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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Making of "Little Miss Sunshine 2"

I am so "Olive" from the movie Little Miss Sunshine.

I am the type of dork who would sign up for some lofty and crazy goal and convince my family and friends that they have to drive across the country to watch me compete in something that I don't have a hell's chance of winning! :-)

It's official. We are in the process of making "Little Miss Sunshine 2!!!" We'll call it, "Little Miss Ironman" and it stars...well...me, of course...and some of the most amazing group of friends EVER. We're getting a big RV compliments of Steph's boss (we hope) , saddling up and driving cross country to Ironman Arizona next April!! What will we discover about each other along the way? Many things I'm sure! I'm sure there will be many tears, fights, laughter and hugs. All I know is that I get a bed and all toilet privileges. I also get to pick where we eat from Austin to Tempe. As much as this group loves serious Tex Mex, we may have to suspend the urge for a couple of days. Or--while they're gnawing on carne guisada, I'll be sporting my bland chicken and pasta dishes. (I would never want to keep Thon from Tex-Mex.)

Why do I have a feeling this is what the race course will look like at Mile 20 as my pals and husband are riding alongside of me??

I cannot wait for this adventure and I swear the thought of the race is so secondary to all of the fun we're going to have on the open road.

I just hope I don't have to do the "Superfreak" strip-tease at the end of my race when I'm crossing the finish line! On second thought...I just might!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back on the Wagon

Been feeling gooey lately. It makes perfect sense. Since the Seattle/Portland trip in September, I've pretty much been eating everything with reckless abandon. And, I haven't been working out as much. And I haven't been going to core class. And I haven't been going to Gazelles running. And I've been drinking too much wine. And I've been eating too many sweets.

We've all been there. I go through this phase a couple of times a year where I just say, "To hell with it all" and allow myself to eat Amy's Ice Cream after eating Mexican food...Or a chocolate truffle after eating pizza. I know it's actually "healthy" to allow yourself to let go for a little bit. I mean, we all can't be perfectly healthy all of the time. We just set ourselves up for failure if we claim to live like that. However, I'm finally feeling like I've had enough of the self-sabotage. I want to go into the holiday season feeling trim--not gooey. Gooey is not attractive. I've been rationalizing it saying, "Well, with all of the Ironman training coming soon, I can eat whatever I want because I'll burn it off anyway." Wrong...Not always so.

I also know that I'm not a numbers girl. I'm not going to calculate my calorie intake vs. basal metabolic rate and divide it by my vo2 max and all of the other B.S. that I'll never do. I'm simply going to lay a few ground rules for the next several weeks. Thankfully, the hubby's in it with me. Together, we're going to focus on less sugary indulgences.

1.) Dessert only ONCE per week. Choose wisely.

2.) Two drink MAXIMUM when I do have drinks. And NO Margaritas! Thank God I love wine.

3.) Only eat out 2-3 times per week, including lunch. This is definitely another weakness of mine.

4.) Continue to make healthier food choices overall...lean protein, veggies, fruits, etc.

That's it...no deprivation. no starvation. Just getting back to the basics!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And So It Begins...


So—as best I can tell, here is how my IM Training weeks will look for the next several months.

MON: Rest, very light running and/or Jack and Adams Core

TUES: T3 Swim Class AM/ T3 Spin Trainer Class PM or outdoor ride

WED: Gazelle Running Workout

THURS: T3 Swim Class AM/ T3 Spin Trainer Class PM or outdoor ride

FRI: T3 Strength/Core and Barton Springs Open Water Swim

SAT: Long Bike Rides followed by short runs

SUN: Long Run Days

A few of things stand out right off the bat:

1.) It looks like I’ll really only be able to get to one solid Gazelle workout a week. It scares me a bit that it might mean that my running speed and strength will suffer. However, I just have to trust that the cross-training and extra cycling will be just as effective, if not better for my body in the long run. (no pun intended)

2.) My long runs will mostly be on Sundays. I know this will shift a lot, but my T3 coaches really believe in doing your long runs the day after the long bike ride so that you can experience the whole “running on tired legs” feeling. Again, I’ll miss the camaraderie of my Gazelle runs, but it opens the door to create new relationships with T3 teammates.

3.) Because long bike rides are on Saturdays, my days of Mi Madres breakfast tacos are quickly coming to an end.

4.) That's 2-3 runs, 3 bikes, 3 swims, 2 strength/core workouts: 11 workouts, only 7 days in a week.

I guess this is what they mean when they say that training involves many sacrifices and leaving your comfort zone.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sequel and Prequel

Damn, they're really cracking down on this weight thing!!

Wow! Those law enforcement officials in Ohio really take this obesity crisis thing seriously!!! We couldn’t resist snapping these photos of a Sheriff’s car parked in my parent’s neighborhood. We had jogged by it earlier and it just cracked me up, so we immediately thought, “Picture for the Blog!” Feeling like teenagers about to toilet paper someone’s house, we pulled up in front of the driveway, jumped out and quickly snapped a couple of photos. Wouldn’t you know it?? They happened to see us doing so and started charging out the front door! We made serious haste and jumped in our rental PT Cruiser all “Dukes of Hazzard” style to make our getaway as the perplexed homeowner was wondering why the hell two grown adults dressed in Ohio State regalia were taking photos in front of their Sheriff’s car at 1:00pm in the afternoon!!

While I’m sure this law enforcement official has nothing to do with regulating Body Mass Index or Calories Consumed of Ohioans, it’s actually not such a far-fetched idea! I can actually see something like this existing in a few short years. In any event, we got a couple of laughs and I hope you do too.

Marathon recovery is going well and I’m just trying to enjoy my last two weeks of “freedom” before Ironman training officially starts. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments about the Columbus Marathon. It was the most fun I’ve had since my first Marathon five years ago. I just didn’t think about it or stress about anything. Hell, the day before the race I was tailgating at a football game eating a meatball sub, fruit, a brownie and drinking wine (only one glass). My pre-race meal the night before was ½ veggie burger and ½ chicken burrito…Shawn ate the other half. I found out the day before that my cousin Cathy was also running and she was as blissfully unprepared as I was. Her longest run up until race morning was a 10 miler. She still knocked out a PR 4:28 marathon and couldn’t have felt much higher. Shawn, Cathy and I ran the first three miles together with joy and gratitude. I chatted with people on the course when they engaged me in conversation. The back of my Gazelle shirt has the “Runtex” logo on it and it also has our old mantra “Get Off Me” written on the back. Both spurred some comments from people who were either familiar with Runtex or thought “Get Off Me” was an intriguing and comment-worthy phrase. We ran by my old house prior to moving to Texas and I couldn’t help but get a chuckle or two thinking back to days when my roomies Lynn, Kerith and I would attempt to go out for early morning runs in that neighborhood. Each of us struggled to tackle just a couple of miles and we would just end up right back in bed afterward. And now, here I was running on those same streets at MILE 19 of a freaking marathon with some gas still left in the tank. What a difference a decade can make.

I was totally having the devil/angel conversation with myself for the last Half.
“Speed up,” the demon would say.
“Just stay right where you are at girlfriend,” the angel would retort.
Back and forth I listened to these two battle it out until I finally compromised and just kicked it in for the last 10k portion.

It’s three days afterward and my legs are rightfully still feeling a little hammered. So far, I’ve taken Monday and Tuesday completely off from any physical activity. I’ll probably just go for a short swim today and a couple of easy rides this weekend. Again, it’s very much the calm before the storm and I want to enter the Ironman threshold feeling rejuvenated and cleansed—not injured, sore, beat up or exhausted. I just completed a Half-Ironman three weeks ago and a Marathon three days ago. It’s not like I’m freaking starting from scratch here, right?? (She tries to convince herself)

Until then, I'll just walk around with the endorphins and thrill that I felt during and after the marathon.
My brother took this photo during the race where the Half and Whole Marathoners split.
I'm such a giddy dork somewhere between Miles 5 and 6...

Nice Buns!! Shawn took this post-race on the cell phone as I'm in the line grabbing bagels and cinnamon buns. I think it's funny that I'm the only one smiling.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Burst of Marathon Energy

What a weekend!! The Buckeyes won and I completed my 11th Marathon in a span of 24 hours...
( FYI--We did make it in the luxury suites for the 2nd Half. Hell yeah, baby!)

I actually stopped at a porta-pottie and pee'd during a marathon!! I've never done that before! I mean, I've thought about doing that before, but goal pressures and pace groups have always quelched the urge. Not today my friends, not today...I even stopped and talked with my family for a minute or two at Mile 6. My parents, brother, sis-in-law and three of my nieces came out this morning to watch my "training run." As I was talking to them, the 4:00 hour pace group was about to pass so I said, "Gotta Go! Here comes the 4:00 group!" My plan was to hover around the 4:00 hour mark.

My finishing time?


Now, this is how you're SUPPOSED to run a marathon. Check out these splits.

Mile 1 and 2: 9:08
Mile 3: 8:37
Mile 4: 8:57
Mile 5: 8:34
Mile 6: 9:10 (visit with the family)
Mile 7: 8:53 (pee break)
Mile 8: 8:19
Mile 9: 8:18
Mile 10: 8:22
Mile 11: 8:31
Mile 12: 8:19
Mile 13: 8:26
Mile 14: 8:16
Mile 15: 8:15
Mile 16: 8:10
Mile 17: 8:09
Mile 18: 8:09
Mile 19: 8:18
Mile 20: 8:07
Mile 21: 7:58
Mile 22: 7:42
Mile 23: 7:43
Mile 24: 7:43
Mile 25: 7:29
Mile 26: 7:37
Mile 26.2 : (for 1 min 18 sec)

Perfectly scripted and yet completely improvised the entire day. I swear it's because there was no pressure to do well that I was able to do just that. (Oh yeah and a picture perfect day for running) It wasn't until about Mile 15 that I said to myself, "Why don't you just try to push it a little for the last 10 miles?" I was feeling really good...proof positive that running conservatively from the beginning is truly the best recipe for a healthy race. Of course, I spent the rest of the run playing "catch up," knowing that I really had nothing to prove, but still wanted to.

The last few miles were starting to get a little toasty, but I was having a great race mentally and physically and kept reminding myself that there was no pressure. The finish is downhill and I was able to hear my friend Karl (one of the race announcers) call my name as I crossed!

This marathon was a huge confidence booster for the Sunmart 50K Trail Run in December and I'm so glad I signed up.

Oh yes--token shout out to the hubby for running a 1:52 Half-Marathon!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend in Columbus...Football Game and a Marathon!

Landed in Columbus to a gorgeous Fall afternoon. It's wonderful to see all of the leaves changing colors. I forget what that looks like as Austin doesn't have the "typical" Fall appeal of the Midwest. Mom and Dad were thrilled to host our quick trip and we're getting ready to head down to the race expo.

I'm very much looking forward to the Columbus Marathon on Sunday...errr...I mean my 26.2 Mile training run! I'm hoping to hover around the 4:00 hour mark, which is an approximate 9:00/mile pace. My Marathon PR is a 3:29 from Dallas last year, and I must admit, it feels great having absolutely no pressure going into this run. This is one of my favorite courses as it sparks all kinds of nostalgia just being in my hometown. Unfortunately, we're only here for a couple of days, but the course winds through some of the best parts of town. Shawn is running the Half, so at least I'll have him by my side for the first 13.1 miles.

Oh yeah--plus we also just found out today that we scored TWO tickets to the Ohio State Football game tomorrow against Michigan State!!! YES YES YES!!! It pays to have relatives with "connections." Rumor has it that we'll actually be in a luxury suite. I'll believe it when I see it. (I'll take pictures!)

College Football and Running a Marathon all in one weekend. Does it get better than this??

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

So, in order to get myself in a positive frame of mind this morning for swim class, I decided to take some actions to warm my heart and put me in that "happy place"--which is hard to do at 5:15 am. One of the ways to get better at anything is to FEEL GOOD about what you're doing. If I get up every morning and dread practice, how am I going to get better? It's all about your conscious mind telling your subconscious mind what to do. I did a couple of things that made me feel warm and fuzzy...things I don't normally do before swim class. I actually started the coffee pot and had a warm cup o' joe on my way to the pool. Coffee just has a way of making me feel splendid! (who knew it was that easy?) I also had a 1/2 bagel with peanut butter and nutella...not a whole lot, but enough to taste the chocolatey decadence that nutella offers. Yes, I basically had dessert for breakfast. There's nothing that puts me in a better mood than having the equivalent of a Reese's Cup before a workout!

So I get to the pool and I'm feeling all kinds of full and happy as a result of my culinary feats of the morning. This all felt great until I got about midway through the warmup and my tummy started feeling a little "disturbed." I normally just have a few sips of water and 1/2 of a balance bar before hitting the pool. I'm definitely not used to the caffeine and sugar jolt that I granted myself in this new pre-dawn ritual :-)

At first, I thought, "Uh oh...you really did yourself in this time!" However, I eventually settled in, settled down and had a damn good workout.

I also had a damn good breakfast! Could this be my new pre-race ritual?
Forget about Kashi Go Lean Crunch. I'm all about nutella and coffee.

What next?? Cotton candy and Mountain Dew before Sunday's Columbus Marathon?

(just kidding Kashi...I could never leave you)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Living Strong!

This photo above was taken on Sunday at the Live Strong Challenge, which raises money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I was part of Team Pioneer Bank, a client of mine at the agency. In fact, I worked with my designer to create and order the team jerseys! Woo Hoo!! Because of some "issues" I've been having with this client, I wasn't that excited about riding. I even selfishly thought of just skipping it all together even though Shawn and I had both donated $250 for the privilege to ride in this event which raises money for cancer research.

Fortunately, we decided to ride and I was grateful for it. My cynicism turned to gratitude when I saw the riders who were wearing "cancer survivor" signs and those who were riding "in Honor of" or "in Memory of" a loved one. Before we started, Shawn and I quickly ran down the list of our family and friends who we were riding for that day.

In our thoughts:

1.) Our Sister-in-law Monica
2.) Our Friend Dena
3.) Our Friend Cathy
4.) Our Friend Lisa's Father
5.) Our Friend Kerith's Mom
6.) Our Friend Amy's Sister who recently lost her battle with skin cancer

...this list is just a start of those who we offer our love and support.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Why do athletes lie about their times? What little piece of an athlete’s ego allows them to believe that it’s ok to just make up their times and cheat—especially in this day and age of chip timing?! Are they afraid they aren’t fast enough? Are they afraid people will judge them and say, “ooohhh…that’s slow…what happened?” Are they trying to be super human?


We saw a story earlier this week about a politician from Mexico who ran the Berlin Marathon in a speedy 2:40. His finish line photo above showed a victorious expression, arms raised in the air, and the look of someone who had run the race of his life. Turns out, he cheated and cut the course short. His previous best before that was a more average and “normal” 3:44. While not impossible, it’s pretty hard to imagine cutting an hour off of your previous marathon best! What made him cheat? I don’t know if he’s trying to make excuses about not knowing or ACCIDENTALLY missing a turn, but I’ve run in enough marathons to know that unless you’re leading the race, it’s damn near impossible to get lost!! (It's also near impossible to win wearing tights, a jacket and other "winterized" gear)

I first became a personal “victim” to this deceit after the 2004 NYC Marathon. I was running it with a person from Austin who I didn’t know very well. However, we hung out and shared our hopes and goals for this race. He was really hoping to do a sub-4:00. That evening after we all hooked up to eat and drink, he was in a pissy mood because his knee was hurting. He decided to stay in the hotel while we went out and whooped it up. I was shocked that he wasn’t happy about the 3:58 he told me he ran. I ran a 4:10 that year and was jealous of him! It wasn’t until a few days later when I was checking times for others that I decided to plug in his name…You are kidding…It was almost a 5:00 hr marathon. Why did he lie? Why couldn’t he just be honest and say he was hurt and it wasn’t his day? Why did it bug him so much that I beat him and, more importantly, why did he care so much?

I’ve also recently experienced a couple of other similar instances. One of Shawn’s colleagues is an avid marathoner and he was talking to her about one of her recent marathons. She told him one time and it turns out she was conveniently 20 minutes slower than her stated time. Now, not only do marathoners rarely get lost on a course, but they also NEVER forget their finishing times. I’ve done 10 marathons and can tell you every time (rounded down, of course, to the nearest minute…that’s another blog unto itself…the fact that we always round down our times!) I know she didn’t forget that her chip time was 20 minutes slower than what she said. Most recently, Shawn had another run-in with ANOTHER colleague who had done the Longhorn Triathlon last week. They were talking about how difficult it was and his colleague mentioned that his wife ended up in the med-tent while he did a 3:05 bike split. Once again, after a little fact checking (because now it’s a game), not only did he lie about his bike split by 10 minutes, but he also failed to mention that he also DNF’ed the race.

The question is more hypothetical , but again I ask, “Why would someone lie about their finishing time when every result and split is now instantaneously posted on the web? “
I guess we project the self-defeat that we feel onto others. We assume that since we’re upset and disappointed with our times, that everyone who knows us will also be disappointed or judgmental. We assume that, as well-trained, athletes, we’re not allowed to have “a bad day” or a slower time. For heaven’s sake, not every race can continue to be a PR froom the last one! Every course is different, every race is different, every weather condition is different. Just ask the Chicago Marathoners this year. The winner certainly didn’t set any PRs. Think he was disappointed?

I have to admit, I fight the exact same battles that I’m writing about. I was a little disappointed in my time at last week’s race and immediately thought, “People will look at my run time and wonder why I bonked." I started to question myself…Am I getting slower? What happened? Why didn’t you place in the Top 10? But you know what? I didn’t lie. It was insanely hot and the course was incredibly difficult. (Besides, I actually finished 11th in my age group--not bad!)

And now, I’m putting it out there that I’m planning on running the Columbus Marathon next Sunday as a TRAINING RUN for the Sunmart 50k Trail race in December. It is just that…a training run. No PR attempts, no Boston Qualifiers, just a 26.2 mile practice run in my hometown. The struggle is internal. Most of it is convincing MYSELF that it’s ok to run slow. I don’t want people to wonder why I went from a 3:29 marathon to a 4:00 marathon. Weird, huh? It used to be finishing a marathon was the biggest accomplishment of my life and now I'm using a marathon as a training run for an even longer race. Isn't that good enough???

It might not be my fastest race ever, but I promise that I won’t lie about my finishing time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rest...It Does a Body Good.

The Longhorn Half-Ironman Triathlon just beat the hell outta me and three days of complete physical shutdown and a good massage have made a ton of difference on me mentally and physically. I'm slowly but surely getting ready to hop back on the proverbial bike saddle. Somehow, I developed a nasty huge bruise on my right leg that looks like someone took a hammer to my quad. Now, I don't remember actually running into anything during the race, but I do remember FEELING like I was being hit by a hammer. I think my quads were spontaneously combusting during the run. Can you say, "inflammation?"

In any event, it appears that this race was a little more brutal than most imagined, but I am getting the itch to move again. I know we're all waiting for the weather to break and Fall to arrive at some point as we're still hitting the 90s every day.

I've got an odd weekend of training planned:

Thursday: Swim Class
Friday: 18 mile run
Saturday: Swim Class
Sunday: Lance Armstrong "LiveStrong Challenge" Ride --40-50 miles.

Why the long run? Because I have my sights on a 50K Trail Run in December. Yep--that's 31 miles of running. yippeeee!!!! Nothing fast for this one...It's all about being in nature for over 5 hours (and I hear they have the best rest stop food of any race)

I've never actually done the Live Strong Ride so I'm looking forward to this event and a little inspirational leisure riding. no race numbers...no garmins...no splits...ahhhhh

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Who Says There's No Such Thing as Global Warming?

As I lay here typing this, tears are forming and I'm getting that "lump in the throat" feeling. My emotions are so on the surface right now for many reasons. I'm tired, I'm sore, I'm dehydrated, but I'm relieved to have successfully completed the hardest race I've ever attempted in my entire life. However, my heart is truly breaking for the 40,000 Chicago Marathoners who were faced with evil 88 degree temperatures. It was so brutal that they called off the race and only about 4,000 people were actually expected to finish. To top it off, they had at least one fatality out there. A fellow Gazelle described it as a "war zone." Very scary, indeed.

As for me, I had my own proverbial death march today at the Longhorn Half-Ironman Triathlon. You know it's going to be a hot one when the water temperature at the start was 85 degrees! That's practically bath water! And if the water is 85, you know the air is warmer.

My swim was...typical...no speed gain, but my endurance is improving vastly. I'm coming out of the water with more energy. A little more speed will come. The water was warm as hell as mentioned previously. I was afraid of actually dehydrating from the swim. Oh yeah, the algae at the beginning and end of the swim has to go. Talk about the heebie jeebies!

The bike...what do I say about the bike? I've ridden this course a few times and have gradually gotten better with each training ride. It's a one loop course with a good variety of elevation and turns to keep things interesting. Just when you think you are flying like Superman, a hill knocks you in the face and brings you back to reality. There was also a combination of good and bad quality of roads. The fastest Katy and I had trained on that course was about 17 mph. Today, according to official results, I averaged 18.2 mph. (My garmin says 18.6. I like it better.) The ride went much better than anticipated, but I noticed two things: 1.) my nutrition schedule was a little erratic and 2.) my legs were cramping slightly on the bike. As you can imagine, neither of those would bode well for a 13.1 mile run in 90+ heat at Noon.

The Run: I hate to say this because it goes against what I believe about thinking positively, but I knew I was going to bonk on the run before I got off the bike. My legs were in trouble, especially my quads and inner thighs. There was a little part of me that just wanted to lay down in transition and have someone wake me when it was all over. (or until the red ants devoured me). Surprisingly, through it all, I was having no tummy issues, although most of it may have been resolved by the antibiotics I was taking that treat salmonella poisoning. I stopped thinking about my tummy and started focusing on my legs. About 5 miles into it, my calves and quads were seizing. It felt like little gremlins were sneaking up on me and grabbing my muscles. The little bastards would let go and then, when I least expected it, they would grab on again. If you've ever had muscle cramping and seizures during a race, you know exactly what I'm describing. I would start to walk and that just made it worse. I was taking in Gatorade, water and gels, but I know it wasn't enough to adequately replenish what I had lost. I just had no flexibility in my legs; no spring in the step. I realized early on that it wasn't going to be a PR day for me. My best is a 5:35 and that was on a flat, fast course. This course rolled from beginning to end, not to mention the fact that there was very little shade and it was oozing with heat and humidity.

One of the things that made me feel better through all of this was ironically the fact that EVERYONE seemed to be struggling. Obviously, the winners were done by that point, but I didn't see one person who looked like they were having any fun. Most were just walking the hills and hoping that the miles would tick away.

The other thing that made me feel better was the support of my friends Stephanie, Richard, Cathy and Graham. They were out there for me and it made me so happy and grateful to have that support (here come the tears and lumpy throat again). Thanks guys so much!!!! (hubby, unfortunately, had to work yesterday) My tri group T3 was also out in full force with their own cheering tent. They positioned themselves so that we had to run by them four times...Every time they would see the familiar T3 Blue jersey, they were jumping up and down and cheering. Again, it's things like that that kept my little fire ignited.

The last three miles were on uneven grass and they were basically a monologue and mantra of "Your legs feel great. Your legs feel great. Your legs feel great." (followed by an "ouch" after every step) By this point, every step brought with it a pinch of muscle cramping. I can't tell you how happy I was to make the final turn, hear people calling my name, look at my watch and realize that SOMEHOW I was still breaking 6:00 hrs!!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was going to give it all I had. I can honestly say that I did, especially since I was so sick this whole week. It was a very dignified way to end the season and, although it wasn't a lightening fast time, it was still a huge effort.

Swim: 47:55 (convinced it was a long course, but I'm always convinced the course is long)

T1: 2:25

Bike: 3:04:34 /18.2 mph (this one irks me because I very clearly had 3:02 on my bike computer for an 18.6 avg)

T2: 1:46

Run: 2:00:11/ 9:11 avg (can you say, "Brutal???" I know 9:11s aren't bad, but I can usually clock off an 8:00 pace in a Half-Iron. Not today...not today)

Overall: 5:56:56
12th out of 45 in age group (still pretty darn respectable! I'll take it!)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

This Just In...Illness Strikes Triathlete

(Austin, Texas) In what seems like a sick twist of fate, a strange stomach virus has attacked this young triathlete just days before her season finale Half-Ironman. "I was fine until Tuesday night," says Carrie. "Since then, it's been a non-stop feeling of sour stomach and nausea." While she did go to both swim classes and get a couple of runs in (no pun intended), the lack of energy and nutrition has left her listless and exhausted all week, unable to muster any level of competitive excitement.
Like a trooper, she is determined to go through with the event although, "the thought of taking a gu is enough to make me sick just thinking about it." She's loaded up on Tums, Mylanta and Immodium, thus raising suspicion that the lethal combination of all three of these may be the culprit of the continued illness.
"I'm just going to play it by ear," says Carrie. "I'm still hoping that I wake up tomorrow and feel great. Plus, I hope Lipton cup-a-soup has enough fuel to sustain me since that's about all that I can handle right now." She did make waffles this morning which tasted so good at first, but have been stirring around her tummy for the last two hours.
"At this point, just finishing would make me happy. I think any form of race strategy is being revised."
We'll keep hoping for the best. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this athlete who is convinced she has salmonella, e-coli or a rare form of deadly meningitis. Her husband is much less paranoid and thinks she just has a virus. Our bets are on his diagnosis.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Who Do I Think I Am???

Well, this is it...The Grand Finale of my 2007 Triathlon Racing Season. I must say from the depths of my humble being that it has been a good one for me. For the last few years, I'd finally become comfortable with the thought of myself as "a runner." For so long, I was even afraid to use that label as it meant that I was good, strong or fast. It was a label reserved for someone who related their entire identity to the sport of running. It wasn't until I joined Gilbert's Gazelles Training Group that I realized that running IS my identity in many respects. When I'm stressed, I run. When I wake up, I run. When I want to see friends, we run. I also realized along the way that, damn it, I am good, strong AND fast. Of course, there are always people who are faster and more dedicated. Hell, a guy that runs a 2:05 marathon isn't even fast enough to win these days! I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've finally become comfortable in the skin of being "a runner" and then I had to go muddy up the waters and try to fancy myself as a "triathlete."

Who do I think I am? First a runner and now a triathlete?? I started triathlons in 2002 simply as "the next thing" and was very happy hanging in the middle of the pack. I had no intention of being hooked and honestly can't believe I've kept up after some of my race experiences with bonks and flats. And yet, somehow I've raised the bar. I stepped up my training and discipline a notch (or ten) and have had one heck of a triathlon season... Top Ten finishes in my age group in all of my tris this year including two #1's and a couple of #2's. (And most of my friends can attest that a few of these races were done with slight hangovers or lack of sleep--all this while getting married, honeymooning and adjusting to a new home. ) I don't say any of this because I'm arrogant or overly confident. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Sometimes I actually have to write out my own accomplishments to realize the progress I made really did in fact happen.

This Saturday's Longhorn Half-Ironman Triathlon will cap off a triathlon season filled with accomplishment and progress. I'm astonished at the competitive athlete I've become and CANNOT WAIT to dig into my Ironman Training which officially kicks off at the beginning of November. For a while, I didn't think I was going to race this one, but I've decided just the opposite. On Sunday, there will be little pieces of Carrie all over that course. (Figuratively, I hope)

Now, that I'm comfortable being called "a runner," am I ready for the label of being called "a triathlete" without feeling like a poser? You bet I am and I'll prove it on Sunday.