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

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Look out 2007, Here I Come!

So, the first runner I saw on Riverside Drive upon returning to Austin on Tuesday morning was wearing this year's Turkey Trot shirt!! I'm not sure if it was fate or not, but it was my first official "WELCOME HOME" greeting. Of course, it also reminded me of the stress and anxiety of the last few months as well!

I'll be compiling my official New Year's Resolutions for 2007, but this is how it will look visually for me:

OK--so it probably won't literally include hurdles, but I'm sure there will be my fair share of figurative and symbolic hurdles to cross on my way to the altar!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

There's No Place Like Home (Both of Them)

Sometimes I feel like the most blessed chick on earth. I get to come "home" to Ohio to spend the holidays with my parents, four brothers, three sis-in-laws, eight nieces, one nephew and a host of so many other family and friends that are too numerous to count. The only person mssing was my fiance who had to work this weekend and couldn't get away.

Yesterday morning, I ran 12 miles with my friend Karl, who was my inspiration to run a marathon in the first place. You'll be hearing me talk more about him in future posts, but he is a selfless man who took off a year of his life and ran a marathon a week for an entire year to raise money for the Leukemia Society. Yes, he successfully completed 52 marathons in 52 weeks. While this happened nine years ago, his impact and dedication still flourishes. His book will be released in about a month and I know it will be a "must read."

Throughout the four days I was here in Columbus, I also drove up to a little town called Carey, Ohio with my Dad and reserved the church where I'll be married. It was a wonderful day of Father/Daughter bonding that only he and I shared. I had lunch with my friend who lives in Illinois and we spent some time looking around for wedding reception places. I met a cousin for the first time on my Dad's side of the family and had a wonderful visit with her. I attended Mass not once, not twice, but THREE times this weekend! (It must be a Catholic thing) I had Christmas Eve dinner with my family and a slew of nieces, nephews and cousins. I visited my brother's house on Christmas morning to visit with him and see the new addition he's put on his house. I spent hours with relatives making homeade spaghetti and ravioli. I had dinner with seven of my closest high school friends (even though we graduated over 15 years ago!). I visited my high school friend Ginna. She was my theater/acting partner in crime. In high school we dreamed of being famous. Today, she's a working actress in New York. Needless to say, she's amazing. I also squeezed in a private swimming lesson with my tri-friend Tracy who took precious time and spent it trying to improve my hopeless stroke.

I'm not sure if it's the copious amounts of food or my gratitude bursting at the seams, but I'm FULL.

Tomorrow morning, I catch a flight back to Austin and actually get to spend my first night in our new house!!! To me, it marks the beginning of our new home. We've been such nomads for the last four months that I can't wait to walk around for the first time and sleep under the new roof. Believe it or not, I can't wait to cook in our new kitchen (or at least throw a salad together).

While I've had a great time at this home, I can't wait to get back to Shawn and my new home and start planning our wedding.

(I also can't wait to get back to eating normally. Iced cookies for breakfast is not a good thing.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

In Transition

I'm writing this entry from home in Columbus, Ohio after a couple weeks of swirling around in the activity of work and holiday business. I was in the Bahamas with Shawn and his family for a few days for good food, good company and good sunshine. The snorkeling wasn't bad either! (The gambling is another story!) I literally dropped my bathing suit and summer clothes off in Austin and hopped on another flight back home to Ohio with a suitcase packed with flannel, turtlenecks and all of the other Columbus necessities--including an appetite! I joined my high school girlfriends for dinner last night for laughter and good (or not so good) advice on marriage and kids! It's humorous to recount our memories year after year, only to transition into conversations like, "How often do you and your husband have sex?" "Are you always tired after giving birth?" It's a far cry from our conversations of year's past..."Can I bum a smoke?" and "Aren't you wearing the same outfit you had on last night?!" Instead of going out at 10pm, we were nestled back at Laura's by 10pm enjoying Bud Light and --yes---ZIMA!!!!! (I remarked to Lisa that I don't think I've had Zima since I was like 14 years old)

Now...it's on to the business of family traditions. My Greasy-Wop, Dago, Italian family gets together and gathers in the basement of Aunt COnnie's house to make homeade ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs. It's me and a bunch of Soprano looking Aunts and COusins. This tradition of throwing dough and eating half-baked meatballs--just to make sure there's enough garlic---is by far, one of my favorite days of the year. It's also one that I will pay for by running a few extra miles! We literally mop the dough in white flour!!!

Happiest of Holidays to all from wherever you are spending it!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


3:29:06 at the Dallas White Rock Marathon and 8th in my age group! How about that?!

2006 has been a good year. Time to finally recover from it.

Results at www.runtherock.com


353 overall place
8/254 age group
37/1257 overall place in gender
3:29:06 chip time
7:59 overall pace
3:29:56 gun time
50:51 10K split
1:45:44 Half split
2:54:34 35K split

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Nothing More to Do

I've never understood those people who can go hours upon hours without eating a thing. Or, worse yet, they pretentiously and sheepishly say, "I didn't have time to eat" or "I simply forgot."

Screw you people.

I'm an every 3-4 hours person. While I'm eating one small meal, I'm thinking about the next one. I look forward to eating at least 5 times a day. Sometimes it's only a Balance Bar or a bowl of (you guessed it) Kashi GO Lean Crunch, but it's what keeps me going and fueled.

Of course, it's what also makes me feel bloated when I'm tapering. I'm not eating a ton, but I'm also not burning as much. That brings on that all-too familiar feeling of the necessary heaviness of race week.

Here's the taper recap for this Race Week:

Monday 11/4 We did the 7 Mile loop with a little over 2 miles at an 8:00 min Marathon Goal Pace.

Tuesday 11/5 I jogged 4.5 miles slow...no watch...just focused on breathing and quick feet turnover.

Wednesday 11/6 I showed up to meet Thon and Mike and our wires were crossed. I talked to Coach G and he just had me jog 2 miles slow and then do 10 stride-outs focusing on hip balance, high knees and butt kicks. I don't like jogging slow. It's then that I focus on every little ache and pain that I would normally ignore. I felt a little twinge in my knee and just willed it away for the time being. When I run fast, I focus on breathing. When I run slow, I focus on form.

I'm definitely taking Thursday off and may run a short 2-3 miles on Friday.

Other than that, I'm finished and looking forward to a super relaxing Holiday Season that include upcoming weekend getaways to the Bahamas and Ohio. Yeah, how's that for opposite ends of the spectrum?!?! We also booked a weekend trip to Phoenix in January for the National Championship Football Game featuring my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes baby!!! Three trips in a month and none of them involve a Marathon or race of any kind. That I'm looking forward to...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Race Week...AGAIN!

I'm gearing up for a relaxing trip to Dallas for the weekend to do some shopping, eating and drinking...oops, my mistake. There will be no shopping unless the receipt happens to have bagels, peanut butter and gatorade on it. It's more like a weekend filled with running, eating and drinking.

I'm super-excited about Sunday's Dallas White Rock Marathon! Not only is it a new race for me, but I'm running it with my Austin running partners Thon, Mike and Amy. We all have the same idealistic finish goals and plan on hanging together, at least for a while. The only person missing from our running clique is Richard, who has been sick and unable to train for this one. However, Richard is making the trip with his wife Stephanie and we'll also be graced with the presence of Mike's real wife Hava, superfast gazelle Erine and my fiance Shawn (who's running the Half Marathon). If you ask me, this weekend is going to be more of a party than a marathon!

As for the run itself, my goals keep changing. One thing that hasn't changed is the goal of "having fun." It's hard to top the Boston Marathon experience of 2006, even though it almost seems ages ago. As I was telling Thon and Mike today, I feel like my body and mind peaked the top of the training mountain after Ironman 70.3 Clearwater...Since then, I've had a difficult time with recovery. My breathing seems labored and I'm having a hard time settling into my runs. Just ask Thon after our 11 mile run on Saturday. I was pretty cranky through most of it...Well, at least until I got warm coffee and breakfast tacos. After that, I was fine :-) Right now, I'm trying to stay in that "peak" position even though it feels like I'm coming down the other side of the mountain--which is what techinically should be happening. This week, I'm asking my body and mind to give me one more hard effort. I honestly don't know what's going to happen.

Here's what I do know... Whether I get a 3:30 or a 4:30, I'm going to have fun and celebrate this fantastic year. Plus, I'm getting a massage on Wednesday. That alone is worth it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ego Boost and Lesson for the Day

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend and former co-worker who just completed several months of intensive chemo for Stage 4 Esophogital Cancer. What's worse is that he voices radio and tv commercials for a living and the disease attacked his main work instrument. How cruel is that? What originally appeared to be a "lost cause" has turned into a miracle as my friend is now cancer-freaking free!! Take that cancer. He is a lesson in prayer, perserverance, exerise, medicine, hope and self-love.

Anyways, as we were walking out of the restaurant, he said, "Oh my Gosh...Have you lost weight?"

"Umm...perhaps. I really don't weigh myself because I get depressed."

"Well, you look fantastic."

I don't know if he was just being polite or if he truly noticed a difference, but it worked. I felt lighter, drove back the office and indulged in a piece of chocolate because I deserved it! After all, as he so eloquently reminded me, you must always savor your life and all that comes with it.