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

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This Means War!!

First of all, I'm calling a "GBHWLC" FOUL on Amy!! She is one of a small group of Gazelles and their Better Halves who are participating in our very informal weight loss challenge. Soooo...I got back from lunch yesterday and saw a box of "Tiff's Treats" cookies on my chair. For those that aren't familiar with "Tiff's Treats," they are amazing, almost half-baked cookies, that are delivered warm giving you that "just from the oven" feel. I'm salivating as I type. I just have this mental picture of a delivery driver forced to keep his heat on full blast to keep the cookies warm! And in the Texas summers, they probably just bake the damn things on the sidewalk outside. Anyways, I thought it was a tad strange as the holiday seasons are over and media reps no longer have to kiss our butt. I certainly wasn't expecting anything from anyone. I opened the card and it said, "Thank you! You are my wing man! I couldn't have done it without you. XO...Skud" My heart was overcome with gratitude. Amy had sent me a gift for helping her in the race---something I never expected. I was just so happy that she reached her goal.

It sank in for about 30 seconds and then my mind immediately went to, "Hey...wait a minute...there's something behind this...these are fabulous chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies...I'm in the weight challenge...so is she...SHE'S TRYING TO SABOTAGE ME!!!!!!!!!!!" I called her up and she immediately said, "I know what you're thinking!" We joked about the unintentional sabotage and then agreed to try to meet later this week for a run.

In the meantime, I got up today and hit the track a little after 6am for some 800m repeats. I warmed up a mile and set a goal of doing 5 x 800m. I only had about 40 minutes as I was going to a core class at 7am. So, I also wasn't really sure what to expect either. I haven't done any formal speedwork and didn't want to push it. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised that my first 800m repeat was a 3:23. This track is actually a little short, but I was wearing my Garmin and measured 1/2 mile consistently. The next four proceeded to get quicker and quicker and I averaged between 3:19 and 3:22 for the next four. The good news? It was a confidence builder for speed. My shin also didn't hurt that bad. I could feel "something," but it wasn't so much pain as it was a gentle "don't forget about me" feeling. The realistic news...I probably couldn't have done more than 2 more without losing form and feeling exhausted. But you know what??? That's ok. I'm not training for anything specific and I'm also happy to know that I'm not starting at Ground Zero. I may have dropped a few floors, but I'm still on the stairs... Now, if only those damn cookies would go away!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Can you say PR??

Congratulations to my Gazelle pals and others who put together some amazing times at this year's 3M Half-Marathon. While the course was slightly more difficult than year's past, it's still a downhill course and fast as hell. It's definitely a gauge of people's overall fitness levels.

Last year, my running partner Amy and I, hammered this race with PRs (Personal Records) of 1:34:08. I've never been more shocked to run 13 miles at an average pace of 7:11. This kicked off what turned out to be a year of PRs in 2006. We talked about 3M all year long and how we laughed when Coach said we could do a 1:36. We thought--"NO WAY" and then turned in a 1:34. All year long, I grew stronger and looked forward to the potential of knocking my 1:34 down.

Well, it wasn't meant to be for me this year. Because of my nagging tendonitis, I pretty much decided against this race in early January. While it's one of my favorites, my PR right now is all about my "personal recovery." It didn't stop me from meeting Richard and Stephanie this morning to cheer for those we knew and didn't know. It was cold, but clear this morning in Austin. I had bundled up with two pairs of pants (running tights with track pants over the top). In the back of my mind, I thought I might hit the trail later for a couple of miles. I was also wearing a turtle neck, running shirt and running jacket with a hat and gloves. By running standards, I was pretty bundled up. By spectating standards, I was wishing I had on two pairs of socks!

So, there we were staked out at Mile 11 in Hyde Park by Richard and Stephanie's house. Elite people started coming by and we joked at how none of them even looked like they were breathing hard. Plus, to glance at them, it doesn't look like they were running all that fast, when in fact, they were hauling ass! We cheered for our usuals and shouted "Go Gazelles" whenever we saw the familiar logo. I had my Gazelle shirt on, but wasn't about to unzip my coat.

Finally, after several minutes of yells and cow bell clanging, I saw Amy. Actually, she saw us. I started running along side of her and she said, "I need you! I'm dying." (it was in that exhausted runner tone of voice) That attitude is so unlike her and I knew she was hurting. I'm not sure what I was doing, but I just kept running along side of her like the stay puff marshmallow that I was looking like in all of those clothes! I asked what she thought she was running and she said 1:33. That was a PR pace and I was not about to let her lose it. I just kept along with her in our sub 7min pace saying, "Focus...Focus...Focus..." I saw a woman that I recognize in our age group up ahead about 20 yards. I said, "See that girl in the gray tank top? She's in our age group and you're going to beat her."

"I have to catch her first," said Amy.

"We will."

By this point we hit some nice downhill on Duval and passed the 12 mile marker. One mile to go. I heated up quickly and had no idea if I was helping her keep the pace or slowing her down. I could feel my shin pain as it started to go, "What the hell are you doing???" I didn't care. We started picking off a couple of people so I knew we were doing ok. At 12.5 miles, we passed the woman in the gray tank top and never looked back. I kept with her until she entered the Finisher's chute and just kept shouting words of encouragement. Her finishing time:
1:33:17 She did it. She hit her PR by less than a minute! I looked at her official results and her first half was a 7:09 pace and second half was a 7:06 pace. Like I said, I have no idea whether we sped up or I slowed her down, but she did it and I'm thrilled. I can't wait to get back out there and train with her.

Not more than 30 seconds behind were Thon, Frank, Amy Farley, Renee, Anne and other Gazelles who had kick-ass races!! They should be so proud!

Funny enough, I was freaking EXHAUSTED after that unexpected two-mile sprint! I haven't done any real speedwork in months and my leg certainly let me know it. I went from Starbucks cup in hand to full sprint in .01 second. I hung out at the finish and congratulated a few friends on their finishes. I began a two mile jog backwards along the course and cheered for those that I knew and could recognize. As soon as I got home, I iced my shin for a while and immediately followed that with a heating pad. I don't know if it's the best solution, but it feels much better.

So, to all those who had a great race today, Congrats on your PRs. I may not have done the entire race, but I built some confidence with my own PR...I'm well on my way to a good "personal recovery." I'm still planning on running the AT&T Half Marathon on February 18th with Shawn. That, in itself, is good enough for me.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


While this random guy resembles more of my swimming style these days, I actually chose this image to represent how I'm trying to function right now. I've made a very deliberate attempt to slow things down, lay on my back, relax and float as much as possible.

For the first time in a long time, I don't feel completely overwhelmed with decision-making overload. The decisions I'm making now are team-oriented, tackled by both myself and my fiance. We're working through everything from coffee tables to reception places, from bedspreads to florists. It's a unique combination of building our home and our wedding at the same time. I selfishly admit that it's very refreshing not having to do either by myself.

Work has slowed to a comfortably chaotic pace...We're getting ready for Valentines Day with a couple of my clients at the moment. Most of the clients I work with are coming off very successful holiday retail seasons. They're happy, which makes me happy. I'm also meeting with potential new clients. The best part of my job in advertising is meeting with and getting to know various business owners of all types of work. I deal with Jewelers, Antique Store owners, Drug Companies that do investigation studies, granite companies, Medical Resource Companies. Because it's the first of the year, we're able to slow down, discuss their goals and plan accordingly.

Finally, my workouts are progressing slowly and methodically. My right leg pain is a little frustrating, but I'm taking my recovery in stride. I ice it several times daily and have been doing a bunch of crosstraining. On Saturday, I hopped on my trainer and did a 45 minute spin class using my "Spinervals" DVD. On Sunday, Shawn and I did what we affectionately refer to as "The Norwalk 10K," which is an approximate 10K route starting from our house and heading around the trail. I was trepidatious about the run, but the morning was so glorious in Austin, I needed to be outdoor! As I feared, I started feeling the "tendonitis" about a mile into the run, but I'm happy to say that the pain never progressed past a certain level. It was uncomfortable, but never excrutiating. I'm taking that as a good sign since it was unbearable just a couple of weeks prior. Because I had run on Sunday, I went to the gym on Monday morning and aqua jogged for 30 minutes and then followed that with a 25 minute swim in the Swim-Ex pools. I'm still just focusing on form right now with my swim stroke and trying to memorize how certain aspects of the stroke should feel. As I was looking at classes at Castle Hill, I saw a Cardio Brick workout being offered on Tuesday morning at 6am. It was described as 30 minutes of high intensity spinning, followed by a 30 minute run. I thought it sounded perfect so I showed up this morning. Well, I ended up getting a personal one-on-one workout because I was the only one who showed up!! The instructor said that it hasn't been well-attended, which really surprised me since it's such a nice well-rounded workout. We proceeded through the hour-long workout as if the class was full. The spin portion was great and I worked up a quick sweat with pickups and several progressions using resistance and cadence work. We headed outside for our run just when it started to sprinkle. We did a combination of warm-ups, drills and pickups in a park near the gym. I felt a little bad that I was the only one there today forcing her to workout, but I felt great afterward having done the class.

So, I'm really trying to slow my world down and float a bit. At least, I'm not face down in the water!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Austin, or Seattle??

Now that the town has begun to thaw, the rain has begun to fall, making it feel more like Seattle than sunny Austin. I've continued to explore some of the aspects of my new gym, Castle Hill. Right now, I'm like a kid with a new toy and loving it. On Thursday, I hit the gym and hopped on the elyptical again for about 45 minutes. I also stretched and did several minutes of core work. On Friday morning, I got to the gym and explored the Swim-Ex pools.

Castle Hill has 3 Swim-Ex pools, which are basically pool treadmills and large enough for one person. You adjust a current level and swim in place against that current. On Friday morning, I aqua jogged against the current for 30 minutes and then swam in place for about 20 minutes. It was hard to find a comfortable current level at first because it was either way to low and I would actually hit the wall, or I turned it up too high and I couldn't keep up, thereby making the current shoot me to the other end of the pool. (which I'm sure is hilarious) Once I found my "comfort level," I enjoyed settling in and just focusing on my stroke. It was a relief knowing that no one was going to swim up behind me or swim over the top to try to pass me. I'm sure it was slow as hell, but it really did allow me to work on all of the fundamentals that I've been learning.

I woke up this morning with the intention of going for a short run to see how my leg has been doing. Well, it was raining and 37 degrees so I did what any sane person would do. I put the blanket back on and stayed in bed a little later. The rain may stop my morning run right now, but it didn't stop my breakfast taco excursion with our usual gang. This afternoon was spent in meetings with an Interior Designer and another round of wedding gowns!! Maybe it was the weather, but I just wasn't in the right mood for wedding dresses. Looking at the photos proves that. There were some beautiful dresses, but I don't think I wore them well today. Or maybe I just wasn't working it!

I'm going to hop on the bike trainer now and I'll try the run again tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice Storm 2007 Appears to Be Over

I'm making a new city statute. The workday in Austin is not allowed to commence until after "Ellen" airs every morning. I'm now officially addicted to morning TV thanks to ICE STORM 2007. I could get used to hot coffee and TV in the morning.

Oh my Gosh, the cabin fever around here is almost unbearable! I've stuck close to home since the ice storm started on Monday and didn't really venture out until today when I just HAD to get to the gym!! I clearly wasn't alone as the gym was fairly crowded at 10:30am on a random Wednesday!

The "forced relaxation" was incredibly beneficial for the mind, body and soul. (and for some of those home improvement projects we had been postponing). We rearranged the pantry, cleaned cabinets, sealed the shower, put furniture together, vacuumed the upstairs, swept the downstairs, did some loads of laundry, etc.

In addition to that, I was able to tackle some wedding projects like scheduling appointments with people when I'm in Columbus in a couple of weeks. I also prepared ALL of my taxes for the year so I'm good to go and have absolutely no excuses for not meeting that April 15th deadline!

In addition to all of that, I also got some good quality (but not brutal) workouts accomplished. On Monday, I did my home spin class on the trainer for about 45 minutes and also did some core work with the ab ball and 24lb resistance bar. I basically duplicated the core class that I was doing a year ago complete with squats, lunges and upper body. I worked out on the trainer again on Tuesday and this morning I hit the gym for about 45 minutes on the elyptical. I also did the core class again this morning before heading to the gym. It feels good to get the HR going and gets me anxious to get back out there. My right leg feels so much better the last couple of days, even on the elyptical. I'll probably attempt a couple of shorter runs outside now that the ice is melting, but that's about it for now...still no real reason to jump back in until I know it's healed.

I also have to say that it feels great to not be eating out in restaurants for practically every meal. I swear from September to December, we basically ate out at restaurants every night because our kitchen stuff was packed up. I'm not a great cook, but I can "assemble." It's nice just to cook up some turkey burgers, fresh ravioli, soups, turkey wraps for lunch, fresh salads, etc. We also make awesome homeade pizzas with whole wheat tortillas. We'll throw some spinach, broccoli, banana peppers and tonight we had some spinach/feta turkey sausage that we threw on top. It's simple as hell, but tasty and pretty darn healthy. I'm also a huge fan of hummus and will put that on damn near anything.

The last couple of snow-bound days have allowed us to maintain some control, slow things down a bit and realize just how much I love getting out there! I'm actually ready to get back to work. I can't believe I said that.

Monday, January 15, 2007

My Makeshift Trip to the Gym

Well, the "Ice Storm 2007" is embarking on Austin closing roads, schools, work and gyms! In actuality, it's not all that bad out there (yet), but this is Central Texas. Ice is usually only something you blend to make your margaritas. Austin commuters aren't used to actually having to drive on this stuff. I used to feel pretty confident, but nine years in Austin has turned me into a Grandma driver when it so much as sprinkles out there.

So, I called a couple of gyms this morning and they were both closed. God Bless Shawn for putting my bike back together yesterday. It was still in the bike box from November! So, I set up my impromptu spin class with the bike trainer and a SPinervals DVD. I had to use my laptop since we still don't actually have our DVD players hooked up to the new TV. I'm such a dork, but it felt great to be on my bike again. In all honesty, my leg is liking me for it. It also felt good working up a sweat and getting my heartrate going again.

Now, it's time to buckle down and get ready for the BIG FREEZE. It's pretty much supposed to be horrible this afternoon, evening and tomorrow. My bosses told us not to come in today and probably tomorrow as well. How weird that I actually get a "snow day" as an adult!! I love it!! Of course, I can still work from home, damn it!

Improvise workout and improvise work. Gotta love it!
Be safe out there.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Odds and Ends

I tried on wedding gowns today!! I'd love to post a pic or two (because I need help narrowing it down by Wednesday), but I don't want Shawn to see ;-) As everyone told me, the dresses you don't expect to fit actually look the best. Now I'm trying to decide between having a train or no train on the back. I'm kind of a "no train" chick, but check out the basilica I get to stand in!! Princess Di had nothing on this! I absolutely love this church in good 'ol Carey, Ohio. It's been my dream church since I was a kiddo. Very ornate and the aisle is a nice long one.

I guess I shouldn't worry about a train or no train until I see which dress fits best overall. Speaking of dresses fitting, some of my Gazelle running partners and I have kicked off the "GBHWLC." Huh??? It's the "Gazelle and their Better Halves Weight Loss Competition." That's right. From now until the end of April, we have to weigh in every week for all of us to see. It has the potential of being very humiliating, but also very rewarding. After all, it definitely keeps me accountable and I'm already so much more aware of my portion sizes, etc. Ironically, I started off with a two pound weight gain! I guess that's what happens when you eat like a pig over the holidays and have an injured leg. If I'm not careful, this will be my wedding portrait! (albeit Shawn is still very handsome)

I atempted to go for a 30 minute run this evening over at the track across from our house. I completed about 3 miles, with some pickups on the straight-a-ways, and my right shin was numb by the end. Not good news, especially in brand new shoes that I'm used to wearing. It means two very obvious things: 1) I'm not ready to run 2.) It's time to focus almost exclusively on swimming and body toning....maybe some elyptical machine thrown in for good measure. I'm coming to terms with the fact that there may be no races for me before the May Wedding. I've still got my sights potentially set on the Houston Area Tri One-O-One race in November and possibly the Sunmart 50k Trail Race in December. I've always heard such amazing things abou this race. Maybe there will be a couple of shorter tris in the summer, but we'll see.
In the meantime, Shawn and I continue to shop for furniture and other fun stuff for the house. We're very blessed to be able to "start from scratch." We actually spent our Friday night at the grocery store stocking up on the fridge. I'm happy to say that I actually did some cooking tonight....finally enjoying the benefits. This is actually the first weekend we've been in Austin since Thanksgiving!
We had the Turkey Trot...San Antonio the following weekend...Dallas Marathon after that...Bahamas the weekend after that...Followed by Ohio and Christmas the next week...New Year's Weekend was spent in San Antonio before coming back to Austin late that night...We spent last weekend in Phoenix. Needless to say, it's good to just be able to sit and drink my wine, read a book and relax! This is what it's supposed to be all about.
We're expecting some frightening weather over the next couple of days in Austin complete with freezing rain and an ice warning. Darn....it may force me to relax a little more (or continue to organize our garage and compile addresses for the invite list). I'm also hoping to hit my new gym tomorrow for orientation. I'm meeting with a personal trainer next week and I can't wait! I'm anxious for the change of pace.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kicking it Back Into Gear

OK, so since November, I've travelled to Florida (for Half-Ironman), Dallas (White Rock Marathon), the Bahamas (vacation), Ohio (Family Christmas), San Antonio (Alamo Bowl game) and Scottsdale (BCS National Championship).

Throw in the Turkey Trot and moving into our new house and you have two months of complete and utter "on the verge of meltdown" living. I've started off this year with very little fitness regimen whatsoever, giving myself a much-needed mental and physical break from training.

Well, it's all about to change. 2007 for me starts now. This weekend, I'm kicking into wedding plans head on, complete with booking a flight to Ohio to get some nuptial business taken care of in the way of photography, cakes, etc. I swore that I didn't want to get caught up in all of this minutia of party favors and table toppers. It's hard not to when people start asking questions about your color and your theme and your reception food, etc. I'll feel better once I feel like I've caught up with where I'm "supposed" to be at this stage of planning. Anytime I mention that I don't have a dress yet, people start freaking out...Same goes for reception locations, etc. Bottom Line: I have a church, a priest and a loving family. As far as I'm concerned, that's truly all I need at the end of the day to make it real for me.

Same goes for my fitness regimen. This year is mainly about working on speed and tone. I don't know that I'll be doing much in the way of distance races. I want to continue working on my swimming and running speedwork. Hopefully, my tender foot will soon heal completely. I'm dying to get out there and run right now, but I know it's simply not the right thing to do for a bit. For Christmas, I received a year-long membership to one of the best fitness facilities in town and I've been waiting until the crowd dies down a bit before I kick that into gear. I'm ready for a little bridal boot camp!!

So, while I feel like I'm in cruise control for the time being, next week I will be switching gears and moving forward on many things. I'm convinced that since I didn't have a nervous breakdown in 2006, this year should be a breeze! Let's just hope that breeze doesn't turn into a hurricane.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Prelude to a Commitment

So this is how it's going to be. Fine. I'm ready and packed with my positive attitude.

2007 is off to a mildly rough start. My right leg is still tender when I flex it and the Buckeyes get humilated in the National Championship football game. Bad things come in "threes" right? What's next? We discover foundation problems on the new house???? (God Forbid)

It's just a daily lesson in, "Things don't always go how you want them to." That's life and that's what makes it fun. Hell, that's what makes it interesting, challenging and, consequently, very rewarding.

Today is the 2-year anniversary of meeting Shawn. It's amazing what can transpire in two short years. I know I really have no clue what I'm in for with this marriage stuff, but I know a lot of days will resemble the one we had today trying to leave Phoenix and get home. We were booked on an evening flight tonight, but I really wanted to get back to Austin early and head into work so that I could meet with a client. (I'm actually anxious to settle into a work routine after a month of travelling and moving,which has kept me otherwise preoccupied. ) In any event, here are the marriage lessons I learned today as we embarked on separate journies across the country in search of the same destination point: HOME.

SACRIFICE: After sleeping for a whopping two hours, Shawn got up at 3:45am and drove me to the airport so that I could get on the "stand-by" list. I mean, my chances were slim to none and he still made the sacrifice to do so. He even slept in our rental car as I waited to see if I was going to make the flight. Because he didn't attempt this flight, it was my sacrifice to head back to the airport tonight at Midnight to pick him up.

FLEXIBLE: How else do you explain his willingness to cater to my last minute wants to leave early?? I was the one who wanted to try to get back early for work. He could've easily said "Hell No," but he was the one who encouraged me to try, even when the airline employees were saying that it was a helpless cause. By the grace of God and the gods of flight, I hit both standby flights and was home in Austin by 11:30am and at work by 1pm, all because of our willingness to be flexible with each other.

PATIENCE: Our team lost, we had gotten two hours of sleep after tailgating all day and I was nervous and stressed about getting to a client meeting this afternoon. He too was totally bummed out, but we took it in stride and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to even be able to take these trips on a whim. Even though I'm not typically a patient person, he brings out the best. I've been in instances where alcohol, lack of sleep and a heartbreaking loss can bring out the worst in people. We just looked at each other and laughed.

COMMUNICATE and GO WITH THE FLOW: OK so his cell phone broke last week so all of this communication and flight coordination today took place with borrowed cell phones, checking messages every so often, borrowing his brother's cell and using pay phones. Yes, I said pay phones. I'm not sure where Shawn found one, but he did. I'm not even sre how you operate one in this day and age. It was frustrating for both of us because I couldn't just call him when I found out that I made the stand-by. I sent his brother a text message and I left Shawn a voicemail on his dead cell number. Fortunately, he could still check messages. In turn, he couldn't easily call me to let me know that his Phoenix flight left late and he subsequently missed his Dallas connection. It was only when I was getting ready to leave for the airport that he borrowed someone's cell and told me what was happening. Unfortunately, it involved renting a car and driving from Dallas so that he can be at work on time on Wed morning.

Needless to say, it's probably not how either of us wanted to spend our two-year anniversary, but it was a good "preparation" day for the bumps, bruises, unexpected occurrences and inconveniences that we'll have to face together every day. I'm just glad we handled this one with a general sense of humor seeing as how we're both still depressed about the game!

Happy Anniversary!

This Pretty Much Sums it Up


Monday, January 08, 2007


Greetings from Scottsdale, AZ!!

Very excitedly in town for the BCS National Championship football game.

GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a killer massage yesterday, which has made my leg feel better than it has in a couple of weeks. It was serious deep tissue action! I'm still going to give it a few days and just enjoy the break. Plus, I'm going to enjoy Ohio State winning the National Championship game!!!!

This photo was taken in 2005 when Ohio State played Texas (and LOST!)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I know how you feel Brutus

See that lump in the middle of the bed?
That’s my cat Brutus Buckeye Sapp-Barrett and this has been his routine since we moved into the new house.

He’ll get me up at 5:30am, eat some of his tasty dry food that smells like a cross between cardboard and chicken livers, do his litterbox biz-nass and then head back upstairs and assume the above position for the next 12 hours or so.

I’m dying to get in his little feline brain and find out exactly what is going through his mind. Is he scared of the new atmosphere and the new sounds that come along with it? Is he being grumpy? Is he sick? Is he just plain tired and in need of an uninterrupted hotel-darkness kind of sleep? Hell, can he even breathe?

Every now and then, I check on him. I’ll lift the comforter just to make sure he’s doing ok. I’ll kiss his little nose to let him know that I care. I’ll talk to him through the bedspread and pet his little head above the covers.

It hit me today that, although his newfound pose strikes me as a little disconcerting and a whole lot of humorous, how many times do we just want to crawl under the covers all day? How many times are we scared about the unknown atmospheres we’re surrounded by? How many days do we just want to pull the covers over our own heads and just survive on the bare minimum of food and restroom breaks? How many times are we just plain grumpy and don’t want to talk to or be around others? How many times are we feeling under the weather and just want to “lay low?” For me, it’s more often than I want to admit.

However, there’s nothing more reassuring than a familiar voice in the darkness. There’s nothing more comforting than a kiss on the nose and a quick massage letting me know that everything is going to be alright. There’s nothing more soothing than a few words of affirmation.

For those things, I’m grateful and I know Brutus is too.

I’m just glad I’m not forced to pee in a box for God and everyone else to see.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I Wanna Come Out and Play

I can hear that little pesky voice inside my head.

For some strange reason, that voice sounds like a little boy who is no older than 5-6. Maybe it's a throwback to my brothers who would tease me as the only girl in a household of boys.

It's that voice that says, "You're slacking. Why are you sleeping in? Look at all of those people on the track. You should be out there right now. You're going to lose your fitness and gain a bunch of weight."

You see, the trouble with living right across the street from a popular running track is that I get to see several people doing repeats both before and after work. A couple of running groups meet at O'Henry on a consistent basis including T3, Runtex, Fit 2 Train and others.

This week, I've felt like the little sick kid that can't play with the other kids. My right leg is just really acting up at the moment. I don't know how else to describe it except to say that it feels like shin splints, or a torn muscle, or a stress fracture--all very typical common "overuse" injuries. It's painful just above the ankle. When it first started hurting in Columbus, I thought I had my shoes tied too tight. I remember stopping for water with my friend Karl and loosening my shoe because it felt sore. It hasn't been the same. Of course, that didn't stop me until my New Year's Day Run with Shawn, Thon and Amy. It definitely hasn't recovered from that. I'm afraid to swim because it will hurt to kick. I'm aqua jogging today and tomorrow--BORING!! Maybe this is Mother Nature's way of jump starting that core and toning portion of my resolution.

In the meantime, I'm really listening to Mother Nature's request to actually rest. I've been sleeping in until 7am this week and arising by the natural sunlight. I'm enjoying going downstairs in our new home and making coffee. I get excited to make cereal and sit on our new barstool in front of our newly working wireless internet. And then, I look out the door and see that track.

Don't worry. I'll be back out there before too long.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I Resolve...to top 2006 (I don't know how it's possible)

I resolve...

...to never take home internet availability for granted!!

We finally have internet access in the new house and a chair to sit on while perusing the World Wide Web for hours on end. I'm starting to feel like a "normal" human being.

The bad part about now having Internet access: I will spend an inordinate amount of time looking at useless information about diet habits, dress styles, honeymoons, blogs, etc.

The good part about having internet access: I will hear about big news like Saddam's execution as it happens and won't find out two days after the fact, feeling like and "out of touch" citizen.

While I don't know how to top a year like 2006, I'm already looking forward to the events of 2007 that are on the horizon: A trip to Arizona for the National Championship football game featuring my beloved Buckeyes, a new gym membership at Castle Hill which will allow me to focus on all parts of my body that could use a little toning, a couple of smaller races this year and...oh yeah...a wedding. While I vow to keep it simple and casual, I'm already finding it frightenly easy to get caught up in the minutia of flowers, photographers, cakes, etc, when all I really want to do is order a couple of pizzas and call it a day, ya know?

I started New Year's Day off with a 9-10 mile run. Shawn and I started from our house and ran a mile to meet Thon and Amy at the Rock for a New Year's Day run around town. The morning was spectacular...clear, cool and a vibrant blue sky. The bad part? My right leg has been acting up. It almost feels like shin splints or a stress fracture on the lower portion of my leg. I can walk on it, but the run became pretty painful after the first couple of miles. It's probably a little tedonitis, so I have to stay off of it a couple of days. That means I'll be doing some aqua jogging this week. I bought an aqua jogger belt for Christmas and now it's time to put that baby to use. Hopefully, it's just a temporary ache as I'd still like to race the 3M Half Marathon in a couple of weeks...to be continued later.

So, of course, we were talking about our New Year's Resolutions and I think Amy said it best. We all have visions of taking better care of ourselves and being more "present" and kind to ourselves and others. She said that the one thing she's going to do to achieve all od her goals is to simply become "more prayerful." Of course, that can mean something different to everyone. It might mean meditation for some, or Bible reading for others. It may just be ten minutes of silence and gratitude everynight. I thought it was simplistically brilliant. To become a better person, I simply have to become more prayerful.

Now that's something I can do...

Now, I just need to resolve to sit still long enough to do it!