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, February 27, 2007

Who Knew Wheezing Could Feel So Good?

I’m beginning to think that “exercise induced asthma” is another made-up clinical phrase for “just breathing hard.” For me, it’s not a reason to STOP exercising. It’s a reason to keep pushing.

This morning was my first time to do Mile Repeats at Zilker since last November. Amy came by my house this morning and we did the two-mile warmup jog to Zilker Park. The group was already doing drills, so we finished out and began the work.

I still don’t really know where I fall in the Tues/Thurs group pacw-wise, but today it was very apparent that Amy and I would quickly become our own little entity. Shannon (and her group) are running so well and FAST that there was no way I would try to keep up.

Coach said for those training for shorter races, do 4 repeats with 2min rest in between. For those training for some upcoming marathons (including Boston)—do SIX…WOW. Now, that’s stepping it up. I decided immediately I was going to be very happy with four. Here are my results from my last three workouts…

Mile Repeat Comparison

June 28th, 2006

#1 6:54 (way too fast)
#2 6:53 (the uphill direction)
#3 6:53
#4 6:48

July 26th, 2006

#1 7:21 (he told us to go out slow)
#2 6:56
#3 6:55
#4 6:47

November 29th, 2006

(only 3)
#1 7:11
#2 6:54
#3 6:54

…and the drumroll please…

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
#1 7:09
#2 6:49
#3 6:49
#4 6:43

Major PRs for me today and encouraging results after a three-month hiatus of Zilker Mile Repeats!

After the wheezing stopped, Amy and I slowly jogged the two miles back to the house congrtaulating each other on a hell of an effort.

Excuse me while I go look for my inhaler...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Welcome to the Bloggin' Porch

Here you have it:

My first "official" post from the Bloggin' Porch in our house! For those that have been to mi casa, you know we have a second-story screened in porch right off of our Master Bedroom. It lets a breeze in, keeps the bugs out and is private enough to be able to chill in your robe (or less if so inclined). Since conception of house construction, I always envisioned this room being my morning coffee/blogging porch. It would be a great way to start the mornings with a little breeze, cup o joe and relaxation.

Over the weekend, we finally got around to buying a coffee pot for the porch and we were blessed this morning with a perfectly clear sunrise and mid-50's temps. Perfect for a little coffee and writing.

Right now, this neighborhood is synonomous with birds chirping, school buses humming, kids playing and hammers pounding. It's an established neighborhood, but one that is under a little makeover. Older homes being bought, remodeled and flipped. It's 8:30am and I hear hammers, saws and a radio blasting music that I can't understand. However, I also hear owls and squirrels in the branches of trees that surround this little oasis in the sky. The cat, of course, is buried underneath the comforter.

We were blessed with a gorgeous and action-packed weekend in Austin. I wasn't able to go see Presidential Hopeful Barrack Obama speak on Friday afternoon (even though he was stumping in a public park across the street from my work). However, I did get up at 6:30am on Sunday morning with a bunch of my friends to go watch another O-Bomb-a. They were imploding a half-constructed building in downtown Austin and I swear more people were milling around downtown on Sunday morning than there are on a Friday afternoon during rush hour! Austinites are nutty like that. That's why we love it. While most of us want peace and serenity in our lives, it's hard to deny that we all can't resist a little explosion and dynamite every now and then!

I guess that's life in general...a little peace followed by a few explosions.

Welcome to the Bloggin' Porch.


Thusday: 1000s on the track. I did 7 repeats between 4:10-4:23. I can and will go faster next time. This was my first time in several months to do 1000s, so I took it easy.

Friday: Aqua-jog and swim at Castle Hill. I went to Barton Springs that morning only to forget that it's closed for cleaning until March 10th. Still haven't timed a lap since my breakthrough a couple of weeks ago. I'm scared it was a fluke.

Saturday: 14 mile Scenic/Mt. Bonnell run. Oldie, but goodie (and toughie). 8:36 avg pace

Sunday: Shawn and I went for an hour-long bike ride in our hood and climbed some major hills...Scenic, Balcones, Mt. Barker, Pecos...It was short, but tough.

Today: slow easy run in the 'hood for about 50 minutes this morning. It was so amazingly gorgeous. Will swim after work.

12 WEEKS TO THE WEDDING. The official countdown is on.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Even Britney Thinks I'm Crazy

If I suddenly shave my head and start adding to my tattoo collection, call my folks and throw me in rehab. I can admit it. I have a problem. I am an addict. There, I said it. I've successfully crossed over the threshold of recovery. I've admitted the problem. For a while, I just lived with it and didn't think I really had an addiction. I mean, I wasn't "doing it" all the time. There are times when I am not even under the influence. Besides, it's an addiction that a lot of people have and live seemingly normal lives.

However, there are those moments of temporary insanity. Moments when the urge is so strong, I will go to almost any length to feed my demon. My mind becomes pre-occupied with NOTHING else. I start sweating, salivating and dreaming of getting my "fix." Plus, I get so insanely jealous of those around me who relish in this evil influence.

But, it's just a fantasy because I've taken the first steps to cure my addiction. I CAN'T have my drug because I've made a promise to my loved ones that I would quit, even if it's just temporary.

I will be a new and better person.

I gave up dessert and sweets for Lent and it's F*CKING KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!

...38 days to go until I can savor the sweet stuff again

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Screw This Training Stuff!

Smoking Candy Cigarettes during "First Thursday" is much more fun than running!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Awards and Accolades

How cool...I got an email on Monday evening inviting me to come to the Austin Runner's Choice Awards Ceremony tonight. It said, "Congratulations! You have been nominated for the 2006 Austin Runners’ Choice Award: Race of the Year 10K and Under. Winners will be revealed in a running celebration complete with food & drinks, please join us!

This was my first indication that the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot was even nominated. So, I gotta admit...I'm a little flattered as Race Director to even receive the nomination.

We'll see what happens, but I'm not preparing a speech! haha

UPDATE: I just got home and did NOT win the award, but my Coach Gilbert won Coach of the Year and Austin's Desiree Ficker won Female Runner of the Year. Both were on hand to accept their awards. It was pretty surreal to come home tonight and open My "Triathlete" Mag only to see an ad for Guru Bikes featuring Desiree Ficker. How cool that I just saw her...Damn I love Austin.


I was sleeping soundly when the alarm sounded this morning jolting me out of bed to go to my Spin Class at Castle Hill. I attempted to get up, but realized that I couldn't successfully move my legs or my ass. Holy Crap...The Wilke Hill Repeats from yesterday have paralyzed me from the waist down! Even the cat looked at me like, "Get up lazy ass!" Gingerly, I removed my atrophied limbs from the bed and walked to the closet to grab my bike shorts and cycling shoes. I moaned and groaned all the way to the parking lot of the gym. Thankfully, it's only two miles away from home and my car windows were rolled up so no one could hear me. I hadn't atended this particular spin class before, but was instantly blown away by the instructor's approach. Instead of mashing the gears and working as hard as you can with no real method, he really had a great way of managing effort and keeping a strong cadence throughout. He is also a stickler for form. After class, he introduced himself to me and said that he didn't recognize me. He took notice of my Ironman 70.3 hat that I was wearing. I explained that this was my first time at this class because I usually swim or run in the morning. We started chatting about racing and bike fitting and I spent over 20 minutes with him talking about stretches, form and exercises to better my cycling performance. He offered to look at my bike fit and make some tweaks and adjustments that may help fight form fatigue. I left the gym with such a positive feeling in general and about Castle Hill. A lot gyms are huge and instructors don't bother getting to know the members unless they are paying for personal trainers. Still other fitness facilities don't monitor member's form or progress toward their goals. Jerry was incredibly enthusiastic about his job and made a point of sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge. It's that kind of instruction that keeps me motivated and determined to do better. Now, I know increasing my wattage and decreasing my heart rate during a ride doesn't mean anything on the grand scale of life, but it all works hand in hand. When I get better at one thing, it makes me more positive and inspired with something else. Each little "victory" translates into bigger "victories," usually having nothing to do with exercise at all.

Last week, a group of Texas Tech students came to our agency to learn about advertising. My boss introduced me as the chick that does comedy, runs marathons and does triathlons. After the general lecture, two young girls came up to me and asked me about training and racing. We ended up chatting for over an hour about how achieving fitness goals has changed our outlook on life in general. Shit--these girls were only 21 years old!! I was inspired by them because GOD KNOWS I wasn't exercising at age 21. They had the same enthusiasm for me as I had for Jerry this morning. I received an email from one of the girls yesterday that said, " This is Sarah from last week with the Texas Tech Advertising Federation. Just e-mailing you so you don't forget about me... and because you might be my new role model(with the running and the stand up comedy) ;) So i'm still working on my own time to put together a portfolio and wanted to see what you though about the latest ad that i was fooling around with..."

That's what I mean when I say that achieving some fitness goals has made me a more complete person overall.

I left the gym so happy that I got my butt out of bed this morning when I really didn't want to. I even noticed that my legs felt lighter.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Running with the Devil

I knew it was inevitable. I knew it had to happen again sometime. All good things must come to end and you have to face your demons. Today marked my return to the Wilke Hill with Gazelles. I normally work out with the Mon/Wed morning crew, but since I ran the Half on Sunday, I decided to join the Tuesday morning workout. Ok-Let’s face it. Thon sent an email challenging all of us to do it. How could I say no? Plus, I’ve also been contemplating a change to Tues/Thurs anyways. Part of it is just to have a routine “shake up,” to meet new people, to be challenged by new people, to better fit my cross training schedule. I’m not sure exactly what will happen yet, but it was a good change of scenery.

I decided to run from my house to Wilke thinking it would be a good 2.5 mile warmup. That’s about the distance that it is from Runtex. Well hells bells…turns out that the warm-up run took me about 36 minutes (almost 4 miles!) Thank Goodness I left my house at the crack of 5:30am to get there on time! It was eerily peaceful on the roads and trails this morning. I suspect a lot of the vampire runners did the marathon on Sunday and are now resting peacefully this week instead of running 1 ½ hours before the sun even rises. I didn’t even come across another runner until I had reached the trail and had crossed over Mopac--over 1 mile into it. I’m guessing that as the crow flies, the Wilke Hill is no more than two miles from where I live. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut by foot. You basically have to run over the river and through the woods to get there. And then, you have to run through the neighborhood a while until you actually get to the hill.

In any event, I was definitely warmed up upon arrival just in time to see the Gazelles finishing up their warm-up drills. I joined for a little high knee action and backwards running. It was a pretty large group of people…many new faces and many faces that I only see at races (when they finish before me). However, I didn’t see any sign of Thon, Amy or Mike. Did they bail after I ran over 3.5 miles to get here???

After drills, Coach dished out various repeat numbers to people who were training for specific upcoming races. The maximum amount he has people do is ten. Because I’m just getting back into the swing and I’m not training for anything specific, I set a goal of doing 5 today. The first couple literally take your breath away. As you jog up the hill during the first half you’re thinking, “This isn’t so bad.” And then the Road turns upright and suddenly you feel parallel to the road. The second half is a bitch. I noticed that he’s also moved the spot where we stop farther away so you’re not actually done until you get to the end of the road. I actually like doing these repeats in the dark so you don’t have to look it in the eye. As I was coming back down the hill after #2, I saw the familiar postures of Amy and Thon. They did show up after all (Running Hubby Mike, however, remains a slacker J) Amy and I started up for my third and her first. I immediately fell behind her. I took the hill how I always seem to take it…slow. After the first couple, you’re heart is pumping and the blood is flowing so it does feel a little easier. It’s the legs that start to hurt on me. My quads and glutes were reminding me that it’s time to get back to work. I finished my 5th repeat and started down the hill with Amy again. Of course, I said I would do one more with her.

After finishing 6 forward repeats, we had to do three backwards (which becomes more like crawling backwards when you get to the steep parts) and then 3 sprints from about 2/3 up. Overall, I felt very pleased with myself after this workout. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do five repeats after so much time away from this beast. I probably could’ve done 7-8 repeats, but definitely not 10 yet, which is where I was peaking last Spring before Boston. I’ll definitely get there again when I need to. No need to rush back in to it.

A couple of peeps had to leave early to get kids off to school, so I sauntered back home for another quiet 36 minute cool-down back home.

Today’s total mileage was about 9.5 miles overall. I don’t know if I’ll start from home the next time, but it actually ended up being quite peaceful.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Team Effort!

Absolutely gorgeous sunny day in Austin, Texas!

The AT&T Austin Half Marathon was a blast and very well-executed by the coordinators. The course was incredibly challenging. Oh hell. Who I am kidding? It was hard as hell. Yet, it was still beautiful taking runners through some of the most scenic areas of town....including a run around our state capitol building during the last mile.

The best news? Shawn had a PR in this ball-breaker course! 1:58:42
I'm afraid I took him out too fast in the first couple of miles. We can joke about it now, but by Mile 5 I think he was cursing the hell out of me! The hills just didn't give the runners much reprieve. There was one moment around Mile 9 where we were literally one block away from our house. I swear I thought he was going to turn the corner and head for the front door! But, you know what?? He didn't. My little rock star kept pushing and finished strong up some monster hills. I gotta say, it was actually very fun getting to do this race with no time goals, no need to push myself to the point of exhaustion, nothing to prove to anyone. Most of all, it was fun getting to do this race together and cross the lines holding hands.

That's what it's all about.


Here we are making the turn from Enfield to Exposition at Mile 9. Our house is a mere one block away!! I'm wearing the red hat and Gazelle shirt. He is next to me wearing all blue.

Congrats to all the runners who braved the monster course of the full and the half.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Trying to Maintain the Energy

The "Power Ballads Sing-a-Long" was just so absolutely hilarious! How else do you top a night of "Love Bites," "I Can't Fight this Feeling," "Sister Christian," "Faithfully,""Eternal Flame," "Heaven, " "November Rain," "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Time after Time," "When I See You Smile," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You," and so much more!! They could've played these cheesy videos all night long and the whole crowd would've stayed and sang. It definitely didn't disappoint this dorky chick!

While I was in home and in bed by Midnight, a couple of others decided to stay out and keep drinking. Of course, it was no surprise to wake up to a missed text message from them left at 1:30am!!

I woke up Friday feeling fine, but tired. It was an exhaustion that I couldn't shake even to this minute. I feel ok, but slightly rundown this weekend. Like everytime I sit down for five minutes, I can easily doze off for a nap. I hope that's not a sign of things to come!

I took Friday off from exercise and was in bed by 10pm on Friday night. I woke up this morning and went for a 20 minute very slow jog on the Half-Marathon course. Later after breakfast at Mi Madres, I went to the gym and swam for about 30-35 minutes in the pools. I also did some ab work while I waited for a pool to free up. That helped my exhaustion as swimming always does. I always feel so refreshed after swimming. (except when I have a bike ride and run to do afterwards)

Shawn and I went to pick up our Half-Marathon Race Packets and now we're off to have an early dinner with some Gazelle friends!! Our Half-Marathon Goal?? We're going for somewhere between 1:50-1:55 and a new PR for Shawn.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Power Ballad Endorphins!

Hope everyone had a relaxing Valentines Day. It sounds like a lot of people didn't have a choice with the weather around the country! I talked to my parents in Ohio and they're sitting under about 8-10 inches of snow at this moment. They said that lots of restaurants and flower shops had to close because the weather was so bad. How sad...While we're not buried under the white stuff in Texas, it has been cold by our standards! I started my run this morning at 28 degrees.

My boy and I had a quiet dinner at home. After spending almost every night in restaurants last year, it's good to fire up the oven and have a little control over what we eat. Of course, it was topped off by some Valentines Day Godiva Chocolate! Some things remain irresistable...

Our officially Valentines date is tonight with the gang. We're going to the Alamo Drafthouse to attend the "80's Rock Ballad Sing-a-Long." Oh...my...God. Expect everything from: "Turn around...Every now and then I get a little bit lonely that you're never coming 'round."


"Love Bites...Love Bleeds...It's bringing me to my knees!"


"I'm the one who wants to be with you. Deep inside I know you feel it to!"


"I'm forever yours....Faithfully"


"More than Words to show you feel that you're love for me is real."


"Love is a Battlefield"

Needless to say, the anticipation for this fun, kitschy evening started as soon as I bought tickets last week. Only problem? It starts at 9:45pm tonight!! I'm usually in bed about that time. Let's hope I can rally long enough for a little Bon Jovi and Foreigner. My God I'm a total cheeseball.

Looking forward to TEAM BARRETT at the ATT Half Marathon this Sunday. On Wednesday, I went to my Gazelle workout and did about 4 miles of fartlek running (15 min warmup, followed by 10 x 1min fast/1 min slow) Afterward, Shannon, Christina, Emily and I ran another 1/2 mile or so. I left there and headed to Castle Hill for a little swim workout. I was in there for about 40 minutes. It consisted of 15-20 minutes of straight swimming, followed by some fin interval work. I cranked up the current and did 10 x 1min swim/:30 sec recovery.

This morning, I started running with Julie at 5:30am under 3 layers of clothing. Fortunately, we shed some of that and met up with Thon and Mike at the Rock. I ended with about 8.75 miles this morning! I came home, cranked on the steam shower and stretched for about 20 minutes and did some core work (planks).

What a great start to a beautiful---COLD--morning!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Getting through the dread

Doesn't it always happen that the things we dread doing the most almost always turn out to be the most rewarding and saisfying experiences upon completion? Running a 20-miler...getting up at 5am to train when it's cold and rainy...attending Catholic Marriage Preparation. huh? gasp! Last night, we finished our final meeting with good 'ol Deacon John. It was this guy's job to counsel us and make sure we're ripe for the marriage pickin. Poor bastard. We both had our moments of, "Do we have to do this?" and "Are we going to hell for most of the things that we do?" We had great discussions and bad discussions. We had nights where we could've talked for hours and nights where we didn't want to say a word. All of it stems from fear...pride...ego. Ahh, the old familiar barriers. Those damn things get in the way of so much sometimes. We were both expecting to be lectured about Jesus and birth control and co-habitating and the ten commandments and all of the other "guilt-inducing" subjects. It wasn't like that it all. It was real-life dialogue about finances, personalities, baggage, our current families and our future families. Everyday topics that don't discriminate based on Religious Beliefs or practices. Everyone should WANT to take a class like this before marriage. If nothing else, it exposes weaknesses and questions before it's too late.

So, we passed and have been given the all-clear to get hitched! (yay for us) We both left last night almost thinking, "That's it? That wasn't so bad." It wasn't excrutiating at all. In fact, the benefit FAR outweighed the dread of going.

It was much like working out and training for a big race. I dreaded getting up at 5am on Monday morning so that I could meet Julie, Amy and Jennifer for 9 1/2 miles of running in the fog and mist. It turned out to be a very pleasant run. I dreaded getting up this morning for my 6:00am cardio brick workout which consisted of 30 minutes on the spin bike and a 30 minute run set that included drills and speed intervals. However, after finishing both, I felt all the better for it.

It's good to have difficult things in our life that we just don't look forward to. It's tackling those projects that make us stronger, better and more complete as individuals and couples.

If only they didn't often involve getting up so damn early!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

She's a Brick House!

I ran two days in a row with no pain...woo hoo!! And it wasn't just any run two days in a row. I ran 9 miles on Friday morning with Julie, Thon and Amy. On Saturday, I woke up and ran 10 miles with Shawn in preparation for this week's AT&T Half-Marathon in Austin that we're running together. Now, oddly enough, it wasn't that two runs that I'm most proud of. It's what happened in between those two runs that I'll be talking about for years to come. Amy had a surprise 40th birthday party for her husband on Friday night under the pretense that he was heading to a wedding shower for me and Shawn. It was a 60's costume party and, let me tell you, the crowd spared no expense on the costumes. Perry was shocked as hell and everyone had a blast. The guys had their fros and bell-bottoms and the girls had their mini skirts and go-go boots. It was a decade I'm glad I didn't live through because the dress barely covered my ASS! Of course, that didn't matter when the DJ kicked it up a notch. It's amazing how sexy I thought I looked with my boots, blonde wig, big black sunglasses and cigarette accessory that was hanging out of my mouth! Now, I know there will be some mandatory photo postings, but I haven't seen any of them yet! More to come...

It was certainly hard to top Friday's party so we didn't even try. The rest of the weekend was spent shopping for furniture, bedding, window treatments, lamps, blah, blah, blah. Although, we did tackle a couple of major wedding projects including picking out tuxedo choices and registering at Crate and Barrel (and realizing that we don't need any of that stuff)...OK--the grapefruit forks are pretty freakin' cool.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

There's Something In the Water

Oh my God. I just returned from my weekly excursion to Barton Springs where I aqua-jogged with Anne for a 1/2 mile (about 42 minutes) and then I proceeded to swim 2 1/2 laps afterward. I'm convinced that there's something wrong with my watch. My first full lap was a 9:15. Each full lap is .25 miles.

"You obviously started your watch late or cut the lap short," I thought.

Either way, I was a little dumbfounded that it was that fast--for me. Last week, I was coming in around the 10min mark.

I hit the watch again after swimming lap number 2. 9:05.

"Oh Hell No! Are you kidding"

Almost 40-60 seconds faster PER LAP than I've ever been.

Could the tide be turning?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I *heart* Gilbert's Gazelles

Today was my first day back with Gazelles! I swear it was like coming back to school after summer break. I was actually looking forward to the 800m track repeats that were on the schedule. It was so wonderful to be back in running mode with the likes of Frank, Anne, Lisa, Jennifer, Farley (as I refer to her), Patrick, Cindy, Dennis, Marcie, Emily, Shannon and so many others that I’ve been missing over the last couple of months. It’s exciting and comforting to “come home” to my Gazelle peeps and I have to admit, it was great hearing the “Great to see you” and “Glad to have you back” encouragement. I think Coach Gilbert was even taken aback by the unexpected arrival of Sapp and Skud this morning! (even though he yelled at me for looking at my watch during one repeat) :-) This group has heart and it shows. Even when I was training for Dallas, a few of us broke away from the Gazelle mold since that marathon was so late in the season. While most Gazelles were recovering from Chicago and other Fall marathons, we were ramping up for Dallas. Therefore, a lot of the workouts just didn’t coincide. After the Dallas Marathon, I just needed some time to decompress and chill. Oh yeah, then there was that pesky shin pain which is no longer existent…fingers crossed.

I held my own with the group during repeats. Not wanting to push it, I just did 6 x 800 meter repeats. The first one was a tad slow at 3:36. The last five were a solid 3:20-3:23, with a surprise 3:17 thrown in at repeat #5. It was too fast and we all knew it. While, I had it in me to run one or two more, I just didn’t want to risk any pain or overuse injury AGAIN.

Today was all about just getting back out there and taking comfort in the fact that my fitness level is still there, even though my endurance level might not be. It was also also a reminder of why I love running with the Gazelles. It’s good to be back.

On a cool note, Richard dumped my Dallas Marathon information into the Motion Based software. He was kind enough to let me borrow his 305 for that race. It was so interesting to look at the data. It was, indeed, a well-run race for me! Check out the geek data below.


Monday, February 05, 2007

How to Plan a Wedding in One Day

By: Carrie and Shawn

It was stealth, it was fast, it was furious. If it was a race, we SO would've won. Our transitions were smooth, our pace was consistent and our nutrition was right on target. It was Wedding Planning Weekend in Ohio.

We flew to Columbus on Friday night and began our whirlwind weekend of meetings, food samplings, drive bys, family gatherings, final selections and check writing.

By the end of the weekend, we felt confident about our three big decisions for the weekend.

Photographer: Karen Evans with kisofotografia.com (she TOTALLy got what Shawn and I are about. Plus, she promised to bring Nick Lachey along. How could we...I... say "no"?)

Cake: Katie Koivisto with the Cake Studio (God bless cake samplings. One slither was just not enough! We decided that we're just going to pretend to be newly engaged for the rest of our lives so that we can just go around and sample wedding cake for free!)

Reception: The very swank and hip Burgundy Room in the Short North area of Coumbus. (Their sign out front says, "Wine...Tapas...Fun" Enough Said)

We even got out of there just before the thermometers ruptured with record breaking lows. It was hell walking around for more than a few minutes since it was a whopping 12 degrees. Needless to say, as I look out the window right now in Austin, Texas, I'm happy to be back to my sunny 68 degree temps.

Now, we can turn the focus to other more important aspects like planning the Honeymoon!
Thank God I don't have to pack my bike for that one!

I did get up and run about 6.5 miles in 54 minutes for an 8:20 pace average. God, it's good to be back.

Oh yeah--I did gain a pound last week in the Weight Loss Challenge, but I suspected it. No worries. I'm feeling good.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Off to Visit Old Man Winter for Two Days

Would somebody please remind me that I'm not officially training for anything at the moment?? Sure, I signed up for the AT&T Half Marathon on February 18th, but I'm not racing it or anything. I had some good solid workouts this week, all of which felt great and reminded me how much I love getting myself going before 7:00am.

Monday: Swim 30 minutes/Elyptical 30 minutes
Tuesday: Track workout with 1 mile warmup and 5 x 800m repeats/Core workout and Swim 45 minutes PM
Wednesday: Run 7+ miles
Thursday: Aqua jog 45 min and swim 1/2 mile
Friday: 9+ mile run

All this and I have a feeling that I botched it this week on the Weight Loss Challenge! I drank some wine a couple of nights this week and also had some heavier meals ( a couple included dessert). Oh yeah--Mother Nature has also descended upon me this week so I'm tending to her needs at the moment as well. You know when you just feel heavier?? That's how I feel at the moment.

I did get up this morning and meet Massage Therapist Julie for a 9 mile run in our neighborhood. I let her do the navigating and this is a chick that loves the hills! Of course, they're hard to avoid when you're running in and around the Tarrytown area. She's definitely more familiar with the twists and turns on some of the streets than I am, so I just ran alongside and let her tell us where to go. I was mainly in it to increase my long run mileage a little bit this week. Plus, I'm leaving for Columbus this afternoon and I wanted to get my long run under my belt before I head to the frozen tundra for two days to meet with photographers, cake people and potential reception places. I don't mind running in the cold, but the high is only supposed to be in the TEENS this weekend. If anyone ever asks why I don't live in Ohio anymore, that's a good enough reason for me. Sixty degrees in Texas on February 2nd or 13 degrees in Columbus?! I'll take 60 degrees anyday.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Like Running in Jello

...Really FREAKING COLD Jello.

That's what today's workout felt like. In my consistent quest to cross-train, I met Anne and "Cincinnati Mike" this morning at 5:45am at Barton Springs for an aqua-jogging excursion. I know the water is supposed to be a consistent 68 degrees, but I swear, I felt like I was a Titanic passenger being tossed overboard into the icy waters with no hope for survival (too bad they didn't have aqua joggers back then!) And--I had a long wetsuit with booties on my feet! I'm such a wuss. Those first few minutes require an overwhelming amount of strength and willpower to 1.) get in the water 2.) keep moving before your body turns to solid ice.

And then it happens...the blood gets used to it and you actually start to warm up. After 45 minutes, I even broke a little itty bitty sweat on my forehead. It was Mike's first plunge into the waters and his first aqua jogging experience. Yes, it really is as awkward as it looks for the first few minutes. Anne said it best when she described it as "running through jello." You feel pathetic because you are moving along so slowly, but man, your muscles are fully engaged when you are in motion. It requires work, but not pounding on the joints. It's a great workout where you can actually engage in conversation with the person you're jogging next to.

After our allotted 45 minutes, they left and I decided to slip off the belt and slip on my goggles and swim cap for a couple of laps. I swam about 1/2 mile and was coming in around the 10 minute mark per lap==not very good. I don't understand yet because I definitely feel like my form has improved dramatically. The good news is that Farley emailed me yesterday inviting me to join her on Tuesday mornings for an unofficial workout at Barton Springs with Texas Iron coaches with Pro Triathletes and Coaches Andrea Fisher and Jamie Cleveland. I may join her when I can just to be around other swimmers. I'm loving my private Swim-Ex pools at Castle Hill, but I can't play by myself all of the time. Every now and then, I need to socialize with other swimmers. (as much as it pains me)

So, I also half-joked about Directing Austin's First Ever "Aqua Jogging Mile" at Barton Springs. I think this informal sprint race would be freaking hysterical!! Who's in??

As if I have nothing else to plan...