Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

To think: last year I was disappointed in my performance! This year I *really* fell short. As in: didn't even hit last year's goals! I just couldn't imagine what I would go through mentally after I completed the marathon. But, to keep it all fair and honest, here is a review of my goals from last year, and how I performed:

Swim: 141,000 yards (80 miles) - FAIL. 80,000 yards.
Bike: 1000 miles - FAIL. 436 miles.
Run: 1000 miles - EPIC FAIL. 533 miles, and injured.
Lift: 50 times - FAIL. 15 times.
Core: 50 times - FAIL. 19 times.

My weight goal? Get back below 130 (damnit), and then maintain 125-130lbs. - Sorta. Got below 130, and spent 240 days within range.

Athletically, I had a bit of a stall this year. That's ok. These things happen. I am still a runner. I still love to run. I'm just a little injured. I am still a triathlete, though I'm thinking about focusing more on running in 2010. But swimming is the only thing I can do right now, and may be the only thing I can do for the next 6 or so months, so I'll still be doing "tri training".

Humanly, I'm in a better place than last year. I made a decision regarding my job. I promoted into the "glass ceiling" position. And I am happier for it. I miss the people at my old job, but I love the work in my new job. And I am actually happy to pause what has been a rather meteoric rise through the ranks of this company. I am challenged in my new position, and I'd like to take a while to actually learn it and get my feet back on the ground!!

I wrote my grateful post on Thanksgiving. I'm still grateful for all that!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Decade in Review

I saw a decade in review post elsewhere, and I started thinking about the past decade for me. It was a doozy, possibly the decade in my life with the most changes that I'll ever have. For that, it gets a post.

2000: Returned home from first semester in college to ring in the New Year with old high school friends. Finished first year in college with enough credits to be a junior, didn't fail anything, changed my major a bunch. Realized my long hair looked like crap, had suite-mate cut it off.

2001: Went to Italy for the summer to study art and architecture. Papa died. Uncle Manuel died. Began my depression.

2002: Got mono, was sick for 6 months. Granny died. Went into counseling and began to dig myself out of the depression. Met Preston, eventually began dating. Worked my first library job.

2003: Graduated college. Went on 2 archaeological digs: one in New Mexico (where I spent 2 months living in a tent and crapping in a crevasse), one in southern Italy. Tried to move to Houston to be with Preston (where I slept on Aunt Dollie's couch for 3 months), but couldn't get a job. Applied to grad school.

2004: Lived in Denton, getting my master's degree and missing Preston. Dad was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and had major surgery. Got Grimmy and Cal, my precious kitties.

2005: Moved to Houston (finally!), got my master's degree, got a ("real") job.

2006: Got engaged to Preston, bought a house, got a promotion.

2007: Started running again. Got married. Sugar, my kitty since I was 9 years old, died.

2008: Started triathloning, got a promotion.

2009: Ran my first marathon, traveled to London, got another promotion.

It is arbitrary to say that this past decade had the most changes that I'll ever see. I know that my life will continue to evolve. But, honestly, I went from being a teenager to an adult in the past 10 years, and I believe that that is one of the largest (and certainly most enduring) changes that I'll ever undergo. I survived a depression, went from drunken itinerant college student to married marathoner homeowner. That's pretty huge.

Merry Christmas!

We had two Christmases this year: the weekend before we went to the in-laws' in Fredericksberg. That was nice. Fredericksberg is a lovely little town, and really lovely all dressed up for the holidays.

Preston's grandparents are sweet and super cute. And we got some decent loot!
Then the following weekend, we went to Dallas for Christmas with my families. It actually started snowing on Christmas Eve as we were arriving in Dallas where we had dinner at my cousin's.
The next morning was still white - a white Christmas in Texas!

Got some good loot: Star Trek movies, arm warmers, a hook for my medals.

And Preston got the coolest shirt EVAR from the coolest wifey EVAR.
And then we went to my Dad's family's where I got nice and drunk and we played Catch Phrase, which is super-fun when you are drunk.

On Saturday we headed home, and on the way we bought a couch! (Not my living room.)

On Sunday we cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned some more. And the house is still dirty. But cleaner. Couch is coming this Saturday, can't wait!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BB Ultra is Back!!

Went for another little run Monday in my Vibrams. By little, I mean C25KW3D1. And my calves are S.O.R.E. And my knee wasn't a huge fan. I'm back to wondering if it'll ever get better without me stopping completely for a period of time. It probably won't.... but I'm not stopping until mid-March, because that's when I'm not signed up for any more races. What?? It is just 4 more to go... I'll continue to take it easy between them... I'll have 6 whole weeks between the Texas Half in Kingwood and the Austin Half...

Then, I'll take however long off it takes. Promise. And when I'm all better, I'll C25K (if necessary, 9 weeks). Then I'll OHR (10 weeks). Then I'll train for a Half (8 weeks). Then a Full (if there's time). Then an Ultra (if there's time - if there's not, then a 25K), because...

Big Bend Ultra (25K/50K) is back, baby!!

January 16, 2011.

I'm there. Count me in.

I don't know what distance I'll be running. I don't care. I will be there. Even if it is only for the 10K, I'll be there. You couldn't pay me to miss it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dallas White Rock Half Race Report

I have wanted to run this race since I was a little girl. White Rock Lake is very near to where I grew up, and I remember hearing about the race every year. What I'd really like to run is the full marathon, but I was happy to be able to participate in the half.

It was an interesting weekend. We drove up to my parents' on Friday after P got off from work. Spent the night on the farm, and like a whirlwind, were heading down to Dallas just after lunch the next day.

We went straight into town to pick up my packet at the convention center. Paid $10 for about 20 minutes of parking (not cool). I wasn't a huge fan of the layout of the expo, which like a brilliant store forced you to get lost among the goods and then to find your way out. We escaped with only one purchase, a 26.2 chrome thingy for P to give me for the Menace for x-mas, though.

Then headed to our hotel, the Hilton at Market Center. Nice hotel. Nice beds. Bring earplugs for the train lines. In a few years when the DART stops there, it'll be super nice for the marathon because you'll be able to ride directly into downtown. Got all checked in (long line, but free wifi to distract me), and headed to Ft. Worth to go to one of my oldest friend's birthday party.

At a brewery.

And that is how I became the designated driver of a SUBURBAN full of drunk people. In one of those parking lots that is only one way because the space between the sides is that tiny. Oh, and that was the first time I had ever driven a Suburban. Those fuckers are MASSIVE. But I safely delivered my cargo back to the birthday boy's house, and P and I headed back to our hotel. Around midnight.

Approximately 5 hours later the alarm went off.

I have never not wanted to run in a race so badly. I wasn't even sure I'd be running. I could break into a trot, the knee could scream, and I could be in for a 3:20 13.1 mile walk. I mean, that was very very likely. I was expecting it. And I was NOT in the mood for a 3 hour walk. At all.

But I spent money on the damn thing, so I got up, got dressed, agonized over whether to wear a jacket (would be too hot if I could run to have it, way too cold if I was walking to not have it), and eventually decided to wear it.

Oh, the race organizers didn't give out safety pins in the packet, so I was wearing my number on my race belt. Not my favorite, since I prefer to wear my race belt around my hips, so my leg was hitting my number with every step. I ended up wearing the belt around my waist. Ick.

Had P drive me to the American Airlines Center and drop me off. I was excited that we had access to it, that meant flush toilets, my favorite! But when I got inside, they had only given us access to the bottom level, and I swear, the mass of humanity was insane. Lines for each bathroom were stretching back to the next bathroom. I decided not to bother, and sat against a wall for half an hour just watching the people go by.

When I went out to line up, I was annoyed by the lack of signage. I got all the way to near the start line before finding out that I had to backtrack completely to get to my corral. Signs would have been helpful.

In my corral there was this girl/woman in FULL make-up. Mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, the whole deal. Getting ready to run. Only in Dallas.

The start was pretty cool. They had screens set up so we could see the pros start. Confetti still blowing when we got up there, and stands for the crowd. The start was definitely cool.

And then I was running. Actually running! I ran for about 15 minutes before my knee started hurting. So then I walked. I walked for a few minutes, and the knee didn't hurt any more. So I ran. I ran for another 15ish minutes before the knee started hurting, and thus the pattern for the running/walking was established. I ran until it hurt, then walked until it didn't. I ignored pace, time, etc, running and walking entirely on feel.

First aid station was already out of Gatorade when I got there.

I did lose a couple of minutes to a pit stop. Oh! I have to say: I have never been in a race where I've seen men peeing everywhere on everything. Until yesterday. And when I got into the portapotty line, I thought it'd be pretty clean, since there were only women in line (the men were all using the bushes), but no, there was no TP, and there was poop on the seat. Yuck! I probably lost almost 5 minutes to that stop, too.

And when the hell did Dallas get so hilly? I felt like I was running in Austin!!

This was by far the most beautiful course I've run. Most halfs take you through some nice, and some crappy areas. This one went only though beautiful neighborhoods. I was really impressed. And the last 5K on the Katy trail = great! By then I was doing more walking than running, so I had time to really appreciate it...

Towards the end, there, I realized I could go sub-2:40, which was 40 minutes faster than San Antonio, so I went for it. According to my Garmin, I made it: 2:39 and change. Not what I wanted, not what I would have wished for, but an improvement of 40 minutes in 4 weeks - I'll take it.

All in all, a good experience, but definitely not the best race I've done. Aid stations would be too far apart if it had gotten in the 70's as forecast (luckily stayed in the 50's). First aid station wasn't well stocked. There weren't enough portapotties, as evidenced by the mass man-peeing that was everywhere. And it was hilly. Oh, and the finisher's shirt doesn't say what you did: marathon, half, or relay. If that had been my marathon, I'd be PISSED about that! On the plus side, you got a long-sleeved T for signing up AND a finisher's shirt. The medal is nice. And the course really was quite beautiful.

I'm hella sore today. Not running for 6 weeks and then this - well, my muscles are speaking their displeasure. Loudly. And my knee is a little grumpy, I'm not gonna lie. I still don't think I re-injured it, but it is hard to tell through the soreness. We'll see in a day or two...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Running in a Winter Wonderland

Ok, well, to be honest, run/walking. With more walking than running.

So, on Friday, H-town was slated to get snow. My little weather bug in my iTouchy said 100%. Now, that takes balls. Any weather bug predicting *anything* 100% in Texas is a brave little mofo. But sure enough, it was right.

My area was one of the last to start snowing. I anxiously awaited the little white flakes while reading facebook statuses and twitter reports all morning about the heavy snow in other parts of town. You see, I wanted to go for a run in the snow.

Finally, around 12:30, I decided i couldn't wait any longer (due to my eating schedule), so I changed my clothes and got ready to run even though there was no snow yet. But when I walked outside, it was snowing!!!

I drove over to the little neighborhood crushed granite path because I wanted to try my Vibrams on it. I was the *only* person there. It was great! The snow kept coming down heavier and heavier while I laughed and ran and walked and chased snowflakes and tried to catch them on my tongue.

It was a beautiful run. It was a fun run. My knee didn't hurt at all, though my legs and feet were freezing!! (I wore 4 layers on top - it was about 30 degrees and I wore a compression shirt, long sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt with built in mitten thingys, and windbreaker. I also wore a hat and gloves. My hands were toasty warm, as was my core. Only from the waist down was I cold. Probably could have easily gone with one less layer over core and hands if I was running the whole thing.) The Vibrams worked just fine on the crushed granite. Occasionally I'd feel something, but it was a totally run-able surface for me.

Sometimes you just need a fun run, you know? For a Texan, snow'll do it!