Sunday, December 28, 2008

Auld Lang Syne (Bring on 2009)

I think that the majority of people go into a new year with high hopes and cautious expectations. We never ever know what good times will be bestowed upon us and we certainly never know what bad times will fall our way.

At times throughout 2008 I often said "it can't get any worse", but at times it indeed did. At least 2 times I thought seriously that it really couldn't get any worse, and it also seemed that my eyes were going to fall right out of my head from the tears.

But it always got better, one way or the other. Sometimes I found solace in myself. Sometimes in a few DEAR to my heart friends, and sometimes only through prayer, forgiveness and the grace of God.

And always, ALWAYS I managed to find some good in the bad, and held onto my mantra of: everything happens for a reason. We may not always understand the why or the how, but it does indeed come to find its way to let you know.

Lets review.

Running: I have had the best year of my running 'career'. I managed to PR after PR after PR after PR in the Spring. I managed a PR at the half in Houston in January after coming off an injury that sidelined me from the full. I won the lottery and made it into NYC Marathon. I trained my heart, soul and left my guts on the roads and 'hills' of Houston in the searing heat of the summer in training for NYC. I wasn't going there for the 'experience' of it, although yes that was indeed great (although the experience wasnt the race itself but the time I got to spend with my sister and my niece). I went to NYC and RAN that marathon like I meant it.

I strategized long before I got there, but always kept my confidence at bay realizing that nothing ever goes as planned. In my case, it went better. Since NYC I haven't had much time to recover (really not at all) and I've had to make the difficult decision to run the half instead of the full in just 3 short weeks from now. There were times that I have almost (almost) thought of not doing it all. I've just had some setbacks in training, but they too, will subside (as they always do). Running in 2008 has been perfect. There really isn't much more to say than that.

I am (at the moment) in the best physical shape and health than I have ever been before. But just ain't over. This last statement should come as no surprise. I have big goals for 2009.

Family (those that I was born into): I can't say much more than this year has been phenomenal in this respect. My family has grown into something that I cherish more than ever, and I do have the regret that it took this long in my life. But I am forever grateful for my growth and maturity and that I can now say my sister is indeed my life long best friend for life. Never did I think we would get to this point, but I thank God every day for it happening.

Family (those that I choose to be): While there are fewer than ever before, the ones that I call my friends (family) now I feel like were brought to me for reasons I will not disclose here. There are um....3 from my past that I feel are still with me everyday and I respect and miss them dearly but our life paths have drifted us apart, but again they are in my heart everyday (HJ, SS and LTT), I love you more than words can say). To those new but dear, dear friends (DE, BB and AH) you have brought me tears of joy and helped me through some of my toughest times this year. I think of you as sisters and my heart jumps for joy when I think of the happiness your friendship has brought to my life.

To the one that I consider my best friend, we've certainly had our share of hardships, but you, and only you are the one that makes me happy and thankful every. single. minute. of. every. single. day. that you are a part of my life.

To those of you who are my blogger friends, and who have provided inspiration, hope, messages and emails of encouragement, I think of you as friends as much as those that I can actually see and hear.

I lost Harley this year...I still miss him so much, but I know I did the right thing and he's in kitty heaven and at least I had 17 years with him. Some ask if I want another kitty. No, I don't think so. I can't replace him, nor do I even want to try.

Career: I won't dwell on this too much, but I am indeed thankful for the uprise in my job (and financial) situation. It has made me open my eyes to new possibilities and to the realization that loving what you do every day and excited to get out of bed and go to work, CAN BE FUN and rewarding. While I have never had to worry about money or ever having to budget, bah! I am doing alright and while I don't have that 'security', did I really ever at all anyway? No. I absolutely adore my job and what I get to do and contribute every day to like minded individuals, old and new runners alike. And when you have those people constantly come back and thank you SO MUCH for your advice, whether on nutrition, clothing or training, it makes the long hours on my feet every day worth that much more.

Love: Ah yes...the love category. Its been a roller coaster, there is no denying that. I am not going to dwell on this either, as it doesn't need dwelling. As I said, everything happens for a reason...why some people come into your life, why some of them leave and never come back, why some never leave, and why some leave and do come back. I may have made some mistakes along the way this past year, I am mature enough to have learned from (some) of them... but when it comes right down to it, love conquers all. It might not always make sense, and if it did it wouldn't be near as fun I don't think.

All I know is that I feel grateful that I have the heart that I do. That God has given me the emotion(s) to feel what I feel...sometimes so much so that it overwhelms me. And right this moment...I don't think of 'what if'. I am just loving every minute of happiness, regardless of the consequences if something doesn't always go right.

So all in all, in so many categories, I have thought of the percentage of good vs bad. Some had higher percentages in the good and some had higher percentages in the not so good. What I intend to do is flip the percentages where they were higher in the bad and make them higher in the good in 2009.

I have my plan (and goals) for 2009 and I will post that later...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Uptown Turkey Trot was a huge success! I hate not running though... :o)

When I got there to check in, I was told I was going to be at mile 4 instead of mile 3. What was cool was we got to ride in one of the lead vehicles at the gun and be dropped off at our respective miles. Riding on the back of a tailgate ahead of the runners is cool.

However, 37 minutes into the 10K, my dang stopwatch, stopped. Boo!! Oh well, at least the lead runners all got their times called out. And people...its GUN time that I am calling out, not your INDIVIDUAL time ;o), so don't go postal on me...One girl actually wanted to argue with me. Sigh.

The winner was so far ahead of everyone else, it was incredible. If I remember right he passed me at mile 4 at about 20 minutes. Figeroa was his name-o...

I loved being out there because I got to see so many people I havent seen in a while, plus all the Lukes customers were shouting and waving and saying hi!

Congrats to EVERYONE that ran such a good race in not so perfect conditions this morning!! Now its off for Thanksgiving food and probably a movie or something this evening...


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Queens, Mile 14

In Queens, Mile 14; attempting to put another PG in my belt

Random photo, no idea at what point but if you notice in the background there is a Texas Flag...

Not sure where, but my niece wanted a picture of all the cups at a water stop

I have no idea where this was taken, actually I see the street sign says Vernon, so that is in Queens as well

In Starbucks

In the ice bath, omg it was COOOOOOOOOOLD!

Friday: Nacole, my sister and me waiting for the 7 train in Queens to go into Manhattan

These are just the ones she sent me, she didnt send any others. I on the other hand have a ton from just around NYC, and again...I will upload them either today or tomorrow on a public photo sharing site.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So I set my phone sisters phone nieces phone alarm...and I called for a wake up call.


I have to be at the NYC Public Library to catch my bus at 5:30am.

Day before I counted the stops from where we were to the stop at Bryant Park/5th Avenue and monitored the time. I knew exactly what time I had to be at the subway to catch the train to get where I needed to be in plenty of enough time.

And so I was.

The bus ride over to Staten Island only took about 30 minutes and it was on some NICE buses too. I sat with a guy that was staying in our hotel (lots of runners there) and we chatted all the way over. He was in a different wave than I was so I made my way to my wave area (which was situated just next to and almost under the Verranzano Bridge. This would prove to be very cool because we could hear the first 2 cannons go off and see the runners as they made their way over the bridge.

I was glad that I had layered so well cause it was colder AND WINDIER ( a head wind going over the Verranzano was something I was NOT expecting) than expected. I had on my shorts and some sweats, but on top I had my trainer top under my UA short sleeve, then my KW arm warmers, a long sleeve tech and then a sweatshirt. Plus my gloves. This was indeed good.

Waited for about 3 hours. Plenty of food and drink including hot teas and coffees, but I stayed away from all of it because I didnt want to do anything differently of course. Made a friend named Neil. He had only found out 4 weeks earlier that he had indeed gotten in (something about a friend of a friend who is part of NYRR). So his longest run was 10 miles a couple of weeks back and his plan was to run 4 miles, walk 1. I got his number but I didnt remember to text know I was kinda occupied :o) Nor do I know if he made it. I kinda think he didnt cause not only was he not trained, but he didnt even know how to put his chip on his shoe or anything; so of course I helped him and told him what I knew about any questions he had. We were in different corrals, so we parted ways.

When they called for our wave and for us to get in our corrals (6 in all, and I was in the 4th one), I started to really get in my zone. I couldn't be any more prepared as I was already. The rest was up to me and only me.

As we made our way closer, and I heard the final cannon, I started stripping off everything except for my shorts, gloves, my short sleeve UA and my Kenyan Way arm warmers. Damn it! it was freaking COLD!!! But the sun was up and high and I knew it wouldnt be long before I was just right...and then... we rounded the corner, there in front of me was the Verranzano Bridge in all its glory...I made the sign of the cross, said a prayer, re-read the words etched in my mind from some good luck cards I had received before leaving Houston, reset my Garmin and started running...

Preface to a Race

Before I get into any of the race stuff itself, I wanted to just say some things.

First off, as you know by a previous post, I had my A, B, C and D goals. What I didnt tell you was what they were.

Well you know what D was: Finish

Goal A: 4:30. This is what I have been training at, and I knew I wasn't going to get it due to the difficulty of the course and my limited hill training due to a nagging knee over the past couple of months.

Goal B: 4:40 - 4:45

Goal C: 4:50 - 4:59:59

I knew EXACTLY what average pace it would take to achieve each. And I knew EXACTLY what I couldn't go over so that I would miss my sub 5.

Now I know that several people have posted and emailed to the effect of: enjoy the race. enjoy the experience. Dont worry about time, etc. And while that was appreciated, it was not really an option. Not to say that I didnt want to do ALL of those things but ultimately I trained. I trained hard and I was NOT going to New York to just do mediocre. If something went wrong, then so be it. But there was no way in hell that I was going to just go into it without some heavy expectations of myself and that I wasnt going to do whatever I had to, to achieve it and I knew that NO MATTER WHAT, barring an injury mid-race, that I would push and push through anything that I had to to get what I wanted.

And what I felt like I rightly deserved.

Thankfully I didnt have to do any of that, and on Sunday all the planets, stars and everything else were aligned just right (and some welcomed mid-race text messages by many tracking me), with a pre-planned strategy for mile 16, and I was able to stay strong and focused...

I know not everyone has the same aspirations I do when it comes to my running and thats quite alright. Everyone is different. I have fallen in love with this sport and it means a lot to me and I like what I have accomplished.

And if you think this is the end of any goals, then you had better think again... :o)

Did Ya Miss Me?

OK, so I am finally home!

I have a ton of stuff to get to but figured I would post the "small stuff"...all the stuff other than the marathon...that will come later...

  • Arrive in NYC around 3:30pm
  • Drop off bags at hotel
  • Look at subway map to get to Expo
  • Get to Manhattan
  • Walk A LONG way to Expo
  • Get stuff
  • Walk around expo
  • Ate
  • Back to hotel
  • Wait for niece and girlfriend to arrive at 11am
  • Head to Manhattan
  • Walk around some
  • Go in bar
  • Have Blue Moon
  • Go to tour bus
  • 5 hour tour (we went anywhere and everywhere you can possibly imagine; able to get off at key spots i.e. Ground Zero, Wall Street, Strawberry Fields, Staten Island Ferry to drift by Statue of Liberty, etc)
  • Get off bus, take subway to Little Italy
  • Eat so much pasta I think I might hurl
  • Hotel
  • Wake up
  • Go eat breakfast
  • Make my roommates leave me alone in hotel room for 5 hours so I can rest and map out race day strategy for subway lines and transfers for them to get to various miles along the race to see me
  • Rent a driver to DRIVE us to Manhattan
  • Find a place to eat (light dinner for me)
  • GO SEE WICKED!!! omg! It. Was. Amazing.
  • Intermission
  • Fall down stairs
  • Yes I fell down the stairs
  • All is ok
  • Hotel and in bed by 11pm

  • We'll come back to this in other posts

  • Get up
  • Slowly
  • Take subway to Manhattan
  • Go to Marathon Store
  • Drop some coin
  • Made part of Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral
  • WALKED AROUND MANHATTAN SHOPPING (5th Ave, Diamond District, Bloomingdales, etc)
  • And no we didn't cab it or subway it till time to head back to Queens
  • Go eat at FABULOUS Thai/Indian (fusion) restaurant
  • Fall into bed

  • Home
  • Sweet
  • Home

Monday, November 3, 2008

I *heart* New York (mini-post)

For those that didn't track me (and I know a lot of you did and THANK YOU, cause I was getting your messages), heres the quick and dirty.

37 minute PR off of Houston Marathon 2007
Official time: 4:55:55

It was indeed the hardest run of my life and there was only one time where I thought I might have issues (around mile 17-18) but somehow I pulled it out and got back on focus.

I made a decision early on that I either could hurt me or help me and it turned out to be the right decision. That was at mile 16 where I was to go over the Queensboro Bridge. That bitch was scary, steep, and long. The decision was whether or not to slowly run it, or to walk it. If I ran it, I might not have what I needed to do what needed to be done afterwards. If I walked it, then I would have the energy to make up the time I lost by walking.

I walked it. It was of course my slowest mile, which the Garmin came in at 14:15 for mile 16, but I came back with a strong 17th mile, lost some time a few miles but then made that time up and was able to push in a final kick at mile 26 with a 10:40 (according to the Garmin).

This morning I am much much better than after Houston, and able to actually walk, albeit slowly.

I have a lot more to tell but for now, this will have to do.

OK, time to head back to the room for a bit before we head out for shopping on 5th Avenue.

Peace Out.

Friday, October 31, 2008

We made it here just fine.

Figured out how to get from Queens to Manhattan and onto the expo before it closed. I had forgotten my camera in the room, and the expo was quite spectacular. Was in and out of getting my bib, my chip and my goodie bag in no time flat.

Have a bit of an issue. When my brother in law dropped us off at the airport, I went around the back to get the bags and just as I was popping the lid, I heard my sister say "wait!!" Too late. One of the bags came tumbling out and the edge of it landed square on the top of my foot. I have a nasty deep bruise but its far enough up that it shouldn't be an issue. Its just really sore and this morning its a bit blue. I iced at the airport and that probably helped some.

Ran my mile this morning, and my calves are sore from all the walking up and down stairs at various subway stations thru-out Manhattan. We certainly got our walk on last night. Today shouldnt be too much walking as once my niece and Nacole get here we are taking the big 5 hour bus tour all over the city. Tomorrow it will definitely be a cab day.

The weather here is fabulous and the high on Sunday is to be 53. Should be perfect.

I am nervous as hell, but I guess that is to be expected. Saw the Queensboro Bridge. The incline is indeed mountainous...I will be walking a lot of that I am sure...

Peace Out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obsession #4 - The Course

When it comes to telling someone you are running the NYC marathon, its been my experience there are only 2 responses
  1. EXCITING!!!
  2. be tough
Mike Lucas said..."wow. I hear you're running NYC? be a challenge..." It was the look on his face and the tone of his voice...

Well I know its a combination of those two...but lets face it. Even though I have been training at a 4:30ish pace, its highly unlikely that that will actually come to fruition for me in NYC.

I acknowledge and accept this.

This however consumes my mind at all times...I have studied the elevation chart. I have read and read and read. I have talked to some that have done it. Its hard. I know this. Its 'hilly' which means to folks like me, you might as well be climbing mountains. Especially at mile 15 over the Queensboro which is #2 on the list of toughest marathon hills. And then you know...there are those last 5-6 miles that will go on forever through the hilly part of Central Park.

Theres not much I can do about it, but it still has taken over the majority of my thoughts.

I have my goals, a set of them, as its always been my way to make several so that if I miss one, then I have another one to shoot for...and another one...and another one. This way I dont feel defeated and have the attitude of "I didnt make my goal, why even go on at this point?"...Thats not the way I roll. And its not the way I am wired.

Bottom line is even if I miss all my time goals, the one goal above all is to finish. In one piece. I might be crying from pain, and I might be barely moving...anything can go wrong you know...but I will FINISH.

I have done the training, through ALL the trials and tribulations and there have been many...through a hurricane...through it mile at a time...thinking back I cant remember a time that I didnt do exactly as I was supposed to...I never let ANYTHING get in my way...and I intend to take exactly that with me to the starting line in just a few more days...I have 3 miles this morning, 2 on Thursday, and 1 on Friday...

I will go back to something I wrote back in 2007 right before my first marathon, that at the time really the one thing I remember most about writing it was an email from someone I didnt even know at the time...but would come to later...very well...but I remember how much they loved what I wrote and took the time to write me and tell me how much they were impressed by the words...

So I leave you with this:

May my preparation meet my opportunity on race day one more time, and I unleash my potential to the best of my ability.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obsession #3 - Getting to the Start

Its very confusing.

Your bib has like 3 or 4 colors...can't remember now...but each color of whatever, floating background etc...indicates different things. Wave, Corral, etc...Just crazy. Its all very confusing to me.

The race starts at 10 (10:20 for me). I have to get on a bus at 5:30. And since I am staying in Queens, and don't have a CLUE (yet) on how to get from Queens to the NYC Public Library by 5:15...I know I have to take the subway...and my niece will go with me, I am still freaked out about it. Then once I get to Staten Island (not sure how long a bus ride it is), I know its like 15+ miles away? Again, I have no clue...I just know from Queens to the Start is 15 miles and I am guessing maybe a couple more from the NYCPL.

Anyway, the logistics of it all is just mind boggling and stressing me out. I guess with all the extra time its a good thing so that I can find my way to where I am actually supposed to be with plenty of time to spare. Which means I have plenty of time to just sit and wait. And sit and wait. And sit and wait. *sigh* And then I can sit and wait some more.

As of today its going to be about 40 that morning with a high of 51 and sunny. I guess thats not too bad to have to sit around in...Of course its 6 days out. Lots of time for that to change.

I know I need a new pair of running sunglasses since the lens fell out of my old ones.


My carry on is packed. Why is it packed? And what is in it? Well first off its packed because it basically has all my race day stuff in it. And alternatives depending on weather changes. Gels, knee bands, shorts, shirts, running tops, Nike capris and a long sleeve UA in case its going to be colder than 40's (for the majority of the race) clean and shiny, socks....THE RIGHT name it...if its something for race day its in there...oh and my official card so that I can get my bib and my chip....and the handbook....

They can lose my big suitcase, but no way in heck am I letting that carry on out of my sight even for one minute.


I ran the 2 miles to the Houston Half this morning and cheered on for a while. Then I just got kinda bummed out watching everyone run and I wasn't able to...and decided just to go on and run the 2 miles back home.

Of course, Coach won. In like something crazy of course, but when you run 5 minute miles, well, the times are just crazy to me...He won the Pumpkin Run 5K yesterday too, and ran it 'slow' (17:04) that he could have the extra oomph for today...

Seriously, he just rocks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obsession # 2 - The Weather

Ah well, you knew that was going to be one of them, but yet its low on my obsession totem pole. has 15 day out forecasts for cities. This sucks you know? With 8 days to go I know it will change time and time and time again.

Its gone from rainy, to snow, to mostly cloudy. Back and forth. Back and forth. And the temps have done pretty much the same, going from extremely cold for start and finish, to mediocre for both, to cold for start and mediocre for finish.

Personally if the Start and Finish were in the 40's that would make me very happy.

Clothing is not an obsession as really there are only two options: 1) shorts and a short sleeve shirt with break away (Kenyan Way) sleeves, or Nike capris (for temps in the 40's the whole way) with an UA cold weather top (long sleeve). My sister will have a bag with her with other options should I need them, or need to discard anything as well along the way. Taking off and adding on is in my plan.

All I know is that it needs to be cold that day. And when I say cold, I mean like I said, 40-49 would be my idea of perfect. Anything over 55 at the last 6-8 miles and I am gonna be pissed :o)

Well all I can do is just keep checking. Although I will say I've been good at only looking once a day. :o)

OK, off to do 4 miles.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obsession #1 - Weight Gain

I am starving all the time.


I can't seem to get enough food.

Now don't go thinking that I am 'dieting', because I am not, however, I am indeed watching my caloric intake, and when I am eating, its good for me stuff, nothing crazy in calories. I am not carbo loading...its too soon for that, as far as I am concerned.

I know I shouldn't be worried about this sort of thing, but honestly the LAST thing I want is to gain weight during taper and have to run with the extra weight. If I ate what I want, when I want it, I would certainly gain about 7 lbs between now and race day. Easily.

Um. No. I am not about to let that happen.

I know that a couple of days prior I will eat like I should...I am not going to really do anything differently than I have for all my long runs during training, other than probably eat a lot more on that Friday than I normally did 2 days out. I don't and never have eaten a lot past lets say 2pm day prior. With the race starting so late, and plenty of free stuff there, bagels and such, I can have what I need prior to Start ...

With the decrease in mileage, its way too easy for me (personally) to gain, and its just the first thing I am obsessing over...but its the low man on the totem pole...

Stay tuned for more obsession posts...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is that a Baton in your Shirt or are You just happy to see me?

Heres a picture a friend of mine took of me after I had turned off of Ocean Drive, heading towards the Finish line. You turn slightly off to the left onto the grass before you actually get there. You can click on the pic for a better look at that chick in the pink, which was the one I spoke of in my race recap post (the one I was behind, caught and then smoked).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Beach to Bay Marathon Relay - Corpus Christi

For those that want the split details and not a full ya go...

Leg 6 (the CC bay run): 4.4 miles
Mile 1: 9:29
Mile 2: 9:32
Mile 3: 9:40
Mile 4: 9:26
.4: 8:26 pace (and yes, I picked it up big time because I felt so great and I knew I had had a great run of my leg)

Total time: 4.4 miles: 41.37

When we first were trying to determine our individual paces for each runner, so that we knew approximately when to expect the handoff from leg to leg of the baton, I had put down 9:40. I thought I was being optimistic, due to the fact it was the 6th leg...and the threat of a high sun and high temps, although saying if it was a 'bad' day, I might be at 10K pace (10:07). Again I thought I was being overly optimistic...Of course as you can see I had a really good day...and probably could have done better, but I was cautious because I didnt want to bonk, even though the miles were clicking by quickly and I felt better and better with each stride...

Well according to those that have been around this race in its last 33 years say this is the BEST weather ever on this race weekend. I tell ya, I only raced last year, and it was the 2nd leg, but I saw what the heat did to those that ran the later legs. So needless to say, going in to run the 6th and final leg I knew what I possibly had in store for me.
When we got here yesterday it was sunny and H-O-T. So you think...well there ya go... Your leg is gonna start about 10:30. Be ready. And I was.

Then race morning when we woke up...I look outside and its overcast. Dark and gloomy even...its 7am... We get outside and even more importantly, its probably about 68 and what felt like only a bit of humidity but the wind helped there...we could only hope the wind would be at our backs or at the very least, a cross wind.

I dropped Sam off at leg 4 and made my way back to Swanter Park to find a place to leave the car for when Sam came to get it to drive to the Finish. Judging by the times given by the other runners I had about 2.5 hours of nothing to do...I sat in the car for about an hour before I ventured on down to the hand off area to look for people I knew. About 40 minutes later Sam arrived and hung out for a bit and then I knew to get closer to the handoff area to wait. Bryon was a few minutes late getting there, and I was more than giddy to get running...At this time, it was not so cloudy, and about 80 degrees I guess.

I saw him coming down the hill and then along the seawall, I grabbed the baton, immediately stuck it in my top and off I went. The first 1/4 mile is a slight incline back up to Ocean Drive and then a straight shot to the finish. The great thing about running the 6th leg alone Ocean Drive is that there are alot of really REALLY nice homes and people were out on the sidewalks cheering on everyone. A few people passed me in the first mile, then it stopped. And then I started passing. Seeing one person and focusing on passing them.

And so it went. Then all of a sudden there was a big gap between me and another girl. I didnt think I could catch her, but just before we turn off to head back down along the water, I caught her. We went stride for stride till finally I had had enough and I kicked it into another gear, the 8:26 pace. I didnt care how I was going to feel at the end...and there she went...somewhere behind me. I still managed to even catch a few more and in the last 100m I passed a couple more just for the hell of it.

I cant ever remember a time moving that fast, nor can I remember a time where I had a kick like that at the end of any race. It felt awesome.

I hadn't ended up on a competitive team, and sure I could have just run to be running, but thats not my nature. I feel really great about what I did down there, and it seems every time I race, a bit more confidence creeps in letting me know its ok to think...even if just for a little bit...that I am a good runner, and I have a lot more improvement in me....

The weekend was full of fun, friends and so much more. Its hard for me to think back when it was that I had such a perfect weekend.

There will be pictures later; right now, I am obviously finally home and need some alone time with my couch and my remote.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mothers For Clean Air (Earth Day) 5K

Ah yes, the PR streak ended today, but I still had a good run.

Probably the last time we'll have cool weather for a race till October (if we're lucky) so for that I was thankful. A nice 50 degrees at the start.

I loved the new course! Except for the fact that the last 800m was on the trail, and I'm sorry but that surface just slows me down. You have to work a bit harder to push off of the gravel and it really sucked.

Official time: 28:47

Mile 1: 8:53
Mile 2: 9:19
Mile 3: 9:17

7th in AG, not sure of overall at this point; will have to wait till results are posted online.

I don't know...I was just a bit lethargic this morning, and even the warm up didnt help me feel like my legs were going to cooperate today. They did better than I thought, and I really didnt think that I was moving at that pace in the 2nd mile and I did show it to be a bit long, total distance on the Garmin being 3.17, but that seems to be the norm these days, at least the last 2 races that is; and I am always careful not to weave and to hug the turns so I dont know why the longer distance than what the race is supposed to be, but you take the course as it is I guess. And accept the time thats posted.

As I said, the last 800m were on the gravel path and thats the only thing I didnt like. Best part was picking off one by one the people in front of me and 'chicking' this one guy in the last 40 yards or so. I saw the clock time and all I know is that I passed him at what felt like 90 to nothin'. I heard Leno off to the side yelling at me...and right now I can't remember what he said but I remember at the time, that it made me smile. At least on the inside because honestly there was no smiling going on as I made my final kick to the end. I just wanted sub-29 again today.

Its all I cared about really.

I also now know this one woman who is always right there with me. I only know this because in all my race photos, I see her. Behind me. But close.

Today as we were coming up on the 1st water stop I heard a voice close behind me say "are you stopping for water?" I knew why she was asking. Before she said that, I had thought about taking water on the run, but knowing it would slow me down by a few seconds, it would also give her the opportunity to pass me if I did.

"No way" was my response.

I think she was disappointed. Thats when she was right next to me, I looked over and I recognized her.

See ya later alligator, I gotta get a move on now.. ;o) I never saw her again until I was running a cool down, we passed each other, said our nicey nicey's and went on our merry, albeit separate, ways.

Definitely will continue to do this race if they keep the course the same that is. Good stuff.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Flying Owls 5K

I went into this morning just hoping for a decent time, not thinking a PR was in the cards today due to the course. As I mentioned previously it had 20 turns in it, and not only that but once I got there to get my number I found out the first mile was being run on the runner/walker path there around Rice, where we had to manuever the casual Saturday runners/walkers. And the path is only about 4.5 feet wide I would guess.

I was not happy. As a matter of fact, I almost bailed at that point. But I didnt, and boy am I glad I didnt.

At mile 2.5 I knew I had another PR in my sights. I just didnt know how much of a one I had.

Thats a :58 PR over last weeks chip time of 28:52 (and a SUB 28!!!). The course was a bit long, so the 'recorded' time for the course/race was 28:32 which is still a 20 second PR over last week at Bellaire Trolley 5K!!

The best part was as I was coming up on the final turn, there was Sam...waiting. I had no idea he had come over after the KW long run this morning, so I was excited to know he was there for this today. It was an awesome feeling.

There were no frills with this race, not even water anywhere on the course, so you just had to dig in and hope you had had enough hydration prior. They did have some awesome food and drink (including beer; which I didnt partake in because I knew I was running an additional 3 miles after). They only gave awards 1 deep in AG, and I thought I might have a shot, but I didnt. The girl who won our AG wasnt even there. I still dont know how I did in AG, but will once they send out the official sheet with times.

Splits were:

All freakin' sub 9's dawg!!!!

So I did my 3 miles after, averaging about 10 min miles even, so I again was surprised I still had gas in my tank.

Now its shower time, and I am off to see Mom, and spend the night with her. By the way, she got out of the hospital a week ago, and seems to be a-ok. Took 4 weeks to rid her completely of the staph.

Brooke ride those 100 miles today girl!! I will be thinking of you all day!! I had a blast last night!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bellaire Trolley Run 5K **UPDATED**


As previously posted, sub 30 went out the window today. I kinda figured I was going to get my 29:30 today...

But I knew from about 2.75 something else was going to happen. I couldn't be entirely sure...but just before I hit the 3 mile mark and I wasnt even at 28 min yet...

And then, there...the pace caller belted out at the 3 mile mark 28 minutes...Holy shit is what I thought.

So in the next .1 I hit it in 52 seconds.

I would like to say that I ran till I thought I was going to puke today, but honestly...I didnt feel like I was going to puke. Well till about 1 minute after I finished. Then I thought I might puke.

The splits:

Mile 1: 8:53
Mile 2: 9:02
Mile 3: 9:29
.1: :52

3.1: 28:52 A huge PR for me today...HUGE

Now I know...I wish I could have that Mile 3 back, but unlike the Resurrection Run...I opted to slow it back a bit in the first 800m, so that I had something at the end. And it worked out.

You know, in my bathroom, there on my mirror is a sticky note. Its been taped there for about 8 weeks now. On it, it simple says : 28:30

Now as I said, I was always going to be happy if I hit 29:30 but secretly...yeah, I wanted that 28:30 by June 1.

Will I get it? I dont know.

But I tell you one thing... I CERTAINLY didnt think I was going to go sub 29 today. No way. No how. I wasn't even contemplating it. Not even a little. But man o happy was I? You have no idea.

So was it the shoes? At the most they would maybe take 8-10 sec off per mile ... I think it was a combination of hard work, determination, perserverance, training my ass off...and the will to get it done.

Its amazing what a person can do when they set their mind to it...


What really sucks....Eh, you know never mind...It really doesn't matter. It just really doesn't matter.

You know, like in the movie....'things are never really what they seem..'

Boy ain't that the truth...

Its pointless really...pointless. Fighting a losing battle... eh, like I said....just anxious to get back to the running and the training...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Resurrection Run - Clear Lake - 29:47 (PR)

Of course, as usual, I was apprehensive this morning before the run. Of course the 29:30 was my goal, but really just another sub-30 and I would have been fine, even 29:59 and I would have been happy.

Now that I have that first sub-30 I don't want to go back ya know?

This was another non-chip timed event, and with so few people there, it was easy to just be up front and go without worrying about getting in anyones way.

I won't go into a mile by mile synopsis, other than the fact that at the first 1/2 mile I was at 4:06 and I was like oh hells bells. Then somewhere towards the end of mile 3 I was at something like 27:30 and I knew I had it, unless I just fell apart. I did a bit, but held on for yet another 5K PR. It was only 5 seconds off the Conoco Rodeo Run (29:52), but another PR just the same.

I had a couple of other goals, which I did indeed hit, so overall I am very pleased with today's race. I hate that hairpin turn at the end, and of course as you can see, my watch shows 3.22, which a couple of other people also said they ended up with 3.2 but you know, its all relative I guess.

Here are the splits:

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 9:34
Mile 3: 9:27
and because somehow I jacked my Garmin to where it shows speed now, instead of pace, I only know that the last bit was covered at a 7.5 mph pace. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I wanted to just try and go faster the first mile, and the one mistake I made in the 3rd mile, was to go faster the first 800m instead of the last. Well, maybe not a mistake, as my intent was to put some more room in between myself and a couple of other runners that I knew were behind me ;o)

I am pretty excited about this: 4th in my age group...94th overall...and 26th overall female, as it stands now. But given what I said below, that would put me really at 91st overall and 25th female if OTR corrects the results page.

I have 2 weeks before Bellaire, where hopefully the 29:30 or better will surface. I am more than likely going to skip Law Week 8K, and run long with Kenyan instead and work on my speed and losing these last 4 lbs in prep for Bellaire.


p.s. Only a 1/2 mile warm up and a mile cool down in addition to the race itself today. Also the results site shows me at 30 flat, but what happened was that after crossing the finish, I stopped and 3 people went in front of me and had their tags pulled before me. Even after both Sam and I told the guy that, he didn't correct the slips, but hopefully an email to OTR will correct that.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bayou City Classic 10K aka The Race That Almost Wasn't

Temps: low 40's
Winds: 5mph (thank God they calmed down from yesterday!!)

Time: 1:02:35 (Garmin time)
Last 10K time was 1:08:52

PR difference: 6 minutes, 17 seconds
Average pace: 10:05

Mile 1: 10:15
Mile 2: 9:52
Mile 3: 9:34; at this point, there was a water station just past the 3 mile marker and I took Powerade and walked to drink it
Mile 4: 10:16
Mile 5: 10:01
Mile 6: 9:53
.2... whatever it is to make it to 1:02:35

The splits I had to lap on my watch as for the first mile there was no signal, and it never caught up either, as my distance on the watch only comes in at 5.84 miles. I am not completely sure the splits are right on, but they are within seconds I know that.

I was shooting for 10:30's and well as you can see I managed to blow that out of the water, with my average pace being 10:05 for the 6.2 miles. At the Park to Park which was a 5 mile race I averaged 10:01, so I am damn happy about this race.

And as scared as I was about the route, with the rolling 'hills' I have to say that once you are on it, running, its not that bad. The worst part really is that last hill as you approach the 6 mile marker.

It certainly helped that it was so, so cold out there. I just run so much better when its cold. I shed the gloves by the 2nd mile, handing them off to Sam's brother, Rob, who ran with me the first 2 miles, before I dropped him ;o) and went on my merry way.

Congrats to Coach (Sean Wade) again, for a 1st place overall, and to Sam on yet another age group win, plaque, 16th overall and a 10K PR!!! And congrats to Rob on his first 10K, but I still beat him ;o)

Like I said, I'm on a roll it would seem.

Next up: Law Week 8K, last weekend in March. We'll see if I can PR that, as I have run that race the past 2 years. I PR'd it last year, so I'm shooting for another one.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Conoco Rodeo Run 5K

Well so much for overcast and humid. What we did have were sunny skies, 70+ deg temps, and not so much on the humidity side.

The challenge to trying to PR at the 5K with this particular race is because well, its a 5K/10K which start together, and there are approximately 9,000 runners. And of course you know no one lines up where they should according to pace and whether or not they are walking. So going into it I knew I had to get as close to the front as I could, making sure that I didn't get in anyones way. It was apparent from the Start that I made the right choice, and I was never in anyones way (nor was anyone in mine) as I stayed to the right.

Sam and I ran from mi casa to the Start (1.5 m), got his chip (the 5K has no chip), and just waited around for a bit for the start.

I was worried due to the heat factor, but I was bound and determined to do what I could to PR. I don't do well in the warmer temps. I didnt have a signal on the Garmin for about the first 1.5 miles, but at the mile 1 marker I hit the lap button and it was 9:37. At the second mile marker I hit the lap button but it says something crazy like 7:? and I know thats not right but the girl calling the splits said 19:5? and I was like AWESOME!! 1.1 more to go...1.1 more to go.

At what I figured was about 800m left to go, I again reached back to the 800m repeats 2 weeks ago, and just ran as fast as I could without collapsing (the heat was getting to me now)...

Final time?


Finally the ever elusive sub :30!!! And in not so great conditions. Hot, and the course with a LOT of turns which usually will slow a person down, especially when its really crowded. Since it wasnt chip timed all I have for proof is a picture from the Garmin.

What's even sweeter is that Sam won 2nd in his age group for the 10K, and those trophies are schweeet! I was so excited to see his name on the list (even if he missed it), because I know how badly he wanted to place today. I couldn't be more happy about it!!! Keep chasing down those on that list of yours... :o)

I tell ya, no way would I have survived that 10K today, the route is much harder and the weather would have killed me, so to everyone that did it, whether you placed or not kudos to you!!! Rough stuff man. Rough stuff. Oh and Coach SW, of course, won overall male in the 10K with a time of 31:24!!!

Woohoo! I am supercalifragilisticexpealidocious happy happy!!

Next up: Bayou City Classic 10K next Saturday. Maybe...I HATE the 10K...and its not an easy course. I'm going to be a wimp and wait till mid-week to see how the weather is supposed to be ;o)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Park to Park 5 Miler

The last time I ran an official 5 mile race was 2 years ago.

My time then? 62:10


50:07; Average pace was 10:01

Um, yeah, a 12 minute PR is one that I will definitely take!

Last March, in the Law Week 8K which is 4.9 miles my time was: 53:23

So again, a PR even off a distance that was less than today by over 3 minutes.

My goal was to go sub :50 and to just have that average at under 10. Of course my mindset right now is if I hadnt stopped for water at the 3 mile mark. But I can't think like that. The last 800m I thought about the 800m repeats this past Wednesday and drew off of that, but the kick that I did have at the end just wasn't enough.

But don't get me wrong, I am pleased as peaches that I did so well.

The mile markers were off up till mile 4; as at the 3 mile mark they called out a 27+ and thats when I knew for sure they were off by about 1/4 mile. When I hit the 4 mile mark it seemed only to be off by a 1/10, and when I stopped my watch it read EXACTLY 5.00. That never happens!

Here are the splits:

Mile 1: 9:58
Mile 2: 10:11
Mile 3: 10:31
Mile 4: 10:01
Mile 5: 9:23

Again, exactly what I wanted to do. Negative splits and have a strong 5th mile.

I can't ask for anything more than that!!

Next up: Rodeo Run 5K next Saturday.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

WTH? Extra Hill(s) AND a Long Course!? (Christophers Heart Run 5K)

Oh boy.

When I looked at the map for the race today, one would assume that once you went down and up the first hill of AP that you exited Waugh, went over and then back.

But nooooooooooooooo...

You went past Waugh, then down again, and about 1/2 way up the next hill, turn around and immediately go back up again. And then of course the other hill was looming.

Yesterday I started having crud in my chest, sneezing and just overall allergy crap I think. So last night I made the decision to do Theraflu and slathering Vicks all over me before tucking in for the night. It didnt seem to bother me much but I knew I had those meds in me. I ate 1/2 orange and had Gatorade before leaving the house and running the 1.2 to the Start. It was much warmer this morning (61) than it was supposed to be (50ish), but I didnt feel much humidity.

For the first time ever I think I ran my first mile in what I wanted to: 9:38 instead of something stupid like -9:20. I knew I had to do it to make sure I could take those hills without too much problem. I havent been hill training and I knew I might have some issues.

But honestly I really didnt. Yeah they slowed me down a bit (especially the last one), but I was alright.

It wasnt till just past the end of the 2 mile mark (this is where the course was long) where I started losing a bit of steam, but I kept finding bits of steam here and there. I knew all along it wasnt a PR day/course but I certainly didnt want to crater. I have to say that this was probably my best 2nd mile ever in a 5K, at least in the way that I felt during it, hills and all.

I had no kick left at the end, but I know I was remaining steady on my pace there at the end which was all I could hope for. I do have to give some credit where credit is due as I had some extra 'encouragement' during the last 1/2 mile or so. Thank you for that.

According to all the heavy hitters, the course was 3.2 or more (I found this out in the last mile), and I decided then to stop my watch at the 3.1 for a 30:53 (sure enough the 3.1 was at the 3 mile marker).

Thats just over what I ran the Texas Med 5K in and that bitch was flat. Plus its just over what I ran my 3 mile time trial at the other day. And I felt ALOT better today than I did that day at the Med Center 5K.

The race was not chip timed, but they did scan your bib, but since the scanner was a good ways past the Finish, I dont like that at all, but whatever. And if stopped running at the Finish, which I did, and walk to the scanner...well that adds to your time.

You know that shit ain't bad (for me) considering the course. I sure as hell will take it. Extra hills and all.

Oh and to the girl that so cheated and turned around somewhere in between the first 2 hills, you suck :o). But I still passed you twice and beat you by about 3-4 minutes. So there.

Instead of doing the bayou (I had had enough of hills for today)...I ran long through downtown adding another 2 miles on, before arriving home giving me 10K for the day.

One thing more...this is an infant race, and they really have a great after race spread for such a small group (about 200 runners maybe)...too bad I had more running to do, or my face might have been in that pizza and fajitas). I will definitely do this one every year.

I've got 3 weeks before the Rodeo Run; this is where I hope to PR. Of course I will also be hoping for that ever elusive sub 30.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

First 5K of the Year - Texas Med Center 5K

Well the last time I ran a 5K was back September I guess, the Lunar...Then came marathon training, then the injury...focus obviously was not on speed for the shorter distances.

I didn't expect anything spectacular today, I just really entered the race to see where I that I knew what I had to work on. The only reason I was nervous was because I had completely forgotten how to 'race' a 5K. All I knew is that I would shoot for 9:40 averages, and pray that I didn't completely suck today. Yeah the 9:40 didn't happen, but I came closer than I thought. My Garmin for whatever reason completely didnt register the run, but yet it was counting splits because I happened to see one of them, and the distance read at 3.16, so I know it was working.

I remember looking down at my watch at one point and it read the distance at 1.01 and the time was at 9:24. As usual...too fast for me to go out at. I never saw the mile 2 split, but I did happen to see the 3rd and it read 10:13.

I had some problems in mile 2... but it was during that mile that Sam jumped in with me, but I had to send him on his way after a bit because he makes me nervous :) and I was struggling and I figured I needed the time to focus on trying to get my groove back... So we agreed he'd pick me back up in what would be the last 400m or so...

Once I made the last turn on my way back I started to pick it up a bit, trying to forget about the fact that for whatever reason I was having some pain in the ankles. Sure enough right as the watch clicked over to 2.75, there he was. And I had one last turn to go.

If I have anything remotely resembling 'afterburners' I put them on and cruised on in, over the mat, and I was done.

Looking back on it now, and as I told him, don't listen to me next time. Just keep running and I will keep running along side of you as best I can.

Given the fact that its been so long since a 5K, no speed work to speak of, I am very happy with the 30:47 time today, averaging 9:52 miles. The last time I did this race, back in January 2006, I ran something closer to 36 minutes. Sure it would have been nice to get the 9:40, and even a PR, but like I said, it was not my goal today.

I accomplished what I set out to do... 1) finish with a decent time 2) to not suck and 3) figure out where I am and what I need to do for the Spring races. At the very least I can count today as some good speed work.

I didn't think I was going to do another 5K until March 1st, but there is one on February 9th, and I am leaning towards doing it. Like Sam said, to him it makes more sense to keep racing to get better at racing.

Makes sense to me too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chevron Houston Marathon/Aramco Half Marathon Recap (edited from earlier)

Gun Time: 2:25:35
Chip Time: 2:24:x

Garmin Time: 2:21:36

Previous times from 2 half marathons completed:
Koala Houston Half - October 2006 - 2:31
Surfside Half Marathon - February 2007 - 2:33

Not sure why my chip time was off from the Garmin. My mileage was correct on the Garmin, and I didnt start it late, so I have no idea. Nor did I stop it at any time during the race. So anyhoohoo...

I guess I will start with the splits:

Mile 1: 11:26
Mile 2: 10:42
Mile 3: 10:40
Mile 4: 10:56 (slowed down to wait for Amie as she needed a portapotty)
Mile 5: 10:23
Mile 6: 10:38
Mile 7: 10:49
Mile 8: 10:24
Mile 9: 10:15
Mile 10: 10:23
Mile 11: 11:10
Mile 12: 10:52
Mile 13: no data (lost signal in downtown)
.1: no data (lost signal in downtown)

I had to stop twice for the bathroom. Once to pee, and then to be honest the 'lost focus' in mile 11 and on was due to G.I. issues. So much so that I had to stop otherwise I would have come in hearing people yelling "here comes poopy pants!". As much as I appreciated those peanut m&m's close to mile 9, well lets just say, not a good idea. Even after the potty break, the fastest one I know in the history of womankind, the constant feeling was there. I really wasn't sure exactly what was going to happen, so I would slow down and then speed up because I was so close. Slow down. Speed up. So there's that. Nice huh? As it is, I haven't been able to keep anything in my stomach since. I've tried. And within minutes I am in the bathroom. Blah.

Anyway, I dressed perfectly for the race. I went with the short sleeve compression and the pull away sleeves, which were pulled off around mile 4 or so, the gloves way before that. The head/ear band came off at the same time as the sleeves. Almost to mile 9, Margo got all my gear from me and I was so damn happy to be rid of it all. Evidently Margo thought I looked quite chic! ha!

I never really broke a sweat as the weather was perfect for the half. I do wish it would have been closer to 40 deg at the start, as it was it was about 47ish. I'm afraid it would have been too warm for the full. More than a few times I was running into a headwind but it didnt seem to bother me. Nor did that small, but steep inclines around Montrose between miles 5.5 and 6.2.

What I didnt realize is when you do the half, you get to miss the 'hills' of Allen Parkway. Glory be to God because I was sweatin that shit all the way back down Montrose. What you do get is that little decline right smack dab into Downtown Houston.

Once I hit Allen Parkway, with just a couple of miles to go at this point, the pace cars were on the opposite side of the street with the lead marathoners running right beside us. That was very cool indeed. I also saw the lead woman who basically finished the full about the same time I finished the half.

To me it seemed the crowds were much bigger this year. And louder. Especially during that one part, which escapes me now where the road becomes much more narrow. I think its around just past the 6.2 chip mat. Again I cant remember now.

As I said miles 11 and 12 were brutal, not because of pace but because I lost focus due to the stomach issues I was having, but once I hit Milam and made the turn I was good to go. Just a few more streets and I could turn right on Rusk and make my way home. It was however on Rusk, that the GI issues were REALLY bad and seriously, I um...yeah, it was bad.

I had long but forgotten my disappointment at having to drop to the half once I turned on Rusk, because I knew I was gonna PR and that I was close to goal.

I went inside, got some Gatorade and asked the time. 9:40. I gotta get back outside and I pushed my way to the front of the fenceline lining Rusk, just feet from the finish and waited. I saw several people I knew finish on the full but of course I was waiting for one person in particular. And finally there he was, arms pumping in the air as if he'd just won the thing! That was all I needed to see. And then I sprinted back inside. Here I was still running! I had to laugh out loud a bit at that. But I still had so much energy it was hard not to run.

I will say that the wave start was genius. We were close enough to the front of the second wave, and even though that first mile was 11:26 it wasnt due to crowds. It was because we wanted to do training pace the first mile. As I was watching the dvr'd coverage, it was even mentioned that a 3rd wave could be added to the half marathon next year to even allow more people to sign up. They didnt mention a 3rd wave for marathoners, but why not? So many people didnt get to run because it sold out so quickly.

P.S. GID ran the full 26.2 in a gun time of 3:03 and some change, and qualified for Boston! He's fast huh? :O) And our coach, Sean Wade of Kenyan Way won the masters division of the Half Marathon in 67 minutes!!!