Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I met my old college roomate for dinner last night. Since we were meeting across town, I knew I wouldn't have time to run. So instead, I am posting some random crap...

Garmin woes...
As you know, I was having issues with my Garmin back in September - it would turn off mid-run with no warning. Sometimes it would happen after only a minute or two, sometimes after 10 minutes, sometimes after 2 hours. Well, I did send the watch back to Garmin and they quickly replaced my watch with a "newly overhauled" unit.

Woohoo! (or so I thought) The new unit started having the same exact problem. Sooo, I called Garmin's help desk again and this time they thought we should try a new power cord. Fine. That still didn't fix the problem. In fact, I couldn't even get my Garmin to power on after that. So, I once again called the Garmin people and this time they thought I should get a BRAND NEW Garmin with a new cradle and even a new heart rate monitor band thingy. SCORE!

Or not. I called several days later to confirm that they had received the Garmin I mailed back to them and when I did, they could not find me in their system. In fact, the "RMA #" I was given was linked to someone else in another state. So, my Garmin was floating around there somewhere and I had apparently never called there. After some research, they did find a record of my 1st two issues, but they never found any record of that last phone call. Oh, and they eventually did locate my Garmin. But, when I received that lovely package from UPS yesterday I had a little was another "newly overhauled" Garmin. That's it. No cradle. Lovely.

I called again today. I am returning "newly overhauled" and should be getting "BRAND NEW" next week. I better...Houston is less than 3 weeks away. I NEED my Garmin dammit!

Weight Loss...
I decided a little over 5 weeks ago that I wanted to get down to a certain weight by race day. It's all part of this crazy plan I have to become a lean, mean swimming, biking, running machine.

Anyway, this became my "8 pounds in 8 weeks" challenge. As of last Wednesday, I was right on track - 5 lbs in 5 weeks! How was I doing this? Back to my previous eating plan - high protein, low sugar, eat my fruits/veggies and lots of water....and no alcohol or sweets until after the 1/2. The only exception to that last part would be Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day. Last year, I did great at keeping the junk food to a minimum over the holidays, so I knew I could do it. And I did okay...not as great as last year, but not terrible. I am right back at it now that my 2 splurge days are over and hoping that the scale will continue to move downward!

NYC 2010...
I decided to do something crazy...I threw my name in the lotto for the 2010 NYC Marathon. I ran this marathon in 2003. It was year that P. Diddy also ran and as much as I hate to admit it, it was my slowest marathon ever. Embarrassingly slow. However, it was the most fun I had during a marathon and I was able to run most of it with one of my best friends (who just happened to be nursing an injury - hence the slowness). I decided back then that I would DEFINITELY do NYC again to celebrate turning the big 4-0. Back then, 40 seemed so far away! But time flies, because next year I am going to be 38 and 40 is just around the corner. Honestly, I don't really intend to run NYC in 2010...I just thought that if I didn't get in, I could keep trying (if you don't get in 3 years in a row, you are automatically in on the 4th year). If I do get in, I will defer until next year. Either way, I will be running NYC sometime near my 40th birthday. Yay me!

Well, that's enough randomness for now. Have a great New Year's Eve and Day if I don't post again before then!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Needed: Direction and Purpose (a/k/a A PLAN)

It's that time of year - time for a shift in focus. I went straight from training for the 2009 Houston 1/2 and Zooma Austin to training for sprint distance triathlons to training for the 2010 Houston 1/2. (I swore I'd take a week long break in between each, but never did...I don't do well with breaks.) Now that Houston is almost here, it's time to shift the focus to triathlons again.

The problem?

Last year, I was just about covering the distance. I swam, I rode, I ran...but, I didn't really come up with a PLAN. I am a complete and total Type A personality, so how I just jumped in and "winged it" this year is beyond me. All I know is that I want to be stronger, faster and better in the upcoming season and for that, I need a PLAN. Guess I will start by checking out what has to offer and go from there. I know I really, really need to focus on my swimming again this year. I definitely improved last year, but I still pretty much, I imagine I will be spending lots of quality time in the pool. I'd love to join a training group, but with DH's work schedule and hobbies, it can be hard to work out with a group. But a group might help me get to that "next level". Plus, I have this thing about minimizing time away from the family....I did a lot of workouts during lunch or after the kids were in bed. Sucks, but it's worth it to have more family time (and to avoid the dreaded "mommy guilt").

That being said, does anyone know a woman who works full-time outside the home, has young children at home, and a hubby who doesn't do triathlons and has successfully trained for triathlons...maybe even a 70.3 or (gasp) an IM? If you do know this person, I'd love to meet her. I would love to pick her brain for tips on how she juggles it all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

On the dreadmill....again.....

Nothing too terribly exciting to report today - 35 minutes on the dreadmill at 9:15 pm @ 10:35 pace.

First, I hung out with the kiddos watching The Wizard of Oz...they are both mesmerized by that movie. Then, I nearly fell asleep while getting the Munchkin to sleep...something about sitting in a glider with a warm baby nestled in your chest in a dark room.... :-) Finally, I got the Kiddo into bed and after a little web surfing, I hopped on the treadmill.

I started out super slow (around a 11 minute pace)...legs felt heavy and I needed to get the cobwebs out. Why is the 1st half-mile to mile always the hardest?

And now a question for the ladies...

I am in dire need of new sports bras. Any suggestions? I bought a couple of Moving Comfort bras last year after I had the Munchkin, but I can't seem to find the same style in my size now. Mine are all worn out and beginning to cause chafing in areas that didn't chafe before. You know the feeling...the one that doesn't hurt at all, that is until you get in the shower. Ouch!

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

We had a great time on Christmas Eve seeing Riley perform with the children's choir at church and then celebrating with my in-laws. Seriously, we had soooo many new toys from my sister-in-law and her family, not to mention from my mother and father in-law, that I was concerned. Concerned about where in the hell we were going to put everything! Santa still had to come and we still had to celebrate with my parents! My dining room looked like a fully stocked Toys R Us. No joke! As usual, my parents overloaded the kids with toys on Christmas Day (as did Santa), we have some serious purging of the old and organizing of the new to do!!! I'm a total type A, so seeing all the clutter and mess in the playroom is driving me crazy already. :-)

Two runs to report...

Thursday, 12/24 - 70 minutes 40+ minutes
Yeah, I was a bit of a slacker on Christmas Eve...I was scheduled to run 70 minutes, but seriously, the kiddos and hubby were at home, my in-laws we visiting and I had a gazillion things to do. I had pretty much talked myself out of running the full 70 minutes before I even started my run. Then, as I started, it felt like one of those heavy legs, no gusto kinda running days. One of those days where I don't like running very much. That sealed the deal. I ran 2 of the 2-mile loops around the 'hood and called it a day. It was chilly (around 50), but not cold. But there was a lady out running geared up in long tights, a jacket, a cap and gloves. And there I was in a running skirt and short sleeves (and sweating). I thought she was crazy, and I'm sure she thought the same of me. I'm not even sure of my pace or time, because somewhere along the way I must have accidentally bumped the button on my watch and turned off the stopwatch. Doh!

Saturday, 12/26 - 12 miles
Saturday I was lucky enough to have running peep, Katie, as a running partner. Katie and I trained for the 1/2 with Woodlands Fit last year and this year, Katie is doing the whole enchilada (the Houston Marathon). I was in luck, because her taper started this weekend with 12 miles and I wanted to get in one last 12-miler before starting my taper.

We had an out and back though The Woodlands, starting at the Y. There were a few inclines sprinkled in, but nothing too terrible. It was pretty chilly when we started (34 degrees), so I layered with a cap, short sleeved technical tee, long sleeved shirt, NYC Marathon jacket (it's light) and full tights. Around mile 2, I decided to get rid of the head was too warm. Somewhere before the turnaround, I shed the jacket too and tied it around my waist. I really need to learn how to dress properly in this weather. I used to have no problem, but for some reason since having kids, I tend to get much warmer during my runs.

As we were finishing our run, I realized that I felt really strong. As in, "wow, I feel like I could run a few more miles with no problem" strong. Then, Katie told me our pace - 11:30. Hmmm, that might be why I felt like I could keep running. It was about 45 seconds slower per mile than my most recent long run pace. I guess that's not a bad thing, but I am seriously questioning my ability to run the 1/2 at a 10:30 pace. Maybe running the Ten for Texas at a 10:30 pace was just a fluke? I hope not. Of course, I also realize that I will need nice cool temps, the wind at my back and the planets to be aligned on race day too. :-) Certainly couldn't hurt!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis the Season!

Oh my gosh, I am soooo frickin' tired!

No run last night...we had to clean house and then "gift wrapping extravaganza 2009" began. We finished up around 12:30 am. I took a vacation day from work, just so I could get a few errands done and maybe even unwind with a movie (gasp!). I got the kiddies off to school, came home and did the previous night's run. The schedule called for 50 minutes, but I was short on time and decided to just run my neighborhood 4-mile route. The schedule called for an "EASY" figured with a holiday week that EASY just made more sense. I headed out of my section of the 'hood a little too quickly, but it felt good. I looked at my watch around the .25 mark and found that I was at a 10 minute pace. That's pretty fast for me...definitely not an EASY pace for me. But again, it felt good. So I just ran my route and ran what felt good. When I was just .25 away from the finish, I picked up the pace. When I stopped my watch, I was surprised to see 40:18. Ummm, so much for easy...that was a 10:04 pace.

I have 6 miles on tap for tomorrow and I know I will keep it at an EASY PEASY pace. Besides, the left quad is still need to make it angry only a little over 3 weeks from the 1/2!

I did run my errands and I went to the kid's school holiday party and I actually did see a movie. I went to see Blindside and lemme just say...


The movie itself is very good. Both Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw did an excellent job, not to mention the kid who plays the main character, Quinton Aaron. The story of Michael Oher is just awesome and inspiring. Definitely a great movie to see just 3 weeks away from a big race!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Another Weekend Recap

Friday, 12/18 - Too busy to run day!

Friday was a crazy, crazy day! We started with the kid's Christmas pictures...trying to get your 5 year old and 1 year old to smile and look at the camera at the same time, with natural smiles, is IMPOSSIBLE!!! Here's what we ended up with:

Next, we headed to the ENT. The Munchkin has been having reoccurring ear infections since May. In fact, we've been to the doctor 17 times since that time...yeah, add up those co-pays!We've decided to move forward with tubes, so that will be happening in the next week or two.

Finally, we ended Friday with a "Girls Night Out". A friend and I took our 5-year old daughters to see "Princess and The Frog", then we headed to dinner and ended the night with a carriage ride (very princess-ish). The movie was great and the girls had a blast!

Saturday, 12/19 - 11-miler

I met running peep, Karen, in The Woodlands for a run. The weather was chilly (39), but finally seeing the gorgeous blue skies after a week of dreary weather was awesome! Karen originally planned a 9.6 mile route that included some "hills", but while standing in the cold on Friday night, I started to have some strange muscle pain in my left quad. I remember feeling a strange pull there the day before when I was getting the kids out of the car, but dismissed it. I requested a non-hilly route and Karen was nice enough to oblige. We did 11-miles at a 10:47 pace. Not too shabby! A huge thanks to Karen for being a great running made the miles pass super fast! I had 2 small oranges pre-run, plus a pack of Gu Chomps during my run. I also drank 12 oz of Gatorade and 4 ounces of water.

After the run, I headed home where I made the family some breakfast and then headed to the grocery store. Later that night, the hubby and I headed to a Christmas party. I am sooo proud of myself for not over indulging. I didn't snack before the meal at all and I had a 1/2 glass of wine with dinner. Plus, I only had a little taste of a dessert...normally, I'd have a larger helping or two.

Sunday, 12/20 - rest day

Jeeze, only 5 days til Christmas!!! The family headed to church on Sunday...we're getting better at attending regularly (finally). Afterwards, we decided to take the kids for their annual visit with Santa. We grabbed a Starbucks and headed over to a local shopping center where Santa would arrive in about 40 minutes. Fortunately, the weather was perfect and we enjoyed just hanging out in the sunshine while we waited. When we finally got to see Santa, the Kiddo gave a great smile just as instructed...the Munchkin, on the other hand, had a total and complete meltdown, lol. I pretty much expected that, since he's a total Momma's boy. Poor Santa. Later on Sunday, after washing mountains of laundry and watching Toy Story 1 & 2 with the Kiddo, the hubby and I had one more holiday party to attend. It was much more difficult to eat healthy at this party - hot wings were the main entree! Ugh, but I think I did pretty darn good with my meal. I guess I'll see when I weigh in on Wednesday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I like EASY

At least last night I did!

Last night's run - 60 minutes EASY pace. I've never been so happy to see the words EASY on the schedule. Earlier in the day at work, I had been stressed and ready to pound out some miles on the treadmill. Ready to see what kind of pace I could muster. But almost 5 hours later, when I finally got on the dreadmill, I wasn't feeling like I could push it.

60 minutes, 5.63 miles, 10:39 pace.

That was the best I could do and I'm cool with that. I started slow, pushed a little in the middle and slowed it down again.

Tomorrow's going to be a busy, busy day with the kiddos!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Latest workout and some random crap

Monday, 12/14
Monday, the legs were feeling pretty darn good considering I ran 12 miles the day before. At first I was going to do my P90X "Core Synergistics" dvd, but later decided to run a couple of miles on the ol' dreadmill and then do the P90X "Ab Ripper X" dvd instead. As usual, life happens - while putting the Kiddo to bed (at 8 pm), I realized that I had to bake cookies for the Kiddo's dance class holiday party the next day. Oh snap! Fortunately for me, I bought some cookie dough from one of the neighborhood kids and completely forgot about it. I used that and then worked on "Ab Ripper X" while the cookies were baking. Instead of running, I worked on my syllabus for the class I'm teaching in the Fall.....

*Warning - Off topic subject ahead*
Oh wait! I forgot to tell you! I am teaching a Human Resources class one night each week at a local community college! Yes, me....a "professor"! LOL! Scary, huh?

Now that I am actually working on my syllabus and course work, I am beginning to question my sanity. First, this class is not close to my home or work, so that one night per week will make for a very long day. Second, I still want to sign up for a ton of sprint distance triathlons and maybe an Oly...I'm not sure how much time per week this class will take, so I'm a bit nervous about that! Third, I am teaching students. Real people. People who may actually want to learn something. No pressure, lol! Anyway, this is something I've always wanted to try and this is my chance...maybe I will like it and totally rock, or maybe I will suck. We'll see.

Tuesday, 12/15
Back to the workouts - Tuesday, my schedule called for 45 minutes on the treadmill. Per coach, we were to run at a moderate pace, increase pace slightly at 20 minutes and then try to finish with a hard effort for the last 5 minutes. I did it - final pace was 10:38 for 4.23 miles.

Wednesday, 12/16
Rest day. I felt like running, but had to finish up my syllabus. I think I have that all done, but I'm trying to figure out if I want to have a large project to be done over the course of the semester, or a few smaller projects scattered throughout the semester. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What we've been up to...

Seriously, you wanna know why I haven't been blogging so much lately? This is just a sample of what we've been doing over the past month....

The Kiddo went to see her 1st musical - Mary Poppins

The kiddo's musical theater class performed "The Wizard of Oz". As you can see, the kiddo is a Munchkin, lol!

The Kiddo had her 5th birthday party...yes, it looks like someone threw up Barbie at our house now!

The kiddo worked on her 1st Advent project at church.

Of course we made time to have some outdoor fun!

Thanksgiving morning - watching the parade from our hotel window in downtown Houston (our Thanksgiving tradition)

Spending Thanksgiving afternoon at our cousin's house.

The day after Thanksgiving - we went to breakfast with our cousins from Florida!

Waiting patiently for muffins to bake!

And then there was the Kiddo's holiday dance recital...I haven't even had time to download those pictures!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm baaaaacccckkkk!

I've been a bad blogger. Holidays have hit and I've been a busy girl. But, I've been a good girl and I've been running!

The day after my missing mojo post, I decided to hop on the treadmill and just run my little heart out for a couple of miles. Guess I was just trying chase down that missing mojo...the 1st mile was run just under 10:30. The 2nd mile was a 9:48 pace. I found the mojo.

The day after that (Friday) it SNOWED! Yes, SNOW in HOUSTON! It was an awesome sight, even if it never really stuck to the ground in our neck of the stuck everywhere else around here, but oh well! Sorry, but we almost never get SNOW in Houston...especially 2 YEARS IN A ROW; therefore I must type SNOW in caps, bolded and red. :o)

Here's the kiddo swinging in the snow, I mean SNOW!

Here's the munchkin wondering around the backyard...he's not sure what all the fuss is about, but just happy to be outside playing. Don't mind the dead grass, lol!

Meet "Slushman"...the SNOW started to stick around 3 pm, only to stop completely about 30 minutes later. Mr. Slushman stuck around until the next morning. We will miss him!

Saturday following what I will now refer to as "SNOW Friday", I had the most amazing 10-miler. Friday night I actually toyed with the idea of postponing the 10-miler until Sunday...after all, it was predicted to be around 29 degrees! I set my alarm clock - you know, just in case. Sure enough, I woke up and looked out my window to see an amazing sight of frost everywhere. It was gorgeous and I knew I would be running after all. You northerners would have laughed at me, because I looked as if I was going to be running in a blizzard! I had on my running tights, my red Ten for Texas cap, a short sleeve technical shirt, a long sleeve technical shirt, my Chicago Marathon jacket (that is made for 0 degree, windy, rainy weather!) and my gloves. Thank God no one else was dumb enough to get out that early on such a cold morning, because I looked just plain stupid! I had the jacket off before I even finished my first mile!

The entire neighborhood was covered in was just awesome! The miles just ticked by. Before I knew it, I was back at my section of the ' 1:39. Yeah, I knew my mileage had to be off, but I didn't know because my Garmin is still not working. So, I did one more 2-mile loop around the hood. I drove the route later to find that I had run around 9.25 miles and with the additional 2 miles, it was a total of 11.25 miles at ~10:42 pace. Cool beans! And, I have to say that this run was one of my favorite ever. Running in the cool air during the quiet of the morning gave me a deep sense of contentment. Not because I was feeling strong, but because I was running...something I may complain about, but something I absolutely love to do.

The next week I ran on the dreadmill as usual. Friday I had a zillion things to do, so my long run was scheduled for Saturday. Plus, I had the opportunity to run with my running peeps! But, the weather was predicted to be totally craptastic on Saturday and the run was postponed until Sunday. Unfortunately, the weather was still incredibly crummy on Sunday too, but it didn't matter because my running peep, Kelly, was still planning to run! This was an amazing run. I guess it was all the chatting we did, because the miles went by so quickly! Before I knew it, it was time to turn around and head back towards our cars. Not only that, but we managed to run just under 12 miles, maintain a great pace and have a negative split! As for fuel, I think I could have had more Gatorade - I had 12 oz of Gatorade (some of which was consumed after my run) and 4 oz of water. I also had an orange (small Clementine) and 4 Honey Bee Stinger gels before my run, 4 more Stingers between mile 4 & 5, then the last 3 stingers around miles from the finish. I really should have been paying better attention to what I consume during my long runs, so I am starting now.

Sooo, life is good. I hope to be a better blogger between now and the 1/2 marathon in January. There are so many awesome options to come after that and I have some decisions to make - TIR? Zooma? Gateway to the Bay? Lucky Trails? MS150? Lonestar Sprint? CB&I?

Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Who stole my mojo?

Reward to the person who returns it!

Tuesday, 12/1/09
Holy crap, it's December already! How'd that happen? The stomach was feeling better on Tuesday, so I tried to eat my normal stuff - yogurt, banana, string cheese, strawberries, baked chicken, brown rice, green beans, almonds, oranges....and then I tried to run.


My stomach was not feeling good by mid-afternoon. During the kiddo's dance class, I felt like I had a huge rock in my gut. Yeah, I should have eaten with caution all day. Just shy of 2 miles into my treadmill run and I began to feel nauseous. Not only that, I was sweating buckets! Not that I don't usually sweat - I do, trust me. But, I usually don't sweat this much, this early in my run. I didn't want to stop altogether, so I walked. After about .25 mile, I ran again only to get nauseous and have to walk again. I stayed on the treadmill for a total of 45 minutes and more than 1/2 of that was walking. Blah! So, one hour did not quite happen.

Wednesday, 12/2/09
Determined to redeem myself, I decided early in the day that I would try for an hour on the treadmill after the kiddos were asleep. This time I decided to start out with a little walking, just to make sure I was feeling a-okay. I walked for 5 minutes, then increased my speed - still slow though. After a mile, I increased the speed more - only to about a 10:40 pace though. However, I found myself being distracted a lot and I stopped numerous times - once to turn the bathroom light on for the kiddo, once to adjust the thermostat (i.e. turn down the heat), once to let the dog back in from the frosty temps, etc. You get the idea. I was not wanting to run. I felt heavy and slow - I wanted to walk, not run. This time my stomach wasn't to blame - this was just me being a wuss. After 3 miles of the craptastic run/walk/walk some more thing I had going on, I compromised with myself. Do 5/1s for 2 more miles and you can call it a day. So that's what I did. About the same time, an Ice Cube song came on the ipod....who knew Ice Cube could really motivate my butt to move???

Not guilty, not guilty the filthy devils tried ta kill me...

Yeah, full of bad language, but it makes the booty move! So I finished my run, but I wouldn't say I even came close to redeeming myself. Blah!

I have 10 miles on the schedule for Friday, but the weather is supposed to be super nasty - 38 degrees and rainy. Kinda reminds me of a 21-miler a few years ago! In fact, the weather folks are predicting SNOW!



It normally only snows about once every 10 years here. It snowed like crazy my senior year of high school (1989) on December 20. The next time it snowed was 2004 on Christmas Eve - I'll always remember that, because the kiddo was exactly 1 month old. But then, the 10 year curse was broken, because it snowed several inches on December 10 last year! And now this! So much for global warming, lol!

Anyway, sorry for the tangent...I will be doing my long run on Saturday instead. It's supposed to be 29 degrees, but at least it will be dry. If I was running with a group, we'd be out there no matter the temp, rain or that means I will be out there no matter what!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

If it's not one thing....

It's another.

My training was going well for so long. No, it was going GREAT. Then, I get the sore throat, earache, fever thing. Next week is the holiday and well, life happens. I get in my 12 miler and the next day - a stomach bug! Doh!

This, coming from the girl who almost NEVER gets sick. Before kids I NEVER got sick...well, maybe once every 5 years I'd get a cold, but that was it. Since having kids (and before this year), I'd picked up a cold and a stomach bug from them. But this year...jeeze! Enough already! I'll admit, I was sore on Sunday from my 12-miler, but overall it wasn't too bad. But I also had this weird feeling in my stomach. Not exactly queasy, but just not quite right either. I had afternoon lunch plans with some of my girlfriends and by that time, I was feeling pretty good. I had a salad, some chicken with a pesto sauce and 2 Bellini's (dumb, especially when your stomach isn't feeling 100% right). On the way home, I had to stop at Target to pick up a few things and I noticed that my stomach was kind of growling and churning. By the time I made it home, the old tum tum was feeling icky. An hour later....well, I won't go there.

On Monday, the stomach still felt "off", but much better than Sunday night. I consumed a total of 725 calories throughout the day - trying toast, then a banana, finally a meal and later some almonds. I decided the scheduled 6-miler on the dreadmill was going to have to wait until the next day. I hadn't consumed enough calories to have a good run, plus I figured I better make sure the stomach was back to normal.

There's only 7 weeks left until the 1/2 marathon here in Houston...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there are no more weird bugs, illnesses or injuries in my future!