Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quick Update

I made time for an abbreviated core workout. Luckily, I seem to be able to do the squats and lunges again without any pain to my left knee. However, I can't do some of the upper body exercises like push-ups because of the inflamed chest muscles. Remember the chest pains way back before Chicago? Apparently, it's called costochondritis...and it's lingering!

Houston Fit called for 40 minutes, but I only had time to squeeze in 20. So, I made it the best workout I could and added a bit of speed and incline. Looks like I'm back to the "something is better than nothing" mentality.

Running Stats
Conditions - Treadmill (watched ER)
Total Run Time - 22:33 minutes
Total Distance - 2 miles (with incline)
Total Pace - 11:16

Race's a love/hate thing

Naturally, I only had 2 pics from the Turkey Trot - one bad, one really bad. Click here to see the lesser of the 2 evils. :-)

Still no running for me...I went to a study group session last night for my accounting class (which I thought was very helpful until I started my homework problems this morning). Then, by the time the kiddo was in bed it was past 9:30 pm and there were more chapters to be read. I am beginning to think there will be very little running between now and finals.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

You know you're old when...

You plan a big "Girls Night Out" and start out planning dinner/drinks downtown and then some crazy downtown/midtown bar hopping afterwards.

Then, it becomes just dinner downtown and hanging out at the restuarant bar and listening to the band.

Next, it becomes just dinner at a quiet place downtown. Hey, it's been a long time! We need to catch up, right?

Finally, it becomes dinner at your favorite place in the 'burbs, so you don't have to be as far from the kiddos & home. Hey, at least it was a girls night out!!! I'll take it!

That is exactly what happened when planning the last girls night out. I started to think about this on my drive to work I was listening to The Point (106.9). Hmmm, I've been listening to The Point a lot more lately.

It's amazing how I actually still remember every word to "Jesse's Girl" (Rick Springfield), "Sweet Child of Mine" (GNR), "Love is a Battlefield" (Pat Benetar), "Orange Crush" (REM) or "One" (U2)...almost like it was yesterday. Hey, wait! Wasn't it just yesterday???? When did I grow up? When did I get old? :-)

Jeeze, I need to get back to running!

Speaking of running...the Houston Marathon is now SOLD OUT! I hope everyone registered in time!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I've been tagged...

Now you have been too! I received these questions from another blogger and next, it's your turn!

Four Jobs I've Had in My Life:
1. Customer Service Associate (at various retail stores – Circuit City, 5.7.9, Camelot Music, etc.)
2. Telemarketer for the Association of Former Students at A&M
3. Intern for Harris County – County Clerk’s office
4. HR positions - Generalist, Recruiter, Manager

Four Movies I watch over and over:
1. Sense & Sensibility
2. About a Boy
3. Anything with Audrey Hepburn
4. Any of the John Hughes movies from the ‘80s (Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller, etc.)

Four Places I have lived:
1. College Station
2. Houston
3. HISD HR Office during the summer :O)
4. That’s it…yes, boring!

4 TV Shows I love to watch:
2. Grey’s Anatomy
3. ER
4. Heroes

4 Places I have been on vacation:
1. Grand Cayman
2. Cancun
3. Cozumel
4. Ruidoso, NM

4 Websites I visit daily:
1. Blogger

4 of my favorite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Pizza
3. Fajitas (from Pappasito’s)
4. Shrimp en Brochette

4 places I'd rather be right now:
1. On a tropical beach
2. On a sailboat in the middle of the ocean
3. In the Chianti region of Italy
4. Running (anywhere)
(Basically, anyplace but work as long as I’m with my family)

4 Favorite Bands/Singers:
1. No Doubt
2. Social Distortion
3. Erasure
4. Aerosmith

4 Books I Loved Reading:
1. Insomnia (Stephen King)
2. The Dream Giver (Bruce Wilkinson)
3. The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
4. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

4 Adventurous things I’ve Done:
1. Run marathons!
2. Been Bungee jumping
3. Gone Sky-diving
4. Tried Parasailing

4 things most people don’t know about me:
1. I auditioned for the movie Annie when I was 10 (obviously, I didn’t make it)
2. I have over 12 years of dance training and 6 in gymnastics (oh, and 1 year of swing dancing!)
3. I was an aerospace engineering major for 3 years
4. As a child I watched the Tour de France and vowed to participate one day…I took up running instead :O)

4 Bloggers I am Tagging:
Anyone who reads this….:O)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pain in the butt

The alarm clock went off at 4:50 this morning and for some reason I actually jumped out of bed. Literally. No pushing snooze, no sleeping another 15 minutes then cursing under my breath that I barely had time to run and get to work. I don't know what happened to me, but I wish it would happen more often.

I checked the Houston Fit 1/2 marathon schedule...20 minutes. Wait, 20 minutes? That's it? I guess that's what I love about Houston Fit - the weekday runs are short enough to fit into your everyday life and you actually feel prepared for the marathon. (Usually the weekday runs are anywhere between 20 & 50 minutes) Of course, I might finish stronger and faster if I was following a different training program that required more weekly mileage (like the Pfitz), but Houston Fit works for me and for now, I'm sticking to it. So, I ran my 20 minutes on the treadmill. Since it seemed like such a short run, I decided to make it a bit more challenging by increasing the incline along the way. It made for a pretty fun workout and I even had time to fold some laundry and work an accounting problem afterwards! I did feel a little pain right above my derrière...ouch! I noticed the same thing on Saturday...I think I just need to stretch more.

This weekend's long run is up in the air. The hubby is going hunting and I have school all day Saturday, so running with 12 miles with Houston Fit on Saturday is out. I may run with the kiddo in the jog stroller on Sunday, but it would definitely be a much shorter run. We'll see!

Running Stats
Conditions - dreadmill w/increasing incline
Total distance - 1.74
Total running time - 20 minutes
Pace - 11:29

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Busy weekend

It's finally the end of another busy weekend....

It was the kiddo's b-day, so we started the day (after getting my Roomba) by letting her open her birthday presents. Then, since she loves being outdoors, we went to the park. Next, we took her to Chuck E. Cheese for the 1st time...she loved it and even learned to ask the essential Chuck E Cheese questions - "Mommy more money?" and "Daddy more money?" - for the games.

I had the option of running with the Houston Fit 1/2 marathon group, who was starting their 10 mile run at 5:15 am -or- running with the full marathon group who was starting their 9 miler at 6 am. Gee, that's a no-brainer - I'm all about getting that extra 45 minutes sleep!

It was great to run with my peeps again! Coach Gaye and Coach Fred were a welcome sight....I have missed seeing them. I also had a chance to meet some other folks and a few first-timers. Not much to say about the run except:
  • the weather was almost perfect (a bit humid, but cool!)
  • I forgot to start my stopwatch
  • I felt like we were really hauling butt, but it seems that it was only an 11:4o pace (based on someone elses watch)
  • For the 3rd time in 3 weeks, I really had to pee halfway through the run. Thank God for the port-a-potties at the construction in River Oaks! I used one that was camoflauged with 2x4 wood planks

After the run, I hit the grocery stores to get all the supplies for the Kiddo's birthday bash. This was a small event compared to last year's 1st b-day blowout, but it still seemed to take a lot of prep time. With the gorgeous weather, most of the party was outdoors. The kiddo had a blast! Needless to say, she was out within 10 minutes of putting her to bed.


Just spent some time with the kiddo while the hubby was at work, then headed to the library for a few hours of studying. Whew, only 3 more weeks of school!

Running Stats

Conditions - 53 & humid

Total Run Time - 1:45

Total Distance - 9.15

Pace - 11:29

Friday, November 24, 2006


My pace from yesterday's 10K was better than I thought. The course was actually 6.4 miles, which means I ran a 10:33!!! (Thanks to June for the info!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gobble Gobble

Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day!!!

First on the agenda - the Turkey Trot. As I was walking to the start, the 1st person I recognized was Felix. After picking up my chip, I ran into Julie who was volunteering. At the start, I met up with Kay, Katie, John & Joanne from Houston Fit. As we were just standing around chatting about Thanksgiving Day plans, we realize the whole crowd was moving forward...the race had started and we didn't even know it!

Kay, Katie and I decided we were simply "running for food"...not PRs, so we started at a pretty easy pace. We were running the 10k only so we could indulge later and not feel too guilty about it. We ran the 1st 3 miles straight through and decided to skip the 1st water stop...BIG MISTAKE. At mile 3 we came to the the 2nd water stop and there was no more water! Grrr...not good, since it was also quite a bit warmer than we anticipated. Fortunately, Kay was smart enough to carry a bottle of water, so we each took a couple of sips of that. By mile 4, Kay started feeling a bit competitive and decided that she was going to beat another participant ahead of us and was off....Katie, who normally runs a sub-10 minute pace was right there with her. So much for running for food! :-) Since I tend to be the queen of Gallowaying and we had only taken 1 walk break, I was not ready to run any faster. I hung back and kept the easier pace. By the way, I've decided that I am way too dependent on the Galloway walk breaks and really need to start running through my shorter runs!

My finish time was 1:07:32 - a 10:52 pace. I ran my last 10K in 1:09 and some change, so I am happy to beat that. As I was leaving, I was a bit bummed that I hadn't run into any of the bloggers. That's about the same time I heard Vic call my name! It was great to see his smiling face again! He introduced me to June, who was sporting the cutest running skirt (I want one!). And then, a few minutes later, Cassie appeared. It was great to meet you June & Cassie! So, I left happy that I had meet more fellow bloggers and I was ready to eat.

I came home, made my famous sweet potato dish and we headed to my parents. I think I ate more than what I burned off in the 10K! This morning I actually went shopping. I usually avoid the black friday crowds like the plague, but it was worth it....I finally got a Roomba!!! I only had to go to Big Lots which is 5 minutes from my house. I was safely back home within 45 minutes. It's charging as we speak!


I find myself without much to blog about since I haven't run since Saturday's 11-miler. School has consumed all of my spare time this week, because I am trying really hard to finish my portion of a group project in order to fully concentrate on my finals for the next 3 weeks.

I do want to say a few things:
  1. Happy anniversary to me! The hubby and I will be going out to dinner tonight to celebrate 9 years together. We've had ups and we've had downs....fortunately, it's been mostly ups and a WONDERFUL 9 years.
  2. Happy Turkey Day!!! If you're running the Turkey Trot tomorrow, I hope I see you there. If you're heading out of town, please have a safe trip. And, be sure to eat plenty of yummy stuff...after all, isn't that why we run???
  3. Be thankful! Remember all the things in life there are to be thankful for - family, friends (even my blogger friends I've never officially met), being able to run (even us slower folks), sunsets, furry puppies, you get the idea! :-)'

God bless!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pics from Sunday

Here are a couple of pics that I took at the 25K before my batteries died.

Runners making their way down Memorial

Coach Felix carrying the flag

And, here are a few from our trip to the zoo (with new batteries):

The kiddo on the carousel

Grooming the goats

Checking out Baby Mac, who was born on 10/01/06

Heading down the slide


From the Houston Marathon website:


Amy, if you're reading this, get your arse to the website and register!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Great day for 25k!

The kiddo actually slept until 7:00 am Sunday morning, so we were a little late in getting out to the 25K. Not sure of the road closures, I made my way through the side streets to Memorial and felt a twinge of envy as I began to see runners. It was in the low 50's - compared to last year's sweltering heat, this was heaven! A perfect day for running!

I managed to find a great spot along Memorial right by the footbridge near Sawyer. I tried to convince the kiddo to wear a jacket, but she insisted that she already had a jacket was actually her fleece hoodie over a long sleeve tee, but oh well. The goal was to spot and cheer for as many Houston Running Bloggers and Houston Fitters as possible! I had not even been out of my car for 5 minutes when I heard someone shout my name...gee, I thought I was supposed to be the one shouting. LOL! It was Humble/Kingwood's very own Bill! I caught off guard that he recognized me, but managed to yell back a "Hi" and a "lookin' good". He was speeding right along as if it was a piece of cake. Next, I saw Felix on the opposite side of the road carrying the flag...that man amazes me with that flag! The next person I saw speedily making his way was least I thought it was him. It certainly looked like him based on the pic from his blog. Without even thinking, I just shouted a loud "Holden!". I think I was really surprised he turned his head, because I just kind of waved. I think I saw Bob next...he's another one who just keeps getting faster and faster. Not too long after Bob came my training buddy from the NYC marathon, Vicky! Next I saw Vic on the opposite side of the street - he looked fantastic! I know he mentioned a leg cramp in his race report, but I wouldn't have guessed that he was having any problems. Next came Pam looking strong! Kay and Alisa were next with a pretty large group of Houston Fit 5/1s. It was so great to see everyone! I wanted to stay long enough to see everyone one more time, but the kiddo was getting cold and was ready to go. She was a good sport and had some fun waving and yelling "GO!". She even said "Go Mommy!" a couple of times, but I had to remind her that I wasn't running today. (That was from my coaching her before Chicago.) Congrats to everyone on finishing a tough distance!

Next, we met some friends at the zoo. On the way there, I asked the kiddo which animal she was excited about seeing and she promptly replied, "chickens!". Lucky for us, the zoo does have chickens. She had a blast! We took her to the zoo a few months ago and she refused to ride the carousel or pet/brush the goats in the petting zoo. This time, she wanted to do everything...including not get off the carousel after two rides! Afterwards, I dropped off the kiddo at home and headed to the library. Later, it was birthday shopping for the kiddo and dinner at Chuy's with the family. Perfect weather, running, family time & no classes...overall, a TERRIFIC weekend!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday LR

I had a girls night out planned for Friday and thought there would be no way in hell I'd be running on Saturday. However, plans changed and a much more toned down version was planned...that could be the subject of a whole other post! But yes, I did have a yummy frosty adult beverage....did I mention it was yummy?

I actually made it to the park at 5 am for the 1/2 marathon group's LR. We ran the 11 mile GRB route. I only ran this route once while training for Chicago, so it was nice to run it again...the rose garden was starting to get old. Again, I found myself at the front of the 5/1 pack...very surprising considering that I was a back of the pack gal with the fall group! I was beginning to think I would be running alone when I finally caught up with some slightly faster 5/1s. I met Kate, Barb and Garreth, and Barbara from my LR 2 weeks ago was also in this group. I really enjoyed meeting this group of folks! Turns out that Barb and I both attended A&M (Gig'em!), both started running the same year (for the same reason), and we both had daughters 2 years ago (2 weeks apart)! Kate is an assistant coach and did a great job of directing everyone through the lights downtown.

I felt great and headed out at what felt like a great pace. Everything clicked from the beginning, which was nice for a change. Usually it takes a couple of miles for me to really feel good. I forgot to start my watch, so I have no idea of our speed getting to the GRB. I did start my watch when we touched the wall and turned around. My return time was 1:03 and some change...Garreth ended up speeding up at the end and finished in 2:06. He said we finished about 2 minutes after him, so I think our time should be close to 2:08. If that's the case, that would be my 1st negative split in a LONG time! Overall, I'm not that happy with my pace. I know I am capable of doing better, but I really felt as if I was running as fast as I could - especially toward the end. This pace would put me at a 2:32 1/2 marathon. I haven't really determined my goal for the race, but I was thinking more along the lines of 2:20 - 2:23....I don't know if that's realistic, but we'll see!

Afterwards, I went to pick up the kiddo at my parents. The hubby had a fishing tournament, so we had a girls day out. Nothing too exciting, just grocery shopping and lunch, but still fun. Tomorrow, we're going to head over to the 25K to cheer for my fellow Fit-ers and HRBs, then we're off to the zoo! Unfortunately, I'll have to head to school after that for some group project work...only 4 weeks left 'till the end of the semester!

Good luck to everyone running the 25K tomorrow!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tempo Run?

Today on the schedule - 35 minute tempo run. My schedule only allowed for time on the dreadmill after putting the kiddo to bed. I really didn't mind, because it gave me an excuse to watch the last bit of Grey's and the 1st part of ER.

The thing about me and the treadmill is that I have a habit of racing against the clock. As I run, I see the little lights light up on the on-screen "track" and I look at the time to I see if I can make it all the way around the little track by a certain time.

I did this I was running, I kept creeping the speed up a little here and a little there until I felt I was running as fast as I could run for 35 minutes. I did take two 1 minute walk breaks to talk to the hubby about the kiddo's birthday. I looked at my speed - what I thought was a really fast pace for me was a 10:54 pace!

Jeeze, when did I get this slow?
Why was I sweating so much?
When did I become such a wuss?

While I was training for Chicago, I attributed my slower runs to the extreme Houston heat or trying not to get injured. Then, I started reminiscing about my early running days (i.e. 2001/2002) - I've never been really fast, but I could easily run 3 miles at a 10:30 pace. But not tonight. Tonight, I was sweating and working at wasn't terribly hard, but it certainly wasn't easy.

I know during my 2nd year with Houston Fit, I trained for NYC. I was running with my good friend Marlina and we had a tendency to slow down because we were busy chatting and even took more walk/stretch breaks than we really should have. We ran NYC in 2003 and then Houston in 2004 (my 2 slowest marathons). Shortly after that, I got preggo with the kiddo. I continued to run until about month 5 and then just walked on the treadmill until my due date. So, I know some of the slowness can be attributed to lack of proper training in 2003 and then no running for a large portion of 2004. I started running again as soon as I had the okay from the doctor, but never really pushed myself to go faster. I was just getting used to running body felt different, I got sweaty faster, everything seemed harder! When I re-joined Houston Fit last year to train for the 2006 Houston/Austin marathons there were many times that I wasn't sure that I could make it. I even went to all the hill and speed workouts (until the achilles injury). But still, unlike my 1st year in Fit, I was no longer sprinting in at the finish of a long run...I was just happy to finish.

And tonight, I reminded myself of those days again. The days when I really pushed to run harder. Yes, I could run faster...not extremely fast, but faster. I liked those days. Tonight, even though I didn't run as fast or as easily as I used to, it felt great to run as fast as I felt I could. I think I will keep pushing myself like this. Who knows, maybe I'll even get a little faster in the process.

Running Stats
Conditions - Treadmill
Total run time - 35 minutes
Total distance - 3.10 miles
Pace 11:17

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

You realize your life is too busy when...

You realize TODAY that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK!

Holy cow!

How did that happen?

For some reason, I thought I had another week in there. Of course, this also means that my anniversary (9 years) and the kiddo's birthday (2 yrs) are also NEXT WEEK! It's a damn good thing that I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, we'd be eating the kiddo's chicken nuggets and macaroni with juice boxes.

Oh, and last night, I left school around 8:30 pm. I called my mom and told her I was on my way to pick up the kiddo. I think entered the twilight zone at some point, because I exited the freeway for my house (not Mom's house) and continued driving for about a mile before I realized I hadn't picked up the kiddo! (Insert the Homer Simpson "Doh!" here)

I may have to skip the core workout tonight, so I can address the kiddo's birthday party invites. :O) And yes, this runnergirl needs a vacation!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


That's what time I set my alarm clock for, but it's not the time I actually woke up. Now that the marathon is over, I've had some difficulty getting up early to run. (Can we say dwindling motivation???) I've still managed to squeeze in some runs, but they haven't been taking place in the early morning hours. Last night, I decided that I would make myself run in the morning when the hubby's schedule allowed for it. It's tough to wake up, but it's great to 1) start in the negative with the calories and 2) know I don't have to do it later.

Today on the schedule - 35 minutes easy. I ran 35 minutes on the treadmill, watching the news and flipping through stations. There's not much on TV at that hour...Saved by the Bell, Angel, The Wiggles, Joyce Meyers and plenty of infomercials. I thought I was using my "faster" easy pace, but it took me the entire 35 minutes and some change to finish 3 miles! What's up with that?

Tonight, I have to meet up with my group from my OB class to work on our presentation. I hate days like today, because the kiddo was still asleep when I left for work and she will be ready to go to sleep when I pick her up from my parent's house tonight. But, only 33 days until the semester is over...hallelujah!!!

I am still trying to decide what to do about my run this weekend. I have a long awaited "Girl's Night Out" on Friday, so running on Saturday morning isn't likely. Plus the hubby has a fishing tournament, so I would have to spend the night at my parents if I want to run Saturday. I've considered running the 25K - just because I can. :-) But, if we start at 7am, chances are I won't be done until 10am. That's a bit later than I want to finish and interferes with my plans to take the kiddo to the zoo later. So, that leaves another boring long run alone on Sunday...grrrr!

Running Stats
Conditions - treadmill
Total distance - 3 miles
Total running time -35:20
Pace - 11:46

Monday, November 13, 2006

Route from Sunday...

Was a bit shy of 8 miles...bummer! Here's the stats...

Running Stats
Conditions - sunny & 46
Total Distance - 7.8
Total Run Time - 1:28
Pace - 11:16

So I pretty much maintained the pace I wanted. I wish I had known I was short of the 9 miles, I would have kept going. Thanks to bunnygirl who suggested using g-map before heading out. I may not memorize the location of each mile, I will be able to 1) make sure I know the distance of my run beforehand and 2) remember the 1/2 way point if it's not an out & back route to know if I have a negative split.

Hooray for cold!

As I was driving to school yesterday, I noticed the wind and for once, was happy that I was not running with Houston Fit that morning. It was pretty chilly and that wind would make running a bit tough. It warmed up nicely, which made it really difficult to be stuck in a classroom all day. Oh, and that accounting test...I did as poorly as I thought. Getting an A in the class is going to mean some hard core studying for the next 4+ weeks!

Sunday, I made my way to Memorial Park to begin the scheduled 9-miler. I made it there a bit after 6:30am, stretched and was off. Rather than doing 3 loops, I finally decided to leave the park. I decided to run on the loop path to Memorial Dr, head to the "Rose Garden" and back, then complete the remainder of the loop. My math was off - I thought loop=3 miles, rose garden & back = 6 miles. But I finished my run in 1:28 and some change, so there is NO WAY that my route could have been 9 miles. I was going for an 11:15 could have been more like 8 miles, but definitely not 9! So, I need to map it on gmap to be more exact.'s times like these when I wish I had a Garmin. I pride myself on being a low-maintenance, low-budget, low-tech runner...however, I am beginning to re-think getting a Garmin more and more these days. Maybe I'll ask Santa for one this year...although, I have been eyeing a Chicago Marathon memento from Tiffany's. :-)

So, the run was great. The temps were in the high 40's - again, perfect running temps in my books. I made it all the way to Troon when I finally got rid of the long-sleeve shirt and ran the rest of the way in short sleeves. That was also when I realized that I still had the small Texas flag on the back of my shirt. I had put it there for the Chicago Marathon and had forgotten about it! I said good morning to any runners that I encountered along the way and made my way to the rose garden and back. As I was approaching the Shell station on Memorial, I was passed by a man who looked to be at least twice my age. Not just passed....he smoked me! Gotta love that!

The best part of my run happened when I got back to the Memorial loop...I finally met Vic! I was running my last mile, starting to feel a bit tired and I see a man running toward me. He's saying hi to some folks running past him. I knew just by this man's warmth and friendliness that it had to be Vic! It's funny how even though you've never met someone, you can feel like you actually know them. Vic has got to be one of the most inspirational runners I know and I read his blog religiously. Just as I expected, he was warm & friendly and was looking great out there. Vic - it was terrific to finally meet you!!!

So, I finished my final mile and stretched at the park. I felt great...I am loving these shorter LRs. I headed home as I had a busy day in store! The kiddo and I had play group, then I headed out to see Marie Antoinette with my friend Roberta followed by the Houston Fit Fall Marathon group post-race party and finally, the kiddo had a birthday party to attend! (yes, even at 2, she has "friends" and parties!)

I loved Marie Antoinette! Probably not historically accurate, but the scenery & costumes where phenomenal! There were scenes that moved slowly, but then I realized that as royalty in that time, you were really not allowed to do must have moved very slowly! The Houston Fit party was great. It was awesome to see the different medals and hear all about the various fall marathons. Chicago, NYC, Marine Corp, St. George and Steamtown were all represented. We met at Berryhill in the Heights, which had great Margarita's. Of course, I only had one, as I didn't think it would be very nice to show up at a 2-year old's birthday party tipsy! The kiddo played and played at the party, so she was pretty pooped by the time we arrived home. What a day! Fun, fun, fun!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You Vets....

Thank you for defending our country and our freedom!

And a special thanks to my favorite veteran of Dad! Love ya Papa!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday....

Today, 11/10/2006, celebrates the 231st anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps.

Happy birthday and thanks for all you do for us!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Angry running

It's amazing what a little spousal spat can do for your running! Houston Fit 1/2 Marathon training schedule says a 25 minute tempo, 25 minutes it is!

Running Stats
Conditions - Treadmill while watching Grey's Anatomy
Total distance - 2:25 miles
Total run time - 25 minutes
Pace - 11:06 (much faster than the past few weeks!)

25 minutes? Wow, this 1/2 marathon training is pretty nice. This weekend I have to do 9 miles. I have school on Saturday, which leaves me with 3 loops around the park on Sunday...that is, unless I get adventurous enough to venture out of the park. We'll see!

Got weekend plans?

Need something to do on Sunday? The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance offers monthly tours of an architecturally and/or historically significant area of Houston. This month's tour is the northeast edge of the museum district known as "The Binz".

I've attended GHPA walking tours of The Houston Heights and the Chase building (formerly the Gulf building) and have really enjoyed both! The tours are a great way to learn about the history of the city and meet new people.

For more information about the tour, visit the GHPA website here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A bit of running trivia

Recognize this man?

Yes, that's right, Mr. Ron Burgundy himself, Will Ferrell. I can't wait to see his new movie, Stranger than Fiction, which is opening this weekend.

I've enjoyed most of his movies and loved him as Trojan Cheerleader, Craig Buchanan, on Saturday Night Live. What I didn't know about him is that he's marathon runner as well! He ran NYC in 2001 (5:04:50) and Boston in 2003 (4:02:29). Gee, no wonder I like him!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Woe is me...

It's lunch time and I am at work eating lunch at my desk...again. Sometimes I hate being in HR and I really hate being one of only two people in HR. Sigh...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Dreadmill Run

Another Monday workout..after fighting the rainy rush-hour traffic, I needed it! The Houston Fit 1/2 Marathon training schedule called for 20 easy minutes. I did 20 minutes and for the most part it was easy. I decided to add a little resistance to the run by increasing the incline on the treadmill. So, after a 1/4 mile warm-up, I increased the incline on my treadmill to 1.5. After 5 minutes, I increased the incline to 2.0, then after 10 minutes, I increased the incline to 2.5. I ran the remainder of the 20 minutes at that incline. I think I might start increasing the incline on my treadmill during at least one run per week from now made the run a bit more interesting. Oh, and I watched "Heroes" as I ran...more distractions to help make it through the treadmill boredom. Now, I'm off to hit the books!

Running Stats
Conditions - treadmill
Total Run Time - 20 minutes
Total Distance - 2.75 miles
Pace - 11:42 (slower than normal, but I think it's due to the incline)

'Till next time!

He did it!

Lance's NYC run may have been inspiring, but I think even larger congrats should go to Dean Karnazes. Why does his name sound familiar? He's the man who just completed the Endurance 50 - that is, he ran 50 marathons in 50 days! I haven't decided if that's amazing or just plain crazy, but it's impressive all the same. He finished the NYC Marathon yesterday in 3:00:30...okay, that's amazing! Read his blog here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

“the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done”

Lance Armstrong finishes the NYC Marathon in 2:59:36.

ING NYC today!

Just wanted to send a big good luck to all the Houston Fit-ers, Houstonians and fellow bloggers running in the NYC Marathon today! Even after Chi-town NYC is my favorite marathon. Jules, Alisa and the crew...go kick some asphalt!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A perfect day!

Today was pretty much a perfect day from start to finish. Okay, maybe I would have slept a bit later. :-)

Alarm clock - 4:20 am! The weather was a perfect 50 degrees...I'd have to say that 50 is my favorite running temp. Cool enough to not get overheated and sweaty, but warm enough to still wear short sleeves. I made it to the park and found the 1/2 marathon training group and the 5/1s. I met one of the faster reds from the fall group who also ran Chicago. We swapped marathon war stories before the announcements began. As we were leaving the park, it seemed that the 5/1 group was running a tad bit slower than I was used to...I know, I know..sounds impossible right? :-) Fortunately, I quickly met another 5/1 runner who ran at my pace. Then, about 2 miles into the route, we met another 5/1 runner who was running at the same pace. So, the 3 of us stuck together the remainder of the route. The pace is a bit slower than I'm hoping for in the 1/2 in January, but much better than my pace in the warmer temps!

We ran a variation of the Rose Garden route with the option to run either 9 or 10 miles. To run 10 miles, we would pass Shepherd at Allen Parkway and continue to Waugh for the return trip. To run 9, we would turn left on Shepherd and go back to the park. I was feeling strong the entire run, but really, really needed a port-a-potty due to the water I drank on the way to the park. (Sorry, TMI!) So, I was a wuss and only ran 9. But, it felt great to be back at the park, running with a group in wonderful weather!

The highlight of the run was meeting a fellow HRB and fellow Chicago Marathon finisher! As we were running back to the park on Memorial Dr. somewhere near Starbucks, I ran into Jill! She spotted me 1st, which was a good thing because by that point I wasn't paying attention to much of anything. Jill, it was great to finally meet you!!!

When we returned, we picked up our official 2006-07 Houston Fit shirts. I love it! The red ones from last year were terrific, but could be hot in the sun. Here's the shirt:

Then, the kiddo and I went to visit my absolute, favorite aunt in Kemah. We took her to lunch on the boardwalk, watched the sailboats go by and waved at the train. My aunt was recently diagnosed with a rare form of an incurable blood cancer called "Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia", or WM, so spending extra time with her has been important to me. The weather was perfect for the outing and we had a great time! Here are a few pics from the day:

Running Stats
Conditions - 50 and perfect!
Total Distance - 9 miles
Total Running Time - 1:43:30
Pace - 11:30

Have an awesome weekend!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006


So Chicago is over. It's a little bittersweet. No question about what was next, because I already knew that I would be running the Aramco Houston 1/2...anything to keep me running. I think I have come to accept that I will be running the 1/2 and I think I am going to be okay with it! Thanks to the comments from yesterday, I've begun to think about the 1/2 in a new light. Barbara said, "Half the work, twice the fun" and she's so right! Bunnygirl said "long enough to be a challenge and entitle you to good eats afterward, but not so long that you're wiped for the rest of the week". So, thanks to those two comments and the all others, I've decided to accept the challege of the 1/2! (Sorry June, I am going to try not to give in and switch!) I would love to think I'm some "Wonder Woman" and people would look at me and say, "Wow! Look at how easily she juggles marathon training, school, work, plus being a wife and mom!". Unfortunately, it's not that easy (especially with a hubby with an opposite schedule). Time spent in one area takes time away from another. My family, work and school, definitely need to come before running, so training for a 1/2 will help me balance all these things a little better. So, my goal is to see how fast I can run the 1/2. My only other 1/2 was in 2002 and at the time, was the farthest distance I had ever run. I don't remember my time, but I will look it up in my scrapbook and see if I can shave off a significant number of minutes!

So, just a quick catch up for the past week....I ran for the 1st time since Chicago on Monday. It was a grueling experience because 1) it was on the dreadmill and 2) I felt all stiff after not running for an entire week. I think it only took me 10 minutes to start whining. Tuesday, I took the kiddo trick or treating with her cousin and she had blast! She did not want to wear her costume, but her teacher finally managed to talk her into it. However, she did refuse to wear her crown, tights or "princess shoes". She also insisted on having a t-shirt underneath. Wednesday, intended to run, but life happened. Thursday, I ran 3 miles, this time outdoors. Things went much better, which I am sure is because of the awesome fall weather we're having!

Here a few pics of the kiddo learning all about Halloween from her idol & cousin:

Notice how blogger has decided to post my pics? Why wouldn't it do that a few days ago?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I did it...


I registered for the Aramco Half Marathon a few minutes ago. I have mixed feelings about registering for the 1/2...part of me feels like since I just ran Chicago that I could probably run the full here even if I can't dedicate as much time to training as I'd like. Of course, the lack of appropriate training would make it a difficult run and probably not a great finish time (then, I'd beat myself up!). Plus, I know that I really need to dedicate all my free time to school (especially after that Accounting test on Sat kicked my butt!). With school, the pressure to attempt to adhere to a training schedule is not really something I need to deal with right now. But, it seems like such a waste to train so hard and only run one marathon. Then again, I really don't feel like doing more 15, 18 & 21-mile training runs!!! Ugh, why is so hard to register for a 1/2 after running a full? It's not as if running a 1/2 wasn't a challenge in itself! Any I the only one who struggles with this? Is this marathoner snobbery? Why do I make this so difficult?

Chicago Slideshow

For anyone interested in seeing all the pictures from Chicago (rather than clicking on the links), the slideshow is here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chicago Marathon - Part III - After the Race

Not wanting to be miss out on some time to see the wonderful city of Chicago, I made plans to shower and relax for a bit after the marathon before heading out to see the sights. The hubby was very pleased with himself for figuring out how to navigate the El. He offered to grab me a cab to get back, but I thought taking the train would be more fun...and it would force me to walk, which in turn, would prevent some of the post marathon stiffness. He also offered to get me some ice for an icebath, but I decided that I had enough cold for one day. After relaxing and getting dressed again (and taking a Tylenol 8 hour), I called my parents to see if they wanted to go for a celebratory meal. No luck, they had just eaten, but we agreed to do dinner instead. So, the hubby, kiddo and I walked to the deli on the next street and had a slice of pizza. Afterwards, we met up with the parental units and headed to Sears Tower. Everyone loved the views, but the kiddo was bored before the pre-elevator movie was over. It had been a long day for her with no naptime. So, afterwards, we decided to skip the dinner and the hubby grabbed hot dogs from Portillo's instead. Yum!

Here are some pics from the Sears Tower (pic 1, pic2, pic 3, pic 4) and Portillo's (pic1, pic2) of the fattening, but yummy hot dogs. Hey, after a marathon, who cares? I wasn't bummed about not doing dinner, but was a bit bummed that the evening didn't include any tasty adult beverages...oh well, we'd have time for that later!

I rolled out of bed at 5:45 am...yes, life with a toddler! I was feeling stiff, but overall, not too terrible. I think walking up and down all those stairs at the El platforms helped! I took a Tylenol 8 hour, just in case. The hubby was still asleep, so the kiddo and I walked across the street to McD's for breakfast. Next, we met the parental units for an Architectural Boat Cruise on the Chicago River that was awesome. Um, it would have been more awesome if it we 20 degrees warmer with no wind. It was so cold!!! Lucky for us, they had coffee and hot chocolate on board.

Here are some pics from the cruise - pic1, pic2, pic3, pic4, pic5, pic6

Next, we headed to Navy Pier. We looked around and had lunch at The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company..we had vowed to not eat at any chains, but it was the 1st thing we came to and we were hungry. After chowing down (and I finally had my tasty adult beverage!) we headed to Wrigley Field so the hubby could see it up close. I promised to bring him back in the Spring/Summer so he could actually go inside. :-) We also ran into the man and his wife that I had met in Pam's hotel before the marathon. He swapped marathon stories from the day before...we both finished and had a pretty good race. Next stop - "Big John" or the John Hancock Building. I personally think the view from Big John is much better than the Sears Tower, but decided to keep my opinions to myself and let my parents & hubby decide for themselves. Later, we headed back to the hotel. We had eaten such a big, late lunch that we decided to get a light dinner and a couple of drinks at the hotel restaurant. Mmmm, Pino Grigio for me and a Goose Island for the hubby. In fact, even the parents had a Goose Island. The kiddo stuck to mac & cheese with apple juice.

Here are the pics - Navy Pier - pic 1, Wrigley Field - pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 4 & Big John - pic 1, pic 2, pic 3, pic 4, pic 5.

We decided to be typical tourists and take the double-decker bus tour. The 1st bus that came around only had the upper deck...we tried to sit there, but after 20 minutes, we were frozen. We switched to Trolley at the next stop, which didn't allow for the greatest photo opps, but it was much toastier. Our tour guides were fabulous! After about 2 hours of seeing the city, we decided to have some famous Chicago deep dish pizza at Gino's East (pic). (Thanks to Marcy for recommending it!) Next, we headed to Millennium Park for a close up view of the amphitheatre and the big silver bean. Finally, a trip to Chicago would not be complete without some shopping on Michigan Ave....aka "The Magnificient Mile". We also had to stop at the American Girl store, for the kiddo of course! By the time we made it there, she was fast asleep! Later that night, my parents offered to watch the kiddo so the hubby & I could go out. We were still stuffed from dinner, so we decided on drinks at the Signature Lounge (pic) which is on the 65th floor of "Big John". It's quite a swanky, romantic place with awesome night views of the city. I had a delicious very dirty, vodka martini and the hubby had another Goose Island. Once upon a time, I was a martini girl...but, I've been on a margarita kick for awhile. The martini was awesome...I think I'll be switching back! It was a great way to end our trip.

Here are some pics from the bus tour...pic1, pic2, pic3, pic4, pic5, pic 6, pic 7, pic8
Here are some from Millennium Park...pic1, pic2, pic3, pic4, pic5, pic6, pic7

Time to head back home. Here's a pic of the kiddo at the airport.

Back to work. Look what I came back to co-workers rock!