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, June 28, 2007

Boy or Girl?!

First comes love...

Then comes marriage...

Then comes Carrie with a...


In many ways, training for my first Full Ironman will be much like a pregnancy: I’ll be hungry all the time, exhausted beyond words, overwhelmed by the lack of time in the day, surprised by the changes in my body, excited, nervous, apprehensive and fearful. However, at the end of the third term (or training phase), I will endure pain and exhaustion, only to give birth to a new person...a beautiful person...

Boy or Girl??? F*ck that...I'm giving birth to an Ironman.

(too bad I can't get an epidural for this one)

Eeking it Out One Repeat After Another

Wednesday AM-Test Bike Ride

I was originally going to swim Wednesday morning, but I'm still in possession of the Guru Crono bike so I'm certainly compelled to take advantage of this rare gem as long as I can before I must return it to its rightful owner at Jack and Adams. We've had so much rain in Central Texas that I really haven't been able to enjoy it as much as I'd like to. I took advantage of the break in storms and went for an hour ride Wednesday morning before an 8am work meeting. Fortunately, I was meeting with a friend who I'm doing a web design project for and she appreciates the fact that I can show up for a business meeting in spandex and a cycling jersey.

I went down to the Veloway/South Mopac area and was the lone car in the parking lot, making me feel like a bad-ass. (or an unemployed slacker) I guess the rest of the world is probably into their second cup of coffee and the latest Paris Hilton interview. The roads were a little slick so I definitely wanted to be cautious. I warmed up on the 3.1 mile Veloway loop and then headed to the 8 mile South Mopac Time Trial Loop.

My previous best was a 24:31 back in May of 2006 (19.7mph avg). Today, I eeked out a 24:16 (20mph)!! At one point on the first half of the loop, I had even abandoned the whole "time trial" aspect of the workout. I just mentally was not into it and my legs were still sore. However, as soon as I turned the corner towards the scond half of the loop, I kicked it in and decided to push as hard as I could. It was enough for a PR so I'll take it! The thing I notice most is that I'm not as exhausted on this bike. I just don't have to push as hard to go as fast. I'm really digging the bike and should have it ordered by the end of the week. Can't wait!!

I finished by doing another 3.1 mile loop on the Veloway as a cool-down.

16 Mile Bike Ride

Wednesday PM-Jack and Adams Corture

So, I did it. I went to Adam's final "corture" class last night. True to form, it was brutal, but so awesome. Like Monday, it was 1:15 of plank, mountain climbers, 8-count body builders, leg lifts, push ups and more. I certainly had to take breaks, but was pleased overall with the amount of core strength I've gained over the last few months. I've told people over and over again that I really credit this core class for my increase in strength lately. These twice-weekly workouts hav paid huge dividends for me on the training/racing side. Shawn actually ran from home and joined as well, so that made it even more fun. It was certainly well attended and Adam will be missed.

Thursday AM-1200s on the Track

Last did this workout a couple of months ago and was able to improve slightly today! Amy Skud, Lilliana and I tackled this unique track workout together. You're running fast ( in our case, it was a 6:00/mile pace), but the repeats are short making it almost fun. I said "almost."

#1 Repeat

600=2:20 400=1:29 200=:42

#2 Repeat

600=2:15 400=1:32 200=:45

#3 Repeat

600=2:17 400=1:29 200= :45

#4 Repeat

600=2:16 400=1:31 200=:43

OK--almost ready to make my news public. I guess I'm just trying to figure out the best way to say it. Actually, I probably don't have to say anything at all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Hurt

"Are you limping?" My co-worker asked me just a few moments ago.

"I don't think so," I said, "But I wouldn't be surprised. It's been a rough couple of days in Training Land."


This is Adam's last week at Jack and Adams. As promised, he followed through on an epic core workout from 5:45p-7:00pm on Monday evening. It was the true meaning of "corture." The class is usually 45minutes long and hard as hell, but last night was an hour and 15 min of planks, leg lifts, push-ups, mountain climbers, 8-count body builders and....REPEAT multiple times. It even started raining about half way through and we just kept going. Hell, the rain was actually a welcome relief from the humidity. We only have one more day with Adam and, oddly enough, I'll really miss the abuse!


Speaking of abuse, this morning's Gazelle workout was 2000s at Zilker. I knew the heat and humidity might pose a problem. No surprise there...Amy Skud and I ran 2 miles from my house to Zilker Park. My goal was to run them between 8:10-8:25. ha ha ha The fact that we were covered in a blanket of dismal humidity made my group readjust our goals a bit.

#1 8:30 (6:48 pace)
#2 8:25 (6:44 pace)

We were all freaking exhasuted after the second repeat. Gilbert told us we were running way too fast. I know I wasn't based on previous workouts. I'm capable of running this pace and faster....just not in this weather. We readjusted once again after he told us to slow down.

#3 8:44 (6:59 pace)
#4 8:45 (7:00 pace)

That's the first time in months that I was able to do four repeats, so at least I has something to celebrate. Unfortunately, my times just went in the wrong direction. We were all pretty spent after that workout.

That is 5 miles of gut-check speed. Amy and I meandered the two miles back home and could barely move by the time we got there. My legs feel pretty beat up today, which is certainly a combination of core and the 9-mile day (5 miles of speed).

We do this because we love this, right???

Also---Major Annoucement Coming Soon...I'm getting chills just teasing it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

1st Annual Lake Pflugerville Sprint Triathlon

An old friend Liza (who I haven't seen in years) happened to be standing at the finish waiting for her boyfriend to cross the line. This is what she took about 2 sec after I crossed the finish line. What she didn't capture was the subsequent dizzy-spell stumble because I attempted to stop immediately after sprinting across the finish.

I wanted to do a quick recap of today's race before I drift off into nap land. I'm fighting the urge, but it's inevitable. First, I want to acknowledge the fact that while I'm sitting on my couch snuggled next to my cat having just showered and wiped away my #72 Race Number, many people who I know and don't know are also racing much longer distances today in Lubbock at the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 and Ironman Couer d'Alene. Many good vibes go out to all!

and now...a quick recap.

This was the first ever Triathlon in Lake Pflugerville, which is a man-made lake in a northern suburb of Austin. The shorter distance intrigued me, as did the fact that the race was going to max out at 350 participants. I really enjoy the smaller races as well. I honestly haven't been doing that much training. Obviously, I've been slightly preoccupied over the last few months. Fortunately, my run training has continued and truly helps me in all three disciplines.

The Swim- 500m
I've always said that I wanted to just be an average swimmer. If only I could come out of the water in the middle of the pack, I'd at least feel like a contender. My age group wave was fairly small. I ran into newly married Colleen as we all nervously stood around in our caps and googles still placed on our foreheads. She introduced me to a friend of hers who was incredibly nervous. It put my nerves to ease a bit seeing someone else so incredibly shaken by this event. We were the 4th wave to start and the 3rd female age group to go. We got in the water and the bottom was disgusting. It was that soft mushy mud that sank up to your ankles and felt slimy. I walked until I could tread water. I was feeling slightly nervous, but that's certainly not unusual. Things only got worse for Colleen's friend when we entered the water. Her ankle timing chip came off,which is the worst thing that could happen. While I was treading water, I actually tied it in a knot around her wrist while our 1min countdown started.

The good thing about our wave was that I rarely felt the kick and pull that you feel at so many swim starts. I found a position immediately and tried to relax. So, the relaxing thing wasn't happening. Every now and then I would indeed hit someone or they would hit me. I kept trying to site the buoys and make sure I was on course. I always feel so relaxed in the pool, but an open water swim in a race atmosphere takes it all away. We turned one buoy and at one point I looked up and it looked like people were swimming the wrong way...Or, was it ME?! I stopped and treaded water for a few seconds. "Nope, I'm still on course and there are people in my age group behind me!!" I put my head in the water and just tried to give it all I had.

I saw Shawn who was there cheering for me and he gave me the "Go Get 'Em" command that I needed to hear!

I finished in 12:39, which was good enough for 11th out of 29 in my age group. I had reached my goal of being a middle of the pack swimmer. Of course, I didn't know any of this at the time. As with every race, my job now was to get on my bike and attempt to chase down as many women as possible. Because there were 2 other female age groups ahead of mine, I had a lot of people to chase!

So, it was advertised as a 13.2 mile bike, but the race announcer kept saying a 14 mile bike today. Because I didn't bring my Garmin , I still don't know what the final actual distance was. I was just trying to push as hard as I could, but still leave the tank at least 1/4 full for the run that was still to come. The bike course was fantastic...a one-loop course, a few rollers, but nothing huge, decent roads, some nice straightaways to pick up speed. I was passing a lot of people and the entire time, I was only passed by two bad-ass guys who were on a mission to win the race. I passed a few women in my age group, but several from the other two waves that started before us. I took it as an encouraging sign that the 30-34 age group seemed to be dwindling. I just assumed that there were a few ahead of me all the time. It kept me driving as hard as I could.

I finished the bike in 42:07 and according to the results page it was a 13.2 mile ride at a pace of 18.8mph. I didn't know at the time, but that ride was good enough for #1 in my age group.

Again, I saw Shawn as I was pulling into T2 and just seeing him and hearing him gave me the little push that I needed to give it all I had on the run.

It was advertised as a 3 mile run and it's also my favorite part of any triathlon. This is where my Gazelle training works miracles. My swim fear is over and the fear of mechanical problems on the bike are over. Now, it's just me. This course was a 3 mile loop around the lake on crushed granite trail. Thank goodness it was mostly overcast because there was absolutely no shade to be had.
I took off and saw a woman in front of me that I recognized as being in my age group. I passed her in the first half mile. Thank you! From then on, I just kept looking ahead and made it a mission to just keep passing the person in front of me. I was really tired and felt the mental demons start whispering. "Slow down and relax. Isn't this supposed to be just for fun?" In the first mile, I took a Tangerine Power Gel. It took a few minutes, but I suddenly felt the lift that I needed to finish strong. Like the bike, I passed a lot of people and was only overtaken by two fast dudes.

I love seeing the finish line! It gives you the biggest rush and sense of accomplishment. As it drew near, I saw one more woman ahead of me. I tried to pick it up, but ran out of room. I didn't pass her, but it ultimately didn't matter as she was in the 25-29 age group anyways.

According to results:
3 mile run in 19:40 (6:33 pace!!)--sounds a little far fetched to me, but I'll go with it!
#1 in my age group

So, here are the final results overall:

500m Swim: 12:39
T1: 1:30
13.2 Mile Bike: 42:07
T2: 1:41
3 Mile Run: 19:40

Overall Time: 1:17:39

#4 Overall Female
#1 Women 30-34

#39 out of 311 participants

My watch had me at an overall time of 1:18 and some change, but you gotta go with the official results for better or worse!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Let the Guru Test Riding Begin

Posting during a dreary Saturday afternoon. Intermittent rain has put the kabash on any plans of a bike ride this afternoon.

Today, I was reminded of how much I have missed my Saturday morning Gazelle runs! I met Thon, Amy and Perry at Runtex at 6am to do the 11 mile Scenic Loop. I thought the Gazelles were meeting at 6am, but apparently they took off at 5:45am. Oh well...we weren't far behind. The four of us ran pretty slow and leisurely today. Partly because I didn't want to be totally sore for the Tri tomorrow and partly because Amy's husband Perry hasn't run this distance in years. Not only were we making him run 11 miles, but it was 11 miles on some of the hilliest roads in town! All in all, it was a decent run...didn't push it at all. Overall running pace was about a 9:21. Considering my last half-marathons were in the 7:00min per mile range, this felt great. We could converse the entire time except for the occassional hill climb that has a way of sucking the conversation out of anyone. Along the way, we passed some of our Gazelle teammates that I haven't seen in several months. As we finished at the Zero Mile Marker, we ran into lots of great Gazelle friends including Anne, Lisa, Venus and others who were just finishing up their 14 mile run. Shawn (who was out running on his own) actually happended upon the Zero Mile Marker as we were all standing there. I got to introduce my new husband to some Gazelles. It just left me with a sense of happiness and excitement to be a part of this running community in town. We're so blessed to have a place like Town Lake to run and meet up.

After our usual Mi Madres breakfast excursion, we actually met up at Mike and Hava's for a late lunch to celebrate Mike's 31st Birthday!! (Happy Birthday Running Hubby). I had visions of a bike ride this afternoon, but Mother Nature has had different plans. I think she's pushing me to continue to write wedding Thank You Cards!! It's a shame because sitting in my garage as we speak is a gorgeous Guru Crono Tri Bike that I'm test riding this weekend. It truly feels like a luxury vehicle. Smooth ride...It's like the difference between riding a Ford Escort and a Lexus. They both will get you there, but the "Lexus" is much more luxurious, smooth, etc. I went out for about 30 minutes on Thursday night around the neighborhood and then for 1:30 on Friday morning to test the speed. I actually did the same route as last Sunday and was disappointed that my lap times on the LAB Pace Loop were actually slower on the Guru than they were on my Kestrel. However, after the two loops on the Kestrel I was exhausted. After the same test on the Guru, I had energy to burn. It felt like I was riding faster, but apparently I wasn't. I was about 30 sec. slower per loop. Slightly disappointed, but still need some saddle time. This Guru is actually too big for me. It's a 50cm bike and I've been measured to ride a 46cm frame. Therefore, my bike positioning isn't optimal. I know that had something to do with it, but my goal in the test ride is to just feel the bike. My positioning is secondary until I order the size I need (which will hopefully be next week). I contemplated riding the Guru in tomorrow's Lake Pflugerville Triathlon Race, but decided to ride my bike instead. I just fear getting in a crash or having the bike stolen or messed up in transition. I'd rather that happen to my ride that I already own.

The Transition gear is packed, the bike is loaded and air is in the tires for the 1st Annual Lake Pflugerville Triathlon tomorrow morning. It's a Sprint Distance 500m swim (that's what I'm talking about!), 14 mile bike ride, 5k. I'm going into it very nonchalantly, but of course I'd love to kick a little Tri Ass!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Little Workout Recap

Wednesday AM-Swim

Went to 24 Hour Fitness Wednesday morning for a swim. I decided to get a limited membership there until the Castle Hill Endless Pool situation is figured out. Fortunately, the folks at Castle Hill froze my membership while we wait in limbo for the City of Austin to decide when they can reopen their pools. Several safety areas must be addressed before this can happen and they aren’t expecting a resolution until fall unless the City Council takes pity on them.

The 24-Hour Fitness on William Cannon has a really decent pool area, but there are only 6 total lanes. Needless to say, I was worried when I pulled in around 6:30am and there were plenty of cars in the parking lot. “Surely every lane is full,” I assumed. Personally, I think I was just making excuses for not wanting to hop in the water and begin my 2500m workout.

Surprised as I was, only two people were utilizing the pool so I actually had plenty of space and no excuses! I’m glad that regular gym rats enjoy the monotony of elyptical machines and treadmills because that leaves the pool to people like me!

I recently purchased a copy of “The Waterproof Triathlete” that lists page after page of various swim workouts. I had decided on a particular workout the night before, but forgot to grab the book off my nightstand. Damn…The only thing I really remembered was that it started with 1000m of an EASY swim. So, I made the workout up as I went along.

1000m Easy Swim. Each slow lap was between :59-1:05. Again, there was nothing “race pace” about this portion. I was practicing my bi-lateral breathing, hand position practice, etc. There would be some laps where I felt like a fish and others where I felt like an elephant. The whole time I was very aware that my breathing was not labored at all. Just very steady. I did notice that I got a little stressed when a man hopped in the lane right next to mine. He was a middle-aged dude wearing a speedo (and probably shouldn’t have been), but it was obvious that he is/was a swimmer. Backstrokes, Fly, Breast Stroke, Freestyle…this dude did it all and he did it fast. Of course, my mind started getting frustrated every time I would get lapped by him and those “you suck at this” thoughts popped in and out with each wave of his that knocked my rhythm out of whack.

I did 6x Kickboard for 25m and then swim for 50m. Getting better at the kickboard.
5 x 50m at Race Pace. I did each one between :56-:59 (a sec or two faster than normal—yay!) I was definitely pleased with that especially after already swimming about 1500m already.
6 x 75m with fins, getting faster with each 25m
6 x 75m with paddles/buoy, getting faster with each 25m
1 50m lap for cool down

Over 2,600m for me today. I haven’t done that in a while.
An Ironman swim is 4,000m. I better grow some fins soon.

Wednesday PM-Corture
Shawn joined me for Corture tonight at J&A. We were supposed to have a new coach, but he/she never materialized so we did our own Adam-style of corture.
5 min of plank, lots of leg lifts, scissor kicks, 6in/12in kicks, pushups, 8-count body builders, swimmers, side planks, etc. Hard as hell, but I dig it a ton. Apparently, next week is Adam’s last week (again) so he’s supposed to be there to coach some epic workouts. I’m scared all over again.

Thursday AM-Gazelles 1,000s on the Track
Skud parked at my house this morning and we jogged the 1.6 miles or so to the AHS Track for 1000s. After our warm-ups, Coach put us in our groups. There was some confusion as to the # of repeats we were doing. 5? 6? In my mind, I knew I was going for 6 repeats today. Looking back, these times were MUCH slower than I’ve run them in the past. I felt pretty comfy every time and didn’t experience a whole lot of fatigue or form breakdown. I definitely could’ve picked up the pace, but was really enjoying the pack mentality. We all (Skud, Renee, Leslie, Amy F., Mike, Lilliana Venus and others) stuck together quite well and nailed the pace every time.

However, on our 5th repeat, we finished the first loop and Gilbert basically shouted for us to make it the last one and pick up the pace. None of us were really prepared for that, but like trained hamsters, we picked up the pace and it ended up being :10sec faster. Not bad for only having 600m of real estate to pick up 10 sec.

I don’t have the Garmin with me, but the first 4 repeats were in the 4:21-4:22 range. Repeat #4 was a 4:11.

In September 2006, my times were:
1 4:30 (too slow)#2 4:14 #3 4:17 #4 4:08 #5 4:05 #6 4:05

Like I said, I know I could’ve pushed it more today.

Oh, and in between these workouts, I've been eating and drinking too much wine;-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oh the Irony...

My husband pointed this one out to me last night.

There's now a new total knee replacement system called the "Triathlon."

What next? Ironman Chemotherapy?

Wilke-ck Your Ass

First day back at Gazelles on Tuesday and Skud and I dared to face the Wilke Hill Repeats. I haven't lost a lot of fitness, but hills have definitely not been my priority. She picked me up at 5:45am and we drove over to Barton Springs and parked.
Ran Approx 2 miles to Wilke Road
7 times forward repeats
3 backwards
3 sprints up the hill
2 Mile Run Back to car

My form pretty much sucked on all of them, but I was able to get up and over the hill every time. We're supposed to focus on high knees, but I was too busy trying to focus on not passing out. It didn't help that it was already about 80 degrees at 6:30am. I knew I was struggling, but I think Coach was going easy on me since I've been slightly out of commission for the last month or so.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bora Bora Tri-Buds

Great picture of our Tri-Geek friends from New York that we met in Bora Bora! Yes, we were officially the only four people working out in their gym. Hey, it's a freaking small island and we needed a run!

Thanks Dan and Tiffany for sending along the photo! May your marriage be as exciting as the Swim Exit of any triathlon. Believe me, that's when I feel the happiest!

(FYI-Dan and Tiffany did not work out in their surf shorts that morning! They had the luxury of heading back to their bungalow for a quick shower. Shawn and I were getting ready for our day of massage at the spa after our workout. Another rough day in Bora Bora.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back to Routine-Or, at Least Tri-ing to Be

So, the attack of the cold/allergy demon had me pretty wasted all weekend. I ran 6.5 miles last Thursday with Amy, but was totally down for the count on Friday and Saturday. I was scheduled to run with Amy on Saturday morning for two hours, but I bailed with the rain and the fact that I truly felt like hell. I knew I was feeling bad when I didn't even feel guilty about not working out. I truly wanted and needed sleep (and Kleenex).


I felt about 60% on Sunday, so during the break of day (at 11am), I decided to head out for 1hr 30min on the bike. I rode from my house up to the Shoal Creek Pace LAB loop that I use for my run training. I did 3x 3.5 mile loops. First lap was hard, but not crazy (11:19), 2nd lap was pushing it (10:48--19.2 mph) and the 3rd lap was a cool down. Total ride was about 25 miles or so by the time I made it back home.

I followed that up with a 6.5 mile run starting from the house and heading to the trail. By this point is was 12:30pm and freaking hot and humid. I'm so not used to running at this time of day and it was only compounded by the fact that my head and chest were still very congested. The entire run was labor intensive and I wasn't pushing the pace at all. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was naturally speeding up with every mile. By Mile 5, my overall pace was an 8:32. I started out around 9:00 pace and naturally sped up as I went along. The last mile from the Rock back to my house, however, drove the nail in the coffin. I hit the perverbial "heat shield" and ended up walking a few times back to the house. I was pretty spent.

Shawn worked all day so we ended up meeting at the gym (I know, I know) on Sunday night around 7:30pm for 30 minutes or so in the water. I did some 50m repeats, avg between :56-:59 per. Not bad for my lame self, but was not feeling comfy in the water at all.

MONDAY, June 18th
Felt a little more normal today and am trying to train myself to turn Mondays into my long swim days at Barton Springs. It doesn't tend to be as crowded on Monday morning as other days. I ended up doing 1 mile and each 200 m length was between 4:11 and 4:30-something. Therefore, all repeats would've been under 9 minutes a lap. Again, it's a little better than last time overall, but it didn't feel very smooth. Still on a constant struggle to feel comfy in the water. So freaking elusive...

I followed the mile swim up with 30 minutes of aqua-jogging. Boring, but a great break on the knees. I did several "fartleks" in the water with 1 min fast/1 min recovery sessions. Looked ridiculous, I know.

Well, the big news of the last couple of weeks was the news that Adam from "Jack and Adams" was going to be leaving soon and would no longer be teaching core. He promised us that this would be his last week and the workouts would be freaking epic. Harder than we could imagine. I was nervous all day, but there was no way I wasn't going. We're all sickos because the crowd was one of the biggest ever. But guess what? No Adam!! Our new coach Josh was there with his workout ready to go that was much different than Adam's class. More interval style and faster exercise turnover. No 5 minutes of straight plank followed by hundreds of leg lifts...It went something like this although I'm sure I'm missing some stuff or it's not in the right order.

1/2mile warm up jog
4.5 min of plank that included regular and side planks
1/2 mile jog
toe jumps and mountain climbers
75 pushups that included wide, regular and narrow
1/2 mile jog
ab work including vertical and horizontal scissor kicks
we also did 2min of crunches and did elbow to knee crunches
1/2 mile

Overall, it was a great workout and very manageable. It was so different than Adam's class because each exercise was actually doable from start to finish. While I'll definitely miss the old "corture," I'm anxious to try the new variety. Apparently, there will be a different coach on Wednesdays. It's still the type of workout I would never do on my own. For that reason alone, I plan to keep it as a regular part of my training regime.

Hope to finalize new bike plans in the next week!!

I also have a Sprint Triathlon this Sunday so I'm sure I'll focus sooner or later! It's the first ever Pflugerville Lake Triathlon and I'm one of only 350 that are doing it before it sold out. God, I hope I'm not in 350th place!!

I also signed Shawn and myself up for the July 15th Couples Triathlon and the September Austin Olympic Triathlon. I'm also looking at 2-3 smaller tris coming up in the next couple of months. I'm not sure why, but I've been bitten by the Sprint Tri bug and every race sounds appealing!!

God help us now that we don't have a wedding to plan or a house to decorate.

Friday, June 15, 2007

So What Color Am I?

So, it's official...I'm totally suffering from the post-event, post travel blahs. I seem to have no real motivation and it's only compounded by the fact that I now appear to be suffering from the obligatory post-travel airplane illness. You know the one...sore throat, stuffy nose, head feels 100x the size it actually is, completely exhausted. It seems as if reality plucked me right from the sky and brought me pummelling back to the earth. Such is life. There's still so much afterglow that I'm hanging onto that. I'm just not feeling it at this exact moment. In fact, at this exact moment, I want to put my head down and wake up next Tuesday.

However, there is a glimmer of hope. For my birthday/wedding, my dear sweet husband gifted me with the one thing that would make all the girls hearts a-flutter. Seriously, what does any female want more than anything else in the world?

A box from Tiffanys?

Nah...nice, but whatever.

A new car?

well, you're getting warmer.

You guessed it. A new Triathlon Bike!! What?? Not every girl wants one of these? Well, then they don't know what they are missing. I'm researching a few different brands with my friends over at Jack and Adams. (love them!) Among the brands they recommend for my body size are Kestrel, Felt and Guru. Guru is great because it's totally customizable to my measurements. I ride Kestrel now and dig it. Don't know much about Felt. Unfortunately, they don't really have a lot of bikes on the showroom for me to test ride because of my lack of inches.

Here's where I'm leaning with their expertise. I'm salivating just looking at her.

The best part? All of the colors of fully customizable including the frame, paint and logos. So, my big challenge at the moment...If I go with this bike, what colors would I be? What "palette of power" best represents moi? When I think of me, what colors come to mind?

Tri-Geeks can go to www.gurubikes.com and spend hours looking at the different color schemes for the frame.

No wonder my head feels like it's going to explode.

Decisions, Decisions

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Upper Arlington Memorial Day 5-Miler

I finally have some fun shots from the 5 Mile Race we ran on Monday, May 28th, just two days after the wedding in Columbus. It was a humid day, but a really great race! Plus, it was my first registered as my new identity so it will always be special! Several of our Austin friends also ran and kicked major butt including Thon, Mike, Richard, Perry and Amy (who was 1st in her age group!) Hava, Stephanie, my parents and Shawn's parents were also in attendance to cheer for everyone. This was a great way to end the weekend of celebration!

Team Barrett crossing the Finish Line in 37:00 (a huge PR for the hubby)

We Did it!

Thank Goodness we weren't this tired and haggard looking on our wedding day!

(at least I hope we weren't)

My Brother (who got "chicked" at mile 4 by his sister) and my parents hanging out at the Finish Line. Shawn's parents were also in attendance. In fact, Shawn's parents get credit for these great photos!

My Dear friend Karl was the race announcer for the event and made sure the crowd knew who we were. Of course, I think everyone should know who he is--he is my pal that ran 52 Marathons in 52 Weeks for the the Leukemia Society. Buy his book!!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Earth to Carrie...Earth to Carrie

If there ever was a visual depiction of heaven on earth, I'd say the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora would definitely be near the top.

And just like that, the Honeymoon has ended and it's time to come back to earth (although I really enjoy the views from Cloud 9). But what a honeymoon it was...

10 days of crystal blue water, over-the-water bungalows, snorkeling, sleeping, book reading, drinking, napping, massages, eating fresh fruit and seafood, running, dodging sting rays during an open water swim, enjoying the sun and just complete and utter decompression with no emails, no internet and no set schedules to follow. It was Absolute perfection from the moment we left Austin. Hotels were great, flights were on time and food was delicious. It can't go without saying that we did bring a couple of boxes of kashi and received some funny looks from people who were enjoying the enormous daily breakfast buffets while we were eating our bowl of kashi. Believe me, I definitely took part in the buffet action, but I can't do ham and cheese omelets every day along with danishes, croissants and every kind of bread imaginable. They did have interesting choices on the buffet which I indulged in every now and then...grilled swordfish (for breakfast), salads, ham and grilled pineapple, crepes, juices, etc.

We exercised every day, but it wasn't forced workouts (for a change). Just running for the sake of running, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, sea kayaking. We met a great couple from New York (Dan and Tiffany) who are both triathletes. How did we know?? We were the only four in the fitness center one morning!! We got to talking and ended up having breakfast with them all the while discussing our love of the sport and everything else in between. We also met and had dinner with another couple from Colorado (John and Lisa). John just returned from his second tour in Iraq and was there for 12 months this go-round as an Army Physician. It was so interesting getting a first-hand account from someone who was just there. Needless to say, on this trip, he was definitely enjoying the good life.

Ever the Race Director, we "invented" our own race--the "Beach to Belvedere" run in Moorea. Starting from the Beach, it was a 5K route up a mountain complete with switchbacks and curves. The reward was the "Belvedere lookout point" providing one of the most spectacular views I've ever seen.

We followed up 9 days of utter relaxation by hitting the States again on Saturday and enjoying 24-hours of fun and sun in Santa Monica, CA...running towards Malibu Beach on Saturday evening and then heading out for a jog on Sunday morning towards Venice Beach. While the CA beach paled in comparison after freaking Bora Bora, it was still nice to be able to decompress one more day before heading home. (not to mention the fact that our hotel in Santa Monica was pretty awesome). Ironically, there was a wedding taking place that evening at the hotel and after our run, we got off the elevator only to be witnesses to the bridal procession taking place that very moment on the pool deck. While it was a little odd to be in our running clothes, it really did bring the entire event full-circle for us.

Obviously, we have tons of memories and photos from the wedding itself, our post-wedding 5 Mile Run on Memorial Day (in which we kicked ass as "Team Barrett"), the honeymoon and more, but I'm still numb and mentally foggy. Again, I'll say that this whole experience was absolutely everything I dreamt it would be and so much more. I'm so full of gratitude and joy. It's a great way to start my new life.

Although I've been working out, I'm giving myself another week of decompression before the official workouts begin again.