Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekend Motivation!!!

They're spreading like wildfire!
For those doing Houston, this is your weekend motivation picture today!

For those who aren't...

And Happy New Year again everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goodbye 2011...

If there is one truly great life lesson that 2011 has brought, it would be that the only boundaries in life which exist are those which one imparts on themselves.  Living in blissful ignorance of the difference from that which I am currently capable of and that which I am pursuing makes some think that I am off in candy land living a reality which is unthinkable and unattainable, and to those I say PISH-POSH.   With every year I learn a little bit more about myself, and in others.  I have become this person I never envisioned, but yet I really really like.  I mean really.  Like.  :O)

Does the art of believing in something powerful and magical wash away once one hits adulthood where we all succumb to what we feel is our only fate and settle for a life that is predicably ordinary?  Does one only stay within their realms of comfort never daring to color outside the lines?

Of course you do, if you want a life filled with conventional dullness and feel content never challenging yourself to outdo your societial predetermined potential.  While some may call my dreams a hopeful wasteland, I call them opportunities and blessings.  Daring for a moment to swim upstream with hopes of achieving something uniquely different from what society has predestined me to achieve is what gets me out of bed everyday. These days I'm holding on for the glimmer of hope for the impossible. 

I see no sense in settling for the stability of a dead end business career in exchange for a paycheck that comes on someone elses terms and strips me of my individualism.  Instead I chose to brave my soul to any who will listen and find value in that which I am passionately barking about on a daily basis, health and it's unseen freedoms.

Of course, I don't really have the means to just ditch everything and live off the land, but my pursuit of my next endeavor is in the works, and it might be 2 years before I reach it, but I will keep reaching.  Even if the dream shifts due to unforeseen circumstances, it will be ok.  At least there is something out there that I have the will to reach for instead of just settling.

Now what? What happens in 2012, and where is this all going? I wish I had the answer to that, but as of right now I don't.  Here we are just a few days out from the new year where I should feel stress and pressure to keep pressing forward with a concrete plan for the direction my life is going, but that's not how I opperate.

Instead I fuel my dreams knowing that there is no intention to connect the dots going forward, rather the point is to look back and connect the dots from there.

Every year I think "God I am so glad for a new year.  Surely this one is going to be better than the last."  But yet there are always things that happen that can make it seem like such a crappy year as a whole, but I try and find the good and not to focus so much on the awful.

Two very awful and devastating things occurred in 2011, both of which upset the core of my heart.  But out of both of those, something good (maybe even great) have come from them.  This is what I choose to focus on.

Obviously one of those things is the death of my Momma.  I still think of her every day...I remember the last few days...I remember having my niece put the phone up to her ear when it was time and I was 20 min away, so that I could tell her how much I loved her and that it was OK for her to go...that we would be fine.   

But even with her dying, things that are good have come with it.  I'm not strong enough to go into those publicly, and honestly they're just too personal and will only be shared with those closest to me now... 

Then there is the other thing that was quite a blow to me .. initially .. also extremely persona, but much less harder to get over than losing my momma.   Then I realized that some things were never really that big of a deal to being with ... kinda like another death, as in gone forever, but not in the 6 feet under sense ... 

But yeah, gone forever ... even the memories, the few good ones out of a number of years, have faded to almost nothingness now ... I find myself sometimes struggling to remember any good memories; mostly just the bad ones still linger from time to time ...

So to 2011, while you haven't been the most shining year for sure, at the end of the day, at least I had another year on God's great Earth ... I leave behind some bad memories, and some really great memories too.

I welcome the new year and whatever challenges it will present to me ... stronger, wiser, another year older, but oh so hopeful and happy ... 

So to everyone out there ... please please be safe ... and please please be hopeful ...

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ZipFizz - Product Review

I mentioned a while back that a representative from ZipFizz had contacted me to product review their product on my here goes...

I will review the Zipfizz energy shot which retails for about $1.99. This little 4 ounce bugger only has 30 calories, only 8 grams of carbs and contains zero sugar. The Zipfizz energy shot is marketed as a healthy alternative to energy drinks for those above reasons. Along with the liquid shot, Zipfizz also offers mixable flavored energy powders. Other than that I don't know too much more about Zipfizz so I will just start the review. That's probably all you care about anyway.
Zipfizz has 120 milligrams of caffeine, taurine, green tea extract and an unbelievable amount of b-vitamins. What's an unbelievable amount? How about 41,667% of your daily allowance of vitamin B-12. So yeah there is a lot of energy ingredients packed into this.
The package came with 7 (or was it 8) different flavors and honestly they were all good!  I especially loved the grape and the creme orange flavor most!  There was maybe one that I didnt care for (raspberry maybe; can't remember now).  For the past 3 weekends, each Saturday morning before my long runs (18, 13 and 20), I drank the 20oz bottle (also provided) just before leaving the house.  Now I cannot say for sure if it had anything to do with the awesome runs I had, but I am gonna go out on a limb and say, Yes!  

They remind me of Nuun (which I dont like though) as when you put it in and add the cold water there is a fizzing thing that happens and once you close the little top and shake, be careful as the first time I did this, it blew the top open!!!  Nothing spewed out but it scared the bejeezus out of me!

The other times I drank it; either before a work out and once just because (before work) I will say the high from this is extremely stable and hasn't yet given me the jitters. Everyone reacts differently though so to guarantee 100% that you will not get the jitters would be a lie. When I take it, I feel very awake, alert, and clear headed.  And I seem to perform better whether its running or at the gym.
 I have one vial left and I will use that this coming Saturday before my short long run :)  ... I haven't seen it in the stores (but I hear you can get it at Costco), but I am in the process of seeing if anyone here in town besides Costco is carrying it!  Otherwise I will order direct I guess!  I really really really love this product!!!
Good taste, fast acting kick, low calorie count, no sugar. What more could you ask for right? Maybe some more B-vitamins?  All joking aside I don't think I would change a thing about this energy shot.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Drop and Give Me 20

The holiday is over and even though things are quite back to normal (still off work until Thursday!), I'm up early (also quite normal) so figured I would jot down this past Saturday's long run.  What isn't normal is that I'm enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee made on my new Keurig single cup that I got for Christmas from my sister (along with over 100 Kcups! Won't need to buy coffee for quite some time either!)

I went into LL on Friday to pick up my check and say Merry Christmas to everyone (also scored a $25 gift card to Starbucks!).  CB was working and while we were chatting she asked if I was running long with KW and of course I said yes.  CB and I run roughly the same pace (she is also a multi-time Ironman), we talked about pace and we decided to run together.  I told her that my past couple of runs had been under goal marathon pace and that I really needed to dial it back and we decided that 10:40 would be our target.

I must say at this point that early on Friday I began sneezing.  Not just any sneezing but sneezing 5 times or more each time and it was an all day affair.  I don't know what was going on; I didn't feel bad, but with each sneeze I was worried about my back (also not feeling all that great on Friday).  Finally late afternoon I took 2 allergy Tylenol and of course that just made the sneezing stop but then my head was all clogged.  I Vicks'd up and drank Theraflu around 9pm hoping that it wouldn't suck when the alarm went off at 4:15am (we had decided to start the route at 5am since Coach was going to have all the water stops up for everyone wanting to start early).

When I got up I didnt feel awful but I also didn't feel great and I always get a bit nervous when I agree to run with someone.  We also had the threat of rain (100% chance), and I sure didn't like that at all.  It was a bit windy and 46 deg when I walked out the door.  I wore a long sleeve Lulu and a pair of speed shorts and hoped for the best.

When I got to base, tried to go to the bathroom (also not cooperating) and then CB arrived.  There were a lot of folks already there so evidently a lot of others had the same idea.  With it being Christmas Eve and the threat of rain, we all wanted to be done and be done early.  We also apparently were having the same 'issues' that morning so we knew up front that some pit stops along the way were inevitable.  :O)

In my head I knew that if something went wrong I could bail at 10.5 or even just go to 15 and then re-group and try for 20-21 on Monday/Tuesday since I was off.

We started out and the first mile came in at 10:27.  Already too fast.  I will just go ahead and say it now, but there was only ONE mile that came in at 10:40 and that was mile 6 which was right about where we started to get rained on (every other mile was between 10:15 and 10:30, with one mile being under 10).  We pulled off under a tree so that I could adjust my Shuffle up under my chin to keep it somewhat dry.  Thankfully the rain only lasted about 10 min before it stopped and we were very, very happy!  Of course we knew that at any minute it could just start coming back down again.

We didn't intentionally run what we were running and many times I looked at my watch and we were too close to 10:05/10:10 and I would slow down and then she would slow down.  We did have a couple of stops but they came at the right time so that we both capitalized on the location of a porta potty, with me only having to pull off to pee once behind a dumpster.  Keepin' it classy right?  Hey when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Something to also note here I guess is that I haven't had Gatorade on any runs in what seems like forever!  I have made do with only water and Gu's.  On todays run, since I didn't eat as much as I should have on Friday, I brought 4 Gu's and used every single one.

It wasn't until we had come around Hermann that I started to feel the effects of all that pounding on my back.  We started off and I told her I was taking the short way back around Rice and would just end up with 20 and that I was fine with that (as opposed to the 21 mile route).  Mentally I just couldnt handle those 2 miles around Rice at that point and my head needed to know we were on the downslope and on our way back to our cars, our heaters and warm clothes!   While it wasn't excessively cold, my legs were indeed numb for basically the whole route and I was ready for warmth!

I took my last Gu with 3.5 miles to go, one last pit stop (thank goodness for new construction in University!) and thats when we ran into DP and and on his turn around he caught back up with us and the 3 of us ran back in together.  I let them get a bit ahead of me but I was never more than 30 yards from them and I just kept it at the 10:30 pace I was running at that particular time.

Once we got back to base, Cyndy took off and DP and I ran the long way back to our cars just to add on a bit and I was done! done! done!  TS walked by as I was adjusting things in the car and he and I stood around and talked for a bit, then it was off for home.  As I was turning into my garage the skies opened up and the rain came pouring down...oh sweet sweet timing!  From that point on until Sunday morning it rained and rained and rained...and we sure needed it!

A short nap after the maintenance dude fixed the heater and I was off to the fam's!

You know since August, I have run so many damn 20+ milers (with a full marathon thrown in there) that its obvious to me that the way I recover from them is nothing short of awesome for me.  I ran Chicago, recovered, booted back up to 21 miles for Dallas, dropped to the half due to weather, and then ramped right back up for Houston.  I never felt sore (just a bit tired) and was able to partake in the festivities like nothing had even go on that morning.  Even on Sunday morning, getting up and heading out again it was like I hadn't run 20 miles the day before.

My back is a bit ouchy today, more than I would like, but I'm gonna go do a few miles on the treadmill today and get some weight work in as well.  I am convinced that all that I have been doing has got to be the reason I have been running as well as I have.

I cannot believe Houston is less than 3 weeks away.  I just hope that the weather cooperates and that so does my body on race day.

I think a movie double feature is on the docket for today...or maybe just lazing around...who knows and more importantly...who cares!  Its vacation!!!

Hope your holidays were merry and bright!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Expect the Unexpected!

Coach gloves and scarf...and my tired, old mickey mouse gloves are in the trash.  Right where they belong.
I just looooooooooooove the sparkly-ness!!!
MOST definitely NOT for running!!!

Did anyone get anything unexpected and fabulous!?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kenyan Way and Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Christmas!!!

Last long run done!  Just over 20 miles at average of 10:27 pace.
A little rain, but it mostly held off until I was almost home and was soooo thankful!
Full write up later...right now I need the damn maintenance man to get here as my heater is broken!!  And of course I need to get ready to head to the fam's for Christmas Eve celebrations!

Taper time!  Again!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekend Motivation!!!

Best thing about having a 21 miler scheduled for Christmas Eve?

Eating whatever the hell I want and not thinking twice about it!!!!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, get some exercise in, eat mostly Paleo; allowing for a taste here and there for yummy carbs and dessert...My motto on days like these is:  Taste everything, eat nothing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 Marathon Olympic Trials

I don't think its any secret that the Trials are being held in Houston the day before the Chevron Houston Marathon and that our fair city (at least us running geeks are) is beyond excited!

I have read a few blogs of out of towners coming to Houston to run the marathon and are just as giddy over being able to see the Trials the day before.

Runners World has a whole section on the upcoming Trials, updated often, then of course there is the Houston Marathon site, along with the Houston site for the Trials specifically.

I have also mentioned that I am so happy to be able to be a part of this as I am an Elite (fluid) stop volunteer.  We had 'practice' at the set up etc., back in January for the 1/2 Marathon championship, which was done for that reason but also to test out a portion of the Olympic Trial marathon course.  I know that its been tweaked somewhat at the suggestion of the powers that be, but mostly it stayed pretty true to its original plan if I am not mistaken.  Best part about this job is that once its set up, its pretty much just stand around and watch the runners pass by time and time again (its a loop course). 

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am that I am going to see some of the all-time great distance runners (currently) running just a few feet from me in less than a month!!!!!!!!!

Here are a couple of posts from in January...and in looking for these I realized that I never went back and added the additional videos (women) and pictures from that day!  Got sidetracked I suppose!  I will add those sometime over the next couple of weeks.  I am kind of shocked that that fell off my radar though!  So more to come for certain!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Go Faster Playlist

Julie, a new reader and follower, recently emailed me for music since she is training for her first half marathon!!  Goooooooo Julie!

I have a couple of playlists on my Shuffle, and one of them is what I call my 'go faster' playlist and/or for the last miles (probably 8 of them) of a marathon/half marathon or when you want a big negative split.

Not sure why, outside of the obvious, these particular songs make me go faster, or in some cases, just keep going..but they do!

I don't have these in any particular order and generally just click over to it on 'random shuffle' and take whatever order iPod wishes to dish out on any given day!

  • Super Bass (Nicki Minaj)
  • Tall Cool One (Robert Plant)
  • I'm Sexy and I Know It (LMFAO)
  • Party Rock (LMFAO)
  • Good Feeling (Flo Rida)
  • Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5)
  • Missionary Man (Eurythmics)
  • I Like How It Feels (Enrique Iglesias)
  • Rain Over Me (Marc Anthony)
  • Judas (Lady Gaga) (the DJ Shadow remix version is best! but I actually have both versions on this playlist!)
  • Born This Way (Gaga)
  • Baby (Justin Bieber)
  • Run the World (Beyonce)
  • Evacuate the Dancefloor (Cascada)
  • Edge of Glory (Gaga)
  • On the Floor (Jennifer Lopez)
  • Otis (Kanye West and Jay Z)
  • 100% Pure Love (Crystal Waters)
  • One Way or Another (Blondie)
  • Shake Your Groove Thing (Peaches and Herb)
  • Dance to The Music (Sly and the Family Stone)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

See Ya Real Soon!!!

It's the start of my holiday vacation (7 glorious days!), so I will be away quite a bit, but wanted to wish everyone
a wonderful and Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, Kwaanza, Hanakuah,
or whatever you celebrate at this time of year!

I have several posts written and scheduled for the next several days...just in case you have time on your hands to read...

Be safe, be great and most of all .... be kind to one another!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Race Synopsis

Sunday, January 16, 2011
USAFit Marathon/Half Marathon
Worst race experience of my life (due to weather).  Mentally broke down and almost DNF'd.  No official time because I refused to cross the timing mat.  I would later find out my time was somewhere around 2:21:xx.  This whole race devastated me.  Hypothermia after it was all said and done.  I just didnt realize it at the time.

You can read about it here.
Pictures here. 

I thought the course was ok, its a loop for the half and 2 loops for the full.  I wouldnt want to do it twice I can tell you that much.  I am not a looper.  Hate loops.  Its a smaller race and a lot of woggers and just overall walkers.  They don't call it 'everyones marathon' for nothing.

I know I wont be doing this one again.  Ever.

Sunday, January 30, 2011
Aramco (Houston) Half Marathon
No distance PR
Course PR by just over 7 minutes.  I didn't realize this until a while later because I hadn't run the Aramco Houston half marathon in quite some time, and the last time I did it I remember is was 2:24xx.  My official chip time for this one was 2:14:33.  Not good (for me), but better than the fiasco 2 weeks ago at Sugarland, mostly mentally.  Physically as well, but my goal for this one was just to hold it together in my head. 

You can read about this one here.
Lots of pictures here, here and here.  No race photos though.  Way too crowded and I didn't see any of me.  :(

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Bayou City Classic - 10K

Planned race, but didn't.  Momma passed away on Thursday, March 10, 2011.  :O(

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Angie's Crazy Half Marathon

No PR, but wasn't expecting one either.  Rough month of little training and Momma being very sick and eventually passing away.

Course PR since I hadn't ever run this race.  Not sure I will again either.

Race Review:  HERE
Race Photos:  HERE
Miscellaneous Photos:  HERE and HERE

Saturday, April 2, 2011
4 Four the Park- 4 miler - Houston, Texas
39:29 (I think)

No where near a PR.  No training, hot, humid.  Blech.  But I still came in under 40:, so I was happy.  First race where I seriously thought I was going to have to stop to throw up.  Not sure what was what on this day, but it wasn't good.  To be honest, it was when I first had nervousness about the fact that I thought I could have possibly gotten myself knocked up.  True story.

Previous PR: 36:58 (2009)

Race summation

Race photos

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Bay to Breakers 12K - San Francisco, CA
Course PR
Distance PR

Race Summation
Race Photos
Race Debauchery


Sunday, October 9, 2011
Bank of America Chicago Marathon - Chicago, IL

2010 Course time:  4:51:xx - Weather conditions:  70deg at start, upper 80's and red flagged about the time I hit mile 22 or 23.

2011 Course time:   4:42:xx (not verifiable since I lost my chip and my Garmin lapped out due to too much data from past runs, and I had to delete and reset which took I dont know how much time!) - Weather conditions:  65deg at the start, upper 80's and red flagged just like last year.  Alert level was never green; at the expo it was at Yellow and that was on Friday.  Each day was warmer than the previous day.

I really, really, really loooooooooooooooove Chicago.  And I really, really, really looooooooooooooooove the course of this marathon.  What I do not love is the training here in Houston all Summer, 16-22 milers in August and early September only to be smacked in the face for 2 years in a row with 'record setting temperatures for Chicago'.  Its one thing to train in the heat, with the promise (mostly) that your marathon is going to be cold or at least reasonably cool.  I would do this race every single year; I truly would.

I will say that this 2011 trip to marathon in Chicago was WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more fun than 2010.  I had such a wonderful time there with Tracey and meeting up with others as well.  Last year was a big let down in that respect.  It is so important to travel with like minded people!  Especially when it comes to marathons!

Some say its a fluke, the heat.  However with 4 out of the last 5 years its been 'record setting heat' marathon week/weekend, I think the fluke is that in 2009 it was actually cold.

I am hanging up my Fall marathon shoes for at least one year.  Possibly more. 

I'll miss you in 2012 Chicago.  But if things work out like I want them to, maybe you and I will be more than just friends within the next few years.  :O)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dallas White Rock Marathon Half Marathon - Dallas, Texas
Ran the half marathon at this race in 2010 and was my PR of 2:06:xx.  That number still holds...hopefully we can change that this Spring (2012) if I decide to run a half in the Spring that is :O)  I am eyeing the Woodlands Half.  It would be a week of sign up for me as I am not going to register in advance due to weather uncertainty here at the beginning of March.

This was supposed to be #7 total, #2 in a trifecta, but it was not to be.  I pulled out at mile 9 and turned with the half marathoners.

Running in 40deg (wind chill was 35) and pouring down rain from 40yrds out of the gate was not for me.  I was so cold even dressed as I was that each raindrop felt like a knife going into me.  At one point in the race I couldnt hardly see in front of me it was raining so hard.  My clothes and shoes weighed 10 lbs (literally cuz I weighed them) due to the water (thankfully I wasnt wearing cotton ;o)).  It was so bad that I left my shoes in the hotel room to die a slow death.

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the Dallas White Rock marathon/half marathon and will definitely go back again (maybe in 2012, maybe not).

I just wasn't going to go through another 17 miles of that crap (it got way worse believe me) when I didnt 'have' to.  Hoping Houston is better to me in a few weeks.
Not thrilled with my time (2:13) but since I didn't run it initially as a half marathon, by the time I did decide to bail, there was not much I could do. 

The Expo
The Hotel
The Digits
First Thoughts Post Race
Race Photos

And now on to 2012!!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kenyan Way 'Long' Run - 13 miles

Nice cool morning, but a bit windy.  Thankfully part of our run was through RO, the place of no wind no matter what.  :O)  It was pretty running through there this morning with a lot of folks leaving their Christmas lights on.  Those rich people sure must have some high electric bills during December!  I wish more of the people left them on though.  There were a lot of homes that you could tell had lights and decorations but must turn them off when they go night-night.  :)

I somehow walked out of the house this morning with no Garmin?  Unheard of, but I definitely did it and didn't even realize it until I took off for my first few miles around base before starting with the group.

My back yesterday was quite ouchy, so I was worried for this morning and when the alarm went off it was still a bit ouchy, but bearable.  Once I started running it eased up thankfully and I never really felt much of it unless I was on a down-slope (there are a few on this route). 

Since I left my Garmin at home, I just got in the 4hr group and decided to hang on as long as I could, knowing that they would be running faster than the posted training pace.  I had to step it up this morning due to the fact I had an early hair appointment in Sugarland (couldnt get a later one!).  I am not sure where I ended up in the mix, but figured I was either with the 4hr group and by the end was with the 4:15 group.  I knew early on that I should not try and keep up with them, but did until about the 1/2 way point mostly because once we came out of RO the wind was a headwind and got in right behind 2 girls in the 4hr group and drafted until we switched directions :)  which was about just over a mile or so, then I just backed off a bit.

Its several hours later now, and my back is feeling pretty darn good.  My foot never went numb through the whole run which is always a good sign, so I am feeling cautiously optimistic.  My plan is to hit the gym in the morning and if it aggravates the back again, then I will have to just lay off of them until after my 21 miler next weekend.  I am hoping, SO hoping that its fine because I firmly believe that all the upper body/core work I have been doing is the sole reason I have been running so strong lately.  The uphills on the last 2 long runs would normally do a number on me (HATE hills) but I have been strong on them and able to power through and not be completely out of breath once I top off.

Lots of other running around today, including fighting the crazy people at the grocer, but I knew I had better go now as it will only get worse as it gets closer to Christmas and I needed to get the stuff to make one of my momma's best desserts she always made at Christmas!  There were several wine vendors giving samples, and I tried them all.  I even bought a bottle of Pinot Grigio to enjoy thinking it will definitely help my back.  :)

Enjoy your weekend and happy running!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekend Motivation!


Wednesday all I did was run and all night and yesterday my back felt so much better!

Then yesterday I ran, and then did weights and my back is killing me again. 
Today I wont be running or weights and if tomorrow morning, after my run (13miles), I feel fine and I feel fine tomorrow night and Sunday morning I don't have to literally roll out of bed because it hurts so bad, then I guess I will have to lay off the weights altogether for a good solid week.  All I did was upper body obviously and I was careful to avoid anything that put any strain whatsoever on my lower back.  Either I didn't do a good enough job of that or just any weight bearing exercise right now should be taken off the table until I can manage it better.

This makes me sad. 
But the pain is just too intense.  Like I cry if I sneeze it hurts so bad kind of pain.

I just hope that doing nothing today will help with the pain tomorrow morning when I have to get up to run.

Right now I am refusing to throw in any towels!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas List

Once you get to a certain age (it would seem), you really struggle to find things for a 'list' which my sister requires EVERY year...I mean come on, we're adults...if we want something we generally will just buy it ourselves.  But to make her happy I came up with a few things...

I couldn't help it...I figured she laughed really hard when she saw this on there (but I also know she looooves to spend a lot of money and make everyone happy, and it couldnt hurt to ask)

For some reason I crave coffee a lot now, and having a one cupper at the house would be fab.  This Mr Coffee model (Keurig) is cost effective too

My favorite running shirt by Lululemon (Run Swiftly) in either long sleeve or short sleeve AND in the new color Paris Pink

Lots of gift cards please!  Visa, MC or Amex thank you very much.  Cash is king!
 Additionally, there were 2 other tops I wanted and sent her info on, but neither of them have images online anymore as they were limited edition shirts (one was the Lululemon Manifesto in purple and the other is a Houston Texans shirt that was put out by Pink by Victorias Secret).  I know I am not going to get that one though because she called me freaking out because she couldnt find it and wanted me to see if I could find it online (I couldn't; the one I saw was in the store when I was out Christmas Shopping and evidently they sold out in no time at all)...I did find a replacement one though so we'll see... :O)

Every year I try and try and try to get my family to go along with adopting a family in need and putting the $$ we spend on gifts for each other towards giving a Christmas to a family that goes without.  My niece would totally do it, but my sister and nephew...we'll they still have way too much commercialism in them...

And this year, yet again, my sister hogs all the ideas from everyone, not sharing with anyone, therefore most everyone is getting gift cards from me.  Granted I did go out of my way to personalize them based on their likes and interests, but still.

So.  What's the top thing on your list?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Fluff(y) Post

Jamoosh over at Last Mile Lounge tagged me to write 7 things about my cat.
I love my Nugget!!!  (or Dulce which is his 'official' name but I never call him that anymore)

So here we go!

First Day Together!!! 
Nugget loooooooooooves my running shoes!  From the first day to now.  Especially if I come home in them with dirt of any kind.  I still can't put into words how much I loved him from the first time I picked him up!  (he's a rescue kitty)

OMG, he was SO tiny!!!  He fills that bag up now! 
He loves to get inside anything that is a 'bag', whether it be my gym, yoga bag, empty grocery bags, AND my purse.  Yes he tries to fit into my Coach bag.  And usually, like this morning, if I forget to clasp it, he will go in there and take out everything he can get and litter the living room with it.  Especially paper.
The cat LOVES paper.

Breakfast!  He looooooooooooooves Cheerios (with Almond Milk!)
Yes.  Cheerios.  Loves loves loves them.  He gets so excited when I have cereal.  He will lay just far enough away from the bowl until I give him the go ahead.  Usually I just toss a few ever so often to keep him happy until I'm done then I leave a few in the bottom of the bowl with a bit of almond milk still left.

Nugget, just like my dear departed Harley, likes to drink water directly from the faucet.  Kitchen, bathroom sink, tub.  Doesn't matter.  He won't drink water out of his bowl, but he will play with the bowl until its all spilled out and I come home and find the bowl in the middle of the living room.  I leave a bowl in the kitchen sink full of water for 'emergencies'.  I know he drinks from it when I'm not there and he gets really thirsty.

I don't even know how to explain how he gets up there.  One would think it would be to jump on the dresser, then jump to the top of the mirror.  But no.  He jumps on the dresser then CLIMBS THE WALL.  Really.  Boggles my mind.  He loves it up there in the sunroom and at first I use to freak out because I thought he WAS using the mirror (and its wonky)...but when I saw what he was doing, I didn't worry so much.  Now he doesn't get up there too much or if he does he does it when I'm not around.  He has always been a 'climber' since the first day I brought him home.

He is a diva through and through.  Or whatever the word is for a male diva.

And now that he's older...and a bit more settled (90% of the time) this is how he likes to spend his time.  Or in one of the many window sills throughout the house where he can watch the dogs and/or birds and squirrels.

Yes, he has a very hard life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

JunieB Doesn't Go to Washington

No Cherry Blossom for me.  Sad face.


While I indeed really wanted to do this race, I'm definitely OK with not being chosen this year.  Will try again next year :O)  My initialy plan was that if I didn't get in, then I would immediately turn around and put in for the lottery for the NYC half which is open through the 19th.

However after thinking about it, and with 3 other trips in 2012 for races, I thought maybe I should just hold off on a 4th for 2012.  At least for anything out of Texas.  Plus all that $$$ can go towards some local Spring races.  And 2 new tires (to match the other 2 new ones I recently bought).  Man tires are expensive!

The back is a little better today, mostly because I was very diligent in not sitting in my chair for long periods of time.  Ran an hour at the gym before Kyle got a hold of me and put me through the ringer.  He pushed me today, upping the weight on some of the sets that I honestly didn't think I could complete.  But I did.

Best part is that I am really starting to see results and that pushes me even more.

Hard work pays off.

Its warmed up considerably here, and since the last 2 days have been hard days on the weights along with running, I am planning on running one of my longer routes tomorrow through my 'hood and giving my muscles a breaky break.  It'll be good to get out in the fresh air and not have to be all bundled up!

Marcel The Shell

I may be late to this party, but I recently found out about a little dude called Marcel, the shell.  He is SO damn cute!  I just love his little quips and I thought I would share, because no matter if I am in the worst mood or sad, he makes me smile.

And the 2nd installment (my favorite part is if you notice something about when at one part he is on the laptop)...and seriously I want to just get a Marcel of my own when he is around the dog!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Good News, Bad News, Good News

Good:  I have full feeling back in my left foot and no pain on the top side during my run today

Bad:  My back is hurting about 10 times worse than it did the first time I found out I was 'injured' (degenerative disk)

Good:  Just like before, it doesn't hurt when I run

Easy 4 mile run today to test it out as I was in severe pain all day at work followed by 50 minutes of weights, obviously making sure nothing that would aggravate the lower back.

Just going to have to baby it, walk around at least once an hour at work, do my PT and watch it carefully.

#paleofail - Going Back to the Basics

I'm callin' it. 

Paleo, in its truest form, is not going to work for me.  I think in general, I can be in that 80/20 bracket, but only to a certain degree.  There are so many rules as it pertains to Paleo to be 'true' that I just can't and quite honestly, don't care to adhere to.

While I still rarely eat carbs in the form of beans, grains etc., I still like my toast, or grits and I still like my overnight oats from time to time!  AND I still like my pizza crust (made from Naan).  And I refuse to give up cheese (in moderation and I prefer NO cheese on pizza if that makes any sense :)).   The waitress at Campisi's (or any place for that matter) always gives me a weird look when I order the veggie pizza with no cheese.  :O)

And I am obviously not going to give up Diet Coke.

What I have decided, after much insight into what did work for me, was back in late 2009/Spring 2010.  So we're going back to what worked and what I was content with on all levels.

This was basically a combination of Flexatarian and Lacto-ovo vegetarian.

I went back to read some of my posts from back then, but unfortunately they are on the other old blog and I didnt feel like going through all of that again; but will at some point.  I had only transferred certain posts to the blog you are reading today (races and what-not).  One of the other things that I did back then was journal every single thing that I ate.

We're going back to that as well.  Not here on the blog, but in a journal just like I did before.
After a conversation with Kyle the other day, I realized that I was cuckoo to try and change what obviously works for my body, my age and my limitations that I have as it pertains to my thyroid etc.  This whole eat as much as you want thing (kinda) with Paleo; well, I do better with portion control, so thats where I am headed back to; back to my basics and what worked.

Thats not to say that I havent noticed a difference (albeit slight) since starting this, but I know that I go off of it more than I would like, and when I do, it makes me feel guilty and bad about myself.   This is not OK with me.

Also, to be fair, the difference could be attributed to the strength training and me off and on restricting myself.  Kyle was NOT happy when he randomly asked me the other day 'what did you eat yesterday?' and my answer was: breakfast taco for breakfast, a bowl of cereal for lunch (craving) and no dinner (I had gone to the concert).  He was extremely pleased with my choices in Dallas; as was I.  It was easy.

What was my downfall leading up to Dallas and this week was not being prepared.  I was concerned with leaving for Dallas and then gone all weekend which meant no prep work for the weeks food.  And when I am not prepared with a certain level of my food prepared or easy to grab-n-go, I tend to just say F it and while 90% of the time I make OK choices, its never as good as if I had prepared and planned 90% of my weeks meals.

So on top of it already being a very hectic weekend, I did manage to get to the store yesterday and stock up on foods, and even managed to get food for the week pretty much all taken care of!  We have Christmas lunch type of things here going on Thursday and Friday, so I didn't have to think about those days, breakfasts are easy, snacks are even easier and dinner as well!  Whew! 

I am happy I tried Paleo and I still believe in it 100%, especially as it pertains to the types of food you eat, a lot of vegetables and the types of meat (grass fed, anti hormone etc.)  I still believe that grains are the root cause of obesity and that they do unimaginable things to our insides, but I also believe that everything in moderation is ok too. 

Its just not mah thang! 

And hey it had been a couple of weeks since I was at the store, and everyone made mention of my 'weight loss' so at least I got that going for me!  Onward and upward (or downward I suppose!!!)

Yay Houston Texans!!!

This is really all that matters today!

Go Texans!  What a game!  Our sidelines are a replica of a MASH unit but we keep winning!  First ever playoff birth!  Even if we only make in a game or two into the PO's, it'll be fine with me.  I'm just glad that they finally made it!  Now I just wish we had 1st or even 2nd string QB back!  Hopefully Yates can pull more miracles out of his booty!

And in other news...the Cowboys keep finding new ways to lose...Poor wittle lambs...  :)  All in fun my Dallas readers and fellow bloggers...all in fun!  (but I do a little happy dance every single time they lose; my whole family are Dallas fans and I love rubbing it in every chance I get)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kenyan Way Long Run - 20 18 Miles

In a nutshell this long run got cut short for a couple of reasons, the first one being that I ran it at marathon pace.  Didn't mean to obviously, it just kinda happened that way.  More on the run itself in a bit.

The 2nd reason was because of something wonky going on with my foot which I think is directly related to my back issue (degenerative disk).  I dont remember exactly when it started in the route itself, but first the top of  my left foot was hurting very badly.  I tried loosening my laces, but that wasnt it.  I am scared to think that its the beginning of some sort of stress issue.  The other thing, as it pertains to my back, is that the same foot was basically numb for all of the 2nd half.  It started with my toes and worked its way up mid foot.

Both were very uncomfortable, and since I was already running much faster than I should have been, I just kept at it, settling on the fact that I was going to call it at 18 miles.  18 miles at MP is like 20 at training pace right?  Right?  Well its gonna have to be.

I was worried about this run beforehand as it was, since it had been 4 weeks since the 21 miler in anticipation of the Dallas White Rock, and clearly due to that I had to run long this weekend, since I ended up only doing the half last weekend.

I got to base shortly before 5:15; Coach was like 20?  Yeah.  We chatted for a bit, told him I was nervous and he told me 'just jog it, you'll be fine'.  Oops.  I caught up to a few peeps at the 1st water stop and we were running about the same pace (10:05) but unfortunately they were going the long way around Rice to avoid Sabine at the end, so I ran most of University by myself, stopping at Starbucks for a potty break where a few others were, and then I met up with them again when they had stashed some water/G at an intersection and offered me some.  Yes!  I kept them in my sights for a while and then by the time I got to the Westpark bridge (which I conquered at 10:22; purposely just putting one foot in front of the other so I didnt walk it at all), but most of the rest of the run was run alone.  I will say my fastest mile came in at 9:47 and not ashamed to say it was all because a certain person had gone by and I wanted to make certain I made it to the next water station while he was there.  :)  No shame in my game!  We'll just leave the conversation part out of this story.

I made it back to base (16 miles) then just added on at the end and called it a day.  Sure I could have done 2 more miles, but I thought better of it based on what I had done and how the foot was feeling.  My back is absolutely killing me right now, and I was going to go to the gym, but I think I had better just settle with the ibuprofen, some food, a bit of Christmas shopping and rest.  I'll hit the gym tomorrow before working a shift at the 'store'. 

Unfortunately because I forgot to stop my watch when I finished and was walking around and talking (who me?), my pace actually shows 10:32 average due to a 12:xx something 19th mile.  Oops.  Obviously it should be closer to 10:15 at my best guesstimate.

Definitely pleased with it, but I know it was the wrong thing to do.  I should never have pushed it like that today on a training run.  At the most I should have run the last 5-6 miles at MP, not the whole damn thing.  As it is, I actually ran quite a few miles way under GMP.

Oh well, whats done is done.  I'll cut back to 13 miles next weekend before doing 21 for the last long run before Houston.  Hoping it all goes well.  This wacky running schedule I've done the past several months has been very different for me, and I just hope that the fitness is there to actually be able to knock out one more long run.

**updated to add that while I was out shopping, on several occasions, the top of my foot would 'cramp' up and it was difficult to walk.  Had to stretch it out and wait for it to stop.  Good grief, I hope this goes away, or at the very least stays manageable for just a bit longer!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Product Review Coming! - ZipFizz

I was contacted recently by a representative at ZipFizz to find out if I was interested in receiving, testing and reviewing their product on my blog and to my readers/followers.

I just received the package via UPS, and have mixed up my first bottle (provided in package) to drink before my long run in the morning...I chose Grape for the first guinea pig!

Will be following this up with a full product review in a week, once I go through all the tubes and have some basis for review.

They have provided me with information for savings for the readers/followers so I will pass that along once I am able to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Stay tuned!

SportsPhoto - Dallas White Rock

A few things about these few photos from the race last Sunday:
  • You'll notice that I have my Shuffle unprotected.  Well it wasn't unprotected early on.  I had it wrapped in a baggie, used my longer length buds and had it tucked into the back zip of the shorts with the cord threaded up through the back of my shirts.  However at some point in the race I accidentially hit the button trying to turn the volume up on it, and it got WAY too loud and I couldnt adjust it so I had to take it out of the baggie.  After trying to get it back in, I couldnt so I just took it out, clipped it under my chin, hoping this would keep it somewhat dry and I wouldnt end up shorting out #4 in a years time.  Since it was pouring and I had ditched my visor, the thing still got wet.  However I was very careful NOT to touch anything on it until after I could get it dried off.  This seemed to have saved it.
  • You will also know that I was still wearing my old school Garmin 205.  I wondered about it as well in all the rain.  I had run in the rain with it before but never for this length of time or in that much of a downpour.  I saw a lot of people that had theirs wrapped in cellophane, saran wrap and/or taped.  Or a combination of all 3.  My Garmin survived just fine.  At least as of Monday it was still ok.  I havent run with it since Sundays deluge.
  • As I had previously mentioned, while we were in the Start corral it was just drizzly and thats when I made the decision to toss my visor and my little jacket.  Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.
  • No gloves you say?  Well they were so soaked, that around mile something or other (mid race I would guess) I just finally tossed them.  Another big mistake.  While yes my hands were cold as ice with them on, it was nothing compared to at the end.  I could NOT feel my thumbs.  My Lulu top has the 'hand-over' thing that keeps 1/2 your hand covered and those 4 fingers together but the lonely thumb?  He just is all alone and therefore gets really cold.  You could have dropped a 20lb weight on my thumbs and I probably wouldnt have felt it.
  • I had 2 shirts on.  A short sleeve compression top (Nike) to stick close to my skin and then the Lulu Run Swiftly top on top of that.  Nike capris and a pair of Lulu Speed shorts.  A SpiBelt to carry 2 extra Gu's and a race number belt.  Had I known I was going to do the full I wouldnt have needed the SpiBelt.  And of course, 2 sparkly Sweaty Bands.  Like that made a difference at all.
  • I did not get a picture post race like last year.  Everyone was just herded into the building and thats where they were set up.  The crowd was dense and all I could think about was getting my checked bag so I could get into dry clothes.  Another picture of me standing in front of some board was not important at all.

Ten Man Jam - KILT - Houston, Texas

Twelve years ago, one of my best friends, a DJ in the city of Houston, put together this little shindig called the Ten Man Jam and for 12 years it keeps going and going and going.  Although now she plays no part in its production, its still the same at its core, only now they like to include some of the 'big Nashville wigs' in on it, which kinda turned me away from it for a few years where Texas music artists seemed to be edged out somewhat.

So this year when she asked me if I wanted to go and bring along a friend, I first went to look at the line up before commiting and I must say, I was impressed as I have not been the past couple of years, so I said yes and found myself meeting up with friends and having a wonderful time last night .. not only that but I blew off running (wednesday), stayed out WAY past my bedtime and even had a beer.

Here are a few photos from the evening

Stoney Larue:  OK and TX legend.  If you've never heard him, you need to.  Look for Texas Moon, One Chord Song and/or Oklahoma Breakdown.  3 of my favorites (out of a million)

Gary Allan.  Oh how I love this guy.  His old stuff is my fav, which 2 of his 3 songs he did along with Songs About Rain (one of my faaaaaaaaaaavorites); Have a video of it from last night, will post later.

Martina.  Pure angelic and genius.  Her Oh Holy Night for her 3rd song brought the house to its feet and our hearts beating out of our chests.  Also have a video of this; will post later.

Clay Walker.  No words other than marry me :O)

The first 5 artists on stage.  They come out one at a time, do a song, then once all 5 are done they repeat each doing 2 more songs.  Then the 2nd set of artists begin their rounds.

Stoney again...

Clay and someone he brought along did You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma.  WONDERFUL and the girl was awesome.  Reminded me of the 'young' Leann Rimes.

Alan Jackson started the show and only one that did not want to participate in the normal format and he wanted his full band.  This caused delay in the first set of artists beginning and I hope they never do this again.  90 minutes WASTED. 

Jack Ingram.  Another Texas legend who did some good in Nashville but hes more of a Texas man; not a Nashville copycatter.  His old school stuff is awesome and the man is a genius songwriter

2nd 5.  Kevin Fowler there on the end.  Not a fan.

Hootie....I mean Darius Rucker!!!

Kevin and Eric Church, the girls name escapes me...Sara Evans was also in this group