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, March 29, 2007



2pm Eastern/1pm Central

I'm on TV this Saturday!!!!! Well...put it this way...the Ironman 70.3 World Championship race from last November is on TV...and I was there...as an athlete...competing.

Now, I certainly wasn't one of the profiled leaders and I wasn't one of the dramatic human interest stories. Hell, I probably shouldn't really have been there in the first place, but there I was. I know they will be featuring the likes of 76 year old Sister Madonna (a nun who still races). I think she was one of the few people I actually beat out of the water. They will also feature Rudy Garcia-Tolson and the awesome Sarah Reinertsen, both of which are physically challenged amputees competing in Ironman distance triathlons. If I make the TV screen at all, it will be when those two are on screen as I seemed to spend a lot of my time around them. Funny and inspiring all at the same time.

Make sure you TiVo the race for a little inspiration. I was the chick in the back of the pack!

2pm Eastern and 1pm Central.

There I go on the bike!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whirlwind Week

Just dropped the parents off at the airport this morning as they head back to Ohio! I'm also starting to pack because I'm also going to Ohio this weekend for my friends/family shower back home. It's sometimes very strange having two distinct lives...my Ohio life consists of friends since Kindergarten and Elementary school. These are girls who know the first boy I kissed and the first boy who broke my heart. They know my teenage obsession with New Kids and Debbie Gibson. They know that I wanted to be a famous singer/songwriter. They know that I was the obnoxious one at parties because I just wanted to make people laugh. They know the girl that would sleep til Noon whenever she couls. They know that I ate Taco Bell every day and consumed MORE than my weight in horrible, cheap beer.

My Austin friends have learned to know a separate, but not SOOOO different Carrie. They know the man I'm spending the rest of my life with. They know the girl who can't sleep past 5:30am because she has to get her sweat on in the morning. They know the girl who loves wine and martinis because she can't stand the taste of beer. They know the girl who STILL tries to make people laugh. They know the girl who eats salmon, hummus and fruit because Taco Bell makes her feel like hell (even though she still loves it). They know my adult obsession with Debbie Gibson.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that this is even the same person. I love them both and I'm glad I'm accepted for who I am!! I can't wait to see my friends and family back home this weekend for my wedding shower.


Monday: 1 Mile Swim at Barton Springs
8:53--new records!!!
9:20 (cool down)

1 hour run in my neighborhood. Felt very sluggish and fatigued. Poor eating habits this week.

5:45-6:30am swim at the Y this morning--alternating paddles, fins, regular swim
7:00am-8:00am 1 hr spin class at Castle Hill

Hope to hit Jack and Adams Core this afternoon

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Best Invention EVER!

There may be some people (women in particular) who disagree with what I'm going to say, but I have found the best invention EVER (and batteries aren't even required.)

(drum roll please) Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome THE FURMINATOR!!

If you have a dog or cat that sheds, then THIS is the tool for you!! Oh my God, my cat lost two pounds of undercoat after just one brushing! It is like going to the kitty spa day and coming home a completely different animal. He felt lighter, he felt prettier and by golly, he started acting sweeter and more playful. It's amazing how different our attitude can be when we feel GOOD!!

Of course, it got me thinking about how life would be if there was a human equivalent of the furminator for all aspects of our life. What would you furminate? What undercoat would you shed from your life in order to feel happy, healthy, content, light-hearted?

Of course if I could, I'd furminate the hell out of about 6-7 pounds. However, I also realize that feeling happy doesn't necessarily translate into being thin (Still trying to convince myself of that). I'd also furminate my negative thoughts and self-doubt. I'd brush away my preconceived notions of others. I'd furminate the petrifying fear that keeps me from achieving my goals. I'd furminate my negative attitude towards swimming and I'd be left feeling light, lean and long. I'd furminate my short fuse and lack of patience for people who I assume just exist to drive me crazy.

Of course, I'd love to furminate hatred, war, global warming and poverty, but that would take one hell of a brush. I don't think even Al Gore could invent something like that.

In the meantime, I'll think about using the furminator to shed about 10 minutes off my swim time and 10 minutes off of my next marathon.

That would make me purr...no batteries required.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

This Ride Blows...and Blows...and Blows

So this is what the Dixie Chicks were talking about when they sang "Wide Open Spaces." This is is what Bob Dylan meant when he sang "Blowing in the Wind." Perhaps even Bette Midler was thinking of the Rosedale Ride when she sang "Wind Beneath My Wings."

Wow...Along with a couple of thousands of others, Shawn and I participated in this charity bike ride on Saturday morning benefitting Rosedale Elementary school in Austin. It was a perfect morning for a bike ride, I gotta say. Mid 60s, cloudy and did I mention BREEZY?? I'm not sure if I was just ultra sensitive to it, but the wind was brutal for the entire 45 mile route that we rode. We started in the Northeast part of town at the Applied Materials parking lot and proceeded to ride around country road after country road. This event is so well organized and just so rewarding. What started as a neighborhood ride 13 years ago is now a major cycling event in Austin. Unfortunately, I was struggling through a lot of it, and turned into selfish, grumpy Carrie. My legs were like bricks, perhaps left over from the 13 mile run the day before. I don't honestly know. I just know that I had no gas in the tank and it was upsetting and humiliating to watch Shawn speed up and weave in and out of riders only to slow down and wait up for me over and over and over...I just kept wondering what happened to all of the improvements from last year. I couldn't stop focusing on how sore I felt. I tried to change my negative mind and think about the people on whose behalf I was riding. Rosedale is a school for physically challenged children and most of these kids will never even be able to ride a bike. I should be so lucky that I was doing 45 miles. I really did try to keep focusing on my blessings. And then I would feel sore...and then I would hit a rest stop and refuel. That felt good. I'd start riding again and it would start to hurt again. Damn...focus on the positive Carrie. I just wanted the wind to stop, but it wouldn't; or so it seemed.

We FINALLY finished and I was toasted and felt severely undernourished for the ride. I haven't "bonked" in a long time and this ride was pretty much one big bonk. Put it this way, it took us about 3hrs 10 min to do 45 miles. I rode 56 miles in 2hrs 57 min in my last Half-Ironman. What a difference a couple of months makes!!

But you know what?? That's just how it goes. It was a charity ride and I was letting my ego get in the way of any fun that I could've been having. Lesson Learned. If it was a race, I would've said, "I'm never doing this again." However, because it's such a good cause, I'm confident in saying, "Heck yes I'd do it again."


Having a good time with my parents being in town, but wishing the weather was being a little more cooperative...I've also been eating a little poorer than usual which I'm sure is also setting me back slightly in the weight-loss challenge.


My Beloved Buckeyes are in the FINAL FOUR!!! GO Bucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fartleks and Long Run

My parents are in town so I'm doing my best to show them a good time, but still get some good quality workouts as well. Unfortunately, the weather hasn't been the cooperative with gray skies, rain and gross humidity.

Thursday Gazelle Workout
We did a 7 mile fartlek workout, which consisted of a 15 minute warmup and then 15-16 repeats of 1 min fast/1 min slow. It's a good solid workout.

Friday Long Run
Because I'm doing the Rosedale Ride tomorrow, I wanted to run 13-14 miles today. My plan was to meet Shannon and a couple of others. I ended up running with a woman named Patty who was running slower and also didn't really know the route. It was a truly pleasant experience and it's always great to meet someone new. It turns out, she is also originally from Ohio and an Ohio State graduate. She also does triathlons in town, plus she does VO2 testing on athletes and others. You just never know who you're going to meet along the way!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Meriden and More...It's a Good Sore

Right now, the term "Hip Flexor" is an oxymoron. My hips currently have NO flex thanks to the Meriden Hills yesterday, core class and spin class from this morning!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wow...tons of people showed up for the Meriden Hills workout. It was very crowded making me feel slightly guilty that I changed workout days even after Gilbert encouraged me not to. He said to do a maximium of 5 x 1K loops with :90sec rest in between. Then, we would do 5 sprints up the first hill, followed by 3 backwards repeats up the same hill. Hills aren't really my strength so I vowed to run these smart instead of trying to run them super fast. I took off with Amy, Runner Sean and several others. It's really odd running hills in the dark, especially when you are slightly unfamiliar with the terrain. As I was running downhill I just hoped a prayed that my footing was steady and that there were no bumps or potholes that I couldn't see. Fortunately, I didn't bite the dust.

#1: 5:02 (8:06 pace--felt hard. not good)
#2: 4:54 (7:53)
#3: 4:49 (7:49)
#4: 4:41 (7:32)

I was happy to quit after that and be proud of the proper execution of this drill. However, when checking with Gilbert to see if 4 repeats was enough, he really said he wanted us to do one more. In fact, at that moment, two guys from my pace group started to go for their 5th and Gilbert said, "Go now." Ughhh...Amy and Runner Sean stayed behind. I started running again. I was pretty damn beat on this one and not mentally prepared. I wanted to stop at 4 repeats. Too late now...shut up and run. Well, I did fine until the final hill climb and could feel myself losing steam.

#5 4:48 (7:43 pace...damn, not a negative split)

Overall, it was a good return to the 1000m hill loop of Meriden.

I completed my 5 sprints up the hill, but by the 3rd one, you could hardly call it a sprint. Then, I did my 3 backwards repeats and jogged back home with Amy. We tacked on about 10 extra minutes of cool down, but my legs were wasted.

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Speaking of wasted...Went to Happy Hour Last night to celebrate my friend's birthday and had one glass of wine and two mojitos throughout the evening. I was feeling good, but not drunk or anything. It was just that nice relaxed feeling. I probably should've stopped at two drinks, but I was hanging with a group of girls that I don't see often enough. In those situations, it's easy to convince myself to just laugh a little and enjoy the moment. For God's sakes, have a drink (or 3). Unfortunately, this morning, I was a tad foggy when I got up to got to the gym for spin class. I tried to come up with all of the excuses in the book...your legs are sore from yesterday. Take the day off...sleep a little longer and go for a ride on your real bike this morning, etc. In the end, after expending all of the mental energy formulating excuses, I just got up and went to the gym.

Spin class: 50 minutes of Hills and speed intervals. More Hills!! Great workout and it got the legs and heart pumping. My hip flexors were sore though.

Elypitical: Hopped on for 20 minutes of high-cadence aerobic activity. I always like to flush my legs out with a run (or simulated run) after a bike ride. It's good practice for T2 in a tri.

Rock Climbing Wall: 10 min of upper body on the rock climbing tread wall...

Pools still closed at Castle Hill. I'm starting to get pissed about it since it's been a month now. They've offered other freebies in the meantime. I know they're trying to accomodate. I'm trying to be patient. I miss my Endless Pools.

Getting ready to pick my parents up at the airport from Ohio for a week-long visit. They haven't been in about two years...Definitely haven't seen the new house. It's always a good time to watch them relax and show them around town. Plus, I'll put my Mom to work finishing up my wedding invitations. I only have about 30 more to send out. She is my Maid of Honor, after all.

I've been eating well...(except for the drinking thing last night)...lots of lean proteins, salads, turkey, salmon...good complex carbs...I'm actually feeling pretty good going into my bloated week. Skinny jeans still fit. yay for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Once...Twice...Three Times a Studette

Monday, March 19th

First of all, Congratulations to my long-time friend Lisa for kicking butt in a St. patty's Day 5k in Columbus! Lisa and I became friends in the 5th grade after I basically barrelled her over at home plate during a softball game :-) I don't recall if I was "safe" or "out," but I'm going with the "safe" option. I'm pretty sure it would've been next to impossible to hold onto the ball when this beast of a softball player was sliding into you! I'm sure she'll remember it differently ;-) In any event, she's well on her way to becoming a marathoner, I hope!

So, in case one workout wasn't sufficient enough yesterday, I managed to squeeze in three fairly short, but effective workouts.

5:30am-6:45am Run with Julie, Amy and Jennifer
7:00am-7:45am Swim workout at Stacy Pool--straight swim, paddle work, fin work, drills
5:45pm-6:30pm Jack and Adams Core Class

No one will ever accuse me of being lazy (except for me).

Plus, I got my first batch of 40 wedding invites stuffed, stamped and mailed! I'll be damned if they don't look really impressive. Thanks to my designer Matt who put more hours into this project than he does most of our "paid" stuff.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Different Kind of Ride

I met Shannon dark and early on Friday morning at Barton Springs for a return to the adventures of aqua-jogging. We ended up "jogging" for about 1 hr 15min, which is a pretty damn good workout. She was in a normal bathing suit and I was in my full wetsuit--and still bitching about being cold. I'm such a wuss.

After we finished our aqua-jog, I had planned to swim at least two laps. I'm not sure if it was a combination of factors, but after 1 1/2, I was mentally and physically done. I think the jog took more out of me than I thought. Plus, it really had been a hard workout week. My time for the first lap was still good for me (9:06), but it was a harder effort than I was hoping. It didn't help that the water quality measured "icky" on the scale clean to murky. Time to start working on endurance. We even suggested the idea of swimming first next time to see how it goes.


Saturday was a new adventure all together. I suspended my usual Saturday morning long run routine for a different adrenaline flow all together. We are the new proud owners of a "gently used" Midnight Blue Vespa LX150 and both Shawn and I took motorcycle/scooter beginner rider courses all day today! We were in the same class as people learning how to ride a motorcycle, so I looked pretty goofy on my borrowed bright yellow scooter, but I truly didn't care! Once I got over the initial fear of the bike weight, throttle and turns, the day turned out to be pretty darn fun. It kinda was like learning to ride a tri bike while clipped into the pedals. Once you get used to the feel, everything becomes second nature. It made us both feel like kids again and I know we're excited to hit the roads of Austin soon enough. And when I say, "hit the roads," I don't mean that literally. That would not be good. It just makes perfect sense since we live so close to downtown, the Hike and Bike Trail, my job, etc. Pretty much everything I do is within a 3 mile radius so hopping on a scooter to go downtown makes perfect sense--especially for parking purposes. Can't wait!!
Learning something new like that is mentally and physically taxing, but it's no marathon. At 7pm tonight, we went out for a 5 mile run to unwind from an adventure-filled day. We have 5 more hours of controlled riding and lessons tomorrow and then it's all up to us!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tempo Run 3/15/07

They say that the definition of "crazy" is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, what if you do the same thing over and over again and you DO get different results? If you're not crazy, then what are you? I can only speak for myself, but I'm pretty freaking happy, actually...

This morning was another tempo run. It seems that when this workout was scheduled once a month, lots of people would skip the workout. I, myself, am guilty of this on occassion. Now, Coach has them now scheduled every two weeks in order to get more people there on a regular basis. They used to scare me because it really feels like a race morning. You line up in formation and hit the watches all together and then proceed to shoot out of a cannon and attempt to keep up the tempo pace for four miles.

Today, it was four miles in the dark, wet trail and fog, adding to the apprehension that we all already felt on tempo day.

As per usual, we did a 1 mile warm-up jog, followed by our usual drill set. During drills, I decided to take an Enervitene shot to see what would happen during the tempo. Nothing like a morning experiment.

The "gun" went off (Gilbert said "go") and I immediately tried to maintain a "comfortable" pace with Liliana and Erin. I don't know Erin at all, but this was obviously her first tempo. I've seen her on the track and she's pretty damn fast. A half-mile into the tempo, she said, "So, do you just run fast for the entire four miles?" Without missing a beat, both Liliana and I were like, "Pretty Much." I thought about that comment for the rest of the run.

Overall, my energy level and breathing this morning were good. I hit the turn around point in 14:07, which meant I would have to negative split to go sub-28:00. That wasn't my original goal for the day, but I thought I had a good shot at it because I was still feeling pretty strong with only two miles two go. At the turnaround, I gained some distance on both Erin and Liliana and never saw them again. I just really tried to remain focused on my form, breathing and the two-inch visibility I had in front of me. Even during Mile 3 to 4, I still didn't feel as wasted as usual. I was "hanging on," but it wasn't for dear life. I still had a little gas.

I turned on the final stretch and truly gave it all I had. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch--28:03! Damn!!! I also looked at the Distance on my Garmin...It measured the course at 4.19 miles, which is almost a 1/4 mile longer than 4 miles!
Needless to say, I was thrilled with the unexpected jolt and I owe some credit to the Enervitene. I was feeling sore and "beat up" from previous workouts this week, but it was amazing that the pain goes away when you start pushing it. By the end, I was feeling my heartbeat in my hair. Is that a good thing??

Here are my mileage breakouts:

Mile 1: 6:58
Mile 2: 6:09
Mile 3: 6:51 (I'm thinking something happened between 2 and 3 and the true mile time is an avg. of both. I know I didn't run a 6:09 min mile)
Mile 4: 6:51
Mile .19: 6:14 pace (I really did pick it up at the end)

Total: 4.19 miles
Time: 28:03
Avg pace: 6:41 per mile

I'll take that anyday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


HELL YEAH...I'm going Lean thanks to Kashi.

So, the quest to be officially LEAN began this week...4lbs...That's it! That's all I need to lose in order to do it. It seems so damn easy, but I've been at a plateau for a long time and it's a toughie to break. It seems so easy in theory. Burn more calories than you take in and you will lose weight. I think it's B.S. Maybe I'm defying the laws of physics. Maybe I'm the ONE person that voids the formula. We'll see...Next week, I'll journal my eating habits to see if there are any oddities. Please tell me that Kashi is not responsible for my weight plateau. If that's the case, I'll just be happy with "Moderately Lean" for the rest of my life because I'm not giving up the GO LEAN Crunch. Besides, we have no less than 8 boxes of it currently in our pantry. I'm so not kidding.

I've been trying to focus on lean protein and lots of fruit and veggies. I still consume some "bread" carbs, but I'm doing so in very moderate amounts and small portions. I don't believe in complete deprivation and I also feel that you need carbs as an endurance athlete. I typically start my day with one cup of measured Kashi, yogurt and frozen berries. Heat it in the microwave for about 30 secs and you'll be in healthy-cobbler heaven.

For lunch, I'm trying to stick primarily with salads or more kashi.

Dinner is tricky depending on my social activities. For instance, tonight I went to Mangia Pizza with Shawn, Thon and Coach G. I ordered the double house salad with chicken. Unfortunately, it was made primarily with iceberg so the nutritional content was blah. I also indulged in one piece of stuffed spinach pizza. According to Thon, it's "more healthy" than most---cheese is 30% less fat than most and the crust is actually a nice whole wheat crust. So, instead of eating 3 pieces of stuffed pizza, I ate a big salad and only one slice of pizza. What a strategy, I know.

It's been an awesome week of training:

Last Saturday: 29 mile bike ride in the afternoon, 5 mile run in the evening

Last Sunday: I hit the gym for core, weighs, 10 minutes on the rock climbing wall and 30 minutes on the spin bike

Monday: Sore from weekend so I did a very slow 30 minute jog in the a.m. and the Jack and Adams Core Class in the afternoon. Damn, it was hard.

Tuesday: Gazelles Wilke Hill Repeats. Amy and I ran over 3.5 miles from my house to the hill. I did 8 forward repeats, 3 backwards and 3 sprints from half-way for a total of 14 repeats. I then ran over 3.5 miles back home. Needless to say, I was pretty toasted on Tuesday because the workout for the day was over 10 miles.

Wednesday: Spin Class at 7am for 50 minutes and a 5 mile run this evening with Shawn. My body still feels beat up from Wilke and from the core class, so this was very much a recovery run for me.

The Swim Ex pools at Castle Hill are still closed down and it's killing me!!! It's been raining here the last couple of days so I haven't gone to any outdoor facility. Needless to say, it's been almost 2 weeks since I've swam. I actually miss it terribly. They are trying to expedite the reopening, but we'll see. I just have to suck it up and hit some regular pools, but I don't want to!!

On tap for tomorrow morning...TEMPO run again. Four miles of focused all out effort. My last one two weeks ago was 28:25. I'd like to knock 10 sec off that one.
Friday (if no rain): Barton Springs for 45 minute aqua jog and about 1 mile of open water swimming.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Just like marriage, you take it for better or worse:

FIRST of all, here are the general guidelines for Body Fat percentages:

Risky (high body fat) men: >30% women: >40%
Too much fat can pose serious health risks. Talk to Doc about safely modifying this composition

Excess Fat men: 21-30% women: 31-40%
Indicates an excess accumulation of fat over time

Moderately Lean men: 13-20% women: 23-30%
Fat level is acceptable for good health

Lean men: 9-12% women: 19-22%
Lower body fat levels than many people. This range is excellent for health and longevity.

Ultra Lean men: 5-8% women: 15-18%
Fat levels sometimes found in elite athletes

Risky (low body fat) men: <5% women: <15%
Too little body fat can present health risks, especially for women

My Results:

5’1” Female
Age 33

Lean Mass: 74.6% (89.3 lbs)
Fat: 25.4% (30.4 lbs)

Total weight = 119.7 lbs
BMI = 22.5 (Normal weight = 18.5-24.9)
Resting Metabolic Rate = 1100 calories (that means I burn 1100 calories a day by doing nothing. That explains why I’m constantly hungry)

So-My Thoughts??
I was thrilled when I first glanced at the results because as a former overweight person (having tipped the scales at 160), I was prepared for the worst case scenario of being told I was overweight or having excess fat. So, when she printed my results and I fell within the very healthy “moderately lean” category I was happy to say the least. I’ve never been officially told I was in the “lean” category. That’s like someone saying I’m hot and sexy. It’s just not my thing. Hot and sexy—uh, never. I’m more of a Cabbage Patch Kid than a Barbie anyday.
“Moderately Lean” is a great place to be. It’s a healthy place to be. It’s a fit place to be. I’ve worked my freaking ass off (and more) to get here.

I want to be a little better. I want to be LEAN.

I want to fall between 19-22% body fat. Now, some obsessive compulsive athlete-types would automatically want to shoot for the Ultra Lean or Elite Athlete category. While that would be awesome, it’s not my goal. I’m not an elite athlete. I don’t get paid by any sponsors to train. I enjoy food, wine, live music and excesses way too much to deprive myself just to get down to that level. I don’t train to win races. I train to enjoy the process of completing something I never thought possible.
The good news? I only have to drop 4-5lbs to get to that “Lean” percentage between 19-22%. It’s attainable and very much within reach.
Cardio-wise I’m there. I’m beyond there. Now it’s time to incorporate a little weight training to top it off. I’ve got 10 weeks to drop 4-5lbs. Why 10 weeks? Because then I get to walk down the aisle as an official LEAN person.

Read about the Bod Pod Fitness Test here:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Training Isn't Just for Baseball Players

I've gone and done it. I've made myself accountable. This week, I signed up for two more events this Spring. Shawn and I signed up for the Annual Rosedale Ride taking place on March 24th and today I signed up for Austin's Sprint Distance Cactus Triathlon on April 15th.

The Rosedale Ride is a casual organized event that benefits Austin's Rosedale Elementary school. What started as a neighborhood bike ride 13 years ago has now turned into an all-day event with more than 1300 riders. There are various distances up to 62 miles and I'm sure Shawn and I will opt for the 40-60 mile range. There are plenty of aid stations along the way so it's a great time and a great cause.

The Cactus Tri will be a first for me and it's the morning after one of our wedding showers, which is why I'm opting to only do the Sprint Distance this year. It's essentially the same course as the Danskin Tri out at Decker Lake so I'm familiar with the terrain. I'm looking forward to an early fun triathlon! This is 500m swim (fabulous and short), 13 mile bike and 5k. It will be over an hour of maximum effort I'm sure, but it should be a blast. (Unless I'm totally hung over; in which case it will suck beyond belief).

Spring is definitely in the air judging by my enthusiasm for these two events!

I did my long 12 mile run of the week with Amy, Julie and Mike on early Friday morning. Amy was going out of town and wanted to knock it out on Friday. Good solid run for me...Started at home and ran to the rock. From there we did the 7 mile loop and then headed down Lake Austin Blvd to complete the Enfield/Exposition Triangle. I ran back the LAB before turning around and heading home.

Today, Shawn and I packed up the biked and headed down to the Veloway for a two-hour ride. We did the South Mopac loop, followed by a longer 16-17 mile loop that takes you around the Circle C hood. From there, we looped back around on South Mopac and finished with a cool-down loop on the Veloway. Total of about 29 miles on the bike. It certainly wasn't an all out effort for either of us, but it was a pleasant ride. We certainly weren't trying to push it on our first "major" ride this Spring. In fact, I was struggling a bit today and didn't feel smooth or efficient. It was all I could do to keep up. A nice humbling way to start the season...

This Morning, I also hit Castle Hill for the BOD POD Fitness Test. It tested my weight, lean muscle mass, body fat %, Resting Metabolic Rate and other interesting dorky stuff. I'll talk results tomorrow! It's good to finally have a firm view of where I am physically without having to simply rely on the lbs on the scale.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The More Things Change...

...The More They Stay the Same.

400s on the Track:

So, I was looking back at my blog to see if I could find the results of the last time I did this particular workout. It was way back on March 22nd, 2006...Almost a year ago! I laughed out loud when I ready the journal because it was all about my food cravings. Funny enough, a year later I still crave those exact same items and eat them every day. I'm not sure how I would exist in life without Kashi GO LEAN Crunch!

So, here are the comparison results from my 400s on the track workout.

March 22, 2006
Warmup from Runtex to Track 1.66 miles 15:16 (9:11 pace)

Set #1 5 x 400s1:43, 1:41, 1:42, 1:40, 1:43 AVG 1:42
Set #2 5 x 400s1:36, 1:40, 1:36, 1:37, 1:38 AVG 1:37
Set #3 5 x 400s1:34, 1:35, 1:34, 1:35, 1:34 AVG 1:34

March 8, 2007
Warmup from Home to Track--about 1.6 miles

Lined up with Shannon, Sean, Mike, Kelly and others whom I didn't know. The track was very crowded this morning with both Gazelles and Rogue. I know why Gilbert would prefer that I do Mon/Wed, but I'm really enjoying the change right now.

Set #1 5 x 400s 1:44, 1:34, 1:32, 1:36, 1:33 AVG 1.358
Set #2 5 x 400s 1:33, 1:32, 1:32, 1:32, 1:32 AVG 1.322
Set #3 5 x 400s 1:31, 1:33, 1:30, 1:31, 1:28 AVG 1:306

Cool down back Home--about 1.6 miles
Total Workout for Day: 8.5 miles

So, while I'm totally stoked that I ran this workout faster and correctly (each set got faster by 2 sec), I probably started a little too fast since I literally had nothing left in the tank to run another set.

Now...it's time for some KASHI!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Health Permits...Who Needs Them?

Well isn't this just my luck?? So, I get really excited about my progress in the pool. I'm feeling stronger and more confident. I'm beginning to channel my inner Michael Phelps. So, I go to my gym the other day to do a Swim Ex pool workout and I see a big fat red notice on the wall. "The pools are closed down for the time being"...something about a health permit...details, details... No word on when they will be "legal" in the eyes of the City of Austin Health Inspectors. Knowing my dealings with city permits, it could be June. I'll hope for the best! Barton Springs is also closed for cleaning until this weekend.

I've taken this weeek to have some good quality running workouts.

Monday: 9 Mile Run

Freaking Julie and I kicked off the week with a ball-buster of a morning run. Exposition to 35th. 35th up Balcones to Mt. Bonnell...Mt Bonnell to 2222 and back. 9 miles of steady hill climbing in the dark. Is it weird that we were trying to figure out the difference between planets and stars because we could SEE them so clearly??

Tuesday: 8 Mile Run

I played a little game with myself. I warmed up from my house down to the Rock (about 1 mile). I told myself, "If I see Thon, Amy, Julie and the gang, I'll run with them. If not, I'll continue to the Austin High Track for the Circuit Workout." Lo and Behold, as I'm approaching the Rock, I see my gaggle of pals coming slowly towards me. They quickly (and very easily) talked me into running with them instead of going to circuit. Of course, I pretty much felt guilty about it the entire run, but I did go home and work on some core for a while after the run. We did the 3 mile loop on the trail, followed by the lake Austin Blvd/Enfield/Exposition triangle.

Wednesday: Spin/Elyptical

I got up this morning and went to Spin Class, followed by 30 minutes on the Elyptical machine. Really digging the spin instructor...smart, efficient workouts...Disappointed that the pools were still shut down.

Damn...hope I don't lose my mojo :-)

This Saturday morning, I'm signed up to do a Bod Pod Fitness test which will measure my overall fitness level, BMI, Fat%, etc. This will be the real indicator of where I'm at so that I don't constantly stay fixated on the scale numbers. I know I've got 7-8 pounds of extra body fat that I'd love to kiss goodbye. I feel good...I feel healthy...I feel fit. Hopefully, the results will be just as encouraging.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Experiencing Things for the First Time!

On Friday, this post was going to be a colossal rant and rave about my 4lb weight gain in one week, but I've since calmed down, gotten out of my funk, regrouped and had an awesome weekend. Plus, a couple of those pounds are already gone, putting me back into my "normal" range.

Instead, I'm going to touch on the amazing weekend I had and hit some of the high points. In many ways, I feel like a first grader who got to see and do things for the first time! In no particular order:

1.) Ran 11 miles with my partners Thon, Mike and Amy and felt GREAT afterward. (for a change)
2.) Drove up to Mt. Barker with Shawn and Thon on Saturday evening to watch the sun set and the lunar eclipse. Now, THAT's something you don't get to do every day.
3.) Thon and Shawn gave me my first ever lesson on how to drive a stick shift. Yes, I'm 33 years old and still don't know how to drive a stick shift. And yes, I stalled the car...a couple of times, but it wasn't so bad. Do I want to drive on the roads yet? Hell no! But, it's a start.
4.) Went to church and listened to a very applicable homily on marriage and relationships. (haven't been to church in a while so it's kinda like a "first.")
5.) Shawn and I hopped on our Mountain Bikes this afternoon and rode down to Zilker Park for the Kite Festival. We attempted to fly our airplane kite, but didn't have a whole lot of luck. We did, however, have a whole lot of fun looking at the thousands of other kites in the park.
6.) We threw the kite away (nice try) and proceeded to experience miles of Town Lake on our bikes. I'm so used to running this trail, that riding on my mountain bike was a whole new experience that I haven't done in years. We definitely got a heck of a workout with about 10 miles of biking on the Trail.

And in other breakthrough/first time news:

I went to the YMCA today give my swim the real test. I've been swimming in the Swim Ex current pools with no real proof as to whether or not I'm truly getting faster. I've felt confident, but not confident enough to really try...until today. I warmed up for 300m (6 laps) and felt very comfortable. Then, I proceeded to do 10 x 50m repeats on the :15. I was coming in between :55-1:00 every time! I WAS GIDDY!!! Looking back on some old posts, there were workouts where I was averaging 1:14-1:17 per 50. In October, I did a similar workout where I was averaging 1:04-1:06 per 50. Needless to say, my breakthrough may be for real!! I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but that is huge for me...5-10 sec improvement per lap. wow...

Ah...the sights and sounds of being a kid again. We even passed an ice cream truck...Too bad I gave it up for Lent.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tempo Run 2007 Benchmark

Honestly, I'm not sure what I heard first--the alarm or the rain. All I know is that I wanted a "legitimate" excuse not to do the tempo run. I convinced myself that it would be too wet or too dangerous. If it was still raining, Coach would cancel it anyway. I actually got up and then crawled back into bed and turned the snooze off. And then...I just laid there. The rain had stopped. I went through all of the scenarios. I could do the tempo in the afternoon. I could skip it all together. Damn....At 5:40am, I crawled back out of bed, put on my clothes and drove to Runtex. I'm glad I did...

I missed the warmup jog, but joined for most of the drills. We were, in fact, still doing the tempo run. And, by golly, there were plenty of people there. It was as if no one else went through the mental rollercoaster that I went through to get there.

Coach lined us up in "race formation" and told us to be careful and try for negative splits. OK, so here we go....

My goal for Miles 1 and 2 were to go out comfortably fast. It's never really "comfortable," but it's a tolerable pace as you wait for your lungs and legs to sync-up with each other. It was still incredibly dark and wet in some areas because of the rain. Proceed with caution. Mile one was a 7:15. It was actually a little slower than I wanted, but that was fine. This tempo was all about creating a new 2007 Benchmark. I need a good starting point. Mile 2 was spent watching the runners ahead of me pull away slightly. There are very distinct groups in the Tues/Thurs group. The super fast and the moderately fast. Shannon was about 10 yards ahead and that was fine with me. I heard my Garmin glitch during Mile2 indicating that it had a weak signal which invariably meant that my time for Mile 2 would be off. Oh well, I would still have my overall time at the end. Plus, it would keep me from staring at my watch. I would literally "run how I feel." It's amazing what goes through your mind during these incredibly tough runs. "Why am I pushing so hard?" "Push harder!" "If I slow down slightly for 5 seconds, it will help me." "Don't let anyone pass me from behind." With about 1.5 miles left, I caught up with Thon. OK--I didn't catch up with him at all. He had only run a little bit because he's been sick so he turned around to pace me back. It was a good mental lift. The last mile always seems to take so long. I picked it up during that last stretch and finished strong. (or as strong as I could)

Overall time:

28:25 (7:06 overall pace)

For someone who was in bed just 45 minutes before, I'm totally pleased with that effort. It's not my fastest ever, but it was a great start to a New Year.

The tempo run scares me less and less every time I do it. Well, sort of...Let's just say I love how I feel when I'm done. That energy and adrenaline literally carried me through the entire day yesterday.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spinning Plates

Something must be in the air because I've been a little "off." Wednesday was just that kind of day. Even now as I write this, I feel like I'm fumbling through with no real direction of where this is going. I usually get this way when I start to feel overwhelmed...too many plates spinning at the moment. My job is a huge culprit right now with about twenty projects swirling around in various phases waiting on answers, revisions, price quotes, printing, placement etc. I have one of those jobs where so many decisions and deadlines are dependent on the work of others. I just get to manipulate it into one final, pretty, effective package. Right now, none of my projects feel "pretty" at the moment. It's hard to prioritze so many things when they're all "important" to each client.

In addition to all of the work stuff, I've got many wedding plates spinning at the same time...Invitations are still not finished or mailed (I'm working with my designer at work and we're just swamped with real stuff), we haven't picked our wedding bands, Shawn has to finalize his tux decision, I'm working on hotel rates for guests, I have to book my flights home for my shower and the wedding, Shawn also has to work on honeymoon (he's keeping certain elements a surprise)...blah, blah, blah.

We've got tons of house projects we continue to tackle before my parents arrive for a week at the end of the month. Light fixtures, bedding, punch list items, artwork, dining room tables, electronic equipment, etc.

This general feeling of being overwhelmed and erratic sometimes makes way for apathy. I tend to turn down the "I don't care" road even though I really do care...About most of it. Well, the big stuff at least. Unfortunately right now, it all seems like "big stuff." The bottom line is that it will all be taken care of one way or another.

It was funny because I've even seen it manifest itself into my training a little bit this week. Yesterday, I was going to get up for 7am spin class, but just didn't feel like it. I forced myself to go to a Noon Spin Class even though I hate working out at lunch. I was better for it afterward. Then, this morning I heard it raining at about 5:15am. I was going to get up for Gazelles, but actually turned off the alarm when I heard the rain. Naturally, my busy brain kicked in and I couldn't sleep anyways. Plus, it actually stopped raining 10 minutes later. I got up late and dragged my butt down to Runtex for our Tempo Run amidst the "I Don't Care" attitude.

I'm glad I did...

I'll write a full report later after I pick up some of the plates around me that are falling down. Perhaps Shawn and I should register for some china after all.