn near every time. I’m frequently the very last person out of the pool, but I don’t care. There’s something so elating about being present and accounted for from start to finish. There’s got to be some payoff for that somewhere down the road.

With every lap, I swim farther and farther away from the little chubby girl with big boobs!!

5:30am 1/2 Balance Bar and 1/2 Clif Bar
9:30am 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch and yogurt, 2 pieces of string cheese
12:30pm Zone Bar
2:30pm Hummus and Bell Peppers on Wheat Bread, spoonful of Peanut Butter (weird combo, I know)
7:30pm Turkey Taco Salad with Black beans, salsa and cheese

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Week 2: 2000m Repeats at Zilker

I was actually feeling pretty good this morning. I’ll take that over how I’ve been feeling lately! For the first time in over a week, I didn’t wake up feeling like a sponge that just keeps retaining water. How does the human body hold on to so much freaking water?? I don’t ever really weigh myself on a regular basis, but I’m quite sure there was an extra 4-5 pounds on this porous frame. (and that didn't include my new bling!!)--photos coming soon!!

In any event, our workout today was 4 x 2000m repeats at Zilker Park. It’s a huge seemingly never-ending loop around the North Side of the park. It was also compounded by the fact that it was still dark through much of the workout. Of course, I look at that as an advantage since you can’t really gauge how close or how far you are to being finished. Ignorance is bliss in the vampire-running world.

With a rather large group led by Frank, we headed off for our first repeat. It didn’t feel bad at all, so we picked it up on #2. Woops---a little too fast. Frank was a great pacer today. In fact, I feel bad because we inadvertently put the pressure on him pretty much every time. I would start out with him, but he had an amazing kick at the end of every repeat today! I wish I had a good log of how I did the last time we did 2000s, but I’m pretty positive it was a vast improvement.

#1 8:38 (6:57 pace)
#2 8:13 (6:37 pace)
#3 8:19 (6:42 pace)
#4 8:07 (6:32 pace)!!!

Nutrition: (I’m skipping the jolly rancher and sugarless gum intake!!!!)

5:30am ½ Clif Bar
8:30am 1 egg, ham and 2 small oranges
1:00pm ½ Zone Bar, Salad with Turkey, veggies and salsa as dressing
4:30pm ½ Zone Bar
8:00pm Taco Salad with turkey, black beans, salsa and various bell peppers, glass of red wine

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Week 2: Swim and Bike

Beep, Beep, Beep.

"I interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring a quick news bulletin."
The engagement ring has officially arrived. I repeat-the engagement ring has officially arrived. Should you see bright lights and stranges flashes of brilliance in the city sky, do not run for cover. It just means that Carrie is in the area. Details and film at 11. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming."

Swim Class
Can I just say that for the first time today, I didn't feel like a total "fish out of water" in the pool? I was one of 4 or 5 in the "less experienced" lane and I actually led the pack for every set. Not once did I feel like I was a hinderance to the other swimmers. Believe me, I almost always feel the accidental (or not) tap on the foot behind me that lets me know that someone is on my tail. Not today for some reason. I have no real explanation, but I felt more together in the water than usual. I finished every set for a total of 2800 yards today. The workout included some speed sets, as well as work with the paddles and fins. I tried to focus a lot on my kick today, which appeared to help. I'm also trying to get better with my breathing pattern. I tend to wait too long (4-5 strokes) in workout and on race day, I panic and start breathing every stroke. Ideally, I'd like to become comfortable with bilateral breathing every 3rd stroke. It will definitely help with my balance in the water. Overall, I was thrilled with my effort in the pool this morning.

Bike Ride
I went for a leisurely hour-long bike ride after work today. Jill had mentioned that she and Sara may meet me at 6pm at the Rock to ride with me. I got there early and waited for a bit. At about 6:05, I started riding up and down the street to make sure I wasn't in the wrong spot. Of course, I had left my cell phone in my car so I couldn't call. I hope nothing happened! I proceeded on with my ride at about 6:10 through the streets of Tarrytown. I love riding in this area as there is plenty of room for bikes and it's also a very "active" and scenic area. Runners were drudging along on the trail or heading to O'Henry track for their evening workouts. (I don't know how they do it in 105 degree heat). The Austin High football team and band were on the field practicing. Swimmers and rowers were heading towards the lake for their respective stress-relievers. Of course, other cyclists were also taking advantage of the beautiful evening as well. I can't wait to be able to call this neighborhood "home" in just a few short weeks. I didn't have a watch or my Garmin so I have no idea what my average speed or distance was. Suffice to say, it felt good and I definitely climbed some hills (Balcones, Scenic and a couple of repeats on Matthews). I even saw a couple of T3'ers with their bike trainers set up on the O'Henry track. It looked like a brick workout was taking place. They would spin for a while and then hope off the bike and run. I definitely have to get the scoop on that one! It's almost too torturous not to try! I also saw the evening Gilbert's Gazelle group doing the Meridan Loop tonight. Coach G stopped me and we talked for a while. He didn't know I was moving into the 'hood or the fact that I was engaged. What can I say, I don't talk much at 5:45am!!

All in all, it was a fantastic day!!

And, did I mention how freaking beautiful the ring is????


5:30am 1/2 Peanut Butter Balance Bar
7:30am 1/2 Peanut Butter Balance Bar
9:30am 1 cup kashi go Lean Crunch with milk, 2 pieces of string cheese
1:15pm chicken with veggies and cup of brown rice
4pm small jolly rancher
5:30pm 1/2 clif bar before ride
7:45pm Met Shawn at 34th Street Cafe--Caesar Salad, 1 small piece of wheat bread, salmon served with spinach over quinoa and glass of pinot noir.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Week 2: 7 Mile Scenic Loop

Oh wow…this is going to be a fun week! Looking at my T3 training schedule for the week, I see that I have to complete 13.5-14 hours worth of workouts! Holy cow…Let the fun begin. I’ve basically scheduled 4 runs, 3 bike rides and 3 swims. It may or may not happen, so I’ll just take it one day at a time. This is also the week that Mother Nature will unleash her fury (since I’ve been in full PMS Bloat for a week now!) God knows, I really don’t feel like hard workouts when I feel like a stuffed sausage. Even my “fat” jeans are feeling tight these days!

I skipped the Gazelles Circuit workout this morning and decided to do a quiet solitary 7-mile Scenic Recovery loop this morning. A few reasons dictated this last minute change of plans. First of all, we had a VERY RICH dinner last night with some friends that included salads, bread, huge main course, wine and dessert. I (we) felt that after all of the hard work of moving, we deserved a little decadence! Hell yes, we did! Well, of course, I paid for it. I felt full, heavy and lethargic all night and this morning. Can you say, “Godiva Chocolate Lava Cake?” Brutus was also whining most of the night in his “temporary” home so I didn’t get much sleep. Also, I was running about 5 minutes late this morning and wasn’t really in the mood for a circuit workout anyways. I did, however, want to get some mileage in so the 7-mile loop seemed slightly challenging and relaxing all at the same time. I ran it in about 1:07 for a very slow recovery pace of 9:34 per mile. Honestly, I was slightly disappointed with that time because I thought I was running faster than that. By the same token, the hills didn’t seem to take it out of me as much as they normally do. I’ll just see how the week progresses and lay low if I have to. I also have to remember that an 18-mile run on Friday, 45 mile bike ride on Saturday and physical labor on Sunday isn’t exactly a vacation.

Heading back to the condo one last time tonight to vacuum, dust and leave a bottle of wine for the new owners. After that, I’ll only have to focus on moving to our new place which is 5 minutes from downtown, work, the trail and everything else that I take advantage of on a daily basis.

Through my work with Thundercloud Subs and The Turkey Trot, I met with a nutritionist last week who works with Thundercloud on “healthy eating” via The Zone Lifestyle (40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat). She has a lot of wonderful insight to eating in the real world, and after reading through lots of her material and recipes, I’m happy to report that I’m on the right page for the most part. I’ll probably begin journaling my food intake again next week. Again, it will also help when Shawn and I are in the new house because, as it is now, we eat out at restaurants at least 5-6 days a week. We typically make decent choices, but it’s still too much. It will be such a relief to go home and just have food in the fridge that won’t go bad immediately. That was my main issue as a single person who is NEVER home. Most veggies, lettuce, fruit, etc that I would buy would go bad before I could consume it. Excuses...Excuses... Visit www.tracyspicks.com for more information on her classes! Very insightful!

Tomorrow—swim workout and an hour on the bike.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Week1: 45 Mile Bike Ride

Well, I'm officially out of my condo. There are still a few random boxes that need to be taken out, but for the most part, it is empty. I'm now officially crashing at Shawn's apt. until our new house is complete in a few weeks. Nothing like living out of bozes to drive you crazy!!! Actually, it's going to be a blast and we are both so very excited to start this new chapter. The only major drama happened when we went to move my cat Brutus up to the apartment. He did exactly what he did four years ago the last time he was in my car. He cried like a human baby and pee'd in the car. It broke our heart to see him so scared, but he's already adjusting at the bottom of my feet right now. I thought it was funny that he went and hid in the closet that most of my clothes are in. I'm guessing he smelled my clothes. He smells my "scent" and now I smell his in my car...ugghhhh...I hope I can get the cat urine smell out at some point in my lifetime. That is the beauty of owning an Element. I can hose the hell out of that sucker!!

Because we moved all day today, I didn't do an "official" workout. I did, however, ride 45 miles on Saturday morning. I did the SW Parkway/71/Bee Caves/360 loop twice. I did it nice and slow to get the mileage in...no real speedwork.

This week is going to be a busy one, but at least I'm no longer commuting between two different locations. Here's hoping that the closing on my place goes through on Tuesday as planned!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Week 1: 18 Mile Run

So according to our marathon schedule, we were technically supposed to do 20 miles today, but my partners asked if I would be good with only doing 18 instead. Uhh...yeah! I'm a-ok with that. We're still 4 months away from the December 10th Dallas White Rock Marathon. I'd say we have some time...Because of hectic schedules, a few of us decided to do our long run today instead of our usual Saturday morning run. It worked out perfectly for me and allows me to do my long bike ride tomorrow.

So--Thon created a "Dallas White Rock" Simulator Course that worked out perfectly. We met at Stacy Pool and the first two miles consisted of several little up and down hills as we made our way through the Travis Heights neighborhood. The next 14 or so miles were on the ever-present and loyal Town Lake Trail. I knew from the beginning that I was going to have mental battles all morning long. Physcially, I felt fine. Mentally, I was just "off." I've been that way all week. I'm just continuing to chalk it up to major PMS, moving, etc. Lots of distractions that are occupying my little noggin' the last few days. I just didn't want to be there. I'm glad I was running with my best partners as it truly is what got me through... Well, that and the conversations that ensued over the 18 miles! They told me not to blog about it so I won't. Suffice to say that we all come from different religious and cultural backgrounds . Some of us have thicker "skin" than others, that's all... ;-) ("fore" whatever that's worth)

The run itself was a lot slower than a normal run, which worked out fine. We stopped for water every chance we could get and Amy even dropped a stash of Gatorade for us along the way. I believe Mike said that our overall pace for the 18 miles INCLUDING our stops was a 10:08. That's actually a lot faster than I thought it would be since we stopped a lot and took our time. Luckily, none of us were on a serious time crunch. With about 4 miles to go, I finally emerged from my little funk and became a bit more chatty. I think I was just happy to see daylight and know that I was going to finish this training run feeling strong and not depleted. We picked up the pace towards the end. Mike and Amy really found a spring in their step! The last mile was pretty tough as we re-entered the Travis Heights hood and ran the hills again. Those little boogers were tough! Knowing that Stacy Pool was just around the corner certainly helped. We all finished, hi-fived each other and then proceeded to soak in the pool for 10-15 minutes. It certainly was a great way to start the weekend and I felt like my normal self had finally returned.

Congrats to Mike and Hava for closing on their house today!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Week 1: REST DAY

Yep, I said it--today is a REST DAY!! It felt good to sleep in until 8:00am...The Salvation Army came today to pick up 3 couches, photo frames, kitchen items, a book shelf and some other stuff that was once very important to me. They're coming back tomorrow and Saturday for other large items including my washer/dryer, desk, TV and kitchen table. Yep--it's very strange to be ridding myself of so many items. Strange in a good way, of course! My cat, however, is in freak out mode. How do I know?? He's not eating very much right now. Those that have met my cat Brutus know that consumption of food has never been an issue. He'll be fine as this is the 3rd move he's made with me.

"Talladega Nights" was exactly what I needed it to be--brain mush!! It was pretty damn funny and do recommend it to anyone who needs a night off from "reality!"

This weekend includes lots of training, packing and more moving...

Friday: 5:30am 18-20 mile run
Saturday: 40+ Mile Bike Ride
Sunday: easy swim at Barton Springs

Bring it on!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Week 1: 800s

Man, I was in a pissy mood this morning. No real reason...just feeling grumpy. I'm chalking it up to PMS and the fact that the FULL MOON was still shining and bright this morning as we did our warmup run to the track. I went to bed at a decent time and slept well. Unfortunately, I remember now having an odd dream about someone committing suicide. Don't ask...It wasn't someone I knew, but somehow I was involved in the dream. Weird...I woke up feeling a little heavy from the dream drama. I hate that and certainly hope it doesn't set the tone for the day!

We were doing 6-8 x 800m repeats on the track with 2:00 min rest in between. We started off with Frank and Ann's group, but they had some serious mojo and quickly jumped up to the group ahead of us. We still had a nice pack of people including Mike, Thon, Amy, Jennifer, Dennis and Jonathon. There may have been others, but it was freaking nighttime for most of the run! I was going to stop after six, but coached had us do one more. Needless to say, I was pleased that I was still able to pick it up for the last one even though I was pretty damn tired and emotionally vacant for most of the morning.


Plus 1.6 mile warmup to track and 1.6 mile cool down back to Runtex.

I'm sure the day will get better and I'll emerge from my fog. How could it not get better? We're going to see "Talladega Nights: The Adventures of Ricky Bobby" tonight! I could use some good mind-numbing humor.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Week 1: Swim Class

It was one of those dreams where you're on vacation and the world is perfect. When suddenly--as if you are submerged in ice cold water--you wake up in a panic. That's when I realized I actually DID immerse myself in cold water this morning at the pool. I'm pretty convinced I was still asleep during the entire commute there!

Workout was tolerable as I work towards building confidence again. My lane (the slow one at the end of the pool) only had three of us, so there was adequate space between each swimmer. With the exception of one time, I never felt like I was slowing anyone else down. I also discovered that I'm pretty good at everything EXCEPT the actual swimming part ;-) I have decent speed with fins, paddles, pull buoys and other toys. Unfortunately, it's when I take them off that I feel naked...exposed...weak as hell. The good news?? I kept up and completed the workout at 2,750 yards.


This is my final week in the condo an my house is in boxes at the moment. Toothpaste? Box. Bowl and spoon? Box. Jeans? Box. My goal is to be completely out of my condo by Sunday night so that I can do one final dusting and vaccum. I'm supposed to close next Tuesday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it goes through! I'm so ready and I'm relieved at how much CRAP I've pitched! I hate to call it crap since some of these items have been with me for over 30 years and four moves. But, do I really need pens that I've had since grade school just because they have my name on them? Do I really still need the Clinton/Gore 92 button?? (I decided "yes") What about the walkman that still has the soundtrack to "Legal Eagles" in it? It's time...By the way, that soundtrack had the hit single "Who's Johnny?" and something by Rod Stewart.


As I jumped into the ice cold pool, not only was it a good morning wake up alarm, it was also a reminder of what cleansing takes place when you just start pitching useless items in your life that take up unecessary space. It built confidence in more ways than one today.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Week 1: Pace Run

Well, this is the week where I officially shift from a "miles per week" mentality to an "hours of training per week" process. It's the beginning of my 13-week plan to the IM70.3 World Championship Race. I met with my coach yesterday who helped me strategize on how to put my weekly schedule together. That's just it...He cautioned us not to look ahead to October, November, or even the beginning of September. Just work a week or two in advance. Because I consider myself a runner and a marathoner first and foremost, I will schedule those workouts first and build everything else around those. The next big thing to schedule is the long bike ride that will usually take place on Saturdays or Sundays. From there, I will fill in swim workouts and additional cycling.

This week, I have 10.5 hours to fill. Believe me it won't be hard with a 20-mile run and 40 mile bike ride scheduled this week. That's almost 6 hours in two workouts!

The week started off with a 10-mile Pace Run and I can FINALLY say that I ran it correctly. Run slow the first two miles, find my Marathon Goal Pace for the next 6 miles and then "drop the bomb" for the last two and finish fast. I did just that today with the assistance of Mike and Thon. Here are my split times. As per usual, the Garmin isn't perfect, but it's a great indicator!
I finished with a little steam left in the engine...not much, but it felt good to run it correctly.

Mile 1 9:58
Mile 2 8:54
Mile 3 8:50 (very odd--Mike clocked 8:15 and Thon clocked 8:10--not sure what happened with the watch as we were side-by-side)
Mile 4 7:51
Mile 5 7:42
Mile 6 7:54
Mile 7 7:45
Mile 8 8:09
Mile 9 7:36
Mile 10 7:26
Mile 11 (.12 miles) 7:10

Total 10.12 miles
1:23 flat** 8:12 pace per mile

**I stopped my watch at our waterstop under the bridge for about a minute

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekend Workouts--Run and Bike

Saturday, August 5th
14 miles A "Fetching" Good Time!

Met the gang at 6am for our usual Saturday morning Gazelle run. The task for this week was 10-14 miles at a nice comfortable pace. No fast pick up at the end...no pushing your body to extreme limits. Just get the mileage in for the day. Coach wanted our focus to be on this coming Monday's 10 mile pace run. Easy enough...Well, I started and ended the run with my bodyguards (Richard, Thon and Mike). Most were doing the 12 mile option, thereby skipping the trip up Mt. Bonnell. I would've been perfectly comfortable doing just that, but when given the opportunity to conquer the hill, I can't pass it up. I have to tell myself that it gets easier with every repetition.

While we were running towards Mt. Bonnell, we found a tennis ball in the road. Thon picked it up and started tossing it to each of us. It didn't take long before it was dropped and it rolled away...or so we thought. Mike quickly took a nice lead up the steep climb of Mt. Bonnell as Richard fell slightly back. (Little did we know that he was behind because he detoured to pick up the tennis ball) Thon and I were pacing together and giving each other short gutteral moans of encouragement. We hit the quick plateau that falls in between the two climbs of Mt. Bonnell Road. Reprieve...Thon started picking it up. I tried to match his quick step cadence. We saw Mike up ahead and our goal was to catch him on the hill. Quick steps...heavy breaths...Other runners coming back down the hill shouted encouragement as they saw us working extra hard to climb. Mike turned around and saw our advancement and mockily picked it up. Bastard!! We never did catch him, but we came close and crested the hill feeling winded and victorious nonetheless. I've never timed my climb, but I know that was the fastest I've ever climbed that hill. It does get easier. I'm getting stronger.

Luckily, there's always water/gatorade at the top so we stopped to catch our breath. Today was the first day that I didn't stop my watch at any water stop. Of course, I hated feeling the pressure of knowing that the clock was ticking the entire time. Mike made notice of the fact that my first water stop breaks were more brief than usual. Rationally, I knew it didn't matter. Irrationally, it was driving me insane!

So, Thon decided to take us on one of his infamous "super-secret" routes back down the hill. Jan and Brad (two other overachievers who did the Mt. Bonnell climb) opted to go back down the usual way. Here's where the tennis ball comes back into play. For the next mile, we played a game of fetch, catch, football and basketball with the tennis ball! We felt like kids. Hell, we ARE kids!! Neighbors were waking up to the sounds of "Don't let it touch the ground!" and "Go Long!" I'm sure they were surprised to look out and see runners tossing a ball around! Hell, they probably thought it was some new training regime that Gilbert has us doing. So, like, after a mile, we were beat from chasing this damn tennis ball all over the place. I'm sure we ran like a 12 minute mile, but it was definitely 7min effort!! After a little more child's play, someone gave the ball a heave and that was the end of that. It was time to get back to the business of completing 14 miles. This was also the time that Thon said we were running Pecos Street back instead of Exposition. I've always thought Pecos was more difficult than Exposition, mainly because I know Exposition so well. We had about 5 miles to go. This is where the run started to get more difficult. I'm pretty sure a lot of it is a result of all the energy we expended playing catch and fetch. After the next water stop at O'Henry, the last 3 miles dragged on for what seemed like another hour. There definitely wasn't a fast pickup at the end. Mike ran ahead again, as Thon and I finished at a steady pace. We picked up Cincy Mike on the trail with a mile to go and he ran it in with us. Richard was feeling dehydrated and brought himself home slowly and with sensible caution.

We finished our 14 miles in 2:16--no stopping of the watch.

We did 6 strides, stretched and headed for my favorite destination of the week--Mi Madres for a breakfast taco. Actually, I'm sure I'm the only one who orders the low-carb breakfast and then asks for corn tortillas on the side!

Sunday, August 6th
Bike 1:30

I told myself that I wasn't going to set my alarm this morning. If I woke up early enough, I'd hit 8am swim class. If not, I'd hop on my bike for a good 1 1/2 hour ride. I had hung out with good friends Susan and Cathy last night. Of course, that means a couple of glasses of wine and dessert after dinner. I woke up naturally at about 7:30am and could've made it to swim class. Trouble is? I didn't want to go. I feel like I'm starting completely from scratch on the confidence ladder of swimming. I was making progress and then, BAM, I feel like I'm back at square 1 again. The last few workouts have been hard and my last race swim was pretty pitiful. Because it is in our nature to perform those things that we're good at, I decided to go for an early bike ride instead and save the swimming humilation for Tuesday's class.

Shawn's been working all weekend, so I went for an enjoyable--minimal effort ride by myself at about 9:00am. I rode the SW Parkway, 71, Bee Caves, 360 and back loop. It's about 23 miles when all is said and done. I averaged 15.7 mph, which was great based on the fact that I was putting no extra effort into any of the climbs. I also wasn't pushing any of the downhills either. I was having a pleasant morning ride and waving to other cyclists who were riding at their self-prescribed efforts for the day. That's one of my favorite loops to ride because there are some incredibly gorgeous areas to see. Plus, it has a great mix of climbs and descents and there's a nice wide shoulder on the road. At 9am, I didn't feel like I had been plopped down in the middle of the Indy 500.

I'm off to go meet my coaches to discuss winter training! Should be fun. It will definitely be educational.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Juggling with Some Help

Oh Thank God—I finally received the answer to my dilemna in the form of wisdom and Starbucks. I was starting to feel a little tension about how I was going to juggle triathlon and marathon training at the same time, without burning myself to a French-fried crisp by September. In preparing this schedule, I’m trying to keep 95% of my workouts either in the morning or at lunch-time, plus longer weekend workouts. A couple of days ago, I checked my T3 (Total Technique Training—which is my Triathlon Team/Swim Coaches) email and they had sent out a “blanket” training schedule for some upcoming races including the Lake Conroe Half-Ironman on Oct. 29th. It featured different training periodizations, # of hours per week you should be training based on your race goals and what long runs and bike mileage should be. GREAT! I could just push this back two weeks and use it as my schedule for IM 70.3 on November 11th . Well, sort of…It still didn’t really help me plan my daily schedules. It also obviously didn’t take into account that I’ll be ramping up running mileage at the same time for a Marathon 4 weeks later. What’s an overachiever to do besides train 15-18 hours every week? Wrong…

Well, apparently my obsessive compulsive anxiety was shared by others and they sent another email today wanting to get together with us individually this weekend to help plan our training calendars. They realize that not all of us have the same goals or are in the same "fitness league as others." Oh thank God. We’re meeting at a Starbucks this Sunday at 2pm and I’m coming armed with my calendars, training schedules and questions about how to make this work in an organized way. I tend to make every week “a hard training week” because I’m sure how to do otherwise. What this probably means is that on really heavy running weeks, I won’t bike as much. Or, I may take several days off running all together and just focus on swimming for a while. I don’t know. I’m just anxious to receive the affirmation and know-how to put it together effectively.

The good news is that my fitness level is such that I don’t have to push myself to the extremes in order to finish either event. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve already had some of my proudest performances already this year. These upcoming events should be the icing on the cake for a stellar 2006 season. I just want to do both of them free of injury and mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.

Bring on the Starbucks Coaches. We’ve got some schedules to plan! Now, if only they could also plan my wedding and reception!! :-)

Workout Today:

Met Richard and Thon this morning for a recovery jog. I cut off at the Congress Bridge for 4.5-5.0 miles. I then swim 2 ½ laps at Barton Springs. (1000 yards or meters—not sure)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...

I took today off from training. (Yes, Thon, I am capable of having a rest day. I just don't like them.) Actually, I wanted to recuperate more from the tempo and lead into some long workouts I have scheduled for this weekend. I'm still about 15 weeks away from the Half-Ironman World Championship race, so I've got plenty of time...too much time. At this point, I'm not treating this event as an "A" race. I'll train hard and steady, but I'm not going to go all out (she says with 3 1/2 months to go). TTutri had a great statement is his blog regarding his next race. He said he wants it to be a "celebration of fitness." Amen, brother. I like that attitude and had to plagarize it.

At the same time I'm laying the schedule out for that race, I'm also beginning plans for so many other activities in my world as well. As I've mentioned before, I'm the Race Director of Austin's Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race. This is my 4th year as Director so things do seem to get easier and smoother as the years go by. My contacts are solid and my vendors know the event as well as I do. This week, I began my Turkey Trot "kickoff" in many ways. I met with the owners of Thundercloud Subs (main sponsor) and I had lunch with the Operations Manager of a Radio Group in town about possible sponsorship. I filled out and faxed over the Street Closure/Parade permits to the City of Austin. That is just the beginning of many meetings to come with the city, police, fire and barricade company. We all work in conjunction with each other to put on a successful event that attracts over 10,000 people to downtown Austin on Thanksgiving Morning. It is all-consuming. Things won't really get nutty for me until the beginning of November. Until then, it's managed chaos with meetings, emails and phone calls. A couple of weeks before the race is when the earth seems to open up and present the fires of hell. It's not that the work is difficult. There's just a lot to juggle between packet pick-up, t-shirts, stuffing race bags, on-line registration, bib number assignments, volunteer coordinating, tents, port-o-pots, collecting banners from sponsors, emails/phone calls with stupid questions about the race, etc...You get the point. I manage all of this while maintaining my full-time job at the ad agency. Thank God my agency is supportive of this "freelance" project of mine. This year will be particularly challenging as I'll be training and racing in both a Half-Ironman and the Dallas Marathon at the beginning of December. It's a good thing I won't be married yet, because I'm sure my attitude and behavior would become grounds for divorce. Luckily (insert heart bursting with gratitude), Shawn is a huge help with Turkey Trot and I now consider this our tag-team event.

I'm continuing to lay plans for the "One Ton of Fun" team that I'm coaching. It's a team of 10 people--including one local Austin celebrity-- and their goal is to lose weight and finish by walking the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. As Race Director of the event, I thought it would be great to get involved from a coaching standpoint as well. Plus, I just love to watch people get excited and inspired to transform their lives. Right now I'm a little frustrated in my team as they don't seem to be motivated at all to meet and participate in any group activities. Runtex is providing free seminars on eating, cooking, exercising and shopping and no one on my team seems excited to go. We were also invited to join in a recent 5k to participate together. I heard from only one of the ten people. Needless to say, it's a little difficult to motivate people who appear to be completely apathetic. I email their workout program every week in hopes that someone is following it. Next week, I'm meeting with an Austin nutritionist and we're going to brainstorm a couple of different motivating ideas. She's the author of several books on eating right and losing weight. Selfishly, I'm excited to spend time with this woman because I am constantly trying to absorb nutrition and health information of all kinds for myself. Maybe she'll have the secret solution for that last seven pounds of belly goo that won't go away. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the red wine and gelato I had with dinner tonight!!

So that's been my week in a quick nutshell...Oh yeah, did I mention that I'm still packing and have to be out of my house by August 15th? I've created one hell of a Goodwill pile. I can't wait to drop off these old clothes, jackets, bedsheets, pillows, furniture and other items that I won't need for the new house. It's cleansing and fulfilling to know that they will go to a good home. This weekend, I hope to purge the house of many old clothes (face it Carrie--stirrup pants aren't coming back anytime soon!! ) --kidding.

Life is chaotic as all hell right now, but I'm loving every minute of it. I had lunch today with my friend who has cancer of the esophagus. He's currently doing an indefinite amount of chemo. The tumors aren't gone, but they're not growing either. He has the best attitude and exudes happiness, strength, courage, peace and positive energy. And yet, he's also realistic about his potential fate. He told me, "If I thought or dwelled upon what's going on in my life right now, I'd freak out. So, I just get up every morning and I LIVE."

Another thought I had to plagarize...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Finally Feeling the Tempo

It was almost a cruel joke. Gilber threw in another 4-mile tempo run a mere three weeks after the last one. Usually, he waits at least a month. Oh well...I knew it was coming and I still showed up. Attending the workouts are, after all, still a choice I make every morning. Today, I chose to run.

My last Tempo outing was a little slower than I had hoped for: 29:08 for 4.13 miles

The morning started with a 1 mile warmup jog, followed by our usual drill set. It was still dark as we were getting ready to begin. Luckily, I know the trail by heart so the darkness didn't bother me. It actually serves as a shield for the distance being covered. Before the run, I downed some E-crank gel with water. It's a new one for me so I thought I'd try it. It didn't seem to bother my stomach, but it is a little larger than most gel packs so I didn't take all of it.

We lined up today and with the very thin crowd that showed up, I found myself near the front with the superfast people that I would only see before Gilbert said, "Go." Lisa, Mike and others were off and I was not far behind with Ann. Our first mile was about a 6:55. A little too fast, so I slowed it down slightly for Mile 2. At the turnaround point, the mile beeped and it was a 7:08. Gilbert wanted a negative split. He also said that on the way back we should FEEL like we want to run faster...oops... Unfortunately, the Garmin went a little nutty for the last two miles so my splits are not correct. One mile said I did a 6:11 pace and that's obviously incorrect because I'm alive to type about it.

I didn't really start getting exhausted until the last mile, but I was able to hang on although I knew I didn't have much left. The tempo run is one of discipline and patience. I still haven't really mastered it. I need to go out slower so that I've got energy to spare. I'm not complaining and I'm definitely happy with the improvement, although it's still not a PR.

BUT (drum roll please), I ended with a 28:19--almost 1 min faster than last time!! My Garmin measured long again at 4.13, but I think it's incorrect. If that's true, it would put me at a 6:51 pace per mile and that's a little aggressive. I'm guessing I avergaed about 7min miles when all was said and done!

Good confidence builder...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

7 Mile Recovery--Now That's More Like It!

After vascillating back and forth about whether I wanted to swim or run this morning, I finally decided late last night to meet Running Hubby Mike this morning at 6am for a true 7-mile recovery run. The swim class ends at 7am and I had to be to work by 8am for a meeting and didn't have enough time to get home, shower and still make it on time. Plus, I'll admit it, I just like running better and it's something I look forward to!

Mike and I followed the same trail as yesterday and finished the same ol' 7 miles in approximately 1:07 for a healthy recovery pace of 9:34 overall. It was a pleasant run despite the humidity and lack of energy we both seemed to share. We had a good time catching up, just the two of us, as we're both going through similar life changing situations at the moment---buying and selling our houses and planning our weddings. (Not with each other, but with the respective loves of our lives).

It's definitely a stressful time, but it's made easier by working out and talking with friends. I'm glad I opted to run because you can't converse with your head submerged in a pool--although I've been known to shout an obscenity or twelve under the water!